Posts Tagged children’s bookstores

STEM Tuesday– Award-Winning MG STEM Titles– Writing Tips & Resources

It’s “Award-Winning STEM Titles” month on STEM Tuesday!

Check out our book list for a great place to start diving into the award winners and this post for classroom ideas. But when approaching this month’s theme from a Writing Tips & Resources angle, I came up with one thing. One thing common to all award-winning books is they’re well written. I hear you screaming, “Captain Obvious.” I understand. “Write good books” is not the most helpful thing from a writing craft advice viewpoint but that’s all I got. 

It’s also the end of the year. Another pretty tough year for many. I hope you all are well and creating the things only you can create and taking things one day at a time.

In order to fulfill my STEM Tuesday duty and not find myself sent to the doghouse, here’s an “Award-Winning STEM Titles”-themed post (I used the term “themed” lightly).

As they used to say on Monty Python, “Now for something completely different.” A comic version of how I imagine a STEM Tuesday Award Show would go.

Thanks for supporting STEM Tuesday!

Enjoy all the award-winning middle-grade book lists. Use these lists as portals to find new authors and subject matter to explore. Remember one thing about book award lists, the books on award lists are almost always well-written but not all well-written books are fortunate enough to land on an award list. 

All we are saying…is give books a chance.

Doesn’t that sound like it should be a holiday song?

 

Mike Hays has worked hard from a young age to be a well-rounded individual. A well-rounded, equal opportunity sports enthusiast, that is. If they keep a score, he’ll either watch it, play it, or coach it. A molecular microbiologist by day, middle-grade author, sports coach, and general good citizen by night, he blogs about sports/training-related topics at  www.coachhays.com and writer stuff at  www.mikehaysbooks.comTwo of his science essays, The Science of Jurassic Park and Zombie Microbiology 101,  are included in the Putting the Science in Fiction collection from Writer’s Digest Books. He can be found roaming around the Twitter-sphere under the guise of @coachhays64 and Instagram at @mikehays64.

 


The O.O.L.F Files

This month’s Out Of Left Field (O.O.L.F.) Files highlight the award winners in STEM. 

  •  The Best of STEM Awards

      • There’s so much awesome to check out on this site. I’ve barely scratched the surface.
    • EDUCATORS CELEBRATE TOOLS THAT ENGAGE CRITICAL THINKING
      • “An award to finally put the spotlight on the innovative products, technologies, and services that are changing the world of STEM education. The Best of STEM Awards is the only award program created for and by teachers, and the winners will be determined by specially selected STEM educator judges and by email from fellow educators.”
    • The Best of STEM Awards 2021

  • SMART Scholarship Program

      • The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program, funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), is a combined educational and workforce development opportunity for STEM students.
      • Mission: The SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program enhances the DoD civilian workforce with innovative scientists, engineers and researchers across the United States.
      • Vision: SMART creates a highly skilled DoD STEM workforce that competes with the dynamic trends in technology and innovation to protect national security.
  • Finding the right book to read.

 


STEM Tuesday– Award-Winning MG STEM Titles– In the Classroom

This month, we’re looking at award winning books. I decided to look at the best STEM books I read this year. Turns out, they were all award winners in one way or another.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgBOMB: The Race to Build – and Steal – The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin (2012)

This is a nonfiction book that reads more like a novel. It was the recipient of numerous awards, including a Newbery Honor and the Robert F. Sibert Award.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe Superpower Field Guide: Beavers
by Rachel Poliquin (2018)

This is a superfun look at all things beavers. It was a Junior Library Guild selection and ALA Notable Book.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe Wisdom of Trees
by Lita Judge (2021)

The main text is written in poetry. Additional text on each page provides tons of amazing information about trees. Although presented as a picture book, it’s great for older readers. It’s on the New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021.

 

Here are some ideas for working with award-winning books.

Check Out The Awards Lists

Look through awards lists and pick out a few books to read. There are lots of them. Here are a few that often highlight STEM books. (This is a big reason why my to-read list only ever seems to grow.)

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books – https://www.nsta.org/ostb22
AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books – https://www.sbfprize.org
Green Earth Book Award – http://www.natgen.org/green-earth-book-awards#WINNERS2021
Mathical Book Prize – https://www.mathicalbooks.org
(Robert F.) Sibert Medal – for informational books – https://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/awardsgrants/bookmedia/sibertmedal/sibert-medal-honor-books-to-present_0.pdf
Bank Street Best of the Year – https://www.bankstreet.edu/library/center-for-childrens-literature/childrens-book-committee/best-childrens-books-of-the-year/2021-edition

Create Your Own Awards

Some of my favorite books were not award winners. Celebrate your own favorites by creating your own awards. These awards could be fun – Book Most Likely to Keep You Up At Night – or serious – Best STEM Book. You could try to pick one big award winner like the Newbery, or put together an award-winning list like the Bank Street book list.

Come up with the qualities that your award-winning books should have. If you have categories, determine what qualifies books to go in them.

Have everyone submit their pick for the award(s). Have them give a persuasive speech as to why their book should be the winner. Act like a jury or vote as in an election to determine the winners.

Weigh In On the Kids’ Book Choice Awards

Voting has already closed for this year, but be sure to check out the Kids’ Book Choice Awards starting in August. Here’s the link: https://everychildareader.net/choice/about


Janet Slingerland has written more than 20 nonfiction books for children, including the award-winning The Secret Lives of Plants! (Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Top 40 in 2013). For more information about Janet, check out her website at http://janetsbooks.com.

Just in time for the holidays! December New Releases!

Check out these awesome new titles for the middle-grade readers in your life. Purchase or pre-order through the links to Bookshop.org, or visit your local bookseller!

Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Perfection by Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr, Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers Release Date: December 7

Practice makes perfect, and Ben Yokoyama will settle for nothing less than perfection! A hilarious new Cookie Chronicles adventure that fans of Wimpy Kid or Dog Man will gobble up with gusto.

When Ben’s fortune cookie tells him that practice makes perfect, he refuses to settle for anything less. He demands better parents, superior hobbies, and a brand-new best friend, who might technically be a superhero.

The pursuit of perfection is thrilling until Ben is forced to give up the things he loves most–including baseball, personal integrity, and his dog’s enthusiastic kisses. Life lessons from a goldfish and a spine-tingling near-death experience help Ben realize that his flaws are also the keys to his greatest strengths–and that the people and things that make him happiest will always be perfectly imperfect.

Girl Giant and the Jade War by Van Hoang Published by Roaring Book Press Release Date December 7

In this sequel to Girl Giant and the Monkey King, Thom and her friends set off on a far-flung adventure to save the Heavens and the Jade Emperor from certain destruction.

Thom Ngoh thought the Monkey King was her friend―he taught her to control her super strength and to stand up for herself. But really he was just using her. He tricked her into stealing from the Heavens and releasing him from his 500-year prison. Now the Monkey King is waging a war against the Heavens and Thom must do everything in her power to fix the mess she made.

Determined to prevent a war, Thom and her dragon friend Kha set off on an adventure across the Heavens to search for allies. But with the stakes higher than ever, the price for help may be more than Thom is willing to pay. . .

This richly woven middle-grade fantasy series is full of humor, magic, and heart, and will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

Unikorn by Don Handfield and Joshua J. Malkin Published by Scoot Comics Release Date: December 7

Unikorn

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Chloe Coleman (MY SPY).

A middle schooler inherits an old horse from her long-lost mother she believes is a unicorn with a broken horn in this heartfelt coming-of-age story of hope, faith and magic.

Young Mae lost her mother in a tragic accident a few years back, although her mother’s body was never recovered from the raging river into which their car crashed. Mae is devastated because her father, now that enough time has elapsed for proof of death, must sell off his wife’s farm, along with her wild stallion Percy, who seems dangerous to anyone who comes near him. However, when Mae realizes that Percy is really a unicorn with amazing powers, she teams with a group of her young friends to save the creature from an age-old billionaire who sustains his life through unicorn blood — and who is now determined to get Percy in his clutches. But unless Mae can find Percy’s missing unicorn horn, and restore the full extent of his magical powers, it appears that he is doomed — unless Mae can pull off a last-minute miracle to save Percy from a terrible fate…

Katt Loves Dogg by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, published by jimmy patterson Release Date: December 13

In this funny and paw-some story, lifelong rivals Molly and Oscar are forced to team up and brave the great outdoors and help their families before it’s too late.

Wilderness adventurers and expert trackers Molly the katt and Oscar the dogg go camping with their families: parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles. One big reunion! It would be fun if there weren’t so many rules to follow at the campsite. ATTENTION KATTS AND DOGGS: No crossing the border, or you’ll be asked to leave the Eastern Wilderness Reserve. If you’re still alive.

Molly and Oscar must outsmart the rule-makers when they discover that their katt and dogg cousins have run away together–for reasons only Molly and Oscar will understand. Now the clever pair must find and warn their cousins before all four of them are in need of a serious rescue mission.

