A Book and a Hug


About A Book and A Hug

What Do We Have For You On ABookandaHug?

1. Search Box: Click on the search box and you can find books by category and reading level simultaneously. When you open the Search box (top right hand corner of the homepage), you can click on the category you want (often I'm using this for picture book but you might want action/adventure or humor, etc.) and then scroll down and click on the reading level. So if you want an action/adventure book for an older reader (ages 11-13), you click on Action/Adventure in the Category box and then click on Older Reader in the Reading Level box. Then either hit Search or use the Enter/Return button on your keyboard. Your list of books will return.

2. Write your own review: Yes, now you can write your own review to be published on abookandahug. This is a great classroom assignment as the kids truly enjoy seeing their name on the site. Just select a book on abookandahug, let's say you pick THE GREAT TREE OF AVALON by T.A.Barron, enter the title in the search box and when the review opens for you, click on Add New Review. The box opens can insert your name...we recommend first name only especially for students. You can insert your email address but it is NOT REQUIRED. You can choose how many stars you would give the book and then add your comments in the comment box. If you add your first name and the country you live in (state too is great) that information will appear with your review.

3. Read Around the World: If you click on the map of the world, it will take you to a page of continents. Click on the continent of your choice, let's say Africa, and the map of Africa will open up and reveal some countries lit up in color and others grayed out. Wherever there is a country with a color, you can click on the country and go through to books about characters FROM that country. It's a great way for children to see where the country is on the globe and then connect to the people of that country through a story.

4. Books Alive: These are author interviews you are free to enjoy. This is Barb's cable tv show archived for you to use. Go ahead and download. If you have a MAC, you'll have to go into a browser other than Safari to download the Silverlight software. It's free. Just not compatible with Safari.

5. What Kind of Reading Superhero Are You? This is a ten question assessment that is being used in classrooms around the country to help students decide what kind of reading personality they are. There are four reading personalities for boys and four for girls. Once they find out if they are Jokester or Investigator (and they delight in doing this), they can find books on abookandahug that are directed to that kind of reader. Narrows the search a bit for those who are overwhelmed by the number of books out there.

6. Read Alikes: If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid, what else would you enjoy? Click here to find all sorts of recommended read alikes.

7. Recommended Reads: For kids who really can't "find" a book, we've created some booklists they can choose ...organized by reading personality.

8. Register on abookandahug: You can create a class book list to be shared, a family book list to be shared, a BFF booklist to be shared. Up in the top right hand corner.

New Tools for Kids to Create a Book List of Favorites and For Classes or Friends to Share a Book List!

If you look way up at the top right hand corner on the homepage of, you'll see Register An Account and Log In. These are great tools for getting kids to make and keep lists, to make lists with friends which promotes what I call social reading, or for a class or an entire school to create a shared list. I've had mothers come and tell me that their daughters and their BFF's have made a list and are sharing it with each other. Brothers and families are doing the same thing. People do some wonderfully creative things when handed a tool with possibilities.

So, how does a class create a list each student can add to and which all can share and refer to? Click on Register An Account. The first thing you'll want to do is create a class account name...maybe Mrs. Green's class or the Fab Fourth Graders or whatever you want to use. Then fill in the User Name which can be the same as the Name. Next you need an email account and a password. Now, if you're creating this for a class, I would suggest creating a new email account. What your students will use to log in will be the username and the password. So, they do not need access to the email account itself.

As they navigate and find books they want to add to their list, they simply click on the title and then click on the little tab that says Add to Favorites. The book will automatically be added to the list and everyone who shares the list will be able to find it on the list. No names appear for who has added a book. It simply becomes a shared list of recommended books.

How To Use

Find A Book

In the top right hand corner of the site is a good place to start. When you click on that box, you'll see that you can choose:

  • a category: fantasy, action/adventure, etc.
  • a reading level: independent reader, older reader, etc.
  • keywords: boy, girls reluctant reader, horse, spies, etc.

Advanced Search

Click here to see all of the keywords displayed and choose what you're looking for along with your category and your reading level. I want you to be able to customize your search to match your child.

Books For Boys

If you need a book for a boy, I hope you'll take a minute to explore the four categories of "reading personalities" I've developed to help boys figure out what kind of books they prefer.

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Books Alive

includes twenty author/illustrator interviews. More are waiting to be loaded and should be up in the next few months. There has been much buzz lately about the Books Alive interviews. I hope you are enjoying them.

Middle Reader-Careful Content

is intended to help you find books for 8-11 year olds who can read above their grade level but still need some boundaries around the content of their books. If you have one of these advanced readers but you are concerned they may pick up books that deal with mature subject matter, you can use this keyword in your searching.

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Please feel free to use the Contact link at the bottom of the site. That comes straight to me and I'd love to hear from you.

I created to help you find a book for your child. It's important to match children up with books they want to read. It can make all the difference in the world if you can figure out his or her "reading personality." So, just who is your child and what does your child look for in a book? A Books For Boys page is coming soon to help you define your boy in book terms. A Books For Girls page will follow on its heels.

I would like to heartily thank the many people who contributed their work for display on this site. I begin with the fabulous Jane Dyer who so generously gave me permission to use her Children's Book Week 2001 Poster for the homepage of this website. Then there are the generous and ever so talented authors and illustrators who shared their illustrations for the different book categories: T.A. Barron, Nic Bishop, Betsy and Ted Lewin, David Macaulay, William Low, Wendell Minor, Kevin O'Malley, Charles R. Smith Jr., Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummell and Paul Zelinsky.

The team that helped create the website deserves my deep thanks as well: Abby, Joanne, Mary, Matt, Penny, Theresa and the wonderful Lynda who kept it all organized for me!

We have miles to go with this but we are on our way!

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