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MARCH (3)

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2017-2018 | 2017-2018 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (3))

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2016

Endpapers showing a block of city apartments in the rain with a small boy and even smaller girl in two windows begin this account of their family’s airplane trip. The little girl packs her beloved stuffed animal monkey herself, resulting in a not-quite-securely-fastened suitcase. The family arrives at the airport, checks in, goes through security, and gets settled on the plane. The flight includes safety instructions, snacking, and cloud-watching. After landing they must wait for their luggage before going outside and into the arms of the children’s grandparents. Engagingly detailed page spreads offer intriguing and whimsical elements, from the family’s interactions, to fellow travelers, some of who can be followed or found again at journey’s end, to airport signs and scenes. Meanwhile, monkey’s parallel journey in the suitcase includes a surprising and sweet encounter with a live dog in the cargo hold. (Horizontally split pages show the progress of the luggage—and monkey—at the bottom.) Speech bubble dialogue adds additional humor to an inviting and informative primary narrative (“Inside the airport you stand in lines. You stand in lines to get your ticket. You stand in lines to check your bags. There are lines for the restrooms. There are lines to go through security.”) Closing endpapers show the mixed-race (Black/white) family on a sunny beach in a book that will delight young children, travelers or not. ©2016 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: As you read, pay special attention to repeating characters from page to page. For example, where is monkey? How does monkey’s journey differ from the family’s journey? How about other people on the plane?
  • Talk: About other things that fly.
  • Sing: Sing, listen to, or watch “The Airplane Song” by Laurie Berkner and do the actions.
  • Write: Write a plane ticket, make a passport.
  • Play: Line up chairs to pretend you’re on an airplane! Discuss airplane safety.
  • Math or Science: With a grown-up make and play with a paper airplane. Experiment with different shapes, sizes and weights. How can you get your plane to go further or faster?

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MARCH (2)

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2017-2018 | 2017-2018 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (2))

Rescue Squad No. 9 by Mike Austin. Random House, 2016

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” The distress call launches Rescue Squad No. 9 into action. A boat and helicopter and their team of rescue workers speed to the aid of a young sailor and her dog when a storm strands them on rocks. Few words are needed in this action-filled story told primarily through the illustrations. Bright colors, bold figures, and skillfully crafted page composition lend movement and a sense of urgency to this successful rescue at sea. (Ages 2–6)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: As you read, explore print awareness. Ask the children how they know which direction the pages should go.
  • Talk: About how loud noises can be scary, but remind children that it means people are helping others. Encourage them to look for helpers.
  • Sing: A song about the weather, the ocean or helpers.
  • Write: Trace the safety gear on the end papers of the book.
  • Play: Reenact the story. Use toy boats or other objects you can pretend are boats.
  • Math or Science: Discuss water science and safety. Look at the information in the back of the book.

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MARCH (1)

May 16th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2017-2018 | 2017-2018 Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (1))

Babies Don’t Walk, They Ride! Kathy Henderson. Illustrated by Lauren Tobia. U.S. edition: Templar Books / Candlewick Press, 2016

Babies don’t just ride; they glide, stroll, roll, and more in a pleasing picture book featuring a lively cast of babies and the adults in their lives moving across the day. The rhyming text is set against vibrant, engaging detailed mixed- media illustrations that show the energy and inclusion of a multicultural city neighborhood and the many warm ways adults engage with babies in a story that ends with the quiet dark. There are many diverse babies and families to notice and follow throughout the book. The principle family appears white. (Ages 1–4)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: When you’re out and about, at the places like we see in the story, what words can you find?
  • Talk: Talk about what other things have wheels. Find things around you that can roll.
  • Sing: The Wheels on the Bus.
  • Write: Draw a picture of what you see when you’re out and about.
  • Play: Play with a baby doll/stuffed animal- take it for a walk or a ride.
  • Math or Science: On each page, count the babies, count windows, and count the wheels.

