Cookery

barlow_noodlemania

Barlow, Melissa Noodlemania!: 50 Playful Pasta Recipes Gr. 4–6     112 pp.     Quirk Books Illustrated by Alison Oliver. Sections named for pasta shapes (“Twisted & Twirly,” “Wheels & Whatever”) contain recipes that use common ingredients and simple techniques with the usual caveat about grown-up help. Appetizing full-color photos show final products. Pasta trivia, creative cooking tips, and […]

Big ideas

adler_things that float and things that don't

Adler, David A. Things That Float and Things That Don’t Gr. K–3        32 pp.      Holiday Illustrated by Anna Raff. Adler expertly teaches the concept of density, moving beyond classic floating and sinking experiments to a carefully constructed lesson that helps young thinkers appreciate both scientific explanations and practices. The concepts are kept simple and age […]

Memoir

earl_this star won't go out

Earl, Esther This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life & Words of Esther Grace Earl Middle school, high school     240 pp.     Dutton With Lori Earl and Wayne Earl. John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars to Esther Earl, who, in her own words, “went through a life changing experience known as Thyroid Cancer.” This posthumous collection (with […]

Unexplained phenomena

everett_haunted histories

Allman, Toney Are Extraterrestrials a Threat to Humankind? Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint Kallen, Stuart A. The Search for Extraterrestrial Life Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint Marcovitz, Hal Aliens in Pop Culture Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint Netzley, Patricia D. Alien Encounters Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint […]

Windows and mirrors book discussion

oct27readings

Lauren had her first adolescent lit class last night at HGSE (Harvard Graduate School of Education). For last night’s class we talked about How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. I love this part of a course when the students go from names and faces on a roster to real people with opinions about books. […]

Eleanor and Park

rowell_eleanor & park

Rainbow Rowell’s nontraditional romance novel Eleanor and Park portrays a young love that is genuine in its intimacy and awkwardness, as well as the painful realities of life that are well beyond the control of the young protagonists. What are the entry points in the story for readers whose lives are very different from those […]

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie tells Junior’s story with a lot of humor, but pulls no punches in depicting the brutal truths of alcoholism, poverty, and bigotry both on and off the reservation. Does humor have a place in a realistic novel about tragic circumstances? If you’ve had classroom […]

The Thing About Luck

The Thing About Luck

In The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, Summer has important duties to fulfill as the daughter and granddaughter of migrant harvest workers, and she must also meet the daily demands of her traditional Japanese grandparents. Summer’s multi-generational family and their lives as agricultural workers are facets of contemporary American culture that may be unfamiliar […]

Stuck on Post-Its

Stone Fox with Post-It notes

Still hanging onto their summer tans and beach weather, most people dread that time of year when the big, red “BACK TO SCHOOL” signs appear plastered on the doors of CVS, Staples, and Walgreens. I was never of that ilk; I’ve always loved the opportunity to buy school supplies, and start my year off fresh […]

How I Live Now

How I Live Now

At the outset of Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now, Daisy and her cousins in the English countryside are blissfully removed from the threat of impending war. In some ways, the insular, adult-less world of the young people might exist in any time and place, yet their world is irrevocably changed as the story progresses.  […]