Are Engineering and Robotics the New Cool?

Bascomb, N. (2011). The new cool: A visionary teacher, his first robotics team, and the ultimate battle of smarts. New York: Crown Publishers. Summary: The New Cool tells the story of high school teacher and MacArthur Genius Award winner Amir Abo-Shaeer as he mentors a “band of high-IQ students” training to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Hailing from the […]

Eye See! The Eyes of Creatures from Bullfrogs to Buzzards

Jenkins, S. (2014). Eye to eye: How animals see the world. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Summary: Based on the premise, “Eyes are the most important link to the world,” Jenkins introduces the reader to a wide range of animal eyeballs, explaining the difference between types of eyes—from the  starfish’s eyespot to the camera eye of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Colorful and visually-appealing […]

A Mathematical Adventure in Angleland

Neuschwander, C. (2001). Sir cumference and the great knight of angleland (W. Geehan, Illustrator). Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. Summary: Radius, the son of Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter, goes on a knightly adventure where he uses his knowledge of angles to complete his quest. Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Level AD450L*, ATOS Level 4.2, Flesch-Kincaid Level 4.5 *Lexile […]

Revolution: Historical Fiction from Different Perspectives

Donnelly, J. (2011). Revolution. New York: Ember. Description: Revolution tells the story of two seventeen-year-old girls: Andi, a high school student from modern-day Brooklyn, and Alexandrine, a Parisian street performer from the time of the French Revolution.  Andi’s family is recovering from a terrible tragedy, and because Andi’s mental state is deteriorating, she takes a trip to Paris with her […]

Reading about Fashion as the Mirror of History

Albee, S. (2015). Why’d they wear that? Fashion as the mirror of history. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society. Description: From “The Ancient World (10,000 B.C. – A.D. 1000)” to “World at War (20th Century and Beyond),” Albee’s Why’d They Wear That? narrates world history by describing the fashions, fads, and clothing innovations of each era. In the forward, Albee says, “For hundreds and in […]

A Visit to Manzanar

Bunting, E. (2009). So far from the sea (C. Soentpiet, Illustrator). New York: Clarion Books. Description: The Iwasaki family is moving from California to Boston. Before leaving, they take one last visit to Manzanar, the camp where ten thousand Japanese Americans were interned during World War II. Told through the eyes of Laura, a young Japanese American […]

FEG: Ridiculous [Stupid] Poems for Intelligent Children

Hirsch, R. (2002). FEG: Ridiculous poems for intelligent children. New York, NY: Little, Brown, and Company. Description: This humorous book of poetry manages to teach literary devices without boring everyone to death. Instead, the poems are set up like mysteries to be solved. Touching on poetic terms such as personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration and more, FEG makes interpreting poetry into a […]