September 30, 2010

For those James Dean fans out there ....

On this day in 1955, literally 55 years ago, James Dean died in a car accident at the age of 24.

This complicated young actor made three classic films, East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant.

In James Dean, Karen Clemens Warrick explores his often unguarded life, giving insight into his personality and turbulent emotions and offering explanations about what made his few film performances unforgettable.

September 28, 2010

Today is Hilary Duff's birthday

Known for both her singing and acting, did you know that Hilary Duff also works with charities? She is involved with Blessings in a Backpack, a group that provides backpacks (with food inside) for students to eat over the weekend. Since many students across the country participate in local school lunch programs, they do get lunch during the school week, however they may not have enough food at home to eat over the weekend. Students take the filled backpacks home and then return the empty backpacks on Monday to be filled again for the following weekend.

Another one of her favorite charities is Kids With a Cause. This group encourages children to help children. It teaches the principles and practices of philanthropy to children and teens in the entertainment industry.

She also works with charities that help animals. She and her sister, Haylie, like to encourage people to adopt pets at local animal shelters.

Interested in learning more about Hilary Duff? Available in both library and paperback versions, this biography is great for grades 6 and up.

Halloween Event Supports San Francisco Schools

Among this year's more creative school fundraising events is the "San Francisco Halloween Run and Walk for Schools." Participants can choose either a 5K and one mile option that covers a relatively flat course. It sounds like a healthy, spirited way to support local schools.

The event reminds us that Halloween is nearly a month away. Many instructors create special lesson plans, intending to use the holiday as a teaching and learning opportunity. Enslow Publishers’ new Haunted House Adventure Crafts provides hands-on activities that are especially useful for group work. The book, best suited for grades K-3, offers fun activities, clear directions, and a child-friendly look.

The 32-page title is available in paperback for $6.95; a library-bound version is also available. Walk or run to Enslow Classroom for more information about Haunted House Adventure Crafts and all the books in Enslow Publishers' "Fun Adventure Crafts" series!

September 27, 2010

Avril Lavigne is celebrating a birthday today

"A big part of Lavigne's appeal always has been her life story. When a young girl from a small town in Canada becomes one of the biggest stars on the planet, people everywhere get inspired. But when that small-town girl becomes successful, negative people everywhere begin looking for flaws."

This quote is from Avril Lavigne: Celebrity with Heart. Written for the middle school, it is available in both library and paperback versions.

Enslow supports Banned Books Week

Each of the following five titles in Enslow's Banned Book series highlights authors and their books that may have been banned from school and library collections. Founded in 1982, this annual campaign is meant to bring attention to the importance of the freedom to read. Librarians and teachers celebrate the ability to retain frequently-challenged books in their collections while encouraging readers to examine banned and challenged books.

J.K. Rowling
John Steinbeck
Madeleine L’Engle
Mark Twain
Robert Cormier

Review of Pirate Hannah Pritchard: Captured!

School Library Journal review (Feburary, 2010) of author Bonnie Pryor's second adventure of Pirate Hannah Pritchard: Captured!

This sequel to Hannah Pritchard: Pirate of the Revolution (Enslow, 1998) is easy to read and fast moving. Courageous, strong, and determined are just a few of the adjectives that describe the 14-year-old protagonist...

160 pages, Historical Fiction Adventures Series, Enslow Publishers, Inc.

Description from the Publisher's website:
Aboard the Sea Hawk, Hannah Pritchard and her fellow pirates are sailing home to share the treasure they took from the British. But, during their journey, a British frigate attacks the Sea Hawk, destroying the ship. Hannah and a few crewmates narrowly escape with the treasure chest. Marooned on an island, Hannah and her friends are captured by the British. Follow Hannah Pritchard in her second pirate adventure as she faces brutal conditions as a British prisoner during the American Revolution

Amazing Americans Series Review in SLJ

"Is it possible to condense the life of any person into approximately 40 sentences? This is what Wade attempts to do in these early-reader biographies...." as reviewed in School Library Journal (February 2010). All books written by Mary Dodson Wade and included in the review are:

Amazing Arctic Explorer Matthew Henson,
Amazing Champion of the Earth Rachel Carson,
Amazing Cherokee Writer Sequoyah,
Amazing Civil War Nurse Clara Barton,
Amazing Olympic Athlete Wilma Rudolph,
Amazing President Theodore Roosevelt.

