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Posts from May 2019

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: May 31: #ReadingAloud, #KidLitCon, #STEM + #IntrinsicMotivation

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this jam-packed week include #Audiobooks, #BookLists, #Bullying, #FreeSpeech, #GraphicNovels, #GrowingBookworms, #HigherEd, #IntrinsicMotivation, #KidLitCon, #Preschool, #ReadAloud, #SchoolLibraries, #ScreenTime, #SpellingBee, #STEM, #SummerReading, #TeacherPay, gender, libraries, math, parenting, reading, research, and writing. There's extra material this week, despite the holiday weekend, because I was traveling most of last week. I saved things up but didn't share much while I was out of town. Happy reading!

Book Lists  + Awards

GoodnightGorillaBooks to Read with Movers and Shakers | #PictureBooks to #ReadAloud w/ toddlers who can't sit still @TheReadingTub #BookList

10 Next Reads for Kids Who Love @goraina @ReadBrightly #BookList #GraphicNovels

The @BostonGlobe @HornBook Award Winners have been announced | @medinger #BookAwards #KidLit

Higher Ed 

The Reopening of the Liberal Mind - @WSJ @danakst interviews @BardCollege President about maintaining a culture of #AcademicFreedom + #FreeSpeech

Palo Alto High students nix map touting college acceptance, to stop feeding toxic competitive culture @JohnWoolfolk1 @mercnews | #HigherEd #iGen

Events, Programs + Research

KidLitConNoDetailIn this week's round-up of #MiddleGrade #SFF from around the blogs @charlotteslib shares the scoop on #KidLitCon 2020 @alibrarymama + Nekenya Yarbrough to organize

A New Trial Of An Ancient Rhetorical Trick Finds It Can Make You Wiser – @d_a_robson @ResearchDigest | Thinking or speaking about yourself in 3rd person can clear emotional fog

At the #SpellingBee, a New Word Is M-O-N-E-Y - @WSJ reports on "invited" spellers who lose at regionals but can now pay to participate in @ScrippsBee

A sense of purpose could prolong your life — New study finds people without a purpose were more than twice as likely to die than those with an aim and goals. Correlation, but still suggestive @el72champs @qz

Growing Bookworms  / Summer Reading

EdwardTulaneA Year in Classroom #ReadAlouds to 4th graders by teacher Carrie Rodusky @nerdybookclub, #BookList + reasons to #ReadAloud to older kids

One idea via @literacious for getting kids excited to read is the #MiddleGrade @ Heart #SummerReading Bingo card / #BookList | Details online @MGatheart

#KidLit author @EricRWalters is appealing to #SchoolLibrarians to let kids take out books over the summer | #SummerReading #EducationalEquity @JGCanada

#ReadingAloud with Movers and Shakers - How-To Guide from @TheReadingTub on reading to active kids #GrowingBookworms

TheWildRobotHow to Find the BEST #Audiobooks for Kids from @growingbbb, w/ audiobook benefits, tips + recommendations #ReadAloud

Spot on list here: 8 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids from #Reading | @ImaginationSoup @ReadBrightly | #ReadingChoice #ReadAloud + more

I could SO relate to these: 8 Brutal Truths of Raising a Book-Loving Kid | @ivamarie @ReadBrightly | Tears at #library return, car as mobile library + more

Neat! @Jarrett_Lerner's campaign to bring #SummerReading to kids in #BookDeserts made the @TODAYshow | @lisatolin #BookAccess #kidlit

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

OneNightInTheZooSad to hear about the death of author Judith Kerr. She wrote the very first #PictureBook that we read aloud to my daughter after was born: One Night in the Zoo

4 Reasons You Should be #Reading Books Daily, According to #Science | @salubriousdish @Inc | Communication skills + more | via @tashrow

Got a developing writer? Tell them about the Spooky Summer #Writing Contest for kids 8-12 from @spookymgbooks

Great Moments with #AlexRider. @MsYingling shares the reasons @AnthonyHorowitz Stormbreaker is the book she most enjoys handing out to her #MiddleSchool students

College Students Aren't Checking Out Books. Yale reported 64% decline in checkouts by undergrads over 10 years, but students protested when they tried to get rid of most #LibraryBooks #HigherEd @TheAtlantic

This is awesome: The #MLB All-Star Nationals Closer Who Is Trying to Save #IndependentBookstores - @jareddiamond @WSJ

Parenting, Play + Screen Time

NoMoreMeanGirls"You're Not My Friend!" – Relational Aggression Starts As Early As Preschool, more commonly in girls | @amightygirl #bullying #parenting

This can't be good for sleep quality. New @CommonSense survey finds > 1/3 of Teens Check Their Phones in Middle of Night @BetsyMorris2 @WSJ #ScreenTime

How to Raise an Independent, Self-Motivated Kid | Talk less + ask more questions like "what is your plan for ...?" @orderoochaos @lifehacker #Parenting

Schools and Libraries

New Economic Report Shows 59% of #Teachers Have Side Hustles To Make Ends Meet @EstelleSErasmus @Forbes #teaching #TeacherPay

FutureDrivenThe @DavidGeurin Blog: 7 Questions to Reflect on More Deeply on #Kindness | Can you maintain respectful dialog when you disagree? + more

How cities are convincing voters to pay higher #taxes for public #preschool @biasevoli @hechingerreport #EarlyChildEducation

More Kids Than Ever Are Dealing With #TestAnxiety. Ideas from @stacytornio @WeAreTeachers for how #teachers can help kids cope | via @drdouggreen #testing

The Hard Part About (Improving) #Reading Instruction | @JaredMyracle @educationweek | #teaching #phonics #BackgroundKnowledge #vocabulary

Four Research-Based Strategies To Ignite #IntrinsicMotivation In Students | @MindShiftKQED @Kschwart #StudentChoice

Federal jury: Houston ISD staff repeatedly violated #copyright laws, owe company $9.2M - @ChronJacob | Guess this is a learning opportunity for #students


Girls Outperform Boys On National #Engineering, Technology Skills Tests | @amightygirl #STEM #testing #TEL| Girls especially excel in categories related to communication

Study Finds Even People w/out Mathematical Training Experience The “Beauty” Of #Math – Research Digest @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest #STEM

Brain Wars: #Unschooling vs. #BrainScience – Using Modern #Science to Bring Clarity + Confidence to Your #Homeschool @MarlaSzwast | Strength = interest, weakness = lack of memorization

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: May 24: #BookLists, #Readathons + Nurturing #JoyOfReading

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. It's a fairly light week because I was traveling. I'll probably have extra links for you all next time. Topics today include #AI, #BookLists, #HigherEd, #HigherEd, #learning, #LoveOfReading, #nonfiction, #play, #ReadingChoice, #STEM, #testing, and libraries. 

