Joe Barber-Starkey. Illustrated by Paul Montpellier.
Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 1997. 32 pp., paper, $10.95.
Grades preschool to 3 / Ages 4 - 8.
Review by Joan Payzant.
The weather had been calm for many days now, and the long swell of the ocean rocked the canoe gently. The smell of the cedar of the dugout canoe and of the tar which patched its ancient hull combined with the background odours of salt water and seaweed, while an occasional offshore movement of air brought the delicious scent of the sunbaked needles which were thick on the ground under the spruce trees on the islands. The soft cries of the drowsy sea birds, the soothing sounds of humming insects and the gentle lapping sound of the water against the canoe did not make him want to do anything else but to be still, watch and listen.
When I read the above excerpt from Jason and the Sea Otter, I could feel and smell the pungent atmosphere of a summer day on salt water, a pleasant contrast from the raging March blizzard of a Maritime spring that was taking place outside my window.
This book, the story of Jason, a young Nootka boy living on the coast of British Columbia, captures perfectly the way of life of the Nootka people and, in particular, tells of Jason's fascination with marine life as he paddles his dugout canoe to a bed of kelp. He ties his canoe to the kelp, jigs for cod, and then, with the aid of a bottomless bucket, gazes down into the depths of the water.
Paul Montpellier's colourful stylized illustrations add tremendous vitality to the story via their sympathetic portrayal of life in a Nootka village. It is refreshing to read about Jason, a child who entertains himself by finding total absorption in observing nature. He recognizes the necessity of moving quietly and slowly in order to get closer to wildlife, but suddenly the serenity is shattered when he falls overboard into ice cold water. The story's pace picks up as Jason, struggling to regain the safety of his canoe, is unexpectedly aided by a sea otter.
This book will have special appeal for children in the lower grades, because, like Robert McCloskey's books of life on the Atlantic coast, for example Time of Wonder, Joe Barber-Starkey has written an almost three-dimensional story; in this instance, one which recreates the atmosphere of British Columbia's Pacific coast. Jason and the Sea Otter is the kind of book that adults will never tire of reading to children in their care. Both author and illustrator have subtly presented details of the Nootka way of life in a manner which flows with the story rather than being forcefully injected out of context.
Joan Payzant, a retired teacher and teacher-librarian, lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which is now part of HRM or Halifax Regional Municipality.
Marilynn Reynolds. Illustrated by Stephen McCallum.
Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers, 1997. 32pp., paper, $16.95.
Grades preschool to 4 / Ages 4 - 9.
Review by Joan Payzant.
**** / 4
The next job was to build a house. Father drove Big Red and Mike into town for supplies. The oxen moved as slowly as snails, and when they were tired, they lay down to rest and wouldn't get up until they felt like moving again. Six days later they came home with a load of lumber for the new house.
From the start of the journey showing the family on a steamship waving good-bye until the coming of spring after a long lonely winter in their sod hut, The New Land explains exactly how members of a pioneer family went about adapting their lives to prairie homesteading. It covers early railways, country stores, covered wagons, ox teams, wildlife, water divining, house building, preparations for winter and finally the joy of spring.
The New Land is a grand example of the attractive books now available to Canadian children.
Joan Payzant, a retired teacher and teacher-librarian, lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which is now part of HRM or Halifax Regional Municipality.
New York, NY: Scholastic Press, 1997. 40 pp., paper, $l9.99.
Grades 2 - 5 / Ages 7 - 10.
Review by Jo-Anne Mary Benson.
Water's curious behaviour has mystified people for centuries. Many of these mysteries have been solved through careful observation and diligent experimentation.
With more than 300 magazine covers to his credit, Walter Wick has demonstrated his expertise as a photographer. Children are also familiar with his work from the popular I Spy books. In this latest undertaking, Wicks takes a scientific approach to exploring the wonderful world of water in its various forms.
The photographs, the most dominant aspect of the book, immediately appeal to the inquisitive nature of children. Wick provides visual rewards throughout with each photograph possesing a certain element of discovery. From the cover's photo of a droplet falling into a glass to the fascinating details of snowdrops, children will eagerly anticipate the turning of the next page.
