Repost: 10 Bookish Reads to Cozy Up With Next

This week I’m sharing a post from last winter on one of my favorite topics: books about books. Happy reading!



Is there anything better than “books about books”? This is a genre I can’t get enough of. Turning the pages and spotting references to favorite books and authors, finding out the characters inhabit bookstores or libraries each day, and reading loads of dialogue between characters about the titles they love––heaven!

Here are 10 Bookish Reads for you and the little ones in your life. Happy reading!

ajfikry1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

If you are on the lookout for your next bookish read and have not yet picked up this gem of a book, place your library requests or bookstore orders immediately! This is a reading experience to be treasured. I grabbed this book and curled up on the couch with it anytime my daughter was asleep one rainy Saturday and alternated between laughing out loud, reaching for the tissues, and looking for another book dart to mark a passage I loved. A young toddler comes into the life of a thirty-something widower bookstore owner, changing the course of not only their “stories”, but also the entire community’s. Bookish references abound in this one and great reads are at the center of the characters’ lives. This book was also a wonderful fictional look at raising a reader. A.J. Fikry has certainly zoomed to the top of my list of recent favorites–highly recommended.


You can also check out this interview with the author, Gabrielle Zevin from NPR:

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2. First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett

I got this book recommendation from a wonderful “Lifetime mother-daughter book club” episode of my favorite reading podcast, “What Should I Read Next” with Anne Bogel. (If you haven’t listened to this book recommendation podcast, this would be a great episode to start with. This book was recommended by the mother and daughter on the show sharing their favorite reads and getting book recommendations.) First Impressions is a bookish mystery for Jane Austen fans and Anglophiles, that alternates between Jane’s perspective and modern day Sophie Collingwood’s, a recent Oxford graduate about to take on the greatest literary puzzle she could imagine. Bonus–it will inspire you to re-read Pride and Prejudice. 


The Wilder Life

3. The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

Little House on the Prairie fans, this is the book for you! Wendy McClure shares her account of immersing herself in the world of the series and embraces all things Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m fascinated by how Wilder,  like L.M. Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott blended the real stories of her upbringing and family life with fiction. Like Avonlea and Orchard House, the setting of the various Ingalls’ homesteads is also such a rich part of the story and McClure makes pilgrimages to them all–from the Big Woods of Wisconsin, to Plum Creek, and South Dakota. This is a delightful literary travel memoir and reflection on the series. For a more scholarly look at the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder and reality versus fiction in her work, you can also check out Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser.
onetrueloves4. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you’re a fan of Liane Moriarty or Jojo Moyes and haven’t picked up a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, I highly recommend this author. She writes smart, tug-at-your-heartstrings women’s fiction that is impossible to set down. In One True Loves, Emma Blair has spent her twenties with her high school sweetheart Jesse, traveling the world and having adventures far from their small Massachusetts hometown. After being married for only a year, tragedy strikes and Jesse’s helicopter crashes somewhere over the Pacific. Emma moves back home to rebuild her life and takes over her parents’ bookstore. After several years, she falls in love again with Sam, an old friend, and becomes engaged. When Jesse is found alive, Emma’s world is turn upside down. Keep the tissues handy as you’ll be as torn as Emma about how to choose between the husband she lost and the fiancé she has built a life with. This book also dives into Emma’s complicated relationship with her family as well as the world of the bookstore, which she rebelled against growing up.



5. The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

The wonderful Andrew Clements has done it again with another funny, relatable, middle-grade school story–and in this one, he celebrates being bookish! This has taken the top spot as my new favorite Clements book and was a hit when I helped choose it as the 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club pick at my school. Alec is a lifelong bookworm who is actually constantly being sent to the principal’s office for reading too much at school. (Which breaks my librarian heart!) In the after-school program, he’s forced to sign up for a club, but he just wants to spend his time reading. His solution–call the club “The Losers Club” and hope no one else wants to join so he can read in peace. When things don’t exactly go according to plan, Alec makes some interesting discoveries about himself and the people around him. Clements weaves in a stellar book title every few pages and even includes a full list of books read by Alec and his classmates at the end of the story –the young readers in your life will devour this title.



6. Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli

This is a quick read that completely warmed my heart. I read it in a few hours one afternoon and couldn’t wait to recommend it to students. Eleven-year-old Suzy researches Emily Dickinson as part of a summer program at the public library. When things don’t seem to be going her way, she decides to channel her inner Emily and live like a 19th-century recluse. Her experiment exasperates her parents and baffles her friends, but left me charmed. This book was in my reading pile because it’s part of this year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program. 4th, 5th and 6th graders across the state are presented with 25 nominated books. If they read 5, they are eligible to vote for their favorite. Many states have reading programs for elementary kids, and the nominee lists are great places to seek out new books for the little ones in your life.



7. Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, Edited by Elissa Brent Weissman

I flipped through this book gleefully as I saw how many author contributed, from the author of my childhood favorite Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine, to authors and illustrators of incredible contemporary titles like Wonder (R.J. Palacio), One Crazy Summer (Rita Williams-Garcia), Escape from Mr. Lemencello’s Library (Chris Grabenstein), and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Grace Lin). This is a fascinating look at the varying journeys of accomplished authors and illustrators–the childhood sketches, attempts at novels, and encouragement from teachers and parents that got them where they are today. A truly inspirational and entertaining read for kids and adults alike.



8. A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

This delightful picture book makes kids of all ages laugh out loud. Bear is a bit of a curmudgeon and has all the books he could ever need (seven to be exact). Why would he possibly want to go to the library with Mouse? A sweet, funny tale about being open to trying new things and discovering your next favorite book at the library.



9. Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr

Why does reading make us happy? Is it being able to read the signs at the zoo? Or sharing a story with a friend? Todd Parr explores the many wonderful reasons why “Reading Makes You Feel Good”. A perfect book to share with the littlest readers in your life. I love to ask my K-2 students why they love to read after sharing this title. They always come up with adorable reasons!


TheLibrary10. The Library by Sarah Stewart

Elizabeth Brown was born a bookworm. Her piles of books are her constant companions. She even creates a check-out system for lending books out to friends when she is away at school. (I love that she conducts “midnight raids” to take overdue books back from classmates). When others are out socializing, she’s staying in content with her book. She also reads while grocery shopping and vacumming (if only she’d had access to audiobooks!). As she gets older and moves into a house of her own, the piles of books become towers until she eventually runs out of room. The solution? Create a public library for her town. This is a fun bookish read aloud for kids of all ages and certainly pleases us bookish introverts!

What I’ve Been Reading Lately…

It is so wonderful when you have a stretch of time as a reader when you adore book after book.

Here are some of the books I’ve been over the moon about lately:

Harry’s Trees

by Jon Cohen


Picking up this book in and of itself was magical for me. This was a recommendation that Anne Bogel gave me during our interview. (A dream come true!) I am a huge fan of her blog and What Should I Read Next? podcast. I had asked for suggestions given that I was re-reading Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Pride and Prejudice at the timeThis is exactly the kind of uplifting book I had hoped for, with a quirky cast of characters in a community you come to deeply care about. A+ to Modern Mrs. Darcy! Harry’s Trees also wound up being a January pick for her online book club.

“Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane, lifelong lover of trees, works as an analyst in a treeless US Forest Service office. When his wife dies in a freak accident, devastated, he makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, intent on losing himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She, too, has lost someone—her father. And in the magical, willful world of her reckoning, Oriana believes that Harry is the key to finding her way back to him.

As Harry agrees to help the young girl, the unlikeliest of elements—a tree house, a Wolf, a small-town librarian and a book called The Grum’s Ledger—come together to create the biggest sensation ever to descend upon the Endless Mountains…a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and open the door to a new life for Harry.

Harry’s Trees is an uplifting tale about love, loss, friendship, and redemption. Fans of Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will find in its relentless good humor a much-needed remedy for these fraught times.”


Bear Town

by Fredrik Backman


I wasn’t convinced that a book about hockey would draw me in, but I kept hearing about this book and enjoyed A Man Called Ove, so I decided to finally try Beartown. I’m so glad I did. Fans of Friday Night Lights will find themselves captivated by this small town story, and like me, struggle to put it down.

“People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.”


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The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

Image result for the poet x

The Poet X is one of the best young adult novels I’ve ever read. Winner of numerous awards including the National Book Award, Pura Belpré Award, and the Michael L. Printz Award, this is an unforgettable coming-of-age story, filled with hope and writing that has to be stopped and savored.

“A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.”

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

by Meg Medina


Merci Suarez Changes Gears  was recommended to me by Katie Cunningham, Senior Editor at Candlewick on the podcast. Her praise was spot on and I absolutely adored this book. I revisited Merci recently before my interview with author Meg Medina (coming soon!). This is the kind of story you want to press into the hands of middle schoolers–and the kind of story adults wish they had read during those tumultuous years! I could not have been more thrilled to see Meg Medina win the Newbery Medal for this outstanding book. Fingers crossed we see more of Merci and the Suarez family soon!

“Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.”

Drawn Together

by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat


A boy and his grandfather are unable to speak the same language, resulting in frustration and distance, until they find a different way. Drawn Together is a deeply moving book about family and the power of connecting through stories.  I was so happy to see this book win the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.

“When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.”

I Love You, Little Pookie

by Sandra Boynton


I spotted this book at my local bookstore over the weekend, Silver Unicorn Books and knew I had to get it for my little Valentine! We are huge Sandra Boynton fans around here and I Love You, Little Pookie is a wonderful new addition. This sweet story is sure to be shared on repeat like other Boynton favorites!

“I Love You, Little Pookie is an affectionate and heartfelt celebration—for Valentine’s Day and every day—enlivened with those funny and captivating Boynton drawings. And Pookie’s Mom wisely knows that the best way to say I love you is simply to say it:
Through the days,
through the nights,
come rain or come shine,
I love you, little Pookie.
You’ll always be mine.”

What have you been reading? Share your recommendations! And if you’ve picked up a book after reading the blog or listening to the podcast, I’d love to hear. Leave a note in the comments or find me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

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Get Ready for the Oscars of Children’s Books

It’s almost time for the Oscars of Children’s Books! The American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards will take place Monday, January 28th. So many prestigious book awards will be announced including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Awards, and more. It is so exciting to find out which books will be chosen, discover new titles to add to your list, and learn which authors and illustrators lives’ will be changed forever! 

There is a livestream of the event beginning at 11am EST on 1/28. I’m planning to have a viewing party with my daughter in our pjs, with some popcorn of course. If you and your family can’t watch the award announcemenst live because of school or work, ALA also usually shares a recording of the awards later that day.  Watching the awards with the little ones in your life can be a great way to build enthusiasm around books and reading. I always loved showing the announcement of awards like the Caldecott and Newbery to the students in my school library. 

To get in the award season spirit, you and your child could check out some of the past winners from your local library and read them together. Taking a look at award lists, past and present, is also a fantastic way to find new books to read.

Each medal in the list below has a link to the ALA Youth Media Award official page, with more information about the medal and access to a full list of past winners:

The Caldecott Medal

caldecottThe Caldecott Medal is awarded “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.”

The list of amazing past Caldecott winners is a mile long: Wolf in the Snow (2018), This is Not My Hat (2013),  Jumanji (1982), Where the Wild Things Are (1964), The Snowy Day (1963), and so many more.  You have probably seen the gold medal, or the silver Caldecott Honor medal on many of your favorite picture books. 

Here are some of the picture books I’m rooting for this year:

Alma and How She Got Her Name

by Juana Martinez-Neal

28234753.jpg“If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.”

You can listen to my interview with author/illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal on episode Episode 11 of A Bookish Home, the podcast.


The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

37506301.jpg“There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.”

The Rabbit Listened

by Cori Doerrfeld

35248504.jpg“When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs.”

What If…

by Samantha Berger, Pictures by Mike Curato

35959676.jpg“This girl is determined to express herself! If she can’t draw her dreams, she’ll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can’t do that, she’ll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she’ll sing, dance, and dream…

Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.”

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have A Horse

by Marcy Campbell and Corinna Luyken


“Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.”


A Big Mooncake for Little Star

by Grace Lin


“Pat, pat, pat…

Little Star’s soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.

Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she’s not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can’t resist a nibble?

In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.’

Julian Is A Mermaid

by Jessica Love


“While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a periwinkle curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.”


by Yuyi Morales


“In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed.

She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams…and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous new picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly’s passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.”

Drawn Together

by Minh Lê and Dan Santat


“When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.”


by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


“How many shades of blue are there? There’s the soft blue of a baby’s cherished blanket, the ocean blue of a romp in the waves, the chilly blue of a cold winter’s walk in the snow, and the true blue of the bond that exists between children and animals.