Book Lists

MayhemDon't miss @darshanakhiani's #SouthAsian #Kidlit Roundup 2019 – Summer | #BookList, organized by category + pub date

Best #Nonfiction Books for Middle School to Inspire #CriticalThinking, new #BookList from @momandkiddo #kidlit

The Best Books for #MiddleSchool According to @pernilleripp's Students 2019 – #YA #BookList

Events, Programs + Research

Taking Tiny Breaks Is Key To Learning New Motor Skills. Improvement comes during the brief rest, not during the practice, study finds – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest

Growing Bookworms

CreepyCarrotsHate #Reading? Do It Anyway! | #Bookseller Meghan Dietsche Goel @PWKidsBookshelf on her experience as a volunteer w/ emerging readers

You’ve Got to Believe It to Achieve It – @ReadByExample shares 8 beliefs now common to his staff on #reading instruction, inc. how #ReadingChoice influences motivation

On Allowing Children time to figure out that they NEED the Learning – We should treasure kids #reading + #writing as a gift @HonorsGradU

Higher Ed

I can't say I find this surprising: Students Were Advised to Claim to Be Minorities in College-Admissions Scandal - @melissakorn + @jenniferlevitz @WSJ #HigherEd

SAT's 'adversity' score: Privilege check or public relations? Admissions counselors see little need for new metric @JohnWoolfolk1 @mercnews #testing #SAT

On Reading

48hbc_newMaking The Most of Read-a-thons | @mrskatiefitz on why she joins, how she makes them successful + a few favorites #ReadAThon [This post reminded me of MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge, in which I used to participate back in the day.]

Schools and Libraries

RT @dintersmith: This is what we do to our kids. K12 isn't about learning, discovering, and enjoying. It's work. It's all about doing stuff that pleases some anonymous college admissions officer. It's ruining kids. Millions of kids.

Seems like a good idea to me: Chicago Finds a Way to Improve Public Housing: #Libraries… @kimmelman @nytimes


How to Teach Kids About #AI - @HiMichelleMa @WSJ - #MiddleSchool #STEM

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Literacy Milestone: Revising A Personal Narrative

LiteracyMilestoneAMy daughter disappeared into her room after dinner the other night with her door closed. I eventually (after getting some things done during the unexpected quiet) went to see what she was up to. I found her transcribing rough diary notes that she had made during her first trip to Lake Tahoe two years earlier, turning them into a much neater and more coherent narrative. She wanted to finish it all in one sitting and wasn't quite done, so I left her to it.

She later brought the several page long writeup to me and we read it together. She had clearly added some commentary that was absent from the original notes (including what I recognized as a reference to something we had read in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book). But the details of the original experience certainly came through, from my husband's and my stress at getting the car packed up to her joy at the snowball fight that she and my husband had the very minute we arrived. 

In explaining the need  for the rewrite she said something to me like: "These are my really important memories And they were all messy and full of spelling errors. I wanted to write them over neatly so they’ll last." Can't argue with that!

I did keep a journal when I was a bit older than she is now, though I don't recall ever re-writing entries. But I know that revising is something that writers do. Incidents like this give me hope that this reader/writer thing is going to stick for her. I can only hope, anyway!

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms.  

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: May 20: Literacy Milestones + Responses to the @Scholastic Kids + Family Reading Report

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 to four weeks. This issue is a tiny bit early because I'm going to be away from my computer for most of this week, and have some things I'd like to share before I go. 

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have two posts with my daughter's latest literacy milestones. The first is about attending her first author signing. The second is about making connections through reading. I also have two posts written in response to the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report, one about the "Decline by Nine" and the other about factors that encourage frequent readers. I also have three posts with literacy and reading-related links shared over the past few weeks on Twitter. I have a summary of our recent reading below. 

Reading Update:  In the last three weeks I finished two middle grade titles and six adult titles (three fiction and three nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • Rachel Renee Russell: Dork Diaries 13: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday. Aladdin Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 7, 2019, read aloud to my daughter. This one did improve for me by the end, but I still prefer the Wimpy Kid books. 
  • Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever. Harry N. Abrams Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 14, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • EnchantedHourMeghan Cox Gurdon: The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction . Harper. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 2, 2019, personal copy. This book is basically a call to society to make reading aloud a priority. While she talks mostly about the many rewards to kids from having their parents read to them (bonding, vocabulary, etc.), she also advocates for the gift of reading aloud to other adults (e.g. in the car) and especially to the elderly. I'm already a pretty strong advocate for reading aloud myself, and Gurdon succeeded in making me want to do it more. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Trickster's Point (Cork O'Connor, No. 12). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 7, 2019, on MP3. I'm still a fan. Definitely enjoyable!  
  • TextMeWhenKayleen Schaefer: Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship. Dutton. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 8, 2019, personal copy. This book was a gift from a dear friend. Schaefer focuses on the importance of female friendships in a society that puts more emphasis on spouses and children. I thought she was a little over the top on that point, but I still appreciated her musing on the many gifts that female friends bring to one another. This was a good followup read for me after The Village Effect
  • Paula Munier: A Borrowing of Bones (Mercy and Elvis, Book 1). Minotaur Books. Adult Mystery. Completed May 10, 2019, on Kindle. This is the first book in a new series featuring Mercy, a young, retired female MP, and Elvis, the service dog that she is caring for after the death of the dog's handler, Mercy's fiancé. There's also an attractive game warden with his own search dog who plays a major role. I enjoyed this one, and look forward to future titles. 
  • Victoria Thompson: Murder on Trinity Place (Gaslight Mystery). Berkley Press. Adult Mystery. Completed May 15, 2019, on MP3. This is the latest in another series that I've enjoyed for years. I saw one of the twists coming very early, but still enjoyed my time with these characters, and the historical background about milk deliveries as well as the rise of automobiles in the early 1900s. 
  • Thomas M. Nichols: The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters. Oxford University Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 17, 2019, on Kindle. I read this book after enjoying an article by Nichols on about not letting students run the university (by getting professors fired over politically incorrect views, etc.). The book is quite outspoken on the larger issue of an increasing resentment of expertise, and people's belief that all opinions are equally valid (even when they are in outright contradiction of research). I found this book sometimes entertaining and sometimes irritating, but it will make me think twice about how I consume and share news in the future. 

HardLuckI'm reading She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge and listening to Tamarack County by William Kent Krueger (the 13th of 17 Cork O'Connor books - I'll have to find something else to listen to before too long). My daughter and I are back to reading Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid books together. Our current installment is Book #8: Hard Luck (we do not read in any special order). 

In terms of her own reading, she just finished Who Was Princess Diana? and seemed to enjoy it. Funny moment for me: she found a reference in there to Hillary Clinton and exclaimed: "FIRST LADY, Hillary Clinton! She was married to a President?" She had no idea. You forget how young your kids are sometimes. But I guess it was another example of making connections through reading. 

She also finished Macarons at Midnight, a Wish novel by Suzanne Nelson, which she had been reading in fits and starts for weeks. And just in time, too, because the library is going to eventually want that back. She's already started her next selection in the series. She also enjoyed Red's Planet: Book 1, a new to her graphic novel by Eddie Pittman, and is asking for the sequel. Otherwise she's been mostly re-reading her favorite graphic novels and picture books. 

But I will share something that she put on my Mother's Day card that made me happy. It was a fill-in-the-blanks card that she did at school. Here is a prompt and her response:

  • You are the best mother because: "you have taught me how to read more than do electronics"

She's been expressing lately that she appreciates that she isn't as addicted to screens as other kids that she sees, and that she likes reading more. Mentioning it in the card shows me that she really values this. As anyone reading this can probably guess, this pleases me more than I can even express. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: May 17: #EducationalEquity, #KidLitCon, #SummerReading + #Playgrounds

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #CharterSchools, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #eBooks, #EducationalEquity, #grit, #GrowthMindset, #Happiness, #KidLitCon, #Kindle, #play, #ReadAloud, #schools, #STEM, #SummerReading, curriculum, Daniel Pink, math, poetry, recess, and testing.

Top Tweets of the Week

THIS! The Benefits of #ReadingAloud to #MiddleSchool Students | Enriching classroom community, sharing a #LoveOfReading + more | @shortisweet3 @edutopia

The Biggest #Education News Story You've Never Heard Of | @natwexler @Forbes on the teaching of skills + lack of focus on #curriculum content #EducationalEquity

Events, Programs + Research

AMazeMeNaomi Shihab Nye is the #Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate, term from 2019-21 via @tashrow @PoetryFound #kidlit

Big #Kidlitosphere News: The @CybilsAwards have announced that the now #nonprofit #Cybils will be the parent organization for #KidLitCon | Next @KidLitCon will be March 2020 in Ann Arbor, MI

Success in academia may be as much about #grit as talent. New research suggests scientists who fail early in their careers may benefit from the experience @TheEconomist #STEM #GrowthMindset

How #Exercise Affects Our #Memory. Even a single workout may make our brain’s memory centers, like our muscles, more fit. Gretchen Reynolds @nytimes

James Patterson funds UK "Buy A Book, Give A Book" #literacy scheme w/ Penguin, Asda + NLT | @thebookseller @JP_Books | Goal: to encourage reading in kids + families from disadvantaged backgrounds

Growing Bookworms

RT @EliseGravel (via @rapunzel543): Ever heard kids (and even grownups!) denigrate other people's book choices? "This book is for babies!", "This book is for girls!" or "You should be reading real books by now!" This poster shows kids that they can read whatever they like. Download here. [Image above shared per the author's permission stated on her website]

MalorieBlackmanGreat stuff! How do you turn kids into bookworms? All 10 UK children's laureates share their tips | "Read to them. Let them read to you. Don’t criticise what they are reading" + lots more @GuardianBooks

Looking for ways to get kids #reading this summer? @KylaMcDonald10 suggests #BookDating. I think it looks like fun! | @nerdybookclub

The Great Debate: #SummerReading | Assigned summer #reading titles don't put the child/teen at the center of #ReadingChoice @meg_lopez0 @3TeachersTalk

Parents will find useful links + tips in Terry's @TheReadingTub Early May #LiteracyTips Newsletter #ReadingLogs #BookLists #JoyOrReading

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

IWantMyHatHow children’s books have changed in the past 10 years | @globalnews via @100scopenotes, input from @burstofbeaden @barbreidart @AudreysBooks #kidlit #DiverseBooks

To Kindle or not to #Kindle? @AwfullyBigBlog Lynne Benton shares the reasons that she was converted to an @AmazonKindle #eBook reader, despite the relatively minor downsides #reading

Parenting + Play

Making #Playgrounds a Little More Dangerous - "Junk playgrounds" help foster kids' independence + creativity @Schiffman108 @nytimes #freeplay #play

Advice from @raisinghappines for a parent seeking to help stressed out teenage daughters @GreaterGoodSC @LDamour #MentalHealth #parenting

School is (Almost) Out! Time to Get Creative. @TheReadingTub suggests a plan for using leftover #SchoolSupplies to build a #Creativity Zone

Teens Smuggle Burner Phones to Defy Parents. This @juliejargon @WSJ article includes tips for identifying + managing when your kid has a secret phone #ScreenTime #parenting

Personal Growth

Interesting piece by @EBernsteinWSJ on the surprising boost you can get from positive interactions w/ strangers + acquaintances #Happiness

Schools and Libraries

WhenPinkHow #Schools Can Spend Time More Wisely: 4 Big Tips From @DanielPink | Want better academic performance from your students? 'Give ‘em frickin’ #recess' @educationweek @AlysonRKlein

#CriticalThinking is a 21st-century essential — here’s how to help kids learn it. Going beyond what to how + why | Mary Halton, Brian Oshiro, @TED_ED

Can successful #CharterSchools replicate + maintain effectiveness ? They can according new study of Boston's charters @WSJopinion #learning #schools

Dear STAR Test, We Need to Talk Again… @pernilleripp shares the negative experiences of her students w/ this computerized #ReadingTest #ReadingLevels

Georgia governor vetoes bill requiring #recess in all elementary #schools, supporting the policy but deferring control to local #SchoolBoards | @BrendanNRand @ABC


#Math Teachers Should Be More Like Football Coaches, sharing passion for the subject + giving students a sense of purpose | @JohnCUrschel @nytopinion via @drdouggreen

Kids Are More Motivated To “Do Science” Than “Be A Scientist” – A Finding That Could Help Address The Profession’s #Diversity Problem – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest #STEM


#SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background - | @dougbelkin @WSJ #HigherEd #testing #EducationalEquity

Don't Abolish the NYC High-School-Admission Test, Help Black Kids to Ace It, says @JohnHMcWhorter @TheAtlantic | #TestPrep #EducationalEquity #Giftedness

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Access, Choice, and Role Models: Factors that Drive Frequent Readers per @Scholastic #KFRR

I'm making my way through the 7th edition of the Scholastic Kids and  Family Reading Report, released in April. In this report, Scholastic summarizes results of a bi-annual survey dedicated to kids, parents, and reading. I shared a response to the new report's finding of a "Decline by Nine" or "Third Grade Cliff" earlier this month. Today, I'd like to discuss the report's findings on the factors that are common to kids who are frequent readers. These include:

  • Reading role models;
  • Access to books at home and in school; and 
  • Reading choice

Reading Role Models

Here are a few summary findings from the report. Frequent readers:

  • "Get more encouragement to read from family members, friends, principals, teachers and school librarians than  infrequent readers,
  • Are far more likely to say that nearly everyone or a lot of people in their lives enjoy reading (82% say a lot or nearly everyone they know enjoys reading, versus infrequent readers at 34%),
  • Are more likely to have parents who value reading and who read frequently"; and ...
  • (A)re twice as likely to receive encouragement to read books for fun from their school librarian (37% vs. 18%)."

The statistics on the third point are especially strong. "Parents of frequent readers are far more likely to consider reading books for fun important compared to parents of infrequent readers (95% vs. 70%, emphasis mine). The difference is most notable when comparing parents who agree reading books for fun is extremely important (70% vs. 27%). Parents of frequent readers are also more likely to be frequent readers themselves (39% vs. 16%)." What this says to me is that parents who prioritize their kids' enjoyment of reading can absolutely make a difference in raising kids who choose to read. 

KFRR_Access_HighResDownload_Fig2The result that I don't understand  is: why are older kids less likely to say that everyone around them enjoys reading? [See Figure 2. Click to enlarge.] Are  kids just more skeptical as they get older? Or is this part of the decline in reading aloud to kids? When we read aloud to kids, we show them that we love reading. Maybe when we stop they start to see that we talk a good  game, but don't really enjoy reading that much ourselves. In any event, it does seem that parents who are concerned about a decline in their kids' reading as the kids get older might consider more actively demonstrating their own love of reading... 

Book Access

Kids who have better access to books, at home and in school, are more likely to be frequent readers (though the study can only confirm correlation, not causation). There's a wide variety in terms of number of books in the home by demographic groups, of course. But I agree with the report writers that the most striking difference is that "frequent readers have an average of 139 books in their homes vs. 74 in infrequent readers’ homes." [See Figure 3. Click to enlarge.]


Kids who have plenty of books at home are going to be more likely to pick those books up. They're going to be more likely to find the book that hooks them. They are  going to spend more time reading, and get better  at it, and thus enjoy it more. Books in the home are key to raising readers. As a society, we need to do more to make sure that all kids have books in their homes. As individual parents, we should do what we can to provide books, too, of course.  

Classroom libraries appear to matter, too. Kids who have access to "robust classroom libraries" are more likely at all ages surveyed to be frequent readers. Here are the numbers: 

  • "Among 6–8 year-olds, 60% of kids with a robust classroom library are frequent readers, compared to 51% of kids without a robust classroom library.
  • Among 9–11 year-olds, this split is 40% vs. 31% and among 12–14 year-olds, the gap narrows to 26% vs. 23%.
  • Among 15–17 year-olds, the gap widens once again with 17% of kids with a robust classroom library being frequent readers, compared to only 10% of kids without a robust classroom library (see Figure 4)"

The  problem, though, as identified in the report, is that only a minority of kids (43%) do have access to a robust and accessible classroom library. The situation is a bit better in terms of school libraries (70% have a school library). However, in both cases an even smaller percentage says that the library has enough of the types of books that they like to read. Which brings us to... 

Reading Choice

And here's the big one. "In the 13 years of the Kids & Family Reading Report, one thing remains constant no matter what: when kids get to choose, they read. Across demographics, the majority of kids (89%) agree their favorite books are the ones that they have picked out themselves." This includes infrequent readers. Even the kids who aren't reading as much still appreciate the books that they pick out themselves more than other books.   

