Bigger kids striving to get their younger peers to read

Bigger kids striving to get their younger peers to read
The K is for Kids Foundation was started by Karen Clawson as a county-wide spin-off to Laurel Oak Elementary School’s Bring a Book, Bring a Friend Fun’raisers. Parents and supporters of the school would bring books to an event to help stock the school’s media center.

“We started by telling our friends and telling our families and it grew from there,” said Clawson. “What we did for one school, we were able to do for eight school libraries last year.”

Huffington Post: Press Freedom

Check out The Huffington Post's Press Freedom Page ("some news so big it needs its own page"), with stories on how schools in Culpeper County VA have decided to stop assigning The Diary of Ann Frank; and several other stories on banned books and censorship.

Stricken Dictionary Now Back at California School

MENIFEE, Calif. - A California school district that pulled a 10th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary from classrooms because it defined oral sex will now allow it back on the shelves (here's our previous story on the incident).

However, parents can opt to have their kids use an alternative dictionary (a creationism dictionary?). Story from MSNBC.

A Big Oops by Texas Bd. of Ed.

FORT WORTH, Texas -- What do the authors of the children's book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" and a 2008 book called "Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation" have in common?

Both are named Bill Martin and, for now, neither is being added to Texas schoolbooks.

In their haste to sort out the state's social studies curriculum standards, the State Board of Education recently tossed children's author Martin, who died in 2004, from a proposal for the third-grade section. Board member Pat Hardy, who made the motion, cited books he had written for adults that contain "very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system."

Have Children's Classics Been Forgotten?

Interesting discussion in The Scotsman about how today's children are no longer reading classic novels such as Wind in the Willows, Moby Dick and Oliver Twist. The bestseller lists are dominated by Harry Potter, The Twilight Series and other recent titles.

"Sometimes it can be a little daunting to be given a 600-page classic and told it is a classic if you are a young kid, so maybe it's about how you present books and talk about them."

To get hung up on whether children are reading "the classics", though, is to miss the point, says Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh's Unesco City of Literature Trust .

"I think the most important thing is that kids read, rather than being overly prescriptive on what they read. "I think the classic novels are still being taught in schools and I suspect most kids are being given contemporary books rather than classics at home. A lot of kids are reading a whole range of books, including classics.

"Nurturing a passion for reading is really important, rather than giving kids a really strict book list."

And the Winners Are...

Profiled in the New York Times, winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Awards, Rebecca Stead and Jerry Pinkney.

Newbery & Caldecott Winners Announced at ALA

Rebecca Stead has won the 2010 Newbery Medal for When You Reach Me (Random/Wendy Lamb). Jerry Pinkney has won the 2010 Randolph Caldecott Medal for The Lion & the Mouse (Little, Brown). And Libba Bray has won the 2010 Michael L. Printz Award for Going Bovine (Delacorte). The awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Boston.

More from Publishers Weekly.

Musing on the Newbery and Caldecott Awards

Article from Publishers Weekly which mentions the ascending titles for these plus other prizes to be handed out by the ALA's ASLC and YALSA divisions next Monday.

Librarians have begun steadily posting results of mock Newbery discussions/events on the ALSC listserv. Consensus there appears to give the nod to When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead as the winner, with a variety of honors going to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice and All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg. Calpurnia Tate and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon received a couple of first-place votes, too.

These Libraries Are Going To The Dogs

Library cats have garnered nationwide media coverage recently. Not wishing to offend canine loving readers, today's post gives library dogs equal time. Libraries across the country from Swampscott, MA. to San Jose, CA. are making exceptions to that arcane "No Dogs Allowed " rule for a program proven to help struggling young readers.

New Envoy’s Old Advice for Children: Read More

Profile of 'Bridge to Terabithia' author Katherine Paterson, who is to be appointed the national ambassador for young people's literature today. Story in the New York Times.

She discusses her lonely childhood growing up as the daughter of missionaries in China, and her subsequent travels in Japan. "Books", she said, were "where the friends were."


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