A Drop of Water, though a visual delight, offers so much more to readers. Simple experiments encourage children to float a pin in a glass of water or discover shapes in bubbles. Readers can participate in various activities, such as demonstrating molecules in motion by using food colouring or simulating cloud formation under a glass. By engaging in just some of these hands-on experiments, readers will discover the meaning of such things as surface tension, condensation, vapour and refraction. Children will be surprised to find that something as common as water can be such a fascinating subject, and they will be encouraged to investigate further.
Though most of the book's activities are visually self-explanatory, the accompanying text is very concise and written in a language that youngsters can easily understand. To aid readers further, the author provides a two-page spread at the end of the book which describes the experiments in a more instructional manner. This feature makes the book a worthwhile addition to any educational environment.
Wick does a superb job in both presenting his material and illustrating the concepts. His photography turns a simple act, like a drop falling from a faucet, into a work of art. The overall presentation holds much child appeal and leaves readers eagerly awaiting his next work.
Jo-Anne Mary Benson is a writer/reviewer for North American books, magazines, newspapers and journals.
Jacques Savoie. Illustrated by Geneviève Côté.
Montréal, PQ: La Courte échelle, Collection Roman Jeunesse 1996. 96pp., paper, $7.95.
Grades 3 - 7 / Ages 8 - 12.
Review by Kathleen L. Kellett-Betsos.
C'est quoi, ces petits carreaux que tu dessines? a demandé Adelè en entrant dans la chambre.
La petite serrait sa poupée décousue dans ses bras et regardait le plan de la ville comme si elle avait le vertige.
Une image . . . prise à vol d'oiseau, a répondu Charlie. Comme si on passait au-dessus de Chicago en avion.
. . . à vol d'oiseau, répété Adèle.
Quelque chose l'intriguait dans ces mots. Elle s'est penchée au-dessus de Charlie pour voir de plus près.
Moi aussi, j'aimerais faire du vol d'oiseau, déclara-t-elle.
Acadian novelist, scriptwriter and musician, Jacques Savoie celebrates the magic of words and the imagination in this novel for young people. Here, the simple metaphor, "a bird's eye view," sets young Adele on a flight of fantasy guaranteed to distract her parents' attention away from her brother, Charlie, and his propensity for getting into trouble. After Adèle and her doll fall off a ladder, an action which results in Adèle's dislocating her hip, her parents are convinced that they must dissuade her from taking flight. Unfortunately, even the cautionary tale of Icarus and Daedelus has no effect. According to Adèle, Icarus could have succeeded if only he's used super-glue instead of wax! Charlie, however, is more sceptical of his sister's story - surely Adèle is taking advantage of their parents' credulity in order to focus their attention on her. Still the situation allows him, with his sister Caroline's help, to search freely on the Internet for the collection of city maps he needs to create his own imaginary city. Eventually his new creation offers a safe solution to Adèle's desire for flight, even though it also means replacing his parents' work on an ad campaign with a hard disk full of city maps from around the world.
Savoie is best known for Les Portes tournantes, a novel written for adults and adapted for the screen in 1988. This is his second novel for children published by La Courte échelle in the series, Roman Jeunesse. Une Ville imaginaire establishes a complicity with young readers by having the narrator frequently lend the narrative voice to each of the three children. Bridging the gap between the children and their devoted but gullible parents is the colourful Capitaine Santerre who offers comfort and advice to adults and children alike. His project of encouraging his "éphémères éternelles," flowers that normally grow only in sewers, to flourish in the urban light of day echoes the children's sense of fantasy and beauty. On the book's cover, Geneviève Côté's colourful drawing of Adèle in flight over Charlie's imaginary city invites the reader to leave the mundane behind while her black and white sketches accompanying the text bring to life Savoie's colourful characters.
Kathleen L. Kellett-Betsos teaches Quebecois and French-Canadian civilization and literature at Ryerson Polytechnic University.
New York, NY: Scholastic Press, April, 1997. 148pp., cloth, $15.95.
Grade 5 - 9 / Ages 10 - 14.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
Note: Book was reviewed from uncorrected proofs.
I loved my library card. It was all creased and smudged and spilled on, and the corners were rounded and furry. But it was the only official card I have ever had, and the reason it was so beat-up was because I carried it with me everywhere, because I never knew when I might need it. My mother said it was a good thing I had it too, letting me bring books home, because otherwise I would never leave the library, because I couldn't stop reading. She would have to bring my meals to the library and send along my stuffed red hippo so I could sleep right. We used to laugh about that.
