Reading News & Children’s Literacy Roundup – Talk Turkey Edition


Welcome to the mid-November edition of the Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, The Family Bookshelf, and Quietly.

Although we may be among the last to thank our military families and Veterans for the commitment they make on our behalf, let us be among the first to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Whether the blessing is big (like serving our country, having the right to vote) or small (having a coat to keep you warm) there is always something to be thankful for.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read the end-of-October roundup, never fear! The long holiday weekend is just ahead and we hope you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on some of your favorite things. Here are a few of ours from the last two weeks.

Literacy & Reading-Related Events

The Hurricane Sandy efforts continue and Sarah Bayliss (School Library Journal) has a great round-up of the literacy-related Disaster Relief Initiatives to help libraries and schools decimated by the storm. Here are two more …

  • The American Library Association has posted information about how to contribute to libraries affected by Superstorm Sandy to its Web page.
  • First Book is sponsoring a virtual book drive fund. A $2.50 donation will provide a new book to a child. To double that impact, First Book’s publishing partners will match each $2.50 gift with an additional book.
Tune in to “The Balancing Act” tomorrow! Floretta Thornton-Reid, Executive Director of Reading Recovery at Georgia State University spends the hour sharing “suggestions for things parents and school leaders can do to reinforce those skills when children are young.” You can learn more about Ms. Thornton-Reid and Reading Recovery here

Today we are officially half-way through Round 1 for the 2012 Children’s and YA Bloggers Literary Awards! If you follow the #Cybils stream or Jen’s Handy-Dandy List of Panelists and Judges, you’ve probably noticed lots of book references.

Over at the Check It Out! blog, Jone MacCulloch introduces us to three of her Poetry Panelists: Anastasia Suen, Mary Lee Hahn, and Carol Wilcox. Lest you think its all about books and poetry, there is chocolate, too!

This one is part event, part raising a bookworm! The annual “best of” lists are beginning to circulate. No matter what kind of book you like – or what kind of book you might be looking for as a gift – there is a list for that. Here are two of our faves …

  • If you are looking for a read-and-loved book, then do head to the Cybils blog and check out the 2012 Nominations lists. All nominees are de facto highly recommended because these are the people who read and adored them! [Note: purchases made through these lists can help fund the awards for this 100% volunteer effort!]
  • When you need a book / gift combo idea you can do no better than MotherReader’s 150 Great Ideas for Book Gifting. Knowing Pam, the collection will grow again soon!
  • If you want to (literally) search the globe for award winners, then stop by to see Susan Thomsen at Chicken Spaghetti. Her Best of 2012 List of Lists & Awards is a sight to behold! [You can get other years’ too.]
I also want to put in a plug for our Literacy Lalapalooza celebration, too! Each month we’ve got non-book ideas, literacy toys / games, and a couple book recommendations, too. It’s not too late to sign up to get the December email and you can still get the November 2012 blog edition.

Literacy Programs and Research

Fellow Cybil-ite Gina Ruiz alerted us to Sarah Mesle’s article in the Los Angeles Review of Books YA Fiction and the End of Boys. It is a thought-provoking piece largely centered around this question: “Why is it that in YA literature — a genre generated entirely to describe the transition to adulthood — there is so much fear and ambivalence surrounding manhood?”

Literacy in America
click to see full image

The Infographics Archive recently added a Literacy in America infographic to its collection. In addition to the image (created by Project Read), you’ll find a preface with some serious, share-ready sound bytes …

  • Literate individuals tend to keep themselves and their families healthier because they are capable of accessing important information and calculating medication.
  • Literacy is also linked to better communication, which is an important characteristic for all key employees.

There are others in the article, too. 

Education Week just published a new report: Rethinking Literacy: Reading in the Common Core Era (links to digital edition). Erik Robelen (an EdWeek writer) said it best: “Everything you wanted to know about literacy and the Common Core but were afraid to ask.” Definitely worth a bookmark.

Catherine Gewertz has a nice companion piece entitled Common Standards Drive New Approach to Reading, also in Education Week. While we’re on the subject of Common Core Standards, Myra Zarnowski has a nice piece in School Library Journal relating to Nonfiction Series.

“Since the standards are about the process of learning, we have a new justification for selecting the best, most interesting, most useful titles we can.”

Loved that. Myra makes it very easy to love nonfiction! We found Nonfiction Series and the Common Core State Standards in SLJ’s Extra Helpings newsletter.

PBS kids logoYou may have already seen the PBS Kids Raising Reader study analyzing its content and literacy achievement. Raising Readers a Story of Success (PDF) presents the idea that with an “innovative blend of media across all platforms and related community engagement activities” we can close the literacy achievement gap. [emphasis mine]

A joint study by the College Board, the National Writing Project, and the Pew Research Internet and American Life project about teenagers’ research habits in a digital world has garnered lots of discussion.

We don’t have to unplug every device. As PBS Kids Raising Readers points out: there are benefits to having an array of tools. According to Good eReader, children’s eBook sales (includes YA) are on the rise. The industry is focusing more on producing high-quality but inexpensive children’s eBooks. Melissa Taylor also has some ideas on how to balance (and when to use) digital devices at Imagination Soup.

I’ll close out this section with Daniel Donahoo’s piece at GeekDad, on the Wired blog. Why Tablets are Important for Educating our Children focuses not on the kids and their use of technology, but what he saw and heard in listening to teachers at his sons’ school:

It is not what the technology can do that makes it important, it is the way it has reignited passion and ideas in teachers … These teachers are not just championing the technology, they are celebrating a new way of teaching and learning.

Does your first grader’s vocabulary list include “coax,” “wheezes” and “smidgen”? If they are in Ms. Aguirre’s class at Cardenas Elementary School it does! Literacy Push Opens New Chapters for Young Readers (Chicago Tribune) shares this success story of the Children’s Literacy Initiative project.

Suggestions for Growing Bookworms

There are lots of references and retweets for Julie Falatko’s post Ten Ways to Raise Readers. It is easy to see why. It’s practical, offers encouragement, and shares ideas on how to still be a parent while they read the book of their choosing (that you don’t like!).

Amy is in the middle of her 3-part series Introducing Children to Books going at Delightful Children’s Books. It is a wonderful series that starts with a personal story about her children’s reading habits and then offers suggestions, based on their age. Part 1 covered reading in the first year; part two focuses on reading when your child is 12 to 18 months.While you’re there, you might want to check out her 10 Children’s Books to Celebrate Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving … check out Ruth Morgan’s idea for turning a book into something fun and engaging. Using the book Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell. This is a counting story about a trip to the grocery store, so Ruth found clip art that matched some of the items in the book and created small cards you can use while reading.

From our houses to yours … a safe, happy, literacy-filled holiday!

Thanks for your interest in our ongoing efforts to share literacy and reading news and for so generously sharing it on social media. Be sure to stop by Jen’s Book Page and Quietly in the next few days, as I’m sure both Jen and Carol will have some additional items to share.

8 responses to “Reading News & Children’s Literacy Roundup – Talk Turkey Edition

  1. Thanks, Terry, great post! I can’t wait to check out a number of the articles…and indeed the weekend is when I will be doing just that.

      1. This is indeed chock-full of information. I’m going to need to come back to it later myself. But I did make a post, scheduled for noon PST tomorrow. With, as promised, a couple of additional tidbits 😉

Comments are closed.