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Nancy Keane's Literature website offers a wide variety of free information. She is a Library Media Specialist from Rundlett Middle School in Concord, New Hampshire.
The first link offered is titled "Booktalks". It boasts over 5,000 ready-to-use booktalks for students in grades K-12. The booktalks are simply small synopsis of the book, giving a little background on the book you are using with the class or book group. Some include a few questions or discussion starters to get the group started with the book. Some are very short and seem to not contain more than what can be found on a book jacket or a description of the book on a site like Amazon. The books are listed by author, title, grade level, and subject. The subject list may be most helpful when looking for books on a particular topic, and you then have a short synopsis of what the book is about. Each book also includes a link to the book on Amazon. This section also includes tips for booktalks and other sources for book reviews.
In addition to the text versions of the booktalks, there is also a link provided to podcasts with audio versions of some of the booktalks. These are listed by date, so are therefore it is more difficult to find the book you may be working with.
There is a link titled "ATN Book Lists" providing suggested reading lists broken down by the following:
- award received (Caldecott and Newbery Medal Winners)
- professional reading list
- read alikes: this includes recommendations based on other books you or your students may like
- read alouds
- targeted lists: including topical and grade leveled lists
- school subjects
The remainder of the site offers information on books and articles written by Ms. Keane and workshops that she offers.
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The booktalks are not overly informative, but offer a glimpse into what each book is about. It may be helpful when students are choosing books. The book list is useful when planning summer reading lists or when choosing books to meet a particular theme or unit.
The plus is that all of the information on the site is free, and it is all information that is time consuming to collect. It will be worth checking out to see if it offers something that will provide assistance when planning a literature unit or other literature based activities.
Review of Nancy Kean's Children's Literature Webpage
Here is a listing of sites that offer a lot of free teaching resources. They are all worth checking out.