My Life Series Educator’s Guide

Janet and Jake Tashjian’s award-winning My Life series, praised by Kirkus Reviews as “a kinder, gentler Wimpy Kid with all the fun”, follows the coming-of-age misadventures of middle-grader Derek Fallon in school and through his attempts to follow his bliss as a cartoonist, video gamer, stuntboy, and ninja. Hilarious and uplifting, young readers will find themselves relating to Derek’s problems and inspired by his solutions.

Learn more about how to use the My Life series in the classroom and bring these activities to life for each book in the series in this new educator guide!

Click the covers to learn more about these books:

Educator’s Guide: My Selma: a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement by Willie Mae Brown

My Selma: True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement
By Willie Mae Brown
Ages 10-14
On Sale Now!

Combining family stories of the everyday and the extraordinary as seen through the eyes of her twelve-year-old self, Willie Mae Brown gives readers an unforgettable portrayal of her coming of age in a town at the crossroads of history.

As the civil rights movement and the fight for voter rights unfold in Selma, Alabama, many things happen inside and outside the Brown family’s home that do not have anything to do with the landmark 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Yet the famous outrages which unfold on that span form an inescapable backdrop in this collection of stories. In one, Willie Mae takes it upon herself to offer summer babysitting services to a glamorous single white mother—a secret she keeps from her parents that unravels with shocking results. In another, Willie Mae reluctantly joins her mother at a church rally, and is forever changed after hearing Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a defiant speech in spite of a court injunction.

Infused with the vernacular of her Southern upbringing, My Selma captures the voice and vision of a fascinating young person—perspicacious, impetuous, resourceful, and even mystical in her ways of seeing the world around her—who gifts us with a loving portrayal of her hometown while also delivering a no-holds-barred indictment of the time and place.


MacKids Spotlight: Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass

This month’s Author Spotlight highlights Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass, co-authors of The Lost Library, a middle-grade novel that follows three characters—an eleven-year old boy named Evan, a fluffy orange cat named Mortimer who guards a little free library, and a ghost librarian named Al—in one small town, all mysteriously linked by an unfortunate event that happened years prior.

Discover More about The Lost Library

Educator’s Guide: Torpedoed by Deborah Heiligman

Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of ‘The Children’s Ship’ by Deborah Heiligman

From award-winning author Deborah Heiligman comes Torpedoed, a true account of the attack and sinking of the passenger ship SS City of Benares, which was evacuating children from England during WWII.

Amid the constant rain of German bombs and the escalating violence of World War II, British parents by the thousands chose to send their children out of the country: the wealthy, independently; the poor, through a government relocation program called CORB. In September 1940, passenger liner SS City of Benares set sail for Canada with one hundred children on board.

When the war ships escorting the Benares departed, a German submarine torpedoed what became known as the Children’s Ship. Out of tragedy, ordinary people became heroes. This is their story.


Teacher’s Guides for Every Occasion!

If you’re looking to boost your lesson plans with great reads and important classroom discourse, we have a selection of guides to help! This list of teacher’s guides for every occassion can help you plan for the year! From well-loved canon to important historical moments, you’ll find pre-reading questions, discussion topics, and common core ties that are evergreen conversation starters.

Scroll through the images below to find teacher’s guides for The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater; A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle; The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe; adapted by Salva Rubio and illustrated by Loreto Aroca; translated by Lilit Thwaites; The Burning (Young Readers Edition) by Tim Madigan; adapted by Hilary Beard; Wishtree by Katherine Applegate; and Speak the Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illustrated by Emily Carroll.