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Teacher & Parent Recommendations

This category contains 142 posts

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

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

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