What I’ve Been Reading…

Most of my reading these days is happening curled up in bed with a nightlight, trying not to wake my new baby. It’s definitely a nice way to try to unwind at the end of the day.

 

Here are a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately…

 

Twice in A Blue Moon

by Christina Lauren

This was my first Christina Lauren book and I enjoyed it so much I picked up The Unhoneymooners as well, which did not disappoint. If you enjoy escaping into a good Taylor Jenkins Reid or Jasmine Guillory novel, give this one a try.

“Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak. During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good. Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.”

 

Introverted Mom

by Jamie C. Martin

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This book is for any fellow introverts in the thick of parenting young kids. Relatable, inspiring and as a bonus she weaves in four authors that happen to top my list as well: Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

“When the volume of family life clashes with your personality, frustration, guilt, and overwhelm naturally result. In Introverted Mom, author Jamie C. Martin lifts these burdens from your shoulders, reminding you that your steady strength is exactly what your family needs in this chaotic world. Jamie shares vulnerable stories from her own life as well as thoughts from other introverted mothers, letting you know you’re not alone. Her practical suggestions and creative inspiration are enhanced with quotes and insights from four beloved writers–Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, L. M. Montgomery, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Together, Jamie and this band of fellow introverts gently point you toward hope, laughter, and joy.”

 

The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue

by Karina Yan Glaser

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I can’t recommend this middle grade series highly enough for the kids in your life. Karina Yan Glaser is writing classics in the making and the latest installment brings another round of adventures for this large, loveable family. The Vanderbeekers series would make a perfect family or classroom read aloud for the 3rd-5th grade crowd.

“For the Vanderbeeker kids of Harlem’s 141st Street, spring break couldn’t be off to a better start. Isa’s back from band camp, Oliver’s building his first-ever treehouse in the backyard of the brownstone, and Laney, Jess, and Hyacinth are excited to help their mother when she gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a cooking magazine. But the Vanderbeekers’ plans go off the rails when an unexpected visit from city officials puts their mother’s bakery in jeopardy. Now they’ll have to band together to save the day before they’re out of business. Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and Front Desk.”

*You can listen to Karina Yan Glaser discuss The Vandkerbeekers series and her writing life on A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 6.

 

How to Code A Rollercoaster

by Josh Funk, illustrated by Sara Palacios

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I’m always on the lookout for STEM related picture books to inspire kids and I really enjoyed this one from Josh Funk and Girls Who Code. In a serendipitous turn, it also happened to arrive on my doorstep (thank you Viking Books!) on the same day I happened to be reading Brave, Not Perfect by the founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani. Sometimes books find you at the right time and I was really excited to have the opportunity to read this to my daughter after being inspired by Reshma’s work.

“Pearl and Pascal take their coding adventures to the amusement park in this follow-up picture book from our Girls Who Code program!

Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, are enjoying a day out at the amusement park. Spinning teacups, ice cream, and of course: rollercoasters! Through the use of code, Pearl and Pascal can keep track of their ride tokens and calculate when the line is short enough to get a spot on the biggest ride of them all–the Python Coaster. Variables, if-then-else sequences, and a hunt for a secret hidden code make this a humorous, code-tastic day at the amusement park!”

 

Time for Bed

by Mem Fox

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Having a new baby has meant revisiting some of the books that my daughter loved at that age. This sweet board book is perfect for settling little ones at bedtime and would make a great gift for a baby shower.

“Darkness is falling everywhere and little ones are getting sleepy, feeling cozy, and being tucked in. It’s time for a wide yawn, a big hug, and a snuggle under the covers–sleep tight! Working beautifully with the soothingly repetitive text, each painting conveys a warm feeling of safety and affection -School Library Journal”

What have you been reading lately? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

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

 

Ep. 43: Kelly Hill, Author of Anne’s Alphabet and Anne’s Feelings

This week I’m thrilled to welcome author and illustrator Kelly Hill, a kindred spirit who has created a series of board books that has become a favorite in our household.

