The Hand-Me-Down Magic Series by Corey Ann Haydu

The Hand-Me-Down Magic Series by Corey Ann Haydu

I’m so excited to introduce you to a new early-to-middle elementary chapter book series, Hand-Me-Down Magic by Corey Ann Haydu, illustrated by Luisa Uribe. The first two books in the series (Stoop Sale Treasure and Crystal Ball Fortunes) were released in June, 2020… Once we got our hands on them and I started to read them out loud to the girls this summer, they couldn’t get enough and we flew through both books! Needless to say, our girls will be thrilled when the next book(s) in the series release! Read on to see what makes this new series so delightful for young readers and listeners.

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Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books

Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books

It’s October, which means you’re already almost too late to try to grab Halloween books from your local library! Fortunately for you, I’ve got you covered with all sorts of Halloween reading. Below, you’ll find lists of our favorite Halloween-y (but not Halloween-specific) books, Halloween picture books, Halloween books for the youngest readers, and even Halloween chapter books for your older audiences. So take a look below, put some (or all…) of these titles on hold from your local library, and have a great time getting into the spirit of Halloween this month!

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Recent Favorites from a Second Grader

Recent Favorites from a Second Grader

Well, it’s happened… Now that our older daughter is reading chapter books rather ravenously, I can’t keep up… When she was reading picture books, I always knew what they were about and how I felt about them, but now that she’s onto chapter books, I just can’t. But, I know many of you have readers who are also moving into reading more and more chapter books independently. So, every month or so, I’ll have our older daughter (a seven-year-old second grader) tell you about 4 or 5 of her favorite books lately (and, I’ll add thoughts too if I’ve read them and have anything that you need to know as a parent). Up today, we’ve got six of her favorite read (chosen from read alouds, audiobooks, and independent reads) from late August and September!

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Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka

Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka

Okay, there is just enough time left in September for me to highlight one more book from my list of picture books that model including others. And y’all, this one is a must-read. Though it was originally published in 1993, I didn’t discover it until a few years into my teaching career, but once I found it, I read it to my students every single year. And now I revisit it frequently with my girls. If you don’t know Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka yet, please read on to learn more about it — and then find a way to get your hands on it!

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Dudley’s Day at Home by Karen Kaufman Orloff

Dudley’s Day at Home by Karen Kaufman Orloff

If you have a dog, you’ve probably often looked at said dog and wondered what on earth he was thinking, or questioned what she does when you leave her in your house all day. I know we frequently try to figure our own dog out! So, today, I’m delighted to bring all of you pet lovers (and those of you who just like funny stories) Dudley’s Day at Home, by Karen Kaufman Orloff, illustrated by RenĂ©e Andriani.

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Should We Let Our Children Read Junk?

Should We Let Our Children Read Junk?

If you’re a teacher or a parent, you’ve likely bemoaned children’s book choices at one point or another… Or maybe you feel that way almost every day! After all, why would children choose to read so many “lite” reads (or junk, as you might call it) when so many wonderfully written, beautifully thought-provoking, lesson-teaching books have been written for kids? I’m talking about those books that are, as Jim Trelease writes, “accessible,” those books that are written so simply and with such simple storylines that they’re easy to read… As adults, we might think of them as beach reads. And, just like beach reads have a valid place in many an adults’ reading lives, these “lite” reads can be greatly beneficial to children, too!

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Picture Books with Characters Who Stand Up to Others

Picture Books with Characters Who Stand Up to Others

Have you been following along with us as we move through the year with a Family Focus Trait each month? We have been loving the intentionality and focus that it brings to conversations we’re having with the girls, and I have to say I may be more excited about October’s trait than I have been about any all year. And what makes this even better for us is that when we created our family’s school mantra for this school year, one of the girls named this trait! I was thrilled that it was on her mind before we had even focused on it, and even more thrilled by the timing, since I knew this was coming next. So…

In October, we’ll be reading picture books with upstanding role models, books with characters who stand up to and for others, facing down both friends and foes. Because being able to stand up for what’s right and respectfully but strongly tell others what’s right is absolutely a skill we want our children to carry with them through life.

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Our 2020-2021 School Year Mantra

Our 2020-2021 School Year Mantra

Do you all have a little mantra or saying that you repeat to your children before school each day, to help keep their minds on what’s truly important while they’re at school (or learning from home…)? We started one last year (“Be brave, be kind, and have fun!”), but this year decided to involve the girls in creating our daily school mantra, with each of us adding one line. Keep reading to see what we tell the girls (and ourselves…) every morning before school, as well as how we’re tracking these behaviors to keep them at the forefront of our minds.

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Letters from Space by Clayton Anderson

Letters from Space by Clayton Anderson

You all may remember that I have a sweet spot in my heart for books written in letter format, and this new release from Sleeping Bear Press and retired astronaut Clayton Anderson is no exception! Anderson once spent 5 months on a mission in space, and in Letters from Space, he uses letters and written correspondence to both entertain and educate readers about what life is like for an astronaut in space. Read on for a little more information about the book, as well as some of the facts and tidbits we learned about space missions!

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Our Favorite Fall Books

Our Favorite Fall Books

Ah, fall… While I’d truly have a hard time naming my favorite season (for the record, it’s a toss-up between summer and fall…), I am always excited when fall rolls around. I love football and sweater season. I love the crunchy leaves under my feet. And I love the clear skies and breezy, cooler days.

While we still have weather in the 90s here and our leaves don’t really start to change until about Thanksgiving, I know many of you around the country are starting to pull out sweaters and sweatshirts, enjoying cooler mornings and evenings, and maybe even seeing some color on your trees. So, even though we don’t need to read books about changing seasons just yet in our house, I wanted to share some of our favorite fall books for those of you who may need them before we do. Read more to find our favorite fall picture books, some fall-ish books with fantastic social-emotional lessons, and board books for the littlest readers! Continue reading “Our Favorite Fall Books”