Keeping Up with the Sweet 16s: Wisconsin State Reading Association Reading List

Each year, the Wisconsin State Reading Association’s Children’s Literature Committee selects books published during the previous year to recommend as “the most interesting and valuable books for educators and children to read.” The committee evaluates titles based on “the quality of the literature, the appeal for students, and the value for classroom use.”

Congratulations to the 5 Sweet Sixteens authors whose debut novels were chosen for the WSRA’s chapter books through eighth grade list, Just One More Page:

Educator & Discussion Guides from the Sweet Sixteens

Whether you’re a teacher looking for curriculum connections or a book club organizer looking for a new selection with ready-made discussion questions, we have the resources for you! The links below provide direct, free (!!!) access to educator’s guides and discussion questions for a variety of middle grade and young adult titles, all published in 2016.

Middle Grade:

 BFF Bucket List

The BFF Bucket List by Dee Romito






Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin






The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop






Earth Force Rising (Bounders 1), The Tundra Trials (Bounders 2) by Monica Tesler






Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe




Finding Perfect Cover


Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz






From The Grave by Cynthia Reeg




Howard Wallace


Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall






I Am Drums by Mike Grosso




Last Cherry Blossom_cover (1) (1) (2)


The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw






The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan




PBJ Society


The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society by Janet Sumner Johnson






The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi






Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway






Motley Education by S.A. Larsen




Lois Sepahban (PAPER WISHES)


Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban






The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder






The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari





Young Adult:



Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer [second page]






My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul




Phantom Limbs


Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner






Underwater: A Novel by Marisa Reichardt






The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Printable Release Calendar for February!

Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet February debuts coming at you soon!

Click here for the February 2016 calendar in .pdf format

Book Cover Calendar Feb

Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander,  Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!











The Debut Club: An interview with Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, authors of TINY PRETTY THINGS

Sweet Sixteener Jennifer Maschari recently spoke to Fearless Fifteeners Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton about their contemporary YA debut, TINY PRETTY THINGS (May 26, 2015 from HarperCollins).

About the Authors:

sona dhonielle_hi-res

Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton met while attending the New School’s acclaimed Writing for Children MFA program. Sona is a journalist who has written for the New York Times, People, Parade, Cosmopolitan, and other major media. Dhonielle is a librarian at a middle school in Harlem and taught English at a cutthroat ballet academy. Together, the pair co-founded CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent. Find CAKE on the web at or on Twitter: @CakeLiterary.

Find Sona on: her website, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Find Dhonielle on: her website, Twitter, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

Tiny Pretty Things book coverAbout TINY PRETTY THINGS:

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

TINY PRETTY THINGS is available for purchase at Amazon, IndieBound, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and WORD (personalized copies complete with swag!).

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The Debut Club: An interview with Dan Gemeinhart, author of THE HONEST TRUTH

Sweet Sixteener Jennifer Maschari recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Dan Gemeinhart about his debut MG adventure novel, THE HONEST TRUTH (January 27, 2015 from Scholastic Press).

headshot.example6SmallerAbout the Author:

Dan Gemeinhart lives in a small town smack dab in the middle of Washington state with his wife and three young daughters. He’s lucky and grateful to be a teacher-librarian in an elementary school, where he gets to share awesome books with awesome kids. He loves camping, cooking and traveling. He also plays guitar (badly) and reads (constantly). His house is always a mess. He is really pretty darn happy.


Find Dan on his website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.


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Meet the Author: Jennifer Maschari

Jen MaschariJennifer Maschari writes books about brave kids. She’s especially fond of excessive exclamation points, dill pickles, and corny jokes. A former classroom teacher, she continues to work with students as a math and language arts tutor. She lives with her husband and their two handsome (and smelly) bulldogs in Hilliard, Ohio.

Her debut middle grade novel, THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, Winter 2016), is about a young boy struggling in the wake of his mother’s death who follows his sister into a magical world identical to their own with one key difference – Mom is alive. But this idealized other world holds terrifying secrets, and he’ll have to defeat monsters both real and imagined or risk losing himself, his sister, and the true memory of his mother forever.

Jen is a Sweet Sixteens co-coordinator of Advance Reading Copy (ARC) Tours, making sure that Sweet Sixteen ARCs get passed among the membership for advanced reading and sharing.

Fun facts:

  • Her favorite book growing up: WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech and THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Childhood aspiration: Teacher
  • Favorite time of day/place to write: Anytime there’s a Diet Coke next to her
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Wrangle her aforementioned bulldogs, eat copious amounts of Mexican food
  • Favorite sports team: The Sandlot Team (from the movie!)
  • Surprising personal facts: She cannot wink, she once had a gecko named Garbanzo, and as a kid, she had an imaginary friend named Jeff
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Getting the opportunity to share stories with awesome kids who are passionate about books

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads