November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for August 2012

The Poetry of Earth and Stars

What could be better for training for close observation than science and poetry in combination? Here are a handful of picture books with poems and illustrations that illuminate nature and science both far away and in our own backyards.

On the Radar: Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild: New Books for Back- to-School

The start of a new school year is the perfect moment for taking chances—trying out for cheerleading, going against the crowd, or learning how to get along with your new teachers. This fall’s releases are all that and more. Read these school stories and keep them close to your newly sharpened bouquet of pencils.

Mold Gardens and Messy Mixtures

The plethora of projects and experiments suggested in this handful of recent books offer just such inspiration. Rather than simply providing one bare recipe after another, the collections below combine tested sets of ingredients and clearly described procedures with specific explanations of the physical or chemical principles , relevant historical background, probing questions about results, and tantalizing suggestions for further, more challenging experiments—an approach designed to give children both a stronger grasp on how the natural world works and a systematic method for reaching out to conduct enquiries of their own. More importantly, all convey an enthusiasm for science that requires no intervention from parents or educators to prove contagious.

McKissack and Dooley Honored with 2012 PEN Awards

Yesterday, young adult author Sarah Dooley and Newbery Honor-winning Patricia C. McKissack were named recipients of the 2012 Pen Literary Awards.

SLJ’s Best of Apps & Enhanced Books August 2012

Apps involving monsters, both real and imagined, are among the digital publications examined in School Library Journal’s app review column Touch and Go.

Pick of the Day: Same Sun Here (Audiobook)

Same Sun Here. By Silas House and Neela Vaswani. 5 CDs. 5:49 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4558-2231-7. $49.7.
Gr 4-7–Meena, a recent immigrant from India, lives in Manhattan’s Chinatown with her family. Through a program arranged by their schools, she becomes a pen pal with River, who lives in rural Kentucky and is the son of a coal miner. They exchange letters via snail mail and, as a result, learn about each other and themselves. Sharing day-to-day activities, secrets, opinions, […]

Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Crown Publishing Group. 2012. Personal copy. Part of my “vacation reads” series; that is, when I review a book for the grown ups instead of teen books.
The Plot: On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne’s wife Amy goes missing. He tells us how he comes home from […]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Other Tales of Teen Angst and Alienation

Since its publication in 1999, Stephen Chbosky’s epistolary novel (Pocket Books) has become a much passed around favorite among teens and a hot item for discussion groups (it has also appeared on ALA’s top 10 challenged books list five times in the last 10 years. Now, Charlie’s compelling account of his coming-of-age trials and tribulations has been re-envisioned for the big screen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13), adapted into screenplay format and directed by Chbosky himself, will be released by Summit Entertainment on September 21.

All ages comics and manga for 8/29/12

It’s the last hurrah of summer with the long Labor Day weekend, so stock up on reading material now! Bongo Comics takes fans back in time to see what Bart Simpson’s dad was like as a kid with Li’l Homer. Kodansha completes its run of Gon so the whole series is available in print again, […]

KidLitCon 2012: The Saturday Schedule

Greeting and salutations to you all!
I know that some of you have been holding off on registering for KidLitCon 2012, the annual meeting of children’s and YA bloggers which is open to anyone (blogger or not) with an interest in the changing sphere of book discussions, online and off.  Though the Saturday conference (held on […]

Hot Topics for Teens and Tweens: Financial Literacy and CyberSmarts

Rosen Digital has just announced the launch of two new digital resources for middle school and high school students: Financial Literacy, an online database for economics and personal finance; and Teen CyberSmarts, an interactive ebook program that teaches kids about digital citizenship and cyber safety. Both programs have been specifically designed to support Common Core learning standards. And SLJTeen readers have a chance to evaluate both of these for free through October 5, 2012.

Travis’s Excellent (Ereader) Adventure

In this month’s cover story for School Library Journal, Jonker, an elementary school librarian, documents the launch of an ereader lending program in words and pictures. This article is adapted from a series of posts at Jonker’s blog 100 Scope Notes, which is moving to SLJ.com.

Roundtable: What we’re going to be reading this weekend

The last long weekend of summer looms before us, and the Good Comics for Kids gang are going to be spending it wisely—by reading comics. We have lots of summer releases and advance copies of fall books, so here’s what we will be reading—chime in in comments to let us know what’s on your stack […]

Now with Apps, Curation Board Learnist May One-up Pinterest for Education

Learnist, a new curation tool that’s been gaining traction among educators, including librarians, has expanded its social learning platform to mobile, with apps for the iPhone and iPad released today.

Pick of the Day: My Name Is Not Easy (Audio)

My Name Is Not Easy. By Debby Dahl Edwardson. 6 CDs. 6:30 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4558-7955-7. $64.97.
Gr 7 Up–In the early 1960s, children from Iñupiaq, Athabaskan, and Caucasian backgrounds are enrolled at a Catholic boarding school in Alaska in Debby Dahl Edwardson’s National Book Award finalist (Marshall Cavendish, 2011). Luke (white people can’t pronounce his Iñupiaq name) and his brothers Bunna and Isaac are flown to Catholic sponsored Sacred Heart School far from their village. Six-year-old Isaac is […]

Arab Spring Dreams

This collection of essays gives teen readers a chance to hear about life in the Middle East and Africa straight from writers (all 25 years old or younger) who live there.
For more about AIC’s (American Islamic Congress) Dream Deferred Essay Contest, check out the contest rules & guidelines. The judges “are looking for essays that […]

Review: Team Human

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. HarperTeen. 2012. Reviewed from ARC from publisher.
The Plot: Mel Duan has lived in the vampire town of New Whitby, Maine her whole life. She is not a fan of the vampires, and is happy that they stay in their part of town. Mel is not happy […]

WA’s Pierce County Library System Bids Farewell to Bookmobiles After 65 Years of Service

After more than 60 years in operation, the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA, is saying good-bye to its three bookmobiles as a result of drastic budget cuts.
The library’s board of trustees agreed to the cuts earlier this month in order to offset an anticipated $2.6 million to $3 million budget shortfall for 2013, which amounts to approximately 10 percent of the library’s $26.8 million 2012 operating budget. Stopping the bookmobiles will save the library $180,000.

Review of the Day: Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Liar & Spy
By Rebecca Stead
$15.99
ISBN: 978-0-385-73743-2
Ages 9-12
On shelves now.
Rebecca Stead is the M. Night Shyamalan of children’s literature, and I mean that in a good Sixth Sense way, not a lame The Happening one. It’s funny, but when I try to compare her other authors I find myself tongue-tied. Who else spends as much […]

Pinterest for bulletin board anxiety

For me, the beginning of school is made even crazier by bulletin board anxiety.
It has nothing to do with my artistic talents. Granted they are limited.  It has everything to do with idea deficiency.
And then it also has something to do with the need to get something pretty up there even though you know there […]