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The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other adults committed to improving and ensuring the future of the nation through exemplary library service to children, their families, and others who work with children.
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1. NCTE: Literacy Support and Community

Prior to becoming a K-5 school librarian, I taught in the elementary classroom for over twenty years. Throughout this time, I sought to improve my craft both as a teacher and a writer. To accomplish this goal, I engaged in every professional development opportunity that came my way. From books on Writer’s Workshop to local and state conferences on language arts, I learned all I could about literacy instruction. I joined the National Council of Teachers of English, and there, connected with many professionals also dedicated to literacy. As I began to regularly attend NCTE’s national conventions, I knew I’d found a place where I could grow and learn with other readers and writers. This discovery was a pivotal one in my career in education.

Once I became a librarian, I remained a member of NCTE. (By this time I’d already joined ALA and ALSC where I found many meaningful connections and valuable resources that helped me grow in my new field.)

And even though I was no longer a classroom teacher, I knew the benefits of NCTE membership would serve me well in the elementary library. Indeed, I have had the privilege of helping many students in the library with writing strategies and rough drafts as well as book choices!

From their website, I learned that the organization was founded in 1911 and is dedicated to “ improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education”. With over 35,000 members from the U.S. and around the world, and more than 100 affiliates across the country (NCTE, n.d.), NCTE is comprised of four sections: elementary, middle, secondary, and college and provides resources and support for each level. Members have access to lesson plans, and policy briefs, as well as online communities. Along with the International Reading Association and the Verizon Foundation, NCTE sponsors the learning site Read Write Think which offers language arts lessons plans, interactives and videos for teachers in K-12.

Each November, NCTE holds its annual convention, where workshops are held on topics ranging from digital literacy to using nonfiction in the classroom. NCTE’s most recent convention was centered on the theme “Story As the Landscape of Knowing”.

Image courtesy of the author

Image courtesy of the author

NCTE also sponsors the annual National African American Read-In held each February in celebration of Black History Month. (This year marks the 25th anniversary of this event.) In recognition of quality literature, NCTE administers several awards programs including the Orbis Pictus Award for Nonfiction, the Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts, the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, and the newly established NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children.

My experiences at NCTE conventions help me to reflect upon the role of school libraries in shaping literacy in their communities. I have had many conversations with fellow educators about their own experiences with books in their classrooms as well. This dialogue – and these networks – feed my work in the library in so many significant ways.

To find out more about the National Council of Teachers of English visit their website at www.ncte.org.


NCTE Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2015, from http://www.ncte.org

Cynthia Alaniz is a school librarian at Cottonwood Creek Elementary in Coppell, Texas. She is a member of the ALSC Liaison with National Organizations Committee and was honored to be a 2014 Morris Seminar participant. She has also presented at two NCTE Annual Conventions.



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2. The Importance of Being Involved

About three years ago, I did what would probably be considered the craziest thing for a first semester (heck, first month) MLS/MIS student could do, I filled out a volunteer form for ALSC, and I never looked back.

Since joining and volunteering in ALSC, I’ve made some wonderful connections and started to develop a better understanding of what my professional interests are. One of the very first people I met was Starr Latronica, who was then President of ALSC (hi Starr!). It was nice to meet someone was genuinely interested in what my passions were and could provide insight into the library world. Since I first met Starr, she’s provided me guidance when I’ve been struggling with concerns, and when I picked up my life and moved, she helped me find someone in the area who might be able to provide some insight. I’ve also met people like Linda Perkins who I instantly bonded with over baseball, and Sam Bloom. Sam sent me a postcard welcoming me to ALSC, and then I realized that we not only shared a school (Go Hoosiers!) but a library. Sam is currently the Children’s Librarian at the Blue Ash branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton- the same branch I learned to read in! ALSC has led me to people like Dan Bostrom – if you don’t know Dan, you should introduce yourself to him at a conference. Aside from giving me insight into membership things (that is after all his job), he’s provided me with encouragement and advice for how to navigate the library world.

But like I said, ALSC has done more than just introduce me to people. It’s piqued my interest in Intellectual Freedom, Technology, and Multicultural Children’s Literature. It has provided me with ways to become involved in these fields through introduction to groups such as Little eLit, and roundtables like EMIERT and GLBTRT.

Over the past few years, I have served on the Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Stonewall Book Award Committee, and been the GLBTRT-ALSC liaison. I have also unsuccessfully tried my own hand at chairing a task force. I would not have been able to explore these opportunities- or have the courage to walk away from the ones that I have- if it were not for ALSC.

So, I encourage you. After you read this post, follow this link to read about how you can get involved in ALSC, on a level that feels right to you. I promise, you won’t regret it.


Our guest blogger today is Alyson Feldman-Piltch.  Alyson lives in Brookline, MA. She is almost done with her MLS/MIS program and will graduate from Indiana University at Bloomington in May 2015. She is a member of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award Committee, as well as the GLBTRT-ALSC liaison.

When she isn’t reading, doing homework, blogging, or sleeping, Alyson can usually be found at Fenway Park or a midnight movie showing at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. She can be reached at alyson.fp@gmail.com and can be found on Twitter by following @aly_fp.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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3. ALSC Member of the Month — Cindy Boatfield

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Cindy Boatfield.

1.  What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

CindyI have been a librarian for over 20 years but have been in my current position, Youth Services Senior Librarian at the Frisco Public Library in Frisco, Texas since 2008. My major responsibility is to coordinate all aspects of Early Literacy. I also order picture books, provide reference and reader’s advisory for all ages, create displays, serve on the e-resources committee, provide in-house tours and outreach when requested. I also oversee the Student Teller Program. Each year we audition and coach students ages 8 to 18 to tell a story during the library’s annual storytelling festival.

2.  Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I think the major reason is so I have a connection with other youth services librarians. To stay on top of current trends and practices. To learn about upcoming workshops. And I enjoy the resources and ideas I get from this blog! No I do not currently belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables. But I should probably join YALSA since I read so many YA books and enjoy assisting with events for teens.

3.  Would you rather bring a lunch from home or eat out at lunch?

I would rather bring a lunch from home so I can spend as much time as possible reading my book!

4.  How do you incorporate STEM/STEAM activities in your work with children? 

We have STEM Spots (we created a graphic) during our 2’s and 3-5’s story time classes. We provide take-home sheets and post the activities on our website. Here is an exciting moment from last session when we successfully launched a balloon rocket.

During our Stay, Play & Learn dates, children can build with DUPLO Legos while reading books featuring STEM topics, and can delve into math by playing with the Farm Sorting Set we purchased from Lakeshore.

In February, we are offering a workshop, I STEM, You STEM for childcare providers, preschool teachers, and parents. Demonstrations of exciting hands-on activities to spark young children’s interest in science and engineering will be shared.

We also have big books with activity sheets featuring science, math, and art topics children and adults can enjoy while at the library.

5.  What form(s) of transportation do you prefer?

I like to travel by airplane and train for obvious reasons but I have wonderful memories while riding on a boat. When I was around seven, my dad, mom, sister and grandparents (my father and grandfather jointly owned a boat) would head to Guntersville Lake in Alabama to go for a ride. I would hold on tight while dangling my legs off the bow. There was a little grocery store where we docked to get gas and they had chocolate ice cream, Yum!

6.  Would you rather go to a 5 star restaurant or on a picnic?

As much as I like to dress up, and would enjoy the atmosphere, and fancy food I would still rather go on a picnic. I could pack plenty of my favorite foods (I’ve heard that some people leave a 5 star restaurant hungry), I could invite a few friends, pick a lovely spot, and just relax.

7.  What do you love about your work?

I love the variety throughout my workday whether it is presenting story time, putting books in the hands of children and teens, ordering materials and looking at new books (SWEET!). I love that I can be creative when planning story times or when putting together a display. That I am continually learning. What I love most of all is I am in a position to impact the lives of children.

8.  What’s the last book you recommended to a friend?

I have a friend who loves to read young adult. So I recommended, We Were Liars by e. Lockhart. That book still haunts me to this day.

9.  If you could bring back any extinct animal, which would it be?

I would bring back a dinosaur so I could take him to story time.

10.  When was the last time you “messed up” during story time?

During my ECRR tip in story time this past summer I told the adults they could create a matching game to extend the bird theme at home. I told them to go to Google Images, print pictures of different kinds of birds, cut them out, and put them on index cards. Then I went on to say, they could write the names of the birds on index cards like cardinal, robin, and mockingjay… I’ll leave it at that.


Thanks, Cindy! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to alscblog@gmail.com; we’ll see what we can do.

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4. How to Have a Successful Author Visit

In December, my library was very fortunate to be selected as one of the stops on Jan Brett’s tour for her latest release The Animals’ Santa. We’ve hosted author’s before at the library, but never anything this large. We had around 800 people show up for the event and people drove from Kansas City, Arkansas and across Missouri to here Ms. Brett speak and get books signed. We had a lot of fun and the event was fantastic and we couldn’t have been happier with the way everything turned out. But I learned a few things along the way on how to ensure a successful author visit.


Photo Credit: Springfield-Greene County Library
  • Create a schedule of events for staff as well as listed job duties and descriptions of what is expected. This was incredibly helpful since we had numerous staff involved in the event from various branches and departments.
  • Use a ticketing system for the signing line. We used tickets created by our Community Relations department that also doubled as bookmarks. These were passed out as families came into the library the day of the event. During the signing, we called groups of 25 into the auditorium and had the crowd organized so the signing line went smoothly-and there were no mad dashes to get in line.
  • Have activities while people are waiting. Expect a long line and a lot of waiting. We turned our story hour room into an activity room with crafts, trivia, and games based on Jan Brett’s books to entertain children why they waited.
  • Limit the number of items to be signed. Ms. Brett was very gracious and signed numerous items for our patrons, but the line was just too long for her to continue the amount that she started with. We had to cut down the number of items signed by the end to keep things moving along. Next time I would have a set number to start with and advertise that so everyone knows what to expect.
  • If possible, check in with previous tour stops for tips and advice. We were able to talk to the previous tour stop about how many people they had, how they handled the lines, and any other tips. This helped us prepare and give us an idea of what to expect.
  • Think about parking! We thought we had everything planned-until we talked to the previous tour stop and realized the day of the event we didn’t know what we were going to with parking! Next time I think signage for parking and even someone directing traffic would be very helpful.
  • Make sure you have food and water for your visiting author-and your staff. We had a break room with snacks and water for staff and made sure we had a stash of water bottles for Ms. Brett as well. We tried to give staff managing the lines short breaks to get something to eat or drink as needed. I would make sure you have someone on your schedule that can give breaks to staff along the way!
  • People don’t understand what “personalization” means. We offered two books to be personalized and had post it notes for the names to be written on for Ms. Brett to see. What I realized in line is that people didn’t understand the difference between just getting a book signed and getting it signed with a name to someone specific. They also didn’t understand that they couldn’t write out a long inscription such as “To Mrs. Nelson’s class-you’re a great group of readers”. I think more explanation on what it means to get a book personalized from the line managers and book seller table would be helpful.
  • Expect a few grumps and complaints. Not everyone will be satisfied with everything-and that’s OK-you can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. I would say 95% of the feedback we received about the event was how smoothly everything ran, how friendly the staff was, and how happy they were the library was offering this event. There were a few minor complaints along the way-the lines were long, they couldn’t get a large stack of books signed, but these were largely out of our control. Once we explained that we had a large crowd and we needed to move everyone through the line, people were understanding. And the positive comments outweighed the negatives and we focused on that!
  • Celebrate a job well done. Make sure you thank the author, any tour assistants they may have, the publisher, and your staff on a job well done. Send the publisher feedback on your event and pictures if you have them-they love to know how events turned out!

