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More Middle Grade Reads

As a promise to myself to read more middle grade books, as they ARE my number one reference clients, I have upped the amount of books I usually read. So far, so good. I am trying to read a wide spread of genres, but so far I have mostly read fiction. Really, really good fiction....

Bigger Than a Bread Box
by Laurel Snyder
Published: 9/27/11
Reviewed copy from my library (at my request for purchase-whoot!)

From Goodreads:
A magical breadbox that delivers whatever you wish for—as long as it fits inside? It's too good to be true! Twelve-year-old Rebecca is struggling with her parents' separation, as well as a sudden move to her Gran's house in another state. For a while, the magic bread box, discovered in the attic, makes life away from home a little easier. Then suddenly it starts to make things much, much more difficult, and Rebecca is forced to decide not just where, but who she really wants to be. Laurel Snyder's most thought-provoking book yet

You know what? Yay to a recap that does not give away too much of the story!

I really enjoyed this, and I don't think there is enough fiction out there for children of parents who are considering divorce.  Snyder nailed the mixed feelings Rebecca goes through at this strange time in her life (ex. she loves spending time with Gran, misses her father like crazy). I loved the magic of the box, and that magic is not always a quick fix for the bigger problems in life. I just loved Gran! 
I'm not sure I really understood what was up with the dad, depression maybe?
Snyder's writing is wonderful and thoughtful. I did think the symbolism of the gulls was a touch heavy handed-but they made great decoration for the first pages of the chapters. 
I will put this into the hands of kids who want some contemp./realistic fiction with a "hint" of magical realism. I heard this may be a Newberry contender, and that sounds about right to me.


I've heard lots of good things about this book-it's in my TBR pile and I really need to get to it soon!:)
Walden Pond Press puts out a lot of great reads for boys especially for middle graders. Short stories like the Guys Read Funny Business, and the Fourth Stall series. They also put out the beautiful Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. You might want to hit them up on their Facebook page for some of their new releases. Neversink is a new release coming out this spring.


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How to Make a Sharknado for Your Shark Craft

I have had an insane amount of fun this summer, but I always try to do something for Shark Week. This year I called it Shark Lab and we are making three crafts I have never done with the kids before.

But for ME, I wanted a Sharknado.
Inspired by this post, and I tried several different dish soaps and NONE of the tornadoes looked as good as they did in this lady's posts. She must have magic soap, but it really works!

Then I went to three stores to find either plastic sharks that would be light enough to float and not just sink to the bottom of the jar and/or shrinky dink material (make my own damn sharks!) Both hunts were fail, so I made them myself using  a template I cannot find again. Sorry.

 I flipped the images, cut them out, glued them together and then book-taped the hell out of them! Presto, waterproof.

The jar needed I made a small label with
"Sharknado" bookended with some fancy orange chainsaws and voila!

One Sharknado for the parents to play…

Teddy Bear Storytime

Tonight's storytime followed the same format I use for all of my day storytimes as I have temporarily suspended my idea of doing storytime in reverse in order to get the kids sleepy. They only seem to run out into the library to pick out movies and books and the effect is lost. So here is what we did tonight.

Our theme was teddy bears, but our night storytime is always wear jammies, bring a lovey, and low action.

My opening song is Hello Bubbles which I learned from Read Sing Play here. BTW this woman is a storytime goddess and I have picked up many great ideas on her blog.

Story the 1st: The Red Hat by Lita Judge

 Why? Because I want to get across to my kids that books do not always have to have words in order for us to "read" them, and I want to give pre-readers a chance to feel proud they finished a book on their own. I plan to try to read or highlight at least one wordless read for the next couple of storytimes.

Flannel Board: Ten in the Bed
I used a modified versi…