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Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge Lists Non Fiction

It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day! Books and Acts of Service

It’s MLK Day and I hope that if you have the day off you are doing something for others. It doesn’t have to be a large and involved act of service. Do something, anything, for someone else.  Here are a few books about MLK for you:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is…?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is...?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

 

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

You know I can’t post a book list without at least one Kadir Nelson, right? Want some ideas to talk to the kiddos about? Follow this link which will take you to Scholastic’s website where you’ll find lesson plans and other resources about the man, his legacy, and how you can be of service to others. Check it out and have a great day ON!

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge Lists Non Fiction

It’s MLK Day! Books and Acts of Service

It’s MLK Day and I hope that if you have the day off you are doing something for others. It doesn’t have to be a large and involved act of service. Do something, anything, for someone else.  Here are a few books about MLK for you:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is…?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is...?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

 

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

You know I can’t post a book list without at least one Kadir Nelson, right? Want some ideas to talk to the kiddos about? Follow this link which will take you to Scholastic’s website where you’ll find lesson plans and other resources about the man, his legacy, and how you can be of service to others. Check it out and have a great day ON!

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Lists resources

Books for Kids Who Want to Write

Books for Kids Who Want to Write

If you know of a kid who is an aspiring writer or a kid who just likes to write, I’ve got a surprise for you. Inspired by all the fun I had during NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo I thought it would be fun to speak directly to the kiddies to see what they’re excited about when it comes to getting their thoughts down on paper (or computer).

I decided to host a writing workshop just for kids. It’ll be fun and funky and I hope to inspire kids to find their inner voice and put it to good use. All kids have a story to tell and I feel like maybe they just need a vehicle to help bring it out.

Here are the links to my writing workshops. They have online components, so location is no problem!

Fun and Funky Kids Writing Workshop I 

Fun and Funky Kids Writing Workshop II 

Depending on your child’s interest, you can enroll in a one day session or a more indepth two week session. Students will have homework. Click the links or the images to register or for more information.

And now on to the books! Here’s a list of books that your budding writer might enjoy reading to help them hone their craft.

Out of Wonder by Kwame Alexander 

This is not a primer on how to write, but rather inspiration. Alexander and friends have written poetry celebrating famous poets. You might just find the inspiration you need!

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman

Dan’s the man when it comes to weird. Kids familiar with the so famously funny My Weird School series will love seeing their favorite characters help them with grammar and other writing tips. His explanations are funny and SO accurate.

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

The (marvelous other princess type books) author provides homework assignments and tips for getting your story to shine. I liked this book so much I bought it in paperback and Kindle so i’m always near a copy when I need ideas. Her tips are good for grownups too.

The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli

I’m anxious to read this because I love LOVE Eileen Spinelli and i think she will be a great person to help kids find their writing voice. Everyone gives our heroine an opinion of what makes a good story, but she’ll have to figure it out for herself, right? Plus? There’s a pirate on the cover and you know how we feel about pirates.

So. You’re all set. If you want to work on your next magnum opus (thats fancy latin for BIG WORK) start with these books. If you’re ready to get started, think about signing up for my workshop. I guarantee we will have fun!

Categories
Diversity Diversity Reading Challenge Lists Non Fiction

It’s MLK Day! Books and Acts of Service

It’s MLK Day and I hope that if you have the day off you are doing something for others. It doesn’t have to be a large and involved act of service. Do something, anything, for someone else.  Here are a few books about MLK for you:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is…?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? (Who Was/Is...?) by Bonnie Bader, Nancy Harrison (Illustrations), Elizabeth Wolf(Illustrator)

 

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson (Illustrations)

You know I can’t post a book list without at least one Kadir Nelson, right? Want some ideas to talk to the kiddos about? Follow this link which will take you to Scholastic’s website where you’ll find lesson plans and other resources about the man, his legacy, and how you can be of service to others. Check it out and have a great day ON!

Categories
Bibliographies, Information, General Diversity Reading Challenge Lists

2017 #DIVERSITY READING CHALLENGE January Suggestions

It’s January; What do I read?

