Best Kids Books with Science Ideas
I will confess that I have been thinking and working on this post for MONTHS. The gist in my mind was science-y chapter and picture books that are NOT non-fiction, that make science fun and accessible, and excite a child’s imagination. Yep, it’s taken a while to find enough books that fit this criteria to make it to 10 but I think these are worthy of this list. What do you think? What non-fiction science-y books do you and your children like? Are there enough to actually make this a new children’s lit. genre? Now THAT would be exciting! Read more…
Chapter Books for Girls Ages 8 to 12
I’m finally getting around to blogging on Finally, Wendy Mass‘ excellent follow-up chapter book to 11 Birthdays which is up for many major awards: Read more…
Best Dog Story Books for Kids
I’m a new dog owner and this is my first dog because you can’t count the beagle that we had when I was 2-years-old. Someone — maybe the meter reader? — left the gate open and he got run over and after that we just had a steady stream of Siamese cats. But now I get why dog people can be so over-the-top with their dogs. Dogs try to win your heart much more so than a cat, and these dogs in children’s chapter books have won untold hearts the world over. Even if you are not a dog person, these dogs will convert you! These dogs are either rescuing someone or being rescued, getting kidnapped or preventing robberies, or just a dog-about-town. Please meet some dogs to fall in love with! What dogs in children’s books have you fallen in love with? Please share! Read more…
Librarians in Children’s Books Who Change Lives
UPDATE: It seems that our beloved librarians are under siege due to draconian budget cuts in California. Why do we need librarians? There is a great article here from The Los Angeles Times. [excerpt: “To get them off the payroll, the district is arguing that librarians don’t teach and thus don’t qualify for the seniority protections given to teachers.”]
If your school librarian is in danger of being cut, I would advise strength in numbers and advocacy. Rally other parents and make a big stink. Do your research and present your case. You’d be surprised how a group of fired up parents can change the world! Read more…
Best Books for 2nd Grade with Some Stipulations
I remember how difficult it was to find great books for kids once they’ve moved to chapter books but are not quite ready for Newbery books. Read more…
I remember when I handed my daughter The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo when she was in third grade. We had just enjoyed Because of Winn Dixie together by the same author and The Tiger Rising seemed perfect from the quick cover once over. The chapter book was short, with biggish text inside.
A few days later, my daughter asks if she can please stop reading.
“Why?” I asked her.
“It’s too sad,” she replied.
I took the book from her and read the first few chapters. I was horrified to find out that this was a Grapes of Wrath level of sad kind of story. Not that this book isn’t wonderful or beautifully written but it was just too sad for an 8-year-old to bear.
After that I started reading ahead to screen all her books for her. And then I started this blog. I guess if I had this list, I wouldn’t be blogging!
I have added one asterisk to the books that I’ve read and liked it and two asterisks for books I read and loved. I also think that you can go up a grade or even two for these books but I would not necessarily go down.
Newbery Books by Age Appropriateness
2013: The One and Only Ivan (Grade 3) **
2012: Dead End in Norvelt (Grade 5) *
2011: Moon Over Manifest (Grade 4) **
2010: When You Reach Me (Grade 5) **