March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for October 2009

Scholastic to Sell ‘Luv Ya Bunches’ at Middle School Book Fairs

Scholastic has reversed its decision to censor Lauren Myracle’s controversial Luv Ya Bunches (Abrams/Amulet, 2009) from school book fairs and will make a slightly sanitized version of the title available at middle schools in spring 2010. The novel, however, still won’t be for sale at elementary fairs—even though it specifically targets that age group.

Scholastic announced the news on its corporate blog Tuesday, but failed to explain why the book was blocked in the first place. The company did, however, say […]

A Touch of Grace

Grace Lin’s new novel is a tribute to her late husband–and a reminder of what really matters

Photograph by Tsar Fedorsky/Getty Images for SLJ

From Grace Lin’s blog:
June 19, 2007


Even though I have been quiet about it, the last two weeks have been really brutal. Robert has suffered viciously, yet still soldiered on. I felt the least I could do was try to do the same.

But the last few days have brought improvement and relief, and as it rains upon us, […]

Scholastic Censors Myracle’s ‘Luv Ya Bunches’ from Book Fairs

Don’t expect to see Lauren Myracle’s new book Luv Ya Bunches (Abrams/Amulet, 2009) at Scholastic school book fairs this year. It’s been censored—at least for now—due to its language and homosexual content.

Luv Ya Bunches, about four elementary school girls who have little in common, but bond over the fact that they’re all named after flowers, is the first installment of a four-book series. But Scholastic says the book, released on October 1, failed to meet its vetting process because it contains […]

Lessons from the Trenches | The Gaming Life

Best practices for using games and simulations in the classroom

We know that educational games and simulations can be valuable tools to reach and teach 21st-century students. However, many traditional classrooms and media centers aren’t designed to support educators who want to use them. Teachers and librarians are often required to justify the purchase and use of games in the classroom. And they sometimes even ask themselves if they have successfully met their intended educational objectives when they do use games […]

Should Your Library Have a Social Media Policy?

Facebook faux pas. Errant tweets. A dicey post could be damaging. Avoid these putfalls with some simple guidelines.

In January 2009, vice president of Ketchum Interactive James Andrews flew to Memphis, TN, to speak with a major client, FedEx, about social media. On the way to his presentation, Andrews logged on to Twitter and posted: “True confession but i’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say ‘I would die if I had to live here!’”

The problem? […]

Copyright and the DVD Dilemma

To upload, or not to upload: that is the question

Illustration by Tom Bloom

Is it legal to copy a DVD onto my school district’s server? As general counsel for a company that publishes and distributes educational videos and sells video-on-demand servers that digitally deliver them to the classroom, I get that question from educators all the time. And the answer is: it depends.

If you’re dealing with copyrighted works, things can get complicated, but let’s start with what you as a […]

Scare Tactics: There’s Nothing Like a Good Ghost Story

There’s nothing like a good ghost story to grab kids’ attention

Illustration by Mark Todd

There’s no doubt about it—paranormal fiction is hot right now. Our shelves are full of vampires and werewolves, faeries and zombies—and get ready for an incoming wave of fallen angels! As a fan of all things supernatural, I’m thrilled about this explosion of the immortal, the unknown, and the mythological. And yet, it feels like we’re missing the eternal constant in this renaissance: […]

Things That Keep Us Up at Night: The Future of the School Library

Illustration by Brian Ajhar

The library, as we once knew it, may no longer be relevant. School librarians, as we once knew them, may no longer be relevant. And, yet, this is undoubtedly the most exciting time in history to be a librarian.

The future of the school library as a relevant and viable institution is largely dependent on us and how quickly we respond to change.

We hope that libraries will always exist as places for learners to find information, resources, […]