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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: ncte, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 111
1. Three Authors Receive Top Honors from NCTE

By NCTE
for Cynsations

ATLANTA-- Authors Jason Reynolds, Melissa Sweet, and Marilyn Nelson were just announced winners of prestigious literacy awards from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Jason Reynolds won the 2017 Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children for his book Ghost (Atheneum). The Charlotte Huck award is given to books that promote and recognize fiction that has the potential to transform children's lives.

Melissa Sweet won the 2017 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children for her book Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

The NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, established in 1989, is the oldest children's book award for nonfiction.

Marilyn Nelson won the 2017 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. The biannual award is given to a living American poet for his or her aggregate work for children ages 3–13.

Honor and Recommended book lists were also announced. All three authors will be invited to speak at next year's NCTE Annual Convention in St. Louis, MO.

NCTE is the nation's most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting teachers across the preK–college spectrum.

Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.

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2. You Can Write

Three words that can change a student's life forever.

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3. The Newly Elected NCTE Vice President



















Three cheers for Franki! 


One cheer for a currently practicing elementary school teacher 
leading the National Council of Teachers of English!

Another cheer for an advocate for children's literature leading NCTE!

And a final cheer for an extraordinarily passionate professional 
who has a seemingly boundless amount of energy. 
When she's not fine-tuning her own craft as an educator, 
she's working with others to share her passion and vision.


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4. Are You Ready For The National Day on Writing 2016?

Next Thursday, October 20th, is the National Day on Writing! Are you ready? Read on for some ideas on how to mark this day with your writers.

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5. So You Say You’re Not a Writer

Take a sneak peek at our NCTE presentation. We hope to see you there!

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6. #ncte16

I'm coming to you from balmy Atlanta this week, where Mary Lee Hahn and I will be presenting later today a session called "Risking Writing," along with Dr. Shanetia Clark of Salisbury University and author Patricia Hruby Powell.  At the heart of this session is the writing of a poem brainstormed by Shanetia, drafted by Mary Lee, and revised by me.  Patricia will supply inspirational commentary. Do check back in to see what we came up with!

For now, here's our presentation in a nutshell:






The round-up today is with Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales.  It's not much of a risk just joining in our friendly Fridays, but letting the poetry take you--that's riskier.


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7. #TWTBlog Session at #NCTE14: Live Tweets from the Event!

Live tweets from #NCTE14! Join us at 9:30EST at #TWTBlog.

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8. #TWTBlog Session at #NCTE14: Live Tweets from the Event!

Live tweets from #NCTE14! Join us at 9:30EST at #TWTBlog.

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9. Highlights from NCTE

We're sharing our presentations from NCTE with you, along with quotes I jotted down from a variety of authors and literacy leaders. ALSO, take a peek at some photos from our Slicer Dinner.

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10. Highlights from NCTE

We're sharing our presentations from NCTE with you, along with quotes I jotted down from a variety of authors and literacy leaders. ALSO, take a peek at some photos from our Slicer Dinner.

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11. 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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12. Rukhsana Khan on Cross-Cultural Writing and Achieving True Diversity

This November I attended the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Annual Convention in Washington, DC and was overwhelmed by the broad focus on diversity in children’s books. Though many of us have been aware of this issue for years (or even decades) it is often a topic set aside for one or two poorly-attended panels located at inconvenient times in back rooms.

Not this year.

This year, NCTE dedicated part of the conference’s Opening Session to the topic. In front of over a thousand people, a panel of authors including Rukhsana Khan, Christopher Myers, Matt de la Peña, and Mitali Perkins spoke about their experiences with diversity—and the lack thereof—in children’s book publishing. Expert Rudine Sims Bishop moderated the panel.

Panels on this topic, even those with heavy-hitters like the people mentioned above, rarely receive this kind of audience or placement. As part of the Opening Session, the panel set the tone for the whole conference, and made a major statement: we will not ignore this problem. Kudos to NCTE for making that statement, and to all of us for creating an environment this year in which such a statement was possible. Below, we have asked Rukhsana Khan to share her comments from the panel:

NCTE Opening Session Panel, from L to R: Rudine Sims Bishop, Rukhsana Khan, Matt de la Peña, Christopher Myers, Mitali Perkins

NCTE Opening Session Panel, from L to R: Rudine Sims Bishop, Rukhsana Khan, Matt de la Peña, Christopher Myers, Mitali Perkins (image provided by NCTE)

Rukhsana Khan: When I was a young girl, growing up in a small Judeo-Christian town, a friend of mine told me this joke. I don’t mean to offend anyone and in fact, I myself found it racist, but I tell it here to make a point:

Once there was a Catholic who lived in a farmhouse.

