New Graphic Novels for Spring

Greetings, all! I’m back from lush and lovely Portland and am still feeling the effects of the stupendous hike I conquered (sort of) in the Columbia River Gorge. Killer views. Tasty, munchy trail mix. A deliciously gooey cinnamon bread-like roll called “Sin Dawg” (yes, really) with seeds and nuts that’s actually healthy. It was sublime.  […]

More Earth Day Books!

What are you doing for Earth Day this year? A bit of gardening or planting a tree, perhaps? Teaching a lesson on weather systems and the effects of human activity on ecosystems around the world? Whatever the case may be, I hope you and your middle-graders enjoy it. Feel free to share a story or […]

Baseball Books for Kids 6-14

It’s baseball season! These 10 books are a sure hit. A home run? Corniness aside, they’ve all got something to offer. Picture Books: There Goes Ted Williams written and illustrated by Matt Tavares. Two on, two out, last of the ninth. From the super talented author-illustrator of four other equally spectacular baseball-related picture books—Zachary’s Ball (Anniversary Edition), Oliver’s Game, Mudball, […]

A New Series by the Author of the Award-Winning Clarice Bean Books!

Fact: Kids rarely tire of spy chapter books. Plenty of intrigue and derring-do. Clues to sniff out and secret codes to crack. Plots race along as feisty characters poke and prod into mysterious circumstances and fall into potentially hairy situations. What’s a kid to do but burn through pages in hopes of solving the offending […]

The Hunger Games Phenomenon

As you may or may not know, Book One in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy has been made into a movie—the first of a projected four. (Check out the preview here.) It’s opening this Friday, March 23rd in theaters nationwide. If you’re not hiding out under a rock, you’ve probably witnessed the full-on media blitz and general frenzy surrounding […]

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (Read This Sequel!)

Bang Bang. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Who would’ve thought the author of the intricately woven James Bond spy novels could write such a light and fun-filled caper suitable for children? But in fact, that’s just what Ian Fleming did. What began as a trio of stories told to his son Caspar at bedtime about an adventure-loving family […]

National Book Award Winner Polly Horvath’s Latest Book Kick-Starts Kids’ Imaginations

When you’re a kid, it’s important to flex your imagination as much as you can. Sure, your fingers might have to be surgically detached from your Xbox controller or your latest Apple product first, but once you get the hang of not being hooked up to something electronic, the feeling of just imagining can be quite freeing. […]

Tearjerker Alert: WONDER by R.J. Palacio Is a Must-Read!

What is it about books that feature characters who scratch and claw their way through life yet somehow manage to rise above adversity despite seemingly unbeatable odds? Why does reading their stories make me sob—yes, unabashedly sob—with a surprising amount of force and feeling? Why do I hear trumpets sound when even the smallest triumphs […]

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: A Lesson in Animal Rights

Most of you are probably already aware of the award-winning author, Katherine Applegate. Her books include the 2008 Golden Kite Award-winning Home of the Brave, the chapter book series Roscoe Riley Rules (#1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs), and The Buffalo Storm, a picture book. She is also the co-creator (with her husband, Michael Grant) of the Animorphs series (#1: The Invasion), a publishing […]

Walter Dean Myers Named New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012, proved to be a groundbreaking day in the children’s and young adult publishing world. Walter Dean Myers was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a prestigious honor bestowed upon an author by the Librarian of Congress for a two-year term (past winners include Jon Scieszka of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales  fame […]