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Read Across America Separated from Seuss; Seuss Cuts Titles

Logo Read Across America

celebrate reading

Read Across America, sponsored by the National Education Association, is a chance to get kids excited about reading. The annual celebration has also historically been tied to the March 2 birthday of prolific picture book author Dr. Seuss. But after years of escalating criticism of Seuss’s books for racist and anti-Semitic themes, imagery, and tone, the NEA began carving out an identity for the day separate from Seuss. It focused on inclusion, designing an event to “create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers,” and cut its partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Today, Dr. Seuss Enterprises released a statement announcing it has cut six titles from the Seuss catalog, saying, “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

These are the titles no longer in circulation: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry StreetIf I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.

Moreover this year, President Biden broke with a tradition of mentioning Seuss’s name in his Read Across America statement, and a Virginia school district made a point of separating the day from Seuss. Amid rumors Seuss’s work had actually been banned from its libraries entirely, the Loudon County school district released a statement clarifying that they “continue to encourage our young readers to read all types of books that are inclusive, diverse and reflective of our student community, not simply celebrate Dr. Seuss.”

((For more on racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism in Dr. Seuss’s work, read this MUF article.))

 

STEM Tuesday — Natural Disasters — Book List

STEM Tuesday

 

Natural Disasters occur all around the world. Knowing how to prepare for them is important. But learning the science behind them is fun! So many books exist on natural disasters – this list is just a small piece of the iceberg.

Disaster Strikes

Five Epic Disasters (I Survived True Stories #1), by Lauren Tarshis – These are stories about the resilience of ordinary people who survived disasters. Experience the Children’s Blizzard of 1888, the Titanic, the Boston molasses flood, the 2011 Japanese tsunami, and a tornado. At the end of each story is a “disaster file” filled with facts and author’s notes.

 

 

 

Extreme Weather: Surviving Tornadoes, Sandstorms, Hailstorms, Blizzards, Hurricanes, and More! by Thomas M. Kostigen – What makes this book more than a catalog of disasters are the sidebars and activities. Each section contains a list of how to prepare and what to do during the weather emergency. Hands-on activities highlight how to make a rain shelter, collect rain in water barrels, ride a mudslide, and more.

 

 

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Rain: Real Tales of Temperamental Elements by Judy Dodge Cummings This narrative evaluation of five of the deadliest natural disasters in the U.S., (1) 1871 Fire Tornado in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, (2) 1888 Great Blizzard in New York, (3) 1889 Flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, (4) 1906 Earthquake/Fire in San Francisco, California, and (5) 1935 Dust Storms, also examines the human actions and reactions that made them worse.

 

FLOODS

 

 

Hurricane Harvey: Disaster in Texas and Beyond, by Rebecca Felix – Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast in August 2017. Between the wind and rain, it was one of the costliest disasters in US history. Chapters detail the storm’s impact, daring rescues, and the aftermath. Photos, maps, and sidebars accompany text, and back matter includes a “what to do” section.

 

 

Rising Seas: Flooding, Climate Change and Our New World, by Keltie Thomas; illus. by Belle Wuthrich and Kath Boake W. – From sunny-day flooding in Florida to Hurricane Sandy, cities are seeing more seawater in their streets. Sections highlight coastal areas around the world, keeping the focus on climate change.

 

 

AVALANCHE!

 

 

The Science of an Avalanche (Disaster Science), by Carol Hand – The first chapter tells the story of a historic avalanche. Following chapters go into what causes avalanches, what happens inside an avalanche, affects of a changing climate, and avalanche prevention.

 

 

 

Avalanches (Earth in Action), by Wendy Lanier – You expect avalanches in ski resorts, but not in your backyard. And yet snow slides happen in places where people live. This book opens with the story of the Cordova, Alaska avalanche in 2000. Other chapters discuss where avalanches happen, forecasting them, and strategies for living with them.

 

 

WIND

 

The Tornado Scientist: Seeing Inside Severe Storms by Mary Kay Carson – This engaging book, loaded with captivating science, photos, and illustrations, follows scientist Robin Tanamachi and her storm chasing meteorology team as they track tornados, have harrowing misses, and ultimately seek an earlier way to identify tornados and save lives. Includes detailed information on the current status of the science, the study of raindrops, and the devastation of historic tornados.