Have you hosted an author event at your library? Any tips you have for making it successful?

The post How to Have a Successful Author Visit appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Notable Videos — 2015 Discussion List

Caitlin Jacobson, chair, and the rest of the 2015 Notable Children’s Videos Committee, invite you to join them at their Midwinter discussions. Check the ALA Midwinter Scheduler for exact times; all discussions will take place in the Chancellor Room of the Fairmont Chicago.

Titles to be discussed include:

Anna and Solomon.  Dreamscape Media, LLC
Bailey Dreamscape.  Media, LLC
Bailey at the Museum. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Bailey Bee Believes: The Five B’s. Eyecon Productions/Bailey Bee Believes
Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle.  Dreamscape Media, LLC
Big Bad Bubble. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Boom Snot Twitty. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot! Dreamscape Media, LLC
Brave Girl. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Bus Story. National Film Board of Canada
Children of Military Families. Professor Child
The Christmas Quiet Book. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Confessions of a Bully. Human Relations Media
The Dangers of Sugar and Salt. Human Relations Media
Daredevil. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Doug Unplugs on the Farm. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Dragons Love Tacos. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Driving Stupid. Human Relations Media
The Duckling Gets a Cookie? Weston Woods
Each Kindness. Weston Woods
Exclamation Mark. Weston Woods
Extra Yarn. Weston Woods
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Funkiest Monkeys. PBS/Nature
Get Me Goin’ Danceable Music. Video Jill Jayne
Getting Through It: Kids Talk About Divorce. Human Relations Media
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Good Friends – Bad Friends & How to Know the Difference. YouthLight, Inc.
Hansel and Gretel. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Herion Rising: Cheap, Addictive and Deadly. Human Relations Media
How Could This Happen? A True Story about Binge Drinking and Death. Human Relations Media
Honey Badgers. PBS/Nature
Is There a Monster in My Closet? Dreamscape Media, LLC
It’s a Dog’s Life. National Film Board of Canada
Jack and the Beanstalk. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Locomotive. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Lucky Ducklings. Weston Woods
Making a Friend. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Man with the Violin. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Marijuana and the Teenage Brain. Human Relations Media
Marijuana: Does Legal Mean Safe? Human Relations Media
Me and My Moulton. National Film Board of Canada
Me…Jane. Weston Woods
Milo’s Hat Trick. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Molly: Innocent Name, Deadly Drug. Human Relations Media
Mr. Wuffles. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Museum. Dreamscape Media, LLC
A Nation’s Hope. Dreamscape Media, LLC
No Fish Where to Go. National Film Board of Canada
Nothing. Dreamscape Media, LLC
One Cool Friend. Weston Woods
One is a Feast for Mouse. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Paper Bag Princess. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Rain, Rain, Go Away; Winken, Blinken, and Nod; & One, Two, Buckle My Shoe. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Secret Pizza Party. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Separate is Never Equal. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Shelly Goes to the Zoo. Shelly’s Adventures, LLC
Shelly’s Outdoor Adventure. Shelly’s Adventures, LLC
The Smallest Gift of Christmas. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Someday. Weston Woods
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Star Bright Dreamscape. Media, LLC
Stronger, Tougher, Smarter: Stories of Teen Resilience. Human Relations Media
Terrific.Dreamscape Media, LLC
Thanksgiving Is… Dreamscape Media, LLC
This is Not My Hat. Weston Woods
This is the Rope. Weston Woods
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; & Star Light, Star Bright. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Ugly Duckling. Dreamscape Media, LLC
Under the Freedom Tree. Dreamscape Media, LLC
The Very Fairy Princess. Weston Woods
We ALL Fit. Good Friend, Inc.
What Could You Do? YouthLight, Inc.
What’s Up With E-Cigarettes? Human Relations Media
When the Sun Goes Down. Kite Tails LLC
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell. Weston Woods
Wizard of Oz. Dreamscape Media, LLC
You Are In Charge of Your Body: A Sexual Abuse Prevention Curriculum. Human Relations Media


You might also be interested in looking at the 2015 Notable Children’s Books discussion list which was posted yesterday afternoon, and the 2015 Notable Sound Recordings discussion list which was posted Monday, January 19th .

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6. Notable Children’s Books — 2015 Discussion List

Edie Ching, chair, and the rest of the 2015 Notable Children’s Books Committee, invite you to join them at their Midwinter discussions, taking place on Friday, January 30th from 1:00 to 4:00, and Saturday, January 31 through Monday, February 2nd, from 1:30 to 4:30. All discussions will take place in McCormick Place West, Room W194B.

The complete discussion list is below. Titles in italics indicate that the book was already discussed at the Annual Conference last summer; titles with an asterisk will be discussed for the first time at Midwinter.


*Acampora, Paul.  I Kill the Mockingbird.  Roaring Brook Press.

Alexander, Kwame. The Crossover.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Auxier, Jonathan. The Night Gardener. Abrams/Amulet.

*Averbeck, Jim. A Hitch at the Fairmont. Illus. by Nick Bertozzi.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

*Barnhill, Kelly. The Witch’s Boy.  Algonquin Young Readers.

*Bell, Cece. El Deafo. Abrams/Amulet Books.

Blakemore, Megan Frazer. The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill. Bloomsbury

*Booth, Coe. Kinda Like Brothers. Scholastic Press.

Boyne, John.  Stay Where You Are & Then Leave.  Illus. by Oliver Jeffers.  Henry Holt and Company.

Brown, Skila. Caminar. Candlewick Press.

*Camper, Cathy. Lowriders in Space (Book 1). Illus. by Raul the Third. Chronicle Books.

*Carroll, Emily. Through the Woods. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Carleson, J.C. The Tyrant’s Daughter. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House.

*Cheng, Andrea. The Year of the Fortune Cookie (An Anna Wang novel). Illus by Patrice Barton. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

*Cohn, Edith. Spirit’s Key. Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers.

*Cronin, Doreen. The Chicken Squad.  Illus. by Kevin Cornell. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

*Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Madman of Piney Woods. Scholastic Press.

*Daly, Cathleen.  Emily’s Blue Period. Roaring Brook Press.

Dauvillier,Loïc. Hidden : A Child’s Story of the Holocaust : L’Enfant Caché.   Illus. by Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo.  Translated by Alexis Siegel.  First Second.

Davies, Nicola  The Lion Who Stole My Arm.  Illus. by Annabel Wright.  Candlewick Press.

*de Fombelle, Timothée. Vango: between sky and earth : Entre ciel et terre. Trans. By Sarah Ardizzone.  Candlewick Press.

*de los Santos, Marisa and David Teague. Saving Lucas Biggs.  HarperCollins.

*DiCamillo, Kate. Leroy Ninker Saddles up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One. Illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick Press.

*Dumon Tak, Bibi. Mikis and the Donkey :Mikis de ezeljongen. Illus. by Philip Hopman. Trans. by Laura Watkinson. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

*Durham, Paul. The Luck Uglies. Illus. by Péter Antonsson. HarperCollins.

*Ehrlich, Esther. Nest. Random House/Wendy Lamb Books.

Elliott, L. M. Across a War-Tossed Sea. Disney-Hyperion Books.

Engle, Margarita. Silver People: Voices From the Panama Canal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

*Faulkner, Matt. Gaijin: American Prisoner of War.  Disney-Hyperion Books.

Fitzgerald, Laura Marx. Under the Egg. Dial Books for Young Readers.

Foxlee, Karen. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. Alfred A. Knopf.

*Funke, Cornelia. Emma and the Blue Genie : Emma und der Blaue Dschinn.  Illus. by Kerstin Meyer.  Trans. By Oliver Latsch. Random House.

*Giff, Patricia Reilly. Winter Sky. Random House/Wendy Lamb Books.

*Godin, Thelma Lynne. The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen. Illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Lee and Low.

*Graff, Lisa. Absolutely Almost. Penguin/Philomel Books.

*Grove, S.E. The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy Book 1). Penguin Group/Viking.  

*Hahn, Mary Downing.  Where I Belong.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books.

*Hanlon, Abby. Dory Fantasmagory. Illus. by Abby Hanlon. Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Group.

*Harrington, Karen.  Courage for Beginners. Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

Herrera, Robin. Hope is a Ferris Wheel. Abrams/Amulet.

*Hiassen, Carl. Skink—No Surrender.  Knopf Books for Young Readers.

Holczer, Tracy.  The Secret Hum of a Daisy. G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

*Holm, Jennifer L. The Fourteenth Goldfish. Random House.

Johnson, Jaleigh. The Mark of the Dragonfly. Delacorte Press.

*Johnson, Varian. The Great Greene Heist. Scholastic Press/Arthur A. Levine.

*Kadohata, Cynthia. Half A World Away. Simon & Schuste/Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Lamana, Julie T. Upside Down In the Middle of Nowhere. Chronicle Books.

*Larson, Kirby. Dash.  Scholastic Press.

*Levine. Kristin. The Paper Cowboy.  Penguin Young Readers Group/G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

*Levy, Dana Alison. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher.  Random House/Delacorte Press.

Lloyd, Natalie.  A Snicker of Magic.  Scholastic Press.

*Loftin, Nikki. Nightingale’s Nest. Penguin/Razorbill.

Lord, Cynthia. Half a Chance. Scholastic Press.

MacLachlan. Patricia. Fly Away. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books.

*Maguire, Gregory. Egg and Spoon.  Candlewick Press.

*Mann, Elizabeth. Little Man: A Novel.  Miyaka Press.

*Martin, Ann M. Rain Reign. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends.

*Messner, Kate. Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets. Illus. by Brian Floca.  Scholastic Press.

*Milford, Kate. Greenglass House.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books.

Moses, Shelia P. The Sittin’ Up. G. P. Putnam’s Sons for Young Readers.

*Moulton, Erin E. Chasing the Milky Way. Penguin Group/Philomel.

*Muten, Burleigh. Miss Emily. Illus. Matt Phelan. Candlewick.

*Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Turtle of Oman: A Novel. HarperCollins/Greenwillow Books.

