Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review: United States Encyclopedia

The UNITED STATES ENCYCLOPEDIA from National Geographic Kids takes a visually stunning look at America’s people, places, and events.
The attractively presented reference book begins with a chronology of U.S. history containing maps, timelines, graphs, and photographs. Sidebars feature key people, places, and events. This section ends with a look at Washington D.C.
Next, the book provides an in-depth exploration of the regions of the United States including the Northwest, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. Each section begins with a map and overview of the region. Then, details about each state are provided including a timeline, map, and key facts.
This fascinating reference source concludes with an examination of the U.S. territories along with facts, figures, lists, and key historical documents. In addition, resources, a glossary, index, credits, and a map key are provided.
Librarians will find that this visually-appealing reference book to be popular with middle grade students. Use it as the focus for a display focusing on regions of the United States. Students doing projects on states and regions will find lots of interesting background information to jumpstart their projects. However, they’ll need to go elsewhere for in-depth information about their state or region.
Published by National Geographic Kids on September 22, 2015. ARC provided for review.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton

THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON POET by Don Tate tells the inspiring story of the first southern African-American man to become a published author.
George Moses Horton grew up as a slave working on a farm in North Carolina. After learning to read he began to compose poetry. Although his slave owner refused to set him free, he was able to write and sell his poetry professionally until he was emancipated during the Civil War.
Tate’s attractive illustrations include verses that flow across many pages bringing Horton’s words alive for readers.
Librarians will find this picture book to be an excellent addition to their biography collection. Combine it with other author biographies in a library display. Or, include it in a collection of biographies related to slavery.
Learn more about the author at
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2015. Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

App Review: Cave Bro

CAVE BRO by Florida Virtual School is a fun interactive app focusing on healthy food choices.
Developed by the Florida Virtual School, this middle grades app uses a game environment to teach concepts related to choosing a healthy and balanced meal. Players work their way through 25 levels. Each level introduces new foods. In addition to game play, users also learn about specific foods and their nutritional value.
The colorful, attractive graphs and fast-paced games will be a hit with youth.
Librarians will find this to be a fun app to address health and nutrition standards. Collaborate with the health teacher to build activities that connect the app with the website and nonfiction books in the library collection.
Future versions of the program may include an exercise element.
To visit the nutritional facts website, go to

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: I Used to be Afraid

I USED TO BE AFRAID by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a powerful picture book exploring common fears of children.
The short book tells the story of a young girl who overcomes her fears. The brightly colored, two-page spreads introduce a fear such as spiders or being alone followed by a statement about overcoming the fear. The die cut illustrations will appeal to young readers.
Librarians will find this to be a popular book in the primary grades. Suggest the books to teachers as a read-aloud to stimulate writing and drawing activities related to emotions and feelings. Pair this book with others about common fears. Also, consider a display featuring books by Laura Vaccaro and a makerspace illustration station.
Learn more about the author/illustration at
Published by Roaring Brook Press an imprint of MacMillan. ARC from publisher.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Book Review: Rhythm Ride

RHYTHM RIDE: A ROAD TRIP THROUGH THE MOTOWN SOUND by Andrea Davis Pinkney chronicles the rise of Motown music in Detroit.
Pinkney’s smooth narrative will draw readers into the world of Berry Gordy and the rise of Motown Records. Featuring well-known artists from Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder to the Jackson Five, Pinkney connects key political and cultural movements including the Civil Rights Movement to the evolving Motown sound. In addition to the well-known artists, Pinkney also weaves in fascinating information about song writers, choreographers, and others who worked behind the scenes.
The many captioned black and white photos will attract many readers. Students doing research will appreciate the author’s note, timeline, discography, source notes, further reading, and index.
Appropriate for both middle grades and young adults, librarians will find this work of nonfiction to be an excellent addition to the library’s music biography collection.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by September 29, 2015 by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: Oskar and the Eight Blessings

