Kids’ Books to Remember and Some Links for Mom and Dad

Last weekend my husband and I spent a wonderful weekend visiting our son and his girlfriend in Virginia. We got to tour Washington D.C. including Arlington National Cemetery, The National Art Museum, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, The Vietnam War Memorial and of course, The Lincoln Memorial. It was a whirlwind, but so meaningful, and also so much fun to get to spend time with two of our favorite people. It was very hard to leave after looking forward to our visit for so long. I’m very grateful our son lives just an eleven hour car ride away, after living on the west coast for many years, but it’s still hard to say goodbye.  As I mentioned to him, wouldn’t he like to find a job in Chicago? Actually, though, we’re just thankful that he is happy, healthy, and surrounded with friends, because what more do we want for our kids?!

Now that we’re back home, here’s the latest edition of Kids’ Books to Remember. As always, I hope you find some new favorites!

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: READ ALOUD

kids' books to rememberArthur Plays the Blues by Marc Brown

Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary

A Llama in the Family by Joanne Hurwitz

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture books

kids' books to rememberThis week’s books include an old favorite, Bark, George, that I shared with kindergarten and first grade over and over, and they never ceased to roar with laughter. I’ll bet it will have the same effect on your kids!

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

Duck at the Door by Jackie Urbanovic

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEmber: chapter books

kids' books to rememberI have always referred to these books as chapter books, but your kids may call them middle grade books. However you refer to them, they are fiction books that are on grades 4-6 reading level, with content that is appropriate for grade 3 and above. Please don’t shy away from suggesting some these to your middle schoolers, as well, as your younger children. These stories are so good, that they will entice them to keep reading, and isn’t that the goal?

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Watsons Go To Birmingham — 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

 

 

links for mom and dad

This list is from a great website I’m sure you’ll like, and from one of my favorite librarians (an online friend I greatly admire).

Top Ten Picture Books for Read Alouds by Kate Olson

I am such a big believer in the value of reading aloud to children of all ages. This story, by one of my favorite bloggers, confirms my belief.

The Best of Jim Trelease

I always put a lot of thought into every birthday and Christmas gift for my children through the years. I hope that I gave these gifts as well, especially number 35.

35 Gifts Your Children Will Never Forget

For Mother’s Day, here’s a post and some comments that will remind us to linger awhile, cherish the journey and take time to smell the roses with our children.

Motherhood is Not a Finish Line

 

 

 




5 Memorable Middle Grade Chapter Books

I share new books on my Instagram feed several times a week, but I haven’t shared any new chapter books on Red Canoe Reader in a while. Here are five memorable middle grade chapter books that I don’t want you to miss!

Josephinememorable middle grade chapter books

Words by Patricia Hruby Powell

Pictures by Christian Robinson

This story is a free verse biographical poem about the dancer and civil rights advocate, Josephine Parker. It is best for grade 3 and up and is a perfect choice for a reluctant reader who is looking for a biography. The colorful illustrations and the short free verse poems on each page entice the reader to keep reading and to learn about Josephine’s fight for fairness, her kindness, her persistence and her success. It tells of her struggles in the U.S. when the country wasn’t ready to accept an African American dancer, no matter how talented. A country where she had to enter the theater by the back door and couldn’t even try on hats in a department store. We learn that all of this injustice prompted Josephine to flee to Europe where she was welcomed with love and standing ovations. Josephine entertained the troupes during World War II and joined the French Resistance, which led to her being awarded France’s highest honor.

Nest

by Esther Ehrlich

memorable middle grade chapter books
I couldn’t put this touching book down and finished it easily in a day. Miss Ehrlich’s beautiful descriptions of the marshes made me feel like I was trudging through the woods and climbing the dunes with Chirp, the main character. This is the first book from Esther Ehrlich and I’m eagerly awaiting her next novel!
Chirp loves the salt marshes around her family’s home on Cape Cod where she lives with her mom, a free spirited dancer, her dad, a psychologist and her older sister Rachel. She is never without her binoculars as she explores the sand dunes and woods watching for her favorite birds.  Chirp feels like she has an almost perfect life except for a few things. For one thing, a new family has moved in across the street and Joey, who is Chirp’s age, and his two brothers are what her dad calls “tough guys”.  Secondly, her normally active and happy mom is experiencing mysterious problems with her leg. This leads to a very difficult year in sixth grade and even though Joey may be a “tough guy”, a tender and moving friendship develops between Joey and Chirp as they each deal with some very difficult family problems. I wanted to hug both of them and not let them go! This is a good chapter book for your middle grade reader, but I promise you, you’ll love it too!

