Classroom Picks

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Three Picture Books for the Birds

Cindy: More snow. It’s for the birds, but at least it’s given me the opportunity to sneak in another snowy book as we look toward spring. Best in Snow (2017), by April Pulley Sayre, contains stunning photos of snowflakes and icicles. Various other forms of snow—from crusty to slushy—show the cycles of changing winter weather. Birds […]

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When reading books is a vital part of your job, it’s easy to love what you do. Of course, I don’t get to read books at work (unless it’s out loud at story time), but I still consider it a perk. As someone who works in a school, I might not get to leave the building to […]

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

Here in Chicago, students and teachers are still recovering from the World Series—among other things. Although I loved watching the playoffs this year, historically, I’ve preferred to experience baseball in book form. Growing up, baseball was the family sport. Hence, I’ve read my way through literally hundreds of baseball games, from t-ball to coach pitch to high school […]

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Every year, I debate whether or not to dress up for Halloween in the library. Every school is different of course, but at the one where I currently work, most students celebrate Halloween, and dressing up is part of school culture. At a pre-K–8 school, there’s a wide difference between what each grade level does for Halloween. […]

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

Is there any time more ripe with possibility and expectation than the beginning of a new school year? I’m brimming with ideas and excited to see students coming back. I must admit, however, that I’m less excited about library orientation: the same lesson over and over again, the listing of rules and expectations. If I […]

Miss Mary Reporting: A Middle-Grade Biography of Pioneering Sportswriter Mary Garber

Miss Mary Reporting: A Middle-Grade Biography of Pioneering Sportswriter Mary Garber

Lynn: Reading for Bookends is a very humbling job. I am always finding books about subjects I know nothing about—but should! Pioneering female sportswriter Mary Ellen Garber is a prime example. Thankfully, there’s Miss Mary Reporting: the True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber (2016) by Sue Macy. Born in 1916, Mary Ellen Garber loved sports. Much to her […]

Bad Arguments: Learning the Lost Art of Making Sense

Bad Arguments: Learning the Lost Art of Making Sense

Cindy: No matter your political affiliation, there’s nothing like an election year to bring out the bad logic. Lynn and I discovered The Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments: Learning the Lost Art of Making Sense (2014) by Ali Almossawi at BookExpo in May. Previously published online at Book of Bad Arguments, this edition is a delightful—and above […]

Summer Reading At Last!

Summer Reading At Last!

I realize that most people are probably in the thick of beach book extravaganzas, but here in Chicago, I’m only just beginning. Even though school let out a few of weeks ago (we’re a late finish here), I’ve been mired in end-of-year tasks Now that I’ve tidied the collection and closed out for the season, I’m finally […]

Super-Soaked Summer Fun with Scientist Lonnie Johnson

Super-Soaked Summer Fun with Scientist Lonnie Johnson

Cindy: The name Lonnie Johnson may not be familiar to everyone, but he should be. When I saw Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (2016) by Chris Barton in the Charlesbridge booth at BEA, I let out a whoop. I first learned about Johnson in the Capstone collective biography, African American Scientists (1996), and convinced our 6th-grade […]

Farm to Table to Picture Book: A Fun Food Education for Little Eaters

Farm to Table to Picture Book: A Fun Food Education for Little Eaters

Lynn: Just in time for Booklist‘s Spotlight on Crafts and Gardening is a book that is going to make a lot of teachers and librarians REALLY happy. On the Farm, At the Market (2016) by G. Brian Karas is perfect for the summer season and all those curriculum units on community, farms, and food production. […]