April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Alternative Search Tools: These options to Google will help students become better researchers

Cool Tools columnist Richard Byrne presents some free options for research that don’t require a login, along with a few quick tips to aid student searches.

Books That Explore Our (Very Distant) Past: Ancient skulls and skeletons can tell us about ourselves | Nonfiction Booktalker

The authors of the following books for fifth to eighth graders have gone way back in time—writing about intriguing research that has uncovered ancient bones, skulls, and complete skeletons.

Whodunit?: Mysteries Can Support the Common Core | Listen In

With their emphasis on clear observation, logical thinking, and well-drawn conclusions, mysteries support many Common Core State Standards and lend themselves to an array of interesting writing assignments. These audiobooks are sure to spark student interest.

SLJ Talks to Author Andrea Cheng: Her latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter | Under Cover

Author Andrea Cheng’s latest book, ‘Etched in Clay,’ charts the courageous life of Dave the potter, a 19th-century slave who became an accomplished artist.

Saved by I-SAIL: Making the most of a tool that articulates the value of school libraries | On Common Core

In 2007. “ the superintendent came to me when he was cutting the budget and asked me why he should keep me and the library,” said Karen Smith-Cox. “He was not joking.”  Her story is not unfamiliar, but the outcome provides insight for all libraries.

“As I researched support to keep the librarian and the program, I stumbled upon a first draft of I-SAIL,” added Smith-Cox, a K–8 Teacher/Librarian at the Arthur/Lovington (IL) School District. “I read it and knew […]

Why Can’t We Be Friends?: Tales of the Heart

Filled with unlikely but enduring attachments, ostensibly incompatible Romeos and Juliets, and unexpected instances of true animal camaraderie, these books prove that affection can allow individuals to look beyond their differences and forge long-lasting bonds. Use these books to expand Valentine’s Day and friendship storytimes; tease out overarching themes; and initiate discussions of tolerance, compassion, and community.

The Man Behind Clifford: An interview with the Big Red Dog’s creator, Norman Bridwell

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first Clifford book, Clifford the Big Red Dog. How big is he? Very big. More than 126 million Clifford books are in print in 13 languages. And an animated Clifford TV series is in its 12th season on PBS Kids. Earlier this year, I spoke to Norman Bridwell about his remarkable career.

The Art of the Caldecott: At 75, the powerful award keeps proving the value of librarians’ expertise | Editorial

There’s nothing quite like the run-up to the announcement of the Youth Media Awards at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Meeting.

Letters to SLJ: February 2013

The continuing conversation about whether Dewey’s days are numbered.

The Literary Equation: USBBY’s Outstanding International Books connect kids worldwide

Stories connect people who live in different places, during different times, or who have different interests. Books tell stories in words, pictures, or both all the world over.

Adult Books 4 Teens: February 2013


BLOCK, Francesca Lia. The Elementals. 320p. St. Martin’s. 2012. Tr $24.99. ISBN 978-1-250-00549-6. LC 2012028277.
Adult/High School–Block’s latest is a perfect example of the “new adult” trend. While she is best known for Weetzie Bat (Harper, 1989) and its sequels, which won her the Margaret A. Edwards award, she has also written adult novels throughout her career, and this book straddles both age groups. Ariel and her friend Jeni had planed on attending UC Berkeley together, but when Ariel can’t […]

Reference Book Reviews | February 2013

Check out SLJ’s latest reference reviews.

Book Review: Professional Reading | February 2013

Check out SLJ’s professional reading reviews.

Book Review: Grades 5 & Up | February 2013

Check out SLJ’s more than 100 reviews for grades 5 and up.

Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 | February 2013

Check out SLJ’s more than 100 reviews for preschool through grade 4.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books | February 2013

BiblioBoard and Pyramids 3D, check out these App reviews.

Book/Multimedia Review Stars List: February 2013

Check out this month’s listing of stars! WOW!

Multimedia Reviews: February 2013

Be sure to check out School Library Journal’s February 2013 DVD and audio reviews, including 12 starred reviews.

Making the Principal Connection

Mark Ray asserts that principals and librarians have a lot more in common than you might think—and he should know. After 20 years as a teacher librarian, the 2012 Washington Teacher of the Year has become a district IT administrator. From his new perch, he shares insights into the the pivotal alliance possible between two key solo players in the school: librarian and principal.

CES 2013 Top Trends for Schools: From adaptive ebooks to crowd-funded technology, products to look out for

Grumbling about the relevance of CES notwithstanding, several standout products are set to impact K–12 education. SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings taps the highlights, including one overarching trend that’s bound to affect a wide range of devices for all users.