Middle Grade Books

National Parks Week with Little Miss History

Now that spring has sprung...well, maybe if you live in certain parts of the US, it might still seem like winter. Nothing will stop the change of seasons, and Spring will come. When the weather gets warmer, our thoughts inevitably turn to the outdoors. Did you know that our national parks kick off the season by celebrating National Parks Week from April 21-April 29 this year? Across the country, parks will be holding special e  April 21: Fee Free Day April 21: National Junior Ranger Day April 21: Volunteer Day April 22: Earth Day—Let's get out and celebrate our rivers and trails for their 50th! April 28: Military & Veteran Recognition Day April 29: National Park Rx Day In addition, families may gain free admission to national parks on September 22, National Public Lands Day, and November 11, Veterans Day. I am proud to have had the opportunity to introduce teachers, students and their families to our national treasures through my Little Miss HISTORY Travels to book series. These books are intended to enlighten, inspire and educate young minds to appreciate our historical heritage and have fun while doing so. Spring and summer are the perfect times to get out…

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Comics Are Books Too!

  When I was a child, I saved all my money to buy comic books!  Not just any comic books but the ones called Classics Illustrated and Classics Illustrated Junior.  The former were condensed, comic book versions of some of the greatest books ever written, and the latter were the greatest of fairy tales.  At one time, I owned them all and I am so fortunate that one of my sons, a serious comic book collector, has preserved those of these treasures that survived my growing up and many household moves over the years.  I credit these comic books for my love of books today. I was only about 5 years old when I began collecting the fairy tales—some well-known—and others just as wonderful but lesser known like The Penny Prince, The Wild Swans and Silly Hans.  When I was in grade school, I moved up to the Classics. Can you imagine a second grader reading The Last of the Mohicans?  In comic book form they were readable for a young child and I loved them.  I later made it a goal to read the entire book version of each of these classics. We all know the benefits of reading…

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When Do We Become “They”? by Plum McCauley

      We’ve all seen the articles recounting examples of the staggering ignorance of our student population—college students who aren’t sure who won the Civil War, what the Holocaust was, or even when World War Two took place. I remember years ago reading about a teacher who bemoaned the fact that his students didn’t know which came first, the Renaissance or the Reformation. I wasn’t sympathetic. My only reaction was to think that if any of my college freshman composition students even knew what those historical events were I’d fall into a dead faint... There’s probably not one of us in education who doesn’t wail like a Greek Chorus over The Current State of Education in America.  We wring our hands, frustrated by our seeming inability to DO anything.  This issue reared its head again for me recently when I was looking over the new IndieBRAG website.  I had excitedly awaited the changes in genre divisions, hoping that we’d at last have a proper middle grade section into which I could insert my own mystery/adventure novel for the 9-12 year-old set.  As any of you know who have a BRAG medallion for a children’s book, the wide range of…

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