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August 29, 2014

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Buried Treasure: Real and Imagined Adventure Titles | Focus On

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The following is a treasure trove of titles that are bound to capture the attention and spark the imaginations of readers. They are chock-full of action, adventure, and derring-do, guaranteed to keep the pages turning.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Grunt, Quack, Oink | Focus On Animal Books

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From preschool to middle grade, these nonfiction titles explore the animal kingdom and all its wild ways.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Eat, Play, Learn: Food-Related Materials to Sink Your Teeth Into | Focus On

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With increasing alarm over childhood obesity, there’s a need for strong food and cooking titles. These materials not only have rich tie-ins to history, math, culture and science, they also offer sweet—and savory—rewards.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Bridging the Age Divide: Intergenerational Relationships | Focus On

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These are books that bring together elders and youngsters, relatives and friends, as they explore the various roles of caregivers, mentors, and companions. The intergenerational relationships that are depicted can be richly rewarding, poignant, and sometimes wildly funny.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Playground Lessons: What Kids Learn at Recess | Focus On

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A selection of books to help kids navigate the social and emotional ups and downs of school yard and neighborhood play. With humor and visual storytelling, these books reinforce the importance of patience, following rules, and cooperation when dealing with one’s peers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Great War: A Somber Centennial | Focus On

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This compilation of fiction and nonfiction titles presents a variety of viewpoints and an array of social, historical, political, and cultural aspects of what was described at the time as the war to end all wars.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Tough Stuff: Books to Get Kids Talking About Life Issues| Focus On

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A compilation of recommended titles that work well as vehicles for book discussion. The books cover a variety of tough life issues and offer even reluctant readers a chance to discuss characters and their motivations, make connections to plot and setting, and craft some sophisticated arguments and analysis

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Spotlight on Musicians and Fine Artists | Focus On

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Here’s a collection of picture-book biographies that introduces musicians and fine artists to children. The authors and illustrators have created engaging, child-friendly profiles that will hopefully lead readers to explore and seek out other materials about these amazingly talented individuals.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Inventions: What’s the Big Idea? | Focus On

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The titles included here address questions about inventions in a variety of entertaining and informative ways. They also address the life and times of the inventors themselves, making many excellent choices for Common Core concepts.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Resources and Kid Lit About American Indians | Focus On

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From Louise Erdrich’s Chickadee to Eric Gansworth’s If I Ever Get Out of Here, the books on Debbie Reese’s list of titles by Native and non-Native authors, and the accompanying digital and multimedia resources, will enrich and strengthen your library’s collection on American Indian cultures and peoples.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Memoirs: Stories From a Life | Focus On

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These first-person narratives introduce readers to the subjects’ lives and experiences and help to preserve history through the eyes of someone who was there. They make for compelling reading—and are great choices for meeting the Common Core requirements for nonfiction.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Children of War: Tales of Child Refugees and Safe Havens | Focus On

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A look at the impact of war on young people, this article focuses on children whose parents have been deployed to war zones, those who are refugees, and those who are victims of ongoing conflicts, including child soldiers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Books to Enhance Class Trips and Learning Adventures | Focus On

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The books presented in this month’s collection development column have been selected to support and enhance expeditions to favorite preschool and elementary-aged destinations: farms and other food-producing enterprises; museums (both natural history and art); nature reserves and outdoor-observation areas; community institutions; and zoos and aquariums. A mix of fact-filled offerings and fictional adventures, all of these titles give kids a break from the routine and encourage interactive learning experiences.

Exploring the Universe | Focus On

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An assortment of recent books that examine both historical milestones and current research in exploring our solar system and beyond.

Books About Ocean Life and Undersea Exploration | Focus On

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A survey of outstanding nonfiction titles about ocean life and food chains and the challenging science of marine exploration.

Humor That is Seriously Funny | Focus On

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Writing about humor is a good way to suck all the fun out of it, so please—feel free to skip straight to the booklist.

The Holocaust: Rescue and Resistance | Focus On

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Stories of resistance, rescue, courage, ingenuity, and survival are beacons of light amid the dark horrors of the Holocaust. These titles document the events, help to promote understanding, and inspire a new generation of readers.

The 1920′s: The Decade That Roared | Focus On

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The books below will effectively sharpen readers’ knowledge and understanding of the Roaring 20′s, from carefully researched nonfiction to perceptive examples of historical fiction.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?: Tales of the Heart

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Filled with unlikely but enduring attachments, ostensibly incompatible Romeos and Juliets, and unexpected instances of true animal camaraderie, these books prove that affection can allow individuals to look beyond their differences and forge long-lasting bonds. Use these books to expand Valentine’s Day and friendship storytimes; tease out overarching themes; and initiate discussions of tolerance, compassion, and community.

Books to Celebrate the Everyday Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

Illustration by James Ransome from This Is the Dream (HarperCollins, 2006).

Fifty years ago this May, people around our country turned on their televisions to the sight of children being viciously assaulted with fire hoses and snarling dogs by uniformed grown men, their faces twisted with hatred. The violence in Birmingham, Alabama, stirred a swelling of national conscience and raised questions demanding an answer: Do we really believe that “all men are created equal”? What would our country look like if we really did? What has to change to make that dream a reality?