Posts from the ‘middle grades’ Category

A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

Timber View Camp

Written by Jason Deas

Sally and Reggie are fifth-grade friends who are also neighbors. When Sally receives a free “golden ticket” to attend Timber View Camp, she is upset about leaving her home this summer. Her fears are somewhat alleviated when Reggie also wins a ticket.

When the day to leave for camp arrives, they are dismayed to see an ugly purple double-decker bus with a strange driver who speaks in rhyme pick them up. The pair is even more alarmed when they are dropped off in the middle of nowhere with only a four-part riddle to guide them. By pulling together the campers dub themselves the 12 up and use each of their talents to survive and make it to the campground.

Things keep getting weirder as Reggie and Sally, along with their new friends, fear that they are being watched and followed. Tony and Sissy, their counselors, mysteriously disappear as the odd events unfold. The campers cleverly team up with Cynthia, whose family works at the camp, to develop a plan to expose the owners and turn the tables on them.

This mystery contains wonderful characters, clever plot lines, and lots of humor to accompany the mystery. Young detectives will have to use their smarts to solve it.

Highly recommended for readers ages nine and older.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN

Children’s Book: A Step and a Half to Success

Written by Aya Steiner

Illustrated by Taranggana

Ten-year-old Eric is a natural basketball player. Eric has been sinking baskets since the age of four and he is used to his mother bragging about his talent. He has just learned that he has been named to the All City Basketball Team. When he meets Coach Teddy, Eric promises to do his part when the coach urges the team to pass the ball to make defensive points. But soon Eric loses his confidence and initiative in taking shots and relies on the other team members because he is afraid to fail. Eric’s mom urges him to practice on his own until he masters his technique. Eric learns that any team sport requires lots of patience, practice, and persistence. Natural talent needs to be nurtured to achieve continued success.

This is a good book for late elementary school and middle-school readers who are interested in sports or need to revitalize their self-esteem. Perfect individual or read aloud discussion book choice for children ages seven through twelve. Colorful illustrations will also attract reluctant readers.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

TALL TAILS

A 13th Tail

Written by Daniel Kelley

What a charming and clever story for all ages! Uncle Willoughby frequently entertains his twin nephews and niece by telling them his original stories. The humorous interruptions of the clever children are almost as much fun as the stories.

On this day, Uncle Willoughby is relating the story of a farm boy named Jackson who lives on an extraordinary farm filled with common farm animals like horses and sheep as well as exotic animals like hippogriffs, porcupines and monkeys. Jackson loved all the animals and took exceptional care of them. While feeding the horses one day, he counts their tails and notices there are thirteen, one more than the day before. He notices a pony that has never been there. This pony talks and reveals that he has come to the farm in search of “greener pastures.”

Many months pass as the pony named Wilberfortnum enjoys his new life at the farm. But one day he notices that the land is no longer green, but shades of brown. The porcupine tells him that this happens every year when the seasons change. “Greener pastures” does mean that the land stays green; it is a state of mind when one feels happy and well-adjusted. Wilberfortnum has never noticed this. He decides that he will wait and see and is relieved to see the green color return.

Kelley uses lots of alliteration, clever inventive language, and humor. For example, Uncle Willoughby cautions the children never tell a woman that something is her fault, or her anger will be directed back at you. I especially enjoyed how the author hid the number thirteen throughout the book and challenges the reader to find them. (He includes the answers in the final chapter)

I heartily recommend this book for middle-grade readers, young adults, and families who want to enjoy sharing a fun read aloud together.

HE VS. SHE

HE VERSES SHE

The Hockey Wars

Written by Sam Lawrence and Ben Jackson

Millie and Cameron grew up together and shared many mutual interests. Some even thought them twins. In the small town of Dakota playing hockey was a way of life for girls and boys. The girls and boys played on the same team for many years, but Millie has recently decided to form an all-female team. Now the Dragons and the newly formed Lightning team competed fiercely. The teams argued frequently over who would get to practice at the ice at the pond after school. One day, the crisis could no longer be averted. The teams decided on a face-off game. Whoever won that game would gain permanent access to the pond.

For the following week, both teams felt the tension. The author spends a good amount of time describing the personalities of all the members of both teams.  Conflicting emotions erupt on both sides. In fact, many of the boys and girls on either side like Violet and Linkin are clearly attracted to each other. A coming of age and peer relationship plotline is a crucial part of the tale.

Who will win the big game? Will the tension between the former teammates be resolved? This chapter book with black and white pencil drawings is a good choice for a beginning reader as well as middle-grade students. I think many adults will enjoy it as well.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

 

GET A GRIP

Emotional Intelligence For Kids in 5 Steps

Witten by Freya Gates

The author packs a lot of information in this relatively short book. Gates presents the information and describes how to apply the techniques effectively. In Chapter 1, she explains what low emotional intelligence means and the signs to identify it. Chapter 2 includes a detailed test that can be used to detect low emotional intelligence and points out possible causes and consequences in children who suffer from it.

Once a child has been identified as suffering from low emotional intelligence, there are many ways for parents, teachers, and health professionals to remedy the problem. Gates gives suggestions and then outlines five steps to improve behavior. One of the most important parts of this book follows. The author explains how to use her suggestions in specific situations. This practical application assists caretakers in implementing the program. For those interested in additional research, Gates gives a list of her sources for further exploration. I would highly recommend this book as an introduction to the subject of emotional intelligence.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page,

TO LONDON, WE WILL GO

HEY KIDS! LET’S VISIT LONDON (Fun, Facts, and Amazing Discoveries for Kids)

Written by Teresa Mills

This book is geared toward middle-grade students, roughly ages eight through thirteen. It can be used as a guidebook to prepare children who are planning a trip to London with a family or a community organization. Each site is accompanied by pictures, its history, main features, and visitor appeal. Mills talks about iconic historical landmarks like Stonehenge, The Tower of London, Big Ben, The Red Phone Booth, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. She discusses street landmarks like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, and Harrod’s Department Store. Other notable spots to visit include The London Zoo, Hampstead Heath, The Globe Theater, and Platform 9 3/4’s with its connection to Harry Potter. Of course, no visit would be complete without a ride on the London tube or a visit to one of the museums like The Duxford Air & Space Museum or the RAF Museum.

There is so much to see. Mills has especially focused on those of interest to children. This book can also be useful as a starting place for a school project on London. The book need not be read in any particular order as the chapters are not laid out sequentially.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

#READYOURWORLD #MCBD 2019

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.

 

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library GuildTheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty ArabAgatha Rodi BooksAll Done MonkeyBarefoot MommyBiracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms ShareColours of UsDiscovering the World Through My Son’s EyesDescendant of Poseidon ReadsEducators Spin on it Growing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s ClassKid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

I am delighted to participate once more in Children’s Multicultural Book Day as I have been involved in reviewing books since the inception of the event. This year, I had the pleasure of reviewing, Memphis, Martin, AND THE MOUNTAINTOP The Sanitation Strike of 1968, written by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

This story is based on facts recorded in history books and the memories of a Memphis school teacher named Lorraine who was nine years old when the momentous events of 1968 transpired. Lorraine was the daughter of a maid and sanitation worker. At the beginning of 1968, her father’s wages were $1.70 a day. In January Robert and Cole Walker were killed in a sanitation truck accident. The all-black workforce organized a labor union, which the newly elected mayor, Henry Loeb, refused to recognize. Thirteen hundred men deserted their sanitation trucks on Feb. 12, 1968. The men picketed the streets for 65 days. A group of Memphis preachers formed a support group and used church donations to help the workers and their families. The NAACP organized boycotts and sang freedom songs. Martin Luther King, Jr. heard about the strike and promised to come to Memphis to support them. He preached that all labor has dignity.

 

On March 28, six thousand marchers gathered. The families stood behind the workers. Police had billy clubs, and tear gas. Within 15 minutes bricks and looting began. Rumors suggested militant teenagers initiated the riot. The mayor called in the National Guard. On April 3, Dr. King came to deliver his famous mountaintop speech. The next day, he was shot at the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray. His widow, Coretta Scott King, kept her husband’s pledge to march behind the workers. Protests sprung up all over the country.

 

President Lyndon Johnson sent James Reynolds to negotiate. The labor union was recognized, pay hikes negotiated and merit-based promotions instituted. The Memphis Sanitation Strike ended on April 16, 1968.

 

This picture book features bold, watercolor illustrations that evoke the mood and emotion of the event. It includes the powerful poem, that nine-year-old Lorraine wrote on the day of the march. A timeline presents the day by day history of the events, and Duncan adds links to the museum and a complete bibliography. The book is highly recommended as an insight into the emotions which rocked the entire country during the 1960s and a portrait of the economic and racial tensions that existed. Suggested as an effective classroom reference as a springboard to a discussion on civil rights history for middle-grade students ages eight through twelve. The author graciously provided a copy of this book for reviewers of this event.

 

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the RSS FEED button or by hitting the Follow button in the upper right-hand corner of this post.

FREE lesson plans and a PowerPoint to use with students

can be found on the author’s  website http://www.alicefayeduncan.com

 

%d bloggers like this: