About a month ago, I posted my first “Recent Favorites from a Second Grader” book recommendation post — and you all loved it! Turns out I’m not the only one who can’t keep up with what my independent reader is reading and loving. Many of you also 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. These might be books she’s read independently, family read alouds, or audiobooks. I’ll transcribe her reasons for why she loves these books, and add a few of my own thoughts if I have anything important to add.
Up today, we’ve got five of her favorite recent reads from October!
Continue reading “Recent Favorites from a Second Grader #2” →
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.
Continue reading “The Hand-Me-Down Magic Series by Corey Ann Haydu” →
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 reads (chosen from read alouds, audiobooks, and independent reads) from late August and September!
Continue reading “Recent Favorites from a Second Grader #1” →
Let’s talk about The Hundred Dresses. As a teacher, this was the first chapter book that I read aloud to my students each year. We’d talk about kindness, being an upstander, being a bystander, standing up for ourselves, forgiveness, empathy, socio-economic diversity, preconceived notions, and so much more. As a parent, I vowed to read The Hundred Dresses aloud to our girls before school started each year, once they were old enough to sustain attention for a chapter book read aloud. I read The Hundred Dresses with our older daughter last summer, before she started first grade, and we started to reread it with both girls just this week, to gear them up for their upcoming school years. So why do I love this chapter book enough to reread it yearly with my students and now my girls?
Continue reading “The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes” →
We recently finished reading Poppy and Rye by Avi (the second book in his “Dimwood Forest” series) with the girls, and as I closed the book, it dawned on me that in the last few months, we’ve used three different chapter book series about mice for our family read-aloud books! Each of these series is written on a different level and has a unique feel to it, so other than the mice, they don’t really have much in common… But I figured I’d share them anyway, because they all made for wonderful read alouds!
Continue reading “Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!” →
Earlier this spring, we read the first two books in the Gooney Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry, and they were a HUGE hit! If you’re looking for a family read-aloud book that is bound to make your children laugh, inspire them to tell and write their own stories, teach them a bit about writing craft, AND is part of a 6-book series (so you’ve got lots of material once your kiddos are hooked, which they will be…), then look no further than Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, illustrated by Middy Thomas!
Continue reading “Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry” →
About a year and a half ago, a friend recommended that I check out the Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay, to read with my older daughter. Trusting this friend, I bought the first in the series sight-unseen and excitedly opened it to read with my daughter, but she wasn’t into it… Never afraid to abandon books, I put it aside, but I had taken enough of a look at it that I knew we’d be revisiting it when the time was right.
Fortunately for me, the time was right earlier this spring, when I picked Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows up to read to both girls before bed one night, and they LOVED it! Even more fortunately, I had the foresight to grab the rest of the series from the library just a few days before they shut down for shelter-in-place. We absolutely flew through all 7 books in the series, and all of us (husband included) wish more books about Zoey and her scientific adventures had already been written! Read on to see what makes the Zoey and Sassafras series unique. Continue reading “The Zoey and Sassafras Series by Asia Citro” →
If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that we read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, about a month ago for a rabbit-themed family chapter book read aloud just before Easter. It had probably been at least 10 years since I had read this book in the classroom, and I was struck every single day we read by just how beautiful this book is. On top of that, my girls absolutely LOVED Edward’s story, asking for more and more chapters each day we read (I think we were able to finish this in about 4 days!). Sharing what makes The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane so magical became obviously necessary, so read on for a little insight into the emotional evolution of this beloved toy. Continue reading “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo” →
If you’ve followed along for a while, you might remember that it took our older daughter a long time to be interested in chapter book read alouds. Thought she LOVED cuddling up to listen to a picture book, and she’d sit and listen to audiobook chapter books for hours, she had a harder time with chapter book read alouds. Recently, though, both girls changed almost overnight to requesting almost only chapter books when it is time to read together. While we still read lots of lots of picture books (because, remember, they’re great for kids of all ages!), we’ve had a lot of fun exploring chapter books together. Most recently, the girls have been laughing their way through the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee. Read on for a little information about these books, as well as why we love them! Continue reading “The Clementine Series by Sara Pennypacker” →
Do you know and love Common Sense Media? If you are a parent or a teacher, or are somehow responsible for helping make decisions about which books children read or movies kids see, you need to know about this wonderful resource! Continue reading “A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers” →