Happy Monday! It has been yet another busy week in the realm of children’s books and literacy. If you are not already a regular reader of Jen Robinson’s Book Page, you’ll want to go over to read her latest Children’s Literacy Round-up. She front-loads her 5 October post with a wonderful collection of stories with items about and links to a couple new websites. I tried to keep our overlap to a minimum, so you’ll definitely want to stop by and see Jen.
Literacy, Blog and Community Service Events
What are You Waiting For? The nominations window is now open for the 2008 Cybils. There are just 9 days left to tell us your favorite book for children and young adults this past year. We published a post with a description of the Cybils and the list of categories, with summaries, last week. Remember: you can vote for one title in each of nine categories. That’s still up to nine votes.
You Have My Vote! Colleen Mondor and Lee Wind are coordinating One Shot, a chance for bloggers to post about why voting is important. Here’s how it works: on November 3, 2008, you write a post about why you think voting is important this year. You’ll need to let Colleen or Lee know you’re participating so they can collect all the posts. This is NOT a debate, partisan event, or your chance to root for or bash candidates. This is an opportunity to share your story, views, ideas, on why voting matters.
[cue music] Chicago, Chicago! The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) has posted its program for the 2009 ALSC at the ALA Annual Conference. On July 10, 2009, there is a one day, pre-conference event – appropriately announced amid Banned Book Week –for “Meeting the Challenge: Practical Tips and Inspiring Tales on Intellectual Freedom.” I found the first lead in Carin B’s post on CCBC-Net listserv.
Have Book, Will Share There are a number of ongoing efforts to get books to kids who need them. If you’re doing some fall shelf cleaning, here are some ways you can help those stories live on.
- Go Hokies! We may be ‘Hoos fans, but we’re non-partisan readers. Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech football coach) created Herma’s Readers in honor of his mother, a teacher for more than 30 years. Herma’s Readers is a “non-profit designed to introduce the power of reading to youngsters Kindergarten to grade 3.” According to a sidebar in Sunday’s Daily Progress (Charlottesville), Walmart stores in Southwestern Virginia are the collection sites for Herma’s Readers. Customers can donate children’s books by placing them in a specially marked collection bin. Walmart has partnered with Coca-Cola to donate 100 books for every Hokie touchdown this season. According to the Herma’s Readers website the Hokies have 13 touchdowns so far this year … that’s 1,300 books. If you are a Tech coach, athlete or dignitary, you can sign up to be a reader.
- Ad(d) a Book The American Advertising Federation is sponsoring a national book drive. From 27 October to 18 November the AAF is encouraging college and corporate members to donate a new children’s book for Kindergarten to third grade. Books in Spanish are also encouraged. “The new public service project demonstrates the advertising industry’s comprehensive understanding of corporate responsibility and the value and vital importance of education.” We read about it courtesy of the AAF’s Houston Chapter.
General News and Other Fun Facts
Standing O More than 300,000 readers have registered at the Read for the Record website and participated in last week’s big event. These are preliminary numbers, because people can continue to add their event to the total count. What a great start! We read the summary in Brian Scott’s post America’s Children Break Reading World Record, at the Literacy and Reading News blog.
What about the Other 10%? Research over the past 15 years suggests that 90% of a child’s brain develops by the age of five. Therefore, we need to take every opportunity to emphasize how important it is for parents to read with their infants and toddlers. Mackenzie Ryan’s article in the Statesman Journal (29 September 2008) describes the literacy-related efforts in Marion County (Oregon). You can also read Tim Toomey’s personal experience visiting a Reach Out and Read Center in Cambridge (MA), in a post at Tim Toomey’s Community Blog.
Boo! If you are reading with kids and haven’t bookmarked Wild Rose Reader, what are you waiting for? Elaine Magliaro has already published her Halloween: Book Reviews and Book Lists post. Ghosts, goblins, and general-all-round spookiness can be just the thing to jump-start a child’s interest in story-telling and reading. Its okay, you can still read Halloween stories in January (we won’t tell).
Is It Really Genetic? According to tests conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford (UK), a common genetic variant may affect a person’s ability to read. The variant, carried by more than one in seven people, is already linked to dyslexia. One of the researchers quoted in the original BBC article emphasized that the gene is related to reading ability, not IQ, and that “somepeople were able to compensate and go on to successful careers even though they carried the gene variation.” The findings are published in the current edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry. We read Louise Ash’s summary in Reading Today Daily (International Reading Association blog). You can also read the BBC (online) article.
Exercise Your Mind: give me 20 pages Wow, there IS a value to reading on the treadmill! We heard about Dr. Robin Reesal’s article in the Calgary Herald about the mental health benefits of reading on Jen Robinson’s Literacy Round-up. Print it and take it to the gym with you! Then go over to Katie’s Literacy Blog, where you will find links to websites with online research in bibliotherapy and critical literacy.
Multi-Dimensional Reading In Freedom to Read, Lucie deLaBruere’s post at the Infinite Thinking Machine, she says “We need literacy specialists offering professional development in schools to also include strategies that integrate reading digital media.” Read her post to find lots of links on ways to connect reading and technology to enhance literacy time. She’s also got a link to teacher workshops by reading specialist, Julie Coiro. Stop by the Webster Parish Library Blog, to see there newly created Early Literacy Station, which incorporates computer software into the reading experience for pre- and emerging readers. Here’s the library post.
Fun with Books Thanks to Lisa Von Drasek’s Resource Roundup on theTeaching Pre-K to 8 site, I found Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature website. I’ll let Carol tell you what she’s got: “This is a collection of reviews of great books for kids, ideas of ways to use them in the classroom and collections of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.”
[untitled] Kathleen Bernice Lawrence wrote an article you need to read. Her piece, Deaf Adults Have Lifetime Literacy Needs in the Times & Transcript (online, New Brunswick, CA), reminds us about how important communication skills are for ALL of us; that the process begins when we are young; and that we particularly need to keep in mind ways to connect with visual learners.
Free Audio Books Audible Kids is offering audio books you can download for free. This is Audible Kids’ way of promoting literacy through a partnership with Reading is Fundamental. There are nine titles that you will recognize immediately, including Rapunzel, Rikki-Tikki Tavi, The Gift of the Magi, and the Emperors New Clothes. You do need to create a free account in order to download the free audio books, but you are not asked for your credit card number or mailing address. We found this at the Brawlers blog.
Joey’s Books Thanks to Sally Murphy and Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children’s Blog for introducing us to newkidsbooksinoz, a new blog by Australian author Christopher Cheng, who also serves as a literacy ambassador for National Literacy and Numeracy Week. Each post is filled with “Australian kids books” for readers young and old, complete with a book cover image and story summary. Her post, Three Wonderful Book Blog, also includes the Cybils and Notes from the Slush Pile.
Oh, Bananas! We are always on the lookout for book reviews by kids, and somehow I missed Charlotte’s post about her son’s book blog. Go to Pickled Bananas to read his book reviews. We subscribe to Charlotte’s Library, and somehow I missed this nugget, tucked in her post about Miscellaneous Stuff. We are always excited to see peer-to-peer blogs, especially when it comes to boys and books. This is top bananas!