December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us at Enslow Publishers! Our offices will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

December 26, 2012

Happy Kwanzaa from Enslow Publishers!


December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Enslow wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Our offices will be closed until January 2, 2013.

December 21, 2012

Kwanzaa Craft

Kwanzaa is a family holiday that lasts from December 26 to January 1. Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor, and his friends created Kwanzaa in 1966. They wanted African Americans to have a special holiday to celebrate family and community.

Mkeka Craft 

The mkeka (m-KAY-kahis the woven mat that decorates the Kwanzaa table. It is usually woven from straw or other natural fibers. Kwanzaa symbols such as the kinara, the seven candles, the unity cup, the ears of corn, and the basket of fruits and vegetables are placed on a mkeka.

What You Will Need

yellow construction paper
light-brown construction paper

What to Do

1. Use a ruler and pencil to draw lines that are 2 inches apart and 18 inches long on yellow construction
    paper. Use a ruler and pencil to draw lines that are 2 inches apart and 18 inches long on the light-brown
    construction paper.

2. Cut along the lines on both sheets of paper.

3. Weave all the strips of light-brown paper and all the strips of yellow paper together.

4. Glue all loose ends. Let dry.

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Why Is It Winter? Experiment

We're not counting on the world ending today and neither is NASA. What we can count on is another winter solstice. Why is winter weather cold? What happens to plants in the winter? Where do animals go in the winter? What is hibernation? This book answers these questions and many more. There's even a simple experiment related to winter that will engage young readers and create a fun learning environment.

You will need:
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2 bowls or cups
  • salt
  • clock or watch
1. Put one ice cube in each bowl.

2. Pour some salt over one ice cube. Add nothing to the second ice cube.

3. Check the ice cubes every ten minutes. Which ice cube melts fastest? Can you guess why people put salt  
    on the streets and sidewalks in the winter?

Why Is It Winter? is from our Why Do We Have Winter? series for grades 1–2 is available from Enslow, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your preferred vendor.
Available with library binding and in paperback

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December 20, 2012

Enslow Provides Hurricane Relief for Libraries

How do you spell relief? B-O-O-K-S. 

When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast it caused devastation to many homes and businesses. There were school and public libraries that suffered losses as well.  This week we're packing up book donations to send to some of the libraries that need help rebuilding their book collections. We hope to hear that these libraries will be re-opening in the near future with shelves stocked with books. 
In the meantime, many librarians are temporarily sharing space with other districts or public libraries or they have been moved into trailers while repairs are taking place. Some librarians have been provided space to receive donations, while others must wait until repairs to their space are completed. 

If your school or public library needs assistance due to damage caused by the hurricane, please contact us at with "Hurricane Relief" in the subject line. 

December 19, 2012

Enslow Publishers Will Be Closed for the Holidays

Enslow Publishers will be closed from December 24, 2012 through January 1, 2013.  Enslow Publishers will re-open on January 2, 2013.

Happy Holidays!

Santa Joke of the Day!

What's green and white and red all over? An elf with sunburn!  This joke of the day is from Ho-Ho-Ho Christmas Jokes: To Tickle Your Funny Bone by author Amelia LaRoche. Published by Enslow Publishers, Inc.

Happy Birthday Carter G. Woodson

Happy Birthday Carter G. Woodson, born December 19, 1875. A great new biography, written by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack is perfect for elementary students. Today, because of the efforts of this one man, Black History Month is celebrated annually and African-American history is a well-respected field of study. Published by  Enslow Publishers, Inc .

December 18, 2012

Happy Anniversary New Jersey! Ratification Day

Happy Anniversary New Jersey, 3rd state to ratify the Constitution, Dec 18, 1787.  Try some fun crafts about New Jersey in Fun and Simple Mid-Atlantic State Crafts, created by author June Ponte, published by Enslow Publishers, Inc.

Happy Birthday Steven Spielberg December 18th

Happy Birthday to Steven Spielberg, born on December 18th. Read a great biography of the director, written by author Laura B. Edge, published by Enslow Publishers, Inc.

Santa Joke (of the day)

What do you get if Santa goes down a chimney when a fire is lit? A Crisp Kringle!  This joke of the day is from Ho-Ho-Ho Christmas Jokes: To Tickle Your Funny Bone by author Amelia LaRoche.

