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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Archive | Bookstorms

Bookstorm™: Giant Pumpkin Suite

Giant Pumpkin SuiteCom­pe­ti­tion is a part of young people’s lives: art, sports, music, dance, sci­ence, cup-stack­ing … many chil­dren spend a good part of their day prac­tic­ing, learn­ing, and striv­ing to do their best. Giant Pump­kin Suite is about two types of com­pe­ti­tions, a Bach Cel­lo Suites Com­pe­ti­tion and a giant pump­kin grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Rose and Thomas Bruti­gan are twelve-year-old twins … but their per­son­al­i­ties and inter­ests are quite dif­fer­ent. It’s a book set with­in a neigh­bor­hood that pulls togeth­er when a seri­ous acci­dent changes the tra­jec­to­ry of their sum­mer. We meet so many inter­est­ing peo­ple, chil­dren and adults, in this book. It’s full of hold-your-breath plot turns. 

The book is writ­ten at a lev­el for 5th to 8th grade read­ers (and adults) and it has many ties to pop­u­lar cul­ture, math­e­mat­ics, gar­den­ing, and the nature of com­pe­ti­tion. It’s an excel­lent choice for a book club dis­cus­sion.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests.  

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Melanie Heuis­er Hill on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach. Rose Bruti­gan focus­es on an upcom­ing Bach Suites Com­pe­ti­tion by prac­tic­ing … a lot. Who was Bach and why is his music still with us 260 years after his death? Resources include books and videos of our best cel­lists play­ing the Bach Cel­lo Suites.

The Cel­lo. More about the instru­ment Rose plays, with a num­ber of videos you can share with your class or book club.

Charlotte’s Web. This book is a favorite of Rose and her neigh­bor Jane. Charlotte’s Web pro­vides a major turn­ing point in Giant Pump­kin Suite. Learn more about the book and its author, E.B. White.

Giant Pump­kins. Thomas and his neigh­bors work togeth­er to grow a giant pump­kin. Today, these pump­kins (not grown for eat­ing) can way over 2,000 pounds—more than one ton. Books, videos, and arti­cles share sto­ries and how-tos for grow­ing giant pump­kins com­pet­i­tive­ly.

Japan­ese Tea Cer­e­mo­ny. Mrs. Kiyo shares this beau­ti­ful cer­e­mo­ny with Rose. The Book­storm sug­gests a video for your stu­dents to watch.

Math­e­mat­ics and Bach. Are you aware that Bach used math and physics when cre­at­ing his com­po­si­tions? Your stu­dents can delve into this fas­ci­nat­ing aspect of the com­pos­er!

Movie Musi­cals. The music from musi­cals of the 1940s and 1950s is very impor­tant to Jane and Mrs. Lukashenko—they sing and tap dance at the least sug­ges­tion. We pro­vide three sug­ges­tions for watch­ing these movies.

Music Com­pe­ti­tion (Fic­tion). There are a num­ber of excel­lent books about young peo­ple prepar­ing for, and play­ing in, music com­pe­ti­tions! 

Music in Mid­dle Grade Books. And more nov­els in which music is an impor­tant part of the plot. 

Neigh­bor­hood Books. We sug­gest books in which the peo­ple and places of a neigh­bor­hood are inte­gral to the plot of a book. Per­haps you’ll find your favorites.

Tap Danc­ing. Who can resist a good tap dance? Anoth­er strong plot point, we sug­gest books and videos to share with your stu­dents.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Creekfinding

Creekfinding Bookstorm

CreekfindingWe were very excit­ed to read Creek­find­ing: a True Sto­ry because it tells the sto­ry of restor­ing a long-ago creek in an Iowa prairie set­ting. Just imag­ine: bring­ing back the bur­bling waters, the fish, the insects, the grass­es … every­thing that makes up the health and char­ac­ter of the land. It took bull­doz­ers and deter­mi­na­tion, part­ners and imag­i­na­tion, but it was a project that brought eco­log­i­cal suc­cess!

Our Book­storm will take you into fur­ther explo­ration, study­ing ecosys­tems, water con­ser­va­tion, com­mu­ni­ty action, fish, and more.

We trust you will find inspi­ra­tion and resources aplen­ty with­in the Book­storm to accom­pa­ny your study of Creek­find­ing: a True Sto­ry. We know you’ll share our appre­ci­a­tion for Dr. Michael Oster­holm, who con­ceived of the project, Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin, the author, Clau­dia McGe­hee, the illus­tra­tor, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Press, which under­stood how much read­ers and inno­v­a­tive thinkers need this book.

Downloadable

Bookol­o­gy inter­viewed the author, Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin, and the illus­tra­tor, Clau­dia McGe­hee, about their work on this book.

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin on her web­site. And read about illus­tra­tor Clau­dia McGe­hee on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

  • Dr. Michael Oster­holm (who con­ceived of the Creek­find­ing project)
  • drift­less region
  • ecosys­tems
  • fic­tion
  • fish
  • prairies
  • pre­serv­ing and restor­ing our nat­ur­al world
  • think glob­al­ly, act local­ly
  • urban farm­ing, restor­ing green­ery and growth to the city
  • water

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Giant Squid

Giant Squid Bookstorm

Giant SquidGiant Squid pro­vides an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach about one of the most myth­i­cal, unknown, and yet real crea­tures on earth, the Giant Squid. The incred­i­ble illus­tra­tions by Eric Rohmann help the reader’s per­cep­tion of how large this deep sea crea­ture is and how mys­te­ri­ous. Found so deep with­in the sea, there is very lit­tle light. How did Eric Rohmann cre­ate the sense of this water dark­ness and the release of ink, a defense mech­a­nism? How did Can­dace Flem­ing write with spare text and yet tell us so many fas­ci­nat­ing details about the Giant Squid?

Our Book­storm will take you into fur­ther explo­ration, study­ing bio­lu­mi­nes­cence, oth­er deep sea crea­tures, ocean ecol­o­gy, oceanog­ra­phers, and more.

There are excel­lent resources in the back mat­ter of the book as well. We trust you will find inspi­ra­tion and resources aplen­ty with­in the Book­storm to accom­pa­ny your study of Giant Squid. 

Downloadable

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Can­dace Flem­ing on her web­site. And read about illus­tra­tor Eric Rohmann on his web­site.

There’s a Teach­ing Guide avail­able for Giant Squid, writ­ten by nat­u­ral­ist Lee Ann Land­strom.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

  • Bio­lu­mi­nes­cence
  • Deep Sea Crea­tures
  • Fic­tion
  • Giant Squid, in par­tic­u­lar
  • Oceans
  • Rel­a­tive Size
  • Sci­en­tif­ic Explo­ration

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Presenting Buffalo Bill

Bookmap Presenting Buffalo Bill

Presenting Buffalo BillPre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill pro­vides an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion between fic­tion and non­fic­tion, mythol­o­gy and fact, as well as the dis­cern­ment, research, and dis­cus­sion skills that are nat­u­ral­ly born out of this type of close read­ing. Buf­fa­lo Bill’s life and Wild West Show are excit­ing and the author makes them all the more vivid and engag­ing with her writ­ing. In her sec­tions on “Pan­ning for the Truth,” the dif­fer­ences between myth (or sto­ry­telling or mar­ket­ing) are called out for fur­ther exam­i­na­tion.

Our per­cep­tions of the Wild West have changed as we have lis­tened to voic­es from many cul­tures, shar­ing their expe­ri­ences, open­ing our eyes, com­mu­ni­cat­ing in ways those who immi­grat­ed to Amer­i­ca didn’t have avail­able. West­erns, movies and books set in the “Old West” can now be looked at with dif­fer­ent eyes and more under­stand­ing minds. Thought­ful papers on then and now can encour­age height­ened aware­ness. A Tall Tale Con­test might point out how exag­ger­a­tion and decep­tion work in mar­ket­ing and inter­net arti­cles.

We’ve includ­ed books on truth and lies, mythol­o­gy ver­sus authen­tic­i­ty, as well as fic­tion and non­fic­tion writ­ten at var­i­ous points in our his­to­ry. There are excel­lent resources in the back mat­ter of Can­dace Fleming’s book as well. We trust you will find inspi­ra­tion and resources aplen­ty to accom­pa­ny your study of Pre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Can­dace Flem­ing on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Buf­fa­lo Bill. He was once one of the most famous men in the world. Hun­dreds of dime nov­els were writ­ten about him. Sev­er­al ver­sions of his auto­bi­og­ra­phy are avail­able. Many authors have cho­sen to chron­i­cle his life and his Wild West Show. We’ve cho­sen a few that will pro­vide a means for stu­dents to con­trast and com­pare. Online resources will add depth to research.

Art of the 19th Cen­tu­ry. Buf­fa­lo Bill’s most famous por­trait was paint­ed by the French artist Rosa Bon­heur. Hun­dreds of posters from the Wild West Show can be stud­ied to reveal how they tell a per­sua­sive sto­ry or influ­ence the audi­ence to attend the shows.

Exag­ger­a­tion, Lies, and Sto­ry­telling. One of the most thought-pro­vok­ing aspects of Pre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill is the atten­tion Can­dace Flem­ing pays to the verac­i­ty of the sto­ries Will Cody told and oth­ers told about him. We’ve includ­ed cur­rent books about truth, lying, decep­tion, and mar­ket­ing. An in-depth study that car­oms off Candace’s book will fas­ci­nate your stu­dents.

Mythol­o­gy ver­sus Authen­tic­i­ty. Com­par­ing oth­er myths to that of the Wild West, includ­ing folk heroes of the same era such as Davy Crock­ett, and mod­ern-day myths such as Star Wars and Star Trek, will help with com­par­a­tive analy­sis.

