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Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: September 21: #Nonfiction, #IndependentReading, ARC-Sharing + #Overscheduled Kids

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this busy week include: #AchievementGap, #ARCs, #BookLists, #ClassPresentations, #Cybils, #EdReform, #GenderDifferences, #Giftedness, #GrowthMindset, #HigherEd, #IndependentReading, #LearningDifferences, #Nonfiction, #Play, #poetry, #ReadAloud, #reading, #ScienceFiction, #STEM, #ViewpointDiversity, #WorldLiteracyDay, book awards, parenting, and schools.

Top Tweet of the Week

TeachingReadingInMiddleSchoolIndependent in : Necessity or Luxury? says it's important for building lifelong , and offers tips for creating a culture that values https://t.co/XolNWKw5i2 [Link to Laura Robb's book on Amazon]

Book Lists + Awards

This morning announced the 2018 judges in categories ranging from to to to . Congratulations to all the bloggers, librarians, authors, parents, vloggers + others selected  

11 with Twist Endings Kids Won’t See Coming | from Janssen Bradshaw  https://t.co/yE77MxA2mx

BrilliantDeepLonglist for 2019 Children's Award Announced  [Link to The Brilliant Deep on Amazon]

Over the next few days, will be posting Category Descriptions to help decide which books to nominate for these | Today, learn about what they are seeking in

Newbery/Caldecott 2019: Fall Prediction Edition from |

Best for Kids, another | , fantastical , creatures and with a mind of its own.

WinnieA Review of "the 37 Best Narrative Books for Kids" |Adele Jeunette at WeHaveKids | | via [Link to Winnie on Amazon]

Books for Kids that Are Out of This World. This has books that "feature action that somehow deal(s) with and , and/or fantastical in a realistic setting" https://t.co/tvxZ37BdoG

25 Adventurous Books Like 's Jackson series via |

Diversity + Gender

MindsOfGirlsAnswering Those Who Believe Boys and Girls Do Not Learn Differently - | | "while there is wonderful overlap in and behavioral styles, boys and girls do learn differently" [Link to The Minds of Girls on Amazon]

Events, Programs + Research

This seems like it could be fun. narrator + actor is launching a video show where he (w/ his dog) + encourages families to + visit the | Look for Hello Storytime on YouTube starting this weekend

was 9/8/18: Now What? looks at flat scores + shares her Rx for giving all US kids a fair chance at . e.g. "Plan for lots of time for fun reading + take the fear out of " https://t.co/5y82HoWQBt

+ Companion Text Sets from |

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has given away $308 million for education in 3 years. Here's who got the donations | via |

RaisingKidsWhoReadShould Listen to While They Read? One analysis says no, but suggests taking of kids' responses into account when deciding for individual kids  [Link to Daniel's book, Raising Kids Who Read]

UK study finds children with difficulties (SLDM/dyscalculia) far less likely to receive an official diagnosis than their peers with

RT @DTWillingham: New 3 yr longitudinal study: self affirmation reduces growth of achievement gap by 50% across high school transition--effectiveness moderated by school context & student engagement ($) https://t.co/VgDUK9VsLD

Growth Mindset, Resilience + Personal Growth

Should Students Be Forced To Make ? Some Say It's Too -Producing. Others say kids can gain confidence from learning . Discussion in comments https://t.co/L9tyraOv0d

MindsetHaving a Makes It Easier to Develop New Interests + reach across disciplines | Paul A. O’Keefe, Carol Dweck + Greg Walton via  [Link to Mindset on Amazon]

Asking to Help People Find Better Answers Themselves, vs. just telling people what you think they should do or change |

HigherEd

DeVos, Sessions warn of deepening crisis on campuses |

Have Too Many | "students are less likely to get a good + faculty members are likely to learn less from one another, if there is a prevailing political orthodoxy" |

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

RevengeOfEnginerdsARCs and ARC-Sharing Groups = collections of mostly and (though there are also some involved!) who, after obtaining an , pass it around from one member to the next and discuss online |  [Link to Jarrett's upcoming book on Amazon]

This is encouraging: Study finds by young people 18-24 has doubled since 2012 + other adults are reading it more too via

Parenting + Play

We’ve so our kids (+ emphasized only purposeful activities) that doctors are now prescribing - |

Lawnmower (who mow down obstacles facing their kids) Are the New Helicopter Parents says post | "If we eliminate all struggle in children’s younger years, they will not arrive at adulthood magically equipped to deal with ."

Schools and Libraries

Advice for from for Creating Flexible Yet Significant Opportunities | "Rely on room parents" + lots more

MissionToSpaceHow is incorporating more in her , minilessons + more |

English + Journalism has learned over 17 years that "We Teach People," not just | listening, , connection |

Both sides lobbying California governor on bill to delay start time for teens | | I say sign it - kids will learn more if they are better rested

To Achieve a More "Scholastic" Atmosphere, at this London Must Be Silent in Hallways, reports | I say that's their right, but I wouldn't want my daughter to go there

TeacherWarsRethinking What Means, and Whom It Should Serve | Addressing "underrepresentation of black, Hispanic and low-income children in selective academic settings" [Link to Dana's book on Amazon]

Serious policy decisions are being driven by . The problem is, it’s not always accurate

Exactly How Came to Be So Underpaid (relative to other comparably educated professionals) in America | | "To many teachers, these trends are a result of a decades-long and bipartisan war on "

New nationwide poll: Most people support teachers’ right to strike, but less than half believe unions improve the quality of | via  https://t.co/pbZZRrw14z

Testing + Grades

in by | Study found "grade inflation was more severe in schools attended by affluent students than in those attended by lower-income pupils" |

Finding the Sweet Spot Between Defeatism and Utopianism When Setting -

© 2018 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.


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: September 19: #Library Visits, Self-Made Newspapers, and the Power of Twos

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 contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have two book reviews (one middle grade and one adult), three literacy milestones (writing a newspaper, making regular library visits, and not passing on a graphic novel addiction), and one mathematical milestone (reveling in the power of twos). I also have three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, full of reading- and education-related news. 

