Monday, April 30, 2018

Website Review: Shel Silverstein

SHEL SILVERSTEIN’s website contains resources and information about this well-known children’s author.
In addition to information about the author and his books, the website includes a section on fun resources including engaging, animated videos of his poems. Of particular note are the learning resources areas containing downloadable lesson plans, event kits, and drawing booklets.
Librarians will find the videos to be a useful way to introduce this poet. These narrated animations bring the poems alive and help children understand the rhythm of poetry reading.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Review: Votes for Women

VOTES FOR WOMEN by Winifred Conkling tells the true story of the suffrage movement in America.
This well-researched, fast-paced nonfiction narrative explores the women that fought for their right to vote. This engaging story explores the successes and failures along with well-known and lesser-known events. The Preface begins with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, but the rest of the book transports readers back in time exploring the key people and events that lead to that final vote. The book concludes with key primary source documents, a timeline, bibliography, notes, and an index.
Librarians will find this comprehensive account to be a welcome addition to the nonfiction collection for middle and high school students. The author’s use of primary sources throughout the book make it an excellent choice for evidence-based inquiries. The author’s engaging, conversational style will draw readers who enjoy narrative nonfiction for leisure reading.
Published by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Workman on January 17, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Website Review: Rockalingua

ROCKALINGUA is a music-based Spanish learning program for children.
The website is divided into five sections: videos, games, songs, worksheets, and picture dictionaries. Although a subscription-based option is available, many learning materials are available for free. The activities encourage repetition and include listening, speaking, reading, and writing elements.
Librarians will find this website to be a fun way to get elementary children started with Spanish language learning. Combine the website with picture books written in Spanish as well as language learning books.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Website Review: Steve Jenkins

STEVE JENKINS’ website explores the works of this popular author and illustrator of children’s books.
The website is divided into sections focusing on books and making books, science, and the author. A gallery and links are also provided. Of particular note are the video and pages that discuss the process of making books.
Librarians will find Jenkins’ essay about science useful for talking with children about his nonfiction books and why these types of books are important. Use the galley to inspire children to connect science with nonfiction writing and illustration.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, April 23, 2018

Website Review: Royal Institution Games

INTERACTIVE GAMES from The Royal Institution contains dozens of educational games and quizzes exploring science topics.
Users can choose from interactives related to chemistry, engineering, human body, microsites, natural world, and physics. From fighting insect attacks and battling predators to building a skeleton and acting as a forensic scientists, students have many opportunities to apply science knowledge in engaging environments. Students can takes quizzes on topics such as anatomy, DNA, and the periodic table.
Librarians will find these fun games to be useful in learning centers as well as integrating into the STEM curriculum. Fill a learning center with nonfiction STEM books along with a tablet for game playing.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Book Review; The Hazel Wood

THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert is a dark fantasy suspense for young adults.
Alice and her mother are unlucky in life and move frequently. When her mother disappears, Alice must immerse herself in the dark world of her recently dead grandmother’s supernatural world. Filled with strong and sometimes abrasive female characters and lots of twists, Alice along with her acquaintance Ellery must visit the creepy Hazel Wood estate in search of answers.
Librarians will find a following for this book among teens who enjoy fairy tale fantasy, contemporary mysteries, and dark thrillers. Fans of Alice in Wonderful and teens who enjoy literature will enjoy discussing the many literary connections.
Published by Flatiron, an imprint of Macmillan on January 30, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Website Review: Kevin Henkes

KEVIN HENKES’ website contains information and resources about this popular children’s author and illustrator.
The website includes author and book information, along with resources for adults and short videos. Children will enjoy the questions and answers section along with the book pages featuring his popular characters including Chrysanthemum and Lilly.
Librarians will find dozens of downloadable teaching guides and student activities to accompany many of Henkes’ books. Of particular note are four videos featuring the author discussing his books.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Website Review: Journey North

JOURNEY NORTH is a collaborative project website involving youth in tracking migrations and seasons.
This citizen science project is celebrating its 25th year. The program provides an easy way to involve children in real-world, real-time science projects. Teachers can choose from 20 different projects each year. While some projects run during a particular season, others are year-round. The website provides teaching and learning materials for educators along with news, maps, and an opportunity to report sightings.
Librarians will find this online project to be a wonderful way to get the entire school involved with citizen science. Set up a science learning station in the library to serve as the headquarters for the project. Include a map, books, and other materials to engage learners in science.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, April 16, 2018

