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1. The “best” in kids’ book reviews

As I did last year, I’d like to share with you my choices for the “best” in book reviews for children, by children. All appeared online and were written (without byline) by children participating in New Jersey’s Collaborative Summer Reading Program, “Every Hero has a Story.”

(Reviews are unedited and do contain spelling and grammatical errors.)

Highest praise review:

STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS

Author – Adapted by Rob Valois

crazy awesome

Best back-handed compliment for an audiobook:

Sky jumpers

What a excellent book, even though this was on cd, I really enjoyed it alot.

Cutest review:

Revenge Of The Flower Girls

Author – Jennifer Ziegler

Lots of mischief. Hee hee hee…

Best alternative title in a review (tie!):

Lair & Spy

Author – Rebecca Stead

Mummus in the Morning

Author – Mary Pope Osborne

Reviewer most likely to have a future in writing book jacket copy:

Humphrey

Betty G. Birney

In the story Humphrey was a little smart hampster who lived in a pet store. One day, a teacher got a class pet it was Humphrey! Humphrey had a dream of being a sailor.
His friends in room 26 made boats. The adventure began…

 Best “Whaaaat?” review:

Captain America, The Winter Soldier: Falcon Takes Flight

Author – Adam Davis

A man meets another man and they both like to run.

Most random complaint review:

My Froggy Valentine

Author – Matt Novack

We wish there was a unicorn picture in the book. Cute story. Good ending.

Best review for a book that changes personal viewpoint:

The Isle of the Lost

Author – Melissa De La Cruz

I liked this book because I never knew villains had kids, too. Also because it was funny.


I hope you’ve enjoyed these reviews as much as I did. :)

The post The “best” in kids’ book reviews appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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2. U is for Ukulele

U is for Ukulele meetup#alaac15 provides space for meetings of all kinds. Although we’re apparently not that “uncommon,” yesterday I attended a meet-up of ukulele-playing librarians at the ALA Networking Uncommons.  We exchanged emails, discussed creating a group FB page and played a few songs.  Perhaps next year, we can have an ALSC session on Using your Uke for Story Time and Outreach. Wouldn’t that be fun?  Check out today’s gatherings at the Networking Uncommons. http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/

U is for Ukulele

The post U is for Ukulele appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Scholastic Literary Event #alaac15

1435514698140Jennifer A. Nielsen reads from her book, A Night Divided with help from fellow authors, Alex Gino (George) and Edwidge Danticat (Untwine).

The post Scholastic Literary Event #alaac15 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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4. Surf’s Up with Kwame Alexander

20150627_150810_resized

Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander and his lovely daughter have some fun in support of his upcoming picture book, Surf’s Up at #alaac15.

Great fun, and champagne, too!

The post Surf’s Up with Kwame Alexander appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Sometimes it’s not all about the kids

I’m attending many ALSC sponsored events at #alaac15, but sometimes it’s not all about the kids. This fangirl is joining the throng waiting to hear featured speaker Sarah Vowell!

The post Sometimes it’s not all about the kids appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6. A Literary Walking Tour of San Francisco at #alaac15

Youth services librarians tend to stick together, but Conference is a great time to meet or work with members from other committees.  Today I attended the Literary Walking Tour of San Francisco sponsored by the Staff Organizations Round Table (SORT), and attended by librarians of all stripes. Only on a librarian’s walking tour will you get a bibliography and annotated list for each of your 45 your tour stops!  I love our job.

From Union Square to the bay, we covered all the literary highlights. One of our stops was City Lights Books, which had people waiting outside for opening time.  Nice to see a city that appreciates books. :)

SORT Literary Walking Tour outside City Lights Books

SORT Literary Walking Tour outside City Lights Books

 

The post A Literary Walking Tour of San Francisco at #alaac15 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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7. Enjoy the sights!

I struck up a conversation with a very nice librarian (we’re easy to pick out of a crowd) in the airport yesterday.  Both of us were traveling alone with nothing pressing on our agendas, so we rode the BART together into town and spent the day seeing the sights, riding the cable cars, and enjoying a great lunch at the Daily Grill.  It’s easy to make new friends and have a great time at #alaac15.

Fruit selection at Pier 39 ©L Taylor

Fruit selection at Pier 39
©L Taylor

Golden Gate Bridge
©Kerri Wallace

The post Enjoy the sights! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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8. Great Websites for Kids? Look no further!

