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Opening Up, Getting children to read this summer

Submitted By: Theresa Fagan

It’s summer at last, and school is over. As my children say, “Now we get to read what we want.” Wonderful books abound, and finding them has never been easier.

Many are old, but are much too good to be forgotten. Out of print? Not in the library? You can find these treasures on Alibris and Amazon.


So here, from our family to yours, are some of our favorite books.

Though grouped loosely by reading level, the books will interest readers of all ages. Yesterday our college daughter, riding to work on the metro, was laughing aloud over Bill Peet’s Autobiography with its big print and playful illustrations. She was the only adult reading a “kids’ book” and probably the only one so thoroughly enjoying herself.

PICTURE BOOKS

The memorable stories and the quality illustrations in these books are delightful. Naughty Nancy and others by John Goodall are out of print and impossibly expensive, but still are worth hunting down. The humor in One Summer at Grandmother’s House will probably appeal mostly to women.


Autobiography
——-Bill Peet

Chester: The Wordly Pig, etc. ——-Bill Peet

Piper——-Emma Chichester Clark

One Summer at Grandmother’s House——-Poupa Montaufier

The Owl and the Pussycat——-Edward Lear, illustrated by Jan Brett

Edith and Mr. Bear——-Dare Wright

Eloise——- Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight

Naughty Nancy, etc. ——-John Goodall (wordless, funny, works of art)

BOOKS FOR RELUCTANT READERS

When I was nine and resisting reading, my mother handed me Enid Blyton’s Five Go to Smuggler’s Top. That book turned me into a passionate reader. Of Blyton’s 800 titles, you can find her “Most Popular Works” on Wikipedia. They are a wonderful alternative to Harry Potter. The Cowboy Sam series holds the interest of beginners (girls, too) who need practice reading aloud.


Shadow the Sheep Dog
, etc. ——-Enid Blyton (lovely story not listed on Wikipedia)

The Hundred Dresses——-Eleanor Estes

The Sword in the Tree; Singing Sam, etc. ——-Clyde Robert Bulla

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, etc. ——-Edward Ardizzone

The Adventures of Tin Tin, etc. ——-Herge

A Triumph for Flavius——-Caroline Dale Snedeker

Incredible True Adventures, etc. ——-Don L. Wulffson

Kentucky Derby Champion (alternate title: Old Bones, the Wonder Horse)——-Pace

Secret Missions——-Ellen Levine

No Room for a Dog; No Children, No Pets, etc. ——-Marion Holland

Jet Getaway and Other Amazing Escapes——-Thomas Gunning

Amazing Rescues: 3 True Rescue Stories——-George Shea

Snow Treasure——-Marie McSwigan

Cowboy Sam——-Edna Walker Chandler (Alibris offers more than Amazon)

Jeb Stuart; Jim Bridger; Jim Bowie——-Gertrude H. Winders

MIDDLE-SCHOOL-JUNIOR-HIGH BOYS & GIRLS

The last five in this section are nonfiction. Little Britches positively shines with strong family and father-son relationships.

Sabre Pilot, etc. ——-Stephen Meader (boys love his books)

Dangerous Journey——-Laszlo Hamori

The Singing Cave——-Eilis Dillon

Dead Man’s Light——-Scott Corbett (found on Alibris)

Banner in the Sky——-James Ramsey Ullman

Old Yeller——-Frank Gipson

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch——-Jean Latham

Buckskin Brigade——-Jim Kjelgaard

The Man Who Bought Himself——-Peggy Mann

Owls in the Family——-Farley Mowat (excellent read aloud)

Little Britches (lst of a series of 8)——-Ralph Moody

MIDDLE-SCHOOL-JUNIOR-HIGH GIRLS

The last two in this section are nonfiction.

A Girl of the Limberlost——-Gene Stratton Porter

The Wind Blows Free——-Loula Grace Erdman

Daddy-Long-Legs——-Jean Webster

Understood Betsy———-Dorothy Canfield Fisher

The Good Master, etc. ——-Kate Seredy

Adopted Jane——-Helen F. Daringer

From Anna; Mine For Keeps; Spring Begins in March——-Jean Little

Little by Little——-Jean Little

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio——-Peg Kehret

HIGH-SCHOOL BOYS & GIRLS

Inspiring examples from true life can help teenagers get beyond themselves and put their problems into proper perspective. The following stories are unforgettable.

Donbas——-Jacques Sandulescu

Tower of Secrets——-Victor Sheymov

Beyond Defeat——-James E. Johnson

Standing Next to History——-Joseph Petro (secret service in Reagan White House)

Hazardous Duty——-John Singlaub

It Doesn’t Take a Hero——-Norman Schwarzkopf

On Wings of Eagles——-Ken Follett

The Shadow of His Wings——-Gereon Goldmann

Grey Seas Under——-Farley Mowatt

The Great Escape——-Paul Brickhill

My Family and Other Animals——-Gerald Durrell

Secrets and Spies: Behind-the-Scenes Stories of WWII——-Reader’s Digest

True Stories of Great Escapes——-Reader’s Digest

Animals You Will Never Forget——-Reader’s Digest

Animals Can Be Almost Human——-Reader’s Digest

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea——-Gary Kinder (accompanying book: America’s Lost Treasure by Tommy Thompson, with lavish photographs)

HIGH-SCHOOL GIRLS

The first 3 titles are fiction with light romance. Other works by M. Stewart and D. du Maurier, however, aren’t worth reading.

Nine Coaches Waiting——-Mary Stewart

Rebecca——-Daphne du Maurier

Seventeenth Summer; Sixteen (short story), etc.——-Maureen Daly

The Hiding Place——-Corrie ten Boom

One of the Lucky Ones——-Lucy Ching

Paris Underground——-Etta Shiber

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers——-Maria von Trapp

Maria——-Maria von Trapp (her youth)

For Freedom: The Story of a French Spy——-Kimberly Brubaker

Katia——-E. M. Almedingen (a Russian girlhood)

Souls at Stake
Our kids are bombarded by bad books, TV, and video games — so how do we get them to read good books? First, we must convince ourselves that it’s worth the effort to try.

The most serious battle going on in this country is over the souls of our children. It is impossible to exaggerate the power of the image to form or deform the way they think. It is crucial to arm them with heroes that make virtue attractive. This will entail exercising your God-given authority, but that’s what it’s for.  For starters, get the TVs and computers out of their bedrooms, and drastically curtail their use. Cut the plugs if you have to. Then, stock the house with good books.


When they’re bored, they will read.

Next, insist they read only books from a list or publisher you trust. It’s not easy, but many families do this. A guideline: assume that any book published after l960 is guilty until proven innocent.


If your children don’t have the habit of reading, require them to read at least a book a week. The reading level doesn’t matter so long as they enjoy the book. Leaving an enticing book out on a table will lure some children into reading it.


Reading aloud to them is as good as their reading on their own and has the added benefit of strengthening the bond between you and your child. Sometimes all it takes to convince them a book is good, is to read aloud the first two chapters. Some will grab the book from you to finish it on their own. Others you will have to tantalize by leaving off at the exciting part, so that in order to see how it ends, they will have to read the book themselves.


Suggested read aloud times: over dinner, in the car (if you’re the driver, they read to you), while they’re doing a chore, and when they’re sick. And don’t be afraid to try recorded books.

Is this daunting? Yes, it is, but it’s the soul of true parenting, and it’s very rewarding.

 — Theresa Fagan has eight children. She is currently working on the second volume of A Mother's List of Books.

Books for Children over 12

Submitted By: American Library Association

The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greek Myths, Retold
Retold by Cynthia Rylant; illustrations by Carson Ellis
In a readable, compassionate style, Rylant offers modern retellings of classic myths, such as "Pandora," "Orpheus" and "Psyche." The illustrations invite young readers into each of the stories.

 

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
By Phillip Hoose 2010 John Newbery Medal honoree
A biography of Claudette Colvin, the very courageous teenager who stood up for her constitutional rights when she was just 16 years old. She refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus nine months before the more famous action by Rosa Parks.


Crossing Stones
By Helen Frost
This historical novel, written in free verse and "cupped-hand" sonnets, is set on the home front of World War I. The themes of love and war are reflected with historical detail and universal sorrows and hopes.

 

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith
By Deborah Heiligman
A biographical love story of Charles Darwin and his cousin Emma Wedgwood, who have a successful marriage despite fundamental philosophical and religious differences. Emma, strong in her religious faith, shapes her husband's theories of evolution.

 

Last Night I Sang to the Monster
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Eighteen-year-old Zach doesn't remember much before he woke up in drug and alcohol treatment, but with the help of therapy and the many people he meets there, he starts to piece together the horrible events that led to his amnesia, and to find a way to begin recovery.

 

Northward to the Moon
By Polly Horvath
Jane and the rest of the family set off on a car trip after her stepfather loses his job, ending up in Nevada after being given a bag full of possibly stolen money.

 

Return to Sender
By Julia Alvarez
When his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their farm, 11-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter and discovers they may not be in the country legally.

 

Serendipity Market
By Penny Blubaugh
When the world tilts off its axis, storytellers from around the world must gather and share their versions of folk and fairy stories to help get the world back in balance.

 

The Dream Keeper and Other Poems
By Langston Hughes; illustrations by Brian Pinkney
Langston Hughes selected this collection of poems, first published in 1932, especially for young readers. From "The Dream Keeper" to "The Weary Blues" to "As I Grew Older," these poems reflect Hughes' pride in his race, yet provide universal themes and messages for all young people.

Books for Boys about Boys

Submitted By: Oprah

3 to 5 Years
I'm Bad!
Every Friday
Jack Plank Tells Tales
Fortunately


6 to 9 Years
Oh, Theodore!: Guinea Pig Poems
The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great
Robot Dreams
My Father's Dragon


10 to 12 Years
Edward's Eyes
Bearwalker
Jabberwocky
Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It
Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Billy Creekmore: A Novel
The Graveyard Book*

 

12 Years and Up
Slam
Trouble
Hatchet: A Novel
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Vol. II*

 

Books about History

Submitted By: Oprah

 

6 to 9 Years
Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson
Goin' Someplace Special*

 

10 to 12 Years
Women Daredevils: Thrills, Chills, and Frills
Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Keeping Score
Billy Creekmore: A Novel
Anne of Green Gables
Ten Things I Hate about Me*

 

12 Years and Up
Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial
The Wednesday Wars
After Tupac and D Foster*
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Vol. II*

 

Books for Children 10-12

Submitted By: ALA, Oprah

 

The Magician's Elephant
By Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
Ten-year-old Peter meets a fortune teller in the market, and she tells him his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive. He then begins a series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.

 

One Crazy Summer
By Rita Williams-Garcia
Three sisters find themselves dropped into the midst of Black Panther San Francisco in 1968 and struggle to make sense of the time and their aloof poet mother.


Tofu Quilt
By Ching Yeung Russell
This collection of poems provides vivid snapshots of the experiences of daily life for a young girl growing up in Hong Kong in the 1960s.

When You Reach Me
By Rebecca Stead
2010 John Newbery Medal winner
A 12-year-old girl in New York tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
by Grace Lin
2010 John Newbery Medal honoree
Chinese folklore and original storytelling combine with beautiful illustrations in this magical tale of a girl, a dragon and a quest.


