TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Lisa Charleyboy

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome storyteller and social entrepreneur Lisa Charleyboy 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!

 

Lisa Charleyboy
Photo credit: Nadya Kwandibens

Collaborating to Create Dreaming in Indian:

Contemporary Native American Voices

By Lisa Charleyboy

 

DreamingInIndian_AnnickPressFor seven years, I’ve been sharing the stories of the many incredibly talented Native artists, writers, fashion designers, and entrepreneurs across North America on my blog “Urban Native Girl” and the online magazine I co-founded, Urban Native Magazine. So when Mary Beth Leatherdale came to me with the idea to create an anthology for youth featuring contemporary Native writers, artists, and teens talking about their experiences growing up Indigenous, I was thrilled. It was a chance to give a fresh perspective on what it means to be Native in North America and to share the stories that are so often overlooked by the mainstream media and Hollywood.

Mary Beth showed me a copy of Rookie Yearbook One (Razorbill, 2012), the book that inspired her idea. I loved how that volume mixed discussions of sensitive issues and pop culture in a dynamic, visual package. It was exactly the kind of book that I would have treasured as a teen.

Mary Beth and I started the process for Dreaming in Indian (Annick Press, 2014) by brainstorming themes. We knew we wanted to explore the serious issues that affect Native youths’ lives like racism, the intergenerational impact of residential schools, poverty, suicide, and addiction. But we also wanted to celebrate all the wonderful things about Native culture—the gifts garnered from traditional culture, the strong bonds of family and community, and the universal joys and trials of being a teenager.

A portrait of Lisa Charleyboy as part of Nadya Kwandibens’ series Concrete Indians, which appears in Dreaming in Indian

We came up with four themes for the book: “Roots,” “Battles,” “Medicines,” and “Dreamcatchers” to support the range of topics we wanted to explore. We brainstormed artists who we thought might work well within each theme and asked if they would contribute. Our goal was to showcase the distinct voices and diverse experiences of Natives across Turtle Island, dispelling the idea that there is one monolithic Native culture. We were very careful to make sure we represented—as much as possible—the voices of the Tribes and Nations from the Southwest and the Northwest coast, Inuit from the North, Métis and other First Nations across North America. 

We called out to youth on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and through Urban Native Magazine asking them to submit their poetry, artwork, photographs, and other writing. We received so much terrific material about IdleNoMore, revealing the enormous impact this movement had on Indigenous youth, their voice, and their Indigenous pride. 

A Louie Gong spread from Dreaming in Indian

Everyone we reached out to was incredibly supportive of the project. Like us, they thought a book like this was needed. We’re truly honored by how they shared their talents and their inspiring stories. The anthology showcases the voices of scientists, athletes, hip-hop dancers, graphic novelists, photographers, chefs, musicians, makeup artists, and artists.

Mary Beth Leatherdale (left) and Lisa Charleyboy (right)

So much of the power of Dreaming in Indian comes from the work of our incredible designer Inti Ameratsu. Mary Beth and I wanted to make sure that visual content and text were given equal weight in the book and that all the stories—whether they were by high school students, emerging artists, or internationally renowned artists such as Louie Gong and Joseph Boyden—would be treated with the same respect. Working with a shoestring budget, Inti managed to powerfully present each contributor’s story.

Putting Dreaming in Indian together was a fun, creative process. Mary Beth and I are thrilled with what a dynamic collection it is. Throughout my life I’ve confronted stereotypical and racist portrayals of Indigenous people. I’m so excited that the Native youth who read this book will be inspired to go out and strive and thrive, and that non-Native youth might be able to gain a greater understanding of the Native experience in North America. I’m truly thankful for this opportunity.

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See all available resources for Lisa Charleyboy.

See all available resources for Dreaming in Indian.

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Text and images may not be reproduced without the express

written consent of Lisa Charleyboy.

 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | December 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 Fiesta!: A Celebration of Latino Festivals (Elementary)

Using the months of the year in Spanish and English, the award-winning team of Sherry Shahan and Paula Barragán (Spicy Hot Colors and Cool Cats Counting) join forces to create this vibrant picture book celebrating Latin American holidays. Each month of the year features a spirited poetic interpretation of a Latino holiday tradition, along with an explanation of the custom supported by colorful illustrations.

August House is giving away 5 free copies of Fiesta! to celebrate the holidays. To win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line “Fiesta!” and write two sentences about how you plan to use this classic picture book in your school. Please include your mailing address.

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

Listen to Sherry Shahan’s author name pronunciation recording.

 

Win a free set of The Wolf Chronicles books (High School)

Dorothy Hearst’s engaging Wolf Chronicles novels, Promise of the Wolves, Secrets of the Wolves, and Spirit of the Wolves, are set 14,000 years ago and explore the bond between wolves and humans. Weaving in elements of mythology from many cultures, the novels are told from the perspective of Kaala, an outcast young female wolf who has been charged with watching over humans.

Simon & Schuster is giving away 3 sets of the three novels in The Wolf Chronicles. To enter to win, send an email to WolfGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line of “Wolf Chronicles” and please include your mailing address.

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

Enjoy the reading group guide for Promise of the Wolves.

 

Win a free copy of The Code Busters Club, Case #4, The Mummy’s Curse (Elementary)

Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. love playing around with codes. In fact, they love codes so much they have their own club, with a secret hideout and passwords that change every day.

Egmont USA is giving away 5 copies of The Code Busters Club, Case #4, The Mummy’s Curse by Penny Warner. To enter to win, send an email to michellebayuk@egmont.com with the subject line of “Code Busters Club on TeachingBooks.net” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: December 16, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Check out character profiles on the series website.

 

Win a free copy of The Time Fetch (Middle Grade)

A fantasy adventure in the vein of A Wrinkle in Time and When You Reach Me, Amy Herrick’s story begins when Edward picks up what he thinks is a rock—but is really a Time Fetch that causes a dangerous time rip. Only Edward and a band of three mismatched classmates who have touched the Fetch can see what is happening, so it’s up to them to repair the entire fabric of space and time. Now in paperback.