Native Amer­i­cans. Buf­fa­lo Bill employed hun­dreds of Amer­i­can Indi­ans in his Wild West shows. He inter­act­ed with famous chiefs and brought entire fam­i­lies into his show encamp­ments. We’ve includ­ed biogra­phies of heroes such as Sit­ting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Red Cloud, as well as con­tem­po­rary nov­els and non­fic­tion.

The West Dur­ing Bill Cody’s Life­time. Flem­ing sets the Wild West Show and Bill’s life with­in the con­text of geog­ra­phy, his­to­ry, and pol­i­tics. The Book­storm includes books about the chil­dren, women, men, and pol­i­tics of Bill’s life, those who lived in the authen­tic West.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Bookmap Let Your Voice Be Heard

Let Your Voice Be HeardWhether you include social jus­tice, com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice, activism, or social action in your cur­ricu­lum or at your library, this is the ide­al book for you. A biog­ra­phy of Pete Seeger, recip­i­ent of our Nation­al Medal for the Arts, and cham­pi­on of the peo­ple for his 94 years, our Book­storm this month, Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, cel­e­brates his life while it inspires each read­er to car­ry on his work. At once infor­ma­tive and enter­tain­ing, Ani­ta Sil­vey has writ­ten a book that looks at Seeger’s child­hood, his evo­lu­tion from singer to world­wide change leader to deeply admired man. Emi­nent­ly read­able, this would be a good book to share with stu­dents as  you lead into deep­er dis­cus­sions about involve­ment and ser­vice in your own com­mu­ni­ty.

The book is writ­ten at a lev­el for 4th to 6th grade read­ers, so you can use this with these stu­dents, but we also encour­age you to use the book in mid­dle school, high school, and with adult groups. It’s an excel­lent choice for a book club dis­cus­sion.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about the ways in which Pete Seeger influ­enced our world. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Ani­ta Sil­vey on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

About Pete Seeger. To sup­ple­ment the infor­ma­tion Ani­ta Sil­vey has includ­ed in her biog­ra­phy, we’ve sug­gest­ed a few oth­er books that offer anoth­er per­spec­tive.

Writ­ten by Pete Seeger. He was remark­ably pro­lif­ic in writ­ing books, or intro­duc­tions, or col­lab­o­rat­ing on quite a few books. You’ll cer­tain­ly rec­og­nize Abiy­oyo but there are more books for study, enjoy­ment, and for singing!

Pete Seeger’s Music. He’s so well-known for his music and he record­ed a great num­ber of folk songs for chil­dren and all ages. We’ve point­ed you in the direc­tion of some of the best that you can share in your class­room or library. 

Civ­il Rights. Well-known for his efforts on behalf of the Civ­il Rights Move­ment, for over  70 years, we offer rec­om­men­da­tions so you can gath­er a shelf full of paired books includ­ing fic­tion, true sto­ries, and poet­ry.

Labor Move­ment. Sep­tem­ber is the month when we hon­or the hard work of those who have fought for work­ers’ rights, out­law­ing child labor, ensur­ing health and vaca­tion and sick leave ben­e­fits. Pete Seeger was a tire­less pro­po­nent of this work. You’ll find a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions to sup­port this aspect of his biog­ra­phy, cer­tain­ly engen­der­ing dis­cus­sion. We’ve includ­ed rec­om­men­da­tions for songs to accom­pa­ny this study.

Folk Music, Col­lect­ing, Play­ing, Singing. Do you know the work of Alan and John Lomax, Woody Guthrie, Charles and Ruth Seeger, Smith­son­ian Folk­ways, and oth­er musi­col­o­gists? This is a fas­ci­nat­ing aspect of Pete Seeger’s life that can lead to dis­cus­sions of pre­serv­ing cul­ture, the intrin­sic place of music with­in a cul­ture … and more singing! Sug­ges­tions are made for fur­ther study of many indi­vid­u­als impor­tant to the preser­va­tion of folk music.

Pol­i­tics: Under Sus­pi­cion and Black­list­ed (Cen­sor­ship). Dur­ing those times of the year when your class­room or library is focus­ing on cen­sor­ship, Ani­ta Sil­vey focus­es on the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee of the 1950s, Com­mu­nism, and black­list­ing. All of these can be com­pared to the polit­i­cal cli­mate in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­ca. We have includ­ed a vari­ety of fic­tion and non­fic­tion rec­om­men­da­tions.

Protest­ing War (Viet­nam). The protests of the 1960s and 1970s in Amer­i­ca left an indeli­ble change on the coun­try that a num­ber of anthro­pol­o­gists argue con­tin­ues to affect Amer­i­ca today. Pete Seeger was active in this protest move­ment. Books on the war, its after­math, and songs of protest are a part of this Book­storm.

Think Glob­al­ly, Act Local­ly. Pete Seeger’s social action with The Clear­wa­ter Project, gath­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties to clean up The Hud­son Riv­er in New York, was accom­plished through song, com­mu­ni­ty gath­er­ings, fundrais­ing, and hard work. We pro­vide quotes, videos, web­sites, and a lot of books for stu­dents to use for learn­ing more and mak­ing their own plans for involve­ment.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: No Monkeys, No Chocolate

No Monkeys Bookmap

 

No Monkeys, No ChocolateWe are pleased to fea­ture No Mon­keys, No Choco­late as our August book selec­tion, in which author and sci­ence writer Melis­sa Stew­art, along with Allen Young and illus­tra­tor Nicole Wong share the inter­de­pen­dent ecosys­tem that cre­ates the right con­di­tions for cacao beans to be grown and har­vest­ed so we can pro­duce choco­late.

This ecosys­tem is set in the rain­for­est of the Ama­zon, but there are inter­de­pen­dent ecosys­tems all over the world, vital ani­mals, rep­tiles, birds, insects, humans, and plants that are nec­es­sary for our lives to con­tin­ue on this earth. We all rely on each oth­er. We all have a part to play in pre­serv­ing a healthy Earth. We are grate­ful to authors and illus­tra­tors like Melis­sa, Allen, and Nicole who bring these con­nec­tions to our atten­tion so we can share them with chil­dren who will become the stew­ards of this plan­et.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about Amer­i­can light­hous­es, light­house keep­ers, and biogra­phies of female heroes. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Melis­sa Stew­art on her web­site. Illus­tra­tor Nicole Wong’s web­site will show you more of her port­fo­lio.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Choco­late. I know there are peo­ple who don’t like choco­late, but sure­ly they are a small per­cent­age of peo­ple in the world! As we move between descrip­tions of deca­dent choco­late plea­sures to news that it’s healthy for us to foun­tains and per­son­al­ized choco­late … these books share facts, sto­ries, and tan­ta­liz­ing pho­tographs.

Ecosys­tems. Our fea­tured book is an excel­lent descrip­tion of an ecosys­tem in which plants, ani­mals, and insects work togeth­er to cre­ate the bean that cre­ates choco­late. There are a num­ber of good exam­ples of ecosys­tems through­out the world in the books we’ve includ­ed.

Grow­ing Food. We appre­ci­ate and thank the peo­ple who work so hard to grow our food. From urban farms to rur­al ranch­es to rain­forests, the foods we tend and grow and har­vest are essen­tial to all life on earth. We hope that teach­ing chil­dren about the sources of their food, the peo­ple who grow it, and the care giv­en to the stuff of life will encour­age a healthy lifestyle.

Mon­keys. Mon­keys, chim­panzees, goril­las, apes … pri­mates have been fas­ci­nat­ing peo­ple, espe­cial­ly chil­dren, since time began. And now we now they’re essen­tial for choco­late! We’ve includ­ed books that will start dis­cus­sions, answer ques­tions, and enter­tain young read­ers.

Pol­li­na­tion. The process of pol­li­na­tion, and all the ways it hap­pens, is incred­i­ble. These books are guar­an­teed to inter­est young read­ers.

Rain For­est Preser­va­tion. It’s vital for all the peo­ple of the earth to sup­port efforts to keep the rain forests of our world healthy. The more we know and under­stand about their role in our cli­mate, our air, our abil­i­ty to breathe, the more we can com­mit to doing our part as indi­vid­u­als. 

Author’s Web­site Resources. Author Melis­sa Stew­art cre­at­ed a writ­ing time­line that is use­ful in teach­ing writ­ing, espe­cial­ly expos­i­to­ry writ­ing, to your stu­dents. She has a reader’s the­ater, teach­ing guide, and sev­er­al more teach­ing aids to offer. We’ve pro­vid­ed links.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Jazz Day

Bookmap for Jazz Day

 

Jazz DayThis month we’re fea­tur­ing Jazz Day, a book that’s all about jazz and a pho­to­graph that record­ed a moment in time, peo­ple at the top of their musi­cal careers and peo­ple who were just get­ting start­ed. Author Rox­ane Orgill is famil­iar with the jazz cul­ture; she’s writ­ten sev­er­al books about the music and the peo­ple. Illus­tra­tor Fran­cis Valle­jo took ele­ments of pho­tog­ra­phy, graph­ic design, acrylic, and pas­tels to illus­trate his first book. This pow­er­ful team has received no few­er than six starred reviews for the pic­ture book biog­ra­phy they’ve cre­at­ed togeth­er.

In Jazz Day, each sto­ry is told with a poem, among them free verse, a pan­toum, and a list poem. There are poems about the pho­tog­ra­ph­er, the musi­cians, the young neigh­bor­hood boys who showed up for the pho­to­graph out of curios­i­ty, the jazz life, and the process of tak­ing the pho­to, Harlem 1958, which is famous for cap­tur­ing a large num­ber of musi­cians in their time, their cloth­ing, their com­mu­ni­ty, but with­out their instru­ments (except for one guy, Rex Stew­art, but it earned him a poem).

