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1. My Online Reading over Spring Break

I loved my online time over Spring Break. I discovered lots of new things and found many new ideas to ponder. Here are some of my favorite online things from this week's reading.

Miscellaneous Articles

 I loved this post by Clare and Tammy at Assessment in Perspective:  We Know Our Song.

And I loved this story about a ten year old who designed new bathroom signs to include people with invisible disabilities.

Book Lists

I spent some time with two booklists that were announced this week.  Both of these lists added to my stack of must-be-read soon!

TED Talks

I watched  two TED Talks that I absolutely LOVED!

Shonda Rhimes' My Year of Saying Yes to Everything was powerful for me.  It is about work and play and family and creativity.  I will definitely revisit this one--an important message for all of us.

And I am so glad to have discovered Grace Lin's Ted Talk, The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child's Bookshelf. Wow! What an amazing talk and one that is so important for teachers as we think about the power of books.  


And I have discovered how much more fun it is to clean when I am listening to great podcasts. I caught up on some podcasts I had missed and got lots of cleaning done at the same time!  I listened to the Scholastic podcast on Book Trends for 2016. It was fascinating!  Wish I had listened to it earlier in the year!

I also had time to listen to a bit from the Book Love Foundation Podcasts hosted by Penny Kittle!  These are incredible PD and such fun to listen to. I haven't had time to listen to all of them but I did have time to hear Kylene Beers and am excited to listen to the 2nd part of this podcast at Book Love. Another great podcast series!

I also caught up on several episodes of The Yarn (Colby Sharp and Travis Jonker) that I had missed.  I listened to Salina Yoon, Matt Tavares, Lindsay Eager and Jennifer and Matt Holm. All of these were incredible and such fun to listen to. The Yarn is the best--if you haven't made time to subscribe, you should do so soon!


And if you aren't already excited about the upcoming book by Kate Roberts and Maggie  Beattie Roberts (DIY Literacy:  Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor and Independence)
you should be.  And not only do we get a new great book, we also get a video series that goes along with the book! Whoop!

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2. Illustrator Submission :: Lotta Nieminen

Post by Chloe




Lotta Nieminen’s illustrations are packed with detail, colour and narrative. The bold vector shapes combined with subtle texture and an atmospheric colour-scheme is what really brings this work to life. Lotta Nieminen’s talent doesn’t stop at illustration either. She is also a graphic designer and art director who runs her own studio based in New York.

If you would like to see more of Lotta Nieminen’s work please visit her portfolio.

0 Comments on Illustrator Submission :: Lotta Nieminen as of 3/15/2016 12:36:00 PM
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3. Treading Water

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4. Humble Bundle Creates a Science-Fiction Deal

_1__Humble_Bundle304Humble Bundle has crafted a deal highlighting science fiction classics. It will be available from now until March 1.

Three charities have been named as the beneficiaries of this venture. Customers can choose to have their money go to one of the following organizations: the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education, and Extra Life (Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals).

Here’s more from the press release: “Readers can pay what they want for The Last Defender of Camelot, Dragonworld, The Deceivers, Wild Cards Deuces Down, Roger Zelazny’s The Dawn of Amber Book 1, and Damnation Alley. Those who pay more than the average price will also receive The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth; Eye of Cat; The Computer Connection; Wild Cards Death Draws Five; Roger Zelazny’s Chaos in Amber Book 2; Roger Zelazny’s To Rule in Amber Book 3; and Robot Visions. In addition, readers who pay $15 more will receive all of that plus Arthur C. Clarke’s Venus Prime 1, The Demolished Man, Roger Zelazny’s Shadows of Amber Book 4, Robot Dreams, and The Stars My Destination.”

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5. karolin schnoor

VA1 dove texturedladies4 fashionsketch workshop1 babushkadollkit1

karolin schnoor is a German freelance Illustrator and designer, who uses screen printing as an integral part of her illustration practice. Inspired by a love of colour and pattern her illustrations can be found in magazines, stationary, calendars and mugs with a vast array of products to purchase in her Etsy shop. Some of her clients include; Harper Collins, Creative Review and The New York Times.

To see more from this artist visit her website.

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6. Reading Habits on Valentine’s Day: INFOGRAPHIC

Digital publishing community Wattpad has created several infographics exploring reading habits around Valentine’s Day.

One graphic reveals that 9 percent of readers read a romance on the holiday last year. Another breaks out smut versus romance. Another breaks down reading behaviors by state.

We have the series of graphics for you after the jump.

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7. New York Public Library Team Creates an Interactive Map of Fictional Romances

nypl logoDo you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day this weekend?

The New York Public Library team created a map of fictional romances set in New York City. According to the organization’s blog post, a group of book experts shared some of “their favorite romantic scenes that take place in the city.”

This interactive map features several well-known spots such as The Museum of Natural History, The Strand bookstore, and the 7 train. Some of the books that provided these locations include The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. Follow this link to view the map.

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8. Dynamite Entertainment and Humble Bundle Create the ‘Best-Selling Authors Bundle’

_1__Humble_Bundle304Dynamite Entertainment has established a new partnership with Humble Bundle. The two collaborators will offer a deal called the “Best-Selling Authors Bundle.”

Customers can choose between the publisher or a non-profit as the recipient of their money. They will have three charity options: the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders (a.k.a. Médecins Sans Frontières), and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Here’s more from the press release: “The ‘pay what you want’ model offers readers the chance to unlock over 120 comics, and over 3,500 pages of content. This will give graphic lit fans access to: Charlaine Harris’ Grave Sight Part 1 by Charlaine Harris, The Shadow Vol 1: Fire of Creation by Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thomson: Hopcross Jilly by Patricia Briggs, The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, and John Reppion, Sherlock Holmes: Year One by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Scott Beatty, The Spider Vol. 1: Terror of the Zombie Queen by David Liss and Francesco Francavilla, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Echoes by Tom Clancy. As the bundle progresses, there will be a running average.”

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9. Simon & Schuster Launches a Young Adult Fiction Website Called Riveted

Riveted Logo (GalleyCat)Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing has launched a new young adult literature-themed website called Riveted. The creatives behind this venture plan to feature lists, articles, quizzes, videos, giveaways, news pieces, and behind-the-scenes information.

Some of the writers who have signed on to contribute content includes Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian, and Scott Westerfeld. To launch this website, the Riveted team will host a community “binge reading” of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.

Here’s more from the press release: “Leading up to the March release of the next installment of the Shadowhunters Chronicles, Lady Midnight, members from the editorial board will host live video chats every Friday to discuss the week’s #TMIBingeRead. In addition, the site will feature original content such as DIY videos on how to get the perfect book character-inspired hair, “word of the week” videos, and exclusive serialized bonus stories.” Click here to watch a video to learn more about the binge reading event.

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10. Google Experiments With “Unprintable” E-Books

Google Creative Lab in Australia has teamed up with London-based publishing company Visual Editions to create Editions at Play, a new digital bookstore featuring “books that cannot be printed.”

These experimental new titles are designed for mobile phones. Here is more from the Visual Editions website:

Editions At Play is a website aimed at book lovers, tech geeks and design peeps. We sell unprintable books that you can read on your phone. It’s a response to the world of digital books, e-books, enhanced e-books, and online PDFs. Because quite frankly we believe readers deserve more. So why not make digital books that are more bookish. And more delightful. And even magical.

The store launches with two new titles: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen which is set inside Google Street View; and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Joe Dunthorne and Sam Riviere.

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11. Neil Gaiman Shares a David Bowie Fan Fiction Story

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman posted a fan fiction story about David Bowie on his website.

Gaiman shared the piece shortly after the passing of the beloved rock star. According to his Facebook announcement, he wrote it “to illustrate some beautiful Yoshitaka Amano images of Bowie and Iman.”

The short story, entitled The Return of The Thin White Duke, can also be found in Gaiman’s short fiction collection, Trigger Warning. Click on this link to read the full piece. Follow this link to hear the author read a portion of the story.

