Author Feature-Kathleen Baldwin

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Kathleen Baldwin

Kathleen Baldwin

The School for Unusual Girls

Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, enjoyed way too many classes in college, fell in love at least a dozen times, and married her very own hero. Together they've raised four free-spirited adventurous children.

A School for Unusual Girls is Kathleen's first historical romance for young adults. It is a Junior Library Guild selection. Publisher's Lunch listed it in their 2015 Young Adult BookBuzz. Kansas State NEA Reading Circle gave it a starred review in their upcoming 2016 "Best of the Best" for High Schools. Ian Bryce optioned it for film. Scholastic licensed it for book fairs, and New York Times Book Review called it "enticing from the first sentence."

 

Find her on the web:

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Website

 


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Book Trailer

 


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Book Quiz

Printable Copy

A School for Unusual Girls: A Stranje House Novel - Quiz

  1. Why was Georgiana sent to Stranje House? 
    1. She fell in love with the wrong boy. 
    2. Her parents died. 
    3. She burned down a barn. 
    4. To protect her from the war.
  2. What are Tess's pets? 
    1. Rats 
    2. Puppies 
    3. Kittens 
    4. Wolves
  3. What happened to Georgiana when she tried to escape? 
    1. She got lost in a hidden passageway. 
    2. She was saved by wolves. 
    3. She almost drowned. 
    4. All of the above.
  4. What experiment of Georgiana's were Captain Grey and Lord Wyatt interested in? 
    1. A new explosive mixture 
    2. Disappearing ink 
    3. Truth serum 
    4. A new glue 
  5. Why was Lord Ravencross so mean and difficult? 
    1. He was a mean person. 
    2. His brother died in the war. 
    3. He didn't like Tess on his property. 
    4. He was sick.
  6. When Georgiana's experiment blew up, what did Georgiana and Lord Wyatt drink? 
    1. Water and soda 
    2. Milk and soda 
    3. Milk and eggs 
    4. Juice and eggs
  7. Why did Lord Wyatt and Captain Grey need Georgiana's experiment to work? 
    1. Too many people had been lost while attempting to pass  secrets. 
    2. Lord Wyatt and Captain Grey were working with the British against Napoleon. 
    3. Lord Wyatt was taking a secret message to other agents. 
    4. All of the above. 
  8. Why did Georgiana and Tess rush off to the ball? 
    1. Georgiana's ink quit working. 
    2. Georgiana was in love with Lord Wyatt. 
    3. They wanted to have some fun. 
    4. They were invited by Lady Daneska. 
  9. What happened to Lord Wyatt at the ball? 
    1. He danced with Georgiana and fell in love. 
    2. He fell down a trap door into the ocean. 
    3. He was abducted by Lady Daneska. 
    4. He met Georgiana's parents. 
  10. What did Georgiana do to save Lord Wyatt? 
    1. Built a flying machine 
    2. Dug a tunnel 
    3. Captured Lady Daneska 
    4. Turned herself over to Lady Daneska.

 

 

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Academic Program 

Printable Copy

Secret Code: The Science of Invisible Ink

Introduction/Purpose of Program

Students will test a variety of methods for making invisible ink using household items.

TEKS

  • 1A demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations as outlined in the Texas Safety Standards
  • 2B design and implement comparative and experimental investigations by making observations, asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and using appropriate equipment and technology
  • 2C collect and record data using the International System of Units (SI) and qualitative means such as labeled drawings, writing, and graphic organizers
  • 2D construct tables and graphs, using repeated trials and means, to organize data and identify patterns
  • 2E analyze data to formulate reasonable explanations, communicate valid conclusions supported by the data, and predict trends
  • 4A use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information
  • 4B use preventative safety equipment
  • 8.5E – Investigate how evidence of chemical reactions indicate that new substances with different properties are formed

Detailed Description of the Program

Students will compare the quality of a variety of homemade invisible ink formulas.

