What’s New in Overdrive – May Edition

We have added some great new titles for you in Overdrive this month. We hope that you will check them out.

Rock and Roll Literacy

First, we added Sigmund Brouwer’s Rock and Roll Literacy.

Bestselling author Sigmund Brouwer brings his unique sense of play to the serious business of learning to read and write. Armed with music, humor and heart, he connects the dots for people who work with kids to cultivate reading and writing skills.

If you have attended any of Sigmund’s sessions or plan on having a student in our Author in Residence program next year, this would be a great resource for you! And while you are at it check out the many titles we have available for your students by Sigmund!

Next, check out the Worst Case Scenario books based on a recommendation of one of our parents.

Worst Case Scenario Amazon

We have added Amazon: You Decide how to Survive

A new thrill ride begins in the Amazon rainforest with the latest novel in the Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure series! Join an expedition of students exploring the Amazon jungle and face real dangers and decisions. Your choices will determine your fate. Will you survive your encounters with piranhas, tarantulas, mosquitoes, monkeys, and jaguars? Or will you be forced to return home early? Only you can decide how to survive. There are twenty-two possible endings to this adventure, but only ONE leads to ultimate success! Featuring dynamic comic book style illustrations, and based on real, true-life facts about the Amazon, this story will be a surefire hit with anyone craving a fun, highly visual reading experience.

We have also added  Deadly Seas, Everest and Mars.

Producing Fish

We have added some resource based books for Grade 5 including Life in a Mining Community and The Technology of Farming: Producing Fish.

These two titles would be great reference books for your older students learning about world hunger and population growth:

Avoiding Hunger

Avoiding World Hunger and Finding Water by Andrew Langley

This book shows how the production and distribution of food and clean water is uneven across the globe, leading to hunger and poverty for many. How can more food reach people who need it?

Population Growth

Coping with Population Growth by Nicola Barber

This book looks at patterns of population growth – and decline – in a wide range of countries, comparing the situation in many less-economically developed countries with the gradually aging population in more economically developed ones. How many people can Earth support?

World in a drop of water

For the Grade 6 Diversity of Life Outcomes – the book A World in a Drop of Water by Alvin and Virginia Silverstein is a great addition to our Overdrive library.

This inexpensive volume showcases an array of curious creatures: a blob-like amoeba; a slipper-shaped paramecium and its mortal enemy, the suctorian; and many others. The authors recount the feeding, reproductive, and defensive strategies employed by these animals in easy-to-understand language that opens the door to a wonderful world of discovery. 37 illustrations.

Dyslexia Empowerment Plan

Finally, if you have a student with Dyslexia the new addition in Overdrive of The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss would be a great read for you.

Finally, a groundbreaking book that reveals what your dyslexic child is experiencing–and what you can do so that he or she will thrive

More than thirty million people in the United States are dyslexic–a brain-based genetic trait, often labeled as a “learning disability” or “learning difference,” that makes interpreting text and reading difficult. Yet even though children with dyslexia may have trouble reading, they don’t have any problems learning; dyslexia has nothing to do with a lack of intellect.

While other books tell you what dyslexia is, this book tells you what to do. Dyslexics’ innate skills, which may include verbal, social, spatial, kinesthetic, visual, mathematical, or musical abilities, are their unique key to acquiring knowledge. Figuring out where their individual strengths lie, and then harnessing these skills, offers an entrée into learning and excelling. And by keeping the focus on learning, not on standard reading the same way everyone else does, a child with dyslexia can and will develop the self-confidence to flourish in the classroom and beyond.

After years of battling with a school system that did not understand his dyslexia and the shame that accompanied it, renowned activist and entrepreneur Ben Foss is not only open about his dyslexia, he is proud of it. In The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan he shares his personal triumphs and failures so that you can learn from his experiences, and provides a three-step approach for success:

• Identify your child’s profile: By mapping your child’s strengths and weaknesses and assisting her to better understand who she is, you can help your child move away from shame and feelings of inadequacy and move toward creating a powerful program for learning.
• Help your child help himself: Coach your child to become his own best advocate by developing resiliency, confidence, and self-awareness, and focusing on achievable goals in areas that matter most to him.
• Create community: Dyslexic children are not broken, but too often the system designed to educate them is. Dare to change your school so that your child has the resources to thrive. Understanding your rights and finding allies will make you and your child feel connected and no longer alone.

Packed with practical ideas and strategies dyslexic children need for excelling in school and in life, this empowering guide provides the framework for charting a future for your child that is bright with hope and unlimited potential.

Reviews by Overdrive

Jump Into Summer Reading!


Summer reading makes me think of gardens, oceans and incredible adventures! So grab a glass of lemonade, a chair in the sun or better yet a patch of grass and enjoy a great book!

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Charlotte’s Web (audiobook format) by E.B. White

Since its publication in 1952, Charlotte’s Web has become one of America’s best-loved children’s books. For fifty years, this timeless story of the pig named Wilbur and the wise spider named Charlotte, who saved him has continued to warm the hearts of readers everywhere. Now this classic, a 1953 Newbery Honor book, comes to life in a delightful unabridged recording, read lovingly by the author himself.

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary Lennox is born in India. She is a sickly, sallow child, whose parents hide her away with her Ayah. After her parents die in a cholera outbreak she is sent to live in Yorkshire with her uncle. She is, once more, left mostly to herself. Her uncle still mourns his beautiful wife ten years after her death, and seeks to escape his grief by traveling. When a chambermaid tells Mary about her mistress’s garden, which her master locked up on her death, Mary is determined to find it. Bit by bit, as the garden comes back to life, so do the lives of those around her begin to mend.

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Anne of Green Gables ebook format and audiobook format by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is a best-selling novel and Canadian classic. It was originally intended for all audiences, but is now commonly considered a children’s book.

Two middle-aged siblings decide to adopt an orphan to help them on their farm. But instead of the boy they were expecting, a plucky young girl called Anne Shirley turns up on their doorstep…

Huck Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ebook format and audiobook format by Mark Twain

Huck Finn is an orphaned drifter who loves freedom more than respectability. He isn’t above lying and stealing, but he faces a battle with his conscience when he meets up with a runaway slave named Jim, who provides him with his first experiences of love, acceptance, and a sense of responsibility.

The title character of this famous novel tells his own story in a straightforward narrative laced with shrewd, sharp comments on human nature. The boy’s adventures along the Mississippi River provide a framework for a series of moral lessons, revelations of a corrupt society, and contrasts between innocence and hypocrisy. The colorful cast of characters—including the crafty grifters, the Duke and the King—help make this a memorable classic.

Treasure Island

Treasure Island audiobook format by Robert Louis Stevenson

Perhaps Stevenson’s best-known work, this adventure novel set in the eighteenth century is inspired by the actual exploits of pirate Captain Kidd and the search for his buried treasure. For pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow inn, to the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropical island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled young and old for more than a century.

Stevenson’s romance is noted for its swift, clearly depicted action, its memorable character types—especially of Long John Silver—and its sustained atmosphere of menace. A story of a classic battle between good and evil, it illustrates one young boy’s rite of passage into the dangerous world of mature responsibilities.

Swiss Family Robinson

Swiss Family Robinson audiobook format by J.D. Wyss

Swept off course by a raging storm, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and their four young sons are shipwrecked on a strange, uncharted tropical island. This timeless, classic story of survival and adventure has fired the imaginations of readers since it first appeared in 1812, and it reads just as fresh as if it were written today. The natural wonders of the lush, exotic land make for an unforgettable setting, and the family itself will find a place in the listeners’ heart.

As they struggle to survive in the wilderness, the Robinsons discover their own amazing ingenuity and courage, each of the sons utilizing his own unique nature as their adventures lead to difficult challenges and fantastic discoveries. Although they have lost almost everything in the shipwreck, they are so resourceful that, when rescue finally comes, they decline to leave the happy life they have constructed for themselves in their exotic haven.

Streams to the River

Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O’dell

In this redesigned edition of Scott O’Dell’s classic novel, a young Native American woman, accompanied by her infant and her cruel husband, experiences joy and heartbreak when she joins the Lewis and Clark expedition seeking a way to the Pacific.


Skylark by Patricia McLachlan

When Sarah came to the prairie, Anna and her brother Caleb worried that she would not stay and be their new mother. But Sarah fell in love with Caleb and Anna, and with their father, Jacob. Together they became a family. Jacob is a man of the land, but for Sarah, the prairie isn’t yet her home. So when a drought threatens to devastate their way of life, Jacob must save the farm. But the children go back to the home Sarah knew first, Maine, where there is family and an ocean. But will they ever be a family again on the prairie?

Summer of the Monkeys

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

The last thing a fourteen-year-old boy expects to find along an old Ozark river bottom is a tree full of monkeys. Jay Berry Lee’s grandpa had an explanation, of course–as he did for most things. The monkeys had escaped from a traveling circus, and there was a handsome reward in store for anyone who could catch them. Grandpa said there wasn’t any animal that couldn’t be caught somehow, and Jay Berry started out believing him . . .

But by the end of the “summer of the monkeys,” Jay Berry Lee had learned a lot more than he ever bargained for–and not just about monkeys. He learned about faith, and wishes coming true, and knowing what it is you really want. He even learned a little about growing up . . .

This novel, set in rural Oklahoma around the turn of the century, is a heart-warming family story–full of rich detail and delightful characters–about a time and place when miracles were really the simplest of things…

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins ebook format and audiobook format by Scott O’Dell

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kept beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches.

Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.

More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic.

The Cay

The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Read Theodore Taylor’s classic bestseller and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner The Cay.

Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand–until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed.

When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”

But by the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy.

Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn. Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.

The Pearl

The Pearl ebook format and audiobook format by John Steinbeck

“There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon.”

Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security….

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

Reviews by Overdrive

Summer Loans and Booking for Next Year

As we look forward to a lovely summer break there are some important dates you need to take note of.

If you have not re-enrolled, ALL library items are due back in the library by June 18th, 2015 and you cannot book items for next year.


Booking for next year:

The first open day you can book items for the new school year is September 4th. Please DO NOT book items in July or August!  We do not ship during the summer, so you will be asked to rebook!

  •  The earliest you can book an item is dependent on your homeroom, which indicates your shipping days ie. HCOS5 is 5 shipping days, (you can see your homeroom in your Profile page when logged in).
  • Add your shipping days to the 4th, which is the first open date,  to find the earliest date you can actually book an item:  ie. If you are in HCOS3 your earliest ship date would be September 7th.
  •  This works for any date you are booking for. For example, if I want to book an item for the next day, but I am in HCOS5, the system will state it is not available because it takes 5 days to ship to me.
  •  I would need to choose a date 5 days in the future. The system will offer other open dates; please be sure the option you choose is for the loan period of 49 days!
  • When booking unit study kits for the year, please remember there is a limit of 3 kits per family out at one time.
    Please do not:

    • book items back to back; we will delete the extra bookings.  An item can be renewed if no one else has a reserve on it.
    • book kits so that they DO NOT overlap with other kits, which takes you over the 3 kit limit.  We will ask you to rebook!

    We have these limits in place to ensure all of our families have equal access to the resources.


    Library loans for the summer:

    If you have re-enrolled, you have the option of taking out material over the summer:

    • Last date for ordering items for the summer is June 19th
    • All material will be due back in the library August 14th, no exceptions! We need to have all items in and ready to go for the new school year.
    • There is a limit of 30 books per family
    • And a limit of 1 unit study kit per family over the summer.
    • The library is closed for the month of July, and is on summer hours for August. We will arrange Canpar returns during the first week of August so they are received by August 14th.

    If you have any questions, please contact Shandra at swiebe@onlineschool.ca


    [Read more…]

    Picture Books in Overdrive


    If you have yet to explore our picture book collection in Overdrive we suggest you take a look at all the amazing titles. We have highlighted just a few for you here to give you a small taste of what is available:

    Baby Owl Rescue

    Baby Owl’s Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis

    What if you found a baby owl in your backyard? Would you know what to do? Where would you go to find help? Join young Maddie and Max as they learn a valuable lesson from a little lost owl in Baby Owl’s Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis. The brother and sister pair just wanted to play baseball one day. They never expected to come face-to-face with a wild animal! Lush illustrations by Laura Jacques accompany this story and demonstrate the proper treatment of wildlife. This story reminds all of us that we live in a world surrounded by wild animals, and those wild animals deserve our caution and our respect!

    Bravest of the Brave

    The Bravest of the Brave by Shutta Crum

    Late one day I hurried home,
    Stepping through the wood alone.
    It was deep and dim; I could barely see.
    But I thought brave thoughts to comfort me.

    A Young Skunk heads home through the woods–alone. Or maybe not…
    Could there be robbers, or pirates, or ghosts, or trappers in the woods? And is our hero brave enough to keep away?
    With bouncy rhymes, charming art, a subtle counting theme, and a surprise ending, this story will entertain and reassure any child who’s ever been afraid.

    Don't Spill the Milk

    Don’t Spill the Milk by Stephen Davies

    Over the uppy downy dunes, across the dark, wide river and up the steep, steep mountain, Penda lovingly carries a bowl of milk to her father in the grasslands. But will she manage to get it there without spilling a single drop?

    Rocket Learned to Read

    How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

    Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!

    With a story that makes reading fun–and will even help listeners learn to read–this book is ideal for kindergarten classrooms and story hour or as a gift for that beginning reader. Fresh, charming art by Tad Hills, the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of Duck & Goose, will make this a favorite.

    Jessie's Island

    Jessie’s Island by Sheryl McFarlane

    As Jessie looks out over her island home, she sees a world of endless variety, from killer whales in the strait and bald eagles soaring overhead to anemones and tiny hermit crabs on the shore. She thinks of countless days spent exploring, fishing, swimming and canoeing. Told with lyric simplicity, this story is more than a celebration of West Coast life; it is also a reminder of the joy of childhood and the thrill of discovery. In a time when our children’s entertainment has become increasingly formal and high-tech, Jessie’s Island reminds us of the joy of unstructured play and the pleasures to be found in the natural world around us.

    Katy No Pocket

    Katy No Pocket by Emmy Payne

    Katy Kangaroo is sad because she has no pocket in which to carry her son, Freddy. While all the other kangaroo children ride comfortably in their mothers’ pockets, poor Freddy has to walk. This makes Freddy sad, too, and tired! But one day Katy has an idea: why not find out how other animals carry their babies? She asks crocodiles, monkeys, and birds how they carry their children, but none of their methods seems to work. Finally, when the wise old owl suggests a plan, Katy and Freddy take off for the big city. There she finds enough pockets to carry Freddy and all of his friends!

    Maggie's Chopsticks

    Maggie’s Chopsticks by Alan Woo

    Poor Maggie struggles to master her chopsticks — it seems nearly everyone around the dinner table has something to say about the “right” way to hold them! But when Father reminds her not to worry about everyone else, Maggie finally gets a grip on an important lesson.

    No Dragons

    No Dragons for Tea by Jean Pendziwol

    In the first installment of the Dragon Safety Series, a dragon’s flame-filled tea party turns into a rhyming and reassuring lesson in fire safety.

    Salmon Forest

    Salmon Forest by David Suzuki

    One fall day, Kate goes with her father, a fish biologist, to the river where he works — a river in the Pacific rain forest — the “salmon forest,” as he calls it. Together they watch the sockeye salmon returning to the river to spawn, and witness a bear scooping up a salmon. Next, Kate and her dad run into a Native boy named Brett and his family fishing at a pool in the river. From her adventures, Kate discovers how the forest and the salmon need each other and why the forest is called the salmon forest. David Suzuki and Sarah Ellis’s charming and informative text and Sheena Lott’s watercolors magically evoke the spirit and mystery of the West Coast rain forest.

    Three Little Beavers

    Three Little Beavers by Jean Heilprin Diehl

    Beatrix the beaver longs to be good at something. Her brother Bevan is an expert at repairing the lodge with mud and twigs. Her sister Beverly is a superb swimmer and underwater gymnast. What makes Beatrix stand out? One day, she runs away by swimming up the creek and finds some fresh garden plants to eat, and yummy trees to gnaw. When her siblings set off to find her, all Three Little Beavers wind up trapped! It takes some simple engineering on the part of the humans who set the traps, and Beatrix’s discovery of her special talents, for the people and beavers to finally find a way to live in harmony.