The excerpt's speaker, April Mendez, 11 1/2, is the only character from this collection of four independent stories who, initially, is an avid reader, but all of the book's major characters find their lives changed because of their contact with a blue-coloured library card. In the opening piece, Mongoose, two shoplifting 12-year-old buddies, Jamie "Mongoose" Hill and Bobby "Weasel" Morgan seem destined for lives of crime until Mongoose meets the fact-filled library book, "I Wonder." Discovering this new world of wondrous information, Mongoose increasingly has less in common with Weasel, and the pair's friendship ends.
In Brenda, TV addicted Brenda Foster, having agreed to participate in her school's "Great TV Turn Off," must endure a week without her "drug." After some days, a sleepwalking Brenda visits a library and finds a biography of herself which abruptly concludes, "One day Brenda turned on the television." An alarmed Brenda uses the remainder of the week to substitute real living for TV's make-believe world. Though thrilled by Brenda's change, her mother wonders what Brenda will do when the TV embargo is lifted.
Since he was five, Sonseray, of the story with the same name, has been bouncing around the country with his uncle Jack. Sonseray's negative behaviours force the two to keep moving, and readers learn that the 13-year-old's antisocial actions stem from his unsuccessful "memory search" for his dead mother. While Sonseray queries his uncle, he cannot make personal connections with the memory fragments his uncle recounts. However, a library encounter with a romance novel triggers warm recollections of a woman who read that book to him at bedtime when he was just four.
The title character of "April Mendez" is upset by her family's move to a Pennsylvania farm. One day, she finds herself aboard the local bookmobile when it is highjacked by a runaway, suicidal teenager, Nanette. When the two girls part, April writes her name and address on her library card and invites Nanette to write her, something Nanette does. Through the girls' correspondence, the connective power of the written word is again revealed.
Newbery award winning Spinelli continues to exhibit strong characterization; however, his capacity for humour only reveals itself in Brenda as the TV starved girl uses binoculars to peep through neighbours' TV flickering windows. The recurring library card provides a "Twilight Zone" eeriness to the stories.
Though characters' ages suggest an early middle school audience, the stories' emotional impact might be more fully appreciated by older readers.
Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and adolescent literature courses at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood / Douglas & McIntyre, 1996. 159 pp., paper, $9.95.
Grades 7 - 9 / Ages 12 - 14.
Review by Irene Gordon.
After four novels, Sarah Ellis has produced Back of Beyond, a book of 12 short stories. While they are not exactly ghost or horror stories, each contains something slightly abnormal which cannot be explained rationally.
For example, in Catch, Rita and her aunt Darlene help an elderly stranger find his dog, an action which causes Rita to miss her bus to band rehearsal. Borrowing her aunt's car, Rita parks in an underground garage where, after rehearsal, she is attacked by three men. Fortuitously, a security guard appears, scares off the assailants, calls the police and then disappears. Later, the parking attendant tells Rita that the garage has no security personnel. Based on Rita's description of her rescuer, Aunt Darlene concludes he was the man they had assisted in finding his dog.
In Visitors Katie and her anorexic friend Ellen hike to a mountain cabin where, after supper, they are joined by two strangers, Sith and Bab, who identify themselves as siblings. After involving the group in some riddles, Sith begins to play a mouth organ.
Before I had decided to, I was on my feet dancing around that rocky place like a crazy person. Ellen, too. We couldn't stop. And I wasn't tired at all. My legs were like springs. I just wanted to dance harder and faster and longer and never stop.
Katie twists her ankle and stops dancing, but the others continue to dance faster and faster. Suddenly Katie realizes that the answer to Sith's and Bab's last riddle was "Nothing". When they ignore her shouted out answer, Katie blows out the candle, leaving the quartet in absolute darkness. By the time Ellen gets out a flashlight, Sith and Bab have disappeared. The next morning, Katie and Ellen look at where they had been dancing.
And then I saw it. A circle. A circle where dancing feet had worn away the moss. A circle whose outer edge was a hand's-breadth away from the crumbling cliff edge.
While this collection contains some excellent stories, there are others that are not quite so successful. In the best, characters, settings, atmosphere or emotions are described so vividly that the stories come alive.