3 types of invisible ink will be made and tested during this experiment. Directions for making each of the inks can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-an-Invisible-Ink-Message

Types:

  • Lemon Juice Ink
  • Baking Soda Ink
  • Aspirin Ink

Program Related Books to Display or Book Talk

  • Colson, Mary. Destroy after Reading: The World of Secret Codes. Chicago, IL: Raintree, 2011. Print.
  • Gregory, Jillian. Breaking Secret Codes. Mankato, MN: Edge, 2011. Print.
  • Gregory, Jillian. Making Secret Codes. Mankato, MN: Capstone, 2011. Print.
  • Huckle, Helen. The Secret Code Book. New York: Dial, 1995. Print.
  • Mitchell, Susan K. Spy Codes and Ciphers. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2012. Print.
  • Pincock, Stephen. Codebreaker: The History of Codes and Ciphers, from the Ancient Pharaohs to Quantum Cryptography. New York: Walker, 2006. Print.

List of Supplies

  • White Paper
  • Small Bowls
  • Lemons (or Lemon Juice)
  • Q-tips
  • Baking Soda
  • Milk
  • Grape Juice
  • Lamp with bulb (not halogen) – to use as a heat source
  • Spoons or stirrers
  • Ferrous Sulfate (Iron Sulfate)
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cotton Balls/Pads

Resources (print and electronic)

Program Flyers, Posters, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, etc.

Teachers may choose to grade student's lab reports, and teamwork when making the various invisible ink types; however, the activity is intended as a creative way to link science and literature, not necessarily for a graded activity though it does fulfill several TEKS requirements. 

 

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Active Programs

Printable Copy

Textiles of the Past: Lavender Sachet Project

Introduction/Purpose of Program:

Students will sew their own lavender sachet and learn about the fabrics and dress styles mentioned in School for Unusual Girls.

Detailed Description of the Program:

Students will sew a lavender sachet to take home and enjoy. Since many young women were expected to be experts in sewing (particularly needlecraft) this is a chance for students to experience how many living in England in the early 1800s would have lived. It's a simple craft that introduces them to basic skills while allowing them to experience the variety of fabrics and fashions of the time period.

A complete set of instructions for making the sachets can be found here

The sachets can be stitched by hand; however, if sewing machines are available, students may want to compare the speed of machine sewing to hand sewing. This may be a way to introduce sewing to the Library makerspace as well.

Program Related Books to Display or Book Talk:

  • Bolton, Vivienne. Vintage Projects. London: New Holland, 2013. Print.
  • Brown, Susan. Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style. New York, NY: DK, 2012. Print.
  • Downing, Sarah Jane. Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen. Oxford: Shire Publications, 2010. Print.
  • Knight, Choly. Sewing Basics: Simple Techniques and Projects for First-time Sewers. N.p.: Fox Chapel, 2013. Print.
  • Lewis, Katie. Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners. New York: Cedar Fort, 2013. Print.
  • Percoco, Cassidy. Regency Women's Dress. N.p.: Costume and Fashion, 2015. Print.
  • Salisbury, Deb. Fabric a La Romantic Regency: A Glossary of Fabrics from Original Sources from 1795 - 1836. N.p.: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2013. Print.
  • Stevenson, N. J. Fashion: A Visual History from Regency & Romance to Retro & Revolution: A Complete Illustrated Chronology of Fashion from the 1800s to the Present Day. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2012. Print.

List of Supplies:

  • 8 ½ x 11 sheets of paper for cutting heart patterns (can make smaller shapes if desired)
  • Fabric pieces (scraps are ok) large enough to fit patterns (if possible, try to select various types of fabric so students can explore the different textures, etc.)
  • Thread
  • Sewing needles
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Dried lavender (or other herbs)
  • Sewing Machine (if desired) – products are small so a sewing machine is not required, but if you have one available it might be fun to let students compare hand sewing to machine sewing

Resources (print and electronic):

