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Read-Aloud Suggestions

This category contains 165 posts

THE DAY YOU BEGIN by Jacqueline Woodson Illustrated by Rafael Lopex…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

The Day You Begin opens with a gentle acknowledgement: There will be times when you walk into a room and no one is quite like you. The illustrations are done in soft, bright tones that reinforce a compassion to support us as the text acknowledges the many ways in which we can feel conspicuously different … Continue reading

THE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTTON by Charice Mericle Harper…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Yellow Bird brings a button to show Red Bird and Blue Bird. They disagree over what the button can actually do. Yellow Bird argues that it does nothing. Red Bird and Blue Bird discover all kinds of effects when the button is pressed–much to Yellow Bird’s irritation. The third book in the Elephant & Piggie Also Like Reading series, Button … Continue reading

FRAMED! by James Ponti…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I & II

Framed! is a really fun read.  Our main character is 12-year-old Florian Bates.  On the first page he introduces himself to the reader and lets us know that he’s an average 7th grader, aside from the fact that–despite his age–he works with the FBI. By page 4 he has been kidnapped and by page 12 … Continue reading

THE LOSERS CLUB by Andrew Clements…a 2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I know it will be unpopular for me to make this first admission: Andrew Clements’ books are really hit or miss for me.  I know that younger readers enjoy them–his work is sought after in school libraries all the time–but they just don’t usually hit the mark for me. Sometimes I find them too affectedly … Continue reading

OPERATION FROG EFFECT by Sarah Scheerger

Operation Frog Effect was a delightful surprise for me.  I picked it up after having read about it on Goodreads and seeing the title come up in our Mock Newbery Group. I was put off by the juvenile nature of the cover, which conflicted with reviews I had read regarding its content.  I am extremely … Continue reading

SAVE ME A SEAT by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan…2020 LOVELACE nominee Division I

I originally read Save Me a Seat when it was published in 2016.  I rated it 5 stars then. When I saw it was a Lovelace nominee this year, I was curious to see if I would feel the same after rereading it.  Save Me a Seat was just as fantastic the second time as the … Continue reading

THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE by Brian Farrey….A 2020 LOVELACE Nominee Division I

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse is a perfect example of why I adore the Maud Hart Lovelace awards.  I always try to read all of the nominees before the school year starts so I can speak intelligently about them when students or parents ask me.  I have discovered more than one gem among the nominees … Continue reading

GIMME SHELTER (Chicken Squad #5) by Doreen Cronin

I love the Chicken Squad books by Doreen Cronin and Gimme Shelter is no exception.  I adore the film-noirish narration of J.J. Tully, the retired Search-and-Rescue dog who introduces each of the Chicken Squad stories, his actual role in the action varying from book to book in the series. Gimme Shelter is almost exclusively the four members of … Continue reading

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN by Linda Mullaly Hunt

Shouting at the Rain is an okay story. It won’t shoot to the top of my Recommendations list for middle grade readers the way Hunt’s other works, Fish in a Tree and  One of the Murphys did.  This one was a 3.5/5 star read for me. Delsie lives with her Grammy on Cape Cod.  When we meet … Continue reading

MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina…2019 Newbery Medal

Merci Suarez Changes Gears has been on my To Be Read list for awhile and I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it.  Merci Suarez is in 6th grade.  She lives in Florida with her older brother, Roli, and her parents next door to her Tia Ines (and her twin boys) and her … Continue reading