Good books are meant to be shared. Good books get us talking — and when we talk about books, we keep learning. We gain insight from other readers; we catch some of their enthusiasm. The act of reading, then, only starts between the covers of a book. It’s something that grows into our community — and keeps growing because of our community.

That’s why EBYR has made free discussions guides to accompany some of our best books. These guides are great resources for teachers or parents or anyone building a reading community for young readers.

Here’s what you’ll find in our guides:

  • Information about the author and illustrator
  • Thematic connections
  • Things to think about before reading the book
  • Useful vocabulary words to take note of
  • Questions to reflect on after reading the book
  • Fun activities or writing ideas for continued thought and exploration
  • Common Core standard references (in some of our most recent guides)



As summer vacation approaches, the activities and writing ideas in each guide can be especially helpful for parents trying to bridge the gap between school years. Children can learn about cultural heritage and tradition by designing their own quilt square (from the guide of I Lay My Stitches Down). They can grow their imagination by drawing themselves in a new world, just like Henri Rousseau (The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau). They can create a word map to show shades of meaning (The Right Word), make a collage illustrating a poem (A River of Words), go on assignment as a journalist during World War II (The War within These Walls), or create a medieval illumination (Brother Hugo and the Bear).

These guides are completely free to use and share, and they can always be accessed here on Eerdlings (under the “Resources and More” tab) and also on our website (under the “Teachers/Librarians” tab). Get started — get planning, get thinking, get talking — today!