April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

7 True Historical Adventure Tales for Kids Who Can’t Get Enough “I Survived”

Nonfiction survival stories remain a popular genre for tweens. These seven titles offer unique perspectives and riveting adventure.

Stellar New Tween Reads

A roundup of recently starred titles perfect for tween readers.

Using Nonfiction in Book Clubs for Tweens

When planning for student book clubs, don’t forget about nonfiction, says librarian Jennifer Wharton.

Looking at U.S. History Through a Different Lens | Nonfiction Notions

When librarian Jennifer Wharton began weeding the 900s section of the children’s library, she discovered that her history and biography sections were in dire need of updating. She took it as an opportunity to seek out books that offered different—and much needed—perspectives.

Cooking with Chapter Books

These five food-themed chapter books are perfect inspiration to get kids engaged in kitchen-based learning.

Mindful Activities for Stressed Out Tweens

Four relaxing and stress-relieving activities that tweens can do in (or around) the library.

Finding the Words to Talk About Abuse: Tony Abbott on “The Summer of Owen Todd”

Abbott discusses his latest book and the need for fiction that addresses the all-too-often ignored subject of child sexual abuse.

Chalkboard Controversy: Naughty Graffiti and Social Media Safety in a Middle School Library Space

A chalkboard wall in a newly designed public library space for middle schoolers brought fun opportunities—and some unexpected challenges.

Get Clued In: Chapter Book Mysteries & Lesson Plan Tie-Ins

Five chapter book mystery series with activities and lesson plan ideas.

Putting “Wunder” into the Ordinary: An Interview with Jessica Townsend

Jessica Townsend’s debut fantasy is as delightful and optimistic as the author herself.

Chatting with Dusti Bowling, Author of “Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus”

Aven Green, who was born without arms, moves to a new state, makes a new friend, and uncovers a mystery. We chat with Bowling about her inspirations, how she worked with sensitivity readers to develop Aven, and her deep love for the Arizona desert.

Getting Tweens To Think (and Act) Globally | Nonfiction Notions

These six nonfiction titles illuminate global challenges and offer readers meaningful ways to make a difference in their world.

How Educators Can Respond to Mental Health Concerns Raised by “13 Reasons Why” | In the Classroom

For ELA teacher Valerie Sawicki Bellomo, the controversy over the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why presented a challenge and an opportunity to support students’ mental health.

Tween Titles to Inspire Science-Based Community Projects | Nonfiction Notions

In a continuing series on nonfiction books that help tweens “build a better world,” Nonfiction Notions columnist Jennifer Wharton recommends several titles that support science-based community projects.

Talking with Terry Lynn Johnson: Author, Conservationist, Musher

Terry Lynn Johnson doesn’t just write about wilderness and survival—she lives it.

Five STEM-themed Chapter Books & Lesson Plan Ideas

These five fictional chapter books introduce scientific concepts in entertaining and accessible ways.

Sue Macy on Women in Sports, Feminism, and the Impact of Title IX

Sue Macy, whose books center on the intersection of women’s history and sports, discusses the impact of Title IX, feminism, and why she writes about real-life heroines.

Ellen Oh on Her Goosebump-Inducing “Spirit Hunters”

Ellen Oh, author and CEO/president of We Need Diverse Books, talks about crafting and researching her creepy new novel, Spirit Hunters.

“Please Don’t Talk About Your LGBTQ+ Book”: Barbara Dee on “Star-Crossed” and Her Recent School Visit Experience

Barbara Dee’s latest novel features a middle school-aged character who crushes on both girls and boys. At a recent school visit, teachers told Ms. Dee not to mention the book.

“Build a Better World” with Chapter Books

Chapter Book Chat columnist Abby Johnson recommends three recent titles (along with lesson plan and activity ideas) that fit perfectly with the “Build A Better World” summer reading theme.