Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Teacher Tuesday with Murphy, Gold Rush Dog

Historical Fiction: Grades 2-4

In this suspenseful tale, Murphy and Sally are brought together by fate and they always protect each other in the face of danger. This dynamic duo is driven not only by a need to survive, but by a fierce love and loyalty for one another.

This action-packed story demonstrates the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and perseverance, while also conveying historical information about the gold rush itself. Historical fiction can help students to realize that learning—no matter what the subject matter—can be fun. Try the following assignment with your class after reading Murphy, Gold Rush Dog together. This activity may also work well when reviewing social studies lessons for the semester or quarter.
  •   Ask your students what other history lessons they remember from the semester so far.
  •  Ask each student to write down the historical topic that they enjoyed learning about the most.
  • Once everyone has chosen a topic, explain to the class that they will write a story about a fictional character during their chosen time period.
  • Suggest that the students use any notes or handouts from their chosen unit
  • Encourage imagination and creativity in creating a fictional story within a true one.

This assignment will provide practice in both social studies and writing. If time allows, students might also visit their school library or computer lab as a class to research their chosen topic.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Roundup

Happy Father’s Day!

We would like to say thank you to all of the incredible fathers and father figures out there who have made a difference in so many lives.

From Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird  to Mr. Weasley in Harry Potter, fathers have always played an important role in literature. As a special tribute to fathers around the world, we want to give a shout out to some of our favorite fathers and father figures. Who’s your favorite literary dad? Let us know in the comments!

  • Papa from Flying Written and Illustrated by Kevin Luthardt

  • Text© 1988 by Harper Lee. Illustrations©1988 by Grand Central Publishing. (Grand Central Publishing)

  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Father from Dad, Jackie, and Me Written by Myron Uhlberg and Illustrated by Colin Bootman

  • Text© 2013 by Victor Hugo. Illustrations ©1985 by Cameron Mackintosh. (Signet)
  • Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

  • Father from Into the Woods Written by Elizabeth Spurr and Illustrated by Manelle Oliphant

  • Text © 1998 by J.K. Rowling. Illustrations © 1998 by Mary GrandPre. (Scholastic)
  • Mr. Weasley, Sirius Black, and James Potter from Harry Potter

  • Father from The Printer Written by Myron Uhlberg and Illustrated by Henri Sorensen

  • Text© 1983 by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Illustrations © 1983 by Stan and Jan Berenstain. (Random House)
  • Papa Bear from The Berenstain Bears

  • Mikey's Dad from That’s Not How You Play Soccer, Daddy! Written by Sherry Shahan and Illustrated  by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

  • Text© 2005 by Cornelia Funke. Illustrations © 2005 by Carol Lawson and Ian Butterworth. (Scholastic) 
  •  Mo from Inkheart

  • Text©  2002 by Jane Austen. © Illustrations 1825 Sir Thomas Lawrence. (Penguin Classics)
  • Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Season, New List

Summer is officially here, and we could not be more excited to reveal our new list of books coming out this fall! Over the next few months, we will reveal stories with fantastic adventures, misbehaving dogs, history-making poets, and brave heroes of all kinds. Make sure to check back in for our New Book Wednesdays every other week to see more details about these incredible books.
But first, we want to give you a preview of everything headed your way this fall:

New Picture Books

Poet, Written and Illustrated by Don Tate
Based on the life of George Moses Horton, Poet chronicles the life of a slave boy who has an insatiable love for words. Despite the many challenges he faces, George finds a way to break through the bonds of slavery and eventually become the first African-American man to publish a book in the South.

Stay!, Written and Illustrated by Alex Latimer
Taking care of a new dog can be exhausting, and Buster does not make it easy on his new family—he misbehaves all of the time! Ben’s family decides it is time for a vacation away, and Buster has to stay home with Grampa. While they are gone, both Ben and Buster learn a lesson or two in responsibility and how to listen.  

Claude in the Spotlight, Written and Illustrated by Alex T. Smith
Claude and Sir Bobblysock join a dance troupe, but when it is time to perform, they discover that being backstage is more frightening than they thought. Join Claude as he uncovers the truth about the legend of the theater ghost.

Stanley’s Diner, Written and Illustrated by William Bee
Stanley works hard to cook for all the hungry customers who come into his diner. Follow along with Stanley as he makes his way through a busy day!

About Habitats: Polar Regions, Written by Cathryn Sill and Illustrated by John Sill
In this installment of the About Habitats series, the Sills provide beautiful color, images, and words to explain which animals and plants thrive in polar environments.

New Middle Grade

Lilliput, Written by Sam Gayton and Illustrated by Alice Ratterree
Lemuel Gulliver returns to London after his travels with more than stories in tow; he brings back proof. Lily, the tiny but fierce Lilliputian, spends half of her life in a birdcage as Gulliver’s captive. In this adventurous tale, Lily must race against time to return to her family and break free from the clutches of Gulliver himself.

Watch Out for Flying Kids!, Written by Cynthia Levinson
Truly one of a kind, Watch Out for Flying Kids! takes readers inside the world of social circus—a movement that brings kids together and facilitates social justice through circus arts. Cynthia Levinson follows the child-stars of two professional circuses: Circus Harmony in St. Louis and Circus Galilee in Israel. The young performers are forced to see past class, religion, and ethnicity, and the result is a beautiful display of young athleticism and teamwork.

Out of Bounds, Written by Fred Bowen
Sportsmanship is sometimes harder to maintain than we may think. In Out of Bounds, Nate must make the pivotal decision about whether to continue playing after an opponent in his soccer game is injured; the lessons he and his team learn afterwards will stay with them forever. 

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey, Written by Bill Harley and Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
It is Thanksgiving time in the Bumpers household, and Charlie is not very happy about his cousin, Chip, coming into town. Charlie must learn how to handle his rambunctious cousin and maybe even discover the true meaning of family.

Finder, Coal Mine Dog, Written by Alison Hart and Michael Montgomery
This suspenseful tale follows Finder and his owner, Thomas, as they head below ground to work in the coal mines. Although Finder’s is not renowned for his bravery, a catastrophic fire puts this sweet, tawny-colored dog into action, and his loyalty transforms him into a true hero.

New Young Adult

Believarexic, Written by J.J. Johnson
This semi-autobiographical work chronicles the life of Jennifer, a young girl struggling with bulimia, anorexia, depression, and more. As Jennifer works to overcome her issues, she must also convince her family of their very existence
We hope that you are as excited about these new titles as we are! Don’t miss our first New Book Wednesday of the summer on July 8th Lilliput.