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Summer stretch

I wanted to write about my eleven-year-old grandson’s decision to read To Kill a Mockingbird as an independent reading assignment. The book was on a “stretch” list his fifth-grade teacher had distributed, so his choice wasn’t like deciding to read Ulysses or worse, Infinite Jest, out of nowhere.  Still, even voracious eleven-year-old readers...

Books about moms and chairs

Minh Lê's wonderful "Blowing the Horn" piece in our May/June Special Issue: Our Centennial reminded me of this mid–virtual school assignment that made me smile then (which was much needed) and makes me smile now: See also Vera B. Williams's 1983 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award poster: And here's Bertha's chair...

Mother's Day 2024

Not breaking news, but motherhood is hard (fatherhood, too; check back next month). Of course it's also all the good stuff — rewarding, gratifying, exhilarating, heartwarming — but easy it is not; and, to borrow from The Princess Bride, "anyone* who says differently is selling something." Mother's Day is this Sunday, May...

Teacher Appreciation 2024

The late, beloved Robin Smith's rocking chair. This year May 6-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week, with today, May 7, 2024, marked as National Teacher Day. Please #ThankaTeacher — including teacher librarians, if your district is lucky enough to have them — and remember the extreme difficulties, unique challenges, and seeming near-impossibilities that our educators face on...

Día 2024

April 30 is El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), a "celebration of children, families, and reading...that emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds." This year marks the twenty-eighth anniversary of Día — read about its history here and find resources...

2024 Summer Reading Recommendations

Let's Go! © 2024 by Julie Flett. I’m not a skateboarder, but it sure looks like fun in Julie Flett’s picture book Let’s Go! (at right). It’s a story about a kid mustering the courage to try something new (using Mom’s childhood skateboard!) and then finding — and helping build...

Patriots' Day and School Vacation Week

Today is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, a state and regional holiday that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. It's the day the Boston Marathon is traditionally run, and the start of Spring Break for the public schools.  To keep the little ones busy,...

National Siblings Day

April 10 is National Siblings Day (the picture above is Roger's brother with his bloopah). Here are some booklists and articles that highlight "siblings doing what siblings do best." Find more at Horn Book Family Reading blog; at Siblings tag; and lots and lots more at the Guide/Reviews Database subject Family--Siblings. From Notes from...

From the Mixed-Up...end of 2023 reading

Happy 2024! What did YOU read at the end of the year? Here are a few of mine:                             And during break I got to introduce my younger child to this classic:          ...
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