September 21, 2017

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After a Member’s Ouster from Newbery Medal Committee, a Closer Look at Social Media Rules 

Social media guidelines for Newbery Committee members were devised a few years ago to avoid controversy about how the prestigious book awards are determined. But the rules have raised issues of their own.

A Forest of Poems: Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle

Engle discusses her poems and books in verse, Cuba, and her first career as a botanist.

Metareading in Picturebooks: A Dissertation by Melanie McGilloway

The Twitter has its uses, you have to admit.  The other day I was looped into a conversation there with a seemingly simple question: What are the picture books that favorably portray children reading ebooks?  This question turns out to be a lot more difficult to ascertain than you might think.  Over the years we’ve […]

It’s Awards Season at Bank Street College

Winners of the 2017 Flora Stieglitz Straus, Claudia Lewis, and Josette Frank Awards were honored on Thursday, April 6.

Introduce myShakespeare to your students!

Fun fact: You may know I was an English major. You may not know that my serious focus was 16th century poetry and drama. My favorite course ever was Shakespeare’s Problem Plays. Not every student I’ve met over the years felt the same draw to Shakespeare. The play is just not every kid’s thing. The […]

A Sobering Centennial: The Somme Offensive | Touch and Go

The Battle of the Somme, the devastating, five-month offensive of World War 1, is commemorated in an app marking its centennial.

Allen Say, Lee and Low, Regina Hayes, and Steven Heller at the Carle Honors Gala

Where else can an Artist, an Angel, a Mentor, and a Bridge meet? Celebrating the work of some of the picture book industry’s greatest achievers.

When an Ebook is the Best Book

Five reasons why ebooks can be a better choice than print in your school library.

New Student Discovery Sets for Tablets from LOC

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the first six Student Discovery Sets published by the Library of Congress. The collection, now at 15 titles, covers so many of the themes studied in our school programs. This week, three new sets launched: Scientific Data: Observing, Recording, and Communicating Information Weather Forecasting The New Deal […]

I Could Tell You About the Newbery and Caldecott Committees. But I Can’t. | Up for Debate

The Nobel Prize raises the veil of confidentiality after 50 years. Congress has unsealed the Warren Commission documents related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Do the Newbery/Caldecott records hide some sort of national security risk that’s not obvious to us?

Let Book Awards Committee Members Blab | Up for Debate

I would dearly love to talk about my experiences on children’s book awards committees. Ending the confidentiality requirement would also allow members to discuss those books and illustrators who truly did fabulous work but weren’t winners or honorees.

Why You Don’t Want To Know More About the Newbery and Caldecott | Up for Debate

To a writer or artist like myself, hearing about committee proceedings would only create feelings of self-doubt and raise ‘what if?’ questions. It wouldn’t make non-winners think about what they did ‘right.’ Rather, they would ask what they did ‘wrong.’

We Need Diverse eBooks Too, Y’know

Here is what in truth is just a query masquerading as a legitimate blog post.  I am never above misusing my power when I’m curious.  And while I’m sure somebody somewhere has brought this up, I certainly can’t recall it being as big a topic as it could be. The other day I was talking […]

Debut Author Meredith Russo on Trans Teens in YA Lit and “If I Was Your Girl”

SLJ chats with debut author Meredith Russo about her first book for teens If I Was Your Girl, what librarians can do about North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, and the ups and downs of being a published author.

Wonderful news! The launch of the Open eBooks app for your children in need

Some wonderful news!  First Lady Michelle Obama’s video below announces a significant new initiative designed to address the challenge of providing children living in low income households with equitable access to digital reading materials. Open eBooks, is a free app, offering thousands of popular and award-winning titles, available without checkout or cost.  It targets all […]

You Don’t Show the Sweet Without the Bitter | Up for Debate

I understand small moments of joy on a page, like a slave receiving a Christmas present, because I can place those stories into a broad landscape and see them as the exception, not the norm. You have to earn hopeful stories about horrifying events, and you can only see what hope means if the horrors lurking nearby are visible

We Will Continue to Raise Our Voices: Survival, Slavery, Censorship | Up for Debate

This ‘shocking and unprecedented case of self-censorship’ was, in fact, an editorial decision. The publishing industry makes thousands of them every day. They happen in response to many factors, including outside pressure, personal bias, and money. This decision happened after many voices were raised opposing the book, led by Black Lives Matter activist Leslie Mac.

So People Disagree. Is This a Problem? | Up for Debate

Withdrawing a book from circulation—which makes it disappear as effectively as burning—is a dangerous course. The book is gone. By the same logic, other books will also disappear, or never be written. But there’s another compelling cause for concern: Censorship often works against those who are the most marginalized—historically, women, minorities, and dissidents.

A next chapter: Editions at Play

In a world where smartphones are transforming into all-purpose devices, not surprisingly, an October 2015 Pew study found a sizable decline in e-book reader ownership. It’s possible that digital may not be the best container for all physical books. And it’s pretty clear that print and e-readers are not the perfect containers for emerging forms […]

Penguin Random House Announces New Ebook Terms of Sale for Libraries

Penguin Random House today announced a new terms of sale policy for ebook licenses sold to public, school, and other libraries. Effective January 1, 2016, all Penguin and Random House adult and children’s frontlist and backlist ebook titles will be available under the one-ebook, one-user, no loan cap perpetual licensing model that has long been employed by Random House.