April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for April 2011

Alabama Librarian Sherry Hicks Wins Teacher of the Year

Talk about going above and beyond. Not only does Sherry Hicks teach technology, collaborate with teachers, and attend all grade-level meetings to ensure she’s on top of the curriculum, but she’s also personally invested in the lives of her largely minority, high-poverty, Title-I student population.

It’s an accomplishment that’s earned the certified media specialist at Striplin Elementary School in Gadsden, AL her district’s Teacher of the Year Award—which gives her a shot at winning at the state level next month.

SLJ caught […]

Living Out of the Box: Veronica Roth’s Divergent

In Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011), first novelist Veronica Roth imagines a dystopian Chicago and a society in which individuals must choose one of five factions to live in when they turn 16: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, or Erudite. But the situation is complicated for narrator Beatrice Prior, who grew up in the selfless Abnegation community. Her aptitude tests indicate that she does not fit neatly into any category. She is “divergent”—a label that puts her life in danger. Beatrice must keep […]

‘And Tango Makes Three’ Tops Most Challenged List, Again

By SLJ Staff

And Tango Makes Three (2005), the true story of two male penguins who hatch and parent a baby chick at New York’s Central Park Zoo, tops the list of the most frequently challenged books of 2010, according to the American Library Association’s (ALA) State of America’s Libraries Report, which documents challenges and trends in library usage.

The picture book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell has appeared on ALA’s Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books for […]

The Privacy Problem

Although school librarians seldom discuss it, students’ privacy rights are under attack

Illustration by Ken Orvidas

Imagine the look of horror on one New York school librarian’s face when she returned to her middle school library to find a list of overdue books with the names of kids who had borrowed them plastered on her door. She immediately thought of all the students who’d taken out titles on sensitive topics, like puberty.

Another school librarian in Wisconsin said […]

What Makes Mini Run? | Under Cover

Author-illustrator Mini Grey on birth, books, and her infatuation with food

Your name comes from being born in the front seat of a Mini Cooper in South Wales. Did you name your son, Herbie, after the Volkswagen bug in the Disney film?

I don’t know whether the film had any influence. But at one point, when I was about to have Herbie, our car was a Rover, and I thought, if he’s born in the […]

YALSA 2011 Fabulous Films & Amazing Audiobooks

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2011 annual lists of Fabulous Films for Young Adults and Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults ages 12 to 18. The titles were released in January 2011 during the ALA Midwinter meeting in San Diego, CA.

The Fabulous Films for Young Adults list identifies films relating to a theme that will appeal to young adults ages 12-18. These fiction and nonfiction titles, based […]

All the Juicy Details | Nonfiction Booktalker

There’s a lot more to history than names and dates

Young readers might think history is all about dead people, unpronounceable names, and forgettable dates. But Steve Sheinkin knows all the good stuff he had to leave out when he wrote textbooks—and now shares those goodies with infectious exuberance.

A terrific trio: Two Miserable Presidents (2008), Which Way to the Wild West? (2009), and The Notorious Benedict Arnold (2010, all Roaring Brook) tell true tales […]

The HarperCollins Kerfuffle | Editorial

A fumble on the way to ebook sustainability

HarperCollins’s decision to limit the circulation of library ebooks to 26 checkouts a year has generated one of the biggest storms in our profession in years—complete with calls to boycott the publisher.

The upside of all this? Library ebook models are finally on the front burner—with the story making headlines in the mainstream media, where many readers probably learned for the first time that libraries […]

The Future Is Kinect-thetic | The Gaming Life

Skeletal mapping technology offers full-body play without a controller

Microsoft’s Kinect™ sensor debuted in November 2010. Originally known as Project Natal, Microsoft unveiled a computer boy named Milo at the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) conference the previous year. Audiences were both impressed and apprehensive as a demonstrator drew a picture of fish on a piece of paper in the real world and made a gesture to hand it to Milo through the screen. The […]

Wordless Books: Picture Perfect

Wordless books offer a bounty of riches. The format is accessible to everyone regardless of language or reading ability, making the books ideal for use in international settings, classes with nonnative speakers, or families with adults or children who are struggling or emergent readers.

They enrich the aesthetic lives and literacy skills of “mainstream” or “gifted” children as well, since they require visual decoding, original thinking, language production, an understanding of multiple viewpoints, […]

ALSC 2011 Notable Videos, Recordings & Interactive Software

The Notable Children’s Videos, Recordings, and Interactive Software for Kids lists are compiled annually by committees of the Association for Library Service to children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). These lists were released in January 2011 at the ALA Midwinter meeting in San Diego, CA. The items on these lists, for children 14 years of age and younger, exhibit especially commendable quality, show respect for children’s intelligence and imagination, and reflect and encourage the interests […]

Shazam! Comic Apps!: The top picks for viewing comics on the iPad

Spiderman comic from Graphicly

The Rundown

Most comics applications work in a similar fashion, offering a virtual store and library; you download the app for free and use it to both buy and read comics. The real differentiator is content, with each app offering its own selection of comics. Unfortunately, there’s no equivalent of Google for apps. So in order to find comics, you must either download the apps and browse their offerings or search online to see which comics […]

Divine Design: How to create the 21st-century school library of your dreams

Things are changing. For starters, ebooks, apps, and the web are now a part of your students’ daily lives. So how do you determine the best way to turn your library space into a learning center that’s right for today’s rapidly changing digital world? Take it from me, a longtime designer of school libraries, it’s not easy.

Things are looking up at P.S. 189, in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, where a flock of books (fabricated from sheet metal) […]