Writer for children and young adults and 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.

ReaderKidZ contributor - A website dedicated to provide teachers, librarians, and parents with the resources and inspiration to foster a love of reading in kids, K-5.

 

 

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.

Deb is represented by Melissa Nasson of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC.

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    Friday
    Oct172014

    Guide Review for Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance

    To be completely honest, as a teen, historical studies were not my cup of tea. I’d gloss right over as teachers would yammer on about the geographical locations of historical battles. And, then, to have to pair that information with the dates they occurred…well, look for me hiding out in the janitor’s closet.

    That being said, if I would have had a book like Charles Novacek’s memoir Border Crossing: Coming of Age in the Czech Republic (published by Ten21 Press) to connect with me on emotional level from the start, maybe studying WWII as a teen might have been a more palatable experience.  I do know that I’m richer for the experience of creating an Educator’s Guide for this incredible book.

    Synopsis: Charles Novacek’s free-roaming childhood came to an end in 1939, as war raged across the continent and the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia. Charles and his sister were inducted into the Czech Resistance. At an age most children were learning how to diagram sentences, they were learning how to resist torture, handle phobias, and to control pain, hunger and thirst. Reflecting the desperation of the times, they were warned to trust no one.

    The Educator's Guide has been crafted with the overall intent to connect readers with Charles’ emotional journey as a young man growing up in a time of historical turmoil. The lessons and activities presented in the guide are creative, intuitive, and informative, thus allowing students to consider Charles’ plight as if it were their own. All aspects of the guide have been aligned with the Common Core Anchor Standards of Reading Informational Texts, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and History/Social Studies for grades 6 to 12.

    Border Crossings Timeline ActivityThe structure of the guide is defined by the use of personal bookmarks which establish four sections of study, each beginning with discussion questions inspired by quotations cited from the text and followed by carefully crafted, interactive activities. For instance, as a young man, Charles was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If.” In the guide, students are encouraged to analyze the poem, through citation and interpretation, in light of character traits demonstrated by Charles throughout his life. Also, being that poetry and art helped define Charles’ inner character, students are guided to craft a free verse poem based on their perception of what life in a Bavarian displaced person’s camp might be like.

    The final activity is a hands-on, manipulative timeline through which young people can compare and contrast historical events with those of Charles’ personal life. Students are directed to use scissors and tape to craft the timeline and then lay out tabs labeled with intriguing information in a sequential manner using the dates printed on the timeline as guides. Lastly, they are instructed to write an essay interpreting the correlations between the historical tabs and those that represent Charles’ life.

    This unforgettable book distills history down to a person level, one that young people can connect with emotionally. Students will identify with Charles and his initial desires to be a regular kid, engaging in activities and interests much like their own. As the incredible story progresses, students will be shocked by the unbelievable trials Charles was forced to endure – trials that are documented through letters, documents, and pictures. In short, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance transcends a factual study of war and geography into an experience and appreciation of a man’s soulful journey of heartfelt love for his country and her people.

     

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    Ten Rules of a Super Hero

    Click image to purchase bookAuthor/Illustrator: Deb Pilutti

    Genre: Picture Book

    Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books - Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

    ISBN: 978-0805097597

    Click here to download the Common Core State Standards aligned Educator's Guide created for grades K-2.

    Overview: In order to be a real superhero, you have to follow some important rules:

    Rule #1: A superhero must ALWAYS respond to a call for help.

    Rule #2: Saving the day is messy. But everyone understands.
     
    In this handy guide, Captain Magma and his trusty sidekick, Lava Boy, take young readers on an adventure to learn all ten rules of being a good superhero (Amazon.com).



     

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    The Battle of Darcy Lane

    Click on image for publisher's informationAuthor: Tara Altebrando

    Genre: Middle-grade

    Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers

    ISBN: 9780762449484

    Click here to download the Common Core State Standards aligned Educator's Guide created for grades 4-6.

    Overview: It is summertime, and twelve-year-old Julia Richards cannot stand the anticipation. Everyone on Darcy Lane seems to be holding their breath waiting for the cicadas to emerge, but what Julia and her best friend, Taylor, want is some real excitement. Which arrives in the form of a new neighbor named Alyssa, who introduces a ball game called Russia . . . and an unwelcome level of BFF rivalry.

    Suddenly nothing stands unchallenged—not Julia's friendships, her crush, or her independence. But while Julia realizes that she cannot control all the changes in her life, she hangs onto the hope that everything will go in her favor if she can just win one magnificent showdown.

    Acclaimed author Tara Altebrando's middle-grade debut features a voice that is true to the adolescent experience, where everything is felt acutely in a whirlwind of all-or-nothing emotion (Running Press).

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life

    Click on image to purchase bookAuthor: P. J. Hoover

    Genre: Middle-grade

    Publisher: Starscape

    ISBN: 9780765334688

    Click here to download the Common Core State Standards aligned Discussion & Book Trailer Guide created for grades 4-8.

    Overview: Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life is a funny, fast-paced novel for young readers by P.J. Hoover which chronicles the mischievous adventures of King Tut, now an immortal eighth-grader living in Washington, D.C..

    You’d think it would be great being an Egyptian demigod, but if King Tut has to sit through eighth grade one more time, he’ll mummify himself.

    Granted the gift of immortality by the gods—or is it a curse?—Tut has been stuck in middle school for ages. Even worse, evil General Horemheb, the man who killed Tut’s father and whom Tut imprisoned in a tomb for three thousand years, is out and after him. The general is in league with the Cult of Set, a bunch of guys who worship one of the scariest gods of the Egyptian pantheon—Set, the god of Chaos.

    The General and the Cult of Set have plans for Tut… and if Tut doesn’t find a way to keep out of their clutches, he’ll never make it to the afterworld alive (Indie Bound).

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    The Dino-Sports Series

    Click on image for publisher's informationAuthor: Lisa Wheeler

    Illustrator: Barry Gott

    Genre: Picture books

    Publisher: Carolrhoda Books

    Titles included in guide: Dino-Soccer - ISBN: 9780761367895, Dino-Hockey - ISBN: 9780822561910, Dino-Basketball - ISBN: 9780761363934, Dino-Football - ISBN: 9780761363941, Dino-Baseball - ISBN: 9780761344292, Dino-Wrestling - ISBN: 9781467702126

     Click here to download the Common Core State Standards aligned Discussion & Project Guide created for grades K-3.

    Overview: Play-by-play sports action series of picture books for 4-8 year olds featuring teams of Carnivorous dinosaurs against plant-eating dinos (Good Reads).