Category Archives: Kid Life

Return to Sender

Return to Sender

Return to Sender

Tyler lives on a dairy farm in Vermont. When his dad is injured in a tractor accident the family can no longer keep up with the work. Tyler’s dad decides to hire migrant workers to save the farm from foreclosure.  (A migrant worker is a worker that travels from place to place getting work on farms harvesting crops that are in season. In the US, migrant workers are often from Mexico.)

The Cruz family moves to the farm and the men begin working on the farm. The kids go to Tyler’s school. One girl, Mari, is in Tyler’s class. The two kids find that they have a lot in common, mostly, worrying about their families.

When Tyler discovers that the Cruz’s are undocumented workers, he’s confused. Would his dad do something illegal?  What is so illegal about the Cruz’s working to help out his family? When the authorities raid the farm and take the Cruz men to jail, Tyler is as confused as ever. He and his family have spent a year building a friendship with Mari and her family and the rules don’t make any sense. The Cruz’s definitey don’t belong in jail, but where do they belong? Should they stay, or do they have to go? If they go, what will happen to the farm?

This is a really personal look at the life of migrant families and the choices and dangers they face. I really liked Meeting Mari and her family. She helped me understand what would motivate a family to risk living in the US illegally. Author: Julia Alvarez; Award: Pura Belpre Author Award 2010

  • Listen to Julia Alvarez Read from Return to Sender
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Dear Dumb Diary: That’s What Friends Aren’t For

Dear Dumb Diary: That’s What Friends Aren’t For

That's What Friends Aren't for

Isabella is Jamie’s BFF. If you’ve read any of the other Dear Dumb Diary books you already know this. You also know that Angeline is NOT Jamie’s BFF.

Now, Jamie’s Aunt has gone and done something that’s really wrecked Jamie’s neatly ordered social life. Jamie’s Aunt Carol married Angeline’s Uncle Dan.  Now, they are sort of related. Jamie is not very happy about this new “automoatic” friendship. She still doesn’t like Angeline but they are now thrown together at family events and expected to be friends.

Jamie tries to talk to Isabella about this, you know, get a little BFF sympathy, but Isabella thinks Angeline isn’t that bad and they should all be friends. Jamie is having none of that because…there are only TWO Fs in BFF.

“If you get too many Fs, it doesn’t look like Best Friends Forever anymore. It looks like you’re trying to spell the sound a fart makes. Observe: BFFFFFFFFFF.”

More laugh outloud funny diary entries from the one and only Jamie Kelly. If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, give these a try. Author: Jim Benton

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Review by Charlotte

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Review by Charlotte

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

“Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I can’t wait until two o’clock God. That’s when our dance starts. Do you think I’ll get Philip Leroy for a partner? It’s not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he’s very handsome. And I’d love to dance with him… just once or twice. Thank you God.”

Margaret has to move to new house and start sixth grade in a new school. She has to find new friends. It’s tough, and she talks to God to tell him all about it.

Charlotte Says: All Judy Blume books are amazing my favorite book of hers is Are You There God it’s Me Margaret.

Other Books by Judy Blume:
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret on CD or Downloadable Audiobook
Blubber on CD
Deenie
Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson
Iggie’s House
It’s Not the End of the World
Just as Long as We’re Together
Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself on CD or Downloadable Audiobook
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t

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Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up

Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up

Keena Ford and the field Trip Mix-Up

Keena’s second grade class is going on a field trip to the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. On the night before the big trip Keena is playing around with scissors and accidently cuts one of her braids clean off! To cover up this little mistake (she doesn’t want to get in trouble for playing with scissors) she makes a yarn braid to replace the lost one.

“Something everyone should know about yarn is that it looks different after you sleep on it. …It looked like the hair of this doll I saw in a move one time, when this girl was very, very poor, and she lived in an old barn.”

Since the braid isn’t looking so good Keena has to make do with a patriotic scarf. When one of her classmates yanks it off right in front of Representative Ford, Keena thinks this might be the most embarrassing moment of her life. But nooooo, there’s more. With Keena Ford, there is so much more! Author: Melissa Thomson

If you like girls with moxie (that’s determined) and spunk, here are some that like to do things their own way – try Keena, Moxy, Sunny and Piper:
Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix-Up Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing Piano Sunny Holiday Piper Reed Gets a Job
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The Giant-Slayer

The Giant-Slayer

The Giant-Slayer

In 1955 kids were afraid that they might get a disease called polio. Polio is a virus that can cause paralysis. The paralysis can be so bad that it doesn’t just mean not being able to move the arms or the legs, it also means the body not being able to breath on its own. (Now, all kids get a vaccine for polio so you don’t have to worry about getting it anymore.)

Back in the 50s, if a kid couldn’t breath right because of polio, the kid had to live in an iron lung – a big machine the kid laid inside. This meant no standing up, no sitting, no playing. This was the time before much TV and definately no DVDs or video games or computers. Can you imagine? The kids in this story that live inside iron lungs can read a propped up book…but they have to wait for a nurse to come by to turn the pages.

The story begins when adventurous coonskin cap wearing, popgun toting Dickie moves in down the street and lonely Laurie finds in him a true kindred spirit. They play and pretend and explore all over their neighborhood all day and into the evenings. Laurie is devastated when Dickie is stricken with polio and confined to the hospital. Laurie’s Dad won’t let her visit because he’s afraid she could get polio too. Laurie obeys…for awhile. When she can’t stand it any longer Laurie sneaks into the hospital to visit Dickie and finds that he isn’t alone. Dickie, Chip and Carolyn all have polio and all three live in the hospital inside iron lungs.

During her visits, Laurie begins a story about Jimmy, a little boy destined to become a big hero fighting a giant. Each time Laurie returns to the hospital to visit she adds more to the story. A story about a little person fighting a great big giant is something these kids can relate to. Besting the giant requires all of Jimmy’s skills. He survives with the help of his friends.

The realistic part of the story about kids dealing with polio was really eye opening. It really is hard to imagine yourself living trapped in an iron long like that. The part of the book that is the story Laurie is telling about, the part about Jimmy the giant-slayer, was just fun to read. Laurie is a great storyteller and you can understand why the kids enjoyed her stories so much. Author: Iain Lawrence

Look Inside The Giant Slayer

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