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

Deadline: December 16, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Get ideas on how to incorporate The Time Fetch into your curriculum with this educator guide.

 

Win a free copy of Let’s Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Elementary)

The familiar story of this American hero is told for children. From Dr. King’s birth to the end of his short life, the values that he stood for so powerfully and the changes that he helped to bring about are presented here in terms that children can understand and personally relate to. Let’s Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of five titles in the Holidays & Heroes series with more titles to come.

Kane Press is giving away 10 paperback copies of Let’s Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To enter to win, send an email to info@kanepress.com with the subject line: “TeachingBooks Martin Luther King Jr. Day”  and please include your mailing address.

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

Use Barbara deRubertis’ author name pronunciation to help introduce the book in your classroom. 

 

GrinchAppWin a free copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! digital book app (Elementary)

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.

In honor of Grinchmas, Oceanhouse Media is giving away 5 promo codes for Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! digital book app for iOS. To enter for a chance to win this classic holiday tale, please send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Grinch Giveaway.” No need to send physical addresses; the prize is digital only.

Deadline: December 21, 2014 (Open To: Anyone)

Preview the How the Grinch Stole Christmas! book app and listen to an audio sample.

 

Win a free copy of The Cat’s Pajamas (Elementary)

Inkshares is giving away one copy of The Cat’s Pajamas by New York Times bestselling author of Big Fish, Daniel Wallace. This illustrated children’s book introduces us to Louis Fellini, a kitten who dares to dress differently in a world full of copycats.

To enter to win, send an email to angela@inkshares.com with the subject line of “The Cat’s Pajamas Contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: December 22, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Explore individuality and idioms in The Cat’s Pajamas with this discussion guide.

 

Win a free copy of Escape from Tibet: A True Story (High School)

Two young brothers leave their Tibetan village to escape from the brutal and repressive Chinese regime. With India as their ultimate destination, they miraculously make their way across the treacherous Himalayas only to face the cruelty of border police and an unfeeling bureaucracy that threatens to destroy their dreams of freedom.

Annick Press is giving away 3 copies of Escape from Tibet: A True Story. To enter to win, send an email to brigittew@annickpress.com with the subject line of “Escape from Tibet Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: December 23, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Share the story behind Escape from Tibet: A True Story, watch the author interview.

 

Win a free set of the Animal Helpers Series (Elementary)

Do you want to be an Animal Helper? This non-fiction series goes behind the scenes with animal caretakers to show the rewarding careers that are perfect for any animal lover! Learn how rehabilitators help a squirrel with a broken leg, or raptor centers prepare injured birds to fly again. Go into the zoo with keepers and learn about animal enrichment or research being done in aquariums on some of the world’s craziest creatures. Author Jennifer Keats Curtis worked with rehabilitation facilities, zoos, aquariums, and sanctuaries around the country to get a glimpse into their world.

Arbordale Publishing is giving away two sets of the popular series by Jennifer Keats Curtis. To enter to win, send an email to Heather@Arbordalepublishing.com with the subject line of “Animal Helpers giveaway.”

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

Inspire animal helpers in your classroom with this teaching guide.

 

Win a free copy of Game World (Middle School)

Enter to win a copy of Game World, an adventure novel in a video game turned reality, with giant spiders, malevolent hummingbirds, a not-quite-yellow-brick road, and preteen children learning how to be heroes!

Akashic Books/Black Sheep is giving away 5 copies of Game World by C.J. Farley. To enter to win, please send an email to susannah@akashicbooks.com with the subject line “TeachingBooks.net: Game World” and please include your mailing address.

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

Learn more about C.J. Farley and Game World with audio and video author interviews.

 

Win a free copy of Gracefully Grayson (Middle school)

Debut author Ami Polonsky’s moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person’s spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

Disney Publishing Worldwide is giving away 10 copies of Gracefully Grayson. To enter to win, send an email to childrens.marketing@disney.com with the subject line of “Gracefully Grayson/TeachingBooks” and please include your mailing address.

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

Engages students in discussion about Gracefully Grayson with this Common Core guide.

 

Win a free copy of The Last Polar Bears (Elementary)

Author-illustrator Harry Horse tells this hilarious, original story through a series of letters written by Grandfather to his grandchild back home. Horse’s winsome pen-and-ink illustrations capture the charmingly eccentric personalities of Grandfather and his dog Roo and the amusing calamities that befall them.

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 copies of this fanciful tale!

To enter to win, send an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line “Last Polar Bears Giveaway” and please include your mailing address. No P.O. Boxes, please.

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

Want to learn more about Harry Horse? Visit the author’s personal website.

 

Win a free copy of World Without Fish (High School)

As featured in the New York State Education Department’s Expeditionary Learning ELA curriculum, in support of the Common Core, “A wonderfully fast-paced and engaging primer on the key questions surrounding fish and the sea. Great for a classroom,” Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish.

Workman Publishing Company is giving away 35 copies of World Without Fish. To enter to win, send an email to mrockliff@workman.com with the subject line of “World Without Fish” and please include your mailing address.

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

Add multimedia elements to your lesson using this Meet-the-Author Book Reading with Mark Kurlansky.

 

7sequelsAUDIO

Win a free set of The Seven Sequels Audiobooks (Middle School)

7 Grandsons
7 New Missions
7 Bestselling Authors
7 Extraordinary Sequels
Now hear the adventures on CD!

Orca Book Publishers is giving away 1 set of The Seven Sequels Audiobooks with the value of $199.95. To enter to win, send an email to orca@orcabook.com with the subject line “Seven Sequels Audio” and please include your mailing address. Added bonus: anyone can order online at www.orcabook.com and receive a 50% discount using the promo code: SSA2015

Deadline: January 31, 2015 (Open to Canadian and U.S. addresses)

Visit The Seven Sequels series website for book trailers, book descriptions, and author bios.

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Christopher Paul Curtis

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis 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!

