Something To Do

Weekend Links: The Highlights of November

**The posts I write might contain affiliate links or be written in collaboration with businesses or brands. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.**

What a whirlwind November has been! From national events like Native American Heritage Month, The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition Book Review & Giveaway and my week+ adventure doing author appearances at the Frances Hodgson Burnett Sesquicentennial Event, November has been an exciting and “book-filled” month! Here’s a quick recap of the highlights of November.

Native American Heritage Month links and booklists:

November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

As always, the amazing authors and bloggers have gone above-and-beyond in sharing the best-of-the best in quality Native American booklists, activities and reviews.Go HERE to view some of my top picks along with some great posts from the JIAB archives.

The Hunters Promise by Joseph Bruchac

The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition Book Review & Giveaway

Has it really been 30 years since that magical Christmas tale of a train pulling up into a young boys front yard and hurling him over hill and dale until he reaches the North Pole? To my astonishment, it’s true. Thirty years later, The Polar Express has become a holiday Caldecott Medal-winning classic leaving children all over the world laying quietly in their beds on Christmas Eve, hoping to catch a ride on that magical train. For 30 years author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg has inspired us to “believe.”

Polar Express

In honor of this event, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has released a 30th anniversary edition complete with a new jacket design, expanded interior layout meaning we get to see and experience more goodness, a letter from Chris Van Allsburg, a downloadable recording of the story read by none other than renowned actor Liam Neeson and a gorgeous golden keepsake ornament. AND….I get to give one copy away to one lucky winner thanks to this The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition Book Review & Giveaway!! Go HERE for details and to enter-to-win.

Author Appearances at Frances HodgsonBurnett Sesquicentennial Event:

You may remember my mention of the upcoming Frances Hodgson Burnett Sesquicentennial Event Celebration. If you read that post you know how excited I was to celebrate an author who has touched my life in so many ways, and also one who is from my home state of Tennessee.

Frances Hodgson Burnett Sesquicentennial Event Celebration

This year the New Market/Knoxville areas are celebrating 150 years since Frances Hodgson Burnett’s moved to the United States in 1865. On hand will be her great grand-daughter Penny Deupree, as well as her great great grandchildren. Penny Deupree, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s great-grand daughter, is coming from her home in Texas to give three free public presentations and display some of Burnett’s personal belongings. You can see all the places I made author appearances here.

As you can imagine, this event was absolutely spectacular and it was such an honor to be invited by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s family! Here are some pictures and highlights from this memorable event:

Frances Hodgson Burnett
I was fortunate enough to meet, and spend time with, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s great granddaughter, Penny.


The young readers at the New Market School were some of the many groups that enjoy book extension activities from my book A Year in the Secret Garden.
The young readers at the New Market School were some of the many groups that enjoy book extension activities from my book A Year in the Secret Garden.

What were some of your November highlights?

Attention K-8th Teachers! Get a FREE Diversity Book for Your Class!

MCCBD Classroom Reading Challenge
2016 Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge begins November 1, 2015!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge is a special project connected to Multicultural Children’s Book Day (1/27/16) that gives classrooms the opportunity to earn a FREE Diversity Book for their class!
Teachers: We want to help you build your classroom library with diverse, inclusive and multicultural books! Here’s how to get a free book through Multicultural Children’s Book Day during the month of January. Teachers and classrooms can also win a Skype author visit with a children’s book author and the drawing will be made from the pool of teachers who signed up before 1/27/16. {author to be announced} This special project is free of charge to all teachers and schools and helps MCCBD achieve their mission of getting multicultural books into the hands of young readers and teachers.

What is it:

The Classroom Reading Challenge is a new project for us but it is a way for teachers to sign up, read up to four multicultural books in their classroom and earn a free multicultural book from us.

All Books are pre-screened and approved by the Junior Library Guild: Having Junior Library Guild on board assures that the free book that classrooms earn from MCCBD is a pre-screened, library-quality book that maps to Common Core. This is a HUGE and exciting benefit for this project.

Junior Library Guild

The MCCBD team would like to take a moment to say a huge “Thank You!” to Junior Library Guild, for allowing us to tap into their collection of library-quality books for kids. Their development and book review service relied upon by thousands of schools and public libraries and we are grateful they are sponsoring Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge by donating the books for the classrooms!
The Junior Library Guild editorial team reviews more than 3,000 new titles each year, in manuscript or prepublication stage. They have a keen sense for finding the best of the best. Over 95 percent of their selections go on to receive awards and/or favorable reviews.

Go HERE to view some of the books that teachers can earn and win as part of our Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge and sign your classroom up to earn a few book!!!!