Kelly Hill is the author and illustrator of the Anne of Green Gables inspired board book series with titles including Anne’s Numbers, Anne’s Colors and the latest installments Anne’s Alphabet and Anne’s Feelings. Kelly, whose middle name is Ann-with-an-E, is an award-winning book designer. She does all kinds of crafting; the illustrations for these books are a combination of sewing and embroidery. Kelly lives near Eugenia, Ontario with her husband and two daughters.

 

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

Start your 7-Day Free Bluprint Trial at myBluprint.com now!

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Anne’s Feelings

Anne’s Alphabet

Anne’s Numbers

Anne’s Colors

This Is Sadie

Bloom

How To

Swan

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery

Goodnight Anne

Anne Arrives

Anne’s Kindred Spirits

Anne of Green Gables

Marilla of Green Gables

The Tallest Treehouse

You can follow Kelly Hill on Instagram @kelly_anne_hill.

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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

ABookishHome.com

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!

 

Have a Bookish Birthday Party

Today I’m reposting ideas for planning a bookish birthday for your kids. Enjoy!

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Are you planning a birthday party for your little one? Make it bookish!

1. Choose a Book Your Child Loves.

I’m always looking for ways to create a culture of reading in our home, so when it came time to pick a theme for my daughter’s first birthday party, we went with her favorite book–Never Touch a Monster by Stuart Lynch.

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She helped pick this adorable touch and feel board book at her daycare’s Scholastic Book Fair and it has been well loved this year–to the point that I had to sneakily replace it when it began to fall apart from all of my little bookworm’s chewing! (This also made me extra happy because in my pre-librarian life I worked at Scholastic). I highly recommend this one to any babies in your life as a funny, interactive read aloud they won’t be able to get enough of

Basing a birthday party theme on a favorite book  would also work for older children. Some books that might lend themselves well are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Dino sports books, Harry Potter, Curious George, Land of Stories, The Lorax, the Rainbow Magic fairies series, Pete the Cat, Elephant and Piggie, Pinkilicious, and Wings of Fire.

 

2. Order or Make Decorations that Relate to the Story.

I have seen official book decorations, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Those are wonderful, but you can buy or make related decorations if it’s a different book your child loves. So if your little one is a big Wings of Fire fan, you could look for dragon decorations. For the Rainbow Magic fairy books, go with a fairy theme or for The Lorax, you could try making truffula trees. Then you can also display copies of the book, either your own or from a library.

For the Never Touch a Monster book we ordered some monster decorations that looked similar to the characters in the story.  We also bought two new related touch and feel titles for our celebration we thought our little reader would love–That’s Not My Monster… by Fiona Watt and Never Touch a Dinosaur by Stuart Lynch. The books were able to double as decorations and party entertainment as well. I wasn’t feeling particularly crafty so this was a way to make the party feel special for her without taking much effort!

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3. Buy Books for Birthday Presents.

If you’re like me and try to get most of your books at the library, this is a good excuse to stock up on some new titles! Used bookstores and kids’ tag sales are also a great way to buy children’s books on a budget.

I found the presents I wanted while browsing at a fantastic independent bookstore I visited on a recent trip to Colorado: Boulder Bookstore. They had such a wonderful children’s section to discover new books in and it always makes me happy if I can support an independent bookstore.

 


The board books I chose for my little bookworm are Pride and Prejudice: A Counting Primer (A Baby Lit Book) by Jennifer Adams, My Little Cities: Paris by Jennifer Adams, and Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering by Ruth Spiro. These books are each part of a series with beautiful illustrations and interesting stories for children in the areas of literature, science, and travel (click on the links to see more titles). I also found an adorable Little Feminist board book set with pages on many important women “Artists”, “Leaders”, “Activists” and “Pioneers” such as Maya Angelou, Queen Elizabeth I, Malala Yousafzai, and Sally Ride.

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4. Write your Child Birthday Messages Inside the Books.

These were perfect titles to share thoughts on wishing her a life where she can follow her dreams and do anything she sets her mind to! I’m hoping to start a tradition of giving my daughter books every year for her birthday with keepsake messages written inside. You could write your child a message on their birthday book each year and then keep them on a special shelf.

 

5. Enjoy the Party and Read the Books with your Little One!

Celebrate, play, and read on the day of the party. Then you can continue to enjoy any books you’ve given as presents during daily read alouds together!

