Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April STEAM Reads Roundup

The Stats: The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian by Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RDN, released January 7 from Sourcebooks
The Synopsis: Regardless of a person's reasons for going vegetarian, there's a lot of nutritional thought that needs to go into the decision and the upkeep. This comprehensive title explores the spectrum of vegetarian eating and lifestyles, then dives into the details of how vegetarians--young girls in particular--can meet all their nutritional needs while making the food decisions they want. The title includes excellent resource lists as well as plenty of recipes to get any new vegetarian started going veg healthfully.
The Review: Man oh man, I wish this resource existed when I was a middle schooler. It's completely accessible in its language, tone, and scope, always taking an individual's food choices seriously and never verging on condescending. I'm also quite impressed with the tips and ideas peppered throughout the text, including things like how to approach the school cafeteria or a restaurant menu when you're a vegetarian. The variety of recipes are outstanding, too.
The Programming Connection: The volume would fit well in a teen program on food and nutrition, a topic of interest to a number of the teens who frequent my library.

The Stats: Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan, released April 8 from Margaret K. McElderry
The Synopsis: Lucy's family are a musical bunch, what with their listening preferences (opera for her dad) and proclivity for singing. Lucy doesn't sing, however, instead channeling her energies into poetry. When Lucy and her family travel to their Aunt Frankie's to help her during the river's annual flood, she encounters an aspect of nature than she's ever before experienced. She also learns the power of words and song when her toddler brother wanders away during the flood.
The Review: In true MacLachlan fashion, this quick, spare story introduces a heartfelt, captivating character, her family, and her inner thoughts. Readers will hear truth in Lucy's insecurities, her need for a secret between herself and her brother, and her strong, strong love for her family.
The Programming Connection: I could connect this title to STEAM areas in two different ways: with the flood connection (science of extreme weather), or with the poetry and music aspects of the book.

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