Teaching the Classics: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Giveaway!)

With so many exciting, new titles published each year, it’s common for teachers to debate the relevance of the classics to today’s students. Are these books still relevant? Do they represent our world as it looks today? 
Answers to these questions are mixed—and hardly definitive. But with many classics topping this list of Teachers’ Top 100 […]

By |November 30th, 2017|Chapter Books|0 Comments

17 Books for Readers Who Love Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Keep scrolling to the bottom of this post to enter for a chance to bring another popular middle grade series, the Dork Diaries, to your classroom!

With a total of eleven (soon to be twelve!) books in the series, four Hollywood film adaptations and millions of loyal fans, Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books […]

By |October 6th, 2017|Chapter Books|0 Comments

A New Middle Grade Title by the Author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

John Boyne’s The Boy at the Top of the Mountain (Grades 5-9) is an insightful and thought-provoking narrative that explores the atmosphere of Germany of the 1930s-40s and the rise of Hitler through the lens of an impressionable boy as he grows into a young man. Pierrot spends his young life in France with his […]

By |June 27th, 2016|Chapter Books|0 Comments

Tackling Mature Subjects with Kate Messner

Last night, I got into a deep discussion with my fiancée about the rules of magical wishing. Though every story about wishing varies, one golden rule and one golden consequence seem to prevail: the wish must be a selfless act, and there is always a catch. Kate Messner’s The Seventh Wish (Grades 3-6) spurred this […]

By |June 18th, 2016|Chapter Books|0 Comments

A One-of-a-Kind Middle Grade Novel (that’s Scary-Safe)

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, […]

By |April 2nd, 2016|Chapter Books|1 Comment

Booksource Book Club Reads The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Booksource Book Club invites you to read along with us! This month we gathered to talk about The Nest by Kenneth Oppel. The Nest is a suspenseful horror story that will keep young readers on the edge of their seats. I reviewed The Nest last year (it was one of my favorite books of the […]

By |March 15th, 2016|Chapter Books|0 Comments

Confessions of a Serial Reader

You’ve heard about those people. You know the ones. Like that lady who read 21 of the Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books and just got Tricky Twenty-Two for Christmas. She talks about the Women’s Murder Club like she’s a member and Alex Cross like they’re good friends. She’s the lady who pre-ordered every copy in […]

By |January 29th, 2016|Chapter Books|1 Comment

Embark on a Journey of Love & Friendship with Crenshaw

In Katherine Applegate’s new novel Crenshaw (Grades 5-9, Lexile 540), 10-year-old Jackson is consumed with worry as he watches his parents flounder under the weight of financial difficulties. Even though he’s young, he already has experience with these familiar adult stressors and remembers a time when his family was homeless. Jackson understands where the family […]

By |December 17th, 2015|Chapter Books|0 Comments

Don’t Get Stung! A Review of The Nest, by Kenneth Oppel

Cover image credit: HarperCollins Canada

“The first time I saw them, I thought they were angels…”

The Nest (Grades 5-8, Lexile: 640), the new psychological horror story by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel, is, hands down, my favorite book of the year.

Twelve-year-old Steve is home for the summer, but he isn’t able to enjoy his time off: his […]

By |December 15th, 2015|Chapter Books|0 Comments

A New Series about Magical Creatures Supports Scientific Thinking AND Writing!

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 […]

By |September 28th, 2015|Chapter Books|0 Comments