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Monday, April 24, 2017

Whooooo! Calling Out Two Great Owl Titles




Do you like owls? Of course you do! They have big eyes that are more human-like than any other bird. And because of this they exude smarts!

You probably know that they are active at night. So what do you think would happen if one ended up in the wrong nest, with some birds who sleep at night? Well, you can find out in Leslie Helakoski's latest picture book, Hoot & Honk Just Can't Sleep!

There's also a wonderful guide available to download for teachers if you check out her site!




Lita Judge  sets her owl story on the streets, or should I say above the streets, of Paris! This is a beautiful tale of imagination as Hoot shares nocturnal life with her younger sister, Peep.


Both of these are beautifully illustrated by the authors and are wonderful additions to your owly bookshelf!
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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Green Earth Book Award



Thank you to the Nature Generation for selecting THE STORY OF SEEDS as the Green Book Earth Award winner for YA Nonfiction! 

Happy Earth Day! 

For the complete listing of all the winners
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Great Apes & Class Debate Challenge


BEASTLY BRAINS was released last month and yesterday I spent the day in NYC in support of the Nonhuman Rights Project's case on behalf of a chimpanzee named Tommy, who is included in my book.



The Nonhuman Rights Project works for the recognition and protection of fundamental rights for nonhuman animals. They are working tirelessly to gain legal rights for great apes and other highly cognitive animals held in captivity in the United States.

As I sat in the courtroom I imagined a classroom debate - rights vs no rights.
Students could examine these existing cases and hold a debate on whether or not these animals should obtain legal rights.

Some things to consider:

  1. a river in New Zealand recently obtained rights
  2. historic civil rights cases 
  3. the definition of habeas corpus


Here is a booklist that features apes and can provide readers with critical thinking opportunities.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate received the Newbery Medal and tells the story of a captive gorilla called Ivan. Based on fact, Applegate imagines the story from the gorilla's point of view. The real Ivan spent 27 years in a shopping mall enclosure. Beautifully told, this book will touch readers in a profound way.  Applegate went on to write a nonfiction companion book that is a must-read!



The Murderer's Ape by Jacob Wegulius tells the fictional story of Sally Jones, a gorilla, that must clear her human friend's name after he is accused of murder. This unusual detective story is a tale of great friendship and a survival. 


Read Endangered, Threatened and Rescued, three books featuring great apes,  by two-time National Book Award finalist,  Eliot Schrefer. These books combine the issues of great apes with wonderful storytelling. 




 If your class does hold a debate, please let me know. I'd be happy to SKYPE in for Q&A. And I'd love to know the results! 




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Friday, February 10, 2017

NF 10 x 10 2017







Here are ten STEM books I could not live without...nor should you!

These ten titles include different ecosystems, speak to biodiversity, introduce readers to a world reknowned female scientist, talk about big topics, present the scientific method, and are ENGAGING!













Friday, August 26, 2016

National Dog Day

It's National Dog Day! Hurrah, an entire day to celebrate man's (and woman's) best friend! In honor of the day I've put together a reading list of dog-inspired titles for you to enjoy!

On the nonfiction shelf there are many to choose from. I had a blast researching Sniffer Dogs and I know many of my fellow writers have also enjoyed meeting so many extraordinary canines.  Check out Nancy Furstinger's Paws of Courage and her biography of Henry Bergh. Both are well researched and engaging reads.




  Super Sniffers by Dorothy Patent is perfect for younger readers!



 I have so many favorite fiction titles - Here are a few to add to your shelves!









Of course, there are also the dog titles that tug on your heartstrings and are better read with a box of tissues. 





And picture books!





Whatever you decide to pull off your shelf today - enjoy! And give your pooch a hug!


National Dog Day

It's National Dog Day! Hurrah, an entire day to celebrate man's (and woman's) best friend! In honor of the day I've put together a reading list of dog-inspired titles for you to enjoy!

On the nonfiction shelf there are many to choose from. I had a blast researching Sniffer Dogs and I know many of my fellow writers have also enjoyed meeting so many extraordinary canines.  Check out Nancy Furstinger's Paws of Courage and her biography of Henry Bergh. Both are well researched and engaging reads.




  Super Sniffers by Dorothy Patent is perfect for younger readers!



 I have so many favorite fiction titles - Here are a few to add to your shelves!






Of course, there are also the dog titles that tug on your heartstrings and are better read with a box of tissues. 




Whatever you decide to pull off your shelf today - enjoy! And give your pooch a hug!


Friday, May 27, 2016

The Reading List

I am so excited to spend some time this week reading! I've finished two very hectic months of book festivals, conferences, and school visits, and now I can settle back into spending time researching my next Houghton Mifflin title and READING!

On my list -- I just purchased Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Even though I spent years researching THE STORY OF SEEDS and spending time with botanists and other seed scientists, the subject will stay with me forever. And this book looks beautiful. 

Following that theme - I'd love to read Elizabeth Gilbert's Signature of All Things. These three would make a great trilogy! 

On the kid lit front: 

I also downloaded the audio book of The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brusker Bradley. This book has been on my TO READ list since it came out. I am so happy to have the time now to listen to it.