In addition to the suggested upper middle school audience, Back of Beyond would also appeal to those older teen readers who can be enticed beyond its somewhat young-looking physical appearance and format.
Irene Gordon, a teacher librarian who has spent 13 tears working in a Winnipeg junior high school, is presently the co-editor of the MSLA Journal which is published by the Manitoba School Library Association.
Edited by Howard White.
Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 1996. 80 pp., paper, $12.95.
Grades 11 and up / ages 16 and up.
Review by Thomas F. Chambers.
The Raincoast Chronicles began in 1972 as a result of an Opportunities For Youth Grant. This is the 17th book in the series which have covered a great variety of topics including logging and early Vancouver. There is no central theme to No. 17 which contains twelve stories about coastal life and interesting coastal people.
Raincoast Chronicles 17 offers something for everyone. For example, it deals with prominent British Columbia citizens, like Victoria photographer Hannah Maynard, plus unknowns, such as August Schnarr of Bute Inlet who eked out a meagre living for his family with little more than willpower. As the title suggests, the book also chronicles routine west coast activities, like hunting and fishing, and the unusual, such as the handling of the great small pox epidemic of 1862. Covering a considerable variety of topics, the stories show how rich life was on the B.C. coast.
Two of the most interesting stories are Donkey Boiler Coffee and The Deer??? The former discusses the making of coffee for loggers in the firebox used to create steam in an engine boiler. While this topic may not be as important to the history of the west coast as is that of Francis Mawson Rattenbury, architect of Victoria's Empress Hotel and the subject of 'Ratz by Robin Ward, it does give readers a slice of what life was like for the working man. The Deer??? by Dick Hammond is a fascinating account of two hunters on the trail of a stag which constantly outwits them. The story, which totally engrosses the reader, is told with awe and reverence for one of nature's magnificent creatures.
Kalpalin - an Aboriginal Metropolis, by Dick Hammond, contains an interesting history of the Sechelt Indians of the Coast Salish linguistic family who lived on the shores of Pender Harbour. These unusual people had an elaborate civilization which was totally destroyed by contact with the white man. Their treatment at the hands of missionaries intent on saving their souls is truly disturbing.
While the selections in Raincoast Chronicles 17 are well written by knowledgeable people, the inclusion of brief notes about the authors and their interests would have improved the book. The work shows the richness and diversity of Canadian history; and, without such books these stories and the people chronicled would be lost forever.
Thomas F. Chambers is a professor of politics, economics and history at Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology in North Bay, Ontario.
Liz Zetlin. Drawings by Janis Hoogstraten.
Place: Penumbra Press, 1995. pp., paper, $14.95.
Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up.
Review by Jo-Anne Mary Benson.
At first glance, one would assume that this work is just a standard work of poetry. After the initial reading, however, this reviewer discovered Said the River to be a highly complex and unusual collaboration that celebrates the life and writings of Isabella Valancy Crawford who published in the period 1870-1875.
Poet Liz Zetlin immediately presents her poetry without the aid of an "Introduction" or "Preface" to explain the objective of her collection of poems. However, at the book's conclusion, she offers an introduction to the main characters, an "Afterword" that describes how she became inspired to undertake this book and finally an informational "Timeline" from 1845 to 1897. Having read this book several times, I felt that readers would benefit by having all this information at the very beginning of the book. Instead, readers become immediately immersed in the text and are left to meander aimlessly forward, trying to piece together the people and places while also attempting to make sense of the poet's work and her objective.
In addition to drawing heavily on research, including historical records, Zetlin took a trip to the Saugeen River, a locale where Crawford may have travelled. No doubt, this event helped Zetlin better appreciate one of Crawford's many sources of inspiration. However, the fact that Zetlin not only writes as if she were Crawford, herself, but also via the perspectives of the various other characters, makes the poetry confusingly abstruse.
Though Janis Hoogstraten is highly qualified to illustrate any work, in Said the River the ill defined, obscure drawings unfortunately detract from the poetry.
People read to be entertained, and, although many of the poems stand well on their own and the concept of the book is worthwhile, numerous elements of Said the River are puzzling. For these reasons, the book is not recommended.
Jo-Anne Mary Benson, is a writer/reviewer for North American books, magazines, newspapers, and journals.