GWS logo

On behalf of the Great Websites for Kids Committee, I’d like to share some news and enlist your help.

If you missed our recent press release, the following are the newest sites to be added to Great Websites for Kids, the online resource featuring hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children.

We hope that you will find these and other Great Websites for Kids to be useful tools for you and your library patrons. Sites are searchable by eight main classifications (Animals, The Arts, History & Biography, Literature & Languages, Mathematics & Computers, Reference Desk, Sciences, and Social Sciences) or by keyword. The committee works hard all year to find and evaluate new sites, and to weed out previously chosen sites that haven’t maintained “great” status.

We can always use your help!

If you know of a great site that you would like to have us consider for inclusion, please submit your suggestion via this link: http://gws.ala.org/suggest-site. Similarly, if you find broken links, etc. on the site, please alert us to that as well. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Members of the 2015 Great Websites for Kids Committee:

  • Lara Crews, co-chair, Forsyth County (North Carolina) Public Library
  • Lisa Taylor, co-chair, Ocean County (New Jersey) Library
  • Emily E. Bacon, Yorktown (Indiana) Public Library
  • Ariel Cummins, New Braunfels (Texas) Public Library
  • Jill Eisele, Bellwood (Illinois) Public Library
  • Krishna Grady, Darien (Connecticut) Library
  • Joanne Kelleher, Kings Park (New York) Central School District
  • Elizabeth Saxton, Tiffin, Ohio
  • Alia Shields, Cherry Hill (New Jersey) Public Library

 

And now … on to ALA in San Francisco!

The post Great Websites for Kids? Look no further! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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9. I Want His Job

Headline news can be depressing. Which is why it makes me happy to find news stories like this one: This Teenager Discovered a New Planet on his Third Day of Work. Seriously. At 15, this kid shows up for day three of his “work experience” project, they’ve assigned him the task of wading through all […]

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10. The 48-Hour Book Challenge starts Friday!

Time once again for one of my favorite challenges in the kidlitosphere, the 48-Hour Book Challenge, hosted by MotherReader. This is a special year because it's the 10th annual. Tenth! We've been doing this for 10 years! That's the Mesozoic in the life of the Internet.

How it works: pick 48 consecutive hours in between the start and the finish and read, read, read! Blog about your reading and cheer others on Twitter and Facebook with the #48HBC tag. Check out MotherReader's blog post for more details and to throw your hat into the ring.

I love doing this because I often get my TBR pile winnowed down and build up a stock of reviews for my busy summer months. Plus I also make new friends!

It starts at 7 am on Friday, June 19th and concludes at midnight on Sunday the 21st. That's just about enough time to order your pizza, gather up your books, and worm out of all but the most pressing social engagements.

Will you join in?

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11. The Cat Who Lost His Meow $50 GC Giveaway 6/30-7/29

The Cat Who Lost His Meow by Angela Muse

About the Book

Title: The Cat Who Lost His Meow | Author: Angela Muse | Illustrator: Helen H. Wu | Publication Date: June 1, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3+

Summary: Chester the lazy calico cat has suddenly lost his meow. He’s looking everywhere, but can’t seem to find his voice. When Chester puts himself in a frightening situation he not only finds his voice return, but he also finds his courage. This experience makes Chester appreciate things a little bit more than he had before.

Priced at only $.99 during this promotion.

Amazon

 

 

About the Author: Angela Muse

Angela Muse, Author

Angela Muse

Angela Muse was born in California to a military family. This meant that she got used to being the “new kid” in school every couple of years. It was hard trying to make new friends, but Angela discovered she had a knack for writing. In high school Angela began writing poetry and song lyrics. Expressing herself through writing seemed very natural. After becoming a Mom in 2003, Angela continued her storytelling to her own children. In 2009 she wrote and published her first rhyming children’s book aimed at toddlers. Since then she has released several more children’s picture books and released her first young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls, in 2012.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

 

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: July 29, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Angela Muse and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services


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12. Thoughts on the CCSS

How ironic that the more fluid the study of math and science becomes, the more rigid becomes the study of language and literature…

Solve for x

© L Taylor

…in which math becomes form and reading becomes function.

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13. Strange shelf-fellows

Love him or hate him, Melvil Dewey was the architect of modern library cataloging.  His classification system added order to the world of books like the classification system of Kingdom, Phylum, Species, etc., made sense of the biological world.