December 17, 2012

Christmas Jokes

Library ISBN 978-0-7660-4123-3
Thought we would give you a sneak peek into one of our new series for spring 2013. Ho-Ho-Ho Christmas Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone is part of our Funnier Bone Jokes series. Written for the upper elementary reader, these 48 page books contain jokes, limericks, tongue twisters, knock-knock jokes, and fun facts about Christmas.

Other holidays/celebrations included in the series are: April Fool's Day, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, and Halloween. All of these titles are available directly from Enslow Publishers, Inc., or from your preferred vendor.

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December 14, 2012

Looking for Easy Christmas Crafts?

Randel McGee specializes in paper crafts. 

Watch Randel McGee's how-to video to create an easy Christmas craft from our Paper Crafts for Christmas book. This book is written in simple language with step-by-step instructions and photos illustrating each step. Patterns for the crafts are also included.

Available in library binding and paperback.

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December 13, 2012

Two Enslow Titles Make the 2012 SB&F Best List!

We're jumping for joy! The 2012 SB&F Best List contains a collection of all the highly recommended books and media resources reviewed by SB&F (Science Books & Films) this year and we're excited to have not one, but TWO books make the list this year.

The first book is Recycle: Green Science Projects for a Sustainable Planet from our Team Green Science Projects series. Author, Robert Gardner guides young readers through experiments that show how waste harms the environment and how to limit their impact. Projects that employ the scientific method are sure to engage and excite young minds.
Perfect for science fair projects!

The second book is Don't Let the Barber Pull Your Teeth: Could You Survive Medieval Medicine? by Carmen Bredeson from our Ye Yucky Middle Ages series illustrated by Gerald Kelley. This book also received a two-starred review! For a free educator's guide for this book, click here.

An easy read with vibrant illustrations! Great for reluctant readers.

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December 11, 2012

Enslow's "Poison Dart Frogs Up Close" In NY State 3rd Grade Common Core Lesson Plans, a website created and maintained by the New York State Department of Education, released its Common Core-related curriculum for the state's elementary schools. Included in the Grade 3 Language Arts curriculum is the Enslow title Poison Dart Frogs Up Close. Author Carmen Bredeson's 24-page book features exceptional full-color photos of the deadly amphibians as well as a well-written, Guided Reading Level "K" text.

The curriculum, created by Expeditionary Learning, states that Poison Dart Frogs Up Close should be used as a "full text in hand." Click here for detailed information about the Expeditionary Learning lesson plan that includes the Enslow book.

Poison Dart Frogs Up Close is available in paperback or in a library-bound edition directly from Enslow Publishers or via your preferred vendor. Enslow's list price for the paperback is $6.95. The library edition is available from Enslow directly for $15.95; that price represents a 25% school/library discount from Enslow's list price.

Christmas Joke of the Day!

Question: What's red and white and red and white and red and white? 

Answer: Santa rolling down a hill! Author Ameilia LaRoche has fun with corny, funny and silly jokes in Ho-Ho-Ho Christmas Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone! from our new Funnier Bone Joke series.

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December 10, 2012

Emily Dickinson poem on her birthday

Born on this day in 1830, Emily Dickinson would leave a legacy of almost 1,800 poems and many letters. Her grandfather, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, founded Amherst College in Massachusetts. Emily was born in a house in Amherst, called the Homestead. Emily spent much of her adult life in that house.

Considered one of the most important poets in American literature, Dickinson expressed a dark pessimism, which reflected the alienation of many American intellectuals after the Civil War. She was also known for being very private, which only made the public more fascinated with her personal life.

Below is one of her poems, written about nature:

Nature is what we see,
The Hill, the Afternoon—
Squirrel, Eclipse, the Bumble-bee
Nay—Nature is Heaven.

Nature is what we hear,
The Bobolink, the Sea—
Thunder, the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony.

Nature is what we know
But have no art to say,
So impotent our wisdom is
To Her simplicity.

