Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book Review: 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

THE 2018 YOUNG EXPLORER’S ADVENTURE GUIDE edited by Sean and Corie Weaver is the fourth book in this annual anthology.
Containing 24 science fiction stories for middle grade readers, this short story collection includes a wide range of topics from robots to space travel. Many of the stories include diverse characters and connections to contemporary themes.
Librarians will find this anthology to be useful in introducing readers to new authors including both established writers along with newer authors. Of particular note are the many stories featuring female and diverse characters.
Published by Dreaming Robot Press on December 5, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Website Review: The Hidden Dangers Project

THE HIDDEN DANGERS PROJECT teaches children about the importance of clean water around the world.
The interactive website contains four stories focusing on clean water hazards including the bacteria monster, trash monster, metal monster, and chemical monster. Each section includes text, images, video, and interactive elements. The project also features a case study video discussing the project, a downloadable experience, and a 360 video.
Librarians will find this to be an effective resource in teaching about clean water. Collaborate with both social studies and science teachers for an interdisciplinary unit focusing on this global issue.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, January 29, 2018

Website Review: The Breadwinner

THE BREADWINNER is an interactive website and film based on the popular children’s book.
The story focuses on the journey of a young girl who gives up everything to help her family and reunite with her father. The website contains a movie trailer, an exploration of the story and its characters, a study guide, and an area where users can read stories and share their experiences.
Librarians will find the website and film to be excellent companions to the original book. Weave the book, movie, and website into both the language arts and social studies curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Book Review: The War I Finally Won

THE WAR I FINALLY WON by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a sequel to the award-winning novel THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE.
This coming-of-age, historical fiction novel picks up shortly after the first book ends as Ada prepares for surgery on her club foot. While dealing with the ongoing stress of war, Ada finds comfort in her horse, her brother, and her new family and friends. Lessons from her painful past help her deal with tragedy and also help others along the way.
Librarian will find both the original and the sequel to be a wonderful way to help children experience World War II. This sequel provides enough backstory that it can stand alone for class activities. Consider using both books along with other World War II novels in a literature circle exploring the war from different perspectives.
Published on October 3, 2017 by Dial. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Website Review: Word Counter

The WORD COUNTER is a website tool that counts words for social media posts.
Users type or paste in words. The statistics are then shown in a sidebar including characters, words, sentence, paragraphs, and pages in real time. The generator also shows word density and graphs text length against Twitter, Google, and Facebook post standards. A blog and FAQs provide additional information.
Librarians will find this a useful tool for their own social media posts as well as part of a lesson focusing on social media.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Website Review: Interland

INTERLAND: BE INTERNET AWESOME is an engaging web-based game teaching digital safety.
Produced with Google along with Internet safety organizations, this series of games helps children learn to make smart decisions about their use of Internet. The game explores a series of worlds focusing on Internet skills such as sharing with care, dealing with fake information, securing data, cyberbullying, and open communication with parents. In addition to the games, educational materials are available for teachers. Links are also included to more resources.
Librarians will find the game approach popular with students. Teachers will enjoy the standards-aligned curriculum materials focusing on digital citizenship.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, January 22, 2018

Website Review: Progressive Punctuation

PROGRESSIVE PUNCTUATION is a website showcasing fascinating punctuation marks.
This easy-to-use website features old and new punctuation that never became part of standard practice. Users move forward and back through examples that include a description, inventor, year, location, and appropriate uses of the marks. The resource explores how punctuation is used to bridge the gap between verbal language and written language. The project is intended to encourage conversations about written communication. Users can even download a font containing the punctuation marks.
Librarians will find that this website is a hit with English teachers. Use the website as a creative way to introduce punctuation rules. Encourage students to discuss their favorite punctuation marks and invent their own.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Review: What If You Had Animal Eyes?

WHAT IF YOU HAD ANIMAL EYES!? By Sandra Markle is a fascinating nonfiction picture book examining the science of eyes.
Each book in the series includes the same elements. Eleven, two-page spreads introduce animals and facts about their eyes. Comparisons are then made with human eyes. The book concludes with benefits of human eyes, the science of eyes, and how to maintain healthy eyes.
Librarians will find the “What If You Had” series to be fun way to explore animal characteristics. Use the six books small groups. Then, use the Build Your Wild Self website at to extend the experience through both science and creative writing.
Published by Scholastic on September 29, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Website Review: The Life of the Blue Whale

THE LIFE OF THE BLUE WHALE is an interactive museum experience featuring the skeleton of a huge whale.
Produced by the Natural History Museum in London, the website explores the history of whales, whaling, and the museum’s exhibits. The website is divided into three sections. The Ocean examines the era of whaling and the science of whales. The Hintze Hall section explores the huge whale skeleton on exhibit at the museum. Finally, the Collection area examines the history of the museum and the whale skeleton.
Librarians will find this interactive website to be an interesting way to explore whales, whaling, and history through the lens of a museum setting.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Website Review: Wonder

WONDER is a website exploring resources associated with the award-winning children’s book.
The website contains sections exploring the books, the movie, the characters, and the author. A teacher section links to educational resources including curriculum materials, and teacher-created materials. Information about the “Choose Kind” campaign are also available. Users can also download the free app containing daily affirmations.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful resource in extending the book and movie experience.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, January 15, 2018

