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Canadian Authors Donate Books to Los Angeles School Libraries

By Lauren Barack July 28, 201, School Library Journal

"Children's author Helaine Becker launched an international book drive - after recently seeing an empty library shelf at Chavez Elementary School in Long Beach, CA.

"It made me so mad, especially since I grew up in the U.S., and I went to public school, as did my parents and grandparents," she says the Canadian author by email. "Today's kids deserve the same opportunities we had."

That's why she's using Twitter, Facebook, and her blog to get the word out about Air lift to LA, a grassroots effort to provide...

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A Puffin Comeback

Atlantic puffins had nearly vanished from the Maine coast until a young biologist defied conventional wisdom to lure them home
By Michelle Nijhuis, Smithsonian magazine, June 2010

"By 1901, only a single pair of Atlantic puffins was known to nest in the United States—on Matinicus Rock, a barren island 20 miles from the Maine coast. Wildlife enthusiasts paid the lighthouse keeper to protect the two birds from hunters.

Things began to change in 1918, when the Migratory Bird Treaty Act banned the killing of many wild birds in the United States. Slowly, puffins returned to Matinicus Rock.

But not to the rest of Maine. Islands that puffins had once inhabited had become enemy territory, occupied by colonies of large, aggressive, predatory gulls that thrived on the debris generated by a growing human population. Though puffins endured elsewhere in their historic range—the...

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Lit Agent Lauren MacLeod Has "Sweet Spot" for Funny Books

"Lauren MacLeod of the Strothman Agency is poised to help her clients through the ebook revolution. In this interview, she tells us why her agency only takes books that they are passionate about, and why the ebook is not the death of publishing.

What is your title and who do you work for?
I'm a literary agent with The Strothman Agency. I'm terrific at what I do because I stay very dialed into all the digital changes authors are facing both in regards to e-book and publicity and marketing. This puts me in a better position to negotiate on my clients behalf as well as give advice. Furthermore--though I suspect this is true of many agents and perhaps even most people in the publishing industry--I truly love my work and there is nothing I'd rather be doing. If I won the...

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The Medium Is the Medium

"Recently, book publishers got some good news. Researchers gave 852 disadvantaged students 12 books (of their own choosing) to take home at the end of the school year. They did this for three successive years.

Then the researchers, led by Richard Allington of the University of Tennessee, looked at those students’ test scores. They found that the students who brought the books home had significantly higher reading scores than other students. These students were less affected by the “summer slide” — the decline that especially afflicts lower-income students during the vacation months. In fact, just having those 12...

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Debut author Jodi Meadows's trilogy, beginning with ERIN INCARNATE, about the only girl who is "new" in a world where everyone is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest to discover why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced, at auction in a good deal to Sarah Shumway at Katherine Tegen Books by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency. (World English)

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Angela von der Lippe at Norton took world English rights, at auction, to Marlene Zuk's Paleofantasy: How the Pace of Evolution Affects Our Lives.  Zuk, who teaches biology at the University of California, Riverside, sorts myth from fact in this examination of the recent claims, by slow-food advocates and self-help gurus (among others), that people can improve their health by adopting a far simpler lifestyle, more akin to the way our ancestors lived. Wendy Strothman, of the Strothman Agency, brokered the deal, which marks a move for Zuk, whose last two books were published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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To win, simply tweet about butterflies using the hashtag #KaufmanFG. Each tweet will receive one entry.

To double your chances, tweet a picture of a butterfly.  Each tweet with the hashtag #KaufmanFG that contains a butterfly picture will count as two entries. To triple your chances identify the pictured butterfly.

Winners must be residents of the U.S. or Canada. The winner will be...

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Miracle grow

The teen brain is a marvel of smarts. It’s just not all filled in (yet).

By Elizabeth Cooney, Boston Globe-- June 28, 2010

"...  Smart kids doing stupid things: It’s the teen brain paradox. Extraordinarily quick to learn and rapidly reaching fluency in abstract thought, teens still make bonehead decisions, perhaps more so when routines relax in summer. But that’s because they’re operating with brains that are still a work in progress.

Of all the organs in our bodies, the brain takes the longest to develop. Frontal lobes — the seat of judgment — are the last pieces to be fully connected to the parts of the brain that sense danger or solve calculus problems. A growing body of neuroscientific evidence places full brain maturity at about age 25, well past the point when young people begin to drive,...

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Craig Welch's "Shell Games: Rogues, Smugglers, and the Hunt for Nature's Bounty"


By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Craig Welch's "Shell Games" has the most unlikely of central characters: the massive geoduck clam, a tasty creature that resides in the waters of Puget Sound and resembles the raciest part of the male anatomy. Pronounced "gooey-duck," the valuable shellfish and the humans who cannot resist plundering it make for a compelling tale that is at once ridiculous and tragic. Writing in the vein of a detective novelist, Welch recounts how a group of dedicated state and federal wildlife agents devoted years to cracking down on the lucrative trade in geoducks (scientific name: Panope generosa) in the Pacific Northwest.

One of the...

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Hitmen, smugglers, and clams? In his book "Shell Games", Craig Welch tells the story of environmental detectives who are trying to track down smugglers of the geoduck (GOO-EE duck) clam. Host Jeff Young talks with Welch about how the global black market for wildlife has increased the demand for species close to home.

Click here to listen or read the transcript.

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