Scholastic TrueFlix

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Library Journal

Reviewed on March 15, 2011

In this beautiful, heartrending, yet horrifying film, North Koreans tell their stories of imprisonment, sexual slavery, torture, murder, and escape to China or South Korea during the nearly 50-year regime of Kim Il Sung (1912–94). The interviews are illustrated through the interspersion of dance sequences, archi...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

School Library Journal

Reviewed on May 1, 2011  |  Digital Resources

Grade Level Scholastic TrueFlix is for students in grades 3–5. Cost List price is $795, reduced to $595 for schools. Multi-year discounts available. An early bird price of $395 applies to orders placed before May 31, 2011. Visit to request a free 30-day trial. Call (800) 387-1437 to find an account exec near you. Overview TrueFlix is the web-based counterpart to Scholastic's True Books series. The site provides access to the ebook versions of 47 True Book titles across eight commonly taught science and social studies categories, along with lesson plans. Students can read True Books online through a built-in ereader and access a host of additional resources for each title, including video, related links, and activities. While BookFlix, another Scholastic online resource, is geared toward younger students, pairing fiction and nonfiction titles, TrueFlix is all-out nonfiction. Look and Feel Logging in gets users to the TrueFlix home screen. Eight main topics—Continents, Ancient Civilizations, U.S. Government, Westward Expansion, Natural Disasters, Space, Human Body, and Ecosystems—are presented along the sides (People, Places, and History on the left, Science and Nature on the right), with a large area in the middle displaying True Books covers. Students can click on any cover to access the content for that title or click arrows to visually browse through other available titles. The page is well laid out, clear to read and navigate. In fact, it's pleasantly distraction-free. Animation, loud background patterns, unexpected audio—TrueFlix has none of it. All buttons use the comic sans font. While much derided, the informal typeface is appropriate for this audience. Overall, the look is fresh, with plenty of white space and clear icons. A Resources and Tools link in the top right corner of the home screen brings up a page that allows users to browse all the titles in alphabetical order, or by subject, category, or reading level. This is a good way for kids to get an overview of what TrueFlix has to offer. How It Works The navigation is pleasingly no-nonsense. After clicking on one of the eight broad topics from the home screen, users are taken to a page with more specific choices. Choosing Natural Disasters, for example, returns a page listing Earthquakes, Floods, Thunderstorms, Tsunamis, and Wildfires. The choices are presented visually, showing the covers of each True Book. Selecting from this page brings up the meat and potatoes: content. For those who may have made a wrong turn, the main categories appear on the left side of the page. This is a helpful consideration for younger students. Each topic page is laid out in the same way. The focus is on the ebook and accompanying video, with both prominently displayed at the center of the page, with bright, bold type encouraging users to Watch It and Read It. Categories for additional information run down the left side of the page. When visited in order, these form a sort of webquest-like succession of relevant information. This will allow students to be self-directed learners, as they make their way through the content. The video comes first, providing an overview. The ebook comes next, giving more depth. This is followed by sections that give learning extension opportunities (Explore More, Explore the Web) and allow for hands-on and interactive experiences (Project Idea, Activity Center). It's easy to see students becoming mini experts after digesting all this additional content. Those familiar with online resources (digital encyclopedias, for example) know that multimedia elements (images, videos) can be hit or miss. Common topics typically have related videos, while more obscure subjects are often lacking. Which do you think kids prefer? I was pleased to see that each and every ...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

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