Tag: Gr. 5-8

A Pair of Historical Mysteries Evokes the Jim Crow South

A Pair of Historical Mysteries Evokes the Jim Crow South

Cindy: A pair of recent Southern historical mysteries raises the issue of racism. I read the first, Bobby Lee Claremont and the Criminal Element (2018) by Jeannie Mobley, on a recent destination wedding trip to New Orleans. I like coordinating book settings with my travel, and I was on deadline for Booklist’s #MysteryMonth, so this novel […]

Sarah Albee’s POISON: A History of Horrifying Substances for Middle-Graders

Sarah Albee’s POISON: A History of Horrifying Substances for Middle-Graders

Lynn: Author Sarah Albee makes it clear right at the beginning of Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions and Murderous Medicines (2017) that her book is NOT a how-to manual for murder! Rather, it’s a history with far more than murderous intentions. But what mystery fan doesn’t want the inside scoop on this crime-writer favorite method? Authors from […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
WORLD MAKE WAY, a Poetry Collection for the Eye and Ear

WORLD MAKE WAY, a Poetry Collection for the Eye and Ear

Lynn: Renowned editor Lee Bennett Hopkins opens World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018) with this important thought from Leonardo da Vinci: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” This book, a glorious new celebration of art […]

THE QUILTS OF GEE’S BEND: Not Just Something to Cover Up With

THE QUILTS OF GEE’S BEND: Not Just Something to Cover Up With

Lynn:  Susan Goldman Rubin’s The Quilts of Gee’s Bend (2017) feels like the perfect book for this amazing time of women standing up and speaking up, marching for our rights, and claiming respect for who we are. Yes, the book is about the spectacularly beautiful quilts made in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, but it is also the […]

Encouraging Middle-Schoolers to Choose Books
By January 18, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Encouraging Middle-Schoolers to Choose Books

There’s been a lot of discussion among the librarians I know about what to do with middle-schoolers: they just don’t seem to read as much as they used to. I know that here in Chicago, we have a unique perspective on this situation, since our schools run K–8. In my former school system in Maryland […]

Disastrous Holiday Getaway? Should Have Read Wimpy Kid First

Disastrous Holiday Getaway? Should Have Read Wimpy Kid First

Cindy: As a middle school librarian, I know what to do each fall: Order a half dozen copies of the newest Wimpy Kid book for each of my libraries and start the hold queue. Jeff Kinney needs no promotion at this point, so I haven’t read one of Greg Heffley’s stories since the original Diary […]

REFUGEE: Three Harrowing Escape Stories in One

REFUGEE: Three Harrowing Escape Stories in One

Cindy: Along with one of the best book covers of the year and a moving book trailer from Scholastic, Refugee (2017) by Alan Gratz is a current favorite with my middle-school students and teachers. In this historical novel, three young refugees from three different time periods and countries alternate telling their stories. Josef, from Hitler’s […]

A North Korean Vacation IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

A North Korean Vacation IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN

Lynn: Looking for a heart-thumping thriller? Anne Sibley O’Brien’s In the Shadow of the Sun (2017) was already a great choice, but then the political situation with North Korea got even worse, heightening its timeliness and intensity. Twelve-year-old Mia Andrews and her surly older brother Simon—who we learn has been “mad since August”—are touring North […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Getting Started with the Global Read Aloud
By October 3, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Getting Started with the Global Read Aloud

The 2017 Global Read Aloud kicked off yesterday, and I’m here to help. Author and educator Pernille Ripp founded the program as a way to connect students and teachers from different locales around the topics of books. (Think One Book One School or One Book One City, but on a global scale.) Each year, Ripp […]

Save the Trees! Fairies, Fracking, and Environmental Fights

Save the Trees! Fairies, Fracking, and Environmental Fights

Lynn: The bare bones of Emma Carroll’s In Darkling Wood (2017) seem simple enough. Alice’s little brother Theo desperately needs a heart transplant, and the call from the hospital has finally come. Alice goes to stay with Nell, the spiky, strong-willed grandmother Alice doesn’t remember, in a cottage surrounded by ancient forest. Nell hates the […]