Tuesday, October 13, 2009

22 Award-winning Nonfiction Authors Launch Free Online Database of Children's Books Aligned to National Curriculum Standards


Twenty-two leading children's book authors have launched a free online database of nonfiction books, www.INKThinkTank.com, designed to help teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers find the books they need to meet curriculum requirements in grades K-12.

The database will enable users to build an outstanding classroom or home library that includes material required by school districts nationwide. Visitors will be able to search by National Standards, subject, grade level, author names, titles, and keywords. The result will be a printable list of award-winning books that will ignite kids' enthusiasm for reading and provide the information they need to excel.

Participating authors are:

Don BrownVicki CobbSneed B. Collard IIIMarfé Ferguson DelanoSusan E. GoodmanJan GreenbergCheryl HarnessDeborah HeiligmanSteve JenkinsBarbara KerleySusan KuklinLoreen LeedySue MacyDorothy Hinshaw PatentSusanna ReichApril Pulley SayreRosalyn SchanzerDavid M. SchwartzMelissa StewartTanya Lee StoneGretchen WoelfleKaren Romano Young

Most classroom materials written to State or National Standards are designed to meet test requirements, rather than to stimulate kids' natural curiosity, fire up their imaginations, and inspire innovative thinking.

Recent studies have shown that many students, especially boys, prefer nonfiction to fiction. If kids are exposed to creative, well-written nonfiction, they are significantly more likely to become lifelong readers.

In addition, assessment tests mandated by No Child Left Behind require that students be skilled in reading and writing nonfiction. Kids need great books to serve as models of good expository writing, and the books in the INK Think Tank database fill the bill.

The INK Think Tank Web site grew out of the blog INK: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids, to which all of the authors have contributed.

The blog, founded by Linda Salzman, enables authors to share thoughts about all aspects of their craft—from research and discovery to design and illustration. Now these authors have taken the next step by creating INK Think Tank: Nonfiction Authors In Your Classroom.

The INK Think Tank web site includes supporting literature about how to use nonfiction trade books in the classroom as building blocks for literacy. Users will also find information about the authors' school visits and professional development workshops, which will ultimately be available through video conferencing.

Books listed in the INKThinkTank database have been awarded more than two hundred national, international, state, and regional honors and awards.

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