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July 29, 2014

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It’s My Life | Teen Angst, Attitude, and Acumen

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These recent memoirs shed light on the teen experience from three very different perspectives: a college student with a debilitating disease, an awkward outsider chronicling her attempts at becoming popular, and an author looking back at how her tomboyish attitude made for a challenging childhood and adolescence.

Down by the Sea | Factual & Fictional Selections for Young Readers

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Covering 71 percent of Earth’s surface, home to a vast array of plant and animal species, inherently mysterious and largely unexplored, the ocean makes a fascinating topic for motivating investigations and stimulating imaginations.

Inside and Outside the Palace Gates | A Conversation with Candace Fleming

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I thought, “I cannot do another princess story. We “oooh” and “aaah” over the Fabergé eggs and palaces and court life, the happy family, and the royal romance between Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra. But the story of the Romanovs often excludes the rest of the history. They weren’t minding the store.

What’s On Your Summer Reading List? | Authors and Illustrators Respond

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Find out what your favorite authors and illustrators are reading this summer.

‘Revolution’ | A Conversation with Deborah Wiles

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“I love asking ‘what if?’ with my characters, setting them up to make choices, putting them in situations that will break their hearts, asking more of them than they seem to be able to handle, and seeing what they do….”

Juneteenth: The First Day of Freedom

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Angela Johnson and E. B. Lewis’s beautiful and evocative and ‘All Different Now’ (S&S, 2014) commemorates the first Juneteenth (June 19, 1865), when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the long-delayed news of emancipation.

What We Learned | Crafting Standards-Based Lessons

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Crafting standards-based lessons has taught our ‘Curriculum Connections’ columnists a thing or two. They share their insights in this article.

Remembering D-Day

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Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied troops launched an audacious assault on a 50-mile expanse of heavily defended coastline in Normandy, France. These resources on the historic event incorporate dynamic writing, stunning visuals, and plentiful primary source materials.

Summer Reading To “(Re)Invigorate” Your Teaching | Professional Shelf

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“There’s power in firsthand advice from people in the field who have been recognized for their excellence and expertise” and educators looking to reinvigorate their teaching need look no further than these two books for tips and suggestions on how to do so.

Classics are Cool, But… | Summer Reading for Grades 9-12

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Entice your students with a summer reading list of high-interest titles that are both literary and potential crowd pleasers. Evangelicals, mermaids, bullies, man-eating insects, robots, and cheerleaders abound in this selection that’s guaranteed to garner their attention.

Creep around Graveyards, Search for Spies | Summer Reading for Grades 4-8

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Summer is a time for exploration and discovery, for ruminating on history and losing oneself in adventures. This list of titles will travel well, whether it’s to a sunny spot in the backyard, to the beach, or to a destination miles away.

Invitations to Imagination | Summer Reading for K-3

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Summer ushers in a time of unstructured play, when children can explore their surroundings and connect to the outside world through their imaginations. Here is a selection of books that provide launch points for children to do just that.

The Bug Rescuer | A Conversation with Sarah Albee

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What did mosquitoes have to do with the Louisiana Purchase? Lice with the Irish potato famine? And what mysterious disease plagued the Philistines? As she promises in her introduction, Sarah Albee answers all these questions in glorious and “disgusting” detail in ‘Bugged.’

Traveling the World Through Picture Books

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Whether describing a Brazilian boy whose dreams shine as bright as the stars, a youngster’s first rollicking ride on a matatu in Kenya, or a Jamaican girl’s satisfaction at mastering a difficult task, the titles offer glimpses at particular places and lifestyles while touching upon themes that will resonate with children everywhere.

Curveballs, Cooking, and a ‘Cosmobiography’ | Nonfiction Notes, May 2014

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This month’s selections include titles that will satisfy readers with passions from music to sports and history to cooking. They’ll also make great titles to add to your summer reading lists.

Our Ecological Footprint | Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum

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Exploring the impact of human activity on the environment provides high school students with an opportunity to understand ecological issues from the inside out. By conducting hands-on research, teens have the opportunity to interact with their surrounding environment, collect evidence, and analyze results—and the implications for their community.

‘The Global Education Toolkit’ | Professional Shelf

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The ‘Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners’ offers a wealth of practical ideas, suggestions for activities, and resources guaranteed to encourage and energize meaningful learning about the world.

Connected Learning | Professional Shelf

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A collection of 18 inspiring, real-life stories gleaned from the National Writing Project’s “Digital Is” website highlights the work of teachers actively shaping classroom instruction to meet the needs of diverse student populations amid the challenges of new standards and high-stakes testing.

Silly Chickens and Red Lollipops | Rukhsana Khan, An Author to Study

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Rukhsana Khan is on a mission to write stories that children can identify with, while, at the same time, show Western readers that Muslim families are pretty much the same as theirs.

Beyond the Computer: A Writer Reflects On Information Literacy

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Author Deborah Hopkinson reflects on the skills today’s students will need in the years to come as they respond to complex global issues.