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This blog is about teaching, my life’s work; literature, especially that created for children; history, especially as it is taught to and learned by children; Africa, especially Sierra Leone where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer; and other sundry topics as they come to my attention.
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1. NCTE

I had a terrific time at NCTE. It was the third of four trips for me this November. First was DC for the Children’s Africana Book Awards followed by FILIJ in Mexico. The final one starts tonight when I head to Rome, Italy for Thanksgiving. (Unlike the others, this is for pure personal pleasure.) But back to NCTE. I arrived Friday evening in time to take a quick jaunt around the exhibits before heading off to a dinner. The National Harbor Gaylord Resort had the requisite light show, but it didn’t seem quite as over-the-top as those at the Opryland Hotel where I spent several unforgettable NCTEs (unforgettable not in a good way, mind you). Well..except for its nightclub, the Pose Ultra Lounge and Nightclub where I felt I’d wandered into something from the 60s, maybe a James Bond movie? There were a few people at the glittery bar, a few more moving about singularly alone on the dance floor, and some absolutely blasting music. I’m afraid I didn’t last long.

I was up bright on Saturday starting for the ALAN breakfast where I was thrilled with Andrew Smith‘s speech. This was followed by a signing of Africa is My Home at the Candlewick booth. I always assume no one will come so it was wonderful when quite a few did show up. I then wandered the exhibits some more meeting many friends as I did so. Lunch was with a Dalton colleague and then the afternoon involved more networking until my session with Susannah Richards and Peter Sis. A small, but enthusiastic audience made it a very agreeable experience. After another lovely dinner with various publisher and book creator friends, I was abed at a reasonable hour and home by midday Sunday. A pleasant, if brief NCTE for me this time around.

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Signing my book for last year’s Caldecott winner, Brian Floca.

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With my fellow presenters Peter Sis and Susannah Richards.

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Looking at art for Laurel Snyder’s forthcoming book with John Schumacher.


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2. Give Your Teddy Bear a Treat

I’ve been following the activities of Oxford’s Story Museum ever since Philip Pullman took me to see it a few years ago. Now I see that like many other museums they periodically offer weekend sleepovers, but theirs are unique in being for toys not people. Their latest teddy bear sleepover will be the weekend of December 6th. If you are in the vicinity (and I’m sadly not) and have an eager teddy bear (along with its human companion who will have to drop off and pick up, of course)  the details are here.

Here’s what happened during their last teddy bear sleep-over:


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3. NCTE

I’m off to NCTE later today and will be presenting tomorrow with Peter Sis and Susannah Richards on “CROSSING THE LINE: STORYTELLING THAT INTEGRATES FACTS AND ARTIFACTS”  at 4:15 at the Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor 13.  There will be pictures, information, chatter, and fun — I’m sure. Still not so sure? Here’s the official annotation:

Grappling with texts is a healthy and productive way to satisfy many of the Common Core standards for reading and writing. Authors find stories in history and use their storytelling to develop context for history. In this engaging and conversational session, Peter Sis, Susannah Richards, and Monica Edinger will share different approaches to telling historical stories visually and textually.

Even if you don’t make the session (and, don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to), I hope to run into many of you over the next couple of days.


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4. For Alice Obsessives

(Thanks to Michael Patrick Hearn)


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5. Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone

I want to live in a country that understands Ebola. I want to live in a world that cares about those dying from this terrible disease in West Africa. Nobody should’ve had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, “We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now.”

Me too. From Kaci Hickox’s “Stop calling me ‘the Ebola nurse‘”.


2 Comments on Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone, last added: 11/19/2014
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6. Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone

I want to live in a country that understands Ebola. I want to live in a world that cares about those dying from this terrible disease in West Africa. Nobody should’ve had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, “We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now.”

Me too. From Kaci Hickox’s “Stop calling me ‘the Ebola nurse‘”.


