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 →

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 →

March 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 on Thursday, April 17th 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: Forward Me Back to You

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins

The award-winning author of You Bring the Distant Near explores identity, homecoming, and the legacy of assault in this personal and ambitious new novel.

Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she’s having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past. Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in India and is reluctant to take on his future. If he can’t find his roots, how can he possibly plan ahead?

Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places—a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds build between the travelmates, Robin and Kat discover that justice and healing are tangled, like the pain of their pasts and the hope for their futures. You can’t rewind life; sometimes you just have to push play.

In turns heart wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins’s new novel focuses its lens on the ripple effects of violence—across borders and generations—and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.

Download the teacher’s guide here →

Teacher’s Guide: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
by Dan Gemeinhart

Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished—the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box—she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it. Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

Download the teacher’s guide here →

February 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 on Tuesday, March 26th, 2:30 to 3:30 pm.

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

See more books librarians are buzzing about →

Congratulations to our 2019 ALA Award Winners!

Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners! Keep reading to find out more about our ALA Award winners and recommended reading selections from ALSC and YALSA.

★ Geisel Honor Winner
★ William C. Morris Finalists
★ ALA Rainbow Reading List
★ ALSC Notable Children’s Books
★ YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults
★ YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels
★ YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers

See all of our ALA award winners here →