Website Review: Curious Critters Club

CURIOUS CRITTERS CLUB is a set of technology resources focusing on the quest for fictional creatures.
This technology-rich project includes a website, apps, and interactive books. Users participate in a mission to help scientists find new creatures. Participants become members of the Curious Critters Club and explore a world filled with 25 fictional characters. The website is available in both English and French. An app involves users in an augmented reality adventure. Two interactive story apps are also available including CALL OF THE GIANT EAGLE and THE MYSTERY OF THE CADDY.
Librarians will find the website an engaging way to introduce fictional creatures to children. Involve youth in writing about the characters and creating their own. Use the resources to tie storytelling with mythology and cultures from around the world.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Review: Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

BEATRICE ZINKER, UPSIDE DOWN THINKER by Shelley Johannes is the first book in a new chapter book series exploring friendship and social issues.
Beatrice is a fun-loving child who loves to do everything upside down. However, she’s disappointed when her best friend shows up to school with a new look and a new friend. She must find a way to fix her friendship without losing herself.
Librarians will find this easy-to-read chapter book perfect for readers who enjoy stories of friendship, school, and home. Many children will empathize with a girl who likes to be “upside down” and the book’s frequent, quirky illustrations will keep children reading.
Published by Disney/Hyperion on September 19, 2017. ARC courtesy fo the publisher.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Website Review: A Digital Volcano

A DIGITAL VOLCANO is an interactive website exploring an active volcano in Nicaragua.
Sponsored by General Electric, this immersive online volcanic expedition tells the story of how GE scientists learn about extreme environments and apply the data to real-world projects. Users scroll through a series of interactive screens containing amazing images and video footage. Along the way, users learn about how scientists are using big machines and data to identify issues related to power and our planet. The project explores the first steps in designing predictive systems for the natural world.
Librarians will find this interactive website to be useful in helping students bridge the science curriculum with real-world science projects.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Website Review: Landmarks

LANDMARKS is an interactive exhibition focusing on Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites.
As part of their 150th anniversary celebration, this website celebrates Canada’s rich land and its history through stories and contemporary artwork. The interactive experience allows users to select a destination based on a night sky visualization. Users are then immersed into a particular location in Canada. As participants wander through the exhibition, they view images and listen to sounds, music, and stories created by Canadians. Many of the areas incorporate historical documents and other resources.
Librarians will find this website to be an interesting way to explore Canada’s natural and historical areas. Ask youth to select an American location and create their own interactive exhibition, story, sound, or piece of music. Build an interdisciplinary project that combines art, music, writing, and social studies.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, January 08, 2018

Website Review: Engineer for the Week

ENGINEER FOR THE WEEK is a computer science program for high school students to explore the world of engineering.
This week-long extracurricular program provides teens with practice applying computer science skills to engineering projects. The website is divided into the showcase, projects, and support. Materials are provided for both students and educators.
Students work in small groups with tools and resources to create products inspired by real-world problems faced by Facebook engineers. Participants use a systematic approach that involves design, development, testing, and iteration.
Librarians will find this website to be an excellent addition to their STEAM program resources. Consider incorporating the program into an after school club focusing on students interested in computer science and engineering.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Book Review: The Exact Location of Home

THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME by Kate Messner is a work of realistic fiction exploring contemporary issues including friendship, family, and homelessness.
Kirby, also known as Zig, is an electronics wiz who begins geocaching with his friends when he gets a GPS. While trying to hide his homelessness from friends and search for his missing father, he must also deal with the daily life of a middle grade life.
Librarians will find that this realistic story explores a plethora of timely social issues including homelessness, single parent families, environmental themes, and school friendships. Use the book as part of a reading group exploring issues of empathy and compassion. The electronics and environmental focus may increase interest among readers who enjoy STEM topics.
Published by Bloomsbury on September 12, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Digital Spotlight: Ph.H. Gosse Collection

The P. H. GOSSE Digital Collection contains color drawings of insects.

Contents: The digital collection contains 49 color drawings of butterflies, caterpillars, moths, beetles, dragonflies, and other insects.

Classroom Connections: Involve students in selecting a drawing to use in a science project. Ask them to label the image and research the insect.

To visit the collection, go to

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Digital Spotlight: The Big Top Show

THE BIG TOP SHOW GOES ON is an oral history project focusing on the culture associated with the circus.
Contents: This oral history project was developed to preserve the voices associated with the tradition of the American “Big Top” circus. The collection contains interviews, video segments, classroom activities and additional resources.
Classroom Connections: Classroom activities aimed at grades four through six are available in the PDF format. Students will enjoy watching the videos associated with the project. The additional resources section contain an excellent set of links to extend the experience.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Digital Spotlight: National Film Registry

NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY SELECTIONS is a YouTube collection from the Library of Congress.
Contents: The collection contains thirty five films that have been identified by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Classroom Connections: Ask students to watch part of a film and discussion how it reflects the time period when it was produced.
Featured Digital Objects:
Popeye the Sailor
St. Louis Blues
Memphis Belle
To visit the collection, go to