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Pivotal Kids Books

The Bush Olympics


Listen to author, Mem Fox read her beautiful book


ĎRed Rubber Ballí Bounces in





What is it that excites you, makes you smile and fuels your dreams?

Click on the picture for more about this inspirational book for children.

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The ultimate child reading tutor. Ages 4 to 8.

Teaching someone to handle a Book



In cultures that have had little or no exposure to books, handling a book properly is a skill that must be learned.

[More on Reading in Families]


Watch a video of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 





Ages 4-8

Pirates : Robbers of the high seas

by Gail Gibbons

A high-quality, nonfiction picture book with colorful watercolors large enough to use in a story hour. The history of piracy on the high seas from ancient times, to the Barbary coast in the 1300s, to the buccaneers of the 1600s is told in a clear, readable style. Questions young children might ask, such as "What was the Jolly Roger?" and "What did the pirates do with their treasure?" are answered. A picture glossary of famous pirates is appended and includes two women, Anne Bonney and Mary Read.

 From $3.56 or request it free ...*


Ages 8-10

Best Book of Pirates

By Barnaby Harward

This slightly oversized introduction to piracy through the ages begins with a definition and ends with a page on "Pirates of today." In between are spreads on Caribbean and Barbary pirates, Chinese pirate chiefs, female practitioners of the trade, buried treasure, and more. Each topic is briefly covered in a paragraph of large-print text, supplemented by detailed captions for the numerous drawings. The colorful illustrations detail different pirate flags; a cross-section of Captain Kidd's ship, the Adventure Galley; an assortment of weapons; and plentiful scenes of pirates in action. This book will suit those children whose reading ability lies somewhere between Gail Gibbons's Pirates (Little, Brown, 1993) and Christopher Maynard's Pirates (DK, 1998). Both cover and content are sure to draw children to Harward's title.

 $6.95 or get it free ...*


Ages 9-12



by John Matthews


The dark, jacketless cover of Matthews' Pirates, one of the most striking covers in recent memory, features a mottled-white skull with a gleaming gold tooth, a patch over one eye socket, and, in the other, a red "jewel" imbedded in the hardcover boards. A browser's delight, this introduction to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century pirates in the Caribbean, printed on extra-heavy stock, offers plenty of information in a colorfully illustrated, highly accessible format. Nearly every double-page spread has a special feature: a facsimile of a document or playing cards to be slipped out of envelopes, fold-out pages, small books glued onto large pages. But even should some of these less-permanent extras abandon ship, there's still plenty to interest pirate fans, from the "Pirate Gallery" of short biographies to the detailed illustration of the vessel Queen Anne's Revenge, its parts carefully labeled. A time line, a glossary, and short lists of source books and recommended Web sites round out the presentation.


 $13.57 or get it free ...*



Big Book Of Pirates

by Chuck Tessaro , Anatoly Slepkov 

What a swashbuckling read! A dashingly illustrated hardcover packed with facts and trivia, this comprehensive volume explains it all, in thrilling detail: who the pirates of the past really were, their countries of origin, their crews, life on their ships, navigating the high seas, their weapons and methods of attack, and much more. Read about the myths, meet some famous fictional and real-life privateers, trace their routes on maps, shiver at accounts of their fearsome progress through history, and learn about archaeological pirate ship recoveries.

 $9.95 or get it free ...*


Ages 12 and up

Caribbean Pirates: A Treasure Chest of Fact, Fiction, and Folklore

by George Beahm

Is a pirate's life for you? Here's how to live the life of a Caribbean pirate!
Think you know everything there is to know about pirates, do you? Well me bucko, you've got a lot to learn, and here's where you can drink your fill!
Recommended by Pat Croce (of Pirate Soul) and two leading pirate magazines (No Quarter Given and Pyrates Way), Caribbean Pirates is an engaging look at pirate history through the lens of the Disney film franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean -- explaining fact from Hollywood fiction. With art especially commissioned by former Disney Imagineer Tim Kirk and 145 color photos, this book not only features over four dozen essays about pirate life ("Were pirates really hung?" and "Were there cannibals in the Caribbean?") but also a wealth of information on how to talk, dress, and live like a pirate: drink your fill at festivals, cruises, and museums with pirate exhibits. The book concludes with recommended resources (books, movies, and websites). A "no holds barred" look at the colorful cutthroats that cruised and plundered the Caribbean!

 $16.95 $13.22 or request it for free ...*


Pirates - Fiction

Ages 4-8

How I Became a Pirate

by Melinda Long (Author), David Shannon (Illustrator)

Young Jeremy Jacob is plucked from obscurity while innocently constructing a sand castle and is thrust into a brand-new life as a pirate. Captain Braid Beard and his crew recognize Jeremy as an exceptionally talented digger and they happen to be in desperate need of a digger to help them bury a treasure chest. Jeremy thinks a pirate life sounds like fun, as long as heís back the next day in time for soccer practice, and so he goes along with the ragtag group of seafaring thugs (with hearts of gold, naturally). And while Jeremy adores the piratesí lack of table manners and opposition to vegetables, he comes to realize that a life away from his parents lacks some of the niceties to which heís become accustomed. Nobody tucks him in at night, for instance, and the only book available to read is a treasure map. Melinda Longís story, narrated with a sense of boastful exaggeration by Jeremy, is full of a sense of high adventure that's lovingly evocative of Robert Louis Stevensonís classic tales. David Shannon's illustrations, full of a goofy vibrancy, are a perfect accompaniment to the story.