Christopher Paul Curtis

Conversations with Characters

by Christopher Paul Curtis

School (Buxton, Ontario circa 1912)

I enjoy writing in the first person. I feel it gives readers immediate insight into a novel’s protagonist; from the beginning of the story they’re inside the head that person—with all the confusion and clarity that it entails. So, when I begin to write a book, I simply sit in a not-too-quiet place (usually the library) and have an internal conversation with whomever it is that’s narrating the work, and I start taking dictation. (Old-timer’s term, look it up.) It’s a fascinating process because so often I learn from this character that the tale I’m set on telling is all wrong.

For that reason, it’s always difficult for me to say when exactly a particular story began. It never ends up being what it started as—rather, it evolves. But just as a paleontologist can use fossil records to glean the roots of a particular species, I can look back at my notes and drafts and if I’m lucky, surmise how I arrived at my final story.

In the case of The Madman of Piney Woods (Scholastic, 2014), its origin can be found in the pages of Elijah of Buxton (Scholastic, 2007) and in the research I did while I explored Buxton, Ontario. As I visited that town and walked through its fields, it occurred to me that so many dramatic, heartbreaking, and uplifting stories had taken place in this small patch of Canada. I couldn’t believe there hadn’t been more written about it. My second thought was, “I’d better hurry up and get this book done before someone else beats me to the punch!” After I finished writing Elijah, I knew I would be coming back to Buxton. I wanted to learn more about the characters that inhabited that place and those pages.

Train station (Buxton, ON)

I’m aware that sequels can be tricky. An author who revives characters that readers have grown to love does so at his or her own peril. And more often than not, a sequel can actually damage the original. I didn’t want to write about Elijah again, so I advanced the story 40 years with another young narrator. Benji Alston came to me easily and soon I was listening to him about his desire to be a newspaperman.

Log cabin originally built in 1852, before restoration (Buxton, ON)

I’m unable to uncover how Alvin “Red” Stockard became an integral part of the book, but while researching Canadian life in the early 20th century I came across information on the Irish Coffin Ships. As I read the descriptions of the conditions on these vessels of death, I couldn’t help thinking about the similarities between them and the slave ships of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Next thing I knew, I heard the voice of a boy with red hair, the grandson of an Irish immigrant to Canada, who insisted on being part of the story. 

As I listened to these boys, I was struck by how similar they were. There were physical and family differences, but they were both 12-year-olds on the verge of discovering their place in the world—and a lasting friendship. It’s clear to me that this is where Piney Woods began.

Students outside of the school in Buxton (Buxton, ON circa 1913)

That is, of course, an oversimplification of the creative and writing process. But as complex as it is, I find it is easiest to understand in its simplest terms. All I know is that when I’m writing a book, my characters set me straight many, many times—and before you know it I have another novel.

If you have half the fun reading it that I did writing it, all is well.

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Photos courtesy of Spencer Alexander, curator of the Buxton Museum.

Text and images may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Christopher Paul Curtis.

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Learn why Christopher Paul Curtis includes Paul in his name.

Use this Meet-the-Author Book Reading featuring Christopher Paul Curtis to introduce The Madman of Piney Woods to students.

See all available teaching resources about Christopher Paul Curtis and his books.

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | November 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 TRY THIS! 50 FUN EXPERIMENTS FOR THE MAD SCIENTIST IN YOU (Middle School)

Discover what makes science fun in this engaging book filled with weird, wacky science facts, basic principles, and 50 creative science projects that take interactivity to a whole new level. Dynamic photos and art highlight projects step by step so kids can conduct experiments with confidence and accuracy.

National Geographic Kids Books is giving away 5 copies of TRY THIS! 50 FUN EXPERIMENTS FOR THE MAD SCIENTIST IN YOU. To enter to win, send an email to eeverhart@ngs.org with the subject line of “I want to win Try This!” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: November 14, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Use this educator guide from National Geographic for ideas about how to use the book in your classroom!

 

Win a free copy of HOLY MOLÉ!: A FOLKTALE FROM MEXICO! (Elementary)

This charming story, inspired by the Mexican folk tradition features chaos in the kitchen as the Spanish Viceroy is on his way for a surprise visit. The story of how Carlos saves the day explains the origins of molé, the popular national dish that combines chocolate with turkey, spices, and nuts.

August House is giving away 5 free copies of HOLY MOLÉ! to celebrate Thanksgiving. To win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line “Holy Molé!” and write two sentences about how you plan to use this classic picture book in your school. Please include your mailing address.

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

Strengthen student comprehension with this lesson plan from August House!

 

Win a free copy of GET HAPPY (High School)

In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.

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

Deadline: November 18, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Learn more about author Mary Amato and her books, visit her personal website!

 

Win a free copy of NIGHTMARES! (Elementary)

Jason Segel, multitalented actor, writer, and musician, teams up with New York Times bestselling author Kirsten Miller for the hilariously frightening, middle-grade novel NIGHTMARES!, the first book in a trilogy about a boy named Charlie and a group of kids who must face their fears to save their town.

Charlie Laird has several problems. 1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch. 2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark. 3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap. What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.

Random House Children’s Books is giving away 200 copies of NIGHTMARES! and a NIGHTMARES! classroom kit. All you need to do is read it and if you like it, send us a review quote that we can use. To enter to win, send an email to Schoolandlibrarymarketing@randomhouse.com with the subject line of “Nightmares! on TeachingBooks” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: November 28, 2014 or while supplies last (Open to U.S. addresses)

For more information about the book, the authors and for activities and videos check out the book website!

 

blackiceWin a free copy of BLACK ICE and a free copy of AFTERWORLDS (High School)

Win two of the hottest teen titles from best-selling authors Becca Fitzpatrick and Scott Westerfeld!

BLACK ICE takes readers on a heart-pounding journey through the beautiful snowy mountains of Wyoming…where danger lurks behind every corner.

AFTERWORLDS is a thought-provoking and suspenseful contemporary romantic novel-within-a-novel that you won’t want to put down.

Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing is giving away 10 copies each of Becca Fitzpatrick’s BLACK ICE and Scott Westerfeld’s AFTERWORLDS. To enter, e-mail Education.Library@SimonandSchuster.com with the subject line “Two Teen Titles” and please include your mailing address.

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

Watch videos related to AFTERWORLDS, and videos related to BLACK ICE created by Simon & Schuster!

