More Books About Birds

Remember when I said I had even more bird books on the way from the library? Well, now you get to hear more about them. We enjoyed these, too. I think we will be moving on to another subject though. Mama would like to read about something new.

Books About Birds - A book list all about birds!

More Books About Birds

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet – A sweet storyline and pretty illustrations made this book one my snuggle-bug of a 9-year-old enjoy. The story shows various birds and how they nest.

Nest by Jorey Hurley – This lovely picture book features softer illustrations with one word on each two-page spread. You follow the life cycle of a robin in the pictures. This is a great one to read with toddlers and younger preschoolers. You can explore the book with little “required” reading, which means you can flip as fast or as slow as your lap-sitter desires.

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, Illustrated by Steve Jenkins – Bird facts go along with the rhyming verse of the book. Brightly colored illustrations make it an eye-catcher.

Whose Nest is This? by Heidi Bee Roemer, Illustrated by Connie McLennan – Not all the nests in this book are bird nests, but it is a fun book featuring many birds. The book gives a little description of a nest and then asks the question “Whose nest is this?” before giving the answer. My 9-year-old liked reading this one with me, too.

Cradles in the Trees: The Story of Bird Nests by Patricia Brennan Demuth, Illustrated by Suzanne Barnes – A fun look at all the amazing ways birds build nests. Told in engaging text.

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen – I really liked this one, but I’m particularly fond of bird feathers. They are so exquisitely designed. The illustrations have a fun scrapbook feel to them.

What Makes a Bird A BIRD? by May Garelick – This is an oldie, but goodie. The illustrations have a vintage feel to them…because the book was written in 1969. It’s quite lovely. I think my favorite part of this library find is the old check out pocket in the back of it. I remember checking books out with that system. Good times. (Note: The cover shown above is different from the one I got at our library. The book has apparently been reprinted.)

A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins, Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell – This follows a little family of robins, but features other kinds of birds, too. The colorful pictures with preschoolers kept my preschooler engaged.

Backyard Bird Photography: How to Attract Birds to Your Home and Create Beautiful Photographs by Mathew Tekulsky – Ok, you can probably see that this one is not for preschoolers. This is a great one if you have older kids, like middle to high school, with a penchant for photography. Actually though, preschoolers will probably really like looking at the photos in this book, they are beautiful.

Feathers: Poems About Birds by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Lisa McCue – I love the illustrations of this one, she captures the lovely vibrant colors that makes birds so lovely to me. The poems are fun, too.

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist by Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Aliona Bereghici – Told in a series of poems, this beautiful book is about Louis Fuertes, who is known as the Father of Modern Bird Art. This is a gorgeous picture book.

A-Z of Bird Portraits: An Illustrated Guide to Painting Beautiful Birds in Acrylics by Andrew Forkner – Another book for teens, this is a very thorough guide to painting birds. It gives detailed instructions for 27 different birds. This would make a great homeschool art class for high schoolers.

So there you have it, the last list of books about birds for a while here on the blog. I hope you enjoy these books as much as our homeschool has!

Related Posts:

Bird Unit Study for PreschoolB is for Bird - a book list and free printable for Alphabet Activities for All Ages at Vicki-Arnold.comE is for Eggs - Alphabet Activities for All Ages - a fun, egg-centered book list from Vicki-Arnold.com

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

This is the final post in the books for tween girls miniseries. Be sure to see the books series for tween girls and classic book series for tween girls posts for a plethora of reading options for tween girls.

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

I am ending the miniseries with some biographical chapter books for inspiration and encouragement. I personally believe that the more we can encourage our kids to find their own unique, God-designed path, the better. Showing them lots of examples of how others have done just that is a great start.

I’ve listed the age and grade suggestions like before.

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

These are based on real people and while the characters in the series change, the stories are definitely ones that tween girls can find inspiration in. Each series has a lot of titles. I chose a few female-focused ones for this post. Tween girls can also obviously be inspired by males, too, so don’t miss those.

