Mar 062011

The Goose Girl

by Shannon Hale

She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother.

More about the book, discussion notes, excerpt, and where to buy the book =>

Jan 112011

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo’s debut novel wins a 2001 Newbery Honor and is a NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Bestseller!
The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket–and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship–and forgiveness–can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

Recalling the fiction of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers, here is a funny, poignant, and utterly genuine first novel from a major new talent.
An unforgettable first novel about coming of age one sweet summer–and learning to love what you have.

Book Club Discussion Questions

Activity sheet

Teacher’s Guide

Readers’ Club activities

Cause and effect lesson plan

Discussion Guide

Read an excerpt

Vocabulary lessons

Webquest for Because of Winn-Dixie

Create printable tests and worksheets from Because of Winn-Dixie questions

Writing encouragement for students

Activity Guide from Walden Media

Educator’s Guide

Information on topics related to the book

Book talks

Literature circle unit

Discussion questions

Character Education Lesson plan

Review and Discussion Questions

Figurative language lesson

Buy the Book

(Publisher’s Price is $15.99)

from Amazon for $5.99
or from me (for $6.05 – your choice will depend on your shipping price from Amazon probably) by clicking this button …

Movie Trailer

Nov 222010

Talk it Up!
Starting a bookgroup for kids? This is a great place to start. Talk it Up! provides information about how to start and run a bookgroup and over 150 discussion guides to use with specific books.
Need more ideas?

We’ve prepared many booklists for kids to help you make your reading selections.

Dec 042009

The Book Thief 

by Marcus Zusak

  • Format:  560 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers;
  • Published:  March 14, 2006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375831003

Reading level: Young Adult

 Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it,The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Markus Zusak talks about the writing of The Book Thief

Pre Reading Activities

Book Club discussion notes

Reading Group Guide – discussion questions

Marcus Zusak talks about writing The Book Thief

Jun 192009

Symphony Space’s Thalia Kids’ Book Club, now in its third season, will launch the first-ever Thalia Kids’ Book Club Camp this August. In addition to meeting with authors, young readers and writers will have the opportunity to take part in writing workshops, create writing portfolios and discuss books with their peers. Featured authors include Brian Selznick, Katherine Marsh and Michael Winerip. Additional information is available at the Symphony Space Web site.

Apr 252009

Common, the rapper known for his socially conscious themes and intricate lyrics, is a Grammy Award winner as well as the author of three books for children. A longtime advocate for urban youth, Common recently launched the Corner Book Club, an interactive book club for teens, on the Web site of his charity, the Common Ground Foundation.

Why start a book club?

I want to encourage youth to read. Reading is how you get information. Enlightenment. I remember reading as a child, and I’m still reading now to keep my mind fresh. To keep it functioning and healthy. more » » »

Feb 132009

If you’ve noticed the toys, jewelry, and other non-book items being sold by Scholastic in its elementary and middle school book club flyers, you’re not alone. A Boston-based advocacy group says the children’s publisher is abusing its position by peddling everything from games to makeup to classroom kids.

A review by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) found that one-third of the items for sale in these brochures are either not books or are books packaged with other items such as jewelry, video games, toys, or lip gloss.”The opportunity to sell directly to children in schools is a privilege, not a right,” says CCFC’s director, Susan Linn, who has launched a letter-writing campaign urging Scholastic to stop using its school-based book clubs to sell these items. more » » » 

Jan 202009
Australian childrens authors Deb Abela and Phil Kettle are working on a show , called Kidz Book Club,  made for the Internet that will review primary aged books, interview authors and illustrators and generally promote a love of books and reading in kids.  The authors along with two children will host the show. 
They are filming the first show in February and it will be delivered via an online subscription to schools and libraries all over the country. The first show will be ready in March.

There is a splash page with information at:
The finished website is being created now and will be online from late January.

Their main aim in doing this project is to create fast-paced, fun program that will appeal to kids from the reluctant reader to the avid bookworm.