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MARCH (2)

May 10th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2017-2018 Intermediate | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (2))

Giant Squid by Candace Fleming. Illustrated by Eric Rohmann. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2016

Giant squids lives so deep in the ocean that few have ever been seen. Scientists have had to piece together a complete picture based on just parts of the creatures that have been found, mostly inside sperm whales caught by fisherman. Candace Fleming’s haunting narrative captures the mystery and the majesty of this amazing animal, once thought to be a sea monster. The moody realistic illustrations create a strong sense of being deep undersea, and include a stunning double-fold-out page showing a giant squid reemerging from the shadows of the murky ink it has shot to protect itself from a barracuda. An author’s note provides more information, including fascinating tidbits such as the fact that there are more photographs of Mars than of giant squid. Honor Book, 2017 Charlotte Zolotow Award ©2017 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. How does the illustrator keep the squid mysterious?
  2. What did you learn about the giant squid? What do you still want to know?
  3. Look at the diagram at the end. List three adaptations of the giant squid.

MARCH (1)

May 10th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2017-2018 Intermediate | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (1))

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin. Little, Brown, 2016

A historical fantasy weaves retellings of traditional Chinese legends into the story of a girl and boy, Pinmei and Yishan, searching for the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. The new emperor kidnapped Pinmei’s grandmother, the Storyteller, and Pinmei wants to find the stone and offer it in exchange. On their journey they meet those who’ve already faced loss at the hands of the emperor, who is conscripting men and boys to build a vast Wall. At first hesitant to share the stories she’s grown up hearing from her grandmother, stories she knows like her own heart, shy Pinmei becomes a storyteller in her own right as they travel. Visually the legends are set apart with a distinct font, but there is satisfaction in the way they are also woven into the fabric of Pinmei and Yishan’s quest, even offering clues: Not everyone Pinmei and Yishan meet is who and what they seem. There is also delight in how this story connects to the two earlier books in the cycle, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky, although it, like the others, stands on its own. Exquisite book- making, including full-color plates and color accents on chapter headings, add to the pleasure of this enticing volume. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. What examples of foreshadowing can you find in the story?
  2. What makes storytelling so valuable?
  3. What folklore do you recognize in the novel?

MARCH

May 10th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | High School | 2017-2018 High School | March - (Comments Off on MARCH)

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry. Viking, 2016

In 13th-century western Europe, the Inquisition is control through terror, as those whose beliefs or behaviors offend Church authorities face persecution as heretics. Dolssa is a young woman who says Christ is her true love. Even the threat of death cannot make her deny that he speaks to her. But it is her mother who is burned by Inquisitors as Dolssa watches. When her bonds are cut and a voice tells her to run, Dolssa flees. Spirited Botille and her two equally confident, gifted sisters run an inn in the village of Bajas. When Botille discovers a dying young woman by a river, instinct or intuition or perhaps something else tells her to lie when a passing friar asks about a missing girl. Botille smuggles the young woman—Dolssa—back to her village, where the sisters secretly nurse her back to health. Dolssa remains hidden until a crisis forces her to call on her divine gift for healing. Word about her miracles spreads and the determined friar tracks Dolssa down. A taut narrative arc in this work of historical fiction is richly embellished with vivid period details and a cast of vibrant, singular, complex, contradictory characters. The story is tragic, funny, satisfying, and scathingly critical. It also leaves space for genuine faith and miracles and mystery and devotion, however one chooses to define it (earthbound romance included). A detailed author’s note about the historical period concludes this intricate and astonishing work.

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. Do you think Dolssa’s “beloved” is real or imaginary? If he is real, why doesn’t he save Dolssa and her mother? How do you explain the miracles that seemed to occur in her presence?
  2. Dolssa is being pursued because she is seen as a criminal by the church. The people of Provensa see her as good. What risks are the people of Provensa taking by siding with Dolssa instead of the church?
  3. Do you believe Botille at the end of the story? In an interview, Julie Berry herself tells readers not to trust her.

