On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty

OnOurStreetOn Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty is written by Dr Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap, and sensitively illustrated by Jane Heinrichs. The authors present carefully considered text  in a combination of formats to present simple and straightforward answers to complex issues around poverty. Large font introduces a question on each double page and answers are explored in clear font and occasional text boxes to add further information and definitions of terminology. Heinrichs has combined photographs and watercolour illustrations to sensitively represent each topic with a diverse range of children asking the questions and reflected in the photographs.

On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. The questions and answers address homelessness, mental health, poverty, child abuse and neglect, access to education and health care, and refugees.  Organizations such as UNICEF are represented and  add alternative perspectives on the issue. The book concludes with a section on how kids can help help make a difference through positive action.

The World Around Us series introduces children to complex cultural and social issues in a straightforward and accessible way. These illustrated nonfiction picture books tackle global concerns and initiate conversations about subjects that are difficult, sad or overwhelming with school-aged children who are just beginning to observe the world around them.

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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Books to support WWD: Big cats: Predators under threat

bigcatsTo highlight and educate people across the world the United Nations World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. March 3 is THE day each year and 2018 the spotlight is on “Big cats: Predators under threat”

Here are some titles that may help you to celebrate these beautiful felines and raise awareness of their vulnerability in an overcrowded, deforested and polluted world.

From the Searchlight Predators series:
(17x 23 cm, 32 pages, colour photographs, suits Years 3 to 6)
LionsontheHuntLions on the Hunt. How do lions hunt? How do they interact with other lions? Discover the answers to these questions and learn other fascinating facts about lions. From their habitat to their physical characteristics and behavior, explore the incredible lives of these top predators!
TigersontheHuntTigers on the Hunt. Why do tigers have stripes? How do their claws help them hunt? Discover the answers to these questions and learn other fascinating facts about tigers. From their habitat to their physical characteristics and behavior, explore the incredible lives of these top predators!
From the Camouflaged Hunting Mammals series:siberian tiger
(18 x 23 cm), 32 pages, colour photographs, suits Years  2 to 5
Siberian Tigers. Learn what a Siberian tiger has in common with an elk. Discover what sets a Siberian tiger apart from a Tasmanian devil. Readers will compare and contrast key traits of Siberian tigers—their appearance, behavior, habitat, and life cycle—to traits of other mammals.

ItsAJaguar_bumbaFrom the Rainforest Animals Bumba Books series:
(22 cm square, bold simple text, colour photographs, suits Years K – 2
It’s a Jaguar. Enter the world of one of the coolest cats in the rain forest. Jaguars prowl the forest floor in the vivid photos of this carefully leveled text. Critical thinking questions and a photo glossary supply readers with the basic building blocks for reading nonfiction.

meetababylionFrom the Baby African Animals Lightning Bolt Booksbabylions_index
(bold simple text, colour illustrations and photos, suits Years 1 to 3)
Meet a Baby Lion. African lions are powerful hunters. Newborn cubs are born with their eyes tightly closed. Their eyes open at about a week old. Lion cubs grow up in a group called a pride. Cubs learn how to hunt by watching the adults. How do baby lions grow and change?

cheetahleopardFrom the Animal Look-Alike Lightning Bolt Bookscheetahleopard_inside
(bold simple text, colour illustrations and photos, suits Years 1 to 3)
Can You Tell a Cheetah from a Leopard?
A huge tan cat with black spots on its fur crouches in the grass.  Its long tail twitches as it hunts for food.

Did you just see a cheetah? Or was it a leopard? These animals look very similar, but they are different. Read this book to become an expert at telling these look-alikes apart.


From the Start to Finish series.
(22.5 x 19 cm, colour photographs, Years K to 3)
From Cub to Tiger. How do tigers grow? Follow each step in the life cycle—from tiny, newborn cubs to large, majestic tigers—in this intriguing book!

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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Erinne Paisley – Pop Activist

Erinne Paisley is a young American who has harnessed technology to promote social activism and to encourage young adults to become proactive in addressing local and global issue to facilitate positive change. Visit popactivism to find out more.

SmartphoneCan Your Smartphone Change the World?
was inspired by Erinne’s decision to wear a home made dress constructed from school work papers to the school prom. The money she saved was donated to the Malala Fund that supports education for girls. Media reactions to this inspired Erinne to investigate how she can harness her smart phone for positive action. This readable and highly engaging how-to manual looks at specific ways you can initiate social change through the tap of a screen. As well as sharing her own story there are a number of examples of successful hashtag campaigns from other young people that address issues such as bullying and gender differences. The book offers practical advice for using your smartphone as a tool for social justice. A note of caution for readers to check the authenticity of various campaigns is a missing component – but the book does provide the stimulus for exploring this aspect in the classroom to add to digital literacy programs.

The bOutfitook is attractively designed to engage teen readers with a mix male and female voices, presented via text, photography, fact boxes, summary points and visually eye-catching use of colour and contemporary layout.

Aimed at secondary students Erinne Paisley’ books provide practical and inspirational support for projects that focus on social responsibility and living in a global community and that model the use of social media and technology in positive and productive ways. Also available: Can  Your Outfit Change the World? and still to be published: Can Your Conversations Change the World?

Australian Curriculum connections:

  • General Capabilities:-
    • Personal and Social Capability
    • Intercultural Understanding and Information
    • Communication Capability.

