The Horn Book » Out of the Box http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Thu, 28 May 2015 16:31:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Book & Me | Comic #17 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-17/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-17/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 16:00:25 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49095 Previous | Next (May 29)

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Book & Me | Comic #16 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-16/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-16/#respond Wed, 27 May 2015 16:00:03 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49093 Previous | Next

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59 ways to get writing http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/out-of-the-box/59-ways-to-get-writing/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/out-of-the-box/59-ways-to-get-writing/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 16:20:33 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49465 The Internet is full of writers talking about writing. Plenty of authors support each other and exchange advice online. But not all of these writers share wisdom extensively enough, or in a format organized enough, that those thoughts can be gathered into a book. That’s what Kate Messner’s done — with the help of fellow […]

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messner_59 reasons to writeThe Internet is full of writers talking about writing. Plenty of authors support each other and exchange advice online. But not all of these writers share wisdom extensively enough, or in a format organized enough, that those thoughts can be gathered into a book. That’s what Kate Messner’s done — with the help of fellow authors including Jo Knowles, Linda Urban, and A. J. Paquette — in 59 Reasons to Write: Mini-Lessons, Prompts, and Inspiration for Teachers (Stenhouse, January 2015).

Prolific kids’ author Messner started an online summer writing camp for teachers in 2012. The idea behind Teachers Write! was that teachers who walk the walk, who write for themselves instead of just giving writing exercises to their students, become better teachers as well as better writers. With the help of some writer friends, Messner created a weekly schedule: Mini-Lesson Mondays, Quick-Write Tuesdays and Thursdays, Q-and-A Wednesdays, and Writing Happy Hour on Fridays. Messner and guest authors contributed content, and campers were free to participate as frequently or infrequently as they wished.

59 Reasons to Write consists of fifty-nine mini-lessons that grew out of Teachers Write! The lessons, some by Messner and some by other authors, are grouped into chapters by topic, including some process-oriented chapters (from “Getting Started” to”I’m Stuck!” to “Revising and Critiquing”), and some focused on specific story elements or genres (“Characters,” “Plot and Pacing,” “Poetry”). The lessons come with “assignments,” usually writing prompts, to get creative juices flowing. Jo Knowles chimes in with “Morning Warm-Up” activities, and lots of authors’ advice is featured in “The Best of Q-and-A Wednesday.” How do you choose a point of view? How do you maximize your research time?

If you’ve been to a writing workshop or conference, a lot of the discussions will sound familiar. If you haven’t — if, say, you’re a busy teacher — this is a great resource to help get you thinking about what writing entails and how to approach many of its conundrums.

Is 59 Reasons to Write only for teachers? The advice is general enough for teachers to be able to apply it when they teach their students, and unlike many writing guides, the book spends virtually no ink on the subject of how to get published. But there’s very little here that’s only applicable to a classroom. If anyone in your life is looking to give creative writing a try, 59 Reasons to Write might just give them a few more reasons to get started.

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Book & Me | Comic #15 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-15/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-15/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 16:05:15 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49091 Previous | Next

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Book & Me, Week 3 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/authors-illustrators/book-me-week-3/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/authors-illustrators/book-me-week-3/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 18:17:35 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49611 In case you missed them, here is the third batch of entries in Charise Mericle Harper’s original “Book & Me” comics series: #10: On productivity and the “dark forces of distraction” #11: Book’s stealth marketing scheme #12: Book believes in positive reinforcement #13: Gimme a B! Gimme an O! Gimme and O! Gimme a K! […]

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In case you missed them, here is the third batch of entries in Charise Mericle Harper’s original “Book & Me” comics series:

#10: On productivity and the “dark forces of distraction”

#11: Book’s stealth marketing scheme

#12: Book believes in positive reinforcement

#13: Gimme a B! Gimme an O! Gimme and O! Gimme a K!

#14: Book needs famous friends

Stay tuned for more adventures starring irrepressible Book and his creator! See all entries by clicking the tag book and me.

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Book & Me | Comic #14 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-14/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-14/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 16:00:23 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49089 Previous | Next (May 26)

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Sago Mini Road Trip app review http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/choosing-books/app-review-of-the-week/sago-mini-road-trip-app-review/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/choosing-books/app-review-of-the-week/sago-mini-road-trip-app-review/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 20:10:46 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49546 This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and you know what that means: the beginning of road-trip season! Seems like a good time to check out Sago Mini’s Road Trip app (Sago Sago, December 2014) — especially since it’s currently free. You play as Jinja the cat, off to visit one of three friends (a dog, […]

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road trip menuThis weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and you know what that means: the beginning of road-trip season! Seems like a good time to check out Sago Mini’s Road Trip app (Sago Sago, December 2014) — especially since it’s currently free.

You play as Jinja the cat, off to visit one of three friends (a dog, a bird, or a bunny) in locales (beach, big city, mountains, pyramids) which rotate with repeated uses. Pack clothes and travel necessities such as a dino inner tube, a goldfish in a bowl, a treasure map, wellies, a chocolate cake — you know, the essentials. Then choose your ride from a wide range of serious (racecar, the just-added school bus and fire truck) and silly (bathtub, sneaker on wheels, pickle car) vehicles and hit the road.

Drag your finger on the screen to direct the vehicle along the road — or through the sky, if you prefer. Although the basic route is similar regardless of which vehicle or destination you select, every trip has a slightly different mix of real-life road-trip sights — such as wildlife (“TURTLE XING”), gas station (stop to fill ‘er up) and car wash, billboards, stoplight, tunnel, and ramp — and whimsical surprises (giant presents and cupcakes to blast through, puddles to splash through, a beach ball to bounce along the road, fireworks). Jinja responds to your driving abilities with funny facial expressions and cute vocalizations. The vehicles are equally responsive: a bumpy road (or reckless driving) causes ice cream and popsicles to fall out of the ice-cream truck; the bathtub-mobile trails pink bubbles in your wake.

road trip bubbles

“Wheeeee!”

Upon arriving at the destination, Jinja and friend, excited to be reunited, take a photo together.

road trip buddies

Jinja and friend enjoy sushi

Bright colors in rounded shapes, amusing sound effects, and upbeat music extend the app’s friendly tone.

There’s not quite as much to discover here as in Ocean Swimmer, but the fun of the exploratory play extends through multiple repeat uses, and the adorable animal characters are good company. Why not let your toddler take it out for a spin during this long weekend’s travels?

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 5.1.1 or later) and Android devices; free for Apple devices for a limited time and $2.99. Recommended for preschool users.

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Book & Me | Comic #13 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-13/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-13/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 16:00:08 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49087 Previous | Next

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Best served cold http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/out-of-the-box/best-served-cold/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/out-of-the-box/best-served-cold/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 16:42:14 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=48642 What’s with all the revenge?! Let it gooooo / Let it gooooo…

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What’s with all the revenge?! Let it gooooo / Let it gooooo…

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Book & Me | Comic #12 http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-12/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/creating-books/book-me-comic-12/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 16:00:08 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=49085 Previous | Next

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