YA – The Code for Love and Heartbreak

Cantor, Jillian. The Code for Love and Heartbreak. Inkyard Press, 2020. 978-335-09059-1. $18.99. 297 p. Grades 9 and up.

Emma Woodhouse thinks in numbers. For example, when her sister Izzy leaves for college all she can think about is the 2,764 miles that will be between them now while she’s at UCLA with her boyfriend, John. As she packs to leave, Izzy implores Emma to be more social in her senior year, maybe even get a boyfriend. Emma scoffs at this ridiculous idea, though, and decides just to focus on winning the New Jersey state coding competition with John’s younger brother and her friend George. With her coding skills, George’s graphic design and animation skills, and their senior leadership as co-captains, they think they have a real shot. Stanford would definitely take her seriously with that state championship on her resume. But even Ms. Taylor, her guidance counselor and coding club advisor suggests that Emma find more “social” activities to put on her resume because grades and coding club accolades won’t make her stand out at Stanford where thousands of brainy computer nerds apply. George wants to create a recycling app for the competition, but Emma decides she can accomplish both of her resume goals – win the state championship and do something more social – if they develop a unique dating app, one that mathematically pairs users with their perfect match right at their own school. It’s perfect – Emma can play matchmaker for all the school dances without actually going on dates herself in order to check off that “social” box on her resume, win the state coding competition, and ride off into the sunset at Stanford. “Numbers don’t play games,” as Emma explains, so what could go wrong, right?

THOUGHTS: Based on Jane Austen’s classic Emma, this book definitely fills a specific need in YA collections. Reluctant readers who are more into math and science will find this lighthearted romance enjoyable. Also recommended for students looking for a PG-rated romance with no cursing or sex, aside from an instance of some boys who try to use the dating app for the wrong reasons.

Realistic Fiction          Sarah Strouse, Nazareth Area SD

Elem. – Silly Measurements

Cella, Clara. Silly Measurements. Capstone, 2020. $21.99 ea. $87.96 set of 4. Unpaged. Grades PreK-1. 

How Many Ducks Could Fit in a Bus? Creative Ways to Look at Volume. 978-1-9771-1324-5.
How Many Flamingos Tall Is a Giraffe? Creative Ways to Look at Height. 978-1-9771-1322-1.
How Many Kittens Could Ride a Shark? Creative Ways to Look at Length. 978-1-9771-1323-8.
How Many Llamas Does a Car Weigh? Creative Ways to Look at Weight. 978-1-9771-1325-2.

The Silly Measurements series encourages pre/early readers to learn about measurements via humorous comparison between non-traditional measuring units. For example, in How Many Llamas Does a Car Weigh?, in addition to the comparison between llamas and cars (in case you are wondering, a car weighs nine llamas), other items compared include clowns and camels, moose and motorcycles, and baseball and bunnies. Each comparison features large photos and large, colorful text. 

THOUGHTS: A great way to begin to introduce the concept of measurement to young readers, these books are sure to bring a smile to the face of readers with their choice of unusual comparisons. They would also be a great option for those looking for math-related read alouds for PreK-1 age students.

530.8 Measurement          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elementary NF – Money Math; Project Passion; Dropping In On; Abandoned Places; Dragonflies

Adler, David A. and Edward Miller, Ill. Money Math: Addition and Subtraction. Holiday House, 2017. 978-0-8234-2698-9. 32 p. $17.95. Gr. 1-3

A great book to fill in that 513 Dewey section in your library that might be languishing. Cartoon kids want to buy things but need to understand how money works first. In jump the Presidents who are on the different coins and bills and talk about how to add, then subtract money. Decimal points and coins are discussed, and the math in the book gets progressively harder the further you go.  THOUGHTS: I thought it was interested that they had half dollar coins in the book, but they didn’t discuss the $1 Sacagawea coin.  Overall it’s a good addition (pun intended) to the library, but not a must read.

Math; Money       Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Bolte, Mari. Project Passion (series). Capstone, 2018. 32 p. $20.99 ea. Gr. 4-6.

Bit by Bit:  Projects for Your Odds and Ends.  978-1-5157-7375-7.

Bought in Bulk:  Projects for Surplus Supplies.  978-1-5157-7376-4.

Create and Keep:  Projects to Hang On To.  978-1-5157-7373-3.

Share the Love:  Projects You’ll Love to Give.  978-1-5157-7374-0.  

Bit by Bit:  Projects for Your Odds and Ends and Bought in Bulk: Projects for Surplus Supplies are similar titles that include simple craft projects that can be made using common household objects and leftover craft supplies.  The books include photographic illustrations for nearly every project, including variations on each project, and clear, easy-to-follow directions.  Most of the projects can be completed entirely by children, although a few do require adult supervision or assistance.  THOUGHTS:  These books are useful additions to a makerspace which often include many of the supplies needed. Recommended for upper elementary and middle schools needing to update their craft book collections.

