Monday, December 30, 2019

Synergy: Moths and Natural Selection

The Peppered Moth is an example of evolutionary biology. The frequency of dark-colored moths increased as a result of the air pollution from coal plants during the Industrial Revolution.

Read the recently published a science picture book, then learn more at the website:

MOTH by Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egneius explores the science of natural selection and evolution using the peppered moth as an example.      

The Story of the Peppered Moth from SciShow Kids is a short video that explores the peppered moth and natural selection.

SciShow Kids  AZZ

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Synergy: Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) is best known as the father of Black History Month. However, he was also a scholar who sought out and preserved the story of Americans of African descent.

Read the recently published a picture book biography, then learn more at the website:

CARTER READS THE NEWSPAPER by Deborah Hopkinson traces the life of Carter Woodson from his childhood and life as a coal miner to his education and creation of Negro History Week in 1926.

The Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site from the National Park Service is a website that explores the life of this important historian.

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site

ARC courtesy of Peachtree Publishers.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Synergy: Cryptography

Cryptography is the study and practice of sending and receiving private messages. The discipline connects computer science, mathematics, and other subject areas.

Read the recently published middle grades nonfiction book, then learn more at the website:

CAN YOU CRACK THE CODE? by Ella Schwartz explores the history of ciphers and cryptography. Each chapter introduces a piece of history along with engaging activities.

Journey into Cryptography from Khan Academy examines hidden messages through history along with modern cryptography. Users are presented with real-world code breaking challenges to try.

Journey into Cryptography 

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Synergy: Vaslav Nijinsky

Vaslav Nijinsky (about 1889-1950) was known for his ballet dancing and choreography. Considered the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century, he was part of the Ballets Russes.

Read the recently published young adult biography, then learn more at the website:

THE GREAT NIJINSKY: GOD OF DANCE by Lynn Curlee traces the life of a dance prodigy and cultural icon from the early 20th century. Using original paintings along with artwork, documents, and photographs, the book chronicles his tragic story including his obsession with artistry and famous love life.

Vaslav Nijinsky: Creating a New Artistic Era is a website from the New York Public Library that provides a biography, information about Ballets Russes, Nijinsky’s experiences as a choreographer, his time in America, and an essay about his life and work.

Vaslav Nijinsky

ARC courtesy of Charlesbridge Teens.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Synergy: Internment of Japanese Americans

During World War II, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in concentration camps in the United States. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 authorized the military to round up both citizens and non-citizens alike.

Read the recently published graphic memoir, then learn more at the website:

THEY CALLED US ENEMY by George Takei, Eisinger Scott Becker, and Steven Scott tells the true story of Takei’s childhood in American concentration camps during World War II. The book’s stunning illustrations capture the celebrity’s experiences and reveal lessons that are still relevant today.

Densho is a digital collection chronicling incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The site includes the core story, an encyclopedia, digital archives, American concentration camp information, and many other resources.

ARC courtesy of Top Shelf.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Synergy: Opioid Crisis

For the past couple decades, pharmaceutical companies have pushed prescription pain relievers leading to their misuse. An Opioid Crisis has emerged leaving over 50,000 Americans dead and millions suffering from substance use disorders.

Read the recently published nonfiction young adult book, then learn more at the website:

DREAMLAND: THE TRUE TALE OF AMERICA’S OPIATE EPIDEMIC by Sam Quinones is a young adult adaptation of the popular adult book. Using a community in Ohio as an example, the author explains the rise of painkillers in America, their promotion by pharmaceutical companies, and the increase in illegal drugs from Mexico.

The Opioid Overdose Crisis website from the National Institute on Drug Abuse provides an overview of the epidemic, summaries by state, and related resources including reports, plans, videos, and infographics. 

Opioid Overdose Crisis

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Synergy: Makerspaces

Makerspaces are areas where people can create products using traditional arts and crafts supplies or technology tools such as 3-D printers or digital studios.

Read the recently published nonfiction children’s book, then learn more at the website:

MAKE THIS! by Ella Schwartz explores building, thinking, and tinkering projects for youth. Chapters feature facts and projects for topics including simple machines, materials, systems, optics, energy, acoustics, forces, and motion.

The Maker Education website provides starting points for over a dozen affordable tools and technologies for use in makerspaces. Each category includes a suggested web resource, project ideas, video links, and documents.

