Read, Discuss, and Do with MARI IN THE MARGINS

By Marci Whitehurst The best books make readers feel like they aren’t alone. They’re seen. Understood. Our very own  Rebecca J. Gomez  accomplishes this flawlessly in Mari in the Margins , her new middle grade novel in verse, published by Bandersnatch Books. It releases May 14 th !  Here’s a snippet about the novel, which you’ll surely want to READ:   For Marivel JimĂ©nez, life in her big family is full of chaos. Feeling overlooked by her parents and overshadowed by her siblings is frustrating, and it's even worse to have the constant attention of her annoying, mischievous three-year-old sister, Susana.  Caught between her need to be noticed and her dream of having time to herself, Marivel pours herself into poetry and, eventually, art journaling. When she hears of a school-wide poetry contest, she sees winning as a chance to escape the margins of her family and finally be seen. Doesn’t that sound amazing? That’s because it is. I was honored to read the book ahead of its release—and

12 MORE Story Time Activities that You Can Do Anywhere

by Rebecca J. Gomez

The focus here at Read, Discuss, Do! is to help people extend the magic of story time beyond the last page, and what better way to do that than to share story time activities that can be done anywhere, any time, and without any supplies besides a book and your brains? Last fall we shared 12 Story Time Ideas that You Can Do Anywhere. Today, we've got 12 more! 

Whether you are on a road trip, in a waiting room, or snuggled in bed, some of these story time ideas are sure to work for you.

1. After reading and discussing the story, ask "what if" questions about the plot and characters.

2. Have a child summarize the story for you. 

3. Brainstorm ideas for other stories based on the characters.

4. Compare and contrast the book's characters with people you know.

5. For a group of kids that can read independently, re-read the book "readers' theater" style.

6. Choose an illustration from the book and make up a new story based on what is happening in the picture.

7. Play "I Spy" with one of the book's spreads. An especially detailed illustration would work best for this.

8. Take a look at your surroundings and find one item that relates to the story.

9. Play "20 Questions" with characters and objects from the book.

10. For younger readers, go through the illustrations and have them describe characters' emotions based on the facial expressions.

11. Imagine it's one of the characters' birthdays. Plan a pretend party for them!

12. Play the alphabet game, picture book edition! Challenge kiddos to find a word or picture for each letter of the alphabet.

Have a happy story time!