Saturday, October 28, 2017

Book Review: Bowser and Birdie Novels

BOWSER AND BIRDIE novels are a mystery series by Spencer Quinn.
Told from the perspective of a dog living in the swampland of Louisiana with a girl and her family, each title features a mystery that threatens Bowser and Birdie.
WOOF introduces a dog named Bowser and the girl he lives with, Birdie Gaux. The first detective story focuses on a stolen stuffed marlin.
ARF features a house break-in that may be connected to the death of Birdie’s father.
In the latest book titled BOW WOW, Bowser and Birdie are immersed in a mystery surrounding to a shark and a missing fisherman. 
Librarians will find this sweet dog mystery series to be well received by children who enjoy detective stories and dog adventures. Children will enjoy the effective balance of suspense and humor. Recommend the series to children looking for a different approach to mystery stories.
Published by Scholastic. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Website Review: Youngzine

YOUNGZINE is a website sharing current news and events for school aged children.
This engaging website is organized into six categories including world news, science, technology, our earth, history, and society/art. In addition to text, most articles also contain images and sometimes an embedded video. Feature length articles are updated weekly and news flashes are released several times per week.
Experts are encouraged to submit articles in the area of science, technology, environment, culture/arts, careers, and life skills.
The Unwrite section features art, poetry, reports, and stories submitted by readers. Both children and adults are encouraged to contribute articles providing an opportunity for authentic writing experiences for students.
The Play Zine contains comics, contests, polls, jokes, and fun activities.
Librarians will find this resource provides both excellent content as well as an opportunity to involve students in real-world writing activities. Encourage teachers to set up their own classroom accounts to extend the experience.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Website Review: MetKids

METKIDS from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a project made for, with, and by kids at the art museum.
The website’s resources are divided into sections.
The Interactive Map allows users to explore over 5,000 years of art from around the globe using a zoomable map of the museum. Students click on areas of the map to explore the art through text, images, and videos. The Time Machine features artwork by time period, geography, and big idea. The Videos area of the website features short engaging clips focusing on the topic of creations, questions and answers, made by kids, or celebrations.
Librarians will find this to be an easy-to-use website for elementary-aged children. Teachers will find applications in both the art and history curriculum. Use the blog for up-to-date information on new resources and exhibits.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Website Review: Monticello Digital Classroom

MONTICELLO DIGITAL CLASSROOM provides a wealth of information and educational resources about Thomas Jefferson and his life at Monticello.
A companion project to the Thomas Jefferson Monticello website, this archive contains 693 media items, 155 lesson plans, and 54 articles. Users can browse by topic such as slavery, American Revolution, and the Louisiana Purchase. The resource provides opportunities for both students and teachers.
Librarians will find this comprehensive resource to be useful for K-12 social studies teachers. Many of the articles contain options for elementary, middle, or high school reading levels making them particularly useful for targeted, informational reading experiences. An emphasis on primary source documents makes this website particularly useful for the informational literacy curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Website Review: Quick, Draw!

QUICK, DRAW! is a crowdsource project intended to help a neural network learn to recognize doodles.
An artificial intelligence project from Google, this fun, crowdsource project allows the public to help with machine learning research. Users are asked to draw a picture while the computer tries to guess what’s being drawn.
Librarians will find this website to be an excellent way to introduce youth to principles related to artificial intelligence, machine learning research, and crowdsourcing.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Book Review: Press Start!

PRESS START! by Thomas Flintham is a new adventure series from Scholastic’s Branches chapter book collection.
Each story features a child playing a video game. Like the child in the story, readers are immersed in the game world.
GAME OVER, SUPER RABBIT BOY! kicks off this series featuring Super Rabbit Boy, the star of a video game. 
SUPER RABBIT BOY POWERS UP! features nasty King Viking who seeks special powers to defeat Super Rabbit Boy. Our hero must overcome a series of obstacles in the Secret Land to beat King Viking to claim the Super Power Up first.
SUPER RABBIT RACERS! Immerses readers in an exciting racing video game featuring Super Rabbit Boy, King Viking, and other characters trying to win the Super Cup Power Up challenge.
Librarians will find this series a hit among newly independent readers who enjoy video games. At least two additional books will be available in 2018.
Published by Scholastic in 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Nuremberg Trial Project

The NUREMBERG TRIAL PROJECT features thousands of primary source documents from the trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany.
Contents: This open-access collection includes both images and full-text versions of thousands of objects including trial documents, evidence file documents, trial transcripts, and photographs. In addition to search tools for locating specific documents, resources related to the Nuremberg trials can also be accessed by trial issue, people, and evidence files.
Classroom Connections: The collection would be a valuable resource for teachers exploring the topics of history, ethics, genocide, and war crimes. Ask students to examine a particular defendant or witness to gain insights into a particular incident.
To visit the collection, go to

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Colonial North American Project