Maker Education 

ARC courtesy of National Geographic Kids.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Synergy: Woodstock

Woodstock was a three-day music festival held in the summer of 1969. The counterculture generation event is considered a key moment in rock music and 60s culture.

Read the recently published young adult nonfiction book, then learn more at the website:

WOODSTOCK: 50 YEARS OF PEACE AND MUSIC by Daniel Bukszpan explores the people and groups that made this festival such as memorable event. The highly illustrated book is divided into chapters that explore festival planning, the performers, and the aftermath.

The Museum at Bethel Woods website tells the story of Woodstock. Of particular note is the online photoarchive that includes images and archives of the event.

Bethel Woods Collection Online Archive

ARC courtesy of Charlesbridge.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Synergy: Orangutans

The only great apes of Asia, orangutans are found in the island rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. They are one of the most intelligent primates and are critically endangered.

Read the recently published children's book, then learn more at the website:

UNDAUNTED by Anita Silvey tells the true story of BirutÄ— Mary Galdikas and her quest to save the orangutans. Each of the highly illustrated chapters connects the world-renowned primatologist with her quest to protect orangutans. 

The Orangutan Foundation website contains fascinating facts about orangutans, information about Galdikas and her work, and recommendations for taking action to save the orangutan.

The Orangutan Foundation

ARC courtesy of National Geographic Kids.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Synergy: Moonwalks

The first moonwalk happened fifty years ago. Between 1969 and 1972 a dozen men walked on the moon during NASA Apollo missions.

Read the recently published children's picture book, then learn more at the website:

DARING DOZEN: THE TWELVE WHO WALKED ON THE MOON by Suzanne Slade takes picture book readers chronologically through a dozen Apollo moonwalks. Including both paintings and photographs, the book concludes with background information about each mission.

NASA’s The Apollo Missions website contains information about each mission along with images and videos.

ARC courtesy of Charlesbridge.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Synergy: Biography

From farmers and factory workers to celebrities, biographies tell the stories of people.

Read the recently published children's books, then learn more at the website:

THE BOOK OF KINGS and THE BOOK OF QUEENS are companion reference books from National Geographic that explore the lives of people from around the world. Each thematic chapter includes visionaries, leaders, or scholars who made major contributions. The colorful illustrators and short articles provide a useful introduction to kickstart a deeper exploration of people from all walks of life. explores the lives of thousands of people from around the world. Although the ads can be annoying, the website is well-organized and easy to use. Users can search for individuals or browse by people, nostalgia, celebrity, history and culture, or crime and scandal. Videos are also available.

ARC courtesy of National Geographic Kids.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Synergy: The Stonewall Uprising

The Stonewall Uprising included a series of protests by the gay community in the summer of 1969 after a police raid in New York City. Many historians consider this event to have sparked the LGBTQ+ movement that continues today.

Read the recently published middle grades children's book, then learn more at the website:

THE STONEWALL RIOTS: COMING OUT IN THE STREETS by Gayle E. Pitman tells the story of the 1969 demonstrations that launched the LGBTQ+ movement.

Visit the Stonewall National Monument National Park Service website to learn about the site of the Stonewall protests. The website contains a history of the events and connections to the people, parks, and places associated with LGBTQ heritage.

Stonewall National Monument

ARC courtesy of Abrams Books for Young Readers.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Synergy: 1919

From the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to race riots, labor protests, and the Communist scare, the year 1919 has become known as a transformative year in American history.

Read the recently published children's book on this topic, then learn more at the website:

1919: THE YEAR THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Martin W. Sander explores six transformative events that have had a lasting impact on American history. This engaging work of nonfiction features photographs, primary source documents, and short narratives.

Wikipedia’s “year” pages provide a useful quick-reference for the key events of each year. In addition each year page contains births, deaths, Nobel prizes, and other useful information to jumpstart an investigation of a particular year such as 1919.

ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury Children.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Synergy: Tyrannosaurus rex

The Tyrannosaurus rex is a bipedal carnivore with powerful legs and short forelimbs. This popular dinosaur lived during the Cretaceous Period.

