It’s a special time each fall as kids head back to the classrooms, reuniting with friends and
tackling new lessons of a new grade. This week’s BookBites from spotlights
three books to help parents help their children make learning fun and exciting.

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo

Just watch how stressful parents’ minds race: Why hasn’t my child mastered the alphabet yet? Is my child reading soon enough, fast enough? Will my child get into a good college, get a good job, and be economically self-sufficient? What about the future of humanity?

“How to Raise a Reader” is an indispensable guide to welcoming children to a lifelong love of reading, written by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Review. Combining clear, practical advice with inspiration, wisdom, tips, and curated reading lists, “How to Raise a Reader” shows you how to instill the joy of reading.

Divided into four sections, from baby through teen, this book offers something useful on every page, whether it’s how to develop rituals around reading or build a family library, or ways to engage a reluctant reader.

The authors debunk common myths, assuage parental fears, and deliver invaluable lessons in a positive and easy-to-act-on way. For expecting parents, experienced parents, grandparents, teachers or concerned caregivers. Buy at

Big Fat Notebooks Series (Workman)

It’s as good as borrowing the notes from the smartest kid in class. The “Big Fat Notebook” series, geared for middle-school students, is a fun way to learn and a perfect next step for any kid who ever grew up on Brain Quest. It looks and reads like an actual school notebook, with critical ideas highlighted in neon colors, definitions explained, and doodles in markers that illuminate tricky concepts. The books also feature mnemonics for memorable shortcuts and quizzes to recap it all.

There are five books: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Inside, the reader will find every subject’s key concepts, easily digested and summarized. The books are vetted by National and State Teacher of the Year Award–winning teachers. Buy at

Brain Quest Workbooks (Workman)

Your kids loved “Brain Quest,” America’s #1 educational bestseller with more than 46 million copies in print. Curriculum-based but infused with fun, it’s trusted by parents and used and recommended by teachers.

“Brain Quest Workbooks” are designed to review and reinforce what kids are learning in the classroom in an instantly engaging, entertaining way. It is billed as “a whole year of curriculum-based exercises and activities.” There are eight editions – from Pre-K through Grade 6.

Brain Quest workbooks are designed to appeal to kids’ natural curiosity, with interactive layouts and easy-to-follow explanations that take the intimidation out of learning. Plus, they are written to help parents follow along and explain key concepts for homework help. Buy at

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