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Podcast Podcast

Episode 43 — Brothers and Sisters


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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
See all episodes in this series

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Duration 12:34
Original Air Date Published March 13, 2012

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverRules
Author: Cynthia Lord

Publisher: Scholastic, 2006




Catherine writes rules that help her autistic brother David understand the nuances of life. Rules like: "You can yell on the playground, but not during dinner" or "If you want to get out of answering something pretend you didn’t hear." And in a way, Catherine also finds comforts in these rules and in her role as her brother’s caretaker. However, her system of rules is turned upside down when she meets Jason, a young boy with a disability. When Catherine has to decide whether or not to introduce Jason to her friends, she realizes that she’s afraid of what they will think of her. It is finally Jason that gives Catherine the courage to break the rules and redefine what "normal" is.



book coverThe Case of the Gypsy Good-bye: An Enola Holmes Mystery
Author: Nancy Springer
Publisher: Philomel, 2010




Having a brother or sister can bring lots of ups and downs, but what if your brother is famous? And what if your brother was none other than Sherlock Holmes? Enola Holmes, living undercover and working as a private detective, is on the case of a missing woman. She quickly discovers that her brother, Sherlock, is on the case as well. With the two siblings on the trail, it is only a matter of time before the mystery is solved, but not without a lot of twists and turns along the way. This chapter book is the sixth book in this series about Sherlock Holmes’s determined detective sister.



book coverA Place to Call Home
Author: Alexis Deacon

Illustrator: Viviane Schwarz
Publisher: Candlewick, 2011


This picture book is a perfect example of family unity and siblings that work together for a common good. A family of rodents has grown out of their hole, so they timidly venture out to find a new warm place to call home. As soon as they are out of their hole, one brother says, "If only we had some very, very small holes to wear while we are searching." All the siblings scurry to find a small hole. And this is where the fun begins. One sticks its head in a paper towel tube, another in a boot, and two others find gloves so that all the siblings have their heads stuck inside a hole. The problem is they can’t see. Only one brother can see out of his hole and so the search begins with six siblings blindly following the seventh brother. This adventure told in comic book style will have your kids laughing because they can see what the siblings can’t. So at every turn, the blind siblings are misinterpreting where they are and what they are doing until they find the perfect home!



book coverEdwin Speaks Up
Author: April Stevens
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011


Babies in the family often get underestimated. That is exactly what happens to baby Edwin in this funny picture book. Edwin’s family is off to the grocery store. From house to store, there are many mishaps that Baby Edwin tries to prevent, but no one pays him any attention. Children reading the story will quickly pick up on the fact that Edwin is desperately communicating to his family, but since he’s a baby it always comes out a little something like this: "Gloo poop shoe noogie froo key." Translation: "Your keys are in the shoe." It’s fun for readers to be in on the secret while the rest of the characters scramble around trying to solve problems that Edwin has already figured out!



book coverMartha in the Middle
Author:Jan Fearnley

Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2008



This picture book is for any middle child who has ever felt stuck in the middle. Martha is feeling squeezed, squished, and invisible. She is always in the middle. She’s not considered cutesy-wootsy, like her little brother, Ben, or big and sensible like her big sister, Clara. She’s just in the middle. Feeling sorry for herself, she decides to run away to the far end of the garden. On her walk she meets a frog who shows Martha how important being in the middle can be. The seeds of the sunflower are right in the middle and the juiciest part of a watermelon is right in the middle. Pretty soon Martha understands that being in the middle is specia,l too.



book coverTony Baloney
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan and Edwin Fotheringham

Publisher: Scholastic, 2011


Tony Baloney, a macaroni penguin, does not love trouble, but trouble loves him. And stuck in the middle of an older sister and two baby sisters brings plenty of trouble his way. The Baby Baloneys are exasperating, and the Big Sister Baloney always wants to be the boss. After behaving badly with Big Sister, Tony runs to his hidey-space where he thinks about his actions. Finally, he and his much-loved stuffed animal, Dandelion, decide that they better make amends. When he does, Big Sister forgives him and allows him to be "Boss of the World" for an hour…or maybe just five minutes.


Expert Chat

Listen in as Pam Munoz Ryan discusses her book Tony Baloney. Pam talks about how she was the "Boss of the World" in her family and how watching her own children solve problems helped her to understand the plight of the middle child.