Oppel, Kenneth. The Boundless. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

*Peet, Mal & Elspeth Graham. Night Sky Dragons. Illus. by Patrick Benson. Candlewick Press.

Philbrick, Rodman. Zane and the Hurricane. Blue Sky Press.

*Pinkney, Andrea Davis. The Red Pencil.  Illus. by Shane Evans. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Preus, Margi. West of the Moon.  Abrams/Amulet.

*Rundell, Katherine. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms.  Illus. by Melissa Castrillón. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

*Ryan, Carrie and John Parke Davis. The Map to Everywhere. Illus. by Todd Harris. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

*Ryan, Pam Muñoz. Tony Baloney: Buddy trouble. Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic Press.

*Sadler, Marilyn. Ten Eggs in a Nest. Illus. by Michael Fleming.  Random House.

*Senzai, N. H. Saving Kabul Corner. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Sovern, Megan Jean. The Meaning of Maggie. Chronicle Books.

*Spinelli, Eileen. Another Day as Emily. Illus. by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. Knopf Books for Young Readers.

*St. Antoine, Sara. Three Bird Summer. Candlewick.

*Telgemeier, Raina. Sisters. Illus. by Reina Telgemeier. Colors by Braden Lamb. Scholastic/GRAPHIX .

Turnage, Sheila. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing.  Penguin/Kathy Dawson Books.

*Venkatraman, Padma. A Time to Dance.  Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin.

*Webb, Holly. The Case of the Stolen Sixpence: Book 1 (The Mysteries of Maisie Hutchins) Illus. by Marion Lindsay.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

White, J. A. The Thickety; A Path Begins. Illus. by Andrea Offermann. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books.

Wiles, Deborah. Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy).  Scholastic.

*Willems, Mo. Waiting is Not Easy. Disney Book Group/Hyperion Books for Children.

*Wilson, N. D. Boys of Blur. Random House Books for Young Readers.

Woods, Brenda. The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books.

*Yelchin, Eugene. Arcady’s Goal. Henry Holt and Co.


Athans, Sandra K. Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs. Lerner/Millbrook Press.

Bausum, Ann. Stubby The War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog.  National Geographic.

Bolden, Tonya.Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America. Abrams Books for Young Readers.

*Broom, Jenny. Animalium.  Illus. by Katie Scott.  Candlewick/Big Picture Press.

Brown, Don.  He Has Shot the President! April 14, 1865: The Day John Wilkes Booth Killed President Lincoln.  Roaring Brook Press.

*Burns, Loree Griffin. Beetle Busters : A Rogue Insect and the People who Track It..  Photographer: Ellen Harasimowicz. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Burns, Loree Griffin. Handle With Care : An Unusual Butterfly Journey. Photographer Ellen Harasimowicz. Lerner/Millbrook Press.

*Dillon, Patrick. The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond.  Illus. by Stephen Biesty. Candlewick Press.

Farrell, Mary Cronk. Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific.  Abrams/Abrams Books for Young Readers.

*Freedman, Russell.  Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books.

*Freedman, Russell. Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights that Changed America.  Holiday House.

*Jarrow, Gail. Red Madness:  How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat.  Calkins Creek.

*Krull, Kathleen. Lives of the Explorers: Discoveries, Disasters (and what the Neighbors Thought).  Illus. by Kathryn Hewitt.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers.

*Markle, Sandra. The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery. Lerner/Millbrook Press.

*Mitchell, Don. The Freedom Summer Murders. Scholastic.

*Montgomery, Sy. Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cat (Scientist in the Field Series). Photographer Nic Bishop. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

*Mulder, Michelle. Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home. Orca Book Publishers.

Rubin, Susan Goldman.  Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Holiday House.

Sheinkin, Steve. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights.  Roaring Brook Press.


*Aylesworth, Jim. My Grandfather’s Coat. Illus. by Barbara McClintock.  Scholastic Press.

*Barnett, Mac. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.   Illus. by Jon Klassen. Candlewick Press.

*Barnett, Mac.Telephone. Illus. by Jen Corace. Chronicle Books.

Barton, Byron. My Bus. Harper Collins Publishers/Greenwillow Books.

*Becker, Aaron. Quest. Candlewick Press.

*Bildner, Phil. The Soccer Fence: A Story of Friendship, Hope and Apartheid in South Africa.  Illus. by Jesse Joshua Watson.  Penguin/G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

*Black, Ian. Naked! Illus. by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers.

*Blackall, Sophie.  The Baby Tree. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books.

*Bloom, C. P. The Monkey Goes Bananas. Illus. by Peter Raymundo. Abrams Books for Young Readers.

Bluemle, Elizabeth. Tap Tap Boom Boom. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. Candlewick Press.

*Bolden, Tonya. Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer. Illus by Eric Velasquez. Abrams Books for Young Readers

*Boyd, Lizi. Flashlight. Chronicle Books.

*Brown, Peter.   My Teacher is a Monster! (No I am Not.) Little Brown & Co.

Bunting, Eve. Washday.  Illus by Brad Sneed. Holiday House.

*Burk, Rachelle. Don’t Turn the Page. Illus by Julie Downing. Creston Books.

*Camcam, Princesse. Fox’s Garden. Enchanted Lion Books.

Carle, Eric and Friends. What’s Your Favorite Animal? Eric Carle and friends. Nick Bruel, Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Jon Klassen, Tom Lichtenheld, Peter McCarty, Chris Raschka, Peter Sís, Lane Smith, Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, Mo Willems.  Illus. by ditto.  Henry Holt and Company.

*Cole, Tom Clohosy. Wall. Candlewick/Templar.

*Colón, Raúl. Draw! Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

*Copeland, Missy. Firebird. Illus. by Christopher Myers.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin.

*Curato, Mike. Little Elliot, Big City.  Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers.

*Davies, Benji. The Storm Whale. Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers.

*De Moüy, Iris. Naptime. Illus. by Shelley Tanaka. House of Anasi Press/Groundwood Books.

Dempsey, Kristy. A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Penguin/Philomel Books.

*DiPucchio, Kelly. Gaston.  Illus. by Christian Robinson. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Dolan, Elys. Weasels. Candlewick Press.

*Donofrio, Beverly. Where’s Mommy? (Mary and the Mouse).  Illus by Barbara McClintock. Schwartz & Wade.

*Dubuc, Marianne. The Lion and the Bird : Le lion et l’oiseau. Trans. by Claudia Zoe Bedrick. Enchanted Lion Books.

*Escoffier, Michaël. Take Away the A. Illus. by Kris DiGiacomo. Enchanted Lion Books.

*Frazee, Marla. The Farmer and the Clown. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books.

*Gill, Deirdre. Outside.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

*Hall, Michael. It’s an Orange Aardvark!.  HarperCollinsPublishers/Greenwillow.

*Hancocks, Helen. Penguin in Peril. Candlewick Press/Templar.

*Hatanaka, Kellen. Work, An Occupational ABC.  House of Anasi Press/Groundwood Books.

*Harrison, Hannah E.  Extraordinary Jane.  Dial Books for Young Readers.

*Haughton, Chris. Shh! We Have a Plan.  Candlewick Press.

*Heap, Sue. Mine! Candlewick Press.

*Holland, Loretta. Fall Leaves. Illus. by Elly MacKay. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

*Hurley, Jorey. Nest. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

*Jeffers, Oliver. Once Upon an Alphabet. Penguin Young Readers Group/Philomel Books.

*Johnston, Tony. Winter is Coming. Illus. by Jim LaMarche. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

*Joyce, William. The Numberlys.  Illus by William Joyce and Christina Ellis.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

*Kennedy, Anne Vittur.  The Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh! Candlewick Press.

Lee, Chuku H. Beauty and the Beast .  Illus. by Pat Cummings. Harper Collins / Amistad.

*Light, Kelly. Louise Loves Art.  Harper Collins/Balzer & Bray.

Light, Steve,   Have You Seen My Dragon?  Candlewick Press.

*Lurie, Susan. Swim, Duck, Swim!. Photographs by Murray Head. Feiwel and Friends.

*Lyon, George Ella. What Forest Knows. Illus. by August Hall. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

McDonald, Megan.  Shoe Dog. Illus. by Katherine Tillotson.  Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

*Miyares, Daniel. Pardon Me!  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

*Morris, Richard T. This is a Moose. Illus by Tom Lichtenheld. Little, Brown and Company.

Nelson, Kadir. Baby Bear. Harper Collins /Balzer + Bray.

*Nichols, Lori. Maple.   Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books.

Offill, Jenny. Sparky.  Illus. by Chris Appelhans.  Random House Children’s Books/Schwartz & Wade.

*O’Neill, Gemma. Oh Dear, Geoffrey! Candlewick/Templar.

Oahin, Andrew.  Brimsby’s Hats. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

*Pett, Mark. The Girl and the Bicycle. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

*Pizzoli, Greg. Number One Sam.  Disney-Hyperion.

*Portis, Antoinette. Froodle. Roaring Brook Press.

*Ramstein, Anne-Margot and Matthias Arégui. Before After.  Candlewick Press.

*Raschka, Chris. Give and Take.  Simon and Schuster/Antheneum Books for Young Readers.

Reid, Aimee. Mama’s Day with Little Gray.  Illus. Laura J. Bryant. Random House.

Robinson, Michelle. How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth.  Illus. by Kate Hindley.  Henry Holt and Company.

Rockliff, Mara. The Grudge Keeper. Illus. by Eliza Wheeler. Peachtree.

*Rocco, John. Blizzard. Disney-Hyperion.

Russell, Natalie. Lost for Words. Peachtree.

*Ruth, Greg. Coming Home. Feiwel and Friends.

*Saltzberg, Barney. Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep. Disney-Hyperion.

Santat Dan. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. Little Brown.

*Schofield-Morrison, Connie. I got the Rhythm. Illus. by Frank Morrison. Bloomsbury.

*Schwartz, Corey Rosen. Ninja Red Riding Hood. Illus. by Dan Santat. Penguin Group/G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

*Shea, Bob. Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads. Illus. by Lane Smith. Roaring Brook Press.

Sierra, Judy. E-I-E-I-O How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (with a little help from a hen).  Illus by. Matthew Myers. Candlewick Press.

Spires, Ashley. The Most Magnificent Thing. Kids Can Press.

*Stower, Adam. Naughty Kitty! Scholastic/Orchard Books.

*Stower, Adam. Slam! A Tale of Consequences. Owlkids Books.

*Swenson, Jamie A. If You Were a Dog. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

*Tan, Shaun. Rules of Summer. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books.

*Uegaki, Chieri. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin.  Illus. by Qin Leng. Kids Can Press.

Underwood, Deborah. Here Comes the Easter Cat.  Illus. by Claudia Rueda.  Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers.

*Watkins, Adam F. R is for Robot: A Noisy Alphabet. Penguin/Price Stern Sloan.

*Willems, Mo. The Pigeon Needs a Bath. Disney-Hyperion.

*Won, Brian. Hooray for Hat!. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt books for Young Readers.

Yoon, Salina. Found. Walker Books for Young Readers /Bloomsbury.

Yuly, Toni. Early Bird. Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan.


*Applegate, Katherine. Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion.

*Bryant, Jennifer. The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus.  Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Campbell, Sarah C. Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature.   Illus. by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell. Highlights/Boyds Mills Press.

Chin, Jason. Gravity.  Roaring Brook Press/Neal Porter Book.

*Cox, Lynne. Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas. Illus. by Brian Floca. Schwartz & Wade.

*Davies, Nicola. Tiny Creatures: The World of the Microbes. Illus. by Emily Sutton.  Candlewick Press.

*Davis, Kathryn Gibbs. Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. Illus. by Gilbert Ford. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers.

Ehlert, Lois. The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life. Beach Lane Books.

*Elvgren, Jennifer. The Whispering Town. Illus. by Fabio Santomauro. Kar-Ben Publishing.

Gibbons, Gail. It’s Raining!  Holiday House.

*Gray, Rita. Have you Heard the Nesting Bird? Illus. by Kenard Park.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

*Hendrix. John. Shooting at the Stars.  Abrams Books for Young Readers.

*Jenkins, Steve and Robin Page. Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way they Do. Illus. by Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers.

Jenkins, Steve. Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

*Jenson-Elliott, Cindy. Weeds Find a Way. Illus. by Carolyn Fisher. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books.

*Johnson, Angela. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom. Illus. by E. B. Lewis.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

*Karas, G. Brian. As an Oak Tree Grows. Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Hands & Hearts: With 15 Words in American Sign Language.  Illus. by Amy Bates. Abrams Books for Young Readers.

*Rabinowitz, Alan. A Boy and a Jaguar.  Illus. by Catia Chien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.            

Roberts, Cokie. Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies.  Illus. by Diane Goode.  HarperColllins.

Rosenstock, Barb. The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero.  Illus. by Terry Widener.  Calkins Creek / Highlights.

*Roy, Katherine. Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands.  Roaring Brook Press/David Macaulay Studio.

Rubbino, Salvatore. A Walk in Paris. Candlewick Press.

*Russell-Brown, Katheryn. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone. Illus. by Frank Morrison.  Lee & Low Books.

*Salas, Laura Purdie. Water Can Be… Illus. by Violeta Dabija. Millbrook Press/Lerner.

*Sill, Cathryn. About Parrots: A Guide for Children. Illus. by John Sill. Peachtree Publishers.

Stewart, Melissa. Feathers: Not Just for Flying.  Illus. by Sarah S. Brannen.  Charlesbridge.

*Sutcliffe, Jane. Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be. Illus. by John Shelley. Charlesbridge.

Tonatiuh, Duncan.  Separate is Never Equal : The Story of Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation.  Illus. by author.   Abrams books for Young Readers.

*Ward, Jennifer. Mama Built a Little Nest.  Illus. by Steve Jenkins. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books.

*Whelan, Gloria. Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine. Illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

*Winter, Jeanette. Malala: A Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal: A Brave Boy from Pakistan.  Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books.

Woelfle. Gretchen. Mumbet’s Declaration Of Independence.   Illus. by Alix Delinois. Carolrhoda Books. 


*Burleigh, Robert. Edward Hopper Paints His World. Illus by Wendell Minor. Henry Holt.

*Demi. Florence Nightingale.  Henry Holt.

*Denenberg, Barry. Ali: An American Champion. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Fern, Tracey. Dare the Wind:   The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud.  Illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

* Fleming, Candace.  The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia.  Schwartz & Wade.

*Gandhi, Arun and Bethany Hegedus. Grandfather Gandhi. Illus. by Evan Turk. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

*Herrera, Juan Felipe. Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes. Illus. by Raúl Colón. Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers.

*Herthel, Jessica and Jazz Jennings. I Am Jazz. Illus. by Shelagh McNicholas.  Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers.

*Kerley, Barbara. A Home for Mr. Emerson. Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham.  Scholastic Press.

*MacLachlan, Patricia. The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse.  Illus. by Hadley Hooper. Roaring Brook Press.

*Marrin. Albert. Thomas Paine: Crusader for Liberty: How One Man’s Ideas Helped Form a New Nation. Knopf Books for Young Readers.

*Morales, Yuyi. Viva Frida. Illus. by Tim O’Meara. Roaring Brook Press.

*Neri, G. Hello, I’m Johnny Cash. Illus. by A. G. Ford. Candlewick Press.

*Potter, Alicia. Jubilee: One Man’s Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace. Illus by Matt Tavares.  Candlewick.

Powell, Patricia Hruby. Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker.  Illus. by Christian Robinson.  Chronicle Books.

*Reef, Catherine. Frida & Diego: Art, Love, Life. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books.

Rosenstock, Barb. The Noisy Paint Box:  The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art.  Illus. by Mary Grandpré.  Alfred A. Knopf.

*Shabazz, Ilyasah. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X. Illus. by A.G. Ford. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

*Sis, Peter.  The Pilot and The Little Prince: the Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

*Sisson, Stéphanie Roth. Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos. Roaring Brook Press.

Wallace, Rich and Sandra Neil Wallace. Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias.  Calkins Creek/an imprint of Highlights.

*Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming.  Penguin Young Readers/Nancy Paulsen Books.


*Borden, Louise.  Baseball Is… Illus. by Raúl Colón. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books.

*Bryan, Ashley. Ashley Bryan’s Puppets. Photographs by Ken Hannon and Rich Entel. Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Cleary, Brian P. If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems. Illus. by Andy Rowland.  Millbrook.

*Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Manger.  Illus. by Helen Cann. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Janeczko, Paul B (editor).  Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems.  Illus. by Melissa Sweet.  Candlewick Press.

*Johnston, Tony. Sequoia. Illus. by Wendell Minor. Roaring Brook Press.

*Larkin, Eric-Shabazz. A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food.  Readers to Eaters.

*Lewis, J. Patrick. Harlem Hellfighters. Illus. by Gary Kelley.  Creative Editions.

Lewis, J. Patrick and Douglas Florian. Poem- mobiles:  Crazy Car Poems.  Illus. by Jeremy Holmes.   Random House Children’s Books/ Schwartz & Wade.

*Mora, Pat. Water Rolls, Water Rises : El Agua Rueda, El Agua Sube. Trans. By Adriana Domínguez and Pat Mora.  Illus. by Meilo So.  Lee & Low Books/Children’s Book Press.

Muth, Jon J. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons.  Scholastic.

*Nelson, Marilyn. How I Discovered Poetry.  Illus. by Hadley Hooper. Dial.

Raczka, Bob. Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole. Illus by Chuck Groenink. Carolrhoda Books.

*Schmidt, Annie. M. G. A Pond Full of Ink : Een vijver vol inkt.  Illus. by Sieb Posthuma.  Trans. David Colmer. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

*Siddais, Mary McKenna. Shivery Shades of Halloween: A Spooky Book of Colors. Illus. by Jimmy Pickering. Random House.

*Sidman, Joyce.  Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold.  Illus. by Rick Allen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.


You might also be interested in looking at the 2015 Notable Children’s Sound Recordings discussion list which was posted yesterday afternoon, and the 2015 Notable Children’s Videos discussion list which will be posted tomorrow afternoon.

The post Notable Children’s Books — 2015 Discussion List appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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7. Notable Sound Recordings — 2015 Discussion List

Jennifer Duffy, chair, and the rest of the 2015 Notable Sound Recordings Committee, invite you to join them at their Midwinter discussions, taking place on Friday, January 30th through Sunday, February 1st, in the Lake Michigan Room of the Chicago Hilton.

The complete discussion list is below. Titles with an asterisk indicate that the book was already discussed at the Annual Conference last summer.


*The Abominables, 5 hr 15 min, cd, $51.75, Recorded Books, 9781490620954

American Heroes #4, 41 min, cd, $13.98, Sprout Recordings, 8450197674

Angus and Sadie, 4 hr 28 min, cd, $30, Listening Library, 9780553396379

Betty Bunny Didn’t Do It, 13 min, book + cd, $29.95, Live Oak Media, 9781430117698

Blind, 10 hr 41 min, cd, $55, Listening Library, 9781101890974

Blood Ties: Spirit Animals #3, 5 hr 29 min, cd, $54.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545648769

*The Bossy E, 33 min, cd, $15, Coil Records, 8829510081

The Boundless, 8 hr 12 min, cd, $24.99, Brilliance Audio, 9781480584143

Brown Girl Dreaming, 3 hr 56 min, cd, $38, Listening Library, 9780553397260

Buzz Kill, 9 hr 45 min, cd, $87.75, Recorded Books, 9781470398071

Calendar Mysteries: Books 7-13, 5 hr 35 min, cd, $38, Listening Library, 9780553396225

Caminar, 2 hr 23 min, cd, $19.99, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 9781491536841

Can’t Look Away, 6 hr 52 min, download, $24.50, Scholastic Audio, 9780545669856

*The Carpet People, 5 hr 34 min, cd, $40, Listening Library, 9780804168281

The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken, 30 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490615677

*The Cat With Seven Names, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490602479

*The Chicken Squad, 30 min, book + cd, $25.75, Recorded Books, 9781490615653

Copper Magic, 9 hr, cd, $66.75, Recorded Books, 9781490627557

*Crankee Doodle, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490601991

Dash, 5 hr 21 min, download, $20.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545735308

Deep in the Swamp, 38 min, book + cd, $19.95, Live Oak Media, 9781430114598

Dog Finds Lost Dolphins! and More True Stories of Amazing Animal Heroes, 1 hr, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490634197

*The Duckling Gets a Cookie?, 16 min, book + cd, $12.95, Weston Woods, 9780545661126

Duke, 4 hr 26 min, download, $20.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545677417

Egg & Spoon, 12 hr 51 min, cd, $24.99, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 9781491502167

Eight Days Gone, 20 min, book + cd, $19.95, Live Oak Media, 9781430114635

*Exclamation Mark, 10 min, book + cd, $12.95, Weston Woods, 9780545661157

*Fairest of All: Whatever After #1, 3 hr 20 min, download, $17.50, Scholastic Audio, 9780545655750

The Family Romanov, 9 hr 23 min, cd, $50, Listening Library, 9780553395303

Fantasy League, 6 hr 44 min, cd, $40, Listening Library, 9780553396843

Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders, 5 hr 50 min, cd, $19.99, Brilliance Audio, 9781480533233

*The Finisher, 14 hr 58 min, cd, $89.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545690195

*Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, 6 hr 30 min, cd, $29.99, Simon & Schuster Audio, 9781442374195

Flight School, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490632292

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems, 26 min, book + cd, $29.95, Live Oak Media, 9781430117650

Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle, 8 hr 51 min, cd, $45, Listening Library, 9780553396911

*The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, 8 hr, download, $29.95, Penguin Audio, 9780698146709

