Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Writers Wednesday


Want one? Need one? Looking, hoping, praying for one?

Today I'm sharing a post titled: "How to Hook a Literary Agent: 16 Agents Share What Gets Them Reading."

 This post appeared at Adventures in YA Publishing.

There are some great insights into what agents look for when they read that important first page of your novel.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

For other Nonfiction Monday posts click HERE. 

For Nonfiction Monday  --  "Before Columbus: the Americas of 1491" by Charles C. Mann.


Mann has adapted  his successful adult book, 1491, for younger audiences and produced a work that will be a valuable addition to the study of New World civilizations in North, Central and South America. Mann pulls together the work of expert researchers in anthropology, archeology and geology to create a picture of life thousands of years before Columbus. Beginning with the prehistoric societies of Peru, where the first pyramids were built, Mann utilizes advances in current research to guide readers through the intricate native societies that shaped the cultures of America. He goes on to examine the mechanisms that allowed Old World conquerors to succeed.

Maps, sidebars, illustrations (photographs,  old world engravings and works by Diego Rivera), bibliography, glossary and websites enrich the work and offer abundant opportunities to delve more deeply into this fascinating subject.

For sixth grade and up.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Poetry for Children.

National Day of the Cowboy is Saturday, July 26, 2014.

So for this Poetry Friday my selection is "Cowboys: voices in the Western wind" poems by David L. Harrison with illustrations by Dan Burr.

Harrison's free-verse poems highlight the historic life of the American cowboy from ranch chores and roundups through trail drives with plenty of cowboy vernacular thrown in. Word pictures recreate the sights and sounds and offer readers a sense of stories shared. There's bravado, humor and a sense of forlorn longing for a romanticized past.

Burr's illustrations are detailed and colorful renderings that appear almost photographic in their quality.  The artwork enriches the language rather than merely providing a background for the written word. The scenes and characters will feel familiar to anyone who is a fan of the Western movie genre.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writers Wednesday

There is a great post at Teaching Authors you might want to take a look at:

Wednesday Writing Workout: Dialogue Secrets You Don't Want to Miss, courtesy of Kym Brunner

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

For other Nonfiction Monday posts click HERE. 

For Nonfiction Monday  --  "Park scientists: gila monsters, geysers, andgrizzly bears in America's own backyard" written by Mary Kay Carson with photographs by Tom Uhlman.



Here is another excellent addition to the Scientist in the Field series.  Carson takes readers to three very diverse locations across the country to visit Yellowstone, Saguaro, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. Beginning in Yellowstone, American's first national park, readers follow the work of geologists who study the many geysers, hot springs, vents and boiling mud pots using a variety of instruments and observations. Biologists offer insight into their study of Grizzly bears: the collection of statistics, monitoring of individuals and conclusions based on the analysis of data.


Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona is a vastly different environment, but one that lends itself to the study of Gila monsters, the largest lizard in the United States, and the largest cactus, the Saguaro, which can live 150-200 years. Much of the data collection for these studies is done by citizens who volunteer to work under the supervision of biologists and botanists.


The Great Smoky Mountains is the salamander capital of the world and the study area of an evolutionary ecologist and firefly scientist. Each specialist is highlighted with an in depth look at how they carry out their research and background explaining how they became interested in their subjects.


A map at the beginning of the book locates America's national parks. Fact sheets provide information about the three parks and lists sources for additional information. A glossary explains terms and phrases. Quote Sources and Selected Bibliography by Chapter provides valuable background.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.

For Poetry Friday -- "Count me a rhyme: animal poems by the numbers"  by Jane Yolen with photographs by Jason Stemple.


Yolen and Stemple produce another successful collaboration in this nature inspired counting book.

The numbers one through ten and the concept of many are treated to an inspired pairing of poetry and photographs of animals. Yolen incorporates a variety of forms that are fun and beg to be read aloud. Each number spread highlights related words and symbols for the number: roman numerals, ordinal numbers, octave, novena, etc. The photographs are beautiful and capture the animals in an easy-to-count format that ranges from subtle to dramatic in its presentation.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

For other Nonfiction Monday posts click HERE. 


For Nonfiction Monday  --  "Aircraft carriers: runways at sea" by Lynn Peppas.


This is one of those books that rarely sits on the book shelf. Students who are looking for books dealing with military topics are quick to pick up this title.


Brief chapters cover the subject of aircraft carriers from the general to the specific. The first seven chapters provide an overview of aircraft carriers, and go on to discuss Parts of an Aircraft Carrier, Working on an Aircraft Carrier, Take off, Landing, Aircraft and Weapons. The next six chapters delve into the details of various types of carriers from Light Aircraft Carriers to Amphibious Assault Carriers. The book concludes with an exploration of Future Aircraft Carriers, a Glossary and an Index. Large scale photographs with close-up inserts provide readers with an in-depth look at each topic under discussion.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer