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Compost Stew

Mary McKenna Siddals

Kids everywhere can help the environment! Not only is composting becoming more common in households and residential gardens, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include? Perfect for an Earth Day focus or year-round reference, this inviting book provides all the answers for kids and families looking for simple, child-friendly ways to help the planet. This book needs to be returned. 

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For over 70 years, Farmer John has been a cow guy. Not much surprises him any more, except for the day quadruplet calves were born on his dairy. The book with photographs of Farmer John and his Four Quart Girls tell the story of this special event. From the Farm to the Table series are books about agriculture designed for second and third grade readers. Each book highlights second grade vocabulary words. Kathy Coatney pens From the Farm to the Table series of non-fiction children’s books about agriculture. This book needs to be returned. 

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Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he’s as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage–or a basketball–in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can’t see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot in Milwaukee he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world.

No space, no problem. Poor soil, there’s a solution. Need help, found it. Farmer Will is a genius in solving problems. In 2008, the MacArthur Foundation named him one for his innovative urban farming methods, including aquaponics and hydroponics.

This book needs to be returned. 

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One Plastic Bag

Isatou Ceesay and The Recycling Women of Gambia

The inspiring true story of how one African women began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community.

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag become two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world. This book needs to be returned. 

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Gregor Mendel explains to children the theory of heredity in simple-to-understand language and examples. Regarded as the world’s first geneticist, Gregor Mendel discovered one of the fundamental aspects of genetic science: animals, plants, and people all inherit and pass down traits through the same process. Living the slow-paced, contemplative life of a friar, Gregor Mendel was able to conceive and put into practice his great experiment—observing yellow peas, green peas, smooth peas, and wrinkled peas to craft his theory—years before scientists had any notion of genes. Includes an author’s note and bibliography.

This book needs to be returned. 

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Ricky in the City- Where the Wildlife Live

Judith L. Li, M. L. Herring

It’s early fall when Ricky and Ellie travel to Portland from their homes in the Cascade Mountains for a weekend school exchange.  Much to their surprise, they find an astounding variety of wildlife in the city. With the help of their new friends, Jenny and Marcus, they explore Portland’s habitats, from its streets and gardens to woodlands, streams, and river banks. Ellie tests her bird-watching skills while Ricky learns ways to count fish in streams. Together they are fascinated by stunning wildlife in the city’s restored wetlands.

The kids find insects and reptiles moving about garden patches and bioswales, song birds and squirrels in neighborhood tree canopies, falcons and eagles crossing spacious river floodplains. As they record and map how wildlife and people are connected in these city spaces, they become community scientists, contributing to actual regional databases. After they see the young trees Marcus planted in his neighborhood, the feeders Jenny tends for hummingbirds, and the fascinating wildlife underpasses built in the wetlands, Ricky and Ellie realize there are many ways people actively care for the city’s wildlife.

For more information and resources go to: http://ellieslog.org

This book needs to be returned. 

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There are days in late winter when the Pacific coast enjoys a brief spell of clear, warm weather. Most of the winter storms have passed and the summer fog has not yet settled in. This is when some coastal communities plan their annual beach cleanups.

In this sequel to Ellie’s Log and Ricky’s Atlas, Ellie and Ricky travel to the Oregon coast from their home in the Cascade Mountains to help with a one-day beach cleanup. Hoping to find a prized Japanese glass float, they instead find more important natural treasures, and evidence of an ocean that needs its own global-scale cleanup.

Ellie and Ricky are amazed by their discoveries at the edge of the world’s largest ocean. Together, they realize the power of volunteering and grapple with the challenges of ocean conservation. In her journal Ellie records her observations of their adventures in her own words and pictures.

With charming pen-and-ink drawings and a compelling story, Ellie’s Strand makes coastal science exciting for upper elementary school students. It will be a treasured companion for young beach explorers everywhere. This book needs to be returned. 

For more information and resources go to: http://ellieslog.org 

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Bread Lab

Kim Binczewski & Bethany Econopouly

It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not for Iris, who has to feed her many pets before Aunt Mary arrives. Iris likes to call Aunt Mary “Plant Mary” because she is a plant scientist.

Today Aunt Mary wants to experiment with making whole wheat sourdough bread from scratch! As the family kitchen transforms into a bread lab, Iris is surprised that bread needs only four ingredients―flour, water, salt and starter. She also learns about the invisible microbes that make the dough rise, and how flour comes from wheat grown by farmers. It all seems magical, but it’s really science. This book needs to be returned. 

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Agricultural Drones

Simon Rose

Farm fields can span hundreds of acres. With so much area to cover, checking crops and livestock can be difficult. But with an agricultural drone, this job becomes much simpler. Young readers will discover how drones help farmers maximize efficiencies and bring abundant harvests. This book needs to be returned. 

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Seeds and Seedlings

Elaine Pascoe

This award-winning 12 volume science series continues. Easy-to-do projects introduce kids to the basics of scientific method (hypothesis, observation, conclusion) as they get a “hands on” understanding of the nature of living things. Stunning photos, fascinating background material, and focused experiments combine to teach biology and excite young students about scientific process. Each volume includes:

  • Materials Source List
  • Glossary
  • Further Reading
  • Index

This book needs to be returned. 

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