Tag Archives: cybils

And the winner is…

Happy Valentine’s Book Giveaway Day!  In the spirit of sharing the book love, I held a contest on my blog to give away a signed ARC of Linda Sue Park’s incredible MG novel Keeping Score.  And in the spirit of entertaining my children, we devised a fun, Valentine-loving way to pick a winner. First, I […]

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Blog Soup

Sometimes I try to make soup out of all the leftovers in the refrigerator.  Today’s post is blog soup — all the little notes I’ve been meaning to mention but haven’t had time.  One of my favorite indies, Flying Pig Books in Shelburne, VT,  was nominated for the Lucille Micheels Pannell Award honoring bookstores that […]

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Seeing Sky-Blue Pink

Most of the Cybils finalists for the middle grade fiction category were skewed toward the higher end of middle grade, more appropriate for the 10-12 crew than for kids who are 8-9 years old.  That said, those of us who served on the nominating panel read — and loved — some wonderful books for the […]

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Novels in Verse…Not just for girls!

Many of the 7th grade girls I teach LOVE novels written in verse.  They devour anything by Sonya Sones, and then I usually steer them to Karen Hesse and others who seem to capture that same magic but in different ways.  Novels in verse, well written, pack a lot of punch with few words, and […]

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Pippi is back!!

I remember loving Pippi Longstocking when I was seven or eight years old.  I was a rule-follower, but there was something about Pippi’s attitude that absolutely enchanted me.  I loved that she slept with her feet on the pillow.  I loved that she had a monkey for a pet and threw dishes out of a […]

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Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam

Certain books should come with a warning label:  Do not read in a room full of 7th graders (unless they’re already used to seeing you sob your way through middle grade novels). Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam is one of those books. I know what a gifted writer Cynthia Kadohata is, but I still […]

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The Wild Girls

The Wild Girls is a book for writers.  It’s a book for girls who don’t always follow the rules and for girls who play with spotted newts.  As a girl who enjoys writing, newts, and occasional rule-breaking, I fell in love immediately.  Pat Murphy tells the story of two girls — the rule-following Joan (aka […]

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Leepike Ridge

The used book gods were smiling on me last weekend.  Somehow,  a copy of Leepike Ridge ended up in the Barnes & Noble bargain room for three dollars.  I scarfed it up and read it in two sittings that would have been one sitting if people around here hadn’t started getting hungry on Sunday.  It […]

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Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree

This story begins Emma Jean Lazarus opens a door.  Literally, it’s the door to the girls’ bathroom at school, where she finds Colleen Pomerantz (a kind, sensitive girl and not one of the usual 7th grade criers) sobbing over a problem with a friend.  Figuratively, it’s the door we all open when we make the […]

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Me and the Pumpkin Queen

This is one of those books that sneaks up on you.  It caught me off guard.  Based on some positive reviews I’d read and the back cover blurb, I expected it to be cute. I thought I’d kind of like it.   I didn’t expect to be so swept up in Mildred’s quest to grow the […]

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