Power Up: A Visual Exploration of Energy by Shaker Paleja and Glenda Tse is a visually appealing and easily accessible book about energy for the upper elementary school and middle school student to enjoy perusing. Each page provides a huge amount of detail but the format of the pages gives the book a casual feel

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Thirty Million Words by Dana Suskind is about the literacy project of the same name that focuses on improving children’s access to language from day one. In the first three years of life, children should hear 30 million words to improve their chances for learning and growth for their entire life! I enjoyed reading the research

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The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination by Barry Strauss (Simon & Schuster, March 2015) examines the traditions of the assassination of Julius Caesar, clearing up the myths (such as Shakespeare’s play) from reality. Analyzing such a historic event from 44 B.C. is not easy since eyewitness accounts are few and far

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The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller is a helpful book for educators and parents to gain ideas on how to help children embrace and love free reading time. The emphasis is on letting children choose their books while providing guidance as experts in children’s literature. Our goal is

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The easily accessible text and the fun related activities make The Great Depression for Kids by Carol Mullenbach (Chicago Review Press, July 2015) a fantastic choice for the young student in upper elementary school or older that is interested in learning more about the era in our history. The text covers life before the Great

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a poetic autobiographical reflection on the author’s childhood. The writing is sparse, written in free verse, and yet each poem packs a punch of emotion. Ms Woodson recalls her earliest of memories (fictionalizing events as necessary). Her early childhood is spent with her grandmother and grandfather in South

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir by Michael Hicks (University of Illinois Press, March 2015) is a biography of the choir itself. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I’ve grown up with the choir: songs during the biannual general conferences, recordings in my home. Because of my background, I was interested

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School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruur and illustrated by Alice Feagan (Kids Can Press, 2015) captures Malala’s vision in the epigram at the beginning: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education.” In the cut-paper collage illustrations, the stories of real children around the

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I read How We Learn by Benedict Carey (Random House, September 2014) at much the same time as I read Born Reading, so I found the correlation between the two quite interesting. Both books were written for very different and unique reasons and for different audiences. But, since I’m a homeschooling mom, I found that

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Born Reading by Jason Boog (Touchstone, September 2014) is the best go-to book for figuring out how to teach your child to love reading. I’ve read books before about encouraging your child’s literacy, and they have been great. But what Born Reading does is address the issue for the now generation: the generation of ipads

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