Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Finalists for the Audie Awards

I love listening to audiobooks, so I am excited about today's announcement of the Audio Publishers Association's finalists for the 2012  Audies or "Oscars" of audiobooks. I am especially thrilled to see Libba Bray's reading of Beauty Queens on the teen list.

I've listed the children's and teens finalists below. The winners will be announced on June 5th.


Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson, by Charles R. Smith, Jr., Narrated by Dion Graham, Live Oak Media
Django: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist, by Bonnie Christensen, Narrated by George Guidall, Live Oak Media
Looking Like Me, by Walter Dean Myers, Narrated by Dion Graham and Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Live Oak Media
Stone Soup, by John J. Muth, Narrated by BD Wong, Weston Woods
When I Grow Up, by Al Yankovic, Narrated by Al Yankovic, HarperAudio
Wolf Pie, by Brenda Seabrooke, Narrated by Andrew Watts, Recorded Books, LLC


Countdown, by Deborah Wiles, Narrated by Emma Galvin, Random House Audio/Listening Library
The Flint Heart, by Katherine Paterson and John Paterson, Narrated by Ralph Lister, Brilliance Audio
Heart and Soul, by Kadir Nelson, Narrated by Debbie Allen, HarperAudio
The Hidden Valley: The Incorrigible Children of Aston Place: Book II, by Maryrose Wood, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren, HarperAudio
A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz, Narrated by Johnny Heller, Recorded Books, LLC


Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray, Narrated by Libba Bray, Scholastic Audio
Chime, by Franny Billingsley, Narrated by Susan Duerden, Random House Audio/Listening Library
Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt, Narrated by Lincoln Hoppe, Random House Audio/Listening Library
Pick-Up Game, by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr., Narrated by Dion Graham and Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Brilliance Audio
The Wake of the Lorelei Lee, by L.A. Meyer, Narrated by Katherine Kellgren, Listen & Live Audio

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reading, CYBILS and A New Top 100 List

I got home late last night and caught the tail end of Rock Center, hosted by Brian Williams on NBC. The information about the show indicated that there had been a segment on an innovative reading program between a charter school and a public school in Rhode Island.

Today, I checked NBC's website and found the segment. The innovative aspect is the collaboration between the charter and public schools, not the reading instructional approach, which is being implemented in schools around the country.

It is always great to see teachers working together for the benefit of their students!

The 6th Annual CYBILS (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards) were announced on Valentine's Day. Winners included:

Book Apps: The Monster at the End of This Book

Fiction Picture Book: Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Nonfiction Picture Book: I Feel Better with a Frog  in My Throat by Carlyn Beccia

Easy Reader: I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems

Easy Chapter Book: Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Poetry: Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto by Paul B. Janeczko

Graphic Novels: Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright; illustrations by Barry Moser

Middle Grade Fiction: Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman

YA Nonfiction: Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming

YA Graphic Novel: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

YA Fantasy and Science Fiction: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

YA Fiction: Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A few things that might be of interest...

A few things that might be of interest...

The SLJ Battle of the Kids Books is gearing up for a 4th year starting March 13. If your favorite book didn't win (or even get recognized!) in the ALA awards, maybe this year's BOB contest will correct that oversight!

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has announced a new four-book series from author Lemony Snicket (a pseudonym for Daniel Handler), set to launch this fall. On October 23, the publisher will release “Who Could That Be at This Hour?”, first in the “autobiographical” All the Wrong Questions series, which will explore Snicket’s youth “in a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted.” “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” will be published simultaneously in hardcover, audio, and e-book formats, and has a one-million copy announced first printing.

Maggie Stiefvater's writes about her new series with Scholastic, The Raven Boys, on her blog. The first book in the series comes out September 18.

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children's books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways. Find the list of Notable books here.

Finally, Megan McCarthy of the Blue Rose Girls blog writes about Maurice Sendak's appearance on The Grim Colberty Tales. If you haven't watched this "interview" yet, take the time!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Recently, I read Brenda Power's introduction to the most recent The Big Fresh Newsletter. I always enjoy Brenda's insights and love the resources the newsletter provides for readers.   

The title of this particular newsletter was Acronymia and in it Brenda shares her dislike and frustration with the myriad of acronyms used in education that can be intimidating to everyone, including teachers.  However, at a writing retreat, she learned of a few new acronyms that she felt helped her to monitor her own behavior. For this post, I would like to talk about one of these acronyms, SHAME:

My favorite new acronym for teachers and literacy leaders is SHAME, which represents Should Have Already Mastered Everything. Isn't this exactly the trap so many of us find ourselves in, embarrassed that we haven't mastered everything there is to know about teaching and learning, including that massive number of acronyms so many folks sling around in conversations? 
Like Brenda, and many teachers around the world, I also feel SHAME. However, as professor of children's literature, I would like to add a new acronym that follows this same line of thought, SHARE: Should Have Already Read Everything.

One of the first things teachers do when they enter my class is confess their feeling of SHARE. They express their feelings of embarrassment because they:

  • haven't read many children's books since they were kids themselves.
  • haven't read most of the books in their classroom library.
  • don't read the books their students are reading.
  • prefer adult books (even "trashy" adult books!).
  • prefer certain genres and never read others.

I suffer from a mild form of SHARE, too. I am one of those people who feel the need to have read the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and other award winners "before" they are announced. When I haven't done so (which is almost always in one or more category), then I feel SHARE. 
However, I do read quite a bit. For example, in 2011 I read 100 chapter books. If I were to add picturebooks and professional books, I would add at least 100 more.  

For teachers, the key is often not the desire to read but finding the time to read. Teachers have so many things to feel SHAME about, that often, reading children's books gets pushed to the bottom of the list. I have multiple ways of reading that are integrated into my daily lifestyle that allow some time for reading everyday.  

In the next post, I will share the ways I find time to read. In the meantime, I'd love to hear the ways others are finding time to read. Please post your thoughts in the comments section and I will include them in the next post.