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Gone Fishing a Novel

Backyard Book Club: Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger

We had such a great time reading and celebrating Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger! This book is such a fun, fast read and a great way to introduce kids to all types of poetry. As usual, we started out with a brief book talk and discussed favorite parts and characters. (There were a lot!) Then […]

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Princess Juniper book cover

An Interview with Agent and PRINCESS JUNIPER Author Ammi-Joan Paquette

I’m thrilled to welcome my incomparable agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette, for an interview on the book birthday of her newest novel, Princess Juniper of the Hourglass. I got to hear Joan read an excerpt from this book recently, and now I’m devouring the rest. It’s wonderful, just like Joan herself! First, a little about the book, then on to […]

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Question Mark

My Book Has a New Title!

I’m thrilled to announce that my debut has a new title, and I’m absolutely crazy about it! Without further ado, here it is: The book is about the friendships and connections formed between three girls during the biggest summer of their lives, and the words “like magic” come from a line in the first chapter. […]

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Stack Of Books

Best Middle Grade Books of 2014: A List of Lists

Happy December! This is the season when everyone seems to weigh in on the best of everything. There are so many sites and sources listing their favorite books right now that I wanted to put them all in one place. Here are some lists of the best books for young readers (especially middle grade and […]

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Fortunately the Milk book cover

Fortunately, the Milk

About the Book: “I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see […]

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Fortunately the Milk Book Cover

Backyard Book Club: Fortunately, the Milk Overview

For a fun, fast book club pick, it would be hard to beat Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. Even our littlest members were able to finish this one, and there was plenty for the big kids to enjoy too. (Click here for the book spotlight with online resources and other ideas. As usual, we started with […]

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Colorful Milk Science

Our Backyard Book Club pick this month was Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, so naturally, we needed to do a milk science activity. This is a classic, colorful, and very cool “trick” that appeals to lots of ages. But of course, it’s even cooler if you know the science behind it. Materials: milk, dish soap, cotton […]

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Book with orange background

Five Favorites from 2014

Happy December! I’ve decided to spotlight my top ten middle grade and chapter book reads from 2014. (Not all of these books came out in 2014, but all eighty-one MG and CB titles I read for the first time this year were contenders.) Five are highlighted here–the five with (sometimes small) elements of fantasy–and the […]

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Kids holding open books

How to Start a Book Club for Kids

A couple of years ago, I asked the faculty at my kids’ elementary school what they hoped their future classes would do over the summer. Every single one of them said these words, or a slight variation:Read, Read, Read!For some kids, this means handing them a library card or pointing them to the bookcase and […]

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James and the Giant Peach Book Cover

Backyard Book Club: James and the Giant Peach Overview

The Backyard Book Club is back in action! For this month’s meeting, the kids read James and the Giant Peach, thanks to a request by one of our members. (Click here for the book spotlight with online resources and other ideas.) We started with a quick talk about what the kids loved best in the book, then went straight […]

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