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Participants of all ages are encouraged to participate in transcribing historical documents as part of the Library of Congress’ BY THE PEOPLE campaigns.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 The purpose of the project is to improve search, readability, and access to historical documents.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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Website Review: C.G.P. Grey

C.G.P. GREY is a popular YouTube Channel featuring short, fast-paced animated videos on popular topics.
Each short video explores a specific problem or question such as who owns the state of liberty or how do machines learn?
Librarians will find youth enjoy the fast-paced style. Keep in mind that some videos contain humor and satire appropriate for older students. Of particular note is a video that explores the differences between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England. The fast-paced, humorous approach will be popular with sharp AP students.
To visit the youtube channel, go to

Monday, January 28, 2019

Website Review: The Graphics Atlas

The GRAPHICS ATLAS website uses an object-based approach to identification of prints and photographs.
Created and maintained by the Image Permanence Institute, a department of the College of Art and Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), this website provides useful tools connected with photography. Users can explore the collection by taking a guided tour of individual prints; a virtual study of the collection that contains processes ranging from historic woodcuts to today’s inkjet prints. The collection covers pre-photographic, photomechanical, photographic and digital processes. Compare the process traits using a variety of lighting techniques and image magnifications. One can learn the key identifying characteristics of each process. Users can sign up for an interesting picture of the month to be emailed to them.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful tool for students and teachers who work with historical photographs. The website helps learners look at past pictures online and learn about the processes used in their production. Use it as part of both the information literacy program and the social studies curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Book Review: The Secrets of Tutankhamun

THE SECRETS OF TUTANKHAMUN by Patricia Cleveland-Peck tells the story of King Tut and how archaeologists drew conclusions from historical evidence.
This appealing informational picture book is told in three parts. After introducing the key people, the first section of the book takes readers back to Ancient Egypt, the second section explores the archaeological discoveries surrounding King Tut, and the final section speculates on current and future discoveries.
Librarians will find this visually attractive work of nonfiction appeals to a broad audience. By including information about the science of mummification along with the history and archaeology, the book easily crosses multiple interest and curriculum areas.
Published by Bloomsbury on August 21, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Website Review: Maker Ed

MAKER ED is a website providing resources and information to educators interested in maker-centered learning.
The Maker Education Initiative is a non-profit project providing training, support, and resources to the educational community. The website contains a resource library with planning materials and ideas for making the case for makerspaces in schools. Tools, materials, publications, research reports, and project approaches are also available. Of particular interest are tours and descriptions of specific examples of school, library, and museum makerspaces.
Librarians will find endless ideas for building maker spaces into teaching and learning activities.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Website Review: Animated Math

ANIMATED MATH also known as 3BLUE1BROWN is a website and YouTube channel providing videos and math poetry on advanced mathematics topics.
Although too tough for most teens, this website is perfect for advanced math students looking for ways to enhance their learning. Created by Grant Sanderson, the video section introduces the latest videos and the math poetry area presents a dozen poems.
Librarians will find this website to be an effective way to promote advanced mathematics in a high school setting. Of particular interest is the math poetry section. Go directly to the YouTube channel to explore playlists connected with particular topics.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, January 21, 2019

Website Review: Library Learning & Creation Center

The LIBRARY LEARNING & CREATION CENTER is a website supporting the professional development needs of librarians.
Sponsored by the Colorado Virtual Library, the website contains resources focusing on collection management, community engagement, customer service, leadership, maker spaces, services and programming, and technology. In addition, the Library 101 section is geared to challenges facing librarians from professional ethics to intellectual freedom. Many of the topics link to videos and reading materials sponsored by state and national library organizations such as the American Library Association.
Librarians will find useful resources to jumpstart their own professional development activities along with materials to assist their library staff and volunteers.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Book Review: Eleanore Roosevelt

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: FIGHTER FOR JUSTICE by Ilene Cooper is a biography focusing on Roosevelt’s lasting impact.
Designed for intermediate and middle grade readers, this biography includes the basics of Roosevelt’s life. However this work of nonfiction places emphasis on her transformation into an advocate for social justice. The author uses a conversational approach to describe how Roosevelt overcame her own prejudices and used her powerful position to promote important causes such as the Civil Rights Movement. Historic photographs and other illustrations will contribute to the appeal of this title. The book includes a timeline, biography, and index.
Librarians will find their collection filled with books on Eleanor Roosevelt. What makes this book unusual is its emphasis on her national and international contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and other efforts related to social justice. Students doing reports on both Roosevelt and the Civil Rights Movement will find the book useful.
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers on August 7, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Website Revie: Makerspace for Education

MAKERSPACE FOR EDUCATION is website providing resources related to makerspaces in teaching and learning.
The website introduces the basics of makerspaces along with the philosophical basis for the approach. A materials section lists print resources, software, websites, and other useful links to get educators started. A community of practice section welcomes involvement and provides links to a blog and teacher-generated lesson ideas.
Librarians will find this website to be helpful in designing makerspaces and locating materials and support for both the library and classroom settings.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Website Review: Jared Owen Animations

JARED OWEN ANIMATIONS is a YouTube Channel sharing fascinating 3D animations.
From science to architecture and history, Jared Owen has produced fascinating 3D animations that illustrate concepts, address questions, look inside equipment, and visit locations around the world. Users can see a series of animations related to Apollo Spacecraft, look inside a lightsaber, and visit Buckingham Palace.
Librarians will find the animations useful in computer science classes teaching 3D animation. In addition, collaborate with social studies and science teachers to weave the animations into the curriculum.
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Monday, January 14, 2019

Website Review: National World War II Museum

THE NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MUSEUM website features learning resources telling the story of the war that changed the world.
Located in New Orleans, the museum website contains information about the physical location along with a growing number of online resources.
The War section of the website provides articles, items from the digital collection, WWII polls, and other types of information including text, graphics, and video content.
The Students and Teachers section provides distance learning programs, educator resources, and student resources that explore history topics related to WWII. Of particular note is their electronic field trip connected with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Librarians will find these high-quality learning materials appeal to students and teachers alike. Be sure to check out the YouTube channel for lots of video content. Also, examine the classroom website focusing specifically on using the collections in schools.
To visit the website, go to
To visit the YouTube channel, go to
To visit the classroom website, go to