All posts in Book Reviews

2010 Africana Awards for Best Children’s Literature

Best Multicultural Books for Kids

I found this great site called Africa Access, founded in 1989 to help schools, public libraries, and parents improve the quality of their children’s collection on Africa.  Africa Access Review, the online database, contains over 1000 annotations and reviews of children’s books written by university professors, librarians, and teachers most of whom have lived in Africa and have graduate degrees in African Studies.  Their award, Children’s Africana Book Awards, has presented more than forty awards since 1992.  These are the winners for 2010 with reviews by Africa Access. Read more…

Coming-of-Age Chapter Book as Appealing as Ice Cream in Summer

Chapter Books for Kids With Special Needs Characters that Teach Compassion

I  live in a city that is composed of about a dozen villages.  Most of the villages have a small town center and most of the town centers have an ice cream shop.  My village has a town center but it’s a small one so it’s not really a draw.  The town center lacks, well, a center.  It’s more of a town perpendicular than a town square.  There is an ice cream shop but it was one that we rarely visited, opting instead to drive further to the center of town with the bad parking to another ice cream chain store because our ice cream store wasn’t much of anything.  Even the ice cream there tasted a wee bit like freezer burn. Read more…

4th of July Picture Books

4th of July Picture Books with an Asian Twist

Best Multicultural 4th of July Books for Kids

Happy Birthday United States on this 4th of July!  To celebrate, I selected two picture books with an Asian twist.  Both families are immigrants from China.  The children in each book, like all children of immigrants, straddle two worlds trying to be “more-American-like-their-friends” while immersed in the culture and traditions from their home country. But what is lovely in both these books is an acceptance that there is no one correct way to celebrate being an American.   This is a homage to the United States of America, the great melting pot nation.  Happy Birthday! Read more…

Best Non-Fiction for Kids: Fangs!

Great Non-Fiction for Boys

The cover of the book alone is appealing because it is a hologram that morphs into four different animals.  You have to tilt it just right to get all four images but this was really fun for my preschooler-soon-to-be-Kindergartener son.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I won’t tell you which four animals appear, but hint:  they all have fangs!! Read more…

Top 10: Picture Books That Teach Life Lessons

Best Picture Books That Teach Life Lessons

I read the loveliest Top 10 Picture Books that Teach Life Lessons on the Simple Mom blog. She’s out on maternity leave so this post was from Simple Homeschool editor, Jamie Martin of Steady Mom.  Click here for the link. Read more…

Chapter Book for Lacrosse Players: The Warriors (ages 8-14)

 Best Chapter Book for Boys Who Play Lacrosse

For anyone who loves the game of lacrosse, this is a must-read book.  To the Iroquois nation, lacrosse is a game that is spiritual and helps to connect their community through the act of playing.  In this novel by gifted Native Indian author Joseph Bruchac, Jake Forrest leaves his reservation for a posh boarding school in Washington D.C.  The two worlds could not be more different, and the only thing in common in the game of lacrosse.  But at boarding school, lacrosse is played with a very different attitude than at home. Read more…

Teach Gratitude with A Small Child’s Book of Prayers

Book of Prayers for Kids

I wish we went to church more often.  My husband worships at the church of 18 holes.  I do think it is a place of spirituality for him and it certainly does reveal man’s true nature.  My husband says that after a round of golf, you see the person for who his or she is … cheaters, lies to self, lies to others, poorly mannered, can’t-control-your-temper, etc.  It’s enough spirituality for him. Read more…

Picture Book Teaches Perseverance Through Karate (ages 4-8)

Karate Picture Book Sends Message of Perseverance

My kids started karate about three years ago.  More than a decade ago, I had been robbed at gunpoint when I lived in West Los Angeles and I have been doing martial arts off and on for about the same amount of time.  I gravitate towards kick boxing which has fallen out of favor as a trendy exercise but it’s both a great workout and helpful for self-defense.  I let my oldest watch my kick boxing training session which helped to convince her to try karate.  She was halfway to black belt — where the rubber meets the road —  when the additional time commitment was more than she wanted to sign on for.  She opted for soccer instead. Read more…

Percy Jackson + King Arthur = The Dark is Rising

Fantasy Adventure Award Winning Chapter Book Series

A reader commented earlier to check out The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper for my Reluctant Boy Reader list, and it’s taken me a while to track it down, but she was right! I just finished the second book, The Dark is Rising and think that this is a fantastic series, with two Newbury awards; The Dark is Rising is a Newbury Honor book and The Grey King is a Newbury Medal Winner. Read more…