This Mother’s Day – FLIP for Literacy

You know you’re excited about a project when … you smile all day long thinking about all of the possibilities ahead.  That’s how I feel about our Family Literacy Integration Project. To help spread the joy, I thought I would do something fun that will make LOTS of people smile.

mother's day raffle


mother's day literacy fundraiserIn honor or Mother’s Day – and Moms everywhere – we’re having a Mother’s Day Library Gift Book Raffle. Our prize package is 52 hardcover books that the winner will donate to their favorite school or local library in mom’s name.  The collection is a well-balanced mix. There are …

  • board, picture, and chapter books;
  • fiction and nonfiction for all ages infant to 13;
  • award-winning and multi-award-winning books;
  • bilingual text in Spanish and Chinese;
  • with diverse stories, genres, and characters.

View the full collection of 52 books here.

[PDF with book cover images, loosely sorted by theme.]

Why spend money on flowers for Mother’s Day?

books about familiesWith our Mother’s Day raffle, you’re are saying “thanks, Mom” with an everlasting gift for children and their families for years to come! Even if you don’t win the raffle, you’ve made an impact! You have helped a 100% volunteer organization make a difference for at-risk readers and their families.

The 52-book prize is valued at more than $860 dollars. Ten times the cost of the raffle ticket, which is $75.00. We’ll hold our drawing on Thursday, May 9, 2015, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. We’ll contact the winner so that we can send them a personalized gift certificate to print and put into their Mother’s Day card!

If you don’t win and you would like a certificate to say you made a donation in your mom’s name this Mother’s Day, we’re happy to do that, too!

Enter Now

Oh! If you have any questions, please contact us at this email thereadingtub [at] gmail [dot] com.

The Reading Tub is a 501(c)(3) public charity with a family literacy mission. Our EIN is available via, or we’re happy to email it to you.

Septone – a Throwback Thursday for National Poetry Month

To all my poetry friends and friends who are poets: I confess, I did not remember what a septone poem is.

Here is a great definition I found at Mr. Kelly’s Place, a Weebly blog by an Ontario, Canada, educator.

A Septone poem consists of 7 lines of simple, just-for-fun, unrhymed verse. Authors commonly use their 7 digit home or cellular phone number (no area codes required) as the digits in the phone number help to establish the number of syllables the author will use per line (assume that zero requires ten syllables). There is no set topics with Septones and students are encouraged to create a story with a beginning, middle and end.  Because of the limited lines and syllables, the author has to get right to the action and may have to cut out certain words (a, the, as, ect.) in order to get their ideas across.

When I discovered that a Septone is often built from a phone number, it was my natural choice for Throwback Thursday! Thanks to the Septone in my eight grade poetry notebook, I now remember what our phone number was way back when. [And yes, it had a cord, hung on the wall, and a rotary dial.]

Terry’s Throwback Thursday Septone

This week I didn’t include the actual poem – the scan was too faint. So I’ll share the illustration!

septone illustration

7 “Ma, can we go to the beach?
7 Can I go dig in the sand?
6 Come down to the water!
5 the water’s too cold.
3 I’m hungry.
9 Let’s walk down to the water for some
1 shells.”

Although I have updated previous poems from my notebook. This is going to remain an historical piece relegated to Throwback Thursday.

With everyone having their own phones these days, you could have your own Septone Poetry Festival!

Resources for Writing Septone Poems

Other than educator websites, I could not find any great resources for writing septones. If you know of one, please add it to the comments!

Poetry Plot – Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook

Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato

Publisher: Holiday House, 2011
Material: Paperback
Genre: mystery, poetry, friendship, life lessons

The thief is a poet – or is it a poetry thief? First Slurpy, then a keychain … Ms. Herschel’s classroom is a thief magnet! Convinced that he will solve the crime first, Edgar Allen starts a notebook. H isn’t Wordsmith Elementary’s only junior detective. Solving the crime becomes a contest and testament to friendship, judging others, and jumping to conclusions!

Interest level: 7 to 12. Recommended Ages:

  • read together: 7 to 10
  • read yourself: 9 to 12

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud

Parent Reader: I loved this book!  We see the world largely through Edgar’s eyes, not just at school, but at home too. The word play, references to great poets, and “revisions” of their work makes this all the more unique. This is a fractured fairy tale, but poetry!

Bottom Line: The students in Ms. Herschel’s class are authentic and the story is fun. When you put it all together: mystery + humor + short chapters + rhyme – you have a story that is a great choice for all readers. The story is easily followed and would make a nice selection for mixed age audiences, too.

Our Recommendation: Buy. This is one of the few mysteries we’ve found where you’ll want to go back to the book even after you’ve solved the mystery. The poetry plot makes it fun to re-read the clever, original poetry that peppers the story.

If you liked this, you might also like:

Educational Themes:

This is a poetry plot at its best! There are  plot weaves tons of poems and poetry concepts woven into the story. Whether you pull them out as you read along or go back and study them after the mystery is solved, you have a lot to work with to bring this book to life.


1. The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book was given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

2. This post contains affiliate links to Purchases made through those links can result in earnings for the Reading Tub and its literacy mission.