10 Author Events Coming to Greater Boston

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!


1. Tuesday 10/22 at 6:30pm – Blue Bunny Books, Dedham

Megan McDonald & Peter H. Reynolds, Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz



2. Tuesday 10/22 at 7pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light



3. Wednesday 10/23 at 7pm – Belmont Books

Elizabeth Ames, The Others’ Gold



4. Tuesday 10/29 at 6:30pm – Belmont Books

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time #2: The Burning Queen



5. Wednesday 10/30 at 6pm – Brookline Booksmith

Heather Morris, Cilka’s Journey (ticketed event)



6. Saturday 11/2 at 11am – Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Matt Tavares, Dasher



7. Sunday 11/3 at 11am – Brookline Booksmith/Coolidge Corner Theater

Kate DiCamillo, Beverly Right Here (ticketed event)


8. Monday 11/18 at 7:30pm – Brookline Booksmith/Chevalier Theater

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer (ticketed event)


9. Tuesday 11/19 at 7pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Holly Black, The Queen of Nothing



Ep. 41: Ali Benjamin, Author of The Next Great Paulie Fink

This week I’m sharing an interview with one of my favorite middle grade authors, Ali Benjamin.

Ali Benjamin is a New York Times bestselling author. Her new middle grade book, The Next Great Paulie Fink  is about an oddball school in the middle of the woods and a group of misfit kids who decide to hold their own reality TV-style competition. Her 2015 novel, The Thing About Jellyfish was an international bestseller, a National Book Award finalist, and garnered multiple best-of-year accolades.


You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


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Books Mentioned On This Episode:

The Next Great Paulie Fink

Big Magic

The Thing About Jellyfish

Where the Heart Is

How To Do Nothing

To learn more about AliBenjamin you can visit her website alibenjamin.com. You can also follow her on Instagram @alibenjamin.


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!



Start a Parent/Child Book Club

This week, I’m sharing a post again that is great for this season. Back to school is the perfect time to mark your calendar for a new activity–a parent/child book club!


Are you looking for a fun way to connect with your child over books? Start a parent/child book club! 

As a school librarian, I helped host a 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club and was always so moved by the conversations and insights shared at these events. Books can be a wonderful way for kids to open up about problems they are facing or feelings they are having, that they may not have shared otherwise. It is also valuable for kids to see their peers as well as adults reading and chatting about books in a meaningful way.

I think upper elementary school is a great time to begin this sort of book club. Invite some of your child’s friends and their parents to join. You could meet monthly or bimonthly, taking turns hosting. Food always makes a book club more enjoyable. Keep it simple and order some pizzas or do a pot-luck.

Use these middle grade book suggestions to help get your parent/child book club started. As time goes on, you could have the kids bring ideas and vote for what they want to read next.

Reading Suggestions for Your Parent/Child Book Club

1.  Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

2. Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

3. Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper


4. You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly


5. Wonderby R.J. Palacio


6. Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina


7. It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas


8. Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French

9. Front Deskby Kelly Yang

10. The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

11. The Benefits of Being An Octopus by Ann Braden


12. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


What middle-grade books have you enjoyed reading with the kids in your life? I’d love to hear. Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Read Alouds to Welcome Fall

I love introducing a new season to my little ones with read alouds.  This is a fun way to preview any changes the season brings and build excitement for family traditions.

As summer turns to fall, that means thinking about cooling temperatures, noticing the changing colors of leaves in our backyard, and building anticipation for trips to local farms for apple and pumpkin picking.

Here are five books to help you welcome fall with your family:


1. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

by Kenard Pak

“As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows–autumn is on its way!

Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.”


2. Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin 

by Tad Hills

“New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tad Hills brings our favorite feathered friends out to find a big, beautiful pumpkin in this sturdy, large-sized board book. Duck & Goose look everywhere for a pumpkin—in the apple tree, in the leaf pile, inside a hollow log…. Where will they find one?”


3. In the Middle of Fall

by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Lauren Dronzek

“In the middle of fall, it takes only one gust of wind to turn the whole world yellow and red and orange. Caldecott Medalist and award-winning author Kevin Henkes’s striking text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the fall season. Laura Dronzek’s expressive paintings illuminate pumpkins, apples, falling leaves, busy squirrels, and the transformation from colorful autumn to frosty winter.”


4. Apples and Pumpkins

by Anne Rockwell, Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

“A young girl spends a glorious fall day picking apples and searching for the perfect pumpkin in this refreshed classic.