Frazzled

By Booki Vivatmemorable middle grade chapter books

When I was an elementary school librarian, I often heard the question “what book is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Big Nate?” Well I wish Frazzled, Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom was available a few years ago, because it would have been flying off the shelves! Frazzled is not a graphic novel, but is filled with illustrations on every page, which makes it into a very inviting book for even reluctant middle grade readers. Frazzled tells Abbie Wu’s story about starting middle school and how she is “totally freaking out.” She is the middle child in her family and she isn’t brilliant and cool like her older brother or cute and adorable like her little sister. She is just Abbie who is struggling to find “her thing.” Will it be drama club like her best friend Maxine who has wanted to be an actress since third grade, or possibly the coding club like her friend Logan who has always been a whiz with puzzles? Or maybe cooking, or dance or sports? The trouble is, is that Abbie is terrible at all of these and couldn’t be less interested. This book will both entertain your middle grader, as well as reassure anyone who is dreading the transition to middle school. In the end, Abbie decides maybe she’s not “100% doomed!” and you find yourself hoping Booki Vivat finishes the next installment about Abbie Wu very quickly!

The Thing About Leftoversmemorable middle grade books

By C.C. Payne

Fizzy is a good southern girl with good manners who is trying very hard to be perfect.  This is really difficult after her parents divorce. She suddenly has a new stepmother and her mother has a new boyfriend and Fizzy is feeling like a leftover, as both of her parents begin their new families. Fizzy does her best to be the perfect daughter to all of them, as she cooks nonstop to reach her goal of winning the Southern Living Cook-off. She’s hopeful that if she wins, maybe her mom and dad will no longer think of her as just a leftover. The story is both poignant and full of humor as Fizzy and her new friends, Zach and Miyoko, each deal with their family problems. The Thing About Leftovers is a perfect choice for a middle grader, but your older kids will enjoy it too.

 

 

Tru and Nellememorable middle grade chapter books

By G.Neri

This middle grade novel is based on the true life childhood friendship of Nelle Harper Lee and Truman Capote in their hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Both Nelle and Tru, next door neighbors, were avid readers, lovers of Sherlock Holmes, misfits and motherless. One summer, Tru’s cousins built a treehouse for Sherlock (Tru) and Watson (Nelle) in between their houses, which became their secret clubhouse and the place where they met to solve the mysteries of their small town and plan their adventures. Nelle used both her strength and her brains, and Truman his creativity and determination to help them confront the town bullies, as well as face the trials in their daily lives.  Although these authors will be unfamiliar to your middle grader, the adventure and the humor in the story will definitely hold their attention. Personally, I was fascinated to learn about this childhood friendship between the two famous authors. Although the book is fictional, it is based upon the author’s research. I especially enjoyed reading the author’s note at the end of the book which told of Capote’s support of Harper Lee when she moved to New York City in 1956. He introduced her to a couple who sponsored her for one year, which enabled Lee to write To Kill a Mockingbird. Then In turn, Harper Lee’s research and support was instrumental to Capote’s when he wrote In Cold Blood.  

These are my latest favorite  middle grade chapter books. What have you read that you loved? Please let us all know in the comments!

 




Kids’ Books to Remember and Some Links for Mom and Dad

How the week has flown by! It’s Spring Break week in our county and it’s a time for lots of family adventures, some nearby in Chicago, and Wisconsin and some a little further away where there are sunny skies and warm temperatures. We’ve spent the week at our lake house in Michigan we’ve had mostly gray skies and rain. However, that means LOTS of time for reading. I’ve actually read several adult books this week, as well as kids’ books. kids' books to rememberHere are two of my favorites.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows and The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow. I read the Potato Peel Pie Society years ago and recently heard a recommendation from one of my favorite adult book bloggers, Modern Mrs. Darcy, suggesting if you had liked The Potato Peel Pie Society, you would love The Last Telegram, and it was so true. They are both set in England during World War II. You learn about the hardships, the fears and the bravery of those at home, while their loved ones were in the midst of battle. My father was a World War II veteran, and my mother was in high school during the war, so I feel that I have a much better understanding of their experiences after reading these historical fiction books. I highly recommend both of them!