The Great Gilly Hopkins
By Katherine Paterson
Gilly, an 11-year-old foster child who refuses to bond with anyone, meets her match with Mrs. Trotter, a wise and kind foster mother

 

 

Books for Girls about Girls

Submitted By: ALA, Oprah

 

3 to 5 Years
A Kitten Tale

 

6 to 9 Years
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little
Snoring Beauty
Just Grace
The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County
Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson


10 to 12 Years
Women Daredevils: Thrills, Chills, and Frills
Igraine the Brave
Keeping Score
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree
Anne of Green Gables
Ten Things I Hate about Me *

 

15 Great Books for Tweens

Matilda By Roald Dahl

Matilda doesn't watch television. At age 5 she reads a lot. But when she gets frustrated with her school principal, Matilda uses her new-found mental power to save the school.

 

Shipwrecked! By Rhoda Blumberg

Marooned on an island for six months, the true story of Manjiro Nakahama chronicles his rescue and American education before he returns to Japan where he becomes an honored samurai.

Monkey Island
By Paula Fox

When his parents are unable to care for him, Clay Garrity is left homeless in New York City. Afraid to go to the police, Clay, with the help of two homeless men, survives in a park until he is reunited with his mother and baby sister.

The Phantom Tollbooth By Norton Juster

After a magic tollbooth appears in Milo's room, he pays the toll. What ensues is an adventure that takes him through the Mountains of Ignorance, the Word Market, and finally to Dictionopolis in an effort to save the Princesses, Rhyme and Reason.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis
Stepping through the back of a wardrobe, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy find themselves in Narnia, a land -- ruled by a lion -- that is being threatened with an eternal winter by an evil witch.

Number the Stars
By Lois Lowry
Set in World War II, this fictionalized story tells of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen and her efforts to save her best friend from the death camps.

The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks By Nancy McArthur Cleaning your room was never so easy. When some odd seeds arrive in the mail, Michael and his brother Norman plant them only to grow a plant that needs a little more than water to grow.

Secret Letters from 0 to 10 By Susie Hoch

Morgenstern Ernest Morlaisse lives with his 80-year-old grandmother and has a pretty uneventful life. When a new neighbor, Victoria Montardent, moves in, Ernest's world is transformed as she teaches him to enjoy life and the joy of experiencing new things.

Hatchet By Gary Paulsen
When the plane he is on to visit his father crashes, Brian Robenson is left to survive in the woods with only a hatchet. Will rescue come before winter sets in?

Sideways Stories from Wayside School By Louis Sachar
In a school that was built on its side, there only can be odd stories to tell. >From the child stuck in his chair by a wad of gum to the tale of a Bebe, a quirky artist, this book is sure to make you laugh.

 

Summer Reading Is Killing Me! By Jon Scieszka
The Time Warp Trio is back, and after the boys realize they placed their summer reading list in the magical book that transports them back and forth in time, they are faced with having to stop the bad literary characters, led by an evil teddy bear, before they get rid of all the good ones.

 

Black Beauty By Anna Sewell
This classic tale told from one horse's point of view shares in the animal's hardships and fortune. Children will learn about relationships and consideration for others.


The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Event, Book 1) By Lemony Snicket
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire lost their parents and their home in a fire. Turning the pages to find a happy ending is pointless as the children only endure more hardships in this surprisingly humorous story.

 

Maniac Magee By Jerry Spinelli
Jeffrey Magee is just a kid from a small town. Sure he can run fast and hit homeruns, but Magee is better known for how he bridged the town's racial gap.

Gateway School's Summer Reading List for Grades 1-3

Submitted By: Merle Froshman & Students

Many of these books could interest several grade levels.

 

*Adler, David. Cam Jansen and the Catnapping Mystery. While visiting Aunt Molly at a
fancy downtown hotel, Cam uses her photographic memory to help one of the guests find her stolen luggage and pet cat, and to catch the thief. (Series) RL 3.1

 

Bailey, Linda. Stanley's Wild Ride. When Stanley finds a way out of his yard, he and five
other dogs leave the boring yard for the wild world beyond the fence. After Stanley discovers a skateboard atop the steepest hill in town, he plunges down the hill waking up everyone in the neighborhood. (CYMR California Young Reader Medal)

 

*Baker, Keith. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green. A loving alligator couple enjoys going camping,
eating pancakes, and visiting the county fair. (Series) RL 2.7

 

Becker, Bonnie. A Visitor for Bear. Bears efforts to keep out visitors to his house are
undermined by a very persistent mouse. Breathed, Berkeley.

Pete & Pickles - Pete, a practical pig, has his life intruded upon by Pickles, a runaway circus elephant that needs a friend, and the two dive off Niagara Falls, careen down the Matterhorn, and engage in other adventures until their friendship wears thin.

 

Buehner, Caralyn Dex: The Heart of a Hero. (originally published as Superdog: The Heart of a Hero) Tired of being overlooked because he is so small, a big-hearted dog named Dexter transforms himself into a superhero (2008 California Young Reader Medal)

 

*Capucilli, Alyssa. Biscuit Finds a Friend. A puppy helps a little duck find its way home to
the pond. RL 1.5 (Series) Carlstrom, Nancy. Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna. Spending a day outdoors, Anna revels in the joys of sun, sky, grass, flowers, berries, frogs, ants, and beetles. Cecil, Randy. Duck Duck, a carousel animal, happily raises a real duckling that has wandered into the amusement park, but has to find outside help when it come to teaching the duckling the one thing she has always wanted to do --fly.

 

Cleary, Beverly. Ribsy. First published 1964. When Ribsy gets lost from his family at the
shopping center, he begins a series of humorous escapades and wanderings in his quest to find his family. (Series)

Cleary, Beverly. Ramona the Pest. Laughs and minor upsets abound in an enormously
popular story starring the one and only Ramona Quimby! (Series)

 

Deedy, Carmen. Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale. A humorous retelling of a Cuban folktale in which a powerful and famous cockroach interviews her suitors in order to decide whom to marry.