 

Have you made a children’s book a theme for a birthday party? Or have you gifted any great books lately? I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Ten New Middle Grade Books to Read this Fall

There are so many incredible new middle grade books out this fall. Here are 10 that are high on my TBR list.

Get the library holds and bookstore orders ready for you and the kids in your life!

1. Some Places More Than Others

by Renée Watson

“From Newbery Honor- and Coretta Scott King Author Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Renée Watson comes a heartwarming and inspiring middle-grade novel about finding deep roots and exploring the past, the present, and the places that make us who we are.

All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father’s family in New York City–Harlem, to be exact. She can’t wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family–and herself–in new way.

But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It’s crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.”

2. The World Ends in April

by Stacy McAnaulty

“Is middle school drama scarier than an asteroid heading for Earth? Find out in this smart and funny novel by the author of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl.

Every day in middle school can feel like the end of the world.

Eleanor Dross knows a thing or two about the end of the world, thanks to a survivalist grandfather who stockpiles freeze-dried food and supplies–just in case. So when she reads about a Harvard scientist’s prediction that an asteroid will strike Earth in April, Eleanor knows her family will be prepared. Her classmates? They’re on their own!

Eleanor has just one friend she wants to keep safe: Mack. They’ve been best friends since kindergarten, even though he’s more of a smiley emoji and she’s more of an eye-roll emoji. They’ll survive the end of the world together . . . if Mack doesn’t go away to a special school for the blind.

But it’s hard to keep quiet about a life-destroying asteroid–especially at a crowded lunch table–and soon Eleanor is the president of the (secret) End of the World Club. It turns out that prepping for TEOTWAWKI (the End of the World as We Know It) is actually kind of fun. But you can’t really prepare for everything life drops on you. And one way or another, Eleanor’s world is about to change.”

 

3. Free Lunch

by Rex Ogle

“Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle’s first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school’s free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex’s is a compelling story of a more profound hunger―that of a child for his parents’ love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.”

4. Guts

by Raina Telgemeir


“A true story from Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of Smile, Sisters, Drama, and Ghosts!

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away… and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on?

Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face — and conquer — her fears.”

 

5. Stargazing

by Jen Wang

“Stargazing is a heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel in the spirit of Real Friends and El Deafo, from New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Jen Wang.

Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.

Moon’s visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine’s best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?

Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.”

6. The Vanderbeekers To The Rescue

by Karina Yan Glaser

“NYT Bestselling series! Harlem’s favorite family returns in the third installment in the Vanderbeerkers series, wherein the Vanderbeeker kids find themselves racing to save their mother’s baking business from city closure. Illustrated with delightful black and white illustrations.

For the Vanderbeeker kids of Harlem’s 141st Street, spring break couldn’t be off to a better start. Isa’s back from band camp, Oliver’s building his first-ever treehouse in the backyard of the brownstone, and Laney, Jess, and Hyacinth are excited to help their mother when she gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a cooking magazine.

But the Vanderbeekers’ plans go off the rails when an unexpected visit from city officials puts their mother’s bakery in jeopardy. Now they’ll have to band together to save the day before they’re out of business. Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and Front Desk.”

*You can listen to Karina Yan Glaser discuss The Vandkerbeekers series and her writing life on A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 6.

7. Beverly, Right Here

by Kate DiCamillo

“Revisiting once again the world of Raymie Nightingale, two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo turns her focus to the tough-talking, inescapably tenderhearted Beverly.

Beverly put her foot down on the gas. They went faster still.
This was what Beverly wanted — what she always wanted. To get away. To get away as fast as she could. To stay away.

Beverly Tapinski has run away from home plenty of times, but that was when she was just a kid. By now, she figures, it’s not running away. It’s leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly finds a job and a place to live and tries to forget about her dog, Buddy, now buried underneath the orange trees back home; her friend Raymie, whom she left without a word; and her mom, Rhonda, who has never cared about anyone but herself. Beverly doesn’t want to depend on anyone, and she definitely doesn’t want anyone to depend on her. But despite her best efforts, she can’t help forming connections with the people around her — and gradually, she learns to see herself through their eyes. In a touching, funny, and fearless conclusion to her sequence of novels about the beloved Three Rancheros, #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo tells the story of a character who will break your heart and put it back together again.”

