October 23, 2014

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A Look Back and a Look Forward | Reference Online Databases


Recent online databases from Rosen and World Book introduce readers to the exciting world of science and the realm of reading, respectively.

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

Google Science Fair: inspiration from kid and adult scientists

Google Science Fair: inspiration from kid and adult scientists

Want to convince kids that their creativity and inventive spirit can make a difference?  I know of no better way than to share examples of that spirit demonstrated by the winners of this year’s Google Science Fair. On September 22, three young women from Ireland took the Grand Prize for their investigation of the use [...]

Eyes Wide Open: A proof of concept for sustaining the conversation around books

Eyes Wide Open: A proof of concept for sustaining the conversation around books

What if a book continued to resonate for its readers in a tangible way long after the pages were closed? What if books inspired, not just individual–but collective and collaborative response, creative expression, participation, action? What if communities formed around books? What if author’s webspace inspired true dialogue and interaction? And how can librarians, with [...]

Summer Badges and More from the Smithsonian

Summer badges and more from the Smithsonian

Looking for a way to engage kids in meaningful inquiry around their own interests and passions this summer? The Smithsonian Quests Digital Badging program can motivate kids to explore and learn wherever they are this summer, while earning recognition for their achievements.

Digging dinosaurs digitally

Digging dinosaurs digitally

I can see so many young scientists getting very excited about this. I can picture a new type of digital eureka as archeologists on their digs check their cell phones to identify or verify a newly discovered artifact. The University of Michigan’s Online Showcase of 3-D Fossil Remains is a collection 20 years in the [...]

The World Around Us: Life Science | Series Made Simple


Here, you’ll find a ton of great new series that not only introduce students to the natural world around them but that also make great use of Common Core Standards: an amazing mix.

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

New Nonfic Titles Align to Next Gen Science Standards | Series Made Simple


Longtime reviewer and children’s literature consultant John Peters explores several new science series, many of which align closely to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS.)

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

Star-Studded Science for Common Core Support │ JLG’s On the Radar

Wild Animal Neighbors

Scientists encounter amazing phenomena in their work. Narrative nonfiction provides readers with answers and teachers with informational texts for curriculum standards support. The following science titles, selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild, are sure to foster an interest in knowing more about our world, and the scientists who study it.

STEAM, a Pinterest Board


Curious about STEAM? Check out School Library Journal’s Pinterest board, curated by children’s librarian Amy Koester, author of our October 2013 cover story, “Full STEAM Ahead: Injecting Art and Creativity into STEM.”

Pick of the Day: A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole (Audio)

blackhole is not a hole

Gravity, quasars, the formation of black holes, and the meaning of event horizon are just some of the ideas covered in the impressive scope of Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano’s A Black Hole Is NOT a Hole. Be sure to read the review of the audiobook version.

Science Learning | A Medley of Resources

invent to learn

As the authors of new title on inquiry and literacy note, “simply reading about science” cannot replace the “actual doing of science.” Here are a few new titles that offer guidance and suggestions on incorporating hands-on and project-based learning in science and other classrooms.

Weekly Reviews: Science & Knots

Weekly Reviews: Science & Knots

In both of today’s nonfiction titles, the authors speak directly to their readers. Both have the potential to become favorites with the right teen reader.  First up, Edward O. Wilson’s passionate and inspiring Letters to a Young Scientist. Maybe it’s the time of year, but I can’t help thinking that this would make a terrific graduation [...]

Preview: Primates


We love Jim Ottaviani’s science graphic novels here at Good Comics for Kids, and his latest one is a real treat. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, illustrated by Maris Wicks, is a delightful book that distills the story of the three women who went out and studied primates [...]

Weekly Reviews: Weird Science

Following Stiff, Spook, Bonk and Packing for Mars, Mary Roach is back with Gulp, in which she maintains her punning, entertaining writing style, as well as her willingness to go to the gross-out extreme. There were actually moments in this book that made me nauseous, and there is one chapter in particular that I believe [...]

Globalizing and Googlizing Science Fair


It’s your turn to change the world. It’s about time we remixed science fair for a networked, flattened, participatory world. Think of all those experiments year after year that lived for a few fleeting moments on a gym or cafeteria table, summarized on a cardboard tri-fold, only to be trashed days later. Think of all [...]

Pick of the Day: The Mighty Sky (CD)

CD cover with up close image of Earth from space

The Mighty Sky. CD. 31:31 min. with lyrics. NewSound Kids. 2012. ISBN unavail. $14.98.
K-Gr 4–This production is the brain child of Grammy nominee and NAMMY’s Songwriter of the Year (given by the Native American Music Association), Beth Nielsen Chapman. She was joined in the effort by songwriter Annie Roboff and lyricist Rocky Alvey, director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory. The trio has put together a fantastic album of 11 songs in various musical styles including rock, doo wop, zydeco, English [...]

On the Radar: Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild: More Outstanding Science Books for Elementary Readers

citizen scientists

For outstanding science books that bring the subject to life in fun and fresh new ways, check out the latest On the Radar picks.

On the Radar: Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild: Award-Winning Science Books for Elementary Readers


Looking for great, original science books? Check out the following award-winners for thorough nonfiction that also incorporates art, poetry, and ideas for hands-on experiments.

Review: Moonbird

Moonbird: A Year On the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. Review copy from publisher. Finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. It’s About: B95 is a rufa red knot, first tagged in Argentina in 1995. Since then, B95 has been seen again and [...]

On the Radar: Top Picks from the Editors at Junior Library Guild: Creepy Crawly Nonfiction

Orange tarantula

In October eyes are usually drawn to ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night, but reality can be just as scary. Wasps sting the brain of a cockroach, paralyzing it so that the predator can lay its eggs in the zombified body. Tarantulas liquefy their prey in order to suck up dinner with their stomach muscles. Crocodiles can grow 3000 teeth in their lifetime, but they can’t chew their food. Detection rats use their sense of smell to sniff out explosive land mines. Forest fire beetles can discover a conflagration more than 20 miles away. And there’s nothing more unique than the distinct about the shape of wombat poop.