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Family Favorite Reads from 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 school year is in officially in the books for our part of the country and nearing the end for most everyone else. As classroom teachers helped kids collect memories for yearbooks and best of lists, we wondered what books members of our families will remember most. And be sure you’re following us on social media this summer: we’ve taken the #bookaday challenge and we’re sharing book recommendations each and every day! (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

5th Grade Favorites:

Best book I read during 5th grade: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Honorable Mentions: Naruto series
Favorite Reading/Writing Memory: Finishing the Harry Potter series and writing Mr. Mayo comic book.

4th Grade Favorites:

Best book I read during 4th grade: Fish in a Tree (You can read our review of Fish in a Tree here)
Honorable Mentions: Wishtree, Wish, James Patterson’s Middle School series
Favorite Reading/Writing Memory: Researching and writing about Knute Rockne for a huge school project that spanned 3 months, writing an essay about soccer cleats

3rd Grade Favorites:

Best book I read during 3rd grade: The One and Only Ivan
Honorable Mentions: How to Steal a Dog, Wish, Finding Winnie
Favorite Reading/Writing Memory: Listening to my teacher read The One and Only Ivan, writing a story called Lost.

1st Grade Favorites:

Best book I read during 1st grade: Dog Man
Honorable Mentions: Magic Tree House, Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea, Bad Kitty
Favorite Reading/Writing Memory: Bringing home my first chapter book once I had progressed through all the easy reader levels.

Parent Favorites:

Renee: Mom, Teacher/Librarian:


Best YA (Young Adult) book I read: Long Way Down
Best MG (Middle Grade) book I read: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Best picture book I read: The Remember Balloons
Favorite Reading/Writing Memory: 1) Watching my students meet and interact with Troy Cummings, author of many books, including The Notebook of Doom series. 2) Witnessing my son finish the Harry Potter series.

Nicole: Mom, Writer/Preschool Teacher:

Best YA (Young Adult) book I read: The Hate U Give (You can read our review of The Hate U Give here)
Best MG (Middle Grade) book I read: Wishtree
Best picture book I read: Dear Girl, and Groundhug Day
Favorite Reading/Writing Memory: All the comments (in person, via email or social media) from Raising Real Readers followers saying their kids loved a book we recommended or that they tried some of our tips and it worked well. Also, my youngest reading chapter books and the fulfillment of all those “as you get better, the books get better, too” promises I had made him.

Does your family like to do best of lists and rankings? Why not incorporate that into your summer reading fun? Start a list (dry erase board? Google doc?) and end summer with a special unveiling of your top choices!

If You Liked This Post, You Might Also Enjoy:
Our book recommendation list
Where To Get Book Recommendations Your Child Will Love

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Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

When I was 17, my parents took me to New York City on spring break. We splurged on a Broadway show and saw Ragtime, a musical centered around racial injustice in America in the early 20th century. Never before had my eyes been so open to the mistreatment and brutality directed at people of color. The fact that I hadn’t considered this until my late teens is the very definition of white privilege.

And it’s exactly why books like Angie Thomas’ best-selling, award-winning The Hate U Give are so important. For people of color, this book is an important moment of representation, a chance to see their lived experience in print and on movie screens. For readers like me, who grew up in an upper middle class, mostly white suburb, it is a glimpse into the life of a black teenager living in an impoverished neighborhood. We cannot begin to dismantle systemic white supremacy until we recognize and acknowledge the effects of generations of discrimination, oppression, and violence. This book is just such an opportunity to educate ourselves.

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Book Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

I think some of the most exciting work happening in children’s literature is found in the Young Adult niche. A couple of my most favorite reads from the past year are young adult books. They are stories that dig deep into the human spirit. Plus, I love that they typically read a bit quicker than many books geared toward adults–perfect for summer days when you’ve got one eye on the kids in the pool and one eye devouring your book. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon is just such a book.

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