On a cold stormy night there came a knock at the door. It was a man.

He said, “Please sir, could I have shelter? I’m half frozen and very hungry.”

The owner of the farmhouse said, “Are you Catholic?”

The man said, “Yes.”

“Oh! Come on in and rest yourself there by the fire!”

A little while later another knock came at the door.

It was another man, half frozen, asking for shelter.

The owner said, “Are you Catholic?”

The man said, “Yes.”

“Oh! Come on in and rest yourself there by the fire!”

A little while later another knock came.

It was another man, half frozen.

“Are you Catholic?”

“No, I’m Protestant.”

The owner said, “Oh. Well there’s some room there on the porch. Maybe if you press yourself against the window you can get some warmth from the fire.”

Now, make no mistake. I found this joke to be very offensive, but I didn’t say anything. But to myself, I thought, “Wow. If this is how one Christian talks about another Christian, what the hell do they think of me?”

And ever since then I’ve always felt like I was out there on the porch, looking in, to a warm scene of people gathered around a fire, but the warmth doesn’t penetrate the glass of the window.

Growing up in such a community, I used books to survive.

The books I feasted on were from the library. I didn’t know you could purchase books! As immigrants we had enough problems just keeping food on the table, so there was never money for books!

And I remember reading one of the Anne of Green Gables books, one of the later ones, Anne of the Island or something and I got to a point where L. M. Montgomery refers to ‘those heathen Muhammadans,’and I couldn’t believe it!

Rukhsana Speaks with Rudine Sims Bishop

Rukhsana speaks with Rudine Sims Bishop

She was talking about me!

Couldn’t she ever have imagined that one of those ‘heathen Muhammadans’ would one day be reading one of her Anne books and identifying so much with the characters, thinking that aunt was just like so and so, and that uncle was just like this uncle of hers???

I got so mad I threw the book across the room.

And once more I felt like I was out on the porch, looking in.

We need diverse books! But what really constitutes diversity?

These days there’s an awful lot of books that pass as diverse literature, that are written by white feminists, who mean well, but I wonder how well they can really penetrate the cultural paradigms of the ethnicities they write about.

I mean how can someone from inside the cabin really comprehend what it’s like to be out there on the porch, when they’re sheltered and warm from the fire?

And think about it. When you’re in a well-lit house, looking out onto a dark porch, the windows act as mirrors. You can’t properly see outside! It’s your own world that’s reflected back at you.

And as a result many of these books just come down to plunking a white kid in an exotic setting and writing the story as they would react to it!

What kind of diversity is that?

We can’t just color the kid in the story brown or what-have-you and maintain western ways of thinking. Kids need to be exposed not to just characters of another color but also different cultural thinking and ways of problem solving.

We need to be less superficial.

Because ultimately, how can we ask children to think outside the box when they’re living so firmly within it?

Rukhsana KhanRukhsana Khan is the author of several award-winning books published in the United States and Canada including, most recently, King for a Day. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she and her family immigrated to Canada when she was three. Khan’s stories enable children of all backgrounds to connect with cultures of Eastern origins. Khan lives with her husband and family in Toronto, Canada. 


Filed under: Diversity 102, Educator Resources, Fairs/Conventions Tagged: NCTE, Rukhsana Khan, writing cross-culturally

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13. Bartography Express for January 2015, featuring Trent Reedy’s Burning Nation

This month, one subscriber to my Bartography Express newsletter will win a copy of Burning Nation (Scholastic), the second book in Trent Reedy’s Divided We Fall YA trilogy

If you’re not already receiving Bartography Express, click the image below for a look. If you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be in the running for the giveaway at the end of this week.

20150122 Bartography Express

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14. these things, this week

Thanks to the 2015 Beltran Family Teaching Award for Innovative Teaching & Mentoring at the Kelly Writers House (University of Pennsylvania), I'll be given an opportunity to create an event for faculty and students in the 2015/2016 academic year. I'm so grateful to my university, the KWH, and my dear students, who nominated me for the award.

