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Homework Help 2

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Homework Help 2

Have you been bamboozled trying to figure out why “so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens”?  Or need ideas to get you inspired to write that paper on “The Great Gatsby”?  Want to understand why everyone is looking to FDR’s presidency to shed light on options for addressing our current economic crisis?

A new website offers a wealth of information about literature and history in easy-to-digest, user-friendly language that will be a real boon to high school and college students.  Created by masters and PhD candidates at some of the country’s finest universities, is refreshingly unstuffy and fun to browse (for non-students, too).

The literature section covers classics in American and British fiction and poetry.  For each poem covered, you will find a quick introduction, a link to the poem text, a summary, a list of techniques evident in the poem, a list of themes the poem addresses, quotes and comments on those themes, study questions to prompt thinking, a Did You Know section of interesting information, and a Best of the Web section with video and audio clips, photos and illustrations, websites and books.

You will find similar information for novels.  The history section is organized by time period.

This site gets an A+ from us!  It is in beta version, so there may be times when a link does not work or when the site is unavailable, but be patient and you will be rewarded.

Another outstanding website for young people is Great Web Sites for Kids developed by the Association for Library Service to Children at  Sections on animals, the arts, history and biography, literature and languages, mathematics, the sciences, and social sciences offer many links to homework-worthy information.  The Reference Desk is worth checking out for the links to some cool library sites for kids and the Great Links to such useful places as Career Information for Kids, First Government for Kids, and KidsClick!  This last site has sections on the Weird & Mysterious, Machines & Transportation, and Sports & Recreation, in addition to the typical curriculum-related categories.

The Internet Public Library for Youth at is a rich site with links to many quality sites in sections on our world (history, geography, religion), computers and Internet, health and nutrition, reading, math and science, art and music, sports and recreation, fun stuff, reference, and resources for parents and teachers.

Some libraries have reviewed and vetted large collections of weblinks for homework assistance.  One of the best of these is the Multnomah County Public Library in Oregon, at, which organizes more than 500 sites. The Biography section arranges links in categories, making it easy to identify women (handy for Women’s History Month projects), people by profession, ethnic group, time and place.
There is also an extensive collection of Native American sites.

With so much interesting and helpful information out there, your only challenge now is finding time to check them all out.

In addition to these excellent resources, the Library also provides Britannica Online and Find It Virginia, featured in last week’s column.  Find these at under Electronic Resources.  And remember that you can always visit the library for books, media, and reference assistance.  For more information, call 988.2541.

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Online collection of animated, talking picture books to encourage reading in children.


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