Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Have you Read: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a 2018 #Cybils Middle Grade winner?

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

There is SO MUCH to love about this title! The Parker Inheritance has something for everyone:

  • Black History
  • Friendship
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • LGBTQ
  • A Mystery to solve

Take all of those ingredients and what comes out is an award winning book. Readers will love how Johnson took his time drawing our main characters into the story making sure to draw fully fleshed out personalities. Brandon and Candice try to solve a puzzle to clear Candice’s late grandmother’s name. And oh what a mystery it is. From learning about Jim Crow laws in the South to modern day experiences of bullying by adults and children, these two form a true friendship built on trust. And they might win a bunch of money too. What’s not to love about that?

The Parker Inheritance is having a great year: A Cybils award, my blog, a Diversity Reading Challenge feature, and Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Honor Award! Way to go Parker Inheritance!

If you’re keeping track, The Parker Inheritance ticks off the box for an African American young woman as the main character.

Bam.

 

 

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Have you Read Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson?

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

How much do we love Jacqueline Woodson? Infinity. Thats how much we love her. Her books are always timely and Harbor Me is no exception.  This thin, powerful book will hook you from word one.

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them—everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

How great is it that special needs kids can feel free to be themselves in this special classroom just for them? It’s a strange and beautiful experience all at once. So many issues to unpack with these kids and they do it too, in their own beautiful ways of understanding. I wept.

How does Woodson do it?

Another book for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Harbor me ticks off many boxes but the one I’m choosing is Latinx person because Esteban is a main character in this ensemble cast. You could choose another category if you want. Thats the ease of this challenge. Boom.

Categories
Children

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty, a #Cybils middle grade finalist

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
by Stacy McAnulty

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to someone if they get hit by lightning? The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl will answer your questions.

Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn’t remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test–middle school!

Lucy’s grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that’s not a math textbook!). Lucy’s not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy’s life has already been solved. Unless there’s been a miscalculation?

A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty’s smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different.

Such a fun book.  Lucy is so super smart its hard for her to fit in anywhere. But she manages to find a way, even if it does involve a dog (ugh germs).

Categories
Children

The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz, A #Cybils finalist

The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz

 

This Cybils Middle Grade finalist was a fun book! A boy and his family leave New York City (but why tho) and head toward rural upstate New York so their parents can live out their dream. Meanwhile, Tristan and his siblings adapt to life away from the big city. Tristan becomes obsessed with the local (mean) lady’s donuts and he learns how to make them in hopes to open a donut stand. There’s baking, friendship, sibling fun and kooky new neighbors.  Great easy read for middle grade. There’s no diversity that I can find but its a fun read.

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson a #Cybils middle grade finalist

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

How much do we love Jacqueline Woodson? Infinity. Thats how much we love her. Her books are always timely and Harbor Me is no exception.  This thin, powerful book will hook you from word one.

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them—everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

How great is it that special needs kids can feel free to be themselves in this special classroom just for them? It’s a strange and beautiful experience all at once. So many issues to unpack with these kids and they do it too, in their own beautiful ways of understanding. I wept.

How does Woodson do it?

Another book for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Harbor me ticks off many boxes but the one I’m choosing is Latinx person because Esteban is a main character in this ensemble cast. You could choose another category if you want. Thats the ease of this challenge.

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, a #Cybils Middle Grade winner!

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

There is SO MUCH to love about this title! The Parker Inheritance has something for everyone:

  • Black History
  • Friendship
  • Bullying
  • Divorce
  • LGBTQ
  • A Mystery to solve

Take all of those ingredients and what comes out is an award winning book. Readers will love how Johnson took his time drawing our main characters into the story making sure to draw fully fleshed out personalities. Brandon and Candice try to solve a puzzle to clear Candice’s late grandmother’s name. And oh what a mystery it is. From learning about Jim Crow laws in the South to modern day experiences of bullying by adults and children, these two form a true friendship built on trust. And they might win a bunch of money too. What’s not to love about that?

The Parker Inheritance is having a great year: A Cybils award, my blog, a Diversity Reading Challenge feature, and Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Honor Award! Way to go Parker Inheritance!

If you’re keeping track, The Parker Inheritance ticks off the box for an African American young woman as the main character.

 

 

 

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays Day 10

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays

It’s the tenth day of Diversity and today it’s about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I don’t want to give too much away but OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK AND THERE’S GONNA BE A SEQUEL!!!! Just read the book. Good for teens.

Just read it. You will fall in love too.

I love that the diversity in this book is Latino characters plus homosexuality. We need more of both. Together and separately.

Categories
Children

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

 

I love finding a book that combines my fave things: children and tea! If you’ve been around a minute you’ll know that I host literary themed tea parties for kids. You can imagine how excited I was to learn that there was a book called How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea by Kate Hosford and Gabi Swiatkowska that involved a queen wearing a tiara.

Why is  a queen wearing a crown so important? Why else? This gives me a chance to share the book with my friends during a story time video on YouTube. You can’t tell in the video but I’m totally wearing my tutu.

 

Wasn’t this a great story? The queen learned to make tea AND how to become a friend. I love love love love this book; so many teachable moments.

I have a YouTube channel where I read books to kids; maybe you’ll find a story that you like. Check out An Unconventional Librariantube!

Don’t have time to visit YouTube? No worries, you can check out my videos here on An Unconventional Librarian. Just click over to 070 New Media: Videos.  Let Pammy Pam read to the  kiddos by watching a video or two!

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays DAY 10 – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays DAY 10

It’s the tenth day of Diversity and today it’s about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I don’t want to give too much away but OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK AND THERE’S GONNA BE A SEQUEL!!!! Just read the book. Good for teens.

Just read it. You will fall in love too.

I love that the diversity in this book is Latino characters plus homosexuality. We need more of both. Together and separately.

Categories
Children

#TrueFriends is Something I Like as Much as Books

Imagine being an author and getting to write books. Good right? So now imagine if you have 3 other friends who also write books for kids. Pretty awesome, right?

Well that’s what happened to Kirby Larson, Susan Hill Long, Augusta Scattergood, and Barbara O’Connor. Before I go on I MUST change my name to Scattergood, it is so UNCONVENTIONAL!! Anyway, these four author friends have written for books about friends. That’s so meta. And you know we librarians love meta.

And books. And friends.

So these genius authors created a hashtag called #TrueFriends to go along with their books. They created YouTube videos to talk about their books AND there’s a downloadable that can be used for teaching: it contains writing prompts and other activities.

truefriendscollage

One of the books, Making Friends with Billy Wong, by Augusta Scattergood, just got added to my TBR list. I’m excited to see a book with an Asian character.  Diversity Reading Challenge, here we come!

Susan Hill Long’s Youtube video link is here.

Barbara O’Connor’s link is here.

Augusta Scattergood’s link is here.

And Kirby Larson’s link is here.

Wanna download the activity kit? Do it here.

So, be a friend not a bully and talk to your kids or other kids about being a #truefriend

Now, where do I sign up to change my name to Scattergood?