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1. Halloween Books: New Fall and Spook-Worthy Books for Kids

It's time to do the Halloween hustle and get books for Halloween into the hands of your ghouls and boys. Don't get spooked, all of these books are treats and not tricks!

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2. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2014)

You know Mac and Jon. You love Mac and Jon. Now meet Sam and Dave. You’ll love Sam and Dave.

Don’t rush into the pages just yet. This is one of the best covers I’ve seen in a long while. If we weren’t so aware that Jon Klassen (that insta-recognizable style!) is a contemporary illustrator, I would wholeheartedly presume that it was some vintage thing in a used bookstore. A find to gloat about, a find that makes you wonder just how you got so lucky.

The hole. The space left over. The words, stacked deeper and deeper. The apple tree whose tippy top is hidden. Two chaps, two caps, two shovels. One understanding dog.

Speaking of two chaps, two caps, and two shovels, check out the trailer.

(I’ll wait if you need to watch that about five more times.)

The start of their hole is shallow, and they are proud. But they have only just started. Sam asks Dave when they should stop, and this is Dave’s reply:

“We won’t stop digging until we find something spectacular.”

Dave’s voice of reason is so comforting to any young adventurer. It’s validating that your goal is something spectacular. (Do we forget this as grownups? To search for somthing spectacular? I think we do.)

Perhaps the pooch is the true voice of reason here, though he doesn’t ever let out a bark or a grumble. Those eyes, the scent, the hunt. He knows.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

(click to enlarge)

And this is where Sam and Dave Dig a Hole treads the waters of picture book perfection. The treasure, this spectacular something, is just beyond the Sam and Dave’s reality. The reader gets the treat where Sam and Dave are stumped. Do you want to sit back and sigh about their unfortunate luck? Do you want to holler at them to just go this way or that way or pay attention to your brilliant dog? Do you root for them? Do you keep your secret?

The text placement on each page is sublime. If Sam and Dave plant themselves at the bottom of the page, so does the text. If the hole is deep and skinny, the text block mirrors its length. This design choice is a spectacular something. It’s subtle. It’s meaningful. It’s thoughtful and inevitable all at once.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

(click to enlarge)

And then – then! Something spectacular. The text switches sides. The boys fall down. Through? Into? Under? Did the boys reach the other side? Are they where they started? Is this real life? Their homecoming is the same, but different. Where there was a this, now there is a that. Where there was a hmm, now there is an ahhh.

Spectacular indeed.

I like to think that the impossible journey here is a nod to Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak’s collaboration, A Hole is to Dig. That’s what holes are for. That’s what the dirt asks of you. It’s not something you do alone or without a plan or without hope. Sam and Dave operate in this truth. They need to dig. There’s not another choice.

AHoleIsToDig

(image here // a first edition, first printing!)

Sidenote: I’m pretty thrilled that these scribbles live in my ARC.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Look for this one on October 14th.

SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE. Text copyright © 2014 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Jon Klassen.Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

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3. Diva Delight: A Monster Calls and Rhyme Schemer

Don't miss these even if they are catalogued in middle grade. A good story is a good story, right? When I picked up both of these works, from the first pages there was that feeling of instantly knowing these are brilliant books. These are the ones to savor and then share. Go. Find. Them.



"At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined."

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
Candlewick Press, 2013



"Kevin has a bad attitude. He's the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way—and he's even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? Rhyme Schemer is a touching and hilarious middle-grade novel in verse about one seventh grader's journey from bully-er to bully-ee, as he learns about friendship, family, and the influence that words can have on people's lives."

Rhyme Schemer
by K. A. Holt
Chronicle Books, 2014

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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4. #NoiseforNess Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness Giveaway

It’s no surprise I’m a huge Patrick Ness fan. In the past I’ve written about how inspiring his work is as well as the time when I was actually able to meet him in person. I’ve also reviewed quite a few of his books:

The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ask and the Answer
Monsters of Men
A Monster Calls

I’ve also interviewed the narrator for the audiobooks, Nick Podehl, whom is a personal favorite of mine. The way that Nick narrates The Knife of Never Letting Go will turn any non-audiobook fan into a audiobook listener for life. He’s brilliant!

Chaos Walking paperback

So when the publisher, Candlewick Press, reached out to me to offer a giveaway featuring the newly designed paperback covers for The Chaos Walking series I couldn’t resist. Not only do I love the redesign, but it also reminds me a bit of the UK edition that I love. Also, they’ve added additional content to each book! Each paperback includes a short story that was only previously available in eBook format. Candlewick has really done an excellent job with this new edition and I’m thrilled to have a full set to giveaway to one There’s A Book reader!

Giveaway!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Candlewick Press I have ONE FULL SET of this new edition of The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness which also includes a bonus short story within each book! Be sure to enter using the rafflecopter form below and be aware that this one is for US and Canadian residents only.

Ad1_PatrickNess

Find the new paperback edition of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN10/ISBN13: 0763676187 / 9780763676186

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

Follow There’s A Book with Bloglovin.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Original article: #NoiseforNess Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness Giveaway

©2014 There's A Book. All Rights Reserved.