 

Fucile, Tony. Let's Do Nothing!. Young friends Frankie and Sal, believing they have "done it all," decide to do nothing for a while, but Frankie has a little trouble with the concept and it is not long before the boys realize there is no way to do nothing.

 

Gannett, Ruth. Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. A compilation of the three tales, My
Father's Dragon (1949 Newbery Honor Book), Elmer and the Dragon, and The Dragons of Blueland, relates the fantastic adventures of Elmer Elevator and Boris the flying baby dragon. The short chapters and simple vocabulary make this a perfect chapter book. (Series)

 

Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. Beloved classic

 

*Guest, Elissa Haden. Iris and Walter: The Sleepover. Iris's first sleepover at her friend
Walter's house ends early when Iris gets homesick and wants to go home. RL 2.6 (Series)

 

*Hoff, Syd. Danny and the Dinosaur Go To Camp. When Danny brings his favorite dinosaur to camp, they enjoy boating, hiking, and roasting marshmallows. RL 1.8 (Series)

 

*Howe, James. Houndsley and Catina: Plink and Plunk. Houndsley likes canoeing and his friend Catina likes bicycling, but each has to help the other learn to enjoy these activities in order to do them together. (Series) RL 2.6

 

Iwamura, Kazuo. Hooray for Summer! In this old-fashioned picture book translated from the Japanese, three little squirrel children play outside until a sudden thunderstorm blows in. Grade level: K-3.

 

Jacobson, Jennifer Richards. Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery. This easy chapter book has an old-fashioned flair. Andy and Granny Webb are knee-deep in preparing to celebrate their un-birthdays. Andy wants to get Granny the best present ever, but his piggy bank is empty, so he spends the week collecting things his neighbors no longer want, then announces a Barn Sale. When his friend accidentally sells Granny's favorite pair of binoculars, it's up to them to deduct who bought them. But the real mystery here is how Jacobson manages to weave in lessons of kindness, materialism, and true friendship.

 

Klimo, Kate. The Dragon in the Sock Drawer. Random House, 2008. When Jesse and
Daisy's "geode" hatches a dragon, the ordinary ten-year-olds begin an extraordinary adventure as Dragon Keepers, who must not only take care of the baby dragon, but also protect her from St. George the Dragon Slayer. (Series)

 

Lester, Helen. Tacky Goes to Camp. Tacky the penguin and his friends go to Camp
Whoopihaha where they scare each other by telling ghost stories around the campfire, never expecting that one of the frightening stories will come true. (Series)


Marshall, James. George and Martha. Two lovable hippos teach the meaning of friendship in five separate vignettes: "Split Pea Soup," "The Flying Machine," "The Tub," "The Mirror," "The Tooth." (Series)


Mora, Pat. Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los
niños/El día de los libros. Latino children invite children of other cultures into their book
fiesta, leading the reader on a visual journey that shows how reading sparks the imagination and unites us all. (The 2010 Belpré Illustrator Award Book.)

 

Muth A, Jon J. Zen Ties. A giant panda named Stillwater teaches young children - through haiku - the importance of being kind to others. Zen Shorts by the same author is another great book to read. Peters, Stephanie. Soccer Cats. These easy chapter books combine lots of soccer action with lessons for life on and off the field. (Series)

 

Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion & the Mouse -Pinkney's detailed pencil and watercolor art
beautifully conveys Aesop's fable of kindness rewarded. Grade level: K-3.(Caldecott Winner)


Roy, Ron. A to Z Mysteries-Chapter Books. With strong stories, short chapters, large type, and a dash of illustrations, this series offers a smooth transition between full-color beginning readers and middle-grade chapter books.

 

Sachar, Louis. Sideways Stories from Wayside School. Humorous tales from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of a wacky school.
Sachar, Louis: Marvin Redpost. A funny, easy-to-read chapter book. (Series)

 

*Sharmat, Marjorie. Nate the Great and the Hungry Book Club. Rosamond, who starts a
book club, claims there is a monster on the loose who is ruining pages of her cookbook, which leads Nate the Great and his dog, Sludge, to investigate as undercover detectives. (Series) RL 3.2 -others in the series RL 2.2

 

Sierra, Judy. Thelonius Monster's sky- high fly pie: a revolting Rhyme. A good natured
monster thinks a pie made out of flies would be a good dessert, and invites all his friends and relatives over to try it.

 

Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. A classic book for all ages-for mothers and fathers! A
moving parable about the gift of giving and the capacity to love, told throughout the life of a boy who grows to manhood and a tree that selflessly gives him her bounty through the years.

 

Wilder, Laura "Little House" series. The classic story of the Ingalls family and their life as pioneers.


Willems, Mo. Cat the Cat, Who Is That? and Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly!
Simple phrasing and speech bubbles tell these funny stories of enjoying old friends and
making new ones (Who Is That?) and meeting all sorts of flying animals . . . including Rhino the Rhino (Let's Say Hi). Preschool-1

 

Constitution Day

 

Federal law requires all schools that receive federal funds to hold an educational program on the United States Constitution every year on or near September 17, the anniversary of the signing of our country’s founding document.

 

Following are some resources for educators.

Booklist for Pre-Teen Gifted Readers

Submitted By: Suki Wessling

You can find Suki at Avant Parenting or her Examiner columns.

 

Avid readers go through a couple of awkward stages in their youth. First comes the blossoming of reading in the preschool or early elementary years, when young children who can read long chapter books yearn for more books that are appropriate to their emotional level.

 

Then comes another awkward stage. By the age of ten or eleven, these children are apt to be more sensitive and demanding readers than their peers. They've already read everything on the last book list. What will satisfy their hunger for complex, lively stories without teen-focused relationship issues that come up in so many modern novels for teen readers?