Reading Update:  In the last three weeks I finished one young adult and eight adult titles. I read/listened to: 

  • LittleWhiteLiesJennifer Lynn Barnes: Little White Lies (Debutantes, No. 1). Free Form Books (Disney). Young Adult Fiction. Completed September 1, 2018, print ARC. Review to come. 
  • Justin Lee: Talking Across the Divide: How to Communicate with People You Disagree with and Maybe Even Change the World. Tarcher/Perigee. Adult Nonfiction. Completed August 29, 2018, on Kindle. This was interesting, but I'm not actually determined enough to change anyone else's mind for it to be completely useful. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed August 29, 2018, on MP3. 
  • KJ Dell'Antonia: How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute. Avery. Adult Nonfiction. Competed September 2, 2018, on Kindle. My review.
  • HowToFailScott Adams: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed September 5, 2018, on MP3. This one I really enjoyed, and definitely found a few useful take-home messages about things like exercise and happiness. 
  • Kim Brooks: Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear. Flatiron Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed September 10, 2018, on MP3. A friend on Facebook recommended this book to me. It was written by a woman whose life was changed forever when she got into legal trouble for leaving her four year old alone in a car for a few minutes. She ended up on something of a personal quest to understand how and why parenting has changed (to a cult of overprotection) in recent years. I am also concerned with this, and appreciated some of the insights from experts that Brooks talked to (including Lenore Skenazy). However, I found the author's tone rather whiny and anxious for my taste (compounded by her self-reading of the audiobook). Not a keeper for me. 
  • Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Penguin Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed September 13, 2018, on Kindle. This book was fabulous. I think everyone (especially college administrators) should read it. It's about how well-intentioned parents have over-protected kids to the extent that they have trouble facing any dissent or anxiety. Then consumer-driven college administrators have compounded the problem by allowing students to conflate the need for physical safety with the need to be protected from any idea that they don't like. The authors show how damaging this all is psychologically to the kids of GenZ (or i-Gen, or whatever you want to call them), and propose steps that they think schools and parents should take to improve the situation. Important stuff, if you ask me. 
  • IgnoreItCatherine Pearlman: Ignore It!: How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. TarcherPerigee. Adult Nonfiction. Completed September 13, 2018, on Kindle. This was a quick little read, written by a family counselor who advises that parents studiously ignore all behaviors that they don't want to reinforce (whining, negotiating, etc.). The idea is to find positive ways for kids to get what they want, and not reward them with attention for the negative behaviors. Which all certainly makes sense. 
  • Craig Johnson: Depth of Winter: A Longmire Mystery. Viking. Adult Mystery. Completed 9/14/18, on MP3. This is a bit of an odd installment to the series, one in which Walt is on his own in Mexico without his usual backup team (though with support from some new characters), searching for his kidnapped daughter. I enjoyed it, though. 

I'm currently dipping my way between several nonfiction titles at once on my Kindle, and have a couple of new middle grade books calling to me from my nightstand. I'm listening to The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen. I've also been dabbling in listening to podcasts. I'm enjoying the immediacy of that (e.g. listening to people talking about current events), but it is cutting into my ability to listen to actual books. I'll have to see where that goes. My daughter has been on my case to do more reading of physical books, instead of reading on my Kindle. I think she saw something about it in one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. And she's not convinced that the Kindle (Paperwhite) is any better than any other screen. I'll have to see where that goes, too. I have picked up a few nonfiction titles in print instead of on my Kindle, but I find it a bit less convenient to read them (I just take the Kindle everywhere).  

EdwardGetsMessyMy daughter and I are continuing to read picture books together while she eats breakfast. We've been checking out a few each week from the library (more details about our library visits here). We mix these in with books from our "keep" shelf. We are starting to have a bit of trouble getting her ready for school on time because we both want to keep reading. 

LosersClubOn her own she's been tearing through the Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths. She's also dipped a toe into chapter books, finally reading one of the titles for the Battle of the Books, and reading Andrew Clements' The Losers Club. She started that one probably a year ago, before she was ready, and I was pleased to see recently that she had pulled it from the book bin in the car and was about halfway through. She also finished the second Harry Potter book, switching back and forth between a copy from home and a school library copy. She alternates reading these books with heavy doses of her regular favorite graphic and notebook novels. Cosmic Commandos by Christopher Eliopoulos has been in heavy rotation as have the Babymouse books.

HarryPotterBook1Third grade is going well for her so far. I'd been a bit concerned because this is the first year that she will have a requirement for a certain number of AR points (sigh). However, so far it's been ok. Her teacher doesn't seem particularly focused on this - she cares more about generating enthusiasm for reading and writing. And my daughter was able to knock out this month's requirement by taking the test for the first Harry Potter book. I've let her know that there is no need for her to be competing to get a high number of points, so I'm pretty confident that we'll get through this year unscathed. But I am already seeing some of her friends struggle (weekly tests limiting kids to reading shorter books so that they can finish in time, etc.). I'm sure I'll be writing about that more as time goes on. But for now, so far so good. She loves her teacher and continues to read and write whenever she can. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2018 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


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: September 14: #GrowthMindset, #KidLitCon Keynotes + Overprotective #Parenting

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this relatively light week include #GenderBias, #GiftOfFailure, #GrowthMindset, #KidLitCon, #nonfiction, #parenting, #PictureBooks, #play, #reading, #schools, #SocialMedia, #SpecialEducation, #teaching, #testing, and #writing. I was traveling this week so didn't do as deep a search for articles as I usually do. More next week. Happy reading!

Top Tweet of the Week

ElasticBrainSome that may help foster a in kids, encouraging them to overcome challenges, a from https://t.co/PFDvFLSmeJ

Book Lists + Awards

Kids Will Request Over and Over |  

A Book for Every Kind of Kid | A from | for "the ultimate " + more

HeyKiddoThe 2018 National Book Award Longlist is out | has the list | Special congrats to , one of my daughter's + my all time favorite authors [Link to Hey, Kiddo!]