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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Research Journal

GreatBarrierReef.jpgEcosystems Research Journal provides readers a closeup look at precious, sometimes remote, and often threatened ecosystems and habitats around the world. Using a report style of writing, the narrator in each book is a researcher sent on a mission to record in a journal their observations about species and environments. Each title connects an ecosystem’s health to human activity and livelihoods, and allows readers to see how we are a vital part of our living environments. Full-colour photos, maps, graphs, and status report boxes help readers understand the complex issues involved in ecosystem research.



Australian Curriculum connections

  • HASS Years 4 & 5
  • Sustainability Years 7 & 8
  • Science: Science as a Human Endeavour – Years 7 & 8
  • Geography: Water in the world & Place and liveability -Year 7 | Landforms and landscapes – Year 8

Available early in 2018

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.

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A Christmas Menagerie

ChristmasMenagerieThis delightful Australian collection of short stories, edited by Beattie Alvarez, brings together a number of original tales by popular authors including Gabrielle Wang, Sherryl Clark, Michael Pryor, Janeen Brian and Sophie Masson plus some emerging talents. Between the pages you will meet a Clever Wombat, Santa’s Helper, Barney Brown and the Christmas Cake, The Christmas Turtle, a Pony for Sale, and several more stories filled with the enchantment of Christmas.

Ideal for reading aloud at the end of a busy school day – or tucked up in bed as you count down to Christmas. This quality publication is set off with silhouette Christmas headers on each page, coloured illustrations and well spaced text on glossy pages. Kathy Creamer, Fiona McDonald, Beattie Alvarez, Ingrid Kallick, and Yvonne Low have illustrated the collection and provide varied interpretations throughout.

Paperback, 234×180 size, 70 pages of stories plus brief bio of each contributor.
Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.
For personal orders in Australia you can order direct at intbooks.online

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Dig Too Deep – Amy Allgeyer

digtoodeepDig Too Deep is a powerful novel to engage middle and senior high school readers, a worthy winner of the 2017 Green Earth Book Award for Young Adult-Fiction.

Poisoned wells.    A bloody cough.    Secrets.    And silence.
This is the story of a town that looked the other way.
And a girl who didn’t.

Amy Allgeyer provides a strong sense of presence and earthiness, evocatively portraying the gritty and poisoned mining town community living below Tanner’s Peak in Kentucky. The story combines realistic teen fiction, crime, mystery, danger, love, loss and the fickleness of friendship and family. Cleverly employing double entendres from the title onward, readers are quickly caught up the in the rapidly downward spiraling life of 17 year old Liberty Briscoe whose mother ash been imprisoned for violent political protest, Liberty is forced to leave her privileged life in Washington to live with her granny in Ebbottsville, Kentucky. The serious illness of the her grandmother, the undrinkable orange tap water, the disappearance of the ‘peak’ of Tanner’s Peak through mountain top mining and the blind apathy and acceptance of the community raise serious concerns for Liberty. She starts to investigate and is soon plunged into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Her drive for answers and justice lead to even tougher questions—should she turn to violence and end up like her mother or give up her quest for the sake of keeping the peace?

A strong and passionate story that provides many starting points to explore issues, activism, sustainable mining and environmental protection. Information and teaching resources are available from Amy’s website.

This novel would support investigations in Year 8 Geography: Landforms and landscapes with strong parallels and opportunities for comparison between global practices in mining and sustainability.

Available from INT Books for schools and libraries across Australia.
For personal orders in Australia you can order direct at intbooks.online

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From the Grave – Monster or Die: Book 1

Cynthia Reeg has crafted a wonderfully clever novel in From the Grave, targeting middle school readers – independent primary monster fans and witty enough to cross over into the secondary arena. Ideal for those who love anything monsterish and who appreciate absurd and clever innuendo and language mashups – this is sure to engage.

FromTheGraveThe young hero, Frankenstein Frightface Gordon, is totally the wrong shade of ghastly green—pale, baby blue, in fact—and he’s more concerned with keeping his pants neat and tidy than scaring the pants off his victims. He is one of a crew of misfits that do not fit the ‘monster norm’ and are the but of ridicule and bullying – most horribly inflicted by Malcolm McNastee, the bullying troll. When a new law is passed to rid Uggarland of misfits such as Frank, he must decide if he will become the monster his parents can be proud of or be the monster he can be proud of.

Each chapter is prefaced with a quote from the Monster Book of Rules and Frank and his group pretty much fail all of them. Monster Rule #9: A monster’s appearance should incite fear and significant revulsion to scare the socks off mere humans. With Frank’s obsession with neat clothes and carefully groomed hair, alongside his best mummy friend Oliver, who can’t seem to keep his wrappings on, it is no wonder they are the shame of Uggerland and the despair of Principal Snaggle.

Clever language – Frigthnight , Shocktober, Mushington Way, Snotfargle – will keep readers giggling throughout. Shifting points of view between Frank and Malcolm add depth and different points of view. However, there is more to this book than a tale of monsters and a bundle of laughs. Cynthia Reeg harnesses this fiendish woIntoShadowLandsrld to tell a heartfelt story of not fitting in and being true to yourself. There are lots of great themes and lessons here, particularly about how our society treats people (or monsters) who are outside of the norm and bullying, all made accessible as they are drenched in monster pus, terrifying roars and covered in dirt, grime and bat poop.

Watch out for Monster or Die Book 2: Into the Shadowlands available in October 2017.

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