 

Below is a list of books recommended by parents and teachers of kids in this age range. Books with asterisks are ones that might be scary for sensitive readers. Please feel free to send me your suggestions.

 

* Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women series
* Barry, Dave: Peter and the Starcatchers
* Birney, Betty G.: The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs
* Brinley, Bertrand R.: The Mad Scientists' Club
* Brock, Betty: No Flying in the House
* Burnett, Frances Hodgson: A Little Princess
* Card, Orson Scott: Ender's Game series*
* Clements, Andrew: Frindle
* Colfer, Eoin: Artemis Fowl series*
* Coville, Bruce: The Unicorn Chronicles series (starts with Into the Land of the Unicorns)
* Duane, Diane: Young Wizards series* (starts with So You Want to be a Wizard)
* Enright, Elizabeth: The Melendy Quartet (starts with Saturdays)
* Estes, Eleanor: The Witch Family
* Farley, Walter: The Black Stallion series
* Flanagan, John: Ranger's Apprentice series
* Hawking, Stephen: George's Secret Key to the Universe
* Herge, The Adventures of Tintin*
* Herriot, James: All Creatures Great and Small
* Hiaason, Carl: Hoot, Flush
* Jacques, Brian: Redwall series* (starts with Redwall)
* Kelly, Jacqueline: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
* Klages, Ellen: The Green Glass Sea
* Konigsburg, E.L.: The View From Saturday
* Law, Ingrid: Savvy
* Lawrence, Caroline: Roman Mysteries series (starts with The Thieves of Ostia)
* Le Guin, Ursula: Earthsea series (the 4th in the series, Tehanu, is very dark)
* L'Engle, Madeleine: Austin Family Chronicles series (starts with Meet the Austins), A Wrinkle in Time*
* Lord, Cynthia: Rules
* McKinley, Robin: The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword
* Michener, James: Various historical novels including Chesapeake, Centennial, Texas (may contain historical violence and some sexual content)
* Montgomery, L.M.: Anne of Green Gables series
* Nesbit, E.: The Railway Children books plus others
* Nimmo, Jenny: The Children of the Red King series (starts with Midnight for Charlie Bone)
* Nix, Garth: Keys to the Kingdom series (starts with Mister Monday)
* Oppel, Kenneth: Airborn (the rest of the series features more violence)
* Paolini, Christopher: Eragon*
* Paulsen, Gary: Hatchet
* Paver, Michelle: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series (Wolf Brother is first)
* Pearson, Barry: Peter and the Starcatchers
* Pinwater, Daniel: read about his books
* Pratchett, Terry: Tiffany Aching series (The Wee Free Men, etc.), The Bromeliad Trilogy (Truckers; Diggers; Wings)
* Ransome, Arthur: Swallows and Amazons series
* Riordan, Rick: Percy Jackson series
* Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter series
* Sacher, Louis: The Wayside School series
* Snyder, Laurel: Any Which Wall, Penny Dreadful
* Spinelli, Jerry: Stargirl
* Stead, Rebecca: When You Reach Me
* Stevenson, Robert Louis: Treasure Island
* Stewart, Trenton Lee: The Mysterious Benedict Society series
* Tolkein, J.R.R.: The Hobbit*
* Ursu, Anne: The Cronus Chronicles series (starts with The Shadow Thieves)*
* Verne, Jules: Around the World in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth
* Wyss, Johann D.: The Swiss Family Robinson
* Yolen, Jane: Young Merlin trilogy

 

Resources:

* Child Lit WIKI
* KidsReads
* Hoagies' Gifted
* Ambleside Online
* CommonSense Media
* J.K. Rowling's Amazon.com book list page
* Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School to High School
* Wikipedia List of Classic Children's Books
* Using Bibliotherapy with Gifted Children

Long Chapter Books for Children Under 7

Submitted By: Suki Wessling

You can find Suki at Avant Parenting or her Examiner columns.

 

This list was created with the help of parents who wanted a list of books appropriate for young readers (through 7 years old) who are ready to read long chapter books but are emotionally sensitive. All books on this list should be great reads for your young gifted readers. The books with asterisks are books that one parent said was not appropriate for her particular young reader, so these books should be previewed.

 

For your pre-teen reader, visit Book list for pre-teen gifted readers. Read a review of Some of my Best Friends are Books.

 

