The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

Sonia Manzano’s initial claim to fame was her starring role on “Sesame Street” as Maria. Two picture books later, Manzano has written her first novel inspired by events in her own life. Loosely following what transpired in 1969 when a Puerto Rican activist group called the Young Lords attempted to take over a church in order to […]

Middle-Grade Nonfiction Round-Up

The beginning of the school year is almost here and it’s time to stock up on meaningful and well-written nonfiction titles for your classroom or library. Here are four recently released or upcoming titles that are inspiring as well as informative: Moonbird by Phillip Hoose (Claudette Colvin; The Race to Save the Lord God Bird; We Were There, Too!). B95 […]

Science, History, and Art Activity Kits: Learn While Having Fun

You know how I feel about activity kit round-ups that facilitate learning on the sly. Here are a few recent titles that do just that. Stay tuned for the next round-up later on in the summer. Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering by Donna Latham, illustrated by Jen Vaughn. The latest title in the […]

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 […]

New Earth Day Books for Kids 3-12 (Part One)

We should celebrate our planet not just on April 22nd, but every day, and continue to think about ways to conserve energy, reuse household objects, recycle, cut back on carbon emissions, appreciate and protect our land and the animals that populate it, and more. The opportunities to improve our world are endless and the earlier […]

Two Icky (But Fascinating) Reference Books Kids Will Love – Perfect for Your Science Curriculum!

A book devoted to examining . . . poop? Another book about bacteria, bed bugs, and tapeworms? I know, I know. You probably think I’m off my proverbial rocker this week. But the truth is these two gems are fascinating reference materials kids will devour in two seconds flat. Sure, they’re bound to incite bathroom […]

Two Noteworthy Nonfiction Titles in Celebration of African-American History Month

Last week, I recommended three stunning novels that I hope you’ve leafed through or picked up for your middle-grader(s). This week, here are two complementary nonfiction titles that are just as stellar. Without further ado . . . 

3 Fantastic Novels in Preparation for African-American History Month

When I was younger, I spent nine years living in Clemmons, a little town outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After my family moved to Connecticut when I was in fifth-grade, I remember looking back on my experiences in elementary and middle school and thinking, “Wow. That was different.” While the public schools my brothers and […]

2 New Books in Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday

This Sunday, January 15,marks the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In celebration, here are two fantastic new books—one covering the renowned figure’s life and legacy; the other, the fraught period in which King lived and died. Marching to the Mountaintop by Ann Bausum. Bausum, an award-winning children’s book author (Unraveling Freedom) who has published eight […]