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12. E-Book Library Check Outs Increased in 2015

Thirty-three libraries in the U.S. circulated at least one million e-books each in 2015, according to new metrics released by the digital book distribution company OverDrive.

The research revealed that e-book library checkouts grew in 2015, as compare to 2014. According to the report, public library readers borrowed more than 169 million digital assets, which includes e-books, audiobooks, digital periodicals and video streaming. This number was up 24 percent over 2014. Digital audiobook downloads saw the greatest spike with a 36 percent increase over the prior year.

Toronto Public Library circulated more than 2 million e-books during the year, up 31 percent year-over-year. Library System in Washington State and the New York Public Library each circulated more than 2 million e-books during the year.

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13. J.K. Rowling Reveals What She Told Alan Rickman About Snape

Severus Snape (GalleyCat)Many years ago, Alan Rickman chatted with J.K. Rowling to learn more about Severus Snape, a character he would play for a decade in the Harry Potter film franchise. In a goodbye letter that Rickman wrote to honor the conclusion of the movie series (published in Empire magazine back in 2011), his conversation with Rowling contained “one small clue, persuaded me that there was more to Snape than an unchanging costume.”

In his lifetime, Rickman never divulged the details about that clue. Recently, in light of the actor’s passing, one Twitter user asked Rowling what exactly she told him that convinced him to become the Hogwarts Potions Master. According to Vanity Fair, the Harry Potter series author shared that she told him “what lies behind the word ‘always.'”

People Magazine reports that like so many within the Harry Potter community, Rowling has been mourning Rickman. She posted a message on Twitter to express her devastation and sadness that “we have all lost a great talent.” Below, we’ve collected several relevant tweets in a Storify post embedded below—what do you think? (via International Business Times)

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14. Artist Creates Winnie the Pooh-Style Star Wars Illustrations

Wookie the Chew by James Hance (GalleyCat)Have you ever imagined E. H. Shepard, the illustrator behind A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh series, drawing his own version of Star Wars? James Hance, an artist, has tackled this challenge.

According to Bored Panda, “Hance’s illustrations reimagine Chewbacca as Pooh Bear and Eeyore as an Imperial Walker.” Some of the pieces can be found for sale at Hance’s Etsy shop.

In addition to artwork, Hance has actually written and produced an audiobook entitled Wookie the Chew: The House at Chew Corner. Click here to download a free digital copy.


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15. Scholastic Launches Presidential Election Site

Children’s book publisher Scholastic is hoping to get kids excited about the presidential election and has launched a new site dedicated to the event.

The 2016 Presidential Election was created by the editors of Scholastic News magazines. The site includes candidate cards with factsheets on the varying candidates, as well as an election tracker map that will be updated with primary and caucus results. The site will also feature original campaign trail reporting from kids in the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.

The publisher will add polls to the site where kids can participate in the Scholastic Student Vote mock-election, as the election gets closer.

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16. Reddit Book Highlights Popular AMA Sessions

51PYf6d91AL._SX377_BO1,204,203,200_Reddit has published a collection of its Ask Me Anything sessions.

Ask Me Anything (A collection of Reddit’s best from r/IAmA Volume 1), is a 400-page collection featuring excerpts from many of the site’s digital interviews with prominent people. The book contains digital question and answer sessions that ran on the site from the likes of Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates and Buzz Aldrin.

While the majority of readers gave the book a good Amazon review, the $35 tome has gotten some backlash from user reviews, many of whom complained about the price and the formatting.

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17. NYTimes.com Celebrates 20th Birthday

web_568c53b68f899The New York Times launched its website 20 years ago today.

To celebrate, the multimedia publication has put together a timeline of its digital history. From its early days as a portal on American Online to the debut podcasts of The New York Times Book Review, you can browse the Times’ digital properties through the last two decades at this link.

The collection allows you to zoom in on different years and browse through the publication’s homepages and listen to audio recordings. You can also read redesign news stories from across the two decades and reminisce about what the Times’ 1990s homepage looked like.

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18. 3 Apps for Creating Reading Lists

If your goal is to read more books this year, it might help to create a reading list.

