Happy Tuesday! Hope it was a great weekend. This week’s Reading Round-up will have to carry us for two weeks. I am heading to Book Expo America in Los Angeles, CA, tomorrow, and will have plenty of catching up to do, so I’m taking the week “off.”
Online Journals and eMags and Tours de Literary Force
The Spring edition of The Wash Rag, the Reading Tub’s® quarterly newsletter is up. You can read a digest version (blog entry) or the splashier complete edition (pdf).
Have you heard about the Summer Blog Blast Tour, aka SBBT? Jump in and see what it’s all about. Essentially, it is a virtual children’s book tour packed with interviews of authors and illustrators. Colleen Mondor, of Chasing Ray fame, organizes two tours a year: summer and winter. This is the second annual Summer Tour. Lots of blogs (including some mentioned here) “sponsor” guests. To browse the lists of guests, head over to Bildungsroman and (thanks to Little Willow and Kelly). If you’re reading with kids, then you definitely need to check out the tour. One of the fastest ways to get kids excited about reading is to connect them with the authors and illustrators who create these great stories … snag a piece of the story-behind-the-story the next time you’re sharing a book.Another idea. Go to the Children’s Literature website to find out the birthday of a favorite children’s author or illustrator (they’re listed on the right-hand-side). We’ve been following the SBBT through various sites, and read about the birthday list in Jon’s post on the Children’s Writing Web Journal.
Teens Can Vote! Little Willow is putting together a Teen’s Pick list for the upcoming edition of Edge of the Forest. She is looking for “books teens can’t wait to read once finals/classes are over.” Head over to Bildungsroman to leave a comment (but only if you’re a teen!).
Weekly Geeks. Last week, the challenge for Weekly Geeks was to select a political or social issue that is important to you. Yes, I was up for the challenge and wrote a post about how we can empower kids to think (and hopefully act) on issues through literature. Becky Laney wrote about her issue (which is near and dear to our heart): Literacy. Take a minute to read her post. It’s wonderful! [This Week’s Challenge is to write about other forms of storytelling. We’re bowing out … BEA is consuming us!]
Gentlemen, Open Your Books! [Sorry, it was an Indy weekend.] Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf has announced a charity Read-a-Thon that will be held June 28-29, 2008 (check out the timezone map on the post). This year’s charity is Reading is Fundamental. He’s looking for help with some of the household chores that go with running a charity event, cheerleaders, and readers. Go to the Hidden Side of a Leaf to sign up or sponsor a reader.
This Week’s Round-up of Posts
Girls Rule! I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is also the title of a post at I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) that has four non-fiction titles “that promote strong women.” Gimme 5.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Remember that image of the kid on the corner selling newspapers? In some parts of the world, reading a newspaper is a sign of “wealth,” because buying a newspaper means (a) you can read; and (b) you have disposable income. So let your kids see how successful you are … let them catch you reading the paper. Better yet, read the funnies together. We read about it in Louise Ash’s article at Reading Today Daily, the International Reading Association blog.
The Impact of TV on Reading. Last week I found this blog article. It is mostly about violence and it was fairly selective in a lot of its points, but these three were rather interesting. “Research studies on the effects and influence of television on society has shown that:
- Most American children spend more time before a set than with their teacher in any one year.
- In a national survey, many young viewers claimed to watch television for up to 46 hours a week.
- TV causes lethargy in children.”
Some Good TV News. Anne-Marie at My Readable Feast wrote an article about Kids and TV and some of its benefits. You can read “Remote Control: It’s O.K., Mom Said We Can Watch TV” in Smart News, the enewsletter and blog for the Smart Television Alliance. Want proof that there is good-for-your-kids TV? Check out this article by Louise Ash about a new version of The Electric Company, a 1970s-era PBS children’s program. We put this together from My Readable Feast and Reading Today Daily, the International Reading Association blog.
Some Even Better News. Nearly 25,000 graduating college seniors have applied to participate in Teach for America. That’s a full one-third increase over last year (16,000). These students receive training and spend up to two years in some of our poorest communities. Teach for America is a non-profit that recruits and trains college students for teaching jobs. Studies have shown that Teach for America corps members are as effective — if not more effective — than educators who come through traditional teacher prep programs. We read about it in Louise Ash’s article for Reading Today Daily, the International Reading Association blog. Read her story to see the full AP article.
Look — it’s FREE! Over at the Children’s Writing Web Journal we read Jon’s post and his “Big List o’ Free Stuff.” This is an author site for people who write children’s books (write4kids), but you’ll find links to e-Books and other information that can help you in win communicating effectively with kids … even if you’re not writing a book.
Free Books! Cheryl Rainfeld wrote a post about newly opened Children’s Book Bank in Toronto, Canada. This is a wonderful resource for children in low-income families, who can come to the store (yes, store) and take one book home. Children can only take one at a time, but there is no limit on the number of visits they can make. The children can build personal libraries from the gently used or new-but-donated books the Book Bank receives. We read all about it on Jen Robinson’s Book Page.
More Free Books! Barnes and Noble has announced that its 12th annual summer reading program will features Andrew Clements (think: Frindle). B&N will distribute Summer Reading with Andrew Clements guides to educators throughout the US. You can also go online to get a copy. The book is part activity guide/part reading journal. Kids can pick eight books of their own choosing, record the information in the guide (yes, it is more than just writing down the title and author) … and after they’ve read 8 books, they can receive a coupon to select one free book from a list of bestsellers. We read Brian Scott’s article at Literacy and Reading News.
Free Audio and Lesson Plans. Thanks to Jill at the Well-Read Child, we can add Recorded Books K-12 to our list of really cool, really useful sites. Essentially, the site/blog offers information about audio books and how you can use them to promote reading. This month, you can get a free, downloadable lesson plan for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman. (it is a 1989 Newbery Medal winner). Here’s Jill’s post at the Well-Read Child.
Free words. There are now (as of this mili-second) nearly 995,000 words in English (I despise “the English language” … why use three words?). The list is growing exponentially, in part, because we are forever pushing the language in new directions (unlike a certain European country that STILL only has 100,000 words!) So why not have fun with it … get the kids to coin their own word? If we can have locavore (someone who eats only food produced or grown locally) or Billary (it’s an election year), then we can have all kinds of words. To find out the name of the European country and read the whole scoop, go over to The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor, one of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s MANY blogs!
Look for this one! Franki at A Year of Reading just posted a Sneak Peek review of Shelley Harwayne’s new book, Look Who’s Learning to Read. This is a book that offers literacy ideas to parents/grandparents/child-care workers … essentially any adult who interacts with a child. We read about it at A Year of Reading.