September 24, 2010

Interesting facts about F. Scott Fitzgerald on what would have been his birthday

  • Did you know that his parents were obsessed with his well-being? Both of his older sisters died (at the ages of one and three years old) while his mom was pregnant with him, so I guess it's understandable. Eventually they did have another daughter, but Scott felt that his mother never got over the deaths of her older daughters.
  • His full name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald and he was named after the man who composed "The Star Spangled Banner." Edward Fitzgerald (Scott's father) was related to Francis Scott Key.
  • I also didn't know that This Side of Paradise was the best selling of his books during his lifetime. These are just a few tidbits of information I found about him in this book.

Interested in learning more about him? Click here.

Has anyone been involved in training service dogs?

Several years ago I attended a Christmas Eve service at church. If I'm not mistaken, the church was undergoing renovations, so the service was held in a gym. Sitting 2 or 3 bleacher-rows below me was a couple who had a Golden Retriever puppy wearing a vest that stated it was a service dog in training, or some similar wording.

I love the idea of helping to train a service dog, I just don't think I could give the dog back to the training institution, at least not easily. I give a lot of credit to those people who can train service dogs, and give them back!

Any thoughts?

Pam, Enslow staffer

The Music Scene, SLJ Review

"...clearly written, well organized, and copiously illustrated with full-color photographs of noted performers. All of them are good starting points for readers who know absolutely nothing about the genre featured." as reviewed in School Library Journal (Feburary, 2010) on:

The Hip-Hop Scene, author Ann Graham Gaines,
The Reggae Scene, authors Perter Manuel & Daniel Neely, and
The Alternative Rock Scene, author Wendy S. Mead

September 23, 2010

I See Circles

I See Circles, written by D.H. Dilkes has been published.

"What are some things in the shape of a circle?" Easy-to-read text takes you through a day in the eyes of a young person.

Written for Pre-K and beginning readers. Guided Reading Level: B. 
24 pages, full-color photographs, Enslow Publishers, Inc.

ISBN 13: 978-0-7660-3799-1
Paperback: 978-1-59845-150-4

Other titles in the All About Shapes series include: Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, Stars, and Triangles.

I See Rectangles

I See Rectangles, written by D.H. Dilkes, has been published.

Are there rectangles to be found at school? Emerging readers learn about common things shaped like rectangles in their schoolroom while practicing basic reading.

Written for Pre-K and beginning readers. Guided Reading Level: B. 24 pages, full-color photographs, Enslow Publishers, Inc.

ISBN 13: 978-0-7660-3801-1
Paperback: 978-1-59845-152-8

Other titles in the All About Shapes series include: Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, Stars, and Triangles. 

I See Triangles

I See Triangles, written by D.H. Dilkes, has been published.

How many triangles have you seen today? Early learners can read along as they notice triangles in everyday things.

Written for Pre-K and beginning readers. Guided Reading Level: B. 24 pages, full-color photographs, Enslow Publishers, Inc.

ISBN 13: 978-0-7660-3804-2

Paperback: 978-1-59845-155-9

Other titles in the All About Shapes series include: Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, Stars, and Triangles.

Review: Reader's Guide to Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis

"These excellent books analyze works of literature, describe the cultural context in which they are set, and provide biographical information...." begins the School Library Journal book review (August 2010) of:

A Reader's Guide to Gary Soto's
Taking Sides, written by Jen Jones;
A Reader's Guide to Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Laura Baskes Litwin;
A Reader's Guide to Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, written by Heather Lee Schroeder.

