Archive for April, 2012

Do you love mysteries as much as I do?
The winners of the 2012  Edgar® Awards in all categories have been announced.

Winners include Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Juvenile) and The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall (Young Adult).



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Again this summer, audiobook publishers and AudioFile Magazine are offering the opportunity to listen to some free bestselling teen books and classics through the SYNC partnership.

Beginning June14 through August 22, two free audio downloads will be recommended. The two offerings will be paired to include a popular teen title and a classic book through a connected theme.

SYNC Titles for Summer 2012

The Eleventh Plague
by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)
Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)

The Amulet of Samarkand
by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones (Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights
by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens (Naxos AudioBooks)

Anna Dressed in Blood
by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
The Woman in White
by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO)

Guys Read: Funny Business
by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories
by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books)

Cleopatra’s Moon
by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
Antony and Cleopatra
by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
(Brilliance Audio)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio)

Skulduggery Pleasant
by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill
by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast (Galaxy Press)

The Whale Rider
by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild
by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)

And also be sure to take advantage of the promotional tool kit.

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The Ezra Jack Keats Award winners have been selected. The awards “celebrate an outstanding new writer and new illustrator of picture books for children who impart Ezra Jack Keats’ values—the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.”


2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Winner: Meg Medina for Tía Isa Wants a Car
Video Book Trailer

2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award Winner: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw for Same, Same but Different
Visual art from the book

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.

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There’s hundreds and probably thousands of picture books apps out there. So how do you know if you should spend your hard-earned money on one? Will it be good or wonderful or just so so? You probably go by reviews and friend referrals.

Read What Makes a Good Picture Book App? from Horn Book for some thoughtful insight.

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This and That

Last week, I took some time off for a spring break. So now it’s time to get back to letting everyone know about some interesting news items I collected over the past week.

  • J. K. Rowling’s Pottermore site is now open. The free site allows registered users to enter Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and get sorted into one of the four houses from the Harry Potter books. Games, a Pottermore interactive social community, and ebook purchases are also part of the site.
  • Junie B. Jones also has her own new website. The site has a list all of the current books, games, activities, newsletter options, author/illustrator info, events, and teacher resources.
  • YALSA has announced the 2012 Teens’ Top Ten list. Teens can read the books over the summer and vote for favorite books in August and September with the winners announced during Teen Read Week in October.
  • Be sure to check out our boards on Pinterest.

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I recently began reading the book, The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott, that uses the tragedy of the Titanic as the background setting. Tess a young seamstress working for designer Lucille Duff Gordon survives the sinking of the RMS Titanic, and finds herself torn between loyalty to her employer and to the sailor who saved her when Lady Duff Gordon’s version of their escape differs from the truth. Although written for adults, the book has been read by many teens as well.

With the approaching 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, these are some books and teaching resources for use in the classroom.

2012 New Books About the Titanic

Ghosts of the Titanic by Julie Lawson (Gr. 5-8)
Kevin and his family travel to Halifax after inheriting a home from a man they have never met, and, while exploring the estate, Kevin discovers some mysterious artifacts that transport him back in time to the deck of the “Titanic,” where he races to save a young woman and her child from a tragic ending.
Educator’s Guide includes discussion questions, interdisciplinary activities, and online resources.  Holiday House

Iceberg, Right Ahead by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson (Gr. 6-10)
Explores the lasting legacy of the “Titanic” tragedy, discussing how the sinking of the ship led to new regulations and the formation of an ice patrol that later became the U.S. Coast Guard, earned the “New York Times” a lasting reputation for news, caused a Senate inquiry, destroyed the lives of several survivors, and fascinated people around the world for a century.
Writing Activity Lerner Books

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (Gr. 5+)
Draws on stories from survivors and archival photographs to describe the history of the “Titanic” from its launch to its sinking.
Teacher Resource Deborah Hopkinson

Additional Books

All Stations! Distress! by Don Brown  (Gr. 3-5)
Presents an illustrated account of the Titanic’s deadly voyage on April 12, 1912, when two thousand passengers, rich and poor alike, fought to survive the tragedy while partially filled lifeboats launched into the night with seven hundred people as some family members stayed behind.
Guide includes a summary, booktalk, author information, vocabulary, discussion questions, activities, and related resources. Young Hoosier Book Awards

Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic by Suzanne Weyn (Gr. 8-12)
In the early twentieth century, four sisters and their widowed mother, a famed spiritualist, travel from New York to London, and as the Titanic conveys them and their acquaintances, journalist W.T. Stead, scientist Nikola Tesla, and industrialist John Jacob Astor, home, Tesla’s inventions will either doom or save them all.
Video Book Trailer Scholastic

