October 12, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ
Daryl Grabarek

About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek 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.

Skill Building with “Fiete” Apps | Touch and Go


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


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

billy's b

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.

“Funny Bones”: Celebrating the Day of the Dead


As November approaches, consider these two new books on the Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos.

The Bard Gets Bawdier “Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be” | Touch and Go


Studying parody or William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in class? Looking for retelling of a classic with an unusual twist? Don’t miss “Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be,” now in digital.

Raising the Bar: New and noteworthy nonfiction for secondary students


Thirty-six must-have nonfiction titles for your collection.

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

Iain Pears’s Multilayered “Arcadia” | Touch and Go


With no desire to thrust himself “into the vanguard of digital innovation,” Iain Pears nonetheless finds himself there with publication of “Arcadia.” The author notes, “…I undertook the project because I had reached the limit of my storytelling in book form and needed some new tools to get me to the next stage.”

“Toca Nature”: “A Perfectly Pixelated World” | Touch and Go

toca cover

Many readers know Toca Boca’s “play studio” apps designed for preschoolers. Here is something from them that’s a little different. It combines sandbox activities with a subtle ecological message.

A “Completely and Utterly Disgusting” Game, Among Others | Touch and Go


With only a few weeks left before summer is over, it’s time to download a few playful apps. While fun and games rule, you’ll discover that planning, strategy, and skill also come into play. Oh, yes, and then there’s that “completely and utterly disgusting” game for fans of Roald Dahl.

“The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” | Carole Boston Weatherford on Fannie Lou Hamer


Carole Boston Weatherford’s Voice of Freedom is a moving, poetic tribute to the Voting Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.

Looking for a Back-to-School Chapter Book Read-Aloud? Don’t Miss These!


Looking for a good chapter book read aloud for the first days of school? We surveyed our readers and reviewers about the titles they have been recommending lately. Here are their responses.

Torben Kuhlmann’s ‘Lindbergh’ Soars as an iBook

lind cover

Torben Kuhlmann’s picture book, Lindbergh, the Tale of a Flying Mouse was published last year to glowing reviews. The recent release of the iBook version, with visual and audio enhancements, offers more to praise.

More “Endless” Fun | Touch and Go


Originator has won high praise for its “Endless” apps—a playful, educational series that focuses on basic reading and math readiness skills. Their latest release is an introduction to Spanish for children learning it as a first or second language.

Jump Back, Paul | Sally Derby on Paul Laurence Dunbar


In “Jump Back, Paul,” Sally Derby introduces a new generation of readers to the life, times, and work of this extraordinary talent.

“Homes” Around the World | Touch and Go

Homes (Tinybop) Tuesday B

Travel around the world to see how people live in Mongolia, Guatemala, Yemen, and the United States in an app from Tinybop.

Apprentice Architect | Touch and Go


Through interactive activities users will have an opportunity to explore a museum designed by Frank Gehry and consider some of the decisions an architect makes about shape, color, pattern, and light as they design their own buildings.

Sandbox Science on the iPad

simple machines

Generations of kids have been introduced to science concepts at sand and water tables. Today, they can also explore sandbox apps.

What’s on Your Summer Reading List? | Authors and Illustrators Share Their TBR Stacks


In our annual query to authors and illustrators we discover what’s sitting on their nightstands, and being packing into their vacation bags.

The Hum of Mindful Learning | Professional Shelf

mindfulness 2

It’s easy to recognize the educational bliss of a classroom that hums with joyful learning. Here are two books that have the potential of transforming classroom stresses and improve learning outcomes along the way.

Cat’s Cradle: A Graphic Adventure | Touch and Go


Jo Rioux’s middle grade graphic adventure, available in both iOS and Android, is well drawn and engaging, and will leave readers eager for more—despite some technical challenges.