 

 

When the Sky Breaks: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World by Simon Winchester  – A fascinating evaluation of the history, formation, development of the categorization standards, and devastating effects of tropical storms and tornadoes. As well as nature’s “continued upper hand” when it comes to the weather.

 

Eye of the Storm: NASA, Drones, and the Race to Crack the Hurricane Code by Amy E. Cherrix  – Opening with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it evaluates hurricane formation, NASA’s efforts to decode & predict hurricanes, the creation and use of the Global Hawk drone, the political and physical costs of hurricanes and cyclones, and what it takes to be a successful scientist. It includes remarkable photographs, practical suggestions, and resources.

 

EARTHQUAKES & WILDFIRE

 

 

Extreme Earthquakes and Tsunamis (When Nature Attacks) by John Farndon – In a browsable format, stunning photographs of the science and effects of earthquakes and tsunamis combine with maps, diagrams, and charts to explore some of history’s worst earthquakes and tsunamis. As well as a look at the science behind predicting them.

 

 

Preparing For Disaster, Engineering Solutions . . . Series (Rosen) – What is the role of engineering in natural disasters? Earthquakes: After exploring the science of earthquakes and subsequent soil liquification, this book examines the engineering elements of software, structural design, materials, and location necessary to construct and create earthquake resistant buildings. Includes a preparedness section and numerous additional resources. Wildfires: includes the engineering behind predicting, preventing, and using technology in dealing with fires. [Other titles include: Hurricanes, Floods and Tsunamis, & Droughts].

 

Extreme Wildfire: Smoke Jumpers, High-tech Gear, Survival Tactics, and the Extraordinary Science of Fire by Mark Thiessen  – This is packed with stunning photographs of wildfires around the globe and the firefighters who battle them from the ground and the air. It also contains accounts of the training and harrowing experiences of firefighters, the science between the different types of wildfire, the ecology and need for fires, suggestions for living (adapting) to wildfires, a glossary, and fun “how to” sidebars.

 

 

HANDS ON

 

 

Earth Science Experiments (Experiments for Future Scientists) by Aviva Ebner  – Using household materials, 20 fun & interesting experiments explore natural disasters, climate, and geology. Each includes an introduction, list of supplies, safety notice, procedure, observation/recording graphs, and real life connections. A chart of the NCSC alignment is included.

 


STEM Tuesday book list prepared by:

Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. Bees, flies, squirrel behavior—things she observes in her neighborhood and around her home—inspire her writing. Her most recent book is 13 Ways to Eat a Fly. Visit her at www.sueheavenrich.com

 

Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a judge for the Cybils Awards from 2017 to present. And a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, 2016, and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at www.mariacmarshall.com

March New Releases

It’s almost spring, and books are blooming! With topics ranging from spirits to spies and poetry to pie, here are some new releases we’re sure you’ll enjoy. We’d love to hear about your favorite March releases in the comments section.

 

Golden Gate (City Spies Book 2) by James Ponti

After thwarting a notorious villain at an eco-summit in Paris, the City Spies are gearing up for their next mission. Operating out of a base in Scotland, this secret team of young agents working for the British Secret Intelligence Service’s MI6 division have honed their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t. Fourteen-year-old Sydney is a surfer and a rebel from Bondi Beach, Australia. She’s also a field ops specialist for the City Spies. Sydney is excited to learn that she’ll be going undercover on the marine research vessel the Sylvia Earle. But things don’t go exactly as planned, and while Sydney does find herself in the spotlight, it’s not in the way she was hoping.

Meanwhile, there’s been some new intel regarding a potential mole within the organization, offering the spies a lead that takes them to San Francisco, California. But as they investigate a spy who died at the Botanical Gardens, they discover that they’re also being investigated. And soon, they’re caught up in an exciting adventure filled with rogue missions and double agents!

 

Abby Tried and True by Donna Gephart

Fans of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise and Shouting at the Rain will love this heartwarming story of the bond between siblings from the award-winning author of Lily and Dunkin and The Paris Project.

When Abby Braverman’s best friend, Cat, moves to Israel, she’s sure it’s the worst thing that could happen. But then her older brother, Paul, is diagnosed with cancer, and life upends again.

Now it’s up to Abby to find a way to navigate seventh grade without her best friend, help keep her brother’s spirits up during difficult treatments, and figure out her surprising new feelings for the boy next door.