List for Under 7

Atwater, Richard: Mr. Popper's Penguins
Averill, Esther: Jenny and the Cat Club
Baum, L. Frank: Oz books - over 30 of them! See the list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oz_books
Birdsall, Jeanne: The Penderwicks series
Blyton, Enid: The Faraway Tree Stories, The Wishing Chair
Bond, Michael: Paddington
Brink, Carol Ryrie: Caddie Woodlawn*
Brock, Betty: No Flying in the House
Brooks, Walter R.: Freddy Goes to Florida and other books
Burgess, Thornton: The Bird Book for Children, Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel
Burnett, Frances Hodgson: Racketty Packetty House and Other Stories, The Secret Garden*, The Little Princess*
Cameron, Eleanor: Mushroom Planet books
Carroll, Lewis: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Cleary, Beverly: Mouse and the Motorcycle and other non-Ramona books*
Dahl, Roald: James and the Giant Peach*, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
DiCamillo, Kate: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Eager, Edward: Half Magic and other Magic books
Edwards, Julie Andrews: Mandy and The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Eliot, Ethel Cook: The House Above the Trees, The Wind Boy
Estes, Eleanor: The Moffats series and Pinky Pye series
Fitzgerald, John D.: The Great Brain series
Fitzhugh, Louise: Harriet the Spy series*
French, Jackie: The Dragonling series (currently out of print)
Gannet, Ruth Stiles: My Father's Dragon series
Gurney, James: Dinotopia series
Gruelle, Johnny: Raggedy Ann Stories
Hale, Lucretia P.: The Peterkin Papers
Haywood, Carolyn: B is for Betsy
Henry, Marguerite: Misty of Chincoteague and sequels
Jones, Elizabeth Orton: Big Susan
Juster, Norton: The Phantom Tollbooth
King-Smith, Dick: all books
Kipling, Rudyard: Just So Stories
Konigsburg, E.L.: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Lagerlof, Selma: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
Lasky, Kathryn: Guardians of Ga'hoole series
Lawson, Robert: Rabbit Hill
Lindgren, Astrid: Pippi Longstocking series
Lovelace, Maude Hart: Betsy-Tacy series
Lopez, Barry: Crow and Weasel
Lowell, Susan: I am Lavina Cumming
MacDonald, Betty: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series
McCloskey, Robert: Homer Price
McGraw, Eloise: The Moorchild
Merrill, Jean: The Pushcart War
Milne, AA: Winnie the Pooh, House at Pooh Corner
Montgomery, Rutherford: Kildee House
Norton , Mary: Bedknob and Broomstick, The Borrowers
O'Brien, Richard: Mrs. Frisby & Rats of NIMH
Pochoeki, Ethel: The Attic Mice (currently out of print)
Ransome, Arthur: Swallows and Amazons and Swallowdale
Rodda, Emily: Rowan of Rin series
RRylant, Cynthia: The Lighthouse Family series
Selden, George: The Cricket in Times Square
Selznick, Brian: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sidney, Margaret: The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Speare, Elizabeth George: Sign of the Beaver
Steig, William: Abel's Island
Streatfeild, Noel: Ballet Shoes
Taylor, Sydney: All-of-a-kind Family series
Travers , Dr. P. L. and Mary Shepard: Mary Poppins
White, EB: The Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little [E.B.White boxed set]
Wilder, Laura Ingalls: Little House series
Williams, Jay: Danny Dunn series
Winthrop, Elizabeth. The Castle in the Attic
Woodruff, Elvira: Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara

 

Resources:

* Child Lit WIKI
* KidsReads
* Hoagies' Gifted
* Ambleside Online
* CommonSense Media
* Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School to High School
* Wikipedia List of Classic Children's Books

 

Killer Thrillers Finalists: The Complete List from NPR

July 16, 2010~  Many of you told us you just can't wait until August 2 - when we unveil the results of the Killer Thrillers vote - to start reading. So here's the complete list of nearly 200 finalists, nominated by you and the NPR Thriller Panel. Happy reading!

 

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
The 39 Steps by John Buchan
61 Hours by Lee Child

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
American Tabloid by James Ellroy
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
Berlin Game by Len Deighton
Blowback by Brad Thor


The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell

 

The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Cape Fear by John MacDonald
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Cathedral by Nelson Demille
The Chancellor Manuscript by Robert Ludlum
Charm School by Nelson Demille
Chernobyl Murders by Michael Beres
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Children of Men by PD James
China Lake by Meg Gardiner
Chinaman's Chance by Ross Thomas
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Consent to Kill by Vince Flynn
Contact by Carl Sagan
The Count of Mounte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

 

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Dark Star by Alan Furst
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
The Day After Tomorrow by Allan Folsom
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty
Dead Zone by Stephen King
Declare by Tim Powers
The Deep Blue Good-by by John MacDonald
The Deep Shadow by Randy Wayne White
Depths by Henning Mankell
The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry
Drawn in Blood by Andrea Kane

 

The Eight by Katherine Neville
The Endless Game by Bryan Forbes
Evidence of Murder by Lisa Black
Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

 

Fail-Safe by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler
Falcon Seven by James Huston
Fall From Grace by Larry Collins
Fault Line by Barry Eisler
Feed by Mira Grant
The Fifth Profession by David Morrell
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Final Stroke by Michael Beres
The Firm by John Grisham
First Blood by David Morrell
The First Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders

 

Garnethill by Denise Mina
Ghost Shadow by Heather Graham
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
The Guards by Ken Bruen

 

The Hard Way by Lee Child
Hardball by Sara Paretsky
Headhunter by Michael Slade
Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy

 

Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In The Woods by Tana French
Inca Gold by Clive Cussler
Instinct by Jeremy Robinson
Intensity by Dean Koontz
It by Stephen King

 

Jaws by Peter Benchley
Journey Into Fear by Eric Ambler
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton


The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
The Killing Floor by Lee Child
Killshot by Elmore Leonard
Kiss the Girls by James Patterson

 

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Lie in the Dark by Dan Fesperman
The Likeness by Tana French
The List of 7 by Mark Frost
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

 

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Marathon Man by William Goldman
Masquerade by Gayle Lynds
The Matarese Circle by Robert Ludlum
Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
The Mystic Art of Eliminating All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

 

The Negotiator by Frederick Forsyth
Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader
No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

 

Out by Natsuo Kirino

 

Parallax View by Loren Singer
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Persuader by Lee Child
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
The Poet by Michael Connelly
Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Primal Fear by William Diehl
Psycho by Robert Bloch
Pulse by Jeremy Robinson

 

Rain Fall by Barry Eisler
Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
Reflex by Dick Francis
The Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
Rules of Prey by John Sandford

 

Salem's Lot by Stephen King
The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel & Charles W Bailey II
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shibumi by Trevanian
The Shining by Stephen King
Shogun by James Clavell
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker
A Simple Plan by Scott Smith
The Sisterhood by Michael Palmer
The Sisters by Robert Littell
Six Days of the Condor by James Grady
Slayground by Richard Stark
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre
The Stand by Stephen King
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
Strong Justice by Jon Land
Subterranean by James Rollins

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarry
Tell No One by Harlan Coben
The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
The Third Rail by Michael Harvey
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Timeline by Michael Crichton
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre
The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson
Tropic of Night by Michael Gruber

 

Under the Dome by Stephen King
The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva

 

Vanished by Joseph Finder

 

Watchlist: A Serial Thriller by Jeffery Deaver et al
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Wired Kingdom by Rick Chesler
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

NPR's Summer Books 2011

June 2, 2011

'Indie Booksellers Target Summer's Best Reads', Recommended by Lucia Silva, Portrait of a Bookstore

The Great Night, by Chris Adrian

The Ada Poems, by Cynthia Zarin

The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson

The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt

A Moment In The Sun, by John Sayles

 

Recommended by Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Co.

The Sorcerer's Apprentices: A Season In The Kitchen At Ferran Adria's elBulli , by Lisa Abend

My Korean Deli: Risking It All For A Convenience Store, by Ben Ryder Howe

Ex Libris: The Art Of Bookplates, by Kevin Wilson

The Solitude Of Prime Numbers, by Paolo Giordano

Wingshooters, by Nina Revoyr

My American Unhappiness, by Dean Bakopoulos

 

Recommended by Rona Brinlee, The BookMark

You Know When The Men Are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon

22 Britannia Road, by Amanda Hodgkinson

World Without Fish, by Mark Kurlansky, illustrated by Frank Stockton

Swamplandia!, by Karen Russell

The Poison Tree, by Erin Kelly

 

Books Preview: Spotting Summer's High Fliers, Recommended by Rachel Syme

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett,

Demon Fish: Travels Through The Hidden World of Sharks, by Juliet Eilperin

Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson

The Storm at the Door, by Stefan Merrill Block

Bright's Passage: A Novel, by Josh Ritter

Once Upon a River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell

Turn of Mind, by Alice LaPlante

The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan

Sex On The Moon: The Amazing Story Behind The Most Audacious Heist In History, by Ben Mezrich

Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, And A Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human, by Grant Morrison,

Northwest Corner: A Novel, by John Burnham Schwartz

Skyjack: The Hunt For D.B. Cooper, by Geoffrey Gray

Ghosts In The Wires: My Adventures As The World's Most Wanted Hacker, by Kevin Mitnick

Anatomy Of A Disappearance, by Hisham Matar

 

Crime Fiction Picks Serve Up Summertime Suspense, Recommended by Maureen Corrigan

The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo, translated by Don Bartlett

Among The Missing, by Morag Joss

What You See In The Dark, by Matthew Munoz

Save Me, by Lisa Scottoline

A Drop Of That Hard Stuff, by Lawrence Block


Back To Basics: 2011's Simple, Summery Cookbooks, Recommended by T. Susan Chang

Heartland: The Cookbook, by Judith Fertig

Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen, by Sara Foster

A Southerly Course: Recipes and Stories from Close to Home, by Martha Hall Foose

Maine Classics: More than 150 Delicious Recipes From Down East, by Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier,

Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast, by Becky Selengut

Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat, by Deborah Krasner

Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, by Heidi Swanson

Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease: 325 Inspiring Recipes by Award-Winning Chef Rozanne Gold, by Rozanne Gold

Fresh & Fast Vegetarian: Recipes That Make a Meal, by Marie Simmons

Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York's Milk & Cookies Bakery, by Tina Casaceli


Insane Science: 5 New Books That Explain The Brain, Recommended by Michael Schaub

The Compass Of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, And Gambling Feel So Good, by David J. Linden

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts To Gods To Politics And Conspiracies - How We Construct Beliefs And Reinforce Them As Truths, by Michael Shermer

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson

The Optimism Bias: A Tour Of The Irrationally Positive Brain, by Tali Sharot

A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What The World's Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire, by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, hardcover

Suki Talks About Her First Book

Submitted By: Parmalee Taff

Why do you write?
I write for a variety of reasons. Probably the main reason is that writing is how I process what's going on around me. I feel like I never really know what I think about something until I write it down. In fact, I often have conversations where later I wish I could go back and edit the conversation. The reason I started writing about homeschooling and giftedness was to share the things that I was learning with a larger audience. I felt like there was all this information available... once I knew where to find it. But I only found it because I was searching. A good number of parents and educators really don't understand giftedness (though they often think they do), and in the midst of a very difficult time in their lives, parents get a lot of really bad advice. I sometimes write an article imagining that it would be used by someone in a difficult situation, like a parent who needs to explain something to their child's teacher or a parent who need help to resist a misdiagnosis.


You write about homeschooling. What else is in the pipeline -now, couple of years, way ahead...

I have been writing a lot of magazine articles specifically for gifted and homeschooling markets. I'd love to do more with getting information to a general audience. I also have an agent who is trying to sell my children's fiction. It's not a great time in book publishing, but we'll see if she gets any bites. I'm always planning to get back to my poetry and adult fiction, but somehow I don't see that happening in the near future.

 

When did you start writing?
I can't remember a time when I didn't like to write, though I trace my actual writing career to third grade, when I wrote an post-apocalyptic novel on purple notebook paper! I pretty much knew I wanted to be a writer, so I made an early decision NOT to do too much literary analysis. I got degrees in Linguistics and Creative Writing while managing never to take a literary analysis class. That was during the time when Derrida and post-modernism was all the rage, and I took offense at being told that authors had no say in what their writing meant! Through my various changes in life circumstances-from being a student to working in the high tech industry to teaching English and writing to graphic design and publishing and then finally to being a mom and a homeschooler-my writing has reflected what I have been doing at the time. When I first started my blog, I wrote a lament about how poetry no longer seemed to fit my life. I couldn't even think about poetry when changing a dirty diaper! But the fun thing is that writing is a profession that can change with your life.