The report also notes that "Four in 10 kids agree (42%) that they have trouble finding books that they like. This is far higher at 59% among infrequent readers and is true of roughly half of kids by age nine." 

These two findings suggest that parents, teachers, and librarians need to give kids as much choice as possible when it comes to reading, while also giving them the help that they may need to find engaging books. This can be a bit of a balancing act, but it is critically important in nurturing young readers. 

Recommendations for Parents

This section of the Kids and Family Reading Report suggests several recommendations for parents who would like to see their kids enter or remain in the "frequent readers" category. 

  • Let your kids know that you want them to enjoy reading, and that you think that spending time reading is important. Consider family Drop Everything and Read time. Let your child see you reading in bed. Try reading something in print instead of on a screen, because that's more visible. Extend bedtime as long as there is reading involved. Do whatever works to prioritize reading. Don't fake it, but if you can help them to see you as a reader, this will help them to see themselves as readers, too. 
  • Make sure your kids have plenty of books around them at home and support classroom and school libraries and school librarians in your district. If you can't afford new books, buy them used books and/or take them to the library. Keep those books handy so that kids will pick them up. I find the bathroom and the car to be the highest yield locations for impromptu home libraries, but your situation may vary. Kids won't read if they don't have books available.
  • Last but definitely not least, whenever you can, let them choose what THEY want to read, not what you think they should read. Yes, graphic novels are real books. Yes, comics anthologies are real books. Yes, fact-based almanacs and joke books are real books. Kids in the Scholastic report specifically said that they enjoy funny books and diverse books, but of course individual kids vary. Help your kids to find the books that make them light up, and then get out of the way. Kids read when they enjoy the experience of reading, and the number one thing that makes them enjoy the experience is reading choice. 

Many thanks to the Scholastic team who produced the Kids and Family Reading Report, and to whom the above images are attributed. I'll continue reading and will most likely share responses to other sections here, too. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Literacy Milestone: Making Connections through Reading

LiteracyMilestoneAMy daughter was reading in the back seat of the car the other day (on our way back from seeing Raina Telgemeier) when she exclaimed in delight. She had made an unexpected connection. A book helped her to more fully understand something that she had heard about in pop culture. Specifically, she was reading her just-purchased copy of Who Was Milton Bradley (she's a big LIFE fan), and learned that he was involved in the early history of the zoetrope (a pre-film animation device, see Wikipedia entry).

MiltonBradleyApparently a zoetrope also plays a significant factor in a Ninjago episode. I must confess that I didn't completely follow the details as she explained (though I found an online fan-generated plot summary here). But my daughter had apparently been hearing about the zoetrope in Ninjago world and hadn't really understood it. She was SO happy that the Milton Bradley book helped in this regard. I think her delight was greater because this random connection was so unexpected. 

I was restrained in my response to this. I said something: "Yes, that's one of the nice things about reading. I love it when that happens." But inside I was delighted myself, thinking: "Here's another literacy milestone. This will reinforce the value of reading for her."

At least that is my hope! Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms!

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: May 10: Books Are Good for Camp Prep, #SummerReading + Winning Jeopardy!

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #AchievementGap, #audiobooks, #BookDeserts, #BookLists, #Bullying, #curiosity, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #giftedness, #GrowingBookworms, #GrowthMindset, #poetry, #ReadAloud, #STEM, #SummerReading, parenting, and schools.

Top Tweets of the Week

SnakesThe ‘Jeopardy!’ Whiz Reads Like a Kid. So Do I, says @jasongay @WSJ | "Children’s books, especially simple books about single topics like sharks and snakes, have sharpened my intellect in a way that no fancy adult book ever has."

Using #Literacy Skills to Solve Math Word Problems has formerly struggling elem. school showing big #math gains| @CommKr8veWriter @edutopia

Book Lists + Awards

In this week's round-up of #MiddleGrade fantasy + #ScienceFiction from around the blogs @charlotteslib urges reviewers to consider judging for the @CybilsAwards awards

27 #Nonfiction Books for Preschoolers (w/ Printable #BookList) from @growingbbb | Informational #PictureBooks about animals + nature

#NationalPoetryMonth Ain’t Over Till I Sez It’s Over: The Shockingly Good Verse of 2019 — @fuseeight #poetry #BookList

DontEatClassmates2019 #IndiesChoice and E.B. White #ReadAloud #BookAward Winners Announced | @ABAbook

17 Children's Books about #SummerCamp, a #BookList from @momandkiddo that I will use to help prep my daughter | #MIddleGrade

PW’s Best Books for #SummerReading 2019 – @PublishersWkly @tashrow | Lots of fun-looking #PictureBooks #MiddleGrade + #YA

Events, Programs + Research

RevengeEnginerds#KidsNeedBooks (of their own) for #SummerReading@Jarrett_Lerner shares his efforts to fight #BookDeserts

May is National Share a Story Month in the UK. No reason we can't celebrate in the US, I say | @AwfullyBigBlog #NSSM #ReadAloud #LoveOfBooks

Welcome MAY! Diverse #Kidlit Linkup is @TheReadingTub #DiverseBooks #BookReviews

Terry's May Question @TheReadingTub is about remembering #teachers that you appreciate from your own childhood for #TeacherAppreciationWeek

Growing Bookworms

PsychologyOfReadingRethinking #ReadingLevels: Some Practical Advice from the Experts | @lalalalambert @ReadBrightly

5 Great Places to Stash Books Around Your Home to Encourage #Reading | @ReadBrightly | #GrowingBookworms

Higher Ed

Don’t Let #Students Run the University. Trying to get professors fired because you don’t like their views isn’t activism—it’s preening would-be totalitarianism | @RadioFreeTom @TheAtlantic

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

BabysittersClubOriginalThis might nudge my 9 year old towards #audiobooks | @audible to Release Classic #BabySittersClub Series on audio this summer | #kidlit

7 in 10 #students aren’t writing at grade level + only 3% are advanced. Not surprising b/c we aren't really teaching #writing as part of knowledge base, says OpEd @hechingerreport