December 07, 2012

The Cost of Making eBooks (Part 1)

Navigating the eBook Highway 

The Cost of Making eBooks (Part 1)

Hi. I’m the Digital Production Developer at Enslow Publishers. My name is Kurt Weber and I’ve been asked to write up a series of blog entries about the more technical side of eBooks. I'll do my best to not bore you, but I have that affect when I try to talk technical. Or talk anything, really. My position didn't exist before the company’s decision to make eBooks some time ago and it's been an evolutionary process. Prior to this, I spent 10 years as a graphic designer on the Production Department staff.  Using desktop software, I was responsible for creating the page and cover layouts of our printed books. Now I am responsible for taking those same layouts and getting them converted into a friendly, eBook format that can be read anywhere in the world.
Since I began this journey well over a year ago, eBooks have broken into the mainstream. As eReader devices become more common, more people are discovering the merits of reading an electronic book. Those same people are just venturing out into the eBook marketplace and many are suffering sticker shock. In that time, I’ve been hearing the same question over and over again, “Why do eBooks cost so much?” Or, more to the point, “Why isn’t every single eBook dirt cheap? There’s no paper, no printing, no warehouse, no trucking, no physical costs at all, so why would an eBook ever be more expensive than a printed book? It’s just an electronic file, like an e-mail, right?”
It is true that there is no physical inventory to deal with, but there are physical expenses. After all, an eBook is still a physical object, albeit a digital one. I’ll go into those physical expenses more a bit later, but just because an eBook can’t be put in a store window or gift wrapped, doesn’t mean that it didn’t take time, effort, and money to create and deliver it to you, the reader.  Just because an eBook is an electronic file that CAN be e-mailed around the world in a flash, doesn’t mean that is how we get it to you. Not to get off topic too much, but your email has costs, too. Maybe not to you, but Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, or more accurately, their advertisers, are paying for your ‘free-mail.’ 
One idea that my decade of print experience has reinforced, is that it takes a lot of people to make a book. Any book. (Before you jump up and say, “Self-Publish!” please replace the word ‘people’ with the word ‘time’ in the previous statement and any further reference to ‘people’ and ‘staff’ mentioned below.) That reality check will answer the first question:

Since an eBook is always hidden in your reading device,
it's easy to forget about the hidden costs to make it!

Q: Why do eBooks cost so much? (I won’t go into actual dollar figures, but for some relative perspective, see this detailed two-part article.)
A: It takes a lot of people to make an eBook! Many of the same people who spend time making a printed book and getting it to market are now spending time making the eBook and getting it to market.
Before I dissect the issue, let’s assume that the book has already been written and even printed, but is now just being converted into a digital version. That will exclude the normal costs of author advances, editing, fact-checking, proof reading, photo research, securing photos and/or artwork, etc. So my example is really just addressing the argument, “If the printed book is already done and paid for, the only thing left to do is click SEND!” If only.
Let’s take the producers of the actual eBook file:
  1. There is processing staff that track down and prepare the existing layout files for conversion.
  2. There is production staff who take the existing layout file and translate it into HTML, XHTML, or XML code, and generate an EPUB file. There are automated programs that do this, but they have often been described as ‘meat-grinders.’ Get the idea?
  3. There is proofing staff that check for errors, line by line. Yes, we do proofread our eBooks because things do get lost or mixed up in the conversion! They also proof the code.
  4. Revise, revise, revise.
Already, you can see that a good number of people are involved in making the ‘physical’ eBook. All of this staffing and processing cost time. And as the old adage claims, Time=Money. (Yes, you self-publishers know what I'm talking about now!) I haven’t even gone into the hardware needs for processing and storing all of this digital information. I’ll save that for my next entry.

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December 06, 2012

"The United States at War" Titles Now Available as eBooks!

We are excited to announce that our series "The United States at War" has now been added to our growing list of eBooks. They can be purchased from all of your favorite eBook retailers including:

Library editions of "The United States at War" series are available from Enslow Publishers or your preferred vendor.

This series provides an interesting look at American wars through well-researched text, vivid color and black-and-white photographs, and detailed maps. Young readers will not only learn about the important battles and military leaders, but what life was like on the home front for women and children, and the legacy these wars have today.

To learn more about "The United States at War" series

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December 05, 2012

Historical Fiction Adventures: eBooks Available!

Every book in Enslow's award winning "Historical Fiction Adventures" series is now available as an eBook!  "Historical Fiction Adventures" are high-interest, factually accurate short novels about important or infamous events in history.  With engaging writing and an extensive section of non-fiction backmatter, each book in "Historical Fiction Adventures" is great for personal or supplemental reading.

You can find "Historical Fiction Adventures" at all of your favorite eBook retailers:

Barnes & Noble

Library and Paperback editions of all "Historical Fiction Adventures" are available from Enslow Publishers or your preferred vendor.

