Katherine Paterson

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I was so happy to read that Katherine Paterson has been appointed the second national ambassador for young people’s literature—following Jon Scieszka who was the first to hold the post.  The appointment is made by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book.

Although Paterson is best known for her novel Bridge to Terabithia, my favorite is her Newbery Prize-winning young adult novel, Jacob Have I Loved.  Her most recent book The Day of the Pelican is one of the books keeping my night stand firmly attached to the floor, but in honor of the appointment, I think it should move to the top of the stack.

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Just add a blanket and a steaming mug of hot cocoa…

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Today’s topic: books for girls.  I know.  There’s no such thing as books for girls.  Books are books, right?  But…let’s be honest.  You just reach a time in your life when you have questions and there’s nothing like a good book to remind you that this road to adulthood is well traveled.  Here are ten books that I recommend to middle school girls when they need to remember that they are not alone:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow…10 Books for Middle School Boys

Don’t Leave Home Without Them…

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charlottes-webAs a teacher and librarian, I am often asked for book suggestions. Recently, a parent of a 6th grade student asked me for a top 10 of sorts—a list of books that most kids should read at some point.

Of course, that is a nearly impossible task. Fortunately, there are lots of different books for lots of different readers. But I did not want her to leave empty handed, so if push comes to shove, here are 10 books no child should miss:

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Giver by Lois Lowry (this one is generally best appreciated by 12 and 13 year olds)

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Holes by Louis Sachar

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White