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Sue's Picks Page

Sue's Picks

 

I am life long reader who is dyslexic. I consider myself lucky to be selling and talking about children's literature for a living. I enjoy a wide variety of literature especially children and adult fiction and non-fiction. My picks will travel the spectrum of children's picture books to graphic novels, and from beginner reader levels to the high school and beyond, and every range in between. During the months of winter, I will be discussing Classical books and authors rediscovered.

I enjoy and love to discover new authors and their books for readers, at all different levels and abilities, including us adults.To see more picture book recommendations click on picture book. My picture book and board, and a poetry recommendations are at the end of this page. However for the months of June, July& August: it will be Summer time book recommendations only. There are many fun loving, and sweet summer time themes in these newly released picture books for our children.

Classic Children's books for Everyone

Hilary McKay's sequel to The Little Princess by Frances H. Burnett: Waiting For Tomorrow and David Benedictus' sequel to Winnie The Pooh: Return to the 100 Acre Wood.

I truly enjoyed both of these books and so will children (ages 5-10). In Wishing for Tomorrow, Sara Crewe has moved away, but we learn what happened to the remaining residents of Miss Minchin's Select Seminary. It is a very worthy sequel to the beloved classic The Little Princess. Christopher Robin returns from boarding school to 100 Acre Wood and Winnie the Pooh! We read 10 stories about Christopher Robin and his new interests in Cricket, spelling bees and learning about the outside world thorough atlas, and dictionaries. A new character is introduced named Lottie the Otter.

Wishing For Tomorrow by Hilary McKay from Random House $16.99, and Return to 100 Acre Wood by David Benedictus from Dutton $18.99
 

Classics Revisited-TinTin book coverasterix book cover

Asterix series by Frenchman, Rene Goscinny & TinTin series by Belgian with no first name, Herge.

Both of these series were written after WWII by Europeans dealing with post World War II economies, difficulties, and massive societal changes. These two series are a wonderful way to teach history, especially the points of view and the opinions of its people of an earlier period of time,(50 years ago in TinTin or much older, 2000 years ago in Astertix). Both series have more ten books but less than twenty books of each, and are publish in almost all languages. These books once loved by the child, and then read in another language besides English is a lovely way to learn to read another language. It seems to be painless for many children to learn other languages, via Asterix or TinTin books. (4th-5th reading levels, higher for historical references)

Asterix series by Goscinny from Orion, $9.99 each and TinTin series by Herge from Little Brown $10.99 each

Second to Third Readers- matchlock gun book cover

Welcome to the Bed & Biscuit by Joan Carris

New series of two books so far, your jouney into this house known as the Bed & Biscuit is delightful and a joy to read aloud with your family too! My Girls Book Group has truly loved both of these books, as well as their parents. They are a mid second grade read and the animal characters are uniquely funny and endearing. Grandpa XXXX owes a Bed & Breakfast for family pets while their owners go away for short periods of time.

 

$6.99 in paperback from Candlewick, hardcover 16.99 (156 pages)

Clyde Robert Bulla's A Lion To Guard UsA Lion To Guard Us by Bulla book cover

Clyde Robert Bulla has written over 100 books and many are wonderful historical books as this one is; a 1981 children's notable award winner. This book is set in 1609. Three orphan children left alone in London, England must travel to the Virginia Colony in search of their relatives. The children's struggles and triumphs are realistically done, and Bulla's language is a joy to read aloud. Please try his other historical novels too, because I think they are the best: Shoeshine Girl, or Riding the Pony Express.

$4.99 from HarperCollins (126 pages)

Robin Price's Spartapuss series- Boudicat Robin Price's book cover

Robin Price has written a five book series about ancient Rome and its many different rulers and conflicts with cat and kitten characters playing out their roles and lives. Done with simple satire, which is often beyond the second grade reader, but if read aloud is often much more comprendable. If Asterix (the graphic novels by Goscinny) is part of your family's reading list, these books are for your family. Other book titles in this series: I am SpartaPuss, or Catligula, or Die Clawdius.

