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Select a book and activity below to start your journey Back to the Future.

The Memory Coat

Suggested for Grades K-2

Fleeing from Russia to America, Rachel and her family want to make a good impression at the inspection station at Ellis Island. Any wrong move there could cause one or all of them to be turned away. When an inspector singles out young cousin Grisha, wearing the tattered old coat his mother gave him, the family fears they will be separated forever. But Rachel's cleverness and a coat that's filled with memories ultimately keep them together.

Rachel's coat brought back special memories for her. What's something you have that brings back special memories for you? Write a paragraph or draw a picture.

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years

Suggested for Grades K-2

"Hi, I'm Earth! But you can call me Planet Awesome.I've been around for almost 4.6 billion years. Someone needs to give you the facts, and I'm the best planet for the job. Take a look inside and explore the world of-well, the world!"Earth! is filled to the brim with eye-opening, kid-friendly facts about our planet, all brought to life with vibrant art by award-winning illustrator David Litchfield. More than that, the picture book, is an adorable imagining of Earth's own personality, making it perfect for Earth Day promotions as well as classrooms.

Imagine that the earth is telling the story of their life today. What would they say about their life today and how has their home changed?

The Boo-Boos That Changed The World

Suggested for Grades K-2

Did you know Band-Aids were invented by accident? And that they weren't mass-produced until the Boy Scouts gave their seal of approval? 1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle's bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren't convinced, and it wasn't until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle's prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.

Redesign the band-aid. If you could redesign the band-aid, what would it look like? Draw your redesign or use paper and other supplies to create a model.

Hidden Figures Picture Book

Suggested for Grades K-2

Based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award-nominated movie, author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring the incredibly inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space to picture book readers Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math... really good. They participated in some of NASA's greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America's first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world. In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as "colored computers," and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.

What is your hidden talent or skill? Draw a picture to show your talent to others. 

The Flying Girl: How Aida de Acosta Learned To Soar

Suggested for Grades K-3

In this beautiful picture book filled with soaring words and buoyant illustrations, award-winners Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios tell the inspiring true story of A da de Acosta, the first woman to fly a motorized aircraft. On a lively street in the lovely city of Paris, a girl named A da glanced up and was dazzled by the sight of an airship. Oh, how she wished she could soar through the sky like that The inventor of the airship, Alberto, invited A da to ride with him, but she didn't want to be a passenger. She wanted to be the pilot. A da was just a teenager, and no woman or girl had ever flown before. She didn't let that stop her, though. All she needed was courage and a chance to try.

Pretend you are Aida de Acosta and just flew through the air for the first time. Write a letter to a family member telling them what it was like.

How The Cookie Crumbled: The True (And Not-So-True) Stories Of the Invention Of The Chocolate Chip Cookie

Suggested for Grades K-3

In this unique and clever picture book, Gilbert Ford sheds a little light on everyone's favorite sweet treat--the chocolate chip cookie--and reminds readers everywhere that just because a story is told doesn't mean it's true . Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Mmmmm! Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies! But not everyone knows where they came from. Meet Ruth Wakefield, the talented chef and entrepreneur who started a restaurant, wrote a cookbook, and invented this delicious dessert. But just how did she do it, you ask? That's where things get messy! So sit back and grab a cookie to read a story--or three--about how this round, crispy, chocolatey piece of perfection came to be. Which tale is true? Well, what do you think?

Which would you rather - eat one chocolate chip cookie a day or never eat one again? Write a paragraph to explain your choice. 

The Youngest Marcher: The Story Of A Young Civil Rights Activist

Suggested for Grades K-3

Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you're never too little to make a difference. Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham's segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher's words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan-- picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!-- she stepped right up and said, I'll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il! Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child's role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Draw a picture of a time when you stood up to someone when you thought what they were doing was wrong.

That Book Woman

Suggested for Grades K-3

Cal is not the readin' type. Living way high up in the Appalachian Mountains, he'd rather help Pap plow or go out after wandering sheep than try some book learning. Nope. Cal does not want to sit stoney-still reading some chicken scratch. But that Book Woman keeps coming just the same. She comes in the rain. She comes in the snow. She comes right up the side of the mountain, and Cal knows that's not easy riding. And all just to lend his sister some books. Why, that woman must be plain foolish -- or is she braver than he ever thought?

That Book Woman makes sure to help Cal stay connected to reading even though he is so far away in the Appalachian mountains. How do you stay connected when you are separated by distance?

