You Don’t Know Everything, Jillly P!

My first finished book of 2019 is You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P.! and it is one that I would highly recommend. Alex Gino created something really special with this book and it deserves to be in all middle school libraries. Why? Because it deals with privilege and racism, important yet challenging topics that need … Continue reading You Don’t Know Everything, Jillly P!

11 Birthdays and other Wish Books

My younger daughter has recently gotten into the Wendy Mass series “Willow Falls” which starts with the book 11 Birthdays. She listens to audiobooks at night and picked this one and was quickly sucked in. I listened to snippets with her when she was going to sleep, and was intrigued enough myself that I figured … Continue reading 11 Birthdays and other Wish Books

Spending a Year with Holling Hoodhood and The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt, is a quiet, subtle middle grade book written in 2007 but set in 1967. It captures your attention from the start, but progresses slowly to show just how the characters, especially Holling Hoodhood, grow during a school year. I never would have picked this book up had it … Continue reading Spending a Year with Holling Hoodhood and The Wednesday Wars

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

There are times when you can be reading a book and from the first few pages you know that it is going to be great. This was one of those books. I have a feeling that it will resonate with kids for a long time. Goodreads Synopsis Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't … Continue reading The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

Bridging the Gap and Amal Unbound

I recently discovered a really wonderful podcast called "Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide." Hosts Ann Braden and Saadia Faruqi aim to "share conversations with librarians, educators, and readers about the children’s books that can be bridges across our cultural divides…the books that can open minds and the books that can be the lifeline a … Continue reading Bridging the Gap and Amal Unbound

Caleb and Kit

If you are a fan of middle-grade fiction, you have most likely heard of the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. Wonder deals with a child who has a cleft palate and his experiences when he goes to a real school for the first time rather than being home-schooled. He can't hide his condition but he … Continue reading Caleb and Kit

One Good Thing About America

This coming Monday I am part of a blog tour for the release of Ruth Freeman's new book, One Good Thing About America. Blog tours are awesome because you get to learn a wide variety of information about the book straight from the author. In the case of this book, Ruth Freeman has written 10 … Continue reading One Good Thing About America

Save Me a Seat

When the first Scholastic flyers came home from my kids' school this fall, I gladly spent a chunk of money on books to support their classrooms. While going through their selections, I came across the book "Save Me a Seat" by Sarah Weeks and Gata Varadarajan and bought it on a whim. That whim proved … Continue reading Save Me a Seat

A Learning Lesson in A Long Walk to Water

Every year schools across the state of North Carolina compete in the Battle of the Books. There is an elementary level and a middle school level. The elementary Battle of the Books is only open to kids in the 4th and 5th grade. J has been waiting to be able to be a part of … Continue reading A Learning Lesson in A Long Walk to Water