Diversity + Gender

An updated reminder from that Women Make too... | She highlights some of her favorites for consideration + asks for yours

Events, Programs + Research

Note-taking in the (during lectures + other work): A Research Roundup from | Useful resource for +

IGenTeen Use Is Skyrocketing (vs. 2012). But Don't Panic, New Research Says - https://t.co/iyhGtIMs0Z [I wonder what Jean Twenge will have to say about these results?]

Related to previous: Most Teens Prefer to Chat Online, Rather Than in Person -

Are (like ) actually harmful? Perhaps not. Award-winning believe in nearly as many of them as trainees –  https://t.co/zXz0nWfmq9

Growing Bookworms

Should students be required to for 20 minutes a day? And if not, what alternatives can we use to encourage kids to spend time at home? | Important stuff from |

Kidlitosphere

RealFriendsExciting news! The KEYNOTES will be LeUyen Pham and !!! – will be in Providence, RI March 22-23

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Why aren't kids being taught to read in a research-tested way? "We are not born wired to read" says

Mississippi district says these four strategies are helping their , as reflected in higher scores | extra instruction time every day for kids w/ disabilities, + more |

New Study Finds Learning Outcomes Are Better Print Than Reading Digitally | | Makes me wonder about the way that many libraries are getting rid of printed books...

MerciSuarezHow a Reads| on how she has learned to embrace her habits, including every day |  https://t.co/8triSMWRSn

Parenting

offers common sense advice to on making their level of effort sustainable over the year | e.g. don't be afraid to opt out + focus on kids to do things themselves (agency)

To raise independent kids, treat like a dress rehearsal for life. Don't intervene, focus on effort vs. outcomes + more | |

Why parents should try to be happy, even when their child isn’t - | "When we board our children’s emotional roller coasters, we make things more difficult for them" |

CoddlingAt interviews Coddling of the American Mind co-author on consequences of Overprotective | I am reading this book now and wish that everyone would. It is excellent! https://t.co/lVpAyONWis [Link to the book on Amazon]

Schools and Libraries

Ten Questions for to Chew On + that should ask to understand culture via | I like: "What’s the best thing my child is going to read this year?"

: Instead of asking kids "what did you do last summer", find ways to ask about small moments | Better for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds + for getting to know |

Has of Students with Disabilities in Regular Gone Too Far? Weighing its effects on SWDs, their peers, and - https://t.co/k6cj8l8Jh3 [See counterpoint from Laura A. Schifter and Thomas Hehir here and response by Allison Gilmour here]

How to Create Opportunities For Kids on the Bus |

Testing

Our Children Towards Mediocrity | is talking about Australia, but this happens everywhere. He does offer some suggestions for improvement to better help grow

© 2018 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.


Skulduggery Pleasant (Book 1): Derek Landy

Book: Skulduggery Pleasant (Book 1)
Author: Derek Landy
Pages: 384
Age Range: 8-12

Skulduggery1HarperCollins is in the process of reintroducing Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant series here in the US, after the books did much better in Ireland and the UK. As outlined in a May Publisher's Weekly article, they have issued paperbacks of the first three books, which were published earlier in the US, and will be publishing books four to six in the US for the first time this  month. I agreed to take a look at the first book. I read it in a single sitting. I do think that the time is right this time, and that the series is going to be a hit.

Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 1, begins when a horror author named Gordon Edgley dies unexpectedly. Gordon leaves his home and most of his property to his favorite niece, Stephanie. Left alone at Gordon's house through circumstance,  Stephanie, who has always craved adventure, finds herself under attack and drawn into an unexpected world of magic. She is aided by, and becomes something of a sidekick to, Skulduggery Pleasant, a walking, talking skeleton. Together with a cast of not-necessarily trustworthy allies, Stephanie and Skulduggery fight to save the world. 

Though full of dangerous escapes, epic battles, and magical books and artifacts, what I liked most about Skulduggery Pleasant was Landy's lightly ironic voice. The byplay between Stephanie and Skulduggery, and particularly Skulduggery's occasionally world-weary remarks, made the pages fly by. There is a bit of Irish syntax here and there (the hood of the car is a "bonnet", etc.), but nothing that will be difficult for anyone who has read the Harry Potter books. 

Here are a couple of snippets, chosen from early in the books, so as to avoid spoilers. First, a paragraph that gives you a feel for Stephanie:

"There was an extra door in the living room, a door disguised as a bookcase, and when she was younger Stephanie liked to think that no one else knew about this door, not even Gordon himself. It was a secret passageway, like in the stories she'd read and she's make up adventures about haunted houses and smuggled treasure. This secret passageway would always be her escape route, and the imaginary villains in these adventures would be dumfounded by her sudden and mysterious disappearance. But now this door, this secret passageway, stood open, and there was a steady stream of people through it, and she was saddened that this little piece of magic had been taken from her." (Page 3)

She's a great character, stubborn, outside of the mainstream, and a creative problem-solver. And here's Skulduggery:

"Skulduggery put his gloved hands in his pockets and cocked his head. He had no eyeballs so it was hard to tell if he was looking at her or not. "You know, I met your uncle under similar circumstances. Well, kind of similar. But he was drunk. And we were in a bar. And he had vomited on my shoes. So I suppose the actual circumstances aren't overly similar, but both events include a meeting, so... My point is, he was having some trouble and I was there to lend a hand, and we become good friends after that. Good, good friends."" (Page 43)

Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 1, carries a blurb from Rick Riordan, and this is no coincidence. This would make an excellent next series for fans of the the Percy Jackson books. Skulduggery and Stephanie are an unusual pair of heroes, but one that kids will find easy to root for. Highly recommended, and well worth adding to elementary and middle school library collections. 

Publisher:  HarperCollins Children's Books (@HarperChildrens
Publication Date: May 1, 2018 (reprint edition, original copyright 2007)
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2018 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).


Literacy Milestone: The Joy of Regular Library Visits

LiteracyMilestoneAI must confess that although I have always loved libraries, public library visits have never been a regular part of my daughter's schedule. Oh, we've certainly visited over the years. We did some toddler storytimes when she was little, we'd go and read picture books at the nearby branch whenever we were at the hospital where my husband works, we'd pop by the branch that was next to a playground as a two for one outing, etc. We'd start out each summer vacation by bringing home bags of library books. 

But the truth that must be acknowledged about our book-privileged life is that we always had plenty of books at home. This was because of my blog (I was a round one judge for the Cybils in fiction picture books twice) and because I am a sucker for buying books, from the Scholastic flyers to freestanding bookstores to Target to Amazon. This abundance of books meant that we never really needed to make library visits part of our routine. They were more something we would do sporadically when it happened to be convenient.

But this fall, I finally found a way to make visiting the library a regular part of our routine. I signed my daughter up for a weekly art class. The class is in the same shopping center as a beautiful new library branch. It's just a hop-skip-and-a-jump between them. This branch, which I hadn't visited until last month, is fairly small but supremely kid-friendly. I cleverly scheduled her class so that the library branch would be open for nearly an hour following the class. 

AtTheLibrary_FotorAnd now: we have a routine.We park across from the library. We return the books that we are finished with. I walk her over and leave her at the art studio. I walk back and sit in the library and read for an hour. Then I pick her up and take her back to the library, where she greedily pulls dozens of books off the shelves and hands them off to me to carry. Then she finds a cozy spot (this branch has several) and reads until I drag her away because we are ridiculously late for dinner. 

The books that she is choosing, not incidentally, are mostly books that she's already read. She is finding her friends on the shelves and bringing them home. Last week she grabbed a half dozen Diary of a Wimpy Kid titles. The week before it was every single Babymouse or Squish title that was on the shelf (several of which we already had at home).  She also likes to grab picture books about which she is nostalgic, like Mo Willems titles, even if we own those, too. She picked a picture book that her class had read last year as part of Project Cornerstone, and a couple of early readers. She picks graphic novels that she's read but that we don't own (like the Amulet series, and the books about Cleopatra in Space). Sometimes I'll suggest something that she hasn't read that I think she might like. She'll shrug and toss it in, but these titles are likely to go back unread. I am fine with this. 

And here's the best part. We go home and she becomes a reading machine, plowing through the books that we brought as though someone was going to take them away. It's hard to even get her to eat dinner or go to bed. Piano practice is a lost cause on library nights. I, of course, am fine with all of that. 

We are rather late to having a real library routine, but I am celebrating it now. I'm more willing to put titles on hold now, too, because I know that we'll be going in within a week. I'll be able to pick them up without making a special trip. My already devoted reader of a daughter is reading more. I get to spend time browsing the shelves and sitting reading myself. It's all good.

If you would like to get your kids to the library more, I recommend scheduling some other regular activity to take place near to the library if you can. The power of building things into your routine cannot be over-estimated. Gretchen Rubin and Charles Duhigg would be proud.

How about you? Have you been successful in making public library visits a part of your regular routine? 

© 2018 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


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: September 7: Reading Conferences, #FreeRangeKids + Happy Kindergarteners

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include: #BookLists, #Curation, #Curiosity, #Cybils, #Giftedness, #HigherEd, #iGen, #introversion, #JeanTwenge, #MentalHealth, #Motivation, #parenting, #play, #reading, #SocialMedia, #teaching, kindergarten, library storytimes, and reading conferences.

Top Tweet of the Week

BookWhispererThe Unexpected Power of Conferences | HS has single accountability measure for students’ choice reading: talking to them about it.

Book Lists + Awards

to Help Little Kids Deal With Big Emotions - from https://t.co/psUsNIUD7U

15 Children's Books About Courage and Bravery, w/ plenty of from | [Link to The Book Whisperer]

The Early That Will Turn Your Kids into Voracious Readers | from | + more

Ten great titles for making the leap to from , w/ tips for to help kids  https://t.co/xZDeJGsNUH

Cybils-Logo-2018-Round450pxA Heartfelt Goodbye (and Thank You!) shares some updates on this year's organizing team, including my own stepping down as evangelist + guru. Terry will ably take my place

Events + Programs

Text messages to can help boost children's skills, but the type of messages + frequency matter,

I love this program: Helps Love to Read by providing kid-friendly spaces in primarily black barbershops around the country |  https://t.co/6ibYgRX1pL

This year's selection (10/25) is Maybe Something Beautiful from . suggests some related book activities: https://t.co/LBwyRJ2AKV

Reasons I despise , by | e.g. "Why are we promoting something we’re against (banning books) instead of promoting something we are FOR (the freedom to read)?"

GrowingBookworms

GameChangerHow can and encourage kids to WANT to read? recommends books by + + shares tips for creating an environment that celebrates +  https://t.co/cz5J5K6dpi

If you start the year by telling kids about their rights as (, abandoning books, , etc.), it takes the pressure off + helps launch

HigherEd

Today's Aren't Who You Think They Are : Many are reports

Liberal-Arts Should Teach Grad Students How to Make a Living, instead of "cling(ing) to this lofty, elitist opinion that it’s sinful to discuss any remuneration"

Introversion

SecretLivesOfIntroverts12 Signs That You Have an 'Introvert Hangover' (Yes, It's Real) by | I found several of these to be spot on (esp. 1, 2, and 9) | [Link to Secret Lives of Introverts book]

Parenting + Play

The Perils of the Child Perfectionist by Jennifer Breheny Wallace | " play a central role in a child’s development of perfectionism", which can in turn lead to more serious issues

Must-read: How to Our Way to a Better - + suggest in that kids' w/out adults is a solution to our current self-selection into (+ is good for ) https://t.co/8f45SS9VEY

FreeRangeKidsRaising In An Age Of Is Tough, but are trying | | [Link to Free Range Kids book]

: 5 Proven Benefits Of : summarizes new recommendations | , + more

Demand that Be a Happy Time and Place: A “Garden for Children!” via | "adults who try to say children should be accomplishing more at an earlier age are way off base"

Schools and Libraries

What I really want to know from my child’s on night. Hint: It has nothing to do with , by + https://t.co/Wina5N7Wyk

InnovatorsMindsetThe Importance of and in | " should become a place where curiosity is developed in individuals no matter what factors have led to its decline" [Link to Innovator's Mindset book]

3 Important Areas to Shift the Conversation in | I especially like "Weakness-Focused to Strengths-Based" |

How are failing working parents (days off, meetings during school day, no before school care, etc.) — though some are helping

Crack Down as More Cut Class -

You’re Unlikely To Find More Useful Articles To Help With Than These Two… says

PrimedToPerformHow to Motivate Frontline Employees by optimizing , , and while reducing pressure by + | | via , who suggests applying this to [Link to Primed to Perform book]

To Boost Higher-Order Thinking in , Try a | | Help them understand, analyze + evaluate information quality

Yes! This: Let’s Preserve the Complexity of Our Icons – "It is truly an injustice to our to assert that people can only be inspirational if they are essentially perfect." https://t.co/drseAz2nKi

Three essential tips for of children from via | Start by expecting the unexpected

Don't make vast decisions with half-vast | "If we can’t trust our data to tell us what’s going on in ..." responds to recent reporting on highly inaccurate statistics https://t.co/TQ1B24dX8T

The salary slide: pay is stagnating, new report from finds via | In no state are teachers paid more than other grads

"The status of hasn’t kept pace with its growing social significance" + the level of responsibility (like teaching character) we give UK's , says https://t.co/kqcYdO4YSa

3 Ways to Introduce into the | specialist shares tips for winning over + to this new via

AMONG THE ANKLE BITERS by . Or How I Learned about Helping Out with

Screens and Social Media

ReaderComeHomeMatt is thinking about Deeply in Spaces, responding in part to 's recent article about impact of | I shared some thoughts in the post comments https://t.co/CoXQ45DWYp [Link to Reader, Come Home book]

Interesting: Logged off: meet the teens who refuse to use | via | Some among + are turned off by the negatives + scaling back.

I totally agree with that The Key to Peace on is the (called snooze on FB) | Of course I haven't muted YOU, my friends + family members. But you can't tell for sure, can you?

The World Isn’t as Bad as Your Wired Brain Tells You - explains some of the "workings of our + ". Then again, he also said not to share this article on https://t.co/QvmKhicqa1

Is Toxic for Teenagers' ? - comes down on the side of yes, citing , + says that the doubters are ruling out fuller understanding | I agree

STEM

Cool! Introduces free after-school clubs for 3rd-5th grade + is expanding program for 6-12 graders |

© 2018 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.


Literacy Milestone: Writing a Newspaper

LiteracyMilestoneAPretty much since she knew what writing was, my daughter has loved to write. As I've noted before in these posts, she keeps notebooks everywhere. This week, however, she started a new writing project. She is creating her own newspaper. So far there have been two issues, each about five pages long. The issues have each included:

  • Two pages of ads
  • One page of comics
  • One page of news
  • One page of miscellaneous (one day it was movie listings, the other day it was a description of a skit)

The continuing news story has been about the "Eerie Fire". The headline for issue two was "Eerie fire Rages on!!!!" The situation is quite desperate. Many people, including babies (!) have been killed, some by smoke. The guilty party, Thomas, is in jail, complete with a picture of him behind bars with a sad face saying "I started it". If you have a somewhat dark sense of humor, as I do, these heavily illustrated stories are hilarious. And yes, you can tell she lives on the wildfire-prone West Coast, and that she's absorbed more news stories about fires than I realized. 

The ads have ranged from hair salons to restaurants. They include phone numbers and email addresses, and lists of services. And pictures, of course. The comics (while not as funny as the stories about the fire, if you ask me) are about things like parenting (poopy diapers, etc), drumming, and ninjas. The movie listings are, well, let's say unconventional. 

She is doing this largely on her own. She has asked me to help with copy-editing, mainly correcting spelling, and she has requested some input as she works on the comics. She has plans to continue producing new issues at least twice a week for the rest of the year. (Though this seems unlikely to me, as other projects will arise.) 

Don't you love it when kids get obsessed with a project? Especially a project that involves something creative, like writing or drawing (or both, in this case)? I know I do. I can't wait for the next issue. I'm especially curious to see what will be happening with the Eerie Fire, and Thomas's jail time.

Did your kids ever produce their own books or newspapers?

Thanks for reading! 

© 2018 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


How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute: KJ Dell'Antonia

Book: How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute
Author: KJ Dell'Antonia
Pages: 320
Age Range: Adult Nonfiction (Parenting)

HappierParentI rarely review books for adults on this blog, but KJ Dell'Antonia's new parenting book How to be a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute inspired me to say a few words. I've read and enjoyed a number of Dell'Antonia's articles over the years, and so was interested to hear her voice in book form. I've also been on something of a personal quest to be happier in my own parenting, so this book had the potential to be a good fit.

I was not disappointed. It seems that Dell'Antonia, working (journalist) mother of four children, has been on a similar quest for quite a while. She read extensively on parenting, talked to a variety of parents and other experts, and conducted a survey. Her emphasis for the book is on changes that parents can make to their parenting styles, hacks of various sorts, that will make the parent happier. And happier parents will, she believes (as do I) ultimately lead to happier kids. 

Dell'Antonia cites a number of books that I had already read and enjoyed, like How to Raise and Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haimes, It's OK Not to Share by Heather Shumaker, and The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. I felt early on in the book that KJ and I we were philosophically aligned, and I marked a number of other books for future reads. I also got a kick out of the fact that two of the parents she cited were people that I knew (Marjorie Ingall and Jason Kotecki), at least in the sense of having met them in person and shared a meal. 

Anyway, How to Be a Happier Parent consists of chapters dedicated to each of nine parenting areas that Dell'Antonia and the people she talked with have found to particular sources of unhappiness or stress for parents. She starts with getting everyone out of the house in the morning and progresses through things like enforcing chores, mediating between siblings, and monitoring homework.

Her basic approach is guided by a set of ten mantras for happier parents that she explains early in the book and then repeatedly refers back to. For instance: "What you want now isn't always what you want later" (you have to take the long view when doing things like enforcing chores, even when being the fun, easy parent is more appealing in the short run). I especially liked "You do you", as in, you don't have to be the Pinterest-perfect parent, your family can do what your family likes.

I highlighted passages in basically every chapter (except for the one on siblings, which I skipped because my daughter doesn't have siblings). In truth, a lot of the recommendations in the book consist of things that I already believe, like staying as far out of your children's homework assignments as you can and using natural consequences to teach them to pack their backpacks properly (by refusing to bring something to them later). But there's a difference between believing philosophically in doing something and actually doing it. And for me, at least, there's value in repetition and the validation of hearing advice that you in your heart want to hear. (Like "you do you.")

The piece of advice that stood out the most for me, and that I feel like could actually change how I do things, was regarding discipline. The general idea is to treat discipline not so much as enforcement but as teaching kids how to enact certain behaviors. And to remind yourself that it takes kids a long (long, long, long) time to learn things sometimes, so you just have to keep repeating yourself over and over again. You should try to do this without beating yourself up over having failed to get this across in the previous 100 times, which will help in staying calm. Here's a section of the text on this that I highlighted:

"“but you’re not here just to stop him in the moment.” You’re here, she says, to teach your child to make the right choices for himself, so offer that option first, even if it seems as if he should know better by now. Some things take a lot of saying...

That whole sequence of connecting, teaching, and then, if necessary, ending a behavior is one you will repeat again and again, especially with a younger child, so make your words positive ones, even if the behavior is anything but. “If I’m going to say it a hundred times,” says Faber, “I figure it might as well be something I want my child to learn.”...

That kind of repetition is where a lot of us fall down. Consistency is hard, and it’s especially difficult when we’ve become so accustomed to an on-demand world...

When we accept discipline as a long-term teaching process, it gets easier. Instead of thinking, I’ve asked him hundreds of times to do this and he still doesn’t do it, parents who are happier in their disciplinary role think something more along the lines of I’ve asked him a hundred times and I’ll ask him a hundred more and that’s how we get there." (Chapter 7)

I'm going to try to remember this. I think it will help. And really, that's why I read parenting and other self-help type books. I'm looking for those ideas that resonate with my own personal philosophy and that might, if implemented, help in some way. 

So, even as someone who has read a lot of books on related topics, I found How to be a Happier Parent useful. This book is not for the mother who is looking for validation in her quest to get her child into Stanford at all costs, or for the father trying figure out how to push his lazy child to practice more so that he can get that football scholarship. (Though these parents could learn a lot if they did read it.) But if you are a busy parent and you are looking for some tips on taking a deep breath, slowing things down, taking off some of the pressure and enjoying your family more, this is the book for you. Highly recommended! 

Publisher: Avery  
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2018 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).


Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 31: New #Cybils Logos, #ReadingAloud, and #Classroom Community

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookAwards, #BookLists, #bullying, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowthMindset, #HigherEd, #introversion, #JoyOfReading, #MentalHealth, #play, #ReadAloud, #SchoolLibraries, classroom communities, digital media, grants, project-based learning, and teaching.

Top Tweet of the Week

Thinking Outside Categories in Suggesting Books for Kids by |

Book Lists + Awards

Cybils-Logo-2018-Round450pxHey there, bloggers, authors, publishers + fans: The 2018 Cybils Logos are now available for download + use. Promote high quality, kid-friendly children's and YA books by cheering for

It's here! The 2018 Call for Judges: + Book Bloggers / Reviewers (regardless of platform) are encouraged to Come Be a Part of the Fun! | I love the colors of the new logo

2108 – Part 3 | roundup from

QuickestKid30 Incredible for 2nd and 3rd Grade, another

Super-Cute Handmade Mini Bookmarks (beaded circles on top of oversized paperclips): A Craft to Promote ! w/ of reading-focused lit from  https://t.co/7UX3K9WJsx

Events, Programs, and Research

The 's initiative awards big grants, many to California , to improve the graduation + success of African-American, Latino and low-income

A study finds promise in project-based for young low-income children -

“Act more like an extravert” intervention has “wholly positive” benefits for many, but there are drawbacks for , reports – I do not even get why these interventions exist at all |

Growing Bookworms

HarryDirtyDogThe Magic of the Read-Aloud | At Heather Miller offers tips for + to improve skills, w/ some suggested

A call to from "This year, let books and how they reflect your students’ lives and interests be your guide. Use books to respond to your students and to push their thinking forward"

No matter our background, and no matter our kids’ ages, books > programs. Connecting with a good book is much more likely to produce than drilling skills | on online  https://t.co/xuNK8TrZEZ

Higher Ed

Interesting OpEd by Adam Grant | Those Who Can Do, Can’t Teach. The best are not the experts, but those good at interpreting + communicating material https://t.co/kgTaGtVx94

How to pick a course responds to @AdamMGrantOpEd about vs. in terms of quality. Willingham says to go where is the primary concern

Don’t Close the Book on Books - @Danny_Heitman urges to make more visible on campus, in hope of encouraging more  https://t.co/qMj4ZWX8St

Kidlitosphere

Catch up on happenings in today's Fusenews , , + more

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

ReaderComeHomeSkim on digital media is the new normal. The effect on our brains + society is profound | Maryanne Wolf | "We need to cultivate a new kind of brain: a “bi-literate” reading brain" [Link to Wolf's book on reading in the digital age]

Amazon's children’s book subscription opens to all in the U.S. | | I could see this working for some, and they do let customize the shipments, but I'm a bit skeptical

So you want to write | advice from , who writes + teaches , | Her most firm suggestion is "read your work aloud!"

Parenting + Play

Say Yes to Play | shares reasons is important + things can do to encourage it, w/ lots of references.

This is excellent to see: The Rise of the | | "The take-home message for municipalities is: Stop setting your bar at the level of the most anxious parent"

It’s come to this: A checkup with the pediatrician may soon include a prescription for more , says in summary by | I love it! |

StandUpAmericanGirlWhen Little Girls Are Mean: Helping Young Girls Handle Relational Aggression, w/ |  [I bought the book shown to the left for my daughter]

The big problem with rewarding kids for good grades and punishing them for bad ones - - they learn that parental love is based on outcomes, not good for +  https://t.co/GFicB2XCvi

Tips for Teachers to Start the Year + Build Community

How to Build Community: 10 Easy Tips | Kelli Smith had me at first tip: , , | Guest post

4 Ways to Create a Learner-Centered | Shouldn't we start w/ building the relationship between and ?

WontYouBeNeighborNever Too Old: Advice Educators Should Take from - + more

10 Tips for New from | Build relationships, ask questions, call w/ something positive + more |

My Is A Mess. How has changed his + after reading 's  https://t.co/hxCAP9V0Gy

Other School + Library Links

How to Spread among – guest post by via | Teach them not to hide their flaws, to start

In a mastery-based , understand where they need to focus |

MegabookOfFluencyMaking Kids Read Fast is NOT the Goal of Instruction; Making Meaning Is - Guest post by | "fluency is developed through practice" [Link to Rasinksi's book on fluency]

Are the Best Way to Teach ? Maybe Not. They can exacerbate achievement gaps ... unless the groups are fluid and focused on skills https://t.co/MN7LntFx4E

I’m Not Sure We () are in the Responsibility Business: Deep Thoughts by on enforcement (or not) re: overdue books

The latest Colorado contagion: The four-day week | raises concerns, especially for younger kids + food insecure kids https://t.co/yjnYM3nPYq

STEM

BedtimeMath 'Story Time' Helps Kids Score Academic Goals | Practice is key, making more fun can help |

Testing

If Students Aren't Trying on International Tests, Can We Still Compare Countries' Results? - |

© 2018 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.


Mathematical Milestone: Wowed by the Power of Twos

MathMilestoneLast night my daughter was working on an assignment for school. She had to write her name in big letters and decorate it. The teacher is apparently going to put the names up on the wall, to mark off an area for displayed artwork in the classroom. In an effort to make hers more interesting, my daughter started adding little math equations around the border. I was kind of half listening as she counted out loud to herself: "Two plus two equals four, four plus four equal eight", etc. As she got up to "1024 + 1024 = 2048" I started to pay more attention.

When she got to the point where she couldn't add them in her head anymore I helped her by writing down the numbers so that she could add them:

   8192
+ 8192
_______

   ?????

Old school math. Carry the one, etc. 

Quite soon she started marveling at how large the numbers were getting. She ran out of room at 131,072, which (I had to check this) is 2 to the 17th power. I told her that this what she was doing (multiplying by two again and again), and that yes, you end up with very big numbers that way. We looked up what power gets you to a million. And she said, unprompted: "I am wowed by the power of twos." She was a bit giddy with the excitement of the whole thing, to the point of disturbing my husband, who was trying to work himself. But I loved it. And he loved it, too, once he realized what was going on. 

She ended up deciding to keep that version of her name and do a different one for the classroom wall, but she took the power of two page in to school this morning to show to her teacher and classmates. This is joy of learning, my friends. When a kid just starts noodling around and discovers something that she thinks is cool. [Hey, if you just keep doubling numbers, you get to really big numbers quite quickly. Cool!] You never know where such opportunities will arise, but you can certainly notice and encourage them when they do.   

Thanks for reading! I hope that some of you will find this little anecdote enjoyable. 

© 2018 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


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: August 29: Back-To-School Edition

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 contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is usually sent out every three weeks.

Newsletter Update:  In this issue I have two book reviews (one picture book and one YA) and three posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, full of tons on reading-related news. I also have a guest post from Mrs. P. about her 10th Annual Be-A-Famous Writer Contest. I'm hoping to have more literacy milestones for you next time. I think that the start of the school year will trigger some... 

Reading Update:  In the last three weeks I finished three middle grade and four adult titles. I read/listened to: 

  • Paul Noth: How To Properly Dispose of Planet Earth. Bloomsbury Children's Books. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed August 25, 2018, print ARC. Review to come, closer to publication.
  • Skulduggery1Derek Landy: Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 1. HarperCollins Children's Books. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed August 26, 2018, print review copy. Review scheduled for next week. 
  • Patti Kelley Criswell (ill. Angela Martini): Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies & Bossiness and Finding a Better Way. AmericanGirl. Early Middle Grade Nonfiction. Completed August 27, 2018. This is a well-done little book designed to help girls to cope with bullies and meanness, and to avoid such behavior themselves. I bought it for my daughter but read it myself first, and I do recommend it for early elementary age kids (it's pretty simplistic so I doubt it would capture the interest of kids above about 10). 
  • Charles Murray: Coming Apart. Crown Forum. Adult Nonfiction. Completed August 18, 2018, on Kindle. I read this book as part of my quest to understand the bifurcation of America. In this case,  because of a what was available for survey data, Murray looks specifically at ways that whites have diverged over the years under a variety of metrics (education, community involvement, marriage, single parenthood, etc.). It was a good companion read to Hillbilly Elegy, which I read earlier in the year. 
  • Craig A. Falconer: Not Alone: Second Contact. Amazon. Adult Science Fiction. Completed August 20, 2018, on MP3. This was a sequel to a science fiction story that I enjoyed, and I thought it had a satisfactory ending. It probably could have been edited down a bit, but as length is a plus for me in audiobooks I didn't mind. 
  • Arne Duncan: How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation's Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education. Simon & Schuster. Adult Nonfiction. Completed August 23, 2018, on Kindle. I found this book quite readable, and I appreciated Duncan's willingness to call out many of the lies that we collectively tell ourselves about our education system. I found his prescriptions for what to do to improve the school system to be not too slanted towards more big, government programs, and thus unrealistically expensive, but I did think his heart is in the right place. 
  • Ted Dintersmith: What Schools Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers across America. Princeton University Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed August 26, 2018, on Kindle. This book, about an entrepreneur who spent a year traveling around the US looking for innovative schools and districts, is in many ways the opposite of Duncan's book. [Outside vs. Insider, anti-(most) testing vs. pro-(some) testing, deeply skeptical of- Race to the Top vs. creator of Race to the Top, etc.). Dintersmith's heart is in the right place, too. His issue is more a question of whether his suggestions for local, grassroots change can be scaled up enough to make a difference. He definitely has some inspiring examples, though. 