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about jazz, music, singers, and pho­tog­ra­phy. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Rox­ane Orgill on her web­site. The illustrator’s web­site will show you more of Fran­cis Vallejo’s port­fo­lio.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Jazz Musi­cians in Pic­ture Books. Here you’ll find excel­lent pic­ture books about jazz musi­cians includ­ing Trom­bone Shorty, John Coltrane, Thelo­nius Monk, Louis Arm­strong, Dizzy Gille­spie, Mary Louise Williams, Mel­ba Lis­ton, Duke Elling­ton, and Ben­ny Good­man. Many of these books help us under­stand how the child­hood of these renowned musi­cians launched them into their careers.

Jazz Singers. Ella Fitzger­ald? Scat. Josephine Bak­er? Show­man­ship. Civ­il rights. The Sweet­hearts of Rhythm? Swing musi­cians who rose to promi­nence dur­ing the war. Excep­tion­al books about excep­tion­al singers.

Jazz for Old­er Read­ers. From Rox­ane Orgill’s own book, Dream Lucky, one of the best books about jazz musi­cians, to high­ly respect­ed books like Jazz 101, and The His­to­ry of Jazz, and Marsalis on Music, there’s a lot of infor­ma­tion here to get you talk­ing pro­fi­cient­ly about, and teach­ing, jazz.

Pho­tog­ra­phy. Art Kane wasn’t a pho­tog­ra­ph­er but he took one of the most famous pho­tographs, Harlem 1958. But there are children’s books about famous pho­tog­ra­phers such as Gor­don Parks and Snowflake Bent­ley. You’ll find more sug­ges­tions in the Book­storm.

The Music. Your stu­dents who are already inter­est­ed in rap or jazz rap or hip-hop or pop music, will be fas­ci­nat­ed to lis­ten to the dif­fer­ent gen­res of jazz music that came before … and we’ve includ­ed URLs where you can find excel­lent exam­ples. Or per­haps you’re a jazz afi­ciona­do and you have your own music to share.

Web­sites. There are help­ful web­sites such as the Jazz Edu­ca­tion Net­work and Smith­son­ian Jazz that will help you put togeth­er a mul­ti­me­dia set of les­son plans for explor­ing jazz, our most Amer­i­can form of music.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Miss Colfax’s Light

Bookmap Miss Colfax's Light

 

Miss Colfax's LightWe are pleased to fea­ture Miss Colfax’s Light as our June book selec­tion, in which author Aimée Bis­sonette and illus­tra­tor Eileen Ryan Ewen tell the fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry of a woman who served as the Michi­gan City Light­house keep­er from 1861 to 1904. Cap­tains and nav­i­ga­tors on Lake Michi­gan relied on her light­house to keep them from founder­ing on the rocks or crash­ing onto the shore in rough weath­er.

Every day heroes. That’s how author Aimée Bis­sonette refers to the peo­ple in his­to­ry who intrigue her. She trav­eled to research her cho­sen sub­ject, Har­ri­et Col­fax, talk­ing with peo­ple in Indi­ana who could proud­ly pro­vide infor­ma­tion. Miss Col­fax faith­ful­ly kept a log, so Aimée was able to read about Harriet’s work and her dai­ly life in Harriet’s own words. Illus­tra­tor Eileen Ryan Ewen paint­ed a wealth of accu­rate, time-appro­pri­ate details into the pages of the book, help­ing read­ers visu­al­ly under­stand the time in which Miss Col­fax lived. We think you’ll be inspired by Miss Colfax’s sto­ry as much as we are.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about Amer­i­can light­hous­es, light­house keep­ers, and biogra­phies of female heroes. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Aimée Bis­sonette on her web­site. The illustrator’s web­site will show you more of Eileen Ryan Ewen’s port­fo­lio.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

About Light­hous­es. For back­ground infor­ma­tion as you pre­pare to excite stu­dents, library patrons, or your fam­i­ly mem­bers about Amer­i­can light­hous­es, these books will help you locate these bea­cons of safe­ty, learn more about their oper­a­tion, and under­stand the sci­ence and math that are an inher­ent part of the work­ings of light­hous­es around the coun­try.

Brave and Extra­or­di­nary Women. From pic­ture book biogra­phies to short-arti­cle antholo­gies, you’ll find a vari­ety of inspir­ing sto­ries from oceanog­ra­ph­er Sylvia Ear­le to edu­ca­tion­al activist Malala Yousafzai.

How Light­hous­es Work. From the Fres­nel lens to the Chance Broth­ers engi­neer­ing to the improve­ments in fuel, increas­es in the range of light, and Edison’s inven­tion of the light­bulb, you’ll find books to inform your pre­sen­ta­tions and dis­cus­sions about Miss Colfax’s Light.

Light­house Books. There are a num­ber of good books to pair with our fea­tured Book­storm. Com­pare the true sto­ry of Miss Col­fax with that of Abbie Burgess, who took her light­house keep­er father’s place dur­ing an ice storm, or the Maine Fly­ing San­ta pro­gram, or the Lit­tle Red Light­house near the George Wash­ing­ton Bridge in New York City, among many oth­ers.

Pro­tect­ing Our Water­ways. In addi­tion to our light­house keep­ers, the U.S. Coast Guard is on duty pro­tect­ing water trav­el­ers and ship­ping ves­sels dur­ing all types of weath­er and in haz­ardous sit­u­a­tions. These books will extend read­ers’ under­stand­ing of the work done by high­ly skilled patrols.

Water. Before and after read­ing Miss Colfax’s Light, it’s a good time to have a dis­cus­sion about the impor­tance of water in our lives. From our Great Lakes, to our coastal waters, to the rivers and lakes through­out our coun­try, to the water that falls from the sky, to the water that is pumped up from under­ground aquifers, water and water con­ser­va­tion are essen­tial to our every­day lives. 

Whether you choose to focus on every day heroes, water, sci­ence, Great Lakes com­merce, or inspi­ra­tion women, there are many direc­tions you can go and many sub­jects you can sup­port with Miss Colfax’s Light.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Turn Left at the Cow

 

Turn Left at the Cow

Turn Left at the CowWho doesn’t love a mys­tery? Whether your find them intrigu­ing puz­zles or can’t-wait-to-know-the-solution page-turn­ers, a good mys­tery is engross­ing and a lit­tle tense. Throw in a lit­tle humor, a detailed set­ting, and well-drawn char­ac­ters and you have a book you can con­fi­dent­ly hand to young read­ers who are already hooked on the genre and those who have yet to become fans.

We are pleased to fea­ture Turn Left at the Cow as our May book selec­tion, writ­ten by the expert plot­ter Lisa Bullard, replete with her char­ac­ter­is­tic humor.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for mid­dle grade read­ers with mys­ter­ies, humor, and bank heists. 

Downloadables

 

 

Don’t miss the excep­tion­al resources on the author’s web­site. Try your hand at but­ter carv­ing with “But­ter Head Beau­ties,” engag­ing sci­ence, art, and lan­guage arts skills. Re-cre­ate the book’s chick­en poop bin­go with “Chances Are,” call­ing on math and lan­guage arts. Lisa Bullard’s Pin­ter­est page has more great ideas that you’ll find use­ful as you incor­po­rate this book into your plan­ning.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Mid­dle Grade Mys­ter­ies. There are amaz­ing books writ­ten for this age group. We’ve includ­ed a list that would help you select read-alikes or com­pan­ion books, draw­ing on titles first print­ed in 1929 (yes, real­ly) to 2015.

But­ter Heads and Oth­er State Fair Strange­ness. A but­ter head is one of the atten­tion-wor­thy objects in the book. Begin an online research assign­ment with a few arti­cles about but­ter heads around the coun­try.

Fish Out of Water. Travis lives in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia. When he runs away to his grandmother’s cab­in in north­ern Min­neso­ta, it walks and talks like a dif­fer­ent world, one that Travis has to learn to nav­i­gate if he’s going to solve the mys­tery.

Miss­ing Par­ent. Even though Travis left his moth­er behind with her new hus­band, Travis is most inter­est­ed in find­ing out about his dad, who died before he was born. Books for this age group often revolve around a par­ent or par­ents who are not present. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed a few of them. 

Rob­beries and Heists. Travis has trou­ble believ­ing his father could have robbed a bank but the towns­peo­ple seem to think so. We’ve includ­ed books that delin­eate bank or train rob­beries, some of them true.

Small Town Fes­ti­vals. One of the most excit­ing scenes in Turn Left at the Cow takes place in Green Lake, Minnesota’s annu­al sum­mer fes­ti­val where chick­en poop bin­go is a tra­di­tion. We’ve found arti­cles about oth­er small town fes­ti­vals that would make good writ­ing prompts, research projects, or Pow­er­Point projects.

Mys­ter­ies offer a spe­cial plea­sure to many read­ers, both chil­dren and adults. They pro­vide an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk about plot and how that plot is rein­forced by intrigu­ing char­ac­ters (and good writ­ing!).

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: A River of Words

 

Bookmap for A River of Words

A River of WordsAuthor Jen Bryant and illus­tra­tor Melis­sa Sweet have teamed up on a num­ber of pic­ture book biogra­phies about cre­ative artists. We’ve cho­sen to fea­ture their very first col­lab­o­ra­tion dur­ing this month in which poet­ry takes the spot­light. By telling us the true sto­ry about poet William Car­los Williams’ child­hood and grow­ing up, with his clear poet­ry sur­round­ing the pages, they awak­en inter­est in young peo­ple who may think this no-longer-liv­ing, ancient (he was born in 1883 and died in 1963) poet is not with­in reach. They’ll be sur­prised by how his poet­ry will touch them. And he made a career for him­self as a poet while he was being a coun­try doc­tor! What an inter­est­ing fel­low.

We trust you will find this month’s Book­storm use­ful for teach­ing poet­ry, teach­ing writ­ing, units on nature, talk­ing about non­fic­tion and biog­ra­phy … and enjoy­ing the qui­eter moments when read­ing poet­ry is one of life’s plea­sures.

For more infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion guides, vis­it Jen Bryant’ web­site.