*The Grimm Conclusion, 6 hr 30 min, cd, $66.75, Recorded Books, 9781470395735

Gus & Me, 8 min, download, $14.99, Hachette Audio, 9781478931911

*Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490615639

Hitler’s Daughter, 3 hr 5 min, cd, $19.99, Bolinda Audio, 9781486205028

H.O.R.S.E: A Game of Basketball and Imagination, 22 min, book + cd, $29.95, Live Oak Media, 9781430117384

*How to Catch a Bogle, 7 hr 13 min, cd, $45, Listening Library, 9780804167802

*Hunted: Spirit Animals #2, 5 hr 16 min, cd, $54.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545648752

Ice Whale, 4 hr 30 min, cd, $30.75, Recorded Books, 9781490630212

If I Ever Get Out of Here, 10 hr 20 min, cd, $55, Listening Library, 9780553395464

I’m My Own Dog, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490633329

In a Heartbeat, 34 min, cd, $15, independent release, 700261394541

*The Interrupted Tale: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #4: 8 hr 19 min, cd, $45, Listening Library, 9780385363693

*Josephine, 30 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781470383862

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza, 3 hr 40 min, cd, $30, Listening Library, 9781101891957

*The Last Wild, 7 hr 15 min, cd/download, $66.75, Recorded Books/Penguin Audio, 9781490614298

*Lawless, 7 hr 38 min, download, $18.50, Scholastic Audio, 9780545655729

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, 52 min, cd, $15, Listening Library, 9780804122245

*The Loch Mess Monster, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490619507

Loot, 7 hr 6 min, download, $18.50, Scholastic Audio, 9780545677363

*Lucky Ducklings, 16 min, book + cd, $12.95, Weston Woods, 9780545661188

The Madman of Piney Woods, 9 hr 1 min, cd, $50, Listening Library, 9780804123129

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher, 5 hr 40 min, cd, $35, Listening Library, 9780804168663

The Missing Pieces of Me, 4 hr 33 min, mp3-cd, $9.99, Brilliance Audio, 9781491553411

Mister Max: The Book of Secrets: Mister Max #2, 10 hr 10 min, cd, $50, Listening Library, 9780804122092

Nightlight, 30 min, cd, $13.98, Little Monster Records, 888608737586

One Cool Friend, 18 min, book + cd, $12.95, Scholastic Audio, 9780545675543

*Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, 6 hr 20 min, cd, $35, Listening Library, 9780804168366

Out on the Prairie, 44 min, book + cd, $19.95, Live Oak Media, 9781430114550

Pennies for Hitler, 9 hr 10 min, cd, $19.99, Bolinda Audio, 9781486213238

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, 12 hr 24 min, cd, $50, Listening Library, 9780804168465

Planet Kindergarten, 15 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490632254

Playing for the Commandant, 5 hr 20 min, cd, $19.99, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 9781491530672

*Poached, 6 hr 30 min, cd, $29.99, Simon & Schuster Audio, 9781442369115

*Prisoner 88, 3 hr 15 min, cd, $30.75, Recorded Books, 9781490602448

Rain Reign, 4 hr 9 min, cd, $29.99, Brilliance Audio, 9781491530504

The Red Pencil, 3 hr 12 min, download, $47.99, Hachette Audio, 9781478931935

Revolution, 12 hr 10 min, cd, $50, Listening Library, 9780553395266

*Royal Ranger: Ranger’s Apprentice #12, 13 hr 45 min, cd/download, $97.75, Recorded Books/Penguin Audio, 9781470389284

The Scandalous Sisters of Prickwillow Place, 9 hr 24 min, cd, $45, Listening Library, 9780553396027

The Secret of the Key: Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure #4, 6 hr 22 min, cd, Listening Library, 9780553397215

*Seeing Red, 10 hr, cd, $77.75, Recorded Books, 9781490612812

Ship of Dolls, 5 hr 19 min, cd, $24.99, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 9781491502259

Shouldn’t You Be in School?, 5 hr 53 min, download, $47.99, Hachette Audio, 9781478956631

Since You’ve Been Gone, 12 hrs 45 min, cd, $108.75, Recorded Books, 9781490620893

*Sink or Swim: Whatever After #3, 3 hr 20 min, download, $17.50, Scholastic Audio, 9780545675192

Slaves of Socorro: Brotherband Chronicles #4, 12 hr 30 min, download, $34.95, Penguin Audio, 9780698154810

*Smart Songs for Active Children, 48 min, cd, $15, Lighthouse Records, 9780989874106

*A Snicker of Magic, 8 hr 14 min, cd, $34.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545706797

*Starring Jules (as herself), 1 hr 32 min, download, $17.50, Scholastic Audio, 9780545677394

*Storm: Sylo Chronicles #2, 12 hr, download, $39.95, Penguin Audio, 9780698146747

*The Sultan’s Tigers, 6 hr 36 min, cd, $30, Listening Library, 9780804123082

Tales of the Great Beasts: Spirit Animals, 5 hr 4 min, cd, $54.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545775977

Tell Me, 5 hr, cd, $40, Listening Library, 9780553396829

Through the Woods, 40 min, cd + dvd, $20, Okee Dokee Music, 707541714495

*Treasury of Egyptian Mythology, 3 hr 30 min, cd, $30.75, Recorded Books, 9781470397869

*Under the Freedom Tree, 30 min, book + cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490621227

The Very Fairy Princess, 36 min, book + cd, $12.95, Weston Woods, 9780545695046

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?, 21 min, book + cd, $12.95, Weston Woods, 9780545790413

Willow, 9 hr 2 min, cd, $24.99, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 978140585539

Winterfrost, 4 hr 47 min, cd, $24.99, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 9781491502280

*Words with Wings, 30 min, cd, $15.75, Recorded Books, 9781490609676

*Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina, 4 hr 12 min, download, $20.99, Scholastic Audio, 9780545660914


You might also be interested in looking at the 2015 Notable Children’s Books discussion list which will be posted tomorrow afternoon, and the 2015 Notable Children’s Videos discussion list which will be posted the following afternoon.

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8. What does an author think of Día?

As part of the lead-up to formal Día celebrations in April, I had the privilege of interviewing an author of multicultural and multilingual books for children–the inimitable Pat Mora herself, author and founder of Día! Ms. Mora is an outstanding advocate for youth literacy, and the books in her body of work are a joy to share with families any time of the year. It was my pleasure to ask Pat Mora a few questions.

Q: You’re the founder of Día, and you’re also an author of children’s books. How do these dual roles affect how you think about Día?

Pat Mora is an author and the founder of Día (image courtesy of Pat Mora)

Pat Mora is an author and the founder of Día (image courtesy of Pat Mora)

Pat Mora: My first book published book was A Birthday Basket for Tía, 1992. I quickly became aware how many children did not have books in their homes and how many families, particularly non-English speaking families, had not embraced their literacy role. I also became aware that many book buyers of all ethnicities were not interested in books by Latinas/os. Both realities saddened me.

In 1996, the idea for Día came to me, an initiative that would honor all children—their importance—and connect them to books, diverse books. I was inspired by Mexico’s April 30th celebration of El día del niño. (Contrary to some information on the Web this is not a Latin American celebration, although other countries celebrate Children’s Day.) I hadn’t planned to become an author/literacy advocate, but that is what evolved. Día has required a great amount of my time and energy. I’m deeply grateful to REFORMA and ALSC for becoming my first organizational partners.

Q: Do you see Día’s mission differently in 2015 than when you started it?

Pat Mora: Definitely! When I first began Día and was quickly joined by REFORMA, we were focused on a national April 30th celebration, El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day. As a writer aware of the importance of literacy in our democracy and as a book lover—working with committed librarians, REFORMA, ALSC—celebrating children and books seemed natural and essential.

Soon I became aware of the importance of deepening what had become known as “Día” into a year-long commitment (day by day, día por día) with culminating celebrations held in April across the country. Also, I strongly believed that Children’s Day, Book Day needed to be relevant in all the languages spoken in this country. My organizational partners agreed. Other organizations and publishers are joining us aware that Día unites communities.

Q: As an author, how would you ideally like for your books to be shared in libraries and library programs?

Pat Mora: I write for all children so like any author, I long to see my books shared with all children and rely on families, librarians and teachers to connect my books with young readers. Of course, since I’m of Mexican background and bilingual, I hope that adults will share those realities when relevant. It’s an immense private pleasure when I read a word in Spanish to a group, and a Spanish-speaking child gives me a special smile. We all like to see ourselves and our lives in books. In addition to sharing Mexican culture, I also enjoy sharing my love of family time, the natural world, and poetry.

Librarians have tremendous power: power to coach families unfamiliar or intimidated by libraries and schools, and to help such families become literacy advocates. This is a major interest of mine, librarians as literacy coaches. Also, librarians order and promote books. You select what children will view as exciting and valuable. Buying diverse books is important but not enough. By sharing and celebrating good diverse books, librarians help prepare our children to participate in our diverse country. As I said to a wonderful group of South Carolina librarians last April, all librarians have old favorites (for story time, etc.). My hope is that our hard-working and under-praised librarians are becoming excited about new favorites.

Q: What guidance or advice would you give to librarians who are hesitant to share books that are not completely in English because they don’t feel confident reading them aloud?

Pat Mora: Fabulous question! Spanish is the second most spoken language across our country; there are many others, of course. If we are committed to exciting all our children about bookjoy, we need to meet them where they are, as the saying goes. This is a basic rule for effectively connecting with any audience. Just as we want our children to have the courage to say and read words in a language that may not be their home language (English), we can model that bravery by saying or reading words in the home languages of our students—Chinese, Korean, etc.

A child colors during a Día program at Skokie Public Library (image courtesy of Joanna Ison)

A child colors during a Día program at Skokie Public Library (image courtesy of Joanna Ison)

Bilingual students and students whose families want their children to become bilingual (many today) can so profit from and enjoy bilingual books. It saddens me that many bilingual books are not being purchased or used because the librarians or teachers aren’t bilingual. Such professionals tell me that they are intimidated by the books. I appreciate the candor and understand the intimidation, but resources (educational resources) are gathering dust. Sigh. Many librarians take Spanish and enjoy their new skill. Others involve bilingual parents in book sharing and language development. For our children, let’s be bold together!

Q: What type of impact do you think the #WeNeedDiverseBooks project will have on Día celebrations, and on children’s literature as a whole?

Pat Mora: The #WeNeedDiverseBooks project is an exciting initiative. Día also started as a grassroots project, and we share many goals. This new project, adept at technology and energized by a young, committed team, is asking important questions and building much-needed awareness.

For years, I’ve written about and spoken about the need to diversify the publishing system from publishers through the award committees. I’ll touch on this briefly when I speak at ALSC’s Day of Diversity at Midwinter.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about celebrating Día?

