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Jen Robinson
San Jose, CA
Dedicated to growing joyful learners: bookworms, mathematicians, scientists, artists, + more
Interests: joy of learning, education, children's books, hiking, reading, walking, red sox baseball, wine tasting, mysteries, literacy
Recent Activity
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o Sell Your Family to the Aliens by Paul Noth is a lightly illustrated, over-the-top middle grade science fiction novel, possibly the first of a series. Happy Conklin, Jr. lives with his parents and his five sisters in two rooms in the basement of his grandmother's lavish mansion. Although Hap's father actually dreams up all of the inventions that have made the family wealthy, he is perpetually punished/banished because of his choice to marry a poor Romanian laundress (Hap's mother, who is offscreen for most of the story). Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #ALAYMA, #BookLists, #Cybils, #homework, #math, #STEM, book awards, comics, intrinsic motivation, letter grades, libraries, publishing, sexual harassment, teaching Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Death and Douglas by J. W. Ocker is a well-written middle grade murder mystery full of both atmosphere and black humor. Douglas, the protagonist, lives with his parents in the family mortuary. When a serial killer strikes his small town, Douglas and two friends (one the son of the local police chief) take it upon themselves to investigate. Naturally, they get a bit more than they bargained for. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BlackHistoryMonth, #BookGivingDay, #BookLists, #bullying, #Cybils, #Parenting, #PeterRabbit, #RaisingReaders, #ReadAloud, #reading, #STEM, book awards, homeschooling, libraries, and schools Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I have not read that. Thanks for the recommendation!
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In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have three book reviews (middle grade to young adult) and three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. I do have a couple of ideas for posts about literacy milestones and some thoughts on reading programs. I hope to get to those soon. I'm still feeling the effects of illness, and my blogging has been sadly diminished. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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antha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns is the first book in a new madcap adventure series for middle grade readers. Samantha's Uncle Paul, who lives in an apartment above her family's garage, disappears one day. He leaves behind $2.4 billion for her older sister, the deed and player contracts for the New York Yankees for her younger brother. For Samantha he leaves ... a battered red umbrella. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include: #BookLists, #Cybils Awards, #DiverseBooks, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #MCBD, #OwnVoices, #play, #Reading, #ReadingLogs, book awards, Doug Green, literacy, parenting, Rick Riordan, thrillers, and writing. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Your One & Only is a new post-apocalyptic dystopian novel for young adults by Adrianne Finlay. It's set in a future Costa Rican village populated by Homo Factus, the followup generation that was created after humans died off from the Slow Plague. Vispera is one of three villages, each populated by 10 generations of 10 clones each from nine models (900 citizens total). Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowthMindset, #math, #ReadAloud, #ReadingChoice, #ReadYourWorld, #STEAM, #STEM, book awards, Edgar Awards, growing bookworms, reading, and schools. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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I think that any kid who enjoys solving puzzles, reading about quests, or laughing at a boy who eats hot dogs from so many different venues that he becomes ill, will enjoy The Ambrose Deception. The ending is particularly satisfying. This would be a great title to add to libraries serving elementary and middle school students. It's one that I'll keep for my daughter for when she's just a bit older. Highly recommended! Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowingBookworms, #PictureBooks, #ReadAloud, #STEM, book awards, book reviews, boredom, Finland, grades, grammar, Guys Lit Wire, learning styles, parenting, reading, and schools. It's good to be back sharing interesting links! Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Newsletter Update: In this issue I have two book reviews (both middle grade) and two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. I've been ill since New Year's, and have not been able to blog very much. I have been able to read about a book a day since the start of the new year, so there is an upside to all of this time in bed, but my blogging has definitely suffered. Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks is a suspenseful, smart, fast-paced mystery for middle grade readers. The story begins when a boy with amnesia is discovered one December day in the National Gallery in Washington, DC. When the boy, dubbed Art, is sent to temporary foster care, he meets Camille, a strong-willed young red-head. It turns out, however, that dangerous people are looking for Art. Soon he and Camille find themselves on the run, trying to solve the mystery of Art's past and determine whether or not a recently discovered Van Gogh is real or fake. Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past two weeks @JensBookPage. While there hasn't been a lot going on in the kidlit blogosphere over the holidays, the big news is that the Cybils shortlists were announced on New Year's Day. Other topics included: #FlexibleSeating, #GrowthMindset, book fairs, bookstores, growing bookworms, independent learners, inspiration, libraries, raising readers, recess, schools, and writing. Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I agree that it's a good fit for kids who liked Wonder, or anyone who might be in a similar situation to Maverick. I think that kids who like the Mr. Terupt books would like this one, too. Thanks for taking time to comment, Erin, and for sharing books with kids.
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I think that The Secret Sheriff would be an excellent read for middle schoolers, providing a window (or mirror) into poverty and substance abuse, but also providing constructive ideas about making the world (or at least one's school) better. I'll be happy to have my daughter read this book when she's a bit older - it may make her a bit more appreciative of having two parents, and being able to afford things like new sneakers when she needs them. And if not, she'll probably still enjoy Maverick's scrapes. Recommended, and a must for middle school libraries. Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2018 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics during this relatively light week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #GiftGuides, #GraphicNovels, #GrowingBookworms, #PictureBooks, #STEM, Christmas, creativity, schools, and science. I suspect, with the holidays coming up, and my daughter out of school for the next two weeks, that this will be my last post of the year. Wishing all who celebrate it a joyous Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year to all. Thanks for reading! Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Newsletter Update: In this issue I have three book reviews (all early chapter books) and one post about my daughter's latest literacy milestone (understanding someone else's need to read). I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. Blog Birthday: This edition of the Growing Bookworms Newsletter marks my recently passed 12th anniversary of starting this blog. It's hard to imagine now that on December 17th I somehow had time to start a blog, but that seems to have been the case. Many thanks to those of you who have been stopping by the blog over these past 12(!) years. Recently my blogging (and especially reviewing) has been a bit more limited than usual. I'm hoping to get my groove back after the New Year. Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Spy Toys, written by Mark Powers, with frequent black and white illustrations by Tim Wesson, is the first of a new chapter book series from Bloomsbury (an epilogue points to future stories, at any rate). Spy Toys is set in a slightly futuristic world in which a company called Snaztacular Ultrafun makes intelligent toys, each with "a tiny computerized brain that gave it a personality and allowed it to walk and talk as if it were alive." Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. It's a fairly brief list today, probably because we're all getting too busy for blogging around the holidays. (I know I am!) Topics this week include #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #literacy, #math, #ReadAloud, #STEM, awards, charitable giving, Cybils, growing bookworms, and libraries. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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llie, Engineer is an early middle grade novel by Jackson Pearce, lightly illustrated by Tuesday Mourning, about a girl named Ellie Bell who loves to design and build things. She's a more grown up (~10 years old), more confident version of Rosie Revere, Engineer. Ellie has turned the playhouse portion of her backyard playset into a workshop. She walks around wearing a tool belt. Her prize possession is a small drill. Her best friend, Kit, also likes to build things, though Kit is more interested in things like staying clean and attending beauty pageants than Ellie is. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #GiftGuides, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #math, #play, #poetry, #STEM, book awards, kidlitosphere, parenting, preschool, reading, schools, and testing. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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All in all, The Uncanny Express is a worthy successor to The Jolly Regina. This one is a quirky, fun book, perfect for introducing newer readers to the joys of mysteries. Kale and Jaundice are unusual heroines, in their desire for sameness and stability, but this makes then stand out compared to the various plucky heroines typical to most children's books. In The Uncanny Express the two sisters do experience personal growth, but they do so without changing their basic natures. There's also a setup to Book 3, which is sure to be welcome. Recommended! Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #creativity, #Cybils, #GrowthMindset, #play, book awards, boys and reading, flexible seating, gift guides, preschool, reading, schools, teaching, and testing. Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page