 

Violet and the Pie of Life by D.L. Green

Twelve-year-old Violet has two great loves in her life: math and pie. And she loves her parents, even though her mom never stops nagging and her dad can be unreliable. Mom plus Dad doesn’t equal perfection. Still, Violet knows her parents could solve their problems if they just applied simple math.

1. Adjust the ratio of Mom’s nagging to her compliments.

2. Multiply Dad’s funny stories by a factor of three.

3. Add in romantic stuff wherever possible

But when her dad walks out, Violet realizes that the odds do not look good. Why can’t her parents get along like popular, perfect Ally’s parents? Would it be better to have no dad at all, like her best friend, McKenzie? Violet is considering the data when she and Ally get cast in the school play, and McKenzie doesn’t–a probability that Violet never calculated. Maybe friendship and family have more variables than she thought.

Filled with warmth, math-y humor, and delicious pie, this heartfelt middle grade read is perfect for fans of The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl. Includes illustrated charts, graphs, and diagrams throughout.

 

The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save? Newbery Medalist, Linda Sue Park, explores different answers to this provocative question in linked poems that capture the diverse voices of a middle school class.

When a teacher asks her class what one thing they would save in an emergency, some students know the answer right away. Others come to their decisions more slowly. And some change their minds when they hear their classmates’ responses. A lively dialogue ignites as the students discover unexpected facets of one another—and themselves. With her ear for authentic dialog and knowledge of tweens’ priorities and emotions, Linda Sue Park brings the varied voices of an inclusive classroom to life through carefully honed, engaging, and instantly accessible verse.

 

The House That Wasn’t There by Elana K. Arnold

Alder has always lived in his cozy little house in Southern California. And for as long as he can remember, the old, reliable, comforting walnut tree has stood between his house and the one next door. That is, until a new family—with a particularly annoying girl his age—moves into the neighboring house and, without warning, cuts it down.

Oak doesn’t understand why her family had to move to Southern California. She has to attend a new school, find new friends, and live in a new house that isn’t even ready—her mother had to cut down a tree on their property line in order to make room for a second floor. And now a strange boy next door won’t stop staring at her, like she did something wrong moving here in the first place.

As Oak and Alder start school together, they can’t imagine ever becoming friends. But the two of them soon discover a series of connections between them—mysterious, possibly even magical puzzles they can’t put together. At least not without each other’s help.

 

The Dangerous Gift (Wings of Fire, Book 14) by Tui T. Sutherland

Snowfall didn’t expect to be queen of the IceWings at such a young age, but now that she is, she’s going to be the best queen ever. All she has to do is keep her tribe within IceWing territory, where it’s safe—while keeping every other tribe out, where they belong. It’s a perfect and simple plan, backed up by all the IceWing magic Snowfall can find. That is, until a storm of unidentified dragons arrives on her shore, looking for asylum. The foreigners are completely strange and, Snowfall is certain, utterly untrustworthy. But as she escorts the miserable new tribes out of her kingdom, Snowfall is forced to reconsider her plan. Maybe she can only keep her tribe safe . . . if she’s willing to risk everything.

 

Charlie Thorne and the Lost City by Stuart Gibbs

Charlie Thorne is a genius. Charlie Thorne is a fugitive. Charlie Thorne isn’t even thirteen. After saving the world, Charlie is ready to take it easy in the Galapagos Islands. That is, until she’s approached by the mysterious Esmeralda Castle, who has a code she knows only Charlie can decipher. In1835, Charles Darwin diverted his ship’s journey so he could spend ten months in South America on a secret solo expedition. When he returned, he carried a treasure that inspired both awe and terror in his crew. Afterward, it vanished, never to be seen again . . . But Darwin left a trail of clues behind for those brave and clever enough to search for it.

Enter Charlie Thorne. In a daring adventure that takes her across South America, Charlie must crack Darwin’s 200-year-old clues to track down his mysterious discovery—and stay ahead of the formidable lineup of enemies who are hot on her tail. When an ancient hidden treasure is at stake, people will do anything to find it first. Charlie may be a genius, but is she smart enough to know who she can trust?