OSKAR AND THE EIGHT BLESSINGS by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon is the heartwarming story of a new immigrant arriving in America in 1938.
Oskar has just arrived in New York City. It’s the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. As a new immigrant escaping the War, he’s trying to find his aunt’s house. Along the way he meets rich and poor, black and white, as well as anonymous and famous people. Acts of kindness from these individuals help him on his holiday journey to a new life.
The poignant story is filled with diverse characters that reflect the racial, ethnic, and religious diversity of New York City. The interesting sequential art and subtle colors add interest to this beautifully illustrated picture book. An author’s note provides interesting insights into the story, a glossary defines a few key words, and a map shows Oskar’s path.
Librarians will enjoy the connections to both Hanukkah and Christmas along with the historical themes. This moving story will make a wonderful addition to the library’s holiday collection.
Published by Roaring Brook, an imprint of Macmillan on September 8, 2015. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Website Review: Torn in Two

TORN IN TWO from the Boston Public Library is a website that explores defining events from the American Civil War.
The Virtual Tour examines people, places, and events connected with the Civil War. In the People section, users can explore the lives of a dozen different people impacted by the war. Students can explore their lives before, during, and after the war. In addition, users can examine maps related to their experiences and a timeline of events. The Places section provides access to period maps of the world, regions of the United States, and individual states. Finally, the timeline features maps, photographs, and other documents related to key events before, during, and after the war.
Curriculum guides are available for elementary, middle, high school, and special curriculum. These include standards-based lessons, students sheets, and supporting materials.
Librarians will find this website to be an effective way to illustrate the role of maps in understanding history. Consider collaborating with the history teacher on a project focusing on primary source materials, map reading, and history.
Sponsored by the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, the Torn in Two experience can be extended by exploring other maps in the library’s collection.
To visit the website, go to
To try the Virtual Tour, go to…/take-the-virtual-tour.
To download Teacher Resources, go to

Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review: Extreme Planet

EXTREME PLANET by National Geographic Kids follows Carsten Peter’s adventures exploring intense environments around the world.
In each exciting chapter, author Carsten Peter explores a different amazing landscape including volcanoes, glaciers and ice sheets, deserts, caves, canyons, and other extreme places. The topics feature maps, diagrams, and full color photographs. In addition to an interesting narrative, each chapter also includes expert tips, notes from the field, necessary gear and gadgets, and sidebars containing related facts.
Activities are woven throughout the book. Youth learn to make a tornado in a bottle, use a topographical map, and grow stalactites. The book also includes a glossary, resources, activity ideas, and an index.
Librarians will find that youth enjoy following an explorer visiting exciting destinations around the work. Connect the book with nonfiction works focusing on the science of each destination such as volcanoes and caves.
Published by National Geographic Kids on October 13, 2015.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Technology Review: Images of Change

IMAGES OF CHANGE is an visually-rich science website and app from NASA.
Both the website and app contain similar features.
From natural disasters to growing cities, users take a close-up look at pairs of images that show before and after scenes. Students can see glaciers that have melted, the devastation from floods and wildfires, and the impact of humans in different settings.
Each photo pair contains background information and a map showing its location. Photo pairs are shown side-by-side. With the app version, images can also be viewed individually or overlaid with a curtain slider to make comparisons easier.
Users can browse through the images or select categories including cites, extreme events, ice, human impact, water, land cover, top picks, and most recent. Images can also be viewed on a map.
Librarians will find uses for the images across the curriculum including both science and social science topics and issues. Use the image pairs to jumpstart discussions or as the basis for an exploration of topics related to climate change.
Because the project is from NASA which is a government agency, students can use their images in their projects. The website contains an option to download the image and also shows how to credit the source.
To explore the website, go to

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book Review: The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents... series

THE STRATFORD ZOO MIDNIGHT REVUE PRESENTS graphic novel series by Ian Lendler and Zack Giallongo is an engaging way to introduce youth to the works of Shakespeare.
Designed for the middle grades, Macbeth is the first book in this graphic novel series. A group of animals puts on plays for an animal audience at their zoo. Their first production is MacBeth. This child-friendly retelling includes the basic structure of the play along with hilarious comments from the audience during the performance. Although the most famous lines are evident, the play is shortened to focus on just the key elements.
Romeo and Juliet is the second book in this growing graphic novel series. In this fantasy adaptation of the famous play, animals are both the actors and the audience members. The brightly colored illustrations will draw young readers into the story and provide an engaging introduction Shakespeare for middle grade youth.
Librarians will find this series to be a wonderful way to introduce Shakespeare’s greatest works. Consider building literature circles that focus on each of Shakespeare’s key works.
To learn more about Ian Lendler, go to
To learn more about Zack Giallongo, go to
Published by FirstSecond, an imprint of Macmillan.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Technology Review: Global Shark Tracker

