Children

Children

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."

How to Make a Book of Pop-Up Dinosaurs (if you dare!)

How to make a pop-up book by Robert Sabuda, leading children's pop-up book artist and paper engineer, who works with Matthew Reinhart on this Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up (not available on Kindle?)

Want to try your hand at it? It doesn't look easy.

Children's Thanksgiving Books

From BookPage (they are running a contest--add your comment and maybe you'll win)...two picture books for the upcoming holiday...

Duck for Turkey Day
By Jacqueline Jules
Albert Whitman & Company, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 4-8
9780807517345

Thanksgiving Rules
By Laurie Friedman
Carolrhoda Books, $16.95, 32 pages, ages 4-8
9780822579830

Fat But... Weighty Concerns in Children's Literature

Excellent blog post (and very entertaining video) by Elizabeth
Bluemle in Publishers Weekly about how overweight characters are described in children's books. She is concerned that writers of children's fiction are casting negative aspersions on overweight characters instead of just describing them...

'Fat issues loom large in our culture, as it were, and kids pick up messages about how they should look that batter their confidence at every turn. Literature for young people should be one place where kids don't find themselves mocked, dismissed, or shamed. I am not talking about books that deal directly with weight; it's the books that don't realize they are reinforcing negative stereotypes that concern me.

While we have all become accustomed to popular culture’s celebration of thin, what I didn’t expect is that books — the refuge of the chubby kid, the place where people understand the value of what lies beneath the surface, a land of acceptance and tolerance for difference — would come around to betray their readers.' More from PW.

What Book Got You Hooked? And the winner is...

The fiftieth state!! Congratulations to Hawaii, the winner of 50,000 new books for kids in need from this year's "What Book Got You Hooked?" contest. Dr. Seuss' Beginner Books, including Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in The Hat, were this year's top vote-getters in the online campaign to discover what books got Americans hooked on reading.

Visit the What Book Got You Hooked Web site to view the entire list of top 25 books, see the final state rankings and learn how the books will be distributed in Hawaii.

Baltimore Area Children's Librarian, Robert Hallett, Will Be Missed

Robert Hallett, a longtime Baltimore County school librarian who invented a spandex-clad superhero named Red Reader to motivate children to read, died Monday of a rare form of leukemia. The Reisterstown resident was 60.

Mr. Hallett, who was called Bob when not assuming one of his alter egos, spent much of his more than 30-year career as a library-media specialist at Riderwood Elementary in Towson, where staff, parents and students described him as central to the school's spirit and culture.
Baltimore Sun reports.

Tough Love From a Tough Dad

The following is a post from The Merry Librarian (www.merrylibrarian.com) dated Sept. 27th, 2009. Check out the website for all postings!

"Tough Love from a Tough Dad"

This week’s Story of the Week is one of the rare stories that is genuinely heartwarming (though we’re sure there are more out there!). As librarians–as with any public service profession–we so often see the sad and traumatic family interactions. It is refreshing to witness powerful and positive relationships like this one. Thank you, “Diane”, for this great story!

I work at a small library in an area of town that tends to house the lower-economic demographic. It is not unusual for things to be stolen from our library on a regular basis–most frequently our DVDs. One day, I was at the reference desk when a man came in with a young, teenage boy. The man looked pretty haggard. He had tattoos everywhere (even a cross between his eyebrows! Ouch!) and lots of piercings. He looked like he’d had a pretty hard life. When he came up to the desk, he set a very tall pile of DVDs in front of me–at least 20 DVDs.

“I found these in my son’s room,” he said. “He didn’t check them out. He stole them.”

I didn’t quite know how to respond, so I (rather stupidly) said, “Oh. Okay. So none of them are checked out?”

“No, ma’am,” he answered. Then he knelt down on the ground so that he was eye to eye with me. His son knelt beside him, looking deeply humiliated and angry.

Disney Storybook Time @ the Computer

Not sure how one can improve storybook time in a grownups lap or snuggling together before bed, but the Disney Company is giving it a try. A new digital subscription service allows families to access electronic replicas of hundreds of Disney books, from “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” to “Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic!”

DisneyDigitalBooks.com, which is aimed at children ages 3 to 12, is organized by reading level. In the “look and listen” section for beginning readers, the books will be read aloud by voice actors to accompanying music (with each word highlighted on the screen as it is spoken). Another area is dedicated to children who read on their own. Find an unfamiliar word? Click on it and a voice says it aloud. Chapter books for teenagers and trivia features round out the service.

Oklahoma Parent’s Questions Stop Author's Visit to School

A visit by a best-selling author to a Norman OK middle school was canceled after a parent questioned the content of one of the author’s books.

Author Ellen Hopkins was scheduled to speak to eighth-graders at Whittier Middle School today about her career, writing process and books.

Hopkins is the author of several New York Times best-selling books for young adults. She was notified Thursday her visit was canceled because a parent at the school requested a review of her book "Glass”.

Jumpstart 'Read for the Record' Will Read Hungry Caterpillar October 8

Here's the website...find out all about how they're raising money for children in low income communities. This is the fourth annual Read for the Record program.

And sign up!! (you DON'T have to buy the book at Wal-Mart although they are sponsoring the advertising and selling 'special edition'/ i.e., flimsy pages/ printed in sweatshops/ copies in both English and Spanish...)

Twilight Banned At Australian School- Deemed Too Racy

Twilight, though an international bestseller, isn't faring so well in Strathfield, NSW. School administrators and librarians at the Santa Sabina College say the book is too racy for school children to read and have even gone so far to hold seminars on paranormal romance. Librarians have removed the book from the shelves of the school library.

The head librarian, Helen Schutz, says "We wanted to make sure they realise it's fictitious and ensure they don't have a wrong grasp on reality."

More from The Daily Telegraph.

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