Here are some of this week’s top stories that we thought you might want to read about now that the week is winding down:
World Book Day was yesterday, March 7, and the big question on everyone’s mind: What are *you* reading? World Book Day also has an online presence, complete with website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, etc., that includes material and videos useful for the classroom. Teaching your students how to craft the best possible stories can only help them become better consumers of fiction and non-fiction, right? The 2013 program for World Book Day—which included a number of video presentations, including one on how to develop your characters by famed Charlie and Lola creator Lauren Child—becomes available on-demand today, March 8. For the purists among you, UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day is officially celebrated on April 23 each year, but the United Kingdom celebrates the day on the first Thursday in March. (CAC)
ASCD’s e-books are now available through Kobo, the publisher announced this week. The Toronto, Canada-based e-reading service offers reading applications for the iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows, and their own line of e-reading devices. More than 80 of ASCD’s professional development e-books are now available via the website, including Charlotte Danielson’s Enhancing Professional Practice, 2nd Edition; Eric Jensen’s Teaching with Poverty in Mind; and Carol Ann Tomlinson’s How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms, 2nd Edition. (CAC)
BookMarks’ favorite Washington-based federal library, the Library of Congress, has put together a primary-source set on 19th-century American authors for teachers. The collection showcases public images and other material related to five major writers: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Edgar Allan Poe. The library has also included a guide for historical context, teaching suggestions, and links to online resources in its page. (CAC)
Looking for something a little bit silly and a lot book-ish to enjoy on a Friday afternoon? Look no further than these 30 book-inspired cakes, compliments of flavorwire.com. Some are more CakeWrecks than masterpieces, to be sure, but check out the mini-library. It’s a sight to behold.
Writers and artists continue to bring exciting book projects to Kickstarter. One new project that may appeal to educators across subjects is Mind Afire, a comic-book biography of inventor Nikola Tesla, aimed at a teen and adult audience. Tesla, a prolific and creative engineer and physicist, has gained popular attention recently as an under-appreciated genius whose inventions were co-opted by others. See, for example, this edition of the web comic Hark! A Vagrant for a capsule version of Tesla’s career.
The scope of Tesla’s work and imagination appealed to editor Abigail Samoun and Elizabeth Haidle, the women behind the project. Haidle’s delicate but vibrant illustrations could each be standalone artworks—Mind Afire can thus resemble a picture book more than a graphic novel. Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about the book, which will be published in paperback and also made available as a PDF e-book. For a list of more than 100 reader-rated and -reviewed books about or related to Nikola Tesla, visit the Nikola Tesla Book Database, hosted by Tesla Universe. And for more about how writers and illustrators are using Kickstarter, see Crowdfunding Kickstarts Book Projects (BookMarks, Dec. 4, 2012). (ADW)
A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.