April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for March 2009

Mama Mia | SLJ’s Average Book Prices 2009

Tough times present unprecedented opportunities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” Yes, it’s a tired cliché, but when it comes to today’s libraries—both school and public—it’s like that ABBA song I hear on the way to work. I just can’t get it out of my head.

You certainly don’t need me to explain what’s lousy—and scary—about the world nowadays. Just click on any news organization’s Web site. For librarians, the key question is how much is […]

Charles Darwin: An Intrepid Traveler | Focus On

Every century or so, a scientist comes along and opens a can of worms. Copernicus is a prime example, but we’ve all pretty much come to terms with his radical theories about the Earth traveling around the Sun. On the other hand, Charles Darwin’s worms (and barnacles and tortoises) are still causing trouble 200 years after his birth and 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species.

Some days in America, Darwin’s scientific view of the origin of man […]

Remembering Kate and Kathy: Two Passionate Youth Librarians Leave Behind a Lasting Legacy

For children’s book lovers, the world was infinitely glorious on Monday, January 26, 2009, as the winners of the American Library Association’s (ALA) awards were announced at the midwinter meeting in Denver. But two days later, a drunk driver slammed into a taxicab, killing two children’s librarians as they were on their way to the Denver International Airport, and suddenly our world was stopped cold.

I traveled to Washington, DC, for my first midwinter in January 2001, feeling very much a […]

Don’t Worry, Be Scrappy: Good, Cheap Tech for Schools, Cloud Computing and More

It’s the perfect time to try cheap new technologies

Illustration by Hal Mayforth

When asked to weigh in on what might be the next big thing in educational technology, I first did what I felt an SLJ gadget guy should do: I scanned the horizon for the next gizmo or software advance that would eventually grow legs, rise up, and utterly transform our profession. But what I saw was more about evolution than revolution. Sure, Windows Vista will become Windows 7, […]

2009 ALSC & YALSA Book Picks: The year’s best titles for children and teens

ALSC Notables

Notable Children’s Books

Younger Readers

Becker, Bonny. A Visitor for Bear. illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-2807-9.

Bee, William. Beware of the Frog. illus. by author. Candlewick. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3920-4.

Campbell, Sarah C. Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. photos. by author & Richard P. Campbell. Boyds Mills. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-1-59078-554-6.

Davis, Eleanor. Stinky. illus. by author. The Little Lit Library. RAW Junior. Tr $12.95. ISBN 978-0-97-992384-5.

Dorros, Arthur. Papá and Me. illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. HarperCollins/Rayo. Tr $16.99. ISBN […]

It’s Good to Be Gaiman: A Revealing Interview with Newbery Winner Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is on a roll. He’s nabbed the Newbery, walked the red carpet for Coraline, and then there’s that effing tweet.

Photograph by Kimberly Butler

Neil Gaiman has been a busy boy. I caught up with him by phone at his Wisconsin home, to which he had returned the night before from the film premiere of Coraline in Portland, OR. The movie hoopla, of course, was but a footnote to his Really Big News, winning the 2009 Newbery Medal for […]

Make a Joyful Noise: A Simple Song Has the Power to Bring People Together | First Steps

The mothers and children enter the neighborhood meeting room. A raw, icy blast of wind follows the families through the door. Mothers unlayer little ones. Off come the boots and hats and mittens and coats. Babies are unswaddled from the brilliantly colored cloths that are artfully and securely knotted around their mothers. The toddlers and older preschoolers are pulled toward the bright toys and art supplies, and the babies remain tucked in close to their mothers. We gather around a […]

Better Safe Than Sorry: Does Your Library Have an Online Acceptable-use Policy? | Scales on Censorship

I heard a speaker say the Supreme Court had ruled that as long as schools and other public entities have CIPA safeguards in place, they can’t be sued if a minor accesses an “inappropriate” Web site. I’m a high school librarian, and I need help in dealing with a skittish school board. Can you help me?

We live in a litigious society. There’s always a risk of being sued, but there are steps that schools can take to reduce the chance […]

Saint in the City: An Interview with Francisco X. Stork. | Under Cover

Photo by Tsar Fedorsky/Getty Images for Reed Business.

Marcelo is a bright 17-year-old who works with therapy horses, is wild about religion, and stumbles humorously into his first romantic relationship. You once lived at a home that was part of L’Arche, a faith-based community in which so-called normal adults live alongside those with developmental disabilities. What did you learn from that experience?
When you live with the disabled, you learn more from them than, frankly, they learn from you. The people […]

Graphic Novel Reviews | March 2009 | School Library Journal

Elementary and Middle School

AOKI, Ume. Sunshine Sketch. vol. 2. tr. from Japanese by Satsuki Yamashita. 116p. (Sunshine Sketch). Yen Pr. 2008. pap. $10.99. ISBN 978-0-7595-2902-1. LC number unavailable.

Gr 7–10—This quaint, softhearted tale presents small snapshots of four students attending a high school for the arts in Japan and of their lives as seemingly simple events strengthen their friendship. Hiro, Miyako, Yuno, and Sae go on a field trip to the zoo, sketching animals for a class project. The book […]