November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for April 2007

Moving on Up | Teenage Riot

Taking a managerial job may be the best way to advocate for teens

I'm the first to admit that being a young adult librarian is one of the greatest jobs on earth, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I sometimes wonder if I'm getting too old—mentally, physically, and professionally—to continue booktalking, programming, and “connecting” with teens. Is there a shelf life for teen librarians? Sometimes the answer, sadly, is yes.

There may come a time in your career […]

Big Is Beautiful | What Works

For struggling readers, large-print books may make a huge difference

I don’t know about your students, but most of mine aren’t wild about reading. I teach at a middle school in a lower socioeconomic area of Tucson, AZ, where I work primarily with fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students who have special needs or are struggling to learn English. A few yearsago, I had a chance to use a set of large-print books for a reading unit, and I found that my […]

The Fruits of Her Labor | Under Cover

Author Sara Pennypacker channels third grade in ‘The Talented Clementine’

I heard that your greatest ambition as a child was to play shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.

I haven’t actually given that up. I had a real narcissistic conviction that I was meant to be discovered. I used to try to play ball as close to the road as I could, so that scouts going by would see me.

You were a serious watercolor painter. Why did you give it up?

After a […]

History That Never Happened | Consider the Source

Stories about the Underground Railroad are under attack

If you’re a regular reader of the New York Times or Read Roger, a blog by The Horn Book’s Roger Sutton, you may have heard about the recent hubbub surrounding the Underground Railroad. “Few aspects of the American past have inspired more colorful mythology than the Underground Railroad,” writes Fergus Bordewich in a Times Op-Ed piece on February 2. “But faked history serves no one, especially when it buries important truths that have […]

No Place Like Home: Books Can Create a Strong Sense of Place

I was born in India and lived in five different countries—England, Ghana, Cameroon, the United States (New York City), and Mexico—before moving to California when I was in seventh grade. While my classmates sang that line about the “land where their fathers died” and faced the American flag, I pictured a village in Bengal, oceans away. But was that place home any more? Not really.

According to psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, author of the classic The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and […]