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Back-to-school books for parents and children

“A Mind at a Time” by Mel Levine, M.D. “Different minds learn differently” is the philosophy of Levine, who shows parents how to identify a child’s strengths, weaknesses and learning patterns. A nationwide best seller, “A Mind at a Time” is a very compelling book for anyone interested in how children learn.

“The Essential 55” by Ron Clark. Clark, an award-winning fifth-grade teacher, offers up some simple, back-to-basic lessons on manners, behavior and etiquette for children. These lessons, which are sometimes overlooked by busy parents and educators, teach heart-felt courtesy, respect and responsibility.

“100 Words Kids Need to Read” Scholastic Reading/Workbook Series. These books are designed to give a head start to children in grades one, two and three by helping them learn the 100 most important “sight words.” Sight words occur in high frequency in the English language and may be difficult to sound out or decode; the best way for a child to master comprehension of sight words is by practice.



“The Improbable Cat” by Allan Ahlberg. Children age 8 and up will love this story about a stray kitten who turns out to possess some freakishly magical powers. Kind of scary, kind of fun!

“Reading Can Be Fun” by Munro Leaf. A children’s classic, back in print, teaches young children the value of literacy. Using basic concepts, witty language and funny, stick-figure drawings, this book remains inspirational even after 70 years.




“The Girlfriend’s Guide to Parties and Playdates” by Vicki Iovine. A book full of tidbits for successful social occasions with the kiddies, covering everything from food, craft projects and throwing parties on a budget to settling disputes and play-date emergencies. Even seasoned parents will find valuable information in this guide.

“Queen Bees & Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman. This book was the basis for the movie “Mean Girls” and exposes the social climates often faced by young girls. A compelling read for parents and daughters, “Queen Bees & Wannabes” will help girls find confidence amidst the cliques and chaos of the adolescent years.

“Teach Me To Do It Myself” by Maja Pitamic. Using Montessori principles, this book offers many simple, educational activities designed to help children develop essential skills and interests. A great resource for parents, caregivers and early childhood educators.

“Weeknight Cooking” by Jennifer Bushman. How to solve the “what’s for dinner” question – this new cookbook helps busy people plan meals and get food on the table despite the challenges posed by limited time, picky eaters and cooking on a budget.

“Confessions of a Slacker Mom” by Muffy Mead-Ferro. Here’s a fresh voice in the world of super-parenting, affirming that kids don’t necessarily need to be showered with toys, overscheduled with activities and pushed into a state of hyper-academia. Drawing upon her experiences growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, the author dissects the “Supermom Syndrome.”

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Compiled by Kim Carrow of Odyssey Books, 989 Sutton Way, Grass Valley. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The phone number is 477-2856.


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