April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Women Who Made a Difference │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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It takes a strong person to take a stand when the odds are stacked against you. For women in the early 1900s, running for a political office when they couldn’t even vote was ludicrous to many. Yet they did. A teenage girl grew tired of attending a poorly constructed and funded school. How could she make a difference? A scientist worked against the odds to save a vanishing breed. How can the efforts of one woman make an impact? The following new nonfiction titles tell the stories of how these women’s powerful acts forged a path for those yet to come.

Woman in the HouseCOOPER, Ilene. A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country. illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley. Abrams. 2014. ISBN 9781419710360. JLG Level: NM : Nonfiction Middle Grades (5–8).

In 1917, Jeanette Rankin declared, “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.” Here are the stories of women who followed in her footsteps to U.S. elected offices.

To learn more about the author, check out her website. On the news page, illustrator Baddeley tells how she managed to illustrate the book while getting married, working on other projects, and traveling. She posts some great close-ups of the book (including a picture that includes her newly married hand). You can follow both of them on Twitter,

Ilene Cooper or Elizabeth Baddeley. Lesson plans on women in Congress abound at American Women in Congress.house.gov, First Ladies.org, Congress.link.org, and Kids.gov. For primary source documents, visit the National Archives website. The direct link to the title’s resources can be found here.

Girl from the Tar Paper SchoolKANEFIELD, Teri. The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement. Abrams. 2014. ISBN 9781419707964. JLG Level: NM : Nonfiction Middle Grades 5–8).

Little-known civil rights activist Barbara Rose Johns began her work when she was just 16. Determined to step up the progress of slow-moving board action, she organized an entire school walk out. Tar paper shacks, leaky ceilings, and classrooms without supplies gave her courage feet to take charge of a protest that would become part of the well-known case of Brown vs. The Board of Education.

The author’s website includes praise for the title and a link to her blog, as well as information about her previous works. The Smithsonian records information about the student strike in Farmville, Virginia. Moton Museum.org features a biography of Johns. Videos of the school and interviews regarding the historical event are also showcased on the site. The JLG Booktalks to Go LiveBinder includes these and additional resources.

Sea Turtle ScientistSWINBURNE, Stephen R. Sea Turtle Scientist. Houghton Harcourt. 2014. ISBN 9780547367552. JLG Level: SCE : Science Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2–6).

“One egg in a thousand will produce an adult sea turtle,” says Dr. Kimberly Stewart. It’s her job to improve that statistic. The latest release in the “Scientists in the Field” series takes readers on a behind the scenes look at the efforts to increase the odds of this ancient creature’s survival. From hosting Sea Turtle Camps that teach children in St. Kitts about the dangers to sea turtles, to studying yolkless eggs, Stewart and her team work tirelessly for their cause.

Watch a video talk given by Dr. Stewart about her work as Head of St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network. From sea turtle adoption to new current information about the reptiles, read The St.KittsTurtles.org site.  Steve Swinburne’s website includes a book trailer, blog, bibliography, and information about school visits. On You Tube, you can watch a video performance of his song, “One in a Thousand.” You can gather more information about WIDECAST, an organization that works toward protecting Caribbean sea turtles and its work at their site. SeaTurtleInc.org includes lesson plans for grades four to six. Additional resources can be found in the JLG Booktalks to Go LiveBinder.

Additional Resources

In an effort to organize these links, I have created a LiveBinder. All websites will be posted within the LiveBinder, along with the accompanying booktalk. As I write more columns, more books and their resources will be added. Simply go to JLG Booktalks to Go where you will see LiveBinder main tabs. Each tab is a book title. Under each color-coded tab are gray subtabs with links to media, websites, and other related documents. Everything you need to teach or share brand new, hot-off-the-press books is now all in one place. Please visit JLG’s new LiveBinder, JLG Booktalks to Go.

For library resources, tips, and ideas, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild (JLG) is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com. (NOTE: JLG is owned by Media Source, Inc., SLJ’s parent company.)


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Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.