In this simple, sumptuously illustrated companion to Caldecott Honor Book Green, award-winning artist Laura Vaccaro Seeger turns her attention to the ways in which color evokes emotion, and in doing so tells the story of one special and enduring friendship.”

For more on the Caldecott Award, you can also listen to Episode 22 of A Bookish Home, the podcast with Ashley Waring, librarian and member of the 2017 Caldecott Award Committee. Ashley gives us a behind the scenes look at this prestigious award!


The Newbery Medal

newberyWhile the Caldecott is awarded based on the book’s illustrations, the Newbery Medal focuses on the writing and is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

There are so many wonderful past Newbery winners to add to your To Be Read list including Hello Universe (2018), Last Stop on Market Street (2016), The One and Only Ivan (2013), The Tale of Despereaux (2004), Bud, Not Buddy (2000), Number the Stars (1990), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1968) and many more.

Here are some of the books I’ll be rooting for during this year’s Newbery announcement:

You Go First

by Erin Entrada Kelly

35068526.jpg“Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different—Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.

Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben—online friends connected only by a Scrabble game—will intersect in unexpected ways as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. You Go First reminds us that no matter how hard it is to keep our heads above troubled water, we never struggle alone.”

Front Desk

by Kelly Yang


“Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?”

The Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

35238085.jpg“The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It’s waiting for Candice Miller.

When Candice finds the letter, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. Grandma tried and failed. But now Candice has another chance.

So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues in the letter. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the summer ends?”


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Merci Suarez Changes Gears

by Meg Medina

38185346.jpg“Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.”

I’m excited to share that an interview with Meg Medina is coming up soon on A Bookish Home, the podcast!


The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

33294200.jpg“A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.”


Hey, Kiddo

by Jarrett J. Krosoczka


Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn’t know his father’s name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddotraces Krosoczka’s search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist.

You can listen to my interview with Jarrett J. Krosoczka on Episode 13 of A Bookish Home, the podcast.


The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle

by Leslie Connor


“Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.”

Some of the other awards I can’t wait to hear announced are:

The Coretta Scott King Awards

coretta scott awardThe Coretta Scott King Awards are given “to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”

Some of the great past winners you could check out are Piecing Me Together (2018), Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (2018), Firebird (2015), Heart and Soul (2012), My People (2010), and Elijah of Buxton (2008).


The Pura Belpré Award

pura belpre

The Pura Belpré Award is given “to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.”

Some of the past winning titles include La Princesa and the Pea (2018), Juana and Lucas (2017)Drum Dream Girl (2016), I Lived on Butterfly Hill (2015), and The Dreamer (2011).


The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Geisel_200The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given, “to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.” Past winners you might want to check out to enjoy with your beginning reader are Charlie & Mouse (2018), We Are Growing! (2017), The Watermelon Seed (2014), Up Tall and High (2013), and Bink and Gollie (2011).

The Robert F. Sibert Medalseibert200w

The Robert F. Sibert Medal is given, “to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. ” Some past winners to share are Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 (2018), Giant Squid (2017 Honor Book), Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras (2016), Balloons Over Broadway (2012), and We are the Ship (2009).

For a full list of awards and past winners you can visit the ALA Youth Media Awards page.

I hope you’re able to tune in to the livestream of the ALA Youth Media Awards on Monday 1/28 at 11am EST.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

Ep. 9: Boston Book Festival Deputy Director Norah Piehl

This week on the podcast we get an inside scoop on an incredible bookish event coming up on Saturday, October 13th: The Boston Book Festival! Deputy Director, Norah Piehl joins me to highlight some of the incredible free author sessions and children’s offerings at this year’s day-long festival.


“Celebrating the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight,
and inspire, Boston Book Festival presents year-round events
culminating in an annual festival that promotes a culture of reading
and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.”



You can also find this episode on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

For more information about the Boston Book Festival and to see the full schedule of sessions and presenters you can visit and follow them on Twitter @BostonBookFest.

Books Recommended In This Episode:


Indiebound    Amazon



Indiebound    Amazon



Indiebound    Amazon


If you’re enjoying the podcast, be sure to subscribe and rate and review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. To stay up to date on bookish happenings, you can follow me on Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  I also participate in the Indiebound Affiliate program.


Boston Author Event Roundup: October Edition

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

Here is just a sampling of some of the wonderful author events coming to 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. 

Author events are also a great way to help build bookish enthusiasm in your family and inspire young readers. You can take your little one to a kidlit author event or bring them along while you hear from one of your favorite authors. Bonus: they’ll see you modeling an active reading life!

Tuesday, October 2nd – 6pm at Brattle Theatre, Cambridge: sponsored by Harvard Bookstore

Steven Johnson, Farsighted


“Harvard Book Store welcomes bestselling author STEVEN JOHNSON—host and co-creator of How We Got to Now—for a discussion of his latest book, Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most.”

You can find more information about this ticketed event here.


Farsighted:  Indiebound      Amazon



Thursday, October 4th – 6pm at Belmont Books

Mitali Perkins, You Bring The Distant Near



“Join us as Mitali Perkins discusses her novel, You Bring the Distant Near. A 2017 National Book Award Longlist Title with six starred reviews, A School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2017, A New York City Public Librariy’s Notable 50 Best Books for Teens South Asia Book Award Winner. This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse. From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity. Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.”

You can find more information about the event here.

You Bring the Distant Near is available on Indiebound and Amazon.



Thursday, October 4th – 7pm at Wellesley Bookstore

Kerri Maher, The Kennedy Debutante



“Book Launch event for The Kennedy Debutante: “A captivating novel following the exploits of Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, the forgotten and rebellious daughter of one of America’s greatest political dynasties: London, 1938. The effervescent “It girl” of London society since her father was named the ambassador, Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy moves in rarified circles, rubbing satin-covered elbows with some of the 20th century’s most powerful figures. Eager to escape the watchful eye of her strict mother, Rose, the antics of her older brothers, Jack and Joe, and the erratic behavior of her sister Rosemary, Kick is ready to strike out on her own and is soon swept off her feet by Billy Hartington, the future Duke of Devonshire. But their love is forbidden, as Kick’s devout Catholic family and Billy’s staunchly Protestant one would never approve their match. When war breaks like a tidal wave across her world, Billy is ripped from her arms as the Kennedys are forced to return to the States. Kick gets work as a journalist and joins the Red Cross to get back to England, where she will have to decide where her true loyalties lie—with family or with love . . .”

You can find more information about the event here.


