Rick Riordan staked his claim on the adventure fantasy genre with his wildly humorous take on Greek mythology. Peter Lerangis followed a similar path by introducing a series on the ancient world wonders. Other authors, such as Eoin Colfer, Suzanne Collins, and John Flanagan, have put out fantasy series with staying power. After nearly a … More Middle Grade Adventure Fantasy
Look at the covers on these books! There’s never been a better time to be a kid if you love books. This is a well rounded group of mysteries. For the reluctant reader there’s Home Sweet Motel and Space Case. For fans of the Westing Game, there’s The Greenglass House and Winterhouse. For fans of … More Middle Grade Mysteries
The Cold War is a vague historical event to most kids. Because of that, it’s a hard sell. But there are some great historical fiction books out there needing to be read. All of these books deal with some aspect of Communism. Exposing truths in order to help kids understand the clash of ideology between … More Middle Grade Cold War Historical Fiction
Some kids just love a great scare, so I’m always on the lookout for books about haunted houses, ghosts and creepy characters who lurk. Mary Downing Hahn and Dan Poblocki have become the staples in this genre, but with the popularity of series, Grabenstein and Carman are definitely worth reading. These books are my favorites.
Every kid, teacher, librarian, parent and grandparent on the planet knows about the Wimpy Kid series. It’s number 1 on every reluctant reader list, so I mention it, but it’s not on my list. I’ve tried to get at some of those lesser known books that are sure to be a big hit for those … More Middle Grade Series for Reluctant Readers
Surprisingly, there aren’t as many great survival books as I thought. Boys especially like a good adventure packed with thrills, suspense, and survival curveballs. These books are the best I’ve read and are guaranteed to appeal to all adventure enthusiasts, both boys and girls.
Although refugee stories exist all across the globe, in all time periods, this group of books focuses on the tragedies in the Middle East and Africa. Almost always it is the result of a corrupt government or hatred between different ethnic or religious groups. Some of these books are newly published and some of them … More Middle Grade Refugee Historical Fiction
No book has influenced the fantasy genre like Harry Potter. Kids and adults alike continue to pay homage to a genre that was once reserved for the die-hards. Now it’s mainstream and people want more fantasy. Modern. Relatable. Fun. My personal favorite from this list is The Uncommoners about a secret society under London. It … More Middle Grade Magical Fantasy
Kids have a built-in curiosity about the struggles of other kids. Books are great for developing sympathy and understanding. These books cover many different types of disabilities, both physical and mental, and are very popular. Expect another list of books on this topic within the year.
Stories in verse are great for understanding complex historical events and encouraging the reluctant reader. These selections are some of my favorites from authors who have already established themselves as exceptional writers. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse Told from the perspective of a young girl who recounts the frequent struggles against the dust … More Middle Grade Stories in Verse
No horror story matches that of the German and Soviet attempts at ethnic cleansing that occurred during World War 2. The attempt to control the lives of the innocent citizens continued well into the Cold War. These are some of the best written recreations of what happened during that time.
In choosing these historical novels, I aimed to capture of a variety of events from the Civil Rights movement. You will find the Freedom Riders, Little Rock Nine, Ku Klux Klan, and Black Panthers in these pages. You will also experience the day to day struggles of segregation in public places and the racist comments … More Civil Rights Historical Fiction
If you have a dog, he’s probably your best friend. You’ll do anything for him. He’ll do anything for you. Dog stories tend to be tear jerkers. When you nearly lose your dog, it’s devastating. These are some of the best books for dog lovers.
All elementary school librarians have been there. You’re preoccupied with the checkout procedure and all Hell breaks loose. The attention-seeking, impulsive kid has found some recruits for a quick lesson in Boredom Prevention 101. Of course, they’re the kids who never return their library books so have nothing to do for the 15 minutes of … More Mini Makers
I’ve noticed that I’m stuck in bit of a collection development brain cloud right now. Don’t get me wrong. I know the importance of having a solid expertise in all the tech toys, but here’s the truth. In my heart, I love the books. I wish I had a magic wand to pass that love … More Finding the Perfect Book
You’ve finally made peace with the fact that the nonfiction section is the official No Man’s Land in your school. I know. It hurts. It’s hard to let go of a tradition that spans centuries. It’s hard to acknowledge that those beautiful, big repositories of information are no longer the preferred source for life’s big … More The New Nonfiction
There comes a time when every librarian must face the inevitable. The physical collection is no longer viable and must be weeded. I’m not talking about pulling a few books here or there. I’m talking about a full-on dump truck load of discards. The realization is usually painful and may take days or weeks to … More Let It Go…Let It Go