Sports and recreation

hudson_girls' golf

Hudson, Maryann Girls’ Golf Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Lawrence, Blythe Girls’ Gymnastics Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Peters, Chris Girls’ Hockey Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Williams, Doug Girls’ Basketball Gr. 4–6    48 pp. ABDO Girls’ SportsZone series. These volumes survey four sports and the female athletes at their forefronts. Each chapter pairs a […]

Gardening and outdoor discovery

It's Our Garden

Ancona, George It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden Gr. K–3   48 pp. Candlewick From spring planting to winterization, full-color photographs chronicle a year in the life of an elementary school garden in Santa Fe; students are shown composting soil, watering plants, and sampling the edible delights. While green is visually ubiquitous, […]

Oceanography

butterworth_see what a seal can do

Butterworth, Chris See What a Seal Can Do PS–Gr. 3   32 pp. Candlewick Illustrated by Kate Nelms. Butterworth tells the story of one gray seal’s search for food. He dives down deep, and on his way back up, he comes across a mackerel shoal (an impressively illustrated motion-filled orb). Facts about seals appear in smaller italicized […]

Digital fun and learning

i love mountains app

Nonfiction apps and e-books can be excellent tools to supplement classroom learning or independent research. These four interactive offerings — three science, one poetry — engage young users as they educate. Cute kid Sloan Graham, the bear-suit-clad main character of I Love Mountains, has a passionate interest in the titular landforms. Over nineteen interactive pages, […]

Review of Josephine

powell_josephine

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Intermediate, Middle School    Chronicle    104 pp. 2/14    978-1-4521-0314-3    $17.99 To describe Josephine Baker’s life as “dazzling” is not an exaggeration. In this incomparable biography both Powell and Robinson convey the passion, exuberance, dignity, and eccentricity of their subject through words […]

Review of A Volcano Beneath the Snow

marrin_volcano beneath the snow

A Volcano Beneath the Snow: John Brown’s War Against Slavery by Albert Marrin Middle School, High School    Knopf    234 pp. 4/14    978-0-307-98152-3    $19.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98153-0    $22.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75340-1    $10.99 According to the prologue, John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry helped “set the stage for the Civil War.” His violent actions raise an […]

Core values

Go-to Guide

Narrative nonfiction is on the lesson plan in Lolly’s Classroom today. Is anyone else worried that the CCSS demand for more nonfiction reading does not seem to be translating into more nonfiction publishing? I have the feeling that publishers are mostly sitting this one out. (As well they might, now that no one seems to […]

Narrative nonfiction in middle school

Phineas Gage

You may have inferred from my first post in February that I am spending a lot of time thinking about nonfiction for middle school readers. We all know now that nonfiction figures prominently in the Common Core State Standards. In fact, we are told that 60% of a 7th grader’s reading diet ought to be […]

Review of Galápagos George

george_ galápagos george

Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George; 
illus. by Wendell Minor Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp. 4/14    978-0-06-028793-1    $15.99    g Jean Craighead George begins the evolutionary story of the tortoises on Galápagos archipelago with a single female, Giantess George, and asks readers to extrapolate from the life cycle of that one animal to the development of the […]

Review of He Has Shot the President!

brown_he has shot the president

He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: The Day John 
Wilkes Booth Killed President 
Lincoln [Actual Times] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate    Roaring Brook    64 pp. 4/14    978-1-59643-224-6    $17.99    g This fifth entry in Brown’s Actual Times series (including All Stations Distress, rev. 9/08) begins on April 14, 1865, the day […]