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MARCH (2)

May 9th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2017-2018 Primary | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (2))

The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito. Illustrated by Julia Kuo. Little, Brown, 2016

On the busy streets of Tokyo, Yoshio asks a koto player her favorite sound. She replies that the most beautiful sound to her is ma, the sound of silence. Yoshio tries to hear the sound of silence, but can’t find it. Noise seems to be everywhere: kids at school, traffic on the street, his family’s chopsticks and chewing during dinner. It’s not until Yoshi is engrossed in reading a book in an empty classroom that he realizes he’s hearing a moment of ma. “It had been there between the thumps of his boots when he ran; when the wind stopped for just a moment in the bamboo grove; at the end of his family’s meal, when everyone was happy and full; after the water finished draining from his bath; before the koto’s player music began—and hovering in the air, right after it ended. It was between and underneath every sound.” A picture book set in Tokyo is illustrated with detailed pen and digitally colored scenes that are both expansive and intimate, much like the story is full of both activity and quiet. An Afterword gives additional information about the Japanese concept of ma. Highly Commended, 2017 Charlotte Zolotow Award ©2016 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. What is your favorite sound and why?
  2. What words does the author use to describe the sounds in the city?
  3. Have you ever heard silence like Yoshio?
  4. Throughout the story, what is the connection between the setting and Yoshio?
  5. In what ways is Yoshio’s home similar and/or different from your home?

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MARCH (1)

May 9th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2017-2018 Primary | March - (Comments Off on MARCH (1))

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano. Illustrated by Julie Morstad. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2016

“just like a tiny, blue hello / a crocus blooming / in the snow” (march 22). A collection of poems full of lovely, often playful observations and turns of phrase moves through the seasons. In summer “you can taste the sunshine … ” (june 15). In autumn, “because they know / they cannot stay / they fade and fall / then blow away / because they know / they cannot stay / they leave / they leave / they leave” (october 15). Finally, there is winter, when “i would not mind, at all / to fall / if i could fall / like snowflakes …” (january 5). The poems are titled with a date, and are set in every month across the year. With the exception of pumpkin-carving on October 31 there are no references to either religious or secular observances, another refreshing aspect of a book featuring perfectly paired illustrations. The art features diverse children in scenes with a soft, cozy, almost nostalgic feel. (Ages 4–8).  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. What is your favorite poem in the story? How does it make you feel?
  2. What is your favorite season? If you were writing a poem about your favorite season, what would you include?
  3. Choose a poem and talk about what you see in your mind when hearing it. Ask others what they see in their mind when they hear your poem.

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MARCH

May 8th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2017-2018 | Middle School | 2017-2018 Middle School | March - (Comments Off on MARCH)

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. Amulet / Abrams, 2016

When 14-year-old Faith’s scientist father is accused of trying to pass off a fake fossil as authentic, public censure prompts the family to move from their Kent home to the site of an archaeological dig on a sparsely populated island. But scandal follows the family to the island, where Faith covertly investigates the mystery behind her father’s secretive behavior. She discovers the Mendacity Tree, an obscure plant he’s hiding that is nourished by lies rather than sunlight. If well fed, it bears a fruit that reveals the truth when eaten. When her father dies suddenly, Faith is convinced he was murdered. She sets out to prove it, using the Mendacity Tree to aid her mission. Truth and lies shift uneasily as Faith sinks deeper and deeper into a quagmire of greed and treachery— including her own. The shifting world of natural science a decade after the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of the Species plays an important role is this novel that compares and contrasts the behavior of complex characters and the intricacies of their relationships. At the center of it all is Faith, an intelligent girl who resents the limitations of the gender roles of her time, and yet judges her mother with the same stereotypical bias that she abhors. (Age 12 and older)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. If given the chance, would you eat the fruit from the Lie Tree? Why or why not?
  2. Faith’s brother uses guns and his toy stage to act out his fears and to talk about tough stuff. What helps you through tough stuff and problems? How do you cope?
  3. Faith has complicated relationships with both her mother and father. Which parent do you think she is most like? Why?

    Find more resources here

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Take a Peak at ROW March 2017 Titles

February 21st, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2016-2017 | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | Middle School | High School | March - (Comments Off on Take a Peak at ROW March 2017 Titles)

Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers: Family! Books about family from a newly living-in grandparent to adjusting to new siblings to all types of families! Also, language and math concepts in this month’s books for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What could art and insects possibly have to do with one another? In the March 2017 Primary books, both are presented in ways that ask young readers to think differently about the subject. Creative and engaging, these titles are winners!

 

 

 

Intermediate titles in March embrace sports buzz! Learn about the origin of the “fast break” and the coach who introduced it to the game in John Coy’s Game Changer . Find out whether a love of baseball can bring a grieving family together in Wendy Wan-Long Shang’s The Way Home Looks Now.