Between The Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From The Football Field To The Art Gallery

Suggested for Grades K-3

Ernie Barnes Ernie Barnes was an NFL football player who longed to make art. Finally his dream came true. When Ernie Barnes was growing up in North Carolina in the 1940s, he loved to draw. Even when he played as a boy with his friends he drew with a stick in the mud. And he never left home without a sketchbook. He would draw families walking home from church, or the old man on the sofa. He drew what he saw. But in the segregated south, Ernie didn't know how to make a living as an artist. Ernie grew tall and athletic and became a football star. Soon enough the colleges came calling. Still, in his heart Ernie longed to paint. Would that day ever come? Ernie Barnes was one of the most important artists of his time known for his style of elongation and movement. His work has influenced a generation of painters and illustrators and can be found in museums and collections, such as the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the California African American Museum. Between the Lines is a story of inspiration, spirit, and of an American original who pursued his dream. This enchanting picture book includes pieces of artwork created by this little known artist who captured the truth and beauty of the world he saw around him.

Everyone needs encouragement from time to time. What would older Ernie say to younger Earnie about his love for drawing and going after his dreams?

The Boy Who Invented TV

Suggested for Grades 1-3

An inspiring true story of a boy genius. Plowing a potato field in 1920, a 14-year-old farm boy from Idaho saw in the parallel rows of overturned earth a way to “make pictures fly through the air.” This boy was not a magician; he was a scientific genius and just eight years later he made his brainstorm in the potato field a reality by transmitting the world’s first television image. This fascinating picture-book biography of Philo Farnsworth covers his early interest in machines and electricity, leading up to how he put it all together in one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.

The television allows people to stay connected with current events, learn about past events, learn new skills and be entertained. What would life be like if Philo Farmsworth had never created the tv?

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story

Suggested for Grades 1-4

In this important and moving true story of reconciliation after war, beautifully illustrated in watercolor, a Japanese pilot bombs the continental U.S. during WWII--the only enemy ever to do so--and comes back 20 years later to apologize. The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, drew the United States into World War II in 1941. But few are aware that several months later, the Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita dropped bombs in the woods outside a small town in coastal Oregon. This is the story of those bombings, and what came after, when Fujita returned to Oregon twenty years later, this time to apologize. This remarkable true story, beautifully illustrated in watercolor, is an important and moving account of reconciliation after war.

In the story, the pilot apologizes 30 years later for the bombing of Oregon. Have you ever wished you had apologized for something or do you have someone you would like to say sorry to now? Write a letter to that person to apologize.

George And The Big Bang

Suggested for Grades 3-5

Explore how the universe began--and thwart evil along the way--in this cosmic adventure from Stephen and Lucy Hawking that includes a graphic novel. George has problems. He has twin baby sisters at home who demand his parents' attention. His beloved pig Freddy has been exiled to a farm, where he's miserable. And worst of all, his best friend, Annie, has made a new friend whom she seems to like more than George. So George jumps at the chance to help Eric with his plans to run a big experiment in Switzerland that seeks to explore the earliest moment of the universe. But there is a conspiracy afoot, and a group of evildoers is planning to sabotage the experiment. A mysterious message from George's old nemesis, Reeper, brings shocking new information, but whose side is Reeper really on? And can George repair his friendship with Annie and piece together the clues before Eric's experiment is destroyed forever? This engaging adventure features essays by Professor Stephen Hawking and other eminent physicists about the origins of the universe and ends with a twenty-page graphic novel that explains how the Big Bang happened--in reverse

Create your own graphic novel. You don't need to be an artist or an expert story writter to complete this activity. You just need to have fun being creative.

How To Live Like A Medieval Knight

Suggested for Grades 3-5

What would it be like to be a knight in the Middle Ages? A young knight-in-training explains how knights prepared for jousting tournaments and actual battles. Readers will learn about life in medieval times.

You have just completed training to become a knight and it's time to design your armor. Write a paragraph to describe what your armor looks like, draw a picture or use software to design your armor.

Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition

Suggested for Grades 3-5

From World War II through NASA's golden age, four African-American women confidently and courageously stepped into the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (now known as NASA). Their Job? To provide the mathematical calculations that would help increase airplane production during wartime and eventually send the United States into space for the very first time. Hidden Figures follows the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who participated in some of the United States' greatest aeronautic successes. These women lived through and preserved against the backdrop of some of the biggest movements ever to shape our nation's history; the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, and the fight for gender equality. With photographs and rich historical detail, Margot Lee Shetterly brings to life the struggles these four women, and others, overcome to forever change the face of air and space travel. Book jacket.

What is a hidden talent or skill you have?

