Posts from the ‘middle grades’ Category

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.

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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.

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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.

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#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.

 

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FREE lesson plans and a PowerPoint to use with students

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

 

FAMILY TIES

The Family That Went to War

Written by Gordon Smith

 

The author was inspired to write this story because of genealogical family research. It begins in Cootamundra in New South Wales in 1911 when Australia was just six years old. Charles Power was about to marry Iris. The first world war would break out three years later. This memoir traces the stories of six young Australians who would leave their homeland to fight in a war for Great Britain. Only three of them would return.

The memoir follows the family members who served in Gallipoli and Tripoli. It reflects on the military history of their experiences as well as leave time in France and England. Its language is simple and straightforward filled with the gravity of the situation as well as moments of light humor. When the author starts to reflect on personal feelings, the plot seems to veer off course. Perhaps the author takes too much license in writing about how the brothers perceived the situation. Readers need to be aware that while much of the story has been carefully researched, there is an emotional family attachment. The story ends with Charles and Iris reflecting on the losses the family has suffered as well as the joys of raising their children.

The book provides a unique perspective on World War I. Homeschooling parents might want to explore using it to supplement primary sources. Recommended for readers ages ten and older.

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HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

Mary’s Song (Dream Horse Adventures Book 1)

Written by Susan Count

Mary is a twelve-year-old handicapped young lady. Her mother died when she was three; no one wants to talk about it. Mary lives with her father and a housekeeper. The story is set in 1952. Her father constantly searches for a possible medical breakthrough to cure his daughter. Mary is strong-willed and determined. Her best friend, Laura, rides and cares for horses at her home. The girls become obsessed with saving a horse named Illusion who needs surgery. They find ways of earning money toward that end.

Mary’s overprotective father frequently gets upset with Mary’s obstinate behavior. Laura and Mary disobey their parents and end up in trouble often, but that means lots of interesting adventures along the way. Will the girls be able to save Illusion? Can Mary’s father find a medical cure to help Laura walk again?

Middle-grade and young adult readers will find the antics of these two friends’ fun and endearing. There is lots of humor and a few surprises in store for readers. Two strong female role models and a tender story of animal affection will appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended. I look forward to reading the sequel.

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NEED A SOLUTION?

6TH GRADE REVENGERS: BOOK 1, CAT CRIMES AND WANNABES

Written by Steven Whibley

Marcus and Jared are two eleven-year-old friends in sixth grade. They would both like to attend spy camp but don’t have the money to attend. Jared is smart and creative; Marcus is a computer genius with the equipment to put his ideas into motion.

Jared comes up with an idea to set up a business with Marcus to raise money by solving people’s problems. After playacting to remove his six-year-old sister’s fears of The Bogeyman, Jared decides his idea might work. He comes up with the name, The Revengers and enlists Marcus to develop the website, advertise and be his partner “in crime.”

The friends take on the task of ridding a neighborhood of an aggressive orange cat that has been terrorizing Oak Street, while at the same time getting rid of Gunner, the ne’er do well, freeloading musician boyfriend of Jared’s older sister, Ronie. A series of comical mishaps follow on both fronts. Things seem to be getting more out of hand.

The adventures include lots of humor and age-appropriate scenarios for preteens and teens. Reminiscent of vintage adventures like The Hardy Boys, the characters also include strong female characters like Janet, the gossip, and Ronie, the somewhat gullible, and follow the crowd pleaser.

I haven’t read the other books in the series, but if the first is any indication, I would certainly recommend the series for readers age eight and older. The characters are likable and the plot lines clever and engaging. Young adults and adults will enjoy them as well.

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