 

Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Following the events of the bestselling graphic novel, Sheets, Delicates brings Brenna Thummler’s beloved characters, artwork, and charm back to life. Marjorie Glatt’s life hasn’t been the same ever since she discovered a group of ghosts hiding in her family’s laundromat. Wendell, who died young and now must wander Earth as a ghost with nothing more than a sheet for a body, soon became one of Marjorie’s only friends. But when Marjorie finally gets accepted by the popular kids at school, she begins to worry that if anyone learns about her secret ghost friends, she’ll be labeled as a freak who sees dead people.

Eliza Duncan feels invisible too. She’s an avid photographer, and her zealous interest in finding and photographing ghosts gets her labeled as “different” by all the other kids in school. Constantly feeling on the outside, Eliza begins to feel like a ghost herself. Marjorie must soon come to terms with the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids. Is it worth losing her friend, Wendell? Is she partially to blame for the bullying Eliza endures? Delicates is a story of asking for help when all seems dark and bringing help and light to those who need it most.

 

The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family by Sarah Kapit

When twelve-year-old Lara Finkel starts her very own detective agency, FIASCCO (Finkel Investigation Agency Solving Consequential Crimes Only), she does not want her sister, Caroline, involved. She and Caroline don’t have to do everything together! But Caroline won’t give up. When she brings Lara the firm’s first mystery—why did Dad burn the brisket he was making for Shabbat dinner? Lara relents, and the mysteries start piling up.

But soon, Lara and Caroline’s partnership starts to unravel. Caroline normally uses her tablet to talk, but now she’s mostly using it to text a new friend. Lara can’t figure out what the two of them are up to, but it can’t be good. And Caroline doesn’t like Lara’s snooping—she’s supposed to be solving other people’s mysteries, not spying on Caroline! As FIASCCO and the Finkel family mysteries spin out of control, can Caroline and Lara find a way to be friends again?

 

Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3) by Victoria Schwab

Victoria (“V. E.”) Schwab, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, invites readers to haunted New Orleans in this third installment of her thrillingly spooky City of Ghosts series!

Where there are ghosts, Cassidy Blake follows . . . Unless it’s the other way around? Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while traveling for her parents’ TV show. But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colorful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.

 

Amina’s Song by Hena Khan

In the companion novel to the beloved and award-winning Amina’s Voice, Amina once again uses her voice to bridge the places, people, and communities she loves—this time across continents.

It’s the last few days of her vacation in Pakistan, and Amina has loved every minute of it. The food, the shops, the time she’s spent with her family–all of it holds a special place in Amina’s heart. Now that the school year is starting again, she’s sad to leave, but also excited to share the wonders of Pakistan with her friends back in Greendale. After she’s home, though, her friends don’t seem overly interested in her trip. And when she decides to do a presentation on Pakistani hero Malala Yousafzai, her classmates focus on the worst parts of the story. How can Amina share the beauty of Pakistan when no one wants to listen?

 

All You Knead is Love by Tanya Guerrero

Sometimes you find home where you least expect it. Twelve-year-old Alba, who is half-Filipino and half-Spanish, doesn’t want to live with her estranged grandmother in Barcelona. She wants to stay with her mom, even if that means enduring her dad’s cutting comments to them both.

But in her new home, Alba forms a close relationship with her grandmother, gains a supportive father figure and new friends, and even discovers a passion and talent for baking. And through getting to know the city her mother used to call home, Alba starts to understand her mother better—and may just be able to make their family whole again.

 

Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki

Twelve-year-old Nozomi lives in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. She wasn’t even born when the bombing of Hiroshima took place. Every year Nozomi joins her family at the lantern-floating ceremony to honor those lost in the bombing. People write the names of their deceased loved ones along with messages of peace, on paper lanterns and set them afloat on the river. This year Nozomi realizes that her mother always releases one lantern with no name. She begins to ask questions, and when complicated stories of loss and loneliness unfold, Nozomi and her friends come up with a creative way to share their loved ones’ experiences. By opening people’s eyes to the struggles they all keep hidden, the project teaches the entire community new ways to show compassion.

Soul Lanterns is an honest exploration of what happened on August 6, 1945 and offers readers a glimpse not only into the rich cultural history of Japan but also into the intimate lives of those who recognize—better than most—the urgent need for peace.

 

We Belong by Cookie Hiponia Everman

Stella and Luna know that their mama, Elsie, came from the Philippines when she was a child, but they don’t know much else. So, one night they ask her to tell them her story. As they get ready for bed, their mama spins two tales: that of her youth as a strong-willed middle child and immigrant; and that of the young life of Mayari, the mythical daughter of a god.

Both are tales of sisterhood and motherhood, and of the difficult experience of trying to fit into a new culture and having to fight for a home and acceptance. Glorious and layered, this is a portrait of family and strength for the ages.

 

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules—like no making waves, avoid eating in public, and don’t move so fast that your body jiggles. And she’s found her safe space—her swimming pool—where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet.

Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life—by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.

 

The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan

It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States. The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.

A moving story of family separation and the importance of the connection between animals and humans, this novel has the enormous heart and uplifting humor that readers have come to expect from the beloved author of Counting by 7s.

 

Across the Pond by Joy McCullough

Callie can’t wait for her new life to start. After a major friendship breakup in San Diego, moving overseas to Scotland gives her the perfect chance to reinvent herself. On top of that, she’s going to live in a real-life castle! But as romantic as life in a castle sounds, the reality is a little less comfortable: it’s run-down, freezing, and crawling with critters. Plus, starting off on the wrong foot with the gardener’s granddaughter doesn’t help her nerves about making new friends. So, she comes up with the perfect solution: she’ll be homeschooled. Her parents agree, on one condition: she has to participate in a social activity.

Inspired by a journal that she finds hidden in her bedroom, Callie decides to join a birding club. Sure, it sounds unusual, but at least it’s not sports or performing. But when she clashes with the club leader, she risks losing a set of friends all over again. Will she ever be able to find her flock and make this strange new place feel like home?

 

These Unlucky Stars by Gillian McDunn

Ever since her mother left a few years ago, Annie has felt like the odd one out in her family. Her dad and brother are practical and organized—they just don’t understand the way she thinks, in lines and color. Everywhere she turns, she feels like an outsider, even at school, so she’s been reluctant to get close to anyone. When a Ding-Dong-Ditch attempt goes wrong, Annie finds herself stuck making amends with Gloria, the eccentric elderly lady she disturbed. As she begins to connect with Gloria and her weird little dog, it becomes clear that Gloria won’t be able to live on her own for much longer. But it’s this brief and important friendship that gives Annie the confidence to let people in and see how rich life can be when you decide to make your own luck and chart your own path to happiness.

In this heartwarming novel, acclaimed author Gillian McDunn shows us that even the most unexpected friendship has the power to change us forever.

 

Simon B. Rhymin’ by Dwayne Reed

Simon Barnes dreams of becoming a world-famous rapper that everyone calls Notorious D.O.G. But for now, he’s just a Chicago fifth grader who’s small for his age and afraid to use his voice. Simon prefers to lay low at school and at home, even though he’s constantly spitting rhymes in his head.

But when his new teacher assigns the class an oral presentation on something that affects their community, Simon must face his fears. With some help from an unexpected ally and his neighborhood crew, will Simon gain the confidence to rap his way to an A and prove that one kid can make a difference in his ‘hood?

 

 

Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field by Angela Ahn

Eleven-year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.

Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren’t quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once—he needs time to sketch out a plan.

 

Endling #3: The Only by Katherine Applegate

The thrilling conclusion to the epic middle grade fantasy trilogy from Katherine Applegate, the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan (now a major motion picture!), The One and Only BobWishtree, and Crenshaw!

In the beginning, Byx’s original quest was to discover if there were more of her kind, or if she was destined to become an endling—the last dairne alive. She did indeed find more dairnes, and along the way she also created allies among other creatures in her world, including humans, felivets, raptidons, and wobbyks. But Byx and her new friends soon learned that it wasn’t just dairnes in jeopardy of extinction, but that everyone was at risk. With the world in unprecedented danger, Byx must rally creatures of all kinds to lead a revolution.

 

Becoming Adapted for Young Readers by Michelle Obama

Michelle Robinson was born on the South Side of Chicago. From her modest beginnings, she would become Michelle Obama, the inspiring and powerful First Lady of the United States, when her husband, Barack Obama, was elected the forty-fourth president. They would be the first Black First Family in the White House and serve the country for two terms.

This volume for young people is an honest and fascinating account of Michelle Obama’s life led by example. She shares her views on how all young people can help themselves as well as help others, no matter their status in life. She asks readers to realize that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?