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7. FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival

logo_filij

I am just back from participating in  FILIJ, Mexico’s International Fair of Children and Youth Book and I am just floored by the experience. Run by Conaculta, Mexico’s governmental agency for the arts, it is BEA, ALA, NCTE, and the National Book Festival all in one glorious ten day event with over 300,000 people attending.  You can get a taste in this photo gallery. They (this is translated by google so is probably not too great) wish:

to encourage the habit of reading among children and young people of Mexico; and bring together publishers, booksellers, distributors, librarians, teachers and specialists, in order to raise the quality and quantity of publications circulating in the Mexican market. Also aims to compare experiences, promote exchange with other countries and bring the public to national and international issues.

expositores

The festival was a vibrant place of tents full of books to see and buy, entertainments such as rock concerts and puppet shows, and tons of children and people eagerly enjoying books and stories. Among the events for professionals are a National Meeting for Booksellers (and, yes, the photo is of Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Neal Porter who participated last year), a National Conference of Librarians, an International Seminar (for 600 participants:) on the Promotion of Reading, and 5 hour Master Classes on Writing and Illustration.  There were also school visits, all sorts of performances (just wandering around I saw a puppet show and a rock concert), and a huge area of workshops for children. You can get a taste of the magnitude of the festival by looking at this brochure that includes a map of the festival as well as a listing of all the publishers and a schedule of events.

Even before I got to the festival grounds I had an inkling that this was a big event for all, seeing this poster for it in the city center:

IMG_2077

And once at the fair grounds I just enjoyed the energy. I was there only on weekdays, but am told you can barely move on the weekends.

IMG_2127 (There were so many tents full of books! This may look empty, but it is not. Just liked the Peppa painting on this particular tent.)

IMG_2126(This was a rock concert.)

IMG_2125

(This was a lovely cafe, but I’m afraid the warm orange of the walls came out rather dark in this photo of mine. In the back you can see one of the delightful posters that were all around the place. I believe there was a contest to get the commission to do these posters.)

Outside the festival,  I did a presentation on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to an attentive group of fourth graders at the Colegio Heraldos de México. They had prepared for my visit by watching both the Disney and Tim Burton’s movies, prepared questions, and created drawings and other decorations for my visit. The children’s English was fabulous — they seemed to follow my presentation with easy and asked thoughtful and carefully constructed questions. At the end I was surprised when they all wanted me to sign copies of Alice in Wonderland, personal autograph books, and paper.  So I did so as Lewis Carroll’s proxy! And then they gave me gifts — mostly chocolate, but also a book, and an amazing folk art clay statue of the Virgin Mary. They had never had an author visit before so it was a very big deal. For me too! My thanks especially to the Mexican Macmillan folk (among them Renato Aranda and Mariana Mendia – a fellow Alice fan ) who took care of everything beautifully.

B2QKxVIIUAAg6k5

B2QkizgCMAAMQOE

Afterwards we went to the Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul where I’d first been years ago) and then to a fabulous lunch on the Coyoacan Zocalo. I was moved by the candles for the 43 slain students, one of the many observations and demonstrations I saw while in Mexico City.

candles

We were also in Coyoacan one of the nights for a lovely dinner with local authors and publishing folk. While walking about we stopped at the Centro Cultural Eleno Garro, a fabulous bookstore in an historic building with trees inside and flying lit books in the children’s section.

IMG_2107

IMG_2110

My talk for the symposium, also on Alice, went very well. The 600 listeners were generous, attentive, and had some excellent questions. I had observed one of my fellow presenters, illustrator Serge Bloch, a few days before so was prepared for the experience of simultaneous translation, especially when the audience reacted a few beats late to anything amusing. This is a shot from the auditorium during Serge’s presentation which will give a taste of what mine looked like.

