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STEM Tuesday
  • The Most Important Thing About Children's Books: For Readers and Writers During COVID-19
    The Most Important Thing About Children’s Books: For Readers and Writers During COVID-19
    May 20, 2020 by
    Last night, my son asked for something extraordinary. He requested I read him a goodnight story. From my shelves, I pulled out a picture book, The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. At first glance, this might not seem that unusual. Except my son is a ninth grade, a newly minted 15-year-old, and I couldn’t more proud. He wasn’t afraid to ask for what he needed– the comforting ritual of a bedtime story read aloud by a parent. He wasn’t embarrassed. His ears didn’t pinken. This wouldn’t have happened pre-COVID. Well, it would have but like six or seven years ago. This was not an isolated incident. My oldest son, who graduated from college last year and is a software engineer for a celebrated car company, is back home and after reading some non-fiction, picked up The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman. My son had first read this very book and the rest of His Dark Materials series when he was...
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  • Field of California poppies
    STEM Tuesday– Symbiotic Relationships– Writing Tips & Resources
    May 19, 2020 by
    The Writer’s Walk: Nurturing Creativity in Difficult Times Every day, as part of my writing process, I take a walk outside among Joshua Trees and, in spring, golden California poppies. Often a writing problem weighs on my mind: an opening that’s not quite right, a subplot that’s stumbling, a structure that’s just not working. As my feet pound the ground, my brain is only partially occupied by the scurrying rabbits and calling quail. My mind wanders just as I do. And in those moments I often have a breakthrough, an “aha moment” that leaves me eager to return to my manuscript. We are living during a difficult time when so many of us are encouraged to stay indoors to keep ourselves, our friends, and neighbors safe. Yet one thing we are still allowed to do is to go outside for exercise. And we need to. Humans have a symbiotic relationship with...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Symbiotic Relationships-- In The Classroom
    STEM Tuesday– Symbiotic Relationships– In The Classroom
    May 12, 2020 by
    As I write this post, my community is still under a Stay-At-Home order, and has been for several weeks. There has been a lot of debate about when and how we should open up different areas of the country. Communities are trying to balance the health of businesses and the economy with the health of people. In a way, the two interests are intertwined in a close and long-term relationship. Which is a lot like this month’s topic – symbiosis. Symbiosis is when two dissimilar organisms are closely associated with each other. Sometimes both benefit from the relationship. Other times, only one benefits. The books we’re highlighting this month dive into how symbiosis works. They are a great starting point for different sciences activities and discussions in the classroom. Natural Attraction: A Field Guide to Friends, Frenemies, and Other Symbiotic Animal,  by Iris Gottlieb Watercolor illustrations combine with a humorous,...
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  • STEM Tuesday-- Symbiotic Relationships-- Book List
    STEM Tuesday– Symbiotic Relationships– Book List
    May 5, 2020 by
    Symbiosis is a close and long-term biological relationship between two different species. Sometimes both benefit. Sometimes only one benefits. So you might want to study up before you develop that new “friendship” … Natural Attraction: A Field Guide to Friends, Frenemies, and Other Symbiotic Animal,  by Iris Gottlieb Watercolor illustrations combine with a humorous, scientific text to examine thirty-five odd and unusual symbiotic animal, plant, and bacteria relationships. It includes statistics, graphs, takeaways, and fun additional facts about mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.   Symbiosis, by Alvin Silverstein Photographs and a sprinkling of fun fact sidebars enhance the examination of plants, animals and fungi partnerships (both beneficial and necessary), symbiosis of numerous parasites and microorganisms (including Ebola and SARS), and the possibility of symbionts from space. The engaging text is supplemented with scientific terms, a glossary, and further research suggestions.   Partners in the Sea, by Mary Jo Rhodes and David...
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Contributors

Photo of Christine Taylor Butler

Christine Taylor Butler

Christine Taylor-Butler has been a prolific consumer of public
libraries from an early age. A consummate tinkerer it was deemed
advisable she study engineering at MIT for job security. Years later she made a break for the corporate door and delved into children’s literature hoping to write stories about talking animals when a sneaky editor at Scholastic conned her into writing non-fiction for children.…

Photo of Mary Kay Carson

Mary Kay Carson

Mary Kay Carson is the author of more than fifty books for kids and teachers about space, weather, nature, and other science and history topics. She has six titles in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s esteemed Scientists in the Field series, including Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard and Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt.

