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Posts from July 2020

Bookworm Moments: Needing the School Library

Candymakers1My family was having a discussion about the (still undecided) question of whether my daughter's school would re-open for in-person learning in the fall. We agreed that a benefit of in-person schooling would be (I think?) access to the school library. My daughter sighed a bit over her months-long separation from the library and said:

"I need the library because I'm out of call-out books." 

My husband was perplexed by this term, but I was not. My daughter was referring to the books that "call out" to her from the shelf. She is a big believer in this method of finding her next read. [Yes, she does judge books by their cover.] That's how she found her all-time favorite books to date: The Candymakers series by Wendy Mass. That's why she started Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series with Book 3. That's the one that called out the loudest (though a recommendation from a friend who was with her helped, too, in that case).

I should add that we have a LOT of  middle grade books in our house, between my own collection, the books that I've received over the years for potential review, the books that I've purchased, and hand-me-downs from friends and neighbors. My daughter is incredibly lucky, and she knows this. But I'm not trained in organizing libraries. Our books aren't curated and organized the way the ones in the library are. Our books aren't all in one room, on shelves at kid-friendly heights. Though she does find books to read at home, she's right to miss browsing the school library for the "call out" books. 

JenFourthGradeSchoolPhotoI miss my own elementary school library, truth be told. I went through there shelf by shelf, and can still place individual authors on the right shelves in my mind. [That's me in one of my school photos that was taken in the library.] I'm sure I found many "call out" books there. I adored Mrs. Tuttle, the librarian. 

My daughter is very clear on her need for reading choice, and her own preferred methods for implementing that. I hope that she'll be able to be back in the library soon. Her preference is for her own beloved school library, but she'll take the public library as a substitute, if/when that's available. She needs those "call out" books, wherever she can find them. 

© 2020 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.

Bookworm Moments: "There are other books I want to read MORE"

GauntletI haven't been blogging much of late, but my daughter (now 10) has continued in her development as a reader. Today I share a small moment that may resonate with fellow book-lovers. 

My friend Jennifer Wharton at Jean Little Library recently recommended a book that I thought my daughter might enjoy: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi. Discovering that it was available in paperback, I decided to order a copy.  I gave it to my daughter and told her why I had thought she might like it (including a mention of Jennifer's recommendation). She picked it up and gave it a careful look. Then, struggling a bit with how to put it, she said: 

"This does look like a book that I would like to read. It's just that ... there are other books I want to read MORE."

GracefulThat about sums it up, doesn't it? We readers always have lots of books that we think we'll like. But usually (hopefully) there are a few that fall into the "I want to read this one MORE" category. In my daughter's case, the "books I want to read MORE" category right now includes re-reads of her three favorite books from Suzanne Nelson's Wish series (Donut Go Breaking My Heart, etc.). She's also planning a re-read of Wendy Mass' Willow Falls series, after JUST finishing book 5 (Graceful). 

This is what reading choice looks like, my friends. Part of how we grow as readers is figuring out which books are the ones we will most enjoy reading (or re-reading) at any given time.

I've said this many times but will repeat it once more for the record. If you want your kids to enjoy reading, let them read what they like. Even if you just bought them a new book. Even if (especially if) it's their third or fourth re-read of the same book. Let them choose. Then give them some quiet space and let them read. 

Maybe I'll read The Gauntlet myself. You know, if there aren't other books that I want to read more. 

© 2020 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.

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: July 11: #SummerReading, #GrowingBookworms, + #SchoolReopening Questions

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past 3 weeks @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #DistanceLearning, #FreeSpeech, #GraphicNovels, #Homeschool, #HybridLearning, #JoshFunk, #JoyOfReading, #literacy, #MentalHealth, #play, #ReadingChoice, #SchoolReopening, #SummerReading, #VirtualLearning, reading, and schools. Hope you find some useful tidbits! 

Top Tweet of the Month

It's time for adults to Rewrite the arbitrary Rules of #Reading they impose on kids, says @citecitebaby @nerdybookclub | #ReadingChoice #GraphicNovels #BookAbandonment + more

Book Lists + Summer Reading

#SummerReading 2020: A Collection of #KidLit Links from @clssrmbkshlf @ErikaDawes | 20+ #BookLists + Publisher Summer #Reading Initiatives

NPR #SummerReader Poll 2020: Nominate Your Favorite Books for Young Kids : @petramatic @NPR #PictureBooks #EarlyReaders

Themed #SummerReading #BookLists for kids seem like a good way to go to me. Here are 20 Titles for Young Gamers from @literacious #kidlit #GraphicNovels #MGLit

Continuing her themed #SummerReading #BookLists, @literacious shares 20 Titles for Young Outdoor Enthusiasts #OutdoorPlay #MGLit

Free Speech

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate (from various authors, scholars, historians + activists) | @Harpers | I, too, am concerned we have weakened "our norms of #OpenDebate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity" | #FreeSpeech

Growing Bookworms

When Is #Reading Season? asks @RaisingReal @nerdybookclub | "Please consider treating reading habits like you would a sport." #ReadingChoice + time + celebration of milestones

Just Read This: #Literacy + #Reading News: June 2020 Fighting #SummerSlide, #ScreenFree activities, #DigitalLearning activities + bookish getaways from @TheReadingTub

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

A response to my recent piece from @gail_gauthier | "Gone-Away Lake" And Books As Places To Escape To | She wonders how 21st century kids new to the book would feel about it. My daughter was, sadly, meh on it. But that doesn't diminish my #BookLove

Tune Into Funk & Friends! New “ #KidLit Late Night Show” hosted by author @joshfunkbooks | guests inc. @Jess_Keating + @kmoorebooks 

When family + literary values collide. @KMcCaughrain is shocked to learn of family members who never read prologues | #reading @AwfullyBigBlog

Parenting + Play

At @TheReadingTub, Terry is going #OldSchool with a #CovidSummer Activities Series. In Part 1 she proposes the Family #ObstacleCourse #Play

Schools and Libraries

But How Do We Build Community w/ Students? Ideas for #VirtualLearning + #HybridLearning @pernilleripp | yard visits, welcome videos, postcards + more

What American Families Experienced When #Covid19 Closed Their #Schools - @EducationNext survey results | Parents (+ espec. teachers) report less #learning w/ #DistanceLearning vs. in class, but parents relatively satisfied anyway

U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person #School This Fall - @anya1anya @MindShiftKQED @AmerAcadPeds : "schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being" | #MentalHealth #DistanceLearning

#ReopeningSchools—Insights from Denmark and Finland | Staggered reopenings, staggered arrival times, hotlines, handwashing + more @EmiVegasV @BrookingsInst #schools

#SchoolOpenings across globe suggest ways to keep #coronavirus at bay, despite outbreaks | @GretchenVogel1 @NewsfromScience @ScienceMagazine | More/better research needed on various strategies

5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall And Beyond - @anya1anya @MindShiftKQED | Support for families + teens, individualized #learning, #homeschool co-ops + more

An encouraging article re: #Coronavirus: Kids less likely to get infected, spread to others "school-based transmission could be a manageable problem ... elementary school aged-children ... appear to be at the lowest risk of infection" @mercnews

© 2020 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage