The Big List of Storytime Books

We read a lot of storytime books around here – before naptime, before bedtime, before breakfast, after breakfast, for breakfast – you get the idea. My daughters are three and almost two, which means that our library is well-loved (aka the covers now dangle from most of the books → aka time for some new books → aka cue all the jazz hands emojis because there’s nothing better than shopping for new books, right?). Since it’s National Literacy Month, I polled a bunch of my mom friends for their kids’ best storytime books, and here’s what we came up with – tried and true classics mixed in with some contemporary gems.

So! If you like Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, you might like these other books about going to bed:Goodnight Moon.jpg
The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Good Night Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
Goodnight Already by Jory John and Benji Davies
Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Goodnight Train by June Sobel and Laura Huliska-Beith
Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan
The House In the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Beth Krommes
It’s Time to Sleep, My Love by Nancy Tillman and Eric Metaxas
Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin

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Celebrate Literacy with our Literacy Benefit Day on Sept 12!

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Happy National Literacy Month, everybody! If you’re a big reader like I am (and if you’ve stumbled across the Half Price Books blog, I bet you are), it’s hard to imagine not being able to read. However, there are millions of adults in the United States who cannot, and that puts their children at a greater risk of falling behind in school.

Not being able to read affects just about every aspect of your life – things you probably take for granted each day like helping your kids with their homework, or reading a pill bottle to make sure you’re taking the proper medication.

Luckily, there are countless wonderful organizations across the country doing wonderful work to teach both adults and children to read. We wanted to help those organizations out, so we are hosting our inaugural Literacy Benefit Day on Tuesday, Sept. 12!

On Literacy Benefit Day, we’ll donate 5% of our in-store sales to our partner literacy organizations across the country. We hope you’ll come visit your local Half Price Books that day to help out these wonderful organizations!

In the meantime, we encourage you to check out the organization in your community to learn more about their work and to see how to become involved.

Arizona
Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County

California
East Bay Children’s Book Project
Reading Partners – Sacramento Continue reading

Celebrate National Literacy Month with Half Price Books

Here at Half Price Books, we celebrate reading year round, but September is special – it’s National Literacy Month!

I can hardly remember a time when I couldn’t read, so it’s easy to forget that there are millions of adults across the country who cannot read, and if those adults have children, they have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves.

Here in Dallas, I’m proud to be a member of the board of directors for Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) to help them reach their goal of bending the trend and teaching adults to read.

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Celebrating LIFT at their annual Toast to Literacy fundraiser.

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Feed Your Brain: High Schoolers get in on the Summer Reading fun, too!

The bell just rang to dismiss your final class for the year and you’re ALREADY looking for something to do? The Feed Your Brain HIGH SCHOOL Summer Reading Program is for you!

Why?… Because reading CAN ACTUALLY BE FUN! I bet most of you know this already, though, right?

Celebrate-your-victories

All you have to do to get some Bookworm Bucks (a $5 coupon) is read a couple of titles just for fun, let us know about them and use your reading rewards at any Half Price Books location before the end of the summer.

Click here for details about the Feed Your Brain HS Summer Reading Program

We have a great list of recommendations, both new and classics for you this year. Pick one up at your favorite Half Price Books local store and GET READING now!

 

*NEW* MIDDLE-GRADE and TEEN FICTIONCapture

Doodle Adventures: The Search For The Slimy Space Slugs!
Author: Mike Lowery
Recommended for readers: 8-12 years
Published by Workman Publishing

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses sequel)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Recommended for readers: 14 years and up
Published by Bloomsbury USA

Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Recommended for readers: 14 years and up
Published by HarperTeen

Theodore Boone: The Scandal
Author: John Grisham
Recommended for readers: 8-12 years
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers

*CLASSIC* TEEN READING:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank

The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

Feed Your Brain Presents: Summer Reading for 8th Grade and Under

Did you know that most students lose about two months worth of knowledge during their summer break?  According to a research study on reading, all it takes is 15 minutes a day of independent reading to help curb this loss.  That is why Half Price Books created our Feed Your Brain Summer Reading Program, where kids 8th Grade and under can earn Bookworm Bucks by reading just 15 minutes a day.  Still, the question remains: how can you get your kid reading this summer?  Here are some tips on how to make reading fun for you and your child.

Preschool:
According to the National Commission on Reading, the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school. Having a parent or another caring person read aloud helps children learn listening skills, vocabulary and language skills as well as develop imagination, creativity and a sense of security, knowing that their parent feels they are a worthwhile pereson.  Here are some great books to read aloud to your preschooler:

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
There is a reason this book has been around for 60 years. And after you read it, you can grab some crayons and go on an adventure of your own.

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
When reading this book aloud, it warns you to “Take it slowly. This book is dangerous.”  However, both you and your child will laugh as you trip over your tongue reading tongue twisters in true Dr. Seuss fashion.

Grades K-2:
As your child learns to read, try to pair books with activities you can do together.  Here are some books that lend themselves to more fun family time.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
This is one of my 2nd graders favorite books, but I think it’s because we always make cookies after we read it.  Another good cooking book to read is…

Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth
This story was first published in London in 1808, so there are several renditions.  I chose this one because I love the illustrations.  Still, making soup (even stone soup) after reading the book is a fun thing for you to do with your child.

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
When the story is all about imagination, what can’t you do after reading it?  You can bounce, bounce, bounce around the house (or outside would be even better). You can make a sword out of cardboard and aluminum, put on a cap and mask, give yourselves Spanish names and look for adventure in your own backyard. You can make “Holy Guacamole,” some rice and beans and have a fiesta. You can make a piñata, or simply have a siesta. The sky is the limit with this book.

Grades 3-5:
Now that they are reading all on their own, you have to find books that are in their interest level. Here are some suggestions in categories your child might be interested in.

If they like humor…
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Snot Stew by Bill Wallace

If they like animals…
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Dog Called Kitty by Bill Wallace

If they like science…
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet by Anna Claybourne

If they like comic books…
Sidekicks by Dan Santat
The Cloak Society by Jeramey Kraatz

If they like sports…
Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy
King of the Mound by Wes Tooke
STAT: Home Court by Amar’e Stoudemire


Grades 6-8:

We encourage parents to read the books their children are reading so they can converse with them about the books. So, why not have a family book club during the summer where you get together once a week or month to discuss a book you are all reading?

Book club recommendation…
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This book can also lend itself to going on a trip to a holocaust museum or the symphony.  It’s great for kids who like music.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Getting your kids interested in a series is a great way to keep them reading, and if your kids like magic, this series about a self proclaimed villain might be right up their alley.

Pick up a Feed Your Brain bookmark the next time you are in Half Price Books for more reading recommendations, and don’t forget to grab a Feed Your Brain Reading Log, so that your kids can earn Bookworm Bucks this summer.

Also, we have extended our program to include high schoolers.  To learn more about the high school portion of our program, visit the Feed Your Brain home page.

Happy Reading!

Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

Celebrating National Literacy Month, One Pledge at a Time.

Happy International Literacy Day!

We at Half Price Books believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a book or share a story with their family. During National Literacy Month, we encourage people to incorporate reading into their everyday lives by pledging to read more throughout the month of September with our LitFitness Reading Challenge. With every pledge Half Price Books donates $1 to literacy organizations throughout the country.

Join us by visiting www.hpb.com/litfit to take the pledge and help make an impact on literacy in your community.

Million Book Donation Project continues in 2014!

African Moons – Arusha, TanzaniaHalf Price Books has always strived to donate books to as many worthy and wonderful non-profit organizations and schools as we can. After all, as our co-founder Ken Gjemre once said, “Books should fill our lives, not our land.”

So, once again, in 2013, we set forth with the goal of donating a million books as part of our Million Book Donation Project. Without further ado, we are pleased to announce our final total for the 2013 calendar year was 1,491,364 books donated.

We’re moving full-steam ahead with donations in 2014. To check out our current donation count for the year, or to request books for your organization, visit hpb.com/million.  

Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School – Dallas, TexasWe consider it a priviledge to partner with such great organizations in the community and around the world. It’s incredible to see what good things they do with the books we provide.  

You can read just a sample of these donation stories here, and see a complete list of donation recipients.

If your organization has received books from Half Price Books, we’d love to hear your story and see how the power of reading is changing lives one book at a time. Please leave a comment below. 

Emily is Public Relations Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at @emilytbruce.

26 New Words to Learn on National Dictionary Day

October 16th is National Dictionary Day.  Of course, October 16th makes perfect sense to be Dictionary Day since it is also the birthdate of Noah Webster, the father of the American Dictionary. 

In celebration of Dictionary Day, I’ve decided to share an alphabetical list of words I know only because I saw them in a dictionary.  Hmm, I wonder how many I can try to use while talking with someone today.

Achromatopsia – Total lack of color vision

Brevirostrate – Having a Short Nose

Clithridiate – Key-hole shaped

Dactylonomy – Counting using one’s fingers

Eccedentesiast – One who fakes a smile

FloccinaucinihilipilificationEstimation that something is valueless.

Gargalesthesia – The sensation caused by tickling

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian – pertaining to a very, very long word

Interfenestration – The space between two windows

Jentacular – Pertaining to Breakfast

Kakorrhaphiophobia – fear of failure

Libanotophorous — producing incense

Margaritomancy — divination using pearls

Nudiustertian – the day before yesterday

Omphalopsychite – One who meditates by gazing at the navel

Pandiculation – Stretching and yawning before going to bed or after waking up

Quomodocunquize – To make money by any means possible

Rhonchisonant – making a snorting or snoring noise

Scolecophagous – One who eats worms

Tinctumutation – Chance of color

Ultrichous – Having wooly hair

Vigesimation – The act of killing every 20th person

Wasserman – Man shaped sea monster

Xenoglossia – The alleged power of a person to communicate with others in a language which he has never learned.

Yogibogeybox – materials used by a spiritualist

Zoanthropy – delusion of a person who believes himself changed into an animal

How many new to you words can you find today? — Crystal

P.S. Editor’s Note: When Crystal submitted this post, she said, “That was the LONGEST spell check ever!” We can see why 🙂

Crystal is Store Manager at Half Price Books Flagship in Dallas, Texas.

Lovely Ladies of Literature — Literacy Month Edition

In a fairytale world where more and more little girls seem to be more interested in playing the “princess” than perusing the public library, we’re taking some time to honor women who, for some reason, haven’t managed to break through the doll and dress up aisle. Here we present a first, and hopefully not last, edition of the Lovely Ladies of Literature.

I must confess, this is my personal list of women writers who either inspired, frustrated or empowered me during my child and young adult-hood. I know the list of possible LLoL pageant contestants, those who are deserving of being included, is practically infinite. I encourage you all to create your OWN list by commenting below with a LLoL of your own. But, back to me– why did I single out these women? It wasn’t because I wanted to dress like them, wear make up like them, talk, walk or curtsy like them; it was that I wanted to live in the worlds they created. Or, perhaps I wanted to ask them WHY? Why would you write what I just read? I closed a book wanting to call them and challenge them about their plots and characters and process, or yell at them for something I thought was unjust. I had comfort, as I grew older knowing  that, even if I disagreed with them, I learned from them. I wanted to stand united with them knowing that they faced a tough road.

I wanted to travel that road myself – to create, challenge, or make another little girl think – to help a young lady understand that it isn’t a fashion magazine or a pink and purple sparkly dress that can define her femininity and spirit–  it  is a mind, a pen and paper.

So, here are our Literacy Month Lovely Ladies of Literature:

             

Row 1: Judy Blume, Willa Cather, Jane Austen; Row 2: Ursula LeGuin, Mary Shelley, Louisa May Alcott; Row 3: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeline L’Engle, Margaret Atwood; Row 4: J.K. Rowling, Shirley Jackson, the Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne)

Can you play dress up for the mind? If I could, I would want my mind to look like these.

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

If you can read this, thank a teacher!

May 7 – 11 is Teacher Appreciation Week, and what better time to reflect on all that teachers mean to us than right before school lets out for the summer?

Beyond teaching the ABCs and 123s, educators inspire us to think creatively, solve problems, and ask questions about our surroundings so we can learn how to improve our lives.

Need a way to show your favorite teachers how much you appreciate them? Why not find them a novel from their favorite fiction genre, or how about a new blank journal to record their thoughts? Tip: You can inscribe the cover page with a short note, inspirational quote or poem thanking your teachers for all that they taught you and let them know how they’ve made a difference in your life.

Or, if you’re not quite sure what your teacher would enjoy, gift cards are always appreciated. Now through Sunday, May 13, when you purchase a $25 HPB Gift Card, you’ll receive a $5 HPB Card for yourself to use in-store during the month of June!

As our own special “thank you” to educators, teachers and librarians can save 10% year-round on all their purchases at HPB when they sign up for the HPB Educator Discount Program.

Did you have a particularly exceptional teacher that inspired you? Tell us about it in the comments!

— Kate & BW