8. White Bird: A Wonder Story

by R.J. Palacio

“Inspired by her blockbuster phenomenon Wonder, R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war.

In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. Here, Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère’s heartrending story: how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II; how the boy she and her classmates once shunned became her savior and best friend.

Sara’s harrowing experience movingly demonstrates the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives. As Grandmère tells Julian, “It always takes courage to be kind, but in those days, such kindness could cost you everything.” With poignant symbolism and gorgeous artwork that brings Sara’s story out of the past and cements it firmly in this moment in history, White Bird is sure to captivate anyone who was moved by the book Wonder or the blockbuster movie adaptation and its message.”

9. The Perfect Star

by Rob Buyea

The Perfect Star (The Perfect Score Series) by [Buyea, Rob]

“Return to Lake View Middle School in the third book of the PERFECT SCORE series from the beloved author of Because of Mr. Terupt.

Eighth grade promises to be an unforgettable year of tears, laughter, surprises, and star power.

GAVIN’s days of football glory have arrived, but an accident on the home front upends his family. Ever enterprising, NATALIE anchors a morning news broadcast at school–where she’s unafraid to tackle big issues. Being on the outs with his best friend sucks, but the more TREVOR tries to patch things up, the worse things get. Sidelined with a gymnastics injury, RANDI develops a bad attitude and worries that her mom’s new boyfriend means changes she won’t like. SCOTT discovers hidden talents . . . and becomes a secret weapon on and off the football field.

It’s the final year of middle school–a time to play hard, smart, and together!”

You can listen to Rob Buyea discuss The Perfect Score series and his journey as a writer on A Bookish Home Episode 28.

 

10. Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky

by Kwame Mbalia

“Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia’s epic fantasy, a middle grade American Godsset in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.
Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he’s going to spend on his grandparents’ farm in Alabama, where he’s being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie’s notebook. Tristan chases after it–is that a doll?–and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature’s hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?”

What new books are topping your TBR list this fall? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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

ABookishHome.com

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. 42: Bookish Destination: Green Gables Heritage Place

This week I’m featuring one of my favorite bookish destinations: Green Gables Heritage Place on Prince Edward Island. This is a site that will delight fellow Anne of Green Gables fans.

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

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Anne of Green Gables

The Blue Castle

Jane Eyre

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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

ABookishHome.com

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!

 

Halloween Read Alouds To Enjoy With Your Baby or Toddler

This week I’m reposting some book recommendations for Halloween. Enjoy!

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Halloween is around the corner. Add to the excitement by sharing one of these books with your little one!

Here are five fun read alouds to introduce the holiday to your baby or toddler:

Look for these at your local bookstore or library. You can also use the links below to order online from Indiebound or Amazon. Descriptions are from the publishers.

 

EEK! Halloween!

by Sandra Boynton

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Sandra Boynton’s books are always a hit in our house. In Eek! Halloween!, kids will enjoy watching the chickens as they find out there’s no need to be nervous about the “strange” things going on. A pumpkin with flickering eyes? A witch? An elephant dressed as a mouse? “Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

“Boynton celebrates Halloween! A new addition to the Boynton on Board series, with over 21 million copies sold, Eek! Halloween! is all treat and no tricks, a journey with Boynton and her nutty characters through the tradition of Halloween. It starts with an uh-oh—the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening. One chicken saw a pumpkin with flickering eyes, another spied a mouse of enormous size. They all saw a wizard and a witch, and a spooky robot. “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? / Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

Indiebound     Amazon

 

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

by Alan Schertle

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This adorable lift-the-flap book is sure to delight as your little one finds which animal is “hidden” behind their Halloween costume. Rhyming texts and a chance to guess the animal sound adds to the fun of this read aloud.

“Beep! Beep! It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Lift the flaps in this large, sturdy board book to find out who’s dressed up in each costume! Will Blue wear a costume too? With the delightful rhymes and signature illustration style that made Little Blue Truck a household name, Blue’s new adventure is full of festive costumes, fall colors, and plenty of Halloween fun!”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

Boo!

by Leslie Patricelli

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Patricelli’s holiday books are some of my favorites for young readers and Boo! is no exception. Boo! is a silly and sweet introduction to celebrating Halloween.