The Kennedy Debutante:  Indiebound      Amazon



Sunday, October 7th – 2pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Ann Braden, The Benefits of Being An Octopus



“Ann is a local author who lives in southern Vermont. In addition to being an author and a former teacher, Ann is an organizer for the Kids Need Mentors program, co-hosts her own podcast, and has created other ventures as well. Basically, Ann is always up to something! What she’s been up to in the publishing world is her debut novel, The Benefits of Being an Octopus, will be released on Sept. 4. It has already received a starred review from School Library Journal, which called it “heartbreaking” and “beautifully written.”The novel is geared toward middle-grade readers, and follows seventh-grader Zoey, who is so busy taking care of her younger siblings that she doesn’t have time for boys or even her homework. The book explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl, living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward. Join us as we celebrate this layered, original debut novel!”

You can find more information about the event here.

The Benefits of Being An Octopus is available on Indiebound and Amazon.



Wednesday, October 10th – 7pm at Belmont Books

Doug Burgess, Fogland Point in conversation with

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Trust Me

“Join us for a conversation between Doug Burgess, author of Fogland Point, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of Trust Me. (Fogland Point): David Hazard wanted nothing more than to forget his renegade family and the foggy New England village “on the wrong side” of Narragansett Bay where he grew up. When sudden tragedy brings him back to Little Compton to care for his grandmother during her struggle with dementia, he discovers her fragile memories may hold the key to a bizarre mystery half a century old – and perhaps to the sudden and brutal murder right next door.Once Chief of Police Billy Dyer names her as a witness, Grandma Maggie’s recollections become vital. But can they be trusted, especially in a town where everyone has a secret, including David himself?The investigation stalls. Then eccentric millionaire Marcus Rhinegold’s yacht disappears into the fog, bodies begin to wash ashore, and Maggie’s stories come vividly to life, setting off a chain of events both horrifying and hauntingly familiar. Puritans, gun-runners, Mafiosi, and a rogues’ gallery from past and present converge in the mists of the bay, challenging Billy with layers of deception. On Christmas Eve, he enlists David in a daring move to uncover the many truths surrounding Fogland Point. Trust Me is the chilling standalone novel of psychological suspense and manipulation that award-winning author and renowned investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan was born to write. CAN YOU SPOT THE LIAR? An accused killer insists she’s innocent of a heinous murder. A grieving journalist surfaces from the wreckage of her shattered life.Their unlikely alliance leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game that will leave you breathless. Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself?”

You can find more information about the event here.

Look for the books on Amazon and Indiebound.

Fogland Point: Indiebound     Amazon

Trust Me: Indiebound     Amazon





Wednesday, October 10th – 7pm at An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson,

Carmela Full of Wishes


“An Unlikely Story is honored to welcome Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Christian Robinson, the creators of the #1 New York Times bestseller LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET. Matt and Christian will present their highly anticipated new book CARMELA FULL OF WISHES—a heartfelt sibling story that explores what hope looks like in a vibrant migrant community, and illuminates the experience of mixed-status families. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and a signing; books will be available for purchase at the event.”

You can find more information about the event here.


Carmela Full of Wishes:  Indiebound      Amazon



Saturday, October 13th

Boston Book Festival


“Celebrating the power of words to stimulate, agitate, unite, delight,
and inspire, Boston Book Festival presents year-round events
culminating in an annual festival that promotes a culture of reading
and ideas and enhances the vibrancy of our city.”

The Boston Book Festival is an event I look forward to every year.  2018  presenters include a wide range of stellar authors including Kate DiCamillo, Tayari Jones, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jonathan Auxier, Louise Miller, Fatima Farheen Mirza, and more.

For more information you can visit the event website.

On October 11th, I will also be sharing an interview with Boston Book Festival deputy director Norah Piehl on the A Bookish Home podcast.



Saturday, October 13th – 10am at the Eric Carle Museum, Amherst

Book Party with Mo Willems


This would be well worth the drive to Amherst to get to see the author of Elephant and Piggie and the Pigeon books in person!

“GO NUTS!” at The Carle as we celebrate the new book in Mo Willems’ beginning-reader series, Unlimited Squirrels: I Lost My Tooth! In I Lost My Tooth!, meet an ensemble cast of squirrels and learn fun jokes and nutty facts. Listen to Mo as he reads from his new book, watch films, and create “Squirrel-scapes” in the Art Studio.”

You can find more information about the event here.


I Lost My Tooth:  Indiebound      Amazon



Sunday, October 14th – 3pm at Trinitarian Congregational Church, sponsored by Concord Bookshop

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership in Turbulent Times

Leadership jacket art.jpg

“Please join us on Sunday, October 14 at 3pm, when Doris Kearns Goodwin presents her new work, Leadership: In Turbulent Times. The event will be held at Trinitarian Congregational Church (54 Walden Street) in Concord. Doors open at 2:15 This is a free ticketed event. Tickets will be distributed beginning at noon on Sunday, October 14, at the back desk of the Concord Bookshop(near Young Readers); limit two tickets per person. We do expect the event venue to fill, and will announce on social media and signage on the Bookshop doors when all tickets have been distributed. Every person attending the speaker program must have an admission ticket, which will also be used to enter the book-signing line following Ms. Goodwin’s talk.

You can find more information about the event here.

Leadership: In Turbulent Times is available on Indiebound and Amazon.



Monday, October 15th – 7pm at Brookline Booksmith

Young Adult Panel

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 12.17.44 PM.png

“A night of YA fun with with authors Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Cordova, Katie Cotugno, Sara Farizan and Julie Murphy.”

Tuesday, October 16th – 7pm at An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Jarrett Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo


“Jarrett Krosoczka returns to An Unlikely Story for an event hosted by our owner, Jeff Kinney, to introduce Jarrett’s stunning new YA graphic memoir, HEY, KIDDO. It’s a bittersweet story that tackles the subject of learning to love your family during the not-so-great moments of their life. It’s raw, honest, and beautiful, and a MUST read for teens and adults alike.  Heartbreaking and life affirming, this is timely and a perfect book for book groups.”

You can find more information about the event here.


Hey, Kiddo:  Indiebound      Amazon



Thursday, October 18th – 6pm at Congregation Kehillath-Israel, sponsored by Brookline Booksmith

Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered

Unsheltered: A Novel image_path


“This event will take place at Congregation Kehillath Israel. Buy tickets HERE!The New York Times bestselling author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards—including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize—returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval. Brilliantly executed and compulsively readable, Unsheltered is the story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred—whether family or friends—and in the strength of the human spirit.”

You can find more information about the event here.


