February 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

New Kinds of Poetry: Title Poems (2017 Edition)

It’s Poetry Month, my dulcet darlings!  That can mean only one thing.  Time to come up with a new way of writing poetry. Today, the challenge is simple.  Write original poetry, that makes sense, entirely out of the titles of books published in 2017.  For my purposes today I think I’ll work entirely in the […]

Poetry Picks | New Titles for Young Readers

Kwame Alexander honors beloved poets; Chris Raschka illustrates Keats; and Marilyn Singer dances the salsa in Feel the Beat.

Celebrate Poetry Month with NCTE’s 2017 Notable Poetry List

The annual list of the best poetry books and verse novels for children and teens, selected by NCTE’s poetry committee.

For National Poetry Month: A Social Justice Poetry Project for Teens, a guest post by Laura Shovan

Well. Here we are, educators and librarians. The teens we work with are consuming the same polarizing news media, current events stories, and government spin that we adults struggle to cope with every day.   How can we help teens interact with the news in a way that gives them some control over the language […]

Review of the Day: A New School Year – Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, ill. Mika Song

A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices By Sally Derby Illustrated by Mika Song Charlesbridge $16.99 ISBN: 978-1580897303 Ages 5-12 On shelves June 27th Sometimes I think that easy readers are the hardest books for kids to write. Those are the beginner books where the word count is limited and you have to somehow […]

Anywhere Farm

Anywhere Farm Written by Phyllis Root and Illustrated by G. Brian Karas Published by Candlewick Press in 2016 ISBN 978-0-7636-7499-1 Grades PreK – 3 Book Review Just in time for Earth Day and in anticipation of the coming growing season, Phyllis Root’s new picture book celebrates the simplicity and power of the act of gardening. […]

It’s Awards Season at Bank Street College

Winners of the 2017 Flora Stieglitz Straus, Claudia Lewis, and Josette Frank Awards were honored on Thursday, April 6.

Tech Tidbits for National Poetry Month

What better way to celebrate April’s National Poetry Month than to incorporate these wonderful tech tools at teens’ disposal?

MakerSpace: April National Poetry Month Activities

In the Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH), we’re getting ready for National Poetry Month (April). We have a variety of activities that we will be hosting all month long in our makerspace using our materials to get teens thinking about and creating poetry. Some of our ideas […]

At the bottom of my garden

Oh, I owe some of you fantasy writers an apology. Over on Twitter, I’ve been pretty hard on your  Capital Letters and apostrophes and archaisms and spelling. Mostly spelling, like “magick,” or, gilding the lily, “enmagick.” And then there’s faery. That’s a spelling that has been the fingernails on my personal chalkboard ever since chalkboards were […]

Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle | SLJ Review

ENGLE, Margarita. Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics. illus. by Rafael López. 48p. Holt. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780805098761.

Gr 4-7 –Engle highlights 18 Latinxs from a range of ethnic backgrounds and countries of origin, all of whom lived in what is now the United States or its territories. Each person made a positive impact on U.S. history, and although some are not well-known, their contributions warrant an important place in the U.S. collective cultural knowledge. Engle’s masterly first-person […]

Book Review: Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley

Publisher’s description In order to save her family’s farm, Roshen, sixteen, must leave her rural home to work in a factory in the south of China. There she finds arduous and degrading conditions and contempt for her minority (Uyghur) background. Sustained by her bond with other Uyghur girls, Roshen is resolved to endure all to […]

31 Days, 31 Lists: Day 21: 2016 Poetry Books for Kids

Fun Fact: The American Library Association does not currently give an award specifically to great works of children’s book poetry.  Is not that strange?  When I first discovered this to be true, I was perplexed.  I’ve always been a bit of a rube when it comes to the poetic form.  Placing stresses on syllables and […]

Giant Squid: Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book

Giant Squid By Candace Fleming, Illustrated by Eric Rohmann Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-59643-599-5 All Ages 2017 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children  Book Review Giant squid remains a mystery. The first photograph of a living giant squid was not taken until 2004; the first video of a live giant […]

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes | SLJ Review

GRIMES, Nikki. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance. illus. by various. 128p. bibliog. ebook available. index. Bloomsbury. Jan. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781619635548.

Gr 6 Up –In this innovative and powerful compendium, Grimes pairs original poems with classics from the Harlem Renaissance. In a brief historical note on the period, she acknowledges the significance of black artists giving voice to the experiences of black life and cites the continued relevance of the literature of the period in […]

One Minute Till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems To Send You Off to Sleep edited by Kenn Nesbitt | SLJ Review

NESBITT, Kenn, sel. One Minute Till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems To Send You Off to Sleep. illus. by Christoph Niemann. 176p. Little, Brown. Nov. 2016. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780316341219.

K-Gr 4 –This charming compendium holds a wide variety of poetic forms and emotions, from bits of “concrete” to slices of doggerel, from bursts of giggles to slathers of joy—and with a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Nikki Grimes, Marilyn Singer, Jon Scieszka, and more, it’s bound to be a […]

Oh where, oh where has Tortilla gone? Join the Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon

Where is Catalina’s doggy, Tortilla? Our nation’s 21st U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera poses a question he would like children to answer, as creatively and as poetically as possible!  He and artist/illustrator Juana Medina invite your second and third grade kiddos to join a bilingual poetry party! This week, the Library of Congress debuted the […]

Review of the Day: Are You an Echo? by David Jacobson

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko Narrative and Translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi Illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri Chin Music Press $19.50 ISBN: 9781634059626 Ages 5 and up On shelves now Recently I was at a conference celebrating the creators of different kinds of children’s books. During one […]

Tell It Slant | SLJ Spotlight

These works are a call for empathy and compassion and necessary reads for students engaged with our nation’s past, the refugee experience, and the power of self and nature.

Review of the Day: Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan

Freedom Over Me: Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life By Ashley Bryan Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1481456906 Ages 9 and up On shelves September 13th Who gives voice to the voiceless? What are your credentials when you do so? When I was a teen I used to […]