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Middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children's books

Archive for the 'Science' Category

Mon, April 7th, 2014
Handle with Care by Loree Griffin Burns
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  For many years our family has enjoyed a wonderful rite of spring that fortunately doesn’t depend on the outside temperature in Michigan.  We are lucky to live close to the outstanding Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  I could go on and on about the wonders of the Gardens but today […]


Mon, February 10th, 2014
The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  It isn’t unusual to have a new book from Steve Jenkins to rave about.  His list of award winning kid-pleasing books is impressively long.  They’ve always been favorites with the older members of the focus group and with me too.  I believe that he outdid himself last year however with The Animal Book: A […]


Mon, December 9th, 2013
Ultimate Bug-Opedia by Murawski & Honovich
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Long-time readers of this blog will NOT surprised when I start out by saying that Ultimate Bug-Opedia:  the Most Complete Bug Reference Ever (National Geographic 2013) was an enormous hit with the older members of our focus group.  They have always been completely bug-obsessed and, at 10, the reading level and subject matter are […]


Mon, December 2nd, 2013
Fourth Down and Inches by Carla Killough McClafferty
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  The issue of concussion is receiving serious attention in organized football and that attention is long overdue.  In Fourth Down and Inches:  Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment (Carolrhoda 2013), Carla Killough McClafferty examines this serious issue, its history, management, current research and long-term impact.  I’m a major football fan and fall weekends find me […]


Mon, November 25th, 2013
Give Me a 001
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn and Cindy:  Readers – between us, we have a lot of years in middle school libraries!  And that means that we have had to pay attention to that crazy Dewey category 001!  Middle schoolers LOVE books about yetis and the Bermudua Triangle and UFO’s.  It just goes with the territory.  That section of the […]


Mon, October 7th, 2013
Things That Float and Things That Don’t by David A. Adler
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: I am feeling very buoyed up by this new book on flotation and density by science and math guru David A. Adler. Things That Float and Things That Don’t (Holiday House 2013) will delight elementary teachers with its clear explanations and simple experiments to aid students in understanding these principles. Adler explains why weight […]


Mon, July 29th, 2013
Eruption! by Elizabeth Rusch
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: Did you feel the earth move? It wasn’t an earthquake, but me clapping enthusiastically over another entry in the Scientists in the Field series. Eruption! Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives (Houghton 2013) adds another compelling book to the series that we love. I always read these with no intention of blogging them. […]


Mon, December 10th, 2012
The Skull in the Rock by Lee R. Berger & Marc Aronson
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Aronson’s opening is a wonderful hook.  “Dad, I found a fossil,” says 9-year-old Matthew Berger to his anthropologist father.  In The Skull in the Rock:  How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins (National Geographic 2012).  Lee assumed Matt’s find was a common bone like an antelope […]


Mon, November 12th, 2012
Scientific Rivalries and Scandals
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Who doesn’t love a good scandal?  Hey – history is full of them and even scientists have joined in with their share of bad behavior.  History is about the stories of people’s lives and I’ve always been happy to use those stories to get kids interested in what has come before.  The Scientific Rivalries […]


Mon, October 22nd, 2012
The Mighty Mars Rovers by Elizabeth Rusch
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I want to caution readers that if you are, as I am, susceptible to robot love you might want to use care with The Might Mars Rovers:  The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity (Houghton 2012).  Yes, this latest volume in the stellar Scientists in Field series does what it always does with such […]





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