IMG_2098

 Over the week I was there I met so many interesting people (a complete list of speakers is here) and especially enjoyed chatting with Bart Moeyaert, Serge Bloch, and Gonzola Frasca. And then there were my follow-English speakers, the Australian writer John Marsden with his wife Chris, and the UK Chicken House publisher (and Harry Potter editor)  Barry Cunningham.  We spent our final day together visiting Teotihuacan and then enjoying a lovely leisurely lunch that included ant eggs and crickets. Quite tasty, I should say though I admit found it hard to put aside my cultural squeamishness.

My great thanks to Conculta for inviting me. Most of all my great, great thanks to Karen Coeman who put the whole thing together — she even showed up at 6 AM yesterday at our hotel to be sure we all made it off to the airport without difficulty. Her team included the fabulous Diego Sanchez Moreno and Orly Rosales as well as a committed and helpful group of volunteers who took care of everything for us.

 


1 Comments on FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival, last added: 11/17/2014
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8. FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival

logo_filij

I am just back from participating in  FILIJ, Mexico’s International Fair of Children and Youth Books and I am just floored by the experience. Run by Conaculta, Mexico’s governmental agency for the arts, it is BEA, ALA, NCTE, and the National Book Festival all in one glorious ten day event with over 300,000 people attending.  You can get a taste in this photo gallery. They (this is translated by google so is probably not too great) wish:

to encourage the habit of reading among children and young people of Mexico; and bring together publishers, booksellers, distributors, librarians, teachers and specialists, in order to raise the quality and quantity of publications circulating in the Mexican market. Also aims to compare experiences, promote exchange with other countries and bring the public to national and international issues.

expositores

The festival was a vibrant place of tents full of books to see and buy, entertainments such as rock concerts and puppet shows, and tons of children and people eagerly enjoying books and stories. Among the events for professionals are a National Meeting for Booksellers (and, yes, the photo is of Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Neal Porter who participated last year), a National Conference of Librarians, an International Seminar (for 600 participants:) on the Promotion of Reading, and 5 hour Master Classes on Writing and Illustration.  There were also school visits, all sorts of performances (just wandering around I saw a puppet show and a rock concert), and a huge area of workshops for children. You can get a taste of the magnitude of the festival by looking at this brochure that includes a map of the festival as well as a listing of all the publishers and a schedule of events.

Even before I got to the festival grounds I had an inkling that this was a big event for all, seeing this poster for it in the city center:

IMG_2077

And once at the fair grounds I just enjoyed the energy. I was there only on weekdays, but am told you can barely move on the weekends.

IMG_2127 (There were so many tents full of books! This may look empty, but it is not. Just liked the Peppa painting on this particular tent.)

IMG_2126(This was a rock concert.)

IMG_2125

(This was a lovely cafe, but I’m afraid the warm orange of the walls came out rather dark in this photo of mine. In the back you can see one of the delightful posters that were all around the place. I believe there was a contest to get the commission to do these posters.)

Outside the festival,  I did a presentation on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to an attentive group of fourth graders at the Colegio Heraldos de México. They had prepared for my visit by watching both the Disney and Tim Burton’s movies, prepared questions, and created drawings and other decorations for my visit. The children’s English was fabulous — they seemed to follow my presentation with ease and asked thoughtful and carefully constructed questions. At the end I was surprised when they all wanted me to sign copies of Alice in Wonderland, personal autograph books, and paper.  So I did so as Lewis Carroll’s proxy! And then they gave me gifts — mostly chocolate, but also a book, and an amazing folk art clay statue of the Virgin Mary. They had never had an author visit before so it was a very big deal. For me too! My thanks especially to the Mexican Macmillan folk (among them Renato Aranda and Mariana Mendia – - a fellow Alice fan ) who took care of everything beautifully.

B2QKxVIIUAAg6k5

B2QkizgCMAAMQOE

Afterwards we went to the Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul where I’d first been years ago) and then to a fabulous lunch on the Coyoacan Zocalo followed by ice cream. I was moved by the candles for the 43 slain students, one of the many observations and demonstrations I saw while in Mexico City.

candles

We were also in Coyoacan one of the nights for a lovely dinner with local authors and publishing folk. While walking about we stopped at the Centro Cultural Eleno Garro, a fabulous bookstore in an historic building with trees inside and flying lit books in the children’s section.

