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July 6, 2015

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Kate Messner’s “59 Reasons to Write” | Professional Shelf

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Children’s and YA author Kate Messner’s “Teachers Write,” a free online writing workshop for teachers and librarians, will begin on July 6th. Are you ready?

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler | An Interview With Phillip Hoose

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Phillip Hoose’s book about a group of Danish teens who took on the Nazis when the rest of the country was too afraid shines a light on a little-known but awe-inspiring tale of courage.

The Only Game | Baseball!

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As a new baseball season begins, the hopes of fans everywhere are flying high. This season’s promising line-up of middle-grade sports fiction is sure to please.

Whale Watching|Those Magnificent—and Vulnerable—Leviathans

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Encourage kids to dive into this selection of informational and fictional picture books to learn more about the largest animals on the planet.

The Hum of Mindful Learning | Professional Shelf

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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.

Take Wing | New Books About Birds

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Use these fun-to-share offerings that utilize a variety of formats, illustrative styles, and narrative focuses to support a unit on birds, facilitate comparisons between different informational texts, and encourage imaginations to soar.

Bold New Worlds | Fantasy Titles for Middle Grade Readers, Spring 2015

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Three new middle grade titles offer exciting twists on familiar fantasy tropes and world-building.

Takin’ It to the Streets | Ann Bausum on “Stonewall”

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On a sweltering night in June 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a well-known gay bar in New York City’s West Village. It wasn’t the first time the bar was raided, but that night the scene erupted into a riot. The legacy of that event and those that followed is explored in Ann Bausum’s stunning new book, Stonewall.

Changing the World with Erin Gruwell | Professional Shelf

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Erin Gruwell, a teacher determined to make a difference, and her students became the subject of the 2007 Hollywood movie Freedom Writers. On May 5, Gruwell and some of those same students will visit with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Together they will view a new documentary about the Freedom Writers’ extraordinary journey.

Talkin’ Trash | Spotlight on the Environment

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In schools across the country, we remind children and teens to “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but how these acts impact a community isn’t always visible. The consequences of avoiding that responsibility are, however.

Farm to Table: The Food We Eat, the World We Live In

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Serve these titles up as part of units on life science, health and nutrition, community workers, ecology, and the conservation of natural resources.

Paul B. Janeczko: On Poetry, Anthologizing, and Shelfies | An Interview

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In Paul B. Janeczko’s latest anthology, 50 poems explore an equal number of objects from Rumi’s “just-finishing” candle to William Carlos Williams’s red wheelbarrow.

Shining a Spotlight On Verse | Professional Shelf

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Two new handbooks remind teachers and librarians that poetry needn’t be relegated to a single unit or a particular time of year.

Alice Hoffman on “Nightbird” | “I Write the Book I Want to Read.”

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In an interview, Alice Hoffman talks about her new middle grade novel, “Nightbird,” and the power of fairy tales.

Feisty Females in Secret Societies | New Fiction for Young Adults

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Following the enormous success of Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy, action-packed novels with powerful female protagonists have become a mainstay of young adult lit.

Team Kelly Light | A Whole-School Author Visit

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What does a whole-school author visit look like? P.S. 110 in New York City’s Lower East Side can tell you. Under the leadership of Principal Karen Feuer, the entire community gets involved when an author comes to town.

Fun with Folktales | Revisiting Old Favorites

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Most elementary-aged children have already met Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood in their literary travels—try introducing them to some modern retellings that mingle familiar elements with fresh and imagination-stretching innovations.

Graphic Biographies for Teens

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Where else would Ötzi the Iceman, Ibn Battuta, Hildegard of Bingen, Bruce Lee, and Malala Yousafzai sit side by side but in a collective biography? These recently released books featuring fascinating figures and graphic art are guaranteed to appeal to teens.

Spotlight On Ecosystems | Aquatic Biomes

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Environmental awareness, and problem solving, begins with foundational knowledge about Earth’s biomes, including freshwater and saltwater ecosystems such as estuaries, oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, and coral reefs. This list offers a cluster of recent resources for elementary collections that underscore the idea that kids can be citizen scientists, too.

Challenge Authority! | Teen Guides to Thinking Critically

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Three recent titles examine the roots of myths and misinformation and encourage teens to think critically.