Discussion Guide: Einstein the Class Hamster

Monday, November 24th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Einstein the class hamster is from a long line of class hamsters. He knows lots of cool facts about science, art, and history—maybe even more than their sleepy teacher, Ms. Moreno. The class has a chance to compete in a trivia game show contest. But how can they get ready for the contest if Ms. Moreno keeps taking naps instead of teaching? More important, how can Einstein help the class prepare for the contest when the only kid who can hear him is Ned?

Janet and Jake Tashjian team up again in this hilarious new series starring the lovable walking encyclopedia, game show–obsessed Einstein. And what better book to build a Teacher’s Guide for than Einstein? This activity guide has 15 pages of worksheets and activities to get your students learning!


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Discussion Guide: Rain Reign

Friday, November 21st, 2014 / Share your comments...

We here at Macmillan are in love with RAIN REIGN by Ann M. Martin, and we aren’t alone in our love. This amazing middle-grade read has garnered 5 starred reviews! We want to spread the love so we’ve created some great discussion questions to go along with your classroom reading.


Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.

When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.


*”Martin has penned a riveting, seamless narrative in which each word sings and each scene counts.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*”Rose is a character we root for every step of the way. She is resilient, honest, and, in her own odd way, very perceptive; a most reliable narrator.” – The Horn Book, starred review

*”Though Rose’s story is often heartbreaking, her matter-of-face narration provides moments of humor. Readers will empathize with Rose, who finds strength and empowerment through her unique way of looking at the world.” – School Library Journal, starred review

*”Simplicity, clarity, and emotional resonance are hallmarks of Rose’s first-person narrative, which offers an unflinching view of her world from her perspective…. A strong story told in a nuanced, highly accessible way.” – Booklist, starred review

*”Newbery Honor author Martin (A Corner of the Universe) is extremely successful in capturing Rose’s perspective and personality. . .” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Read Excerpt!

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Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary!

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Can you believe Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is 50 years old? To celebrate Macmillan created six new Rudolph titles. We’ve got something everyone in the family can enjoy from board books, to easy readers, and of course the classic story!

To kick off the celebration Rudolph is heading out on a huge blog tour. Our favorite bloggers will be celebrating right along with us by writing reviews, reminiscing on family memories, and hosting their own giveaways! You won’t want to miss out on this spectacular celebration. The full schedule can be found below!

In addition to the blog tour we are hosting our own giveaway on our Rudolph Website! There you can find all the information about all six of our new titles, enter our giveaway, and download activity sheets and coloring guides. Giveaway ends Nov. 28th, so enter now!

Mark your calendars – On Tuesday, December 9th CBS airs Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – the classic holiday special!


Blog Schedule:


Bob Shea & Lane Smith Display Competition Winners

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 / Share your comments...

To celebrate notorious outlaws Bob Shea and Lane Smith’s latest picture book KID SHERIFF AND THE TERRIBLE TOADS, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group hosted a Win-a-Visit contest. To enter the contest, we tasked stores with creating a display conveying an Old West theme and use one of the following items from the book: a tortoise, a dinosaur or a sheriff’s badge.

Maureen Palacios at Once Upon a Time Bookstore in Montrose, CA submitted the winning entry. See photos of Once Upon a Time’s display and some other highlights from the contest below!

More about the book:
Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.

Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits.

Order the book!


Interior Spread: Coming Home by Greg Ruth

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Every day, soldiers leave their families to protect others. We love them. We miss them when they’re gone. And we want them all to come home. They are our heroes. Greg Ruth’s beautiful depiction of soldiers reuniting with their families in COMING HOME is the perfect tribute to our soldiers.

Greg Ruth is the illustrator of many graphic novels and books for children, including A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade and A Pirate’s Guide to Recess by James Preller, and is also the author/illustrator of The Lost Boy, a New York Times bestseller. He lives Ashfield, Massachusetts, with his family. You can visit him online at gregthings.com.


Interior Spread: Mimi and Bear

Monday, November 17th, 2014 / Share your comments...

You may have heard of the little cyclone bomb meteorologists are anticipating, bringing below freezing temperatures to much of the United States this week. In response we decided to cheer everyone up with MIMI AND BEAR IN THE SNOW. With freezing temperatures comes snow, and that’s always a reason to get excited. Wherever Mimi goes, Bear is sure to be there—whether she is ice-skating, having fancy tea with the queen, or making a scary snow monster. But when Bear gets lost, poor Mimi is heartbroken. Luckily, the snow melts and Mimi and Bear are reunited.  Janee Trasler’s spare text and utterly adorable artwork will resonate with anyone who has ever lost a beloved toy.


Teacher Guide: Stay Where You Are & Then Leave

Friday, November 14th, 2014 / Share your comments...

For all you teacher’s out there we’ve got a great Teacher’s Guide for you from STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND THEN LEAVE by John Boyne. The guide follows common core state standards! This guide will help students learn the 5 steps of the writing process. If you try this out let us know and leave a comment below!


The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight—but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission. Then, while shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realizes his father is in a hospital close by—a hospital treating soldiers with shell shock. Alfie isn’t sure what shell shock is, but he is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place. . . . Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 10.19.24 AM


Interior Spread: Sebastian and the Balloon

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 / Share your comments...

On a boring day, on a dull street, Sebastian sat high atop his roof—something he was never supposed to do. When he launched himself into the air in his balloon made of Grandma’s afghans and patchwork quilts, his journey took on a life of its own and his boring day turned into the adventure of a lifetime.

From award-winning author/illustrator Philip C. Stead, comes another timeless adventure with his trademark whimsical illustrations and an unwavering spirit.

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Interior Spread: Love Monster and the Perfect Present

Monday, November 10th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Love Monster is back! It’s present day, but what would Love Monster give his very best friend? Find out in LOVE MONSTER AND THE PERFECT PRESENT by Rachel Bright!

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Soldiers Reunited with Familes

Friday, November 7th, 2014 / Share your comments...

COMING HOME by Greg Ruth highlights that moment when soldiers are finally reunited with their families. Greg Ruth researched for COMING HOME by watching countless reunion videos. So we did a little research and picked some of our favorite reunion videos. With Veteran’s Day next Tuesday we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our veterans, the ones that made it home and those that didn’t . Thank you today and every other day. Be sure to get out the box of tissues before watching though!