$5.99 paperback from Mogzilla (145 pages)

Fourth to FiAl Calpone shines my shoes book coverfth GradBud, Not Buddy book covere ReaGreen Glass Sea book coverdersKaren Cushman book coverGemini Summer book cover

 

 

 

These five books and its authors, are my favorites for historical novels for this reading level. They are:Gennifer Choldenko, Christopher Paul Curtis, Karen Cushman, Ellen Klages and Iain Lawrence. All four writers have won numerous awards for their books and been honored with young people's readers choice awards too! All five authors have two or more historical books to their credit. Please read them all if you enjoy historical books as much as I do! Usually the following authors have main character who are boys: Christopher Paul Curtis, Thomas Hoobler, and Iain Lawrence. And the the following authors usually have girl characters in their books are: Karen Cushman, and Ellen Klages. Meanwhile, Gennifer Choldenko has both boy and girl characters have important roles and are featured equally.

the average paperback price is $5.99 to $8.99 each

 

Sixth to Eighth Grade Readers

Avi's Iron Thunder book coverPrimavera book cover by MJ BeaufrandEsther Friesner's book coverGary D. Schimdt's book coverHattie Big Sky book coverEleanor Updale's book cover

Adam Canfield series written by NY TImes reporter, Michael Winerip is everything a demmanding reader wants in their books, great characters you want to revist with each additional book, strong story lines with current ethic issues such as finanical fraud, first rights of free speech , and educational rights of learning disabled to name just a few. Included in non-graphic manner are the front page issues of texting, bullying, students rights and personal privacy rights which are being confronted by our children in middle school every day.

The above mentioned books have been great favorites with my book groups at a local school, even with kids who think they don't read historical fiction.

the average paperback price is $5.99 to $8.99

 

High School and Up Readers

ancient Greece book cover by Michael Curtis Ford

Michael Ford, British, author of Ancient Greece novels- (Spartan Quest series)

So far, it's a four book series from well established British writer of short stories fantasy and books about Ancient Greece and Ancient Roman times. Fast paced, well developed characters based on historic facts: your teenager will learn a lot more about these civilizations and truly enjoy the journey,especially after reading the Rick Riordan's five book series about Percy Jackson and The Olympians.

$6.99 paperback originals from Walker Books

 

Favorite Classic & Newly Released Picture Books in Alphabetic order by author & theme.

ABC's- Wanda Gag's ABC Bunny/ Alison Jay's ABC

Birds-Tad Hill's Duck & Goose; Pat Hutchin's GoodNight Owl; Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings; Phyllis Root's Flip, Flap, Fly;and

Martin Waddell's Owl Babies; Kurt Wiese's The Story About Ping; and Mo Willems' Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus.

Dogs-Caralyn & Mark Buehner's Dex-Heart of a Hero; Susan Stevens Crummel's Help Me, Mr. Mutt; Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclary;

and Jules Feiffer's Bark, George; Marjorie Flack's Angus Lost; and Peter McCarty's Hondo & Fabian; and Gene Zion's Harry the Dirty Dog.

EASTER- Jan Brett's newest book, The Easter Egg, and the traditional classic by Dubose Heyward,and illustrated by Majorie Flack: The Country Bunny and Little Gold Shoes.

Friendship-Bonnie Becker's A Vistor For Bear; Olivier Dunrea's Gossie & Gertie's series; Holly Hobbie's Toot& Puddle series; Arnold Lobel's series of Frog & Toad;and

James Marshall's George and Martha series;Cynthia Rylant's series with Mr. Putter & Tabby; and Mo Willems's Elephant and Piggie series.

Gardens/Growing Plants- Graham Base's Uno Garden; Eric Carle's Tiny Seed; Henry Cole's- Jack's Garden; Kevin Henkes' My Garden; and Ruth Krauss's Carrot Seed; Jerdine Nolen's Plantzilla; and Sarah H. Stewart's The Gardener, illustrated by David Small.

Lighthouses/ Sea themes-

Poetry

2010 poetry award winner is Red is the Song of

For years now, you have treasured A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, do you know the poetry of our local poet laureate Jack Prelutsky?

Jack Prelutsky's newest poetry book is "The Swamp of Sleethe: poems from beyond the Solar System", out now.

Jack Prelutsky's poetry is available in audio format and is an excellent choice for travel and rainy day afternoons. Jack Prelutsky is a wonderful poet and narrator because he is so young hearted and never grew up!! (I mean this in the bestsense of its expression). If you ever can experience Jack Prelutsky live please do so, you will never regret that opportunity!

My favorites are: My Dog May Be A Genius (61 minutes), It's Raining Pigs & Noodles,(69 minutes) and The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders,(47 minutes).