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5. Watch for It: Egg & Spoon



When a Gregory Maguire book releases, how can you not stop everything and read it? You must for Egg & Spoon. Think of a female, The Prince and the Pauper, intertwined with a fiercely endearing Baba Yaga, searching to save a Firebird and mother Russia, while controlling an ice dragon for the world's survival. By the author of Wicked. Enough said, right?

Here is an epic story for middle-grade, young adults, and adults, and it will be beloved. For the first time, I fell in love with a house with chicken legs.

Within the 475 pages, you'll find language as rich as Saint Petersburg. It is the only point which will give you pause as you relish Maguire's word choice and imagery. Truth beats at the heart of the fairy tale, dabbled with modern references due to Baba Yaga's timelessness. I leave you with Baba speaking to her resident cat.

Baba Yaga snorted. "I look like a woman of a certain age."
"You are," said Mewster.
"Oh, no," said the witch. "I am a woman of every age."

Egg & Spoon
by Gregory Macquire
Candlewick Press, 9/14

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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6. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | July 2014

Seriously, there are some VERY good books on this list of best selling middle grade books; including Kevin Henkes' The Year of Billy Miller and Sharon M. Draper's Out of My Mind.

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7. Book Review: Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui

Before AfterBefore After by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui
Published by Candlewick Press
Pages: 176
Ages: 4-8
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 0763676217 / 9780763676216
Publishers Summary:

Everyone knows that a tiny acorn grows into a mighty oak and a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. But in this clever, visually enchanting volume, it’s also true that a cow can result in both a bottle of milk and a painting of a cow, and an ape in a jungle may become an urban King Kong. Just as day turns into night and back again, a many-tiered cake is both created and eaten down to a single piece. With simple, graphic illustrations sure to appeal to even the youngest of children, this beautiful rumination on the passage of time will please the most discerning adult readers, too.

TurkeybirdTurkeybird Giggles and Gawks: This is such a cool book! I really like learning about how things work. I ask my mom and dad lots and lots and lots of questions, so this was so neat! Even if I did have to keep asking my mom to explain some of the pictures it was really fun to hear about how things got from little tiny things to big big things and the cook-coo clock was the coolest. I’ve never seen one of those before! Some of it was super silly though, like the statue and the cake that gets eaten. I think I will keep reading and reading this book, it’s so neat.

Before After Interior

Mom’s Two Cents: Earlier this week we received out copy of Before After and since that time it’s been in someone in our families hands. Not only the kiddos have been drawn to it, but myself and my husband haven’t stopped riffling through it. Each turn of the page presents a new question, a new thought or feeling. For myself, it evokes memories of seasons changing and Turkeybird getting stuck in the snow one winter in Virginia. It also leads to thoughts of how to explain the process from one beginning image to the next evolution, in part because both kiddos have been asking non-stop how it’s all connected.

Turkeybird is just the right age for this book, the one where every new discovery leads to another question. And while Littlebug enjoys the beautiful illustrations and love to know that one is connected to the other she doesn’t inquire about the process as much. I’m sure the day will come, too soon, when she’s begging to know just how the electricity surges through wiring to turn a room from dark to light with the flip of a switch. For now, she’s content with knowing it works. What I love though is that this book, while completely wordless, has captured everyone in our homes attention regardless of their age or interest.

Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui is a beautiful addition to any library. Its wordless pages come to life as you watch a caterpillar hatch into a beautiful flying butterfly while imagining the step in between, cultivating curiosity in youth and bringing to light memories in adults. This will be a book discussed for many many months and years to come, and certainly one that I’d recommend again and again.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 5 to 10. Before After takes the simplest of childhood questions and brings them to life in beautiful illustrations that readers of all ages will be fascinated by.

Find Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui at the following spots:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 0763676217 / 9780763676216

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

Follow There’s A Book with Bloglovin.

Original article: Book Review: Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein and Matthias Aregui

©2014 There's A Book. All Rights Reserved.

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8. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | June 2014

Star Wars books were a hot commodity this month on The Children’s Book Review—even more than usual. LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary was our best selling middle grade book this month. Returning to our hand selected titles from the nationwide best selling middle grade books, as listed by The New York Times, is Sharon M. Draper's Out of My Mind.

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9. Best Selling Picture Books | June 2014

The Children's Book Review's best selling picture book for this month is the gorgeously illustrated picture book from Jon J. Muth, The Three Questions. As per usual, we've also shared our hand selected list of the most popular picture books from the nationwide best selling picture books, as listed by The New York Times.

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10. Playing catch up

Hi, friends!

Man oh man, how I've neglected this blog!
Somehow it is already MAY.
MAY 2014.
How did that happen?
Seriously, the year is flying.
FLYING!

A super quick update:
Since my last post in January I have . . .

-Moved out of Brooklyn, New York, and down to charming Baltimore, Maryland. A BIG change, but a very good one.

-Started and (almost) finished the art for a picture book titled YARD SALE, written by Eve Bunting (!Pinch me!), that will come out in spring 2015.


-Purchased a new sketchbook where a tiny hedgehog showed up one happy day in February. Now, two and a half months later, it is hard to draw anything BUT Hedgehog. I'm obsessed.


-Finally jumped in to the wonderful world of Twitter, where I have had the opportunity to meet and chat with so many lovely and awesome new people. Hooray for social media (mostly:)!