 

Win a free copy of THE SANTA TRAP (Elementary)

Bradley Bartleby is bad. Very bad. All the adults in Bradley’s life are running scared – except for Santa Claus, who refuses to give him anything but socks. Outraged, Bradley hatches a dastardly plan that could ruin Christmas!

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 copies of this Christmas story with a twist!

Enter to win your copy by sending an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line “Santa Trap Giveaway” and please include your mailing address. No PO Boxes, please.

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

Have you ever wanted to catch Santa? So has author Jonathan Emmett! Check out his video!

 

Win a free signed copy of FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR! (Middle School)

Science fact meets science fiction in FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR, the first book in a new middle-grade series from New York Times bestselling team Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs. Combining real science (and robots) with adventure and humor, this series encourages children to question the way things work, and discover how they, too, can experiment with science.

Abrams Amulet is giving away 3 signed copies of FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR. To enter to win, send an email to lmihalick@abramsbooks.com with the subject line “Frank Einstein signed book giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

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

Have fun across the curriculum with this lesson plan from Abrams!

 

DidIEverTellYouWin a free copy of DID I EVER TELL YOU HOW LUCKY YOU ARE? book app! (Elementary)

This classic book provides the perfect antidote for readers of all ages who are feeling a bit down in the dumps. Thanks to Dr. Seuss’s trademark rhymes and signature illustrations, readers will, without a doubt, realize just how lucky they truly are. It’s a great way to bring laughter and gratitude to your entire family.

In honor of Thanksgiving, Oceanhouse Media is giving away 5 promo codes for Dr. Seuss’s DID I EVER TELL YOU HOW LUCKY YOU ARE? digital book app for iOS! To enter to win, please send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Lucky Giveaway.” No need to send mailing addresses; the prize is digital only.

Deadline: November 30, 2014 (Open to everyone)

Preview the book app from Oceanhouse Media!

 

MySELF Bookshelf SetWin a free complete set of the MySELF Bookshelf Series (Elementary)

MySELF Bookshelf (12 titles) is a delightful collection of illustrated stories that encourage social awareness, self-worth, and strong relationships with family and friends. These have been found to be key components in developing social and emotional learning skills at a young age.

Norwood House Press is giving away the complete series of MySELF Bookshelf (12 titles). To enter to win, send an email to info@norwoodhousepress.com with the subject line “MySELF Bookshelf” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: December 1, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Each book contains a Reader’s Theater script and correlations to the Common Core!

 

Win a free copy of RAIN REIGN (Middle School)

In her most powerful novel yet, Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin tells the story of a girl with mental/emotional challenges and the dog she loves.

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is giving away 10 copies of RAIN REIGN by Ann M. Martin. To enter to win, send an email to katie.halata@macmillan.com with the subject line of “TeachingBooks.net Rain Reign Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: December 1, 2014 (Open to U.S and Canadian addresses)

Facilitate conversations about the book with these discussion questions from Macmillan!

 

Win a free copy of THE MAYFLOWER (Elementary)

THE MAYFLOWER is a beautifully illustrated picture book that narrates the historic journey of the 102 passengers aboard the Mayflower and their settlement at Plymouth Harbor. Dramatic gouache paintings fill this story with warm color and detail. A timeline lists the sequence of events and elaborates on the evolution of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Holiday House is giving away 5 copies of THE MAYFLOWER. To enter to win, send an email to achurchward@holidayhouse.com with the subject line of “Mayflower giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: December 5, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Improve student engagement with these classroom activities from Holiday House!

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Bloggers: Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning author, Jen Bryant, and award-winning illustrator, Melissa Sweet as our featured guest bloggers.

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

 

Jen Bryant (left, photo by Amy Dragoo) and Melissa Sweet (right)

 

Creating The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet, the awarding winning author-illustrator team that brought readers A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Knopf, 2013) and A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams (Eerdmans, 2008), respond to questions about their latest splendid collaboration, a picture book biography titled The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus (Eerdmans, 2014).

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  • What was the most surprising thing you discovered about Peter Mark Roget in the course of your research on the book?

Jen Bryant (author): For me, it was the sheer number of fields in which Roget developed a working knowledge, and in which he also had significant influence. Roget was interested in just about everything and wrote papers, articles, and books on subjects ranging from botany to mathematics and optics to public health. Today, when most people super-specialize in a field or a skill set, this may seem unfocused. But in Roget’s time, when there was no such thing as a professional scientist, this broad intellectual life was encouraged and admired.

Melissa Sweet (illustrator): There were many surprises. The first one was discovering how delicate Peter Roget’s original wordbook is. It’s diminutive and the pages are of very thin paper. I expected a big clunky ledger-sized book filled with lovely cursive lettering, but Roget’s handwriting was hard to read. In all my research, this is the most thrilling primary source I ever held in my hands.

Another surprising moment was when I got a copy of the original Thesaurus and saw how Roget classified his words. For a logophile, seeing his taxonomy is as good as it gets.

 

  • What was the most difficult part of creating The Right Word?

JB: There were many tough decisions to be made all along the way, but most books require those. With this one, there were also a few fun anecdotes that ultimately I didn’t have room to include. For example, Roget became very nervous before a particular social event, where he knew there would be lots of small talk, strangers to meet, and (gulp!) dancing. He was not good at the first two, and he had never tried the third. He paced and counted his steps and changed his clothes a few times before forcing himself to go to the party where, as it turns out, he discovers he loves to dance and is also very good at it.

MS: Deciding on which words to use in my collages was the most difficult for me. The word lists in the art had to make sense for whatever age he was in the art. So putting myself in Roget’s shoes, I walked through a local park taking notes—what might he see and what would that list look like?

Using the 1852 Thesaurus exclusively for inspiration, it was still hard to narrow down which words to choose—I would get lost in the book for countless hours. My copy is completely falling apart!

 

  • What was the most enjoyable aspect of creating The Right Word?

MS: For years I’ve saved ephemera for “some day” and this was that day. It was fun and liberating. I prefer just to use the images as they are—the colors and texture of the old paper become part of the art. If I had made color copies of those images, it would not have been the same.

But on a larger scale, this had to have been one of the most collaborative books I’ve ever worked on. There was more than one conference call with my comrades: Jen, art director Gayle Brown, managing editor Kathleen Merz, and publisher Anita Eerdmans. Everyone contributed to the zillion details that went into this biography. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects.

JB: I have to agree with Melissa about collaboration. Having a small group of people who knew each other well and who also cared deeply about the book, made the whole process much more enjoyable. We each had our individual, solitary roles to play, of course, but as we funneled those together, the project absolutely became a team effort. I used to do a lot of distance running, and our process for this book reminded me more of a cross-country relay than a lonely marathon.

 

  • What is your favorite entry in Roget’s original Thesaurus?

JB: Having lived with Roget for the duration of this project, I believe he relied a great deal on personal courage. And even though he lived at a different time, in a different place, and under very different social and economic circumstances than our previous biographical subject, Horace Pippin, I do think they share this trait. Roget’s entry in the Thesaurus for 861. COURAGE. [absence of fear] includes a plethora of words and phrases, and when I read them, I feel as if he must have evoked them himself on many occasions. My favorite (when used as a verb, to be courageous): “march up to the cannon’s mouth.”

MS: Roget’s entries begin with 1. EXISTENCE and end with 1000. TEMPLE. That alone is food for thought. To my mind, his entries and synonyms read like poetry, but I’m partial to the phrases he included, especially the one for 845. BEAUTY, which reads: “To snatch a grace beyond the rules of art.” It’s so evocative. I’m still thinking about that one.

A preliminary sketch of Roget and his Latin list

Final illustration of Roget and his Latin list

 

  • Any thoughts now that the book is in your hands?

MS: I like imagining Roget getting together with his polymath pals, Erasmus Darwin, William Wordsworth, and other scientists after a night of lectures at the Royal Society. What did they talk about? (What did they not talk about?) I would’ve given anything to be there.

JB: I’d love to bring Roget forward to see how he’d react to our modern world. Would he become more of a specialist? (I hope not!) Would he join a scientific or linguistic think tank? Perhaps he would install himself at a liberal arts college and teach Physiology, French, Public Health, Botany and Math. It’s fun to imagine how he’d interact with Google. I do believe he’d be incredulous (dazed, stunned, flabbergasted, overcome) at the profound and lasting impact of his Thesaurus. Melissa and I would be the first two in line to thank him!

 

 Listen to Jen Bryant introduce and pronounce her name. 

See all available resources about Jen Byrant.

 

 

Listen to Melissa Sweet Introduce and pronounce her name.

See all available resources about Melissa Sweet.

 

 

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet. 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | October 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 Arto’s Big Move (Elementary)

Arto has lived in the snowy, cold North his whole life – and seven years is a long time. When his family moves down South, he has a hard time accepting it, until a new friend coaxes him out of his shell and shows him change doesn’t have to be so bad.

Owlkids Books is giving away 10 copies of Arto’s Big Move. To enter to win, send an email to marketingintern@owlkids.com with the subject line of “Arto’s Big Move giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: October 19, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

 To learn more about author Monica Arnaldo, visit her blog!

 

Win a free copy of Of Monsters and Madness (High School)

A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

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

Deadline: October 21, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

To learn more about author Jessica Verday, visit her personal website!

 

Win a free copy of Spooky Season from the Bramble and Maggie Series (Elementary)

Maggie and her beloved horse, Bramble, find autumn and Halloween a little spooky! All of the books in Jessie Haas’s adorable Bramble and Maggie Series are perfect for grades K-3.

Candlewick Press is giving away 5 copies of Spooky Season. To enter to win, send an email to SpookySeasonGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line of “Spooky Season” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: October 21, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

This curriculum guide has discussion questions and activity ideas for each book in the Bramble and Maggie Series!

 

Win a free copy of Be a Changemaker: How To Start Something that Matters (High School)

Be a Changemaker is a how-to guide for kids on taking action to make a positive difference in their communities and the world. It’s hands-on, practical, and has numerous examples of real teens who’ve created projects and organizations that make a real difference.

Simon Pulse/Beyond Words is giving away 3 copies of Be a Changemaker. To enter to win, send an email to ChangemakerGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line of “Changemaker” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: October 22, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

To learn more about author Laurie Ann Thompson, visit her personal website!

 

Win a free copy of Friendship Over (The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine) (Elementary)

Ten-year old Celie has quite a few things on her mind: fights with her sister Jo, secrets at school, an increasingly forgetful grandmother, and worst of all, a best friend who won’t speak to her. How can a girl who hates change survive when everything in her life is changing? Your students will love Celie’s heartfelt, realistic diary – the first in a fun new series for grades 3-5!

Boyds Mills Press is giving away 5 copies of Friendship Over (The Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine). To enter to win, send an email to CelieGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line of “Celie” and please include your mailing address.

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

Need ideas on how to incorporate Friendship Over in your classroom? Use this educator guide!

 

Win a free copy of Miles is the Boss of His Body (Elementary)

On his 6th birthday, Miles finds himself being pinched, noogied, hugged too tight and tickled by his well-intentioned family and decides he’s had enough! When Miles decrees that he is the “boss of his body,” his whole family expresses support and respect for his personal boundaries. In a colorful, comic-book style, young kids will laugh while learning this potentially life-saving concept that can benefit them for years to come.

The Mother Company is giving away 5 copies of Miles is the Boss of His Body. To enter to win, send an email to taylor@themotherco.com with the subject line of “Miles Giveaway” and please include your mailing address. Everyone who enters will be awarded 20% off the cover price and free shipping.

Deadline: October 24, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Find Common Core related activities in this teaching guide!

 

Win a free copy of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin book app (Elementary)

Join Spookley the Square Pumpkin in this special tale of diversity and self-acceptance that’s just right for Halloween… or any time of the year! Jump inside to find out how Spookley and the other pumpkins discover that being different can save the day!

In honor of Halloween and National Bullying Prevention Month, Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin digital book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Spookley Giveaway.”

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

Preview the book app!

