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September 3, 2015

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

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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.”

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

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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.

Minding the Curriculum Gaps | Consider the Source

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It is a form of generosity for authors to give young adults access to important histories—histories that are no less crucial simply because they are not yet required reading or don’t appear on standardized tests.

More “Endless” Fun | Touch and Go

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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.

Warren Buckleitner Curates a Starter Set of Apps

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You might say that the iPad’s been cursed by its own success—full of mid-to-low quality apps that tease kids with free offers. Here’s a starter list of better apps, with something for every youngster.

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

The Nonfiction Transmedia Challenge | Consider the Source

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The challenge for nonfiction writers is to discover the best pathways into the world in any form, to build a compelling narrative in words, but, also, to find ways to weave in the sounds, the images, the videos that best complement the text.

“Homes” Around the World | Touch and Go

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

Sandbox Science on the iPad

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

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

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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.

The 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference

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Now in its third year, the 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference will take place in New York City for the first time, June 12–14, bringing together publishers, authors, and educators for three days of lively panels, informative presentations, and in-depth workshops on topics varying from ebooks and apps to literacy standards and social media.

Hilda Bewildered | Touch and Go

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Few authors and developers create fictional stories for the iPad with the tween and teen audience in mind. Lynley Stace of Slap Happy Larry is an exception. Her latest app, Hilda Bewildered, will delight fans.

It’s All About the Birds | Touch and Go

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Bird-watching is one of the fastest growing outdoor hobbies in United States, generating enthusiasm across age groups and demographics. Digital references for these hobbyists are on the rise.

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.

A Pourquoi Tale from Liberia: “Dentist Bird” | Touch and Go

Screen from "Dentist Bird" (Literary Safari)

Dentist Bird, a West African folktale from Literary Safari, explains how it came to be that plover birds clean crocodiles’ teeth. The developer notes that 100 percent of the purchase price of the app will go to “We-Care Foundation’s efforts to keep children reading and learning amidst the Ebola outbreak.” For iOS and Android.

What Does “Excellence” in Nonfiction Mean to YALSA? | Consider the Source

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A look at YALSA’s Nonfiction Award for Excellence leaves the author with some questions about the award’s criteria.

Playing with the Alphabet, “Metamorphabet” | Touch and Go

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Only two months out of the gate and ‘Metamorphabet,’ a new app created and developed by Patrick Smith and Vectorpark, has received accolades, including recognition by the 2015 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award Committee. Take a peek at the trailer and you’ll see why.

What Would Winston Do? | Touch and Go

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A new app from Touch Press includes “primary sources; promotes analysis, evaluation, and higher-level thinking; and is beautifully designed and fun.” What more could we ask for?

Books I’d Like to See | Consider the Source

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Like me, you probably have a list of books that you would like to see written—and published. Here are a couple of topics I’d like to see addressed in a book. What are yours?

New from Nosy Crow! Snow White | Touch and Go

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Nosy Crow’s list of fairy tales has scooped up a number of accolades including the prestigious BolognaRagazzi Digital Award in the fiction category. Their latest app features the same quirky storytelling and smart interactivity that has enchanted children since their first production was released.

Westward Bound | Touch and Go

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“‘With a sinking feeling, I realized that I was entering a new kind of life, as rough and full of ups and downs as the road over which we traveled. Would I have the courage and fortitude to stick it out?”—Katherine Kirk,’” quoted in Kids Discover’s “Pioneers.”