In most instances, Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) makes for easy non-fiction browsing.  Once in a while, however, it makes for some strange “shelf-fellows.”  Here are two  that you might enjoy:

Browsing the DDC 610s: Nothing goes together quite like Chiggers and My First Trip to the Dentist

Browsing the DDC 610s: Nothing goes together quite like Chiggers and My First Trip to the Dentist
© L Taylor

Browsing the DDC 640s: My Christmas Cookie Book and Flush: The Scoop on Poop Throughout the Ages - strange shelf-fellows indeed! (c) L Taylor

The Christmas Cookie Book and Flush: The Scoop on Poop – strange shelf-fellows indeed!
© L Taylor

What strange shelf-fellows are nesting on your shelves?  If you’ve got a great photo, I’ll be happy to add it to the post.

(Be sure to tell me whom to credit for the photo.)

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14. Camps: The New Trend in Summer Reading

geek girl logo

This summer at the Fayetteville Free Library in Fayetteville, NY we piloted our first ever week long summer camp during Summer Reading. The Fayetteville Free Library Geek Girl Camp is a camp for girls in grades 3 through 5 introducing them to hands on STEM skills and to female role models. Months of work went into planning this camp fulfilling a need in our greater community.  According to the Girl Scout Research Institute,  “Research shows that girls start losing interest in math and science during middle school. Girls are typically more interested in careers where they can help others (e.g., teaching, child care, working with animals) and make the world a better place. Recent surveys have shown that girls and young women are much less interested than boys and young men in math and science.”[1]

We had 44 girls attend the FFL Geek Girl Camp from all over the greater Syracuse, NY area. We had over 10 girls on the waiting list and charged $25.00 for the camp to supplement the cost of food, t-shirts and supplies. We also offered four scholarship opportunities for those who might not be able to afford the cost of the camp. In addition to the 44 girls who came to the camp we had 9 speakers from across the country join us in person or via Skype. Speakers included students from Virginia Commonwealth University, Cornell University, Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Other speakers included women who worked for Facebook, the Air Force, a pharmaceutical research facility, and from national organizations, Girls in Tech and Girl Develop IT. Each day we heard from one or more speakers who talked about what they do at their jobs or in school and how important it is to have women working in these fields! They all made sure to relate to the girls in attendance and campers had great questions afterwards.

14779007462_7419253f00_k

Throughout the week we had a great array of activities. We rented a cement mixer and made an oobleck pool for kids to run across after learning about density and viscosity, shot off model rockets, chucked books, apples and water balloons with a trebuchet after learning about projectiles, force, gravity and more.  Girls learned about fractals, made mini catapults, 3D printed, used littlebits kits, Snap Circuits and computer programmed with Scratch and much more.

The camp was a huge success that the parents of those who attended were above and beyond appreciative and wanted to already sign up for next year. We learned from this particular camp that we created something valuable for our community and that we need to transition into this camp model for future Summer Reading programs. We were asked, “When are you having a camp for boys”? We will not only have camp for boys and girls but of different ages as well. Planning FFL Geek Girl Camp did take a lot of time; however the outcome of the camp was far beyond what we expected and worth the time spent planning for the impact it had on our community. Camps offer children an opportunity to learn more and make stronger relationships over a short period of time.  Like camp as a kid it was a place to learn new things and meet new friends and create memories that last a lifetime.

CaptureThe first day of FFL Geek Girl, the campers were a little shy but after just the second day the girls couldn’t stop talking and working together. We run bimonthly programs where kids come in every other week to work on projects but having children in the library everyday for a week gives you an opportunity to teach kids a skill and not have to worry about rushing or not being able to complete the task, plus you have an opportunity to do projects or lessons that take longer and are more complex. Camps also give us a great opportunity to get to know our patrons. Girls come in and out of the library now looking for their camp counselors to say hi! Cost is also a huge factor in running a camp at a library versus a different venue. We had materials donated to the camp and used many of the resources we already owned including our own staff to run and plan the program. Most science camps can range in price anywhere from $75-$600. We decided that $25 was not only affordable but fit into our budget for the camp as well to make it run successfully.

CaptureWe think that camps are the future of Summer Reading. It gives us and the community an opportunity to focus on important topics like STEAM and produce content that is beneficial and influential. At the end of the week our campers said they wanted to be inventors, work at Google, become web developers and physicists. If it wasn’t for the atmosphere we created at the library and the week long camp we would have never saw these results and impact on our community.