So you wanna read some diverse books this year? Don’t know where to start? I can help. Following are a few suggestions if you want to get one diverse read in this month.

COURAGE TO SOAR by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford

COURAGE TO SOAR by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford

This Olympic gymnast soared her way into my heart. I had all the feels watching her.

or

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon

Then Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

I like the idea of this book because the author and the main character is Jamaican. And we need more Jamaica in our lives. Now that we’ve got YA covered, need something for a younger kid? Have you read

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I know there are younger kids growing up so surely someone somewhere needs a copy of this book. Who doesn’t want to be a better person after reading about Augie? Already read it? How about

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

You’ll look at homelessness differently. And for the littles, I suggest

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by my buddy Phil Binder

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Binder

Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans and the wonderful garbage man who loved his city.

There. Is that enough to get you going? Let me know what book or books you chose!

 

Categories
Bibliographies, Information, General Children Lists

Kwanzaa for the Littles: A List

                                                 

Looking for a Kwanzaa book?

I’ve visited Kwanzaa books in the past. Let’s take a look.

There’s

The Kwanzaa Contest

The Kwanzaa Contest by Miriam Moore and Penny Taylor

and

The Story of Kwanzaa

and Seven Spools of Thread

The Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Mediarii

and Let’s Celebrate Kwanzaa: An Activity Book for Young Readers

Let's Celebrate Kwanzaa by Helen Davis Thompson

and It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Kwanzaa

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kwanzaa

or A Kwanzaa Miracle 

A Kwanzaa Miracle by Sharon Gayle

or Kwanzaa Fun: Great Things to Make and Do

 Kwanzaa Fun by Linda Robertson and Julia Pearson

or Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa by Lisa M. Herrington

or My First Kwanzaa Book

My First Kwanzaa Book By Deborah Newton Chocolate

Well, that list should give you a jumping off point.

What books do you use to celebrate Kwanzaa?

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Bibliographies, Information, General Lists

5 YA Titles for Teens Containing Tough Mental Issues

5 YA Titles for Teens Containing
Tough Mental Issues

We all know kids want to read books about people like them. That is also true when kids are suffering or looking for answers. Following are books released this year that cover topics like mental illness and other tough issues. I haven’t read these yet but they look promising.

The First Time She Drowned. by Kerry Kletter

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Cassie O’Malley has been trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically—since birth. It’s been two and a half years since Cassie’s mother dumped her in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, Cassie is finally able to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But freedom is a poor match against a lifetime of psychological damage. As Cassie plumbs the depths of her new surroundings, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is real? And more important, whose life must she save?

This title intrigued me because of the obvious mental illness theme. I wonder how many teens have been in a treatment facility and can relate?

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by EK Johnston

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Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

While it isn’t obvious, this is a story about surviving rape. A story that still needs to be told unfortunately.

Still Life with Tornado by AS King

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Actually Sarah is several human beings. At once. And only one of them is sixteen. Her parents insist she’s a gifted artist with a bright future, but now she can’t draw a thing, not even her own hand. Meanwhile, there’s a ten-year-old Sarah with a filthy mouth, a bad sunburn, and a clear memory of the family vacation in Mexico that ruined everything. She’s a ray of sunshine compared to twenty-three-year-old Sarah, who has snazzy highlights and a bad attitude. And then there’s forty-year-old Sarah (makes good queso dip, doesn’t wear a bra, really wants sixteen-year-old Sarah to tell the truth about her art teacher). They’re all wandering Philadelphia—along with a homeless artist allegedly named Earl—and they’re all worried about Sarah’s future.

If you’re familiar with AS King you know her stories start out as one thing and end up as something else. And always there’s a mental health issue at stake.

Highly Illogical Behavior. by John Corey Whaley

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Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

This kid is agoraphobic. I wonder how many kids today are? This is not a subject to take lightly to laugh at. I hope it does the issue justice.

