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.