Reading Guides & Lesson Plans

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Bring our books into the classroom or lead a reading group with guidance from our reading guides and lesson plans.

Nonfiction

The Big Fat Notebook Series

The Big Fat Notebook Series

For every middle school kid who has ever whispered, “Hey—can I borrow your notes?” there is the Big Fat Notebook series, a revolutionary study guide series created by the editors of America’s #1 educational bestseller Brain Quest. Each indispensable study guide is like getting to borrow the notebook of the best student in class, with highlighted key concepts, doodles that illuminate tricky ideas, mnemonics, and more.

Choosing Courage

Choosing Courage

In partnership with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, CHOOSING COURAGE contains 26 true stories of character, selflessness, and heroism about Medal of Honor recipients. Great for fans of Steve Sheinkin!

How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000

How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000

From the creators of Biz Kid$ and Bill Nye the Science Guy, here is a comprehensive guide for kids to the basics of earning, saving, spending, and investing money. Written in a humorous but informative voice that engages young readers, it’s the book that every parent who wants to raise financially savvy and unspoiled children should buy for their kids.

Leaving China

Leaving China

In a unique memoir comprising more than fifty watercolor paintings and accompanying text, award-winning artist and New York Times bestselling author James McMullan explores how his early childhood in China and wartime journeys with his mother influenced his whole life, especially his artwork.

Passenger on the Pearl

Passenger on the Pearl

The page-turning, heart-wrenching true story of one young woman willing to risk her safety and even her life for a chance at freedom in the largest slave escape attempt in American history.

World Without Fish

World Without Fish

Bestselling author Mark Kurlansky offers a riveting, illustrated, narrative nonfiction account for kids about what’s happening to marine life, the oceans, and our environment, and what kids can do about it. World Without Fish has been praised as “urgent” (Publishers Weekly) and “compelling” (The New York Times) and has been included in the New York State Expeditionary Learning English Language Arts Curriculum.

Picture Books

The Arlo Needs Glasses and Beautiful Oops! Lesson Plans for Pre-K and Up

The Arlo Needs Glasses and Beautiful Oops! Lesson Plans for Pre-K and Up

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Arlo is a shaggy, free-spirited dog who loves to play catch, until one day he can’t. He needs glasses! This lesson plan includes a simple template for making and decorating Arlo and his glasses—perfect for a large group of students. Celebrate mistakes with Beautiful Oops!, an interactive picture book that shows kids it’s not just OK to make a mistake, but a mistake can be something wonderful. Kids learn to avoid self-criticism and make original art from "oops."

This is Me

This is Me

A picture book that explores and celebrates identity and where our families come from—from the New York Times bestselling team of Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell.

Chapter Books

Three Ring Rascals: The Show Must Go On

Three Ring Rascals: The Show Must Go On

Three-Ring Rascals is the first series for newly independent readers from Kate and M. Sarah Klise (Regarding the Fountain, 43 Old Cemetery Road series). In their trademark style bursting with humor and wordplay complemented by illustrations, documents, and graphics, The Show Must Go On! introduces a cast of talking animals in the friendliest and funniest family circus in the world.

Middle Grade

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea

In the tradition of The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, and Poppy come two cat brothers whose curiosity about the world and passion for adventure takes them on a journey from their harborside home to see places and creatures beyond their wildest imaginings. Black-and-white line drawings illustrate each chapter.

Catch You Later, Traitor

Catch You Later, Traitor

From Newbery Medalist Avi comes the thrilling and suspenseful story of an ordinary American family that falls under suspicion in 1950s New York. When twelve-year-old Pete Collison is labeled a communist by his teacher, he sets out to discover the truth about his family.

The Jumbies

The Jumbies

When eleven-year-old Corinne stumbles into the forest on her Caribbean island home, she rouses a jumbie—a malevolent spirit—who emerges to wreak havoc. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and use ancient magic to stop the jumbie and save the island.

The One Safe Place

The One Safe Place

In a near-future dystopia with echoes of The Giver and Among the Hidden, Tania Unsworth has created an unsettling page-turner—fast-paced, filled with dread—that’s wholly satisfying, and startlingly original.

The Time Fetch

The Time Fetch

A middle-grade fantasy in the vein of A Wrinkle in Time and When You Reach Me, Amy Herrick’s story begins when Edward picks up what he thinks is a rock—but is really a Time Fetch—and causes a dangerous time rip. Only Edward and a band of three mismatched classmates who have touched the Fetch can see what is happening, so it’s up to them to repair the entire fabric of space and time.

The Unbelievable FIB

The Unbelievable FIB

In Adam Shaughnessy's debut, the first in an adventurous new series, 11-year-old Pru and her classmate ABE—with help from an uncommonly rude squirrel and the enigmatic Mr. Fox—must save their town from being destroyed by battling Norse gods. But first they have to find the lost Eye of Odin.

The Witch’s Boy

The Witch’s Boy

“A lightning bolt erupted from the cloud and aimed directly at Ned’s heart. He couldn’t cry out. He couldn’t even move. He could just feel the magic sink into his skin and spread itself over every inch of him, bubbling and slithering and cutting deep, until he didn’t know where the magic stopped and he began.”

Young Adult

Beastly Bones

Beastly Bones

In this highly anticipated sequel, Abigail and Sherlockian detective of the supernatural Jackaby follow a trail of mysterious murders from New Fiddleham to nearby Gad's Valley. There they are reunited with exiled police detective Charlie Caine, and the three race to find the culprit before more lives are lost.

Hit Count

Hit Count

Acclaimed author Chris Lynch explores the American love affair with football and our attempts to come to terms with the dangers of the sport through Arlo Brodie, a teen who loves being at the heart of the action on the football field, getting hit hard and hitting back harder.

If You’re Lucky

If You’re Lucky

After Georgia’s brother, Lucky, drowns in a surfing accident, a charming stranger comes to town for his funeral. As Georgia seeks the truth about what really happened to Lucky and her suspicions about the stranger grow, the line between Georgia’s increasingly fragile mental state and reality begin to blur.

If You Could Be Mine

If You Could Be Mine

In Iran, it’s a crime punishable by death to be gay. Sex reassignment surgery is covered by the government health program, though, and regarded by many as a way to fix a “mistake.” Sahar, seventeen, has been in love with her best friend, a girl named Nasrin, since they were six. Sahar even lets herself dream that one day they might marry. But when Nasrin’s parents announce her arranged marriage will take place in a matter of months, Sahar must decide just what lengths she’ll go to for true love.

Jackaby

Jackaby

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Somebody Up There Hates You

Somebody Up There Hates You

Richie is a normal seventeen-year-old—except he’s in hospice care. The end of his story is clear, but the people who love Richie want to keep him alive as long as possible. Richie wants to live as much as he can till the end. Oh, and there’s a fifteen-year-old girl named Sylvie across the hall. Somebody Up There Hates You is smart, funny, painful, and bawdy—with no holds barred.

Summer of Letting Go

Summer of Letting Go

Four years ago, Francesca’s little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca’s the one who should have been watching. Now Francesca is about to turn sixteen, but guilt keeps her stuck in the past. Then she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon. Is it possible he’s Simon’s reincarnation?

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual.

The Art of Secrets

The Art of Secrets

When Saba Khan’s apartment burns in a mysterious fire, her high school rallies around her. But then a quirky piece of art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be worth a fortune and Saba’s life quickly turns upside down again. Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as adults and teens alike debate who should get the money and begin to question one another’s motives and make accusations.

The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one dead. Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.