  • "Lavender Sachets." Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., 17 May 2011. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. http://www.marthastewart.com/269651/lavender-sachets
  • Brown, Susan. Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style. New York, NY: DK, 2012. Print.
  • Downing, Sarah Jane. Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen. Oxford: Shire Publications, 2010. Print. 
  • Doyle, Marissa, and Regina Scott. "NineteenTeen." : Sarcenet, Lustring, and Bombazine. N.p., 22 Jan. 2009. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. http://nineteenteen.blogspot.com/2009/01/sarcenet-lustring-and-bombazine.html
  • Percoco, Cassidy. Regency Women's Dress. N.p.: Costume and Fashion, 2015. Print.
  • Salisbury, Deb. Fabric a La Romantic Regency: A Glossary of Fabrics from Original Sources from 1795 - 1836. N.p.: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2013. Print.
  • Stevenson, N. J. Fashion: A Visual History from Regency & Romance to Retro & Revolution: A Complete Illustrated Chronology of Fashion from the 1800s to the Present Day. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2012. Print.

Professional Resources (for librarian and teacher use):

 


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Passive Programs 

Program Printable Copy

Supplemental Documents

Create Flying Machine Flyer

Etiquette Today Flyer

Stealth and Distraction Flyer

Planning Your Own Personal Flying Device

Introduction/Purpose:

Georgina is "good at making plans." p. 52. In chapter 24, p. 314, Georgina and Jane ride in a kit from a higher building down into the courtyard of another.

Detailed Description of Program:

Participants can plan their own 'personal flying device in one or more of the following ways. Research images of personal flying devices on the internet or in library resources. Building materials can be limited by availability or time period. Display finished products in space available or through pictures on the library website.

List of Supplies:

  • Scratch paper and pencils for planning
  • Large sheets of paper with drawing utensils
  • Legos
  • Torn pieces of construction paper to create mosaics
  • Craft sticks or other recycled 'trash' including cartons, rope, pieces of fabric, or straws.
  • Drawing App or simple CAD computer program

Program Related Books and Resources:

  • Pull out books about flying, space, and history of flying.
  • YouTube 'personal flying' to find lots of videos about machines built for individuals

Program Flyer:

Flyer

Stealth and Distraction

Introduction/Purpose:

In chapter 22, p. 295, Miss Stranje talks about using stealth and distraction to keep the guards from noticing when Georgina and Jane fly across to the courtyard. Stealth and distraction are the reason that magic tricks work.

Detailed Description of Program:

Locate someone who can do basic magic tricks and is willing to assist participants in learning these tricks or check out YouTube for videos of people explaining magic tricks. Here are a few. Due to the nature of YouTube, if these are not available, search for easy magic tricks.

Enjoy learning new magic tricks and remind the participants that they work best with lots of stealth and distraction.

List of Supplies:

  • Styrofoam cups
  • Rubber bands
  • Bread clips
  • Empty water bottles (pre-cut)
  • Quarters & dimes
  • Paper wrapped straws
  • Bottles with lids
  • Toothpicks
  • Tape
  • Cards
  • Swabs
  • Disposable diapers
  • Gift bags
  • Salt Shaker
  • Cloth
  • Safety pins

Resources:

YouTube & magic books available from the library.

Program flyer:

Flyer

Etiquette Today

Introduction/Purpose:

The rules of etiquette were very strict during the early 1800s. Georgina and her friends were sent to the school because they did not follow the typical standards for women of the day. Etiquette still plays a major role in our lives.

Detailed Description of Program:

Examine etiquette books available in the library and/or watch and read about etiquette on the internet. EHow has a series of videos http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_9450_social-etiquette.html available. Examine the books and/or watch the videos to discover how etiquette has changed throughout the years. Then make your own video clip of "Manners for Today" using an iPad or other recording device with video software or an application.

List of Supplies:

  • Computers with movie creating software or Tablets with a movie creation app such as 'Movie Maker' or other software. Use the camera on the tablet or other available cameras.

Resources:

Program flyer :

Flyer

 

 

 

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Created on Mar 29, 2016 | Last updated April 17, 2016