I believe Catherine, Called Birdy (Grades 5-9, Level X, Lexile 1170) by Karen Cushman first exposed me to a certain brand of literary wit that I have come to love—the feminist kind. I distinctly remember feeling more sophisticated after reading this book. I chuckled at the wry humor and enjoyed figuring out the medieval vernacular. […]
Several years ago, I picked up a book 100% because of its dramatic cover. On the cover was a scuba diver in yellow to red waters with a thought bubble asking, “How could we let this happen?” As I began reading, I found not only captivating design and illustrations, but also an interesting book about […]
A few weeks ago, I listened to a delightful podcast where Matthew Winner did an author interview with Karen Rivers about her new book The Girl in the Well is Me (Grades 5-8). Matthew, an elementary school librarian, said he had NEVER, ever read anything quite like this book for middle grade. That intrigued me, […]
Joan Skraggs, the protagonist in The Hired Girl (Grades 6-9, Level Z, Lexile 810) has been likened to Anne Shirley and Jo March. Similar to those wholesome gals who I loved in my youth, Joan is a character I quickly became invested in. I truly cared about her well-being, lamented sorrows and celebrated her successes. By the end of the story, she was elevated to “fictional friend” (we all have those, right?). For me, this […]
Literary experts everywhere are publishing lists of their favorite books of the year. At Booksource, we’re starting to place bets on which titles will win a prestigious award at the ALA Youth Media Awards (mark your calendars for the announcements on January 11 as ALA Midwinter is early this year). The stakes are getting high, […]
I picked up Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures (Grades 3-7, Lexile 690) because I saw the name Maggie Stiefvater on a bright, cheery middle-grade Scholastic cover. I was curious because, of course, I associate her name with fantasy YA titles (namely, books from The Wolves of Mercy Falls and The Raven Cycle series). Based […]
Read alouds can be a great vehicle to introduce lessons across the curriculum. They can help build background knowledge and provide a captivating hook to start a lesson. The right book—one with captivating and pertinent information that rolls nicely off the tongue—is the key to consolidating your educational efforts! Check out these new picture book […]
Sarah Albee’s Why’d They Wear That? (Grades 5-8) is a fascinating journey through the history of fashionistas from around the globe. It begins with a fitting quote:
Broken down into nine chapters that each tackle a different period of history, Why’d They Wear That? offers a great way to sneak in a history lesson with a […]
A Booksource Banter Exclusive: Q and A with Author Sarah Albee on Her New Book Why’d They Wear That?
What inspired you to write Why’d They Wear That?
Many of my books become “parents” to the next one. In my Poop Happened (Grades 5-9) book, I had a chapter about so-called “filth diseases,” and realized that certain of those diseases—such as typhus, plague, malaria, even sometimes typhoid and dysentery–were vectored by insects. I […]