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Weaving together creative free play, hands-on natural science learning, and a child’s sense of time, George Ella Lyon and Vera Rosenberry’s “The Outside Inn” makes a fantastic family read. Use our accompanying literary guide to begin engaging in meaningful learning, using the story as a catalyst!

Humor meets the brutal truth in Todd Hasak-Lowy’s “33 Minutes… Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt.” Paired with supporting activities from our literary guide, the story encourages tween readers to engage in critical self reflection as they – and those around them – grow and change.

Looking for ways to enhance family reading time? Summer is the perfect time to explore books as a family, and to expand stories and create opportunities for deeper learning together. Hilltown Families offers a wealth of resources for supporting families in this endeavor, beginning with the very first featured title in our 2015 Summer Reading Resource series of literary guides!

Designed for use with readers at a 5th grade level, our literature guide for Lois Lowry’s “Gathering Blue” offers families support in adding insight, visualization, and even mastery of a new skill to a great summer read!

Family storytime is a great way to learn and grow together, and this summer’s series, “Summer Reading Resource: Literary Guides for Expanding Family Reading Time” provides a wealth of resources for supporting children in developing literacy and comprehension skills. The ten books included in the series this summer appeal to a wide range of readers, and are filled with rich stories that encourage readers to learn about important themes like friendship, finding personal strengths, and connecting with nature.

S.D. Nelson’s “Buffalo Bird Girl” tells the story of a young Hidatsa girl, following her through a year’s worth of seasonal change and detailing the activities that take place in her life based upon the changes taking place in the natural world. Helping readers learn about Native American culture, the story presents families with information that challenges them to compare their own lives to those of members of the Hidatsa tribe – and accompanying hands-on activities offer experiential learning centered around local Native American culture.

Running all summer, our highly popular and comprehensive series of literary guides are written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England. They are designed to enrich the reading experience of your child. Each week a new book is featured.

This week’s book is for 5th graders and for kids at middle school level, and it’s a literary treat of intrigue and mystery! “When You Reach Me,” by Rebecca Stead is one giant enigma built upon clever riddles, as it covers two children interacting with Manhattan. The literary guide hones in on maximizing the developmental skills of detail tracking, note-taking, supporting inferences with evidence, and building a system of connections as the story progresses.

The literary guides have proven to be popular this summer. Read on to see how you can further develop your child’s reading experience with these wonderful guides!

Running all summer, our highly popular and comprehensive series of literary guides are written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England. They are designed to enrich the reading experience of your child. Each week a new book is featured.

This week we have a peach of a read called “Alec’s Primer,” by Mildred Pitts Walter. It’s a true story of freedom that spends time just up the road in Grafton, Vermont. It’s an inspiring narrative of perseverance and the spirit of self-education. The literary guide will direct you to enable your elementary school age children to explore themes of freedom, slavery and the Civil War. In addition to supporting place-based studies of the Civil War and the abolition movement, a reading of the book can spark discussion on topics such as what it means to be free, the ethics of restricting access to knowledge, courage, determination, and strength.

Our summer series of literary guides written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England are designed to maximize your child’s reading experience, and mobilize critical thinking.

This week’s guide looks at local author Mordicai Gerstein and her book “The Mountains of Tibet.” The subject covers critical thinking with regard to topics such as religion and reincarnation. Children will consider different cultures and their belief systems, and critically analyse similarities and differences they may notice, in relation to themselves. Needless to say this is a stimulating exercise for kids- especially for third graders and older.

Our series of literary guides written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England are designed to maximize your child’s reading experience. A quality outlook to your child’s reading releases so much in terms of a child’s reading and sophisticated interpretation of themes.

This week Jeanne Birdsall’s “The Penderwicks” is set in the Berkshires and covers the adventures of four daughters and their eccentric dad while on a quirky vacation. The text drives critical thinking and theme connection and is suitable for those kids ages 10-11. The guide provides direction on how to maximize this wonderful reading experience! Download it now for free!

Our summer series of literary guides written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England are designed to maximize your child’s reading experience, and mobilize critical thinking.

This week’s guide helps us navigate William Steig’s “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” under the banner of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ The illustrations offer first and second graders challenges to find clues linking to the overall narrative, and a wealth of new words to discover. They’ll also be inspired to construct that verbally watertight wish (we’ve all done it!) and to imagine where it could take them. Literally an inspiring read that will enrich your child’s literary development.

Our summer series of literary guides written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England are designed to maximize your child’s reading experience, and mobilize critical thinking.

This week’s lit guide to Arthur Dorros’ story, “Abuela,” inspires young readers to connect to Hispanic culture, learn Spanish phrases and also to recognize illustrative patterns. The great concept of ‘journey’ is also open to exploration.

Read on and see how “Abuela” can lead your child’s literary development!

Our series of literary guides written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England are designed to maximize your child’s reading experience. A quality outlook to your child’s reading unlocks so much in terms of a child’s learning and ability to build theme connections. This week’s guide covers a topic a bit light on the cover, a firefighting cat, but has a lot of relatable themes.

“The Fire Cat” by Esther Averill is designed for 2nd grade students and while a bit unrealistic in terms of the subject matter (a cat who works in a fire station,) it contains many relatable themes such as how to come to term with what skills you have, and how to fit into society. Big questions right there! The writing style lends itself to greater phonetic development.

Read on and see how Pickles the cat can lead your child’s literary development!

Every time a child picks up a book, they gain so much in terms of literary enrichment through development of vocabulary and critical thinking, and much more. Our series of literary guides written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England are designed to maximize your child’s reading experience. This week’s guide covers a topic familiar to so many people from so many perspectives: the relationships between siblings when growing up.

“My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother” by Patricia Polacco outlines the dynamic between a younger sister and older brother in a family still steeped in Ukrainian culture, from their immigrant background. It looks at sibling relationships and explores the concept of family through a different lens. It’s an enriching summer read that will help your children draw upon their own observations and experiences and match them up with the themes in the book. The educational guide gives pointers on setting the scene for a reading connection between you and your child.

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