Unsheltered:  Indiebound      Amazon


Saturday, October 20th – 11am at Wellesley Bookstore

Rob Buyea , The Perfect Secret


“From the beloved author of Because of Mr. Terupt comes the sequel to The Perfect Score, about a lovable group of students at Lake View Middle School and the rewards and challenges of seventh grade: These students are in for a year of secrets, discoveries, and kid power! GAVIN finally joins the football team—a dream come true!—but Coach Holmes refuses to play him for reasons that also threaten to tear Gavin’s family apart. When RANDI attends an elite gymnastics camp, she uncovers a startling family connection. SCOTT starts researching an article for the school newspaper and stumbles right into a hornet’s nest of lies. With his loser older brother, Brian, out of the house, TREVOR’s life is loads better—until he realizes that only he can save Brian from getting into deep trouble. NATALIE’s top goals: (1) find out why Mrs. Woods and Mrs. Magenta no longer speak to each other—a mission shared by all the kids—and (2) teach a certain someone an important life skill without anyone knowing. It’s tough keeping secrets. And tougher still to deal with the fallout when secrets spill out.

You can find more information about the event here.


The Perfect Secret:  Indiebound      Amazon



Monday, October 22nd – 7pm at Porter Square Books

Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know


“Debut memoirist Nicole Chung discusses her book with Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere…What does it mean to lose your roots–within your culture, within your family–and what happens when you find them? Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up–facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from–she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth. With the same warmth, candor, and startling insight that has made her a beloved voice, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets–vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong. Nicole Chung has written for The New York Times, GQ, Longreads, BuzzFeed, Hazlitt, and Shondaland, among other publications. She is Catapult magazine’s editor in chief and the former managing editor of The Toast.

You can find more information about the event here.


All You Can Ever Know is available on Indiebound and Amazon.


Sunday, October 21st – 1pm at the Eric Carle Museum

Our Voice: Gallery Talk with Ekua Holmes, Gordon C. James, and Jerry Pinkney


You can find more information about the event here.




Thursday, October 25th – 6pm at Congregation Kehillath-Israel, sponsored by Brookline Booksmith

Jason Reynolds, Lu

“This event will take place at Congregation Kehillath-Israel. Purchase tickets HERE.Celebrated children’s author Jason Reynolds discusses Lu, the fourth and final book in the Track series. Lu was born to be cocaptain of the Defenders. Well, actually, he was born albino, but that’s got nothing to do with being a track star. Lu has swagger, plus the talent to back it up, and with all that—not to mention the gold chains and diamond earrings—no one’s gonna outshine him. Lu knows he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Suddenly, there are hurdles in Lu’s way—literally and not-so-literally—and Lu needs to figure out, fast, what winning the gold really means. Starting with National Book Award finalist Ghost, the Track series follows the four rookie members of a middle school track team.

You can find more information about the event here.


Lu:  Indiebound      Amazon




Friday, October 26th at 7:30pm at Concord Library

Concord Festival of Authors: John Matteson, presented by Orchard House


“In honor of the Little Women Sesquicentennial Celebration, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House presents Pulitzer Prize winner Prof. John T. Matteson.  In addition to discussing the enduring nature of Little Women, Professor Matteson will offer insights into and an advance preview of his forthcoming book,which is primarily focused on the Battle of Fredericksburg.  This event will take place on Friday, October 26th at 7:30 pm at the Concord Free Public Library.”

You can find more information about this event here.



Monday, October 29th – 6pm at the Boston Public Library, Copley

Dr. Crystal Fleming, How to Be Less Stupid About Race


“Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and analysis of the latest interdisciplinary scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh, accessible, and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our “national conversation about race.” Drawing upon critical race theory, as well as her own experiences as a queer black millennial college professor and researcher, Fleming unveils how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance–and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into concrete social change. How to Be Less Stupid About Race is a call to action for everyone who wants to challenge white supremacy and intersectional oppression.”

You can find more information about this event here.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race:  Indiebound      Amazon


What bookish events are you planning to attend this month? I’d love to hear!  Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter @ABookishHome.

And if you’re enjoying the blog, be sure to tell a friend and subscribe to make sure you’ll never miss a new post.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  I also participate in the Indiebound Affiliate program.

Discover New Kidlit with Your State’s Book Award Program

Have you checked out your state’s book awards for children? These lists can be a great way to find new titles for your children and students to enjoy.

You can find a link to your state’s book award program here.


I am a huge fan of the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program. Each year in my school library, I would promote MCBA books to students with book trailers and much bookish enthusiasm. If they read five books out of the 25 nominated titles by March, they would be eligible to vote for the winner along with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders all over the state. We approached it like one big book club with a lot of choice and it was so much fun discussing the books with one another and discovering great new reads.


Last year’s winner was one of my all time favorite middle grade novels, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. There was so much book joy watching my students fall in love with this story and root for Ada.

Kids were hooked as soon as they watched this trailer from author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, where she shares her inspiration for this captivating historical fiction title:


The War That Saved My Life on Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


This year’s list of MCBA nominees has blown me way. There are so many titles that I adore that I think kids will not be able to put down.

Here are a few of my favorite MCBA 2019 nominees:


The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz


This Newbery Honor title sweeps you up in an epic story that you won’t want to put down:

“1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


Watch the book trailer:



Ghost by Jason Reynolds (Track Series #1)


This National Book Award Winner is also part of PBS’ The Great American Read. The audiobook version had me alternately laughing out loud and tearing up. You can read more in my earlier post: Five Audiobooks That Made Me Enjoy Sitting in Traffic and Doing the Dishes

“Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race — and wins — the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


Listen to an author reading:


It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas


Based on author Firoozeh Dumas’ own experiences, It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel is funny, compelling and sure to stay with you. You can read more about this book in my post Middle Grade Reads I Can’t Wait to Recommend.

“Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name—Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even puka shell necklaces, pool parties, and flying fish can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home.”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


The Bad Guys (Bad Guys Series #1) by Aaron Blabey


This funny series is one we could not keep on the shelves last year:

“They sound like bad guys, they look like bad guys . . . and they even smell like bad guys. But Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that…Mr. Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys’ first good mission. They are going to break two hundred dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr. Snake please stop swallowing Mr. Piranha?!”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


View the book trailer:



Wolf Hollow by Laren Wolk


This beautiful historical fiction book and Newbery Honor winner weaves together themes of kindness and courage.

“Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson


Fans of Wonder, Absolutely Almost, and Because of Mr. Terupt will love Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. 

“Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind. Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle


Listen to an audiobook excerpt:




Putting yourself in another person’s shoes is so important for adults and kids alike. This novel accomplishes this in a way that is thought-provoking and full of heart.

“From comes Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home. When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle





Fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine series will enjoy this spinoff. She is also the author of Pax, Summer of the Gypsy Moths, and many more.

“Waylon has lots of ideas for making life more awesome through science, like teleportation, human gills, and attracting cupcakes by controlling gravity. But it’s impossible for him to concentrate on his inventions when he’s experiencing his own personal Big Bang. Arlo Brody is dividing the fourth grade boys into two groups. Waylon would rather be friends with everyone. Well, everyone except the scary new kid, Baxter Boylen.Waylon’s older sister, Neon, is shooting away from the family. He wishes everything would go back to the way it was before she started wearing all black and saying “What’s the point?” all the time. Just when it looks as though Waylon’s universe is exploding, something happens to bring it all together again, and it is, without a doubt, One Awesome Thing.”

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle



These are the 25 books nominated for this year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Awards. Voting will take place at participating schools and libraries mid-March and the winner will be announced by Salem State in April 2019. You can find more information about the MCBA program here.


MCBA 2019 Nominated Books:

Anderson, J.D. (2016). Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.

Arnold, E. (2017). A Boy Called Bat.

Barnett, M. (2015). The Terrible Two.

Blabey, A. (2016). The Bad Guys #1.

Chad, J. (2016). Science Comics: Volcanoes.

Connor, L. (2016). All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook.

DiCamillo, K. (2016). Raymie Nightingale.

Dinerstein, E. (2016). What Elephants Know.

Dumas, F. (2016). It Ain’t so Awful, Falafel.

Gannon, N. (2017). The Doldrums.

Gidwitz, A. (2016). The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. Grimes, N. (2017). One Last Word.

Hahn, M. D. (2016). Took: A Ghost Story.

Hale, N. (2015). The Underground Abductor.

Kelly, J. (2015). The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate.

Lord, C. (2015). A Handful of Stars.

Martin, A.M. (2014). Rain Reign.

Nielsen, J.A. (2015). A Night Divided.

Pennypacker, S. (2016). Waylon! One Awesome Thing.

Ponti, J. (2016). Framed: A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery.

Reynolds, J. (2016). Ghost.

Rhodes, J.P. (2016). Towers Falling.

Shovan, L. (2016). The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.

Tavares, M. (2015). Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues.

Wolk, L. (2016). Wolf Hollow.


Do the kids in your life participate in your state’s book award program? I’d love to hear some of your favorite nominated titles.

Share in the comments or on Twitter @ABookishHome. And you can find a link with details for your state here.

Ep. 5 Chelmsford Public Library’s Head of Reader Services: Jessica FitzHanso

Have checked out your local library lately? Librarian Jessica FitzHanso joins me on the podcast this week to discuss getting the most out of your library card, the books she is recommending to patrons right now, and more.

To find out more about the Chelmsford Public Library you can visit their website and follow them on Twitter @chelmsfordlib. Be sure to check out their Event Calendar as well if you are local to the area.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please make sure to rate and review on  iTunes and subscribe to be sure you never miss an episode.

Stay connected. I’m on Twitter @ABookishHome and my blog is

Books Mentioned on This Episode:

Jessica mentioned so many wonderful titles in this episode–21 in all!

Visit your local library or indie bookstore to pick up one of the books mentioned on this episode. You can also click on the links below to order the books online.

1. Crazy Rich Asians


Indiebound   Amazon    Amazon Kindle

2. China Rich Girlfriend


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3. The Perfect Couple


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4. The Summer Wives


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5. The President Is Missing


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6. The Nightingale


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7. The Great Alone


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8. We That Are Young


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9. Killing Commendatore 


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10. Kingdom of The Blind


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11. The Witch Elm


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12. The Dublin Murder Series, Book 1: In the Woods


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13. Don Quixote


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14. Anna Karenina


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15. Mrs. Dalloway


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16. 1984


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17. Olive Kitteridge


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18. A Visit from the Goon Squad


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19. Netherland


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20. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer


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21. Station Eleven


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Massachusetts Author Event Roundup: September Edition

Are you looking for a bookish event to attend this month? Add an author reading to your calendar!

Check the events calendar at your local bookstores, libraries, and museums to find authors coming to your area. You can also follow favorite authors on social media or visit their website to see if they have any upcoming events. Attend on your own or bring your child along to experience the magic of hearing from an author in person!

If you are local to the Boston area, here are some fantastic author events coming your way this month:

Wednesday, September 12 – 6pm at Boston Public Library, Copley Square

Anne Boyd Rioux, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters


“On its 150th anniversary, discover the story of the beloved classic that has captured the imaginations of generations. Soon after publication on September 30, 1868, Little Women became an enormous bestseller and one of America – and the world’s – favorite novels. When Anne Boyd Rioux read the novel in her twenties, she had a powerful reaction to the story. Through teaching the book, she has seen the same effect on many others. In Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write Little Women, drawing inspiration from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set as the Civil War was tearing America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women.”

For more, visit the event website and listen to A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 1 with Anne Boyd Rioux. You can also see Anne Boyd Rioux’s complete book tour information here.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon    Amazon Kindle

Wednesday, September 12th –6pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Rebecca Caprara (The Magic of Melwick Orchard) and Erin Cashman (Uncharted)

“This is going to be one of the best events of the year! Two local authors, both from Boxborough, have great novels out just a week apart from each other! First up is Rebecca Caprara’s debut novel, The Magic of Melwick Orchard. You may know Rebecca because her family owned the Acton School of Ballet for a very long time before turning it over to new ownership this summer. Rebecca’s book follows the story of a young girl who just can’t be a priority in her parents’ lives because of her ill sister is heartwrenching, but it is infused with a magic that will keep you up late at night finishing it. The book doesn’t come out until September, and we are so excited for it. Erin Cashman’s book, Uncharted, comes out a few days later. Hers is a gaenre-defying novel that is at once young adult, fantasy and mystery.  It tells the tale of teenage Annabeth, and a secret society that may have found the fountain of youth. But the book is so much more than that, as Annabeth grapples with love and loss, and has to summon the strength inside of herself to be brave and do what’s right, all while trying to unravel a mystery that has far more twists and turns than you would expect. We thought we had this book figured six times, and were wrong every single time! Both books are among our favorites of 2018. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be celebrating these two great ladies and their two excellent books!”

