Consider reading Young Adult (YA) and Juvenile novels because…

THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY ENTERTAINING!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I am currently hooked on Juvenile and YA (Young Adult) novels and the obsession began last year when my daughter’s amazing 3rd grade teacher let me borrow this wonderful book you see below. Not only was it a mesmerizing story about a china rabbit doll, but the author became someone who I greatly admire.  Her style of writing is so captivating and lucky for me, she has written many other books to lose yourself into.

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“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo

After sending back “…Edward Tulane” with a big “THANK YOU!” note to my daughter’s teacher, my daughter came back with another book for me to read.  Another Kate DiCamillo book.  Just what I was craving!

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“The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo

This book was so engaging because the narrator in the story was speaking directly to the reader about the main character, Despereaux and his tale.  I loved it!  Bonus: There’s a movie version of the book.

I was able to say thank you personally to my daughter’s teacher during parent/teacher day. We talked well beyond the allotted time and she offered me yet another book to borrow and read and another and another…!  The pattern continued, much to my delight, until my daughter finished the 3rd grade and then I started borrowing books from the library because my love of reading had returned and I didn’t want it to go away.  I discovered many new authors and titles at the Juvenile and Young Adult section at the library.  When I loved a particular novel, I searched to see if the author had other books.  The great thing about these novels is that they’re usually about 250 pages so you’re able to read a wonderful story in a short amount of time.

Here are some of the books that I absolutely loved reading and you can check them out at your local library.  If they don’t have it available, find out if you can request it.  You can also check out other titles that were great to read as well as children’s books at my Pinterest board “Meet me at the Library!”

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“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin

“Starry River of the Sky” by Grace Lin

“Crenshaw” by Katherine Applegate

“The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate

“The Weight of Water” by Sarah Crossan

“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

“Raymie Nightingale” by Kate DiCamillo

“Full Cicada Moon” by Marilyn Hilton

Take good care all.

Happy reading and until next time…

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Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I am so EXCITED about this post because it’s about a pencil sharpener.  Yes, you read that correctly. So, what’s the big deal?  Well, as you know I have two budding artist in my household plus a niece and nephew who love to write and draw as well.  A good sharpener is a must have!  Enter the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener, which I received the opportunity to test out and share my review with you guys.

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I chose Firehouse Red, but there are so many other wonderful colors to chose from at http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com

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Look at how shiny and beautiful it is!

The Classroom Friendly Sharpener is owned and operated by an elementary school teacher so they know first hand how important a good sharpener is.

I followed the instructions provided on the online store website and within seconds had a wonderful sharpened pencil.  Check out my results:

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Bring the silver face of the sharpener forward until it clicks into place.  Then pinch the two black knobs on the top together and slide the pencil into the sharpener.  You don’t have to hold onto the pencil.  Finally turn the handle (not shown in this picture, but there’s a picture below where you can see the handle) clockwise and sharpen away.  Pinch the two black knobs to release the pencil.

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It doesn’t get any better than that.  Look at that point.  Perfection and easy!  Also the Classroom Friendly Sharpener is much quieter than my electric sharpener, which by the way I haven’t used since getting this one! 🙂

Now let’s try a color pencil:

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Brilliant!  I’m very impressed with this machine!

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The compartment that holds the pencil shavings is easy to remove and clean out!

Needless to say my girls (ages 6 and 9) went crazy when they came home and saw their brand new sharpener.  They went searching for all the pencils that needed to be sharpened and were so impressed with how easy it was to use the sharpener and amazed with the final results.

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As you can see in the above picture the Classroom Friendly Sharpener has a handle that you turn clockwise to do the sharpening and it can be mounted for a permanent spot (mounts are available for purchase in the online store).

A pencil sharpener is an essential tool for learning so this sharpener would be a great gift for teachers, schools, friends and family members.  You can even buy them in bundle specials in the online store and donate them! 🙂

You can purchase one of these fabulous sharpeners at the online store and since I’ve joined their affiliate program, click on this link https://classroomfriendlysupplies.refersion.com/c/90e2c so I can receive a percentage of a possible sale.  I greatly appreciate it.  Thanks!

Click on the picture below for instructions on How to Operate the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener.

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Happy Holidays everyone and take good care!

Until next time…

Disclaimer:  I received a free product in exchange for my honest review and I was not compensated.

Update:  I have decided to join the Affiliate Program with the Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener so if you decide to purchase this awesome sharpener after reading my review on it just click on this link below and I’ll receive a percentage of the sale.  Thank  you so much for visiting my blog and hopefully purchasing one or more of this wonderful product.

https://classroomfriendlysupplies.refersion.com/c/90e2c

 

“My Family” Picture Books by Claudia Harrington

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

At the library you can always find me searching through the new titles in the children’s section.  I love picking books that are going to teach and show my children something different.  I want them to know and understand different topics including families that aren’t your typical mom and dad.  I don’t shy away from books that deal with topics that are deemed controversial.  For me, if it’s age appropriate and tackles the topic in a respectable and loving manner, then I’m checking the book out and reading it with my children.

The “My Family” picture books by Claudia Harrington was a great find at the library.  I was quickly drawn to them and super excited.  I didn’t think twice about putting them in the check out pile.  I was able to find 3 titles out of the 6 in the series.

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by Claudia Harrington, Illustrated by Zoe Persico

Here’s a brief synopsis of these titles above:  Lenny is the class reporter in these books and he follows his classmates home for a school project.  He learns about Elsie and her life with her two moms, Connor and his life with his dad and military mom, and Jasmine and her life with her two dads.

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These are the other three book titles in the series.

Honestly, what I loved the most about these books is the innocence that is conveyed through the character’s story of who does what within their families respectively.  Each character’s way of life is what they’re accustomed to and they can’t wait to share it with their friend.  I loved that!

