I've just returned from a 10-day, computer-free vacation. While I was away, Carol posted the End of September Children's Literacy and Reading News Roundup at Quietly. The roundups are bi-monthly celebrations of all things related to children's literacy and reading, brought to you by Carol Rasco from RIF, Terry Doherty from The Reading Tub, and me.
Here are some things that caught my eye from Carol's latest roundup:
- Anniversaries. The Boxcar Children turns 70 this year, and Clifford the Big Red Dog turns 50. I didn't realize that either was quite so long in the tooth. Carol shares lots of other fun October birthdays, too. Check out the full roundup for more.
- I'm thrilled to congratulate Carol, and RIF, for this news. "RIF has been awarded a $4.18 million first-year research grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO LITERACY Program. Check it out, we’re excited about looking more closely at scalable summer learning strategies for early elementary students." Way to go, RIF!
- Like Carol, I have continued to think about the article What's Wrong With Reading, published in the Huffington Post last month (and publicized in the Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf newsletter). Teen Anthony Turner discusses the anti-reading social pressures that he faces in his BedStuy, Brooklyn neighborhood. He talks about the pressures to dumb himself down. The article is both horrifying (that the situation exists) and inspiring (that he still finds a way to "enjoy the simple pleasures of reading").
And here are a few additional tidbits from me:
- I hadn't realized this, but apparently Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have not been available as eBooks. But now, as of October 30th, you'll be able to get them for Kindle, Scholastic's Storia, and other digital book platforms. The 7th book in the series, The Third Wheel, will be available in hardcover and digital formats on November 13th. Prepare to see lots of kids giggling over their eBook readers in November.
- The National Book Award finalists in Young People's Literature have been announced. Publisher's Weekly has the scoop (and is where I got the picture to the right). I have not, alas, read any of them.
- The results of a 20 year research study, as reported recently by Alok Jha in The Guardian, found that "an early childhood surrounded by books and educational toys will leave positive fingerprints on a person's brain well into their late teens... Scientists found that the more mental stimulation a child gets around the age of four, the more developed the parts of their brains dedicated to language and cognition will be in the decades ahead."
- The Sydney Morning Herald recently ran an articulate and moving opinion piece by Anna Fienberg in defense of funding for teacher librarians in schools. Fienberg notes that "The library is the heart of the primary school, and it is the teacher librarian who brings it alive", and that "if parents understood the real threat to the role of teacher librarians, the majority would be horrified, as I am. After all, childhood is the beginning of a life, and what an enriched life it is, with the comfort and wisdom of stories." I wish everyone could read this. Link via Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook.
- In related news, DC parents are demanding that school librarians be restored, according to an article by Lauren Barack in School Library Journal.
That's all I have for you today. But do check out the full end of September roundup at Quietly. Carol will be back with another roundup at the end of October/beginning of November. And I'll continue to share literacy and reading news on Twitter @JensBookPage. Thanks for reading, and for caring about children's literacy.
This post © 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.