“When red and yellow leaves are on the trees,” a little girl goes with her parents to a farm where they pick apples and choose “the best pumpkin of them all.” Back home, she helps to carve a grinning jack-o’-lantern face on the big orange pumpkin, which guards their doorstep on halloween night while her mother hands out shiny red apples and she and her father go trick-or-treating with the neighborhood ghosts and goblins.”


5. Leaf Man

by Lois Ehlert

“Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.

With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscape vistas, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children.”


What are your favorite books to read aloud this season? 

Share in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 39: Jo Knowles, Author of Where the Heart Is

This week I am delighted to welcome Jo Knowles to the podcast to chat about a new middle grade book I have not been able to stop thinking about- Where The Heart Is.

Jo Knowles is the author of eight young adult and middle grade novels including See You At Harry’s, Still A Work in Progress and Read Between the Lines. Her latest middle grade book is called Where the Heart Is. Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead called it “An immensely appealing, hard-to-put-down story about friendship and love, heartache and bravery–and above all, family”.


You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Where The Heart Is

See You At Harry’s

Survival Math

The Things I Carry

To learn more about Jo Knowles you can visit her website JoKnowles.com. You can also follow her on Twitter  @JoKnowles or on Instagram @JoKnowlesAuthor

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If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!


Five Audiobooks That Made Me Enjoy Sitting in Traffic and Doing the Dishes

This week I’m sharing a post from last fall that’s chock full of great audiobook recommendations. Enjoy!


Are you on the hunt for an audiobook so good you won’t be able to press pause? Look no further.

I’m always on the lookout for an audiobook that will draw me right in and allow for some successful bookish multitasking–reading while taking a walk or folding laundry. Here are five of my recent audiobook favorites:


1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Narrated by Julia Whelan

51eH5ngcYiL._SY346_From the bestselling author of The Nightingale, The Great Alone is hands down my favorite audiobook of the year. I found myself looking forward to rush hour Boston traffic just so I could hear one more scene. The novel opens in 1974 when 13-year-old Leni moves to Alaska with her parents. The family is woefully unprepared for the emotional and physical challenges of this harsh, beautiful landscape.  Leni must learn how to survive in her new surroundings–while navigating the complexities of her parents’ troubled relationship. Kirkus Reviews writes that Hannah “re-creates in magical detail the lives of Alaska’s homesteaders in both of the state’s seasons (they really only have two) and is just as specific and authentic in her depiction of the spiritual wounds of post-Vietnam America. A tour de force.” Hannah’s novel is a rare combination of exquisite writing, a plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and characters that will stick with you. I highly recommend the audiobook version, Julia Whelan’s performance was exceptional.

Kristin Hannah discusses the real life inspiration behind The Great Alone in this video:

You can also listen to this interview with Kristin Hannah from WNYC:

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2. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Read by Guy Lockard


My one regret about Ghost by Jason Reynolds is that I didn’t pick it up sooner! This standout middle grade title is the first in Reynolds’ Track series and was a National Book Award finalist back in 2016, when the judges noted “In Ghost, Jason Reynolds flawlessly delivers eloquent moments of terror, anticipation and fun—clear to the finish line—without an extra word to spare. We are immersed in the backdrop of believable characters from the night Ghost Crenshaw runs for his life, to his struggle to silence the “scream inside him.” Ghost will stay with you.” I couldn’t agree more and the engaging audio narration had me hooked from chapter 1–and fittingly–adding serious mileage to my morning walk so I could listen longer. At various times the protagonist Ghost Crenshaw broke my heart and had me laughing out loud. I cannot wait to recommend this one to the kids and teens in my life and I’m sure this will be a top contender for this year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program here in my state. You can also vote for Ghost as part of PBS’s Great American Read.

An excerpt of the Ghost audiobook is available to preview:


You can watch Jason Reynolds discuss Ghost and the importance of reading on this Author Imprint video from PBS:

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3. Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam

Read by the author


Conversational, practical nonfiction books are my favorite audiobooks to listen to and Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done is exactly that. If you are a podcast listener looking to dip your toe into audiobooks, I would suggest this new title by time management expert Laura Vanderkam. (In fact, you may have heard of Vanderkam from her podcast Best of Both Worlds). In her latest book, the author of 168 Hours and I Know How She Does It turns her attention to spending our free time wisely. She wrote about her inspiration for her book on her blog, “I first got the idea for this book in July 2016 when I was running in Bar Harbor, Maine. I had no immediate obligations for the day, and so that phrase popped into my head. I was off the clock — just like when I punched out after a shift back in my teenage minimum wage days. I wanted to explore this concept of time freedom: what makes it possible? How do busy people who feel relaxed about time structure their lives?”. For Off the Clock, Vandarkam had 900 people track their time on one day, March 27th, 2017–then analyzed the relationship between how people spent their time and how they felt about their time. Vandarkam’s findings will inspire you to turn off the television, put down your phone and invest time in the relationships and experiences that lead to a more satisfying life.

