Saturday, June 15, 2019

Book Recommendation: The Thief Lord #iLoveMG

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The Thief Lord

Recommended by DG


The book The Thief Lord is a realistic fiction novel written by Cornelia Funke.

It takes place in Venice Italy. Prosper and Bo are runaways from their Aunt and Uncle, who's plans are to separate them, they seek refuge in a gang led by Scipio, who takes the name the Thief Lord. Prosper and Bo meet the rest of the gang, Hornet, Mosca, and Riccio, and they are welcomed into their secret hideout, an old run-down movie theater. But when a detective steps in trouble runs along their path. Secrets are unfurled, a friend is untrusted, and a chance that will change someone's life forever will take root in an all grand adventure.

This book is given adventure in a beautiful city, mysteries that twist the plot, and secrets that the reader is to find out. The characters are well-thought of and each have their own personality, which makes the book all more exciting. The writing in this book includes some Italian words, and a Glossary in the back defining each one.

"This is our…… home. The best home we've ever had. And he spoiled it all. And now he gets coffee as a reward?" is what Riccio had said when the gang was eating breakfast while talking about their "captured detective".

If you like a tiny bit of magic, mystery, a book with another language which you can learn from, and secrets to solve then you will love this book.

The Thief Lord is a great book for Middle Realistic Fiction to Teen Realistic Fiction which includes things that a reader would love to read. The reader is able to train their mind on thinking about what the characters look like. This book is one of the ones that should be on your must-read list!

Student-designed cover for The Thief Lord


Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Friday, January 25, 2019

It's Multicultural Children's Book Day!


Today is our 6th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day, welcome!

I am thrilled to again be joining up with Multicultural Children's Book Day as a co-host and book reviewer. 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.

Here’s how to celebrate:


  • Link up your diversity book reviews at the bottom of this post.
  • Join us tonight at our 6th annual Twitter Party! Follow @McChildsBookDay to join in on the diverse book discussions, discover new titles and authors and for a chance to win one of our twelve book bundles. Party time is 9 pm to 10 pm EST. RSVP here. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld.

We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to all of the Sponsors, Authors, Publishers, Organizations, Book Reviewers, Book Donators, Parents, Caregivers, Educators and Librarians who devote their time and energy to helping us to achieve our mission of getting multicultural children's and YA books into the hands of readers. We appreciate you!


Share Your Link Below


Inlinkz Link Party


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MCBD Book Review: Someone New #ReadYourWorld


I am thrilled to again be joining up with Multicultural Children's Book Day as a co-host and book reviewer. 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.

Someone New


I was asked to review Someone New by Anne Sibley O'Brien, published by Charlesbridge Press. All thoughts are my own.

Someone New by Anne Sibley O'Brien is a companion book to I'm New Here (read my review here) and revists the story from the perspective of the three kids already at the school who each reach out to welcome the new immigrant students. What I appreciate about Someone New is that it focuses attention on the individual choices that people have to make - to be friendly, to reach out, to take a risk on inviting someone on your team, etc. and how these small moments of courage can be so important for someone else.

I shared both of these books with my fifth graders at the beginning of the school year. We had some wonderful conversations around the ways that each character has to choose to take action and the impact it has. These books are great for building classroom community as well as encouraging kids to see themselves as part of the global community too. Strongly recommended.


Join us for Multicultural Children's Book Day - read on!

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: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H

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

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

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 doctorcitoKidLitTVLerner 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. SwiftT.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 MoradianClaudia SchwamLori DeMoniaTerri 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 itGrowing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

MCBD Book Review: The Turtle Ship #ReadYourWorld


I am thrilled to again be joining up with Multicultural Children's Book Day as a co-host and book reviewer. 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.

The Turtle Ship



I was delighted to receive a review copy of The Turtle Ship courtesy of Lee & Low Books. All thoughts are my own.

The Turtle Ship is inspired by the true story of Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his Turtle Ship, thought to be the earliest ironclad ship, predating the US Civil War era Monitor and the Merrimack by a few hundred years. Told in the style of a folktale, Sun-sin is presented as a young boy, whose friendship with a lowly turtle helps him discover the true strength and wisdom in a turtle's design.