How do you find time to write with a family and homeschooling?
Ah, there's the question. I remember a day when I was sitting at my daughter's class at Santa Cruz Gymnastics working on my computer. I was writing intently, but then I sensed by the change in sounds that the class was ending so I looked up. Apparently it was like someone coming up out of a pool-the mom next to me said, "I have never seen anyone so focused!" I think I developed that focus out of necessity. Over the span of a week, I probably have more 10-20 minute chunks of time than any one solid hour. When I need longer periods of time, I have always made sure to set up some way of getting the time I needed. When my kids were smaller I sent them to my mom's house or hired a babysitter. As they got older I could set up play and homeschooling exchanges. These days they can be self-directed for longer periods of time. But the reality is that I get most of my work done during evenings and weekends, which makes it a bit hard to contact people who work 9 to 5.

What advice would you give to someone who feels an itch to write but doesn't know where to begin?
Modern technology has made such a difference. In the pre-Internet days, you had to develop as a writer without having an audience, which was very hard. Finding a writing group was of great importance at that point, and it can still be a really great way to get started. But a writing group in person can sometimes be hard to set up, and then you have personality stuff-I have to say I got sick of all the interpersonal politics long ago, though I still recommend that beginning writers join a group because that experience can be very important. On top of that, before the Internet if you wanted people you didn't know to read your work, you had to get a publisher to publish you. This was the heyday of cheap 'zines-it was so hard to get something published in a widely distributed magazine that there were tons of little publications. The Internet has changed everything: First of all, you can find endless amounts and types of writing groups, from intimate groups that work by e-mail or in chat rooms to huge forum groups where any passing stranger can comment on your work. Secondly, the 'zines have moved to a cheaper and more widely accessible venue-onto the Web. So there are more places to get published, though you don't get the satisfaction of seeing your name "in print." Finally, I think that every single beginning writer needs to start a blog. The cool thing is, even if you don't tell anyone you know about it, you have this place where your work is being displayed and anyone can see it. It's really very wonderful to be able to practice your craft this way. And if you start getting your friends and their friends to read and comment, you can start seeing how people react to your work, what's successful, what's not.

How do you write? Techincally... Did you picture the entire book or Did you just start?
Did you make an outline? Did you follow it? Or ?

I write differently depending on what it is. This book actually started as a workshop that I gave at the Homeschool Association of California conference in Sacramento. The workshop was called "Taking your gifted learner out of school" and was aimed at new homeschoolers of gifted learners. After I did the workshop, I realized that none of the books I'd read quite got at the subject as I'd like. So I queried James Webb, who is the publisher at Great Potential Press and whom I'd met a few times. I was actually just asking his advice, but his response cc'ed their acquisitions editor and said, "That sounds like a great idea-please send some chapters." Well, I didn't have any chapters! So I just started writing and feeding them chapters as I went. For this book, the writing went very quickly. Much of it was subject matter that I'd written about before, though never all in one place and connected together. Great Potential has a really excellent editorial process: first the acquisitions editor works with you on content, making sure you go over all the material that's needed and making suggestions. I was so gratified that she kept saying, "More, more!' I feared they'd want me to cut it down to the bone, though I'd written a really lean text. Then they have a professional copy editor who goes over the manuscript very carefully with the author. I actually enjoyed this, as well, as I really like the process of editing and have done it for my own press.

 

Did you lose sleep over it?
I didn't lose any sleep over the writing process-that was all pleasure. But there is a certain vulnerability you feel when your ideas go out into the wider world. I was concerned that when they sent out review copies to get blurbs, no one would want to have their name on it! (That turned out to be misplaced concern, luckily.) And once you put your name on a book that contains advice, it's like you're saying you're an "expert," and that also opens you up to feeling vulnerable and sensitive to criticism. But mostly, I've been trying to remind myself that no one likes everything-heck, I really hated Moby Dick and it's supposed to be one of the greatest novels ever written!

Where do you write? [home office, car, dentist, soccer games...]

Everywhere! I am very mobile-I haul my laptop with me anytime I think I'll have time to work. I do have an office in my house that is all mine (or at least the half of it that IS mine-the other half is my husband's).

Do you carry a notebook with you always for those times when an idea, phrase, sentence crystallizes?
I used to always carry a notebook. Then I got a smartphone and the notebook was history.

When is your best time for writing?

If I could choose, it would be right after my morning walk, which is the only time in the day when I am guaranteed solitude and time to think. I often come home with ideas and sometimes I get around to scribbling them down before someone needs something from me. The blessing and curse of the mother is always being needed!

You blog. Did you use your old blogs?
I actually did a blog about the workshop that I gave which became the backbone of the book. But mostly I use my blog as a place to generate ideas, and I don't necessarily copy directly off it for more polished pieces. I generate the ideas and then work them up in more detail when I find a place to use them.


What would you like to write about next?
I have tons of ideas-books, stories, articles-but the question is which one will catch me to the point that I really start to work on it.

Is there any fiction in mind?

I have three children's books in progress. The way I work, I pick away at a few things until one day, for no special reason, I get fired up about one of them and then I really work on it exclusively. We'll see which one gets my attention next!


One more... what do your family members say about your book!?

My kids haven't read it - it would probably bore them, anyway! No one else in my family is a homeschooler, so I wouldn't expect them to be too interested, except for the fact that I wrote it. But you never know. I think everyone is happy that I got it published and they've been very supportive.

 

Thanks Suki!

Summer Reading Lists from Chase Collegiate School

Submitted By: Chase Collegiate School, Waterbury CT

This Summer Reading List comes from Chase Collegiate School, Waterbury Connecticut.

Pre-Kindergarten Grade 4
Kindergarten Grade 5
Grade 1 Grade 6
Grade 2 Grade 7
Grade 3 Grade 8
Grades 9 - 12  

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