Educator’s Guide: Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner

Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner
Ages 8-12
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When chance, or fate, throws two twelve-year-olds together on board a scientific research ship at the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s not all smooth sailing!

Jeremy “JB” Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before seventh grade hanging on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he’ll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Miles and miles away, twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp.

When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he’s excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission. How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom—let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?

Consider the Octopus is a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, and synchronicity. Above all, it is a heartfelt story about friendship and an empowering call to environmental protection, especially to our young people who are already stepping up to help save our oceans and our Earth.

Find out more about CONSIDER THE OCTOPUS here →

Teacher’s Guide: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Ages 12-18
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The first book in the #1 New York Times– and USA Today-Bestselling Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer like you’ve never seen it before, now with new cover art! See where the futuristic YA fairytale saga all began, with the tale of a teenage cyborg who must fight for Earth’s survival against villains from outer space.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.

Find out more about CINDER here →

Bilingual Activity: The Coquíes Still Sing / Los coquíes aún cantan by Karina Nicole González; illustrated by Krystal Quiles; translated by Amparo Ortiz

The Coquíes Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding by Karina Nicole González; illustrated by Krystal Quiles

A powerful story about home, community, and hope, inspired by the rebuilding of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, written by debut author Karina González and illustrated by Krystal Quiles.

Co-quí, co-quí! The coquí frogs sing to Elena from her family’s beloved mango tree—their calls so familiar that they might as well be singing, “You are home, you are safe.” But home is suddenly not safe when a hurricane threatens to destroy everything that Elena knows.

As time passes, Elena, alongside her community, begins to rebuild their home, planting seeds of hope along the way. When the sounds of the coquíes gradually return, they reflect the resilience and strength of Elena, her family, and her fellow Puerto Ricans.

“González’s melodic text sings, like Elena’s beloved coquíes, while Quiles’ gouache and acrylic artwork pops with vibrant hues and textures. . . A heartfelt reminder that even in the most difficult times, dreaming of a better tomorrow strengthens family and community.“–Kirkusstarred review

What a story of resilience and community! The Coquies Still Sing gives the reader the opportunity to recognize the things that we can do together to rebuild our lives and take care of our beloved communities. This book is more than beautiful.”–Yuyi Morales, Caldecott Honoree and New York Times bestselling creator of Dreamers


Los coquíes aún cantan: Un cuento sobre hogar, esperanza y reconstrucción cuento por Karina Nicole González; ilustrado por Krystal Quiles; traducido por Amparo Ortiz

Los coquíes aún cantan es un libro ilustrado para niños sobre el hogar, la comunidad, y la esperanza, inspirado por la reconstrucción de Puerto Rico luego del Hurricán María en Septiembre 2017. Este hermoso y emotivo libro fue escrito por Karina Nicole González, illustrado por Krystal Quiles, y traducido al español por Amparo Ortiz.

¡Co-quí, co-quí!
 Los coquíes le cantan a Elena desde el amado árbol de mango de su familia—sus llamadas son tan conocidas que es como si estuvieran cantando, “Estás en casa, estás a salvo.” Pero de repente, su hogar no es tan seguro cuando un huracán atenta con destruir todo lo que Elena conoce.

Con el paso del tiempo, Elena, junto a su comunidad, comienza a reconstruir su hogar, sembrando semillas de esperanza en el camino. Cuando los sonidos de los coquíes regresan gradualmente, reflejan la resiliencia y fuerza de Elena, su familia, y sus compatriotas puertorriqueños.

“El texto melódico de González canta, como los queridos coquíes de Elena, mientras que la obra de arte en gouache y acrílico de Quiles resalta con tonos y texturas vibrantes. . . Un recordatorio sincero de que incluso en los momentos más difíciles, soñar con un mañana mejor fortalece a la familia y la comunidad.”–Kirkus, reseña destacada

¡Qué historia de resiliencia y comunidad! Los Coquíes Aún Cantan le brinda al lector la oportunidad de reconocer todo lo que podemos hacer juntos para reconstruir nuestras vidas y cuidar a nuestras queridas comunidades. Este libro es más que hermoso.”—Yuyi Morales, homenajeada al Caldecott y creadora de Dreamers, reconocido en la lista de mejores vendidos del New York Times.

DISCUSSION GUIDE: A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin
Ages 13 – 18
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Judy I. Lin’s sweeping debut A Magic Steeped in Poison, first in a duology, is sure to enchant fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo.

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.

Learn more about A MAGIC STEEPED IN POISON →