Borrowed Names by Jeannine Atkins

nonfiction-mondayCindy: 100 Scope Notes is hosting today’s Nonfiction Monday blog round-up highlighting youth nonfiction and Travis has thrown down a creative challenge for us to blog a book in a Nontraditional way. He had a lot of intriguing (and hilarious ideas) in a recent video post of his own and I’m eager to see what he is doing today and what everyone else comes up with. I’ve been experimenting with the presentation video creation website, Animoto, to create a book trailer for Borrowed Names (Henry Holt, 2010). If you haven’t used the program before, it is relatively easy to do and produces professional looking video slide shows. A free basic account gets you a 30 second video with a limit of 12 or so slides. Paying $3, gets you an unlimited length and a few bonus features. There are annual subscriptions and free educator accounts–details on Animoto’s website.

Upload some images or short video clips, add some text boxes, select music from their files or add your own, and let them do the work to produce and render the video. Here’s my first book effort:

Create your own video slideshow at

Lynn: I am just back from a wonderful vacation – 2 weeks in Tuscany – and still jet lagged. I am in awe. Now you see why I work with Cindy. Not only does she manage the blog for 2 weeks by herself, she creates posts like this. I can’t wait to try to make one of these – just as soon as I figure out what time it is!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

6 Comments on "Borrowed Names by Jeannine Atkins"

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  1. Cindy, your tribute to the women of Borrowed Names brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for all the care, creativity, and risk-taking you put into this, so keeping within the spirit of the women I wrote about.

    I’m pretty dazzled and sometimes amused by all the creativity Travis’s challenge inspired! (and need to get back to work… no bee crossword puzzles yet)

  2.' Scope Notes says:

    Ha – this is great! The photos, the brief text, the music – I’m enjoying it all. I’ve gotta make one of these!

  3. Travis, thanks. The music was Little Brown Jug and it was written in 1869, two years after the women were born so I figured it was fitting. I have some 6th graders doing an award book presentation using technology this month and Animoto is one of the options we gave them. I’m using this as a sample for them.

  4. Cindy – I love this, especially the upbeat music and the way the images timed with the rhythm of the music. How did you find the music that was usable within fair copyright?
    Thanks so much for a fun, creative book trailer!

  5. Mary Ann, I’m not sure that I should divulge how easy this is before the voting today, but really, Animoto does the hard work of timing the photo movement and transitions. As to the music, they have a whole raft of music with rights by category, including contemporary songs that you can pick to add to your show. You can also upload your own music, but the program warns you about copyright. My secretary had a cd with a song played on Pa Ingalls’ fiddle that I was tempted to use, but didn’t have time to get permission to use it so I went with Little Brown Jug that was from the time period of the three mothers in the book.

  6.' Andy Kaiser says:

    Cindy, I’ve actually been looking for something like this for months for my own book project. Thanks for highlighting it and taking the time to make such a cool demo!


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