Nick's Picks February 2018

February 2018

New overview video on TeachingBooks

We love sharing insights about books and authors — a fabulous common denominator among us all.

To demonstrate's latest tools to enrich connections to the children's and young adult books read in your classrooms, libraries, and communities, please enjoy this new overview video.

Having tried to include in this brief video our passion for this work, strategies for use, and values for you, I'd love to know what you think. Suggestions are always welcome.

Thank you,

Nick Glass, Founder & Executive Director

Behind the Books: Eliot Schrefer on the value of talking animal stories

Eliot Schrefer, best known for his award-winning "Great Ape Quartet" (Scholastic) enters into a magical realm in his latest novel, The Lost Rainforest: Mez's Magic (HarperCollins, 2018). Recalling the animal stories he loved as a kid, Schrefer imbues the rainforest animals in his story with human characteristics and emotions as well as a few magical qualities.

Schrefer knows there's value in these fantastic animal tales: "I've seen the effect animal protagonists have on kids. They increase wonder. They increase empathy. These are qualities that need nurturing in today's world."

In this month's guest blog post, learn how the author hopes to encourage children's empathy, imagination and action with his animal characters.

Read Eliot Schrefer's Guest Blog Post now.

Meet-the-Author Book Reading: Linda Williams Jackson on family stories

Linda Williams Jackson spent hours soaking up the stories her family told about life in the South. From these stories, she gained a knowledge of family history as well as cultural and political history. When Jackson learned that her family had a connection to Emmet Till, she knew she had to write a book. In Midnight Without a Moon (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), Williams creates a family and community touched by this historical event.

Listen to Linda Williams Jackson share the story behind her novel now.

Browse all Meet-the-Author Book Readings.

Meet-the-Author Book Reading: S.K. Ali on finding your voice

In Saints and Misfits (Salaam Reads, 2017), S.K. Ali creates a singular heroine in Janna. While she's wrapped up in crushes, friends and family like other teens, Janna finds solace in Flannery O'Connor and humor in her elderly Hindu neighbor. She is also one of the only girls at her school who wears a hijab and the only girl at her mosque whose parents are divorced. S.K. Ali adopted a special writing process to create a fully developed character with an authentic voice.

Listen to S.K. Ali share the story behind her writing process now.

Browse all Meet-the-Author Book Readings.

Featured Booklist: 2018 ALA Youth Media Awards

From Caldecott to Coretta Scott King, from Pura Belpré to Printz, find resources for all of the winners, honorees and finalists of the American Library Association Youth Media Awards in one list. On, you can narrow all lists by grade level, genre, curricular and cultural areas as well as by format of the resource to quickly find just what your looking for!

Explore resources for all the titles on the 2018 Award Winners booklist.

Featured Booklist: Charlotte Zolotow Award

The American Library Association's Youth Media Awards aren't the only awards and "best" lists decided during this time of year. A favorite here at TeachingBooks is the Charlotte Zolotow Award, honoring the author of the best picture book text. This list is a nice companion to the Caldecott Award list honoring illustration in picture books.

Explore resources for all the titles on the Charlotte Zolotow Award list.

Contests & Giveaways

Check out our January Contests & Giveaways, accompanied by multimedia resources!

  • A library of 2018 titles from Brightly
  • The Time Twisters series by Steve Sheinkin
  • A Lady Has the Floor by Kate Hannigan

See the February Contests & Giveaways on our blog.

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