If I Was Your Girl. by Meredith Russo

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Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Gender reassignment is gaining understanding and I think it’s great that books are available to help teens process it.

Have you read any of these books?

Categories
Bibliographies, Information, General Children Lists

Halloween Books for Preschoolers

Preschoolers want Halloween books too!

But if they’re like me, they don’t want scary books.

Here are 7 Halloween books for the little lovies:

From the top:

My Jack o lantern by Nancy Skarmeas

Say Boo! by Lynda Graham-Barber

Halloween Night (with googly eyes!)

DK Touch and Feel Halloween

Biscuit’s Pet & Play Halloween by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Five Little Pumpkins pictures by Dan Yaccarino (the fingerplay that all kids love)

The Cheerios Halloween Play Book  (fill in the missing cheerios)

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Lists

Diversity New Releases for Toddlers through YA

Diversity New Releases for toddlers through YA

child-reading-book

You know I love bringing you diversity book reviews, right? Today I’m bringing you a list of new books that contain diversity and the best bit is, there’s one book for every age group: toddler through YA!

  1. Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

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I love this book so HARD. You know how I love opening lines? The opening line here is simple: “Beautiful girls…”
And the graphic contains five girls of different colors doing what they do best, being themselves.  What’s especially great is the back of the drawing, on the next page, shows the backsides of the girls: the girl wearing the tutu and sporting a fan also wears a pirate’s sword, which feels alot like yours truly.  The rest of the book is full of beautiful girls in wheelchairs, camping, pirating, in a science lab, playing in water with frogs and other critters, and more! Girls activities reimagined.  The last line: “Because they make the world..” Reminds me of the old Chinese saying that women hold up half the sky. Beautiful girls make the world?

Yes.

2. Kid Artists: True Tales of Childhood From Creative Legends by David Stabler, Illustrated by Doogie Horner

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Quirk has done it again! Ever imagine what your favorite artist was like as a kid? Here it is. For example, did you know that the great artist Frida Kahlo (whom I love) suffered from polio as a child?  And did you know that Pablo Picasso was labeled as a problem child? There’s also interesting very short readable bios about Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Schulz, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Check it out!

3. The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw

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Based on a fictionalized account of her mother’s childhood during the bombing of Hiroshima it’s a tale of war through a 12 year old’s eyes.

Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden fom its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

 

Right? If you think you’ve read all the WWII books there are, you haven’t read this. Teachers, I think this title could be added to your collection, right next to Anne Frank.

So you know what else I just noticed? All these books are about kids who are BEAUTIFUL and DIVERSE. Have you read any of these titles?

Diversity Reading Challenge additions galore today!

Categories
information Lists

Let’s Hear it for the Girls! Books, Women and the Olympics

Let’s Hear it for the Girls!
Books, Women and the Olympics

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If you love the Olympics as much as we do around here, you’re probably glued to your TV set! When you’re not watching the Olympics, maybe you are reading about the Olympics? There are so many great athletes to learn about it’s hard to know where to begin.  Let’s hear it for the girl! Many female athletes have made history over the years and while Rio has just gotten started, let’s look back and see what women have made it into a book.

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Serena Williams. She’s amazing and definitely has done things her way. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, either. She’s unconventional. I like it.

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Hope Solo. She’s the gal you’ll love to hate. She’s probably one of the best goalies in the world but who would want to room with someone who has a reputation of domestic abuse? It’s a tough life for sure, but she keeps winning.

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Gabby Douglas. America’s newest sweetheart proves that pint size people pack a punch on and off the field. She’s so sweet and her story is so inspirational you can’t help but cheer for her.

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Dara Torres isn’t competing in Rio this year but she shouldn’t have to. At the Beijing Olympics she won a medal. Well, ok a few. She’s won 12 medals in all. She was 41. You’re right girl, age IS just a number.

So if you’re looking for encouragement, why not pick up a book about one of these ladies? I’m sure you’ll be motivated to win. Or to at least get off the couch.

Let’s hear it for the girls! Who’s your fave Olympic athlete this year?