Archive for November, 2011

Two of the most popular books read by students in December are The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Polar Express.

For grades 4-7, the antics of the six Herdman kids as they participate in the community Christmas Pageant are told in an unconventional and hilarious way in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.
These are a few of the 25+ book-related teaching links for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in our database.

  • Audiobook Excerpt
  • Book Unit includes online and printable questions, vocabulary, and activities by chapter.
  • Guide includes a character list and questions.
  • Study Guide includes discussion questions and activities.

Students in grades K-3 will enjoy the story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve that takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg won the Caldecott Medal in 1986.
These are a few of the 40+ book-related teaching links for this title in our database.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

We are taking a short break and will be back with new posts next week.
We hope you have a wonderful and thankful holiday.

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The 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature has been announced. The winner is Thanhha Lai for Inside Out & Back Again.
Written for grades 4-8, the book uses a series of poems to tell the story of  Hà, a ten-year-old girl, who chronicles the life-changing year of 1975. Hà,  her mother and  brothers flee Vietnam at the end of the war and finally settle in Alabama, facing the struggles of being refugees in a new country.

Browse Inside the Book
Teaching Ideas

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The smell of Turkey roasting…mashed potatoes and gravy…cornbread dressing…pumpkin pie…and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
A holiday tradition in our house.

As long as I can remember, I have watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning. Who can forget the Kermit the Frog, Horton the Elephant, and Clifford the Big Red Dog balloons?

Now Melissa Sweet has written Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade for children in K-3. The book tells the story of puppeteer Tony Sarg, the man who first invented the helium balloons that have become the trademark of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Have fun using the Activity Kit that goes along with the book.

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The complete movie trailer for Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins was shown this morning on Good Morning America. I can’t wait for the movie release on March 23, 2012.

The novel focuses on a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another. Sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.

Here are some teaching links to resources.

Check our database for 30+ additional teaching links.

Book description from Library of Congress.
Linda’s Links to Literature is an Amazon affiliate.

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If you read yesterday’s post, you saw the list of books for children and teens with the most starred reviews along with the ones that have been recognized as best books by some major review sources.
More lists are being announced.

Amazon has released their lists of best books.

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The major review sources are starting to  release the books that are considered the best of the year. The list below contains those books selected by the New York Times and Publishers Weekly.

These are the books with the most starred reviews and best books recognitions so far from January – November.

Review Codes:
B – Booklist
BCCB – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
HB – Horn Book
K – Kirkus
PW – Publishers Weekly
SLJ – School Library Journal

2011 Best Books Recognitions Codes
NYT* – New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books
PW* – 2011 Best Books for Children

Six Starred Reviews
Chime by Franny Billingsley   B, BCCB, HB, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 9+)   Best Books: PW*

Five Starred Reviews

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet   B, HB, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)   Best Books: PW*
Drawing from Memory by Allen Say   B, BCCB, HB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 4-7)
Great Migration, The: Journey to the North by Eloise Greenfield     Illus. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist   B, BCCB, HB, PW   (Gr. 3-6)
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson   B, HB, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 4+)   Best Books: PW*
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai  B, K, BCCB, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 4-8)   Best Books: PW*
Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack   Illus. by Leo & Diane Dillon   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 3-5)
Steampunk! by Kelly Link   B, BCCB, K, SLJ, PW   (Gr. 9+)
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman   B, HB, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)

Four Starred Reviews
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming   BCCB, HB, K, SLJ  (Gr. 3-7)
Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King   B, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 9-12)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys   B, K, PW  (Gr. 7+)   Best Books: PW*
Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann     HB, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by Karen Blumenthal    BCCB, B, K, SLJ   (Gr. 8-12)
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu   BCCB, K, PW   (Gr. 4-7)   Best Books: PW*
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins   Illus. by Vickie White     HB, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor   BCCB, HB, K, PW   (Gr. 9+)   Best Books: PW*
Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator! by Mo Willems   HB, K, PW, SLJ   (K-Gr. 4)   Best Books: PW*
Hound Dog True by Linda Urban   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 4-7)
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma    BCCB, K, PW   (Gr. 9+)
Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 6-9)
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey    BCCB, HB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 9-12)
Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet   B, HB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 9-12)
Mine! by Shutta Crum   BCCB, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS)
Monster Calls, A by Peter Ness   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 7+)   Best Books: PW*
Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard   B, HB, PW SLJ   (Gr. 9+)
Perfect Square by Michael Hall   B, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Press Here by Hervé Tullet   HB, K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 1)   Best Books: PW*
Queen of Water by Laura Resau   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 8+)
Roots and Blues by Arnold Adoff     Illus. by Christie, R. Gregory   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 3-6)
Scorpio Races, The by Maggie Stiefvater   B, HB, K   (Gr. 8-12)   Best Books: PW*
Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean by Marc Aronson   B, HB, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 3-7)   Best Books: PW*
Titanic Sinks! by Barry Denenberg   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 5-8)
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 2-4)
Wild Wings by Gill Lewis   B, BL, K, PW   (Gr. 4-7)
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick   B, K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 4-8)   Best Books: PW*
Won Ton by Lee Wardlaw   Illus. by Eugene Yelchin   B, K, PW, SLJ   (K-Gr. 4)
You Against Me by Jenny Downham   B, K, PW   (Gr. 8-12)

Three Starred Reviews

Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, The by Robert Burleigh   Illustrated by Barry Blitt   BCCB, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 2-5)
All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino   K, PW, SLJ   (K-Gr. 4)
The Annoying ABC by Barbara Bottner   K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 1)
Anya’s Ghost by Veri Brosgol   BCCB, HB, K   (Gr. 8+)
Berlin Boxing Club, The by Robert Sharenow   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 7+)
Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael P. Kaplan   K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 1)
Blackout by John Rocco   K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)   PW*
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones   K, SLJ, PW   (Gr. 9+)   Best Books: PW*
Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman   B, K, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 2)
Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson   B, K, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 4)   Best Books: NYT*
Cheshire Cheese Cat, The by Carmen Agra Deedy   Illus. by Barry Moser   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 4-7)
City of Orphans by Avi   B, K, PW   (Gr. 5-8)
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos   HB, K, PW   (Gr. 5-8)   Best Books: PW*
Delirium by Lauren Oliver  BCCB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 9+)
Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O’Connell George     Illus. by Nancy Carpenter   BCCB, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 2-4)
Encyclopedia Mythologica: Dragons & Monsters by Matthew Reinhart & Robert Sabuda  HB, PW, SLJ   (PreS+)
Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King   B, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 9-12)
Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin   B, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 5+)   Best Books: PW*
Flint Heart, The by Katherine Paterson & John Paterson   K, SLJ, PW   (Gr. 3-6)   Best Books: PW*
Fly Trap by Frances Hardinge   BCCB, K, PW   (Gr. 6-10)
Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, The by Catherynne M. Valente   Illus. by Ana Juan   B, K, PW   (Gr. 5-9)   Best Books: PW*
House Baba Built, The by Ed Young   B, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 3-5)   Best Books: PW*
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr   B, K, PW   (Gr. 7+)   Best Books: PW*
I Am J by Cris Beam   B, BCCB, K   (Gr.9+)
Ice by Arthur Geisert   BCCB, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 2)   Best Books: NYT*
Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley   BCCB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 6-9)
Junonia by Kevin Henkes     B, K, PW   (Gr. 4-6)
Karma by Cathy Ostere   B, BCCB, SLJ   (Gr. 9-12)
Legend by Marie Lu   B, K, PW   (Gr. 7-12)   Best Books: PW*
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr 5-8)
Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell   B, HB, K   (K-Gr. 3)   Best Books: NYT*
Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story by Thomas F. Yezerski   HB, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Mostly True Story of Jack, The by Kelly Barnhill   (Gr 3-7)   B, K, PW
Mouse & Lion by Rand Burkert   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 2-6)   Best Books: PW*
Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Bartoletti   B, HB, K   (PreS-Gr. 1)
Nation’s Hope, A: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt de la Peña     Illus. by Kadir Nelson   B, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 1-5)   Best Books: NYT*
No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis   B, HB, SLJ   (Gr. 4-7)
Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 7+)
Okay for Now by Gary B. Schmidt   B, K, SLJ   (Gr. 5-9)
Orani: My Father’s Village by Claire A. Nivola    HB, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Pick-Up Game by Aronson, Marc & Charles R. Smith, Jr.   BCCB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 7-12)
Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly   Illus. by Stephen Michael King   BCCB, K, PW   (PreS-Gr. 2)
Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks   HB, K,  SLJ    (Gr. 9+)
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg   BCCB, PW, SLJ   (Gr. K-4)
RRRalph by Lois Ehlert   B, HB, K   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck   HB, K, SLJ   ( Gr. 3-7)
Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferrololo   K, PW, SLJ    (Gr. 5-9)
The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley   B, K, SLJ   (Gr. 5-8)
Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 5-8)   Best Books: PW*
Stars by Mary Lyn Ray   B, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 1)
Stay with Me by Paul Griffin   BBCB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 9-12)
Storm Called Katrina, A by Myron Uhlberg   Illus. by Colin Bootman  B, K, PW   (Gr. 2-6)
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell   BCCB, K, PW   (Gr. 8+)
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay   B, K, SLJ   (Gr. 6-9)
Then by Morris Gleitzman   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 6-8)
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel   BCCB, HB, PW   (Gr. 8-12)
This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal   Illus. by Jen Corace   B, BCCB, K   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jerry Pinkney   B, K, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 2)
Unforgettable Season, The by Phil Bildner and S. D. Schinder  K, PW, SLJ  (Gr. 1-6)
Voyage of Turtle Rex, The by Kurt Cyrus   K, PW, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 3)
Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf   B, HB, K   (Gr. 9-12)
Welcome to Bordertown by Holly Black   BCCB, K, SLJ   (Gr. 9+)
Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage   HB, K, PW   (K-Gr. 2)   Best Books: PW*
White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick   K, PW, SLJ   (Gr. 7+)
Who Has What?: All About Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies by Robie H. Harris  Illus by. Nadine Bernard Westcott    HB, K, PW   (K-Gr. 2)