 

 

 

March Middle School titles offer riveting nonfiction about a group of student resistors during WWII and historical fiction set in Berlin during the Cold War. These books will start some conversation on how governments challenge and control people’s freedoms and possible responses.

 

 

 

 

An engrossing look at U.S. government deception of the American public throughout our involvement in Vietnam, and Daniel Ellsberg’s efforts to make that deception—chronicled in the Pentagon Papers—public.

Part political thriller, part American primer, Sheinkin’s account be-comes even more riveting as it follows the release of the story in the Times, a court injunction to stop publication of additional stories in that paper, and Ells-berg, hiding from federal authorities, getting additional copies into the hands of one major paper after another.

 

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March 2017 High School

February 20th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2016-2017 | High School | March - (Comments Off on March 2017 High School)

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steven Sheinkin. Roaring Brook Press, 2015

An engrossing look at U.S. government deception of the American public throughout our involvement in Vietnam, and Daniel Ellsberg’s efforts to make that deception—chronicled in the Pentagon Papers—public. Ellsberg, a veteran and Harvard Ph.D., worked at the Pentagon, and later for the State Department in Vietnam, gradually changing his views on U.S. involvement there, especially as he realized how much was being kept from the public. U.S. fears of Communism post World War II, and the refusal of one president after another to “lose” a war, were among the barriers to rational decision-making. But at a new position for a California-based think tank, Ellsberg ended up with access to a single copy of the Pentagon Papers, which he eventually decided to photocopy. No politician would touch what he begged them to make public, so he went to the New York Times. Part political thriller, part American primer, Sheinkin’s account becomes even more riveting as it follows the release of the story in the Times, a court injunction to stop publication of additional stories in that paper, and Ells-berg, hiding from federal authorities, getting additional copies into the hands of one major paper after another. Ellsberg’s patriotism is never in doubt in Sheinkin’s account, but neither is the patriotism of soldiers serving in the war who, like Vietnamese civilians and our military allies there, were also at the mercy of the decisions being made. Detailed source notes round out this masterful account that includes occasional black-and-white photos.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. How are we affected today by the decisions our political leaders make?
  2. Was Daniel Ellsberg right or wrong to release the Pentagon Papers? What role did his experiences in the war affect his eventual decisions?
  3. Who should decide what secrets the government gets to keep? Should all government information eventually become public?
  4. Steve Sheinkin has tells us about history in a much different way than a history textbook. How is it different and how does Sheinkin hold the reader’s interest in such a complicated story?

Find more resources at TeachingBooks.net!

March 2017 Middle School

February 20th, 2017 | Posted by etownsend in 2016-2017 | Middle School | March - (Comments Off on March 2017 Middle School)

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip M. Hoose. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015

When Germany invaded Denmark in April, 1940, the Danish government signed an agreement not to fight back. This capitulation did not sit well with many ordinary Danes. Knud Pedersen was a school boy, but he and his brother and some friends began acts of resistance—small scale annoyances and mayhem. When the Pedersens moved, the brothers formed the Churchill Club, and their activity began to escalate. From the time they stole their first gun, the boys began thinking about what they were doing in moral terms: Could they shoot a German? Under what circumstances? Meanwhile, they focused on the sabotage of train cars and vehicles. Caught, they were eventually sent to prison, but their trial sparked greater resistance efforts across the nation. By the time Knud got out of prison, his family had become an important part of the growing Danish resistance. Phillip Hoose interviewed Knud Pedersen extensively as part of this riveting account, which goes back and forth between Knud’s reminiscences and Hoose’s narrative. The boys’ youth, and at times immaturity, is conveyed along with their commitment and passion for their cause.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. How did the boys’ deeds have an effect on Denmark’s resistance movement?
  2. Would you categorize the boys as impetuous or heroic? Support your answer.
  3. What world/societal issues could this story relate to today?
  4. If this book became a movie, which part, person or role would you want to play?

A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielson. Scholastic, 2015

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom? from the publisher

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. What purpose did the quotes serve at the beginning of each chapter?
  2. Gerta got help from unexpected people. What were their motivations for helping her?
  3. Why did the East Germans need a wall to keep people from leaving?

Find more resources at TeachingBooks.net!

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