 $16.00 $10.88 or request it for free


Edward and the Pirates

by David McPhail

Now that Edward from Santa's Book of Names has learned how to read, he reads everything he can, from cereal boxes at breakfast to storybooks at bedtime. Sometimes the stories that Edward reads seem real, and once he even thinks he sees a dinosaur peeking into his bedroom window.

Edward likes all kinds of books, but his favorites are adventure stories. One night, when Edward falls fast asleep while reading a book he borrowed from the library, he suddenly awakes to find his bed surrounded by fierce pirates! What will Edward do?

Glorious paintings and a winsome text capture both the ordinary and fantastic worlds of reading and the ability of one small boy to use his imagination.

 $16.99 $11.55 or request it for free


Ages 9-12

Jack Jones and the Pirate Curse

by Judith Rossell


A popular Australian illustrator demonstrates that she can also spin a good yarn. When young Jack Jones inherits the family curse, the result of a long-ago betrayal by his ancestor Blackstrap Morgan, his world becomes unstable: his schoolroom turns into a ship; shop clerks and teachers become stalking pirates; and his socks are transformed into tarantulas. Jack is terrified by the attacks, made worse by the constant commentary of a talking parrot, Poll. No fighter, Jack knows he will have to use his brain to outwit the revengeful pirates, and, with a little luck, he does. Although somewhat stereotypical, secondary characters add humor: Jack's father withdraws to swim laps in the family pool day and night; taking a different tack, Jack's mother calls in experts from Europe and tries to keep her son isolated. Only Jack's friend Rachel is helpful in a fight. Middle-grade readers will enjoy the dialogue, spiced with pirate slang. Straightforward third-person narrative and fast-paced action make this a good choice for the reluctant reader.

 $15.95 $12.92 or request it for free

The Indoor Pirates


by Jeremy Strong



Ages 12+


Treasure Island

 by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island is perhaps THE classic pirate's tale. Robert Louis Stevenson, the author, created a rich story of adventure and treachery on the high seas all seen through the eyes of a boy named Jim Hawkins. Jim starts off as the son of tavern owners in a humble little port village. When an old seaman stays at the tavern, trouble soon follows him in the form of a pirate crew seeking revenge. I will not give away any more specific plot points, but events move forward to a great treasure hunt, treachery, and a surprisingly engaging story for adults as well as children.

Jim Hawkins is the hero of the story and he's a good lad with a stout heart. Long John Silver is the real star, however, and his character is a fascinating character study in moral ambiguity... or perhaps a study in amoral perfection. The pirate language is good and thick but this edition has plenty of notes to help you decipher some of the references that have become too obscure for today's readers. The plot moves along very briskly with no wasted scenes.

In short, Treasure Island well deserves its status as a beloved classic. It's a story of suspense and adventure that can be enjoyed at a child's level, but has substance for adults as well.

 $7.99 or request it for free


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Pivotal Public Speaking Friday Fun

Thought for

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Whizz Kids
Pivotal Families Pivotal Personal Best
Pivotal Teachers  







The story of a boy who becomes a caveman. Wonderfully animated with sound effects and a self marking comprehension test at the end! You have the option to have this story read to you with real audio! (right off the web!) or learn to read difficult story words before starting. It's all on the next page!

[More Books and reading for Kids]


In order to save his gravely ill mother, Artemis Fowl must travel back through time to steal the cure from the clutches of the young criminal mastermind. Artemis Fowl. That's right. With fairy ally Captain Holly Short by his side, Artemis is going back in time to do battle with himself.

Let the misadventure begin.

click on the picture

The Books in the Artemis Fowl series


Test Stress

For many of us, the real stress begins when a test actually starts. Here are ten important ways to manage that stress and do your best on an exam:

Ten Terrific Test-Taking Tips


For children, sight word recognition is an important step to being able to efficiently learn to read. If they donít have to stop and consider what each word is, they will have the freedom to comprehend the meaning and context of sentences and paragraphs.
Consequently, itís critical for parents, babysitters, guardians, grandparents and educators to help beginning readers



Reading snippets

Have fifth graders each read a snippet over the
intercom each morning. One snippet is for PreK-2 and the other is 3-5. It is a few sentences from a popular book, must include the main character's name. Children can guess the title of the book. One winner is chosen for each group per day. Rewards are either left over bookfair books or a coupon to check out additional books.

[More about Reading in Schools]


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