This @nytopinion by @bendolnickbooks is spot-on | Why You Should Start Binge-Reading Right Now | When you read a book straight through you get much more out of it than #reading in little chunks

Good advice from @BookChook | #Writing Tips for Kids 9 - Remove Fluff Words #literacy

SnowyDayA is for Activist: why children’s books are getting political | @lucia_graves @GuardianBooks #DiverseBooks #Kidlit

Parenting + Play

This open letter will warm your heart: @pernilleripp thanks @Pink for her #kindness to Pernille's daughter, who has been experiencing #bullying

Oh, the Places They’ll Go—If You Let Go. An economist's guide to happier, more relaxed #parenting @reason

Schools and Libraries

How Schools Struggle to Serve #GiftedStudents w/ #Disabilities | @MindShiftKQED @hechingerreport #TwiceExceptional

Perseopolis#GraphicNovels Belong in Your English Class. Here's How to Use Them "to engage + challenge our students" | Paige Classey Przybylski @EdWeekTeacher

Developing a #GrowthMindset in Our Students - @mssackstein offers concrete tips, like talking to kids about the concept of "yet" #teaching


Ditch the #Math Worksheets and Stop Killing Kids' #Curiosity says educator + new parent Kathy Liu Sun @EdweekComm #CommonCore #STEM

Palo Alto, CA teens expand #nonprofit #RoboticsForAll program that sends teen to teach elementary schoolers to help tackle #STEM #AchievementGap @MaggieAngst @mercnews

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Literacy Milestone: My Daughter's First Author Signing with Raina Telgemeier

ShareYourSmileOn Saturday I took my daughter to her first book signing, for Raina Telgemeier's new book: Share Your Smile. The event was about 45 minutes away, at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, and by the time we were able to get there, it was PACKED. The line literally went around the outside of the building and and along the sidewalk. The author, understandably, was only autographing one copy of the new book per person and signing one backlist title. And still ... we waited in line for 90 minutes. Pretty sure that's the longest I've waited for an author, and I have signed copies of the Hunger Games ARC and the early Lightning Thief books. But my daughter is a huge fan. Raina's books were among the titles that made her into an  avid reader. So we waited. 

And really, the wait wasn't so bad. The people in line around us were nice. The bookstore staff kept things well organized and the line was always moving. It was a beautiful day. My daughter had time to read both of the books we bought for signing cover to cover while she was waiting. As for me, I was truly heartened at seeing so many kids and parents out there waiting in line on a sunny Saturday to meet an author. The bookstore had put up sheets of paper and provided markers so that the kids would write notes to Raina. They were lovely! The image below is just one section of an entire wall. 


And here's my daughter (well, her book anyway):


We saw Raina after she had been signing for 90 minutes, but she was still gracious and friendly. She offered my daughter a chance to take a photo with her, which we of course seized. Then we browsed the bookstore and bought several other books. We went to lunch, each reading our own book while we waited for our food, and had a lovely time.

But the best part was on the walk back to the car, watching my daughter skipping along chanting giddily: "I met Raina Telgemeier today!" 

I think it's safe to say that she's now (if she wasn't already) a fan for life. My thanks to Raina and to the kind staff at Towne Center Books. This was an excellent stop on our bookworm parent journey. 

Updated to add: Here's a review of Share Your Smile by Johanna Draper Carlson at the School Library Journal blog Good Comics for Kids. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: May 3: Improving via #Literacy First, Celebrating #ChildrensBookWeek + Assessing #CommonCore

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #ChildrensBookWeek, #CommonCore, #EisnerAward, #GenderEquity, #GrowingBookworms, #NAEP, #reading, #ScreenFreeWeek, #SmartPhones, #STEM, #teaching, #testing, libraries, parenting, and publishing. 

Top Tweet of the Week

How a #literacy first program revived an elementary school in a poor #SchoolDistrict @edutopia via @MindShiftKQED #reading #HighExpectations

Book Lists + Awards

CardboardKingdomThe 2019 #EisnerAward Nominees have been announced. @tashrow shares the #kidlit + #YA titles #GraphicNovels #BookAwards

12 Extra-Exciting Action-Adventure Books with Girls at the Center | @ivamarie @ReadBrightly #BookList #kidlit

May #ReadAloud Books that Aren't about Spring! #PictureBook + #ChapterBook recommendations from @momandkiddo |#BookList

Booklist’s 50 Best Middle-Grade Novels of the 21st Century, with Ample Edits suggested by @fuseeight #kidlit #BookList @ALA_Booklist

Diversity + Gender

Women Did Everything Right. Then Work Got ‘Greedy.’ In highly educated couples, the man is often on call at work while the woman chooses 'call' at home w/ kids -> pay gap @clairecm @nytimes | #GenderEquity

Events, Programs + Research

ChildrensBookWeek2019Poster2019 marks the 100th anniversary of #ChildrensBookWeek (not coincidentally #ScreenFreeWeek) @EveryChildRead #LoveOfBooks [Poster designed by Yuyi Morales.]

Information for 2019 Global Read Aloud #GRA19 starting this fall, including titles, schedules + #SocialMedia links – @pernilleripp #ReadAloud #literacy

Today is #IndependentBookstore Day | @librofm is giving away free #audiobooks to celebrate + sharing reasons why local #bookstores make a difference | #reading

Why Memorizing Stuff Can Be Good For You by @natwexler @Forbes | "the more factual knowledge people have about a topic, the better they can think about it critically and analytically."

Brain Wars: Classical Education vs. #BrainScience@MarlaSzwast discusses underlying principles + how they apply to skills like memorization | #Homeschooling #Learning

Growing Bookworms

GameChangerI wish that every parent + teacher would read this important post: How Misuse of the #40BookChallenge Made My Kid Hate Reading and Why (& How) I Pushed Back — @TLT16

#Teachers Are in Charge of Reading Celebrations says @TammyBMulligan, suggesting ways for students to experience FUN as #readers

6 Awesome Benefits of #ReadingAloud to Your Kids from @icsfblog via @drdouggreen | Bonding, learning + more

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

PassionateReadersSo You’re in a #ReadingSlump, Now What? – @pernilleripp shares her tips #JoyOfReading

RT @NYTimesBooks: Amélie Wen Zhao canceled publication of her young adult novel, “Blood Heir,” because of online criticism. Then she decided the critics were wrong.