 

Win a free copy of The Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream (Elementary)

Consider the dandelion, it lives life fully, flies with beauty, survives storms, endures darkness, and never gives up. It is one of nature’s greatest success stories. Like dandelions, each of us can make the world a brighter place. The trick is to bloom right where we are.

Dawn Publications is giving away 10 copies of The Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream. To enter to win, send an email to sandy@dawnpub.com with the subject line of “Dream contest” and please include your mailing address.

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

Find activities based on The Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream in this lesson plan!

 

Win a free copy of Double Reverse (Middle School)

The Franklin High Panthers need a new quarterback. Freshman Jesse Wagner knows the plays, but he feels he’s too small to lead the team. Blending exhilarating plays and poignant life lessons, Double Reverse chronicles one team’s inspiring journey in conquering expectations and seeing themselves, not for how they look, but for what they can achieve.

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 copies of this middle-reader chapter book—perfect for football season and reluctant readers! Enter to win by sending an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line of “Double Reverse Giveaway” and please include your mailing address. No P.O. boxes, please.

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

Listen to author Fred Bowen, pronounce and share the story of his name.

 

Win a free copy of Spooky House from the Billie B. Mystery Series (Elementary)

Billie B. Brown is back, using her smarts and common sense in a new mystery series. Like the original early reader Billie B. Brown series, the Billie B. Mysteries showcase teamwork and co-operation and demonstrate reasoning and problem-solving skills in appealing stories featuring true-to-life, engaging characters.

Kane Miller Books is giving away 10 copies of Sally Rippin’s Spooky House, a Billie B. Mystery. To enter to win, please send an email to lynn@kanemiller.com with the subject line of “Billie giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: November 11, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Learn more about author Sally Rippin’s books at the Billie B. Brown Series website!

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Robie Harris

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning author Robie Harris 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!

 

Robie Harris

Twenty Years Later: 

Still Challenging—Still Engaging—Still Relevant

 

For the past twenty years, people have been asking me how I came to write It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (Candlewick, 1994). It all began when an editor asked if I would be interested in writing a book for preteens and teens about AIDS. At the time, I didn’t know enough about AIDS to write a responsible book about the disease. But I surprised myself when I answered that what I would write was a comprehensive book that would answer almost every question this audience had about sexual health.

It would include the most up-to-date, scientifically accurate, and psychologically and age-appropriate information kids needed to know and/or wanted to know about sex to make healthy decisions, including information on HIV/AIDS. I also said that “writing honest” would matter, and that this meant not leaving out anything—in text or art.

What I didn’t know on the subject, I learned. Over the next few months I surveyed dozens of experts in the fields of child development, pediatrics, puberty and adolescence, reproduction, biology, gender, sexual orientation, and genetics. I also spoke to parents, librarians, teachers, healthcare professionals, and clergy. I asked them all the same question: “When it comes to sexual health, what information do kids and teens need to know to stay healthy and safe?” I also questioned my family and friends, which resulted in several anecdotes that I wove into the text. And it’s the same question I asked when I began books for younger children, including It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families (Candlewick, 1999).

IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL. Text Copyright © 1994, 2004, 2009 and 2014 by Bee Productions, Inc. Illustrations copyright © 1994, 2004, 2009 and 2014 by Bird Productions, Inc. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Once I had the information I needed, I began to write It’s Perfectly Normal. But presenting the facts in my voice, while it mattered, wasn’t enough. The voices of children needed to be heard. One day, the idea of two cartoon characters, BIRD and BEE, popped into my head. I saw the BIRD as the child who wants to know the answer to almost every question about sexuality and puberty—and the BEE as the kid who thinks that all of “this stuff about sex” is gross, but becomes fascinated by the science. My hope was that readers would identify with the duo and be drawn into the text. Once my draft and Michael Emberley’s art were finished, experts vetted both for accuracy. (The moment I saw Emberly’s pitch-perfect drawings I knew we were a team.)

Each time It’s Perfectly Normal and It’s So Amazing! have been reprinted, I’ve spent a chunk of time going back to find out what needed to be updated and asked the same question I did years ago. Fast forward to September 9th, 2014, the publication date of the 20th anniversary edition of It’s Perfectly Normal and the 15th anniversary edition of It’s So Amazing!  I spent nearly a year writing, rewriting, and talking with experts, while Michael Emberley was busy creating new and updated art where it was needed. It’s been challenging and fascinating.

Recently I’ve been asked what’s it’s like to work on a book that I began decades ago. The answer: for me, all books are works in progress. And since kids and teens are still reading It’s Perfectly Normal and It’s So Amazing!, I continue to believe—as does Michael Emberley and our wonderful editor, designer, and art director—that this audience deserves nothing less than the latest and best information on the subject.

I’ve also been asked about the changes made to the new editions. There’s more on how to find responsible information about sexuality online and the safe and responsible use of cell phones, tablets, and computers. There’s also new information on the dangers inaccurate or dated Internet sources can pose, including how they might lead to risky or unhealthy behaviors and/or outcomes. A broader definition of the term “gender” and the inclusion of transgender youth have been added.

These are only some of the many changes; if, in the future, additional information comes along that kids and teens need to know, we’re committed to making sure it’s available. And we’ll do that even if those new editions prompt the BIRD to say, “Whoopee! More information!” and the BEE to say, “Oh-hhh, no-ooo… Too-ooo much information….”

 

 

Listen to Robie Harris introduce and pronounce her name.

See all available resources for Robie Harris.

 

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Robie Harris.

IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL. Text Copyright © 1994, 2004, 2009 and 2014 by Bee Productions, Inc. Illustrations copyright © 1994, 2004, 2009 and 2014 by Bird Productions, Inc. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

IT’S SO AMAZING. Text Copyright © 1999, 2004 and 2014 by Bee Productions, Inc.  Illustrations copyright  © 1999, 2004 and 2014 by Bird Productions, Inc. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | September 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 Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age (Middle School)

A hilarious middle-grade novel about a misunderstood cave-boy perfect for fans of Ice Age, Happy Feet, The Time Warp Trio, and Platypus Police Squad.