Read the recently published children's book, then learn more at the website:

WHEN SUE FOUND SUE by Toni Buzzeo is a picture book telling the story of Sue Hendrickson and how she discovered a T-Rex in South Dakota now housed at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

The Field Museum houses Sue the T. Rex from the picture book. Read a blog entry at their website about the dinosaur’s history at the museum.

The Field Museum Blog

ARC courtesy of Abrams for Young Readers.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Synergy: Native American History & Culture

Native Americans are the indigenous peoples of the United States and represent over 570 federally recognized tribes.

Read the recently published reference book, then learn more at the website:

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY & CULTURE from National Geographic includes stories, timelines, maps, and more. Through full color illustrations and short engaging articles, the book explores seven regions including the Arctic and Subartic, Northeast, Southeast, Plains, Southwest, Great Basin and Plateau, Northwest Coast, and California. 

The National Museum of the American Indian website contains information about the museum as well as many online exhibits and resources. The Native Knowledge 360 section focuses on transforming teaching and learning about Native Americans.

National Museum of the American Indian website  

ARC courtesy of National Geographic.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Synergy: Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer from the Baroque Period who composed a wide range of music.

Read the recently published children's book, then learn more at the website:

BACH TO THE RESCUE by Tom Angleberger uses colorful illustrations and a humorous approach to tell the story of how Bach composed Goldberg Variations.

Sponsored by Cincinnati Public Radio, Classics for Kids presents short biographies of composers including Bach from throughout history. In addition to background information, the website also includes a short audio clip, links to audio programs, and a lesson plan.

Composers for Kids 
Johann Sebastian Bach

ARC courtesy of Abrams Books for Young Readers.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Books + Websites = Lamb's Synergy

SYNERGY is a new column written by Annette Lamb that connects recently published books for youth with engaging Internet resources to encourage reading and exploration.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Web Project Review: LOC By the People

BY THE PEOPLE CAMPAIGNS from the Library of Congress is the starting point for the library’s crowdsourcing projects.
Participants of all ages are encouraged to participate in transcribing historical documents as part of the Library of Congress’ BY THE PEOPLE campaigns. Visitors are invited to transcribe, review, and tag digitized images of manuscripts and typed materials from the library’s collections. The purpose of the project is to improve search, readability, and access to historical documents.
Currently campaigns include documents related to Women’s Suffrage, the American Civil War, Walt Whitman, and Abraham Lincoln.
Librarians will find this authentic citizen action project to be an innovative way to involve youth with primary source documents and history. It’s also a useful way to implement and model service learning concepts.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Book: The Nature Craft Book

THE NATURE CRAFT BOOK by Clare Beaton is an arts and crafts book for nature lovers.
Part of the Read, Learn & Create series, this nature book contains fifteen crafts and two recipes. Colorful collage illustrations help users learn about birds, insects, plants, and animals while providing easy-to-follow directions for engaging projects. After an introduction to nature and the format of activities, users explore over a dozen topics. From birds to twigs, children read about the topic. Then, follow directions to create finger puppets, apple chips, leaf prints, and other fun activities.
Librarians will find this book to be popular with children who enjoy nature crafts. Teachers will find useful activities for the classroom. Several of the projects will be new too librarians and worth a look.
ARC courtesy of Charlesbridge.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Book: Leaf It to Dot

LEAF IT TO DOT by Randi Zuckerberg is part of a developing reader series.
When Dot, Hal, and Dad go on a scavenger hunt, they find using a tablet useful but also a distraction. This engaging short chapter book provides a timely lesson about the importance of balancing screen time and nature exploration.
Librarians will find this short book to be a great way to talk with youth about enjoying nature. Weave it into the information literacy curriculum when discussing screen time and limiting device use. Children may recognize the characters from the television series.
ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

500 Women Scientists

500 WOMEN SCIENTISTS is an online project focusing on women scientists.
This online database contains information and resources about female scientists from around the world. The resource also includes ideas and resources for building leaders. In addition, users can locate female scientists across the globe.
To learn more, go to

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Website: International Fact Checking Day

