TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Gene Luen Yang

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Gene Luen Yang

Comics, Then and Now

By Gene Luen Yang

When I was in the fifth grade, I convinced my mother to take me to our local comics shop. While I browsed the shelves, she stood by the door with her arms crossed, silently judging an entire industry. I went home with Secret Wars #4, the latest issue of Marvel’s cosmic, no-holds-barred superhero slugfest. It’s like Homer’s Iliad, only in outer space and without all the boring pathos. It was everything my 10-year-old heart desired.

That evening, I made the mistake of letting my mom flip through it.

She pointed to one of the panels. “Why isn’t this woman wearing any clothes?”

“That’s Volcana. She’s made of molten lava,” I explained. If my mom had simply taken the time to read the story, the reason for Volcana’s sartorial choices would’ve been obvious. “She’s always on fire, so her clothes would just burn off.”

My mother was unconvinced. That was the last time she took me to that shop.

Luckily, a friend from school showed me a workaround. Jeremy had been reading comics since he learned to read. He kept his collection in long cardboard boxes beneath his bed, individual issues neatly sorted by title and issue number. By fifth grade Jeremy was already an expert, a connoisseur of the four-color art form.

One bright Saturday afternoon, when the athletic kids were out on the soccer fields, Jeremy and I arranged to be dropped off at the library. We watched from the window until our parents drove out of sight and hiked 20 minutes to the nearest comics shop. We bought as many as we could afford out of the quarter bin (two each, in case you’re wondering).

We walked 30 minutes back to the library—you can’t go quite as fast with your nose buried in a comic book—and checked out the largest volumes we could find. These would hide our purchases and keep them in pristine condition.

“I didn’t know you were so interested in Egyptology,” my mother said on our way home.

I nodded and looked out the window.

***

Things are different now; kids no longer have to sneak. The graphic novel section of my local library rivals the one at my local comics shop in both size and selection.

Comic books are increasingly recognized as an important part of the literary landscape. They’re published by prestigious houses and nominated for prestigious awards. Today’s librarians, educators, and parents understand their value.

As a visual medium that’s meant to be read, comics act as a bridge between the media we watch and the media we read. Librarians stock them for fans of the format and teachers of second language learners and reluctant readers use them to instill a love of reading in their students.

Comic books have also proven to be worthy of study in and of themselves. They combine two distinct media: words and images. In the hands of skilled storytellers, the relationship between the two can be complex and nuanced. They can support each other, or contradict one another, or pass the narrative responsibility back and forth like a baton.

These days, even my mom reads comics. Admittedly, they’re mostly by me, but they’re still comics.

She still won’t give Secret Wars #4 a fair shake, though. In her mind, Volcana is still nothing but a floozy. I guess some kinds of progress come easier than others.

 

 

Listen to Gene Luen Yang introduce and pronounce his name.

See all available resources for Gene Luen Yang.

 

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Gene Luen Yang. All images courtesy of Gene Luen Yang.

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | June 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways!

We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Oblivion (High School)

One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: “I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM.” But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours.

Egmont USA is giving away 5 copies of Oblivion by Sasha Dawn. To enter to win, send an email to michellebayuk@egmont.com with the subject line of “Oblivion on TeachingBooks.net” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: June 15, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Learn where Sasha Dawn gets her ideas in this Author Interview!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Most Magnificent Thing (Elementary)

For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this picture book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity.

Kids Can Press is giving away 15 copies of The Most Magnificent Thing. To enter to win, send an email to libraries@kidscan.com with the subject line of “Most Magnificent” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: June 20, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Find inspiration to create your own magnificent thing on the The Most Magnificent Thing Book Website!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The One Safe Place (Middle Grade)

In a near-future dystopia with echoes of The Giver and Among the Hidden, Tania Unsworth has created an unsettling page-turner—fast-paced, filled with dread—that’s wholly satisfying, and startlingly original.

