March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

YALSA’s Best YA Fiction; Stop the Summer Slide; A Fake Blake | News Bites

yalsa teen top tenThe nominees for the 2013 Teens’ Top Ten have just been announced by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). These titles were published between January 1 and December 31, 2012. From the list of 28 books for ages 12 to 16, teens are encouraged to vote for their favorites between August 15 and September 15. The 10 nominations that receive the most votes will be named the official Teens’ Top Ten and will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 13–19, 2013.

Teens are encouraged to read the books before they vote. The nominated titles include: Every Day by David Levithan (Knopf), Son by Lois Lowry (Houghton Harcourt), The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic), and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion). Download this PDF for the full list.

Stop the Summer Slide

kids read now logo“Children not reading at grade level by the beginning of fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school,” said Barbara Lurie, co-founder and executive director of Kids Read Now, speaking at the recent Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting in Chicago.

She attributes this in large part to the “summer reading slide.” Kids Read Now’s summer reading program focuses on children in first through third grades and is supported by the One Call Now Foundation. Children in participating schools receive books to keep. Their progress is tracked by phone calls made to families through One Call Now. At its inception in 2011, the program worked with seven schools in Ohio to help improve reading levels. In 2012, 40 schools in Georgia, New York, and Ohio participated: 2,000 children received more than 11,000 books.

According to Kids Read Now, they are expanding the program to include data collection that will allow them to measure results and make improvements as necessary.

Digital Content againChannel One News, a digital video content provider, has revamped to make it “easier to access, share, and interact with Channel One News’s bite-sized, educational videos and supplemental resources from any device, since mobile and tablet devices are increasingly being used in the classroom.” Channel One News is expanding its digital distribution so the daily news program, video segments on thousands of topics, blog posts from reporters, and supplemental resources aligned with Common Core State Standards can be accessed inside and outside the classroom. Also, has launched “Impact,” a resource that connects students who are interested in service-based initiatives with organizations.

“Channel One News has been in classrooms across the country for more than 20 years, and we’ve always believed that the news is a powerful tool to spark important conversations and real world learning,” noted Channel One News Chief Executive Officer, CJ Kettler. “But we also recognize that teachers’ classroom routines are changing due to the increased use of technology and mobile devices in schools. With the new, teachers and students can use the news and real world events to enable authentic learning both in and outside of the classroom. We’re excited about the opportunities that exist to continue to serve the educational community by further leveraging our non-fiction content through strategic partnerships.”

Library Giveaway

chronicle anniversary logoTo celebrate 25 years of children’s book publishing, Chronicle Books is offering The Chronicle Kids YA Summer Library Giveaway. If you are least 13 years old, just click on the link, fill in your name and email address, and submit it to Chronicle Books by July 3, 2013. The winner, selected by a random drawing, will receive signed copies of The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams, The Orphan of Awkward Falls by Keith Graves, Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl, copies of Nobody’s Secret by Michaela MacColl, How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain, Spinning Out by David Stahler Jr., The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner, and advanced readers copies of Weiner’s The Templeton Twins Make a Scene and Collean Gleason’s The Clockwork Scarab.

william blakeA Fake Blake

A school librarian at Hitchin Boys’ School in the UK has discovered that “Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room,” a poem attributed to 19th-century English poet William Blake, was actually written by American author Nancy Willard and published in an anthology, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn (Harcourt, 1981). The article about Thomas Pitchford’s discovery was published recently in a BBC News story. Many schools have been teaching the poem as an example of Blake’s work. Pitchford’s blog, the Library Spider, has examples of how the poem was attributed to Blake and has been used in classrooms.


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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.