Tsunamis

Grades: 3-5

Overview

Where, when, and why do these monstrous waves occur? What’s being done to save lives in tsunami-prone regions? Learn the answers to these questions—and more—in this action-packed book for young readers.

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Thunderstorms

Grades: 3-5

Overview

Flash! Boom! While you read this book, about 2,000 thunderstorms are sweeping across the globe. How do lightning and thunder happen? How does hail form? Find out in this exciting book about Earth’s extreme weather.

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Forces of Nature

Grades: 4-6

Overview

From gentle breezes to ferocious thunderstorms, shifting plates to violent volcanoes, this book explores the natural wonders of our exciting planet. Essential safety information included.

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Ye Castle Stinketh

Grades: 3-5

Author’s Note:

When you’re writing a book about the “yucky” castles of the Middle Ages, and you learn that besieging armies would fling dead cows over castle walls to spread disease, you know you have your intro. The rest of this book–from stone toilet chutes that emptied into moats to moldy, rat-infested food storage—pretty much wrote itself! I’ll take my humble abode over a dark, dirty, and drafty castle any day!

Booklist Review by Daniel Kraus, October 1, 2011

“Armed with perhaps the best title of 2011, this entry in the Ye Yucky Middle Ages series explains the inner workings of a castle—and why they were so disgusting. From enemies catapulting rotting animal carcasses over the wall, to the feasts of calves’ feet, to bathrooms that were little more than closets full of feces, Stiefel’s text suggests that castles were basically (shudder) “a giant dorm room” roughly the size of a football field. Crowded, filthy, smoky, and laden with rats and lice, these were indeed, as one chapter heading calls them, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Stinky.” Kelley’s gleeful illustrations are darn near Disneyesque and helped along by random splashes of slime—just, you know, for atmosphere. Glossary terms are in red, and they’re unusually fun. (Do you know the definition of a murder hole?) A colorful, wacky take on a pleasurably unpleasant topic.”

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There’s a Rat in My Soup

Grades: 3-5

Author’s Note

This book is one of the grossest in “Ye Yucky Middles Ages” series . . . and one of the most fun to write! From roasted peacocks with their colorful feathers glued on to their skin to slimy eel pie, I dug up some of the yuckiest fare the Middle Ages had to offer. Of course, in medieval times, these were considered delicious delights. Many other juicy details include medieval table manners, fabulous (or freaky) feasts, and yes, rodents roaming the castle! Many recipes and tales were gleaned from medieval manuscripts. Gerald Kelley’s side-splitting illustrations will keep your tummy in knots.

Review

“Enjoy reading about mouth-watering “delicacies” like roast swan, pottage (think gruel), blackbird-filled pies and more in this delightful romp through medieval cooking. In 48 pages, Stiefel covers royal food and feasts, as well as the peasants’ plight. [Stiefel] also looks at the constant threat of starvation that plagued the people of the Middle Ages. This gross-out book is gobs of fun. Stiefel’s prose is delightfully descriptive. Her conversational and humorous voice truly put the “story” in this history. Yet, at the same time, it’s clear this is a well-researched text. Stiefel includes quotes from people who lived in the Middle Ages, as well as other tidbits, like the shopping list for a 6,000-person feast. Gerald Kelley’s lively illustrations are a perfect match for the text, keeping the book fun and engaging for young readers. You’ll find it hard to put down.”

—Kirsten Larson, www.creatingcuriouskids.wordpress.com

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Sweaty Suits of Armor

Grades: 3-5

Author’s Note

Before writing this book, I always pictured knights as glamorous guys in shining armor. When editor Jane Katirgis at Enslow contacted me to write three books for a series on “Ye Yucky Middle Ages,” I knew I had to dig up lots of dirt on those chivalrous dudes. Being a knight was, in fact, a sweaty, stinky, and bloody affair. Think about it: Metal armor weighed up to 65 pounds. It also trapped heat. Knights rarely bathed (few people did back then). Plus, as armor changed over time, so did the nasty weapons designed to smash it. Disease and starvation were other threats on the battlefield. Clearly, being a knight was not as enchanting as it may seem. Hilarious cartoon illustrations by Gerald Kelley will keep readers in stitches.

To help with my research on Sweaty Suits of Armor, I visited the fabulous armor collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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Animals on the Family Farm Series

Grades: 1-2

TAKE THIS QUIZ: TRUE OR FALSE?
1) A turkey chick is called a poult.
2) Both male and female goats have beards and horns.
3) A hog is a pig that weighs more than 120 pounds.
4) Some chickens lay blue eggs.
5) Wool from a single sheep can make eight sweaters.
6) A cow eats 50 pounds of grass each day.

Find out the answers to these fun facts—and much more—in the new Animals on the Family Farm series (Enslow Publishers, 2013). Available in library edition, paperback, and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & more.

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Fingerprints

Grades: 6-8

Overview

You must get your hands on this book! Fingerprints—and the history of their use in fighting crime—is a totally engrossing subject. Did you know that some criminals try to burn off their fingerprints to avoid being caught? Others slice them with razors. This is just one sign that fingerprinting has gained a stinging reputation as a source for ID. In fact, fingerprinting has been used to ID criminals for the past 100 years. This is despite the fact that fingerprinting has never been proven by science. Do you know why we have fingerprints in the first place? Read the book to find out!

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Sky High

Grades: 7-9

Overview

“Sky High” features Barrington Irving–the youngest person and first black pilot–to fly solo around the world, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, who rocketed from geeky stargazer to world class scientist. Both men conquered doubts and fears to reach for the sky. The book is part of Scholastic’s “On the Record™” series for middle school.

About On the Record™

Middle School is not easy for many students. Many face a perfect-storm of social, emotional and academic issues that create barriers to their academic success and overall sense of self. The use of contemporary profiles in On the Record™ provides much sought after strategies for middle school students to tackle important social and emotional issues they encounter throughout adolescence. Sometimes harrowing, sometimes controversial, but always inspiring, On the Record™ uses compelling text, targeted discussions, and writing activities to get students thinking critically and writing creatively about their own lives.

Pairing profiles of contemporary figures, On the Record™ shares stories of struggle, perseverance, transcendence and transformation. Whether famous or quietly brilliant, each person is on a quest–to survive disasters, to stake out a place in the world, to find a voice and tell a story. These are stories students use to shape their own quests for meaningful lives and achieve their academic and life goals.

For more information, visit:
Scholastic’s On the Record™ Website
Scholastic’s Teacher Store: Buy the Classroom Series

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Lives of Stars

Grades: K-2, Level L

Overview

Our Sun, the nearest star and the center of our solar system, is just one among billions of stars in the universe. Learn about the lives of stars, what they are made of, how they give off heat and light, and much more!

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