Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: January 19: Letter Grades, #BookLists, #Cybils Reviews + Creati

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowingBookworms, #PictureBooks, #ReadAloud, #STEM, book awards, book reviews, boredom, Finland, grades, grammar, Guys Lit Wire, learning styles, parenting, reading, and schools. It's good to be back sharing interesting links! Sorry I missed last week. 

Top Tweet of the Week

Will Letter Grades Survive in the face of new systems for student #learning + #assessment? | @laura11D @edutopia #schools

Book Lists

TheRescuersRA RA Read: A Guide to Cozy Mouse Stories, both individual + series, from Jennifer Wharton #kidlit #BookList

#SouthAsian #Kidlit 2018 – Part 1 | #BookList w/ details from @darshanakhiani #DiverseBooks

Newbery / Caldecott 2018: Final Prediction Edition — @fuseeight #BookList #ALAYMA

This is a nice #BookList PLANETESME PICKS: Best #PictureBooks of 2017 from @Madame_Esme


SpirithuntersToday's featured #Cybils REVIEW: elementary/middle grade speculative fiction finalist Spirit Hunters by @ElloEllenOh, reviewed by @alibrarymama @HarperChildrens

Catching up on featured #Cybils REVIEWS: elementary/middle grade #nonfiction finalist Shark Lady by @Jess_Keating +Marta Alvarez Miguens, reviewed by @Jennie_Naughton @Sourcebooks

Catching up on featured #Cybils REVIEWS: Jan. 10: Easy Reader Finalist We Need More Nuts! (@penguinkids, Level 2) by @JonathanFenske | review by Jennifer Wharton

Catching up on recent featured #Cybils REVIEWS: Jan 8: #YA fiction finalist The Hate U Give by @angiecthomas | Review by @Polking @guyslitwire @WalkerBooksYA

Today's featured #Cybils REVIEW is #YA speculative fiction finalist Wonder Woman: Warbringer, reviewed by @tanita_s_davis

Growing Bookworms

TheYesBrainHow #Reading with Your Children Can Help Them Develop a ‘Yes Brain’ | Daniel J. Siegel + Tina Payne Bryson @ReadBrightly | #ReadAloud

How To Use #PictureBooks To Help Your Grandkids Fall in Love with #Reading, guest post by Susan Day @Lauri14o #GrowingBookworms

Small Ideas For Creating Visible Book Buzz in #schools from @pernilleripp | Lists of favorites, books to be read + more #GrowingBookworms


GuysLitWireSaying Goodbye to Guys Lit Wire, a blog that has shared many great recommendations for #YA for boys over the years @guyslitwire @chasingray @aquafortis

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Cybils-Logo-2017-Web-ButtonThoughts on + Suggestions for Pushing Your #Reading Boundaries by @theloud_library @nerdybookclub   [Including book awards]

Does Spellcheck Make “Learners” More Intelligent? – @gcouros @Grammarly


Oh yes! I agree w/ @TrevorHCairney 100% on Why We Need to Bore Our Kids #creativity #imagination #exercise #outdoorplay

Schools and Libraries

#Schools should Nurture Each Child's version of 'Smart' - @mssackstein @educationweek

8 reasons Finland's #education system puts the US model to shame - @chriswweller @businessinsider via @drdouggreen


Why #STEM practices should be taught across the entire curriculum - @Social_Ventures Australia via @drdouggreen

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 17: Lots of Reading But Not So Much Blogging

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have two book reviews (both middle grade) and two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. I've been ill since New Year's, and have not been able to blog very much. I have been able to read about a book a day since the start of the new year, so there is an upside to all of this time in bed, but my blogging has definitely suffered. 

Reading Update: For those who are interested in such things, in 2017 I read 65 middle grade, 23 young adult, and 72 adult titles, for a total of 160 books read (just above my very informal goal of 150, though not as balanced by age range as I would have liked). You can see the full list here. In the last four weeks I finished three middle grade, two young adult, and thirteen adult titles. I read/listened to: 

I'm currently listening to The Wanted by Robert Crais (Elvis Cole and Joe Pike). I'm reading Fall from Grace by Tim Weaver, a random library pick that I'm enjoying, but that is making me wish I had started the series at the beginning. There's a lot of backstory that I'm now familiar with, so it would be tough to go back and read the earlier books. Ah well. Lesson learned. 

HarryPotterPhoenixMy daughter and I have started reading Harry Potter Five (The Order of the Phoenix). I really wanted to wait until the summer to start it, but she got a lot of Harry Potter stuff for Christmas, and she just couldn't wait. So far she's not finding it too dark, but we're at a pretty early point. She was giddy with delight over Petunia Dursley receiving a howler.  

For her own reading, she was very sad to come to the end of the Dork Diaries books and has been re-reading the books and reading the spinoff Max Crumbley series. Sadly, there are only two of those. She finally read and enjoyed the first Jedi Academy book, which I had purchased for her months ago. She had refused to read it because it wasn't a graphic novel, but once she did read it she immediately hit me up for the other books in the series. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. I do hope to get my blog back up to speed eventually, but it will probably take a while. As illnesses go, this one is really lingering. Luckily I have books!

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

The Van Gogh Deception: Deron Hicks

Book: The Van Gogh Deception
Author: Deron Hicks
Pages: 320
Age Range: 10-12

VanGoghDeceptionThe Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks is a suspenseful, smart, fast-paced mystery for middle grade readers. The story begins when a boy with amnesia is discovered one December day in the National Gallery in Washington, DC. When the boy, dubbed Art, is sent to temporary foster care, he meets Camille, a strong-willed young red-head. It turns out, however, that dangerous people are looking for Art. Soon he and Camille find themselves on the run, trying to solve the mystery of Art's past and determine whether or not a recently discovered Van Gogh is real or fake. 

Classic art, and the way it might be forged, is discussed throughout the story. There are QR codes included in the book, wherever a famous piece of art is mentioned. Readers can scan the codes to bring up a picture of each artwork. I didn't personally need that distraction after looking at one or two, but I'm sure this will be fun for many young readers. 

What makes The Van Gogh Deception fun for me is the quick-wittedness of Art and Camille, and the fast pace of their adventures. Art, though he can't remember anything about himself, knows a lot about art, and he has instincts that cause his pursuers to liken him to Jason Bourne. Camille, while lacking Art's educational background, is a firebrand and a loyal friend, a more than worthy sidekick for Art. The characters of the Camille's mother and a concerned police detective are also strong, though Hicks never lets them take over the story, or do any real rescuing. Even the bad guy is intriguing, definitely not a one-note criminal stereotype. 

I read this book so quickly that I didn't stop to flag any quotable passages. But it's unquestionably cerebral as well as action-packed, perfect for mystery fans of all ages (10 and up). 

The Van Gogh Deception belongs in libraries serving upper middle grade and middle school readers everywhere. It has a great cover, and an irresistible premise (amnesia is always compelling, as is art theft/forgery). Highly recommended, and one I will be passing on to my daughter when she is just a bit older. 

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (@HMHKids)
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2018 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).