How One #IndependentBookstore Succeeds in the Amazon Age - Susan Kitchens @WSJ | #SmallBusiness #bookstores

Students Fall for Misinformation Online. Is #Teaching Them to Read Like Fact Checkers the Solution? - @becksup @chronicle via @DTWillingham #FakeNews #FactChecking

Parenting + Play

RaiseSuccessfulPeopleI Raised Two CEOs and a Doctor. These Are My Secrets to #Parenting Successful Children @EstherWojcicki @TIME | independence, kindness + more

Schools and Libraries

Why It's Important To Say There Is No #TeacherShortage. Takes our eyes off the real problem = #teaching has become unattractive as a profession, says @palan57

You Might Be Surprised Which States Prioritize Higher Teacher Salaries - @MichaelPetrilli @EducationNext | Interesting data on ratios of #teacher pay to per-pupil spending by state

How can #teachers release responsibility to kids in the classroom, so that they become more independent? Ideas from @millerread @ChoiceLiteracy including #wordless #PictureBooks for pre-readers

DeeperLearningHow to make #HighSchools better for #students - @jal_mehta + @sarahmfine @latimes | kids need opportunity to do meaningful work under competent supervision | #learning #schools #IntrinsicMotivation

Private #Libraries That Inspire | @KatyMcL @WSJ | These are truly gorgeous!


16 Wonderful Women Scientists to Inspire Your Students - @WeAreTeachers via @drdouggreen #STEM #science #GenderRoles


BreakUpWithYourPhonePutting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer | author @Catherine_Price @nytimes describes effect of #smartphones on cortisol levels (stress hormone), suggests ways to break the cycle

Testing + Standards

Nearly a decade later, did #CommonCore work? One recent study found it appears "to have led to modest declines in 4th-grade reading and 8th-grade #math scores @matt_barnum @Chalkbeat

#MiddleSchoolers Are Doing Better on a Key Tech and Engineering #NAEP Test — Thanks to the Girls | @The74 @cphenicie #STEM

Instead of Standardized #Testing, Consider #PortfolioAssessment suggests @mssackstein @EdWeekTeacher | allow #students to gather evidence of #learning over time

True #Testing Stories; Bias, Boredom, and Futures in the Balance. @dirktillotson: Test scores matter + reducing #AchievementGaps would do massive good for Black, Brown + disadvantaged folks

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage

The Third Grade Cliff: My Response to a Finding from the @Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report

The 7th edition of the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report was released last month. Scholastic presents the results of a survey, managed by YouGov, of 2758 adults and children. This biannual report is, I think, one of the best windows into what families are doing and thinking when it comes to kids' reading. I'm in the process of going through the material and there are certainly causes for optimism overall. However, one of the major  findings hit me hard: The Decline by Nine. Here's a summary on this from this section of the report (there's more detail if you follow the link):

"The Kids & Family Reading Report has shown a child’s attitude towards reading enjoyment and importance is a predictor of reading frequency, which is why it also is striking to note the drop between ages eight and nine in the percentage of kids who think reading books for fun is extremely or very important (from 65% to 57%). Similarly, the number of kids who say they love reading drops significantly from 40% among eight-year-olds to 28% among nine-year-olds (see Figure 3).

What is to be done about the "decline by nine"? Rarely do we see a rebound from these benchmarks as kids grow older. Yet across ages, the majority of kids agree they should read more books for fun, and tell us they believe reading matters. This suggests it is possible to prevent the decline and even to re-engage a child in reading, provided the experience meets their needs and expectations."


This finding is particularly painful to me given that my daughter just turned nine last month. But I would find it deeply disturbing in any case. Right at the age when  kids are becoming proficient in reading, right when they are ready to start reading amazing middle grade fiction, they are reading less, considering it less important, and loving it less. What is going on? My guess is that there are three primary factors at play at this age level:

  1. Many (though happily not all) parents stop reading aloud to their kids once the kids can read on their own. 
  2. Many (though again, happily not all) schools and teachers push reading as something that is required and tested, and unwittingly but inexorably start to quash the joy of reading. Reading logs, reading incentive programs like AR, and testing are well-intended but harmful to the love of reading.
  3. Many kids are spending time on screens playing games instead of reading. 

Read Aloud: In my own household, we don't read aloud to my daughter as much as we did when she was younger. Reading aloud can fall by the wayside when we are traveling or having an extra busy weekend. But when we are home, I try to read to my daughter ever morning while she eats  breakfast. We almost never miss that on school days, because it's part of our routine, though weekends can be trickier. My husband usually reads to her at bedtime. My own takeaway from the Scholastic report is that we need to work harder to keep up the reading aloud. Because I truly believe that it makes a difference in showing kids that reading is a joyous and important activity. 

Schools: As for school, we have been lucky so far, but I am keeping a wary eye on our school's AR program. In third grade, my daughter is supposed to get five AR points a month. This has generally not been a problem, though she sometimes takes tests late in the month on graphic and notebook novels that she knows practically by heart. The challenge for her is that her five points are supposed to include nonfiction. And while she enjoys the Who Was/Is biographies somewhat, reading and testing on them feels like a chore to her. It's something that she puts off, and she sometimes get dinged for not having tested on enough nonfiction. I'm not crazy about reading ever feeling like a chore for her, but overall, this hasn't had a noticeable negative impact.

Next year, though, I understand that the required number of points will increase significantly and affect her grade (letter grades also start next year). While I don't care what her reading grade is, as long as she continues to love reading, she cares about it. She's in an environment where other kids care about grades and talk about them. So ... I'm a bit concerned, and prepared to do whatever I can at home to nurture my daughter's love of reading.

