Posts from the ‘classroom resources’ Category

CLEVER AND CREATIVE

Spectacular Stories for Creative Kids

Written by Jesse Sullivan

The author has a way with words. Sullivan has succeeded in telling 100 stories about history, science, art, and culture and with wit and charm. Young readers will be intrigued by topics like ghosts, curses, snakes, space, and vampires. Each story reveals an adventure and interesting facts. Black and white illustrations accompany many of the chapters. Young readers unwittingly learn a lot while they are laughing and having a great time reading.

This is a book they will want to share with friends and family. Targeting the middle-grade audience ages nine through fourteen, but any age reader will enjoy and appreciate these gems.

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#GRETAGRACE -VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Emerald Lake Books

ABOUT THE BOOK

Greta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem

Written by Joanna Quinn

Ages 9+ | 190 Pages

Publisher: Emerald Lake Books | ISBN-13: 9781945847448

Publisher’s Synopsis: What’s worse than being invisible? Being noticed by the school bully.

Greta Grace likes her life. She isn’t the most popular girl in school-some days she even feels invisible-but she gets good grades and stays out of trouble.

She has a best friend in Samantha and a grandmotherly neighbor who is never too busy for a chat. Her mom can be a bit overprotective, but Greta Grace doesn’t blame her. Being a single parent probably isn’t the easiest job in the world.

When her longtime crush finally starts noticing her, Greta Grace thinks her life might even be perfect.

But when a merciless bully takes aim at Greta Grace, her carefree existence suddenly ends.

Who ever knew that school could be so hard?

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A14a0j

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781945847448

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joanna O’Reilly Quinn can usually be found learning something new to teach teens. As a former middle school teacher, founder of Super Empowered One, and life coach, it is no surprise that her middle-grade fiction book, Greta Grace, weaves some teachable moments into her character’s very relatable experiences. Think, middle school… Ahhh!Through her company, Super Empowered One, Joanna teaches kids how to access their confidence, happiness and power, so they can live their best life. Joanna loves writing, the ocean, a good run, and living in Fairfield, Connecticut, with her husband and two kids. Visit her at superempoweredone.com to learn more about her coaching services and Greta Grace.

If you’re interested in having Joanna conduct a program for your group or come speak to your students, you can contact her at emeraldlakebooks.com/quinn and superempoweredone.com/.

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

GROWING PAINS

Greta Grace

Written by Joanna Quinn

Greta Grace is a middle-school student who considers her everyday life an ordinary one. She is an excellent student who tries to stay under the radar. Greta is the daughter of a loving, single mom. She has a special relationship with Mrs. McGee, an elderly next-door neighbor. Her best friend is Samantha; she has a crush on Charlie, who doesn’t seem to notice her.

Greta’s world is turned upside down when Mrs. McGee becomes ill, Casey decides to bully her, and Samantha becomes distant. The only bright spot occurs when Charlie strikes up a relationship with her. But emotions and peer relationships are constantly shifting.  Will Greta Grace learn how to handle her feelings and cope with the bullying?

Quinn does an excellent job of creating empathetic, believable characters for her middle-grade readers. I found the discussion question guide particularly useful. Parents, teachers, and guidance counselors will welcome the guide as an excellent way to discuss sensitive issues with middle-grade students.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Greta Grace, along with a 1-hr coaching session for a parent on how to raise a super-empowered teen.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A copy of Greta Grace

A 1-hr parenting coaching session with Joanna Quinn

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Greta Grace

The giveaway begins September 20, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 20, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway:

https://gleam.io/4Pvl7/greta-grace-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 20, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, September 21, 2021Over Coffee ConversationAn interview withJoanna Quinn
Wednesday, September 22, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, September 23, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Friday, September 24, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Sunday, September 26, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Monday, September 27, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, September 28, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Wednesday, September 29, 2021Book Bug CAA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, September 30, 2021Rajiv’s ReviewsA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Monday, October 4, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, October 5, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Wednesday, October 6, 2021Periodical GazetteAn interview and book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, October 7, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkAn interview and book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem

On the Sunny Side of the Street

Hope

Written and Illustrated by Kealy Connor Lonning

The author is an educator and parent of six. She shares the hopes that most parents have for their children. Courage, resilience, empathy, and kindness are a few of these. The short rhymes are easy for young children to remember. Illustrations are multicultural and include references to the author’s own family as revealed in the fun facts at the end of the story. Adults and children will enjoy learning about the symbolism of nature and the themes included in this book.

A delightful read-aloud or bedtime story for elementary age readers.

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HIDE AND SEEK

Where’s My Joey?: A Heartwarming Bedtime Story For Children of All Ages

Written by Wendy Monica

Illustrated by Roxana Antochi

This tale tells the story of a mama kangaroo who is in search of her child at dinnertime. She introduces the readers to different native Australian animals like the kookaburra and the quokka.

The soft, gentle colors of the illustrations portray the mood of the plot perfectly. There is a surprise ending that will leave readers smiling.

I enjoyed the map of Australia and the bonus maze that will continue to engage the young reader. Recommended especially for readers in the five to eight age range.

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PIECES OF OURSELVES #fragments

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Big Ideas Press

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Ages 12+ | 126 Pages

Publisher: Big Ideas Press | ISBN-13: 978-0645099805

I feel like I’m a piece, a fragment that’s missing all the good bits, but I don’t know where to find the rest … the parts I need to work properly. I bet they wouldn’t fit anyway. (Lexy, age 17)

Publisher’s Synopsis: Eight young people navigating high school and beyond, each struggling to hold on – to family, to friends, to a piece of themselves. Perhaps you know them. The bubbly girl who keeps telling you she’s okay. The high achiever who’s suddenly so intense. The young teen obsessed with social media. The boy challenged by communication. Every single day they, and others, are working hard to keep it together. So hard, they don’t see their friends are struggling, too. Through eight imagined stories, Fragments moves from a place of disconnection to connectedness.

The action of Fragments takes place in the minds and hearts of an ordinary group of young people. Their stories encompass anxiety, depression, neurodivergence, gender dysphoria, social media, bullying, family dysfunction, cross-cultural diversity, and more, culminating in a sense of hope. Although set in Australia, their stories could take place anywhere.

From the Playwright: Rarely presenting as neat packages, mental health issues often involve feelings and behaviors with jagged edges and blurred origins. Fragments embodies the theme that stress at home, at school, and in life is challenging young people beyond their usual coping abilities, leaving them disenfranchised and vulnerable. So much of adolescent life is spent looking inwards that it’s perhaps not surprising that mental health issues are often internalized. I wrote Fragments to start a conversation. It’s only when we speak openly about mental health issues – without fear or judgment – that we can chip away at the stigma that prevents many people from seeking help. It is my hope that the work will find its way into schools in Australia and overseas. The publication includes a comprehensive Study Guide, detailing activities and curriculum links for English, Drama/Arts, Health & PE, Civics, and more.

A powerful and timely mental health resource for young people and their families. Essential reading for high school.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gZPBCJ

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780645099805

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Fragments-Maura-Pierlot/9780645099805

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maura Pierlot is an award-winning author and playwright who hails from New York but has called Canberra, Australia home since the early 1990s. Her writing delves into complex issues including memory, identity, self, and, more recently, mental health. Following its sellout 2019 season in Canberra, Maura’s debut professional theatre production, Fragments is being adapted for the digital space, supported by artsACT. The work is published online by Australian Plays Transforms and in print by Big Ideas Press.

Maura is a past winner of the SOLO Monologue Competition, Hothouse Theatre for her play, Tapping Out. Her plays have been performed in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Hollywood. A former medical news reporter and editor of Australian Medicine, Maura also writes for children and young adults. In 2017 she was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling (now True North). Maura’s debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category) along with international accolades.

Maura’s poetry, short stories, microfiction, and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. Maura has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate, each in philosophy, specializing in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura visits schools and libraries as a guest reader and speaker, serves as a Role Model for Books in Homes, and contributes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s online magazine, Reading Time.

For further information on Maura and her work, Fragments please visit: https: //maurapierlot.com and https: //fragmentstheplay.com.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Fragments and a $50 Amazon gift card!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/bJGIX/fragments-giveaway

A copy of Fragments

A $50 Amazon gift card

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Fragments

The giveaway begins September 6, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 6, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

MY REVIEW OF FRAGMENTS:

FRAGMENTS: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Fragments is a series of monologues that lend a voice to issues of mental health faced by teens all over the world today. In these monologues, readers follow the struggles of eight teens who seek hope as they fight mental health challenges. Each fight to maintain their connections to family, friends, and the community in which they live. The monologues are representative of the issues faced by youth and adults in the challenging times of which we live.

The actors represent young people around the world struggling with emotional, social, physical, and mental issues during their teenage years. As they reveal themselves, readers at once laugh, cry, feel their pain, and empathize with one or more of the issues described. The actors may appear to be disconnected, but in truth, they are seeking the possibility of connecting with one another.

The study guide included delineates themes, the background of characters, summaries of each monologue, and curriculum guide. While the monologues are matched to the Australian curriculum for high school studies, it can readily be adapted to standards used around the world.

Pierlot’s play provided her audience an opportunity to witness the problems and challenges facing youth today. Now readers of Fragments are given the opportunity to read and ponder the insights of these teens into the causes of mental issues and the realities they present for those who are suffering. Highly recommended read and discussion opportunity for teens and adults.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 6, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-OffFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 7, 2021Over Coffee ConversationA guest article fromMaura Pierlot
Wednesday, September 8, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 9, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomA book giveaway ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 10, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Monday, September 13, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 14, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Wednesday, September 15, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 16, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 17, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Saturday, September 18, 2021The Momma SpotAn interview withMaura Pierlot

BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION

The Top Secret List to Becoming a Superhero

Created by Adisan Books

This book is recommended for children ages two through five. It teaches them that a superhero should focus on helping all members of the community through acts of kindness, empathy, making others happy, and treating others just the way you would like to be treated. A superhero does not need to perform herculean physical tasks.