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

Deadline: September 18, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Check out author David Zeltser’s personal website!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Nina Nandu’s Nervous Noggin plus an audio CD (Elementary)

Nina Nandu has just moved to a new neighborhood, and she does not want to go to a new school. “I’m waaay too nervous in my noggin,” she tells Granny Nandu. Young children will relate to Nina’s dilemma and delight in the solution. Nina Nandu’s Nervous Noggin focuses on the sound of the letter N. It is one of 26 titles in the award-winning Animal Antics A to Z series.

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

Deadline: September 23, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Listen to an audio excerpt from the CD narrated by author Barbara deRubertis! 

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Prairie That Nature Built (Elementary)

This book combines a child’s sense of wonder with an accurate and beautifully illustrated portrayal of the prairie ecosystem. It will help children of all ages understand the interconnectedness of the animals and plants found on the Great Plains and make them want to go experience it for themselves! Back matter offers information and activities for a fuller appreciation of this marvelous, disappearing habitat.

Dawn Publications is giving away 10 copies of The Prairie That Nature Built. To enter to win, send an email to sandy@dawnpub.com with the subject line of “Prairie Book contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: September 19, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Learn more about illustrator Cathy Morrison in this interview!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Dojo Daycare plus a poster (Elementary)

Kaboom, kapow! Mayhem ensues in rollicking rhyme and rhythm when a group of young ninjas arrives at daycare. This is an unbeatably boisterous read-aloud.

Owlkids Books is giving away 10 copies of Dojo Daycare, each with a reading-themed ninja poster. To enter to win, send an email to marketingintern@owlkids.com with the subject line of “Dojo Daycare giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: September 21, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Keep your eye on the personal website of author Chris Tougas!

 

 WIN A FREE COPY of It’s Perfectly Normal 20th Anniversary Edition (Middle School)

The definitive book about puberty and sexual health for today’s kids and teens, now fully updated for its twentieth anniversary. “This thoughtful, innovative, and comprehensive book helps children with issues that are on their minds anyway — and gives all of us the language we need to share with them.” — T. Berry Brazelton, MD

Candlewick Press is giving away 15 hardcover copies of It’s Perfectly Normal 20th Anniversary Edition. To enter to win, send an email to anne.irza-leggat@candlewick.com with the subject line of “It’s Perfectly Normal Contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: September 25, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Author Robie Harris shares the history of It’s Perfectly Normal in her Guest Blog post!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Pickin’ Peas (Elementary)

August House is giving away 5 free copies of Pickin’ Peas by the award winning author, Margaret Read MacDonald to celebrate the September release of this folktale from the American South.

To enter to win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com  with the subject line of “Pickin’ Peas,” and write 2 sentences about how you plan to use this picture book in your school. Please include your mailing address. 

Deadline: September 29, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Illustrator Pat Cummings shares her inspiration in this interview!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull (Elementary)

This Halloween, Charlie and Tommy have big plans: First they’re going to win the school costume contest, and then they’re going to eat candy and pizza until they puke! Charlie is thrilled…until he hears that they’ll be watching the scariest horror movie ever. Charlie loves costumes, candy, and sleepovers with his friends, but he absolutely hates horror movies.

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 copies of this hilarious chapter book—perfect for Halloween and reluctant readers! Enter to win by sending an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line of “Squeaking Skull Giveaway” and please include your mailing address. No PO Boxes, please.

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

Explore author Bill Harley’s personal website!

 

howibecameapirateWIN A FREE COPY of the How I Became a Pirate Book App! (Elementary)

Join young Jeremy Jacobs in this interactive book app as he becomes a pirate on Braid Beard’s ship! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Jeremy learns all about being a pirate—from buried treasure to sea chanteys, and pirate talk—but soon finds out what pirate don’t do: no tucking kids in and no bedtime stories! Will Jeremy remain a pirate or will he return home in time for soccer practice?

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

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

Preview this engaging book app!

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Sylvia Long

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning illustrator Sylvia Long 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!

Sylvia Long
Photo © Martha Carlisle

Sources of Inspiration

by Sylvia Long

My interest in the natural world began early. It stemmed from my mother’s infectious excitement on hearing the song of an oriole, then finding its intricate hanging nest at the top of a nearby cottonwood tree. And from my father’s comments on the geology of the landscapes streaming past our car windows on our annual summer vacations—the alluvial fans, volcanic cones, scarp and dip slopes, and the forces that created them billions of years ago. My father also taught us the names of constellations and studied the bark of trees during our woodland walks.

It’s second nature for me now to scan the sky for raptors, trees and bushes for songbirds, and tall grass for a katydid or praying mantis. A walk on the beach or by a stream always ends with my pockets heavy with shells or interesting rocks.

Illustrating nonfiction picture books is a perfect fit for me. Almost as much as drawing and painting them, I enjoyed researching all the various eggs, seeds, butterflies, and rocks for Dianna Hutts Ashton’s An Egg is Quiet (2006), A Seed is Sleepy (2007), A Butterfly is Patient (2011), and A Rock is Lively (2012, all Chronicle Books). The most fascinating thing I’ve learned is how complex nature is and how much is yet to be discovered.

Sylvia Long’s Studio
Photo © Dennis Nessler

Most of my days are spent in my studio. The view from my desk includes an orange and a pear tree, grape vines, a koi pond, and many hungry and thirsty birds and cottontails scurrying about. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a reference library as well as dozens of boxes of natural treasures.

Reference Library

Some of these seeds ended up in A Seed is Sleepy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 An Egg is Quiet includes my ostrich egg and the Anna’s Hummingbird nest, which I discovered just outside my son’s bedroom window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These rocks from my collection can be found in A Rock is Lively. Clockwise from upper left: chrysanthemum rock, granite, sandstone, chrysocolla, and quartz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most recent addition to the series, Nests Are Noisy, will be published in 2015. If you discover an oriole’s nest in that book, you’ll know what inspired it.

 

 

Listen to Sylvia Long introduce and pronounce her name.

 See all available resources for Sylvia Long

 

 

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Sylvia Long. Images courtesy of Sylvia Long, Martha Carlisle and Dennis Nessler. 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | August 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 Evil Fairies Love Hair (Middle School)

Ali just needs to raise a flock of two-inch-tall fairies to be granted a wish. Easy, right? Unfortunately, things get “hairy” in this fun middle-grade fantasy.

