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Two Stars for The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
July 01, 2015

Two Stars for The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

★ “Seventeen-year-old Echo is an odd bird, but she soars in this urban fantasy.Echo lives by two rules—don’t get caught, and if caught, run—but breaking them brings life-changing adventures. Ten years ago, when the Ala caught Echo picking her pocket, she brought the young thief into the underground world of the Avicen—a race of long-lived, partly feathered people. Echo now flits among the Avicen, trading favors, learning magic, and even snagging a boyfriend, Rowan, but she never feels like part of the flock. Splitting time between her illicit home/book hoard in the New York Public Library and travel around the world via magic powder and portals, Echo is rarely at rest, as if aware of her mortality. When she gets caught again, this time by the dragonlike Drakharin—the opponents of the Avicen in a long-running war—she undertakes a perilous journey to find the legendary firebird and, hopefully, peace. Grey’s energetic debut offers a strong protagonist with a delightfully snarky voice. Echo’s street-honed burglary skills and survival instincts are well-balanced by her (typical) teenage hormones and boundless enthusiasm. Her companions, Avicen Ivy and Jasper and Drakharin Caius and Dorian, are also entertaining, gaining depth by sharing the narrative spotlight—though the initial ping-pong switches between Echo and Caius are disorienting. The well-built world, vivid characters, and perfect blend of action and amour should have readers eagerly seeking the sequel. “—Kirkus

★ “Seventeen-year-old Echo is something of an anomaly, a thieving orphan and the only human who can see the magical, feathered Avicen that she considers family. The Avicen have been at war with the Drakharin for centuries, and the one hope for peace seems to lie with the mystical Firebird, so when Echo unearths a clue to the Firebird’s whereabouts, she must follow it, no matter the cost. Unfortunately, the Dragon Prince of the Drakharin also pursues the Firebird, and when he crosses paths with Echo,sparks fly. This first novel will please fans of Cassandra Clare andGame of Thrones watcherswith its remarkable world-building, richly-developed characters, andthemes of family, power, loyalty, and romance. Grey handles multiple points of view deftly, sweeping the reader fully into the story. Pacing is spot-on, building to a breathtaking climax that clearly points to a sequel. Fortunately for us, Grey is already at work on book two of the trilogy; it cannot come soon enough!” —Melissa Moore, Booklist

July 01, 2015

Career Day: What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry

Does your school or community host a career day for young students to learn about their options for what they want to be when they grow up? Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? is the perfect companion for just such an event. With full color illustrations, this classic picture book shows and tells what busy people do every day to build houses, sail ships, fly planes, keep house, and grow food.


Use these questions to prompt students to talk about what they’d like to do all day when they grow up. Read along with Richard’s Scarry’s
What Do People Do All Day? to give an idea of all different careers.

What are you good at?

What do you enjoy doing?

Can your favorite hobbies help people in any way?

What do you like to pretend to be when you are playing?

June 23, 2015

Using The Wonder Journal in your Classroom

Appearing on 30 state award lists, Wonder by R.J. Palacio has inspired countless readers to reflect on their actions and to Choose Kind. The Wonder Journal is filled with quotes from Wonder and 365 Days of Wonder, to further the spirit of the novel in a personal treasure for your readers to fill with their own precepts, stories, and thoughts.

Use these writing prompts to encourage and inspire journaling in your classroom and to go along with reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

In Wonder, Jack Will learns that the quality of friendship is more important than how many friends you have. Explain why someone you care about is important to you.

Summer and Auggie decide that people whose names have something to do with the season summer should be able to sit at their lunch table. Does your lunch group have something that brings them altogether? What do you like about the students you usually sit with?

Integrity is often defined by what we do when no one is watching. What would you do if you were invisible?

Have you ever made a mistake, or hurt a friend, whether on purpose or by accident? How do you relate to Jack Will? Write about an experience where you had to be humble or apologize to someone you care about. How did that affect your friendship?

A role model is a person you look up to. Before you begin writing, think about someone you look up to. Why do you admire this person? Write about the traits about this person that inspire you.


June 23, 2015

Mr. Terupt’s Teaching Tips

Dear Educators,

I hope that you are already familiar with my first two Mr. Terupt novels, which feature seven different classroom voices in fifth and sixth grades, each with a unique story, and each with a different perspective on what makes their teacher, Mr. Terupt, so special. I love hearing about the many ways in which Mr. Terupt’s projects are being implemented in classrooms, libraries, and afterschool programs. Whether it’s dollar words, counting blades of grass, or sharing the same books and reading activities, Mr. Terupt has sparked new ideas and excitement. As a former teacher, I thought it’d be great if Mr. Terupt could share additional teaching tips. So I’m thrilled to introduce the first installment of Mr. Terupt’s Teaching Tips.

Mr. Terupt’s Teaching Tip #1: Getting Your Students to Revise

As teachers, we often grade and discuss only a final piece of writing. Sometimes that is what counts. However, part of becoming a strong writer is working on the process. If you want your students to value the process and to work at it—revision, especially—then why not create a rubric and grade them on it? Each unit of study would then conclude with a grade for the final product and a separate grade for the entire process. There are many parts of the writing process that you could include on that rubric, but a top revising score might mean the student was able to take your comments (and/or mini-lessons) and rework an area of the piece. Maybe several areas! Maybe several times! With the process rubric, you might find that your average writer will do more work because his process grade can be an A. Not only that, this student might start to feel better about writing and in turn show improvement. In addition, a gifted but unmotivated writer might decide to do more, and who knows? One day he or she might just turn out to be a writer—or a teacher or librarian!

I hope that you enjoyed Mr. Terupt’s first teaching tip. I’d love to hear from you if you found it helpful or if you have additional thoughts or ideas about revision. If you create a process rubric, I’d be happy to share it on my website. You can email me at rbuyea@robbuyea.com. The first ten people to contact me will receive a free copy of my new book, Saving Mr. Terupt!

Happy Reading!

—Rob Buyea
You can visit Rob to read more about his revision process and strategies at robbuyea.com. You will also find new Mr. Terupt’s Teaching Tips on the first Monday of every month, starting in August.

Educators’ Guide is now available.

HC: 978-0-385-73882-8
EL: 978-0-375-89615-6
GLB: 978-0-385-90749-1
            HC: 978-0-385-74205-4
      EL: 978-0-375-98910-0
      GLB: 978-0-375-99038-0
            HC: 978-0-385-74355-6
      EL: 978-0-449-81829-9
      GLB: 978-0-375-99120-2

June 23, 2015

ILA 2015 Author Signing Schedule

Meet Our Authors and Pick Up Free Classroom Resources! Join is in booth #1918.



10:00 – 11:00 A.M.



2:30 – 3:30 P.M.




10:00 – 11:00 A.M.



11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.



1:00 – 2:00 P.M.



2:30 – 3:30 P.M.