Saturday, March 23, 2019

Book Review: The Poetry of US

THE POETRY OF US from National Geographic contains over 200 poems celebrating the United States.
Celebrating the diverse people, places, and passions of the United States, this beautifully illustrated poetry book is organized by regions of the United States. After presenting several poems exploring American in general, the book features poems connected to eight regions including the US territories. While the book contains many well-known favorites, it also contains some lesser-known poems and poets.
Librarians will find this book of poetry useful for social studies and literature activities. The colorful photographs and large format may appeal to children who might overlook other books of poetry. Feature the book in curriculum activities exploring regions of the United States. Use the poems as an innovative way to jumpstart inquiries of states and regions.
Published by National Geographic on September 25, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Book Review: Sanity & Tallulah

SANITY & TALLULAH by Molly Brooks is the first graphic novel in a new science fiction adventure series.
Best friends Sanity and Tallulah live on a space station and enjoy conducting science experiments. When Sanity’s top secret bioengineering project escapes, she and Tallulah try to find their three-headed kitten that’s being blamed for station-wide technical issues.
Librarians will find this humorous work well-received by both graphic novel and science fiction fans alike. Filled with STEM references, use this new series to promote an interest in science and technology. The diverse cast of characters, STEM themes, and space station setting will be a hit with readers.
Published on October 16, 2018 by Disney/Hyperion. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Book Review: Begone the Raggedy Witches

BEGONE THE RAGGEDY WITCHES by Celine Kiernan is the first book in the Wild Magic fantasy trilogy.
After her father is taken hostage by witches, Mup and her family must avoid the raggedy witches to save him from the queen who also happens to be Mup’s grandmother. Along the way, she meets magical creatures and people in her quest to find her father.
Librarians will find this intermediate grade fantasy popular with children who enjoy folk fantasy, forbidden magic, and Irish mythology. This quick read can be enjoyed as both a standalone and book one of a trilogy.
Published on September 11, 2018 by Candlewick. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Book Review: Dog Science Unleashed

DOG SCIENCE UNLEASHED by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen contains engaging activities for dog owners.
Featuring 22 hands-on science activities, this colorfully illustrated informational activity book is designed for children with access to a canine companion. The introduction describes how to use the book including safety guidelines. Four chapters feature a series of activities ending with a professional lab project. The book concludes with a glossary, information, and an index.
Librarians will find this book to be popular with dog fans as well as those interested in careers associated with animals.
Published by National Geographic Kids on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Website Review: Make:

MAKE: is a website sharing tools and project ideas for makerspaces.
While many of the project ideas are geared to the K-12 classroom, others provide activities focusing on personal and community-based activities. The website is divided into sections focusing on tested projects, tool guides, and maker spotlights. All projects are tagged for easy access.
The Maker Faire section provides ideas for starting your own community-based project and the Maker Shed area features hands-on kits, digital books, and other materials.
Librarians will find this website useful for identifying maker space project ideas. Of particular note are the many robotic and computer science project ideas.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, February 25, 2019

Website: Mood-O-Meter

TURNER’S APOTHECARY MOOD-O-METER is a web project from the Peabody Essex Museum.
This engaging interactive experience allows student to examine and analyze selected artwork by J.M.W. Turner. Thirty-seven works of this British painter are featured. Included in the project are unfinished works, experimental sketches, drawings, watercolors and prints.
Users navigate the website via a series of choices, spin a dial, turn a knob, and swipe to move an element. Students begin by rotating a dial to choose a journey, then select a color for your current mood. Next players are asked to choose a genre for light reading. Users continue by making a few more choices and the Mood-O-Meter displays a prescribed Turner artwork.
Librarians can use the website to analyze the temperaments that were used during Turner’s lifetime to describe moods, such as sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, sublime, and joyful. Connect the website with psychology and art teachers.
To learn more, go to

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Book Review: Breakout

BREAKOUT by Kate Messner is a fast-paced story exploring issues of social justice and perspective.
When inmates from a local prison escape, Nora Tucker’s summer vacation is disrupted as her family, friends, and the entire community deals with the impact of the breakout. Of particular note is the author’s use of comics, poems, text messages, letters, and news stories to move the story forward. The book concludes with an author’s note and wonderful book list for young readers.
Librarians will find this book popular with students who enjoy books containing documents as part of the storyline. The story’s balance of suspense and social themes will broaden the appeal. The novel’s focus on multiple perspectives will appeal to teachers wishing to use this book for class discussions.
Published by Bloomsbury on June 5, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Website: Authorial London

AUTHORIAL LONDON is a literary geography web project of the Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research at Stanford University.
The project compiles and maps references to London places found in the works and biographies of writers who lived there. Users can research the literary works of writers who lived in London. It allows students to explore and analyze curated passages from literary, geographical, and biographical perspectives. User can find out where famous and lesser known writers lived and figure out which writers lived near each other. Users click on a particular point on the map to bring up a list of authors associated with the same neighborhood.
Librarians can browse more than fifty authors and explore the places they lived and their literary works within dimensions of genre, form, period, social standing and neighborhood. Connect this website with social studies and history teachers.