-Received actual bound copies of my new book as author/illustrator, THE TROUBLEMAKER. I am so pleased with how it's turned out. A million thanks to my editor, art director and all of Clarion/HMH for encouraging and supporting me and this book. I'll be doing my first read aloud to a group of 60(!) Pre-K kiddos next week. Please, keep your fingers crossed for me! :)


THE TROUBLEMAKER's book birthday is one month from today. June 3rd, 2014. I cannot wait! You can read more about the book here.
I'll leave you with my first ever attempt at animation, below.

Happy weekend, all! Hope it's a fantastic one.
xo~Lauren

The Troublemaker from Lauren Castillo on Vimeo.

0 Comments on Playing catch up as of 5/3/2014 4:09:00 PM
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11. Illustrator Saturday

A big thank THANK YOU to Kathy Temean for asking me to be a part of Illustrator Saturday! Lots of information and some process images. Click on the link below to read the full interview. As Neil Gaiman says, "WARNING:Contains me" 

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/

0 Comments on Illustrator Saturday as of 4/14/2014 11:33:00 AM
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12. #527 – E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers

cover.

EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen

by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers, illustrator

Candlewick Press      2/25/2014

978-0-7636-6043-7

Age 4 to 8     32 pages

.

“Once upon a time, Old MacDonald didn’t have a farm. He just had a yard—a yard he didn’t want to mow. But then, under the direction of the wise (and ecologically sensitive) Little Red Hen, Mac learns to look at the environment in a very different way, and whole new worlds start to bloom.”

Opening

“Old MacDonald had a house, E-I-E-I-O!”

The Story

Old MacDonald had a house with a big backyard he didn’t like to mow. In fact, he waited so long to mow it that Old MacDonald would sweat after just a short push of his power mower. There had to be a better way. So Old MacDonald got a goat. E-I-E-I-O! There were problems with the goat. MacDonald knew there had to be a better way, so he searched the Internet for help. He got that help from the Little Red Hen, the smartest hen in the world. But could she help Old MacDonald with his backyard lawn mowing aversion?

Review

A fun story that will have kids and adults laughing from the beginning, E-I-E-I-O puts Old MacDonald in the middle of suburbia. He has a house with a large backyard and Old MacDonald doesn’t like to mow. He gets a goat but the goat eats the hedges, putting a window between MacDonald and his neighbor. But MacDonald’s real trouble—and fame—doesn’t begin until he hires the Little Red Hen. I love bringing in a character from another story. It adds more flavor to the story and most kids will instantly recognize the Little Red Hen. Plus, this wise hen has an agricultural diploma—perfect for Old MacDonald.

First, Little Red Hen gets rid of the grass. At first, I didn’t get what she was doing—nor will most kids—but soon it became clear. Until that could happen, the neighbors join and form a protest, insisting, as one sign put it, “A LAWN in every YARD.” I love the signs. One says the neighbors formed a mud watch group. But the sign stating, “Change is BAD” pretty much sums up the problem: no one like change. Though there is one little guy who may like change. His sign says, “No More Mud,” but he put a line through one of those words. Not until Old MacDonald has a workable farm, producing organic veggies, does the neighborhood change their feelings toward the smell of Old MacDonald’s backyard farm.

The illustrations are fantastic. They tell the story as well as the text tells it. The details are terrific and sometimes surprising, but you must look carefully to appreciate all the effort that went into these spreads. Colorful, informative, and humorous are but three words that immediately come to mind when looking at E-I-E-I-O. I love the part when Little Red Hen has Old MacDonald throw his trash onto his backyard, well, actually, his back-mud. Old MacDonald looks like he has given up when he tosses his corncob out the window onto his back-mud.

Kids inherently think the word “poop” is funny. Well, Little Red Hen cannot make her compost without it, or worms, so kids will love these spreads. Of course, Little Red Hen stays out of the muck, calling directions out from atop her hen house. Yes, she is one wise hen. Eventually, Old MacDonald gains the neighbors’ favor and a new career in one of the most entertaining, yet informative, picture books this year.

E-I-E-I-O: HOW OLD MACDONALD GOT HIS FARM. Text copyright © 2014 by Judy Sierra. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Matthew Myers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

E-I-E-I-O- POSTER

Learn more about E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen HERE.

Get your copy of E-I-E-I-O at AmazonB&NCandlewick Pressyour local bookstore.

.Meet the author, Judy Sierra at her website:   http://www.judysierra.net/

Meet the illustrator, Matthew Myers at his website:  http://www.myerspaints.com/

Find other great books at Candlewick Press’ website:   http://www.candlewick.com/

Also by Judy Sierra

Wild About You!

Wild About You!

ZooZical  

ZooZical

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur

 .

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Also by Matthew Myers 

Battle Bunny

Battle Bunny

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind  

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind

The World According to Musk Ox  9/2014  

The World According to Musk Ox  9/2014

 .

.

.

.

.

.New from Candlewick Press

Ocean Creatures: A 3D Pocket Guide

Ocean Creatures: A 3D Pocket Guide

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties  

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation

.

eieio how old macdonald got his farm


Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: Candlewick Press, children's book reviews, ecology, eieio, environmentlism, gardens, judy sierra, matthew Myers, old macdonald had a farm, organic frming, sustainability

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13. Destruction, Disruption, and Defiance: Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust

In discussing the persecution of European Jews in the years before and during World War II, my students would often ask, "How could they let this happen?" Meaning, how could the rest of the world stand by and do nothing? For all the answers I can help students to find, I still can't answer this question myself.

