March 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for January 2007

Boys: Defective Girls | Consider the Source

In many schools, males’ interests are ignored or dismissed

As readers of this column know, I have plenty of opinions on the subject of boys and reading. But recently, as I was preparing to address the New Jersey Reading Association on that topic, I figured I’d better take a look at what the research has to say. For starters, I turned to Sara Mead’s “The Truth about Boys and Girls”. When Mead, a senior policy analyst at the think tank Education […]

All Together Now | What Works

Social bookmarking offers a new way to store and share Web sites

We’ve all heard about wikis, blogs, and RSS feeds. Now there’s another hot Web-based tool for classroom use. It’s called social bookmarking. Don’t worry, it’s not like MySpace, Friendster, or other social networking sites that have come under fire for exposing kids to unsafe Internet practices.

Social bookmarking allows multiple users to save their favorite sites, articles, and even podcasts on the Web—instead of inside your browser—making them accessible […]

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore | Scales on Censorship

What to do when a good series contains explicit language

A parent recently asked me why some of our books contain language that’s inappropriate for students to use in school. What should I tell her?

Explain to her that a library offers books about a variety of characters that may live in vastly different environments. Plus, just because you’ve included a title in your collection, doesn’t mean that you’re endorsing its language or ideas. It’s also not unusual to have students […]

Brain Food | First Steps

Can Baby Einstein books and DVDs turn a child into a genius?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from parents today is “What do you think about Baby Einstein books?” or “Should I let my baby watch Baby Einstein DVDs?” These questions about the popular series of books and audiovisual materials for babies come up at almost every parent training session, which tells us that parents are concerned and confused. They want what’s best for their children, so […]

Rethinking “Racy Reads” | Up for Discussion

A library educator takes on the labeling issue

One evening last summer as I was sitting around watching TV and reading, a news promotion caught my ear and persuaded me to stay tuned for the 11 o’clock program. My local NBC affiliate was running a special report entitled “Racy Reads,” which was to deal with those extra-edgy teen paperbacks in heavy rotation at libraries and in high demand at bookstores. As the anchor delivered a somber voice-over about the controversial content […]

Lust for Life | Under Cover

First-time author Sara Zarr gives the skinny on her novel ‘Story of a Girl’

In the opening pages, 13-year-old Deanna is caught by her father having oral sex with a 17-year-old. Although that sounds pretty racy, it seems like you went out of your way to describe the experience in the least explicit language possible.

When I was a teen, my mom was involved in what I was reading, and there were certain books that I loved that I would hide […]