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Teacher & Parent Recommendations

This category contains 144 posts

A TALE MAGNOLIOUS by Suzanne Nelson

Nitty is an orphan who has run away from the Grimsgate Orphanage. She happens upon Magnolious, a circus elephant about to be publicly executed for killing her trainer. Nitty instantly knows Magnolious is innocent and the two sort of rescue each other in the middle of one of the terrible dust storms that have been … Continue reading

ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS by Lindsay Lackey

All the Impossible Things was a 4/5 star read for me. I am slightly conflicted in my overall opinion because I feel like it could easily have been a 5-star book and I find that fact bothersome when I look at the story as a whole. THE STORY: 11-year-old Ruby (Red) Byrd has been in … Continue reading

BEVERLY, RIGHT HERE by Kate DiCamillo

I have to fess up and say that, although I love most of Kate DiCamillo’s work, I was not a fan of Raymie Nightingale. It has been a delightful surprise that I have truly enjoyed both Louisiana’s Way Home and this newest addition, Beverly, Right Here. We were introduced to Beverly Tapinski in Raymie Nightingale … Continue reading

GUTS by Raina Telgemeier

Guts is the new graphic novel by middle grade powerhouse Raina Telgemeier. It’s the autobiographical story of her struggle to identify and find ways to manage her severe anxiety issues. Telgemeier does a fabulous job relating symptoms that first appear as those similar to a known illness, like the flu. When, by way of elimination, … 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

OTHER WORDS FOR HOME by Jasmine Warga

When we first meet 12-year-old Jude she is living in Syria with her parents and her older brother, Issa. Jude and her friend Fatima love to watch older American rom-com movies and act them out at home. Jude dreams of being a famous actress like Julia Roberts. As the unrest in Syria builds (mid-2010s), Issa … 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