November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for March 2006

Graphic Novels for (Really) Young Readers

Owly. Buzzboy. Pinky and Stinky. Who are these guys? And why aren’t they ever on the shelf?

By Allyson A. W. Lyga, 03/01/2006

Since I started stocking our school library with graphic novels six years ago, I’ve discovered that kids love them. Our collection, for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, now has around 125 graphic novels, and they’re by far our most heavily circulated items. Every year, I add about 20 to 25 new ones, and I’m convinced that the time […]

Wikipedia, The Review

How the online behemoth compares to standard reference works

While media specialists and librarians would agree that no one should rely on any single source for research, we all have our favorite tools, especially when doing searching online. Google or Clusty, for example, might be the search engine we choose for a quick consult, in those instances when we don’t utilize a database or encyclopedia.

Through our choices, we model research behavior for both students and teachers, who rely on us to […]

Big Newton | Under Cover

Kathleen Krull talks about ‘Isaac Newton,’ a bio of the world’s greatest scientist

Newton was a 17th-century genius who, among other things, invented calculus and discovered some of the basic principles of physics. But he was also obsessive, vindictive, and ruthless. Did you know he was such a creep before you started researching his life?

No, I didn't. But I was kind of tickled to find that out because it makes him more interesting to write about. He wasn't really a […]

Script Novels | Up for Discussion

Are they a flash in the literary pan or an emerging genre?

Publishing trends come and go, but few hang around long enough to become genres in their own right. The evolution of these trends and genres—take the verse novel, for example—is murky at best, hardly linear in its progression, and can often only be seen in hindsight. Moreover, the innovators, the pioneers in these new forms, often respond to their own muse rather than some previously conceived notion of form.

For […]

Keeping Up With the New | Teenage Riot

Librarians can’t be information experts if they don’t have basic tech skills

Almost every library conference I’ve attended recently has featured teens answering questions about technology. Presenters will ask student panelists how many of them have sent a text message that day, and most of their hands will shoot straight up. When the question is posed to an audience of librarians, only a few raise their hands. It quickly becomes clear that, unlike teens, few librarians have embraced technology as part […]

Storytime Lessons | First Steps

An important new book combines research and reading

Storytimes at many libraries across the country are starting to look a bit different as librarians learn more about early literacy research and find creative ways to incorporate it into their programming. The ALA early literacy initiative, “Every Child Ready to Read @ your library,” encourages librarians to share their new knowledge through workshops for parents. While this approach has been successful nationwide, many librarians have realized that storytime is a perfect venue […]

It’s All Clear | What Works

Reading to reduce library fines allows kids to check out books again

It took months, but 13-year-old Jessica and 14-year-old Shannon cleared their library fines by reading for hours. The two teens are thrilled that they can take books home again, and now they’re regulars at the weekly teen discussion group of the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Franklinton branch.

Our branch is in a high-poverty neighborhood, where the median family income hovers around $23,000 and the high school dropout rate is as […]

I See Dead People | Nonfiction Booktalker

Mummies, corpses, and other gross things never fail to delight

Last year was a good year for ancient corpses. Three new titles from 2005 aimed at fourth- through eighth-grade readers, and all filled with fantastic photographs, make compelling booktalks on a topic that never fails to delight—dead bodies from long ago, frozen in time.

Zahi Hawass’s Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Boy King (National Geographic) focuses on the man behind the mummy. “King Tut” wasn’t an important king, but he had […]