You can learn more about Melis­sa Sweet, the illus­tra­tor

Downloadables

 

 

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Pic­ture Book Biogra­phies of Poets. From Shake­speare to Woody Guthrie, from Dave the Pot­ter to Pablo Neru­da, you’ll find top-notch biogra­phies of poets with whom kids find con­nec­tion. Sev­er­al of these are excel­lent men­tor texts as well.

Biogra­phies of Poets for Old­er Read­ers. If you’d like to use A Riv­er of Words with old­er grades, we’ve includ­ed a few biogra­phies that pair well. For instance, you’ll find Pablo Neru­da: Poet of the Peo­ple (Mon­i­ca Brown and Julie Paschkis) on the pic­ture book side and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Dream­er, also about the Chilean poet Pablo Neru­da, for the more com­fort­able read­ers.

Revolv­ing Around William Car­los Williams. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed a biog­ra­phy writ­ten for adults, a col­lec­tion of Mr. Williams’ poems for chil­dren, and a book that was inspired by his poem, “This is Just to Say.”

Kids and Nature. Nature-deficit dis­or­der is on many edu­ca­tors’ minds. William Car­los Williams had a sig­nif­i­cant con­nec­tion to nature. He wrote about it often. We’ve includ­ed books with ter­rif­ic ideas for enthus­ing chil­dren about going out­doors, both unplugged and plugged-in.

Col­lage and Mixed-Media Illus­tra­tions. Do the types of illus­tra­tion con­fuse you? We’ll have an inter­view with Melis­sa Sweet this month that we hope will make you feel more com­fort­able dis­cussing the art in A Riv­er of Words. We’ve sug­gest­ed a few books that also use a mixed media style.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Little Cat’s Luck

 

Little Cat's Luck

Little Cat's LuckMany peo­ple love cats. You might be one of them. Many chil­dren con­sid­er their cat or their dog to be one of the fam­i­ly. Mar­i­on Dane Bauer under­stands that. She wrote Lit­tle Cat’s Luck, the sto­ry of Patch­es, a cat, and Gus, the mean­est dog in town, out of her deep affin­i­ty for both cats and dogs. You can tell. These are real ani­mals who have adven­tures, chal­lenges, and feel­ings that read­ers will avid­ly fol­low … and under­stand. Writ­ten as a nov­el-in-verse with charm­ing use of con­crete poet­ry, Lit­tle Cat’s Luck is a book that will inter­est both avid read­ers and those still gain­ing con­fi­dence.

We are pleased to fea­ture Lit­tle Cat’s Luck as our March book selec­tion, writ­ten by the per­cep­tive Mar­i­on Dane Bauer and illus­trat­ed by the play­ful Jen­nifer A. Bell, sto­ry­tellers both.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for pri­ma­ry grade read­ers. We’ve includ­ed some books for adults with back­ground infor­ma­tion about cats, infor­ma­tion texts, nar­ra­tive non­fic­tion, and plen­ty of mem­o­rable cat char­ac­ters. 

Downloadables

 

 

Don’t miss the excep­tion­al resources on the author’s web­site. There’s a book trail­er, a social-emo­tion­al learn­ing guide, and a teach­ing guide that you’ll find use­ful as you incor­po­rate this book into your plan­ning.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Mem­o­rable Cat Char­ac­ters. You may know and love these books but have your read­ers been intro­duced to Macav­i­ty, Pete the Cat, the Cat in the Hat, Atti­cus McClaw? From pic­ture books to ear­ly read­ers to mid­dle grade nov­els, there’s a wide range of books here for every taste.

Friend­ship. There have been excel­lent books pub­lished about ani­mals who are friends, many you wouldn’t expect, both as fic­tion­al sto­ries and true sto­ries.

Smart Ani­mals. Do you know the true sto­ry of Alex the Par­rot? Or how smart an octo­pus is? Do you know what ani­mals think and feel? There are books here that will amaze you and deep­en your appre­ci­a­tion for ani­mals and birds.

Car­ing for Ani­mals. These fic­tion­al books are good dis­cus­sion starters for the respon­si­bil­i­ty of hav­ing an ani­mal pet, espe­cial­ly a cat. 

Spir­it of Adven­ture. Ani­mal adven­tures have been favorites ever since Jack Lon­don pub­lished Call of the Wild. These are some of the best sto­ries, just like Lit­tle Cat’s Luck and Lit­tle Dog, Lost.

Ani­mal Moth­ers and Their Off­spring. How do ani­mals care for their young? We’ve includ­ed a cou­ple of books that will fas­ci­nate young read­ers.

The Truth about Cats. From The Cat Ency­clo­pe­dia to How to Speak Cat, these are infor­ma­tion texts filled with facts. Good choic­es for your stu­dents’ book bins.

Best of all? There are so many good books about cats!

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Chasing Secrets

 

Bookmap for Chasing Secrets Bookstorm

Chasing SecretsDon’t you love a good mys­tery? Set it in an exot­ic but famil­iar city like San Fran­cis­co at the turn of the 20th cen­tu­ry. Cre­ate a main char­ac­ter who’s a smart and adven­tur­ous young girl with inter­ests frowned upon dur­ing that time: sci­ence, math­e­mat­ics, and pur­su­ing a col­lege edu­ca­tion. Pro­vide a fam­i­ly and friends who are immense­ly inter­est­ing because they’re so vivid that you’d like to know each one of them. Research the his­to­ry of the times so that these peo­ple are believ­ably liv­ing in the midst of impend­ing dis­ease, short tem­pers over immi­gra­tion, and the clash between the very wealthy and the very poor … and you have this excit­ing sto­ry. When our Bookol­o­gists read it, we couldn’t put it down!

We are pleased to fea­ture Chas­ing Secrets as our Feb­ru­ary book selec­tion, writ­ten by the tal­ent­ed Gen­nifer Chold­enko.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for mid­dle grade read­ers. We’ve includ­ed some books for adults with good pho­tographs of the era and more infor­ma­tion to help you set con­text for your stu­dents. 

Downloadables

 

 

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Women in Sci­ence. There are excep­tion­al fic­tion and non­fic­tion books about the women in many fields such as botany, astron­o­my, chem­istry, and zool­o­gy who have applied their inter­ests, hard work, and cre­ativ­i­ty to change the world. 

Ear­ly Women in Med­i­cine. Female med­ical prac­ti­tion­ers were frowned upon until recent­ly. Some of them found ways to tend to their com­mu­ni­ties with­out degrees, by being mid­wives and herbal­ists. Oth­ers fought their way into med­ical school and set out to estab­lish them­selves as val­ued doc­tors and sci­en­tists. We’ve sug­gest­ed a mix­ture of fic­tion and non­fic­tion you and your stu­dents will find enlight­en­ing and engross­ing.

Infec­tious Dis­eases. Plagues, fevers, influen­za … they’ve wreaked hav­oc with var­i­ous pop­u­la­tions up to the present day. The authors of these books have writ­ten com­pelling nar­ra­tives to inspire future sci­en­tists and doc­tors, nurs­es and aid work­ers.

Chi­nese Immi­gra­tion. San Fran­cis­co was the major port for Chi­nese immi­grants com­ing to “Gold Moun­tain” in the 1800s and ear­ly 1900s. As with so many eth­nic groups arriv­ing in Amer­i­ca, they were not wel­comed with cour­tesy and kind­ness, but with sus­pi­cion and resent­ment. There are a num­ber of books for both chil­dren and adult read­ers includ­ed.

Chi­na­town. Along with a fine book by Lau­rence Yep, we rec­om­mend two books for adults to give you back­ground and pho­tographs as you pre­pare to dis­cuss Chas­ing Secrets in your class­room or book group.

Detec­tive Fic­tion. Our Bookol­o­gists put their heads togeth­er to rec­om­mend their favorite books in this genre, some of them clas­sic and some of them brand new. Mys­tery read­ers will set­tle in for sev­er­al weeks of page-turn­ing!

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Princess Posey

 

Princess Posey Bookmap

Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy VacationThere have been many papers writ­ten about why chil­dren, teens, and adults like to read books that are pub­lished as part of a series. From The Bobb­sey Twins to Nan­cy Drew to the Box­car Chil­dren to Ency­lo­pe­dia Brown to Goose­bumps to The Babysit­ters Club to Red­wall to War­riors (draw­ing in a long breath) … okay, you get the idea. These books are pop­u­lar. We like read­ing about char­ac­ters who are famil­iar to us in set­tings that we feel we could walk through. Some­times they’re involved in sto­ries that we might feel are pre­dictable, but that’s been found to be part of the charm.

This month, we are pleased to fea­ture Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy Vaca­tion, writ­ten by Stephanie Greene and illus­trat­ed by Stephanie Roth Sis­son. The tenth book in their series, this one fol­lows our favorite first-grad­er, she who wears a pink tutu for con­fi­dence, through spring vaca­tion, a stay­ca­tion replete with unan­tic­i­pat­ed adven­ture. Full of gen­tle humor and sit­u­a­tions your own kids this age will find famil­iar, Posey has good friends, help­ful adults, and a devel­op­ing sense of self to rely on for a sat­is­fy­ing sto­ry in each vol­ume.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Princess Posey and the Crazy, Lazy Vaca­tion, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books for this par­tic­u­lar age group, a lit­tle younger, a lit­tle old­er, but pri­mar­i­ly pic­ture books, easy read­ers, and ear­ly chap­ter books. 

Downloadables

 

 

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

Bicy­cles. Learn­ing to ride a bicy­cle, being afraid of it, and then over­com­ing that fear, is one of the sto­ry­lines for Posey this time around. We’ve sug­gest­ed oth­er books about bicy­cles.

Courage. Try­ing unfa­mil­iar activ­i­ties and foods, meet­ing new peo­ple, all of these take courage. Talk about these books with your fam­i­ly or class­room or sto­ry­time group. Start the con­ver­sa­tion about step­ping out­side our com­fort zones.

Doing Noth­ing. Some­times vacations—and life—are ful­ly pro­grammed. No chance to be bored. We’ve list­ed a few books that rev­el in kick­ing back and let­ting imag­i­na­tion take over.

Ear­ly Read­ers for and About First and Sec­ond Grade. Long sub­ti­tle, but books that are fun to read. We’ve even includ­ed a joke book!

Frogs. Yes, there’s a frog among the char­ac­ters in Posey’s vaca­tion so you’ll find a few more frog books to read out loud.

Miss­ing Mom. Because the series takes place dur­ing first grade, Posey fre­quent­ly exam­ines her feel­ings about miss­ing her moth­er while she’s at school. She has a younger broth­er and a car­ing grand­fa­ther, but it’s that mom con­nec­tion that the Stepha­nies han­dle so well. 

Sleep-Overs. Has your child been on their first sleep-over yet? There’s almost as much anx­i­ety as there is in going to school! An unfa­mil­iar house and stay­ing up past bed­time … here are a few more books to read.

Teeth. How much can hap­pen dur­ing one spring vaca­tion? Well, Posey has a loose tooth. Here are some books about that tooth-los­ing expe­ri­ence, includ­ing one of our favorites, Throw Your Tooth On the Roof.

Tutus. Posey’s pink tutu is one of her trade­marks. When she first sets off for school, she won’t leave home with­out it.

Vaca­tions. What will we do on vaca­tion? Kids can be simul­ta­ne­ous­ly excit­ed and fear­ful about leav­ing home for this length of time, ven­tur­ing to an unknown place. A lit­tle read­ing about oth­er kids’ vaca­tions will help.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Firekeeper’s Son

Bookmap Firekeeper's SonFirekeeper's SonThis month, we are pleased to fea­ture Firekeeper’s Son, writ­ten by Lin­da Sue Park and illus­trat­ed by Julie Down­ing. Set in Korea in the 19th cen­tu­ry, it’s a book about an his­toric sys­tem of sig­nal fires that served as nation­al secu­ri­ty … and one fam­i­ly who is respon­si­ble for light­ing a bon­fire each and every night. 

The young boy at the cen­ter of the book dreams of see­ing sol­diers, but it’s his father’s job to advise the king that all is clear. Sol­diers are not need­ed. What hap­pens when the boy must fill in for his father? Will he call the sol­diers to sat­is­fy his dreams? With lumi­nous, com­pelling illus­tra­tions, this is a mem­o­rable book about hon­or, loy­al­ty, and dis­ci­pline.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Firekeeper’s Son, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read to or by ages 4 through adult. We’ve includ­ed fic­tion and non­fic­tion, pic­ture books, poet­ry, mid­dle grade books, and books adults will find inter­est­ing. 

Kore­an Cul­ture. The peo­ple and places of Korea, the alpha­bet and lan­guage, proverbs and folk­tales … there are books to famil­iar­ize your class­room with the ancient and fas­ci­nat­ing cul­ture of the Land of Morn­ing Calm.

Fic­tion: Books Set in Korea. From pic­ture books to mid­dle grade nov­els, many books have been set in Korea, both his­tor­i­cal nov­els like Kite Fight­ers and pic­ture books about Amer­i­can immi­grants like The Name Jar. Lin­da Sue Park’s New­bery Medal nov­el A Sin­gle Shard fits with­in this cat­e­go­ry and so does Year of Impos­si­ble Good­byes by Sook Nyul Choi. Good sto­ries!

Fire and Light. Sang-hee’s fam­i­ly works with fire. Hav­ing a reli­able way to light the sig­nal fire each evening is vital. How does fire work? We’ve select­ed inter­est­ing web­sites and a DK Eye­wit­ness book for “spark­ing” an inter­est. 

Poet­ry. Are you famil­iar with the Kore­an sijo form of poet­ry? Tap Danc­ing on the Roof is filled with this pre­cise poet­ry with a twist.

Web­sites, Videos, and Films About Korea. We’ve select­ed web­sites from the Kore­an Art Asso­ci­a­tion, the BBC, The New York Times and more to fill in answers for some of the ques­tions you will have about Korea when you read all of these books.

Codes and Sig­nals. From storm codes to sig­nal fires to secret writ­ing and ciphers, codes have fas­ci­nat­ed peo­ple for thou­sands of years.

Korea–Books for Adult Read­ers. You’ll want to fill in the gaps in your knowl­edge about Korea. We’ve found some high­ly rec­om­mend­ed books, includ­ing one of the books Lin­da Sue Park used for her research for Firekeeper’s Son.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

Downloadables

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Bookstorm™: Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Untamed Bookstorm

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallThis month, we are pleased to fea­ture Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, writ­ten by Ani­ta Sil­vey, with pho­tographs and book designed by the incred­i­ble team at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. This book is not only fas­ci­nat­ing to read, it’s a beau­ti­ful read­ing expe­ri­ence as well.

It’s not often that a book offers us a glimpse into the child­hood of a woman who has fol­lowed a brave, and car­ing, career path, but also fol­lows her through more than 50 years in that cho­sen pro­fes­sion, describ­ing her work, dis­cov­er­ies, and her pas­sion for the mam­mals with whom she works. I learned so much I didn’t know about Dr. Goodall and her chim­panzees, Africa, field work, and how one moves peo­ple to sup­port one’s cause.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Untamed, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read by ages 9 through adult. We’ve includ­ed fic­tion and non­fic­tion, pic­ture books, mid­dle grade books, and books adults will find inter­est­ing. A num­ber of the books are by Dr. Jane Goodall herself—she’s a pro­lif­ic writer. We’ve also includ­ed books about teach­ing sci­ence, as well as videos, and arti­cles acces­si­ble on the inter­net.

Jane Goodall and Her Research. From Me … Jane, the pic­ture by Patrick McDon­nell about Jane Goodall’s child­hood, to Jane Goodall: the Woman Who Rede­fined Man by Dale Peter­son, there are a num­ber of acces­si­ble books for every type of read­er.

Pri­mate Research. We’ve includ­ed non­fic­tion books such as Pamela S. Turner’s Goril­la Doc­tors and Jim Otta­viani and Maris Wick’s Pri­mates, a graph­ic nov­el about the three women who devot­ed so much of their loves to study­ing pri­mates: Jane Goodall, Dian Fos­sey, and Biruté Galdikas.

Chim­panzees. Dr. Goodall’s research is specif­i­cal­ly about chim­panzees so com­pan­ion books such as Michele Colon’s Ter­mites on a Stick and Dr. Goodall’s Chim­panzees I Love: Sav­ing Their World and Ours are sug­gest­ed.

Fic­tion. Many excel­lent nov­els have been writ­ten about pri­mates and Africa and con­ser­va­tion, rang­ing from real­ism to sci­ence fic­tion and a nov­el based on a true sto­ry. Among our list, you’ll find Lin­da Sue Park’s A Long to Water and Eva by Peter Dick­in­son and The One and Only Ivan by Kather­ine Apple­gate.

World-Chang­ing Women and Women Sci­en­tists. Here you’ll find pic­ture book biogra­phies, longer non­fic­tion books, and col­lec­tions of short biogra­phies such as Girls Think of Every­thing by Cather­ine Thimmesh, Silk & Ven­om by Kathryn Lasky, and Rad Amer­i­can Women: A to Z by Kate Schatz.

Africa. The titles about, or set on, this con­ti­nent are numer­ous. Learn­ing About Africa by Robin Koontz pro­vides a use­ful and cur­rent intro­duc­tion to the con­ti­nent. We also looked for books by authors who were born in or lived for a while in an African coun­try; Next Stop—Zanzibar! by Niki Daly and Mag­ic Gourd by Coret­ta Scott King Hon­oree Baba Wague Diakiteare are includ­ed in this sec­tion.

Ani­mal Friend­ships. Chil­dren and adults alike crave these sto­ries about unlike­ly friend­ships between ani­mals who don’t nor­mal­ly hang around togeth­er. From Cather­ine Thimmesh’s Friends: True Sto­ries of Extra­or­di­nary Ani­mal Friend­ships to Mar­i­on Dane Bauer’s A Mama for Owen, you’ll be charmed by these books.

Ani­mals In Dan­ger of Extinc­tion. We’ve includ­ed only two books in this cat­e­go­ry but both of them should be stars in your book­talks. Count­ing Lions by Katie Cot­ton, illus­trat­ed by Stephen Wal­ton, is a stun­ning book—do find it! Dr. Goodall con­tributes a mov­ing book, Hope for Ani­mals and Their World: How Endan­gered Species Are Being Res­cued from the Brink.

Teach­ing Sci­ence. If you’re work­ing with young chil­dren in grades K through 2, you’ll want Per­fect Pairs by Melis­sa Stew­art and Nan­cy Ches­ley. For old­er stu­dents in grades 3 through 6, Pic­ture-Per­fect Sci­ence Lessons will inspire you.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Bulldozer’s Big Day

Bookstorm-Bulldozer-Visual_655

written by Candace Fleming  illustrated by Eric Rohmann  Atheneum, 2015

writ­ten by Can­dace Flem­ing 
illus­trat­ed by Eric Rohmann 
Atheneum, 2015

It’s Bulldozer’s big day—his birth­day! But around the con­struc­tion site, it seems like every­one is too busy to remem­ber. Bull­doz­er wheels around ask­ing his truck friends if they know what day it is, but they each only say it’s a work day. They go on scoop­ing, sift­ing, stir­ring, fill­ing, and lift­ing, and lit­tle Bull­doz­er grows more and more glum. But when the whis­tle blows at the end of the busy day, Bull­doz­er dis­cov­ers a con­struc­tion site sur­prise, espe­cial­ly for him!

