Caldecott Buzz and Possible Picks

Book award committees have such a delightfully difficult task. The ALA Caldecott awards will be announced, among others, on Monday, January 11, and there is always much discussion in the book world leading up to the event. This year there seem to be a lot of books that are nice but don’t contain much of […]

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Prognosticating the Newberys

On Monday, the American Library Association will announce the winners of their annual Youth Media Awards.  The oldest and most prominent of these is the John Newbery medal, given “to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”* I’m not sure why the ALA words it this way, since the award […]

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Newberry Buzz: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

Today wraps up our discussion of middle-grade novels being touted as possible contenders for the 2016 Newbery Award.  The awards will be announced early this year: January 11.  So on Saturday Betsy and Janie will post their highly-anticipated predictions.  Check back next week to see how we did! Betsy: Gary D. Schmidt is yet another […]

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Newbery Buzz: Drowned City by Don Brown

Continuing our series of discussions about “buzz” books, this time Janie and Betsy look at a nonfiction work in graphic novel format. Betsy: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans is getting buzz on several Mock lists. Because it is a nonfiction graphic novel, I’ve heard it thrown about as a possible Caldecott, Newbery, and/or Sibert candidate. […]

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2016 Reading Challenge for Kids with Printable

The Grown-Ups’ 2016 Reading Challenge Perhaps you have seen Tim Challies‘s  2016 Reading Challenge. Inspired in part by an original PopSugar reading challenge, Challies has broken his challenge down into different levels of readers: those who might just want to tackle one book a month (“Light”) all the way to those who want to read two books every week […]

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Newbery Buzz: Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Continuing our series of discussions on contenders for the 2016 Newbery Award, Janie and Betsy turn their attention to a previous honor winner . . . Betsy: The Gaither sisters are back in a third installment: Gone Crazy in Alabama. Rita Williams-Garcia took home a 2011 Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award for […]

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Newbery Buzz: The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Betsy and Janie are continuing their discussion of possible 2016 Newbery Award winners.  On deck today is a novel  by a debut author which has already been honored as a National Book Award finalist. Janie: I heard someone mention lately that most of the children’s books getting the rave reviews this year seem to be […]

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Septimus Heap

Originally published a couple years ago, this post explores one fantasy series for middle grade readers.    You know you have a good book . . . . . . when you love it so much that as soon as you finish it, you read it aloud to your younger siblings, and they love it. […]

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Newbery Buzz: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Continuing our series of middle-grade fiction touted as possible Newbery winners: Janie: Kenneth Oppel is best known for light-hearted steampunk fantasy, like the Airborn series and The Boundless. He showed us a bit of his dark side with This Dark Endeavor and Such Wicked Intent, the first two volumes of a trilogy about young Victor […]

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The Nutcracker: This is That Time of Year

The Nutcracker ballet is part of many Americans’ yearly cultural celebration of Christmas. The music plays everywhere, and even young children often recognize the strains of the “Waltz of the Flowers” or the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.” If this rings true for your household, check out one of the books below to further your […]

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Newbery Buzz: Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin

It’s that time again!  Less than a month before the American Library Association announces their Youth Media Awards, and chief among them is the coveted Newbery medal.  The speculation has begun, and for the next few weeks, Betsy and Janie are going to be talking about some of the leading contenders.  Please note: our discussion […]

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