Lightkeepers (8y+, 3rd+)

Who Was/Is Series (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Childhood of Famous Americans (8-12y, 4th-6th)

Sower Series (9y+, 4th+)

Christian Heroes: Then and Now (10y+, 5th+)

Do you have any biographical series for tween girls to recommend? These are the five I know about. I would love to add more! Tell me about them in the comments.

Don’t miss the other companion posts to this one – book series for tween girls and classic book series for tween girls!

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls

Previously, I shared the huge list of contemporary book series for tween girls. This post will focus on classic book series for tween girls. These are books that have stood the test of time and still bring joy to readers.

You’ll notice that not all of them are what you might consider a classic like Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables. Those are most definitely included, but so are other fun classics like Beverly Cleary’s series and The Baby-Sitters Club.

The Baby-Sitters Club books were a highlight of my late elementary/middle school years. They inspired me to take up babysitting, though I doubt I was half the babysitter that Kristy and the gang were. I just wished I was as cool as they were.

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls - A big list of ideas for girls 9-12.

Series that are pre-2000 are included on this list. After 2000, they are on the contemporary list. This is no official rule I’m following, just the way I’ve decided to break this huge list up. Be sure to watch for the next list in this miniseries, biographical series for tween girls. Sign up for email updates to be sure you don’t miss it!

So let’s get started on today’s list. Again, I have included the age and grade recommendations that I could find and the first two or three titles from the series. Also again, I am making no assessment on content, that is for you to decide for your family.

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls

Sarah, Plain and Tall (6-10y, 1st-5th)

The Borrowers (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

The Littles (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

The Boxcar Children (7y+, 2nd-5th)

American Girls Collections (8y+, 3rd+)

These are the original, historical series.

Betsy Tacy (8-12y, 2nd-5th)

Ramona (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Little House on the Prairie (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Fudge Series (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

All-of-a-Kind Family (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Baby-Sitters Club (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Anastasia Krupnik (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Anne of Green Gables (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Chronicles of Narnia (8y+, 3rd+)

I’m going with the “reading in order of publication” crowd. That is why they are “out of order” based on some of the numbers on the books. Those are of the “reading in chronological order” variety.

 

Mandie (8-13y, 3rd+)

The Moffats (10-12y, 5th-7th)

That’s today’s list. Did I miss one that you think HAS to be on this list? Tell me about it in the comments!

Don’t miss the contemporary fiction list of book series for tween girls and the biographical series for tween girls, too!

Book Series for Tween Girls – Contemporary

I have learned that not all girls are avid readers, which is something this avid reader girl just simply can NOT relate to. But, alas, my oldest daughter is not a reader. In fact, just recently she told me that she absolutely hates to read. My mouth literally fell open, which she found hilarious.

However, my younger daughter I can relate to in this area. She loves to read! She is particularly fond of series books. That started when we read the Keeker books together when she was first learning to read. She really likes series books.

I can relate. One of my fondest reading memories is reading all the Baby-Sitters Club books and catching up with the publication schedule. It was like getting caught up on my to-do list as an adult…totally gratifying.

Today, I am bringing you the first of three posts focusing on book series for tween girls. This post will focus on contemporary titles. The next one will focus on classic book series for tween girls, these are most likely the ones that us parents grew up reading. The third post will be biographical series for tween girls to encourage them to follow God’s unique plan for their life.

These are books that either of my tween girls would be able to read. If it is available, I’ve included the age and grade range that Amazon has listed for each series because I think that might be helpful given the large list here and for gauging reading level appropriateness. I’ve also included the first two or three books for each series.

Book Series for Tween Girls - Contemporary fiction

As far as content goes, I have not read each and every series. Some my girls have read and I have not, others I have read, and still others are new to both my girls and myself. I’ve chosen to include them on this list because I know that simply because a series doesn’t work for us, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. Also, this list is a reference list for me, too.

