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August 29, 2015

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Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound by Andrea Davis Pinkney | SLJ Review

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PINKNEY, Andrea Davis. Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound. 176p. chron. discog. index. notes. photos. Roaring Brook. Sept. 2015. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781596439733.
Gr 5 Up–A tour of the musical powerhouse’s history done with verve and panache. “The Groove” takes readers through the birth and demise of Motown, one of the most influential African American-owned enterprises in the world’s social and musical history. Centering around Gordy Berry, the talented tastemaker and eventual mogul, the ingenious narration highlights the […]

Give Me Wings: How a Choir of Former Slaves Took on the World by Kathy Lowinger | SLJ Review

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LOWINGER, Kathy. Give Me Wings: How a Choir of Former Slaves Took on the World. 148p. chron. ebook available. further reading. index. maps. photos. reprods. Annick. Sept. 2015. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781554517473.
Gr 7 Up–Readers learn the story of Ella Sheppard and the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. Born a slave, Sheppard survived the Civil War and eventually enrolled in Fisk Free Colored School (now Fisk University) in Nashville, TN. However, this underfunded school for newly freed blacks floundered within a […]

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel by Betsy Harvey Kraft | SLJ Review

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Kraft, Betsy Harvey. The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris. illus. by Steven Salerno. 42p. bibliog. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. Oct. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627790727. LC 2014044914.

Gr 1-3–The planners of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair were looking for a spectacular, extraordinary, and never-before-seen attraction that would draw in huge crowds. The idea they eventually accepted was George Ferris’s huge observation wheel—what we now call the Ferris wheel. An amazing and awe-inspiring crowd-pleaser, the wheel was 264 feet […]

AP Archive now free and on YouTube!

This week the Associated Press, the world’s largest and oldest news agency, announced that its entire Archive is viewable on YouTube, and that it will be adding new material every day.  This is an INCREDIBLE treasure for educators who teach history, culture, science, current events, global studies, media literacy–pretty much anything.  I can easily imagine […]

Acclaimed Author Judith St. George Dies at 81

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Judith St. George, known for her historical works and mysteries, died June 10 at 81. Her more than 40 works include the Caldecott-winning So You Want to Be President?

History, Animals, and Zombies | Reference

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This month’s reference titles offer a detailed look at U.S. history that’s ideal for young readers, two animal-related guides, and, for readers who can’t get enough of all things undead, Encyclopedia of the Zombie.

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

Obscure Historical Figures Brought to Life | Nonfiction Grades 5 & Up

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Two stellar titles this month focus on lesser-known historical figures. Tonya Bolden’s Capital Days uncovers a journal kept by Michael Shiner, a former slave whose diary entries provide a man in the street perspective of significant historical events, while Robert P.J. Cooney Jr’s Remembering Inez is an excellent account of the life of suffragist Inez Milholland.

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

Free civil rights programs using presidential primary sources

Free civil rights programs using presidential primary sources

Now through March, the Presidential Primary Sources Project (PPSP), a partnership involving the National Park Service, U.S. Presidential Libraries and Museums and other cultural and historic organizations, and the Internet2 community, offer an exciting series of free programs for students. Designed for grades 6 through 12, the programs created by ten historic sites and libraries, […]

Presenting the Past: Q&A with Capstone’s “Captured History” Series Authors | Series Made Simple Fall 2014

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Capstone’s notable “Captured History” series has highlighted significant periods in history through arresting photographs, such as Tank Man and Migrant Mother. SLJ caught up with authors of several of the set’s titles to get the back story on these memorable, thought-provoking works

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

Newsreel heaven! British Pathé posts 90,000 Historical Films on YouTube

Newsreel heaven! British Pathé post 90,000 Historical Films on YouTube

British Pathé has placed its archive of more than 90,000 historical films (or 3,500 hours) on YouTube.

New Angles on Nonfiction | Editorial Series Made Simple

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Spicing up the same old subjects can be hard, but these series make for some great new options—your readers will be informed, entertained, and, perhaps best of all, intrigued. Read on!

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

History Everywhere: World History | Series Made Simple

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The topics covered in these geographically diverse books range from the ancient to the nearly contemporary. As kids read the best of this group, they will not only learn about historical cultures and events, but also be inspired to better know and understand the past.

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

2013: a round-up of wrap-ups

2013: a round-up of wrap-ups

When we return to a new year in school and approach the customary looking back and thinking forward rituals, here are a few models that might inspire reflection and creativity. Google’s #Zeitgeist2013 shares trends relating to the stuff we searched.  You may also explore the Zeitgeists by categories.  Use the pull-down menu to shift to […]

Interview: Nathan Hale on The Donner Dinner Party

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Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales books are a cheeky take on American history, but they are also sophisticated graphic storytelling that help bring the events to life in ways that simple prose could not. His latest book, The Donner Dinner Party, takes on a subject that has horrified and fascinated the public since it happened and […]

In Honor of Baseball’s All-Star Game, A Book to Pre-Order

Student sports fans (in this case, baseball fans specifically) can leverage their outside-of-school literacies to comprehend and appreciate the sophisticated cartoons and high-level text.

Now in Theaters: An Absolutely Must-See Doc About Digital Literacy

Now in Theaters: An Absolutely Must-See Doc About Digital Literacy

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s work represents a treasure trove of ideas for those who want to connect domestic spying and the death of privacy to civics, media studies, ICT, and political theory—not to mention information literacy and digital literacy specifically.

Syria, Spain, and the Eternal Present | Consider the Source

Photographers Gerda Taro and Robert Capa

A teen asks, “Why should we care about history, anyway? It’s over.” Marc Aronson replies.

Review: The Plantagenets

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones. Viking. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. Vacation reads (aka, when I talk about books for grownups and post them before holidays.) It’s About: The designated heir of England dies in a shipwreck; England is plunged into civil war as descendants of […]

Review: Mankind: The Story of All of Us

Mankind: The Story of All of Us is an ambitious 12-part TV series that looks at all of human civilization, starting from the beginnings of agriculture to the discovery of America. This graphic novel is a supplement to the program and features seven short stories covering from prehistoric times to the Crusades. It touches on […]

The Shoah Foundation on Media Literacy… and the Importance of Librarians

“It was purposeful that the IWitness platform was built with media literacy and school standards around digital education right at the center of its architecture.”