Staff Picks

Why carrots and sticks (often) don't work

Published on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Drive BOT cover
What do Internet and software upstarts such as Wikipedia, Firefox, Apache and Linux all have in common? They are all immensely successful innovative “open source” ventures that were developed and managed exclusively by volunteers. And all of their fortuitous successes were wholly based on what Daniel Pink has labeled “intrinsic motivation,” a “third drive” that motivates people and, up until recently, hadn’t been given much credence. 

For Common Core (and Even More)

Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some young readers have always loved non-fiction--after all, nonfiction is the home of books about dinosaurs, space, paper airplane building and many other fascinating topics.  On the other hand, those who love story-telling and narrative may have a preference for fiction.  These days, though, all kinds of young readers are likely to encounter more nonfiction due to the adoption of the Common Core curriculum framework in many schools.  Here are a variety of nonfiction titles for all ages and interests--and not one reads like a textbook!

Upper Elementary/Middle School:

Staff Recommendation

Published on Friday, November 1, 2013
  • Urban Legends & Historic Lore DC coverDid you know the Old Stone House on M Street in Georgetown was George Washington's surveying headquarters in 1791?
  • Were you aware that the city is built on a swamp?
  • What do the hoofs mean on equestrian statues around the city?
  • Have you heard that while Abraham Lincoln was touring Fort Stevens in 1864, a young Oliver Wendell Holmes ordered the President to duck down in very unflattering terms?

We've all heard variations on these stories.

Just one question: are they true?

Published on Thursday, October 31, 2013

Want a frightening read to keep you up all night this Halloween season? Luckily for you, many of this fall's hottest new books are totally terrifying!

Check out one of these creepy titles that everyone has been talking about - you'll be sure to want to sleep with your lights on afterwards. 

Honoring Punk's Place in Fiction

Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The talented Mr. Reed.

Write a new headline. And save your black bunting and your tears. Read, love, and dance because there's no tomorrow and only one today.

Get Ready for Halloween with the Kids

Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Looking for a great read to get into the Halloween Spirit?

Check out some of these fantastic titles, some designed to scare and some designed to reassure your child that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to monsters. Silly or scary, these stories are guaranteed to be entertaining and perfect for Halloween!

'The Sound of Music'

Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Sound of MusicOur October 2013 movie recommendation is Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music.

The Sound of Music is set in 1930s Austria. It details the life of Maria, who is sent by the nuns to take care of the children of Captain Von Trapp. Upon arrival at the Von Trapp household, she is met with hostility but she eventually charms the kids and the Captain through her songs and kindness. It also describes the family’s subsequent escape when Nazi Germany assumes control of Austria and they try to forcefully enlist Captain Von Trapp into their army.

Published on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

book cover of twelve years a slaveIn the canon of American Slave Narratives, we have a few staples, such as those of Frederick Douglass, Olaudah Equiano and Harriet Jacobs.

Published on Sunday, October 27, 2013

bookcoverIn the fourth and most recent volume of the Lorien Legacies, The Fall of Five, follow along as John Smith and his fellow Loric survivors are traveling across the globe to protect the world from the invading Mogadorians.

Published on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

book coverMollie Katzen, famed author of The Moosewood Cookbook, delights our palates yet again with The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation. 

Recipes run the gamut from soups like Tomato-Coconut to hearty pasta dishes like Lemony Carmelized Onion Mac and Gorgonzola.

Desserts include Cranapple Walnut Cake and Fruit-Studded Madeleine Cake. Many of the recipes are vegan-friendly.