Geography Drive Arcade app review

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Spinlight Studio’s Geography Drive Arcade app (2013) quizzes users on their United States geography knowledge in an engaging way. The app has six sections: Study Map: This streamlined map of the U.S. shows the states color-coded by region, with all fifty capitals marked and labeled. Tap each state to go in-depth, accessing a page where […]

Review of Draw What You See

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Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson; illus. with paintings by Benny Andrews Primary, Intermediate   Clarion   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-544-10487-7   $16.99 Benson opens in New Orleans in 2005, where Benny Andrews traveled after Hurricane Katrina to teach children “to use art to express their feelings about what they […]

Review of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley; illus. by PJ Loughran Middle School, High School   Dial   128 pp. 1/15   978-0-8037-4123-2   $19.99   g Lowery offers a revealing look at a childhood spent in the midst […]

Graphic-novel memoirs

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The creators of these graphic-novel memoirs use words and pictures to revisit experiences from their youth. Their work relates sometimes-difficult, sometimes-comical stories with poignancy, bittersweet humor, and expressive art. At the age of four, in 1975, Cece Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. In her characterful, often amusing graphic-novel memoir El Deafo, […]

Neighborhood Sharks

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I didn’t look very carefully at Neighborhood Sharks when it first came in to the office, mostly because I’ve got such a soft spot for harbor seals (close relatives to elephant seals, the preferred prey for the great white sharks in this book). Also, I was kind of turned off by the limp dead seal and […]

Review of Unbroken

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Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from 
Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand; 
adapted by the author Middle School, High School   Delacorte   292 pp. 11/14   978-0-385-74251-1   $19.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-99062-5   $22.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-97565-2   $10.99 With media attention focused on the July 2014 death of Louis Zamperini, and Angelina Jolie’s upcoming movie detailing his […]

Gravity

Gravity

In the past, Jason Chin has added a fantasy element to his information books. In Redwoods, for instance, a boy in the city reads about the redwood forest and is transported there, returning to his urban reality at the end of the book. In Gravity, Chin has gone fully meta: the children we see are […]

Review of The Next Wave

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The Next Wave: The Quest to Harness the Power of 
the Oceans [Scientists in the Field] by Elizabeth Rusch Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    79 pp. 10/14    978-0-544-09999-9    $18.99 This entry in the excellent Scientists in the Field series describes a critical engineering challenge: the efficient capture of the energy produced by ocean waves and its […]

Buried Sunlight

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Full disclosure: Molly Bang is one of those children’s-book people I’ve gotten to know a bit. Not so well that, as Robin puts it, she is likely to look me up on Facebook to see if I’m over the flu. But she’s visited my class a few times, we’ve corresponded by email, and I’ve visited […]

The Human Body app review

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Last week’s edition of Nonfiction Notes offered several recommended books about medicine and the human body (plus books on social change, how things work, indigenous cultures, and geography/cartography). Another resource, TinyBop’s The Human Body app, introduces the human body and its systems through exploratory play. Begin by selecting from four child avatars. The app’s main […]