Category Archives: Show Notes

Episode 42: Happy Middle Grade March

The Two Lit Mamas celebrate Middle Grade March with random selections from their TBR piles before they collapse and crush them. Margie went for funny superheroes, of course, while Heather dug into a survival story that was a little too real. Listen in as the Mamas gush over poetry (shocker, right?), get on their soap box in defense of graphic novels (not a shocker), and share their favorite female MCs from middle grade books in honor of Women’s History Month (totally on brand). 

Book Chat:

The Super Villain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid by Matt Wallace

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Bat Pig Series: When Pigs Fly by Rob Harrell

Pick 6: Favorite Female MCs from MG books

  1. Margaret from Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Bloom
  2. Jesse Keyser from Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  3. Iris from Song for a Whale by Lynn Kelly
  4. Esperanza from Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  5. Ada from the War that Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  6. Mimi Mackson from Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Episode 40: Time Traveling Middle Graders

In todays book chat, the SciFi loving Mamas are giddy about two new time travel Middle Grade books (for 8-12 year olds) that take them back 5 years and 500 years. But, before they get started the Mamas share their fantasy time travel vacays, including sipping tea with Abigail Adams and throwing down with the magnificent Ottomans. Don’t worry! The Mamas won’t let you get stuck in the past (especially the ’80s) so jump aboard the time machine and laugh along with Two Lit Mamas.

Book Chat:

DaVinci’s Cat by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Operation Do-Over by Gordon Korman

Episode 39: Pirates in Middle Grade Books

Arrrrr, the Mamas uncover buried treasure with three pirate-themed books for Middle Graders readers (aged 8-13) in the 39th episode of Two Lit Mamas Podcast. Their high seas discussions quickly freeze over with six tips for beating the winter blahs that don’t include walking the plank. Join them if you dare!

Book Chat:

  1. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
  2. Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
  3. Pirate Queens: Dauntless Women Who Dared to Rule the High Seas by Leigh Lewis, illustrated by Sara Gomez Woolley


Pick 6: How the Mamas beat the winter blahs

  1. Lots of carbs, including homemade bread, French pastries, and pretzels. Yes, please!
  2. Get cozy with Danish Hygge and throw another log on the fire.
  3. Game the system with games.
  4. Embrace the Swedish mantra “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  5. Murder in books, movies, TV shows and podcasts
  6. Make your family mission statement “Always Be Learning.”

Episode 38: Twisted Fairy Tales for Modern Middle Graders

For the first episode of the new year, the Mamas are kicking it at the back of the class, reading twisted fairy tales, passing notes about their latest obsessions (we’re looking at you Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum); while keeping their heads down and hoping to stay under the radar of Mrs. 2022’s evil glare. Come join the rebels in the back – this is your two-minute warning!

Book Chat: 

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani

Pick 6: Our 2022 Obsessions

  1. Trashy Reality TV
  2. Bigelow Green Tea with Elderberry
  3. Maker Spaces & Loose Parts Play
  4. Welcome to Earth with Will Smith on Disney+
  5. The World According to Jeff Goldblum on Disney+
  6. Prepping for High School graduation

Episode 37: Holiday Gift Guide for Ages 0-9

Need gift suggestions for your kiddos this holiday? The Mamas have your back with board book, picture book, and chapter book recommendations. And, if book recommendations from Two Mamas isn’t enough for you, we’ve invited a Third Mama, author Rebecca Mullin, to help us get this holiday party started. 

Board Book Recommendations (ages 0-3):

The Lovely Haze of Baby Days by Lindsay Kellar-Madsen

The Night is Deep and Wide by Gillian Sze, illustrated by Sue Todd  

One Tomato by Rebecca Mullin, illustrated by Anna Mullin 

Picture Book Recommendations (ages 3-7):

Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Alea Marley

A Vote for Susanna, the First Woman Mayor by Karen M. Greenwald, illustrated by Sian James

How to Change the World in 12 Easy Steps by Peggy Porter Tierney, illustrated by Marie Letourneau. 

Chapter Books (ages 6-9): 

The Secret Explorers series by SJ King 

The Ninja Kid series by Anh Do

JD the Kid Barber Series by J Dillon

The Pug Who Wanted to Be…..  by Bella Swift

Definitely Dominguita series by Terry Catasus Jennings

Show Links:

Bookshop.org

Twolitmamas.com

The first two people to leave a comment on this blog post will receive a free copy of One Tomato by Rebecca Mullin, illustrated by Anna Mullin!!