This list is meant to be merely a starting point. Each family will have their own rules and guidelines for choosing books. I can’t account for everyone’s so I’ve been a bit liberal in what I’ve included. Meaning, there are books with fairies and goblins even though I know many families choose to avoid those (we don’t necessarily avoid them). As always, you will need to judge for yourself what is appropriate for your family.

Originally, I was going to include commentary for each of these, but the list got really long and this post was over 650 words with just the titles and the introduction. I will spare you my commentary for today.

Are you ready for the LONG list of options now? Good, let’s get at it then.

Book Series for Tween Girls

Mermaid Tales (6-9y, 1st-4th)

Judy Moody (6-9y, 1st-4th)

Amelia Bedelia (6-10y, 1st-5th)

 

The Fairy Bell Sisters (6-10y, 1st-5th)

Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo (7-9y, 2nd-4th)

Recipe for Adventure (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Thea Stilton (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

 

The Rescue Princesses (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Secret Kingdom (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Dog Diaries (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Puppy Place (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

 

Grandma’s Attic (8-12y, 3rd+)

The Mysteries of Middlefield (8-12y, 3rd+)

Ponies of Chincoteague (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Dear Dumb Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Grimmtastic Girls (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Whatever After (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Desperate Diva Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Cupcake Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Secrets of the Manor (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Penderwicks (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

TumTum and Nutmeg (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Horse Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Dear America (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Soul Surfer Series (8-12y)

Swipe (8-12y)

Sons of Angels (8-12y)

The Cooper Kids Adventure Series (8-12y, 5th+)

The Girls of Lighthouse Lane (8-12y, 5th+)

Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events (8-12y, 5th+)

The Adventures of Lily Lapp (9-12y)

Royal Diaries (9-12y)

The Cupcake Club (9-12y, 4th-7th)

The Saturday Cooking Club (9-13y, 4th-9th)

So that’s the list of contemporary book series for tween girls. Be sure to check out the list of classic book series for tween girls and biographical series for tween girls to round out your selections!

Newbery Medal Winner Books – Printable Checklist

Newbery Medal Winner Books - a Printable Checklist at Vicki-Arnold.com

Over on The Library Adventure, two of our writers have put together their list of favorite Newbery Medal Winner books. As I was editing them, I made notes to check out certain books. Then I realized that my kids are coming into the right age/stage/ability to read these. So I decided to put together a checklist of all the Newbery Medal Winner books to print off for each of my kids.

A little background before I continue…

About the Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association each year to the book deemed “most distinguished” among children’s books. It is named after 18th century bookseller, John Newbery. The purpose of the medal is to encourage original creative works for children.

It was the first children’s book award in the world. The American Library Association also typically names Newbery Medal Honor Books, which are considered to be noteworthy also. Previously called “runner-ups,” the name was changed in 1971.

The Newbery Medal has been awarded annually since 1922.

My Favorite Newbery Medal Winners

As I put the list together, I was surprised by how many I remembered reading. I don’t know why, seeing as I had some great English teachers through the years, but I digress. I decided to give give you my top 5 favorites, in case you want an idea of where to begin.

  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink – I read this aloud to my kids. We enjoyed it almost as much as The Little House on the Prairie series.
  • The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois – I think I was in 7th grade when I read this for language arts. I remember it being one of my favorite reads that year.
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E.L. Konigsburg – Hands-down, my favorite book on the list. I devoured this one in 6th grade. Living in a museum (or library) was a part of my dreams regularly at the time.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – This book touched my young heart. I re-read it several times before leaving 5th grade.
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry – Probably the first dystopian novel I read. I am still fond of that genre to this day. I am also reeling from the fact that this wasn’t a stand-alone book, there are three other books that I now need to read.

My runners-up would include Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan.

The Books on Our Immediate To Read List

You know I’m a fan of to read lists. Here are the three on my list to read to my kids as read alouds in the near future:

I’m also going to see if I can get my hands on some of the older books and see about adding those in.