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Congratulations to our November 2012 raffle winner!

Enslow would like to congratulate the library at Mountain Sky Junior High School for winning our November raffle!

December 04, 2012

Enslow's "A Champion Sports Stories" Titles Available as E-books

Enslow Publishers' exciting new fiction titles for young readers are now available as e-books! The new offerings include five works in "A Champion Sports Story" grouping. Each book offer fast-paced, action-packed sports stories suitable for Grade 4 reading levels. These high-interest stories embrace uplifting themes such as teamwork, fair play, and sportsmanship. Each book's length, ranging from 104 to 112 pages,  makes these engaging stories particularly accessible for reluctant readers.

Purchase these Enslow e-books now from Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

Library-bound and paperback editions of "A Champion Sports Story" are also available directly from Enslow Publishers or from your preferred vendor.

December 03, 2012

E-books available for purchase

Over the next few days we hope to introduce you to some of our new e-books. We will be adding more to the retailers sites as they are ready.

The Holocaust Through Primary Sources series, targeted toward the middle school reader, captures a variety of major events of the Holocaust, using first-person accounts. Through the words of the victims, bystanders, and perpetrators, individual experiences are told in detail. Unknown as well as well-known Holocaust figures are also looked at.

All six titles in this series (Auschwitz, Kristallnacht, Liberation, Rescuing the Danish Jews, Saving Children from the Holocaust, and The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising) are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo.

The library and paperback versions of these titles are also available on or through your preferred vendor.

November 30, 2012

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day

This Saturday, Dec 1 is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. I was fortunate that when I was a child my parents frequently took me to bookstores. I wasn't always allowed to buy something but more times than not they bought me a book, magazine, or even a comic book or two.

Today, I still frequently visit bookstores and especially love browsing in used bookstores. This year's surprise Christmas present for my daughter is coming from a used bookstore near her college. She spotted a set of books in the window that caught her eye but the store was closed at the time. Not long after, I visited the store and bought the set of books (which actually turned out to be new and still in the wrapper) and I've hidden them away. (If you're concerned that she might read this ruin the surprise, don't be. This is one thing she doesn't read!)

More recently, we went to another store to browse. My daughter is probably the only person that can browse longer than me in a bookstore. She picked out books. She bought two. I bought her another one. She pointed out several more she wanted for Christmas. More importantly, we enjoyed some special time together before she had to head back to college.

So, take some time this Saturday to take your child to a bookstore. Start a tradition. Create memories. Read together with younger children. Browse displays with older ones. Maybe go back later and buy that special book and surprise someone with it during the holidays.

Learn more about a bookstore near you.that's participating in this year's Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day event.

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November 29, 2012

Interview With Author, Sara Latta

What do these books all have in common? Yes, they are all Enslow books. But besides that, they were all written by author, Sara Latta. We thought it would fun to share our interview with Sara, a girl who was raised on a dairy farm in Kansas and grew up to become an author. Enjoy!

Enslow: Has anything in your upbringing influenced your interest in writing nonfiction?
Sara: I'm a science writer, so my interest in nonfiction grows out of my love of science. I was raised on a farm, and I was captivated by the world around me. I studied the behavior of red ants and discovered that they will bite when provoked. That was a painful lesson! My mother was understanding of dead birds in the freezer and the experiments with baby teeth and sugar. I thought I'd be a scientist when I was in college; I had a double major in Microbiology and English. It was only when I was in grad school that I realized that I'd rather write about science than DO science. 

Sara Latta at a school visit.

Enslow: If you could give a beginning writer advice, what would it be?
Sara:  Read, read, read, especially in the genre that interests you. And I mean read with a really critical eye. How does the author use everyday language to express complex issues? What is the role of narrative--everyone likes a good story! Familiarize yourself with your subject. Since I am a science writer, this often requires reading a lot of technical articles, but when you interview a scientist about his or her work, you want to show that you've done your homework in advance.
Enslow: Can you recall a specific challenge you had writing any of these books?
Sara:  You know, the three forensic science books (Bones: Dead People DO Tell Tales; Cybercrime: Data Trails DO Tell Tales; and DNA & Blood: Dead People DO Tell Tales) posed a real psychological challenge to me. I spent a good amount of time immersed in and writing about really horrible people and their horrific deeds. I wanted to tell the stories of how investigators used forensic science to solve real crimes, but I had to make sure the stories were appropriate for middle grade readers. It wasn't always easy.

