Monday, January 12, 2009

Resource Round-Up

My goal is to make Monday Resource Round-up day. I'll collect the best of the resources for children's and YA literature from the blogs and websites I view each week and post them here. Let me know if you come across great resources, too, and I'll add them to the list.

Curriculum Connections, the e-newsletter by School Library Journal and, is starting the year off with their own fireworks: new titles on the African-American experience, a string of author-read fiction excerpts, the inside scoop on Don Brown’s new titles for young readers, gut-wrenching novels in verse for teens, and a look at a professional title that may inspire you to rethink your next family-night program. Enjoy!

This month's NoveList School News, an e-newsletter by EBSCO Publishing, looks at the role of the school librarian as not only working with children, but also teachers. Features include: Spotlight which looks at the influential work of educator Lucy McCormick Calkins who developed a workshop approach to language arts instruction. In Best Practices, librarian and intellectual freedom advocate Pat Scales talks about the right to read. Professional Resources examines two great guides to reading comprehension that draw on a canon of reading skills that inform language arts curricula across the country. NoveList Strategies demonstrates how to find children's books about writing by distinguished children's book authors. With characters that can jump from stories into real life, the big screen adaptation of the popular fantasy Inkheart is a perfect fit for this month's theme. To find out what the hoopla is all about, go to Silver Screen. Another good match is Awards as librarian Kathleen T. Horning provides insight into the prize named after Charlotte Zolotow for a distinguished picture book text. In the News presents information about the upcoming Webcast that will herald the recipients of the esteemed 2009 Newbery and Caldecott Awards as well as other highly regarded children's literary and media prizes.

Booklist's online newsletter Read Alert inlcudes Booklist's Editors' Choice picks for 2008's outstanding titles in Adult Books, Books for Youth, Adult Books for Young Adults, Media, and Reference Sources.

Trica at The Miss Rumphis Effect reports the results of the 2009 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books which "celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults." Five winners were selected in three categories: children, middle grades, and young adult. Several of the winners are also candidates for the Cybils nonfiction awards.

The Children's Choice Book Awards: In association with the Children’s Book Council (CBC), is giving you a very special opportunity to let your voices be heard by telling us your five favorite books of 2008. The five titles that receive the most “votes” will serve as the finalists for the CBC’s 2009 Teen Choice Book Award. Later we will tell you where you can go vote for them once the five finalists have been announced. The winner will be announced in May 2009. All you have to do is fill out the form found here between now and January 31, 2009. Your top five selections may come from the list provided or you can vote for titles not on the list.

Choice Literacy has a great article by author, school librarian, and blogger Franki Sibberson, The Year's Best New Read Alouds, in which she shares her favorite read alouds of 2008 for older students.

SLJ reports on an educational website, sometimes referred to as the “educational YouTube,” is geared toward kids ages 7 to 12, offering them three to four minute instructional and informational tours from a child's point of view through video podcasts.

Edutopia has a great article titled, Reading Round Table: Literature Circles Expand Thought by Alexandra Moses, that discusses books creates a full learning process for students.

Fuse #8 reviews Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (available February 1). I am a BIG fan of Shaun Tan for all of the reasons Fuse #8 writes about this book: "He’s not just writing new kinds of stories, but reinventing the very nature of short story collections, personal histories, sketchbooks, suburban metaphors, and on and on they go...The most obvious thing to compare to this, if comparisons are something we have to make, is The Twilight Zone. The last time suburbia got this skewered with the unknown, it was in that post-war Rod Serling era. Maybe history repeats itself." Read the full review to get the full concept, but I will have this book as soon as it becomes available!

Speaking of reviews of books that haven't come out yet, Douglas Florian posts the first review of his new poetry collection, Dinothesarus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings. The review, by Kirkus, begins: "In the fine tradition of Jack Prelutsky’s Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (1988), a set of dinophile-pleasing verses penned by a poet with a rare knack for wordplay and silly rhymes finds apt visual setting fronting playful images of monsters rearing up from extinction to grin toothily at young viewers." Click on the link above to read the full review and to see a sample illustration from the book.

Shen's Books provides a link to an article about the research behind Linda Gerdner's Grandfather's Story Cloth that appears in the Internet-based journal, The Hmong Studies Journal. Grandfather's Story Cloth is about ten-year-old Chersheng who helps his beloved grandfather cope with his failing memory, brought on by Alzheimer’s disease, by showing him the story quilt Grandfather made after fleeing his homeland, Laos, during wartime. Linda Gerdner, a registered nurse dedicated to helping persons with Alzheimer’s disease and the family members who care for them, has also put together a set of discussion questions (and their answers) that address many of the difficult issues presented in the book.

The Brown Bookshelf reviews 12 Brown Boys, a short story collection for middle-graders by by first time children's author Omar Tyree that explores the lives of a memorable cast of 'tween brown boys. "12 Brown Boys is a needed book that gives African-American boys an important incentive to read – reflections of themselves." There is also a link to a Book Links article that offers more titles that celebrate African-American boys.

Finally, check out the movie trailer for Inkheart to be released on January 23rd. I enjoyed the audiobook, read by actor Brendon Fraser, who is also starring in the movie at Mo. He did a fantastic job of reading the book, but I'm not a big fan of his acting. However, Helen Mirren is a great actress who is playing the part of Elinor, so maybe there is hope!

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Tricia said...

Hi Denise,
I love the idea of a resource round-up! I'm going to have to remind my students to visit.

Thanks too for including a link to the post on 2009 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. The books listed here are just the finalists, however. The winners won't be announced until the end of the month.

I hope your semester is off to a good start!

Denise Johnson said...

Thanks for that correction, Tricia!

I was just thinking about you. I read a study from researchers at the University of Missouri who found that students, especially girls, who struggle with reading and math in the first grade are more likely to develop poor self-perception and depression symptoms in middle school. I thought about all of the fantastic resources you post on reading and math (and science) on your blog and how lucky we all are to have you as a resource. Thanks for all you do!