Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's your favorite flavor?

At our house, I have a surefire way of getting the Boys' attention.  Bacon.  I don't need to yell, nag, or use the guilt-trip.  Just whip out the electric skillet and Voila!  They come running.  It's funny, because both Boys ask the same question as they enter the kitchen,  "What smells like bacon?"  My response every time, "Um.  Bacon."
I've started timing their respective responses, and usually P.J. is the fastest.  Today's, "What smells like bacon?" took exactly 12 minutes, sprinting upstairs from the basement mid-Minecraft game.  Pretty impressive, but not his all-time record.  Bacon is his favorite food.  He even has a bacon t-shirt.  I know that if ice cream came in bacon flavor, P.J. would eat it. 
It's fitting that he was the bacon race winner today, because he has found his favorite flavor of book as of late, too, in the H.I.V.E. series.   C.J. still has not.  C.J. and I are still doing book tastings- some fantasy, realistic fiction, and now graphic novels.  While P.J. is now in "the zone" and fully savoring his book choice, C.J. is still chewing.

It's not always easy to find a good book match for readers.  Finding the sweet spot in reading takes practice and an understanding of yourself as a reader.  As a reading specialist, I am often asked by other Moms and teachers alike, "How can I find good fit books for my child/student?"  So, in the hopes of helping others help their own children find their personal book bacon, here are some suggestions:

First and foremost, go to the library and talk to the Librarian in the children's book section.  She (or He) is your most valuable asset and has a treasure trove of suggestions for you.  However, if you are not lucky enough to have a local library or dedicated children's Librarian, you can try these electronic resources:

Scholastic Book Wizard:
The intended audience for this website is Teachers, but I find it to be user-friendly for parents as well.
Why I like it:  You can search not only by age and interest, but also by whatever leveling system your school district uses.  If you are not sure of your child's reading level, ask your child's teacher.  He/She should know.  Use the drop-down bar to select the applicable Reading Level System (my district uses Guided Reading), type in a beloved book or author in the search box.  Once you have found a favorite known book, use the "Book Alike" button on the right to find similar books that are appropriate and (hopefully) interesting for your child.  You will most likely be overwhelmed by the amount of results generated, and you can narrow them down by using age and genre filters if necessary.  You can purchase them directly from the website if you wish, or you can use the generated list to select books from your library or ebook provider.

Story Snoops:
I have recently discovered this website via Twitter, and I love it as well.   Story Snoops' goal is to help Moms (and Dads) match books to kids.  Perfect, right?
Why I like it:  It is very parent-friendly, and not only can you search by age, genre, and interest, you can search by keyword and topic as well.  I also like it because it is specifically geared to Tweens and Teens, which is my home audience, but this may be a drawback for those with younger readers.  It also has very detailed reviews that are informative when choosing books.  The FAQ button is very helpful if you are getting started with Story Snoops, and I LOVE their blog!

If you are interested in social networking for your book recommendations for yourself, I would suggest joining either:



Both websites require registration (which is free), and a bit of a set-up on your part as you collect books on your respective virtual "shelves." 
Why I like them:  Both websites offer the benefit of community.  I can connect with friends that I know personally as well as other like-minded book friends online to get recommendations and reviews.  Just to be clear, both websites require users to be age 13 and up, so I would not recommend this necessarily for kids to use, but I have been lucky as a Mom and teacher to find friends who like Children's Books as much as I do.  Sign up and find a personal network of book friends for yourself, too.  Find your own favorite flavor!

And now, the Bacon Boys' reviews:

Hey this is C.J.  Unicorns barf up rainbows and this is book report time. When we left off I started reading the graphic novel Bone by Jeff Smith.  So far Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone, and the old strong dude (I forget his name) are having a bet to see who can run the bar (like a Pub or restaurant) the best. If Phoney wins he gets all the money and if the really strong dude wins Phoney and Smiley have to do dishes the rest of their lives. MUA HA HA HA HA!!!! Well that's it.  Hasta lavista! 

Hi this is P.J. I am bored and this is my blog. Today I am still reading the book H.I.V.E Overlord Protocol by Mark Walden and it is very good. I love how when the Contesta reveals that she is working for Cypher.  It came as a total surprise and I definitely did not see it coming.  Otto is still out in a deserted jungle waiting to get back to H.I.V.E. and I can not wait to read more. So peace.


  1. Another fantastic post! I especially enjoyed P.J.'s blog entry; it's making me want to read HIVE again!

    PS. Bacon rocks. You should make a bookmark that looks likes a strip of bacon!

    1. Bacon bookmarks! I love that idea. Thanks so much for the feedback and encouragement!


The Boys LOVE to receive positive words of encouragement as well as book recommendations from you! Please take a minute to leave a happy comment. Registering through OpenID is quick and easy~ we can't wait to hear what you think!