The picture book is very short but gets the message across in easy-to-read speech bubbles with large colorful illustrations, reminiscent of a comic book format. It is a good introduction to digital citizenship and the building of strong community and family ties.

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A Melting Pot

One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different

Written by Linsey Davis

Illustrated by Lucy Fleming

This is a very short interactive book that parents or teachers may use to discuss diversity with preschool and primary grade children. The author presents the material from a Christian viewpoint. Some families who reject that concept will need to explain or eliminate those parts of the story.

Children are asked to study the pictures and relate how we are all alike, make friendship bracelets, draw faces with different skin tones, and share their favorite foods. The heart activity demonstrates the love we feel within for all.

The book is a good starting point on the topic of multiculturalism.

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A nice way to learn about African history

Njinga of Ndongo

Written by Ekiuwe Aire

Illustrated by Natalia Popova

This beautifully written picture book is a wonderful addition to the library of late elementary and middle-school students. It relates the story of an African princess who became queen of two African kingdoms of the 1600s.

Njinga survived a difficult birth. After her father breathed life into her, he realized she was a survivor. Despite the jealousy of her older brother, Njinga succeeded in school and observed carefully. When her brother became king, she had to flee, but she returned when the country needed her.

This story is told simply yet eloquently. The illustrations are exquisite. There are beautiful maps, a timeline and historical facts that provide a plethora of information on African and Portuguese history.

I highly recommend the book to parents, teachers and librarians as a valuable reference book on medieval African history. It also provides a strong role model for young women who seek to be the future leaders of tomorrow.

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Means to an end…

New Worlds: The Secret World of Curly Jones #1

Written by Louise Guy

Curly Jones is eleven years old. He is bullied by his fifth-grade classmates and a mean teacher. Nothing seems to be going right until he meets a new neighbor, Belle. He is happy to learn she will be in his class.

Belle introduces him to a secret world. She shows him a magic tree house that transports her to a fantasy world. Curly cannot believe that Belle accepts him as her best friend. Together, they enter a secret world with magical creatures and fascinating adventures.

Curly discovers that Belle has magical powers, but that is just the beginning. After a few trips through the tree house portal, Curtly discovers a long-lost heritage that affords him the power to change his life and that of others.

This is the beginning of an adventure/fantasy series that will appeal to the eight to twelve year old reader. The book is an easy read with short chapters that are perfect for reluctant readers.

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How to Set Your Child Up for Lifetime Success by Helping Them Learn in School


Many people place value on educational success. Whether you feel it’s important to
attain socioeconomic status, increase earning power, or simply be more of a
well-rounded person, there are many arguments for pro-school attitudes.

From the start of a child’s beginning in school, when they are in preschool or
kindergarten, we can cultivate an attitude of success, growth, and eagerness in
them.

As they grow, their own success will depend more and more on themselves as they
make their own choices. However, there are some things you can do to make it more
likely they’ll succeed.


Routines and Daily Habits

For example:

  • Bodybuilders’ routines involve going to the gym each day.

  • A firefighter’s routine involves putting on gear and getting into the truck as quickly and safely as possible.

  • Police officers have routines when clearing a crime scene.

  • Garbage men have routines to pick up trash in the most methodical order as possible.

A routine for a child in school is no different. Explaining to your child that everyday professionals and jobs use routines is also important so they will understand the value in it.

The routine you choose for your child depends on your individual child, but basically involves setting aside a specific time of day and place for something related to their education.

What do successful school routines look like?

Consider these routines:

  • Completing homework everyday after school at the kitchen table

  • Writing down each subject’s homework in a daily journal or planner

  • Eating a healthy breakfast each morning with your student and discussing school

  • Asking your child about one or two important lessons they learned in school that day

Educational Check-In

While the singular job of a student is to go to school each day, the job of that student’s parent or caretaker is to help the student cultivate an attitude of learning. Despite the fact that we, as parents and guardians, have our own busy lives to deal with, it’s important to keep in mind that our children also are growing and learning.

There are many conversation starters revolving around school, and it is critical that parents set aside time each day to ask about school.

For example, you can ask:

  • What happened in school

  • How the school day went

  • What they learned

  • Whether anything was surprising

  • Or even what grades they got on tests

For older students, having a more in-depth conversation related to the transfer of educational knowledge to the real world is important.

Value of Report Card Grades

Some parents choose to motivate their children with rewards for good grades. While there are arguments for and against giving a child money for earning an “A” or a “B” on a report card, this can be done in a responsible way.

The basic idea is to motivate them with external rewards, but then phase it out as they grow older and the motivation comes from within themselves.

Overall, there are certainly many things you can do to jumpstart the excitement and energy that students have for school. With parenting, there are no right or wrong answers and you can even devise your own system for motivating your student for success.
 

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