IMG_2107

IMG_2110

My talk for the symposium, also on Alice, went very well. The 600 listeners were generous, attentive, and had some excellent questions. I had observed one of my fellow presenters, illustrator Serge Bloch, a few days before so was prepared for the experience of simultaneous translation, especially when the audience reacted a few beats late to anything amusing. This is a shot from the auditorium during Serge’s presentation which will give a taste of what mine looked like.

IMG_2098

 Over the week I was there I met so many interesting people (a complete list of speakers is here) and especially enjoyed chatting with Bart Moeyaert, Serge Bloch, and Gonzola Frasca. And then there were my fellow-native-English speakers, the Australian writer John Marsden with his wife Chris, and the UK Chicken House publisher (and Harry Potter editor)  Barry Cunningham.  We spent our final day together visiting Teotihuacan and followed by a lovely leisurely lunch that included ant eggs and crickets (at a restaurant with a lawn on one wall). Quite tasty, I should say though I admit found it hard to put aside my cultural squeamishness.

My great thanks to Conculta and Karen Coeman for inviting me (and to Betsy Bird for suggesting that I could do a good Lewis Carroll tribute). Karen Coeman is the person who put the whole thing together and did so splendidly with such poise no matter what. I last saw her when she showed up at 6 AM yesterday at our hotel to be sure we all made it off at various times to the airport without difficulty. She is a class act that Karen! Thanks to her team including the fabulous Diego Sanchez Moreno and Orly Rosales as well as that committed and helpful group of volunteers who took care of everything for us.

 


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9. A Bit More about the BBC Forthcoming Adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

How would you sum up the show for viewers who are unfamiliar with the novel?

“It’s like a Jane Austen period drama but with magic and amazing special effects. It’s set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, in a version of England where magic once existed, long ago, but has since died out.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is the story of how magic returns to England, and the two magicians that bring it back. And what goes wrong.”

From this interview with the writer of the forthcoming BBC adaptation.


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10. A Bit More about the BBC Forthcoming Adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

How would you sum up the show for viewers who are unfamiliar with the novel?

“It’s like a Jane Austen period drama but with magic and amazing special effects. It’s set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, in a version of England where magic once existed, long ago, but has since died out.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is the story of how magic returns to England, and the two magicians that bring it back. And what goes wrong.”

From this interview with the writer of the forthcoming BBC adaptation.


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11. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations

I was so honored by the celebrations around this year’s Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA). These began with a Meet and Greet dinner at the venerable Bus Boys and Poets (a place I’d always wanted to see) where I met so many wonderful people, among them Ifeoma Onyefulu, a former winner of the award whose books I’ve long admired.

IMG_2065

The following day I spoke to a couple of 4th grade classes at the fabulous Capital City Public Charter School under the auspices of An Open Book Foundation. Here’s the description of what they do on their website:

Founded by Dara La Porte and Heidi Powell, An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation was created to promote literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, D.C. area by giving schools and students book and access to authors and illustrators. We excite children and teachers about reading and send every child home with a signed book.

It was a really wonderful experience. The children were eager, interested, and had wonderful questions. I was most moved by two children from El Salvador. I sign my books “Never forget your home” and one of these two children spoke with tremendous excitement of returning soon to her home of El Salvador while the other came around to tell me privately that he would not be returning to his home of El Salvador because “bad things had happened there.” I told him that his home should be wherever he felt safe and happy. It was an important reminder to me — someone who has, for different reasons, no childhood place to call home —  that home is not necessarily where you originated.

Here are the books beautifully displayed before they were given out to the children.