Now back to kids’ books. Here is this week’s Kids’ Books to Remember. I hope these titles will help you find some new books that will become family favorites!

Kids’ books to remember: read aloud

As always, the books this week are those the whole family will enjoy, even your little ones. The links are to Amazon descriptions where you can read a short summary of the story, however these titles should be readily available at your library, as well.

kids' books to remember

No Flying in the House by Betty Brock

Abel’s Island by William Steig

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

 

 

 

 

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture books

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

This story reminds me of our family reunions each summer in Michigan. I always look forward so much to everyone getting together, but then I’m a little sad once everyone leaves. That is, until I remember that hopefully we’ll all be together once again next summer!

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

Molly Lou may be small and a little different, but she has the self confidence to stand up to the meanest bully.

Duck! Rabbit! by jAmy Krouse Rosenthall

I’ve been sharing this delightful book with kindergartners for years and I always get the same response. They delight in the story – is the main character a duck or a rabbit? This will prompt lots of conversations with your little ones, as they tell you why they are SURE it’s a duck or a rabbit! I just realized this is available as a board book, too, so this would be great for your little one who hasn’t quite learned about being careful with a picture book.

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: chapter books or middle grade bookskids' books to remember

Scumble by Ingrid Law

This used to be a favorite in my library. It’s a fantasy that is full of action and adventure. “The title stands alone in its fast-paced plot with twists and turns galore, and readers familiar with Savvy will eat it up and wish for more.” – School Library Journal

The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merill

Rufus doesn’t set out to be a millionaire. He just wants to save some money on his next tube of toothpaste, but with help from his friends he starts a million dollar business!

Danger Box by Blue Balliet

This mystery is by one of my favorite middle grade authors. It’s set in Michigan, not far from my home, which adds to the fun and the intrigue. This story is full of secret codes, mysterious strangers and a box containing many secrets. Grade 4 and up.

links for mom and dad

Things I Should Have Known Review

This is a great new book for for your middle or high school child. The review comes from a Wisconsin librarian who is a favorite of mine on Instagram.

13 Read-Alouds to Help you Connect with Your Middle Schooler

This list includes so many titles that will help prompt some great conversations with your middle or high schooler.

It’s OK to Write or Draw in These Books! (Gasp!)

If your kiddos love to draw, and you’d love to inspire even more creativity, these would be great additions to their Easter Basket!

Once again, thank you for inviting me into your inbox to help you prepare for your week. What are some titles you’ve found at your library that you’d like everyone to know about? Please let us know in the comments. Have a wonderful week, full of budding flowers and sunny skies (I may be dreaming, but that is truly my wish for you, wherever you are!).

 

 




Kids’ Books to Remember and Some Links for Mom and Dad

Well, for many of you, this is Spring Break Week. We are in Michigan, and the peacefulness, as well as watching the migrating swans and ducks swimming on the lake is making it really enjoyable, However, I must admit, I miss the warmth of Florida that we were experiencing a month ago! I hope you are in a warm and sunny location surrounded by lots of books, but if you are still looking for some book titles to add to your library list, here are some Kids’ Books to Remember.

kids’ books to remember: read aloud

kids' books to rememberJames Herriot’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot

The animal stories from James Herriot, the British Veterinarian, are charming and heartwarming. This book will become a favorite in your house, I’m sure.

Ribsy by Beverly Cleary

Ribsy, the dog belonging to favorite character Henry in Beverly Cleary stories, gets his own book.

The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

Humphrey, a hampster, shares his experiences when he visits a grade school classroom. This is told completely from Humphrey’s point of view and is just the first of lots of Humphrey books.

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture books

   kids' books to rememberThe Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

This story focuses on the theme of being yourself.