Whatever Doesn't Kill You, the Shebooks anthology featuring Nest. Flight. Sky. along with five additional pieces by exquisite writers (and edited by Laura Fraser), won a Silver IPPY Award. We're so happy for Laura, especially, who has put so much of her soul into Shebooks.

The 2015 Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English accepted a proposal on teaching creativity and responsibility through the arts that will bring together the amazing illustrator Melissa Sweet, two fantastic teachers (Glenda Cowen-Funk and Paul Hankins), and me. I can't wait for this. And: it will be my first time ever to Minneapolis.

I found One Thing Stolen in bookstores, when I wasn't even looking for it. Huge thanks to Forever Young Adult, for this generous review of the book.

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15. My NCTE 2013

Wow.  It was amazing to be at NCTE as a children’s book author.  As I wrote in my previous post I’ve been a member of the organization and attending conventions (at one time there was a second spring conference as well) for many years, but always as an educator.  So this was a very special NCTE for me.

First of all, on Thursday, I visited my publisher, Candlewick Press. They are housed in a beautiful building and it was so kind for the executive director of school and library marketing, Sharon Hancock, to take the time to show me around.  It was wonderful to finally meet my book’s fantastic designer, Heather McGee, and terrific copyeditor, Hannah Mahoney.  A special thrill was reading to Candlewick staff in the kitchen, a tradition for authors who visit.  All in all, a wonderful experience.

The historical fiction session with M. T. Anderson, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Gene Yang chaired by Teri Lesesne was great and I hope that  there are opportunities for further explorations about the nuances of writing about the past for young people. In a future post, I plan to go into more detail about the session and what we discussed.

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I did a book signing and Candlewick had my book on display with one of those cool star bookmarks (for the one it got from SLJ)!

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After a family dinner with just Candlewick folk, including Gareth Hinds and Burleigh Muten I stayed up way past my bedtime at the Nerdy Book Club gathering. As my friends know I’m very much an early-to-bed-early-to-rise sort of gal and not much for crowds, but I ended up having a fantastic time at this event.  I mainly went to celebrate my book’s publication with Jenni Holm who had been there way back when I was just beginning to work on it and who was very supportive as I tried to figure out just how to tell the story.  So, thanks for that, Jenni, and the champagne! (And, thanks also to Louise Borden who took this photo.) But I also met many other friends and made new ones too. It was a great event so thanks, Nerdy Book Club for setting it up.

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Saturday morning I switched hats to my critic/educator one and attended the ALAN Breakfast as a guest of Random House. Jennifer Burhle’s tribute to Judy Blume was so moving as was Judy Blume’s acceptance of her award.  And then there was the one and only Walter Dean Myers who spoke passionately about economic diversity.

Arguably the best speaker I heard at the convention was Temple Grandin. Certainly she was the most unique, funny, blunt, and practical.  A few of my tweets:

  • “Too much emphasis on deficit, not enough on creativity.” Temple Grandin #NCTE13
  • “Need different kinds of minds.” Temple Grandin #ncte13
  • “Need to touch in order to learn.” Temple Grandin #ncte2013
  • Keeps saying they’ve got to put hands-on stuff back. Temple is awesome.#ncte13
  • She wants to do a show called “Undercover Legislature.” Fox, you listening? Temple Grandin #ncte13

Then I attended the Books for Children luncheon as an author. Among other things, that meant sitting at a table with my books and attendees and talking to them about my book. I also was thrilled to see my old friend Leda Shubert receive the Orbis Pictus Award for her book Monsieur Marceau.  Here’s her editor (another old friend of mine) Neal Porter with a book that is not hers.

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The keynote speaker was Steve Jenkins who was outstanding. I’ve always admired his books, but he is a terrific speaker too. I especially enjoyed his dry deadpan wit.  One example: “I must say I find the creatures much easier to work with when they are stuffed.”

That evening I met Jen and Lisa of the excellent blog, Reads for Keeps, for drinks and we stopped by the Stenhouse party so I could see the wonderful editors of my two books on teaching history,  Philippa Stanton and Bill Varner. It was a special treat to then run into some several other old friends as well. I then went off to a dinner as a Candlewick author which was very, very cool indeed. It was at the Forum restaurant which had been the site of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and that was moving too. My table mates and I had a splendid time talking books — pretty much exclusively adult ones for a change.  

