The Classroom Bookshelf
December 22, 2022 by Betsy Bird
These books, to my mind, represent the best that fantasy for kids in 2022 had to offer. Yes, there are magical creatures and world building, but some of the titles you'll find here are downright subtle. Take a gander. You'll see what I mean.
March 21, 2022 by Betsy Bird
The Lock-Eater is a marvelous example of how you may render old ideas new, if only you’ve the ability to combine smart, timely writing with the current zeitgeist. Our kids are lucky they get to tap into books like this. Let’s hope for more of the same.
December 21, 2021 by Betsy Bird
If you have a kid that loves fantasy, some of these books might fit the bill!
October 1, 2021 by Betsy Bird
It is truly rare to find a book like Much Ado About Baseball where math not only propels the plot forward, but also contains perfectly normal, sportsy characters for whom loving math is just one aspect of their personality. Add in baseball, Shakespeare, magic AND snacks and you’ve got yourself a unicorn of a book.
March 31, 2021 by Betsy Bird
A smartly plotted dip into the Gullah-Geechee culture of early 60s rural South Carolina, this book weaves family, history, and spooky stuff together like a braid.
December 22, 2020 by Betsy Bird
Here are the books I read in 2020 that I thought were just stand up and cheer great. Please bear in mind, though, that I missed a LOT of middle grade books this year. This is just a sampling of what was on offer . . .
February 22, 2016 by Betsy Bird
The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket Squirrel By Susan Hill Long Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-553-51134-2 Ages 9-12 On shelves May 10th What do you want from a fairy tale? Magic? Romance? Derring-do? Despicable villainy? Academics and scholars have puzzled […]
June 1, 2015 by Betsy Bird
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer By Kelly Jones Illustrated by Katie Kath Alfred A. Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-385-75552-8 On shelves now The epistolary novel has a long and storied history. At least when it comes to books written for adults. So too does it exist in […]
April 28, 2015 by Betsy Bird
The Jumbies By Tracey Baptiste Algonquin Young Readers $15.95 ISBN: 9781616204143 Ages 9-12 On shelves now “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” So sayeth Leo Tolstoy (at least in theory). Regardless of whether or not it’s actually true, it is fun […]
April 9, 2015 by Betsy Bird
Castle Hangnail By Ursula Vernon Dial (an imprint of Penguin Group) ISBN: 978-0803741294 Ages 8-11 On shelves April 21st These are dark times for children’s fantasy. Dark times indeed. Which is to say, when I pick up a fantasy novel for kids, more often than not I find the books filled with torture, violence, bloody […]
The Classroom Bookshelf
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