April 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for March 2010

Lowry’s ‘Number the Stars’ in US, Turkey Political Storm

It looks like Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning Number the Stars (Houghton, 1989) may be caught in the middle of an international storm between the United States and Turkey.

Lowry wrote in a blog post dated March 9 that she received a troubling letter from a teacher at Turkey’s Tarsus American College, a private, coed secondary school that offers an International Baccalaureate to its international and Turkish students.

“Last week the inspectors from the Turkish Department of Education came to our school and […]

Exploring Nature through Poetry

Like scientists, poets rely on keen observation skills, creative thought processes, and moments of pure inspiration to augment understanding of their subject matter and define universal truths. A poem can help readers to focus intensely on a particular topic, to zoom in on details previously unrevealed, to view something familiar—an ant colony or a crow—with fresh insight and perspective. With a kaleidoscope twist of verse or viewpoint, a poem can also expand upon the concrete to touch the imagination. What […]

ALSC & YALSA Book Picks 2010

ALSC Notable

Notable Children’s Books

Younger Readers

Arnold, Tedd. I Spy Fly Guy! illus. by author. Scholastic. Tr $5.99. ISBN 978-0-545-11028-0.

Brown, Peter. The Curious Garden. illus. by author. Little, Brown. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-3160-5329-7.

Brun-Cosme, Nadine. Big Wolf and Little Wolf. illus. by Olivier Tallec. tr. by Claudia Bedrick. Enchanted Lion. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-59270-084-4.

Cousins, Lucy. Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales. illus. by author. Candlewick. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4474-1.

Crum, Shutta. Thunder Boomer. illus. by Carol Thompson. Clarion. Tr $16. ISBN 978-0-618-61865-1.

Gerstein, Mordicai. A […]

Of Mice and Mentors: Keisa Williams

An educator with great tech plans finds she must start at the very beginning

Things are buzzing at the Monarch Library, where a class of 20 first graders is working intently on laptops. On screen, the current application is Big Universe, a picture-book site, where some kids are busy reading books, while others are browsing the program for their next title. No big deal. But to Keisa Williams, Monarch’s librarian, it’s simply “awesome.” Surveying the scene, she says, “There have been […]

Success Stories: It’s tough to remove labels, but it’s not impossible | Scales on Censorship

In my last column, I asked readers to write me if they had reversed their school’s practice of putting Accelerated Reader (AR) labels on library books. I was surprised by how many librarians responded. Here’s a sampling of some of the messages I received. Please keep sending me your success stories; they may appear in future columns.

—Pat Scales

When I moved from an elementary school that labeled its library books to a new school, one of the first things I did […]

A Federal Fumble: Nixing school library funds hurts those most in need | Editorial

Every March this page is devoted to helping school librarians prepare for next year’s budget with the publication of our annual “Average Book Prices,” so the topic of my editorial usually turns to money. This March is no different—although the message is a whole lot more urgent, as the federal government is pulling the rug out from under America’s neediest school libraries.

President Obama’s FY 2011 budget proposal, while increasing funds for education, completely eliminates the $19 million Improving Literacy Through […]

Let’s Get This Party Started

Pump up the volume. Streaming music is a great way to connect with older kids.

It’s not always easy to get teens talking. But when I became a young adult specialist at the Wilbraham (MA) Public Library four years ago, that’s exactly what I had to do. Although the library already had a thriving program for younger teens, my main mission was to bring in as many high schoolers as possible. So I needed to find out exactly what they wanted […]

True Grit: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

In tracking down the real story of a legendary hero of the Old West, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson also nabbed the Coretta Scott King Award.

Photograph by Wendy McEahern

When Vaunda Micheaux Nelson donned a black Stetson to become the biographer of Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, she had no idea that her square-shooting book about an unsung African-American hero of the Old West would win over a posse of fans and earn her the prestigious 2010 Coretta Scott King (CSK) Author […]