The Lucy Variations: Sara Zarr
Growing Bookworms Newsletter: April 18

Children's Literacy and Reading News Roundup: Mid-April

JkrROUNDUPWelcome to the latest children's literacy and reading news roundup, now available at The Family Bookshelf. The roundups are brought to you twice a month by Carol Rasco from RIF and Quietly, Terry Doherty from The Reading Tub and The Family Bookshelf, and me, here at Jen Robinson's Book Page. For this mid-month roundup, Terry has highlights regarding litercay and reading-related events; literacy programs and research; and suggestions for growing bookworms.

Here are some highlights from Terry's roundup:

30poets30Days_2013"National Poetry Month is still going gangbusters! There are lots of activities.

  • One of our favorites is 30 Poets 30 Days at Gottabook, poet Greg Pincus’ blog. 
  • TOMORROW is Poem in Your Pocket Day. If you’re looking for a poem, be sure to visit They have “thousands of poems” that you can read and print. PLUS you get to read a bio of the poet."

Book_train_pu0wajLike me, Terry was taken with Gail Gauthier’s post about Book Train, "a literacy nonprofit that gives books to foster children. Currently, Book Train distributes books in Colorado and Connecticut, and is looking for social workers in other states to distribute books.” 

This is interesting. "Scientific American recently had an article about changes in our “reading brain ” in this modern age. The Reading Bran in Digital Age: the Science of Paper vs. Screens shares research in how our brain needs “physicality” in reading to help with comprehension, a sense of control, and other sensory development. It is fascinating research."

But do click through to read the full roundup. And here are a few additional tidbits from me:

SFW-logo-with-2013-dateScreen Free Week is coming April 29th - May 5th. I wrote about Screen Free Week previously (including some things I've observed about screen time in my own daughter). Today I came across a fun article by Bob Staake (one of Random House's ambassadors for Screen Free Week) in the The Huffington Post. Staake (whose picture books I adore) shared a tongue-in-cheek 31 Things Parents and Kids Can Do Without a Screen. Like "Go on a hike -- and ask random woodland creatures to friend you." Fun stuff! (See also this list of 7 great picture books for Screen Free Week from Erica at What Do We Do All Day?)

Earlier this month, Trevor H. Cairney shared a useful post on Getting Boys Into Reading: Ideas, Books & Resources. He lists four fundamental building blocks to get boys reading, and goes on to give some specific ideas for reading with boys, as well as book suggestions. 

Our friend Susan Stephenson shared an important post on letting kids read the books that they want to read, rather than pushing them to read ever-more-difficult titles. Here is her conclusion (but do read the full post):

"Sometimes it seems to me there are forces at work that want to rob our kids of their childhood. By trying to push them into learning they are not ready for, by making everything a competition and comparing our kids to some so-called norm, we are doing them a huge disservice. I believe we must do our best to help our kids love reading. That is the number one priority in my mind. I urge every parent to make it a priority too."

And that's all we have for you today. But Carol will be back towards May 1st with the end of April roundup. And we'll continue to share literacy news as we find it @JensBookPage, Growing Bookworms@ReadingTub, and @CHRasco. Thanks for reading, and for caring about children's literacy. 

This post © 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.