Clarion Books is giving away 5 copies of Evil Fairies Love Hair by Mary G. Thompson. To enter to win, send an email to evilfairybook@gmail.com with the subject line “Hairy Fairies” and please include your mailing address. 

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

Deepen student understanding of character development with this Readers’ Theater script!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of My Zombie Hamster (Middle School)

My Zombie Hamster is a laugh-out-loud funny middle-grade debut. Matt’s parents give him a fluffy little mammal for Christmas, a hamster called Snuffles. But the hamster isn’t all that cute — at least not after part of its cheek and belly fall right off — without bothering it a bit!

Egmont USA is giving away 5 Advanced Reader Copies of My Zombie Hamster by Havelock McCreely. To enter to win, send an email to  michellebayuk@egmont.com with the subject line of “My Zombie Hamster on TeachingBooks.net” and please include your mailing address.

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

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child and Watch Out, Hollywood! More Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child (Middle School)

In these funny books, Charlie C. Cooper, fashion trailblazer and reformed bully, navigates the social minefields of middle school. Will she be able to do the right thing, even if it costs her popularity?

HarperCollins is giving away 3 sets of both books in the series: Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child and Watch Out, Hollywood! More Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child by Maria T. Lennon. To enter to win, send an email to CharlieGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line “Middle Child” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: August 22, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Use this CCSS-aligned Discussion Guide for both books in the series!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Three-Ring Rascals #1: The Show Must Go On! (Elementary)

The Show Must Go On!, now in paperback, is the first book in the Three-Ring Rascals series by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise. In their trademark style, bursting with humor and wordplay complemented by illustrations, documents, and graphics, The Show Must Go On! introduces a cast of talking animals in the friendliest and funniest family circus in the world.

Algonquin Young Readers is giving away 10 copies of The Show Must Go On! To enter to win, send an email to algonquinyr@algonquin.com with the subject line of “Three Ring Rascals giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: August 18, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Find Common Core related activities in this Educator Guide!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Dear Panda (Elementary)

With a little help from her neighbor, a panda from the zoo next door, Florence makes a friend at her new school. This quiet story about finding the confidence to make new friends is the antidote to many back-to-school anxieties.

Owlkids Books is giving away 10 copies of Dear Panda. To enter to win, send an email to marketingintern@owlkids.com with the subject line “Dear Panda giveaway” and make sure to include your mailing address.

Deadline: August 24, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Check out Miriam Latimer’s Personal Website!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher, plus a bonus copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Middle School)

Enter to win a free copy of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson, a whip-smart retelling of the Mark Twain classic, written from the point of view of Tom’s supposed love interest, Becky Thatcher. Plus, you’ll also get a free copy of our fresh new redesign of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Compare notes and pick a side!

Simon & Schuster is giving away 25 copies of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher and 25 copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. To enter to win, send an email to Education.Library@simonandschuster.com with the subject line “Becky Thatcher Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

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

Explore the elements of fiction with this CCSS-aligned Curriculum Guide!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast (Elementary)

Celebrate summer with Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast. Students (and teachers!) will love this charming collection of coastal-themed poems from award-winning children’s singer, songwriter, and poet Eric Ode.

Sasquatch Books is giving away 15 copies of Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast. To enter to win, send an email to kreingold@sasquatchbooks.com with the subject line of “Sea Star Wishes Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

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

Students can analyze each poem with these Activities!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Lost and Found (Elementary)

When Justin loses the special hat his grandmother made for him, he looks everywhere he can think of to find it. Everywhere, that is, except the lost and found. Mr. Rumkowsky, the old school custodian, is the keeper of all the lost and found items, and everyone is afraid of him, including Justin.

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 copies of Lost and Found — just in time for the start of a new school year!  To enter to win, send an email to niki@peachtree-online.com with the subject line “Lost & Found Giveaway” and please include your mailing address. (No P.O. Boxes, please.)

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

Check out this Interview with illustrator Adam Gustavson, which is full of his artwork!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry (Elementary)

August House is giving away 5 free copies of A Natural Man: The True Story of John Henry by the award-winning author, Steve Sanfield, to celebrate the September release of this timeless story. 

To enter to win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line “John Henry” and write two sentences about how you plan to use this classic picture book in your school. Please include your mailing address.

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

Hear Steve Sanfield share the history of his name

 

ThingsYouCanDo_promo_iPad_01WIN A FREE COPY of Oh, the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You! Book App (Elementary)

Join the Cat in the Hat as he teaches Dick and Sally all about the basics of healthy living! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Kids will love learning about a broad range of topics including getting enough exercise and sleep, the distance and speed of a typical sneeze, healthy eating, hygiene, drinking water, brushing teeth, and more through a Seussian-rhyming interactive story.

Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of Oh, the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You! book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Oh, the Things You Can Do Giveaway”.

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

Preview this fun and interactive Book App on healthy living!  

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Swamp Where Gator Hides (Elementary)

The Swamp Where Gator Hides is a fun tale about a gator who hides, still as a log. Only gator’s watchful eyes are able to be seen in the swamp. Taking place in the Florida Everglades, this subtropical climate provides ideal conditions for alligators, dabbling ducks, red bellied turtles, cottonmouth snakes, bullfrogs, white deer, great egrets, bobcats, sunfish and more. Who will gator have for lunch today?

Dawn Publications is giving away 10 copies of The Swamp Where Gator Hides by Marianne Berkes. To enter to win, send an email to sandy@dawnpub.com with the subject line of “The Swamp Where Gator Hides giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

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

Students will enjoy rhyme and rhythm with this Reader’s Theatre script!   

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Princess in Black, plus a free t-shirt (Elementary)

Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black.

Candlewick Press is giving away 5 copies of The Princess in Black, each with an adult T-shirt (size L) saying “This Princess Wears Black.” To enter to win, send an email to                                    anne.irza-leggat@candlewick.com with the subject line of “Princess In Black Contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: September 4, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Learn more about The Princess in Black in this Interview with the authors, Shannon and Dean Hale!