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Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

Field Notes: Loud in the Library: Creating Social Activists at School

The library after school is a place for families. Photo: Liz Phipps Soeiro.

I am the librarian in an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s a city of socioeconomic extremes, but dedicated to the mission of equity in public education; every classroom in each of the twelve public elementary schools maintains a 60/40 ratio between paid and free lunch students. In addition to being the home of Harvard […]

War and peace

anderson_symphony for the city of the dead

Anderson, M. T.  Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad Middle school, high school     424 pp.     Candlewick This ambitious work encompasses the life of composer Shostakovich, the early political history of the U.S.S.R., and the nation’s suffering during WWII. Initially inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution, Shostakovich’s music changed […]

Books mentioned in the May 2016 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Art appreciation Benson, Kathleen  Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews Illustrated by Benny Andrews Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Clarion     2015 Trade ISBN 978-0-544-10487-7 Brooks, Susie  Get into Art Telling Stories Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Kingfisher/Macmillan     2015 Trade ISBN 978-0-7534-7183-8 Handler, Daniel  Girls Standing on Lawns Illustrated by Maira Kalman Middle […]

Activism

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Bass, Hester  Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama Gr. K–3      32 pp.     Candlewick Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. In this welcome story of nonviolent protests in the early 1960s, Jim Crow–era South, black residents of Huntsville, Alabama, organize Blue Jean Sunday — a boycott of shops that sell traditional expensive Easter outfits; […]

Wildlife rescue

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Antle, Bhagavan and Thea Feldman  The Tiger Cubs & the Chimp: The True Story of How Anjana the Chimp Helped Raise Two Baby Tigers Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Holt Photographs by Barry Bland. This book relates the story of Mitra and Shiva, two white tiger cubs raised in a wildlife preserve in South Carolina by […]

Inventions and inventors

inventors_bailey_how the light bulb changed the world

Bailey, Diane  How the Light Bulb Changed History Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library Bjornlund, Lydia  How the Refrigerator Changed History Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library Hand, Carol  How the Internet Changed History Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library Perdew, Laura  How the Toilet Changed History Middle school, […]

Art appreciation

benson_draw what you see

Benson, Kathleen  Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Clarion Illustrated by Benny Andrews. Born in 1930 in Georgia, Andrews defied social expectations by leaving the farm, attending high school, earning a BFA degree, and becoming a renowned painter in an art world still unwelcoming to artists […]

2016 Summer Reading List

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Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2015–2016 and ideal for the season.

Eureka!

carson_inside biosphere 2

Inspire middle-school readers with these true tales of intellectual inquiry, scientific advancement, and STEM trailblazers. In her latest Scientists in the Field series entry Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass, Mary Kay Carson takes readers into the research facility designed to be a self-sustaining model of Earth’s environments. The ability to control environmental conditions […]

Mock award results | Class #6, 2016

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The children’s lit class met for the last time last night and we held six (6!) mock book award deliberations. Each student chose which award they wanted to judge and had free reign to nominate any eligible book. I’m pretty sure every last one of them also brought snacks to fuel their discussions. You can […]