Tag Archives: Children’s Literature

BFG, Flora and Ulysses, Ben & Me, and Ender’s Game

Oh, I am hard-pressed to say which of the characters in these books for kids/young adults I love the most! The Big Friendly Giant, Ulysses the flying squirrel, Amos the mouse who lives in Ben Frankin’s fur hat, or Ender, the 6-year-old military mastermind. Okay, my feelings for Ender aren’t exactly affection or delight like I have for the others, but this is my most recent batch of books read for homeschool. The BFG was yet another Roald Dahl I’d never read before, and I’m…

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Kid Stuff (Not Just for Kids)

I originally bought Abby Hanlon’s Dory Fantasmagory for my older daughter, who liked it at first then lost interest. My younger daughter (turned 5 today) picked it up and had me read the whole thing to her over 2 reading sessions. It’s an absolutely adorable tale of a little girl with a big imagination, and the illustrations are a lot of fun. She has all these imaginary friends and enemies who tend to take over her life and make her do things that her family…

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So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Julie of the Wolves, Ann Rule

I greatly enjoyed Brian Lehrer’s interview segment with Jon Ronson called “When Social Media Gets Mad,” and was even more delighted with his thoughtful, creative, and meticulously researched book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. He does so much more than just remind us of dumb tweets and stupid truth-stretching. Ronson is after understanding the nature of shame and how it operates. I especially loved the section on disgraced Jersey governor Jim McGreevey’s second life as a pioneer in prison reform. I am also very interested…

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The Pushcart War and not much else

This week I finished a unit on The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill, a classic that my 4th/5th graders found as fresh as I did when I was their age. It’s a small class in a homeschool coop, so to end the book I had them each take 6 chapters and make their own graphic novel adaptation. The results were simply wonderful, showcasing their engagement with the book along with letting them use their own creative gifts. They were so nervous to present them in…

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Summer House With Swimming Pool, Swiss Family Robinson, Greek Myths, Veggies

I’m mixing up the format up in here. I’m finding that most of the books I read don’t warrant a whole blog post, plus I’m reading a ton of books that I don’t list here because they’re for homeschool, or they’re cookbooks or other reference books. Starting this week, as I approach the end of my 9th year of blogging, I’m going to post a weekly update on what I’m reading. If a book is awesome (like anything written by T. Greenwood), I’ll give it…

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The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Synopsis: Ralph is a mouse who lives in a hotel but thirsts for adventure, and his life is forever changed when he meets Keith, a boy with a motorcycle that’s just the right size for Ralph. Review: It makes me very happy that my 1,000th review on this blog (which launched almost exactly 6 years ago) is a book that I read aloud to my almost 5-year-old daughter. The Mouse and the Motorcycle was a perfect choice for our very first chapter book, and we…

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Mister D by Elizabeth Stevens and Daniela Frongia

Synopsis: A picture book about a girl taking her karate test who must conquer the dreaded Mister D (for doubt). Review: We read a ton of kids’ books in this house–both my girls just adore being read to. I don’t blog about them because I just don’t have that kind of time in my life. So it was a treat to be offered the chance to review Mister D, a really empowering story about a girl who is scared she won’t succeed at her karate…

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The Adventures of Rusty and Ginger Fox by Tim Ostermeyer

Synopsis: A children’s book about the adventures of two foxes, illustrated with real photographs of foxes and including facts about foxes. Review: The Adventures of Rusty and Ginger Fox is a really sweet book. I loved the pictures of the foxes as they move through their habitat, as well as all the other animals like bobcats and bears and wolves and even some little girls. However, the writing was a little off the mark–it seems written for younger children, but I think it’s a bit…

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Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore

Synopsis: Brigitta is a young faery thrust into the adventure of a lifetime–saving her forest home from a terrible curse. Review: Brigitta of the White Forest is a charming middle-grade fantasy by Danika Dinsmore, who blogs at The Accidental Novelist. It can be hard to find books in this genre that are both well-written and imaginative, and Brigittais both. She’s a spunky heroine with a lot of appeal. For a limited time, you can preorder the book and get a signed copy! Many thanks to…

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School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

Synopsis: Four kids with immobilizing phobias are sent to a very special boarding school to cure them of their fears–if it doesn’t kill them first. Review: I really enjoyed Gitty Daneshvari’s wit in School of Fear. She has a dry sense of humor that really animates all the characters and elevates the book beyond what could have been just a by-the-numbers genre read. You can tell that she really cares about language and wants to put something original into the world, which is not something…

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