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Read-Aloud Suggestions

This category contains 173 posts

THE THIRD MUSHROOM by Jennifer L. Holm

The Third Mushroom is a sequel to Holm’s delightful The Fourteenth Goldfish. All the characters from the first book are back: we have 14-year-old Ellie, her best friend, Raj, Ellie’s parents, and Ellie’s grandfather, Melvin–a world-renowned scientist now living in the body of a 14-year-old boy (thanks to the events in The Fourteenth Goldfish). Technically … Continue reading

THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS by Onjali Q. Rauf

There are many things about The Boy at the Back of the Class that make it a great reading choice for the younger middle grades–more 3rd & 4th grade specifically. Alexa is 9 3/4 years old. A new student named Ahmet appears one day at the formerly empty desk at the back of the classroom. Alexa’s … Continue reading

FALLING FOR RAPUNZEL by Leah Wilcox Illustrated by Lydia Monks

Lately I have been completely occupied with directing a couple of fractured fairy tales for the stage with young actors (6th – 9th grade). Fractured fairy tales or interesting fairytale retellings are one of my favorite things so I thought I would share one of my long-time favorites today. Falling For Rapunzel is one of … Continue reading

A DROP OF HOPE by Keith Calabrese

A Drop of Hope is a sweet story about the small town of Cliffs Donnelly, Ohio (although someone has vandalized the sign leading into the town so that it reads: If Only, Ohio). Cliffs Donnelly, like so many other small towns in the U.S., is barely surviving; the factory that employs many of the inhabitants … Continue reading

FAME AND GLORY IN FREEDOM, GEORGIA by Barbara O’Connor

  Today I want to share a book that I read for the first time almost ten years ago and it immediately became a fixture on my “All-Time Favorites” list.  I found Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia by accident at the library. I was looking for a book by another author whose last name … Continue reading

PLANET EARTH IS BLUE by Nicole Panteleakos

Planet Earth is Blue centers on Nova Vezina, an autistic, largely nonverbal 12-year-old who loves astronomy and is anxiously awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. She and her sister, Bridget, have been in foster care for several years. Nova’s story begins with the words: “Bridget was gone.” We realize, through flashback, that … Continue reading

CAN I BE YOUR DOG? by Troy Cummings… 2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

I confess, I am a dog person all the way! I love stories about dogs and Can I Be Your Dog? is a sweet addition to my picture-books-with-dogs-as-featured-characters list. Arfy the dog wants to belong to someone.  He writes a letter to every house on Butternut Street with all kinds of reasons why he would be … Continue reading

CRASH, SPLASH OR MOO by Bob Shea…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Starring:  Action Clam Also Starring: Cow Your Host: Mr. McMonkey Before I start this review I need to acknowledge that I love Bob Shea’s work.  I love his sense of humor–both in its cleverness and its broadness of scope. So I was prepared to love this book before I read it.  I was not disappointed.  … Continue reading

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