To help you keep track of all of the books that you want to read and to have a central repository to add new books to the list, we’ve made a list of apps that can help you build your reading.

3 Apps for Creating Reading Lists

1. Goodreads: “Use our barcode scanner the next time you are in a bookstore. Add the book in your hands to your “to-read” shelf and browse reviews before buying.”

2. Reading List: “Reading List is a quick, useful app that will help you track your books and get back to reading.”

3. To Read: “A simple, lightweight list to keep track of the books you want to read.”

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19. Harvard Law to Digitize Entire Collection of U.S. Case Law

Harvard Law School is digitizing its entire collection of U.S. case law and making it available for free online, the first time such a collection is available to the public.

The library is one of the largest collections of legal materials in the world, second only to the Library of Congress. It contains more than 40,000 books with about 40 million court decisions from both the federal government and each of the 50 states. The university has been building the collection for 200 years.

The “Free the Law” initiative is supported by Ravel Law, a legal research and analytics platform. “Driving this effort is a shared belief that the law should be free and open to all,” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow. “Using technology to create broad access to legal information will help create a more transparent and more just legal system.”

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20. Grammar Girl Celebrates 500th Podcast

6a00d8341d417153ef0105365eab7c970bMacmillan Publishers’ Quick and Dirty Tips Network has released the 500th episode of its weekly podcast Grammar Girl.

The show features grammar and writing tips from bestselling author Mignon Fogarty. Since it’s launch in 2007, the show counts 64 million downloads worldwide. The Grammar Girl brand has published seven books including Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

“The Grammar Girl podcast has become synonymous with quality education. The show has helped millions of students,writers, educators, and others master the English language and improve their communications,” said Kathy Doyle, senior director of the network.

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21. Humble Bundle Offers an Origami Yoda-Themed Deal

Origami Yoda Cover (GalleyCat)ABRAMS has established a new partnership with Humble Bundle. All six of Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda books have been made available in a special eBook package.

Buyers can choose between the publisher or a non-profit as the recipient of their payment. They have two options: Doctors Without Borders (a.k.a. Médecins Sans Frontières) or a second charity that will receive the money through the PayPal Giving Fund.

Here’s more from the press release: “Customers can pay what they want for The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. Those who pay more than the average price will also receive The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, and Darth Paper Strikes Back. Customers who pay $15 receive all of that plus Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus and Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue.”

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22. Publishing CIA’s Declassified Vault on Kickstarter

Activist Michael Best is trying to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to publish a vault of previously declassified documents stored in the CIA’s vault.

“Accessing the information isn’t easy,” explains Best in his appeal. “Researchers trying to look up on the National Archive’s website where to access the computers, won’t find it on the page about doing research at that location or on the page for electronic records at that location. That information is tucked away on the page for online databases – despite not being online.”

Best’s plan is to overcome this byzantine structure and scan and upload as much of the database as he can. This includes 700,000 files and 11,000,000 pages. He will then publish these documents for free online and make them searchable, and available in PDF and Kindle formats.


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23. Endings of Famous Love Stories: INFOGRAPHIC

Looking for some romance novels to read this month?

Unplag.com, a plagiarism detection engine, has created an infographic called, “Famous Love Stories Endings: The Great Spoiler for Valentine’s Day,” that explores the endings of 18 romantic stories that might give you some ideas.

We’ve got the entire graphic after the jump.



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24. Reddit Book Club’s New Selection: The Ables

The organizers behind the Reddit Book Club has named The Ables by Jeremy Scott as the February 2016 pick.

Scott self-published this novel back in May 2015. He has agreed to participate in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with this online community on Feb. 29.

In the past, this book club has read Armada by Ernest ClineThe Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. What books would you recommend for future selections?

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25. Shakespeare’s Reading List: INFOGRAPHIC

Oxford University Press has created an infographic called Shakespeare’s Reading List.

The infographic explores early national literacy rates in England; the production costs of bookmaking; along with the writers that influenced Shakespeare.

We’ve got the entire infographic for you to explore after the jump.


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