INTERNATIONAL FACT CHECKING DAY draws attention to the importance of accurate information world-wide.
Although April 2 is the day for global conversation about fact-checking, the website contains useful information that librarians, classroom teachers, and students can use everyday.
The resource includes dozens of articles exploring tips, myths, and resources associated with fact finding activities. The Educheckmap shows projects, resources, investigations, activities, and organizations world-wide that are examining topics such as critical thinking and media, data, and misinformation literacy.
Educators can download a role-playing card game and lesson plan that stimulates critical thinking, fact-based dialogue and analytical skills.
A Fake News Trivia Quiz is a great way to jumpstart discussions about misinformation and fake news.
Librarians will find this website weaves seamlessly into the information literacy curriculum.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Book Review: Something Rotten

SOMETHING ROTTEN by Heather Montgomery takes a “fresh look” at roadkill.
After a note from the author to jumpstart the topic, the eleven chapters each deal with a different aspect of roadkill science. The book concludes with an epilogue, project ideas, and a bibliography. Montgomery’s conversational style and compelling real-life stories bring the topic to life for young readers. While the book explores the study of dead animals, it also shares ways researchers are preventing roadkill. Although the informational text contains several basic illustrations, it would benefit from a more detailed visual component.
Librarians will find this fascinating, irreverent examination of animal remains to be a hit with intermediate and middle grade students who enjoy the macabre. However, it will also be of use to young scientists seeking career options. Pair it with books dealing wildlife forensics and other titles dealing with wildlife science.
Published by Bloomsbury on October 26, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Book Review: The Poetry of US

THE POETRY OF US from National Geographic contains over 200 poems celebrating the United States.
Celebrating the diverse people, places, and passions of the United States, this beautifully illustrated poetry book is organized by regions of the United States. After presenting several poems exploring American in general, the book features poems connected to eight regions including the US territories. While the book contains many well-known favorites, it also contains some lesser-known poems and poets.
Librarians will find this book of poetry useful for social studies and literature activities. The colorful photographs and large format may appeal to children who might overlook other books of poetry. Feature the book in curriculum activities exploring regions of the United States. Use the poems as an innovative way to jumpstart inquiries of states and regions.
Published by National Geographic on September 25, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Book Review: Sanity & Tallulah

SANITY & TALLULAH by Molly Brooks is the first graphic novel in a new science fiction adventure series.
Best friends Sanity and Tallulah live on a space station and enjoy conducting science experiments. When Sanity’s top secret bioengineering project escapes, she and Tallulah try to find their three-headed kitten that’s being blamed for station-wide technical issues.
Librarians will find this humorous work well-received by both graphic novel and science fiction fans alike. Filled with STEM references, use this new series to promote an interest in science and technology. The diverse cast of characters, STEM themes, and space station setting will be a hit with readers.
Published on October 16, 2018 by Disney/Hyperion. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Book Review: Begone the Raggedy Witches

BEGONE THE RAGGEDY WITCHES by Celine Kiernan is the first book in the Wild Magic fantasy trilogy.
After her father is taken hostage by witches, Mup and her family must avoid the raggedy witches to save him from the queen who also happens to be Mup’s grandmother. Along the way, she meets magical creatures and people in her quest to find her father.
Librarians will find this intermediate grade fantasy popular with children who enjoy folk fantasy, forbidden magic, and Irish mythology. This quick read can be enjoyed as both a standalone and book one of a trilogy.
Published on September 11, 2018 by Candlewick. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Book Review: Dog Science Unleashed

DOG SCIENCE UNLEASHED by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen contains engaging activities for dog owners.
Featuring 22 hands-on science activities, this colorfully illustrated informational activity book is designed for children with access to a canine companion. The introduction describes how to use the book including safety guidelines. Four chapters feature a series of activities ending with a professional lab project. The book concludes with a glossary, information, and an index.
Librarians will find this book to be popular with dog fans as well as those interested in careers associated with animals.
Published by National Geographic Kids on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Website Review: Make:

MAKE: is a website sharing tools and project ideas for makerspaces.
While many of the project ideas are geared to the K-12 classroom, others provide activities focusing on personal and community-based activities. The website is divided into sections focusing on tested projects, tool guides, and maker spotlights. All projects are tagged for easy access.
The Maker Faire section provides ideas for starting your own community-based project and the Maker Shed area features hands-on kits, digital books, and other materials.
Librarians will find this website useful for identifying maker space project ideas. Of particular note are the many robotic and computer science project ideas.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, February 25, 2019

