Teach Your Kids about Election Day: Books and Apps


Election time can be such a busy time. As moms, we’re trying to sort out all of the candidates and issues for ourselves, both locally and nationally, but we want to keep our children informed and involved in the process, as well.

In our family, we’ve started a new tradition of recording the Presidential debates as well as the national evening newscast through our DVR, so that – once the homework is finished, we can all sit down and watch the coverage. We like to speed through the commercials, and we find ourselves pausing the broadcast frequently to explain things or give extra background information. It takes a good deal of time each evening (and, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t actually happen EVERY evening), but every little bit helps. Any kind of dialogue we can have with our kids over the candidates and the issues facing our country is time well spent.

On that note, here are a few fun books and apps and to help teach kids of all ages about voting and the founding of this country.

Disney American Presidents App

From Disney Publishing Worldwide. Available online for $3.99
A fresh, new way to learn about the extraordinary men who inhabited the oval office and set the course for our country, just in time for the Presidential elections and inauguration! Sit in the oval office and flip through the Unofficial Scrapbook—you’ll find plenty of amazing stories and new perspectives about the men who helped shape our nation on the windy road to our modern Presidential elections.
Platforms: iOS


Grace for President
Grace for President
Available online from Amazon.com for $15.99
Where are the girls?” When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the “best man for the job”-and seems to have captured all the male votes-while Grace concentrates on being the best person. In this timely story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought-and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.


Phineas and Ferb #10: Ride the Voter Coaster!
Phineas and Ferb #10: Ride the Voter Coaster!
Available online from amazon.com for $5.99
When a junior mayor election is announced in Danville, Phineas and Ferb decide to run against each other! This 8×8 features an original story and a pull-out poster.


John, Paul, George & Ben
John, Paul, George & Ben
Available online from Amazon for $12.23
Once there were four lads. John [Hancock], Paul [Revere], George [Washington], and Ben [Franklin]. Oh yes, there was also Tom [Jefferson], but he was annoyingly independent and hardly ever around. These lads were always getting into trouble for one reason or another. In other words, they took a few. liberties. And to be honest, they were not always appreciated. This is the story of five little lads before they became five really big Founding Fathers.

Things We Love – Mogul Mom (How to Quit Your Job, Start Your Own Business and Join the Work at Home Revolution)

Mogul Mom - How to Quit Your Job, Start Your Own Business, and Join the Work-at-Home Mom Revolution (Mogul Mom Work-at-Home Book Series)
Mogul Mom – How to Quit Your Job, Start Your Own Business, and Join the Work-at-Home Mom Revolution (Mogul Mom Work-at-Home Book Series)
Where to buy: www.amazon.com
Review by: ACMMom

Becoming a parent to a newborn is something that changes your life forever. After taking time off work for the first months and then facing the prospect of leaving your baby with ‘strangers’ to go back to a 9-5 job might be quite scary. At this point you might be thinking/dreaming of starting your own business, making some money from home so you can be there for your baby. It’s not an easy decision to make to let go of your regular pay check to start something new and unknown. However, if you have what it takes, running your own business is very rewarding and is more likely to fit around your baby and family.

“Mogul Mom” is a motivating book (available in both paperback and Kindle editions) to read if you are interested in reading about other women’s experiences of starting their own business. The book isn’t a step-by-step guide on getting it off the ground, but it is a book full of information and inspirational stories of women entrepreneurs. Reading through their various profiles will give you valuable food for thought to become your own boss. It allows you to pick out the best of all that made them successful and avoid the mistakes they made along the way.

Overall, this is a very motivational book for women by women entrepreneurs in how to become a confident and successful entrepreneur. No more commuting, rushing out of the door and pestering bosses. Instead you’ll be able to put your energy into raising your family and growing your business.

Read more about this title from Amazon:
Mogul Mom – How to Quit Your Job, Start Your Own Business, and Join the Work-at-Home Mom Revolution (Mogul Mom Work-at-Home Book Series)
No More Office. No More Commute. No More Missing Time With Your Kids. Working outside the home is one of the hardest things a mother can do. You’re away from your kids, you have less time to handle household responsibilities, and you can’t enjoy family time when you are home because you’re exhausted! Within this book you’ll find both information and inspiration to remove you from this “rat race” and start successfully working at home! You’ll learn: – How to decide, without any risk, if working from home is right for you and your family. – The best way to choose a work-at-home business you’ll love! – A quick and easy way to set up your home business (and start making money) – Where to attract clients. and how to keep them coming back! – What you must know about your first year of business (This will keep you stress-free and guarantee success!) – How to manage your time so both your family and business are taken care of – The “self-care” balance – Exactly how to take care of your body, mind, and spirit Also included are personal interviews and profiles of 33 successful work-at-home moms. These women are just like you and share their candid and honest experiences about building a business from home. You’ll be inspired by their stories of self-empowerment and get ideas for your own work-at-home business. If working from home is something you’ve dreamed of, but you haven’t quite taken the leap, this book will show you exactly what you need to do to make it happen. Andrea Clayton is a former office manager who left the 9-to-5 world to work from home as a freelance writer. She lives in San Diego with her husband and three young children.

Things We Love – Stress Less, Weigh Less

Stress Less, Weigh Less: Follow Holly to Increase Energy, Eat the Food You Love, and Enjoy an Ageless Body
Stress Less, Weigh Less: Follow Holly to Increase Energy, Eat the Food You Love, and Enjoy an Ageless Body

Practical, smart, thoroughly-researched and full of no-nonsense tips that fit easily into our busy lives, Stress Less, Weigh Less is a groundbreaking weight loss book.

Healthy lifestyle expert Holly Mosier shows us we do not need to make weight loss difficult; we can eat the foods we love, exercise smarter, and get and maintain the body we always wanted by reducing stress, the culprit to yo-yo dieting, belly fat and mid-life weight gain.

Working through the mind-body connection, Holly shows us that by “opting-out” of unnecessary and unfulfilling activities that rob our time and leave us depleted, we can peacefully create the bodies and lives we love.

Stress Less, Weigh Less introduces readers to practical stress reduction tools and beautiful photo-illustrated yoga exercises that will help them find mental stress relief, the answer to permanent weight control. The author also serves up an extraordinary five-ingredients-or-less culinary guide that transcends the usual lettuce-leaf diet and easy-to-implement workouts that any busy reader can follow.

A clearly mapped thirty-day, habit changing program gets readers into a new routine, and recipes show them how to combine everyday ingredients into delicious, quick, and healthy meals that will keep them on the path to total health without adding extra stress to mealtime.

This title is available at Amazon.com >
Find Amazon Deals here >

Things We Love – New Amazon Kindles Available for Preorder


As you all know, I love my Kindle. And Amazon has just released information on a new and improved variety of Kindle – one for every budget, in fact. These new Kindles aren’t available quite yet, but you can preorder now to reserve your place in line.

Check ‘em out:

Kindle: $79. Available November 21. Preorder and get FREE Shipping. 

Kindle Touch - $99. Available November 21.  Preorder and get FREE Shipping.

Kindle Touch 3G – $149. Available November 21.
Kindle and Kindle Touch have the most advanced E-Ink display technology available and the 3G Kindle Touch adds 3G wireless with no monthly fees or annual contracts. Preorder and get FREE Shipping

Kindle Fire –  $199. Will be released November 15th.
Kindle Fire is a beautiful, full color Kindle for books and magazines, but also movies, TV shoes, music, apps, games, web browsing and more. Kindle Fire brings you instant access to Amazon’s gigantic selection of digital content on a vibrant color IPS touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle, a 14.6 ounce design, free storage in the Amazon cloud and a super-fast mobile browser – Amazon Silk, which is available only on Kindle Fire. Preorder and Get FREE Shipping

Here are the latest Amazon Kindle coupons and specials:

The Amazon Kindle  – Compare and get the best prices

Plus check our Freebies blog for new, free books for your Kindle. (These offers come and go, so you have to act fast.)

