Websites for our out-of-school time - spring, 2020

Publishers and libraries offering free reads or sound recordings!


Junior Library Guild is offering online access to read books online from any device at 

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.  We registered for an account(all they want is a username and password) and had access to The Trials of Apollo (Riordan) books in minutes.  We could have had it read to us as well.  Access it at the following:

Follett School Solutions is offering us free access to their materials in Lightbox!  Go to .  In the Location box, it says "Any Location."  Do not change.  In the School box, enter "Follett eLearning, McHenry, IL" and click Go!  To log in, click on the "Log In" button at the top right of the screen.
     Username:  guest
     Password:  follett
In the rectangular box, click on the orange word "video" that explains in 2 minutes how to get logged in.  The credentials that are mentioned are what we just listed above.  Do watch the video!

Audible has made possible the streaming of many of the books in their collections!

Project Gutenberg -  "Project Gutenberg eBooks are mostly older literary works. Most were published before 1924, with some published in the decades after."  So, you will not find the latest middle school or Young Adult novels here, BUT, you can read Romeo and Juliet if you want to send your heart all aflutter!  You can read Jane Austen's books (Jane Austen is a favorite author of one of our ELA teachers!). Maybe you want to read the original Frankenstein by Shelley!  Try "Bookshelves" in the lefthand column at the front of the website to browse by genre.  Some students come to the library for Edgar Allan Poe's and Robert Louis Stevenson's and Louisa May Alcott's books - you will find them in Project Gutenberg!  They have compiled several "Top 100" lists at  .


What's this?  Another Hunger Games novel?  Suzanne Collins reads chapter 1 of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes at and chapter 3 of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakesat  It made its debut just a few days ago.  Here is the official trailer:  There will be a copy in our library in August!  Hear the full audiobook of Hunger Games at .

Listen to 
Avi read from many of his books at  !  Author Dav Pilkey (you know, Dog Man and Captain Underpants) shares some of his silliness with you! 

On Friday, April 3rd, author Dav Pilkey launched a new video series.  Read about it along with all the other fun stuff Dav Pilkey has at  .

Introducing the Storyman Virtual Reading Series – Author Neal Shusterman—watch the introductory video at .  After it plays through, another video in which he reads “The Bob Squad” from Mindstorms appears as his first read aloud  in the Storyman Virtual Reading Series.


Get an idea of what many of your favorite authors are like at .  Listen to very short clips from their interviews  Are you a fan of Anthony Horowitz’s books?  Perhaps you would like to read the 1st 6 chapters ofWhere Seagulls Dare by the author? (hmmm . . . is he going to make the entire book available online?)


Enjoy the short interview of Veronica Roth (Divergent series) on her website!  Find out the pop culture of her life! 

Kwame Alexander reads The Undefeated, which recently won the Caldecott Medal 2020 and Newbery Honor 2020 Awards.
     along with  Kwame Alexander is just so
      entertaining!  This is educational as well as entertaining!

R.J. Palacio reads a chapter from her award-winning, fabulous book, Wonder, at  .

Raina Telgemeier draws Raina from Smile and Callie from 

  Drama ; 

  book trailer for Smile  ;

  book trailer for Drama 

Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature  Jason presents his Write. Right. Rite.  Series

Mike Lupica Official Website
There is a lot of new stuff, along with a long of old stuff, on this website.  Do you LOVE sports?  Really?  All kinds of sports?  Then, take a little tour through this site. Mike Lupica(loop' i kuh  and, yes, I know I have been pronouncing it wrong, I am sorry about that) is a syndicated columnist forNew York Daily News, as well as being one of the most popular authors whose books grace the shelves at Wildwood Middle School.  On this website you will find his podcast interviews with many sports figures, past and present; discussions of his books Million-Dollar Throw and  Fantasy League(in which he says what we already know, that kids know more about sports than adults(!) , a poll about your favorite sport among football, basketball and baseball - 31,000+ people have voted so far, and an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Underdogs,  The link to recent articles he has written is broken; however, if you run a Google search for Mike Lupica and New York Daily News you will find many of his recent articles!

