Tag Archives: elementary school age

30 Chapter Books Featuring Black Protagonists

11 Mar


I started this just as a middle grade list, but didn’t want to ignore the littles who are just starting out in the chapter books world, so I featured books for kids from about 1st/2nd grade to 8th grade.  Of course, you don’t have to be in elementary or middle school to enjoy these books! I also included some books featuring biracial characters and characters from the Caribbean – specifically trying to promote as many different types of books as possible.  If I’ve offended anyone, this is not my intent! Some of these books deal with being different, because of the character’s skin color, while others are realistic fiction about everyday life and still others are historical fiction or fantasy.  Also, if you have other books that I missed (because 30 just isn’t enough) please let me know!

  1. EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner
  2. Lulu and the Duck In the Park by Hilary McKay
  3. Nikki and Deja by Karen English
  4. Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes
  5. Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson
  6. The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
  7. The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
  8. Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  9. Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
  10. The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison Levy
  11. The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
  12. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey
  13. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
  14. Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  15. Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  16. As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
  17. Kickoff! by Tiki and Ronde Barber
  18. Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith
  19. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  20. Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg
  21. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  22. This Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  23. The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  24. The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
  25. The Buried Boxes Mystery by Sharon M. Draper
  26. Brand New School, Brave New Ruby by Derrick Barnes
  27. Miami Jackson Gets It Straight by Patricia C. McKissack
  28. Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake
  29. Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
  30. Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards

7 Mar

AWARD-SEAL-2017-combinedThe 2017 Children’ & Teen Choice Book Awards are ready to be voted on from March 3 – May 7. This is the only national book award that is voted on only by kids and teens.  A number of schools and states have their own awards, but this is the only national award.  To vote, head over to the Every Child A Reader website, where kids can vote or teachers and librarians and place a group ballot for classes and schools. The website also has printable ballots, I voted stickers and more!

The Awards are broken down into four categories with seven finalists in each category. The finalist are:


  • DON’T WAKE UP THE TIGER, by Britta Teckentrup (Candlewick/Nosy Crow)
  • FRANKENCRAYON, by Michael Hall (HarperCollins/Greenwillow)
  • KING BABY, by Kate Beaton (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books)
  • MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG, by Lisa Papp (Peachtree Publishers)
  • NANOBOTS, by Chris Gall (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • PEEP AND EGG: I’M NOT HATCHING, by Laura Gehl; illus. by Joyce Wan (Macmillan/Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers)
  • THE THANK YOU BOOK, by Mo Willems (Disney-Hyperion)


  • THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER, by Carl Sommer; illus. by Ignacio Noe (Advance Publishing)
  • DUCK ON A TRACTOR, by David Shannon (Scholastic/Blue Sky)
  • THE HOLE STORY OF THE DOUGHNUT, by Pat Miller; illus. by Vincent Kirsch (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  • NOODLEHEAD NIGHTMARES, by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss; illus. by Tedd Arnold (Holiday House)
  • ONCE UPON AN ELEPHANT by Linda Stanek; illus. by Shennen Bersani (Arbordale Publishing)
  • WHOOSH!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream Of Inventions, by Chris Barton; illus. by Don Tate (Charlesbridge)
  • WOLF CAMP, by Andrea Zuill (Random House/ Schwartz & Wade)


  • BOOKED, by Kwame Alexander (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  • FUZZY, by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger (ABRAMS/Amulet)
  • GARVEY’S CHOICE, by Nikki Grimes (Boyds Mills Press/WordSong)
  • HILO BOOK 2: Saving the Whole Wide World, by Judd Winick (Random House/Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • MAKER LAB, by Jack Challoner (DK)
  • THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY 1: Locker Hero, by Rachel Renée Russell (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin)
  • WET CEMENT, by Bob Raczka (Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press)


  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY, by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
  • CROOKED KINGDOM, by Leigh Bardugo (Macmillan/Henry Holt Books)
  • THE CROWN, by Kiera Cass (HarperCollins)
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script, by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany (Scholastic)
  • THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, by Nicola Yoon (Random House)
  • THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, by Sabaa Tahir (Penguin Young Readers)

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (Graphic Novel style)

10 Jan

missed 2016 titles.png

So I took this topic and focused solely on the graphic novels I want to read.  I’ve got a HUGE list of titles from the Nerdies Awards that I’d like to get to so I wanted to narrow my list a little and focus just on graphic novels.  As you can see there are titles for early elementary school age, middle grade and young adults – all on my TBR list!

  1. The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson
  2. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
  3. Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
  4. Compass South by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock
  5. Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper and Raul the Third
  6. Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
  7. Snow White by Matt Phelan
  8. Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  9. HiLo 2: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick
  10. The Imitation Game: Alan Turig Decoded by Jim Ottaviani

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created byThe Broke and the Bookish

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/9/17

9 Jan

I went through a bunch of picture books this week as I’m trying to go through all the Nerdies winners – I’ve finished all the picture book and easy reader/chapter books. This week included:

  • The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon Hale
    I love this series – a great girl power book that includes princesses and superheroes and villains too. This is also a great introduction to chapter books and a great option for a read aloud for younger kids as well.
  • Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon
    I love Salina’s adorable illustrations and the little duck in this book cracks me up – all-knowing and just wishing someone would pay attention to them.
  • I Am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer
    A biography of a fascinating woman who proved that she could do anything she wanted and in so doing taught the world about chimpanzees.
  • Dear Dragon by Josh Funk
    I was lucky enough to meet Josh Funk, first on Twitter and then in real life at a book festival. He’s a great guy and an amazing picture book author with ideas like this one. Who doesn’t love to receive mail, especially from a pen pal? Until the pen pals meet and they realize they weren’t who they expected!
  • Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
    Ada doesn’t talk right away, but when she does she asks a lot of questions, thankfully her family embraces her desire to find answers by encouraging her  interest in science.
  • Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol
    A grandmother just wants to be left alone and sets out on an impossible journey to find some quiet to finish her knitting. She thought her house was too busy, until she meets bears, goats, and aliens!
  • Shy by Deborah Freedman
    Shy is very… shy and until now he’s only ever read about birds, but oh, how he loves them. Finally a real bird comes along, will he be brave enough to meet the bird himself?
  • Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
    A made up language makes this a challenging read, until you get the beautiful rhythym, it also forces you to really examine the illustrations to fully understand the story. An amazing creation by Carson Ellis.

And finally, I’m working my way through The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz. I didn’t get to read as much of this as I wanted to this week, but I love the historical storyline and the magical realism that I’ve encountered so far. Plus, illustrations by Hatem Aly are not only really unique to this book, but also very entertaining.

My plan for the next week is to finish The Inquisitor’s Tale and hopefully work on a few other middle grade novels that I still need to read from 2016. I also still have The Reader by Traci Chee, which is my absolute next read as I keep seeing it EVERYWHERE! The ALA YMAs are coming up in a couple of weeks and I have a few more books I want to finish before the awards are announced.


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/19/16

19 Dec

I spent another great week reading!  This is becoming a trend (again) and I love it!  I’m still working my way through The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, but I also read Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep by Abby Hanlon and Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet. It was a really great weekend of reading!

I’ve got a lot of reading planned for this holiday week, we’ll see how much reading I actually get to:

  • When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
  • Gertie’s Leap of Greatness by Kate Beasley
  • The Inquisitor’s Tale Or The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Reader by Traci Chee
  • Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner
  • The Bookshop On the Corner by Jenny Colgan


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

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