The question asked nearly as often, however, is this: "Why didn't the Jews fight back?" But to that question I can readily answer, "They did. They did fight back. But realize that it wasn't just with guns; even children your age found ways to disrupt and defy the Nazis who tried to exterminate them."

In teaching the topic of Jewish resistance, I've found a great resource in an impressive series of six books from Enslow Publishing titled True Stories of Teens in the Holocaust. This series explores, through hundreds of primary documents and photographs, the diverse experiences of Jewish and non-Jewish youth caught up in the Holocaust.

Another terrific single-volume resource for any middle or high school classroom is Doreen Rapapport's Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, published by Candlewick Press.

Check out the books below, and then read on for suggested sites for helping students learn history through analyzing primary sources.

Courageous Teen Resisters: Primary Sources from the Holocaust

The popular title Courageous Teen Resisters: Primary Sources from the Holocaust documents both violent and nonviolent defiance of Nazi terrorism, from the increasingly overt persecution of early 1930s Germany to resistance efforts in France to the twenty-seven days of the Warsaw uprising. Readers learn how subtle and secretive efforts by Jews and Gentile sympathizers disrupted and distracted occupying enemy troops in some circumstances, while outright armed resistance and acts of sabotage wreaked chaos and destruction in others.

From Courageous Teen Resisters:

Courageous Teen Resisters is recommended as a stand-alone volume for students seeking to learn more about Jewish Resistance, as well an informational text companion to Heroes of the Holocaust: True Stories of Rescues by Teens (available from Scholastic).

The remaining five titles in the Enslow series are described below with a short publisher's summary or excerpt as well as recommended companion titles. This series is especially useful in text pairings not only to meet demands of the Common Core emphasis on informational texts, but to provide students with the necessary historical and social contexts needed to truly appreciate biography and historical fiction rooted in the Holocaust. (If you're seeking Holocaust texts for lower-level readers, be sure to check out my Annotated List of Holocaust Picture Books).

Youth Destroyed - The Nazi Camps
"Alice Lok was deported to Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp, in 1944. Upon her arrival, she faced a "selection." Alice had to stand in line as a Nazi doctor examined the new camp inmates. If the doctor pointed one direction, it meant hard labor—but labor meant life. If the doctor pointed the other way, that meant immediate death. Alice was lucky. She survived Auschwitz and two other camps. However, millions of Jews were not so lucky."  ~ from the publisher
Youth Destroyed - The Nazi Camps is recommended as an informational text companion to The Devil's Arithmetic (gr. 6-8), Prisoner B-3087 (gr. 6-9; see my review here), Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story (gr. 4-6), Hana's Suitcase (gr. 4-5), Elly: My True Story of the Holocaust (gr. 5-7), I am a Star: Child of the Holocaust (gr. 5-7), Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps (gr. 5-8), I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust (gr. 8-12), and Night (grades 9-up).

Trapped - Youth in the Nazi Ghettos
"(M)any Jewish youth living in the ghettos in Europe... faced death, fear, hunger, hard labor, and disease everyday. Millions of Jews were forced into ghettos, where the Nazis kept them until they could be deported to the death camps."  ~ from the publisher

For this title I'd recommend Children in the Ghetto, an interactive site which describes itself as
"...A website about children, written for children. It portrays life during the Holocaust from the viewpoint of children who lived in the ghetto, while attempting to make the complex experience of life in the ghetto as accessible as possible to today’s children.

Along with the description of the hardships of ghetto life, it also presents the courage, steadfastness and creativity involved in the children’s lives. One of the most important messages to be learned is that despite the hardships, there were those who struggled to maintain humanitarian and philanthropic values, care for one another, and continue a cultural and spiritual life."
By examining writings, artifacts, and first hand interviews, students gain an understanding of the "anything-to-survive" mentality which the ghetto created, and demanded, of its inhabitants. Students can explore freely, taking advantage of the interactive elements, or respond to prompts in writing using the printable handouts (I downloaded the handouts, available in Word format, and adapted them according to my lesson objectives).

Once students have interacted with this site, they will have a mental bank of sites, sounds, stories, and symbols from which to draw upon, greatly increasing their understanding and appreciation of this nonfiction text as well as any novel with which they're working.

Trapped - Youth in the Nazi Ghettos is recommended as an informational text companion to The Island on Bird Street (gr. 4-6), Milkweed (gr. 6-8), Yellow Star (gr. 5-8), and Daniel's Story (gr. 4-8).

Escape - Teens on the Run
"Thousands of Jews lived on the run during the Holocaust. Some were able to escape Germany before the war started. Others had to move throughout Europe to flee the Nazis. And many more could not escape at all."  ~ from the publisher

From Escape - Teens on the Run

Escape: Teens on the Run is recommended as an informational text companion to Number the Stars (gr. 4-5), The Night Spies (gr. 3-5), When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (gr. 4-6), Escape: Children of the Holocaust (gr. 5-7), Run, Boy, Run (gr. 5-8), Once (gr. 6-10), and Survivors: True Stories of Children of the Holocaust (grades 5-8).