Photo of Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including her 2016 title, THE STORY OF SEEDS: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less To Eat Around The World, which earned the 2017 Green Earth Book Award and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia.…

Photo of Carolyn DeCristofano

Carolyn DeCristofano

Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano has been paid to stay overnight at a science center and has enjoyed her share of after-hours staff parties at museums, where she and her husband once won a prize for a costume modelled after the Boston Museum of Science’s Van der Graaf generator exhibit. Carolyn’s work is all about creating vivid science and engineering learning experiences—interactive exhibits, innovative teacher professional development programs, national curricula, and fresh, accessible, and sometimes quirky science and STEM books for kids.…

Photo of Mike Hays

Mike Hays

Mike Hays is from Kansas and is a tried and true flatlander by birth. He would most assuredly be obsessed with a statue of mysterious origins, especially if he could buy said statue on the cheap. He has worked as a molecular microbiologist for over 25 years, has coached high school sports, and writes middle-grade books.…

Photo of Sue Heavenrich

Sue Heavenrich

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. A long line of ants marching across the kitchen counter generated one of her first articles for kids. When not writing, you can find her committing acts of science from counting native pollinators to monitoring water quality of the local watershed.…

Photo of Karen Latchana Kenney

Karen Latchana Kenney

Karen Latchana Kenney loves to write books about animals, and looks for them wherever she goes—from leafcutter ants trailing through the Amazon rain forest in Guyana, where she was born, to puffins in cliff-side burrows on the Irish island of Skellig Michael. She especially enjoys creating books about nature, biodiversity, conservation, and groundbreaking scientific discoveries—but also writes about civil rights, astronomy, historical moments, and many other topics.…

Photo of Kirsten W. Larson

Kirsten W. Larson

Kirsten W. Larson used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes about both science and history for kids. She is the author of 25 nonfiction books, including the Robotics in Our World series (Amicus). Calkins Creek will publish her debut picture book, WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane (illus.…

Photo of Maria Marshall

Maria Marshall

Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She was a round 2 judge for the 2018 & 2017 Cybils Awards. And a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Two of her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2016 and 2014-2015 anthologies.…

Photo of Heather L Montgomery

Heather L Montgomery

Heather L. Montgomery writes for kids who are wild about animals. The weirder, the wackier, the better. An award-winning educator, Heather uses yuck appeal to engage young minds. She has a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in environmental education and has written a dozen nonfiction books including How Rude! Real Bugs Who Won’t Mind Their Manners (Scholastic) and her upcoming Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill(Bloomsbury).

Photo of Carla Mooney

Carla Mooney

Carla Mooney loves to explore the world around us and discover the details about how it works. An award-winning author of numerous nonfiction science books for kids and teens, she hopes to spark a healthy curiosity and love of science in today’s young people. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and dog. When not writing, she can often be spotted at a hockey rink for one of her kids’ games.…

Photo of Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that inspires kids to seek connections between science, literacy, and the environment. The recipient of the Green Earth Book Award and a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru Science Books and Films Award, her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists.…

Photo of Janet Slingerland

Janet Slingerland

Janet Slingerland grew up studying animals and conducting science experiments before pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. She spent 15 years writing code for things like submarines, phones, and airplanes before deciding to share her passion for knowledge and STEM with others. Janet now has more than 20 published books for readers in grades K through 12, including Explore Atoms and Molecules!…

Photo of Jennifer Swanson

Jennifer Swanson

Jennifer Swanson dreams of one day running away to the Museum of Science and Industry- then maybe she could look at all the exhibits and try out all the gadgets without competing for them with her kids. An author of thirty nonfiction science books for grades 3-6, Jennifer’s goal is to show kids that Science Rocks!…