S.O.S Titanic by Eve Bunting (Gr. 6-9)
Fifteen-year-old Barry O’Neill, traveling from Ireland to America on the  maiden voyage of the Titanic, finds his life endangered when the ship hits an iceberg and begins to sink.
Teacher’s Guide includes a synopsis, discussion questions and activities for before, during and after reading, and cross-curricular activities. Harcourt

T Is for Titanic by Debbie Shoulders (Gr. K-5)
An alphabet book that explores the stories, documents, and artifacts surrounding the Titanic and its disastrous fate.
Teacher’s Guide Sleeping Bear Press

Titanic Sinks! by Barry Denenberg (Gr. 5-8)
Retells the events surrounding the sinking of the RMS “Titanic,” describing the ship’s construction and launch, and featuring authentic photographs and illustrations from the period.
Read the Book Online We Give Books

Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic, 1912 (Dear America series) by Ellen Emerson White (Gr. 3-6)
In her diary in 1912, thirteen-year-old Margaret Ann describes how she leaves her lonely life in a London orphanage to become a companion to a wealthy American woman, sails on the Titanic, and experiences its sinking.
Discussion Guide Scholastic

The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf (Gr. 8+)
Recreates the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others including the iceberg itself.
Discussion Questions Teton County, WY, Library

Teaching Resources About the Titanic

Adventure on the Titanic Interactive GameNational Geographic
On Board the Titanic GameDiscovery Channel
Remembering the Titanic Pinterest Board features pictures of artifacts from and about the Titanic. – Pinterest
Remembering the Titanic has lesson plans. – Lynne Farrell Stover (James Madison University)
Titanic InteractiveHistory Channel
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Teacher’s Guide features lesson plans and activities. – Premier Exhibitions
Unseen Titanic
features two galleries of interactive images. – National Geographic

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April is National Poetry Month. The official celebration site has lots of ideas to plan your own event.
A favorite activity of mine is participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 26. Encourage your students to share poems with their friends and classmates. Your school and local library will have lots of poetry books for your students to read to choose their favorite poem.
Also check out the Poetry Board from HarperCollins on Pinterest.

Here’s a list of 12 new poetry books that I especially like.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie by J. Patrick Lewis
    Illustrated by Michael H. Slack. Harcourt (Gr. 2-6)
    Poet J. Patrick Lewis reimages Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Langston Hughes’s “April Rain Song,” and other classic works, and offers parodies and puzzles that encourage critical thinking and math skills.
  2. Forget-Me-Nots selected by Mary Ann Hoberman
    Illustrated by Michael Emberley. Little, Brown (Gr. K-5)
    A collection of more than 120 poems for children to learn, including selections from classic and contemporary poets.
  3. Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It by Gail Carson Levine
    Illustrated by Matthew Cordell. HarperCollins (Gr. 1-6)
    A collection of poems with false apologies.
  4. Freedom’s A-Callin Me by Ntozake Shange
    Illustrated by Rod Brown. Amisatd/Collins (Gr. 4-8)
    Illustrations and text imagine what it was like for the men and women on the Underground Railroad.
  5. I Lay My Stitches Down by Cynthia Grady
    Illustrated by Michele Wood. Eerdmans (Gr. 4-8)
    A collection of poems that depict people and events throughout the history of slavery in the United States.
  6. I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky
    Illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic. Greenwillow (Gr. K-5)
    A collection of more than one hundred children’s poems.
  7. In the Sea by David Elliott
    Illustrated by Holly Meade. Candlewick Press (Gr. K-2)
    A collection of poems on the characteristics and behaviors of sea horses, sharks, urchins, whales, and other sea creatures.
  8. Outside Your Window by Nicola Davies
    Illustrated by Mark Hearld. Candlewick Press (Gr. K-5)
    An illustrated treasury of poems reflects the experiences of children as they encounter nature for the first time.
  9. Poem Runs by Douglas Florian
    Harcourt (Gr. 1-5)
    A collection of baseball poems.
  10. Step Gently Out by Helen Frost
    Photographs by Rick Lieder. Candlewick Press (Gr. K-4)
    Examines nature through lyrical text and close-up photography.
  11. A Stick Is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer
    Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Clarion Books (Gr. K-4)
    A collection of illustrated poems for children that celebrates the outdoors.
  12. Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs
    Illustrated by Meilo So. Chronicle Books (Gr. K-3)
    A collection of poems about the sea.

All Amazon links are affiliate links for Linda’s Links to Literature.
Books annotations are from The Library of Congress or Linda’s Links to Literature.

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