Hidden Teens, Hidden Lives
"(T)housands of Jews went into hiding during the Holocaust. Barns, trapdoors, bunkers, secret attics, forged identity papers, and fake names became tools for survival."  ~ from the publisher
The fate of Jews who were hidden is of special interest to students. Even in a classroom that chooses not to embark upon a full Holocaust unit, time can certainly be devoted to learning about Jews who went into hiding rather than face extermination by the Nazis.

The uncertainty of such a choice is reflected in this diary entry from Anne Frank which appears in the book:

Hidden Teens, Hidden Lives is recommended as an informational text companion to Number the Stars (gr. 4-5), Jacob's Rescue (gr. 3-5), The Upstairs Room (gr. 4-5), Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival (gr. 4-6), Anne Frank (10 Days) (gr. 5-7), The Hidden Girl: A True Story of the Holocaust (gr. 4-6), Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (gr. 7-up), and The Book Thief (gr, 8-up).

Shattered Youth in Nazi Germany
"Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party's rise to power in the 1930s changed life dramatically for all people living in Germany. Hitler used propaganda, fear, and brutality as his main weapons. Jewish children faced strong antiSemitism in their schools and on the street, and saw their families ripped apart. Non-Jewish children deemed "undesirable" suffered a similar fate. "Aryan" children were forced to enter Hitler Youth groups or endure humiliation."  ~ from the publisher

This book is a real stand-out as it not only chronicles the experience of Jews in Nazi Germany, but also Gentiles who were reluctant to submit to Nazi ideologies.

Shattered Youth in Nazi Germany is recommended as an informational text companion to The Big Lie (gr. 3-5), The Boy Who Dared (gr. 6-8), The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's List (gr. 5-9), Someone Named Eva (gr. 6-9), Parallel Journeys (gr. 6-8), The Book Thief (gr. 9-up), Hitler's Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow (gr. 6-12), and The Berlin Boxing Club (gr. 9-12).

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

If you're looking for a single-volume resource for any middle or high school classroom, I recommend Doreen Rappaport's multiple award winning Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, published by Candlewick Press.

Like all of Candlewick's titles, this text is supported by a number of resources available from the publisher's site, including a full page spread, a teacher's guide, an interview with a survivor, and an audio excerpt. The book itself includes primary source excerpts, maps, a pronunciation guide, timeline, index, and sources.

In speaking of her accomplishment (which took five years to research and write), author Doreen Rappaport says,
"How Jews organized themselves in order to survive and defy their enemy is an important but still neglected piece of history. I present a sampling of actions, efforts, and heroism with the hope that I can play a role in helping to correct the damaging and persistent belief that Jews ‘went like sheep to the slaughter.’"
Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation

A key resource for teaching Jewish resistance, and for discovering a multitude of primary sources, is the web site of the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, whose key mission is "to develop and distribute effective educational materials about the Jewish partisans and their life lessons, bringing the celebration of heroic resistance against tyranny into educational and cultural organizations."

Over 30,000 Jewish partisans, or “members of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory.” joined the hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish resistance fighters who fought the Nazis. Interestingly, however, their assistance was not always welcome, as antisemitism was often common in non-Jewish resistance groups.

This comprehensive and well constructed site offers teachers and students myriad free resources including:
  • Professional Development modules which can be completed for continuing education credits (CEUs)  (I highly recommend that prior to using this site you complete at least the first module, to better understand how to best access the site's videos, articles, lesson plans, student hand-outs, and more);
  • An extensive film collection, containing 3 to 20 minute films trhough which students can "witness the Jewish partisans' stories of endurance, victory, and struggle;"
  • Interactive maps of Jewish partisan activity;
  • A Virtual Underground Bunker;
  • An Image Gallery (captioned and sourced); 
  • Downloads for the classroom and a Resource Search option; and
  • A very unique tool called Someone Like Me, where a students enter a combination of characteristics which describe themselves, and the site presents a partisan who matches those characteristics. Students can then explore the life and work of that partisan through any of the resource links above.
Primary Sources

Because the impact of Holocaust education relies heavily upon students learning the true events of this tragedy, primary sources should play a role in every Holocaust unit. The JPEF site described above provides a wonderful collection of sources from which to choose, but below I have compiled a number of additional resources which educators may find useful in planning their instruction. As always, please reach out and let me know what other sites, books, and documents you've found useful.

Why Should I Use Primary Sources?

Reading Primary Sources: An Introduction for Students
From Learn NC, a step-by-step guide for students examining primary sources, with specific questions divided into five layers of questioning.

Primary Document Webinar
This hour long recorded webinar present teachers with not only reasons for using primary sources, but also ten really easy-to-implement ideas for starting with primary sources in the classroom.

Making Sense of Evidence
This is a highly recommended collection of articles written by experts in the field on how to make sense of films, oral histories, numbers, maps, advertisements, and more. While written by the experts, students will find the language they use to be accessible. From the site:
“Making Sense of Documents” provide strategies for analyzing online primary materials, with interactive exercises and a guide to traditional and online sources. “Scholars in Action” segments show how scholars puzzle out the meaning of different kinds of primary sources, allowing you to try to make sense of a document yourself then providing audio clips in which leading scholars interpret the document and discuss strategies for overall analysis.
Because of the career connections, this site is a valuable tool for achieving College and Workplace Readiness goals.