Braving The Brontes

Suggested for Grades 4-5

Spunky young Alaskan Carly Keene and her best friend Francesca have never met a book they didn't like. But they've never been in a book before. Carly Keene: Braving the Brontes is the funny and heartwarming story of a young reader caught up in the adventure of a book lover's lifetime. A chance nap in a magical bookstore sends Carly spiraling back in time. When she wakes up, it's 1846, everyone thinks her name is Caroline, and a young woman named Charlotte Bronte is trying to compose one of the greatest books ever written... Jane Eyre. And that's not all. Maria, the spirit of the Bronte sisters' dead sibling, is haunting Carly, telling her that Charlotte's got to finish her book--or else. With literary history on the line, Carly Keene will battle foggy moors, ghostly apparitions, cholera epidemics, and the horror that is nineteenth-century homework: needlework, French, needlework, German, and more needlework. It's as much as a spunky 21st-century girl can handle, but if anyone can brave the Brontes, it's Carly Keene.

Pretend you have traveled back in time. Write a letter to your future self and tell things that you think the future you should know about.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over The Moon

Suggested for Grades 4-5

The Tootings are stuck in 1966! Somebody’s stolen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and left them behind. But that’s not their biggest problem. Their biggest problem is that Little Harry’s been kidnapped by whoever stole their magical car. There’s only one solution: the Tootings must find the Potts — the family that originally built Chitty. Sharing their combined knowledge of how Chitty works, the families may stand a chance of rescuing Little Harry and finding the most brilliant car in the world. But a fiendish criminal has different plans, ones that involve flying Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the moon and putting an explosive scheme into action.

Would you rather travel back in time or travel to the future?

The Industrial Revolution For Kids

Suggested for Grades 4-5

This educational activity book introduces young readers to the Industrial Revolution through the people, places, and inventions of the time, from the incredibly wealthy Rockefellers and Carnegies and the dingy and dangerous factories of the day to the creation of new forms of transportation and communication. By recounting this fascinating period in American history through the eyes of everyday workers, kids, sports figures, and social activists whose names never appeared in history books—including Hannah Montague, who revolutionized the clothing industry with her highly popular detachable collars and cuffs and Clementine Lamadrid, who either helped save starving New Yorkers or scammed the public into contributing to her one-cent coffee stands—this book helps tell the human stories of the Industrial Revolution.

Reader's Choice - Complete one of the activites found within the book.

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

Suggested for Grade 5

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has been drawing readers of all ages into a magical land with unforgettable characters for over sixty years. This is a stand-alone read, but if you would like to explore more of the Narnian realm, pick up The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Authors take careful consideration in choosing where (and when) to make their story or novel take place, and the most successful authors make you even want to visit these places! Now is where you can take part in the fun by having your own book setting virtual field trip!

All In A Drop : How Antony Van Leeuwenhoek Discovered An Invisible World

Suggested for Grades 3-5

For fans of the "Who Was" series, this lively, accessible, and full-color chapter book biography shows how a self-taught scientist was the first to observe the microbial life in and around us. By building his own microscope, Antony van Leeuwenhoek advanced humanity's understanding of our oft-invisible world around us. Microbes are everywhere: in the soil and oceans, in snow, and inside our bodies. But in Antony van Leeuwenhoek's time, people believed that what they saw with their own eyes was all that existed in the world. How did a simple tradesman--who didn't go to college or speak English or Latin like all the other scientists--change everyone's minds? Proving that remarkable discoveries can come from the most unexpected people and places, this eye-opening chapter book, illustrated with lively full-color art, celebrates the power of curiosity, ingenuity, and persistence.

Pretend you are a scientist and you've made a new discovery. Draw a picture to explain what it would be and show the impact it would make on the world. 

I Survived The Battle Of D-Day, 1944

Suggested for Grades 4-5

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Lauren Tarshis shines a spotlight on the story of the Normandy landings, the largest seaborne invasion in history and foundation for the Allied victory in World War II.

Create a timeline of events with illustrations for the Battle of D-Day.

I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor 1941

Suggested for Grades 4-5

70 years later, the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes to life for a new generation of readers! History's most terrifying moments are brought vividly to life in the action-packed fictional I SURVIVED series! Do you have what it takes to survive ... the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke, and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

What are some ways you have shown courage or bravery?

The Dark Prophecy

Suggested for Grade 5

Zeus has punished his son Apollo--god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more--by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo/Lester do anything about them without his powers? After experiencing a series of dangerous--and frankly, humiliating--trials at Camp Half-Blood, Lester must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America.

The Haiku poem originated in Japan and is made up of three short, unrhymed lines. They are often simple and focus on nature. Write your own haiku. 

The Fever Code

Suggested for Grade 5

Once there was a world s end. The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled. Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man. Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy. The boy s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze. Now there are secrets. There are lies. And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen. This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down. All will be revealed. A prequel to the worldwide Maze Runner phenomenon, The Fever Code is the book that holds all the answers.

Read The Fever Code, then imagine that the book is being made into a movie! Create a project advertising the “movie” to try and convince others to go and see it.

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