All in all it was a glorious few days! Thank you, Candlewick for my beautiful book and for a wonderful conference.


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16. Poetic Inspiration from #NCTE13 + a Book Giveaway

If you’ve never attended the NCTE Annual Convention, then I’ll let you in on a little secret: wear comfortable shoes!  You’ll be on your feet hustling between sessions, walking around the exhibit hall,… Read More

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17. Poetic Inspiration from #NCTE13 + a Book Giveaway

If you’ve never attended the NCTE Annual Convention, then I’ll let you in on a little secret: wear comfortable shoes!  You’ll be on your feet hustling between sessions, walking around the exhibit hall,… Read More

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18. Celebrate! CLA's 2014 Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts!


Celebrate this week with others by visiting Ruth Ayres Writes.


This week, we are celebrating another great list of Notables from the Children's Literature Assembly of NCTE. Great work, Committee! Great books, Authors!





 2014 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts 

Ah Ha!, by Jeff Mack, published by Chronicle Books. 

Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, published by Dial. 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein, published by Random House. 

Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet, by Andrea Cheng, published by Lee & Low Books. 

Exclamation Mark, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, published by Scholastic Press. 

Forest Has a Song, by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Robbin Gourley, published by Clarion Books. 

Gaby, Lost and Found, by Angela Cervantes, published by Scholastic Press. 

Hold Fast, by Blue Balliett, published by Scholastic Press. 

Journey, by Aaron Becker, published by Candlewick Press. 

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, by Daniel Beaty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, published by Little, Brown and Company. 

Light in the Darkness: A Story About How Slaves Learned in Secret, by Lesa Cline-Ransom, illustrated by James E. Ransome, published by Disney/Jump at the Sun Books. 

Little Red Writing, by Joan Holub, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, published by Chronicle Books. 

Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard, by Annette LeBlanc Cate, published by Candlewick Press. 

Martin and Mahalia: His Words Her Song, by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney, published by Little, Brown and Company. 

Navigating Early, by Clare Vanderpool, published by Delacorte Press. 

Nelly May has Her Say, by Cynthia DeFelice, illustrated by Henry Cole, published by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Straus Giroux. 

Prisoner 88, by Leah Pileggi, published by Charlesbridge. 

Sure Signs of Crazy, by Karen Harrington, published by Little, Brown and Company. 

The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny), by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, illustrated by Stacy Innerst, published by Harcourt Children’s Books. 

The Candy Smash, by Jacqueline Davies, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. 

The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, published by Philomel Books. 

The Language Inside, by Holly Thompson, published by Delacorte. 

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, by Margarita Engle, published by Harcourt. 

The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit’s Amazing Migration, by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Mia Posada, published by Millbrook Press. 

The Matchbox Diary, by Paul Fleischman, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, published by Candlewick Press. 

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, by Nancy J. Cavanaugh, published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. 

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders, by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Jim Burke, R. Gregory Christie, Tonya Engel, John Parra, and Meilo So, published by Chronicle Books. 

Words with Wings, by Nikki Grimes, published by WordSong. 

Zebra Forest, by Adina Rishe Gewirtz, published by Candlewick Press. 


2014 Notable Childrens’ Books in the Language Arts Selection Committee Members: Patricia Bandré, chair; Shanetia Clark, Christine Draper, Evie Freeman, Dick Koblitz, Jean Schroeder, and Barbara Ward 

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19. Will you join us for dinner?

RSVP by 10/31 if you plan to join us for the Slicer Dinner at NCTE.

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20. A Sneak Peek

Here is a Sneak Peek at our NCTE Presentation.

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21. Happy National Day on Writing 2014

Happy National Day on Writing!

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22. Slice of Life Story Challenge: Every Tuesday!

Join us! Share a story from your life!

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23. Will We See You?

We are excited to present at #NCTE14 this year. Come check out our session G.07, Saturday at 9:30!

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24. Will We See You?

We are excited to present at #NCTE14 this year. Come check out our session G.07, Saturday at 9:30!

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25. 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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