GLOBAL SHARK TRACKER by Ocearch is a science app and website that allows users to track the movement patterns of sharks using a satellite tracking system.
Both the app and website contain the same features.
In the Shark Tracker section, users can track sharks by recent activity, gender, stage of life, or location tags. Shark locations can be explored on a world map. Clicking a shark presents a photo, date, gender, tag date, and location. Clicking the “view more” option provides additional information including the shark’s name, species, stage in life, physical characteristics, and miles traveled. A description provides details such as the shark’s life experiences. It’s also possible to see the path where the shark has traveled.
The Science section provides detailed information about the science behind the project including the approach, methodology, research projects, expeditions, scientists involved, and papers published.
The Education area provides STEM lessons for Grades 3-5 and 6-8.
Users can also use the website and app to connect with the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Blogger social media resources.
Librarians will find this science app to be an engaging way to learn about the navigation patterns of sharks. Pair the app with nonfiction books about sharks and shark conservation.
To visit the website, go to

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review: Watch Out for Flying Kids

WATCH OUT FOR FLYING KIDS by Cynthia Levinson tells the true story of teen circus performers from varied backgrounds who come together to confront issues related to racism, tribalism, and other social obstacles.
Following nine circus performers in two different circuses, this fascinating work of nonfiction describes a unique arts education movement that brings together teens with varied backgrounds. The story is told chronologically over a ten year period ending in 2014.
The many photographs and other illustrations will draw student interest. Sidebars provide background information and insights into the book’s many interesting youth. Engaging section headings within the chapters reflect the thoughts of youth. The book includes a pronunciation guide, prologue, afterword, author’s note, and index in addition to the body of text.
Librarians will find the youth circus theme provides an fascinating context for exploration of social issues. Consider using this book as a focus point for a discussion of diversity. Combine this book along with others focusing on social issues as part of a nonfiction literature circle. Use maps along with other nonfiction books to help students understand issues related to racism and tribalism.
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2015. Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

App Review: LeafSnap

LEAFSNAP is a comprehensive field guide app focusing on tree species and their leaves.
Developed by researchers at Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution, the free app includes high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruits, petioles, seeds, and bark to help with tree identification. An onscreen ruler, color guide, and leaf pattern legend is useful in leaf identification.
The Browse section allows users to search for a particular tree and organize trees by common or scientific name. Users can also switch among the leaf mode and other views.
Using location software and mapping tools, the app will identify trees in your area. However this feature is only effective in some areas.
Users can take photos of leaves and create their own database of leaf photos for quick reference. In addition, the app uses visual recognition software to help identify trees based on photographs of their leaves.
Librarians will find this app to be a great addition to their science app collection. Both iPhone and iPad versions are available.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: Symphony for the City of the Dead

SYMPHONY FOR THE CITY OF THE DEAD by M.T. Anderson tells the compelling true story of composer Dmitri Shostakovich known for the symphony he created during the Siege of Leningrad.
This outstanding biography chronicles the life of Dmitri Shostakovich and his passion for music and the city he loves. After an engaging prologue that sets the stage, the book details the composer’s childhood through early adulthood. The middle section of the work focuses on the Siege of Leningrad, Shostakovich’s work on what become known as the Leningrad Symphony, and the impact of the symphony around the world. The book concludes with the legacy of the symphony, the end of World War II, and the rest of Shostakovich’s life.
Librarians will find that both performing arts and history students will find the book appealing. Much more than a biography, this story of bravery and patriotism explores not only the life of a person but also the history of a country, a city, and a symphony. Youth who enjoy biography will be drawn to the conversational narrative and inspiring storyline.
There are many excellent biographies for middle school youth and adults, but few quality works written for serious young adult readers. This biography contains the in-depth research expected of an adult work without the length and detail that can bog down high school scholars. The author’s note, source notes, bibliography, and index will be useful for student researchers ready to learn more.
Look for this magnificent biography to appear at the top of many awards lists for 2015.
Listen to Symphony No. 7 Op. 60 at
Explore the score for Symphony Number Seven at
Published by Candlewick on September 22, 2015.

