Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Review: Pristine Seas

PRISTINE SEAS is a National Geographic project focusing on exploring and protecting wild places in the ocean.
This project features the work of scientist Enric Sala who has been exploring the unique ecosystems of the last wild places in the ocean. The goal of the project is to protect 20 places by 2020. Users click on locations around the globe to learn more about past and present expeditions. Readers can also explore the latest field work of scientists.
Librarians will find this website to be an interesting way to study oceans. Ask students to select one of the locations and write about what makes this area of the world unique and worth saving. Or, ask students to learn more about a creature who lives in one of these special locations.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Book Review: The Disappearing Spoon

THE DISAPPEARING SPOON by Sam Kean is the young reader’s edition of the popular science book.
After a brief introduction, the work of nonfiction is divided into five parts exploring different aspects of the periodic table and its history. Within each section are a series of chapters exploring specific topics associated with the section’s theme. The book concludes with the periodic table of elements, a glossary, bibliography, and index.
Librarians will find this to be an excellent addition to the nonfiction collection. While it will be a useful resource for students writing reports connected with the periodic table, it will be most popular among children who enjoy reading nonfiction for fun. Use the book as part of a nonfiction literature circle focusing on science. The text would also be helpful for high school students who find the adult version of the book too difficult.
Published on April 3, 2018 by Little, Brown, an imprint of Hachette. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Website Review: Data Africa

DATA AFRICA is an open source agriculture, climate, poverty, and health visualization engine.
Students use the interactive map to click on an African country or search by location. For each country, data is provided about agriculture, climate, health, and poverty. In addition, an introduction provides an overview of the country and its challenges.
Librarians will find this to be a useful resource for students working on research projects associated with countries in Africa. The visualizations will appeal to special needs and reluctant learners.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Website Review: Share My Lesson

SHARE MY LESSON is a free lesson sharing site from the American Federation of Teachers.
Containing hundreds of thousands of lessons, this website is intended to provide high-quality teaching materials for free. Users can access lessons by grade level or by subject area. In addition, standards connections and professional teaching resources are also available. A “top resources” area provides access to popular documents. Educators can also contribute content and share their lessons and ideas.
Librarians will find this website contains a wealth of resources across grade levels and subject areas. Of particular note are the sections focusing on social emotional learning and special needs students.
To visit the resource, go to

Monday, July 23, 2018

Website Review: Teaching Tolerance

TEACHING TOLERANCE is a website dedicated to educating youth about diversity, equity, and justice.
Sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the website contains classroom resources, professional development materials, and publications including their free magazine and other documents. The “Build a Learning Plan” area helps educators apply the four domains of social justice: identity, diversity, justice, and action to learning outcomes across grade levels. Users can explore the online resources by topic and examine social justice standards by grade level. Opportunities for grants and campaign participation are also offered.
Librarians will find this website provides a wealth of resources for the social justice curriculum along with more general suggestions for establishing an anti-bias education program. Connect the suggested activities with picture books, novels, and other literature focusing on importance issues related to tolerance.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Book Review: Astronaut Aquanaut

ASTRONAUT AQUANAUT by Jennifer Swanson explores the similarities and differences between deep space and deep sea exploration.
This visually appealing informational text includes an introduction and five chapters along with a people page, space-sea comparison, glossary, and index. Bright colored photographs, illustrations, and page layout add to the appeal.
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of space or sea exploration. Readers are invited to read facts, conduct experiments, try activities, and explore the lives of scientists.
Librarians will find this book provides an unusual and fascinating way to think about deep space and deep sea exploration. Weave the title into the science curriculum and work with science teachers to use the space-sea comparison as the basis of class projects. Create a display with books about both environments placing this title in the center.
Published on April 1, 2018 by National Geographic. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Website Review: Seeing Theory

SEEING THEORY is a visual introduction to probability and statistics.
Designed for AP high school and college students, this interactive mathematics book contains text and visuals along with engaging interactive visualizations that help learners view key concepts and examples in meaningful ways. The project is organized into six chapters with each chapter containing three parts. A printable draft is also available as a PDF.
Librarians will find this interactive textbook to be useful for students and teachers seeking a visual way to learn probability and statistics.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Website Review: Americans

AMERICANS from the National Museum of the American Indian is a web project connecting American Indian culture to everyday life in America.
Based on a Smithsonian exhibition, this website highlights how American Indians have been part of the nation’s identity since before the country began. The project uses artifacts to explore four historical events including Thanksgiving, the life of Pocahontas, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn as reference points.
Librarians will find this powerful exhibition to be useful in providing insights into how American Indian images, names, and stories have become part of history, pop culture, and the cultural identify in the United States. Work with the history to connect the website to classroom activities focusing on these four historical events.
To visit the project, go to