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

This book tells a story of friendship and the joy of learning to read.

Butterfly House by Eve Bunting

In the sweet story, your kiddos will not only learn about the life cycle of the butterfly, but also about kindness.

 

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: middle grade chapter books

All of the books this week are from well known authors who have written several books, so if your kids like one of these, there are more to look for.

kids' books to remember  When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

   Trouble River by Betsy Byars

   A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle

 

 

 

 

 

links for mom and dad

Here’s a post from a special teacher that is so true.

before smart phones and computers kids had real fun

Our kids are sure to encounter refuges and immigrants in their lives. These books can help develop empathy and understanding for what their new friends have experienced.

books that teach us about the experiences of refuges and immigrants

Although my kids are grown, this is what I hope for my boys.

how to live a good life: a recipe for my kids

Did you find some “oldies, but goodies” at the library this week? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Thank you for inviting me into your inbox to share some suggestions for your next library trip. Have a great week!

 




Kids’ Books to Remember and Links for Mom and Dad

First of all, WELCOME SPRING!! We had some teaser days in February, but now maybe we can have the real thing. I’ve missed writing to you during the past few weeks, but we were enjoying 14 days in sunny Florida (here’s a sunset from our trip). Actually, we did have one day of rain and one hot and humid day, but other than that, the weather was great! We spent a lot of time reading, watching the birds off our balcony (Rosette Spoonbills, Ibis, Egrets and Pelicans) and hiking in state parks. We were in Cedar Key, which is very peaceful and laid back. All in all, it was a great change! Now we’re back and I want to share some Kids’ Books to Remember with you to help with your next library trip.

kids’ books to remember: read aloudkids' books to remember

The Story of Doctor Dollitle by Hugh Lofting

The Best Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill

The Adventures of Danny and the Dinosaur Treasury by Syd Hoff

 

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture bookskids' books to remember

The Man Who Lost His Head by Claire Huchet Bishop and Robert McCloskey

Daisy Gets Lost Chris Raschka

Dog Team by Gary Paulsen

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: chapter bookskids' books to remember

Two of these chapter books, Redwall and Seekers are book 1 in a series, so if your kiddos like one or both of these, there are lots more for them to read.

Redwall by Brian Jacques

When Zachary Beaver Comes to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt

Seekers, Return to the Wild, #1: Island of Shadows by Erin Hunter

 

 

Links for Mom and Dad

The world lost a remarkable person this week, author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I have reviewed two of her special books during the past year, I Wish You More and That’s Me Loving You. This is a touching tribute by her dear friend and editor.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal Remembered
Have Struggling or Reluctant Readers? These Hi-Lo Titles Will Keep Them Engaged
harvard PSYCHOLOGISTS reveal: Parents who raise “good Kids” do these five things

Thank you for inviting me into your inbox today. Have a wonderful week!




Kids’ Books to Remember and Some Links for Mom and Dad

I hope you’ve had a good week beginning with the school holiday on Monday. It was wonderful to have such warm temperatures on President’s Day! We had a great dinner with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew on Monday. It was fun to catch up! Then on Thursday, we visited old friends and on Friday we got to take one of our niece’s out for dinner. Now I’m ending my week by sharing some Kids’ Books to Remember with you.

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: READ ALOUDkids' books to remember

Hank the Cowdog  by John R. Erickson

Agnes and Clarabelle  by Adele Griffin and Courtney Sheinmel. This is the first book of a new beginning chapter book series that you won’t want to miss.

Judy Moody Predicts the Future  by Megan McDonald

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: PICTURE BOOKSkids' books to remember

Freedom Summer  by Deborah Wiles. This is an excellent book that will help your kids better understand our country before the Civil Rights Act was law.

Four Feet, Two Sandals  by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed. This story will help your children develop an understanding of, and develop empathy for the refugee children of our world.

Magic Beach  by Alison Lester. This story will help you prepare for your trip to the beach for spring break!

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: CHAPTER BOOKSkids' books to remember

Trixie Belden mysteries, along with Nancy Drew books were my first true favorite series. I was surprised and so happy when I found this on the library shelf!