Edited by Ann Marie Aldighieri.
Toronto, ON: Copp Clark Professional, 1997. 1,496 pp., hardcover, $189.00.
Review by Lorrie Ann Wannamaker.
Any book that has been published for 150 consecutive years and has been a Canadian bestseller since 1847 likely deserves high recommendation. The Canadian Almanac & Directory merits such praise. Not willing to rest on its laurels, the 150th edition has been completely redesigned.
The new design features:
With all the information about Canadian institutions, organizations and prominent citizens, The Canadian Almanac & Directory is not only a large and heavy book, but it also is a wonderful research tool for students, and anyone wanting up-to-date facts about Canada would be overwhelmed. National Librarian Marianne Scott writes that it is the "most valuable source of basic reference information" and a "veritable bible of quick information."
Though librarians would be the first people to purchase this book, business people would benefit from the list of fax numbers along with all the current addresses of every government office and financial organization. The promotional sheet accompanying the volume says it provides over 125,000 sales leads, and mailing lists would be easy to develop for sales contacts.
Recommended to anyone needing an almanac. And, as an added bonus this year, purchasers receive a facsimile reprint of the 1847 edition of the Almanac.
Lorrie Ann Wannamaker is Vice-Principal at Sir Wilfrid Laurier School in Hamilton, Ontario.
Vancouver, BC: Ronsdale Press, 1996. 80 pp., paper, $11.95.
Review by Deborah Mervold.
He stands absorbed
an abstract in a line
Intent on the lake
of the imagination
comely as courtesy.
Poised in the politesse of old
Partial to soft declensions
Watch as he leans
in the crook of the
Practised to rescue
the fading afternoon
White Linen Remembered, Fiamengo's seventh book of poetry, combines a description which speaks to the memories and the soul of the reader as well as a depth which is evident even if not fully understood. The collection is divided into seven numbered sections with each section containing three to six poems. Many poems are prefaced by a quotation or a brief dedication to someone or some place in the poet's recollection. This technique, which adds a very personal note to the collection, enables readers to glimpse the past, view the present, anticipate the future and eavesdrop on the thoughts of the poet.
The writing's literary quality is inspiring and thought-provoking. There is a richness in language, particularly in the use of adjectives. A definite form and structure adds to the almost prose phrasing in the poetry. For example, White Linen Remembered, opens with the following seven lines:
If all manner of things
are to be well,
are to be well remembered,
as flowers are codes, birds
alphabets to existence
is white linen. White linen
cross-stitched with crimson....
I enjoyed the strength of metaphors and repetition of words and phrases. The references to mythology and history added to the collection's universality.
Raised and educated in British Columbia, Fiamengo is the daughter of Yugoslavian parents. Now retired and living in West Vancouver, Fiamengo taught literature at the University of British Columbia. Her poetry had been included in many anthologies, including most recently, Words We Call Home and Inside the Poem. As well as being an excellent addition for personal libraries, this poetry collection would be suitable for senior high, public and university libraries.
Deborah Mervold is a teacher/librarian in a grade 6 to 12 school and a grade 12 English teacher at Shellbrook Composite High School.
Feature by John Burns.
Reprinted from Children's Book News a publication of the Canadian Children's Book Centre.
I FIRST MEET SARAH ELLIS in the gloaming, that twilight time between day and night when magical things can happen. It is mid-November, the season of stories around the hearth and departed spirits just out of sight. As she sips from her hot-chocolate-hold-the-whipped-cream, she transforms our trendy cappuccino hideaway into a land far away. The Vancouver novelist-librarian-storyteller begins by outlining the impetus to Back of Beyond, her latest book: "I started to get very interested in what exactly would it be in a culture that would give rise to a woman with a wonderful husband and bonny children in a supportive community who one day goes off with the fairies. (Pause.) Doesn't this just sound like the dilemma of so many women here and now and always?"
Ellis crosses professional boundaries with ease. She has written children's books for a decade now and worked as a librarian for twice that. These roles "all kind of flow into each other" she says. "I find writing a book review or speech or something about children's literature easier, in a way, than writing fiction, because it's more logical. And since you usually get paid for this writing right away, it feels like work. Writing fiction feels very much like play to me."
Of her other role, she says, "Being a librarian is different. It's changing so radically, I feel pretty at sea about my role. All the values I really believe in - about the value of imagination, the value of concentrating on an idea privately and the value of nonmainstream ideas - are up for grabs at the moment."
To the suggestion that the role as gatekeeper of information still stands, Ellis laughs, "That's my idea, but I'm not sure that's what the public or the library board thinks. I feel that actually librarians always did that on the sly. Nobody ever went to their city council and said "You should fund libraries so that we can foment rebellious thought in the young. They went saying (good libraries would make) good citizens; but librarians being who they are ... that's what they did."
Rebellious thoughts abound in Back of Beyond, a collection of short stories set in the realm where mundane and magical worlds overlap. Ellis's protagonists have one foot in childhood and the other in adulthood; their transitional role means that anything can happen, and does. A sister prays to Mr. Potato Head that her brother will leave his cult and return home to her; he does but in a new guise. A boy spends a night in the company of an elusive girl who can read his mind, though they meet only by computer. A youngster's family opens its heart to a troubled child who receives love from an inexplicable source.
In Back of Beyond, worldly concerns function as counterpoint to the fairy tale elements that Ellis builds on. This mixture of modern content and traditional genre-defined structure (the once-upon-a-time formulas that underpin fairy tales are still present but muted) eased the task of writing: "I don't usually know what is going to happen. I actually hate plot, even as a reader. But with these stories, I really knew what was going to happen."
Ellis is quick to point out the debt she owes to traditional folklore. "I don't think anyone reading the stories is going to know," she cautions, "but they mostly come from the British tradition. I was just remaking them in contemporary terms."
Though few of the 12 stories mention creatures like pixies or selkies, strange occurrences intrude into the lives of all her characters. Ellis's epigraph clarifies this relationship, citing Barbara Rieti, author of Strange Terrain: The Fairy World in Newfoundland: "Most 'fairy' appearances are unspectacular, private affairs, unaccountable little slippages in space or time, oddities pondered from time to time by the people involved ... Iittle fairy tricks, and suddenly everyday reality is open to question."
Unlike Ellis's early works, these stories feature protagonists as old as 16. She enjoyed writing for a more sophisticated reader because "in the longer books, I'm pretty linear. Short stories seem to me to lend themselves to non-linear telling, to a set of images with a flashback. I play a little bit with tense. I think there's way more room for the reader to put it together. And (this form) seems to suggest things like politics and mortality, themes that don't seem like an ll-year old reader's themes."
Looking to the future, Ellis admits that she enjoyed shifting from novel to short story form and is considering another change in genre: "There's probably not much I would say I would never do. I think my next project will be nonfiction, but even as I say that, last night we had a power outage and I started to think of a story about a power outage ... They sneak up on me. I could do two books simultaneously. I've never done that. I might try it."
We head out into the twilight. In the gathering dusk, anything seems possible.
John Burns is a freelance writer in Vancouver
From Canada's Schoolnet
Interested in students "at-risk or drop-out" of school? This new site offers a new option in dealing with this problem. Hooked-On-School, an initiative of Industry Canada's Schoolnet, is a prevention site focusing on students at-risk of dropping out and/or students who have already dropped out of school. The site informs young people about the consequences of dropping out of school. They also have the chance to tell what they think about school on this interactive site.
Parents, special needs educators, teachers and others are also invited to participate.
From the NOVAE GROUP Teachers Networking for the Future
If you don't know your "your" from your "you're" or your "its" from your "it's," then maybe it's time you took a refresher course in English grammar. For help with befuddling grammatical usage, check out the "On-Line English Grammar" web site's table of contents, or just do a keyword search of this great site. You can brush up with practice pages that include hypertext grammar courses and even an English as a second language test. Also, be sure to drop by the "Grammar Clinic" for important FAQs (learn the rules for using "that" vs. "which," and whether you use "was" or "were" in an "if" clause), get your questions answered by English teachers, and participate in some friendly chat in the "Grammar Cafe."
From the NBNSOFT Content Awards Ejournal
It's one thing to tell the kids to use the Internet to help them with their homework, but life is never quite so simple. Well the challenge just got much easier with Homework for Kids: Helping Kids with Computers to use the Internet. This site has been created 'in association' with Amazon.com Books (they have a book information link as well) but the main idea here is to help kids find the information they want, and to find it as quickly as possible. So they'll find many preselected links for events taking place each month, as well as a great area called Research Sites. Kids can scroll through this list and find just what they are looking for.
