April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for March 2016

Steampunk, SLIME, and Game Design: Lead the Change Fast-Learning Sessions

Three rapid-fire presentations on steampunk making, organizing a regional maker expo, and digital game design wrapped up our Lead the Change Maker Workshop.

The Buddy System: Everyone Gains When Kids Read Together

Reading buddy and paired reading initiatives are on the rise. Here’s what these programs look like today—and tips for creating your own.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

New Dremel 3-D Printer Announced

Intended to expand classroom opportunities for 3-D printing, the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 features new software plus WiFi- and USB-enabled capabilities.

DNA Play | Touch and Go

While genetics is a topic generally taught in secondary schools, an app from Avokiddo introduces the concept of DNA, and mutability, to a younger audience.


SPONSORED: Macmillan Library @ TxLA 2016 (Booth #1544)

We can’t wait to see you in Houston at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference later this month! Peruse the program, join us in booth #1544 for galley giveaways and at all of the events below!

Book Review: Breakfast with Neruda by Laura Moe, reviewed by teen reviewer Lexi

Publisher’s Book Description Michael Flynn is just trying to get through his community service after he made the dumb decision to try to blow up his friend’s car with fireworks–the same friend who stole Michael’s girl. Being expelled and losing his best buddy and his girlfriend are the least of his problems: Michael has learned […]

I Am Pan by Mordicai Gerstein | SLJ Review

Gerstein, Mordicai. I Am Pan. 80p. Roaring Brook. Mar. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781626720350. 

Gr 1-4–Pan is a loud, energetic, and mischievous little god. Born to Hermes, he is the apple of his parents’ eye, as well as a joy to all in Olympus…for a while. The other gods begin to tire of his wild antics and silly ways, so they suggest he head off to Arcadia, where there are pigs, goats, hills, streams, waterfalls, bees, […]

Penguin Teen on Tour, DFW Stop

Penguin Teen on Tour, DFW Stop// On Tuesday, The Teen and I were able to catch the Penguin Teen on Tour stop at the Dallas Half-Price Books store. Authors on this stop included Alison Goodman (THE DARK DAYS CLUB), Sabaa Tahir (AN EMBER IN THE ASHES), Rachel Hawkins (The Rebel Belle series), April Genevieve Tucholke […]

The Closing Match: The Marvels vs Gone Crazy in Alabama vs Nimona

On this last day of March, let’s find out which book becomes the 2016 SLJ Battle of the Kids’ Books winner! We hope you have enjoyed this wild ride with us.

All the Way LIVE: The Yarn with Kate DiCamillo @ ALA Annual

The Yarn is as un-live as it gets. We edit, we add, we move stuff around (then move it back) – the show is the opposite of spontaneous. But maybe we don’t know what we’re missing? Colby Sharp and I are pleased to announce that we’re going to find out. At the American Library Association […]

Review of the Day: Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Don’t Call Me Grandma By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon Carolrhoda Books (a division of Lerner) $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-4677-4208-5 Ages 4-7 On shelves now. In 2016 a picture book won a Newbery Award. Which is to say, a picture book was declared the best-written work for children between the ages of 0-14. After […]

Smashing Adobe

I’ve been doing a lot of app smashing these days, but I recently discovered that sometimes suites are just, well, sweet.  Even sweeter when they are free. A little over a year ago, I kinda fell in love with Adobe Voice, for its easy, elegant storytelling affordances.  Gather your images, hit the record button and […]

Virginia Bill Requires Educators to Offer Alternative Book Option Upon Request

The protests of one mom, who didn’t want her son reading Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” led to legislation that would require an “opt-out” option for assigned literature.

Real-World STEM: a Library Bio Lab and a Sixth-Grade Code Curriculum

A Brooklyn middle school teacher who built a computer science class from scratch and a California public librarian who created a library bio lab shared the stage at the Lead the Change session “STEM in the Real World.”

Gene Luen Yang to Create an Asian Superman

One of the big announcements at last week’s Wondercon is that one of the most iconic characters of all time, Superman, is getting a makeover—in the hands of writer Gene Luen Yang. The original Superman isn’t going anywhere, but Yang will be writing a new series, New Superman, featuring a 17-year-old youth from Shanghai, Kenji […]

Video Games Weekly: Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2

One of the biggest requests I get from parents visiting the library is a video game that isn’t “too violent” that their kid/teen will also enjoy playing. As you can guess, it’s really hard to find a shooter game that fits that category, since most shooter games like Call of Duty are rated M. Luckily, […]

Makoons by Louise Erdrich | SLJ Review

Erdrich, Louise. Makoons. illus. by Louise Erdrich. 176p. (The Birchbark House Series: Bk. 5). ebook available. HarperCollins. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780060577933. 

Gr 4-6 –In the newest addition to this series, Erdrich continues her excellent storytelling relating more adventures of a small clan of Ojibwe in the 1860s. Eight-year-old Makoons, or Little Bear, recovers from his heartsick-induced illness (as described in Chickadee [HarperCollins, 2012]) and dreams a vision full of joy and sorrow. Makoons and […]

Book Review: Character Driven by David Lubar

What do Better Off Dead, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Lizzie McGuire all have in common? Besides the fact that they seriously date me, I mean. Character Driven by David Lubar all bring these references to mind in both voice and in the way the main character breaks the fourth wall. Cliff, that is his […]

Announcing — Winner of the 2016 BoB Undead Poll

You voted! You waited! You hoped!
Now find out which book is the 2016 Undead Winner!

Morning Notes: Rejuvenation Edition

WHAT SOLD WHAT IN 2015 Publishers Weekly released their annual rundown of best selling books based on Neilsen Bookscan data. Lots of stuff you might expect. My favorite section is the hardcover backlist section, where classics mingle with newer popular books. Click here to read. YOU ARE THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR No?? Well, maybe […]