Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy

I wrote about Countdown by Deborah Wiles back in February of 2017 and am pleased to share a few resources for Revolution, the 2nd in the Sixties Trilogy by Deborah Wiles. While this documentary novel took me a bit longer to finish, I enjoyed it almost as much as the first in the series. I found the middle of the novel to be a bit slow however the storyline picked up once I reached the third part of the book. Revolution also steps it up a notch in terms of the maturity of the content included. I appreciated this as most of the readers of this novel would be older than they were for the first in the series and they would be building off of their prior knowledge. Just as the first novel did, this one includes a variety of primary documents throughout the text. This is one of the things I liked most as it asks readers to look into the time period and seek out information about the actual events of the time. I believe these novels would fit in well in any middle school or high school library collection. Additionally, these would be a great addition to a course […]

Quality Resource: PBS Kids

This post is short and sweet 🙂 On January 15th, PBS announced it was expanding access to PBS Kids! While there was already a great selection, it’s now even better! Check out their array of children’s educational media on your local PBS station or online through After arriving at the website, click on “videos” and then “live TV” and you can watch your local station anytime, online. By clicking on “learn more” above the show you can even see the intended audience, the goal, and a description of the show. In addition, PBS Kids brings you videos, games, and shows suitable to most audiences. This site is a great option for “fun fridays” or other times students are using devices within a fun free time setting. It’s also a great thing to recommend to parents and families who may be wondering what is appropriate to use with their youngest children. Happy watching and interacting! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: The Ways

The Ways are stories on culture and language from native communities around the central Great Lakes. There are twelve stories in total and they were created for 6th – 12th grade audiences (and of course, adults). For this reason, be sure to watch the film in it’s entirety before sharing with your students or children so you’re a bit more prepared for questions they may have (especially if your students or children are younger than 6th grade). There are great resources to accompany each video to assist in your learning. The Ways were created to: Expand and challenge knowledge and understanding of contemporary Native American culture and language. Explore the role of language and culture in Native identity and community empowerment. Provide resources to assist in meeting Wisconsin Act 31 requirements and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Social Studies. Leverage digital media to support accessibility, engagement, and integration of learning resources in educational contexts. You can use them to fulfill a wide variety of learning objectives or simply to include something new based in culture and story. While I enjoy each and every one of these stories, three of my favorites include Waadookodaading, Hunting Deer, and Prayers in a Song. […]

President Obama’s Farewell Address and the White House

I’ve been missing President Obama and his representation of our country. Therefore I wanted to share his farewell address. In case you missed it, no worries, you can watch it right here: Additionally, the First Family has some great short videos about their lives while in office. Take a look and share with the students and children in your life: Here’s wishing you a peaceful, productive 2017! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Laika Studios

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the 89th annual Oscar awards. An event that was inspiring, and oh so fun! Do you ever wonder about what goes into making a movie? Especially how the animators, artists, and storytellers create a feature film using mainly stop animation? Well, one of the movies nominated for an Oscar this year was Kubo and the Two Strings (Zootopia won the award). This film comes from the amazing Laika Studios and is a film that broke new ground in terms of the technologies used in combination with their signature stop animation style. You may be familiar with some of the other films Laika has created. Some of them include Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline, and Corpse Bride. Check out the videos below to learn more about the making of Kubo and the Two Strings. Visit to learn more about Laika. And of course, see the film! 7:09 minutes, Academy Original: 8:02 minutes, Behind the Scenes on Puppets: 6:20 minutes, Academy Original: Want even more videos but having a hard time finding them? Email me, I’m happy to assist! Most importantly, keep on making and creating! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson is one of my personal heroes. During our time of climate change and the continued assaults happening to our environment, she’s an even more essential historical figure. On January 24, 2017, PBS aired Rachel Carson through the American Experience series. Whether you’re familiar with Carson and her work or not, this documentary will add to your knowledge base. She was a writer, biologist, naturalist, and advocate. She’s someone who stepped outside her comfort zone to speak out for wildlife and the environment. The program is almost 2 hours in length and would be fitting in a middle school or high school science class. It would also be great for an evening or weekend event family event that was for parents and children ages 12 and older. It’s always challenging catering to the interests and needs of our middle school and high school youth. This topic is one many of them are in support of and will get behind. Please email me and I’d be happy to send you the program materials and plan I would use for this type of event! In addition, Carson is one of the scientists featuring in the Scientist Learning Guide. Thanks for reading and […]

Adult Learning Guide #1: Gun Violence

There is now a new category of learning guides… adult learning! The first guide is now available and provides learning opportunities for you and your colleagues to watch, read, explore, discuss, and take action on issues surrounding: Gun Violence This, and all future adult learning guides, can be accessed through the “learning guides” menu. A timeline and printout are available for those of you interested in implementing this learning with your colleagues and/or community members. These resources are linked at the beginning of the learning guide. I’ve embedded all videos and made links to articles, artistic commentaries, and websites to centralize learning. Please email me with your comments or questions. Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez