ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.
Episode 41 — Finding Family
|Grades||K – 5|
|Podcast Series||Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
See all episodes in this series
|Original Air Date||Published December 05, 2011|
Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.
The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater…That Grandma Knit
Author: Debbie Macomber and Mary Lou Carney
Illustrator: Vincent Nguyen
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2011
Have you ever a gotten a present that you thought was just truly terrible, but you had to keep it and use because someone very special gave it to you? Well, that is exactly how Cameron feels. His Grandma Susan knit him a truly horrible sweater for his birthday. It has multicolored stripes and big buttons, and Cameron knows that all of his friends will laugh at him if he wears it. From his birthday until Christmas, Cameron devises many ways to be rid of the sweater, but somehow none of his plans work. When Grandma Susan visits for Christmas she explains to Cameron why she chose each color for the sweater, and all of a sudden Cameron understands what love his Grandma Susan has for him and the thought that she put into her gift. This is a sweet story and a perfect book to read to children who need a reminder about gratefulness before Christmas Day.
Peeny Butter Fudge
Author: Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison
Illustrator: Joe Cepeda
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Children, 2009
Nothing is better than spending the day with Nana! Mom leaves an explicit schedule for Nana to follow, but Nana, like many Nanas out there, puts her own spin on the schedule. The three kids have a day full of snuggly naps, pretend play, puzzles, and, best of all, Nana’s Peeny Butter Fudge, a recipe that’s been passed down for generations. This book will get you in the mood for holiday cooking with your kids, and luckily the recipe for Nana’s Peeny Butter Fudge is in the back of the book!
The Family Book: Amazing Things to Do Together
Publisher: Scholastic, 2007
With the holidays approaching and with kids out of school, this is the perfect book to keep families entertained and laughing. This book is filled with over 100 ideas and activities to keep you busy in all holiday situations. Do you need a practical joke for cranky Uncle Ted? Check out “How to Short Sheet a Bed.” Do you need some acts for a variety show? Then check out “Slice a Banana Without Peeling It” or “The Three-Cup Trick.” Will your family be in a precarious situation during the holidays? Then you’ll need to read “Ways to Avoid Being Struck by Lightning” or “Escape From a Charging Elephant.” And if you just need a laugh, read “How to Tell If Dad Has Been Replaced by an Alien.” Seriously, this is a fun book!
Pictures of Hollis Woods
Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
Publisher: Scholastic, 2002
Hollis Woods doesn’t have a family. She’s been in the foster system so long that almost everyone has given up hope that she’ll ever find a family. The only thing that keeps Hollis hoping is her drawings, Josie (the elderly painter that Hollis lives with), and her memory of living with the Regans. Throughout this story, Hollis remembers her time with the Regans, her “almost” family, the only family that’s ever wanted her as a daughter. For each memory, Hollis draws a picture to help her remember. Josie is starting to forget things. Hollis knows that if Social Services finds out, she will be moved to a new home. Hollis takes matters into her own hands, and with each decision she makes and with each memory picture that she draws, she is pulled closer to the riveting climax of the story.
Author: Tonya Bolden
Illustrator: Vincent Nguyen
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2010
Delana doesn’t know much about her family, only what her Aunt Tilley tells her as they “visit the kinfolk.” Visiting the kinfolk is when Aunt Tilley lays out all the family photos in the parlor and does a walk-through with Delana, telling her the family stories. These are all of Delana’s truths and the only family that she knows. What she really wants to know about though is her mother and her father, two people that are never spoken of. But when Aunt Tilley dies, all of that changes. All of the truths that Delana once knew about life (Book of Bewares) and family is turned topsy turvy. Throughout the story, Delana must come to terms with this new truth and with the people who raised her.
Emily shares her interview with Tonya Bolden, the author of Finding Family. Tonya discusses her main character, Delana, and talks about how her collection of antique photographs inspired her writing.