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O collective brain:

I've often had this idea when reading a book that there is a natural  
companion to that book out there.  And it would be nice to have a  
display of such books.  For example, tonight while reading The  
Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill, I thought it would be a good  
pair with Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen, but also with Bill Rancic's Beyond  
the Lemonade Stand, depending on whether the reader in question wants  
more fiction or some nonfiction.  It's easy for me to come up with  
fiction pairings, but not so easy for me to naturally pair fiction and  

So I'm looking for ideas about how to pair great, current middle grade  
fiction and nonfiction books.  I don't want to force it, or just say,  
"Pair this book with a book about x, y or z."  I want great books on  
both sides.  This could be a fabulous way to highlight some award- 
winning nonfiction.

Do you have any natural pairings in your brain?   (I know there are  
great books about pairing fiction and nonfiction, but they won't have  
new fiction in them.)

Perhaps I could think of a few more:

The Lightning Thief with the D'Aulaires Greek Myths book (or is there  
a more popular one?)
Fever 1793 with An American Plague (of course)
The Great Fire with Paul Janeczko's Worlds Afire (not the same fire,  
but same idea)

Thanks, and I will compile a HIT at the end of the week.

-Maggi Idzikowski
Media Specialist
Allen Elementary School, Ann Arbor MI
Blogging with my 3-year-old at

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