Handicraft 745.5                Maggie Bokelman, Cumberland Valley SD

 

Dropping In On… Rourke Educational Media, 2017. 32 p. $23.00 each, $268.00 for set of 12. Gr. 3-6.

Barger, Jeff. Dropping In On…Atlanta. 978-1-68191-404-6.

Canasi, Brittany. Dropping In On…Boston. 978-1-68191-408-4.

Staton, Hilarie. Dropping In On…Chicago. 978-1-68191-406-0.

Greenspan, Judy. Dropping In On…Dallas. 978-1-68191-407-7.

Staton, Hilarie. Dropping In On…Denver. 978-1-68342-173-3.

Canasi, Brittany. Dropping In On…New Orleans. 978-1-68342-174-0.

Staton, Hilarie. Dropping In On…New York City. 978-1-68191-403-9.

Waxler, Melanie. Dropping In On…Orlando. 978-1-68191-402-2.

Nelson, Deb Tuttle. Dropping In On…Philadelphia. 78-1-68191-409-1.

Canasi, Brittany. Dropping In On…San Francisco. 978-1-68342-172-6.

Greenspan, Judy. Dropping In On…St. Louis. 978-1-68342-175-7.

Barger, Jeff. Dropping In On…Washington D.C. 978-1-68191-405-3.

Calling all travelers! The Dropping In On… series is ready to prepare students for their next big family vacation or city trip. Each title provides a basic historical overview of the title city, including facts on how that city was developed or discovered and information about major historical events impacting the city. For example, Dropping In On…St. Louis reviews the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark’s explorations, while Dropping In On…New Orleans details New Orleans history both before and after the Civil War and the changes in laws and life felt by African Americans like schoolgirl Ruby Bridges. Series titles also focus on each city’s landscape, parks, monuments, major sports teams, cultural history and attractions, and spots that every tourist must visit. Each book is packed full of beautifully colored photographs, often displayed in overlapping style like a traveler’s scrapbook of photographs. Illustrated children hop into some photographs to point out interesting tidbits, similar to tour guides. Each book features a table of contents, city facts section, glossary, index, and before and after reading activities for educators. THOUGHTS: Not an essential purchase but an interesting, fact-filled introduction to several major US cities.

900s     Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

 

Abandoned Places (series). Bellwether Media, 2018. $19.95 ea. Set of 6 $119.70.  24p. Gr. 2 – 5.

Leaf, Christina. Machu Picchu: The Lost Civilization. 9781626176966.

Owings, Lisa. Craco: The Medieval Ghost Town. 9781626176959.

Owings, Lisa. Battleship Island: The Deserted Island. 9781626176935.

Owings, Lisa. Pripyat: The Chernobyl Ghost Town. 9781626176973.

Schuetz, Kari. Bodie: The Gold-Mining Ghost Town. 9781626176942.

Schuetz, Kari. Roanoke: The Lost Colony. 9781626176980.

This informative series checks all the boxes of a good non-fiction book: Table of Contents, Glossary, To Learn More, and Index. Some of the best features in this series are the maps showing where the site is located, and the timelines that are in each book. The full-color modern pictures with interspersed historical ones provide a good viewpoint for young learners. THOUGHTS: The reinforced library binding makes this series worth its cost. I liked all the features, and it’s a series that won’t be quickly outdated, so will have a long shelf life.

Nonfiction; Historical Places       Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

Perish, Patrick. Dragonflies. Bellwether Media, 2018. 9781626176621. $19.50. 24 p. Gr. K-3.

In this attractive early reader, Perish presents basic information about the dragonfly. Despite its length, the book is set up like a traditional nonfiction book with a table of contents, pictorial glossary, index, and bibliography.  The author gives the insect’s physical description, habitat, diet and life cycle in a succinct manner, as is typical of books in the Blastoff Readers series.  The stunning photographs complement the text and the reader sees full-page images of the insect on each two-page spread. One can see why this particular series is called Insects Up Close after examining the pictures, like the one which shows the size of the dragonfly’s eyes.  There are also some inset images, which are used to further explain such terms like nymph and molting.  Other interesting photographs include a dragonfly swimming underwater and one eating a mosquito.  Children will enjoy poring over the photos. This series includes a web resource called Factsurfer.  Readers are told to enter the term into the search box and get a list of websites.  One link from the San Diego Zoo did not have the referenced article and one site contained ads.  There are other books in the “Insects Up Close” series, which follow the same format.  Also examined were Cicadas, Grasshoppers, and Ladybugs.  THOUGHTS: This series is a great addition to any library collection serving children, despite the problem with the web resources. These texts would be useful in science units on insects and children will enjoy reading them for personal interest.  They are a good choice for emerging readers.

595.7  Science; Bugs            Denise Medwick, West Allegheny SD

New series NF for Elementary – Get Connected to Digital Literacy (series); You Do the Math (series); Dogs (Checkerboard Library); Daily Life in U.S. History (series)

digitalliteracy

Gifford, Clive. Get Connected to Digital Literacy (4 volume set with 2 titles forthcoming). New York: Crabtree, 2015. 32 p. Gr. 3-6.