Enslow: How did you overcome it?
Sara:  I finished the books.
Enslow: What is your main concern when writing nonfiction for children or young adults?
Sara: Well, good writing is good writing, so that's the main thing. But writing for children and young adults also requires putting yourself into the mind of the reader. I try to think about the metaphors that they would understand, and which concepts can they handle, especially those that might be disturbing or too abstract. But I think the key is to not underestimate the intelligence and curiosity of kids, and I don't talk down to them. I assume that they haven't bought into the idea that physics or chemistry or biology is hard. I'm hoping that my readers are the kind of kids who found out the hard way that red ants bite when provoked.
Enslow: Do you write only nonfiction?
Sara: I wrote a picture book about dark matter (Stella Brite and the Dark Matter Mystery, Charlesbridge, 2006), which is fiction but about science--something my friend Jacqueline Houtman calls sciencey fiction. And I have a couple of unfinished young adult fiction manuscripts that I hope will someday appear on bookshelves.
Enslow: Where is your favorite writing space?
Sara: My office. I'm fortunate that I have a room of my own, as Virginia Woolf put it. My husband bought me a comfortable writing chair, and I also have a sofa for reading and/or napping as the need arises. 

Sara's writing space.
Enslow: What types of books do you enjoy reading?
Sara: I classify my books into two categories. I am a huge fan of audio books; I listen to them while walking, exercising, driving, doing dishes and laundry, etc. I tend to listen to mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction. I listened to all of the books in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. The books I sit down and actually read are all over the map--fiction and nonfiction. I write a YA book review column for our local newspaper, so I read a lot of books for young adults. One of my favorites this year was Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity.

Enslow: Who would you trade places with for a day?
Sara: I'd love to be an explorer, to go where no one has gone before. The last great unexplored frontier today is the deep ocean, so I guess I'd like to trade places with an oceanographer and explorer like Sylvia Earle. I'm afraid she would find my life a bit dull, however. 

November 28, 2012

"Dealing With Stress: A How-to Guide" An Award-Winning Finalist!

CONGRATULATIONS to our author, Lisa Wroble!
Available with library binding, in  paperback, and as an e-book!

We are pleased to announce that, Dealing with Stress: A How-to Guide is an Award-Winning Finalist in the "Young Adult: Non-Fiction" category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

This book is available from Enslow, major book distributors, retail bookstores, and online retailers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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November 27, 2012

Enslow's "Kwanzaa: Revised and Updated" Among Perma-Bound's "Common Core Recommended" Titles

The November edition of "Perma-Gram," an e-mail newsletter from Perma-Bound, offers book suggestions for building or adding to holiday book collections. The lists, curated by Perma-Bound's collection development pros, include a number of Enslow products. We were especially satisfied that Perma-Bound designated our Kwanzaa: Revised and Updated as a "Common Core Recommended" title.

Co-authored by Dorothy Rhodes Freeman and Dianne M. MacMillan, this 48-page, AR 3.5-level book introduces elementary readers to this year-end holiday. The writers explore Kwanzaa's origin, show how the holiday is celebrated, and provide the backmatter, illustrations, and photographs to enable young readers to find multiple approaches to grasp and utilize the age-appropriate, informational text.

Kwanzaa: Revised and Updated (978-0-7660-3042-8) is available from Perma-Bound or directly from Enslow Publishers.

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November 26, 2012

It's Cyber Monday!

Because it is Cyber Monday, Internet access may be slow for all of us today.

Library ISBN 978-0-7660-3870-7
Paper ISBN 978-1-59845-286-0
Looking for titles for your teens and tweens for the holidays? How about some biographies on Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift? Enslow's paperback editions are great for middle school readers.
Library ISBN 978-0-7660-3873-8
Paper ISBN 978-1-59845-287-7

The fifteen titles in the Hot Celebrity Biographies series are all available in either library or paperback editions. Other Hot Celebrity Biographies include: America Ferrera, Daniel Radcliffe, Hilary Duff, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Michael Phelps, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Robert Pattinson, Selena Gomez, Shaun White, and Taylor Lautner.

These titles are available directly from Enslow, your preferred vendor, and are available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

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