Competition, The Writers' Union of Canada
24 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2P3
A conference to recognize the fiftieth anniversary of Margaret Laurence's graduation from United College and the University of Manitoba.
May 2-4, 1997 - The Delta Winnipeg - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Sponsored by: The University of Manitoba lnstitute for the Humanities
The University of Winnipeg Faculty of Arts and Science
with financial assistance from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
The registration fee of $165.00 includes a reception, luncheon and banquet dinner which are plenary sessions. Registration fees will be waived for Canadian graduate students. This registration does not include meals. Proof of student status is required. Day passes will be available at $35.00 if sufficient space is available. Meals will not be included. A limited number of individual tickets for the reception and plenary session featuring James King are $20.00.
Deadline for registrations is April 15, 1997. Cancellations are subject to a 15% administration fee if made by April 15, 1997. No refunds will be made after April 15, 1997. For further information contact Dr. B. Kelcey, University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities, 108 Isbister Bldg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 2N2, Phone 204-474-9599, Fax 204-275-8281, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CAA Manitoba Branch Block Breaking Workshop Series presents Writing For Young Adults, a one day workshop to be held Saturday, April 19, 1997 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on the 6th Floor (Solarium) of the Hammond Building at 63 Albert Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Facilitated by Ishbel Moore, this workshop will examine the necessary elements of writing, i.e. language, setting and plot and look at the growing trends in Young Adult Fiction. Different genres will be discussed as well as markets, publishers lists, support groups and writing exercises. Participants are encouraged to bring samples of work to be critiqued.
Ishbel Moore is the author of three young adult novels: The Summer of the Hand, The Medal, and Branch of the Talking Teeth, published by Roussan. Her fourth, Dolinae Mae, will be released in the spring of 1997. She is currently at work on several more stories and manuscripts. Ishbel is also current president of the Manitoba Branch of the CAA.
Located in the heart of the Exchange District, the solarium of the Hammond overlooks a myriad of beautiful historic buildings. An elegant room beaming with natural light and accented with green foliage, this is an ideal place to inspire creativity for writers. Also a convenient location for food services, several of which are nearby.
Registration fees are $45 for the full day workshop. Registration is on a first come first served basis so register early! For more information please call (204) 947-0512.
Review by Tayne Moore.
Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.
This site is created by Dr. Marty Levine, professor of Secondary Education at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN). The site is intended to provide quality social studies resources that a teacher, student and anyone interested can access through the Internet. As Social Studies integrates well with other subjects, this site also has potential resources for Language Arts, Geography, Home Economics, Science, History, Law, Economics and other subject teachers.
The site uses a navigational grid, with the following catagories:
The download time for this site is fairly fast, with text-only options available for pages that have numerous graphics. The site is essentially a large list of links which are updated frequently (last update March 11/97).
As an American based website many of the links are to national and state associations. Associations from other countries are not listed as of yet.
Overall, this site can link teachers, students, curriculum developers to quality resources such as: lesson/unit plans, activities, on-line games and puzzles, etc. The home page is easy to use and understand. The Resources provided are very interesting and can be applicable to a variety of subject areas. Any subject teacher will be able to find something they can use in their classrooms through the easy to browse resource listings.
Review by Edward Eugene Belyea.
Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.
The Biology Teacher's Home Page is a web site created and maintained by Mr. J. Covey, a biology teacher in Springfield, Illinois. This web site was developed so that biology teachers could find easy access to viable teaching resources, and so teachers could use the internet in conjunction with curricular development.
There are six "main" catagories that are accessible from the main page:
Teachers are often searching for new ideas for student biology projects under harsh time constraints. The six main categories of the site are helpful in providing topics for student projects. The "Museums, Zoos and Gardens on the Web" page, for example, could be used when teaching the taxonomy of naming animal species.
The "Other Related Resources" web page links to various biological companies where catalogues can be searched, and various specimens can be ordered online. A link to the Discovery Channel reveals a resource for biology related films.
This web site is a very good resource for biology teachers connecting them to many viable teaching resources without wasting valuable time.
Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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