An ide­al book for a read-aloud to that child sit­ting by you or to a class­room full of chil­dren or to a sto­ry­time group gath­ered togeth­er, Bulldozer’s Big Day is fun to read because of all the ono­matopoeia and the won­der­ful sur­prise end­ing.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Bulldozer’s Big Day, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read to ages 3 through 7. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, non­fic­tion, videos, web­sites, and des­ti­na­tions that com­ple­ment the book, all encour­ag­ing ear­ly lit­er­a­cy.

Build­ing Projects. There have been many fine books pub­lished about design­ing and con­struct­ing hous­es, cities, and dreams. We share a few books to encour­age and inspire your young dream­ers.

Con­struc­tion Equip­ment. Who can resist lis­ten­ing to and watch­ing the large vari­ety of vehi­cles used on a con­struc­tion project? You’ll find both books and links to videos.

Birth­day Par­ties. This is the oth­er large theme in Bulldozer’s Big Day and we sug­gest books such as Xander’s Pan­da Par­ty that offer oth­er approach­es to talk­ing about birth­days.

Dirt, Soil, Earth. STEM dis­cus­sions can be a part of ear­ly lit­er­a­cy, too. Get ready to dish the dirt! 

Lone­li­ness. Much like Bull­doz­er, chil­dren (and adults) can feel let down, ignored, left out … and books are a good way to start the dis­cus­sion about resilien­cy and cop­ing with these feel­ings.

Sur­pris­es. If you work with chil­dren, or have chil­dren of your own, you know how tricky sur­pris­es and expec­ta­tions can be. We’ve includ­ed books such as Wait­ing by Kevin Henkes and Handa’s Sur­prise by Eileen Browne.

Friend­ship. An ever-pop­u­lar theme in children’s books, we’ve select­ed a few of the very best, includ­ing A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by the Steads.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Book­storm™.

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Bookstorm™: Chasing Freedom

Bookstorm Chasing FreedomIn this Bookstorm™:

Chasing FreedomChasing Freedom

The Life Jour­neys of Har­ri­et Tub­man and Susan B. Antho­ny, Inspired by His­tor­i­cal Facts
writ­ten by Nik­ki Grimes
illus­trat­ed by Michele Wood
Orchard Books, 2015

As Nik­ki Grimes writes in her author’s note for this book, “His­to­ry is often taught in bits and pieces, and stu­dents rarely get the notion that these bits and pieces are con­nect­ed.” Bookol­o­gy want­ed to look at this book for a num­ber of rea­sons. We hope that you will con­sid­er the remark­able sto­ries of free­dom fight­ers Har­ri­et Tub­man and Susan B. Antho­ny and the moments in his­to­ry that the author reveals. We hope that you will study the illus­tra­tions by Michele Wood and dis­cuss how each spread in the book makes you feel, how African motifs and quilt pat­terns are made an inte­gral part of the book’s design, and how the col­or palette brings strength to the con­ver­sa­tion between these two women. 

This con­ver­sa­tion between these two women nev­er took place. The sub­ti­tle reads “inspired by his­tor­i­cal facts.” Nik­ki Grimes imag­ines a con­ver­sa­tion that could have tak­en place between these two women, solid­ly drawn from the facts of their lives. Is this a new form of fic­tion? Non­fic­tion? You’ll have a mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion about the dif­fer­ences between fact, fic­tion, infor­ma­tion text, non­fic­tion, and sto­ry­telling when you dis­cuss this with your class­room or book club.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Chas­ing Free­dom, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties. The book will be com­fort­ably read by ages 7 through 12. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, non­fic­tion, videos, web­sites, and des­ti­na­tions for the pletho­ra of pur­pos­es you might have. There are many fine books that fall out­side of these para­me­ters, but we chose to nar­row the selec­tion of books this time to those that fol­lowed the fight for women’s right to vote from the 1840s to 1920 and those that fol­lowed slav­ery in Amer­i­ca until the Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion and a few years beyond. These are the major con­cerns behind the work of Har­ri­et Tub­man and Susan B. Antho­ny.

AFRICAN AMERICANSRIGHT TO BE FREE

Cel­e­brat­ing Free­dom. Two recent books are includ­ed, one deal­ing with the Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion and the oth­er with how freed peo­ple lived in New York City in Seneca Vil­lage, which would even­tu­al­ly become Cen­tral Park.

Har­ri­et Tub­man. We’ve cho­sen a few of the many good books about this free­dom fight­er, trail blaz­er, and spir­i­tu­al­ly moti­vat­ed woman.

His­to­ry. From Book­er T. Washington’s auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal Up from Slav­ery to Julius Lester’s To Be a Slave through to Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul: the Sto­ry of Amer­i­ca and African Amer­i­cans, you’ll find a num­ber of books that will fas­ci­nate your stu­dents and make fine choic­es for book club dis­cus­sions.

Under­ground Rail­road. One of our tru­ly hero­ic move­ments in Amer­i­can his­to­ry, we’ve select­ed books that chron­i­cle the work, the dan­ger, and the vic­to­ries of these free­dom fight­ers, of which Har­ri­et Tub­man was a strong, ded­i­cat­ed mem­ber. 

WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE

Susan B. Antho­ny. Often writ­ten about, we’ve select­ed just a few of the many books about this woman who under­stood the hard­ships women faced and the neces­si­ty for them to be able to vote, to have a voice in gov­ern­ment.

More Suf­frag­ists. Many women around the globe fought for their right to vote and the fight con­tin­ues in many coun­tries. We’ve select­ed sev­er­al books that fall with­in our time frame.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your dis­cus­sions, class­room inclu­sion, or send us a pho­to of your library dis­play.

(Thanks to Mar­sha Qua­ley and Claire Rudolf Mur­phy for shar­ing their con­sid­er­able knowl­edge and insight about books for this Book­storm™.)

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Bookstorm: Catch You Later, Traitor

Catch You Later Traitor Bookstorm

In this Bookstorm™:

Catch You Later, TraitorCatch You Later, Traitor

writ­ten by Avi
Algo­nquin Books for Young Read­ers, 2015

The ear­ly 1950s in the Unit­ed States was a time when sol­diers and med­ical per­son­nel had returned home from the two the­aters of World War II, Com­mu­nism was talked about as some­thing to be feared, and col­leagues and neigh­bors were asked to tes­ti­fy against peo­ple who were sus­pect­ed to be Com­mu­nists in Amer­i­ca. The nation was caught up in reports from the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee and Sen­a­tor Joseph McCarthy. The Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tions was con­cerned about cit­i­zens who were dis­loy­al to Amer­i­ca. The air was heavy with sus­pi­cion and peo­ple were encour­aged to fear intel­lec­tu­als, immi­grants, and Hol­ly­wood.

It was a time when base­ball soared. The Brook­lyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, and the New York Yan­kees were the most famous teams of the day. Radio was the pri­ma­ry source for news and enter­tain­ment. Tele­vi­sions weren’t yet a part of every house­hold. 

In Avi’s nov­el, 12-year-old Pete Col­li­son is a reg­u­lar kid who loves Sam Spade detec­tive books and radio crime dra­mas, but when an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep accus­ing his father of being a Com­mu­nist, Pete finds him­self caught in a real-life mys­tery. Could there real­ly be Com­mies in Pete’s fam­i­ly? This look at what it felt like to be an aver­age fam­i­ly caught in the wide net of the Red Scare has pow­er­ful rel­e­vance to con­tem­po­rary ques­tions of democ­ra­cy and indi­vid­ual free­dom.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties. Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor will be com­fort­ably read by ages 10 through adult. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, nov­els, and non­fic­tion for the pletho­ra of pur­pos­es you might have. This Book­storm™ has a few more books for adults than usu­al, believ­ing that a back­ground in the era will be help­ful for edu­ca­tors who weren’t alive dur­ing, or wish to brush up on, the time in which this book takes place.

McCarthy Era, also known as the Red Scare. Sur­pris­ing­ly, there aren’t very many books writ­ten for young read­ers about this intense time in his­to­ry, but we’ve select­ed a few that will align well with Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor.

Non­fic­tion. There are a greater num­ber of non­fic­tion books avail­able about the ear­ly 1950s, includ­ing lifestyle books, the Cold War, fash­ion, the Hol­ly­wood Ten, and spies.

Com­mu­nism, Social­ism in the Unit­ed States. Were you aware that a group of Finnish-Amer­i­cans moved to Rus­sia to set up a Utopi­an com­mu­ni­ty based on promis­es from Russ­ian leader Joseph Stal­in?

Witch Hunts. A clas­sic book, a clas­sic play, and a fas­ci­nat­ing look at an inci­dent of the “Red Scare” in children’s books.

Mid-Cen­tu­ry Unit­ed States. Superb rec­om­men­da­tions for books, both fic­tion and non­fic­tion, set in the 1950s. Read­ing sev­er­al of these along with Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor will give stu­dents an excel­lent fla­vor of the time, which offers a mir­ror for oth­er peri­ods in his­to­ry as well as the present.

Base­ball in the 1950s. It was the most talked-about sport in the coun­try, claim­ing head­lines and tun­ing radios in to lis­ten to “the game.” We’ve gath­ered a wide-rang­ing set of books that will include some­thing for every read­er, from pic­ture books to books for adults.

Noir Detec­tive Fic­tion. We men­tioned Sam Spade, but what exact­ly does “noir” mean? Here are good exam­ples, span­ning ear­ly chap­ter books such as Chet Gecko to a graph­ic nov­el like City of Spies to Dashiell Hammett’s Mal­tese Fal­con.

Old-Time Radio. There are whole radio pro­grams online to be shared with your class­room, along with a series on YouTube that depicts the work­ings of a radio stu­dio, and Avi’s own nov­el about the hey­day of radio seri­als.