I was inspired by an article that I read last week by Karen Jensen at SLJ. Karen talks about her efforts to protect her daughter's love of reading in the face of misguided requirements from her daughter's school/teacher. And I'm inspired all the time by posts from teachers like Donalyn Miller and Pernille Ripp and others who focus on the love of reading. But not all kids have parents and teachers who are equipped  for these battles. 

Screens: I believe that one of the key reasons  that my daughter still enjoys reading is that her screen time is extremely limited. This was hard when she was younger, and will likely be hard again when she is older. But right now, she actually gets that her time is better spent reading, writing, drawing, etc. If anything she's on a mission to get my husband and I to reduce OUR screen time. 

So What Can Parents (and Society) Do to Stave off the Decline by Nine?

The above discussion suggests three steps that individual parents can (and I would argue should) take, in the interest of keeping kids interested in reading:

  1. Continue reading aloud to your children, even after they can read on their own. Reading together shows your kids that you value reading, and it makes reading a positive, nurturing experience. 
  2. Put limits on the time that your children spend using screens, and put off getting them their own devices (especially cell phones) for as long as you can. There are two reasons for this. One is simply time - if they are on screens all day, they don't have time to read. The other reason is that if they get used to having entertainment passively fed to them, they will lose their taste for the more challenging, but infinitely more rewarding, activity of reading. 
  3. When your children are reading at home, keep the focus on enjoyment. Push back against reading logs if you can. Get them the books that they are interested in (from the store or the library or from friends), not the books that you think they should read. Get them funny books and graphic novels and whatever else they love. There are a lot of things in schools that sap the joy of reading - your job at home is to nurture it instead. 

Of course, the parents who have read this far are the parents who already care about this issue. What's really needed to halt the Decline by Nine is a public information campaign that reaches more parents and more schools, and gets everyone on the same page reading the love of reading. Kids who love to read will spend their time reading. They'll become good at it. Reading will become even more enjoyable. And they'll become readers for life, with all of the advantages that this carries (enjoyment, empathy, vocabulary, math skills, and lots more). I believe that it is important for us as a society to get there, but I don't know how to achieve that. So I work on this in my own home and step on my soapbox for any other parents who care to listen. Thanks for reading!

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: May 1: Crossword Puzzles, Picture Books + Reading in the Car

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 to four weeks.

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have two posts with my daughter's latest literacy milestones. The first is making her own crossword puzzle. The second is reading 50 of her favorite picture books in a 24 hour period. I also have a post about our recent experiences reading in the car, with some tips for fellow bookworm-growing parents. I also have three posts with literacy and reading-related links shared over the past few weeks on Twitter. I have a summary of our recent reading below. 

Reading Update:  In the last four weeks I finished one middle grade title, two young adult titles, and seven adult titles (four fiction and three nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School. Harry N. Abrams Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed April 4, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • SkyjackedPaul Griffin: Skyjacked. Scholastic. Young Adult Thriller. Completed April 27, 2019, print ARC. I read this book in basically one sitting, and liked it enough to immediately download the author's earlier book (which I also read in one sitting). 
  • Paul Griffin: Adrift. Scholastic. Young Adult Thriller. Completed April 27, 2019, on Kindle.
  • Cal Newport: Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. Penguin Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed April 5, 2019, personal copy. This book is excellent, and continues my efforts to learn about focus and cut back on screen time. And yes, I read the print copy. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor, No. 10). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed April 6, 2019, on MP3. I like this series better and better all the time, and have passed over many other audio choices. 
  • Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson: Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. Mariner Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed April 9, 2019, on MP3. This book is excellent. It helped me considerably in understanding how people think and (hence) behave. If I can find the time I will share some notes from the book. 
  • Jacqueline Winspear: The American Agent: A Maisie Dobbs Novel. Harper. Adult Mystery. Completed April 11, 2019, on Kindle. Another great installment in a top-notch series. 
  • VillageEffectSusan Pinker: The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier and Happier. Vintage Press. Adult Nonfiction. Completed April 26, 2019, on Kindle. This book took me a long time to get through because it's quite detailed, but had a lot of interesting and useful material. It's hard for me as an introvert to prioritize face to face  (or phone) time, but both Cal Newport and Susan Pinker have made me believe that I do need to do so (at least to the extent that my introversion allows). 
  • William Kent Krueger: Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, No. 11). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed April 28, 2019, on MP3. Also good. 
  • Jessica Barry: Freefall. Harper. Adult Thriller. Completed April 28, 2019, on Kindle. This was a thriller that a friend who knows me well recommended I listen to on audio. As I am immersed in the Cork O'Connor books, however, and needed something fast-paced to read this weekend, I ended up downloading it. I read it in one day, and found it compelling. 

EnchantedHourI'm reading The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon  and listening to Trickster's Point, a Cork O'Connor novel by William Kent Krueger. I'm reading Dork Diaries 13: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday aloud to my daughter. I have to confess that I don't enjoy reading the Dork Diaries books aloud. I really have no desire to return to the embarrassments of being a middle school girl. But it's not about me. At least we are reading together. 

DespereauxIn terms of her own reading, she recently brought home a classroom copy of The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. She read that one cover to cover over break, after watching the movie in class. Apart from that, she mostly read picture books and graphic novels over break, though, leaving her three school library books (two nonfiction and one Boxcar Children book) untouched. She especially enjoyed Kayla Miller's Camp, at least in part because she will be going to camp for the first time this summer. (Hmm, I'll need to start saving up a few books for that.) 

The big news on her reading front, though, is that we are going to a book signing event this weekend featuring Raina Telgemeier. You should have seen her eyes widen when I told her that this was actually something we could do. It's a little bit of a drive, but worth it for my young bookworm to meet one of her heroes. And I know that we have at least two of Raina's books that are beyond battered from over-use and in need of replacement. I will report back on that next time. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage