AASL’s Best Websites & a Blog to Follow


In our final week, we have to choose three websites from AASL’s Best Websites 2015 that are of most interest to us and also a blog that we’d like to follow. My favorites are: Bookopolis, Hstry, and My Storybook. Bookopolis http://www.bookopolis.com/ is “a social network and book discovery tool that lets students safely connect with peers to share book reviews, recommend books, and discover the next book they can’t wait to read” (Sheneman & Riedel, 2016). It’s similar to Goodreads and its focus is to to build a strong community of engaged readers and writers in 2nd to 6th grade. Teacher tools are included (for monitoring and commenting on student work) and students can create book reports (practice opinion writing), leveled book reports (comprehension and critical thinking skills), and complete a reading log (track daily reading). Students also can discover other books based on customized preferences such as: reading level, reading style, and genre. Or, they can see what other “Readers Also Liked” in addition to Kid Picks categorized by grade and genre. In the library, I would definitely use this tool to engage my students and help them to become more excited about reading. It’s a good place for students to share their opinions about the books they’re reading with their peers.

Another website of interest is My Storybook https://www.mystorybook.com/. It teaches digital literacy and storytelling. For students, there are step-by-step lessons on how to write a story, how to create a storybook with characters, pictures, drawings, and news, and options to publish, share, or print the book. Sharing the book online is free; a printable eBook is only $5. I would use this tool to help students become enthusiastic about writing. It’s a good tool for collaboration and students will learn to love customizing and creating their own stories.

The third website I’m very interested in is Hstry http://www.hstry.co/. This digital tool lets users create free interactive timelines and promotes collaboration and engagement among students. Teachers can track students’ progress, assess work, and provide feedback. Students can also view community timelines that enhance content areas. Educators can access Hstry bundles which include interactive timelines and lesson plans developed for elementary and middle school students. This tool would be good to use collaboratively with social studies and history lessons. I like the idea of students customizing interactive timelines based on what they’re currently learning. Students will become more invested in learning about history with this helpful digital tool.

As far as a blog I’d like to follow, I already follow the Adventures of Library Girl and The Daring Librarian, so I’m adding Ms. Hamilton’s blog, The UnQuiet Librarian https://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/, to my list. She’s a high school librarian in Georgia, blogger since 2007, and a 2011 Mover and Shaker. She is “decidedly unquiet when it comes to sharing [her] voice on issues that impact librarianship and learning” (Library Journal, 2011). Ms. Hamilton posts about the innovative programs at her school, with plenty of details, photos, and illustrations. Browsing through her most recent posts, I have already found interesting content I want to learn more about.


Library Journal Archive Content. (2011). Buffy Hamilton: Movers & shakers 2011 change agents. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2011/03/people/movers-shakers-2011/buffy-j-hamilton-movers-shakers-2011-change-agents/

Linforth, P. (2016). Internet, global, Earth. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/internet-global-earth-communication-1181586/ CC0.

Sheneman, L. & Riedel, K. (2016). How to build a community of engaged readers. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab/bookopolis



7 thoughts on “AASL’s Best Websites & a Blog to Follow

  1. jjohnson704 says:

    I too love My Storybook. I can see how useful that particular site is, no matter what the age level. My kindergartners who are still learning to read and write can easily create their own wordless books or easy readers while a high school students could use the exact same site to create a more complex story. I will need to check out Hstry. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danelle Garza says:

    The tools you suggest are very interesting. I especially intrigues with mystorybook.com as your explanation seems to be a perfect fit with my special needs students. I wanted to use a similar program for the same purpose of learning and understanding elements of a story, but the tool you present seems to fit better. Thanks for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah Coleman says:

    I loved mystorybook and bookopolis, It definitely resembles a social network site which could create some major student by in! I didn’t choose hstry.com to explore and your overview has made it very interesting to me! As a social studies teacher for all of the 4th and 5th grade at my school I am always looking for some interactive ways to make it more fun, and I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it! I’ve really enjoyed hearing your insight on the different tools we are to be exploring! Good luck this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanie says:

    Bookopolis sounds amazing! We can’t forget about the younger grades when it comes to social networking and promoting books. Good find! Hstry also sounds really engaging for students. No more paper poster timelines, let’s get with the 21st century and digitize them!

    Liked by 1 person

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