Engaging Students with Primary Sourcesfrom Smithsonian’s History Explorer site
A 64 page pdf that serves as an excellent introduction to using primary sources.

Primary Sources Fitting into CCSS
Brief article showing how instruction with primary docs helps fulfill CCSS.

Teaching the Holocaust with Primary Sources
From Eastern Illionis University, a Holocaust Unit utilizing resources provided by the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress: Why Use Primary Sources?
Very brief pdf discusses reasons in bullets; good for making your point when discussing unit plans with others.

Primary Sources Cautionary Tales (pdf article)
Considerations and concerns surrounding primary sources.

Where Can I Find Lesson Plans with Primary Sources?

I Witness
From the USC Shoah Foundation, this site contains over 1300 video testimonies and other digital resources, as well as assistance for educators seeking to use these tools in Holocaust education.

Response to the Holocaust: Resistance and Rescue(Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center)
A pdf format document filled with original writings and suggested student activities; you can also download the entire curriculum from the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center.

Jewish Resistance: A Curriculum from The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
Lesson plans include original documents, along with suggested student questions to help analyze them.

The Power to Choose: Bystander or Rescuer?
Popular set of plans that has been online for some time; used by many educators as a good starting place for planning units.

Where Can I Find Additional Sites for Primary Sources?

PBS Learning Media - Interviews with Survivors and Rescuers
A good online source for interviews.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Offers an ever-changing variety of resources, as well as searchable pages for research. Educators can often request free teaching materials as well.

PBS Resources on the Holocaust 
The search page of PBS provides a vast number of resources, including excerpts from shows which have appeared on public television.

Oral History from Virginia Holocaust Museum
Oral History Project provides witness of survivors and rescuers.

Dr. Seuss Went to War
Theodore Geisel was a radical political cartoonist who urged America to join "Europe's war," in large part due to the oppressive policies of Hitler's Nazi. But are Geisel's cartoons themselves a type of propaganda? See an earlier post here on Propaganda and Persuasion.

What Strategies or Tools are Available to Assist Students in Analyzing Sources?

SOAPS Primary Document Strategy
This pdf provides information about the SOAPS acrostic, which students can easily recall for use in analyzing primary sources of information.

Primary Source Analysis Tools from the Library of Congress
Several different tools in pdf form for analyzing oral histories, manuscripts, maps, movies, and more.

Document Analysis Worksheets from National Archive
These pdfs allow for blank printing or for students to type directly on them and then print out or save; very handy for conducting analysis online.

Analyzing a Primary Source Rubric
A rubric for scoring student efforts in using primary sources.

0 Comments on Destruction, Disruption, and Defiance: Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust as of 3/30/2014 12:43:00 AM
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14. "Summer Nightsong" from "If I Could"


A few years ago I was asked to create illustrations for a lovely poem/story called "If I Could" by Susan Milord. The story had few details and once again my art director at Candlewick press gave me the freedom and support to produce a series of images that were personal and captured those special moments shared by a little one and his/her parent or grandparent. I loved this project and brought so much of my personal experiences to the finished art. The beach is the one just down the street from the studio and yes, I have bundled up in a blanket with my own kids and watched the stars!
This original painting was just posted at my ETSY shop. 

0 Comments on "Summer Nightsong" from "If I Could" as of 3/12/2014 1:58:00 PM
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15. Illustrator Interview – Matt Phelan

A few weeks back I posted a review in our Perfect Picture Book Friday series of the first book Matt illustrated, THE NEW GIRL…. AND ME. I had so many comments on this post on my Facebook page from people … Continue reading

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16. Watch for It: Formerly Shark Girl

Here's a verse novel to watch for, rgz. You know I'm partial to the verse novel. Kudos to publishers who continue to give them voice! So, remember Shark Girl? You can read Kelly Bingham's full issue for rgz here. Get ready to see what happened afterwards: Formerly Shark Girl!



Kelly picks up Jane's story a year after the shark attack. She's waffling between nursing and art school. She's dealing with unexpected pain, a possible surgery, fan mail, and a bucket list for her senior year. The pages turn quickly as you journey with Jane through her choices, and she reaches satisfying conclusions.

Way to go rgz, for nudging Kelly to tell the rest of the story. Her dedication reads: "This book is for all the readers who asked for more of Jane's story. Without you, this book would not have been written." Brava, rgz!

Formerly Shark Girl
by Kelly Bingham
Candlewick Press, 2013

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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17. “A marvelous way to tell a difficult story”

The upcoming Austin SCBWI Graphic Novel Workshop on Saturday, October 5 promises to be a day for writers and illustrators, writer-illustrators and anyone interested in exciting alternative literary forms for children, teens and young adults. OK, plenty of adults read them, too. Webcomics creator, animator, digital content creator and our SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book […]

0 Comments on “A marvelous way to tell a difficult story” as of 9/25/2013 3:10:00 AM
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18. “A marvelous way to tell a difficult story”

The upcoming Austin SCBWI Graphic Novel Workshop on Saturday, October 5 promises to be a day for writers and illustrators, writer-illustrators and anyone interested in exciting alternative literary forms for children, teens and young adults. OK, plenty of adults read them, too. Webcomics creator, animator, digital content creator and our SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book […]

0 Comments on “A marvelous way to tell a difficult story” as of 9/25/2013 8:54:00 AM
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19. We Believe in Pictures Books!

