Monday, January 13, 2020

Synergy: Bird Counts

Bird counts are a way to get the “big picture” of what is happening to bird populations around the world. Through the participation of hundreds of thousands of citizen science volunteers, scientists are able to better understand the complex distribution and movement of bird species.
Read the recently published children's book, then learn more through the websites:
BIRD COUNT by Susan Edwards Richmond and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman takes picture book readers on a Christmas Bird Count adventure. Readers follow young Ava and big Al as they carefully record and share their observations. The book concludes with information about the birds identified in the story. For lesson ideas, go to
Go to the Audubon website at for information about the Christmas Bird Count.
Held each February, the Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science website where bird watchers of all ages can count birds, share their results, and create a real-time snapshot of where birds are located.
Great Backyard Bird Count
ARC courtesy of Peachtree.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Synergy: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a public servant who became the second woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court.
Read the recently published children's book, then learn more through the video:
RUTH OBJECTS: THE LIFE OF RUTH BADER GINSBURG by Doreen Rappaport is the latest addition to the Big Words picture book series featuring legendary figures.
The Biography channel produces short video biographies on well-known individuals. Check out their video on Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
ARC courtesy of Disney-Hyperion.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Synergy: Moths and Natural Selection

The Peppered Moth is an example of evolutionary biology. The frequency of dark-colored moths increased as a result of the air pollution from coal plants during the Industrial Revolution.

Read the recently published a science picture book, then learn more at the website:

MOTH by Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egneius explores the science of natural selection and evolution using the peppered moth as an example.      

The Story of the Peppered Moth from SciShow Kids is a short video that explores the peppered moth and natural selection.

SciShow Kids  AZZ

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Synergy: Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) is best known as the father of Black History Month. However, he was also a scholar who sought out and preserved the story of Americans of African descent.

Read the recently published a picture book biography, then learn more at the website:

CARTER READS THE NEWSPAPER by Deborah Hopkinson traces the life of Carter Woodson from his childhood and life as a coal miner to his education and creation of Negro History Week in 1926.

The Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site from the National Park Service is a website that explores the life of this important historian.

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site

ARC courtesy of Peachtree Publishers.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Synergy: Cryptography

Cryptography is the study and practice of sending and receiving private messages. The discipline connects computer science, mathematics, and other subject areas.

Read the recently published middle grades nonfiction book, then learn more at the website:

CAN YOU CRACK THE CODE? by Ella Schwartz explores the history of ciphers and cryptography. Each chapter introduces a piece of history along with engaging activities.

Journey into Cryptography from Khan Academy examines hidden messages through history along with modern cryptography. Users are presented with real-world code breaking challenges to try.

Journey into Cryptography 

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Synergy: Vaslav Nijinsky

Vaslav Nijinsky (about 1889-1950) was known for his ballet dancing and choreography. Considered the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century, he was part of the Ballets Russes.

Read the recently published young adult biography, then learn more at the website:

THE GREAT NIJINSKY: GOD OF DANCE by Lynn Curlee traces the life of a dance prodigy and cultural icon from the early 20th century. Using original paintings along with artwork, documents, and photographs, the book chronicles his tragic story including his obsession with artistry and famous love life.

Vaslav Nijinsky: Creating a New Artistic Era is a website from the New York Public Library that provides a biography, information about Ballets Russes, Nijinsky’s experiences as a choreographer, his time in America, and an essay about his life and work.

Vaslav Nijinsky

ARC courtesy of Charlesbridge Teens.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Synergy: Internment of Japanese Americans

During World War II, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in concentration camps in the United States. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 authorized the military to round up both citizens and non-citizens alike.

Read the recently published graphic memoir, then learn more at the website:

THEY CALLED US ENEMY by George Takei, Eisinger Scott Becker, and Steven Scott tells the true story of Takei’s childhood in American concentration camps during World War II. The book’s stunning illustrations capture the celebrity’s experiences and reveal lessons that are still relevant today.

Densho is a digital collection chronicling incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The site includes the core story, an encyclopedia, digital archives, American concentration camp information, and many other resources.

ARC courtesy of Top Shelf.