Trixie Belden, The Mystery at Bob-White Cave  by Kathryn Kenny

Mallory vs. Max  by Laurie Friedman

The following two books are part of a fun series that appeal to both boys and girls.

The Girls Get Even  by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Boys in Control  by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

 

LINKS FOR MOM AND DAD

In celebration of President’s Day:

Fantastic Kids Books about American Presidents

As you begin to get ready for spring break, here are some audio books that will help your trip go much faster.

Great Audio Books for Kids

This link tells about one of my favorite chapter books of the past year.

Survival and Wildness with Peter Brown

This is a new blog you will want to follow. The Loud Library Lady shares a new series that is bound to become a favorite with your family.

We Love Fenway and Hattie!

Thank you for once again inviting me into your inbox. I’m taking a few weeks off, so Kids’ Books to Remember will return on March 19th. Have a good few, hopefully warm, weeks!




Kids’ Books to Remember and Some Links for Mom and Dad

It may just be the nineteenth of February, but it feels like May! I don’t think I could ask for more perfect weather – 70 degrees, sun and low humidity. Can we just keep this until it actually is May?? In addition to enjoying this amazing weather, I’ve had a good week. On Thursday, National Read Aloud, I read to two second grade classes at my old school. We had a fun afternoon learning about the author, Mac Barnett, and reading three of his books, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn and The Skunk. We watched some fun video clips of interviews with Mr. Barnett, explaining his inspiration for his stories. and had lots of discussions about how they could get inspiration for stories they might write. Then on Friday I had the opportunity to spend time with both of my sisters, which is rare. Between living in different places and our schedules, that is a rare occurrence and a real treat! So now, after those fun days, and a delightful walk downtown yesterday, I’m ready to share another addition of Kids’ Books to Remember with you.

kids’ books to remember: read aloudkids' books to remember

These are great choices to read to all ages. 

Amber Brown is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins

 

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture bookskids' books to remember

Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper

Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney

Thidwich the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: chapter bookskids' books to remember

The first two books are historical fiction titles. The first tells the story of a boy living in a California internment camp in 1942. The second book tell’s about Sofia’s life after her family immigrates from Italy in 1903.

My Name is America series: The Journal of Ben Uchida by Barry Denenberg

My America series: Home at Last, Sophia’s Immigrant Diary by Kathryn Lasky

Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

links for mom and dad

The author of Wonder, R.J. Palacio, is a person I greatly admire. In this first link she shares her ideas about a subject that is very close to my heart.

The Author of Wonder on Why Parents Need to Teach their Middle Schoolers Kindness 

Building a World of Empathy Simply by Reading Aloud

Why The Bridge to Terabithia is Still as Relevant as it was 40 years Ago

Thank you for inviting me into your inbox to share my stories and some Kids’ Books to Remember. Do you have any old favorites you’d like us to know about? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the amazing weather!




Kids’ Books to Remember and Some New Links for Mom and Dad

Well, February has arrived and that means we’re one week closer to spring! However with our warmer than average temperatures and our below average snowfall, I’m not feeling quite as anxious as I usually am. In fact, we were able to walk downtown for lunch yesterday (a four mile round trip) on February 9th. That’s amazing! Usually, even if the temperatures warm up, the sidewalks are a sheet of ice, so we’re trapped at home. This has been great! I hope you and your families have also had a chance to spend sometime outside this week, to prevent the usual February cabin fever!

I haven’t spent all of my time outside, though. For one thing, I just baked a heart shaped cake, a family Valentine tradition for us, as well as when I was growing up. It’s something I love to do. It brings back so many happy memories! And after a trip to the library, I’ve been able to find several good titles for this week’s Kids’ Books to Remember. Finally I found some links to articles that I think you’ll find very interesting. So here we go!

kids’ books to remember: read aloud

These are great choices for read alouds for all ages, or for the independent reader. kids' books to remember

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

 

 

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture books

The picture books this week are all about strong, courageous girls who are not afraid to work hard to achieve their goals.kids' books to remember

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

Miss Rumphius Barbara Cooney

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: chapter books

Back in Time with Thomas Edison: Qwerty Stevens Adventure by Dan Gutman, time travel and historical fiction.kids' books to remember

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, fantasy.

