Originally posted as a sidebar for a School Library Journal feature in October 2010 entitled “Islam in the Classroom”, the following curated list has been updated with more recent titles. The books below received positive reviews in SLJ. Feel free to add any we might have missed in the comments section.
The United States Board on Books for Young People cites 40 international books for its 2011 honor list
In I Know Here, a young girl contemplates moving from northeastern Saskatchewan to Ontario: from rural to city life; from the known to the unknown. With her anticipated move, she joins a variety of characters from this year’s USBBY Outstanding International Books list who travel here, there, and everywhere. Their journeys take them from an airport (Oops!) to boarding schools [...]
It was 2001 and I was a year out of college, my dream of becoming a photographer neatly scrapped due to the slightly sobering fact that my photography skills, not to put too fine a point on it, stunk. Library school seemed a given at that point in my life, and I was determined to follow what I had always thought was my lifelong ambition: becoming an archivist. I wanted to conserve books. Never mind [...]
Planning to catch this year’s American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Anaheim, CA? If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to make every second count. That’s why we’ve asked seven savvy librarians to give us the skinny on the top five sessions they plan to attend during the June 21–26 event. As you’ll see, they came up with an eclectic mix that’s bound to make nearby Disneyland‘s power couple, Mickey and [...]
The new standards dovetail elegantly with inquiry, and we know inquiry
This is the worst time to be a school librarian and the best time to be one. Our profession is under daily threat of extinction, yet the implementation of the Common Core Standards affords incredible opportunity to make the strongest case for the importance of librarians and libraries in schools. Together we must commit to gaining a deep understanding of these new standards and determine to be at the [...]
The word competitiveness often conjures up a negative image. Maybe it’s an athlete willing to do anything to be the best. Or perhaps it’s a corporate shark climbing up the workplace ladder by backstabbing co-workers. But being competitive doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. I’m a very competitive gamer and believe in giving my all to anything—especially a good game. But I always play by the rules. And if I win, that’s certainly a plus.
Playing competitive [...]
I’m on my way to visit Susan Cooper on an unseasonably warm day in mid-February. As my car cruises along, about 45 minutes south of Boston, low tide reveals miles of untouched marshland. I drive across a short causeway, creep down an unpaved lane, and suddenly I’m staring at the exquisite home that Cooper built a couple of years ago. My first thought is that I’ve stumbled upon the Grey House, the setting of Cooper’s [...]
To Have and Have Not: When it comes to the latest technology, some schools are more equal than others
“The future is here,” William Gibson once quipped. “It’s just not evenly distributed.” Gibson, the sci-fi writer who coined the term “cyberspace” back in 1982, could easily have been describing the state of technology in today’s K–12 classrooms. Sure, there are lots of stories about schools adopting the very latest digital devices, such as Maine’s Auburn School District giving iPads to each of its more than 250 kindergarteners or Burlington High, outside of Boston, ditching traditional [...]
The Golden Globe and Peabody Award–winning Fox series Glee, now in its third season, has revamped the tired reputations of both glee clubs and TV musicals. Can it do the same for school librarians? Certainly not if producers and writers maintain their current approach, scripting a shushing, out-of-touch librarian who has barely gotten a minute of screen time and hasn’t appeared since season two, despite the fact that scenes often take place in the school library.
The Glee [...]
April is traditionally the opening of the major league baseball season, turning our thoughts to sports of all kinds and the ways in which they can be integrated with studies in mathematics, history/social studies, biography, science, family life, health, and physical education. Stories about famous players, how sports help young people overcome adversity, and the thrill of a game well played bring listeners a fresh appreciation of [...]
Michael Tunnell’s latest book did something amazing to my brain. Now I can’t hear the word “candy” without thinking of the word “hero.” This is a delectable combination that I’m certain my booktalk audiences make daily, but I’m also certain they haven’t heard the amazing story found in Tunnell’s Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Aircraft’s Chocolate Pilot (Charlesbridge, 2011).
In 1948, after World War II, Berlin, except for narrow air corridors, was cut off from the [...]
April 2012 marks the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland. Even after 100 years, the disastrous loss of the White Star Line’s premier ship continues to fascinate. Over the course of 10 decades, the calamity has inspired a Broadway show, multiple books, and several movies, including the 1997 blockbuster film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which will be rereleased in 3D for the anniversary. But why do students remain interested?
When Sarah Ludwig applied for her current job, the former media specialist was looking for the right fit for her skills. She found it, and now Ludwig has potentially forged a new model for school librarianship. As she drives tech innovation across the entire curriculum, her work is skill-centered rather than site-centered, and it’s connection-oriented while staying collection-oriented. It also emphasizes learning outcomes over gadgetry and validates the core work of librarians in meeting educational goals. She’s done all of [...]
When Temple Grandin was born, her parents didn’t know she had autism. In fact, her father thought she was retarded and wanted to send her to live in a mental hospital. Today, she’s a renowned scientist who designs humane environments for cattle and other animals we eat. What impact has she had on the industry?
Thirty-five million cattle are raised annually for beef in the U.S. Half of them spend their final minutes in buildings Temple designed, but her [...]
For the past two years, we have been using a tool to support math instruction in our schools that is as familiar to many students as riding a bike—the Nintendo Wii. Viewing the video game console through the eyes of an educator has opened up a world of mathematical applications through which students can master concepts, teachers can align with the Common Core Standards, and classrooms can reflect students’ experiences and interests.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative [...]
In this Article
2012 ALSC & YALSA VIDEO AND FILM PICKS
The Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), released their 2012 audio picks at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Dallas, TX, in January.
The items on ALSC’s Notable Children’s Recordings list, for children 14 years of age and younger, exhibit especially commendable qualities, show respect for children’s [...]
In this Article
ALSC & YALSA AUDIOBOOKS
ALSC 2012 NOTABLE CHILDREN’S VIDEOS
The Notable Children’s Videos list is compiled annually by a committee of the Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The titles were released in January 2012 at the ALA Midwinter meeting in Dallas, TX. The videos, for children 14 years of age and younger, exhibit especially commendable qualities, show respect for children’s intelligence and imagination, [...]
People often ask me—in a slightly mystified tone of voice—why I write poetry. I know what they’re thinking: poetry is a bit outside the mainstream; many readers don’t seek it out, and some avoid it. So why deliberately choose it?
In some ways, I think poetry chose me. I’ve loved it right from childhood, drawn to those tiny sculptures of words on the page. The words themselves enchant me: so vivid, so concise, so rich [...]
We’d like to take issue with School Library Journal’s review of Terri Couwenhoven’s “The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes in the Tween Years” (Feb. 2012, p 140).
The reviewer evaluated the book as if it were written for an audience of typically developing girls. But in fact, the book is intended for girls with intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome or autism. The accommodations made for its audience are the strengths of the [...]
Math is everywhere. Sometimes it’s obvious-on a test, counting money, etc.-but other times students don’t even realize they’re using it. When they get wrapped up in the topic, they can begin to appreciate the importance and beauty of math and become motivated to learn more. There are times when the basics have to be covered (see Enslow’s “Ace Your Math Test” for a great series for that), but there should also be opportunities for students to get interested in a [...]