Algonquin Young Readers is giving away 5 copies of The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth. To enter to win, send an email to algonquinyr@algonquin.com with the subject line of “The One Safe Place giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: June 24, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Read Author Insights to discover Tania Unsworth’s inspiration for The One Safe Place!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Grizzly Bears of Alaska: Explore the Wild World of Bears (Elementary)

Spend the summer learning all about Alaska’s amazing grizzly bears! This nonfiction children’s book is full of spectacular images from acclaimed wildlife photographer Patrick J. Endres, as well as fascinating facts about the grizzly’s habitat, diet, hibernation, and more.

Sasquatch Books is giving away 10 copies of Grizzly Bears of Alaska. To enter to win, send an email to kreingold@sasquatchbooks.com with the subject line of “Grizzly Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: June 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Prepare to share Grizzly Bears of Alaska with this Common Core aligned Teacher’s Guide!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Grudge Keeper (Elementary)

The townspeople of Bonnyripple count on Cornelius to file away their tiffs and huffs, squabbles and snits. But when a storm flings the people together and their grudges to the wind, the townsfolk must reconcile to save him.

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 copies of this witty and whimsically illustrated picture book, signed by the author, Mara Rockliff!

To enter to win your copy, send an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line of “Grudge Keeper Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: June 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses. No PO Boxes, please.)

Listen to The Grudge Keeper author’s Audio Name Pronunciation!

 

Icon512WIN A FREE COPY of the Book App for Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body (Elementary)

Come along with the Cat in the Hat in this interactive book app as he takes Sally and Dick for a ride through the human body! Kids will love learning about the human body as they visit the right and left sides of the brain, scuba dive through the blood system, follow food and water through the digestive tract, and a whole lot more!

Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of Inside Your Outside book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Inside Your Outside Giveaway.”

Deadline: June 30, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

Start your journey with Inside Your Outside: listen to an audio sample from the book app!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Tankborn (High School)

Kayla and Mishalla, two genetically engineered non-human slaves (GENs), fall in love with higher-status boys, discover deep secrets about the creation of GENs, and in the process find out what it means to be human.

Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, is giving away 3 signed copies of Tankborn by Karen Sandler. Enter to win here.

Deadline: June 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Delve into Tankborn with these Discussion Questions!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Whose Trees Are These?  (Elementary)

To live without trees… Is this an option? Have you ever wondered about the role of trees in nature or their relationship to the rest of the environment? Whose Trees Are These? includes scientific details in both the text and illustrations.

Peanut Butter Press is giving away 10 hardcover copies of Whose Trees Are These? To enter to win, send an email to info@peanutbutterpress.ca with the subject line of “Whose Trees Are These? – Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: July 8, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

Use this Teachers’ Guide to explore Whose Trees Are These? page by page! 

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Gertie Gorilla’s Glorious Gift plus an audio CD, narrated by the author (Elementary)

Gertie Gorilla’s Glorious Gift is one of 26 titles in the award-winning Animal Antics A to Z series. Each title supports letter/sound recognition, an essential skill in the learning-to-read process. Kids will relate to Gertie’s plan to give Godfrey Goat a grand and glorious gift for his birthday. But the gift gets grubby in a soggy, boggy gulch. What will Gertie do?

Kane Press is giving away 10 paperback copies (plus audio CDs) of Gertie Gorilla’s Glorious Gift. To enter to win, send an email to info@kanepress.com with the subject line of “TeachingBooks Gertie” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: July 15, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Sample the audio CD for Gertie Gorilla’s Glorious Gift with this Book Reading!

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Resources Upon Request: Summer Brenner

 

A customer in California recently asked us to create original multimedia resources with author/illustrator Summer Brenner.

In this original Meet-the-Author Book Reading you’ll hear Summer explain her personal inspiration for writing Oakland Tales: Lost Secrets of the Town.

These Book Readings are excellent to share with students before, during, or after they read Summer’s book as a way for them to connect to the book in a whole new way.

It’s our great pleasure to announce these brand new original resources, made upon request.

Summer Brenner

  • Listen to Summer Brenner pronounce her name.

If there’s an author or book that is relevant to your curriculum, and you would like us to find and/or create relevant resources, please let us know.

- See more at: http://forum.teachingbooks.net/?cat=68

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Nick Bruel

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome Nick Bruel, author and illustrator of the popular Bad Kitty Series, as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Nick Bruel

Creative Writing and the Tax Code

or

That Really Was The Best Title I Could Come Up With

By Nick Bruel

Good morning, Nick.

Good morning.

Thank you for meeting with me. I know it’s early.

No problem. I appreciate the invitation.

So, how often do you actually talk to yourself in the mirror?

Oh, not as often as you might think. Sometimes if there’s no mirror around, I hold two tin cans with a string attached up to each of my ears. It’s like I’m playing telephone with myself!

That’s pretty neat.

Thank you. I invented it myself.

So, what do you want to talk about today? Fragment sentences? Maybe: we could talk about, improper use; of punctuation – marks!

No, I’d rather talk about creative writing and the tax code.

The tax code? Really? That sounds pretty dull.

True. But this all leads to a point I want to make. 

Sigh. Fine. Go ahead.

Schedule C, my personal favorite schedule on the 1040 tax form, is used for reporting income or loss from a business you operate or a profession you practice as a sole proprietor. An activity qualifies as a business if your primary purpose for engaging in the activity is for income or profit and you are involved in the activity with continuity and regularity….

STOP! Stop this. I’m drifting away here. And the fumes from the cat’s litter box are starting to make me woozy.

Esme

You really should clean it more often.

You’re not the only one who feels that way.

MEOW!

Not now, Esme. I’m in the middle of a heated conversation here. What does all this dreary tax code stuff have to do with creative writing?

It is dreary, isn’t it? But that’s the point I’m trying to make. See, every creative writing teacher I’ve ever had has always pulled out the same old dictum about how to write a story. They always say, “Write what you know.”

What’s wrong with that?

Well, most of the time there’s nothing wrong with that advice. But the advice is incomplete. The problem here is that I happen to know a lot about tax code. I’ve been doing my own taxes for decades. But what I happen to know really isn’t all that interesting in this case. If I wrote a story about tax code, it would likely be pretty dull.

“Bad Kitty Files As A Sole Proprietor Of A Limited Liability Company” — Yeah, I don’t see much of an audience for that one.

Precisely. So really the advice teachers need to give students isn’t “Write what you know about” but “Write what you care about.” Much of the time, those two will be the same thing. But a lot of students, especially the younger ones, don’t really know a lot yet. But that’s okay. Kids compensate for what they don’t know with having an active imagination. It’s their imagination that we all need to tap into, because their imagination is home to everything they care about. We all want kids to write stories, but even more importantly we want them to want to write stories.

Hey, isn’t this why you wrote Bad Kitty: Drawn to Trouble (Roaring Brook Press, 2014)?

Oh, you shameless promoter, you! Thank you so much for bringing up that book. Yes, this is precisely why I wrote that book. It’s my “Bad Kitty” book about how to write a “Bad Kitty” book. Kids often ask me if I have a favorite “Bad Kitty” book, and I don’t. I really don’t. But having said that, I will go on the record as saying that Bad Kitty: Drawn To Trouble is probably my most important book. I’d never written a book with so much purpose until I wrote this one. I like to think of it as a 128-page invitation to my readers to become writers. I love what I do, and I want everyone to at least try their hand at writing stories for themselves. They just might love writing as much as I do.

It also happens to be the 10th “Bad Kitty” book, isn’t it?

It is. But I almost didn’t write it.

Bad Kitty

Really? Shut up, you liar.

No! Really! There were concerns that this book might come off as too academic. There were concerns that introducing a litany of literary terms like “protagonist” and “antagonist” and “foreshadowing” and “plot point” (Common Core fans, please take note) might put off some readers who only open a “Bad Kitty” book to see an ornery pussycat periodically lose her mind. But I honestly think that underestimates my readers. Kids not only need to be challenged in their reading, but, honestly, I think they demand it.

Got anything more to add?

Not really.

Then, I think it’s time we got to work.

I agree. Deadlines wait for no…

MEOW!

Oh, right. First things first. Now, where’s that scoop?

 

Listen to Nick Bruel introduce and pronounce his name.

