April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for January 2006

A Picture’s Worth… | First Steps

Wordless books can jump-start some sublime conversations

The wordless picture book has become a powerful learning tool in the parent-education talks and workshops we offer at our library. Wordless books help us teach parents to talk about the pictures when they share books with their young children. These books emphasize how important the pictures are to children and encourage parents to ask questions and relate the pictures to the child's real world. They demonstrate that often the best part of the […]

Another School of Thought | Soapbox

It’s time to educate media specialists in schools of education

As a doctoral student hoping to teach school library courses at a university, I may be shooting myself in the foot to say this: school library degree programs should operate within schools of education, not in schools of library and information science.

The focus of most school library degree programs is on the library as a source of information and on developing the skills of librarianship. No surprise there. To be sure, […]

I Dream of Djinni | Under Cover

British author Jonathan Stroud talks about the bestselling ‘Bartimaeus Trilogy’

How did you come up with the idea for a trilogy about a smart-alecky djinni and a young magician?

I was walking home from a particularly boring and tedious shopping trip in my hometown, and I was turning things over in my mind. I suddenly decided I would create a hero who was a djinni and have as his enemy a young magician who was a politician. A contemporary England that […]

Originality in Nonfiction | Up for Discussion

A writer for young people makes a case for recognizing innovation

Recently, there has been an explosion of innovation in fiction and picture books—from the proliferation of novels in verse or in multiple voices to the triumphant rise of the graphic novel. But what makes for originality in nonfiction for young people? I think about this a lot. While experiments in other brands of writing are easy to recognize, there are particular reasons why equally fresh and creative work in nonfiction […]

Strength in Numbers | What Works

Struggling kids benefit from volunteer tutors

When I was a teacher-librarian at Odle Middle School in Bellevue, WA, I often saw the look of defeat on the faces of kids who were struggling academically. I felt frustrated because I simply didn’t have the time to give them the individual attention they needed. One day, a parent of a struggling student came up with the idea of recruiting volunteer tutors—and six years later, our program has grown to 42 helpers—including parents, high […]

The Google Game

Sure, your kids are familiar with Google (even to the exclusion of other search engines). But how effective are they at using it?

It’s 10 a.m. and Kate Elder’s ninth-grade English class is in the library researching early 19th-century Paris, the setting of Victor Hugo’s classic Les Miserables. In her first attempt to learn about the French Restoration, Emily enters www.restoration.com in the address bar, and finds herself at the site of a swanky hardware store based in Pasadena, CA.

She tries […]