Tag: Gr. 5-8

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

ANIMAL ARK: Photos and Poems to Inspire Action

Lynn: What do you get when you put an award-winning photographer and a Newbery Award-winning author together? When the photographer is Joel Sartore, longtime National Geographic contributor and creator of the Photo Ark project, and the author is the novelist and poet Kwame Alexander, the result is a glorious celebration of our world’s wild creatures. Animal […]

Kwame Alexander’s THE PLAYBOOK: Rules to Live By

Kwame Alexander’s THE PLAYBOOK: Rules to Live By

Lynn: Parents and teachers of teenagers should be all-too-familiar with how many of their charges feel about rules and advice. My own two sons could have rolled their eyes for America! But those of us who have (mostly) achieved adulthood know that there is a lot of good advice that could really help young people. […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Retelling Familiar Tales: SNOW WHITE and THE SINGING BONES

Retelling Familiar Tales: SNOW WHITE and THE SINGING BONES

Lynn: Author/artist Matt Phelan has gifted readers with a brilliant twist on a familiar tale. In Snow White (2016), set in the Roaring Twenties and Depression-Era New York, young Samantha “Snow” White loses her mother to tuberculosis. Her father, the King of Wall Street, soon marries a stunningly beautiful Queen of the Follies star who, in […]

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

Here in Chicago, students and teachers are still recovering from the World Series—among other things. Although I loved watching the playoffs this year, historically, I’ve preferred to experience baseball in book form. Growing up, baseball was the family sport. Hence, I’ve read my way through literally hundreds of baseball games, from t-ball to coach pitch to high school […]

Get the Backstory! Tales of the Arabian Nights

Get the Backstory! Tales of the Arabian Nights

Lynn: I try not to be a curmudgeon, but there are a few things about contemporary life that I deeply deplore. One of them is the loss of cultural stories. It isn’t possible to booktalk to kids and not be hit over the head with the fact that so many of them don’t know classic tales. […]

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Every year, I debate whether or not to dress up for Halloween in the library. Every school is different of course, but at the one where I currently work, most students celebrate Halloween, and dressing up is part of school culture. At a pre-K–8 school, there’s a wide difference between what each grade level does for Halloween. […]

Believe Nobody: Kirsten Hubbard’s RACE THE NIGHT

Believe Nobody: Kirsten Hubbard’s RACE THE NIGHT

Cindy: At Book Club a few weeks ago, one of our members gave the most mysterious, intriguing booktalk to date. Jackson, an eighth-grade boy, held an advanced copy of Race the Night (2016) by Kirsten Hubbard, alternately waving it around and clutching it to his chest. “This book is amazing,” he said. “I can’t tell you anything about it […]

Webcomics Wednesday: Severin Piehl’s TOVE

Webcomics Wednesday: Severin Piehl’s TOVE

Get ready for some madcap capers and manic cartoon action—this week’s Webcomics Wednesday has aliens, black holes, a quest to defeat evil, a giant dog, and some pitch-perfect sibling rivalry. Severin Piehl’s Tove opens on the titular middle-schooler and her annoying little brother, Dag, as they discover the ruins of a wrecked spaceship while exploring in the woods with their dump […]

Eating Disorders in YA Fiction

Eating Disorders in YA Fiction

Lynn: Jo Knowles’ new book, Still a Work in Progress (2016) opens with narrator Noah’s relatable reflections on a typical day at his typical middle school, wherein the seventh-grader and his friends negotiate the minefields of boy/girl relationships while avoiding bullies and toxic lockers with forgotten tuna sandwiches.  Meanwhile, Noah’s family life seems pretty typical, too: he has nice, working parents, a smart and […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
The Important Thing about Library Orientation

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

Is there any time more ripe with possibility and expectation than the beginning of a new school year? I’m brimming with ideas and excited to see students coming back. I must admit, however, that I’m less excited about library orientation: the same lesson over and over again, the listing of rules and expectations. If I […]