Two Starred Reviews – Only books receiving Best Books recognitions are listed in this category.
Ball for Daisy, A by Chris Raschka   HB, SLJ   (PreS-Gr. 2)   Best Books: NYT*
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray   BCCB, SLJ   (Gr. 7-10)   Best Books: PW*
Divergent by Veronica Roth   PW, SLJ   (Gr. 9+)   Best Books: PW*
Future of Us, The by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler   B, PW   (Gr. 7-12 )   Best Books: PW*
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith   K, PW   (Gr. K-3 )   Best Books: NYT*, PW*
Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea by Tony Johnston, illus. by Stacy Innerst   PW, SLJ   (Gr. K-3)   Best Books: PW*
Sea of Dreams
by Dennis Nolan   K, PW   (PreS-Gr. 2)   PW*

One Starred Review – Only books receiving Best Books recognitions are listed in this category.
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva   SLJ   (Gr. )   Best Books: NYT*
Apothecary, The by Maile Meloy   PW   (Gr. 6-9)   Best Books: PW*
Chronicles of Harris Burdick, The by Chris Van Allsburg   PW   (Gr. 5-9)   Best Books: PW*
E_Mergency! by Tom Lichtenheld   PW   (Gr. 2-5)   Best Books: PW*
Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five by Valorie Fisher   PW   (PreS-K)   Best Books: PW*
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen   PW   (PreS-Gr. 3)   Best Books: NYT*, PW*
Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach   PW   (Gr. 3-7)   Best Books: PW*
Variant by Robison Wells   PW   (Gr. 8)   Best Books: PW*
Where She Went by Gayle Foreman   PW   (Gr. 9+)   Best Books: PW*
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley   PW   (Gr. 9)   Best Books: PW*

Books received no Starred Reviews but received Best Books recognitions.
Migrant by Maxine Trottier, illus. by Isabelle Arsenault   (Gr. K-5)   Best Books: NYT*
New Year’s Reunion, A by Yu Li-Qiong, illus. by Zhu Cheng-Liang   (Gr. K-3)   Best Books: NYT*

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.

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