Literacy Milestone: Borrowing Ideas from Books

LiteracyMilestoneARecently my daughter mentioned that her teacher had read aloud Waiting Is Not Easy! (Elephant & Piggie) by Mo Willems to the class. That evening (or possibly the next day) my daughter made a big point of telling my husband and me that she had a surprise for us, but that we would have to wait a bit. Not too long afterwards she dragged us upstairs to view what was, in fact, a spectacular sunset. She kept asking: "Do you like my surprise?". And we did. 

WaitingIsNotEasyI didn't put it together until my daughter and I read Waiting Is Not Easy! a couple of days later, and I was reminded that the premise of the book is that Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, for which he has to wait all day, and which turns out to be the stars in the night sky. 

So my daughter borrowed that premise, modified it for our home (from which we do often get nice sunset views), and made it her own. This is learning from books at its finest. I was very proud. 

Do your kids "borrow" ideas from books? 

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


NOW is the Time to Make Plans for #KidLitCon (cross-posted)

KidLitCon2016LogoSquareKidLitCon is coming! The Kidlitosphere conference will be held in Wichita, KS on October 14th and 15th. The deadline to get the truly excellent conference rate at the KidLitCon hotel is TODAY. The early bird conference registration rate expires next Friday, September 30th. If you’ve been thinking about attending KidLitCon, now is the time to make plans. Register for KidLitCon here.

View the conference program here. We have two fabulous keynote speakers coming: A. S. King and Clare Vanderpool, and have lots of other fabulous bloggers and authors on the program. 

Attending KidLitCon is a great opportunity to connect, in real life, with other bloggers, authors, and librarians - with people who care about connecting kids with books. We hope to see you there!! 


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: September 23: Tons of Links on Growing Readers

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Not included are the live tweets that I did of the Cybils panelist announcement, as there were many of those. You can find the lists of panelists on the Cybils blog. Other topics this week include #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #PictureBooks, #WorldReadAloudDay, Growing Bookworms, Harry Potter, introversion, kidlitosphere, libraries, Mo Willems, parenting, reading aloud, reading choice, recess, school librarians, and schools.

Book Lists + Awards

Big News: National Ambassador for Young People's Lit Gene Luen Yang Named MacArthur Fellow http://ow.ly/TgQF304tkOF  @sljournal #kidlit

TheStorytellerOur Favorite Children's #PictureBooks of 2016 (Part 3), a @momandkiddo #BookList http://ow.ly/wP0w304mt2a  @storybreathing @evanturkart + more

Making new friends -- #PictureBooks for the new school year (ages 4-8), #BookList from @MaryAnnScheuer  http://ow.ly/HKM5304msxu 

A Tuesday Ten from @TesseractViews | #ScienceFiction in #PictureBooks  http://ow.ly/h1IH304iTAu  #BookList

6 New #PictureBooks That Celebrate Autumn recommended by @rebeccazdunn  http://ow.ly/KJnI304qT7R  #kidlit #BookList

WorstPrincessPrincesses with Attitude: My Top Ten Princess Books (UK published) by Emma Barnes @AwfullyBigBlog  http://ow.ly/nQrA304iTHw  #BookList

Favorite Preschool #Science Books, from thinking like a scientist to life-, earth-, physical sciences http://ow.ly/DiAT304iaEq  @growingbbb

Always interesting: Newbery / Caldecott 2017: Fall Prediction Edition — @fuseeight  http://ow.ly/IB4n304msma  #kidlit #PictureBooks

Cybils

Changes Are Fun, Part Whatever | Meet our new #Cybils Fiction #PictureBook chair, @debnance (replacing @readingtub ) http://ow.ly/2YEk304mtPh 

Diversity

MangoAbuelaMeLots of #DiverseBooks news + #writing links in today's Cynsational News & Resources @CynLeitichSmith  http://ow.ly/QQQ2304ibUq  #kidlit

Events + Programs

Sign up to Skype with an Author on #WorldReadAloudDay 2017! http://ow.ly/OJsg304qITk  #WRAD @KateMessner #ReadAloud

Growing Bookworms

Cutting parents whose babies just aren't interested in #ReadingAloud yet some much-deserved slack @HornBook http://ow.ly/lDqP304mEPa 

IllustratedHarryPotter1One librarian/parent's perhaps controversial thoughts on Why the Public #Library Does Not Need Toys by @mrskatiefitz http://ow.ly/k0RB304oBJe 

One Mom's Opinion on When to Read #HarryPotter to her kids from @sunlitpages http://ow.ly/HFtb304oDtu  #ReadAloud

"Planning for reading + being picky about our book choices is important" esp. for reluctant readers @nerdybookclub https://t.co/wkPuSlFox7

A Few Ideas For Better Book Shopping, an important skill (teaching kids how to find great books) from @pernilleripp https://t.co/L4dT2FAOkZ

Sigh: Parents spend 25% less on books for boys, study reveals @thebookseller via @PWKidsBookshelf  http://ow.ly/Jooh304tPJb  #RaisingReaders

NarniaWardrobeWhy you should never stop #ReadingAloud to your kid by @feistyredhair @TreeHugger  http://ow.ly/Vy1b304ibnw  via @tashrow

Heathy diet linked to improved #reading skills in children, per study from Finland http://ow.ly/fM5S304ibap  via @tashrow

8 ways that being a #reader benefits kids | @alessiamariee @POPSUGAR  http://ow.ly/idZT304i9Xw  #RaisingReaders via @PWKidsBookshelf

Interesting: Lift-the-flap books may hinder toddlers from learning new words @ScienceDaily http://ow.ly/6dKB304i9yV  via @PWKidsBookshelf

9 Fun Ways to Keep Kids Interested in #Reading and #Storytelling from @MarjorieIngall @ReadBrightly  http://ow.ly/KsXx304rtSh 

Why You Should Read Challenging Books To Kids, Plus 8 (multicultural) Recommendations @bustle  http://ow.ly/I1pF304tPOf  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Introversion

I could relate to this piece by @raisinghappines | Please Stop Interrupting Me! How interruptions make us irritable https://t.co/9axmNlZhmE

Kidlitosphere

Lots of #kidlit tidbits in today's Fusenews @fuseeight | @CeceBellBooks  @100scopenotes @SevenImp + more http://ow.ly/YPiV304iapQ 

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

CookieFiasco#KidLit: Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Notes from @momsradius on new #EarlyReader series edited by @The_Pigeon  http://ow.ly/26XU304iU8O 

Parenting

Get Your Children Good and Dirty (+to eat better +to avoid extra antibiotics) - Microbes crucial to our health  @WSJ https://t.co/aMeJ5ie3gT

One Mom’s Journey Raising a Child with Bipolar Disorder @DGephartWrites @ReadBrightly http://ow.ly/PaGV304ruc1  #Parenting

Schools and Libraries

UK-focused, true everywhere: #School #librarians, a precious resource under threat by Linda Strachan @AwfullyBigBlog http://ow.ly/JXYZ304jOIh 

CatInTheHatIntellectual Freedom + the Leveling of #BeginningReaders: When #Library Values Clash by @DanielleBookery http://ow.ly/d0Se304qV52 

Top Ten Things from #nErDcampMI We Want to Try in Our Work by #teachers for teachers @ClareandTammy  @nerdybookclub https://t.co/5cR2woLu62

A reminder from @sxwiley of a failed chance in which he gave kids an answer instead of letting them think it through http://ow.ly/F4Wn304mF2S  

Long Island School District Doubles Recess Time For K-5, Should Other Districts Follow? @SayvillePatch http://ow.ly/9Hpn304jP3n  @drdouggreen

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook


The Bronze Key (Magisterium, Book 3): Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Book: The Bronze Key (Magisterium, Book 3)
Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Pages: 256
Age Range: 8-12

TheBronzeKey

The Bronze Key is the third book in the five-book Magisterium series, by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, following The Iron Trial and The Copper Gauntlet. This is a fine series for fans of middle grade fantasy. It has echoes of the Harry Potter series, but with plenty of unique attributes, too. We have a boy who is special (and connected intimately with someone evil) because of something that happened to him as a baby. We have a magical school, fleshed out via inventive world-building. We have two best friends, one male and one female. And we have, in this installment, an overhanging threat, a spy to be uncovered, and dating dynamics between young teens. Yes, this is a must-read series for fans of epic middle grade fantasy, school stories, and/or twisty plots. 

I don't feel the need to recap the plot of this third book. If you haven't read the first two, any description will contain spoilers for those. And if you have read the first two, you don't need me to tell you what to expect. You already want to read The Bronze Key. So I'll just say that The Bronze Key does not disappoint. I liked it better than the second book, probably because more of it takes place at the atmospheric Magisterium and I quite enjoy spending time there. Here it is:

"The caverns were humid but cool. Water dripped down from the jagged icicle stalactites to the melted-candle stalagmites below them. Sheets of gypsum hung from the ceiling, resembling banners and streamers from some long-forgotten party. Call walked past it all, past the damp flowstone and the pools shining with mica, where pale fish darted. He was so used to it that he longer found it to be particularly creepy." (Page 57)

Black and Clare are masterful at characterization (especially for main character Call), and at blending action, mystery, and humor. I especially like Call's dry, self-deprecating voice. Like these examples:

"Call knew they were in trouble when he saw there were chairs up on the dais. Chairs meant a long ceremony. He wasn't wrong. The ceremony went by in a blur, but it was an extended and boring blur." (Page 19)

"Yeah I've been..." Call's voice trailed off. He wondered if it was possible to have a conversation entirely in sentences that trailed off. If so, he and Celia were definitely on their way to an epic example." (Page 83)

I also appreciate the way that the authors incorporate Call's disability (from an infant leg injury) throughout, without making it feel like a big deal. Each of the characters has something that makes life difficult for them, but they continue moving forward. The dynamics between Call and his friends remain complex (particularly in light of developing dating interests, an area in which Call seems to lag a bit). 

Developments at the end of The Bronze Key left me surprised, and certainly wanting more. The Bronze Key is a strong addition to a solid series, one that will be, and should be, eagerly awaited by fans everywhere. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Scholastic Press (@Scholastic) 
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: September 21: Writing, Editing, and Discovering #LunchLady

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter has refocused recently, and now contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, including bookworms, mathematicians, and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out every two to three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have four book reviews (picture book through middle grade) and two posts about my daughter's latest literacy milestones (declaring herself a person who loves to write, and changing the ending of a book). I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. I'll have a post with articles about joy of learning soon - I do have a couple of things saved up, but haven't had time to add my comments. 

Reading Update: In the past two weeks most of my reading time was again on audio. I read/listened to one middle grade book and four adult titles. I do have some promising middle grade titles stacked up, but reading time has been hard to come by... Anyway, I read: 

  • Susan Maupin Schmid: If the Magic Fits (100 Dresses, Book 1). Random House. Middle Grade. Completed September 9, 2016, print ARC. Review to come, closer to publication. 
  • Marti Olsen Laney: The Intovert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World. Workman. Adult Nonfiction. Completed September 10, 2016, on MP3. I found plenty of food for thought in this title, which I had picked up as an Audible Deal. 
  • Jonathan Maberry: Patient Zero: Joe Ledger, Book 1. St. Martins Press. Adult Mystery/Thriller. Completed September 17, 2016, on MP3. This was a bit violent/gory for my taste, but it certainly held my attention, and I'm tempted to take a look at the next book in the series. 
  • Martin Lindstrom: Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Uncover Huge Trends. St. Martins Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed September 18, 2016, on Kindle. It took me a long time to get through this book, but it's one that can be read in small doses. I found the premise, that insights can be found by looking at "small data" like what people put on their refrigerators, and what they share on Twitter, interesting.
  • Craig Johnson: An Obvious Fact (Walt Longmire). Viking. Adult Mystery. Completed September 20, 2016, on MP3. This was not my favorite installment of this series, for some reason. It just didn't hold my attention. I'll still be looking out for the next book, though. 

LunchLadyBook1I'm reading A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Digital Age by Daniel J. Levitin and listening to Home (Myron Bolitar) by Harlan Coben. But I'm also very tempted by the new Carol O'Connell book about Mallory, and will likely dip into that soon. The books my husband and I have been reading to our daughter in 2016 can be found here. My daughter's latest literary discovery is the Lunch Lady books by Jarrett Krosoczka. She was talking to me about how she couldn't wait to grow up to become a spy, so that she could have access to the gadgets. And I said: "Have I ever shown you the Lunch Lady books?" And a new fan was born. Now that she's in first grade, lunch ladies are a more real concept for her. So the idea of a lunch lady who is a spy, and has fun gadgets, well, that's irresistible, isn't it? We are already on Book 4. 

I'm continuing to share all of my longer reads, as well as highlights from my picture book reads with my daughter, via the #BookADay hashtag on Twitter. Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook