It’s the end of the world as we know it — and Suzanne has some book recommendations.
Love and life get complicated in these young adult novels. Bring your own tissues.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Misfits Park and Eleanor fall in love in high school, but both of them are smart enough to know that first love never lasts forever.
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts
Stoic Zac meets fiery Mia in the hospital, where they’re both undergoing treatment for leukemia.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
A suicide attempts lands anxiety-ridden Craig in an institution, where he meets a motley crew of residents who help him face his fears.
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Ponyboy isn’t sure where he fits into the sharply divided social castes of his 1960s Oklahoma town, but when trouble strikes, he’s forced to choose sides.
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
It doesn’t pay to be different in Standish Treadwell’s world, where a Nazi-like government keeps everyone living in fear and hope is hard to find.
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
One bad decision changes Lucy’s life forever. Now she—and her friends and family—must deal with the fallout.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Social outcasts Sarah and Eric forge a deep friendship, but when Eric’s life takes a different turn and Sarah ends up in a mental hospital, refusing to speak, everything they think they know about each other will be challenged.
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Grieving the loss of her universally beloved older sister, Lennie finds herself in an unexpected love triangle: drawn to one boy who shares her grief and one boy who pulls her toward joy.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
When the world’s population is decimated by a global pandemic, a small troupe of Shakespearean actors travels between far-flung communities, bringing art and music with them.
Hello, autumn! It’s so nice to see you. Our traditional fall hiking trip may be off the table this year, but that doesn’t mean we have to skip our traditional post-hiking funnel cakes, does it?
around the web
It’s a lot more fun to make jokes about the 1880s Presidential races than the 2016 one.
Emily St. John Mandel’s book editing advice is pretty much spot-on.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to build a seven-mile-wide scale model of the solar system?
on the blog: I love Shelli’s post about making peace with the messiness of homeschool life.
on pinterest: Highlighter pencils? Sign me up!
from the archives: I really liked Watch the Sky—maybe it deserves a spot on your middle grades library list?
Oh, gosh, we are absolutely loving Three Times Lucky as our morning readaloud. I don’t know how we missed this one for so long.
I’m recommending M.E. Kerr’s short story collection to all my short story writing students. (Do not skip the biographical note at the end!)
Fellow history buffs: I am totally Amazon-stalking SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. It’s scheduled for November, but I keep hoping it will magically ship early.
We are pretty relaxed in our holiday observances (we did a Star Wars-themed Darth Seder a few years ago), but I love the ritual of forgiveness and acceptance, letting go and holding on that comes with Yom Kippur.
I think I’m making a few of these Fino Circle scarves for holiday presents this year—my brain seems to gravitate toward mindless knitting right now, and at least this mindless knitting produces gorgeous results.
Almost two years ago today, Jas and I had our first conversation about maybe-possibly-what-do-you-think-about starting home/school/life magazine. I’m so glad we took the plunge!
Shelli and I have been hard at work planning the summer issue (lots of good stuff coming up!) and some exciting changes to the website, but we’ve also been enjoying the pleasures of springtime life. Here are some of the things making us smile this spring.
:: I have been reading so much for our summer reading report in the next issue that I feel like I haven’t cracked a book for my personal reading list in ages. (Though I did reread The Boarded-Up House mystery with my daughter.) My 1st grader is reading (with lots of help) The Burgess Bird Book for Children and listening to Will in Scarlet as an audiobook. My 7th grader is reading nothing but manga and listening to the Beatles' Hard Day’s Night pretty much on repeat in her room. I think we may have a case of spring fever. (But I do have Station Eleven on my night table based on Suzanne’s recommendation!) —Amy
:: Am I the only person obsessed with Foyle’s War? I am a sucker for a period mystery, and it’s the perfect background for knitting. —Amy
:: I got sucked into the Pinterest vortex last year and made a quilt out of pillows, but oh, wow, am I glad I did. We have been dragging it into the backyard every day for school time, hang out time, and (not infrequently) dinner. It’s actually very easy to make but not so easy to store. And making it did help me stick to my personal Pinterest rule of one pin in, one pin done. —Amy
:: We have been having so much fun playing with The Kids’ Book of Weather Forecasting: Build a Weather Station, Read the Sky, and Make Predictions (one of the books from our spring issue’s nature resources roundup). There’s nothing like making your own barometer to appreciate the changeable nature of our springtime weather. —Amy
:: With spring’s arrival, we have been enjoying watching many songbirds move into our wooded yard to make nests and find food. My boys frequently refer to the iBird South app on our family's iPad to identify the birds and hear what sounds they make. (There’s an app for each region, so click on the link.) My boys have also enjoyed the Audubon Plush Birds they received at Easter, and I love them because they play real bird sounds, which are provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Seriously, I have yet to separate my 5-year-old from his wood duck, which he had been asking for for a long time! —Shelli
:: Since my boys (including the adult one) are total Star Wars geeks (and, frustratingly, two dvds checked out from two different libraries had too many scratches on them for us to watch), my husband recently purchased all the Star Wars episodes on iTunes. (It’s the first time they have been released in digital format — get all the details here.) Not only are we watching all six episodes, we are also watching all the “extras” that comes with it, and for us, that’s what makes this purchase worth it. The “making of” documentaries, deleted scenes, and other interviews with people who have worked behind the scenes are making this a fun, educational experience. Since we are watching only about 30 minutes a day, this is going to stretch out for weeks too! —Shelli
We picked it up at a library book sale thinking it looked fun, and sure enough my 8-year-old loved The Mad Scientists Club. Though this collection of stories is pretty old — it was written in the 1960s — it was still a fun, clever read. It’s about a group of boys who call themselves the Mad Scientists and get in all kinds of mischief as they outsmart the adults in their small town. My son is eager for me to get the next book in the series. —Shelli
What's your family loving this spring?