Please check out our website for more information about the FFL Geek Girl Camp, our Flickr page and hashtag #geekgirl14 on Twitter and Instagram.

[1]Modi, K. (2012). “Generation STEM: What girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” Girl Scout Research Institute. http://www.girlscouts.org/research/pdf/generation_stem_full_report.pdf

Capture

Meredith Levine is the Director of Family Engagement at the Fayetteville Free Library. Meredith is a member of the ALSC School Age Programs and Services Committee. Find out more at www.fflib.org or email Meredith at mlevine@fflib.org

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15. Cybils Eve

Guess what!

Go on, guess!

Okay, fine, I'll tell you. Starting tomorrow through October 15, you get to nominate books for the Cybils! The world's only Children's and YA Blogger award opens its nomination period tomorrow, in thirteen categories from picture books to YA fiction, from book apps to poetry.

Anybody can nominate, and the books can be anything published in English in the US or Canada in the past year. 

Remember, each book (or app) can only be nominated by one person. So if you're going in, take at least a few faves in each category with you. 

More info here: Nominating for the Cybils.



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16. You know you’re an (old) children’s librarian when …

You know you’re an old  experienced children’s librarian when …

… you make public school outreach visits and you can recognize some of the kids from baby story time!

I spotted one child I remember from when I visited with his preschool class years ago. He was always the one with yogurt and Cheerios ® smashed on his head! :)

 Child-Messy-8207

Photo: By Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) Email the author: David R. Tribble Also see my personal gallery at Google Picasa (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Have a great weekend, all, and remember – today’s babies are tomorrow’s library patrons.

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17. Day #4 -- Blog Tour for PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month

3 bloggers are taking part today on our PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month blog tour. Hop on over. Comment to enter and win an observation spot in an upcoming Office Hours.

(Remember to use #PlotWriMo in your tweets about the event.)

(To learn more about PlotWriMo and for some "ah ha" moments from writers using the video series to revise their novels, click here.)

Laurie Edwards Author, Artist, Dreamer
Mikey Brooks My Keys on Writing, Illustrating and more
Deb Atwood Pen in Her Hand