Things We Love – For every book you buy, a book is donated

We’ve written about Better World Books before, and now they are doing something that’s really cool, so we’re writing about them again.

BetterWorldBooks.com is a for-profit social enterprise that collects used books and sells them online to raise money for literacy initiatives worldwide. You’ll get great bargains on used books – more than 6 million used and new titles. When you buy used books, you save money – and you keep books out of landfills while conserving resources. Plus, you’ll get free carbon-neutral shipping in the USA and $3.97 shipping worldwide. (Every order is shipped carbon neutral with offsets from Carbonfund.org).

Here’s the big announcement: On August 15, Better World Books celebrated their 10 millionth dollar raised for literacy. And they celebrated this milestone by launching their latest literacy initiative: Book for Book. For every book purchased on BetterWorldBooks.com, they donate a book to someone in need. That’s it! No qualifications, no exceptions, no fine print.

The partners they donate to are Books for Africa, one of the company’s longtime non-profit literacy partners, and Feed the Children, who have been champions in finding new homes for books.

Here are the latest promotions and discounts for Better World Books:


Get 3 used books for $10, 4 for $12 and 5 for $15 with the Better World Books Bargain Bin. Free shipping worldwide.

So get reading!

Raising Happiness


I just got a note in my inbox I thought you Momscapers might be interested in:

Happiness Expert Dr. Christine Carter has announced the dates for her next online parenting class, RAISING HAPPINESS, which will begin on October 3rd on her web site www.raisinghappiness.com. Parents who sign up for the class by September 5th will receive 25% off the cost of the Fall class ($50 value) when you use promo code: MOMSCAPE.

Dr. Carter is a sociologist at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and author of the book “RAISING HAPPINESS: 10 Steps to More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.” Dr. Carter is the only parenting expert who specializes in raising happy children, and she has helped thousands of parents find more joy in their parenting while raising happy, successful and resilient kids through her online class.

The Fall 2011 Online Class covers important topics related to Back to School issues including the problem with academic achievement and perfectionism.

Here’s the full agenda:

Theme One: How and Why to Put Your Own Happiness First

• Week 1: Why Happiness is the Biggest Advantage in Life
• Week 2: It’s True: Your Happiness is the Most Important Thing
• Week 3: Why Parents Today Aren’t Happy
• Week 4: How to Break a Habit and Start a New One: The Science of Change
• Week 5: Dedicated Implementation Week and Group Coaching Call

Theme Two: The Science of Success

• Week 6: The Two Most Powerful Things You Can Say to Kids
• Week 7: Your Guide to Elite Performance (i.e., How to Raise an Olympic Athlete)
• Week 8: Perfectionism is a Disease; Achievement is a Myth
• Week 9: How to Foster “Grit” in Your Children
• Week 10: Dedicated Implementation Week and Live Group Coaching

Dr. Carter has helped thousands of parents find more joy in their parenting while raising happy, successful and resilient kids through Raising Happiness. For more information on Raising Happiness, visit www.Raisinghappiness.com. Registration closes October 3rd.

Get Dr. Carter’s Book from Amazon:

Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents
Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents
Price: $9.48
What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain. Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do s and don’ts in action, Christine Carter, Ph.D, executive director of UC Berkeley s Greater Good Science Center, boils the process down to 10 simple happiness-inducing steps.

With great wit, wisdom, and compassion, Carter covers the day-to-day pressure points of parenting how best to discipline, get kids to school and activities on time, and get dinner on the table as well as the more elusive issues of helping children build healthy friendships and develop emotional intelligence. In these 10 key steps, she helps you interact confidently and consistently with your kids to foster the skills, habits, and mindsets that will set the stage for positive emotions now and into their adolescence and beyond.

Inside you will discover:
* the best way avoid raising a brat
* changing bad habits into good ones
* tips on how to change your kids attitude into gratitude
* the trap of trying to be perfect and how to stay clear of its pitfalls
* the right way to praise kids and why too much of the wrong kind can be just as bad as not enough
* the spirit of kindness how to raise kind, compassionate, and loving children
* strategies for inspiring kids to do boring (but necessary) tasks and become more self-motivated in the process

Complete with a series of “try this” tips, secrets, and strategies, Raising Happiness is a one-of-a-kind resource that will help you instill joy in your kids and, in the process, become more joyful yourself.

Read more about Raising Happiness

Summer Reading List for Moms

On our facebook page, Lisa asked if we have a Summer Reading List for Moms, so I wanted to share the titles I’ve been loving in the last month or two. These really have nothing to do with parenting but they’re great for a wee escape.

Check these out and then add your own summer favorites in the comments section:

Bossypants (Unabridged)
Bossypants (Unabridged)
I’ve linked here to the audiobook version because it’s read by Tina Fey, which makes for an even funnier book. I listen to this on my longer hikes and, at times, it makes me laugh out loud in such sudden, wild bursts that I look like a lonely crazy lady chortling to herself in the forest.
Here’s more about this title from Audible.com (Audible coupons are here.)
Price: $21.36
“Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her. Before 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and ‘Sarah Palin’, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.”

To Kill a Mockingbird
Summer is a great time to visit a classic, and this is – in my opinion – one of the best books ever written. I try to read it in every decade of my life, and I always find a little something new. This time, I related so much to Atticus when it used to be all about Scout.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Price: $12.79 at Borders.com

A good historical fiction novel is bliss, and this one centers on a period of time I’ve always wanted to know more about. I loved it from the first page to the last.

The True Memoirs of Little K
The True Memoirs of Little K
Price: $11.98
Exiled in Paris, tiny, one-hundred-year-old Mathilde Kschessinska sits down to write her memoirs before all that she believes to be true is forgotten. A lifetime ago, she was the vain, ambitious, impossibly charming prima ballerina assoluta of the tsar’s Russian Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg. Now, as she looks back on her tumultuous life, she can still recall every slight she ever suffered, every conquest she ever made. Kschessinka’s riveting storytelling soon thrusts us into a world lost to time: that great intersection of the Russian court and the Russian theater. Before the revolution, Kschessinska dominated that world as the greatest dancer of her age. At seventeen, her crisp, scything technique made her a star. So did her romance with the tsarevich Nicholas Romanov, soon to be Nicholas II. It was customary for grand dukes and sons of tsars to draw their mistresses from the ranks of the ballet, but it was not customary for them to fall in love. The affair could not endure: when Nicholas ascended to the throne as tsar, he was forced to give up his mistress, and Kschessinska turned for consolation to his cousins, two grand dukes with whom she formed an infamous menage a trois. But when Nicholas’s marriage to Alexandra wavered after she produced girl after girl, he came once again to visit his Little K. As the tsar’s empire-one that once made up a third of the world-began its fatal crumble, Kschessinka’s devotion to the imperial family would be tested in ways she could never have foreseen. In Adrienne Sharp’s magnificently imagined novel, the last days of the three-hundred-year-old Romanov empire are relived. Through Kschessinska’s memories of her own triumphs and defeats, we witness the stories that changed history: the seething beginnings of revolution, the blindness of the doomed court, the end of a grand, decadent way of life that belonged to the nineteenth century. Based on fact, The True Memoirs of Little K is historical fiction as it’s meant to be written: passionately eventful, crammed with authentic detail, and alive with emotions that resonate still.

I also love Ernest Hemingway. The following three books are fun to read together because they cover the same period in time: The Paris Wife is a fictional account of Hemingway’s early professional life from the point of view of his first wife. The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway’s fictional piece of the same time period. A Moveable Feast is the posthumous memoir of this same period. If you’re interested in how real life becomes fiction in an artist’s life, this is a fascinating trio of books.

The Paris Wife
The Paris Wife
Price: $12.98
Readers of Ernest Hemingway biographies, his The Sun Also Rises and posthumous memoir A Moveable Feast know at least the outlines of the novelist’s relationship with his first wife Hadley Richardson. This rich novel fleshes out that connection, evoking the full rise, throb, and fall of the couple’s relationship. As author Paula McClain tells their story, she immerses readers in the jubilation and excesses of Jazz Age, offering us telling glimpses into the lives of the Hemingway’s volatile artistic circle. A truly accomplished historical novel; strongly affirmative early reader reports.

The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises
Price: $8.97
A brilliant profile of the Lost Generation, Hemingway’s first bestseller captures life among the expatriates on Paris’s Left Bank during the 1920s, the brutality of bullfighting in Spain, and the moral and spiritual dissolution of a generation. Reprint.

A Moveable Feast
A Moveable Feast
Price: $9.36
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”- ERNEST HEMINGWAY TO A FRIEND, 1950Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most beloved works. It is his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, filled with irreverent portraits of other expatriate luminaries such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein; tender memories of his first wife, Hadley; and insightful recollections of his own early experiments with his craft. It is a literary feast, brilliantly evoking the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the youthful spirit, unbridled creativity, and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized. Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century, and for his efforts he was.

This is an eclectic list if ever there was one. What titles are on your summer reading list?


Summer Reading Lists

Summer is a great time to get your kids started on a wonderful book – to ignite or enhance a child’s love for reading. Sylvan Learning has suggested the following summer reading lists for grades K-12 to help you find just the right book for your child’s summer reading adventures.

Summer Reading List – Elementary School


Whose Mouse Are You?
Whose Mouse Are You?
A lonely little mouse has to be resourceful in order to bring his family back together.

Goodnight Moon Classic Library: Contains Goodnight Moon, The Runaway B
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Grade 1:
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears Click, clack, MOO. Click, clack, MOO. Clickety, clack, MOO. But Farmer Brown’s problems really begin when his cows start leaving him notes. Doreen Cronin’s understated text and Betsy Lewin’s expressive illustrations make the most of this hilarious situation. Come join the fun as a bunch of literate cows turn Farmer Brown’s farm upside down.

Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
In trying to determine which of his six sons to reward for saving his life, Anansi the Spider is responsible for placing the moon in the sky.

Grade 2:

Mister Seahorse

Mister Seahorse
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets some other underwater fathers caring for their babies: Mr. Tilapia, who carries his babies in his mouth; Mr. Kurtus, who keeps his on his head; and Mr. Catfish, who is baby-sitting his young hatchlings. Eric Carle has done it again, with astonishingly beautiful collage illustrations and a story that introduces the very young to the wonders of aquatic life. and some very special daddies. A “hide and seek” feature with acetate overlays adds a colorful surprise.

How Much Is a Million?
How Much Is a Million?
Text and pictures try to make possible the conceptualization of a million, a billion, and a trillion.

Grade 3:

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, by Sharon Creech
Rosie and her best friend just can’t seem to get along, but Granny Torrelli knows just what to do to make things better. With warm words and secret recipes, she helps Rosie see that nothing can break the bond between two life long pals.

A Beach for the Birds by Bruce McMillan

Grade 4:

Summer Reading Is Killing Me! (The Time Warp Trio Series #7)
Summer Reading Is Killing Me! (The Time Warp Trio Series #7)
At the beginning of summer vacation Joe, Sam, and Fred find themselves trapped inside their summer reading list, involved in a battle between good and evil characters from well-known children’s books.

So You Want to Be President?
So You Want to Be President?
In the time-honored tradition of political commentary, author Judith St. George and Caldecott Medal winner/illustrator David Small celebrate the public and private lives of forty-two Presidents with humor and flair. Imparting much information and many laughs, this rip-roaring look at the men who have all wanted to be President deserves a place on every library and classroom shelf. Awards: Caldecott Medal Book; ALA Notable Book; Earphones Award for Exceptional Audio, AudioFile Magazine.

Grade 5:

As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Kitchen Science by Chris Maynard

Summer Reading List Middle School

Grade 6:

The Carnivorous Carnival: Book the Ninth (A Series of Unfortunate Even
The Carnivorous Carnival: Book the Ninth (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
“Dear Listener, The word carnivorous means meat eating and this carnivorous volume contains such a distressing story that consuming any of its contents would be far more stomach-turning than even the most imbalanced meal. It would be best if I didn’t mention any of the unnerving ingredients of this story, particularly, an unruly crowd, a wooden plank, and Chabo the Wolf Baby. I also shouldn’t mention the features of the interactive CD, which include: Perplexing word games, Photos from the Lemony Snicket Archives, and Art from the Brett Helquist gallery. Sadly for me, I continue to research the lives of the Baudelaire orphans, but your time might be filled with something more palatable. With all due respect, Lemony Snicket.”

My Life in Dog Years
My Life in Dog Years
The author describes some of the dogs that have had special places in his life, including his first dog, Snowball, in the Philippines; Dirk, who protected him from bullies; and Cookie, who saved his life.

Grade 7:

A Year Down Yonder
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Mary Alice and Grandma Dowdel return for more astonishing, laugh-out-loud adventures when fifteen-year-old Mary Alice moves in with her spicy grandmother for the year. Her extended visit is filled with moonlit schemes, romances both foiled and founded, and a whole parade of fools made to suffer in unusual (and always hilarious) ways. Winner of the Newbery Medal Notable Children’s Recording (American Library Association).

Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom
Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom By Walter Dean Myers

Grade 8:

Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Series #1)
Ender’s Game (Ender Wiggin Series #1)
The Earth is under attack and the survival of the human species depends on a military genius who can defeat the alien “buggers.” Recruited for military training, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. A reader’s guide is available for this Starscape edition-perfect for readers ten and up-of the beloved science fiction classic by best-selling author Orson Scott Card.

Our Town
Our Town
Featuring a beautiful new cover and author biography, this deeply moving drama of life in a small New Hampshire village won the Pulitzer prize in 1938 and is Wilder’s most renowned and most frequently performed play.

Summer Reading List – High School

Grade 9:

Empire of the Sun
Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard
Price: $1.99
Empire of the Sun is the story of a young boy in Shanghai who witnesses the outbreak of World War II and the bombing of Nagasaki.

Silent Spring
Silent Spring
Three reasons to read Silent Spring:
1. This book, first published in 1962, launched the modern environmental movement. It also earned Carson, a modest marine biologist, a slot on Time’s 100 Most Influential People of the Century list.
2. It’s a great read. Calling Silent Spring “well crafted, fearless and succinct,” Peter Matthiessen said of its author: “Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters.”
3. Carson’s lucid, almost lyrical expose of the indiscriminate use of pesticides is still relevant.

Grade 10:

Price: $3.99
If any single novel of Kurt Vonnegut’s can represent his unique voice and freewheeling imagination, it is probably the wildly funny and provocative Cat’s Cradle, published in 1963.

Profiles in Courage for Our Time
Profiles in Courage for Our Time
Nearly half a century after then – Senator John F. Kennedy was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Profiles in Courage, the Kennedy family continues to keep alive the tradition of honoring selfless public service with its Profiles in Courage Award. Now in paperback, Profiles in Courage for Our Time pays tribute to 13 such heroes in the same spirit as the original collection. Some of our greatest writers have brought their formidable talents to this celebration of modern political bravery including Michael Beschloss, Anna Quindlen, Bob Woodward, and Marian Wright Edelman. Also included is Caroline Kennedy’s profile of the latest award recipient, Kofi Annan. These are just a few of the luminaries who eloquently and passionately record the experiences of the award winners. This celebration of modern political bravery demonstrates that heroism among today’s elected officials is as possible and inspiring as ever. “The Profiles in Courage Award seeks to honor those whose lives of service prove that politics can be a noble profession. We hope that Americans realize that there are men and women serving at all levels of our government who are legends of our time.” -Caroline Kennedy Caroline Kennedy is the editor of the New York Times best-selling The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and coauthor of The Right to Privacy and In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action. She serves as president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and is chief executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for New York City Schools.

Grade 11

First published serially in All the Year Round in 1860-61, published as a book in 1861, thisnovel was one of Dickens’ greatest critical and popular successes. It tells of the coming-of-age of Pip (Philip Pirrip), raised in the marshes of Kent by his harsh sister and her good-tempered husband, the blacksmith Joe Gargery. One day the young Pip helps a convict escape. Later sent to live with Miss Havisham, a woman driven half-mad years by being abandoned on her wedding day, he becomes enamored of the orphaned Estella, whom Miss Havisham is teaching to torment men with her beauty. When an anonymous benefactor helps him, Pip assumes it is Miss Havisham. But he is wrong, about that, and a number of other things, and only learns wisdom through loss and pain. An edition of this novel has been chosen for Oprah’s Book Club, together with “A Tale of Two Cities”.

She Stoops to Conquer
She Stoops to Conquer
Charming satire concerns a young lady who poses as a serving girl to win the heart of a young gentleman too shy to court ladies of his own class.

Grade 12:

Gulliver's Travels (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Gulliver’s Travels
Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today’s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader’s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader’s understanding of these enduring works.

Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today’s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader’s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader’s understanding of these enduring works.


More Summer Reading Lists & Resources for Parents

Sylvan Learning also offers a free reading incentive program for children in grades K-8 at www.bookadventure.com. This program allows your kids to create personalized book lists from more than 7,500 recommended titles, take quizzes on the books they’ve read at school or at home, and earn prizes for comprehension of the books they’ve read.  You can get additional educational resources for children in grades K-12 here: http://tutoring.sylvanlearning.com/parent_learning_resources.cfm.

What are your child’s favorite summer reads?


Things we love – Books from pop-up artist Robert Sabuda

Things we love – Any book from Robert Sabuda

Robert Sabuda is the master pop-up book artist. His The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Commemorative Pop up Book is nothing short of amazing. We always gasp when the twister bursts forth from the page.You’ll find surprises on every page, including the glimmering Emerald City, shown above.

Sabuda has also unleashed his talents on Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast and quite a few more. Here’s Amazon’s Robert Sabuda page where you can read more about this artist and secure a title or two for your children’s book library. These make really nice, memorable gifts and they are surprisingly affordable, considering the intricacy of the designs on each popping-up page.

Speaking of interactive children’s books, we also like:

Online Storytime at the Barnes and Noble website

Hear celebrities and authors read famous children’s stories. This month, Eric Carle reads his famous The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The Three Little Pigs and the Secrets of a Pop Up book (iPad or iPhone app)
Ever wondered how the magic happens on the inside of one of these pop up books? The 3 Little Pigs iPad App allows you see the inner workings. Just click on an icon in the corner of the screen to see an inner view of the page, so you can see just how all those swinging parts come together. Cute, interactive fun.

Book Recommendation – Green Crafts for Children

green crafts for kids

Book Recommendation: Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials
Where to buy: www.amazon.com
Review by: ACGMama

Green Crafts for Children is fun green craft book for pre-teens. It features 35 easy projects, each of which could make an ideal gift for family and friends.

The projects included will give your kids hours and hours of enjoyment and they are inexpensive to make because they use materials easily found in and around your home and garden, or even on walks in the woods or trips to the beach.

Your kids will be delighted to create something fun out of old wrapping paper, buttons, shells, pine cones and other bits and pieces they can find. I am sure that your children will play over and over again with their handmade driftwood boat. And I am also certain that you would love to receive a beautifully painted stone from your last trip to the beach or a felt necklace.

Also included in the book are recipes on salt dough as well as other useful tips and advice.

Crafting enhances your kids’ imagination and creativity. This book will inspire them to be creative and keeping boredom at bay. I would certainly recommend it to any family.

Learn more about this title >