You can hear an excerpt of Off the Clock read by Vandarkam herself:


You can also listen to Vandarkam discuss the book on her Best of Both Worlds podcast with cohost Sarah Hart-Unger:

Best of Both Worlds Podcast Episode 43: Off the Clock

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4. Wishree by Katherine Applegate

Narrated by Nancy Linari

61al+P+9JDL._SX365_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Katherine Applegate is the Newbery award-winning author of the The One and Only Ivan, one of my all-time favorite middle grade books. In Wishtree, Applegate turns her attention to a special talking tree and tackles issues of intolerance and immigration.  Red, a 216-year-old oak tree and our narrator, tries to intervene after a hateful message–aimed at a Muslim family new to the neighborhood–is carved into her trunk.  In a starred review Booklist calls Wishtree “Timely, necessary, and brimming with heart”. Wishtree would be an excellent choice for a classroom read aloud and the audiobook would be engaging listening for a family road trip. This one is sure to spark meaningful discussions with the kids in your life. Make sure to mention the connection to The One and Only Ivan to prospective young readers–Applegate’s earlier book is beloved.

You can listen to an excerpt of the Wishtree audiobook:


The trailer for Wishtree is extremely well done and has sparked so much enthusiasm for reading the book when I’ve shown it to 4th/5th grade classes:


5. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis


Listening to An American Marriage by Tayari Jones instead of reading the print book happened by chance. I often place library holds for the print book and audiobook and read whatever becomes available first. In this case, I am so happy the audiobook won out because it was incredibly well done. The book is narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis, who read the parts of newly married Roy and Celestial–two characters whose stories take abrupt turns when Roy is wrongfully committed of a crime and sentenced to twelve years in prison. As The Washington Post notes, the questions around Celestial and Roy’s ties and responsibilities toward one another (they have only been married eighteen months) are “spun with tender patience by Jones, who cradles each of these characters in a story that pulls our sympathies in different directions.”


You can watch Oprah share this title as her book club pick and hear Tayari Jones discuss her inspiration for the book in this  clip from CBS This Morning:

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What audiobooks would you recommend? Let me know in the comments or on your favorite social media platform. I’m @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski





Five Picture Books for Back to School

This week I’m sharing a post from last fall with my favorite read alouds for back to school. Enjoy!


Are you looking for a picture book to kick off the new school year with your students or children?

Here are five of my favorite back to school read alouds:


1. School’s First Day of School

Story by Adam Rex, Pictures by Christian Robinson


In this funny, charming story a brand new school awaits its first students: “It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?” A read aloud of School’s First Day of School is sure to delight your students or children. For more, watch this PBS interview with illustrator Christian Robinson where he discusses his process and a topic I’m passionate about–the importance of children seeing themselves reflected in books:


2. Planet Kindergarten

By Sue Ganz-Schmitt, Illustrated by Shane Prigmore


Do you teach Kindergarten or have a child about to take this leap? This is the read aloud for you. In this adorable and clever story, a young boy ventures off to a strange new world, with different customs and alien inhabitants: Planet Kindergarten. Engaging and sure to excite young readers about this new adventure. Check out the book trailer for a sneak peak:



3. Wemberly Worried

By Kevin Henkes


Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of many beloved and award-winning picture books from Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse and Kitten’s First Full Moon, to Owen and Chrysanthemum. All of his books make fantastic classroom read alouds, but Wemberly Worried is one of my favorites and a wonderful choice to calm new school year anxieties for the pre-K to second grade set: “Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start. And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.” For more, check out this Activity Guide from Kevin Henkes with a Wemberly coloring page, a “worry list”, recipes from the book and more.


