Video games -- or books?

From an opinion column:
During the lazy, long, hot days of summer, which activity would you rather see your son or daughter engaged in -- playing a video game or reading a book?

A silly question, right? After all, nearly every parent will say, "Reading a book." But whether that's truly the better activity depends on what book your child is reading. And as I've told readers of this column before, plenty of books designed for today's pre-teens and teenagers undermine the traditional moral values most parents struggle to teach their children.

This time of year, kids of all ages come home with the oft-dreaded Summer Reading List from which they make their choices. Many of the lists are created from the recommended reading lists of the American Library Association. Opinion column continued here.


What boys want: books with action

The Richmond Times Dispatch Says a growing number of action-based books that are getting boys, who tend to be more reluctant to read than girls, turning pages for fun."Because they're still in school and have to read so many books for requirements, it's hard for them to understand that they can read a book for pleasure," said Kelly Kyle, owner of Narnia Children's Books.

Children ditch books and switch on internet

In The United Kingdom children are reading books for pleasure as they ditch the traditional after-school activities in favour of going online, according to a study. The Schools Health Education Unit interviewed nearly 500,000 pupils aged between ten and 15 from across the UK for the study. It showed boys were more likely to play computer games than girls, and a "significant" proportion admitted doing so the night before the survey was carried out. More At

Precocious Child Prodigies - Pros & Cons

search-engines-web writes "They achieve these great things but there's a significant physiological and emotional effect on their lives." Dr Goldberg warns that while some gifted young people simply burn out and drop out, others go on to suffer mental health problems associated with a lack of self-worth if they fail to achieve. Read the full article from the BBC.


CA Students should be able to read book unedited, panel says

East Union High School students should be allowed to read the original version of the controversial autobiography "Kaffir Boy" in a senior English class, a Manteca Unified School District instructional material review committee decided Tuesday.

The committee's recommendation will go before the school board next month, along with an admonishment that the board didn't follow the district's complaint policy when asking the committee to determine if the original edition of the book was appropriate for the English class. An alternative, the author-edited version of the book, contains two paragraphs intentionally altered to make a the original version's depiction of child prostitution less graphic

DK's formula for science success

Pete writes: Publisher Dorling Kindersley's astounding streak of prize winning publications is profiled in this BBC story.

Publisher Dorling Kindersley (DK) appears to be on a winning streak when it comes to the Aventis Junior Prize for science books. The annual award marks the very best in popular science writing for children under the age of 14 - and DK has managed to grab the top prize an unprecedented five times in the last six years. Miriam Farbey is children's publisher at DK and has been responsible for commissioning and publishing all of the winning books. She believes the answer lies in the books' visual-appeal: "DK children's books started in about 1987, and its aim was, and still is, to show you things that other books only tell you."

11-year-old raises $70,000 for Coast's damaged libraries - Biloxi,MS: There are no strings attached to the $70,000 11-year-old Kelsie Buckley of Morton will present to Coast libraries starting today at 2:30 p.m. during the Gulfport City Council meeting. She is scheduled to present $50,000 to representatives of five libraries destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina in Harrison and Jackson counties.

The fundraising drive began with a goal of $3,000 to $10,000 that Kelsie hoped to raise with a trail ride from Morton to Gulfport, which culminated March 11 at the Gulfport Sportsplex. It got a huge shot of adrenaline after Kelsie's story was picked up by "CBS Evening News" and she appeared on correspondent Steve Hartman's featurette, "Assignment America," then subsequently did an interview via satellite truck with "CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer.

How do children get the book bug?

One From The UK: 30 years of books for children divide Ion and Lusa Thomas from their children. In some respects the children's choice of stories is similar to that of their parents - right down to the titles in the case of Asterix and Tintin.

But generally today's children have a much broader range of books and authors to choose from. The subjects covered are more diverse than in the early 1970s, when adventure books were the staple fare for young readers.

Great Canadian Writing Contest

Attention teachers and kids...if you're a Canadian student, if you're in fifth or sixth grade and you like to's a great contest for you!. It's the General Motors GREAT CANADIAN WRITING CONTEST...and you have until May 8th to enter.

Check out their website for writing tips, rules and an entry blank. Good luck!!

Students replace bloodied books

Here's A Strange One from Montana. Students in Jodee Patrick's second-grade class at Boulder Elementary cleaned out their bookshelves at home last week to help replace almost 250 books destroyed at the Bighorn County Library in Hardin last month.

The Hardin books were damaged by an intruder who broke into the library's children's section, hurt himself and got blood on numerous books.


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