Pat Mora: The smiling faces of children, families, librarians, other educators and community members delight me. We are celebrating our young (Children’s Day) just as we annually celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Also, we are enjoying bookjoy together. ALSC offers many resources and I have a downloadable booklet of tips to begin your April 2015 planning now, http://www.patmora.com/dia-planning-booklet/

Reminder: 1996-2016, Día’s 20th Anniversary! Together, let’s grow a reading nation!

Amy Koester is Youth & Family Program Coordinator at Skokie Public Library. She is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at akoester@skokielibrary.info.

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9. Intellectual Freedom: Online Learning Opportunities

Looking for an opportunity to brush up on intellectual freedom information? Here is a quick round up of some free webinars that you can enjoy from the comfort of your desk chair:

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10. Keeping Storytime Fresh for You!

My resolution: learning the ukulele. [Photo courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

My resolution: learning the ukulele. [Photo courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

It occurred to me the other day that this spring officially marks five years since I took over storytime.

While I’m feeling very reinvigorated since starting at my library almost a year ago, I know that keeping your storytimes fresh is an integral part of avoiding librarian burnout. Here’s some tips I brainstormed to freshen up your storytimes!

  • Take a break. Try to take some time off or have a co-worker cover you for a few weeks. Breaks are a great way to re-energize yourself and your storytimes.

  • Change your routine. If you’re been using the same six songs and you’re feeling bored, chances are your storytime patrons are feeling it too.

  • Read all of the picture books on the new shelf. Think of the ideas that might spark from new books!

  • Learn a new skill. If you’ve never tried live music or flannelboards, now is the time to give them a whirl. (My personal goal is to learn three ukulele songs this year!)

  • Visit another library’s storytimes. See if you can arrange a swap between a neighboring librarian and yourself to offer constructive criticism.

  • Attend a conference or training session. Being around other librarians can often spark new ideas and thoughts.

  • Introduce a new manipulative. Maybe it’s time to make some shaker eggs or invest in a parachute.

  • Randomize some of your choices. Make a song or rhyme cube. Throw all of the themes you’d like to do one day into a jar and pick them out a few weeks before.

  • Fall down a storytime rabbit hole online. Check out some new blogs. Watch a great Youtube playlist. Scour a Pinterest board.

  • Reach out to other librarians. Host a Guerrilla Storytime for local librarians. Organize a Prop/Flannelboard Petting Zoo.

What are your favorite ways to keep storytime fresh? Let me know in the comments.

– Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library

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11. A New Year Brings New Possibilities for Summer Reading

Ringing in the New Year often means a time of personal reflection, but it can also be a perfect time to create professional goals and to strengthen our work objectives.  While it may be months away, one of my library system’s 2015 goals is to review our current summer reading program and to consider some new ideas for this club. Administrative and youth services staff have collaborated on how to best see these ideas through to fruition. For us, the year 2015 is all about impact. How can we ensure our summer reading program makes the most powerful difference in our community?

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

Focus on the Journey, Not Only the Destination

Our traditional summer reading program has focused on specific reading milestones that children must reach to receive individual prizes. In 2015, we will consider our summer reading program to be more of a journey instead of a destination. Once children have read the number of hours they need to collect all their prizes, we will encourage them to continue reading throughout the remainder of the summer. For their additional efforts, they will receive a certificate and their name will be placed on our summer reading superhero display. What suggestions do you have to ensure your participants continue reading during the entire duration of your program?

Game Sheets Galore                 

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

During our summer reading club in 2014, we transitioned completely to an online program. While our traditional club will stay online in 2015, we have also created printed game challenge sheets. Participants will complete 24 of 25 reading or pre-reading activities to receive a prize. One of the game sheet activities encourages children to register for our online summer reading program.  These game sheets will also allow children to set whatever reading goal they would like as they complete the instructions, “Read for _____ minutes,” as part of their reading challenge. In addition to our online program, these game sheets will encourage our participants to celebrate their reading success this summer.

We are encouraged that these changes to our summer reading program will strengthen its impact in our community.  What changes to your summer reading program will you implement in 2015? What new services or programs are you exploring during this new year? Let’s get the ball rolling on discussing our new goals for our libraries!  Please share your ideas in the comments below!

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12. Newbery Visionaries

September of this year saw the re-introduction of a popular program at my library: Newbery Visionaries!

The Newbery Visionaries logo, designed by Lisa Nowlain, Harold W. McGraw Jr. fellow.

The last, incredibly successful Newbery Visionaries program at our library was in 2010. With the lessons of the Bill Morris Seminar fresh in my mind, I thought 2014 would be a perfect time to reinstate this fun, enlightening book group.

Our mock-Newbery group was a registered program consisting of 12 4th-6th graders. Interest in the program went through the roof when we sent an eblast to our parent list enumerating the ways book discussions (and the critical thinking they encourage) enhanced Common Core skills. We met once a month for four months, and will have our final voting meeting next week. I selected the discussion books myself, mostly through reading Newbery prediction posts and stalking the pages of Heavy Medal. All told, the Visionaries read 16 potential Newbery contenders and logged 10 after-school hours of discussion, debates, and book evaluations. We ate a lot of pizzas, too!

Which book will win our Mock award? For that matter, which book will win the real one?

We began our first meeting by translating the Newbery Medal Terms and Criteria into “plain English.” Participants took turns reading the criteria our loud, and then interpreted what they read for the group. I was surprised at the passion and debate that sprung up around the terms. Our kids were were very into the details: how and why a book was eligible, what was residency, publication dates, “distinguished,” etc. We had a long conversation about popularity vs quality that was especially impassioned. I left the library that evening on a cloud of love for books and the kids who read them.

The Visionaries will vote one week from today on their Newbery winner, which we will announce on our library website. I cannot wait to see what they will choose! Going into our final vote, the three highest rated books are The Night Gardener, Brown Girl Dreaming, and The Family Romanov. 

The entire experience has been a joy to participate in, and I can’t wait to start it again next year. Do you have mock-award groups at your library? How do they work?

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13. Young Children, New Media, and Libraries – A Review

Young Children, New Media, and Libraries: A Guide for Incorporating New Media into Library Collections, Services, and Programs for Families and Children Ages 0-5. 2014

  • Campbell, Cen. Koester, Amy. Chapter One: New Media in Youth Librarianship.
  • Prendergast, Tess. Chapter Two: Children and Technology: What can research tell us?

In the first chapter of this free professional resource on the topic of young children and new media, Little eLit Ladies Campbell and Koester make a case and a call to action for librarians to become media mentors to support families.   Young Children, New Media, and Libraries, the book, is unfolding in monthly releases, a chapter at a time and that can only increase its value. These dynamic thinkers in chapter one describe challenges to be met, such as “[t]he proliferation of digital content for children, and the mainstream interest in media consumption by young children.” They recognize opportunities to seize like inviting families to “break the paradigm of children interacting by themselves with a mobile device” by showing “parents how they can support their children’s engagement through joint use of media”.

In the second chapter, doctoral student and energetic children’s librarian, Prendergast, summarizes several key studies on children and technology. Over twenty studies and resources are profiled offering an easy way to gain background knowledge of important research completed on this topic. Here are a few studies to give you a flavor of the chapter:

  • Lankshear and Knobel (2003) reports on their review of research prior to 2003 focusing on new technologies and early literacy
  • Karen Wohlwend (2010) emphasizes the concept of open-ended, purposeful play using digital media
  • the American Pediatrics Association (APA) statement (2011) concerns itself with new technologies and early literacy
  • the position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center (2012) is a thought-provoking report

Prendergast is spot on as she challenges readers to conduct library-based research to help move the profession forward.

If chapters one and two are any indication of future chapters, Young Children, New Media, and Libraries, in my opinion, will become a classic book on librarianship. This resource should help the profession reduce confusion by broadening our knowledge of the topic. However, it goes further by demonstrating a potential to tap our problem-solving skills by asking thoughtful questions and increase our understanding of and capacity to fulfill the purpose of a library in society.

You can find the chapters at Littleelit.com – and you won’t be disappointed.


Our guest blogger today is Dorothy Stoltz. Dorothy is the Programming & Outreach Services Manager at Carroll County Public Library in New Windsor, MD.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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14. Reach Out and Read Promotes Early Childhood Literacy

Did you know that a well-child visit to the doctor’s office can also help to promote early literacy and school readiness? It can if your well-child appointment is with one of the 5,200 medical providers who participate in the Reach Out and Read Program.

One new Reach Out and Read Program site, the Bethesda Family Practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, reached out to their local Norwood Branch Library, which is a medium-sized branch in the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County system, for assistance in setting up their waiting room Literacy Corner. The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County’s Marketing department donated full-color literacy posters with Book Suggestions for Babies and Toddlers and a growth chart on the side. Also displayed in the Literacy Corner is the current monthly calendar of events and story times available at the Norwood Branch Library. This is just one example of how children’s librarians can reach out to their communities to promote early childhood literacy. Try sending area medical providers an email directing them to the Reach Out and Read website at http://www.reachoutandread.org/.

As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read incorporates early literacy into pediatric practice, by integrating children’s books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud into well-child visits. Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children.

Reach Out and Read serves more than 4 million children and their families annually. Currently, Reach Out and Read partners with more than 5,200 program sites and distributes 6.5 million books per year. The program serves more than one-third of all children living in poverty in this country, and continues to grow each year with the vision that one day the Reach Out and Read model will be a part of every young child’s checkups.

The Reach Out and Read model for literacy promotion has three key elements:

  • Primary care providers (doctors, NPs, PAs and RNs) are trained to deliver early literacy guidance to parents of children 6 months through 5 years of age during each well-child visit. This age-appropriate guidance centers on the importance of: frequent and early exposure to language, looking at board books and naming pictures with infants, rhyme and repetition for gaining phonemic awareness during toddlerhood, and reading interactively (such as using open-ended questions) when reading with preschoolers.
  • During well-child visits for children ages 6 months through 5 years, the provider gives the child a new, developmentally-appropriate book to take home, building a collection of 10 new books in the home before the child goes to kindergarten. The provider also repeatedly prescribes reading aloud, every day.
  • Reach Out and Read program sites also create literacy-rich environments that may include gently-used books for waiting room use or for siblings to take home. In some waiting rooms, Reach Out and Read volunteers model for parents the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud to very young children.

Reach Out and Read is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the Literacy Partner American Academy of Family Physicians and is a Library of Congress David M. Rubenstein Prize 2013 Award Winner. For more information visit http://www.reachoutandread.org/.

Debbie Anderson is a Children’s Librarian at the Norwood Branch Library of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Ohio, and she is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at Deborah.Anderson@cincinnatilibrary.org.

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15. ALSC at the Midwinter Meeting #alamw15

2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting

The 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting will take place January 30-February 3, 2015 (image courtesy of ALA).

The 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting is approaching and ALSC has a ton of great events and activities to tell you about.

In fact, there’s almost too much good stuff to talk about. To fit this discussion into a blog post, we’ve had to condense our list a bit. Here are a few highlights of events taking place in Chicago.

