MJHS Media Center

February 2019

Author Kendra Fortmeyer to Visit MJHS!

We are so excited (and fortunate!) to have young adult author Kendra Fortmeyer scheduled to visit us on February 11th. Ms. White's classes have been chosen as the lucky winners of the visit and we look forward to an enlightening discussion! Each of Ms. White's students will receive a copy of Kendra's debut novel "Hole in the Middle!"


Book Synopsis:


Have you ever felt like part of you is missing?

Morgan Stone was born with a hole in her middle: perfectly smooth patch of nothing where a something should be. After seventeen years of fear and shame, doctors and nurses, “peculiar” not “perfect,” she has had enough of hiding.

Feisty, feminist and downright different, Hole in the Middle is the story of what happens when a girl who is anything but normal confronts a world obsessed with body image and celebrity.

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Check out these primary sources at BlackPast.org

BlackPast.org is a "15,000 page reference center dedicated to providing information to the general public on African American history and on the history of the more than one billion people of African ancestry around the world." There are some amazing primary source documents that you can integrate into your lessons!


Historic Black Churches Project

Blacks in Classical Music

Scientists and Technicians of the Manhattan Project

The Tuskegee Airmen


Full text primary source documents

Major speeches of black activists & leaders

Historical timelines

Perspectives on African American History

HBCU directory

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Black History Month Lessons from NEA

To help you integrate Black History Month into your classroom, NEA offers multiple relevant, subject-specific selection of lesson plans for grades 9-12.





I would love to host your classes and collaborate with you on any of these lessons!

New Books! How Exciting!

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NPR Podcast Challenge

NPR Podcast Challenge


NPR is hosting its first-ever student podcast challenge. Winners will receive visits from the media organization's journalists before the end of the school year. The winning podcasts will also be included in segments of NPR's shows, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, during the spring.


These downloadable and streaming audio files can cover any topic, but NPR had some suggestions in its official rules:


  • Stories about the school or community that others would want to hear;
  • A moment from history that every student should know;
  • A debate on a topic of importance to students;
  • What in the world students want to change; or
  • Coverage of something "that kids understand and grownups don't."

The contest is open to students in grades 5 through 12. The recordings must run between three and 12 minutes and not include music. Entries don't have to be class projects, but students will need the help of a teacher to submit their entries (since an account needs to be set up for SoundCloud, to upload the submissions).


Let me know if you'd like help creating your student podcasts.

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More than 50,000 books, films and songs are now in the public domain

Jan. 1st didn't just mark the start of the new year; it was also the first so-called Public Domain Day in more than two decades, meaning that several works of literature from 1923 are now free from copyright for anyone who wants to use them.


More than 50,000 books, films and musical compositions are now officially in the public domain and can be published or adapted without permission from the copyright holder, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.


The copyrights on the works were originally slated to expire in 1999, but the U.S. Congress thwarted that with the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, passed in 1998. Named after the late entertainer and congressman, the act, which was lobbied for heavily by the Walt Disney Co., added 20 years to the copyrights of works published before 1978.


Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain has a partial list of works that are now copyright-free. It includes some big names: Agatha Christie's "The Murder on the Links," P.G. Wodehouse's "The Inimitable Jeeves" and Virginia Woolf's "Jacob's Room" are now officially in the public domain.


Also included is Robert Frost's "New Hampshire," a poetry collection that includes one of his most famous poems, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Other authors with works now in the public domain are Edgar Rice Burroughs, Aldous Huxley, Winston Churchill and Edith Wharton.


Films and works of music are also affected by the copyright expiration, most notably Cecil B. DeMille's movie "The Ten Commandments" and Frank Silver and Irving Cohn's song "Yes! We Have No Bananas."


For literary fans interested in getting their hands on some new public-domain works, Motherboard has a list of websites where the books can be downloaded, including the Literature Network and Authorama.


Source: https://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-public-domain-additions-2019-20190103-story.html

Los Angeles Times By MICHAEL SCHAUB JAN 03, 2019

The Walter Awards - Have you heard?

About the Walter Awards


The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as “The Walter,” celebrates the legacy of author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Myers served as the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2012-2013), authored over a hundred titles, and won countless awards, including two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, and was a three-time National Book Award finalist. Throughout his prolific, lauded career, Myers was a life-long champion of diversity in children’s and young adult books.


Inaugurated in 2016, the annual Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children's Literature recognize diverse authors (or co-authors) whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way. Two to four Honor Books are also named annually. We Need Diverse Books defines “diverse” to be one or more of the following: a person of color, Native American, LGBTQIA, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States.