It’s Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico’s independence day is September 16 and Chile’s is September 18. It’s a time to celebrate and learn about Americans with ancestral roots in Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

We have books for all ages and in all formats, from graphic novels to biographies.

Great resources are also available at HispanicHeritageMonth.gov/

Coding Is Definitely a Literacy

This week, SLJ shared in an opinion column that Coding Is a Literacy. “School librarians are especially pivotal in coding literacy because, as with any other language, the age of acquisition for any language matters. Librarians are uniquely placed in schools with students from their early years, long before children have access to computer science electives,” writes IdaMae Craddock, a librarian at the Albemarle (VA) Lab Schools.

We couldn’t agree more. Below is a list of our most popular coding series, many of which contain hands-on coding activities that can be accessed remotely for free, meaning you can do a digital makerspace activity even with distance or hybrid learning.

Sports Coding Concepts

Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 3   ·  Reading Level: Grade 1

Introduce readers to computer coding through no-tech, sports-themed projects. Readers will move a soccer ball by writing an algorithm and use loops to create a winning football play. Sports fans will enjoy learning the basics of coding—with no computer needed! Author and elementary school librarian Allyssa Loya designed this series to be intimidation-free for both readers and educators.

Ready, Set, Code!

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5   ·  Reading Level: Grade 3

Introduce young coders to the most popular coding programs and languages. Step-by-step instructions and clear illustrations guide readers, while fun activities help them apply what they’ve learned.

Kids Get Coding

Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 4   ·  Reading Level: Grade 3

What’s an algorithm? How do you fix bugs? What is an app? How do you program a computer game? This series leads students through the basics of computer programming using real-world examples and practical activities.

Mission Code (Alternator Books)

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6   ·  Reading Level: Grade 4

Dive into the fascinating world of coding languages! These titles walk new programmers through the basics of creating their own code. Hands-on learn-to-code activities accessed through an online Page Plus link add to the fun!

Digital Makers (Alternator Books)

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6   ·  Reading Level: Grade 4

Learn how to create, launch, perfect, and safely share digital works of art, including videos, songs, blogs, and websites. This series capitalizes on the popularity of both digital technology and makerspace activities. Creator profiles and expert tips provide extra inspiration.

Project Code

Interest Level: Grade 4 – Grade 7   ·  Reading Level: Grade 5

This exciting, makerspace-friendly series offers a variety of step-by-step projects for programming in Scratch. Easy-to-follow instructions guide young programmers through activities that showcase how to code animation, create music, write a story, and design computer games. The projects build essential programming knowledge and skills, preparing kids to take what they’ve learned and apply it to their own Scratch creations.

All of the above books are available in library-bound hardcover and multi-user eBook formats from most school library vendors. If you purchase direct from Lerner, we’re offering a budget-saving special, where you can receive both formats for the price of just the eBook. Learn more here!

Six Books You Don’t Want to Miss

Here’s a roundup of some delightful titles that we don’t want you to miss!

Poo Bum

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 1
Once there was a little rabbit who could only say one thing . . . In the morning his mother would say, “Time to get up, my little rabbit!” He’d reply: “Poo bum!” At lunchtime his father would say, “Eat your spinach, my little rabbit!” He’d reply: “Poo bum!” One day, he meets a hungry wolf. Will the little rabbit learn his lesson once and for all?

The Big Bang Book

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 3
The Big Bang presents the mystery of how the universe began in a way we can all understand. Written by an astrophysicist, the pages describe what we know—and what we don’t—in a compelling, accessible way.
Moving out into the farthest reaches of space, then back home on Earth again, this is a picture book Carl Sagan would love, introducing the wonder of our pale blue dot to the youngest readers.

A Bear Named Bjorn: Six Bear Stories

Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
Bjorn lives in a cave. The walls are soft, the ground is comfortable, and just in front there is new grass and a rough tree, perfect for back-scratching.
A Bear Named Bjorn takes us into the forest with Bjorn the bear and his friends. One day the animals have their eye exams and try on the humans’ lost glasses. Another, they just sit, watching the leaves and playing cards on a tree stump. And on party night the animals borrow clothes hanging on the camping ground line—and return everything carefully in the morning, only a little bit used.
Bjorn’s thoughtful bear logic and small eccentricities are the heart of these mischievous chapters that are by turns contemplative and comical, odes to both nature and “human” nature.

Beautiful Shades of Brown: The Art of Laura Wheeler Waring

Interest Level: Grade 1 – Grade 4
Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn’t see any artists who looked like her. She didn’t see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC’s National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured.

Hattie

Interest Level: Grade 2 – Grade 5
Hattie is a street-smart country girl in her first year of school. She lives just outside of nowhere, right next to no one at all. Luckily she’s starting school and that brings new adventures.
Hattie gets her first swimming badge, falls madly in love with a hermit crab, and meets a best friend. Sometimes things go wrong—like when the hairdresser cuts her hair into stumps just in time for school photos.
Hattie is funny, lively and sympathetic chapter book, perfect for reading aloud and for newly independent readers.

No Steps Behind: Beate Sirota Gordon’s Battle for Women’s Rights in Japan

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 6
Discover the unlikely story of Beate Sirota Gordon, a young woman who grew up in Japan and returned as a translator working for the American military after WWII. Fluent in Japanese language and culture, she was assigned to work with the delegation writing the new post-war constitution. Thanks to her bravery in speaking up for the women of Japan, the new constitution ended up including equal rights for all women.

Looking for more books? Check out more lists!

Calling All Hamilton Fans!

Hamilton has been out on Disney+ for a whole week now! Have you watched it? If you or someone you know are looking for more of a Hamilton fix, well….we’ve got some books for you! Check out books about Alexander Hamilton himself, “Dear Theodosia” in her own words, and Hamilton’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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