COLONIAL NORTH AMERICAN PROJECT shares archival and manuscript materials related to the 17th and 18th century in North America.
Contents: With over five thousand items, this digital collection includes primary source documents related to social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine and religion. The collection also provides essays related to specific people, documents, and themes such as politics, and female laborers.
Classroom Connections: Integrate this collection into the history curriculum. Connect specific documents with thematic student inquiries such as slavery, war, and education.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Website Review: Roadside America

JOHN MARGOLIES ROADSIDE AMERICA PHOTOGRAPH ARCHIVE from the Library of Congress includes thousands of photographs from across America.
Contents: This large digital collection explores life in post World War II America. From drive-in theaters to old gas pumps, the photographs span the second half of the twentieth century.
Classroom Connections: Because there are no rights restrictions, students can use the works in their online projects. Students are sure to find a variety of interesting photos featuring roadside oddities. Ask students to write a short story based on one of the fascinating photos from this collection.
To visit the collection, go to,

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: In the Shadow of the Sun

IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN by Anne Sibley O’Brien tells the heart-pounding story of two siblings trying to escape North Korea.
When her father is arrested, Mia and her brother Simon must find their to the border without being captured by North Korean soldiers. Carrying a smart phone with forbidden photographs, the siblings must find food and avoid detection as they make their way across North Korea to the Chinese border. This story of survival will keep even reluctant readers interested.
Librarians will find this compelling adventure story to be timely. Share it with students who enjoy travel, adventure, and mystery stories. Consider using it in a literature circle focusing on current events.
To learn more, go to the website at
Published by Scholastic on June 27, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Website Review: Kids Cook Monday

THE KIDS COOK MONDAY is a website that encourages families to cook and eat together as a family.
This website contains resources for both adults and children. The About section features ideas for cooking as a family. The Resources area includes school program ideas, toolkits, and downloads to start a program. The Recipes section provides simple family recipes along with the opportunity to submit ideas. Finally, the News area features ideas and resources.
Librarians can use this website as the basis for an engaging library program, learning center, or display. Download the starter materials for lots of ideas. Build a healthy meals display that incorporates website materials along with cookbooks.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Website Review: Global Gender Gap Report

The GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT BROWSER tells an interactive story based on an award-winning data visualization from the World Economic Forum and Two-N.
Users scroll through recent global data showing gender equality data by nation. The story of gender issues is told through a series of compelling, interactive charts and graphs. This easy-to-use tool allows students to explore particular areas of interest such as regions of the world and changes over time.
Librarians will find this engaging tool to be useful in teaching concepts related to data literacy. Involve youth in using this dynamic tool to address their “big questions” related to gender equity. Of particular interest is the ability to visualize data by country.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, October 09, 2017

Website Review: XYZA News for Kids

XYZA: NEWS FOR KIDS is a news website and app designed for children.
This attractive current events site contains easy-to-read news articles organized into categories including world, government, arts, science, sports, technology, fun, and entertainment.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful resource for informational reading across the curriculum. The short articles, interesting topics, and colorful photographs are sure to attract student attention.
A subscription-based program is available that allows users to customize their news page and participate in the Junior Reporter Program that encourages youth to submit their own articles, interviews, reviews, and more.
The resource is also available on iTunes as an app.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Book Review: The Silence

THE SILENCE by Mark Alpert is the final book in The Six trilogy.
The trilogy revolves around Adam and the pioneer program that’s intended to protect society from digital threats. In this action-packed conclusion, Adam finds his new powers difficult to control. The Silence along with surprising revelations adds a new dimension to the trilogy’s storyline.
Librarians will find this trilogy popular with science fiction fans and those that enjoy robotics and technology.
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 4, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Echoes of the Great War

ECHOES OF THE GREAT WAR: AMERICAN EXPERIENCES OF WORLD WAR I from the Library of Congress tells stories from the Veteran’s History Project.
Contents: A companion to a larger “Experiencing War” project, this website contains three sections: Arguing Over War and Over Here, Over There, and A World Overturned. Each part includes an introduction, then connects users to specific narratives from the large digital collection. Primary source materials include audio interviews, photos, diaries, letters, and other materials.
Classroom Connections: Teachers will find this project useful in connecting the experiences of individuals to the larger war effort. Ask students to explore a narrative and compare their story with others.
To visit the collection, go to,

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Book Review: Song of the Current

SONG OF THE CURRENT by Sarah Tolcser immerses readers in an epic fantasy world on the sea.
Caro grew up expecting the river god to accept her as a wherry pilot. She hopes that a risky mission with a mysterious cargo will save her father and convince the river god to accept her. When things don’t go as planned, Caro must decide what she really wants out of life.
Librarians will find middle grade and young adult readers drawn into this captivating fantasy world. The sea voyage will be particularly appealing to fantasy adventure fans.
Published by Bloomsbury, an imprint of Macmillan on June 6, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Book Review: The Treasure Box

THE TREASURE BOX by Margaret Wild tells the moving story of a boy and his father who save a book after their library is destroyed during war.
This poignant story traces the life of a boy who helps save a book from destruction and later places the book in a new library.
Librarians will find this hopeful story to be useful in discussing topics related to war, emmigration, and cultural heritage.
Published by Candlewick Press on April 25, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.