Google+

October 1, 2014

Subscribe to SLJ

‘Ender’s Game’ and Orson Scott Card: Teachable Moments in Media Literacy

EndersGame_TN

Teens interested in Ender’s Game—both the acclaimed science fiction novel and its big budget film adaptation opening this weekend—may be curious about the recent controversy surrounding author Orson Scott Card’s outspoken views. Fortunately, the library offers an ideal safe intellectual harbor for teaching the media literacy skills that allow them to explore critical thinking questions about the role of social politics and media, and to examine ways in which we might begin to separate art from the artist.

Informational Text: Recommended Books, Suggested Strategies

2pacvsBiggie

It’s all too easy to dismiss colorful, fun books of this sort, with their brief chunks of text and apparently oversized photos, as merely motivational in nature.

Is ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ the Darkest Superhero Film Ever?

Is ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ the Darkest Superhero Film Ever?

Can creators in essence separate the “super” from the “hero” and still be said to be working with the same character?

You Don’t Need to Go to Comic-Con to Have Fan Literacies

You Don’t Need to Go to Comic-Con to Have Fan Literacies

Many popular fanfiction stories are based on books that can be found in school libraries: The Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, and, of course, Harry Potter. For most fanfiction authors, though, that’s where the connection between fanfiction and school ends: they’ve never been asked by a teacher or librarian about their out-of-school writing.

Ways to Welcome Fanfiction in Schools

When it comes to fanfiction and academics, there is a long history of non-fans writing and doing things that fans don’t particularly like, so you should be extraordinarily careful when you introduce fanfiction-based exercises to wary young fans.

Fanfiction: What Educators Really Need to Know

Fanfiction: What Educators Really Need to Know

Do young fanfiction authors seek the kind of feedback that educators would find “useful” in K-12 settings, and are fanfiction communities really the nurturing environments of peer-critique that some make them out to be?

In Honor of Baseball’s All-Star Game, A Book to Pre-Order

Student sports fans (in this case, baseball fans specifically) can leverage their outside-of-school literacies to comprehend and appreciate the sophisticated cartoons and high-level text.

Something to Consider on the Eve of Comic-Con: Cosplay and Critical Thinking

Something to Consider on the Eve of Comic-Con: Cosplay and Critical Thinking

“We can look at cosplay as a medium that assists other media, anime and manga, by targeting a certain audience segment related to fandom.”

Confessions of a Cosplaying Librarian

“The key idea is actually a media literacy one related to representation: no one in real life actually looks like an anime or manga character.”

Now in Theaters: An Absolutely Must-See Doc About Digital Literacy

Now in Theaters: An Absolutely Must-See Doc About Digital Literacy

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s work represents a treasure trove of ideas for those who want to connect domestic spying and the death of privacy to civics, media studies, ICT, and political theory—not to mention information literacy and digital literacy specifically.

Big Brawlers and Little Children: The Not-New Appeal of ‘Pacific Rim’

Big Brawlers and Little Children: The Not-New Appeal of ‘Pacific Rim’

The reason such overt silliness is nonetheless so effective is that we all connect with the fantasy of controlling a creature much, much larger than we could ever hope to be.

Oh, All That Annoying Movie Marketing: A Chat with Critic Eric D. Snider

“Young people are pretty savvy about marketing…They don’t consider something ‘bad’ or ‘annoying’ just because it’s marketing, the way many of us in the previous generation did.”

The Pop Culture Propaganda of Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim, and G.I. Joe

The Pop Culture Propaganda of Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim, and G.I. Joe

These posters’ apparently value-free aspect is perhaps what’s most worth exploring with young people…

Moriarty, Hannibal, and Despicable Me: How We End Up Rooting for the Bad Guy

It’s okay to find the villain appealing in certain respects—in fact, much of pop culture depends on our doing just that.

‘World War Z’ At the Movies: Some Critical Thinking Questions

‘World War Z’ At the Movies: Some Critical Thinking Questions

Media literacy discussion points covering novel-to-film adaptations, marketing, genre, screen violence, and more.

Why Are Zombies So Good for Libraries?

Why Are Zombies So Good for Libraries?

More than just a craze, the interest in zombies points the way towards a new kind of literacy engagement.

Joss Whedon, Modern Dress Shakespeare, and the Problem of Class in Classrooms

Both curriculum and pop culture, perhaps not coincidentally, have no problem dealing with class systems when they’re at a remove.

‘Tiger Eyes’ and Transliteracy: Confessions of Someone Who Hasn’t Read the Novel

‘Tiger Eyes’ and Transliteracy: Confessions of Someone Who Hasn’t Read the Novel

‘Tiger Eyes’ is not really an upbeat film—which is, oddly, what makes it so refreshing.

‘Super Pop!’ and Making (Extremely Fun) Connections Across Media

Quick, what do these have in common… the ‘dingy basements’ in ‘Fight Club’ (the film), the video game Flower, a couple of novels by Harumi Murakami and E.L. Konigsburg, the bathroom in HBO’s ‘Girls,’ Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s ‘Empire State of Mind,’ and Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’?

BEA, Famous Authors, and Why We’re All Guilty of Promoting ‘Celebrity Culture’

BEA, Famous Authors, and Why We’re All Guilty of Promoting ‘Celebrity Culture’

I guess there was some cosplay going on, but most participating attendees chose to dress up as publishing executives for some reason.