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El Deafo by Cece Bell

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From March 13 through April 15, we celebrate Deaf History Month. Until last year, I had difficulty finding a book that I could recommend for this period of time. But Cece Bell’s El Deafo, one of the best books of 2014, won me over from the first time I picked it up. The funny, smart, […]

Autobiography, Deafness, Newbery, Special Needs
Featured on April 6

Rain Reign by Ann Martin


December has been designated Read a New Book Month, and today I want to talk about my favorite new book of 2014, Ann M. Martin’s Rain Reign. For some time Ann Martin has qualified as one of the heroines of the 20-something crowd I teach in various graduate programs. Always, when I ask my students […]

Animals, Autism, Dogs, Special Needs
Featured on December 22

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

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April 12 marks a day that I am very fond of: Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day. It reminds us to put aside whatever we are doing and take time to enjoy a book. Since Beverly Cleary’s birthday also falls on this day, families can find no better place to go than Cleary’s books. Today […]

Family, School, Special Needs
Featured on April 12

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

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The second week of November we celebrate National Young Readers Week. I wish that all young readers had access to the books we celebrate every day on the Almanac. Today we’ll look at one, published in 1993, which I consider a contemporary classic, Rodman Philbrick’s Freak the Mighty. When I first read this book about […]

Humor, School, Special Needs
Featured on November 7

Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos

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September has been designated Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Month to educate everyone about effective treatments for the disease. In 1998 Jack Gantos published a book called Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key that not only became a National Book Award finalist but also goes a long way in educating young readers about ADHD. Joey Pigza […]

ADHD, Award Winning, Humor, National Book Award, School, Special Needs
Featured on September 14

My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt

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Around this time of year the Squire Creek Louisiana Peach Festival takes place with a rodeo, parades, and a cooking contest. If you are in the area and want some local culture, the next two days will provide that and more. But if you aren’t, I have an alternative: Kimberly Willis Holt’s My Louisiana Sky, for […]

Award Winning, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Family, Special Needs
Featured on June 24

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman

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Get out your party clothes! Today those in the know celebrate National Paper Clip Day. The modern version of this lowly but extremely useful object was patented on November 9, 1899 by William D. Middlebrook of Waterbury, Connecticut. But during World War II the paper clip became the symbol of national unity in Norway. Forbidden […]

Animals, Award Winning, Blindness, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Dogs, Humor, School, Special Needs
Featured on May 29

Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller


The first week in May has been earmarked Teacher Appreciation Week—to celebrate some of the most important work going on in our society. In preparation for the week, you might want to pick up our book of the day. Perfect for sharing with third through fifth grades, Sarah Miller’s Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller chronicles […]

19th century, History, School, Special Needs, True Story
Featured on May 4

Rules by Cynthia Lord

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In 2007, April 2 was designated World Autism Awareness Day by the General Assembly of the United Nations, because of the prevalence and high rate of autism in children. In the past few years several notable children’s books have included a child with autism or a focus on autism. My favorite book on the topic […]

Autism, Award Winning, Family, Humor, Newbery, Special Needs
Featured on April 2

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

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On December 31, 1999, the Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair, formally opened what was then the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the London Eye. On the banks of the River Thames, this major landmark and tourist attraction has provided a panoramic view of the city for around 3.5 million riders each year. In […]

Autism, Family, London, Special Needs
Featured on December 31

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.