Tag Archives: summer reading

Children’s Resource: Reading Beyond Booklist

16 Jun

ReadingBeyondLOGO-_FINALI’m so excited to promote this amazing booklist, just in time for summer reading and all those parents looking for books for their kids who read beyond their grade level.

The Reading Beyond booklist is a list of “75 titles chosen by the ALA-CBC (American Library Association & Children’s Book Council) Joint Committee to provide guidance to parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and anyone interested in discovering books for children who read at an advanced level and are seeking more challenging, but still age-appropriate, books.” (CBC website)

The list is broken down into three areas:

  • Kindergarten & 1st graders reading at a 3rd grade level
  • 2nd & 3rd graders reading at a 5th grade level
  • 4th & 5th graders reading at a 7th grade level

This list was curated with special care looking for diverse titles in different genres in the hopes that there is something for each and every child looking for some new titles. And I know, because I was able to be on this amazing committee working on this list for the past year. It was not an easy list of books to come up with as there was a lot of back and forth – whether the content was appropriate for the reader, whether the reading level was too easy or too difficult and ensuring that diversity was well represented with the list.

Share this great curated and annotated reading list with friends, family and your libraries!

The Big Nate Effect

18 May

BigNateBannerThis is something that has been going on for at least the past two years and it’s a phenomenon that my children’s librarian and I can’t figure out. We have at least two copies of every single Big Nate  book written by Lincoln Peirce. And there aren’t only a couple books in this series… there are over 20 books! And on any give day in our library you won’t be able to find a single copy of the series on the shelf. With summer coming, we’re talking about how many more copies we need to order.  Usually during the school year, the library isn’t quite as busy for elementary school age kids, but the summer brings them in droves and without any copies on the shelf now, we’re going to have a bunch of disappointed kids.

We can place holds and borrow copies from other libraries in our consortium, but it can take up to a week to get to our library and for kids that’s an eternity! So, we’re most likely going to by a few more copies to try and offer a booklist for Big Nate Read Alikes for when there is nothing on the shelf.

What books are never on your shelves? (Or do your kids read over and over again?)

Maker Monday: Stop Motion Animation

18 Aug

Our program is geared toward children entering 3rd – 6th grade in the fall.  We only register 20 kids for the program because we only have 10 iPads and with technology and science programs, less is more. This is our second Maker Monday program of the summer featuring our iPads and the creation of stop motion animation movies that the kids created themselves.

We had about 18-20 kids show up, so there were 2-3 kids at each iPad working together to create their movie.  We first talked about stop motion and what it takes to create a stop motion animated movie and then I really just let the kids loose!  I ended up giving them about 40 minutes to work on their projects and in reality they probably could have worked for at least another hour.  It took a lot of time for some of them to decide on a story line and plot using the options we had.  I gave them the chance to use clay, Lego mini-figures, backdrops I created, and paper, crayons and other craft supplies.  I was so amazed by how well the kids did and how much time they spent working on their projects.  Usually, you’ll get that one group who finished their project in 5 minutes and doesn’t want to do anything else, but these groups tried a variety of different things and continued working on their projects and really thought creatively for cool solutions to problems.  We used the iPad app – Smoovie – which was a free option, not too difficult to use and the kids were amazed to see their creations at the end of the hour.  Like I said, if I offer this program again, I’d more than likely give them a couple hours to work on it, maybe offering time slots on a Saturday or day off from school to give them the time they really needed.  Needless to say, the kids had a lot of fun and I enjoyed watching them work!


Level Up: Pairing Video Games with Children’s and YA Books (Disney Infinity)

18 Aug
Level Up- Video Game Book ListsEach Thursday this summer, I’ll be posting a video game and corresponding book list. This is just a fun, personal project that was actually the brainchild of my boyfriend who thought that A) it sounded awesome and B) that there are a lot of parents who would love to have some resources for those kids who would rather be in front of a screen than a book. I’m hoping these titles will appeal to both boys and girls who love gaming and who do love storytelling; they just need the right book to make them readers. Each list will include the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating for the game. I know that every family is different, but want to make sure this information is provided as I’ll be offering lists for games for younger kids as well as teens.

Disney Infinity (E 10+)

Dinfinityisney Infinity is an action-adventure videogame focused around many of the popular Disney characters that kids know from their animated movies.  The books recommended are specifically focused around Disney and around the magical aspect that Disney brings to everything they create.  These are just a few examples, many bookstores and libraries will carry storybook versions of the Disney movies; all you need to do is ask for your favorite!  If you like the toys-to-life model, check out our list of books for fans of Skylanders!

Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers series) by Ridley Pearson
Five young teens work as Holographic hosts at Walt Disney World when they all begin feeling the effects of this new technology.  Soon they are fighting Disney villains to save not only Walt Disney World, but the rest of the world as well in this fantasy thriller for middle grade readers. 

Disney/Pixar Character Encyclopedia by Steve Bynghall

Not a book you necessarily need to read cover-to-cover, the Disney/Pixar Character Encyclopedia has almost every character you ever wanted to learn about.  With information about almost 200 characters and pictures from the movies, you couldn’t ask for more for a Disney fan! 

Isle of the Lost (The Descendants series) by Melissa de la Cruz

Marketed as a prequel to the Disney Channel movie, Descendants, Isle of the Lost is about the children of the Disney characters (aka the descendants) both the good and bad.  And when the villain’s children go on a quest to find the magic that was stolen from them, nothing good can come of it. 

Who Was Walt Disney? by Whitney Stewart  

Part of the extremely popular “bobble head biographies” these biographies are easily accessible for young readers who want to learn more about how Mickey Mouse and Disney World came to be.  A great introduction for readers in upper elementary school and middle school. 

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories series) by Chris Colfer

Not a Disney book, The Wishing Spell is the first in a series about twins, Alex and Conner, who fall into the Land of Stories through a book of fairy tales they used to read with their dad.  After encountering the characters they grew up listening about, they may find it harder to get home than they originally thought in this adventure story for middle grade readers.

Video Game Booklists:


30 Jul

It’s been a crazy summer so far and we still have a few weeks left of summer reading,so I’m taking a little break “down the shore” (as they say in the Philly-area) this weekend! Hopefully to get some reading done! See you Monday!

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