Awesome Algorithms and Creative Coding. 978-0-7787-1508-5.

Computer Networks. 978-0-7787-1509-2.

The Science of Computers. 978-0-7787-1510-8.

Amazing Applications and Perfect Programs. 978-0-7787-1507-8.

This is a series of books that introduces elementary school students to the science behind computers. From the history of computers to their components and how they work, The Science of Computers helps students understand more about how these machines. Computer Networks explains everything from the web and internet to social media. This book covers email, search engines, and filtering searches as well. It also includes cyber-safety tips. Amazing Applications and Perfect Programs gets rather specific with operating systems. But, it then goes on to explain more common processes such as using folders, file types, word processing, and even gaming. Last, Awesome Algorithms and Creative Coding offers readers an overview of how computer programs run on algorithms and explains basic coding. Using steps with blocks, as in Scratch, and flow chart designs, it describes the steps in creating code and the secret behind apps and other common uses.

Libraries often do not invest as much in books on technology since the field is constantly changing, making up-to-date titles a challenge. This series, published earlier this year, is extremely current, tackling concepts of high interest to tech-minded students. The nonfiction text features make it very user-friendly. It has a table of contents, index and glossary. Within the pages, brightly colored graphics and modern photos and icons hold students attention. Certain features appear in each text, including “Stretch Yourself” with a challenge for readers to complete, “True Story” with “cool” facts, and “Computer Heroes” which has mini-biographies on famous computer people. Website links are current and accurate. THOUGHTS:  If your collection needs books on technology, this would be an excellent addition.

005; Digital Literacy        Lisa Weiss, Churchville Elementary School

 

 

solveacrime

Koll, Hilary and Steven Mills.  You Do the Math (series). Irvine, CA: QEB Publishing, 2015. 32 p. $17.95 each. Gr 3-5.

Solve a Crime. 978-1-60992-732-5.

Build a Skyscraper. 978-1-60992-730-1.

Fly a Jet Fighter. 978-1-60992-731-8.

Launch a Rocket Into Space. 978-1-60992-729-5.

How do you get kids more interested in applying math to real life? Try showing them how cool careers rely on all types of math skills to help them. That’s the concept behind the You Do the Math series, and for the most part it works to build interest and action to the subjects. Using a mix of comic book style illustration and formating, with activities on differentiated levels, the reader is part of the challenge. In Solve a Crime, readers not only follow the detectives and CSI agents to gather evidence, but also chart and graph, measure, and examine the clues to narrow down the suspects. There is not much instruction of the mathematical skills, so prior knowledge would be advisable. Plus, some of the challenges could require a notebook and calculator, making the tasks for each career seem all the more realistic.

THOUGHTS: It’s worth noting that even if the students aren’t interested in trying the math challenges, they will still learn career skills and enjoy participating in the story. There are red boxes labelled “What About This?” for advanced learners, and an answer key in the back for all questions.

510: Mathematics       Dustin Brackbill State College Area School District

 

 

dogs

Checkerboard Animal Library Dogs (Set #12 of series). Minneapolis: ABDO, 2015. 24p. $25.00 ea. Gr.2-4.

Finne, Stephanie. Collies. 978-1-62403-673-6.

Finne, Stephanie. Dachshunds. 978-1-62403-674-3.

Finne, Stephanie. Golden Retrievers. 978-1624036750.

Finne, Stephanie. Old English Sheepdogs. 978-1-62403-676-7.

Finne, Stephanie. Yorkshire Terriers. 978-1624036774.

Kallen, Stuart A. Beagles. 978-1624036712.

Discover the many breeds of dogs and how to identify each one. Meet the high energy heavy coated Old English Sheepdog, the sweet little dachshund, and four other breeds in this 12th set of the series! Find out which dog might be right for you, and how to care for it. This series describes the history, biology, habits, and required care for dogs of all types.  THOUGHTS: Full-color photos, easy-to-read text, a glossary and an index make these books perfect for either research or general reading!

636.7; Dogs      Robin Bartley, Davis Elementary

 

 

lifecw

Daily Life in U. S. History (series). Minneapolis: ABDO, 2015.48p. $32. Gr. 4-6.

Halls, Kelly Milner. Life During the Civil War. 978-1624036255.

Onsgard, Bethany. Life During the California Gold Rush. 978-1624036248.

Lanier, Wendy H. Life during the Great Depression. 978-1624036262.

Garstecki, Julia. Life During the Industrial Revolution. 978-1624036279.

Hinman, Bonnie. Life During the Revolutionary War. 978-1624036286.

This series explores the lives of men, women, and children during various events and periods in US History from multiple viewpoints. They include primary source information, sidebars with key ideas, a stop and think at the end of the book to aid in discussion. Graphics include photos, maps, drawings, charts and graphs. THOUGHTS: The series would be an excellent resource to extend the classroom text, bringing a very human perspective.

973; U.S History     Robin Bartley, Davis Elementary