I highly recommend these books.  You should check them out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all!

Until next time…

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Series

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m a strong believer in giving to charities that will help people and animals in need.  I donate to charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , Autism Speaks, Feeding America, PETA and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a student series and I’m proud that schools in my area are participating with this campaign.  I set up a page and you can click on the link below.  Any donation and I mean any is greatly, hugely appreciated!  THANK YOU!

http://events.lls.org/pages/cpa/PaxtoniaElementarySchool/AMercado

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Juvenile Chapter Books – Ivy & Bean and The Adventures of Sophie Mouse

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m continuing with my book finds because it’s very dear to me. My girls and I love juvenile chapter book series and when we sit down to read a book with chapters before bedtime we usually read one or a couple of chapters every night until we’re done with the book.  This allows us time to read several other easy to read or picture books before lights out.  I strive to read up to three books per night depending on how long each book is.

The first book series that we fell in love with was on a summer reading list and we quickly found it at the library.

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Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows + Sophie Blackall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_and_Bean

As soon as we finished the first book of these two fun-loving and mischievous friends, we couldn’t wait to check out book #2.  The series, so far, goes up to book #10, which left my daughters baffled and in despair for book #11.

“But why isn’t there a book 11?” they asked me and I said, “Because the author probably hasn’t finished writing it. We have to be patient and find another series to read in the meantime.”

And that’s exactly what we did.

Sophie Mouse to the rescue!

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The Adventures of Sophie Mouse

by Poppy Green, Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell

We stumbled upon this wonderful book series at the library when my youngest daughter spotted a nickname version of her own name on the front cover of the book.  They absolutely go bonkers whenever they see their names on the front cover of books.

This series is a great introduction to chapter books.  It’s completely adorable and there are beautiful black and white illustrations within the book.  The stories are endearing and the main character, Sophie Mouse, is an artist who simply loves adventures and sharing them with her dear friends, Hattie Frog and Owen Snake.  So far the series is up to book 6, but book 7 has a release date for this year so I’ll be requesting a hold on a copy at my library so my girls and I can get a chance to read it as soon as possible.  We can’t wait!

I highly recommend these books.  You should check them out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

“Just being Audrey”

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

A couple of months ago, my youngest daughter stumbled upon this book at the library and was fascinated with the front cover.

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“Just Being Audrey” by Margaret Cardillo, Illustrated by Julia Denos

She simply said, “She’s beautiful,” and I responded, “She sure is.”

Of course, this biography book for children made it to our checkout pile and my daughters were wonderfully introduced to Audrey Hepburn.  The illustrations inside were just as beautiful as the front cover.  What made this book even more fantastic for me was when I suggested to my youngest daughter that she should draw her own version of the front cover and her eyes immediately lit up at the idea (my oldest daughter loves to draw and my youngest loves emulating her sister, so she’s a little budding artist as well.)  The very next morning she sat down on the floor with her drawing pad, a pencil and the Audrey book.  Her concentration was fierce and it took all morning.  I gave her space and didn’t peek once.

Finally, she was ready to unveil her masterpiece.

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Needless to say, I was one proud mama and I couldn’t stop gushing over her drawing.  She did a great job! 🙂

A book that teaches you about a great person and has illustrations that can inspire a 5 year old to draw her own version is a definite gemstone.  Check it out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Books, books, oh glorious books!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

One of my absolute favorite places to visit in our hometown is the library.  We officially celebrated our one year anniversary living in Pennsylvania back in November of 2015.  The library here is completely different in so many wonderful ways.  The vast hours of operation offers us an opportunity to visit as a complete family.  The children’s section of the library is spacious, it’s equipped with touch screen computers, educational toys, and hard-covered books galore.  I was so impressed and immediately fell in love with this place.

Before we leave the library, we always check out almost 40 books, which include a variety of easy to read, picture, newly published, and juvenile chapter books.  It’s become a routine to read a couple of books every night before bedtime so we need a lot of material.  My girls usually pick the books that they want and I tend to add to that pile with my picks for them.  My youngest is in Kindergarten now and she loves easy to read books.  She also loves picture books, which is why she was immediately drawn to the cover of this particular book:

“Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors” by Hena Khan, Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

She wasn’t able to read the title.  She simply saw the beautiful cover and quickly glanced inside and saw the rest of the illustrations and wanted to take it home.  When I read the title, I’m not going to lie to you, the word Muslim jumped right at me, but I had no qualms about checking the book out.  In fact, I was curious to see and read the book.  It looked interesting and it was indeed a great book with beautiful illustrations of colors in the Muslim culture.  I had no idea, until recently when I went online searching for a picture of this book to include in my blog post, that this book had a little controversy behind it.  You can google the title of this book and read the article about a father in Georgia who wasn’t happy that his daughter picked this book out at the school book fair.  Yes, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but believe me when I say that this book is a beautifully, illustrated book about colors in the Muslim culture.  You should check it out at your local library and make your own opinion about it.  And if they don’t have it, request it!

I will be sharing more book finds with you because there are so many books in this world that need to be acknowledged and praised.  I love reading to my girls and hearing them read out loud.  I have seen great results in their reading skills from their first marking period in school to the second, which just passed about a week ago.  My third grader is currently reading at a fifth grade level and my five year old went from reading zero sight words to 59.

my daughters reading at the library

I’m going to leave you with this little tidbit regarding instructions/directions usually found at the bottom of homework assignments or school worksheets like this for example:

Instead of just reading the directions to your child and doing the problems together, teach your child to read the instructions as well and make it a habit.  Read the directions for each problem together and eventually they will learn how to read it themselves.

Take good care all.

Until next time…