Meet Scott Westerfeld, the author of many middle school books!  You can hear the first chapter of Leviathan being read aloud , but do go to his website to learn more about him and access other first chapters of his books (and learn about his run-in with the coronavirus) at .  This is one prolific writer--you will even find short stories written as if their settings were in some of his other books!

Every week a student or two walks into the library and asks for an "I Survive" book, and more than that know where they are and bring one to the circulation desk to check out.  Want to meet the author, Lauren Tarshis, and her dog at ?  She reads the entire book I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 at  If you like her books, investigate the remainder of this massive website!  

Meet author Gordon Korman at .  You can read and/or listen to excerpts from many of his books at this website.  Personally, I cannot wait to read Notorious, a canine murder mystery!  If you click on 
"More Resources" and "Video," watch the author talk about writing his first book at the age of 12 and getting it published!  

Author Cornelia Funke is a native of Germany and now lives in Los Angeles.  If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, you may have read Dragon Rider (movie coming out this August, 2020), Inkheart, or The Thief Lord.You can read all about her at her massive website at .  There is a link to a 26-minute video all about her (, coloring pages, pictures of her readers' pets, quizzes about some of her books, many of her drawings, and news about her life in California on an avocado farm.

Remember READING? from the HarperCollins establishment has a nifty website at at which you can listen to some authors discuss their own books, or books by other authors, AND some former associates/publishers of authors discuss famous authors' books in podcasts!  Let's drop some names . . . Katherine Paterson, Eoin Colfer, Rita Williams-Garcia, Katherine Applegate, Kathryn Lasky, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Louis Sachar, Dan Gutman, Erin Entrada Kelly, Daniel Handler AKA Lemony Snicket, Gail Carson Levine -- we have books by those authors in our library!

Listen to Elizabeth Acevedo's story at her website on "Latinos Out Loud" at (scroll down a bit on the website).  You can see her read from her new book Clap When You Landat

Fun Stuff

View the farm tours at an animal sanctuary in Sonoma, California!  If you like animals you will enjoy this website!   

You KNOW you want to draw a Chinese dragon!  The author Grace Lin will show you how to draw a good luck Chinese dragon with a mustache! With a what?   Grab a piece of  paper and pencil and go to

National Geographic is offering Explorer Classroom every weekday at 2pm.   Explorers who traverse all 7 continents connect with students!  Registration is free, as well as registration to enter for 6 on-camera spots to ask explorers your own question!  The photography is stunning--you feel as if you are right there!

Who are the greatest alliterative athletes by letter???  (1st letter of first name is same as 1st letter of last name)  Meet the All-Alliteration Team across sports!  Then, check out the rest of the articles on Sports Illustrated for Kids online!

HarperCollins Publishing presents Shelf Stuff on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm for ages 7-12! Subscribe at  This website showcases many, many previous episodes of Shelf Stuff.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, including MetKids  Are you wearing a mask when you go to the store?  I found a whale transformation mask in the Time Machine!

Do you just LOVE music and the sounds that instruments play?  If so, this website is for you  courtesy of the Kennedy Center.  Walk through musical instrument history and hear various instruments played in various styles of music.  Learn about the instruments, choose a musical era, and create your musical mix! 

Libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world have shared free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections.  You can download them and print them out and then . . . COLOR!  Go to  and then scroll to the very bottom of the page--there are 10 more pages of books just like on this page!  You may be interested in West Virginia and Regional History Center at

The Wormworld Saga:  a Digital Graphic Novel by Daniel Lieske   Follow the adventures of Jonas, who recently lost his mother and is bound for summer vacation at his grandmother's house.  What's up with the strange painting there?  Jonas finds himself escaping into a fantasy world . . . 

Are you a sci fi and webcomic enthusiast?  Meet Amy, who must be cryogenically frozen before she can make the return trip to Earth from a mining colony far away in outer space.  Read "Space Boy" by Stephen McCranie at 

Do you want to build stuff?  Sketchup for Schools  -  Because the West Virginia Department of Education is signed up with Microsoft Education(you know, you have Office 365 email accounts), you have free access to Sketchup for Schools at  After you access this website, click on the blue tab "Get Started," answer the question "Is your school enrolled . . ." with a "Yes,"  and answer "What is your role?" with "Student."  Next, click on the blue tab "SketchUp for Schools."  Now you must sign in with your Office 365 information - Click on the black tab "Sign in with Microsoft."  Scroll down to where it says "Or take a tour before you begin" and click on it.  Have fun building!

