ABC Harder Than 123

From the New York Times:

David Javsicas, a popular seventh-grade reading teacher known for urging students to act out dialogue in the books they read in class, sometimes feels wistful for the days when he taught math.

A quiz, he recalls, could quickly determine which concepts students had not yet learned. Then, “you teach the kids how to do it, and within a week or two you can usually fix it,” he said.

Helping students to puzzle through different narrative perspectives or subtext or character motivation, though, can be much more challenging. “It could take months to see if what I’m teaching is effective,” he said.

Educators, policy makers and business leaders often fret about the state of math education, particularly in comparison with other countries. But reading comprehension may be a larger stumbling block.

Librarian's Research Focuses on Child Stars of Viral Videos

Interesting story from Rutgers University about an academic librarian who is pursuing a study of what happens to children in popular YouTube videos after their fifteen minutes/seconds of fame have ended.

Child-centric viral videos are turning young stars into internet sensations, but a Rutgers–Camden researcher warns against exploiting the children by cashing in on the fame.

“We just don’t know what kinds of affect this internet fame will have on these children in the future,” says Katie Elson Anderson, a librarian at the Paul Robeson Library on the Rutgers–Camden campus.

Anderson has examined the implications of the YouTube videos for her essay, “Configuring Childhood on the Web,” which is featured as a chapter in the book Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images (Lexington Books, 2012).

“Viral videos starring children have become a real phenomenon,” Anderson says. “David After Dentist,” the video in which a father taped his young son dealing with the effects of anesthesia, has been viewed more than 117 million times. “Charlie Bit My Finger,” in which a baby boy bites his big brother, has been seen more than 511 million times.

“I think the early videos — the ones with Charlie and David, for example — were organic,” Anderson says. “People didn’t really know that these videos could become viral. They just posted videos for family. Now, it seems that people are posting videos because they are seeing the fame that can result from it. There’s actually money to be made.”

Will the kids love it? McDonald's swaps Happy Meal toys for books

After a successful pilot program, McDonald's has pledged to distribute 15 million books in England over the next two years. In its Happy Meals. Instead of toys.

As a book blog, of course, we're all for this kind of thing. Give books away! Equate them with toys! Maybe even convince kids that books are toys!

But will the kids buy it?


Charlotte's Web Turns 60

From NPR.
Interesting story of how E.B. White made the transition from New Yorker to Mainer.

Stealing iPads from a Baby

From the NY Daily News:

A sticky-fingered thief stole one of four iPads from the Children's section at the newly renovated branch of the Park Slope (Brooklyn NY) Library.

“It’s a shame that someone would go to such lengths to steal an iPad that was being used to engage and teach children in one of our libraries,” said BPL spokesman Jason Carey.

“Someone jimmied open the protective casing and took it out,” he said. “The casing was secured to the table.”

The Park Slope library is the first branch in the borough to have iPads only for the young.

The branch showed off the gizmos during its September 13th reopening of the renovated reading space which attracted the likes of legendary Brooklyn writer Pete Hamill and other Kings County bigwigs.

Children's books about libraries

Julia Donaldson on books about libraries
Otto the Book Bear (2011), Delilah Darling is in the Library (2007), Library Lion (2008), Emily Gravett’s Wolves (2006), Little Bo Peep’s Library Book (1999),

Children's literature needs our libraries

Mary Poppins, Harry Potter and Peter Pan were centre stage at the Olympic stadium – let's keep them there, says Judith Elkin
"It is vital that authors, publishers and other literary organisations encourage this two way relationship between writers and readers – libraries have always made it a priority. New developments at the Hive, the revolutionary Idea Stores in several London boroughs and ventures such as the Ministry of Stories are building on this strong heritage."

End of Summer Reading Challenges, and the Librarian Has Promised...

Here, at the Montgomery (AL) City-County Public Library Hampstead Branch, the librarian has agreed to kiss a pig if the kids read 1,000 books this summer.

We hear of dyeing hair green, jumping off a roof...what unusual deals have you or your colleagues made as promises to your summer reading program groups? Please add comments!

Batman Kids Event Goes On at Birmingham Area Library

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama: Jeff Bogart wouldn't let a Colorado gunman who shot 70 people, 12 fatally, during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in a movie theater spoil his 4-year-old son's chance for his favorite comic book character, Batman.

The father and son were among about 300 people who attended a Batman event at the Hoover Public Library celebrating this weekend's release of the latest Batman movie. The 10:30 a.m. event included library personnel dressed up as Batman, Batgirl, The Riddler and other characters from the popular comic book series.

"You still need to live life to the fullest and not let people like that crazy gunman stop you," Bogart said. "Our prayers are with those families who went through that unimaginable horror there."

Hoover Public Library director Linda Andrews said she and other library officials toyed with canceling their event, which had been planned weeks before the tragic shooting shortly after midnight Friday at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. But in the end they felt there was no need stopping the kids from having their fun.


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