4. When Sophie Thinks She Can’t…

By Molly Bang


If you are looking to kick off the new school year with a discussion about “growth mindset” and the importance of persistence, Molly Bang’s new book is an excellent read aloud choice. When Sophie Thinks She Can’t… is Molly Bang’s third Sophie book, you may recognize this character from When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… or When Sophie’s Feelings are Really, Really Hurt. In this story, Sophie gets frustrated when she struggles to solve a math puzzle and shouts, “I CAN’T DO IT!” She doubts whether she will ever be “smart”: “Luckily Sophie’s teacher steps in. What does it mean to be smart? Using current, popular “mindset” techniques, Sophie’s class is taught that we get smarter when we exercise our brains, such as when we work harder at solving a puzzle. Struggling to solve a problem doesn’t mean “I can’t do it!” Sophie and her classmates just can’t do it. . .yet!” For more, you can watch this book trailer from Scholastic:



5. The Dot 

By Peter H. Reynolds


Are you hoping to inspire the kids in your life to take risks in the classroom this year and follow their creativity? Read them The Dot by Peter Reynolds: “Her teacher smiled. ‘Just make a mark and see where it takes you.’ Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw – she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery.” To take the uplifting message one step further, you could also celebrate International Dot Day on September 15th with your students. I love the idea from this Educator Guide to do a  “Door Dots” activity,  “Have the classroom door covered in plain colored dots, waiting like a blank canvas.” After reading the book, students could “make their mark” and decorate one of the dots.


What books will you be sharing with the kids in your life to kick off this new school year?

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski



Ep. 37: Lisa Graff, Author of Far Away

This week I’m sharing an interview with the wonderful middle grade author, Lisa Graff.

Lisa Graff is the award-winning author of A Clatter of Jars, Absolutely Almost, A Tangle of Knots, Umbrella Summer, among others. Her new book is called Far Away.

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Far Away

Absolutely Almost

A Tangle Of Knots

Umbrella Summer

Lost in the Sun

The Thing About Georgie

Shark Lady

Up For Air

To learn more about Lisa Graff you can visit her website LisaGraff.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @lisagraff or on Facebook @lisagraffauthor.

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If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!


Watch This? Read That!

Are you looking to read more this summer? This week I’m throwing it back to a post from last year, using your taste in movies and television to choose your next read. Enjoy!


Looking for the next book to add to your TBR list?

Check out these suggestions for fans of The Crown, This Is Us, Big Little Lies, and more.


Watch Gilmore Girls?

Read The Late Bloomers’ Club 

If you’re experiencing Stars Hollow withdrawal, this heartwarming novel set in the equally charming small town of Guthrie, Vermont is for you. Nora runs the Miss Guthrie diner (think Luke’s). Life takes a surprising turn when she mysteriously inherits a local farmhouse and her free-spirit younger sister comes back to town. (Stay tuned for an interview with author Louise Miller coming up soon on the new A Bookish Home podcast!)


Watch Grey’s Anatomy?

Read The Queen of Hearts

If the tight-knit, complicated relationships between doctors on Grey’s Anatomy has had you hooked for years, try The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist and Emma, a trauma surgeon have been best friends since their medical school days. When a former colleague resurfaces, they are forced to reexamine decisions from the past and a secret threatens to destroy their friendship.


Watch The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society?

Read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 

Did you recently watch the delightful adaptation of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society and wish it wasn’t over? Of course, if you haven’t read the book yet, head straight to your local library or bookstore to pick up a copy. Otherwise, I recommend another small-town story where books change the lives of the inhabitants. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is full of heart and will have you alternately laughing out loud and tearing up.


Watch Mozart in the Jungle?

Read The Ensemble

Do you want to go behind the scenes in the world of professional musicians? Check out The Ensemble by Aja Gabel. Henry, Jana, Brit, and Daniel  begin playing in a string quartet together in their twenties. Told from alternating points of view, the novel takes us into their lives as ambitious musicians and traces the evolution of their complex relationships with one another over the course of twenty years.


Watch This Is Us?

Read A Place For Us

If you love the way This Is Us weaves together the present and the past and the perspectives of parents and siblings to form the picture of a family, this new novel is for you.  A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is another carefully woven deep dive into the inner workings of a family and shows how the small everyday choices parents and children make strengthen or weaken familial connections and change the course of lives.


Watch A Chef’s Life?

Read The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

If you are eagerly awaiting a new season of A Chef’s Life, read The City Baker’s Guide to Country LivingFollow another talented (pastry) chef, who leaves the prestigious, big city restaurants she has been working in and comes to deeply appreciate life in a tight-knit, rural community. The descriptions of food in this novel are stunning and the characters will quickly find their way into your heart. (Again, stay tuned for an interview with author Louise Miller coming up soon on the new A Bookish Home podcast!)


Watch The Man in the High Castle?