    Reviews by Overdrive

    Open House HCOS Lower Mainland

    HCOS Lower Mainland

    Spring Open House Events

    May 5

    This is a chance to connect with our HCOS administration, teaching staff  and fellow home education parents as we discuss home educating next year and into the future. Come with your questions about enrolling, registering, accessing the Learning Commons, Learning Services, Special Education or Immersive Technologies. We are excited to share our plans for Community Connections classes in your community as well as learning camps and coops. While parents are chatting, students are invited for gym games.

    Choose your location:

    May 5, 9:30 -11:00

    Abbotsford E-free

    33218 Marshall Rd. Abbotsford BC

    There is an option for children to be hosted in the gym by HCOS staff members.
    May 5, 1:00 – 2:30

    Evergreen Hall

    9291 Corbould St, Chilliwack BC

    There is an option for children to be hosted in the gym by HCOS staff members.
    May 5, 7:00 – 8:30

    Canadian Reformed Church of Cloverdale

    17473 60 Ave Surrey, BC

    As this is an evening event childcare will not be provided, however children are welcome to be in the audience if needed.

    Please RSVP so we can plan staffing and snacking at: https://fluidsurveys.com/s/lower-mainland-hcos-information-sessions-2015/

    For more information please contact Sara Kraushar at skraushar@onlineschool.ca

    Makered Presentation #CHEC2015

    Common Sense :: Digital Compass

    Source: www.digitalcompass.org

    New digital citizenship game for students gr 6-8 from Commonsense Media.

    Providing On-Line CS Teacher Education, Designed for Teachers

    Announcing a research-based resource for helping high school teachers to learn Python and CS Principles

    Source: cacm.acm.org

    Free E book on learning how to teach Python in high school.

    Meet Edison – Educational LEGO Compatible Robotics

    At last a LEGO® compatible robot that not only has all the features for teaching robotics and programming, but at a price your school can afford.

    Source: meetedison.com

    Fun with makered, lego robotics at a cheaper price and fun, fun, fun!

    Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday with us!

    We are not one hundred percent sure when Shakespeare was born, but we celebrate his birthday on April 23rd. Here are some facts about Shakespeare. There is very little known about Shakespeare, which has spawned many conspiracies about him and his life. You can watch one video called The Shakespeare Conspiracy here.

    Many of his plays are available in our Learn 360 subscription. You can watch Romeo and Juliet (in Ballet form), Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, King Richard II, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet (in play form), Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor. You can also find several videos about Shakespeare’s poetry and the Globe Theatre. In Discovery Education you can find WordPlay Shakespeare, which includes the play alongside the original and modern Texts. There is Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can also find Standard Deviants Shakespeare Tragedies in Discovery Education with great explanations of all of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

    Discover Shakespeare resources for all ages in our L4U library: several retellings of Shakespeare Plays; Irresistible Shakespeare, which includes several Readers Theatre Scripts; The World of Shakespeare; Shakespeare and the Globe,  and several audio retellings of Shakespeare.

    In Overdrive we recently added a range of study guides for you, the texts can be found at Project Gutenberg which you can access from our Overdrive site.

    Cliffs Complete

    Cliffs Complete: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar

    Complete Classroom Press

    Complete Classroom Press: Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet

    The Globe Education

    Globe Education Shakespeare: Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing and Romeo and Juliet

    Shmoop Guide

    Shmoop Guides: Romeo and Juliet

    The Plays the Thing

    For more information about Shakespeare read The Play’s the Thing by Ruth Turk

    Gary Blackwood

    And if you are looking for a springboard to Shakespeare, Gary Blackwood’s books are great options: The Shakespeare Stealer and The Shakespeare Scribe.

    If you are wanting to study Shakespeare with younger children I would suggest using the following:

    Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

    Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

    And finally a few great resources for all students are Video SparkNotes for Shakespeare  and these note booking pages for Shakespeare plays.

    Have fun exploring Shakespeare!

    Blessings, The Learning Commons Team


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