For more information visit the event website.

The Magic of Melwick Orchard is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

Uncharted is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle

You can find Rebecca Caprara’s full book tour information here.

Book tour information for Erin Cashman is available here.

Friday, September 14th –7pm at Newtonville Books

Release Party for Here to Stay by Sara Farizan


“What happens when a kid who’s flown under the radar for most of high school gets pulled off the bench to make the winning basket in a varsity playoff game? If his name is Bijan Majidi, life is suddenly high fives in the hallways and invitations to exclusive parties—along with an anonymous photo sent by a school cyberbully that makes Bijan look like a terrorist. The administration says they’ll find and punish the culprit. Bijan wants to pretend it never happened. He’s not ashamed of his Middle Eastern heritage; he just doesn’t want to be a poster child for Islamophobia. Lots of classmates rally around Bijan. Others make it clear they don’t want him oranybody who looks like him at their school. But it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends.

For more, check out the event website.

Here to Stay is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

Saturday,  September 15th – 4pm at Belmont Books

Louise Miller, The Late Bloomers’ Club


“The Great Belmont Books Bake-Off returns! To celebrate special cake in The Late Bloomers’ Club, [Louise Miller] will be judging a cake baking contest at Belmont Books. There will be prizes. Reading, Q&A, Book Signing and Bake-Off”

For more, visit the event website and listen to my interview with Louise Miller in A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 4.

You can find Louise Miller’s full event schedule here.

The Late Bloomers’ Club is available on:

Indiebound   Amazon    Amazon Kindle

Ella & Monkey at Sea by Emilie Boon

Ella and Monkey at Sea image_path

Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section each Wednesday and Sunday for drop-in storytime! Today’s storytime features Emilie Boon reading her new book. Leaving home and traveling to a whole new place is overwhelming, so it’s good to have a beloved toy who can help express how you feel. Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America.

For more information visit the event website

Ella & Monkey at Sea is available on:

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Sunday, September 16th –2pm at Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

Author Event with Christina Collins (After Zero), Jen Petro-Roy (P.S. I Miss You), and Beth Turley (If This Were A Story)

“This is going to be a great middle-grade panel discussion, led by three local authors who have debut novels — all geared toward middle-grade readers — out in 2018.

Christina Collins is a Maynard native who now lives across the pond in Northern Ireland. Her debut novel, After Zero, comes out Sept. 4, and is an incredibly moving story of what happens to a girl who decides to stop talking. The book has already received praise from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist, who says it’s “easy to root for” main character Elise.

Beth Turley lives in southeastern Connecticut, and her book, If This Were a Story, debuts on Aug. 28. Her book centers on a 10-year-old girl who deals with bullies at school through the power of stories. The book has earned praise from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and has been compared to The Thing about Jellyfish.

Jen lives in Massachussetts, and her book, P.S. I Miss You, debuted in March. Two sisters are torn apart by strict Catholic parents, when the older sister, Cilla, becomes pregnant. Younger sister Evie is forbidden to speak to Cilla, who is sent away to live with her aunt, so instead she secretly sends her letters. That is, until Cilla stops writing back.

These women have written three excellent middle-grade novels that deal with mental health and we couldn’t be more excited to have them all to the store individually, never mind at the exact same time! Join us for this fabulous middle-grade event!”

For more information visit the event website.

After Zero is available on:

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If This Were A Story is available on:

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P.S. I Miss You is available on:

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Sunday, September 16, 2018 – 3:00pm at Porter Square Books

Mission Defrostable by Josh Funk & Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes and Stinkers by Melissa Stewart

“There’s a frost in the fridge–and it’s hardened Pudding Pond and frozen Yogurt Falls. Agent Asparagus is on the case, and she begs Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to join her superspy team. But when the enemy snatches Asparagus, Pancake and French Toast have only one dough man to turn to for help: the evil Baron von Waffle Will he help them save the fridge . . . or are they doomed to become frozen food? Josh Funk is the author of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, followed by its sequel The Case of the Stinky Stench, Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle, Lost in the Library, and more. He lives in Concord, MA.

Puny? Poky? Clumsy? Shy? A lighthearted look at the surprising traits that help some animals survive. Written with a lively, playful voice, Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers introduces young readers to a variety of “animal underdogs” and explains how characteristics that might seem like weaknesses are critical for finding food and staying safe in an eat-or-be-eaten world. Award-winning author Melissa Stewart offers readers a humorous and informative nonfiction picture book with a gentle message of understanding and celebrating differences. Stephanie Laberis’s bright, bold–and scientifically accurate–illustrations add to the fun.”

For more visit the event website.

Josh Funk’s full book tour schedule is available here.

Mission Defrostable is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Melissa Stewart’s full book tour schedule is available here.

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes and Stinkers is available on:

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Monday, September 17, 2018 – 7:00pm at Belmont Public Library, with Belmont Books

Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut


“Learn the story behind everyone’s favorite bear in Lindsay Mattick’s Winnie’s Great War at Belmont Public Library.

This beautifully told story is a triumphant blending of deep research and magnificent imagination. Infused with Sophie Blackall’s irresistible renderings of an endearing bear, the book is also woven through with entries from Captain Harry Colebourn’s real wartime diaries and contains a selection of artifacts from the Colebourn Family Archives. The result is a one-of-a-kind exploration into the realities of war, the meaning of courage, and the indelible power of friendship, all told through the historic adventures of one extraordinary bear. ”

For more information visit the event website.

Winnie’s Great War is available on:

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Friday September 21st – 8:00 PM with Harvard Bookstore at Memorial Church, Cambridge

 Leadership In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

“Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and historian DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN—the bestselling author of Team of Rivals and The Bully Pulpit—for a discussion of her highly anticipated latest book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times.
Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope. Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.”
For more visit the event website.
The full book tour schedule for Doris Kearns Goodwin is available here.

Leadership in Turbulent Times is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Saturday September 29th –7pm with Harvard Bookstore at First Church, Cambridge

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

“Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated novelist JODI PICOULT—whose last ten novels have debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list—for a discussion of her latest novel, A Spark of Light. She will be joined in conversation by CELESTE NG, award-winning author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You.”
For more, visit the event website.

A Spark of Light  is available on:

Saturday, September 29nd – 10:30am at Book Ends Bookstore, Winchester

Storytime with Kate Gardner, Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth


“Please join us for Saturday Story Time on Septemberr 29th at 10:30am! We are welcoming author Kate Gardner in to read her new picture book Lovely Beasts, a stunning debut picture book that encourages kids to look beyond first impressions by sharing unexpected details about seemingly scary wild animals like gorillas, rhinoceroses, and more.