For plot help and resources throughout the year

1)  The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
2)  The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
3)  The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.
  ~~~~~~~~
For as little as $10 a month, watch the videos as often as you wish for an entire year (and, lots of writers are finding PlotWriMo the exact right resource to help pre-plot for a powerful first draft. Knowing what to look for in a revision helps create a tighter first draft):

 ~~ View your story in an entirely new light. Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing. 8 videos (5.5 hours)+ 30 exercises

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18. The Bibliovore is in Your Ears!

Or I will be.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is one of my very favorite non-kidlit book blogs, and I am a devoted listener to their weekly podcast as well. Awhile ago, blogger/host Sarah Wendell put out a call for kidlit recommendations. Not only was I all over that, much of her audience was as well. She was reading kidlit booklists for months.

When she asked for possible interviews, I put my name out to her, and to my great excitement, she said yes! We talk about everything from picture books up to YA, and everything in between.

You can hear the podcast, which is almost an hour long, at the Smart Bitches Trashy Books website or you can download it from iTunes under "DBSA romance fiction podcast," episode 120.

Enjoy!

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19. Great Websites for Kids needs you!

Today I’m writing on behalf of the Great Websites for Kids Committee.


In case you missed the December 5, 2014,  press release, the following seven sites were added to Great Websites for Kids.  

The committee works very hard to find and evaluate new sites, and ensure that previously chosen sites maintain their “great” status.  If you’re unfamiliar with the site or the committee, here is a short primer from the press release:

“Great Websites for Kids (GWS) features links to high-quality websites of interest to children 14 years of age and younger, organized into diverse subject headings from cultures of the world to games & entertainment to weather & environment, and many more. Each site entry includes a brief annotation and a grade-level rating. Users can also rate sites, save favorites for easy access, and share sites via social media and email.

Members of the ALSC GWS Committee review potential sites for inclusion and vote on the sites to be included. They also regularly check the entire database of great sites to ensure currency, and re-evaluate sites when necessary.”

As the new year begins, the Great Websites for Kids Committe would like to enlist your help. If you see a site that you believe should be evaluated for inclusion on GWS, please submit your suggestion by following this link:  http://gws.ala.org/suggest-site. Similarly, if you find broken links, etc., please alert us to that as well.  Finally, let us know how you’re using GWS.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Best wishes for a great new year!

 

GWS Roster

Katherine Opal Scherrer (REFORMA Representative, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Ms. Lara Anne Crews (Co-Chair, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2015)
Ms. Kimberly Probert Grad (Co-Chair, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2015)
Paige Bentley-Flannery (Member, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Krishna Grady (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
Joanne Kelleher (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
Mr. Ted McCoy (Member, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Ms. Alia Shields (Member, February 1, 2014, to January 31, 2016)
Lisa Taylor (Member, February 1, 2013, to January 31, 2015)
Gaye Hinchliff (Consultant, July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015)
Laura Schulte-Cooper (Staff Liaison, July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2015)

 

The post Great Websites for Kids needs you! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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20. They're Here, They're Here!

Check out the 2014 Cybils finalists! What do you think?

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21. Looking ahead to Women’s History Month

Header

Each March, in addition to working, blogging here at the ALSC Blog and at Shelf-employed, I host KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month! along with fellow librarian and blogger, Margo Tanenbaum, of The Fourth Musketeer.

Active only during Women’s History Month,  the blog features readers, commenters, and contributors working together to create a dynamic resource of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays, commentaries, and book reviews. Each post is related to children’s literature and women’s history.

The blog is a great resource for finding new books (we’ll be featuring several new and upcoming titles!) and useful links. Previous contributors include Jen Bryant, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Donna Jo Napoli, and Betsy Bird.  Contributors for 2015 include Emily Arnold McCully (Queen of the Diamond), Misty Copeland (Firebird), Michaela McColl (The Revelation of Louisa May), and more.

The complete 2015 lineup may be found on the site’s sidebar.  You can sign up to follow the blog, or receive it via email. Visit the site at http://kidlitwhm.blogspot.com to see “following” options, an archive of past contributions, and links to educational resources.  It’s suitable for parents and teachers, too.

The official Women’s History Month theme for 2015, is “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” If you’ve got great plans for WHM, please share! :)

In March, stop here first, then head on over to KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month!

KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month blog header by Rebekah Louise Designs.

The post Looking ahead to Women’s History Month appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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22. Librarian currency

Librarian “Currency”

pile of cash

Image credit: openclipart.org

No, not this.  No, not “relevancy” or “state of currentness” either.

I’m talking about items that are sometimes more precious than cash and harder to come by—librarian currency—traded for goodwill, future favors, or goods of equal value.

Here are some items that pass for currency in my library:

  • Oatmeal boxes: Useful for drums, tubes, castle turrets and more,  they’re an invaluable resource, and trade well in the children’s librarian barter system
oatmeal box

Photo credit: L. Taylor

  •  Toilet paper tubes: The “penny” of the YS currency system,  useful but low-ranking
DCIM100SPORT

Photo credit: L. Taylor

  • Lego ®: Need a program in a hurry?  Better borrow some!

Image credit: openclipart.org

  • Cans – hey, you never know
Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

  • And these little creepy heads?  Well, I’m not quite sure what they traded for, but someone took them!
Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

So, what items are in your barter system?  Share yours – the curiouser, the better. :)

The post Librarian currency appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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23. We’re Bugging Out!

beecover

Super excited to announce that our Bee Bully is being featured in Bookbub today and is only $.99 for a limited time.  To celebrate we have some free gifts to tell you about.  From April 1st – April 5th you can download our latest release, Caterpillar Shoes, absolutely free from Amazon.  Check out what’s troubling Patches the caterpillar and the silly decision she makes to live her life to the full.  There are some interesting caterpillar facts in the back of this book.

 

Caterpiller-cover_AM

I’ve also got more surprises to share.  My friend, Laura Yirak, is also giving away a copy of her delightful bee book, Bumble Babees during this same period.

 

bee_0J

 

Scott Gordon has another treat for you. His book, The Most Beautiful Flower will be FREE April 2-April 6.  This book is only $.99 on April 1st.  Don’t you just love spring!  Enjoy these goodies while they last.

the-most-beautiful-flower


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24. Putting it all together

Other than a few favorite story times that I repeat yearly, I always like to try something new. Similarly, I’m always interested in learning something new.  In February, I put it all together – mixing things that interest me with several of the library’s most wonderful assests –  technology, diversity, creative space, and kids.

I offer you the ingreadients for “Read, Reflect, Relay: a 4-week club”

Ingreadients

  • 1 part knowledge from ALSC’s online class, “Tech Savvy Booktalker”ALSC Online Education
  • 1 part inspiration from ALSC’s online class, “Series Programming for theElementary School Age”
  • 1 new friendship spawned by networking and a love of nonfiction books
  • a desire to participate in the #weneeddiversebooks campaign
  • computers
  • books
  • school-aged kids#WeNeedDiverseBooks
  • space and time to create

Each club participant read a Schneider Family Book Award winner of her choice.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Schneider Family Book Award, I’ve linked to its page. Winning books embody the “disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

I asked each of the participants to distill the message of her book into a sentence or two – something that would make a good commercial.  Then I gave them a choice of using Animoto, Stupeflix, or VoiceThread to create a book trailer or podcast.  All three platforms were kind enough to offer me an “educator account” for use at the library.  Other than strict guidelines on copyright law and a “no-spoilers” rule, each girl was free to interpret and relay the message of her book as she pleased.

Coincidentally, after I had planned the club, I was chatting online with Alyson BeecherWe were both Round 2 judges for the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction CYBILS Awards.  I had no idea that she is also the Chair of the Schneider Family Book Award Committee!  When I told her about my club, she immediately offered to Skype or Hangout with the club members.  We hastily worked out a schedule, and Alyson’s visit on the last day of the club was one of its highlights!

The girls ranged in age from 10 to teen.  I think you will be impressed with their creativity.

WordPress does not allow me to embed the actual videos and podcasts, but you can access them via the links below – or visit them on Alyson’s site where she was able to embed them.  Enjoy! :)

·        Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (2012 winner, Middle School)  https://animoto.com/play/kUdNM1sa4fWKfZOXId63AQ

·      After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (2011 winner, Middle School)   https://voicethread.com/new/myvoice/#thread/6523783/33845486/35376059

·    Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010 winner, Teen)  https://animoto.com/play/qFPwi1vYP1ha2FF0vVUuFg

·      Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010 winner, Teen) (another one)    http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/9GKeiQfgsj9Q/?autoplay=1

·      A Dog Called Homeless by Sara Lean (2013 winner, Middle School)    http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/DQ4tJG8mnsYX/?autoplay=1

If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to see my video booktalk (or adapt) my video advertisement for the program, just leave a message in the comments.  I’ll be happy to respond.

 *All logos used with permission and linked back to their respective sites.

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25. An Unusual School Visit

An Unusual School Visitinstitution-icon

We’re accustomed to classroom visits … there’s Read Across America Day, Library Card Sign-up Month, Summer Reading Club outreach, and any other number of reasons why public librarians visit classrooms.  Last month, a colleague and I enoyed another type of classroom visit.  We were virtual guest lecturers for a university class in Children’s Literature.  The class was not for librarians, but rather, for aspiring teachers.  We spent two weeks with the students during their planned chapters on censorship and graphic texts.  We introduced discussion articles and scenarios, and participated in the discussion boards by posting topics and responding to students’ questions.

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I firmly believe that librarians and teachers should be close partners in serving their constituent children.  I am fortunate that my library is located in a school district that is wonderfully cooperative, and where I have met and worked with many caring teachers.  Still, I have often ranted about things that annoy me  – particularly minimum page requirements and a frequent admonishment that picture books (and by extension, graphic novels) are “not allowed.”

This partnership with our local university, gave me the opportunity to speak directly with the future generation of school teachers.  We spoke of the importance of knowing one’s collection and being prepared to defend it; the value and appeal of graphic texts; the collection development resources available from ALSC, ALA, and other organizations in making collection development decisions; and a myriad of other topics related to censorship and graphic texts.  It was refreshing to hear what is on the minds of future teachers and to offer to them a librarian’s perspective on the same.

Kudos to Constance Chismar, Ed.D. of the Georgian Court University English Department for asking us to participate and to Ocean County Library for allowing us to attend.  If you have a local university or college that offers undergrad degrees in education,  inquire if you might participate in something similar.  It was a valuable experience for me and my colleague, the university students, and the children who will someday benefit from the partnership!

 

Images from openclipart.org

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