Children’s Book Week Spotlight: Books for Kids in Elementary School

May 4, 2015
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Happy Children’s Book Week! The 2015 edition of Children’s Book Week launched on Saturday on Free Comic Book Day, and now that kids around the country have gotten a taste of comics, we want to recommend a few more! In this edition of CBLDF’s week-long feature, we have some suggestions for readers in Grades 2-3.

The age groups here are suggested by the publishers of the books, but they can be enjoyed by readers of all ages! Keep in mind that every reader is an individual, so parents are best suited to make decisions about what is appropriate for their own children. Just because a book is labelled with specific ages, that doesn’t mean a younger reader — or even grown up kids! — won’t find something to enjoy.

Let’s take a look…

SalemHyde_CoverThe Misadventures of Salem Hyde by Frank Cammuso

Amulet Books • Suggested for ages 7 – 9

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde is a wonderful series about a strong-willed, spunky, impulsive young witch living in a non-witch community, who has a slight problem: Her spells tend to backfire. However, with the help of Whammy, her companion cat, she slowly deals with her “spelling” issues while boldly facing her nemesis Shelly and her teacher Mr. Fink (who “dislikes all kinds of kids but especially Salem”). The Misadventures of Salem Hyde received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, and was named one of the Top 10 graphic novels of 2013 by The School Library Journal. These books contain fun-filled adventures and wordplay that make them an awesome read for kids of all ages. The are currently three volumes in the Salem Hyde series.

Using Graphic Novels in Education: The Misadventures of Salem Hyde

Babymouse_2Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Random House • Suggested for ages 7 – 10

Babymouse is an award-winning graphic novel series that showcases the trials and tribulations of elementary school students and teachers, as seen through the eyes of Babymouse, a spunky, lovable mouse who wrestles with popularity, quirky lockers, competition — in the school band, school play, math Olympics, and even the best birthday party ever — and more. The series has won multiple Children’s Choice awards, the 2006 Gryphon Award, the 2006 ALA Notable Children’s Book Award, the 2006 New York Book Show Award. The series currently stands at 19 volumes for fun for readers of all ages!

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Babymouse

Amelia_01Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley

Simon & Schuster • Suggested for ages 7 – 12

Amelia Rules! is an empowering, heart-warming story about Amelia Louise McBride, who moves with her Mom to a small town in Pennsylvania to live with her uber-cool aunt Tanner after her parents’ divorce. Amelia, along with her friends Reggie, Pajamaman (or PJ), and Rhonda Bleenie (Amelia’s best frenemy) take on the world with some guidance from Tanner, a former rock-star. Through laughs, challenges, and spills, we learn about friendship, family, the truths of life, and the joys of not taking anything too seriously — as long as there are people (as flawed as they may be) to provide support when necessary. Amelia Rules! is a New York Times bestseller. It has been nominated for 13 Eisner Awards (four nominations in 2008 alone), has been nominated for five Harvey Awards, and was a short list finalist for the Howard E. Day Prize in 2002. In 2007, Volume 3: Superheroes won the Cybil Award for best graphic novel for readers aged 12 and under. In 2008, Gownley won the Pennsylvania Library Association One Book Award, and in 2012, Volume 8: Her Permanent Record became the first Amelia Rules! book to make the New York Times bestseller list. There are nine volumes in the series.

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Amelia Rules!

squish10Squish by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Random House • Suggested for ages 8 – 12

Squish is a comic book-loving, Twinkie-eating, blubbery, super-swell amoeba “kid” who wrestles with good and evil in life around him and learns about life’s responsibilities. He faces all sorts of challenges with his friends Pod, a nerdy, mooching amoeba who’s always working on some lay-brained science scheme to help him tame his world, and Peggy, a clueless, huge-hearted, super-sweet, happy-go-lucky loving paramecium. The Squish series is full of fun, humor, and real-life problems facing middle school “microorganism kids.” These endearing pond-dwelling microorganisms deal with issues of friendship, bullies, overcoming fears, and learning that doing the right thing is one of life’s greatest challenges — and rewards — whether you’re a superhero like Super Amoeba, or a plain kid like Squish. The Squish series currently stands at seven volumes.

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Squish

This list represents just a few of the amazing kids comics waiting to be discovered by younger readers. We’ll be featuring more throughout the week, so keep returning to CBLDF.org for more! If you can’t wait, visit your local library or view the latest edition of Raising a Reader! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read! for additional resources.

Children’s Book Week (May 4 – 10, 2015), the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading, was established in 1919 and is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes, and now comic book stores! On May 2, Free Comic Book Day led off the celebration of Children’s Book Week at more than 2,000 comic book specialty stores, which will be giving away millions of free kids comics! To learn more about Children’s Book Week, and how you can join the fun, please visit www.bookweekonline.com. Check out official events from coast to coast at www.bookweekonline.com/official. For a list of comic book shops participating in Children’s Book Week events, visit CBLDF’s website here. To learn more about Free Comic Book Day, please visit www.freecomicbookday.com.

Celebrate the freedom to read comics for all ages and CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by visiting the Rewards Zonemaking a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!

Book descriptions courtesy of CBLDF contributor Meryl Jaffe. All images (c) their respective creators.

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