Back to School Night

I attended my 11th grade daughter's Back to School Night recently and I have to say I was pretty impressed with all of her teachers. I was especially anxious to meet her physics teacher since science isn't one of her best subjects.

If you take physics at our high school you know that at the end of the school year you are expected to build a bridge out of toothpicks. At Back to School Night the teacher had several impressive toothpick bridges displayed on his desk. I raised my hand and asked how much it cost to buy a bridge. He immediately responded that they weren't for sale. I think he thought I wanted to display one in my home. What I really wanted was to purchase a bridge so my daughter wouldn't have to build one because I know building one is somehow going to involve me. I don't see how it can't.

Enslow's Physics Science Prjojects Using the Scientific Method might not help her with building the next Brooklyn Bridge but it does have lots of great projects and ideas that I'm sure will come in handy for the Science Fair in December that will hopefully not involve any more than me bringing home this book and perhaps buying some of the easy materials these projects use.

My favorite class of the evening...Trigonometry. That teacher was handing was handing out chocolates!

Did you know ...

on this day in 1846, and yes, that was a long time ago, the planet Neptune was discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle? There were actually three discoverers of Neptune. The first one, John Couch Adams, knew that because the path of Uranus around the Sun did not make sense (some years it had a faster rotation, other years slower), and so John Couch Adams told astronomers to start looking for an eighth planet. No one took him seriously, until Urbain J.J. Le Verrier did some math calculations and thought John Couch Adams was correct. Johann Gottfried Galle took these calculations to find the eighth planet. "The discoverers agreed to name the new planet after the Roman god Neptune." This quote was taken from page 9 of the book.

Enslow's new title on this planet, for the elementary market, is available in both library and paperback bindings.

I See Squares

I See Squares, written by D.H. Dilkes, has been published.

Full-color photos and simple text uncover squares hidden within a child's world.

Written for Pre-K and beginning readers. Guided Reading Level: B. 24 pages, full-color photographs, Enslow Publishers, Inc.

ISBN 13:
Paperback: 978-1-59845-153-5

Other titles in the All About Shapes series include: Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, Stars, and Triangles.

"Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking into spiderwebs..."

Those are lyrics to the famous song by No Doubt a while back.

But have you ever walk into a spider web? I think it's one of the ickiest feelings ever! This morning as I was walking to my car, I almost disturbed and ruined a beautiful spider web attached to my car on one side and a plant on the other! It was so big that if I had walked into it, I definitely would have had to go inside and wipe down my legs or even shower again. Lately, I've been fascinated by spider webs and I'm not really sure why. It's just amazing how symmetrical they can make them and how much they can do in such little time. I felt really bad for ruining all of his hard work as I drove away, but I figure he can just build another one, right?

Enslow Publishers has a few great interesting books on spiders. Our newest title is Biggest vs. Smallest Creepy, Crawly Creatures which compares spiders and other creatures of all different sizes. Check out more titles on

Snowy Owls

Snowy Owls: Hunters of the Snow and Ice, written by Elaine Landau, has been published. 

How do snowy owls live in the cold Arctic? What do they hunt, and how do they raise their chicks? What are people doing to help save them? Learn about these rare and special animals, including facts about their life cycle, diet, and other unique features that help them survive in the snow and ice.

32 pages, full-color photographs, Enslow Publishers, Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-0-7660-3464-8

Other titles in the series include: Beluga Whales, Emperor Penguins, Harp Seals, Polar Bears, Snow Leopards, and Snowy Owls.

I See Ovals

I See Ovals, written by D.H. Dilkes, has been published.

How many ovals can be found on the town? Beginning readers can recite basic words as they identify objects they’re familiar with.

Written for Pre-K and beginning readers. Guided Reading Level: B. 24 pages, full-color photographs, Enslow Publishers, Inc.

ISBN 13: 978-0-7660-3800-4
Paperback: 978-1-59845-151-1

Other titles in the All About Shapes series include: Ovals, Rectangles, Squares, Stars, and Triangles.