Reading Ahead – Books for Ages 9 to 12 (July/August 2008)

The bookshelves continue to fill up with largely fantasy and science fiction … all of which are one volume or another of a series. Specific plot elements and character names aside, they are running together. Here’s what looks cool … and distinguishes itself because it’s NOT in that mix. Man in the Moon by Dotti Enderle This is a story set in Texas in the summer of 1961. What catches my eye about it is this part of the blurb: “When Ricky takes sick, really sick…Janine feels powerless to help her brother, but Mr. Lunas has a plan.” More and more, kids are having to deal with seriously ill relatives. This may be a story that helps them understand life. … Read more

Summer Reading

In the spirit of Independence Day weekend, I started cleaning and otherwise organizing my office. I even started fixing the files … and in the process, found my Record of Personal Reading; An Invitation to Personal Reading Program (Scott, Foresman and Company, 1967) filled with notes and reviews; a mimeographed copy of a Suggested Reading List that is described as “all-inclusive…[and] contains titles the authors have used in their Advanced Placement English classes” (broken out by genre); and my personally created “Terry’s Summer Reading List” for both 1981 and 1982. So, when I read Jennifer Armstrong’s In Praise of Lists over at I.N.K., and then I read the Summer Reading Rant at the Reading Zone, I had a nice laugh … Read more

The Book Bag, Books for ages 9 to 12, May/June 2008

Part of what makes this book bag the most fun to write is that it gives us a chance to showcase the reader’s work. The 9 to 12 target audience is the first one where we get to read what the kids think in their own words. As I previously mentioned in the Winder 2008 newsletter, we had lots of school requests for the Use Your ABCs program this past spring. It is so energizing to read what the kids are writing. Remember: these are the struggling and reluctant readers! The Dragon Tree by Jane Langton. Fans of the Hall Family Chronicles will love this next installment. We’ve never read any of the other titles in the series and enjoyed … Read more