Candlewick Press launched a year-long tribute to the picture book beginning this month.  Every day for the next year, a new video will highlight authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers, readers, and YOU!  Yep, that’s right–YOU! If you love picture books and believe they have a purpose in young reader’s lives, or in your own, you too [...]

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20. Watch for It: Daylight Savings

Daylight Saving (Hardcover) ~ Edward Hogan Cover Art

Reminding me of a tale by William Sleater, Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan is a fast-paced, mind-bending chiller. Daniel, on a forced vacation with his father, meets a girl whose wounds seem to worsen daily. As the clock runs down, he grasps for courage and inspiration to try to save her. At the same time, he's dealing with his own body image, the blame of his parent's separation, and his father's drinking. If you liked The Lovely Bones, you'll find a similar thread here.

Watch for Daylight Saving. And see how sympathetic you become as the clock ticks backwards...

Daylight Saving
by Edward Hogan
Candlewick Press

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz





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21. A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout by Paul B. Janeczko

5 Stars
A Foot in the Mouth: 
Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout
Paul B. Janeczko
Candlewick Press
No. Pages: 64         Ages: 8 to 12
........................
................

From the Introduction: Poetry is sound. Oh, sure, it’s other things too, but sound needs to be near the top of the list. To hear the sound of a poem, really hear it, you need to read it out loud. Or have someone read it to you. All the poems in this book have been chosen because they are terrific candidates for reading aloud. They might be as easy as the six-word “Gigi” by Arnold Spilka, or as “frabjous” and as “brillig” as Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky,” full of delicious nonsense words to roll across your tongue. Many of the poems have very strong rhyme schemes—the poet is showing you how to read the poem through the use of rhyme.

You don’t need to be an expert, and if you’re not sure how a certain part should sound, ask a parent or teacher. Practice a few times. In no time at all, you’ll be able to share the music of a good poem read aloud. If you’ve never read a poem to somebody, you don’t know what you’re missing. This book will give you a chance to change that. These three dozen poems are especially satisfying spoken, recited—shouted!—out loud, from lively rhymes to tricky tongue twisters. Give it a try – Paul B. Janeczko

A Foot in the Mouth is a wonderful collection of some of the silliest, funniest, sarcastic, and fabulous poems for children I have ever read. Adults who like revisiting their child-self through books will enjoy reading this diverse selection of poetry. There are tongue twisters, limericks, rhymed poems, bilingual poems, and poems for one voice to a group of voices. Poets include A.A. Milne, Walt Whitman, William Shakespeare, and a few who did not want to, like to, or forgot to, take credit for their work.

I really enjoyed reading, and reading again, these poems, which are mostly humorous. I like funny. I also like the occasional quirky, such as Old Hank by an unknown poet, penning under the pseudonym Anonymous. Okay, okay. No one can recall who wrote Old Hank, still I like it for its irony.

..............................For a lark,
..............................For a prank,
..............................Old Hank,
..............................Walked a plank.
..............................These bubbles mark
.....................................O
.....................................O
.....................................O
.....................................O
.....................................O
..............................Where Hank sank.
.....................

Oh, poor Old Hank, walked that plank, trying to prank someone and instead of bobbing back to the surface  and yelling “Gotcha,” he sank and stuck. Old Hank is but one of the shorter poems that try to say much with few words. As a kid, I loved limericks and devoured all the limerick books at the library. I like the identical cadence and the often-unexpected wit about them. There are only three limericks in A Foot in the Mouth, yet kids will get the structure of these poems quickly.

The illustrations cannot be overlooked. They enhance each poem, sometimes help explain the poem, but mostly entertain alongside them. Most of the illustrations look abstract. I am not a graphic artist by any stretch of my imagination, so let me try to explain.

People, animals, and things are comprised of a stroke of paint pulled, blotched, spotted, or sprayed on to make the object. Patterns instead of sketched/painted lines make up these picture.*

I like them, think they are fun and often funny. The illustrations fill up the white space on many of the pages and give the eye a second enjoyable piece of art to consume.

Poetry for children does not show up in my mailbox often, but when it has, the results have been fantastic. This book does not disappoint. The humor and fun in each of these poems, regardless the form, will delight those that read them. When delighted, we want more. That is my wish for A Foot in the Mouth—that kids will be so delighted with these poems they will seek out others.

*If anyone can explain this better, please do so in the comment section. Thank you.

Foot in mouth

Author: Paul B. Janeczko    website  bio
Illustrator: Chris Raschka    bio
Publisher: Candlewick Press   website
Release Date:  March 10, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6083-3
Number of Pages: 64?
Ages: 8 to 12
................



Filed under: 5stars, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Poetry Tagged: Candlewick Press, children's books, humor, middle grade books, paul b janeczko, picture books, poetry

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22. Happy Birthday to our little bear, Oliver!


2 Comments on Happy Birthday to our little bear, Oliver!, last added: 10/26/2012
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23. Watch For It: Feral Nights and Eternal

A shout out to our beloved Cynthia Leitich SmithEternal, Zachary's Story, the paperback graphic novel illustrated by Ming Doyle, will be available February 12th, along with Feral Nights. The later develops characters from Tantalize in their own series. Both books pack a supernatural punch, so watch for them. Congrats, Cynthia!