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Giff, realistic fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

links for mom and dad

Books to Help Kids Understand What It’s like to be a Refuge

These choices are for all ages including picture books, chapter books and young adult.

For Girls and Their Besties (A Valentine’s Day Post)

This is a great one for Betsy Tacy fans or for those of you looking for your next family read aloud.

spreading kindness

Here are some more picture books about kindness, which are perfect for Valentine’s Day week or any week of the year.

life is good when there is love

A truly lovely post that will make you think about the love in your lives.

I want to thank you for inviting me into your inbox today! I’m always looking for links to share with you and remembering books I don’t want you to miss. Have a wonderful week and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 




5 Middle Grade Books for your New Year

It’s hard to believe that it is February and we’re already one month into 2017!  I’m so fortunate to have many, many happy memories from 2016. We’ve spent lots of time traveling to reconnect with old friends and to visit with family. We got to visit two national parks, Shenandoah and Cumberland, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Michigan, to see the deserts of Texas and New Mexico, as well as the mountains of Colorado. We got to spend lots of time with both of our sons (it’s so wonderful to have our older son living in Virginia and our younger son close by!), and to visit my brother and sister-in-law in New Jersey. And of course we had the opportunity to be part of the joy and love at two of our nieces’ weddings. Finally, we ended our year by adopting a greyhound named Brandy. She’s two years old, very sweet and certainly has a mind of her own. There are days when I’m ready to give her back, but most of the time we’re thrilled to have her in our family! So now it’s time to get back to my happy place of writing about kids’ books. There are so many new ones, as well as some older ones that I want to share with you. I’ll begin with 5 middle grade books.

middle Grade books: Some Writer! The Story of E.B. Whitemiddle grade books

by Melissa Sweet

I knew that I greatly admired E.B. White, the author of many books including, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan and Stuart Little, before I read this book, but now I have to admit I’m a little obsessed! And I definitely want to move to Maine and live on a farm! Melissa Sweet’s story and illustrations pulled me into Mr. White’s life from his early years when he won his first literary prize at age nine, throughout his almost sixty year career at the New Yorker. I learned that during his teenage years, he had stories published in St. Nicholas, a monthly children’s magazine, along with some other budding authors, Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Falkner and Rachel Carson. That fact, along with learning that his best friend was James Thurber, his office mate at the New Yorker, was fascinating to me, because it made me realize all of these amazing literary talents were of the same era and were indeed friends.  I learned about his farm in Maine, his barn where he was inspired to write, Charlotte, and about his love for his family.

Melissa Sweet’s illustrations are a combination of her watercolors, photographs and collages of “a box of vintage office supplies, which she imagined were akin to what might’ve been in stock at the New Yorker offices.” She has included many photographs from the White family albums, which were shared by Mr. White’s granddaughter, Martha White.5 middle grade books5 middle grade books

I flew through this book and felt a loss when I finished. It was inspirational and a real pleasure to get lost in the pages for a few hours. Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White would be a great choice for any of your kiddos who are looking for a biography for a school assignment, or for a family read aloud after sharing one of Mr. White’s novels. Mom and Dad would enjoy it just as much as the kids!

 

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS: Gertie’s leap to greatness

by Kate Beasley5 middle grade books

Gertie is a fifth grader who is on a campaign to be “100% Not-From Concentrate AWESOME!” Her mom, who abandoned her at birth, lives in the same small Alabama town, and refuses to acknowledge Gertie’s existence. However, Gertie is a spunky, creative and determined little girl that you can’t help but admire. She’s a great problem solver, and when an obstacle appears in her path to success, she always finds a way to overcome it. But your heart breaks a bit when she struggles unsuccessfully to win her mother’s love and admiration. The story is full of friendship, kindness and humor that will bring many smiles and a few tears, but will also fill your heart with joy.

