Creator of quality, affordable, project-specific, supplemental materials connecting people with literature. As an educator and fellow author, I am skilled in navigating the needs of both worlds.

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Simple Saturday is a proud member of Kidlitosphere, active bloggers writing in the area of children’s and young adult literature, and/or writers and illustrators of such literature.

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    Wednesday
    Aug062014

    A Cool Summer Tail by Carrie Pearson

    Click image to access publisher's pageA Cool Summer Tail presents animal environmental adaptation facts in a fresh and original way. Author Carrie Pearson inhabits the minds of young animals as they question how humans stay cool in the summer. The questions the animals pose are based on their own seasonal adaptation methods, means by which children might find comical to consider for themselves.  

    For instance, a baby fox asks his mother if humans stay cool in the summer by hanging out their tongues and panting. Baby bees ask if humans cool their hives by using their wings to blow in air, thus helping the Queen to survive. Baby hummingbirds wonder if humans migrate in search of a cooler summer home. In the end, a boy asks his mother if animals splash in a swimming pool to stay cool.

    Click image to access publisher's pageA Warm Winter Tail (winner of the 2013 Gelett Burgess Award) is the companion piece for A Cool Summer Tail, in which the same delightful winter adaptation juxtaposition consideration takes place. In it, baby deer wonder if humans grow hollow hair to keep warm in the winter. Baby frogs ask if human body parts freeze. Baby bears ask if humans get plump and sleep in a lump.  A young boy asks his mother if animals stay warm by bundling up in scarves, jackets, and boots. He is assured that their bodies know how to stay warm in the winter. No need for buttons or bows.

    In addition to the plethora of free online offered on the publisher’s website, the final pages of both books include four pages of rich learning activities. These lessons paired with Illustrator Christina Wald’s lovely detailed work and Pearson’s intriguing text will undoubtedly enhance any study of the natural world and the incredible creatures that inhabit it.

    Monday
    Jul212014

    Devin Rhodes is Dead (YA)

    Click on image for publisher's information. Author: Jennifer Wolf Kam

    Genre: YA

    Publisher: Charlesbridge

    ISBN: 978-1-934133-59-0

    Awards: Winner of the NAESP Chapter Book Award 

    Click here to download the Common Core State Standards aligned Discussion & Writing Prompt guide create for Grades 6 to 12.

    Overview: High school freshman Cass is conflicted about her love/hate relationship with her best friend, Devin, and about her death. How did Devin's body end up at the bottom of Woodacre Ravine? Was Cass really responsible? Is concealing the truth haunting Cass or is it the ghost-like spirit of her dead friend?

    Told in alternating before-and-after chapters, Cass details life leading up to the mysterious events that led to Devin’s “wrongful death.” The turbulent adolescent changes that challenge Cass and Devin’s friendship will seem familiar and real to middle-grade and young-adult readers. The mystery about what happened to Devin and if she is really reaching out from beyond the grave will have readers on the edge of their seats.

    Monday
    Jul212014

    A Kiss Means I Love You (Concept Picture Book)

    Click on image for publisher's information.Author: Kathryn Madeline Allen

    Photographer: Eric Futran

    Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

    ISBN: 978-0-8075-4186-9

    Awards: 2013 Baker's Dozen: The Best Children's Books for Family Literacy, Pennsylvania Center for the Book; 2013 Gradiva Award for Best Children's Books Finalist; 2013 Texas 2 x 2 Reading List; A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book 2013 - Picture Books; Best Books for Babies 2013

    Click to download the Common Core State Standards Discussion and Activity Guide created for Ages 2-6/Grades PreK-1

    Overview: A Kiss Means I Love You is charming a book that helps you teach children the meanings of facial expressions and gestures. Children will wave, clap, and cheer along with you as you read the light, rhyming verse paired with delightful photos of young children.

     

    Friday
    Jul182014

    Odette's Secrets (Speculative Non-Fiction)

    Click here for publisher's informationAuthor: Maryann McDonald

    Genre: Middle grade, Speculative Non-Fiction

    Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books

    ISBN: 978-1-59990-750-5      

    Awards: Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee

    Click to download the Common Core State Standards Aligned Educator's Guide created for Grades 4-7

    Overview: Today’s children are told never to keep secrets. But what if your life depends on it? What if you learn to lie so well that you start to forget who you really are? And if that happens, how will you find your true self again?

    Odette Meyers was a Jewish child who survived WWII in France by hiding in plain sight. Many of the 84% of Jewish children saved in that country lived through the war in this way. Told in first person in free verse in Odette’s childhood voice, this historical novel “is a gentle introduction to a dark period (Maryann Macdonald).”

     

    Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats.

    After Odette's father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl--going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

    Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers--and written in moving free-verse poetry--this is the story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/odettes-secrets-9781599907505/#sthash.5eqI9PAL.dpuf
    Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats.

    After Odette's father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl--going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

    Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers--and written in moving free-verse poetry--this is the story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/odettes-secrets-9781599907505/#sthash.5eqI9PAL.dpuf
    Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats.

    After Odette's father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl--going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

    Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers--and written in moving free-verse poetry--this is the story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/odettes-secrets-9781599907505/#sthash.5eqI9PAL.dpuf
    Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats.

    After Odette's father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl--going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

    Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers--and written in moving free-verse poetry--this is the story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/odettes-secrets-9781599907505/#sthash.5eqI9PAL.dpuf
    Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats.

    After Odette's father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl--going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

    Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers--and written in moving free-verse poetry--this is the story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/odettes-secrets-9781599907505/#sthash.5eqI9PAL.dpuf
    Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris during a dangerous time. The Nazis have invaded the city, and every day brings new threats.

    After Odette's father enlists in the French army and her mother joins the Resistance, Odette is sent to the countryside until it is safe to return. On the surface, she leads the life of a regular girl--going to school, doing chores, and even attending Catholic Mass with other children. But inside, she is burning with secrets about the life she left behind and her true identity.

    Inspired by the life of the real Odette Meyers--and written in moving free-verse poetry--this is the story of courage, of determination to survive, and of a young girl forced to hide in plain sight. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/odettes-secrets-9781599907505/#sthash.5eqI9PAL.dpuf
    Friday
    Jul182014

    Plastic Ahoy: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Non-fiction)

    Click to review publisher information

    Author: Patricia Newman

    Photographer: Annie Crawley

    Genre: Science, Non-fiction

    Publisher: Lerner Publishing

    ISBN: 978-1-4677-1283-5

    Click to download the Next Generation Science and Common Core Standards Aligned Educator's Guide created for Grades 3-6

    Overview: Plastic: it's used to make everything from drink bottles and bags to toys and toothbrushes. But what happens when it ends up where itdoesn't belong—like in the Pacific Ocean? How does it affect ocean life? Is it dangerous? And exactly how much is out there? 

     A team of researchers went on a scientific expedition to find out. They explored the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where millions of pieces of plastic have collected. The plastic has drifted there from rivers, beaches, and ocean traffic all over the world. Most of it has broken down into tiny pieces the size of confetti.

    For nearly three weeks at sea, researchers gathered bits of plastic and ocean organisms. These samples helped them learn more about the effects of plastic in the ocean. Follow along on the expedition to find out how scientists studied the Garbage Patch—and what alarming discoveries they made. (Lerner Books)