Enjoy this Meet-the-Author Book Reading with Nick Bruel featuring Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble. 

See all available resources for the Bad Kitty Series.

See all available resources for Nick Bruel and his books.

 

 This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Nick Bruel. All images courtesy of Nick Bruel.


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | May 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways!

We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net. 

WIN A FREE COPY of Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood (Middle School, High School)

In a unique memoir comprising more than fifty watercolor paintings and accompanying text, award-winning artist and New York Times bestselling author James McMullan explores how his early childhood in China and wartime journeys with his mother influenced his whole life, especially his artwork.

Algonquin Young Readers is giving away 5 copies of Leaving China. To enter to win, send an email to algonquinyr@algonquin.com with the subject line of “Leaving China Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 20, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Learn directly from James McMullan about his artistic process for illustrating Leaving China in this audio clip!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of A Bird On Water Street (Middle School)

A Bird On Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba is a coming of age story about Jack, a boy growing up in a Southern Appalachian town environmentally devastated by a century of poor copper-mining practices and pollution. Jack is opposed to the mine, where so many of his relatives have died, but how can he tell that to his dad who wants him to follow in the family trade?

Little Pickle Press is giving away 5 copies of A Bird On Water Street. To enter to win, send an email to Heather@littlepicklepress.com with the subject line of “TeachingBooks.net Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Build interdisciplinary connections with these discussion points for A Bird on Water Street!

 

ABCDinosaur_806x806

WIN A FREE COPY of Smithsonian’s Alphabet of Dinosaurs Book App! (Elementary)

Learn about dinosaurs with duck-bills, club tails, spiked bodies and more in this one-of-a-kind Alphabet of Dinosaurs storybook app. From Ankylosaurus to Zigongosaurus, and everything in between, there is so much for kids to learn about this prehistoric world.

Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of Alphabet of Dinosaurs book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Alphabet of Dinosaurs Giveaway.”

Deadline: May 31, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

Preview the book app for Alphabet of Dinosaurs with an audio sample!

 

 WIN A FREE COPY of Five Little Ducklings Go To Bed (Elementary)

Five Little Ducklings Go To Bed is an adorable read-aloud featuring five mischievous ducklings.

NorthSouth Books is giving away 5 copies of Five Little Ducklings Go to Bed. To enter to win, send an email to hlennon@northsouth.com with the subject line of “Ducklings Contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Get into the spirit of story-time with this activity kit for Five Little Ducklings Go to Bed!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design (All Grades)

Chip Kidd explains the elements of design, including form, line, color, scale, typography, as well as how to use those elements in creative ways… like putting the word “go” on a stop sign. Go is all about shaking things up, and kids will love its playful spirit and belief that the world looks better when you look at it differently.

Workman Publishing Company is giving away 15 copies of Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. To enter to win, send an email to mrockliff@workman.com, with the subject line “Go Giveaway” and please include your school or library mailing address.

Deadline: May 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Listen to Chip Kidd introduce GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design in this audio clip!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of A Place for Butterflies (Elementary)

A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart is a fact-filled, colorful look at the life cycle and habitats of butterflies that calls on young readers do their part in protecting these beautiful insects.

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 free copies of this nonfiction picture book – just in time for spring lesson plans!

To enter to win your copy, send an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line “Butterflies Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. address — no PO boxes please)

Enjoy cross-curricular activities with this teaching guide for A Place for Butterflies!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Promise of a Pencil (High School)

Enter to win a free copy of The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun, the inspiring memoir of a young man who traded a lucrative career in finance to found Pencils of Promise, the groundbreaking organization that started with $25 and has now built more than 150 schools around the world.

Simon & Schuster is giving away 25 copies of The Promise of a Pencil. To enter to win, send an email to Education.Library@simonandschuster.com with the subject line “The Promise of a Pencil Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Watch this video with author Adam Braun to learn about the origins of The Promise of a Pencil!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy: Acts of Kindness for Kids (Elementary)

Did your mom ever tell you it’s nice to be nice? Well she’s right, but the good news is it’s actually fun to be nice too. This cool and quirky title is full of ways to spread a bit of happy with some guerrilla acts of goodness.

Kane Miller Books is giving away 5 copies of Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy: Acts of Kindness for Kids by Bernadette Russell. To enter to win, send an email to lynn@kanemiller.com with the subject line of “Do Nice giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: June 15, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Check out this video to learn how Bernadette Russell came to create Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy! 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Joe Hayes

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome nationally recognized storyteller and author Joe Hayes as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Joe Hayes

Sharing Stories 

by Joe Hayes

The most important thing I tell children when I visit schools is this: writing is sharing. I explain to them that an author isn’t someone special. An author is just someone who wants to share something, and decides to write about it. “If you become interested in something,” I tell students, “you should write about it.”

Joe Hayes reading from Pajaro Verde/ The Green Bird (Cinco Puntos Press, 2002)

I like old, traditional stories—especially those from the American Southwest. When I run across a tale that excites my imagination, I start re-imagining it and developing a version that I think will entertain children and suit my style of storytelling.

For years, I just told stories. Before long, people began to ask me why I didn’t write them down. They commented, “You could share your stories with more people if they were in print.”

They were right. When I started publishing my stories, I soon realized that my audience was much larger. From the letters, and later emails, that arrived, it was clear that I was reaching people in places I’d never even visited.

I like to tell children about an email I received from a librarian in Buenos Aires, Argentina. First, I tell them to find a globe and look way down below the United States and Mexico and the skinny thread of Central America—clear down to the tip of South America. “That’s where Argentina is,” I point out. “It’s really far.”

The librarian wrote to me to tell me that there was a child in her school—a homeless boy—who she could never interest in reading. One day she shared with him the story of ¡El Cucuy! from my book of that title (Cinco Puntos Press, 2003). The boy’s response? “¡Ah! Quiero aprender a leer esa historia!” He wanted to learn to read that story.

I tell children that I share this story because it will help them understand the beautiful things that can happen when you start to write about what interests you—that they can make a difference in someone else’s life, and there’s nothing more important than that.

Joe Hayes telling stories in Holguin, Cuba

 

Hear Joe Hayes introduce and pronounce his name.

See all available resources for Joe Hayes.

 

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Joe Hayes. All images courtesy of Joe Hayes.

 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | April 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways!

We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

 

WIN A FREE COPY of It’s Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes (Middle School)

Microbiologist Jennifer Gardy, who calls herself a “disease detective,” picks up her microscope to bring expert insight to the microbes that are all around us but are too small to see. Irreverent, playful, and contagious in all the best ways, It’s Catching discusses a range of germs and the diseases they cause, from the common cold, to food poisoning, to the Ebola virus.

Owlkids is giving away 10 copies of It’s Catching. To enter to win, send an email to allison.maclachlan@owlkids.com with the subject line “It’s Catching giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 20, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Watch Jennifer demonstrate how fast double-dipping can spread germs in this interview!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake (Elementary School)

Eleanor does a mean thing to a new girl at school and must learn how to say—and show—she’s sorry in this charming new chapter book from the team who created Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger.

Abrams is giving away 5 copies of Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. To enter to win, send an email to CarrotJuiceGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line “Pick me!” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 23, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Navigate the themes of growing pains and friendship with this curriculum guide!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice (High School)

Norwood House Press is celebrating National Poetry Month by giving away 5 copies of Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice. This collection of poems by 20th century writers on issues related to social justice has been selected as a best of the year book by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.

To enter to win a free copy of Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice, send an email to info@norwoodhousepress.com with the subject line “Indivisible Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 25, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Explore poetic devices and American culture. Get inspired with these teacher’s notes!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of A Great Day for Pup Book App (Elementary School)

Come along with the Cat in the Hat in this interactive book app as he travels all around the globe in search of wild animal babies! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Kids will love exploring everywhere from Australia to Antarctica, learning about wildlife with the familiar characters of the Cat in the Hat!

Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of A Great Day for Pup book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “A Great Day for Pup Giveaway.”

Deadline: April 30, 2013 (Open to all addresses)

Join the Cat in the Hat on this grand adventure, preview the book app!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic (Elementary School)

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s picnic in Hyde Park! In June of 1939 the United States played host to two very special guests, the King and Queen of England! It was an opportunity for the U.S. to strengthen its relationship with the British during very challenging times, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw the visit as a time to set cares aside for just a while and extend a warm welcome.

Sleeping Bear Press is giving away 10 copies of Hot Dog! Enter to win a free copy by emailing sarah.miller@sleepingbearpress.com  with the subject line of “Hot Dog!” and please include your mailing address. Activity pages will be emailed to all who enter!

Deadline: April 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

How did Victor Juhasz illustrate Hot Dog!? Find out at Victor’s blog!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Priority List (High School)

Enter to win a free copy of The Priority List by David Menasche, a poignant and inspiring memoir about a beloved high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer that undertakes a cross-country journey to reunite with his former students and discovers along the way what is truly important in life. Steve Carell has just been cast to star in a feature film based on the book!

Simon & Schuster is giving away 25 copies of The Priority List. To enter, send an email to Education.Library@simonandschuster.com with the subject line “THE PRIORITY LIST Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Delve deeper into the book with discussion questions and an interview with David Menasche!

 

Seven The Series BoxsetENTER TO WIN a Seven Series Bundle (High School)

Seven grandsons, seven journeys, seven authors, one amazing series!

In anticipation of the Seven Sequels (available Fall 2014), Orca Book Publishers is giving away 3 bundles of 7 books in the original Seven Series. To enter to win, send an email to orca@orcabook.com with the subject line “Seven (the series) contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 15, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Get pumped for the Seven Sequels series: watch the book trailer!

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Launching Today: Our Author Morph App

TeachingBooks.net is proud to announce its Author Morph app! Watch an Author Morph demonstration in this 90-second video:


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Eric Walters

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning author       Eric Walters as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Eric Walters

What it Takes to Survive

by Eric Walters

Eric Walters in his place of work, which is wherever he happens to be

An airborne computer virus simultaneously infects and disables every computer in the world. In a split second everything operated by computers is unable to function. No cars, trucks, or airplanes. No phones, radios, television, or Internet. No electricity to power lights or water pumps. The veneer of society and civilization is quickly peeled away and the rules that we all live by and allow us to co-exist are immediately thrown into question.

How do people react when they are frightened? When they don’t have the necessities of life? How do they act when there is nothing to hold them back? Or to provide safeguards? What would it be like to walk down the street not knowing what’s out there, but understanding that there are people who want what you have—need what you have—in order to survive?

The Rule of Three (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014) is titled after a survival maxim—you can go three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. At the root of who we are is the basic instinct to survive. The question is: What would you do to survive?

The novel starts in a computer lab at a high school. The main character, Adam, is suddenly part of the power outage that hits his school. As the story evolves, so does the teen’s knowledge of the situation. Helping guide Adam is his mother, the captain of the local police station, and his next door neighbor, Herb, a retired government employee. Their neighborhood soon becomes more than the place where they live; it becomes a place they must re-create if they hope to survive.

The setting for The Rule of Three

Adam’s neighborhood is familiar to me because it’s my neighborhood. The streets, houses, schools, stores, streams, and bridges are those that are outside my door. When I was writing the scene where Adam wanders the streets at 3:00 in the morning, I went out and walked the streets. It made the story very real—and very unsettling.

wave-jpgshakenThe Rule of Three is the first of a trilogy that will run just over 1,200 pages. If a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, then a trilogy that length begins with an inkling of an idea. I think that, in part, this story arc started forming when I was writing Shaken (Doubleday Canada, 2011), about a Haitian earthquake, and Wave (Doubleday Canada, 2009), about a tsunami, in which a part of the world is suddenly destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Eric Walters in Kenya

Later, in my experiences in Kenya over the years running a children’s program (www.creationofhope.com), I witnessed the ways people reacted when resources were so limited that not everyone could survive. I saw at those times the worst, and the best, in people.

The story begins with the spark of science-fiction—the air borne virus. After that the actions, reactions, feelings, and fears of the people are what I believe would really happen. The question for you is: what would you do if this became your world. Could you survive?

Eric Walters

Listen to Eric Walters introduce and pronounce his name.

See all available resources for Eric Walters.

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Eric Walters. All images courtesy of Eric Walters.


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | March 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways!

We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Shaping Up Summer (Elementary)

Shaping Up Summer is the new, final book in the Math in Nature series—four picture books that help kids engage with primary math concepts, one for each season. The cross-curricular series is illustrated with paper collage artwork throughout, and teacher’s guides are available for each book.

Owlkids Books is giving away 10 copies of Shaping Up Summer. To enter to win, send an email to allison.maclachlan@owlkids.com with the subject line “Shaping Up Summer giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: March 20, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian Addresses)

Enjoy the lesson plan for Shaping Up Summer!

 

ENTER TO WIN the Charlie Bumpers Series (Elementary)

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 Charlie Bumpers prize packs! Nine winners will receive one hardcover copy of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year, and one galley of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Really Nice Gnome (April, 2014). One Grand Prize winner will receive one hardcover copy of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year, one hardcover copy of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Really Nice Gnome, and one audio book CD of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year (performed by author and Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Bill Harley).

To enter to win students must write a story about a time they faced some sort of obstacle like Charlie. Teachers may send the stories in to Peachtree Publishers via email or mail. Stories can be silly or serious; true or fictional; about school, home, or extra-curriculars! Email: niki@peachtree-online.com. Mailing address: Peachtree Publishers/ Publicity Dept./ 1700 Chattahoochee Ave./ Atlanta, GA 30318

Deadline: March 26, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Check out the Charlie Bumpers series website!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Mermaid and the Shoe (Elementary)

From K.G. Campbell, illustrator of this year’s Newbery award-winning Flora and Ulysses comes The Mermaid and the Shoe: a gorgeously illustrated story about finding one’s purpose.

Kids Can Press is giving away 10 copies of The Mermaid and the Shoe. To enter to win, send an email to libraries@kidscan.com with the subject line of “Mermaid” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: March 28, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Listen to an audio name pronunciation with K.G. Campbell!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Flora and the Flamingo (Elementary)

Win a free copy of Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo! In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!

Chronicle Books is giving away one signed copy of Flora and the Flamingo, plus a poster and bookmarks! Enter here: http://budurl.com/TBFlora

Deadline: March 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian Addresses)

Enjoy this Meet-the-Author Book Reading with Molly Idle!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex! Book App (Elementary)

Join Tyrannosaurus Rex, the fiercest predator in all the land, as she shatters the stillness of the prehistoric forest with a loud, pounding sound! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Come along and see what Tyrannosaurus Rex finds to eat in this exciting storybook app!

Oceanhouse Media is giving away three copies of It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex – Smithsonian’s Prehistoric Pals book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex Giveaway.”

Deadline: March 31, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

Preview the book app!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Little Moose Who Couldn’t Go to Sleep (Elementary)

If you love Maynard Moose tales then be forewarned, this book might just be the funniest yet. The fourth installment in the Maynard Moose series provides the back-story about Little Moose’s struggle with going to sleep each night. She is Maynard’s youngest cousin and his favorite kin. This whimsically illustrated story also includes a CD along with a Moose to English glossary.

August House is giving away seven free copies of The Little Moose Who Couldn’t Go to Sleep. To enter to win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line “TeachingBooks Little Moose” and please include how you plan to use this picture book in your school as well as your mailing address.

Deadline: April 14, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Listen to an audio name pronunciation with Willy Claflin!

 

ENTER TO WIN a Trip for Two to the Movie Premiere of The Giver

Coming this August from Walden Media and The Weinstein Company: the feature film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s revered dystopian novel The Giver.

In celebration of The Giver’s silver screen debut, Walden Media is giving away a trip for two to The Giver Movie Premiere in New York City. Airfare, hotel, ground transportation, and meals are all covered.

Enter to win here: www.walden.com/giversweepstakes. For further details, please visit: http://www.walden.com/official-rules-the-giver-sweepstakes.

Deadline: June 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Watch the video book trailer!