Latest LitKidz Blog

Our latest thoughts and news about quality literature for kids.

A Family of Readers

For Parents

The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature by Roger Sutton and Martha Parravano, editors of the Horn Book Magazine Published 2010. What a great contribution to librarians and parents this book is. I wished I had read it when I started the LitKidz blog. It puts into

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Immigration Makes US Great

Children's Book - Girl in the Torch

Immigration Makes US Great: Here are some wonderful children’s books to create more multicultural understanding about immigration and diversity in America. Most are historical fiction, and beautifully written. Let us celebrate all the value that open immigration has brought to the United States.

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Children’s Books for Black History Month

Children's Book Leaving Gee's Bend

Children’s Books for Black History Month: This is such a great month to read some of the transformative and inspiring stories from both the past and present. Here is a small selection of children’s books on Litkidz that celebrate Black History in all its forms.

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Light Your Way – Children’s Books for the Holiday

Children's Books

A children’s book as a holiday gift can change a young person’s life. Watch and listen to this moving testimony about books and libraries by Maya Angelou, called “A Library is a Rainbow in the Clouds” She talks about the dark times of life, and how in the darkest of times,

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Guest Review – How to Train Your Dragon


From time to time, we are lucky enough to have a review from the intended audience, in this case a young boy, Bram, age 10. I personally have not read the series, “How to Train your Dragon.” But based on Bram’s enthusiastic letter to the author, and his wonderful pictures,

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Summer Reading for 9-year-old boys

Summer Reading Children's Book

Recently, as the school year ended, I thought of two 9-year-old boys I work with. They are both bright, articulate, and just catching up with their reading. I created a summer reading list that might match their interests and skills. Happy to share it with you. Note that these are

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Summer Reading for 10-year-olds

Children's Book - Momo

As the school year ended, the parents of the students going from 4th grade to 5th grade asked for some summer book recommendations. In our Waldorf school, the fourth graders generally turned 10 during the year, and in fifth grade, they will be 11. Here’s a short list of my favorite

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California Young Readers Medal

young reader meda

Thanks to the librarian at my school, I recently found out about the California Young Readers Medal. It’s a fabulous way to get kids excited about the children’s books they read. At my school, each class was invited to vote for their favorite children’s book from a list of nominees. The rules are

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How to Make Reading Special

kids books

This has got to be the best way to make the experience of reading special: kids reading books to cats in shelters! The article and accompanying photos say it all. As one of the boys said in the article, the cats aren’t judging how well he reads. Perhaps we can

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2013 Illustrated Children’s Books


Here are two lists of great 2013 picture books. Since I don’t review many illustrated books, this might be a helpful resource for parents of younger children. They all sound great.

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Books, not EBooks for Kids


Here is a really important article for all parents to read, particularly parents of young children, who may be wondering about ‘interactive books.’ The Atlantic: Effect of Reading Tablets Here’s my favorite quote from the article: “Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never

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Grimm is Still Too Grim


Here’s a discovery I made about Grimm fairy tales… Even when they are rewritten by a great author, and the setting is changed, they still carry the dark, brooding energy of the original Grimm tale. For that reason, I can’t recommend something even though it’s by a favorite author. Shannon

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Just One Bad Line…

Wishing Moon Children's Book

This is a hard blog entry to write. I made a decision not to include in my book reviews a children’s book that in some ways has fabulous potential. It’s about a young girl who finds Aladdin’s lamp, unleashes the genie, and uses her wishes to do good in the

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Read Aloud 15 Minutes A Day

Read Alound Children's Books

  The picture says it all – just do it!

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Copycat Books

Children's Book

Recently, two books in my library pile turned out to be children’s books I couldn’t recommend. When I examined why, I realized that now that I have read so many children’s books, I can tell a fake when I see it. One book, Kenneth and the Dragon, astounded me. It

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Books for Older Teens

Great Barrington Waldorf High School

I’m often asked why doesn’t cover books for older children. Although I have added a 12-14 category, it is really not the focus of this website, nor are older children. There’s one main reason, and that is because by the time children are over 14, they are making reading

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Values Not Vampires

kids in library

Recently I gave a talk at a local bookstore about the subject of selecting good children’s literature, which is basically what this website is all about. My good friend John McCormick, author of Dad, Tell Me a Story, was able to extract the highlights of that talk and add some

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Dealing with Difficulties

Recently, one of my friends read The Little Princess, a recommended book on, and she responded by writing, I don´t know if I will read it to any kid. It made me cry several times ….  father dead and the same day turned into a servant…. I don´t know what

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Reading Aloud


Now that it’s back-to-school time, it’s a great time to remember that of all the aids to literacy, reading out loud to children is one of the best. Even 15 minutes a day can increase vocabulary, interest, and understanding, not to mention the terrific feeling of bonding that it creates.

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The Mastery Club

Mastery Club Children's book

This children’s book is really teaching children about the power of the mind, the power of thoughts, to shape one’s life. The teaching element is the main point of the book…

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Grandma’s Library

Old Children's Book Library

Recently, after deciding against posting three more books, a friend challenged my decision. She wanted to know why I wouldn’t put the books up on Litkidz, since other people might have different opinions about the book. I thought about her point seriously. Here’s my answer: is my library. It’s

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Teaching Phonics with the Magic Word Truck

A Word Truck

Here’s a great toy I discovered for teaching phonics to younger pre-school and kindergarten children. It’s a standard “letter truck” by Melissa and Doug toys. But oh, what we can do with it when teaching phonics. This activity is for after your child knows the sounds of the letters and

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International Children’s Book Day

Children's Book day

This lovely image is for International Children’s Book Day 2013 (April 2). In my mind, there can’t be too many children’s book celebrations! The organization (IBBY) behind this celebration is committed to children’s literature as a way of promoting international understanding. When I read that, I wondered what books that

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No Power in Un


As I read through each of the suggested books that readers have offered, I have to make an important decision: Does this book belong on the list of Literature for Children? I admit this is extremely subjective. I’ve already run across two books where my decision of ‘no’ was the

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Brooklyn Castle

brooklyn castle

As you can tell from this website, I’m into books, and rarely watch movies. But when I do… wow. What can I say about a movie where every 10 minutes, I find myself wiping my tears away? This documentary is a real treasure, whether you know anything about chess or

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A Workshop for Parents

kids workshop

I was delighted to come across this workshop for adults called Fostering Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Skills Through Reading. It looks wonderful, sponsored by a group I didn’t know about before, the Bay Area Discovery Museum. They are dedicated to igniting children’s imagination and creativity, through their Center for Childhood

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The Slush Pile

So what to do when I read something, and it just doesn’t have that affect on me? There are SO many children’s books out there…

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Read-Aloud Day


A bit late, but not too late, I discovered World Read-Aloud Day is this week, March 6. What a great idea. Check out their website for activities, including a lovely downloadable book perfect for reading outloud. Wonderful way to increase literacy. Sponsored by LitWorld, and their many partners, all of

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Too Moody for Judy Moody

When I started this website, I was thinking of children’s books that would help struggling readers. For that reason, I purchased a copy of Judy Moody for a third grader I was working with. However, now that I’m in high gear with, I re-read the same book in order to

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Children’s Books and Music – What’s in Common?

I just returned from a production of Peter and the Wolf, put on for families by the Santa Rosa Symphony and a pantomime team. The beautiful Green Music Center was packed with families, especially children of all ages. The whole hall was abuzz with the excited chatter. I wondered how

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