November 22, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for March 2008

Most High School Students Admit to Cheating

This article originally appeared in SLJ’s Extra Helping.

By Joan Oleck, 3/10/2008

A whopping 95 percent of high school students say they’ve cheated during the course of their education, ranging from letting somebody copy their homework to test-cheating, a Rutgers University professor reports.
"There’s a fair amount of cheating going on, and students aren’t all that concerned about it," says Donald McCabe, a professor of management and global business at New Jersey-based Rutgers.
The professor has been surveying cheating practices among college kids for […]

Land of 10,000 Publishers: Minnesota Children's Book Publishing

OK, maybe we’re exaggerating. But Minnesota does produce a humongous amount of books.

By Claire Kirch

Minneapolis is a book lover’s paradise. There are dozens of neighborhood bookstores, a sleek new $125 million Minneapolis Central Library, and Open Book, the nation’s first facility devoted to the literary arts. No wonder it was dubbed America’s most literate city last year.

But one of the best-kept secrets is that Minneapolis and nearby Mankato have evolved over the past 75 years into major publishing hubs for […]

Ready to Rock? | The Gaming Life

Star in your own ‘Rock Band’

Move over Guitar Hero and make room for the new band in town. Released in late fall, teens at the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library call MTV Game’s Rock Band “the ultimate party game” and a video game that “makes rock cool again.”

One of the most talked about video games, Rock Band is a lot like Guitar Hero, with drums and vocals added, making play even more fun. According to a 2007 survey of 400 […]

Golden Oldies: Using Digital Recording to Capture History

Digital recording tools help students engage the oral tradition and connect with the past

I hit play and the sound of his voice washes over me like a warm summer breeze. I am 10 years old again, listening to my grandfather, Henry C. Langhorst, tell me stories. In a heavy German accent, he’s recalling his youth, how he and his brother crossed the American heartland by train in 1923. Neither spoke a word of English, and possessing only the clothes on […]

History’s Secrets Revealed | Nonfiction Booktalker

Four great booktalks to uncover the past

On Memorial Day weekend last year, I suddenly became intrigued and then obsessed by genealogy. As I followed the twisting roots and branches of my family tree, I was delighted by the surprises I got by peeking into the past. It’s the same delight we all get by digging into history.

Four books—all hugely appealing, all bristling with insight into how our forebears lived—make great booktalks for middle-grade audiences.

First off, Mark Kurlansky’s The Story of […]

Sweet Treats | First Steps

Poems can create a lifelong love of language in youngsters

“The first sound a child hears is actually a poem, the rhythmic, rhyming beat-beat-beat of a mother’s heart,” writes Jim Trelease in his introduction to Jack Prelutsky’s classic anthology, Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young (Knopf, 1986). Trelease, the author of The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition (Penguin, 2006), adds that this early experience “sets the stage for a natural and lifelong love of rhythm and rhyme… demonstrated by the ease with […]

ALA Book Picks 2008

Notable Children’s Books

Younger Readers

Agee, Jon. Nothing. illus. by author. Hyperion. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7868-3694-9.

Bang-Campbell, Monika. Little Rat Makes Music. illus. by Molly Bang. Harcourt. Tr $15. ISBN 978-0-15-205305-5.

Broach, Elise. When Dinosaurs Came with Everything. illus. by David Small. S & S/Atheneum. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-689-86922-8.

Brown, Monica. My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez/Me llamo Gabito: La vida de Gabriel García Márquez. illus. by Raúl Colón. Luna Rising. Tr $15.95. ISBN 978-0-8735-8908-6.

Coffelt, Nancy. Fred Stays with Me! […]

Bear Necessities: Greg Foley | Under Cover

How did a hipster like Greg Foley create such sweet books?

You have this ultrahip persona—you’re creative director of three chic fashion magazines, you direct music videos, and you live in New York’s Greenwich Village. And yet you’ve created two really sweet, totally uncool titles for young kids—Thank You Bear and its sequel, Don’t Worry Bear.

I’m a teacher too—I teach a course at Parsons School for Design with two of my colleagues—it’s kind of in my blood. My father’s an anthropologist […]

Graphic Novels Rule! The Latest and Greatest for Young Kids

What a difference a decade makes.

After years of fighting for shelf space in libraries and classrooms, graphic novels have finally become an acceptable alternative to their prose-packed counterparts—and kids can’t seem to get enough of them. For that matter, neither can grown-ups. In 2006, U.S. consumers dropped an estimated $330 million on graphic novels and comics, with librarians accounting for about 10 percent, or $33 million, of those purchases.

Publishers have taken advantage of the format’s rock-star status by launching special […]

Selective Memory | Consider the Source

Biographies for young readers aren’t telling the whole story

What should we include in biographies for young readers? Should we exclude the disputed parts of peoples’ lives? I found myself thinking about those questions as I was reading the January 25, 2008, issue of the Times Literary Supplement, featuring reviews of several new, often critical biographies of Mahatma Gandhi, including two by his grandsons. And I thought about that again as I was recently reading historian Barry Mackintosh’s 1977 article about […]

Walk Like an Egyptian: Ancient Egypt | Focus On

Oh, those mysterious ancient Egyptians! Rising out of the mists of prehistory, leaving rich troves of gold, distinctively styled art, memorable heroes and villains, an exotic set of gods and myths—not to mention a unique array of the most massive funerary monuments ever—they have for decades furnished an alluring gateway to the study of human culture. Rare is the elementary curriculum, at least in this country, that doesn’t feature an “Egypt” unit or two, and equally rare is the library […]

Parochial Thinking | Scales on Censorship

A Catholic high school gives chick lit series the old heave-ho

A parent of a fourth grader recently asked if it was appropriate to have Judy Blume’s Blubber in our collection. I was totally shocked. Why are people still getting riled up over that book?

Blubber (Atheneum, 1982) has long been one of Judy Blume’s most challenged books. Some parents just don’t like the way “the kids treat one another” in the story. Blume’s book is a popular read with elementary school […]