Books for Winter 2016: Middle Grade

Are you searching for something new for your middle grade readers? Here are a few just out or upcoming books, in graphic format:

A selection of middle grade books launching between 1/1/16 and 4/1/16

Here’s a list of the books by author and title:

Crystal Allen, THE MAGNIFICENT MYA TIBBS – SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN Balzer and Bray

Dori Hillestad Butler, THE GHOST IN THE TREE HOUSE, (Haunted Library #7) Grosset & Dunlap

Alison Cherry, THE CLASSY CROOKS CLUB, Simon & Schuster

Leslie Connor, ALL RISE for the HONORABLE PERRY T. COOK, Harpercollins

KA Holt, RED MOON RISING, Simon & Schuster

Linda Johns, HANNAH WEST SLEUTH IN TRAINING / SLEUTH ON THE TRAIL, Two Lions

Kristen Kittscher, THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE, Harper Children’s

Kirby Larson, AUDACITY JONES TO THE RESCUE, Scholastic

Jen Malone, YOU’RE INVITED TOO, Simon & Schuster

Katherine Marsh, THE DOOR BY THE STAIRCASE, Disney

Denise Lewis Patrick, NO ORDINARY SOUND, American Girl

Karen Rivers, THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME, Algonquin

Lisa Schroeder, THE GIRL IN THE TOWER, Henry Holt

Lisa Yee, WONDER WOMAN AT SUPER HERO HIGH, Random House

Karen Romano Young, SYBIL LUDINGTON: REVOLUTIONARY WAR RIDER, Feiwel & Friends

Do you have anything you’d like to add? Please share!

Inside Plato’s Cave

In The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, Kat and her fellow students at the Rookskill Castle Children’s Academy in the fictional burg of Craig on the coast of Scotland are taught by instructors brought in by the Lady of the manor. Their English instructor, Miss Gumble, has them study the Allegory of Plato’s Cave. This instruction turns out to be a lifesaver. (How? I’ll let you discover that.)

Plato

Plato

What is the allegory?

Plato founded his famous Academy in an Athens grove in 387 BC in order to informally tutor those intellectuals who wished to discuss philosophy and the sciences. Socrates was his mentor, having conducted his own school (the Lyceum) before being put to death after charges of corrupting the youth of Athens. Plato continued Socrates’ tradition of oral argument and debate; Plato’s most famous student was Aristotle. Plato wrote his treatise, The Republic, as a way to elucidate societal behavior and in particular the notion of justice. Our democratic ideals descend from Plato’s arguments.

One of Plato’s most famous arguments in favor of thoughtful pursuit of knowledge is the allegory of the cave.Plato

Plato argues that the world is divided into two realms: the visible, and the intelligible (which we can only grasp in our minds). In the allegory of the cave, he suggests that people are like prisoners chained from birth in a cave and unable to turn their heads. They can only see the wall of the cave before them, and behind them is a wall along which puppeteers can walk. A fire casts shadows of the puppets on the cave wall.

Academy

Plato’s Academy

Those prisoners in the cave believe that the shadows are reality. When they are freed from their chains by education they discover they’ve been seeing only shadows of copies of reality, and not reality itself.

Plato questions the notion of reality in this allegory. Even more importantly, Plato suggests that those who can leave the cave – see the full scale of reality through the gift of education – must take this knowledge back to those who haven’t yet left the cave. Knowledge should be the goal of all of us, through education and realization.

I really believe that knowledge and education are the foundations of a rich, full life. Plato’s allegory works for me, just as it does for my character, Kat.

Lady Macbeth

MacbethAndBanquo-Witches

  One of the reviewers of The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle pointed out that a chief character in the novel is "a tragic figure, almost a Lady Macbeth". You might or might not remember Shakespeare's tragedy, so here's a bit of … [Continue reading]

Scots Words

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This week - a little bit about Scots words. I didn't use many Scots dialect words in The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle. Using dialect is tricky. Too much and people get turned off. Too little and the story doesn't sound … [Continue reading]