IMG_2067

Saturday morning I wandered the Mall for a bit, having not done so in many years. I wanted most of all to see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

IMG_2069

And then there was the actual Children’s Africana Book Award Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. After being welcomed by the Curator of Education, Deborah Stokes, we were entertained by the marvelous dance and singing troupe, the Taratibu Youth Association. Harriet McGuire spoke about the Africa Book Project, a terrific initiative to get the award winning CABA books into the hands of African children. The amazing Brenda Randolph, president of Africa Access (which gives the award and who organized everything) spoke and board member Linda White gave the Read Africa Partner Awards.

Then we were given our awards. This was incredibly moving. Each book was beautifully introduced along with the creators who were there for the ceremony. (Not all of us were able to make it for one reason or another.) You can read more about all the winning books here. We were each given a beautiful certificate and then there was a lovely ceremony when we were draped with a kente-like cloth that had been woven by  the Ghanaian master weaver, Chapuchi Ahiagble.

IMG_2076

Here I am afterwards with fellow winners Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah, Anna Cottrell (translator and reteller of Once Upon a Time in Ghana: Traditional Stories Retold in English illustrated by Kwabena Poku ),  and A. G. Ford (illustrator of Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams). Mubina Hassanali Kirmani (author of Bundle of Secrets, Savita Returns Home, illustrated by Tony Siema) was also there. There were many documenting all the events with photos, video, and interviews and when they are done and posted I will provide links.

IMG_2074

My great thanks to all who made this such a special experience for me, especially the members of the CABA Awards Committee: Dr. Meena Khorana, Dr. Patricia Kuntz, Dr. Lesego Malepe, Dr. John Metlzer, Ms. Brenda Randolph, Dr. Anne Waliaula, and Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw.


1 Comments on Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations, last added: 11/10/2014
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12. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations

I was so honored by the celebrations around this year’s Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA). These began with a Meet and Greet dinner at the venerable Bus Boys and Poets (a place I’d always wanted to see) where I met so many wonderful people, among them Ifeoma Onyefulu, a former winner of the award whose books I’ve long admired.

IMG_2065

The following day I spoke to 4th graders at the fabulous Capital City Public Charter School under the auspices of An Open Book Foundation. Here’s the description of what they do on their website:

Founded by Dara La Porte and Heidi Powell, An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation was created to promote literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, D.C. area by giving schools and students book and access to authors and illustrators. We excite children and teachers about reading and send every child home with a signed book.

It was a really wonderful experience. The children were eager, interested, and had wonderful questions. I was most moved by two children from El Salvador. I sign my books “Never forget your home” and one of these two children spoke with tremendous excitement of returning soon to her home of El Salvador while the other came around to tell me privately that he would not be returning to his home of El Salvador because “bad things had happened there.” I told him that his home should be wherever he felt safe and happy. It was an important reminder to me — someone who has, for different reasons, no childhood place to call home —  that home is not necessarily where you originated.

Here are some of the books beautifully displayed before they were given out to the children.

IMG_2067

Saturday morning I wandered the Mall for a bit, having not done so in many years. I wanted most of all to see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

IMG_2069

And then there was the actual Children’s Africana Book Award Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. After being welcomed by the Curator of Education, Deborah Stokes, we were entertained by the marvelous dance and singing troupe, the Taratibu Youth Association. Harriet McGuire spoke about the Africa Book Project, a terrific initiative to get the award winning CABA books into the hands of African children. The amazing Brenda Randolph, president of Africa Access (which gives the award and who organized everything) spoke and board member Linda White gave the Read Africa Partner Awards.

Then we were given our awards. This was incredibly moving. Each book was beautifully introduced along with the creators who were there for the ceremony. (Not all of us were able to make it for one reason or another.) You can read more about all the winning books here. We were each given a beautiful certificate and then there was a lovely ceremony when we were draped with a kente-like cloth that had been woven by  the Ghanaian master weaver, Chapuchi Ahiagble.