“The inimitable Baby brings a humorous spin to the holidays in a cheerful board book fit for trick-or-treat bags. It’s almost Halloween! How should Daddy carve the pumpkin? So many expressions to choose from! What should Baby be—a princess or pirate, ballerina or clown? When the jack-o’-lantern’s ready (looking suspiciously like Baby), it’s time for a little ghost to head out in the slightly scary night. But fear turns to excitement as the pumpkin fills up with treats. WOW!”

Indiebound      Amazon

 

 

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

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Your little one will love lifting the flap to search for biscuit as he gets lost in a pumpkin patch, hides under a Halloween costume, and more.

“Trick or Treat, Biscuit! Lift the flaps to reveal spook-tacular surprises on Biscuit’s first Halloween adventure! Biscuit and the little girl are going trick-or-treating on his first Halloween. What kinds of silly surprises are in store for them? Pull back the flaps to find out!

Indiebound    Amazon

Llama Llama Trick or Treat

by Anna Dewdney

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Fans of llama llama will have fun reading about ways to take part in the holiday–carving a pumpkin, choosing a costume, and preparing for trick-or-treating.

“In Llama Llama Trick or Treat, little llama finds the perfect costume, picks out a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern, and then goes trick-or-treating with Mama and his friends!”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

What are you favorite Halloween reads? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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

ABookishHome.com

 

 

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

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

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light

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

Elizabeth Ames, The Others’ Gold

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

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

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

Heather Morris, Cilka’s Journey (ticketed event)

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

Matt Tavares, Dasher

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

Kate DiCamillo, Beverly Right Here (ticketed event)

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

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

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

Holly Black, The Queen of Nothing

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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.

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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.

 

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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

ABookishHome.com

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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!

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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

ABookishHome.com

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!

Ten New Books I Can’t Wait To Read

There are so many amazing new and forthcoming books this fall. My list of library holds is a mile long and I bet yours will be too.

Here are 10 new books for adults (plus a few young adult titles) I can’t wait to read.

1. The Testaments

by Margaret Atwood

“In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood”

2. Red At The Bone

by Jacqueline Woodson

“An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson’s extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.”

3. The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“In his boldly imagined first novel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families.
 
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.”

4. The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

“Ann Patchett, the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, returns with her most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go.

“‘Do you think it’s possible to ever see the past as it actually was?’ I asked my sister. We were sitting in her car, parked in front of the Dutch House in the broad daylight of early summer.”

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril’s son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they’re together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they’ve lost with humor and rage. But when at last they’re forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.”

5. Royal Holiday

by Jasmine Guillory

“From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling new novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.”

6. Toil & Trouble

by Augusten Burroughs

“From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching…and just a little spooky.

For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn’t have known. He manifested things that shouldn’t have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared – until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that’s a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift. From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man’s journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all.”

7. Butterfly Yellow

by Thanhhà Lai

“Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and Erika L. Sanchez, this gorgeously written and deeply moving own voices novel is the YA debut from the award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again.

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.”

8. Look Both Ways

by Jason Reynolds

(*coming 10/8/19)

“From National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all they different directions a walk home can take.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Skateboarding.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.”

 

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9. The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

(*coming 10/8/19)

“Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their unforgettable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium 

When Alice Wright agrees to marry handsome American Bennett Van Cleve and leave behind her stifling life in England for a new adventure in Kentucky, she’s soon disenchanted by her newlywed status and overbearing father-in-law, owner of the local coal mine. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, the smart-talking, self-sufficient daughter of a notorious local criminal, a woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. Alice finds Margery as bracing and courageous as anyone she’s ever met–and comes to rely on her, especially as her marriage starts to fail.

They will be joined by three diverse women and become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.”

**I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Giver of Stars. This book is going on my list of 2019 favorites for sure. As a librarian in particular, I was moved by the portrayal of the power of reading to shape a community and change women’s lives. Highly recommended.**

 

10. Olive Again

by Elizabeth Strout

(*coming 10/15/19)

“#1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions of readers.

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.”

What new books are topping your TBR list this fall? I’d love to hear your recommendations. Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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!