Feral Nights
Eternal
by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Candlewick Press, February 12, 2013

LorieAnncard2010small.jpg image by readergirlz

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24. Failure IS an Option; A Really Funny One

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Pearls Before Swine strip creator Stephan Pastis is a hilarious new title guaranteed to win big with fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dear Dumb Diary.

I read it with much amusement and delight, but thought that perhaps my own immaturity and snarkiness prevented me from qualifying as an unbiased judge of its greatness. I therefore turned to an expert on books of this type: my third grade daughter Mackenzie.

I decided Mackenzie could serve as an impartial judge due to the following qualifications:
  1. Timmy Failure is aimed at her demographic, 
  2. She's a voracious reader of this genre,
  3. She regularly discusses and swaps books with her third grade posse, and 
  4. She stole the advance review copy the day it arrived at our house before I even had the chance to open the cover.
I also felt I owed it to her after she scoured the shelves of our public library looking for Number Two in the series. I believe Mackenzie suffered intense emotional damage upon learning that the follow-up wouldn't be available for quite some time. Nonetheless, she graciously agreed to be interviewed.


Me:  So what's Timmy Failure all about?

Kenzie:  It's about this boy who's really bad in school that decides to open up a detective agency. The problem is, he really bad at being a detective and he misses lots of obvious clues. And he owns a fifteen hundred pound polar bear named Total.

Me:  Is the polar bear real, or stuffed?

Kenzie:  It's real! (She shrugs her shoulders and lifts her hands up, palms to the ceiling  as if to say. "Duh!").

Me:  You're sure it's real?

Kenzie:  What does it matter?

Me:  Good point. So apart from this polar bear, does Timmy have any friends?

Kenzie:  He has one friend name Rollo, but Timmy thinks he's not that smart, which is crazy, because Rollo studies all the time and gets really good grades, and Timmy doesn't.

Me:  Any other friends?

Kenzie:  Well, he has an archenemy (speaking with increased enthusiasm now) and her name is Corinna Corinna, and what's funny is that at first he won't name her or even let you see her face. She has her own detective agency and Timmy thinks she's reeeeeally annoying.

Me:  Any favorite parts?

Kenzie:  I like when he tries to solve cases, because he always ignores really obvious clues. This one time a boy hires him to find out who ate all his candy. On Timmy's way out, he peeks in the room and sees the boy's brother, his face all covered with chocolate, sitting on his bed surrounded by candy wrappers. You think he's solved the crime, but all Timmy does is write in his notebook, "Gabe's brother is a slob."

Me:  Any other favorite parts?

Kenzie:  Well, I think it's really funny that the librarian is really, really tough, and he has "Dewey" on a tattoo...

Me:  You mean like, the Dewey decimal system?

Kenzie:  Yeah. You don't really expect a librarian to look like that.

Me:  (picking up the book) I noticed some pretty hard words in here. Did you understand them all?

Kenzie: Yeah. If you read the book, you can tell what the words mean.

Me:  Really? All of them?

Kenzie:  Well, most of them. But you don't have to understand every word to get the story. Plus, I think that sometimes even Timmy doesn't know what the words mean. He names his detective agency Total Failure, Inc. because the polar bear's name is Total, but he doesn't even get why that's a really bad name for a company.

Me:  So who would enjoy this book?

Kenzie:  Anyone who likes funny stories. Every day I show funny parts to my friend, so she wants to borrow it next. And then her friend wants to borrow it... yeah. You might not get it back.

Me:  So is Timmy a failure?

Kenzie: Yes. Actually, no. He's not a failure. He's just clueless. Are we done yet?

# # #

There you have it: the insightful and thought provoking reflections of a third grader.

One point on which we both agree is the vocabulary. Stephan Pastis intersperses fantastic vocabulary throughout the book, purposefully heavier at times to indicate moments on importance. Check out how in the following short excerpt he combines specific vocabulary, repetition, sentence variety, and even sentence fragments, in a wonderful way.

But that greatness did not prepare me for what I would see at the Weber residence.

For today it is the scene of total devastation. All marred by the remnants of someone inhumane. Someone determined. Someone whose weapon of choice comes in packs of six, twelve, and twenty. If you are squeamish, look away.

Toilet paper. It is everywhere.

And this isn't one isolated and out-of-the-ordinary passage; this is how he writes the entire book. For that reason, I would definitely recommend this book for middle schoolers, and certainly reluctant and struggling readers. I could even see myself using several portions as mentor texts to teach sentence and paragraph structure, understatement, satire, and word choice.

So pick up a copy of Timmy Failure for yourself, or visit the official Timmy Failure site for fun extras such as wallpapers, interviews, and videos.

6 Comments on Failure IS an Option; A Really Funny One, last added: 4/8/2013
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25. review#398 – The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond

.. The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond Oliver Jeffers, illustrator Candlewick Press 4 Stars Inside Jacket:  Since all the jobs on the quayside disappeared, Stan’s Uncle Ernie has developed an extraordinary fascination with canning fish.  Overnight, life at 69 Fish Quay Lane has turned barmy.  But when Uncle Ernie’s madcap obsession takes …

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