This is a charming story, well-written and entertaining, and readers will love learning about the inventiveness of this time in history. The cut-paper collage for the illustrations is stunning and provides a great color pattern and dynamism for the story. I always appreciate a book with backmatter, and this one provides great details about what is known about the Turtle Ships as well as a bibliography and note from the author and illustrator.

I strongly recommend this book for classrooms, libraries, and families!

Interested in doing more for Multicultural Children's Book Day? Read on!

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: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H

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

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

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 doctorcitoKidLitTVLerner 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. SwiftT.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 MoradianClaudia SchwamLori DeMoniaTerri 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 itGrowing Book by BookHere Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin LeeJump Into a BookImagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World CitizenKristi’s Book NookThe LogonautsMama SmilesMiss Panda ChineseMulticultural Kid BlogsRaising Race Conscious ChildrenShoumi SenSpanish Playground

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

Monday, December 3, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 12/03/18



It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Recent Posts


Picture Books


We'll be doing a Mock Caldecott again this year, so I have been doing my best to try and catch up on possible picture book contenders for this year. These are a few I had time to browse from our school library's display.


A House That Once Was (2018) by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith. This is a soft and quiet kind of book, and my fifth graders instantly settled down as the read aloud began. There are some really interesting things going on here, artistically, especially between the two art styles of the "real" and the imagined sections of the book. Lovely.


Teddy's Favorite Toy (2018) by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Madeline Valentine. I love that this is a book about a boy and his favorite doll - and that it is NOT a story about any issues with him being a boy with a favorite doll. What I loved less was the weird break into unrealistic at the end as his mom (literally) swoops in to the rescue. Some of my students felt that this was too much like Knuffle Bunny and too predictable of a story.

Middle Grade



The Bigfoot Files (2018) by Lindsay Eager. Class president and all-around-perfect student Miranda is hiding a secret at home: her mother is obsessed with finding evidence of Bigfoot and other legendary creatures, often pulling Miranda from school to accompany her on wild jaunts around the country following elusive leads. Miranda has had enough and decides to plan once last adventure to prove to her mother than there's nothing out there to find.

I absolutely adored Linday Eager's debut book, Hour of the Bees, and it's subtle blend of magical realism and lavish descriptions. I'm not sure it worked as well here, especially for a book premised on whether an unrealistic creature is possible or not. I found this book far less satisfying. (An advanced review copy of this book was provided by Candlewick. All thoughts are my own.)

What books are on your ALA award lists?

Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Join us for December's #diversekidlit!

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children's book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors!

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Bethany @ Biracial Bookworms
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Svenja @ Colours of Us

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Monday, November 5, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/05/18 #IMWAYR



It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Recent Posts


Picture Books


Margaret and the Moon: how Margaret Hamilton saved the first lunar landing by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Kinsley. Our school was lucky enough to have Dean Robbins as a guest author for our book fair last year, and he shared some great stories behind the creation of this book. With Halloween approaching, we had decided our seventh-month old would make an adorable astronaut, so I was trying to brainstorm an appropriate costume to match: Margaret!


Margaret (left) is standing next to a stack of the code she wrote for the Apollo lander's computer, whereas I am standing (right) next to a pile of my classroom's dictionaries, Harry Potter collection, Hugo Cabret, and The Mysterious Benedict Society series. Ha!

Middle Grade



Ghost by Jason Reynolds, read by Guy Lockard. We took a break from picture book read alouds and book clubs to do a novel-length read aloud this past month. As a strong believer in the need for diverse and inclusive books, I am always exposing my students to different voices through stories, but this time I also decided to literally expose them to different voices by listening to the audiobook version of Ghost.

They loved it. Everyone got hugely invested in the story, and there was much yelling and groaning at any poor decisions. There was a moment of silence after the cliffhanger ending, then an immediate clamoring for the rest of the series. We happened to finish on the day that Lu (the fourth and final book in the series) was published, so my avid readers are racing each other to see who gets it first.


I teach two classes of fifth grade, so with the other class we shared Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley. My students delighted in Gertie's quest to be "the best fifth grader ever," and again, this was a story with much yelling and groaning at some poor decisions. Nearly every time we ended there was begging for "just one more chapter" or at least "just the next sentence" when we hit a particularly cliffhanger-y stopping point. There was much discussion and speculation when we were finished about whether there would possibly be a sequel someday.

What are your favorite read alouds for middle graders?

Happy Reading!