Escape from Atlantis by Kate O’Hearn Published by Aladdin, December 14

From the author of the Pegasus series comes a spellbinding first book in a new fantasy series for fans of Rick Riordan and Shannon Messenger following two cousins whose summer vacation gets swept away by a storm that lands them on the lost island of Atlantis.

The last way that Riley Evans wanted to spend spring break was studying whales on the family sailboat in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. With only her dad, aunt, and annoying cousin Alfie for company, she is so bored staring at the waves that she’s starting to see mermaids between them. But when their boat is capsized during a sudden storm, Riley finds more excitement than she bargained for as she and Alfie are washed ashore with neither of their parents in sight. Where they’ve been shipwrecked is no deserted island, though.

Atlantis is a place beyond imagination, inhabited by both people and incredible creatures ranging from unicorns and gargoyles to talking animals. But not everyone welcomes the cousins’ arrival, and beneath the wonder of this mythical land lurk dangerous secrets—something strange is happening to the inhabitants. What Riley wants more than anything is to find her father and go home. But the closer she gets to this goal, the more the islanders seem determined to keep her from reaching it.

As Riley and Alfie unravel the mystery of Atlantis and its most terrifying part, the Forbidden Zone, they realize that the clock is ticking. If they can’t learn what happened to their parents and find a way off the island soon, it may be too late to leave.

 

Pages & Co.: The Book Smugglers by Anna James, illustrated by Marco Guadalupi Published by Philomel Books Release Date: December 14

The fourth magical adventure in the nationally bestselling Pages & Co. series, starring Milo, the book smuggler. Perfect for fans of Inkheart and The Land of Stories.

Since he was six years old, Milo has lived on board the Sesquipedalian, or “Quip,” a magical train that uses the power of imagination to travel through both stories and the real world. Aboard the Quip, Milo lives and works with his uncle, Horatio, a book smuggler who trades in rare books.

When Horatio takes on a dangerous new job, he needs the help of Tilly Pages, a uniquely gifted book wanderer. But when Tilly’s grandfather and Horatio are poisoned by a mysterious copy of The Wizard of Oz and fall into a deep sleep, Milo and Tilly find themselves racing against time to save them. The friends must journey to the Emerald City with Dorothy, and eventually to Venice, Italy, to find out who is behind these strange poisonings.

Segregated Skies: David Harris’s Trailblazing Journey to Rise Above Racial Barriers by Michael H. Cottman Published by National Geographic Kids Release Date December 21

It was 1964 and black men didn’t fly commercial jets. But David Harris was about to change that …

After years of flying B-52 bombers in the United States Air Force, David Harris applied to be a pilot for commercial airliners, an opportunity no other African American before him—not even the famed Tuskegee Airmen—had ever been afforded. After receiving rejection after rejection, he finally signed on with American Airlines in 1964. But this success was just the beginning of another uphill battle for equal treatment.

It was the height of the civil rights movement, a time of massive protests as people struggled to end racial segregation and give Black people equal rights. As a light-skinned, light-eyed Black man, David was told by many people he could have passed for white. But he didn’t do that. Instead, he made the bold decision to disclose his race to his employers and fellow airmen. He had experienced discrimination throughout his life, but this was different. He now carried the pride of his family and the hopes of future Black aviators on his shoulders.

This gripping narrative, perfect for middle-grade readers and Black History Month, follows Harris’s turbulent path to become the first African-American commercial airline pilot in the U.S., presented against the backdrop of racial tensions, protests, and the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. It’s the story of a man who fought social injustice the only way he knew how—by succeeding.

 

Honest June by Tina Wells, illustrated by Brittney Bond Published by Random House Books for Young Readers Release Date: December 28

Middle school is hard—but it’s way harder when a fairy godmother puts you under a truth-telling spell!

June has always been a people-pleaser, telling harmless little lies to make her friends and family happy. She’s convinced being honest about her feelings will only hurt the people she loves!

Until out of nowhere, a secret fairy godmother appears to “bless” her with the ability to only tell the truth! Seriously?! As if June didn’t have enough to worry about!

Now, June has no choice but to be honest about how she feels. And the truth is: what June feels is stressed out. Middle school is no joke—between field hockey, friend drama, and her parents’ high expectations, June feels so overwhelmed that sometimes it’s hard to breathe.

When everything spirals out of control, will June find freedom in telling the whole truth and nothing but—or is she destined to battle the curse for the rest of her life?