Have you been helping out in the kitchen lately?  A lot, you say!!??  Perhaps you would have fun with CDKitchen's Free Online Cooking Games at  !  You can do cooking jigsaw puzzles(and pick the number of pieces--12 to 108), Cooking Crossword puzzles(such as Purely Pasta), Cooking Hangman, Menu Memory, Cooking Word Find, Candy Concentration, Image Slider, and "Scrambled" Words!  There are also direct links to recipes here! (lots of desserts!)

Mancala!  During the course of this school year, the board game Mancala has increased in number in the library from 1 to 3 due to popular demand.  Before our sheltering in place time began, there was a request from the 7th graders for a 4th game, which will be available the next time we have school!!!  In the mean time, would you like to play it online against the computer?  This website at uses the term "bot," which refers to a computer application.  You do not need to login to play, even though you see a login tab.  If you do not know how to play mancala, check out these directions at

Hmmm . . . we did not get much snow this winter.  Let's fix that and take a 360-degree dogsled ride in Fairbanks, Alaska(cool website, but scroll down the page and click on the picture with the doggies and the snow!)"-north-take-virtual-dogsled-ride-fairbanks-alaska-180974782/  This is a virtual tour!  Use your mouse to move around the dogsled area!  There is something else to see in Fairbanks!  Northern Lights!  Click on the blue words "Northern Lights" in the second paragraph of the article for another virtual tour.  As awesomely beautiful as West Virginia is, we don't see too much of the Northern Lights this far south.

"Pants on Fire" is a podcast for the whole family at   Each week a kid interviews 2 adult experts on a particular topic.  One adult will be telling the truth, and the other will be lying!  Can you determine who is being honest and who is not being honest?  In this era of fake news, it is helpful to sharpen your powers of discernnment!

Here is one way that you cannot go wrong . . . learn to type!  At the website found at, you can learn the keys on the keyboard 3 at a time, and eventually take typing quizzes(you pick the length) and play cool games such as Nitro Type. In this game, you determine your typing speed, and then race virtually against 4 other drivers who are somewhere else in the world.  Or, play Zombie Defender, and try to get the zombies before they get you!  Accounts are free.

Right in our backyard, in Shepherdstown, is the National Conservation Training Center at .  Check out the Live Eagle Cam and the current residents and baby eaglet. 

China    Panda bears are everywhere inside this website  This website comes to you from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding!  Hope you enjoy the several live webcams!

Nepal and China  How does climbing work for you? Go to Click on "Climb Everest"(tab) and you will be situated at the very bottom.  See the comparisons and contrasts as you make your way to the top!  What does this mountain look like in Virtual Reality?

Easter Island   How do you like these big stone heads, or Moai?   Some of them have the remainder of their bodies buried beneath the ground!  Complete the dots to create your own stone head drawing  Check out the interactive map of Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

South Korea   Take a 360° tour of Bamboo Forest in Damyang, South Korea at . Go to full screen and hold the left side of your mouse down to take the virtual tour!

Australia  Koala bears come from Australia and look awfully cuddly, don’t they?  You can catch up with live koala bears at the San Diego Zoo webcam at -cam  There is a story about one of the koalas here at  .  The next time you eat a jellybean, remember that a koala bear, when born, is about the same size as the jelly bean!

Now through Sept. 7, DC Comics and Warner Brothers will be offering 250 issues of Scooby-Doo comic books and trade paperbacks for free on DC UNIVERSE, comiXology, Kindle and other digital platforms. I registered at DC UNIVERSE at with a minimum of information.  Then I searched for "Scooby to locate the comics."

One of the most popular books in our school library is Holes, written by author Louis Sachar(rhymes with cracker). Sachar creates some of the backstory of Holes at  .  Over forty years after his first Wayside Stories book was published, Sachar has written a new book entitled Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom. You can read an article written about it at .

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