My latest middle-grade novel, The Lost Year, which is inspired by some of my own family history, gives 5th-8th grade readers a sense of Ukrainian history that ties to current events. The Lost Year will appeal to fans of Alan Gratz and Ruta Sepetys, as well as readers who like survival stories and mysteries. Readers get to race the 13-year-old protagonist to solve a historical mystery, which The New York Times Book Review wrote “kept me on the edge of my seat.”
A fabulous The Lost Year Educators’ Guide by the teachers of Room 228 with additional guidance from Ukrainian historian Dr. Daria Mattingly of Cambridge University. It gives you all the background you need to teach this book as well as writing exercises, including my own favorite in which students, like Matthew, become “Keepers of a Story.”
For a quick video intro for educators click here.
Nowhere Boy is also a great classroom or even whole school read for grades 5th-8th. It’s a story that provides both windows and mirrors, as well as an opportunity to explore history (including the Syrian War and World War II), geography and immigration and the Refugee Crisis. Nowhere Boy is also a powerful text to use when teaching empathy and compassion in middle and upper grades.
For Nowhere Boy, there is an amazing chapter-by-chapter educators’ guide. It’s written by Kirsten Cappy and Louise El Yaafouri, who have extensive experience in the fields of teaching and refugee children’s literature. The Nowhere Boy book trailer is also a great visual way to introduce your students to the real places and people behind the book.
My next book arrives February 20, 2024! Medusa: The Myth of Monsters is the first book of a series that puts a fun, feminist spin on the Greek myths. Perfect for readers 3rd grade and up, especially fans of Percy Jackson who like adventure and mythology but with a little more literary and girl power heft.
Looking for resources to help teach my other books? All of them have free teachers’ or discussion guides that you can download to the left.
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Interested in ordering books for your students or school? Discounts for educators are available. Contact Macmillan at email@example.com. For curriculum copies that will remain at school contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 330-8477 for more details.