Episode 35: Middle Grade Horror

In the Halloween episode, the Mamas admit they share a brain (FYI, it’s kept in a jar in a mad scientist’s lab). How do they know they share a brain? Because they each picked a Middle Grade horror book from the same author without realizing it. Fortunately, they were creeped out in the best possible way by an author who’s the latest hot horror ticket. Plus, sinister cats! 

Book Chat:

Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

What Lives in the Woods by Lindsay Currie

Pick 6: More scary books for your MG devil babies

1. The Thirteenth Cat by Mary Downing Hahn

2. Root Magic by Eden Royce

3. The Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes

4. Nightbooks by J.A. White

5. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

6. Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

(Bonus) 7. Dark Waters by Katherine Arden

Episode 34: Latinx Heritage in Middle Grade

In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, the Mamas are thrilled to share two Middle Grade books oozing with Mexican mythology and Día de los Muertos inspired adventures. So, gulp down some pan de muerto and grip your calavera while the Mamas make you cringe with fright (and hopefully not from their Spanish pronunciations). 

Book Chat:

Loteria by Karla Arenas Valenti

Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera   

Pick 6: Latinx Children’s Books

  1. Board Books: La Catrina series
  2. Board Books: Life of series by Lil Libros
  3. Picture Book: Dreamer by Yuyi Morales
  4. Young Adult: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
  5. Middle Grade: The Sea-Ringed World by Maria Garcia EsperonCurse of the Forgotten City by Alex Aster
  6. Chapter Books: Definitely Dominguita series by Terry Catasus Jennings

Episode 33: Middle Grade Books for Horse Lovers

Margie hates it but Heather’s inner horsey girl catches her stride in Episode 33 as the Mamas share their childhood memories of horses and explore Middle Grade books and resources in the horsey genre. The Mamas also get on their high horses and rant about banned books. Saddle up and hold on tight!

Book Chat:

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

The Compton Cowboys by Walter Thompson-Hernandez

Pick 6: Resources for Horse-Themed Learning Activities

  1. Horse Illustrated Online Magazine’s young rider tab
  2. The Equinest
  3. Horseloversmath.com
  4. Horsecrazygirls.com science fair horse project
  5. Przewalski’s Horse at the National Zoo
  6. Stacy Gregg’s Ponies A-Z

Episode 32: Sporty Stories for Middle Graders

The Mamas embrace their inner Sporty Spice (or Benchwarmer Spice) to share reviews of Middle Grade novels (ages 8-12) about gymnastics, football and soccer, as well as, the personal and family trauma that can sometimes be associated with sports. The Mamas also share six sports-themed activities for the classroom and home. Put on your athletic supporters and let’s get started! 

Book Reviews:


Pick Six: Sports-Themed Activities

  1. Fine Motor Skills: Basket Toss
  2. Language & Sensory: Mystery Bag with Sports Items
  3. Large Muscle Movement: Skiing on 2×4 Blocks
  4. Math: Add and Subtract Game Scores
  5. Science: The Physics of Football video and The Impossible Kick Ted Talk
  6. Geography: Pin Team Pennants to the City, State or Country on a Map 

Show Links:
twolitmamas.com

Episode 31: Middle Grade Books in Space!

In this episode, the Mamas get extra nerdy exploring the final frontier in the latest Middle Grade science fiction novels and short stories. So grab your communicators and listen in as they cover hermetically sealed post-pandemic apartments, talking heads, shape-shifting aliens, and murder on the moon.  Oh, it gets creepy, gross and dark, but you’re gonna love it.

Science Fiction MG Book Chat:
Cleo Porter and the Body Electric by Jake Burt
Moon Base Alpha Series by Stuart Gibbs
Weird Kid by Greg Van Eekhout
The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider

Pick 6: The Mamas favorite Sci-Fi short stories

  1. The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model by Charlie Jane Anders
  2.  Kin by Bruce McAllister
  3.  Bloodchild by Octavia E. Butler
  4. There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury
  5. Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.  
  6. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson


Reference Links:
Rethink ELA