Monday, November 16, 2015

App Review: Shakespeare

SHAKESPEARE by PlayShakespeare is a free app containing the complete works of Shakespeare.
With 41 plays, 154 sonnets, and 6 poems, students can search by exact or relaxed words or phrases. The free version contains options for changing color combinations along with fonts and text sizes. In addition to the text itself, students can also read detailed scene breakdowns.
The pro-version contains line numbers, a glossary, and other useful additional features.
Librarians will find this to be a practical resource for students seeking the works of Shakespeare for their English classes.
To learn more about the app, go to

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book Review: By the Numbers

BY THE NUMBERS: 110.01 COOL INFOGRAPHICS from National Geographic Kids is packed with amazing statistics, facts, and figures.
The book begins with an introduction to infographics and a table of contents providing quick access to specific types of visuals such as word clouds, heat maps, and timelines. Each two-page spread contains an attractive infographic containing facts, graphs, charts, word clouds, maps, photographs, timelines, diagrams, or other types of engaging images. Featuring measurements, trends, statistics, and other kinds of data, this book will bring numbers alive to middle grade readers.
Covering a wide range of subjects, each reader will find topics of interest to explore. Woven throughout the book are interviews with people who work with numbers ever day as part of their jobs.
Librarians will find this book to be a great way to connect infographics with math and information literacy. Create a display containing this book along with others featuring infographics. Provide youth with tools for creating their own infographic projects.
Published by National Geographic Kids on October 13, 2015.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Website Review: American Museum of Natural History YouTube Channel

The AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY YouTube channel contains hundreds of fascinating videos on a wide range of topics.
Dozens of playlists feature video collections of interest to students such as Kid Science, Nature’s Fury, Bison, Dinosaurs, Space, and more.
The videos range from very short clips to longer viewing experiences. Some of the videos provide an inside looking into how museum exhibits are created and the science behind the exhibits.
Use the search tool to seek out topics of interest within the AMNH YouTube channel.
Librarians will want to mine the channel for videos that can be directly connected to the science curriculum. Also, seek out STEAM related videos such as those related to science, math and origami.
To learn more, go to

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Review: Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America's Pioneering Woman in Space

SALLY RIDE: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMERICA’S PIONEERING WOMAN IN SPACE by Tam O’Shaughnessy tells the inspiring story of a scientist and astronaut who advocated for space exploration and science education.
Written by Sally’s long-time partner Tam O’Shaughnessy’s, this visually-rich photobiography is filled with personal photographs and artifacts including school papers, ticket stubs, letters, and receipts that provide intimate insights into the life of this very private person. What makes this work particularly appealing and unique is the way the author weaves in her own thoughts and memories of Sally throughout the narrative.
Although Sally Ride was best known as a space shuttle astronaut, this middle-grade biography explores the entire life of this famous woman. Unlike most works of nonfiction, this book doesn’t start with a Table of Contents. Instead, it begins with a prologue sharing the story of how Sally and Tam met. The book is divided into sections focusing on Sally’s early childhood, her tween and teen years, her college years, her time as an astronaut, and her life as an advocate for science education. The book concludes with a cast of characters, timeline, and index.
Librarians will find this to be a popular biography. It’s easy-to-read and highly illustrated making it particularly useful for reluctant readers. Unlike many biographies that examine a famous person at a distance, this book provides a very personal look at this private person. The author does a stellar job addressing Sally’s love-life using an age-appropriate approach. Although Sally will likely be known for her ground-breaking firsts as both a female and lesbian astronaut, the book focuses on her life rather than these labels.
It can be difficult to find engaging biographies for the middle grades. Look for this work of nonfiction on the best of 2015 lists!
Published by Roaring Brook Press an imprint of Macmillan on October 6, 2015.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Website Review:

DOSOMETHING.ORG is a website that encourages young people to participate in social change.
User answer three simple questions:
What are you passionate about?
How long do you have?
What would you like to do?
The system then provides suggestions for causes that might be of interest. Or, users can browse current campaigns.
Campaigns include a wide range of topics from science projects to building activity books for children in the hospital.
The What is DoSomething section shares successes and reasons for participating.
Librarians will find lots of ideas for connecting youth with socially relevant service projects.
Visit the website at

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

App Review: How to Make Origami

HOW TO MAKE ORIGAMI by Sergey Burlakov is an easy-to-use app demonstrating how to create dozens of origami projects.
The app features patterns in categories including birds, boats, boxes and containers, clothes, flowers, Valentines, and other models. Each project contains a series of easy-to-follow steps. Users are presented with step-by-step instructions presented as text and also visuals. Simple animations show the folding procedure for each step. These animations can be repeated if necessary. The animation speed can also be adjusted.
Perfect for makerspaces, librarians could create a whole station around this app by just providing paper to get students started. Provide students with books for more ideas.
This app is free, but contains ads across the bottom and occasional pop-up ads.
The app developer has other craft apps available including how to quill, make balloon models, how to bead, and how to model clay.

Book Review: Believarexic

BELIEVAREXIC by J.J. Johnson is a powerful autobiographical YA novel tracing a teen’s experience being hospitalized for treatment of eating disorders.
JJ appears to be a normal teenager. She does well in school and she takes dance lessons. She parties with her friends, but she doesn’t appear to be “out of control”. However, JJ knows she has a problem and decides that it’s time to face her inner-demons. Set in 1988, the story follows JJ as she enters a treatment facility for a combination of bulimia and anorexia.
What makes this real-world story particularly compelling is that the story comes directly out of the author’s journals. In addition, the author weaves informational pages into the story for those interested in the specific of her treatment and recovery. It concludes with notes directed at reader who might be suffering from eating disorders.
The thick volume combines a journal style with a free-verse and first person narrative approach making it interesting and quick and appealing to read.
Librarians will find this to be an excellent choice for youth wishing to learn more about the experiences of a teen with eating disorders. Combine it with nonfiction works for a display featuring adolescent risks and preventions.
The novel’s website is an excellent resource for those wishing to learn more about eating disorders and the origins of the novel. It includes links to online resources, the author’s journals, and other bonus materials.
To explore the author’s website, go to
Published by Peachtree Publishers on October 1, 2015.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Book Review: Stay!

STAY! by Alex Latimer is a captivating picture book about a boy and his dog.
After last year’s vacation disaster, Ben’s dog Buster will be staying with grampa this year. Ben’s dad suggests that Ben create a list of things Buster likes so Buster and grampa will have a good time. During vacation, Ben continues to think of ideas, so he sends postcards to his grandfather. In the end, grampa has some ideas of his own to share with Ben.
The adorable storyline combined with engaging illustrations make this book perfect for the target audience. Children will enjoy creating their own lists related to their pets.
Librarians will find a huge audience for this alluring picture book. Create a display with other books about naughty pets.
Learn more about the author at
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2015. Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Website Review: The Cancer Atlas

THE CANCER ATLAS is a website providing fascinating information about the global cancer landscape.
Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, World Health Organization, and the Union for International Cancer Control, the attractive and content-rich website contains sections focusing on different aspects of the problem.
The Data section provides access to an interactive map. Users view data based on metrics such as smoking prevalence, air pollution, or most commonly diagnosed cancer. This data can be presented on a world map or by specific country. Users can also display information on a list. A button is available to learn more about a particular metric. A comparison option is provided so users can compare data by country.
The Risk Factors section provides an overview to known risk factors along with specific factors such as tobacco, infections, diet and body composition, and UV radiation.
The Burden area discusses the global issues related to cancer noting issues in specific regions of the world.
The Taking Action area explores opportunities for cancer control.
Other areas include the History of Cancer and Glossary.
Librarians will find this highly-visual approach to cancer engaging for students. Use the website to promote your library’s many resources related to healthcare and cancer.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Book Review: Secret Coders

SECRET CODERS by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes combines an appealing action adventure with concepts related to computer programming.
When Hopper arrives at Stately Academy, she has a tough time fitting in until she meets a boy who shares her passion for solving the school’s mysteries. Together, they use binary numbers and beginning computer programming to unlock secrets kept by the school’s custodian.
Written for middle grades students, the graphic novel seamlessly weaves mathematics and computer science concepts into a witty school story. The attractive illustrations contribute both to the engrossing tale, as well as understanding of the math concepts.
Librarians will find that this book appeals to children who enjoy smart school stories. It also provides librarians with the chance to promote nonfiction books related to codes, computer programming, and robotics. Connect the book with makerspace activities related to STEAM. Mystery lovers will also enjoy the story’s unusual cast of characters.
Teachers will find this new series to be a wonderful way to help young computer scientists learn programming concepts. The memorable stories provide a meaningful context for remembering key ideas.
To learn more about this amazing new series, go to
Published by FirstSecond, an imprint of Macmillan on September 29, 2015.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Book Review: I Don't Know How the Story Ends

I DON’T KNOW HOW THE STORY ENDS by J.B. Cheaney is an engaging work middle grade historical fiction.
After her father enlists in World War I, Isobel along with her mother and younger sister go to stay with Izzy’s aunt in Hollywood. Hoping to impress a famous film-maker, Izzy’s cousin Ranger talks Izzy and her sister into helping him make a movie using a “borrowed” camera. However when a letter arrives from Izzy’s father, they reconsider the ending of their film and must face the real-world of war.
The movie-making theme may attract some readers who might otherwise avoid historical fiction. Librarians will find that youth are attracted to the movie-making theme. Show early Hollywood movies available at Internet Archive at Create a bulletin board showing early film makers and images from their movies. Then, set up your own video production maker station. Be sure to use editing features that turn the film black and white.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on October 6, 2015. ARC from the publisher.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Website Review: Admongo

The ADMONGO.GOV website helps tweens learn about advertising so they can become more discerning consumers.
Sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, the multimedia campaign teaches advertising literacy concepts through engaging interactive games.
After creating a login, students begin the experience by learning to navigate the gaming environment. They then work their way through a series of challenges. For students who prefer to skip the gaming aspect, an interactive text-version of the learning experience is also available.
The learning environment presents participants with a series of experiences where they learn to identify advertising and marketing messages. Then, tweens are asked to apply critical thinking skills to make informed consumer decisions.
Parent and teacher sections provide lesson places and teacher videos. Educational materials including lessons, worksheets, and family handouts are aligned with national standards. The materials can be downloaded or hard copies can be ordered for free. In addition, a help area and glossary are also available.
Librarians will find this website to be an engaging way to teacher consumer literacy skills.
To learn more, go to

Monday, November 02, 2015

Book Review: Stanley's Diner

STANLEY’S DINER by William Bee is an adorable picture book about everyday activities at a restaurant.
The story follows Stanley’s day working at a diner. Questions are woven throughout the text to keep readers actively engaged in the story. The large, easy-to-read text and bright, computer-generated illustrations are attractive and easy to understand.
Librarians will find that young readers enjoy acting out restaurant activities and talking about what happens in the diners they’ve visited. Consider creating a display of books from the Stanley series including Stanley the Builder, Stanley the Farmer, and Stanley’s Garage.
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2015. Review copy courtesy of publisher.

Website Review: Zooniverse

ZOONIVERSE is a website that provides users the chance to participate in real discoveries through citizen science projects.
This collaborative volunteer project lets users contribute to real-world, cutting edge research across content areas including the sciences and humanities.
Participants can jump into dozens of current projects including transcribing historical documents, recording the life of chimpanzees, and characterizing bat calls.
Daily Zooniverse provides engaging, quick resources and activities that would make great lesson starters.
The Talk area provides a place where users can ask questions. The Blog shares the latest project news.
The companion website, ZOOTEACH contains high-quality lessons and resources that connect with the citizen science projects in the areas of sciences, mathematics, humanities, and arts. Resources are available for K-12 and higher education.
Librarians will find the many authentic projects a great catalyst for inquiry and learning. Use one of the projects to jumpstart an investigation in your library.
Visit the website at
Visit the lessons at

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Book Review: Zeroes

ZEROES by Scott Westerfeld is a superhero action drama featuring a group of teens with unusual powers.
Ethan has a voice inside him who’ll say what people want to hear and Kelsie can control crowds. Along with other special teens, they face dangerous criminals.
While lacking the heart-pounding thrill-ride promised in the blurb, the book does provide a nice introduction to a series likely to be popular with teens.
Librarians will find that fans of shows like The Alphas, X-Men, and Heroes will be drawn to the superhero action and adventure storyline. However, those expecting Westerfeld’s steampunk or dystopian themes may be disappointed.
Published by Simon Pulse on September 29, 2015. ARC from Edelweiss.