Monday, July 31, 2023
Friday, July 28, 2023
Monday, July 24, 2023
Book 10 in the Orca Think series
Raina Delisle; Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin
Orca Book Publishers. 2023
As we head into the next presidential election, making sure we can detect facts from fake news is a must. In, Breaking News, Canadian journalist, Raina Delisle, an award-winning writer whose work as been featured in magazines, newspapers, and on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), offers a very balanced look at the media industry, its history, its role of keeping the public informed, and the challenges news outlets face with the rise of disinformation (fake news) on social media sites.
The six chapters are: News You Can Use; Media Matters; Making the News; Press Under Pressure; Saving Journalism; Become a News House.
The narrative is engaging and takes into account the many challenges news outlets face today, and throughout history. In Chapter Four, Press Under Pressure, Delisle states: “News organizations and journalists face lots of challenges today, many of which have been brought on or intensified by the internet and social media.” Delisle explores how, in the early days of the internet, media outlets offered their stories for free. As people became dependent on the free news sites, to save money, they canceled their print subscriptions. Thus, advertisers moved their ads online, to Google and Facebook, making it challenging, or impossible, for many newspapers and magazines to stay in business.
Competing for readers attention has brought about journalists writing more sensational stories. “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Delisle does an excellent job of balancing the negative with the positive. For example, though many newspapers and magazines have shuttered newsrooms, leaving many small towns with no local news, there is a growing movement of non-profit news outlets that are fighting fake news by reporting the facts.
Side bars are throughout giving more details of what is explained in the text.
Included is a glossary, a list of resources, and index.
I personally found the book insightful and gave me tools to better help me tell fact from fake news as I look for news I can believe.
Friday, July 21, 2023
by Anita Sanchez
Holiday House, 2023
Grades 3 and up
If you have ever taken a trip to the beach, you have probably stepped on seaweed in the sand, brushed dried seaweed off your blanket, and encountered seaweed floating in the water. Chances are didn't pay much attention to the seaweed or think much about the role seaweed plays in our environment.
The Forest in the Sea is full of information about the importance of seaweed in providing food and shelter to aquatic life. As our climate changes and ocean temperatures rise, seaweed is critical to the health of the ocean ecosystem.
The expository text is organized into chapters that include the scientific classification of seaweed, the Sargasso Sea, seaweed harvesting, seaweed's impact on air quality, future uses for seaweed, and more. Readers will learn about organizations that are working on ways to use seaweed to clean pollution from the water. There is even the possibility seaweed could be used as fuel in the future.
Sanchez clearly explains scientific concepts to middle grade readers in an engaging and interesting manner. Colorful photographs are placed throughout the chapters and include close-up photos of varieties of seaweed as well as animals that benefit from seaweed: whales, seabirds, sharks, and even cows!
Back matter includes a glossary of scientific terms, a recipe for baking seaweed snacks, tips for foraging seaweed, a timeline, and environmental tips for protecting seaweed. This book should be given to readers who have an interest in marine biology, kids who are interested in the environment, and students who are researching ocean life or climate change. Upper elementary and middle school science teachers could build a unit of study around The Forest in the Sea.
Monday, July 17, 2023
Megan Dowd Lambert; Illustrated by Mia Saine
Imagine! Published by Charlesbridge. 2023
You might know Megan Dowd Lambert from reading her essays in The Horn Book Magazine or from her work at the Eric Carle Museum where she developed The Whole Book Approach storytime with her book, Reading Picture Books With to Children.
In Book Bonding, a collection of twenty-one essays, Lamber, a white mother of seven children in a blended, multiracial, queer, adoptive family, shares how she used books to bond with your children.
The essays are personal, and engaging. Lambert fills each essay with book titles that, from her descriptions, readers cannot wait to read or re-read.
The colorful illustrations by Saine add a playfulness to the book.
Forward by Roger Sutton, an afterword by one of Megan’s children, and a list of the titles mentioned in the essays.
There really is something for everyone.
Friday, July 14, 2023
Clarion Books. An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 2023
In May of 1925, John Scopes was twenty-four years old and worked as a substitute teacher at Rhea Central High School, Dayton, Tennessee. On one particular day, because none of the students were paying attention to the review for an upcoming test, John Scopes decided to read from their textbook, Civil Biology. No one remembered what John Scopes read that day from the textbook. Yet, little did Scopes know that soon he would make a major decision that would forever change his life. You see, the textbook contained a chapter on evolution.
In January of 1925, John Butler was a member of the Tennessee state legislature. Butler, a devout Christian, proposed a bill that would make it illegal to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught by the Bible.” In this riveting account, Monkey Trial follows the court room battle, the trial of the century, that caused a bitter division across the United States, but at its heart was the quiet dignity of a young teacher who stood up for a students’ right to learn.
In her author’s note, Sanchez states, “For some writers of history, the problem is finding information. But when I began to research the Scopes trial, I soon discovered that there was no lack of information - I was buried in it. The trial was covered by more than two hundred reporters, who collectively wrote more than two million words about the trial, the town, and the people in it.” One of those sources was John Scopes autobiography. “He preserved the flavor of the times, right down to the delicious sodas in Doc Robinson’s drugstore.”
Award-winning author, Sanchez (Rotten!: Vultures, Beetles, Slime, and Nature’s Other Decomposers) does a remarkable job of presenting the facts without taking sides. In this time of book banning and pressure to re-write history, The Monkey Trial is a good jumping off point for discussions.
Black & white photos, along with text blocks placed throughout that offer more information on what is being mentioned in the text makes this narrative nonfiction titles a page-turner.
Includes author’s note, glossary of legal terms, source notes, image credits, bibliography,resources for young readers, and index. Readers will appreciate the evolutionary timeline that begins with the publication of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of the Species and ends with 2019…and then…?
Monday, July 10, 2023
There's No Cream in Cream Soda
by Kim Zachman and Peter Donnelly
Running Press Kids
Friday, July 7, 2023
by Talia Aikens-Nuńez
Zest Books, 2023
Grades 5 and up