Tech­niques for using each book:

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Bookstorm: The Shadow Hero

Bookstorm-Shadow-Hero-Diagram-655px

In this Bookstorm™:

Shadow HeroShadow Hero

writ­ten by Gene Luen Yang
illus­trat­ed by Son­ny Liew
First Sec­ond, 2014

As we become a cul­ture adapt­ed to screens, visu­als, and mov­ing pic­tures, we grow more accus­tomed to the sto­ry­telling form of the graph­ic nov­el. For some, their com­fort with this com­bi­na­tion of visu­als and text telling a sto­ry sat­is­fies a crav­ing to “see” the sto­ry while they’re read­ing. For oth­ers, the lack of descrip­tive detail and mea­sured, lin­ear momen­tum through the sto­ry feels like a bar­ri­er to under­stand­ing. With the vari­ety of graph­ic nov­els avail­able and the inven­tive ways in which they’re assem­bled, we encour­age you to keep try­ing. Find a sto­ry that intrigues you and per­se­vere … we believe you’ll grow accus­tomed to this form. In time, you’ll add graph­ic nov­els to the depth of offer­ings you eager­ly rec­om­mend to stu­dents, patrons, and friends.

We select­ed Shad­ow Hero for our fea­tured book this month because the super­hero has been present in comics since the ear­ly 1900s and cur­rent films and tele­vi­sion have reawak­ened an inter­est among chil­dren that we believe can eas­i­ly trans­port them into read­ing. Yang and Liew have giv­en a back sto­ry to a super­hero, The Green Tur­tle, orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed by tal­ent­ed com­ic book artist (and fine artist) Chu Fook Hing in the 1940s. There’s plen­ty of action, humor, mys­tery, and sus­pense in this new book … all the right ingre­di­ents for the best read­ing.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Shad­ow Hero, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties. Shad­ow Hero will be com­fort­ably read by ages 10 through adult. We’ve includ­ed pic­ture books, nov­els, and non­fic­tion for the pletho­ra of pur­pos­es you might have.

Graph­ic Nov­els About Super­heroes. With the pop­u­lar­i­ty of The Avengers and X-Men, Iron Man and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there are a num­ber of graph­ic nov­els about super­heroes avail­able for dif­fer­ent ages. Some have mature con­tent. Many are acces­si­ble for younger read­ers. Whether or not they’re wear­ing capes, super­heroes are appeal­ing because of the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Graph­ic Nov­els About Mythol­o­gy. The Green Tur­tle is a part of Chi­nese mythol­o­gy. We hear a lot about Greek and Roman mythol­o­gy, but there are com­pelling myths around the world. Graph­ic nov­els make those tra­di­tions and sto­ries avail­able to read­ers who might have trou­ble with straight text.

Fic­tion about Super­heroes. Longer texts, with­out illus­tra­tions, often hold as much attrac­tion for com­ic book read­ers if the sto­ries are engag­ing. And there are pic­ture books that are just right for the read­ers who are too young for graph­ic nov­els but have the inter­est.

Com­ic Books, Non­fic­tion. Whether it’s learn­ing how two boys came to invent Super­man, the super­hero from Kryp­ton, or exam­in­ing info­graph­ics and sta­tis­tics, or lis­ten­ing to a pod­cast with Gene Luen Yang on pub­lic radio about his inspi­ra­tion, The Green Tur­tle, there’s a lot of research and learn­ing to be done with super­heroes.

Draw­ing. For those kinet­ic and visu­al learn­ers, telling a sto­ry through draw­ing, pop­u­lat­ing a page with char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and set­ting and voice is a way to use com­ic book art for devel­op­ing writ­ing skills.

Chi­nese His­to­ry. There are many, many books, some of them quite schol­ar­ly, about Chi­nese his­to­ry. We’ve select­ed just two, both of which are also visu­al his­to­ries.

Chi­nese Art. Chi­na is such a large coun­try, with a civ­i­liza­tion that is thou­sands of years old, that these books orga­nize the infor­ma­tion in order to present the diver­si­ty of arts in a way that makes sense.

Chi­nese Immi­gra­tion. There are fine books about the immi­gra­tion of Chi­nese and Asian Pacif­ic peo­ple to Amer­i­ca, the Gold­en Moun­tain. We’ve select­ed a few, from pic­ture books to nov­els to mem­oir. 

Chi­nese Food. Read­ers learn a great deal about dif­fer­ent cul­tures from the food they eat, their tra­di­tions for prepar­ing food, and the ways they share it with their com­mu­ni­ty. We’ve found cook­books for both learn­ing and eat­ing, for adults and for chil­dren.

Chi­nese Geog­ra­phy. It always helps to have a good map to rein­force the visu­al knowl­edge of a coun­try. You’ll find sug­ges­tions for maps, down­loads, pho­tos, and facts about this large coun­try in Asia.

Tech­niques for using each book:

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Bookstorm: Scaly Spotted …

In this Bookstorm™:

Scaly Spotted Feathered FrilledScaly Spotted
Feathered Frilled:
how do we know what dinosaurs really looked like?

writ­ten by Cather­ine Thimmesh
HMH Books for Young Read­ers, 2013

No human being has ever seen a tricer­atops or veloci­rap­tor or even the mighty Tyran­nosaurus rex. They left behind only their impres­sive bones. So how can sci­en­tists know what col­or dinosaurs were? Or if their flesh was scaly or feath­ered? Could that fierce T. rex have been born with spots?

In a first for young read­ers, Thimmesh intro­duces the incred­i­ble tal­ents of the pale­oartist, whose work rean­i­mates gone-but-nev­er-for­got­ten dinosaurs in giant full-col­or paint­ings that are as strik­ing­ly beau­ti­ful as they aim to be sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly accu­rate, down to the small­est detail. Fol­low a pale­oartist through the sci­en­tif­ic process of ascer­tain­ing the appear­ance of var­i­ous dinosaurs from mil­lions of years ago to learn how sci­ence, art, and imag­i­na­tion com­bine to bring us face-to-face with the past.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book, Scaly Spot­ted Feath­ered Frilled. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties.

Dinosaur Digs. There are some very cool dinosaur digs through­out the Unit­ed States in which you and your chil­dren can take part.

Dinosaur Non­fic­tion. It’s dif­fi­cult to assign a reader’s age to these books. High inter­est lev­els can raise pro­fi­cien­cy and the graph­ics can be read even when the words can’t be. You may need to give these books a try to see if they’re with­in the skills of your read­er. Enjoy Gild­ed Dinosaur to read about two com­pet­ing pale­on­tol­o­gists who tried to out­wit each oth­er. Pre­his­toric Life from DK Pub­lish­ing looks at all ele­ments of the earth at the time of the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs: a Con­cise Nat­ur­al His­to­ry man­ages to be fun­ny and infor­ma­tive.

Draw­ing. From Audubon to Charles R. Knight on ani­mal anato­my to step-by-step instruc­tions for draw­ing dinosaurs, there are books here that will inspire artists-in-the-mak­ing to learn more about dinosaurs while they draw them as par­tic­u­lar­ly as the pale­oartists do.

Fic­tion. From pic­ture books to nov­els, from the youngest chil­dren to adults, dinosaurs are favorite sub­jects for writ­ers because they’re much loved by read­ers. You’ll enjoy books such as Dan­ny and the Dinosaur, Juras­sic Park, and Okay for Now.

Fos­sil Hunters. We rec­om­mend books that range from Mary Anning’s dis­cov­ery of the first com­plete ichthyosaurus fos­sil to Bob Barn­er exam­in­ing dinosaur bones to deter­mine what they ate to Ani­ta Silvey’s dar­ing plant hunters.

Graph­ic Nov­els. Dinosaurs are a favorite top­ic for car­toon­ists. Some of their graph­ic nov­els, such as Bar­ry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs Aliens are epics.

Pale­oartists. In addi­tion to the work of the pale­oartists fea­tured in Scaly Spot­ted Feath­ered Frilled, you’ll read about Charles R. Knight, Water­house Hawkins, Julius Csotonyi, and oth­ers. These sci­en­tist-artists are larg­er than life!

Pale­on­tol­ogy. Ladies and gen­tle­men! Step right up! You’ll be amazed by the feats and dis­cov­er­ies of the pale­on­tol­o­gists in these books. Whether it’s Mr. Bones, Bar­num Brown, or The His­to­ry of Life in 100 Fos­sils or Jessie Hartland’s How the Dinosaur Got to the Muse­um or Joyce Sidman’s Ubiq­ui­tous: Cel­e­brat­ing Nature’s Sur­vivors, there are books here that will enthrall you.

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Bookstorm: Lowriders in Space

Bookstorm: Lowriders in Space

In this Bookstorm™:

Lowriders in SpaceLowriders in Space

writ­ten by Cathy Camper
illus­trat­ed by Raul the Third
pub­lished by Chron­i­cle Books, 2014

Lupe Impala, El Cha­vo Flap­jack, and Elirio Malar­ia love work­ing with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team’s favorite cars of all are lowriders—cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, baji­to y suavecito. The stars align when a con­test for the best car around offers a prize of a trunk­ful of cash—just what the team needs to open their own shop! ¡Ay chi­huahua! What will it take to trans­form a junker into the best car in the uni­verse? Strik­ing, unpar­al­leled art from debut illus­tra­tor Raul the Third recalls ball­point-pen-and-Sharpie desk-drawn doo­dles, while the sto­ry is sketched with Span­ish, inked with sci­ence facts, and col­ored with true friend­ship. With a glos­sary at the back to pro­vide def­i­n­i­tions for Span­ish and sci­ence terms, this delight­ful book will edu­cate and enter­tain in equal mea­sure.”

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book, Lowrid­ers in Space. You’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes, inter­ests, and read­ing abil­i­ties.

Car Mechan­ics. An assort­ment of books offer­ing details and info­graph­ics about how cars work and how to build a car, suit­able from pri­ma­ry to mid­dle school.

Draw­ing Cars. A lot of learn­ing takes place when you draw a car. A read­er thinks deeply about how the car works, how the parts inter-relate, and you are tempt­ed to look up the details to ver­i­fy that you’re get­ting it right.  

Graph­ic Nov­els. There’s a rich his­to­ry of space explo­ration and sci­ence fic­tion in graph­ic nov­els. We include a few stel­lar (ahem) exam­ples that are sure to intrigue your read­ers. 

Lowrid­ers. The lowrid­er cul­ture and the artis­tic, mechan­i­cal­ly-inven­tive cars are an intrin­sic part of life in some parts of the US. You’ll find web­sites and books that explain more.  

Nov­els. Sci­ence fic­tion for young read­ers isn’t plen­ti­ful, but there are excel­lent books in this genre. Our rec­om­men­da­tions include a clas­sic and sev­er­al new books. 

Out­er Space. For some read­ers, the facts about out­er space are para­mount. Books with an overview, stick­er books, up-to-date books about what we cur­rent­ly under­stand … these will inter­est those truth-seek­ers.

Pic­ture Books. Cars and stars are favorite sub­jects for pic­ture book authors and illus­tra­tors. You’ll want to dis­cuss some of these in your class­room and offer sug­ges­tions for oth­ers as books for inde­pen­dent read­ing.

Sci­ence. Study­ing the skies is a life­time of work for many sci­en­tists, and their fields of endeav­or are broad and touch upon oth­er areas of sci­ence. Their dis­cov­er­ies change lives. From books look­ing at the con­stel­la­tions to those answer­ing sci­ence ques­tions, we rec­om­mend a few gems to get you think­ing.

Women Chang­ing the World. Dolores Huer­ta, Sonia Sotomay­or, Rad Amer­i­can Women A-Z … Lupe Impala is inspi­ra­tional. She will nat­u­ral­ly lead to ques­tions about oth­er women who have set their sites on the stars.

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Bookstorm: Catherine, Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy Bookstorm

In this Bookstorm™:

Catherine, Called BirdyCatherine, Called Birdy

writ­ten by Karen Cush­man
pub­lished by Clar­i­on Books, 1994
New­bery Hon­or book

Cor­pus Bones! I utter­ly loathe my life.”

Cather­ine feels trapped. Her father is deter­mined to mar­ry her off to a rich man–any rich man, no mat­ter how awful. But by wit, trick­ery, and luck, Cather­ine man­ages to send sev­er­al would-be hus­bands pack­ing. Then a shag­gy-beard­ed suit­or from the north comes to call–by far the old­est, ugli­est, most revolt­ing suit­or of them all. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, he is also the rich­est. Can a sharp-tongued, high-spir­it­ed, clever young maid­en with a mind of her own actu­al­ly lose the bat­tle against an ill-man­nered, pig-like lord and an unimag­i­na­tive, greedy toad of a father? Deus! Not if Cather­ine has any­thing to say about it!” 

Arranged Mar­riages. From the begin­ning of Cather­ine, Called Birdy, our hero­ine is aware that she will be mar­ried off to a man who can bring her father more land and more world­ly goods, an alliance, some­thing of mon­e­tary val­ue. She is par­tic­u­lar­ly deter­mined not to let this hap­pen. We rec­om­mend oth­er books writ­ten for teens about arranged mar­riages. 

Birds. Cather­ine has many bird­cages filled with winged friends in her bed­room. They bring her peace of mind and she trea­sures them. From true sto­ries about birds, field guides, to alarm over the dis­ap­pear­ance of song­birds, there are bird books to intro­duce to your read­ers. 

Cru­sades. With many eyes focused on the Mid­dle East, it is like­ly that you’re find­ing inter­est in the his­to­ry of the con­flicts there. Cather­ine, Called Birdy is set at a time when reli­gious and mil­i­tary war­riors are return­ing to Eng­land from the Cru­sades. We rec­om­mend sev­er­al excel­lent nobels and biogra­phies set dur­ing this time. 

Embroi­dery. The women in Birdy’s home embroi­der. They couldn’t go out and buy ready-made clothes so the only way to make clothes pret­ti­er was to dec­o­rate them with pat­terns of thread. Does some­one in your class already embroi­der? Will you sched­ule an embroi­dery demon­stra­tion for your class­room? You’ll find some books with pat­terns that will appeal to the crafters among your stu­dents. 

Fleas. Hygiene wasn’t as well-known in Birdy’s day. House were not as pro­tect­ed from the ele­ments. Fleas were a fact of life. They caused per­son­al dis­com­fort but they also caused plagues and changed pol­i­tics. Cer­tain­ly there will be those stu­dents in your class­room who will be intrigued. 

Illu­mi­nat­ed Man­u­scripts. Birdy’s broth­er works at a monastery where they are illu­mi­nat­ing man­u­scripts. We rec­om­mend sev­er­al web­sites that will help you demon­strate this fore­run­ner of the print­ing press. 

Journals/Diaries. Catherine’s sto­ry is told in first per­son in the form of a diary she’s keep­ing. Many stu­dents are asked to keep jour­nals. Here are sev­er­al favorite books told in this for­mat. 

Judaism: the Edict of Expul­sion. Few peo­ple real­ize that Edward I ordered all Jews to leave Eng­land for­ev­er on July 18, 1290. Birdy meets a group of Jews who are depart­ing and finds it hard to under­stand how they are any dif­fer­ent than she and her fam­i­ly. We ref­er­ence arti­cles that will give more back­ground on this top­ic. 

Medieval Life. Nov­els, pic­ture books, and true sto­ries for young read­ers have often been set in the medieval world. We offer sug­ges­tions for a num­ber of them, rang­ing from Adam of the Road, pub­lished in 1943, to Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sec­tions Cas­tle from 2013. 

Peer­age and Nobil­i­ty. Whether you’re fas­ci­nat­ed by the titles used in Eng­land or you find them con­fus­ing, here are a few guides to enhance your stu­dents’ under­stand­ing. 

Saints Days. Birdy pref­aces each of her jour­nal entries with the reflec­tion of a saint whose day was cel­e­brat­ed on that day. We’ve found a few ref­er­ences that will explain who these peo­ple were and why they became saints from an his­tor­i­cal view­point. 

Women’s History/Coming of Age. At the heart of Birdy’s sto­ry is the fact that she is leav­ing child­hood behind and becom­ing a young woman. We’ve includ­ed rec­om­men­da­tions for books on this theme that include fic­tion­al and true sto­ries over a wide span of years..

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Bookstorm: Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

 

In this Bookstorm:

Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up. Tales from Deck­a­woo Dri­ve, Book 1.

Kate DiCamil­lo, illus­trat­ed by Chris Van Dusen.
Can­dlewick Press, 2014

Leroy Ninker has a hat, a las­so, and boots. What he doesn’t have is a horse — until he meets May­belline, that is, and then it’s love at first sight. May­belline loves spaghet­ti and sweet noth­ings, and she loves Leroy, too. But when Leroy for­gets the third and final rule of car­ing for May­belline, dis­as­ter ensues. Can Leroy wres­tle fate to the ground, res­cue the horse of his heart, and las­so lone­li­ness for good? Join Leroy, May­belline, and a cast of famil­iar char­ac­ters — Stel­la, Frank, Mrs. Wat­son, and everyone’s favorite porcine won­der, Mer­cy — for some hilar­i­ous and heart­felt hors­ing around on Deck­a­woo Dri­ve.”

Ear­ly Chap­ter Books. Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up is writ­ten in a way that begin­ning read­ers will find approach­able and sat­is­fy­ing. There are chap­ters, each one a short tale. The vocab­u­lary is acces­si­ble. In begin­ning read­ers, there are illus­tra­tions for chil­dren who are most famil­iar with pic­ture books but the empha­sis shifts toward read­ing. You’ll find a num­ber of com­ple­men­tary titles in the Book­storm, some of which focus on hors­es.

Friend­ship. Whether it’s unlike­ly friend­ships between ani­mals, good friends old and young, or com­fort­ing a fear­ful friend, we rec­om­mend books that will pair well with Leroy Ninker Sad­dles Up, in which insep­a­ra­ble friends Leroy and May­belline find joy.

Cow­boys. Leroy Ninker aban­dons his life of crime to work in a dri­ve-in the­ater, but being a cow­boy appeals to him. You’ll find true sto­ries about cow­boys in this sec­tion of the Book­storm™, includ­ing Cow­boy Up! Ride the Nava­jo Rodeo, about fam­i­lies who work hard to be their best on the rodeo cir­cuit.

Hors­es. Leroy Ninker loves May­belline, his horse unlike any oth­er. You’ll find rec­om­mend­ed pic­ture books and chap­ter books about hors­es, fic­tion and non­fic­tion, includ­ing Mar­guerite Henry’s clas­sic, Misty of Chin­coteague.

Dri­ve-In The­aters. There are very few left in the coun­try, but Leroy works at one and many adults remem­ber the fun of watch­ing a movie in your PJs, tucked inside your par­ents’ car, slap­ping at the mos­qui­toes, and eat­ing food from the con­ces­sions stand. We rec­om­mend a web­site that brings the expe­ri­ence to life.

Spaghet­ti. It’s Maybelline’s favorite food and a won­der­ful way to engage your stu­dents in dis­cus­sions about sci­ence and math. We rec­om­mend cook­books for those who enjoy non­fic­tion best.

Size. Leroy is on the short side and May­belline is on the tall side. Books such as Actu­al Size by Steve Jenk­ins will have your stu­dents com­par­ing and con­trast­ing with ease.

Kind­ness. The book inspires dis­cus­sions about being kind and accept­ing oth­ers. We’ve rec­om­mend­ed books that will add to the dis­cus­sion, includ­ing The Name Jar by Yang­sook Choi.

Weath­er. A storm is an impor­tant plot ele­ment in Leroy and Maybelline’s sto­ry. Sev­er­al books about weath­er, rang­ing from pic­ture books to begin­ning read­ers, from fic­tion to non­fic­tion, are includ­ed for your inspi­ra­tion.

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