The Web Home of Michael Sullivan
teacher, librarian, chess instructor, author, storyteller, expert on boys and reading.

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My Most Recent Reviews:

Ann Bausum. Stubby the War Dog: the True Story of
World War I's Bravest Dog.
(National Geographic,
A grizzled veteran in a uniform dripping with medals
marches in a parade for a war long since ended. Kids
who weren't even born when he fought, took a hunk of
shrapnel in the chest, single-handedly captured an
enemy soldier, and saved a comrade in the middle of a
fierce battle strain to see. He marches in step with his
unit, , snaps his head around on the command "Eyes
right", and stops and salutes the superior officer
reviewing the parade. Then he drops back to all four
feet, his tongue hangs out, and the most famous mutt
to fight in World War I marches on.

Elementary Nonfiction

Simon Scarrow. Fight for Freedom. [Gladiator, Book 1]
(Disney, 2012)
Ancient Rome, a world of noble ease and brutal
slavery. Marcus may have only known the ease of a
slave owning family, but at age ten he is thrown into
the violence and terror of the gladiator schools, where
slaves fight to the death for the pleasure of those they
serve. Honor? Purpose? Even humanity seems out of
reach. There is only the fight to live.
Middle School Historical Fiction

Derek Munson, illustrated by Melody Wang. Bad Dad.
(Cannonball Books, 2013)
Dad is always doing things with his kids that get him in
trouble... which means he is always doing things with
his kids!
Picture Book

Ben Mikaelsen. Jungle of Bones. (Scholastic, 2014)
Dylan panicked and began running down the trail. But
even as he ran, he realized it was probably the
dumbest thing he could do after a snake bite. Still he
kept running. If he stopped he would just die here on
some muddy overgrown trail in the jungles of Papua
New Guinea. By morning, rats would have picked his
bones clean. By next week, other critters would have
his bones scattered through the forest like twigs and
branches. The world would never even know what had
happened to Dylan Barstow.
Middle School Action/Adventure

Steve Jenkins. Eye to Eye: How Animals See the
(Houghton Mifflin, 2014)
The endless variations on how animals see, and just
enough general information to see how it all fits
together. For those kids who can name EVERY animal
at the zoo, Jenkins consistently finds new and
fascinating corners of the natural world.
Elementary Nonfiction

Tommy Greenwald, illustrated by Melissa
Jack Strong Takes a Stand. (Roaring Brook
Press, 2013)
Take a stand by sitting down! Rosa Parks did it. So did
Gandhi. But of course they weren't sitting down on a
couch playing video games. Is this the inspirational
leader of the next generation? Couch potatoes unite!
Middle School Humor

William Bee. "Stanley" (Series)
Stanley the Builder. (Peachtree, 2014)
Stanley the Farmer. (Peachtree, 2014)
Stanley's Diner. (Peachtree, 2014)
Stanley's Garage. (Peachtree, 2014)
Stanley is one helpful hamster, with lots of great tools
and equipment. In simple text and bold pictures,
Stanley spends his days helping one friend after
another. A perfect little series of little books for little
Picture Books

Artie Bennett, illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis.
Belches, Burps, and Farts, Oh My! (Blue Apple, 2014)
What's better than a book about gas? One with
unforgetable pictures and easy-to-memorize rhymes!
In typical Artie Bennett fashion (Do you remember
Butt Book
and Poopendous?) this book puts the
logical in scatological, making sense of the things we
all have in common without ever lessoning the
gut-busting humor. Watch out! If your kids laugh too
hard they might slip up and learn something!
Nonfiction Picture Book

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Zachariiah
Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! (Abrams Books for
Young Readers, 2014)
Now here is a destructive force of nature that many
little guys can relate too! Even when he is trying to be
good, Tyrannosaurus's energy, and the damage, just
can't be contained. In a classroom of good little
dinosaurs, T-Rex puts the terrible in terrible lizards.
Picture Book

Alan Lawrence Sitomer, illustrated by Abby Carter.
Daddy's Zigzagging Bedtime Story. (Disney Hyperion
Books, 2014)
It is bedtime, and Jake wants one book; Jenny wants
another. Jake wants one kind of story; Jenny wants
another altogether. Never fear, Dad is here, with a
story unlike any his kids have ever heard.
Picture Book

More Books For Boys
In the News:

Every Child Ready to Read and Early Literacy
by Michael Sullivan  for The University of
Oklahoma School of Library and Information
Studies, LIS5183 Books and Materials for

Reading Every Day Tulsa Kids Magazine,
November 2013

Raising Boy Readers: Video of a parent
program in Chelmsford, MA, March 26, 2013

Boys and Books: Wisdom from Michael
Sullivan, Jenny's Book Review, March 14, 2012

Never A Dull Moment: Body piercing? Extreme
sports? Teen pregnancy?  Welcome to the
action-packed world of hi/lo books, School
Library Journal, February 2012

New and Forthcoming Nonfiction, School
Library Journal Webcast, Mopderator,
September 29, 2011

Boys Will Be Boys, Citizen Reader, August 29,

Want To Meet a Published Author?, Ms.
Woulfe's Classroom Blog!, August 10, 2011

Breaking All the Rules, Eastern Express
[Eastern (NE) Library System], May/June 2011

Another Expert on Boys and Reading, Okie
Reads, June 14, 2011

More News Stories


He Said/She Said: Best Books for
Teen Boys, 2013
Presented at the New Hampshire School
Library Media Association, May 16, 2013
Past lists:    2009    2010    2011     2012

Listen to The Sapphire Knight on

Public Libraries: Enduring History   
Presentation from the Seacoast Library Cooperative,
June 24, 2011
Now available!
Raising Boy Readers
Library Journal Online calls Raising
Boy Readers
a, "game-changer...
cogent, thoughtful... refreshing doses of
real-world common sense.. annotated
book lists  are priceless... Amazingly
readable, understandable, and direct
advice. [
Read more]