IMG_2076

Here I am afterwards with fellow winners Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah, Anna Cottrell (translator and reteller of Once Upon a Time in Ghana: Traditional Stories Retold in English illustrated by Kwabena Poku ),  and A. G. Ford (illustrator of Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams). Mubina Hassanali Kirmani (author of Bundle of Secrets, Savita Returns Home, illustrated by Tony Siema) was also there. There were many documenting all the events with photos, video, and interviews and when they are done and posted I will provide links.

IMG_2074

20141108_125939 (3)

(I just found this photo by Monica Utsey who was honored along with her lovely younger son)

My great thanks to all who made this such a special experience for me, especially the members of the CABA Awards Committee: Dr. Meena Khorana, Dr. Patricia Kuntz, Dr. Lesego Malepe, Dr. John Metlzer, Ms. Brenda Randolph, Dr. Anne Waliaula, and Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw.


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13. His Dark Materials, the Television Series (Wishful thinking?)

The excellent news that Netflix is adapting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events into a television series has me now dreaming that they or another forward-thinking company (HBO? BBC? Showtime?) will consider turning Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials into one. Please, please, please, please, please?


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14. His Dark Materials, the Television Series (Wishful thinking?)

The excellent news that Netflix is adapting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events into a television series has me now dreaming that they or another forward-thinking company (HBO? BBC? Showtime?) will consider turning Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials into one. Please, please, please, please, please?


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15. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday

On Saturday November 8, 2014, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art (NMAA) in Washington, DC will host the 22nd annual Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA).  CABA was created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to honor authors and illustrators who have produced exceptional books on Africa for young people.

Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival
Join Us!   11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday November 8, 2014
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue, Southwest, Washington, DC 20560
Free and Open to the Public   Registration is Requested

Hope to see some of you there!


2 Comments on Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday, last added: 11/6/2014
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16. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday

On Saturday November 8, 2014, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art (NMAA) in Washington, DC will host the 22nd annual Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA).  CABA was created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to honor authors and illustrators who have produced exceptional books on Africa for young people.

Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival
Join Us!   11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday November 8, 2014
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue, Southwest, Washington, DC 20560
Free and Open to the Public   Registration is Requested

Hope to see some of you there!


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17. Writing “Authentic” Historical Dialog

My reasons for looking at dialogue in a different way were mainly because I was heartily tired of reading what I have taken to calling the Berlitz phrase-book approach to dialogue and character-thought. In the phrase-book approach all language is modern, except when specific words are inserted. Sometimes words from entirely the wrong language are used: Modern French instead of Old or Middle French for the Middle Ages, for instance. Get me after a drink or two and I’ll tell you which writers in particular get their languages wrong, but otherwise I shall mutter their names to myself, unhappily.

That is from this fascinating blog post: “Dialogue in Novels — a Medieval Experiment by Gillian Polack.” For those interested in how to balance the historical real with the contemporary reality — that is what your intended reader will make of it —this is very good stuff.


0 Comments on Writing “Authentic” Historical Dialog as of 11/3/2014 5:29:00 AM
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18. Writing “Authentic” Historical Dialog

My reasons for looking at dialogue in a different way were mainly because I was heartily tired of reading what I have taken to calling the Berlitz phrase-book approach to dialogue and character-thought. In the phrase-book approach all language is modern, except when specific words are inserted. Sometimes words from entirely the wrong language are used: Modern French instead of Old or Middle French for the Middle Ages, for instance. Get me after a drink or two and I’ll tell you which writers in particular get their languages wrong, but otherwise I shall mutter their names to myself, unhappily.

That is from this fascinating blog post: “Dialogue in Novels — a Medieval Experiment by Gillian Polack.” For those interested in how to balance the historical real with the contemporary reality — that is what your intended reader will make of it —this is very good stuff.


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19. Holly Black and the Twelfth Doctor

Holly Black has joined a stellar line-up of children’s authors (to name a few: Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness, Eoin Colfer and Neil Gaiman) who have each crafted a short tale for every incarnation of the eponymous Time Lord.

When the original run of e-books ended in November of last year Matt Smith was the incumbent Doctor but now acting heavyweight Peter Capaldi has taken on the role it seems apt that he should be featured in a story.

Black’s story, Lights Out, is unique in many respects. She had the exciting but “super intimidating” task of penning an adventure for the Twelfth Doctor who, when she wrote it over the summer, had yet to appear on our screens. She was given scripts to aid her (“Some of it was blacked out for mysterious reasons!”) and relied on images but she seemed somewhat relieved to have been allowed to edit Lights Out after seeing Capaldi’s debut, Deep Breath back in August. “When I actually saw the episode [Deep Breath] I went back and made a lot of changes,” she tells me. “Because there’s just something so different about seeing Peter Capaldi owning the role onscreen.”

Read the rest here.  There is also a fun gallery of jackets for each doctor here. I’ve just ordered this as an audio book— I think it will be a lot of fun to listen to.


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20. For All Benedict Cumberbatch Fans…


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21. Learning About Africa: Best Source for Ebola Info? Not What You May Think

I have never agreed with the dismissal of Wikipedia as a source of information, even for students. This is because that while, yes, there are pages that are full of misinformation, others are excellent. The latter are carefully maintained by experts and highly knowledgeable people regarding the topic in question. I’d long ago read about scientists who were seeing to it that Wikipedia pages on their subjects of expertise were being properly maintained. I think that rather than teaching students NOT to use Wikipedia, we’d be better off teaching them to use it and other sources carefully and critically.

And so now with all the ever-growing hysteria about Ebola in this country (sadly reminding me like this person of the early days of AIDS), I wasn’t at all surprised to read the New York Times article “Wikipedia is Emerging as a Trusted Internet Source for Information on Ebola.” And I think those of us who have been negative about Wikipedia need to rethink our position. Here’s a good source that balances out the misinformation going on all over the place. Rather than casting it out, embrace it, help people develop skills to use it in the best way rather than not at all.

(There. Now to get off my soap box.)

 


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22. The “It” Book of 2014?

So Goodreads decided to look at their own data to see what is 2014 so-called It book of the year, “It Book” being defined by them as:

They’re the ones that we pass along, that we hope our friends have read so that we can discuss and debate. Love them or hate them, we can’t stop talking about them!

Check out their results here (and then you may discuss amongst yourselves as to what it means in terms of the debate as to whether certain adult readers are going to hell in a handbasket or the opposite).


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23. The “It” Book of 2014?

So Goodreads decided to look at their own data to see what is 2014 so-called It book of the year, “It Book” being defined by them as:

They’re the ones that we pass along, that we hope our friends have read so that we can discuss and debate. Love them or hate them, we can’t stop talking about them!

Check out their results here (and then you may discuss amongst yourselves as to what it means in terms of the debate as to whether certain adult readers are going to hell in a handbasket or the opposite).


0 Comments on The “It” Book of 2014? as of 1/1/1900
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24. Learning About Africa: Best Source for Ebola Info? Not What You May Think

I have never agreed with the dismissal of Wikipedia as a source of information, even for students. This is because that while, yes, there are pages that are full of misinformation, others are excellent. The latter are carefully maintained by experts and highly knowledgeable people regarding the topic in question. I’d long ago read about scientists who were seeing to it that Wikipedia pages on their subjects of expertise were being properly maintained. I think that rather than teaching students NOT to use Wikipedia, we’d be better off teaching them to use it and other sources carefully and critically.

And so now with all the ever-growing hysteria about Ebola in this country (sadly reminding me like this person of the early days of AIDS), I wasn’t at all surprised to read the New York Times article “Wikipedia is Emerging as a Trusted Internet Source for Information on Ebola.” And I think those of us who have been negative about Wikipedia need to rethink our position. Here’s a good source that balances out the misinformation going on all over the place. Rather than casting it out, embrace it, help people develop skills to use it in the best way rather than not at all.

(There. Now to get off my soap box.)

 


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25. For All Benedict Cumberbatch Fans…


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