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February 11, 2016

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Daryl Grabarek

About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek dgrabarek@mediasourceinc.com is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.

Freedom in Congo Square | An Interview with Carole Boston Weatherford

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Carole Boston Weatherford is known for her many award-winning books—both nonfiction and poetry— that combine careful historical research with breathtaking lyricism. Her latest book imagines the anticipation and exhilaration of a few hours of freedom experienced by enslaved Africans in early 19th-century New Orleans.

Nonfiction Notes: Spotlight on Space

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As we learn more about the cosmos, it’s essential to replace older books with up-to-date titles. Here are a few to fill the gaps on your shelves.

Coloring Books Make the Leap to Digital | Touch and Go

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With the release of Millie Marotta’s Coloring Adventure,/em> for the iPad, it appears the coloring book trend has successfully made the leap to digital.

Wuwu & Co. | Touch and Go

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At first glance, Merete Pryds Helle’s Wuwu &Co. appears to be one of those apps in which a soothing narrator reads a story. But when readers are told to “pick up the book,” a new level of interactivity is revealed.

Nosy Crow’s “Goldilocks and Little Bear”| Touch and Go

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Nosy Crow, the developer known for its delightful—and quirky—contemporary remakes of classic folktales has just marked its fifth year in business with the release of another favorite children’s story.

The Shadow Knows | Fact and Fiction About the Groundhog’s Claim to Fame

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While there’s much written about the groundhog and Groundhog Day, it’s not always clear how much of it is based on fact—which is why a look into the habits and behaviors of this rodent offers a great opportunity for classroom research.

Spanish-Language Apps: A Starter Collection| Touch and Go

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Share the free Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s Spanish-language guide to using apps with children, Apps en familia, and our bilingual (and multilingual) app recommendations for children with the parents who use your library. If you don’t have Spanish-language apps on your library devices, it’s time to start a collection.

Up to the Challenge: Neal Shusterman’s Journey to the National Book Award

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Lyrical, layered, and profoundly moving, Neal Shusterman’s National Book Award winning novel Challenger Deep is the story of Caden Bosch, a teenager who, as he begins spiraling into a psychotic episode, imagines himself on a ship bound for the deepest spot in the ocean.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Parents, Privacy, and Pesky Sibs: A Middle School Perspective | Touch and Go

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Titles in Annie Fox’s “Middle School Confidential” series have been popular with middle grade readers since they were first published in print. The books—and apps—tackle real-life situations and issues—from self confidence and stress to friendships and crushes—that a group of fictional tweens and teens encounter, along with positive suggestions and commentary.

Top 10 Apps 2015

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Daryl Grabarek, SLJ’s resident app guru, curates a stellar list of the best educational and story apps produced in the past year.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

“World Wildlife Fund Together” | Touch and Go

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Children love photo-essays and stories about animals and educators looking to introduce global issues into the curriculum often find endangered animals a good place to start. The World Wildlife Fund provides a digital offering on the topic, with an update to their WWF Together app, available free on iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.

On Tour Through “My Incredible Body” | Touch and Go

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3-D perspectives, detailed illustrations, and narrated text features are just some of the features Zybright offers in its stunning tour of of the human body, available on a variety of devices.

Beyond the Headlines | New Books on Current Issues

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Focusing on some of today’s hottest topics, these books provide critical updates and add context and depth to news stories on environmental and global issues.

WonderBox: Explorations in Science, Geography, Music, and Design | Touch and Go

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The WonderBox app provides content, creation opportunities, and a mini social network—with features and safeguards that will please parents.

Haunted Houses & Headless Horsemen: Halloween Apps | Touch and Go

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Halloween is here! From classic to contemporary stories (and a bit of augmented reality thrown in for good measure) we have apps for every age and sensibility.

Dr. Seuss in a New, Digital “Read & Learn” Series | Touch and Go

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When do you take an already successful app and improve upon it? And from a consumer’s point of view: does the new product warrant replacing a perfectly readable book or functioning program?

“iBiomes—Wetlands” | Touch and Go

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A cheery professor guides students through “iBiome-Wetland,” an app designed to teach students about biodiversity through a series of gamelike activities featuring a fresh water marsh, a salt water marsh, and a mangrove swamp.

Skill Building with “Fiete” Apps | Touch and Go

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A cheerful sailor named Fiete invites children to join him on a number of his daily activities in a series of colorful apps produced by Ahoiii Entertainment. The apps will have kids flexing their pre- reading and numeracy skills and challenging their memories.

Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” on the iPad | Touch and Go

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Our reviewer Pam Schembri cites the performers’ commentary as one of the strengths of this production, and calls it “a treasure for both professionals, students of music, and dabblers.”

Moobot’s Back with “Billy’s Booger” in Digital | Touch and Go

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Billy’s Booger: As described on the Moonbot site, this “highly anticipated,” “completely (sorta) true story from William Joyce’s experience in the fourth grade” has been “40 years in the ‘picking.’” And it’s now available in digital.