TalkingAcrossDivideI also listened to about 40% of Scythe by Neal Shusterman, but I just didn't like it and I stopped. Too bleak for me these days, though I suspect I would have loved it a few years back. I'm listening to Heaven's Keep by William Kent Kruger (Cork O'Connor Mysteries, Book 9). I'm reading Talking Across the Divide by Justin Lee on my Kindle, and Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes in print (ARC). 

I'm continuing to read mainly picture books to my daughter. We are making our way through a lot of our old favorites and it's been quite enjoyable. This morning we read The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool and Alison JayYou can see some of those favorites in her reading list here. On her own, she continues to resist reading any of the books for her school's upcoming Battle of the Books, even though she says that she's interested in being on a team with several friends. I think she just really doesn't like being told what to read. And none of them are graphic novels, or even particularly heavily illustrated, so they just aren't her thing. But when she's left alone to read graphic novels and notebook novels she reads ALL THE TIME. To the point where it's hard to get her out of the house for, well, anything. 

KristysBigDayShe did have an excellent reading day yesterday, when not one but two of her favorite series had new releases. I have a video of her joy when she got home to find the newest Babysitters Club Graphic Novel, Kristy's Big Day AND the third Lucy and Andy Neanderthal book, Bad to the Bones, by Jeffrey Brown. She lifted me off the ground with her hug, making my choice to pre-order both books well worthwhile. The downside of graphic novels is that she's already read them both. However, I am confident that she will re-read them both many times. 

WimpyKidCabinFeverShe started third grade last week. She filled out a little "getting to know you" sheet for her teacher with heavy emphasis on reading and writing. Her teacher also asked my husband and me what our goals are for her this academic year. My number one goal is that she continues to LOVE reading. I'm going to do everything in my power to support that at home, of course. She brought home a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book from her classroom library on day 1, read it, and took it back the next day, so we are off to a good start.

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! Hope that your summer reading is going as well as ours is!

© 2018 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


Guest Post: Mrs. P's 10th Annual Be-A-Famous Writer Contest

Today I share a guest post from my Twitter friend @MrsPStorytime. I know personally kids who have enjoyed this writing contest, and thought that my readers would find the information useful. 

Mrs. P Shares some exciting news about her 10th annual Be-a-Famous Writer contest for K-4 students

Thank you for providing the opportunity to share some exciting news! It’s the 10th year of my annual Be-a-Famous Writer Contest and also my FREE literacy website MrsP.com. So many amazing stories have been written by classrooms all across the United States over this time. SO many, I’ve lost count. But what I haven’t lost count of are the teachers who in my book are Heroes, for bringing this project into their classroom.

I was trying to come up with a fun and exciting theme for kids to write about, and know that kids are fascinated by superheroes, with their extraordinary powers and awesome adventures. AND we also celebrate the lives of real-life heroes —fireman, policeman, athletes, activists, and for me it’s librarians and teachers,— the role models we look up too.

Mrsp_heros

So, that is how I selected the theme of my 10th annual writing contest. This year students will write about Heroes!

Children’s literacture is just filled with heroes. There are characters that remain memorable more than a century after their first appearance, with Little Women's Jo March and Anne of Green Gables' Anne Shirley. And let’s not forget Harry Potter, or Black Beauty and even Paddington Bear.   There are so many examples of books with heroes for kids to read to prepare for the contest. Heroes can be people or animals.

K-4 students will have their stories read by my incredible judges. This year I have Mia Wenjen, who is a children’s literature advocate with her blog Pragmatic Mom, she’s the co founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, and also an author herself! And Colby Sharp a teacher, the co-founder of Nerdy Book Club and the literacy conference Nerd Camp. and co-host of the children's literature podcast The Yarn. He just published “The Creativity Project”. I also read all of the stories!

Here’s the important information!

The contest opens on October 15 and close on December 15th.

The contest is free to enter! It’s for K-4 classrooms in the United States. Teachers can have their class either write a story collaboratively, or have students write individually and then have their class vote on which entry to submit. There’s only 1 entry allowed per class. Teachers can find the rules at my contest page

A special trailer for students was made by some extraordinary 5th graders in Atlanta. So teachers and parents can share this trailer with their K-4 writers. 

And of course, there is a promo for the teachers, so they know about the amazing sponsors who will support many literacy efforts. They help fill the winning classrooms with books in every format, as well as some other technology to help students be creative. Mackin Educational Resources, Tales2GO, Powell's Books, Flipgrid, and Buncee.

I’ve also rounded up more prizes than ever this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the contest! The past author judges are providing books and Simon and Schuster is giving me books. Yes, books from Chris Grabenstein, Peter Reynolds, Josh Funk, Bonny Becker, and Shannon McClintock Miller! So many books for classrooms!

Books from mrps p judges.001

So, I hope your readers will bookmark this post. I hope parents will share it with their schools, and I hope teachers will find a bit of time to unlock the power of the imagination in their students with my writing contest.