Monday, July 16, 2018

Website Review: Rethinking Guernica

RETHINKING GUERNICA is a web project exploring Pablo Picasso’s famous painting.
This website examines the artistic and symbolic values in Picasso’s painting produced for the Paris World’s Fair in 1937. The project includes a chronology exploring key events related to history and the painting. In addition, an itineraries section features stories, agents, primary source documents, and valuable background information. Finally, the gigapixel area of the website address the material nature of the painting.
Librarians will find this web-based project to be an excellent example of how artwork can be connected to contemporary and historical contexts. Use it to jumpstart in-depth inquiries into specific pieces of artwork. Ask students to create their own exhibition including a chronology, primary source documents, and an up-close examination of the artwork.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time

ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME is the first adventure fantasy in the Pandava quartet.
Aru Shah lives the Museum of Ancient Art and Culture where her mother works as an archeaologist. When Aru accidentally awakens an ancient demon known as the Sleeper, Aru must save her family and friends. Can she find the five legendary Pandava brothers and journey through the Kingdom of Death in time?
Librarians will find the connections to Hindu mythology appealing to middle grade children who enjoy other books featuring mythology such as the Olympians and Magnus Chase books. The female protagonist, fast-paced storyline, and Indian cultural themes will appeal to a broad audience.
Published on March 27, 2018 by Disney-Hyperion. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Website Review: Museum of New Zealand

The MUSEUM OF NEW ZEALAND provides rich teaching resources exploring people and places connected with New Zealand.
The website includes dozens of educational resources from across the curriculum. Of particular note are the lessons associated with language and art. Tales from Te Papa contains 120 mini-documentaries that explore the stories behind artifacts in the museum’s collection.
Librarians will find this resource particularly useful in classrooms learning about the countries of the world. The website provides a unique perspective on world events. For instance, children in the US often learn about World War I from an American perspective. This project contains learning materials that help students learn about the experiences of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Website Review: HarperCollins 200

HARPERCOLLINS is celebrating it’s 200th anniversary in book publishing.
This web project explores the history of HarperCollins as a publisher along with providing insights into the history of great books. Users can explore a timeline, stories, collection of titles, information about reading and writing, and a look inside the archives.
Librarians will find that this website provides a fascinating exploration of book history.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, July 09, 2018

Website Review: Habitats

HABITATS is a science learning game from Smithsonian Education.
Designed for grades three through six, this life science game asks students to match the animal with their habitat. Users drag animals into a habitat and are given feedback about the accuracy of their answers.
Librarians will find this interactive game to be an effective way to introduce children to animal habitats. Use the game to jump-start a science unit. Ask students to work in small groups and learn more about the animals in a particular habitat (i.e., desert, coral reefs, jungle, marsh). Build a learning display that includes books about the animals featured in the game.
To play the game, go to

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Book Review: The Astonishing Color of After

THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER by Emily X.R. Pan is a compelling, young adult novel exploring life, death, and family secrets.
When her mom commits suicide, Leigh is convinced her mother has turned into a bird. When this half Asian and half white teen visits her maternal grandparents in Taiwan for the first time, she slowly becomes immersed in the culture and begins to uncover family secrets that help her better understand her mother, her family, and herself. Flashbacks help readers understand what led to her mother’s suicide along with providing insights into Leigh’s friendship and romance with Axel.
Librarians will find that teens enjoy the magical realism elements of this novel along with the contemporary setting. The balance of hope and despair and the movement between the past and present will add to the appeal for teens readers.
Published on March 20, 2018 by Little, Brown, an imprint of Hachette. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Website Review: Google Earth View

GOOGLE EARTH VIEW is a web-based project containing a collection of landscapes.
Users select from dozens of hotspots on the map to explore satellite images of landscapes from around the globe. In addition to zooming into the location, the project shows the colors on a spectrum.
Librarians will find this project to be a unique way to help art students explore color, shape, texture, and patterns. Team with math, geography, computer, and art teachers for an interdisciplinary project connecting these four disciplines.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Website Review: Masters of Flight

MASTERS OF FLIGHT from National Geographic is an amazing web-based project focusing on hummingbirds.
In this multimedia article featuring a series of videos recorded with a high-speed, high-resolution camera, scientists studying the biology of hummingbirds share facts and insights into the unique flight of these amazing creatures. In addition to the main article, students can also explore a feature story, behind-the-scenes video, and interactive graphic.
Librarians will find this article to be an engaging springboard into an exploration of animal characteristics. Share the article along with nonfiction books about flight.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Website Review: Scaredy Squirrel

SCAREDY SQUIRREL is a website featuring the Michèle Lemieux’s popular character.
The website features information about the books and the author. The video section contains book trailers and announcements. The “Around the World” area includes a world map and sightings of the character. Over a dozen print activities are provided along with suggestions for parents and teachers.
Librarians will find lots of ideas for featuring this character in library displays and programs. Use the “Around the World” section to jumpstart you own neighborhood photography project.
To visit the website, go to