Start your New Year off right by sharing with young readers one of the most inspiring children’s books of 2008. “Planting the Trees of Kenya” by Claire A. Nivola is the true story of 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, a woman who changed her country one tree at a time.
This year marks the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his ground-breaking book, “On the Origin of Species.” Kathryn Lasky’s new illustrated biography, “One Beetle Too Many,” makes an appealing introduction for nine- to twelve-year-olds to the man and his “idea that scared the world.”
If you have a Rick Riordan fan at your house, you’re well aware that the final book in his Percy Jackson series has just been published.
Percy, now 16, is a “half-blood,” the son of Poseidon, the ocean god, and a human mother. In “The Last Olympian” he leads the final battle between the Greek gods and the forces of Kronos. Strong characterizations, surprising plot twists, and enough mystery and suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats have made this series a best-seller, and Riordan does not disappoint in the final book. Readers new to the series would do well to start at the beginning with “The Lightning Thief.”
Developing empathy, reducing impulsiveness, improving decision-making even when upset – these are all social and emotional skills that children build slowly, with lots of help from caring adults.
Thanks for your request for a Book Match. It sounds as though you like lots of different kinds of books. Here are some suggestions:
Bo & Mzzz Mad by Sid Fleischman. When his father dies, Bo Gamage moves in with his distant and estranged relatives, the Martinkas, and finds that "Mad" lives up to her name, PawPaw despises him, and Aunt Juna hopes he'll help search for the gold mine that started a family feud.
If you like trains, here are some other books you might enjoy:
Full Steam Ahead by Faye Gibbons. A young boy and his grandpa ride on a steam locomotive chugging through Georgia one hot summer day.
All Aboard! by Mary Lyn Ray. A large white rabbit named Mr. Barnes goes on a train trip and enjoys all the sights and sounds of the ride.
Circus Train by Jos. A. Smith. After moving to a house in the country, Timothy wonders how he will make any friends, but his problem is solved when he finds an imaginative way to rescue a stranded circus train.