Quirky Book Lists

Thunder Rose

Back-to-School Favorites 

This list was con­tributed by Deb Andries and Mau­r­na Rome, friends, edu­ca­tors, and col­leagues! Favorites from Deb Andries: Alma and How She Got her Name by Jua­na Mar­tinez-Neal Dream­ers by Yuyi Morales A Qui­et Place by Doug Wood and Dan Andreasen The Day You Begin by Jacque­line Wood­son and Rafael López Tru­man by Jean Rei­di and

Library Lion

Libraries and Librarians 

We’re post­ing this when it’s Nation­al Library Week, but we believe every week should be Library Week. If you love pub­lic, school, and spe­cial libraries as much as we do, add these books to your read­ing list and share them with your favorite read­ers. As always, if you have a book you believe should be on

Stay Close to Mama

The Animals in The Stuff of Stars

When I first read The Stuff of Stars by Mar­i­on Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes, I was cap­ti­vat­ed by the beau­ty of the book and its lyri­cal thoughts about the earth and our envi­ron­ment. Ms. Holmes’ illus­tra­tions invite us to look clos­er, to dis­cern the crea­tures she’s so art­ful­ly includ­ed. Ms. Bauer’s text includes a list of animals

Drawn Together

The BEARdecotts 

The ALA/ALSC recent­ly announced their Youth Media Awards, result­ing in much excite­ment. The teacher librar­i­ans at a Min­neso­ta pri­vate school with three cam­pus­es help their stu­dents look for excel­lence in children’s books by hold­ing their own award process each year. Called The BEARde­cotts, after their school mas­cot, the edu­ca­tors select books for a short list that they

Poetry Books That Celebrate
African American History and Culture 

Poet­ry and the spo­ken word have promi­nent places in African Amer­i­can cul­ture, due at least in part to a strong oral tra­di­tion that has been passed down through gen­er­a­tions. Con­sid­er includ­ing poems from the books below in your read-alouds this month, and the year ahead, as a way to high­light the con­tri­bu­tions of African Amer­i­cans to our

The Ogress and the Snake

Books about Somali Immigrants/Refugees

In an effort to help my chil­dren under­stand more about their own her­itage, I have searched far and wide for books by or about Soma­li immi­grants or refugees. Here are some of the best ones we have found. Though a num­ber of these titles have not been writ­ten by Soma­lis, they have at least been informed by

Earth Day 

Whether you are cel­e­brat­ing Earth Day this week or next week or every week, there are books here that will enchant your stu­dents or your fam­i­ly, open­ing up pos­si­bil­i­ties for good dis­cus­sions.   Earth: My First 4.54 Bil­lion Years Sta­cy McAn­ul­ty, author James Litch­field, illus­tra­tor Hen­ry Holt, 2017 pri­ma­ry and ele­men­tary grades Told from the view­point of

In Memoriam: Wendy Watson 

Wendy Wat­son was a third gen­er­a­tion author and artist. Her grand­par­ents, Ernest W. Wat­son and Eva Auld Wat­son, were painters and pio­neer col­or block print­ers.  Ernest was also founder and edi­tor of the mag­a­zine Amer­i­can Artist, co-founder of Wat­­­son-Gup­till Pub­li­ca­tions, and co-founder of one of the first sum­mer art schools, the Berk­shire Sum­mer School of Art. Wendy’s father, Aldren A. Wat­son, is

Capers and Cons The Player King

Capers and Cons 

When you (or your stu­dents) want a book that keeps you turn­ing the pages for your week­night and week­end read­ing, here are some sug­ges­tions for books with that nim­ble pac­ing and what-are-they-up-to plots. Many of them are just right for mid­dle grade or avid younger-than-that read­ers, with a cou­ple of teen titles added. (And, of course, all

Spiike Ugliest Dog in the Universe

Cloth and the Picture Book:
Storytelling with Textile Techniques 

Author and illus­tra­tor Debra Frasi­er was invit­ed to lec­ture on this top­ic to the West­ern North Car­oli­na Tex­tile Study Group, and the pub­lic, in mid-Novem­ber 2017. This is the bib­li­og­ra­phy that accom­pa­nies Debra’s pre­sen­ta­tion, with book selec­tions by Debra Frasi­er and Vic­ki Palmquist. If you would like to invite Debra to give this pre­sen­ta­tion to your

Gracie LaRoo on the Big Screen

Pigs Galore 

This past Sep­tem­ber, after years of writ­ing and teach­ing the writ­ing of real­is­tic YA fic­tion, I was pleased to launch into the world a set of four ear­ly chap­ter books. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the chal­lenge of telling a sto­ry in 1000 words instead of 60,000 was huge. It was not the only chal­lenge. Instead of focus­ing on a teen girl

All the World's a Stage

Theater Geeks! 

If your chil­dren (or you) are cap­ti­vat­ed by tal­ent shows on TV, or dreams of act­ing on the stage, or the next the­ater pro­duc­tion at school, there are a cho­rus line of books just wait­ing to audi­tion for your next favorite. Here’s a mix­ture of clas­sic and new sto­ries, rang­ing in inter­est from grades 3 through 7. All

Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg

Read Out Loud for Easter 

As you pre­pare to cel­e­brate East­er, we encour­age you to include books in your cel­e­bra­tion. A tra­di­tion of read­ing out loud before East­er din­ner, after East­er din­ner, as you awak­en on East­er morn­ing … per­haps each day dur­ing Holy Week? Here are a few gems we believe you and your fam­i­ly will trea­sure. Hap­py East­er! At

Thanks a Million

Thanksgiving is a Good Time for a Book 

As food is being pre­pared and fam­i­ly gath­ers, as food is being digest­ed and some peo­ple are nap­ping, as sports and shop­ping beck­on, per­haps it’s a good time to take out a stack of Thanks­giv­ing books to read aloud as a family.

Making Friends with Billy Wong

Third Grader Reading at a Sixth Grade Level 

Respond­ing to a par­ent request for books that would inter­est her third-grad­er-read­­­ing-at-a-sixth-grade-lev­­­el, we crowd-sourced a list. Big thanks to Sara Alcott, Lin­da Baie, Les­ley Man­dros Bell, Karen Cramer, Caren Creech, Melin­da Fant, Ellen Klar­re­ich, Vick­ie LoP­ic­co­lo, Ellen McEvoy, Lau­ra Moe, Tunie Mun­­­son-Ben­­­son, Vic­ki Palmquist, Car­rie Shay, Faythe Dyrud Thureen, Cindy Walk­er, and Sharon J. Wil­son. Unlike our

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