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A Kick In the Head | Class #5, 2016

A Kick in the Head

This is one of those books for kids that tends to be an eye-opener for most adults, too. Who knew there were this many poetry forms out there?! Notice how the book could be enjoyed by just reading the poems. OR, if you want to learn more, you can see what the form is and […]

Nerdy for Life

nerdies_drawing

The Nerdy Book Club existed as a concept long before there was a hashtag or a blog. People who consider themselves devoted, passionate readers have been card-carrying members, albeit metaphorically, for their whole, book-loving lives. As Donalyn wrote in her first Nerdy blog post, titled “Lifelong Member of the Nerdy Book Club”: “Welcome to the […]

Brave new worlds

bruchac_trail of the dead

Along with questions about technological and scientific advances, these recent YA novels — three sci-fi adventures and one science-centric historical fantasy — implicitly explore issues of social justice, inviting readers to think critically about our own world. Having escaped from prisonlike Haven in Killer of Enemies, a battle-hardened Lozen now leads her band of refugees […]

Twentieth-century friends

neri_tru & nelle

Here are four works of historical fiction with vivid characters whose relationship with friends and family will draw middle-grade readers into their stories. In G. Neri’s Tru & Nelle, Truman, an eccentric Little Lord Fauntleroy aspirant, and Nelle, a feisty girl with a boyish haircut, strike up an unlikely and unshakable friendship in Depression-era Monroeville, […]

Look closely

isadora_i hear a pickle2

The following books encourage young children to use their powers of observation and look closely at the pages before them — and at the world around them. Starting with a clever, attention-grabbing title — I Hear a Pickle: (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) — Rachel Isadora’s book about the five senses is […]

A variety of verses

morstad_when green becomes tomatoes

Poetry can rhyme, or not. It can take interesting shapes, or just use straightforward lines. These collections for primary and intermediate readers are great examples of the many forms poetry can take. Look for our What Makes Good Poetry? newsletter in your inbox on April 27, 2016. When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons […]

Information books | Class #4, 2016

informationbooks_2015

Our next class will be in two weeks, on April 21. We’ll be talking about four information books: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier Things sure have changed […]

Actual Size | Class #4, 2016

Actual Size

We are reading four information books for our next class, all picture books but for various ages. Steve Jenkins’s Actual Size could be read with very young children or with older ones depending on how you choose to share it. There is basic information in large type and details for older children in smaller type. The […]

Me…Jane | Class #4, 2016

Me...Jane

As picture book biographies go, this is one of the more irreverent ones. What did you make of it? What about the visual mix: McDonnell’s cartoon-style art, vintage stamps, Goodall’s childhood drawings, and photos? The year this was published, we had lots of discussion pro and con about the final photograph — in particular its […]

Feathers | Class #4, 2016

stewart_feathers not just for flying

Birds are great animals to study because they are found everywhere, not just in rural areas. I love looking at books about birds around this time of year here in New England. The snow is starting to melt and — if you listen carefully early in the morning — you can hear new birds who […]