About the Printable

This printable is nice and simple. I have organized it into two columns per page, for a total of three pages. The books are listed from the earliest (1922) to the most recent (2014). There is a check box next to each title so you can check it off as you read it.

Download your copy today!

4 Books That Made a Reader Out of My Son

4 books that made our son love reading fiction

Well, that is a slightly misleading title, I suppose. Allow me to tell you a little story:

Once upon a time, a new homeschooling mama found herself gobbling up Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophies. This mama loved to read so the idea of a curriculum based on literature sounded just heavenly, so she dove on in. She learned, unfortunately not quickly, two things. One: this mama doesn’t particularly like to read out loud. Two: classic literature bored both her and her children. The end…well, not exactly, keep reading…

Let me pause here and say this, I agree with most of what Charlotte Mason has to say about education. Her ideas of dictation, narration, memorization, and quality literature are spot-on. I just think they will look different in each family. And the idea of using living books (vs. textbooks) to learn is great…in theory. I’ll explain a little more below.

You see, I was torn by this idea of twaddle (a CM buzzword). I grew up on twaddle, I was one voracious reader of twaddle. For those of you not in the know, twaddle is the CM word for books that are trivial, silly, or meaningless. Series books are generally considered twaddle among CM followers. They equivalate twaddle to Twinkies. You know, instead of real food.

I will spare you the details of my wrestling with this and just tell you my conclusion:

Some people enjoy literature like Shakespeare and poetry, we don’t. The only living book we see that has supreme value for everyone is THE living book, the Bible. Someday my kids will probably be required to read some Shakespeare and poetry, but I don’t see the point in boring them with it now. All it did was make them dread school. Not exactly what I’m trying to accomplish here.

This is what made me finally give up this expectation:

I realized my son did not see value in fiction. He has no interest in reading about something that could have happened or quaint stories that told you about an animal without using to-the-point facts. It is either true or not. He LOVES non-fiction books, in fact, they are THE reason he actually wanted to learn to read well. And some of his favorite books were not “living books.”

My oldest daughter, she loves historical fiction. She loves stories and non-fiction books bore her for the most part. My point? God made your child unique, respect that and find what works for each child. I have three very different personalities and learning styles I’m working with right now. It is a challenge (oh is it!), but an individualized education is a big part of why we homeschool.

Back to my son. See, I wasn’t ready to give up on the whole “reading books for enjoyment” thing. I wanted him to like reading fiction. Hey, I’m not perfect either…

One day at the library, I found a book that finally sparked an interest in reading for him. This is it:

This book made a reader out of my son

1. Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken – Troublems with Frenemies by Ray Friesen :: So totally silly. Complete twaddle. And he LOVED it. He read it and reread it. He read most of it out loud to me as he went. He laughed out loud as he read (music to my ears!). He told his friends about it. In fact, he took it to church to read specific parts to a specific friend. He loved it so much that after he read it forty times from the library, my sister got it for him for Christmas and he read it again. The boy loves his Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken. And so does his mama.

To round our our list, here are some of the other books he really enjoyed or still enjoys.

2. Adventures in Odyssey’s Imagination Station – The Voyage with the Vikings :: We have only read the first book in this series because our library didn’t have more. I won books 5 and 6 from a blog around Christmas time, I need to order the rest so we can keep going. He actually brought this to me to read to him (it is an easy read, but he liked to listen to the story) each day and asked questions about some of the historical facts around it. This was before we found #1 and it was the first fiction book he engaged in.

3. Lego Ninjago books – He seriously loves Legos, especially the Ninjago series. There are quite a few of these available.

4. Bird and Squirrel on the Run by James Burks :: This was our most recent find. He is enjoying this, too. It is pretty funny.

So there you have it, four books that made a fiction reader out of my son. Only one of these is not a graphic novel type book, if you have a disinterested reader, you might try something new. You never know what will spark their interest.

What books does your boy like to read?