Friday, July 3, 2015

Free Book Friday: A Spectacular Selection of Sea Critters

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It's Free Book Friday! This week, enter to win A Spectacular Selection of Sea Critters: Concrete Poems, written by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Michael Wertz.

What might you see if you swam in the sea? Dive on in to encounter everything from dolphins and octopuses to sea turtles and squirrel fish. This clever book features concrete poems about a spectacular selection of sea critters. 

The award-winning duo behind A Curious Collection of Cats and A Dazzling Display of Dogs created this collection of twenty-nine visual poems celebrating creatures of the sea. Ocean observers and animal aficionados are sure to find these selections sensational! 

If you'd like to win A Spectacular Selection of Sea Critters, please leave a comment on this post (including your first and last name), or tweet this line: "Free Book Friday! Tweet to win A SPECTACULAR SELECTION OF SEA CRITTERS by @FrancosMom from @LernerBooks."

We'll announce the winner on Friday, July 10, so check the blog then to see if you've won!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What Do Shailene Woodley and Platypuses Have in Common?

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In the spirit of our Comparing Animal Traits series, I'm kicking off the Fourth of July weekend with a celebration of diversity and unity, exploring what makes various people, animals, and places both similar and distinctive. See how well you do on the quiz below. (Practice question: What do these topics all have in common? They're all featured in Lerner Publications books published in Spring 2015!)

1. __________ is an endangered species.
A) The Siberian tiger
B) Justin Timberlake
C) The vampire bat

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2. Aerospace engineer Aprille Ericsson and entrepreneur Elon Musk share a love of
A) Mississippi
B) Andrew McCutchen
C) earth and space science

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3. Budgeting, spending, and saving can allow you to
A) go from goat to cheese
B) make key discoveries in physical science.
C) find out what's so great about Utah.
D) start your own business like GoPro inventor Nick Woodman.
E) self-pollinate.
F) All of the above.
G) All of the above except E.

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Have a great holiday weekend, America! And then buy some books!

1. A; 2. C; 3. G

Monday, June 29, 2015

Patriotic Reads

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The Fourth of July has got to be one of the best days of the year. Eating corn on the cob, speeding around a lake on a boat, making s’mores by a campfire, watching fireworks, and breathing in sweet summer air on a beach or at a pool—these are just a handful of the things that come to mind for me when I think about the upcoming holiday.

Of course, we can't forget the reason behind our celebration: the founding of our fantastic country! As we go full-speed ahead into Fourth of July festivities, I’d like to share with you the covers of a few Fall 2015 releases that help make clear why the USA is so worthy of a fete. Check out these and other books in the First Step Nonfiction Exploring Government series when they are released this fall. In the meantime, Happy Fourth!

elections  gov't branches
Citizenship   leaders

Friday, June 26, 2015

My Reading Story

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Lately, I've noticed articles such as this one about influential librarians that fostered the love of reading in their patrons. While I love skimming a write-up that reinforces the necessity of librarians, I don't remember a librarian ever recommending a book to me. It might have happened once or twice, but no memorable instance ever implanted itself in my brain for me to rhapsodize about later in life.

So how did I end up here, championing librarians on Twitter for Lerner, garnering reading recommendations from review journals and blogs, and consuming mountains of books?

First of all, I’m naturally predisposed to love stories; almost as soon as I could talk, I'd tell my mom to tell me a story. If things weren't going my way, I'd edit it as needed, interjecting my changes and annoying the heck out of her. In one (in)famous instance, I made our family into a kind of reader's theater based on my favorite Disney movie ever (at the time), The Little Mermaid. My father was awarded the dubious honor of portraying King Triton.

But it was my parents who ultimately made me a book lover. Though neither one of them particularly loves to read (I think my dad reads one book a decade, if that), they introduced me to board books, then picture books, then early reader chapter books. Seriously, my parents read me piles of books—most notably the American Girl doll stories. My dad's favorite American Girl to read about was Molly. He'll deny it if you ask, though.

Totally his favorite.
Even after I could devour pages by myself and would read late into the night with a flashlight, my mom read books such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and The Hobbit to my brother and me. As a family, we'd listen to audio books in the car together. Mom and I still joke about checking out Quentin Corn again, a book about a pig who became a boy for a while and sang in the church choir. (It was an especially funny book to listen to because my brother's name is Quentin.)

I did well in English classes and majored in English literature in college, and so here I am, in this wonderful community of people who love stories.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve enjoyed perusing the Our Reading Lives posts on BookRiot. The writers talk about a wide variety of topics: how certain books have changed their worldviews, how they prioritize unwieldy to-be-read lists, and, yes, how school librarians have the power to change lives. Sometimes, the writer simply recommends a book or two.

And so, all this to say, what’s your reading story? Did your dad read you American Girl doll books, or were you raised on Chaucer and Proust? Was there a librarian who inspired you to bring wagonfuls of books home? How did your life as a reader begin?

Or, you can just tell us what you’re reading…there’s always room in my library reservation queue for another recommendation.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Before They Get to I.O.U.: Teaching Financial Literacy

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For many students summer isn’t just a time to work on tans; it’s also time to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60 percent of the American youth labor force (ages 16‒24) are employed during summer months. In fact, between April and July of last year, the labor force grew by 14.5 percent. We know many will spend their earnings on food, fashion, fuel, and fun.

However, long before they are working age, young people need to know how money works.

The How Do We Use Money? series from Searchlight Books teaches elementary age students the basic principles of healthy spending habits. This four book series teaches kids how to save, spend, and build their own budget. Plus, we have fun “extras” and free resources to help you get the conversation started.

To download free resources for the books in this series, visit a book's product page on our website. If you haven't registered with us, please do so in the upper-right corner of the page. On future visits, you'll need to sign in to download files. Then look in the right-hand column of the page for the eSource logo. Just under the Font Lens, you'll see the downloadable eSource files. Click on an individual file or on "download all."

Have you begun teaching your students (or children) about financial literacy? If so, what tools or resources have you found helpful?