Website: Mood-O-Meter

TURNER’S APOTHECARY MOOD-O-METER is a web project from the Peabody Essex Museum.
This engaging interactive experience allows student to examine and analyze selected artwork by J.M.W. Turner. Thirty-seven works of this British painter are featured. Included in the project are unfinished works, experimental sketches, drawings, watercolors and prints.
Users navigate the website via a series of choices, spin a dial, turn a knob, and swipe to move an element. Students begin by rotating a dial to choose a journey, then select a color for your current mood. Next players are asked to choose a genre for light reading. Users continue by making a few more choices and the Mood-O-Meter displays a prescribed Turner artwork.
Librarians can use the website to analyze the temperaments that were used during Turner’s lifetime to describe moods, such as sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, sublime, and joyful. Connect the website with psychology and art teachers.
To learn more, go to

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Book Review: Breakout

BREAKOUT by Kate Messner is a fast-paced story exploring issues of social justice and perspective.
When inmates from a local prison escape, Nora Tucker’s summer vacation is disrupted as her family, friends, and the entire community deals with the impact of the breakout. Of particular note is the author’s use of comics, poems, text messages, letters, and news stories to move the story forward. The book concludes with an author’s note and wonderful book list for young readers.
Librarians will find this book popular with students who enjoy books containing documents as part of the storyline. The story’s balance of suspense and social themes will broaden the appeal. The novel’s focus on multiple perspectives will appeal to teachers wishing to use this book for class discussions.
Published by Bloomsbury on June 5, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Website: Authorial London

AUTHORIAL LONDON is a literary geography web project of the Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research at Stanford University.
The project compiles and maps references to London places found in the works and biographies of writers who lived there. Users can research the literary works of writers who lived in London. It allows students to explore and analyze curated passages from literary, geographical, and biographical perspectives. User can find out where famous and lesser known writers lived and figure out which writers lived near each other. Users click on a particular point on the map to bring up a list of authors associated with the same neighborhood.
Librarians can browse more than fifty authors and explore the places they lived and their literary works within dimensions of genre, form, period, social standing and neighborhood. Connect this website with social studies and history teachers.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Website: 27: The Most Perfect Album

27: THE MOST PERFECT ALBUM is a project of WNYC Studios.
The website focuses on the twenty-seven amendments to the United States Constitution that detail our basic rights. “The 27” original songs explain and amplify each of the amendments to the Constitution.
Musicians include The Slants, Dolly Parton, and They Might Be Giants. In addition, Joey Stylez performing his First Amendment song focusing on the persecution of American indigenous people. Each song is accompanied by the song lyrics and notes that explain their historic significance.
Librarians will find these songs and their mix of constitutional short stories a great way to learn more about the amendments. This resource provides an opportunity to collaborate with the music and history teachers.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Book Review: Greek Mythology

WEIRD BUT TRUE: GREEK MYTHOLOGY by Sarah Wassner Flynn is a rich resource for mythology fans.
This colorfully illustrated reference book features information about each Greek god along with connections to classic stories from Greek mythology. Fascinating trivia is woven throughout each entry. Of particular note are the pages on topics such as nymphs, muses, and unsung heroes. The book concludes with activities, lists, and a glossary.
Librarians will find this book to be popular with young fans of mythology. The table of contents and index provide easy access to information about each god. The short chunks of information and connections with topics such as movies, constellations, artwork, animals, and global locations will appeal to young researchers. Pair this book with novels featuring Greek mythology. Use this title to introduce readers to the popular WEIRD BY TRUE series.
Published on September 1, 2019 by National Geographic Kids. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Website Review: Sixty Symbols

SIXTY SYMBOLS is a website and YouTube channel exploring physics and astronomy symbols.
Sponsored by The University of Nottingham, the project began with sixty symbols and has expanded to include dozens more. In addition to the sixty original symbols, the website also has sections focusing on the planets, large hadron collider, and scientists. The project also links to related topics connected with chemistry, mathematics, and more.
Librarians will find that students enjoy both the topics and the approach. Rather than relying on humor or animation, most of the videos are simply straight-forward explanations of key science concept by professors and other scholars. Of particular note are the videos by Stephen Hawking.
To visit the website, go to
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Website Review: National Geographic Wild

NATGEOWILD is a YouTube Channel focusing on the animal kingdom.
Sponsored by National Geographic, the engaging animal videos will be of interest to all ages. Browse the playlists for video collections such as Dead by Dawn, Live Safaris. Dr. Oakley, Animal Fight Night, Untamed, Australia’s Deadly Monsters, and the Incredible Dr. Pol. The community section provides information about new and upcoming videos.
Librarians will find these videos to be a fun way to introduce a science or writing unit. Involve youth in selecting their favorite video to jumpstart an inquiry. Or, explore the playlists to connect videos to specific science units. Pair the videos with nonfiction books connected to specific topics such as “world’s weirdest” and “world’s deadliest”.
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Monday, February 11, 2019

Website Review: World Digital Library

The WORLD DIGITAL LIBRARY makes available primary materials from all countries and cultures around the world.
Sponsored by the Library of Congress, users can discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures and historical documents through the World Digital Library (WDL) website. WDL content includes information and images that can be explored by place, time period, topic, item type, language and institution. Users will find items organized in themes, timelines, and interactive maps. The WDL project is supported by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world.
Librarians will find primary source materials in a variety of forms; books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films are not translated but presented in their original languages. Weave these resources throughout the information literacy curriculum and across content areas.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Book Review: Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers

PIPSQUEAKS, SLOWPOKES, AND STINKERS by Melissa Stewart celebrates animal underdogs.
This humorous, nonfiction picture book features often overlooked animals like frogs, lizards, and rats. Using an appealing, conversational style, the author draws attention to lesser-known creatures from around the world. Questions and fascinating examples maintain reader interest throughout. The book concludes with additional information about each creature.
Librarians will find this informational picture book to be an unusual way to jumpstart animal inquiries. Ask youth to select an “unsung underdog” to explore. What special characteristic can we celebrate?
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Website Review: In a Nutshell

KURZGESAGT: IN A NUTSHELL is a YouTube channel featuring short animations focusing on science topics.
Publishing one video per month, the YouTube channel features dozens of earth, life, and physical science topics. Each video uses a unique, witty narrative style likely to appeal to all ages. The elaborate, bright colored animations bring each topic to life.
Use the playlist to identify multiple videos on topics such as genetic engineering, technology, immune system, and the universe. Of particular note is their “best stuff” section featuring a variety of topics. Based in Germany, the videos provide a useful global perspective on topics such as energy.
Librarians will find these beautifully produced animations to be effective in addressing popular how and why science questions. Use the videos to introduce concepts across the science curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Website Review: Math Antics

MATH ANTICS is a website and YouTube channel teaching basic math concepts.
Designed for grades 3 through 8, the videos are intended to supplement the math curriculum. The videos are organized by math concept such as arithmetic, fractions, geometry, algebra and percents rather than by grade level. The engaging format may be useful for learners seeking alternative ways of thinking about a math concept.
Librarians will find these fast-paced, math videos to be popular with teachers seeking short tutorials to review or enhance learning. Although the videos are free, additional materials can be purchased at the website.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Website Review: Magna Carta

The MAGNA CARTA website explores the history and legacy of one of the world’s most famous documents, the Magna Carta.
Housed at the British Library, the original document was agreed at Runnymede in 1215. This site displays one of the four surviving copies. Visitors can explore and study articles by leading experts, view videos and animations, and other items for ideas and information associated with the Magna Carta. Discover the important people involved in the 13th century including King John and Henry III, Pope Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen Langton, Barons William Marshal and Robert Fitzwalter.
Librarians can help students and adults find resources for primary and secondary schools in teaching history, government, citizenship, human rights, law and politics. Lead them to discover why this document is still important today. How has it changed over the last 800 years? How does it affect our culture, laws and rights?
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Book Review: Countdown

COUNTDOWN by Suzanne Slade tells the true story of the moon landing.
Told through stunning illustrations and engaging free verse, this large picture book takes readers on a 2979 day journey from President John F. Kennedy’s announcement through the moon landing. Each of the nine chapters explore a different stage in the project. Thomas Gonzalez’s photo-quality images share a visual record, while the free verse draws readers into the engaging true story. The book concludes with background information, notes, a bibliography, quotations, and an index.
Librarians will find that this large picture book provides a unique way to experience this powerful story of engineering and human sacrifice. Pair it work biographies and other works of nonfiction along with the many NASA websites related to the moon project.
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.