March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for December 2005

Gorilla of My Dreams | Nonfiction Booktalker

Slithering snakes, long-legged spiders, and endangered apes entice readers

When I was a kid, my image of a scientist was a nerd who wore a lab coat, worked indoors, and spent all day looking through a microscope. Any discoveries he made did not rank high on my excitement meter. Mercifully, my childhood preconceptions have been blown to smithereens.

A number of eye-opening blasts have come from publishers like Houghton, whose Scientists in the Field series, with its riveting writing and great […]

The Real McCoy | What Works

Handling old books and rare materials opens a new world to students

Imagine the impact of your lessons on students if they could see an original Ansel Adams print or a handwritten letter by Mark Twain. Media specialists in my area are able to share old books and rare materials like these with their students by reaching out to me—a librarian in the special collections department at the University of Colorado.

I’m amazed at how few school librarians realize what a great […]

When Children Suffer | Under Cover

Canadian writer and activist Deborah Ellis talks about the AIDS epidemic

In your latest book, Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDS, you write that 11.5 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have lost their parents to AIDS. Is there any hope?

I certainly find hope in the people who are there. We don't get a good sense of people in African countries from our news stories or charity commercials. We just get a sense of people being fairly helpless […]

Thinking Outside the Canon | Up for Discussion

A librarian offers a fresh perspective on introducing great literature to teens

Let’s play Word Association. I say, “Classics.” You pull back in your seat, maybe cross your arms or a leg, and respond with, “Old.” “Boring.” Then, “dry,” “musty,” and “irrelevant.” And you’re just warming up! Next come, “school,” and “required,” and “torture.” While you’re firing off associations, you may be remembering your junior and high schools years and the “classics” you were required to interpret in accordance with the […]