For a full list of ALSC committee meetings, information sessions and get-togethers, please see the ALSC at ALA Midwinter Meeting list. Each of the events listed below are open to all conference attendees.

Leadership & ALSC
Saturday, January 31, 8:30-11:30am
McCormick Place West W179

This event, which is open to all attendees, is an opportunity to learn about new developments in the profession enabling attendees to bring this knowledge back to their libraries. Jenna Nemec-Loise, Member Content Editor for the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website & Electronic Newsletter will present a review of elevator speeches, value-based language, and an introduction to the ALSC advocacy button campaign. Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #leadalsc.

Diversity Matters: Stepping It Up With Action!
Sunday, February 1, 1-2:30pm
McCormick Place West W183b

The Diversity Matters: Stepping It Up With Action! update will give Midwinter attendees an opportunity to learn more about the invitation only Day of Diversity: Dialogue and Action in Children’s Literature and Programming event, its outcomes, and participate in laying the groundwork for a promising future. This session will focus on practical strategies participants have successfully employed for increasing diversity awareness within the publishing and library communities. Along with ALSC, this program is sponsored by the Children’s Book Council’s Diversity Committee.

Young Children, Libraries & New Media Survey
Sunday, February 1, 3-4pm
McCormick Place West W183b

The purpose of this update is to discuss the findings of the Young Children, New Media & Libraries Survey conducted by the Association for Library Service to Children, LittleeLit.com and the University of Washington iSchool. A panel of experts from library, research and education fields will discuss the survey results and the implications of the findings.

ALA Youth Media Awards
Monday, February 2, 8-9am
McCormick Place West W375b/Skyline

Join us for the announcement of the best of the best in children’s and young adult literature and media –the ALA Youth Media Awards! Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and fans can follow results in real-time via #alayma, or live webcast. Visit ILoveLibraries.org for additional information on how to follow the action.

For more events and activities, make sure to check out the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting site including the handy Scheduler tool.

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16. 2014 was a great year for the ALSC Blog!

Thanks to our incredible group of regular ALSC Bloggers, representatives from ALSC committees, and over 100 guest bloggers, 559 posts were shared — an average of 46 posts per month — on the ALSC Blog last year. These posts included:

Programming ideas
Steam & Stem information
Member profiles
• Ideas about displays
Live blogging from ALA Midwinter 2014ALA Annual, PLA, and the ALSC Institute
• Information about children and technology
Storytime ideas
• Working with tweens
• and MORE!

ALSC Blog word cloud - thanks to http://www.tagxedo.com

ALSC Blog word cloud – thanks to http://www.tagxedo.com

The Blog enjoyed continued growth in the past year. In comparing 2014 to 2013,

  • The number of users increased by 10.12% (159,651 vs 144,982)
  • The number of pageviews increased by 13.71% (367,543 vs 323,238)
  • The number of sessions increased by 7.60% (227,042 vs 211,014)

The most popular post in 2014 was one which was originally posted in 2012 and written by ALSC Blogger Amy Koester. With 9,257 pageviews, the most viewed post in 2014 was Three Little Pigs and the Preschool Science.

Booklists are always popular on the ALSC Blog. A guest blogger, Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, wrote the second most popular post last year. Best Multicultural Books of 2014 had 7,912 pageviews. Shared via Twitter from the blog 219 times, this was also the most re-tweeted post.

With 28 comments, the most commented-on post this year was Unconventional Preparations for Storytime by Katie Salo.

All in all, 2014 was a very good year for the ALSC Blog. I trust that 2015 will be even better!

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17. New Resource for creating Play Spaces in Libraries!

Are you thinking of incorporating play spaces into your library, designing a new library space or something in between?  If you are looking for a good place to start, some research to support play and steps to take to make it all happen, you might be having a hard time.

When I first started working to incorporate play in libraries 5 years ago there were little to no resources on how play might look in a library or how to get started. Since then there have been many ground breaking libraries who have presented conference sessions, written blog posts and posted information on webpages. Then the second edition of Every Child Ready to Read, released in 2011 included a great module on Learning Spaces in Libraries. Over the years, information has become easier to find as research on the value of play has become an important message in early literacy.  Best practices, ideas for types of play and practical steps for incorporating play in libraries are harder to find.

Stoltz_Power_of_Play_300“The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces” by Dorothy Stoltz, Maria Conner and James Bradberry is a great resource no matter how big or small your learning space project.  This practical guide provides research in support of play, steps to creating play spaces, planning guides, examples of play spaces and management tips.  The information in this book is applicable to any size library or play space project and highlights how these spaces are supported by research and early literacy goals. It is to read from cover to cover or to use as a step by step guide. I wish I had something like this when I was getting started!

I love this empowering excerpt from the book that highlights the true power of play.

“Play is a first step in life by which a child can mature into a thinking person….Although play is important, it is not an end in itself, or a time for avoiding chores or ignoring others. Play is “a jumping-off place” that can set in motion the possibility of learning. Socrates set the tone for this kind of play in his debate on the virtues of citizenship in The Republic. He asks Adeimantus to reflect on how the serious play of philosophical leaders who encourage original thought compares to the common play among certain tyrannical political leaders who are interested in manipulating and controlling the crowd. Socrates guides his student to think about how a city or society pursuing noble virtues compares to the individual doing the same—that unless play from earliest childhood is noble a man will never become good.  Plato likewise engages in noble play through his dialogues with his fellow readers to pursue the knowledge of the “Good.” He distinguishes between good play—that which leads to the good—and bad play—that which diverts the learner from this goal.”

You can purchase “The Power of Play: Designing Early Learning Spaces” from the ALA Store at http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=11157



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18. Want to help out the ALSC Blog? We need you to live blog from Midwinter!

midwinterIn just over 3 weeks, many librarians will be heading to Chicago for ALA’s Midwinter meeting. The Youth Media Awards will be announced and there’s a full slate of other ALSC events and activities. If YOU are heading to the windy (and COLD!) city, we’d love to have you live blog for the ALSC Blog about what you are experiencing and learning so everyone can have a feel for what the conference is like.

Want to see what live blogging looks like?  Click here to see some live blogging posts from past conferences.

Sound interesting?  Just contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog Manager, at alscblog@gmail.com for all the information you need to live blog from the conference.

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19. ALSC announces Building STEAM with Día booklists

Download all three 2015 Building STEAM with Día book lists

Download all three 2015 Building STEAM with Día book lists (image courtesy of ALSC)

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has released new Building STEAM with Día book lists for children from birth to 8th grade. Intended to accompany El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) programming, the four book lists are comprised of multicultural titles that showcase STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) topics.

The four Building STEAM with Día book lists are available for children from birth to Pre-K, kindergarten to 2nd grade, 3rd to 5th grade and 6th to 8th grade. PDFs of the reading lists are available online in full color and are free to download, copy and distribute. Book lists are available to download through the ALSC or Día website.

The lists also feature simple and age appropriate STEAM activities to accompany one of the titles on the list. Each is designed to help librarians and parents bring the book to life through easy hands-on STEAM activities.

Titles and activities in the Building STEAM with Día book lists were selected and developed by members of ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee. These free book lists were made possible through the Everyone Reads @ your library grand funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

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20. What are your Reading Resolutions?

Now’s the time when many of us are thinking about the year past and the year ahead and making some goals for 2015. Your resolutions might include going to the gym, cleaning out your closets, or volunteering somewhere. But today, I want to know about your reading resolutions!

Girl reading by a stack of books

ALSC Stock Photo

Yes, today’s a great day to think about what goals you might set for yourself for reading in the new year. Making your goals measurable (i.e. “I will read two nonfiction books a month” instead of “I will read more nonfiction this year”) can help you finish your goals and be sure whether you completed them at the end of the year. Don’t feel like you have to set 50 resolutions – start small with something that’s important to you.

Need some ideas? Your resolutions might include:

  • Reading more diverse books. Check out the resources on the We Need Diverse Books website for ideas.
  • Reading more of a certain genre. Where do you feel weak? Which reader’s advisory questions do you dread?
  • Reading more for a certain age group. Are you up on tween books, but unfamiliar with early chapter books?
  • Reading all of the ALA Youth Media Award-winners or your state book award nominees.
  • Getting out of your children’s literature comfort zone and reading some adult books.
  • Adding audiobooks to your reading routine (they’re great company on a walk or while cleaning your kitchen!).
  • Reading more professional development books.

Myself, I am finishing up my Newbery year in February, so I am resolving to be easy on myself about setting reading goals in 2015. ;) But I would love to hear about YOUR goals!

What are your reading resolutions this year?

— Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN

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21. Thinking about a New Year’s Storytime

What would you do with storytime on New Year’s Eve day?

On the morning of December 31, my library had our regularly scheduled storytimes for groups and families.   Even though we have an extensive collection, I just wasn’t inspired by any of the New Year’s books that I found.





                                                 A book with lots of celebrating and excitement?

                                                                  That’s EVERY storytime book!!!

Standing in the stacks, blinking at the books, I reflected on what I hoped my 2015 might look like and what resolutions I was setting.  And, what is a New Year without friendship?  Developmentally, preschoolers are beginning to gain the ability to see things from someone else’s point of view.  They are just developing their “friending skills” and the behaviors that make them a good friend.  Preschoolers also tend to enjoy reading books about friends and developing friendships.

your pal

Have you ever searched for picture books about friendship?  There are so many great titles from which to choose.  “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” by Mo Willems!  “Mr. Pusskins” by Sam Lloyd!!  “Fluffy and Baron” by Laura Rankin!!!

This is notHow can you tell a true friend from a not-so-stellar one?  There are also plenty of books about the kind of friends I might try to avoid.  “This is Not My Hat” by Jon Klassen :/  “Bossy Bear” by David G. Horvath :/ ” Meet the Wild Boars” by Meg Rosoff :/

At storytime, I told the children that I wanted more friends this year and that I needed their help to learn how to be a good friend.  Their suggestions were pretty good:

  • Share
  • Hug and Kiss
  • Say nice things
  • Hold their hand
  • Let them use your toys
  • Ask them to play
  • Eat with them, especially chicken nuggets

After that storytime, I’m feeling pretty set for 2015 to be the best year yet!!


Our guest blogger today is Marra Honeywell. Marra is the Assistant Manager of the Children’s Services department of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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22. Code for Parents

Latinos in STEM

Photo by Sylvia Aguinaga

Why code

I’m Mexican-American and grew up with very traditional, hard-working parents who constantly reminded me of the importance of creating a stable future for my family and myself. As an ALSC Special Populations Committee member, my job is to make sure programming remains inclusive—reaching all children and informing all parents, including the Spanish-speaking.

In order for Spanish-speaking parents to support and encourage their child to learn to code, they must first understand the importance of code in today’s world. That is why it is critical to provide approachable Spanish-language resources and craft a clear message.