Read American War

If envisioning an alternate, frightening course of history for America in The Man in the High Castle has kept you clicking “Next Episode”, read American War, a novel by Omar El Akkad. In this enthralling and dark, dystopian read we meet Sara Chestnut, who is six years old when the Second American Civil War begins in 2074. As the years go on Sara ends up in a refugee camp in Mississippi and eventually becomes swept up in a resistance movement.


Watch The Crown?

Read The Royal We

Can’t get enough of the royal family in The Crown? For a lighter fictional take try The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. This novel is loosely based on the courtship of Kate Middleton and Prince William. A pure joy to read and impossible to put down.


Watch Big Little Lies?

Read What Alice Forgot

Are you a fan of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and the series adaptation on HBO? Check out What Alice Forgot, one of Moriarty’s other books–and my favorite of hers. After an accident in spin class, 39-year-old Alice wakes up with an entire decade erased from her mind. In her last memory, she is 29, pregnant with her first child and happily married. Now she must figure out how to suddenly navigate her life as a separated mother of three and face the choices she has made.

Watch Downton Abbey?

Read The Summer Before the War and 

The War I Finally Won

If you are missing the wonderful Downton Abbey (and awaiting the movie in the works!) here are two books for you. My adult pick is The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Set in 1914, the story of Beatrice Nash and her arrival in the small village of Rye in England has the heart, wit, and class struggles of Downton. For the kids in your life and for middle-grade fans, read The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. In this sequel to the stunning, Newbery Honor title The War That Saved My Life, Ada is back and must share her small home with Lady Thornton (think Lady Grantham).


Do you have a read-alike for a favorite show? Share it in the comments or on Twitter @ABookishHome. And don’t forget to subscribe to A Bookish Home, to never miss a post. Happy reading!

Celebrate the Bookish Birthdays of Two Potters…

This week I’m reposting some ideas for celebrating Harry Potter and Peter Rabbit. Enjoy!


Are you looking to add a dose of literary fun to your family life this week? Celebrate one of these upcoming bookish birthdays!

Two wonderful literary Potters, Harry and Beatrix have birthdays coming up. Harry Potter was born on July 31st and Beatrix Potter on July 28th.


Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday:

Attend a Harry Potter Birthday Party

If you or the little ones in your life are Harry Potter fans, check your local library or bookstore to see if they have a birthday celebration planned for Harry that you can attend. This is such a wonderful way to engage with the book and spark excitement for readers of all ages.


Can’t attend a Harry Potter birthday celebration? Why not throw your own?

If you’re looking to celebrate at home, I love this Sorting Hat Cupcakes recipe from Little Sugar Snaps. When you bite into them, the cupcake reveals which Hogwarts House you would be in!


Gather your friends for some cupcakes and nerdy Harry Potter debate over whether you’re actually a Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. If you have little ones, I also love the idea of eating these cupcakes during a family read aloud of Harry Potter or while you just chat about your favorite characters.


Read One of the 20th Anniversary Editions of Harry Potter

You can celebrate Harry’s birthday by checking out these new editions issued by Scholastic to celebrate the 20th anniversary of publication. (For more on celebrating this milestone check out Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Year).

The books feature new cover designs by Brian Selznik with the original interior illustrations of Mary GrandPré.


Enter to Win Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child



I recently learned that there is a weekly lottery for tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! Check out Today Tix Lottery: “Every Friday, we release 40 tickets for some of the very best seats in the theatre at $40 ($20 per Part) for every performance for the following week. Submit your entry from Friday at 12:01AM ET to Friday at 1:00PM ET.” For more information or to purchase general tickets visit: Harry Potter the Play

Celebrate Beatrix Potter’s Birthday:

Have some bookish fun with younger readers in honor of Beatrix Potter’s birthday on July 28th.


Read Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter


I am such a big fan of Peter Rabbit. There is nothing better than snuggling up with my daughter while we read this classic. We’re also automatically in the Beatrix Potter spirit in her room since the nursery has a Peter Rabbit theme! This is a great time to enjoy this book with your children and share the magic of the story.





Watch a Peter Rabbit Read Aloud on Storyline

While the book is the perfect size for tiny hands and one-on-one sharing, I find it doesn’t work as well for reading to a larger group.  I actually love this Storyline Online read aloud with Rose Byrne and have shown it to kindergarteners in my school library. Everyone can see the illustrations and Byrne is a wonderful narrator. Storyline also has many other free read aloud videos.


Enjoy Peter Rabbit Coloring Pages

These Peter Rabbit coloring pages are available for free from Educational Coloring Pages. This would be a fun activity to follow your read aloud!



I hope these ideas add some bookish excitement to your home!

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski