Books for growing minds


Advice and strategies to help your children read

May 20, 2001

Editor's Note: Today Jerdine Nolen shares a list of favorite books.

The more you read,

The more you know.

The more you know,

The smarter you grow.

The stronger your voice

When speaking your mind,

Or making your choice!

-- Author unknown

Preschool / elementary:

"Little Panda" by Joanne Ryder

"Old Turtle" by Douglas Wood

"Just the Two of Us" by Will Smith

"Everywhere Babies" by Susan Meyers

"Master Man" by Aaron Shepard

"Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs" by Douglas Florian

"I'm Small and Other Verses" by Lilian Moore

"I Can Draw a Weeposaurs and Other Dinosaurs" by Eloise Greenfield

"The Three Pigs" by David Wiesner

"Milo's Hat Trick" by Jon Agee

"Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young" by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

"Two Little Trains" by Margaret Wise Brown

"Spider Weaver" by Margaret Musgrove

"Starting Soccer" by Helen Edom

"The Soccer Mom from Outer Space" by Barney Saltzberg

Intermediate and Middle School

"Antarctic Journal" by Jennifer Owings Dewey

"The True-or-False Book of Horses" by Patricia Lauber

"George Washington & the Founding of a Nation" by Albert Marrin

"The Greatest: Muhammad Ali" by Walter Dean Myers

"Ghost Boy" by Iain Lawrence

"Ackamarackus" by Julius Lester

"A Year Down Yonder" by Richard Peck (Newbery Medal Book, 2001)

"Lives of Extraordinary Women" by Kathleen Krull

"Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo (Newbery Honor Book, 2001)

"Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writings by Teenage Girls" by Betsy Franco

"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"The Young Writer's Companion" by Sarah Ellis

"The Snake Scientist" by Sy Montgomery

"Yolonda's Genius" by Carol Fenner

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's book author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." Her most recent book is "Big Jabe." She was a teacher and administrator in elementary education and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Inspiration for the graduate

With graduation season just around the corner, parents everywhere are scrambling to find just the right gift to commemorate this milestone. Charlene Costanzo's "The Twelve Gifts of Births" is a simple and sweet reminder of the things all children are blessed with when they come into this world -- at least from Costanzo's optimistic viewpoint -- strength, courage, beauty, compassion, hope, joy, imagination, reverence, wisdom, faith, love and talent.

Colorized black and white photos accompany each "gift" as well as messages intended to inspire strength through difficult times. Originally self-published, the book is now repackaged under the HarperResource imprint.

-- Athima Chansanchai

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

New York Times Children's

Picture Book Best Sellers

Editor's Note: The children's best-seller list has three categories -- picture books, chapter books, and paperbacks -- which are published in rotation, one category per week.

1. "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss (weeks on list: 201)

2. "Yay, You!" written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton (5)

3. "Olivia" by Ian Falconer (32)

4. "Waiting for Wings" by Lois Ehlert (3)

5. "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin (3)

6. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum (27)

7. "What Moms Can't Do" by Douglas Wood (2)

8. "Alligator Tales" by Miles Smeeton (11)

9. "The Quiltmaker's Gift" by Jeff Brumbeau (26)

10. "So You Want to be President?" by Judith St. George (19)

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.