In the advertising world, they say a good ad communicates one benefit of the product. As copywriter Luke Sullivan puts it, Jeep = rugged, Porsche = fast, “and Volvos, they’re…what? If you said ‘safe,’ you’ve given the same answer I’ve received from literally every other person I’ve ever asked. Ever.”

What can we say about code?

It’s an intimidating question: code is so many things; in our daily lives, code is seemingly behind everything. That’s why it’s so important to teach kids – and it’s also why it’s so difficult to explain to their parents.

There’s one benefit of learning code that can stand out to our audience, parents who care deeply about their children’s future.

Code is money.

More than 1.7 million programmer-specific job opportunities will be available in 2022, with average salaries over $83,000. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) jobs are the fastest growing in the U.S. with 71% of these jobs involving computers.

Promising children an opportunity to learn code could be the most effective way to promise them a future. Once we communicate this clearly to parents, they will be interested. They’ve always wanted a future for their children.

As children’s librarians, this has been our goal all along too. Literacy = opportunity.

What you can do

If you slam a kid in a chair and make them stare at a wall of code – a black screen filled with ///{“symbols”;} and cryptic jargon – they’ll likely react like any of us: “what?”

Fortunately, there are tons of great resources for bringing digital literacy to children.

My favorite is Scratch. Scratch is a free programming language for kids (ages 8 and up) that lets you create games, music, and animations. It is visual-based. Kids drag and drop different elements, and link them together like Legos.

Essentially, introductory languages like Scratch get children thinking in a code mindset. Not only working logically, but playfully – learning to tinker, examine, explore.

The past few months I’ve partnered with Joanna Fabicon, a Children’s Librarian at Los Angeles Public Library, to help develop Coder Time (see resources linked below!). Coder Time is a weekly coding club launching this month at the Central Library and in after-school programs at elementary schools across L.A. Our goal is to inspire kids to do meaningful things with computers.

Each “chapter” of the Coder Time curriculum is paired with books that will encourage kids to explore their library and discover content that will in turn inspire them to make something they will love.

Another big goal of Coder Time is to empower librarians to facilitate their own coding workshops by using librarian-gathered and curated content. Coder Time materials are licensed under a Creative Commons license that lets you tweak and adapt content to your own community.

To truly bring digital literacy to children, we need library-created content and programs. Often, librarians outsource coding workshops to experts. Though well-intentioned and certainly helpful, these workshops don’t do enough to serve our public. Like reading, coding is a practice, a way of being in the world. Coding programs need to be a regular, fully integrated part of the library – not something tacked on just to cover the bases.

For this to happen, librarians need to be comfortable with and familiar with code. But as programs like Scratch show, this is no obstacle. You don’t have to be an expert. You just have to—as you ask of your young patrons—be willing to learn.

Beyond $

Like reading, the benefits of coding are deeper than money. Coding gives children a creative way of looking at the world. It empowers them to make, rather than passively consume. It encourages them to work together.

With a clear message, our voice can be heard by parents. In turn, all children can make their voices heard with technology.


Code for Parents (Spanish)

Code for Parents (English)

Coder Time Zine (English)

Sylvia Aguiñaga, LSSPCC Committee Member

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23. Rewarding Awards

It is that time of year again. The upcoming Youth Media Awards, announced at this year’s Midwinter conference in Chicago, always generate a lot of excitement. Many of us in the world of children’s books have been reading all year, along with our award committees. There is speculation, discussion, anticipation. We take pride in our Association’s role in seeing the best in children’s literature take its place in the cannon alongside the classics of our own childhoods. The Youth Media Award announcements are the highlight of the conference for many.

While our role in media evaluation is critical to our mission and purpose, the recent terrific buzz generated from the NPR story on EVERY CHILD READY TO READ was welcome and important. Libraries play a critical role in early education and in improving the literacy skills of young children. While this is widely known in library circles and is gaining visibility in educational fields, the public continues to leave the library out of the business of early literacy.

Our colleagues in Carroll County, Maryland have been doing this great work in early literacy for years and many of us around the country are using the five literacy practices outlined in ECRR2 in our daily work. In collaboration with our PLA colleagues, we have created an easily incorporated set of important, useful practices that will provide the basis for early literacy in a variety of environments that fit all our communities we serve.

The amazing EVERYDAY ADOVACY website continues to help us all in putting our value front and center to our communities. Wonderful press like the NPR piece on ECRR2 brings our contributions the lives of our families to a national level. Our communities understand our value when we are able to articulate it succinctly and sincerely. Make sure all our families know that our work extends past the august awards we bestow and leave as legacy to children’s literature. Equally important is our role in the lives of our youngest customers and ensuring that there are readers who will grow up to discover the wondrous treasures waiting for them.

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24. 2015 ALSC Mentoring Program Interview

January is National Mentoring Month! Today, we’re once again excited to welcome two participants in the ALSC Mentoring Program to the blog. Erin Rogers and Robin Sofge interviewed each other as part of the program and agreed to share their interivew on the blog. Thanks Erin and Robin!

ALSC Mentoring Program participant Erin Rogers (photo courtesy of Erin Rogers)

ALSC Mentoring Program participant Erin Rogers (photo courtesy of Erin Rogers)

1. What have you been doing and how long have you been doing it?

Erin: I am the children’s librarian at the Gayton Branch of the Henrico County Public Library and have been for the last seven years. I have a passion for play, technology, and alternative picture book organization!

Robin: In December I was thrilled to be hired as a full-time Youth Services Librarian I at the Bull Run Regional Library in Manassas, Virginia. For over two years previously, I was a part-time Youth Services Librarian I at Beatley Central Library in Alexandria, Virginia. Some of my claim to fame at Beatley was starting a Lego Family Night program and a cupcake walk for the Fall Festival.

ALSC Mentoring Program participant Robin Sofge (photo courtesy of Robin Sofge)

ALSC Mentoring Program participant Robin Sofge (photo courtesy of Robin Sofge)

2. Why did you want to participate in the mentorship program?

Erin: I really wanted to participate because I have been so lucky to have great mentors over the years. Thanks Pat F., Shirley, and Tom! I also LOVE the enthusiasm of new librarians.

Robin: I love learning new things whether from an online class, webinar or another colleague. The virtual meetings and no cost to participate are major benefits in my book too.

3. Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other divisions or roundtables?

Erin: I originally joined ALSC as a student to connect with my profession and recently rejoined for the same reason.

Robin: Ditto. I also have a mentor through the New Member Round Table Career Mentoring Program.

4. What do you think youth service librarians will be doing ten years from now?

Erin: I think youth service librarians will always have some form of storytimes, I would be really surprised if that went away. I think the transition to community center will continue to grow and we will see more playgroups and the like. Our job will be to make sure the library is a destination by providing play experiences, new technology with training, and most importantly a fun welcoming environment where all feel comfortable. I think our collections will get smaller to allow more space but I don’t believe the physical book is in any danger of extinction.

Robin: I believe youth service librarians will be even more valuable in ten years, especially those who can do creative programs on a shoestring budget. I believe librarianship is being transformed right now.

5. Would you rather offer a storytime to a large group of preschoolers or read one-on-one with a child?

Erin: Both can be amazing but if I had to choose I would go with a large group. I love the bustle and seeing the children interact with each other.

Robin: Go large group! I love the action of a big crowd. Some librarians disagree about the quality of programs with big groups. But as long as you’re following fire codes, the kids and adults are enjoying it and you are too, I say go for it.

6. What is one “rule” you wished every librarian followed?

Erin: I wish all librarians weeded. The things it can do for circulation and your patrons is amazing! Check out the CREW guidelines.

Robin: I wish every librarian was passionate about what they did. We can make a difference in our community and the world.

7. What do you like to do in your spare time?

Erin: Reading, especially science fiction and fantasy. Cuddling kitties, my dog who thinks he is a cat, and my partner Sean. I also perform with a belly dance troupe in Richmond and teach beginners classes.

Robin: I don’t have a lot of spare time these days. But one thing I’m super committed to is my book group that started a long time ago with Wally Lamb’s “She’s Come Undone.” One of the best parts has been the road trips that have run the gamut from a storytelling festival to the beach.

8. What have you gotten out of mentorship?

Erin: It has been fun to match up the skills I have with those that Robin wants to learn. Robin has so much enthusiasm for the profession and this program she has been a joy to work with.

Robin: Erin has been a fantastic mentor! The ALSC Mentorship has been a useful career development tool. Erin and I set three specific measurable goals. She was also very supportive when I had a job interview. We did a mock interview in advance. Erin encouraged me to be myself and let my strengths shine. Success, I landed the job! I love my new job!

9. Why did you become a librarian?

Erin: When I decided I didn’t want to teach any more, my first profession, I started scouring want ads to try to figure out what was next for me. One day I ran across an ad for a children’s librarian position and I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do. I moved to South Carolina and went back to school and here I am!

Robin: As a young child, we didn’t have a lot of money and my mom took us to the library all the time. Our neighborhood librarian loved kids. She would open the back door to the library and we would all pile in after school to watch a movie. My first career started as a newspaper reporter. But after my son was born at a mere 3 pounds 15 ounces, I stayed home and we celebrated life at the library. I eventually started as a part-time library aide. I was later hired to work in a new library. Fairfax County Public Library Managers Linda Schlekau and Cindy Hall believed in me and encouraged me to get my MLIS. That motivated me to go for it.

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25. Come to Chicago, read about the world with USBBY!

Friday night at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) will reveal its annual Outstanding International Books list and then present novelist Sabaa Tahir, whose debut, An Ember in the Ashes, will be published by Penguin this spring.

The Outstanding International Books (OIB) list was begun by USBBY in 2006. The OIB list is intended to introduce American children to exceptional artists and writers from other countries. All of the titles originated or were first published in a country other than the United States and were subsequently published or distributed in the U.S. The goal of the OIB list is to create more awareness of, and demand for, books from other countries, so that U.S. publishers will be encouraged to offer more books from diverse countries to young readers in America.

Ember in the AshesIn addition to the Outstanding International Book List announcement, author Sabaa Tahir will offer a sneak preview of her book An Ember in the Ashes, which will be published in 24 countries. Advance copies feature glowing blurbs from standout authors including Marie Lu, Melissa de la Cruz, Holly and Goldberg Sloan, and well ahead of the book’s April 28, 2015, release date, there’s already a Paramount Film adaptation in the works.

SabaaThough An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy, Tahir incorporated cross-cultural research into the Spartans, Romans, Julio-Claudians, and Bedouins informing her world-building, as well as her interviews with soldiers and law enforcement officers who attested to the psychological battles which challenge those preparing for martial conflict.  

The USBBY event will be held from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Chicago in Williford A, and all Midwinter attendees are welcome.

Thanks to Penguin for bringing Sabaa Tahir to Midwinter and their support of USBBY.


Wendy Stephens is a member of the United States Board on Books for Young People Board of Directors.

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