February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for September 2007

Students Not Fazed by Dewey-less Library in Arizona

If you’re wondering how students are responding to the Dewey-less library in Gilbert, AZ, now that everyone’s back at school, there’s not much to say because no one really notices.

“Students don’t seem to care or know the difference,” says Jennifer Miele, manager of the Perry Branch Library, part of the Maricopa County Library District in Arizona, which decided to ditch Dewey when it opened its doors last June.

Librarians across the country were up in arms about the new library adopting […]

SLJ Talks with Author Kate DiCamillo about the New ‘Light the Way’ Grant

If anyone knows about underserved communities, it’s Kate DiCamillo. That’s why her publisher, Candlewick Press, has chosen to honor the award-winning author with its new grant, titled “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved.” The grant will award a $5,000 check to a library for its exemplary outreach programs.

SLJ spoke to DiCamillo at her home in Minneapolis about why Candlewick chose to honor her in this way and what it means to her. The grant will be administered by the […]

The Boy Problem: Many Boys Think School is Stupid and Reading Stinks

Is there a remedy?

Have you ever attended a Pentecostal service? I have… just once. I found it absolutely terrifying. People standing, waving their arms in the air, shouting unintelligible streams of words. I felt as though I had been locked in an asylum where I couldn’t understand the language the inmates were speaking.

Afterward, my friend Luis, who had invited me, asked me how I liked the service. “It was different,” I said, truthfully enough. “It’s not what I’m used to. […]

When Bad Grammar Happens to Good Characters | Scales on Censorship

What to do when bad grammar happens to good characters

A parent of a second grader was upset by the bad grammar used in the “Junie B. Jones” series. What should I tell her?

The “Junie B. Jones” series is easy to read and extremely funny—no wonder emerging readers love it. Explain to the parent that the dialogue simply reflects the age of the main character. Most five- and six-year-olds haven’t mastered the rules of grammar—and neither has Junie B. You might […]

Relishing the Past | Consider the Source

When it comes to historic events, not every occasion cuts the mustard

“This is such a historic moment.”

I heard that comment while listening to an NPR story about a hotdog-eating contest at Coney Island. The winner of this year’s Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest chomped down 66 franks and buns in 12 minutes, smashing the old world record by six-and-a-half dogs and dethroning the defending six-time champion. One of the spectators, who’s going to law school, […]

Gaming Advocacy: Report on TechSource Symposium | The Gaming Life

New ways librarians can support learning and literacy

For three days in July, the first TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium drew more than 300 public, school, and academic librarians, and everyone in between, to Chicago. There was even representation from as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

The conference focused on how gaming impacts libraries and supports learning and literacy and the role of librarians “in educating the public about the value of games and gaming literacy.” In addition to […]

The Gift That Keeps on Giving, Storytime | First Steps

Sharing great storytime ideas is inspirational and infectious

We love it when we find email messages like this in our inboxes: “I just used a great book in storytime, Snog the Frog by Tony Bonning, and it was a HUGE hit. We talked about vocabulary (majestic, pucker, and most definitely snog), print awareness (hoppity hoppity hoppity hop is noticeable in terms of space and font shape/size), phonological awareness (again with the hoppities), and rhyming sentences like ‘Who? You? Moo! No! Now […]

Seriously Scary Stuff | Nonfiction Booktalker

Nothing appeals to young readers like fear, horror, and gore

When the young man who is my new neighbor dropped in to use the phone, there, perched upon on my footstool, was Joshua Gee’s Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying TRUTH! about Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More (Scholastic, 2007). The book has a compelling cover and lots of illustrations, including “actual” photos of ghosts, photos of the giant squid which may have been the basis of the legend of the kraken (a horrible, […]

Stranger in a Strange Land: Interview with Shaun Tan | Under Cover

Shaun Tan’s ‘The Arrival’ may be the most brilliant book of the year

Your books have tackled colonial imperialism, social apathy, and the nature of depression. The Arrival—a 128-page, wordless graphic novel—explores what it’s like be a refugee, adrift in a very unusual world. Why such serious subjects?

I’m not really sure. When I start a book, I’m attracted to very specific imagery, and I’m usually not aware of what the story is about until I’m well into it. Probably it’s got […]

Going Green: Eco-friendly Schools

You can’t ignore the benefits of eco-friendly schools

Maybe it’s the waterless urinals or the geothermal heating and cooling system buried 515 feet underground. Or perhaps it’s the motion-activated faucets or the paints and furnishings made from low-volatile organic compounds. But one thing’s for sure: Great Seneca Creek Elementary is unlike most schools.

Since opening its doors in the fall of 2006, this school in Germantown, MD, has hosted more than two dozen tours for administrators, architects, parents, and the media—just about […]