Tag: read-alouds

Wicked Nix, “The Foulest of Fairies,” Will Win Your Heart

Wicked Nix, “The Foulest of Fairies,” Will Win Your Heart

Lynn: “There is a people in our forest,” Nix, “the foulest of fairies,” worriedly announces in the first chapter of Lena Coakley’s Wicked Nix (2018). Left behind when the other fairies went home to the Summer Country, Nix has lived in the forest alone for almost a year. Was he left to protect the forest for the Fairy […]

CHARLIE & FROG: A Mystery that Teaches Sign Language

CHARLIE & FROG: A Mystery that Teaches Sign Language

Lynn: Charlie Tickler’s awful parents dump him wherever and whenever they can to go off and save an animal. This time around, it’s the Golden Mole, and Charlie is stuck with his TV-obsessed grandparents in the village of Castle-on-the-Hudson, the home of a famous school for the deaf. “Why have a nanny when there are grandparents […]

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 […]

When Life Gives You Lemons, Search for Bigfoot

When Life Gives You Lemons, Search for Bigfoot

Cindy: As we reported a few years ago in this Bookends post, our county could be hiding Bigfoot, and Michigan is a top site for hunting. So naturally, we were drawn to Melissa Savage’s debut novel, Lemons (2017), which features a pair of tween Bigfoot detectives! The first thing almost-11-year-old Lemonade Liberty Witt sees when […]

Help Students Find a Poetic Voice with CATCHING A STORYFISH

Help Students Find a Poetic Voice with CATCHING A STORYFISH

Cindy: Moving to a new place and changing schools present challenges for many children, so books that chronicle the experience are always welcome, especially when they are as good as Catching a Storyfish (2016), told in verse, by Janice N. Harrington. Keet moves from Alabama to Illinois (as the author did as a child) and, like all […]

THE POET’S DOG: A Love Story

THE POET’S DOG: A Love Story

Lynn: I was always the smallest child in my class. “The best things come in small packages,” my father used to say to reassure me. That just happens to be the perfect aphorism to describe Patricia MacLachlan’s new book, The Poet’s Dog (2016). As small as a beginning reader and with MacLachlan’s trademark simple sentences, this book packs an […]

A Funny Chapter Book for Third- and Fourth-Graders: Katrina Nannestad’s When Mischief Came to Town

A Funny Chapter Book for Third- and Fourth-Graders: Katrina Nannestad’s When Mischief Came to Town

Lynn: A feisty new character has arrived to delight readers who love Anne of Green Gables. The irrepressible Inge Maria Jensen sails into the lives of her Grandmother Dizzy, the residents of Bornholm Island, and readers everywhere in Katrina Nannestad’s enchanting When Mischief Came to Town (2016). After the death of her mother, 10-year-old Inge Maria […]

Viva Diva and Flea – and Flaneurs Everywhere!

Viva Diva and Flea – and Flaneurs Everywhere!

Lynn: Paris has been on my mind lately. It is a city I have lived in and continue to love. Better writers than I—and platoons of artists, poets, and filmmakers—have done their best to capture the essence of the City of Light. But I think that, in The Story of Diva and Flea (2015), Mo Willems […]

There Was an Old . . . Dragon?!?

There Was an Old . . . Dragon?!?

Cindy: We all remember the folk song, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” and the many book versions it inspired. It was one of the first flannel-board stories I created as a newbie children’s librarian back in the middle ages. We still don’t know why that old lady swallowed that fly—and yet […]

Appreciating Wildlife with Ted and Betsy Lewin

Appreciating Wildlife with Ted and Betsy Lewin

Lynn: For many of us, summer is a chance to travel. I love to travel, but if I can’t, I will happily read about someone else’s adventures. Here’s a fabulous new book that will scratch that travel itch just by reading it: How to Babysit a Leopard: And other True Stories from Our Travels across […]