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS: half a chance

by Cynthia Lord 5 middle grade books

Lucy has moved once again, and this time it’s to a small lakeside town in New Hampshire. Her dad, a famous photographer often feels the need to have a change in scenery, and as a result Lucy’s family has lived in many different towns in the ten years of her life. Lucy decides to make the most of her new home and becomes good friends with her next door neighbor, Nate. They spend their summer taking photos of the lake, the loons and Nate’s grandma, for their anonymous entry into a photography contest Lucy’s dad is judging. But will her pictures ever stand up to her dad’s high standards? And can Nate face what the photographs are showing about his precious grandmother and his summers at the lake? This is a very moving story. It would be especially helpful for any of your kids who are dealing with the struggle to understand a grandparent who’s memory is slipping away. Even if that is not the case, and hopefully that is not happening in your family, you won’t want to miss this warm, touching book.

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS: confessions of an imaginary friend, a memoir of jacques papier

5 middle grade booksas told to Michelle Cuevas

I discovered this delightful book, because I was hunting for more books by Michelle Cuevas, after I read her magical book, The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. I was so taken by the story, that I was hoping to find more like it and this chapter book didn’t disappoint. Jacques is eight years old and suspects that no one likes him. He is never chosen for the sports teams and even his parents have to be reminded by his sister to set his place at the table. So he’s feeling a little insecure when he meets a skating cowgirl on the school playground and she shares some astonishing news. Jacques is imaginary and so is she! In fact, the school playground is full of imaginary kids who have been forgotten by their human friends after they find a true person to be their buddy. You will be smiling throughout this book as Jacques meets many quirky, imaginary friends, as well as some fascinating real kids, but in the end learns that life is best, if you are yourself. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend can definitely be shared with your little ones as a read aloud, but your older kiddos will love it too.

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS: raymie nightingale

by Kate Dicamillo5 middle grade books

Raymie’s dad has run off with a dental hygienist and Raymie MUST win the Little Miss Florida Contest to insure his return. If she wins, he will realize just what he has left behind – a kind and talented girl (after all she IS going to learn how to twirl a baton) who is worth a lot more than the dental hygienist. However, Raymie has some competition and a few stumbling blocks in her summer plan, Louisiana Elefante and beautiful Beverly Tapinsky. They are determined to stop Raymie from achieving her goal, but as the summer progresses the three girls find themselves drawn together by loneliness, loss and their hope to save each other. This is a great book about friendship, which would make a wonderful read aloud with your elementary kids, or one for them to curl up with on their own.

 

Have you or your kids found some favorite new middle grade books? I’d love for you to share them in the comments!




Kids’ Books to Remember and Links for Mom and Dad

kids' books to rememberIt’s Super Bowl Sunday and I was once told this means spring is coming soon. I’m definitely ready! As I write this week’s Kids’ Books to Remember, we’re up in Michigan for the weekend and the snow and frozen lake are beautiful and peaceful. However, I’d happily give it up for some warm breezes!

 

Here are some kids’ books to add to your library list this week. Enjoy!

kids’ books to remember: read aloud

Once again, these are appropriate for all ages.

Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

 

 

 KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: picture books

KIDS' BOOKS TO REMEMBER: READ ALOUDWemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Jolly Tall: An Old Bear Story by Jane Hissy

Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella by Tony Johnston

This is a fun version of Cinderella. If you like this one and are interested in more titles, just let me know in the comments, or if you have a favorite Cinderella, let us know that as well!

KIDS’ BOOKS TO REMEMBER: chapter books

kids' books to rememberLilly’s Crossing by Patricia Reilley Giff

This is one of my favorite historical fiction books about World War II.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean George

This is a survival fiction book, which is full of adventure.

Jackie and Me by Dan Gutman

The characters in this historical fiction book travel back through time to visit Jackie Robertson in 1947, and develop an understanding of how Jackie broke the “color barrier” in the major leagues.

links for mom and dad

stem books for kids

For all of your little ones who are interested in math and science, this article offers some good titles to add to your library list.

Literacy and math

This is an enlightening article about some old favorites, that offers some great suggestions about how you can use these books with your kids.

authors share their favorite children’s books

This is a fun article, which includes both some old, and some new titles. It gives you a little more insight into some of your favorite authors.

Finally, thank you for inviting me to share some titles of old favorites for your kids. Have a great library visit and a wonderful week! And if you find any titles of books you would like to share, please let us know in the comments.