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Podcast Podcast

Episode 15 — Chapter Book Series Worth Starting


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
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Duration 13:30
Original Air Date Published June 04, 2009

Book Chat

Cookies and Milk

Expert Chat


Book Chat

  • Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Putnam Juvenile, 2009)

    Meet Dyamonde Daniel, a “gem waiting to be discovered.” She is smart, spunky, straightforward, and ready to ask tough questions to get to the bottom of any situation. Dyamonde’s parents have recently divorced and Dyamonde and her mom have moved into a new apartment, which means new schools and new friends. Dyamonde is trying to find out exactly how she fits into this new school when a new boy, Free, catches her attention. Free seems to have a chip on his shoulder; he’s rude for no reason and Dyamonde wants to know why. Due out in October 2009 is the second Dyamonde Daniel book, entitled Rich.

    Nikki Grimes: The Poetry Zone

    Discussion Guide for Dyamonde Daniel series

  • Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker; illustrated by Marla Frazee (Hyperion, 2008)

    Clementine is just the sort of girl you want to meet in a series. Sure, she’s known as the “hard one” in the family. And yes, it’s true she cut off all of her friend Margaret’s hair (but only so it could be even on all sides). It is also true that she used her mother’s very special permanent markers to color Margaret’s head so it would look like Margaret had hair on her head. Despite all of that you really would want Clementine on your side. Who else would cut off all of their own hair so that you didn’t have to be the only one with a bald head? And who else would help their father fight the pigeon war at the apartment building? That’s right! Clementine. Kids are sure to fall in laughter and love with this spirited character! Other books in the series include The Talented Clementine and Clementine’s Letter. Coming soon: Clementine: Friend of the Week.

    Sara Pennypacker's website

  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look; illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Yearling, 2009)

    Alvin is a second grader who is afraid of everything, especially school.  In fact, one of the things you should know about Alvin is that he never talks at school—it’s just too scary! He carries around a PDK (personal disaster kit) which includes things like garlic for fending off vampires and teachers, a mirror for sending signals, and a scary mask to keep girls away. In this first book, Alvin is befriended by a classmate named Flea. Flea is a girl (one of the things Alvin is VERY afraid of) who wears an eye patch (which is very intriguing for Alvin). Flea seems to understand Alvin and has even come up with a book of all of Alvin’s expressions so that other people at school will know what Alvin is saying. The only problem is she’s a girl and Alvin will have nothing to do with her… or will he? Just released in June 2009 is the second Alvin Ho book called Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters.

  • Ghostville Elementary series by Marcia Thornton Jones and Debbie Dadey (Scholastic)

    What would you do if your class had to move to the school basement and the basement was…HAUNTED? Good friends and classmates Cassidy, Nina, and Jeff decide that they are not going to let the ghosts scare them. However, these three friends don’t know exactly what they’re up against. The ghosts seem to have them beat in every category: invisible (check); teacher can’t see them (check); can move through walls (check); can cause lots of trouble and mess (double check). Luckily, Jeff, Nina, and Cassidy find that teamwork and friendship can go a long way in keeping these ghosts in check. There are 17 Ghostville Elementary books to date.

    Marcia Thornton Jones' website

    Debbie Dadey's website

Cookies and Milk

Emily enjoys cookies and milk with three fourth graders—Ruby, Salma, and Hector. They talk about why reading chapter books series are so fun and how book series help them to become better readers. The trio also shares how they spread the excitement of the Ghostville Elementary series to their classmates.

Expert Chat

Listen in as Emily chats with celebrated author Nikki Grimes. They discuss Nikki’s writing process and what inspires the characters in her books. Nikki also shares her philosophy about writing for children and how her life has influenced her writing.