Monday, April 24, 2017

Sync for summertime listening

SYNC: Audiobooks for Teens returns for another summer with a fantastic line up of YA titles -- all for FREE!  

If you haven't already done so, set up an account with your email and every week you'll be notified about the release of two, theme-based pair of books that you can download for free. And keep forever. I think the selection looks amazing.  Enjoy!

Here's the line up starting this Thursday (April 27th):

Apr.27th    The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
                 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

May 4th     Feed by M.T. Anderson
                 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

May 11th    Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
                  Teenage Diaries: Then and Now by Radio Diaries

May 18th    The Gathering: Shadow House, Book 1 by Dan Poblock
                   In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America by Nita

May 25th    Freakling by Lana Krumwiede
Go to Sync
                   Boy by Anna Ziegler

June 1st     Beast by Donna Jo Napoli
                  Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

June 8th      Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
                    If I Run by Terri Blackstock

June 15th    The Souls of Black Folk 
                   by W.E.B. Du Bois
                   The Red Umbrella 
                   by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

June 22nd   The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other 
                    Stories by Terry Pratchett
                    The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

June 29       American Night: The Ballad of Juan
                   Jose by Richard Montoya
                    My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

July 6th        Rebuttal by Jyotsna Hariharan
                    Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer

July 13th     The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker
                   Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

July 20th     Gone: Gone Series, book 1 by Michael Grant
                   The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth

Jult 27th      Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
                   Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

Aug. 3rd      In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer 
                   by Irene Gut Opdyke
                   Betweeen Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Aug. 10th    Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
                   Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Monday, April 10, 2017

Perfectly illustrated information

Animals by the Numbers: a book of animal infographics by Steve Jenkins is well worth picking up for teaching both science and math for grades 2-7.

As is Steve Jenkins’ typical MO (and stated in the title) this book is all about the animal world that he finds fascinating, giving us tons of statistical information as infographics. I keep waiting to have that ‘been there, done that’ feeling when Jenkins comes out with a new book but it's yet to come. He continues to find fresh ways to introduce us to the endlessly fascinating natural world.

And what’s not to be enthralled by?

Whether he’s looking at the big picture (invertebrates vs vertebrates or the number of species such as 5,500 mammals vs 1 million species of insects) or the finer details (size, speed, life spans, heartbeats, tongue size, amount of sleep) he presents the numbers in captivating graphs and charts.  And when you’re a math-a-phob like me, that says a lot.

Steve Jenkins has an amazing ability to capture and hold the interest of his readers by looking at ranges of animals, comparing and contrasting characteristics and behaviours that illustrate just how nuanced, varied and adaptive the animal kingdom is. Comparing humans in some cases certainly may put us in our place. Compare the biomass of all the humans in the world, 350 million tons to that of all insects, 100 billion tons and you can see what I mean.

The illustrations are composed of paper cut outs and paired with various types of pie, flow and bar charts, histograms, pictograms and graphs. These representations are clear and easy to understand.  He finds ways to make each topic relatable to basic knowledge levels. For instance when comparing the loudness level between species he includes noises produced by humans too such as those from lawn mowers, chainsaws, firetrucks or jet planes. Did you know that a cicada  produces the same level as noise as a firetruck? Or, that a bulldog bat makes a sound that falls in the same range as a jet plane?

I highly recommend this addition to Steve Jenkins' body of work for any classroom.  Those interested in animals and nature will be captivated

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