Website Review: Laurie Halse Anderson

LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON’s website contains resources for students and educators.
Anderson’s website contains a biography, book list, blog, and educator materials. To extend the experience, explore her social media feeds including Instagram, Facebook, Tumbler, and Twitter.
Librarians will find her writing advice of interest to young adults. Weave it into an English lesson connecting books, authors, and writing. Be sure to check out her resources connecting the Hamilton musical with her books. Finally, Anderson’s page on censorship contains useful resources and links to weave into the curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Book Review: This is Not a Love Letter

THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER by Kim Purcell tells the heart-wrenching story of a teen dealing with the disappearance of her boyfriend.
When her boyfriend disappears, Jessie immediately suspects foul play. As the story unfolds, readers explore issues from their interracial relationship to mental illness and addiction. Told as a letter to her missing boyfriend, readers become immersed in the local community and are challenged to look beyond racism for answers.
Librarians will find this interracial love story to be popular with a youth who enjoy contemporary, realistic fiction. The compelling mystery and authentic characters make this an engaging young adult thriller.
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 30, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Website Review: Web Smarts

WEB SMARTS is an interactive learning experience focusing on digital literacy.
This online tutorial helps youth learn when to trust a website and when it avoid it. Students work their way through a series of screens exploring video-based examples and answering engaging questions. The experience ends with a quiz. A teacher page discusses how the website might be used with students.
Librarians will find this short, online tutorial to be an effective way to help students become more web literate.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Website Review: Mouse Circus

MOUSE CIRCUS is author Neil Gaiman’s website for younger readers.
Gaiman’s website is organized into the categories of books, author information, artists, extras, and videos. Of particular note is his biography and question/answers page. Children will enjoy playing online games connected with two of his books. Downloadable activities are also available.
Librarians will find useful information for introducing children to the works of Neil Gaiman. For teens, be sure to explore Gaiman’s main author website including his blog.
To visit his children’s site, go to
To visit his adult site, go to

Monday, April 09, 2018

Website Review: Teaching with Primary Sources

TEACHING WITH PRIMARY SOURCES from Thinkport Education contains a collection of inquiry kits.
This project contains almost a dozen social studies and history units using materials from the Library of Congress. The topics range from early American colonies to modern times. Each theme focuses on a question and includes a series of lessons and primary source documents.
Librarians will find this resource to be useful in teaching both inquiry and the use of primary source materials. In addition to the kits, be sure to check out the research learning modules and the additional resources.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Book Review: A Place to Start a Family

A PLACE TO START A FAMILY by David Harrison is a picture book focusing on animal shelters.
This informational poetry book begins with an introduction to animal shelters. Each two-page spread features a different creature including birds, sea creatures, and land animals. From nests and webs to tunnel systems, mixed media illustrations feature a wide range of animal homes. The book concludes with a review of underground, land, water, and air builders.
Librarians will find this picture book to be a useful addition to the nonfiction collection. The poems are perfect for a read-aloud activity combining science and poetry. Create a display featuring books that feature animal homes and habitats.
Published by Charlesbridge on January 16, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Website Review: Roald Dahl

THE OFFICIAL ROALD DAHL website contains endless resources for teachers, adults, and children.
This attractive website contains sections about the author, activities, book and character information, and a link to a blog with up-to-date information. The author section includes stories, characters, a timeline, and archive. The “create and learn” section provides lesson plans connected with reading, writing, creating, and playing.
Librarians will be particularly interested in the author timeline and information about how and why each book was written. Use this section to inspire young authors. Explore the blog categories and tags for activity ideas based on books. Also, consider their many “Dahl Day” activities.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Website Review: Fred Rogers Center

THE FRED ROGERS CENTER is a website dedicated to enriching the lives of children.
The website includes the Fred Rogers archives, initiatives, and more. The website contains a few examples from the archives. The initiatives section explores projects of the organization. The blog contains resources and ideas that connect with the project mission.
Librarians will find resources connected to the role of digital media and technology in the lives of children and families. Use the resources at the site to celebrate 50 years of Mister Rogers Neighborhood.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, April 02, 2018

Website Review: Joan Aiken

JOAN AIKEN’s author website provides children’s with information about this popular writer.
The Wonderful World of Joan Aiken is a website celebrating the author’s fifty years as a child’s book author. The resource contains information about the the author, her books, engaging activities, resources, and a bibliography. A link to the author’s blog provides up-to-date news and information.
Librarians will find the “What Do You Like?” page to be useful in helping children select interesting books to read. Students will enjoy reading the many letters the author has received from her fans. Use it to jumpstart a “letter to authors” activity.
To visit the website, go to