Teacher’s Guide: Secret Soldiers

Secret Soldiers by Keely Hutton

Over a quarter million underage British boys fought on the Allied front lines of the Great War, but not all of them fought on the battlefield—some fought beneath it, as revealed in this middle-grade historical adventure about a deadly underground mission.

Secret Soldiers follows the journey of Thomas, a thirteen-year-old coal miner, who lies about his age to join the Claykickers, a specialized crew of soldiers known as “tunnelers,” in hopes of finding his missing older brother. Thomas works in the tunnels of the Western Front alongside three other soldier boys whose constant bickering and inexperience in mining may prove more lethal than the enemy digging toward them. But as they burrow deeper beneath the battlefield, the boys discover the men they hope to become and forge a bond of brotherhood.

Secret Soldiers is another stunning story of strength, perseverance, and love from Keely Hutton.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

May Middle Grade & Young Adult Galley Chat

Love chatting about new middle grade and YA books? Join EarlyWord’s monthly galley chat to hear what your fellow librarians are excited to read + add more books to your TBR list. Follow along at #ewgcya and don’t miss next month’s galley chat–June’s galley chat date is June 27th from 2:30-3:30 EST.

Here are just a few of the titles that Twitter is buzzing about this month:

See more books librarians are buzzing about →

Teacher’s Guide: Pie in the Sky

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy’s immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks!

When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.

To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.

In her hilarious, moving middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends, Kelly Yang’s Front Desk, and Jerry Craft’s New Kid.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of the Teacher’s Edition of Writing Radar!

This giveaway has now ended. Check our giveaway page for more chances to win books for your classroom or library!

Newberry Medal winner Jack Gantos shares advice for how to be the best brilliant writer in WRITING RADAR, a funny and practical creative writing guide perfect for middle-grade readers

An excellent guide for aspiring authors.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Teachers will also find Gantos’s breakdown on the creation of a story valuable for teaching critical reading as well as writing skills.”
VOYA, starred review

Teacher’s Guide: The Lost Boy’s Gift

The Lost Boy’s Gift by Kimberly Willis Holt

Kimberly Willis Holt explores themes of divorce, acceptance, intergenerational friendship, and the power that comes with noticing in The Lost Boy’s Gift, an insightful middle-grade novel.

There are places where you want to go and places where you want to leave. There are also places where you want to stay.

Nine-year-old Daniel must move across the county with his mom after his parents’ divorce. He’s leaving behind his whole life—everything—and he’s taking a suitcase of anger with him. But Daniel is in for a surprise when he settles into While-a-Way Lane and meets his new neighbors—the Lemonade Girl, the hopscotching mailman, the tiny creatures, and especially Tilda Butter. Tilda knows how to look and listen closely, and it’s that gift that helps Daniel find his way in that curious placed called While-a-Way Lane.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

April YA Galley Chat Books

Love chatting about new YA books? Join EarlyWord’s monthly YA galley chat to hear what your fellow librarians are excited to read + add more books to your TBR list. Follow along at #ewgcya and don’t miss next month’s galley chat–May’s galley chat date is TBA.

Here are just a few of the titles that Twitter is buzzing about this month:

See more books librarians are buzzing about →