After all, it’s best not to judge a beast until you understand its full, lovely life.

Kate Gardner says hello to every animal she encounters, regardless of its reputation. Once, she was even voluntarily shocked by an electric eel named Thor. Kate lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with three lovely beasts (one of whom is her husband).”

For more information visit the event website.

Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth is available on:

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Book Lunch Party for I Am Human by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds


“From the picture book dream team behind I Am Yoga and I Am Peace comes the third book in their wellness series: I Am Human. A hopeful meditation on all the great (and challenging) parts of being human, I Am Human shows that it’s okay to make mistakes while also emphasizing the power of good choices by offering a kind word or smile or by saying “I’m sorry.” At its heart, this picture book is a celebration of empathy and compassion that lifts up the flawed fullness of humanity and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family—millions strong.”
For more visit the event website.

I Am Human is available on:

Sunday, September 23rd – 12:30pm at the Eric Carle Museum

Meet Dav Pilkey! Author of Dog Man and Captain Underpants

“Meet Dav Pilkey, author/illustrator of the bestselling Captain Underpantsand Dog Man series! Pilkey will talk about his new book, Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas, do a live drawing, and share fun trivia with the audience. Following the 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm auditorium programs, guests can get books signed by Pilkey and enjoy photo opportunities with Dog Man and Captain Underpants!

UPDATE – 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm auditorium programs with Dav Pilkey are FULL. The wait list is also FULL. Visitors can still meet Dav Pilkey during the book signing times. A limited number of book signing tickets are available first come, first serve when Museum opens at 12:00 pm.”

For more information, visit the event website. A full schedule of Dav Pilkey’s book your is  available here.

Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas is available on:

Indiebound    Amazon    Amazon Kindle

The Red Fox Clan image_path

“#1 New York Times bestselling author John Flanagan returns to the world of Ranger’s Apprentice, continuing the story arc starring fan favorites, Will and Maddie (The Royal Ranger: A New Beginning).

After passing her third-year assessment as a ranger’s apprentice, Maddie is called home to Castle Araluen. Forced to keep her ranger training a secret, Maddie feels trapped by the monotony of castle life and longs to find a way out. But there are whisperings of a new threat to the kingdom. The mysterious Red Fox Clan, a group of anarchists all donning fox masks, have threatened Castle Araluen and question Princess Cassandra and Madelyn’s succession to the throne. Will they succeed in unseating Cassandra and Madelyn and take the throne for themselves?”

For more information visit the event website.

The Red Fox Clan is available on:

Shop your local indie bookstore”>Indiebound    Amazon    Amazon Kindle

John Flanagan’s full book tour information is available here.

Saturday, September 29th at 1:30pm, Eric Carle Museum

Drawing Paddington with R.W. Alley

“R.W. Alley has been illustrating Michael Bond’s Paddington books for over twenty years. Guests of all ages will enjoy watching Alley capture Paddington’s likeness and personality in this lively drawing demonstration, which includes a Q&A with the audience. Paper and drawing supplies will be provided for those who wish to draw along with Alley! Book signing to follow program.”

(R. W. Alley, Illustration for Paddington and the Grand Tour, HarperCollins, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. © R. W. Alley 2018.)

For more information visit the event website.

What bookish events are you planning to attend this month? Reach out! Leave a comment or share with me on Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

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Celebrate the Bookish Birthdays of Two Potters…


Are you looking to add a dose of literary fun to your 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. My local library has a celebration planned for Muggles this Saturday:


Harry Potter Birthday Party at the Chelmsford Public Library, July 28th


The Harry Potter Birthday Party at the Chelmsford Library is an annual event that will have “games, crafts, activities, and of course– cake!”.


Harry Potter Escape Rooms at the Brookline Public Library, July 31st

If you live in the Boston area, The Brookline Public Library also has an exciting day planned. They will be having “Happy Birthday Harry Escape Rooms”.  “Witches and wizards of all ages are invited to join us to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday and the 20th Anniversary of his first adventure arriving on our shelves on July 31 from 10 AM to 8 PM. We will host trivia challenges (O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. levels), wizard games, and an escape the room challenge for teams.”


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 this week!

Summer Reading Resources for the Whole Family

As the school year comes to a close, my efforts as an elementary school librarian have shifted to encouraging students to read this summer and sharing public library reading programs and resources with them.

You can support your child as a reader this summer by connecting them with books they enjoy as well as by making reading part of your routine.

Your local public library is a great resource for this. You can visit the library as a family to check out books and find out what summer reading programs your little ones can participate in. Many public libraries also have summer reading lists for kids. The lists I share at my school from the Cary Library in Lexington are also available online and are great tools for moments when kids are stuck for an idea of what book to read next:

Entering Kindergarten-1st Grade Summer Reading List

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As I promoted favorite books from the lists to my students, I also shared book trailers you might find helpful for getting the kids in your life excited about summer reading:


Book Trailer for Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall


Book Trailer for Journey by Aaron Becker



Entering 2nd-3rd Grade Summer Reading List

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Book Trailer for Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty



Book Trailer for the Hilo series by Judd Winick



Entering 4th-6th Grade Summer Reading List

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Book Trailer for Wishtree by Katherine Applegate



Book Trailer for Sunny Side Up by Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm

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In addition to connecting the kids in your life with great reads, you can look for other ways to bring books into your summer routine.

Your family could visit a local bookstore,  listen to audiobooks in the car together, attend a children’s book author event, or read together outside. Bring bookishness into any summer travels as well. Check to see if your destination has a local bookstore or public library your family can visit.  I’m excited to have added Owl & Turtle Bookstore and the Camden Public Library as bookish destinations for my family’s visit to Maine later in the summer. Don’t forget to check the events offered as well–I’ve already marked my calendar to bring my daughter to a library story time on our trip.



Finding books you love to read during the summer is important as well. Modeling an active reading life for your children is so valuable and of course means enjoyable reading time for you!

One of my favorite adult resources for summer reading is the annual Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide. You can also check your public library for summer reading programs and events for adults–like this adult summer reading challenge bingo card from the Chelmsford Public Library. I have this one on my fridge, ready to go!

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And of course, if you are looking for book ideas for you and your family, subscribe to A Bookish Home and follow me on Twitter @ABookishHome. I will continue to share book recommendations and ways to create a culture of reading in your home all summer long.

Happy Reading!