The Gift of a Love of Books: Revisiting Gone-Away

GoneAwayIn these conflict-ridden times, a love of books is a gift. If you have a book that you love, no matter what happens in your regular life, you can always go back to visit. You just have to open up the book. Here are a few places I continue to visit every so often:

  • Gone-Away Lake (and Villa Caprice)
  • The Four-Story Mistake
  • Pemberley
  • Dunnian (and the town of Ryddleton)
  • Hogwarts
  • The Velvet Room
  • Green Sky

I own most of these books in multiple formats. Just in case.

There are other places I haven't visited in a while, but I still like knowing they're there:

  • Kirrin Island
  • The Secret Garden
  • Sara Crewe's attic room, post-transformation
  • The Little House in the Big Woods
  • Maida's little house, shop, and village

This week I visited Gone-Away Lake, sitting outside in stolen summer moments to re-read both books. I'm happy to report that Gone-Away is still there, still the same, and still wonderful. I took my time with both books, because reading them made me so happy. Even though I knew word for word how the second book would end, I still cried a little bit. In a good way. 

My daughter asked me how many times I had read the books, and I couldn't even tell her. Many, many times, over the past 40 years or so. I tried to read Gone-Away Lake aloud to her, but it wasn't to her taste. That's fine. She's been re-reading several Wish books by Suzanne Nelson and the two Candymakers books by Wendy Mass. Perhaps 40 years from now she'll pull them out and jump back into her own childhood. 

This is a perhaps unappreciated benefit of growing bookworms. If you raise your child to love books, some day long into the future, he or she will have beloved places to visit, too. The love of books is truly a gift that lasts a lifetime. I'm more grateful than I can say to the people who nurtured that gift in me. 

© 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: April 29: #HomeLearning, Online Resources, Virtual Field Trips + More

TwitterLinksI hope this post finds you all safe and well. I'm doing fine here. However, I haven't been blogging very much lately, as I balance work and family responsibilities. I have continued to read a few newsletters and blog posts, and I've been  sharing links that I think are useful as I find them. Here are highlights from my twitter @JensBookPage.

Topics include #BookLists, #conversation, #DistanceLearning, #HarryPotter, #HomeLearning, #Homeschooling, #IdeologicalDiversity, #JoyOfReading, #MentalHealth, #MTHAdventures, #OutdoorPlay, #Podcasts, #ReadAloud, #RemoteLearning, #SocialIsolation, #StorySeeds, #VirtualFieldTrip, #writing, events, parenting, reading, and research. 

Stay safe and keep reading, my friends!

Book Lists, Podcasts + Online Resources

#PictureBooks About Libraries - This #BookList from @housefullbkwrms has some of our family faves  https://t.co/kA4LJKDpSS?amp=1

Some appealing-looking titles here: #PictureBook Roundup #4 from @abbylibrarian ow.ly/dTWX30qzoOR #BookList

Here's an escapist #BookList that might appeal right now: #YALit Adaptations of Jane Austen Novels ow.ly/DUmT30qzoOB @momandkiddo

7 #Podcasts for Stir-Crazy Kids - @emmdib @nytimes ow.ly/eu8F30qB71T | Topics range from #science to #meditation to #BookClub

I've written about the fun new #StorySeeds #Podcast for Kids before. Now, learn all about it from host @FuseEight inc. new downloadable activity eZines ow.ly/pFUc30qAq3p @LitSafariMedia @DanGutmanBooks

This is neat! Julie Andrews’ New #Reading #Podcast Means Mary Poppins Is Leading #StoryTime - @PureWow ow.ly/Pa6x30qApUC via @TheReadingTub

This sounds fun: new #MagicTreeHouse Home Adventures from @randomhousekids + @MaryPopeOsborne is a virtual program to educate + entertain kids at home w/ videos, activities, crafts + games ow.ly/zNIA30qAE8k #MTHAdventures

This Open #BoardBook by @lorieanngrover is super-cute. It's about what preschoolers can do during #Covid19. See Color Sketches here: ow.ly/qjAj30qzFIV

Events, Programs + Research

It’s Time for a #VirtualFieldTrip to the #EverywhereBookFest! by Anna E. Jordan | @nerdybookclub ow.ly/68eu30qB7RV | Online speakers + panels will feature tons of diverse #kidlit authors + illustrators on May 1-2

Links to #COVID19 Financial Aid For Writers And Artists from @gail_gauthier, who highlights two of special interest to children's authors + illustrators ow.ly/Hy9m30qBqBc #writing #kidlit #EmergencyGrants

My daughter and I donated this week to the @Hicklebees Children's Bookstore & @SCCOE Keep Kids #Reading #BookDrive, which is putting books into hands of students in need during #covid19 ow.ly/ZJU730qyQam

Study finds male teens scored much higher than females on self-assessed intelligence, narcissism, extraversion + life satisfaction. But "there was no gender difference in objective intelligence." ow.ly/gK9j30qB7Ly @ResearchDigest

This is useful, I think. The Right Way to Talk across Divides - research on improving conversational receptiveness + reducing #polarization ow.ly/UsGR30qAEdp @sciam @francescagino #IdeologicalDiversity

On Reading + Writing

Bringing Harold Home: The Transformative Magic of #ReadingAloud by @karalareau @nerdybookclub ow.ly/i6xV30qzP8J | w/ #BookList of favorites + discussion of ideal #ReadAloud characteristics

Reading Joy in the Time of #Coronavirus | ow.ly/LppU30qypnx | @donalynbooks @sljournal has some tips for getting out of a reading funk + recapturing #JoyOfReading

Why #HarryPotter Is the Ideal Quarantine Read - @anna_russell @WSJ ow.ly/4fBf30qB6TN | #ComfortReads #kidlit

Could #DrSeuss Help us Deal with the #Coronavirus asks @TrevorHCairney ow.ly/OAsH30qypBH | What other books help kids deal w/ challenging time while growing as people?

This is useful: Steps of Teaching Young #Writers to Paraphrase @thisreadingmama ow.ly/htJG30qzPh1 | I'm working on just summarizing w/ my 10 y.o. right now, which is similar

Pursuing Meaningful, Authentic, Student-Centered #Writing During Precarious Times ow.ly/hpCD30qyCj6 | Nice roundup of resources and ideas @clssrmbkshlf #DistanceLearning

Parenting, Home Learning + Play

One family on why they opted against #RemoteLearning during #Coronavirus | ow.ly/dN9i30qBJzd @indyfromspace @TIME | #OutdoorPlay #IndependentLearning

This doesn't surprise me: Why some kids are happier right now @CNN ow.ly/ZSkK30qBgxe | Time to slow down, more free #play, less structure, more parental attention

Don't turn your home into school ... the #Lego professor of #play on #LockdownLearning for younger kids ow.ly/x6MR30qzOWn @DonnaLFerguson @GuardianEdu

Terry @TheReadingTub has a Stay-at-Home School Idea: Driveway Games ow.ly/VPjE30qBfRQ | She recaps some classics and adds curriculum fits and book suggestions | #HomeLearning #play

Stay-at-Home School Idea from @TheReadingTub : Let’s Play in the Dirt! ow.ly/Em8830qAgvs | Curriculum fit ideas and a #BookList

A reminder from @thisreadingmama that what parents are doing now is different from non-quarantine #Homeschooling in essential ways, and that the real thing in normal times has advantages not evident now

How Will #SocialIsolation During #COVID19 Affect Our Kids? - @hechingerreport @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/ZhfE30qz0Ts | There's little research on impact of taking kids away from peers + teachers, it's an experiment in progress

How Parents Can Help Their Kids While Managing #DistanceLearning - @LindaFlanagan2 @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/USYk30qz0Se | “This isn’t just a ‘Mom’s’ job", keep it low-key + other reminders

I like this suggestion from @momandkiddo | Making and Keeping a Hobby Book ow.ly/S6uL30qyQ0l | My daughter's would be about LEGO | #parenting #HomeLearning

This may resonate, my zoomed-out fellow introverts: An introvert's plea: Let me socially distance in peace - @CNN ow.ly/Nr5V30qxSL9 #coronavirus

Schools + Libraries

Midday Yoga, The “Mute” Button, Easier Differentiation + more sleep for teens: Silver linings from one teacher regarding #DistanceLearning - @EducationNext ow.ly/qQuA30qA8WV (Yes, she notes negatives, too)

Connecting Kids to Digital Books While #Library Buildings are Closed - @abbylibrarian at #ALSCBlog ow.ly/EL9q30qypAy #eBooks

Students will go back to school eventually. Here are 5 concrete ideas for helping them catch up, readjust ow.ly/meHA30qyQ2F @matt_barnum @kalynbelsha @Chalkbeat | #Schools #coronavirus

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


#BookwormMoments: The Best (Bookworm) Mommy in the World

SmileMy daughter ran across a brand new copy of Raina Telgemeier's Smile that I had stashed on a shelf where I keep potential gifts. (You never know when  you might need a solid graphic novel for a short-notice birthday gift.) Here's the conversation that followed:

Daughter: "Can I read it?"

Me: "You already have a copy of Smile."

Daughter: "PLEASE!? I don't know where my copy is."

Me: "Fine. Go ahead."

Daughter: "You're the best mommy in the world."

Me: "That's true." (Best bookworm mommy she'll ever have anyway)

I haven't been very motivated to blog of late, but thought that readers might enjoy this small window into our coronavirus quarantine. Thanks for reading and for growing bookworms! 

© 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: April 14: Resources and Reflections on #DistanceLearning + Shelter in Place

TwitterLinksI hope that you're all safe and well and finding some silver linings in all of this coronavirus shelter-in-place craziness. I've been having trouble sticking to my regular schedule for these roundup, as I juggle my work and having my daughter at home full-time. Nevertheless, here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter recently @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookWeek2020AtHome, #coronavirus, #DistanceLearning, #EducationalEquity, #OnlineLearning, #Play, #ReadAloud, #ScreenTime, #SocialDistancing, parenting, reading, and teaching. I hope you find something useful here. Stay safe, my friends!

Distance Learning

How #Teachers Are Coping With Coronavirus #SchoolClosures ow.ly/xVDU30qxsPO @NPRCoryTurner @ElissaNadworny + Diane Adame shares common themes from talking w/ educators re #DistanceLearning

How Online Book #ReadAlouds Can Help Students' Literacy and Connection During Social Distancing - @HKorbey @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/1KPT30qxjAd @pernilleripp #JimTrelease @dollyslibrary + more

This Online/Pandemic Learning Journey (so far....) ow.ly/Qt1R30qxf0E | How teacher @frankisibberson is finding ways to listen to and connect w/ her students in this time of #OnlineLearning

Sigh. 4 In 10 U.S. Teens Say They Haven't Done #OnlineLearning Since Schools Closed - @MindShiftKQED https://t.co/PU1HiNaPlu?amp=1

Books as a Site for Connection and Comfort during #Coronavirus ow.ly/kLDa30qwlI7 @ErikaDawes @clssrmbkshlf share ideas, structures, and resources related to #ReadingTogether for #teachers

How Will the #Coronavirus Crisis Affect Children’s Learning? Unequally. @PaulvonHippel @EducationNext predicts growth in score gaps based on #EducationalInequity https://t.co/ZPjiM0WWUo?amp=1

Events, Programs + Research

2020 Children’s Book Week May 4-10 Moves to New Online Format Amid Pandemic ow.ly/3JAO30qwi3r #BookWeek2020atHome @PublishersWkly

The #Loneliness of the "Social Distancer" Triggers Brain Cravings Akin to Hunger - @LydiaDenworth @sciam describes results of a fortuitously timed study ow.ly/8BbY30qxrJJ #SocialDistancing

The Stubborn Myth of #LearningStyles - State teacher-license prep materials peddle a debunked theory @EducationNext https://t.co/z4mVqHduTS?amp=1

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

My New State of #Reading@pernilleripp enumerates the reasons she has been unable to escape into reading during #coronavirus quarantine. I can relate to nearly all of them. Wishing her well https://t.co/VWWC6jXp7O?amp=1

#Coronavirus Has Turned Children’s Workbooks Into Bestsellers - @JeffreyT1 @WSJ ow.ly/xRst30qwlAm | Not surprising. My daughter dug out a @Scholastic 4th grade workbook that I had purchased last summer

Parenting + Play

Lower Your Expectations + Other #Parenting Advice For The Era Of COVID-19 | @COPublicRadio via @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/Av5230qvIVC | Includes advice on dealing w/ your own or your kids' #anxiety | "remember fun is the antidote to fear"

#Coronavirus Tag + Other Games Kids Play in a Pandemic - #Play is children’s language, so parents shouldn’t be concerned w/ this ow.ly/qy3t30qvINH @TheAtlantic via @MindShiftKQED

Agree w/ @laurenweberWSJ | My New Office Is a Bunk Bed (or How I’m Now Juggling Work and Family) ow.ly/75kO30qvibs "The fragile... structure that had made my hectic life workable has now collapsed. Now I’m a stay-at-home mother and a work-from-home mother at the same time"

Put Down the Phone: 100 (Nonscreen) Activities to Occupy Your Kids in Quarantine - Lots of good stuff here, but you unfortunately need to create a free @WSJ account to view it ow.ly/5ok630qwB8U #ScreenFree #play

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


Links I Shared on Twitter: April 4: Advice for Teachers + Parents for Managing Coronavirus Distance Learning

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #ALMA2020, #BookLists, #Homeschooling, #LoveOfReading, #NationalPoetryMonth, #OnlineResources, #RemoteLearning, #Resilience, #SmallBusiness, #TomieDePaola, parenting, and writing. 

Top Tweet of the Week

A perspective: #RemoteLearning is turning out to be a burden for parents ow.ly/b5Iz30qu9sQ "This should be a time of baking banana bread and listening to mildly educational podcasts. This shouldn’t be a time of overscheduling" @karol

Online Resource Collections + Advice for Teachers

'One big virtual love-in': how children's book authors are creating online sanctuaries @guardian via @tashrow ow.ly/8FL830qv1vZ #RemoteLearning #kidlit

Resources for coping w/ stress, managing #OnlineLearning + shopping while stuck home – @larrymagid ow.ly/cLUX30qv1tH

Ideas for Celebrating #NationalPoetryMonth From Home from Katie Cunningham ow.ly/XOCZ30qutge @clssrmbkshlf @sljournal | #Poetry #Homeschool

Just Read This – March 2020 #COVID-19 edition | @TheReadingTub has retooled their monthly #literacy roundup into "a bookmark-worthy collection learning-at-home resources" ow.ly/zcda30qut8E | Lots of great stuff for #Homeschooling

#DistanceLearning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers | @cultofpedagogy ow.ly/9RSo30qu9gq #OnlineLearning #teaching #COVID-19

#Coronavirus / COVID-19 - 4 Free #Writing Resources for Stay at Home Parents, Kids & Writers ow.ly/h6YK30qtZWf @Write4Kids

Combating #SocialIsolation When Using #RemoteLearning | ow.ly/cwn830qtzll @Catlin_Tucker | Help students feel less alone + get them more engaged in #learning

3 Ways to Use #VideoConferencing with Students for #RemoteLearning | ow.ly/F0Rr30qtzks @Catlin_Tucker | Small group instruction, discussion + conferencing | #teaching

14 Crowdsourced Tips For Helping Students With Limited Internet Have #DistanceLearning - @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/4i0Y30qtzhZ #EducationalEquity

The New Normal… | @smithsmm argues that educators should focus on supporting families to find a home balance, vs. pushing everyone for full-time at home education ow.ly/J0pi30qtzeR #RemoteLearning

Advice/Perspectives on Homeschooling for Parents

Crisis Homeschooling | Great advice from @semicolonblog "you DON’T have to do all the work the public school is sending you for your child to complete" ow.ly/8EHX30qutme | Spend time doing things that enrich your kids, like reading + art + play

Comic: How To #HomeSchool During The #Coronavirus #SchoolClosures : @theLAJohnson @anya1anya @NPR ow.ly/t87g30qutaU | Don't force it if it's going to cause severe emotional distress + other advice

Ideas for 'Doing' School at Home During the #Covid-19 Virus from @TrevorHCairney ow.ly/d90Z30qu8KF | See especially "Tension Breakers" section, w/ suggestions for "Sure Fire Mimes" | #Charades #Homeschool

Look For The Rainbows: A Few Positives Of #COVID-19 from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU ow.ly/YY9l30qu8O6 | I've been calling them #SilverLinings but it's the same idea. They are out there.

Other Bookish Links

#TopTenTuesday: 10 Signs You're a #BookLover @literacious ow.ly/hQFN30qu8Vk | I can claim 7 of these, how about you? My fave is the one about mispronouncing words | #LoveOfReading

Best Children's Books about #Resilience for Ages 4-12 ow.ly/wVft30qutf0 | #BookList from @momandkiddo | #PictureBooks + #MGLit

A Nicer Guy You Couldn’t Hope to Meet: Saying Goodbye to Thomas Anthony “Tomie” dePaola — @FuseEight ow.ly/hyhL30qu8Up | May he rest in peace | #kidlit #PictureBooks

A Small Way to Support #IndieBookstores during #Coronavirus ow.ly/cvBt30qu8IE | @StaceyLoscalzo suggests changing your Audible membership to @librofm | #SmallBusinesses

South Korean author-illustrator Baek Heena @heenastory Wins 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award #ALMA2020 ow.ly/rB4E30qv1VS @AlmaAward #kidlit

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


How We Are Managing Home Learning (or not) during the Coronavirus Quarantine

LandOfStoriesWorldsI hope that you are all safe and healthy and managing coronavirus quarantines reasonably well. My sense this week is that the outpouring of online resources to help families keep kids learning has peaked (though many wonderful teachers, authors, and illustrators are continuing to produce and share wonderful resources - I'll have a link roundup tomorrow). I'm seeing a bit of a backlash among parents, who are finding that working from home and managing requirements for kids' distance learning is a challenge, to say the least.

My daughter doesn't have schoolwork formally required yet (or so she tells me), while her district works out some device and internet access issues. Her routine starts with sleeping late and reading in bed for a couple of hours before eating what's become brunch. She then spends the daytime hours, while my husband and  I are working, doing a mix of Minecraft, LEGO building, writing, drawing, iReady (a learning app that her school was already using), and Zoom sessions with friends (including some online Monopoly).

She's been typing away at an old electric typewriter, her current preferred tool for writing, and she is dabbling in a 4th grade workbook from Scholastic that I purchased last summer. She's consumed by Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series, and I have a couple of spin-offs on order (no, I still haven't given in to having her read on a device - she likes print, and I like it for her, too).  I'm also reading a couple of different books aloud to her, one of which we are discussing with friends via Zoom book club. 

My view is that all of this is more than fine for now, as we adjust to this new reality. Yes, at some point she's going to need more formal learning. But right now, spending her mornings immersed in a land of stories feels right to me. Of course every family should be able to figure out what's right for them in this difficult time. I wish you all well with the challenge! 

© 2020 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: March 28: #Podcasts, #HomeLearning Resources + Sustaining the #JoyOfReading

TwitterLinksI'm a day late on this post because I've been surprisingly busy, for someone confined to home with no outside social activities or trips. I'm still working, and grateful that a) my work is from home and b) my company still has business. But juggling that with keeping my daughter occupied has been keeping me occupied during the week.

I'm glad that she likes to read, that's for sure. She re-read the second Candymakers book by Wendy Mass (see this post for details about her first read), and that kept her busy for a couple of days. Apart from that she is doing a small amount of online work for school, doing virtual chats and games with friends, and playing endlessly with LEGO. This is a tough time to be an only child, but to be an only child who reads, in a house full of books, is a blessing. We are, when I can find the time, working on organizing said books. Hopefully I'll have time to write more about our journey soon. 

Meanwhile, here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Audiobooks, #BookADay, #Homeschool, #LoveOfReading, #OnlineLearning, #Podcasts, #puzzles, #ReadAloud, #Resilience, #SchoolLibraries, #ScienceOfReading, #STEAM, parenting, writing.

I hope that all of you are safe and healthy and managing as well as you can  in all of this. I remain deeply appreciative of the efforts and encouragement of my (now wholly virtual) communities. 

Top Tweet of the Week

ET0inD_WkAM8PubThis is neat. My daughter + I are mentioned in this @nytimes piece: A #Podcast Playlist to Help Distract You (for the Most Part) ow.ly/px8e30qrP7V | Thanks @phoebelett | @LitSafariMedia @FuseEight @pantsonfirecast [Some recommendations for kid-friendly podcasts that we shared on Twitter were mentioned in the article. Image to the left created by @LitSafariMedia]

Home Learning Resources

Another good one-stop resource: A Roundup of Pandemic Resources for Librarians, Teachers + the Parents That We Serve — @TLT16 @sljournal ow.ly/v4Ct30qrrPx #COVID-19 #OnlineLearning #Storytimes + lots more

Organized List of Educational YouTube Channels for Kids - @thisreadingmama ow.ly/GVbX30qtn7n #OnlineLearning

This is helpful. For as long as schools are closed, @audible_com is giving kids free streaming access (no account or p/w needed) to a collection of #audiobooks in 6 languages ow.ly/gP4F30qraIo | Mostly classics + audible originals but some other choices, too | @amazon

Tips for Using Online Museum Resources for #Literacy Learning, w/ list of virtual tours ow.ly/yi9730qsB8V | @MA_Cappiello @sljournal #OnlineLearning #writing #STEAM

Google and YouTube launch new #RemoteEducation resources - @TheVerge ow.ly/SM4d30qsj0n #TeachFromHome #LearnAtHome

Fun resource for #GraphicNovel fans. Starting today, @CeceBellBooks will be sharing a chapter-by-chapter deep dive into the inside story of El Deafo! on video ow.ly/T9Kp30qrYGE | #OnlineLearning

Tips for Building #StressRelief into Your #Homeschool Schedule - @MarlaSzwast ow.ly/cmWk30qrYpM | Stressed out kids can't learn anyway. "5 fewer minutes of math won’t ruin your kid's chance of" anything

Dana Murphy shows how tips for encouraging #LoveOfReading in young kids at home can be extended to #Kindergarten Classrooms ow.ly/9IMu30qt8qL @ChoiceLiteracy | Good advice for parents, like "no book shaming"

Remember, #OnlineLearning Isn't the Only Way to Learn Remotely | Kate Ehrenfeld Gardoqui @educationweek ow.ly/vMT130qrYSY | 5 ideas for renewing #JoyOfLearning in kids stuck at home | via @MindShiftKQED

5 SIMPLE At-Home #Writing Help & Tips - ow.ly/hvAt30qsT0I @thisreadingmama I especially like: "Read good books out loud to your child"

Parenting + Play

As Children Face Disappointments due to #Coronavirus, Parents Can Help Them Develop #Resilience - Alina Dizik @WSJ ow.ly/q4I030qtngm #parenting | A long-term silver lining in all of this may be that our kids come out of it stronger

Slice of Life Day 24: #JigsawPuzzle to the Rescue – @literacious finds something that takes her mind off #COVID-19 | I need to get my daughter doing puzzles while listening to #audiobooks https://t.co/42TnzZAGr2?amp=1

On Reading

#Reading or Not, Here We Go: A Social Distancing #Bookaday Challenge by @donalynbooks @nerdybookclub ow.ly/BOBD30qrYtR | Clearly many of us are having trouble focusing enough to read. Donalyn suggests community

Why Books Are Comforting in the Era of #Coronavirus - Michelle Slatalla @WSJ ow.ly/YJvd30qrErY #LoveOfBooks

Schools and Libraries

If You're Going to Write About #ScienceOfReading, Get Your #Science Right | @DTWillingham challenges a new report / policy statement from NEPC, point by point ow.ly/9ZoW30qsjbL

Guest Post @FuseEight | Wrestling w/ #SchoolLibrary Closures by J. F. Fox — ow.ly/x1OA30qsja7 | "Every school deserves a library with a qualified librarian" w/ reasons why

At Schools Closed for #Coronavirus, Online Work Won’t Count - @Tawnell @WSJ on why most work at home during public #SchoolClosures is optional | #EducationalEquity = not all kids have online access + some have #LearningDifferences https://t.co/Je8wTc6UUw?amp=1

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


Resources to Help Parents, Teachers + Kids Get through the #COVID-19 Quarantine

TwitterLinksOne of the things I've been grateful for in all of this coronavirus quarantining is knowing/following quite a few authors, illustrators, homeschooling parents, and teachers. Many of these people have been generous with their time and experience  and are offering useful resources and/or perspectives. As I have run across things that I think are interesting or useful, I've been sharing them on Twitter @JensBookPage and on my personal Facebook account. I usually round  up shared links once a week on this blog, but these are not usual times. Here are the links that I rounded up and shared  earlier in the week. Today, I have some new resources that are well worth a look. 

For what it's worth, the two online resources that my nearly 10-year-old daughter has found most useful are these two (oddly, both from people named Jarrett):

Draw Every Day with JJK - Every weekday at 2 pm ET @StudioJJK will host free webcasts to help parents get kids "creating, drawing, using their imagination" ow.ly/xtuW30qpMp6 - #SchoolClosures #homeschool. My daughter doesn't need me to remind her about this one - she's been asking for it every day. She participated in the first one live, and got a kick out of knowing that at least three of her friends were participating at the same time. Since then, she's been using the archived version because she's not a big fan of schedules, but she LOVES these webcasts. 

Author/illustrator @Jarrett_Lerner has posted a bunch of free activities for kids, from blank #ComicPanels to incomplete comics to story prompts. I have printed several for my daughter ow.ly/9ICK30qqzSF #creativity #homeschool. My daughter was hesitant about these at first, and only asked me to print out four of them. But a day later, without any prompting from me, she had me go back and print them all. She likes the incomplete comics best. 

For Parents + Teachers

This is my current favorite of the new links: A message for stressed out #parents: You Really Don't Need to Formally #Homeschool to Keep Kids Learning During #SchoolClosures | Let them read + learn via #play ow.ly/XwcK30qr1pF @parentsmagazine @KristiPahr

This is also very cool. For as long as schools are closed, @audible_com is giving kids free streaming access (no account or p/w needed) to a collection of #audiobooks in 6 languages ow.ly/gP4F30qraIo | Mostly classics + audible originals but some other choices, too | @amazon

Solid roundup of resources here: How to #homeschool during the coronavirus crisis ow.ly/XXtS30qqKR1 @lisatolin @TODAYshow via @litsafari | webinars, online #ReadAlouds, #podcasts + more

Suddenly #homeschooling? Don't try to make it like school. Longtime homeschool mom + author @melissawiley shares tips + encouragement ow.ly/I1Bf30qqKpK | Let them follow their interests, give plenty of downtime | #coronavirus

"Experts suggest keeping things simple: Invest in two 30-minute high-quality #reading sessions a day + engage in #math exercises" | Keep those skills up ow.ly/D8Pv30qqzLD @yoreekoh @WSJ @khanacademy #RemoteLearning #Homeschool

Some tips for Emergency #Homeschooling from veteran homeschooler @MarlaSzwast ow.ly/5IKF30qqzDz | #ReadAloud, find #Podcasts, give kids #ScreenFree free time, make a routine + lots more

Basic Principles for Parents Coping w/ #SchoolClosures from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU ow.ly/mWaQ30qqtZw | talk, read, write, sing, and #play

RT @MrsPStorytime: I have a FREE way to entertain & educate kids too! Check out my website and YouTube channel for free stories and resources for #parents and #teachers https://t.co/f1cjCdrQWI?amp=1 [This is a great resource  that I recommend  year-round, not just now.]

Resources for teachers to share w/ parents during #COVID-19 #SchoolShutdowns@McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU ow.ly/5SRb30qr0Qm @The_Pigeon @ProvoLibrary + more

RT @lynchem1: You might have already seen this, Jen, but here’s a link...great place.: RT @NYWolfOrg As schools are closed to help slow the spread of #COVID19, the Wolf Conservation Center aims to do its part to help keep students engaged + learning by offering FREE distance learning programs to classes nationwide. https://t.co/xU9KMQY9Ep?amp=1

Other Stuff, including Libraries + Book Lists

Latest Hot Spot for #Coronavirus Hoarders: The Public Library - @JamesRHagerty @WSJ ow.ly/zj9y30qqQIu | One librarian "was relieved to find that people would rush to stock up on books, not just tuna fish and toilet paper"

Well this is good news for #libraries (and anyone checking out digital books from home): @MacmillanUSA Abandons Controversial New Release Library #eBook Embargo ow.ly/EkPz30qqA4j | #BookAccess #coronavirus

South Asian #Kidlit Roundup for Spring 2020 from Darshana Khiani ow.ly/Rurd30qr0OQ #DiverseBooks #BookLists

As #coronavirus concerns shutter #schools around the world + #homeschooling ramps up, will poor students be left behind? asks editor @L_willen @hechingerreport ow.ly/JFVc30qqzJa #EducationalEquity

For more, see my post from earlier in the week

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


Links I Shared on Twitter this Weekend: Online Learning and other Resources during #Coronavirus Quarantine

TwitterLinksI shared quite a few online resources this weekend on Twitter @JensBookPage  and on my personal Facebook account. I thought it would be worth rounding them up in one place as a resource. It's great to see so many individuals and organizations stepping up to help keep kids entertained and/or learning in this challenging time. I've been looking for silver linings in all of this, and the way people are stepping up is definitely one of them. 

Topics below include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #FakeNews, #gratitude, #Homeschool, #literacy, #OnlineLearning, #puzzles, #ReadAloud, #SchoolClosures, #STEM, libraries, parenting, and writing.

Stay safe, my friends! 

Top Tweet of the Week

Draw Every Day with JJK - Every weekday at 2 pm ET @StudioJJK will host free webcasts to help parents get kids "creating, drawing, using their imagination" ow.ly/xtuW30qpMp6 - #SchoolClosures #homeschool [This is mostly the top one because it's the one that my own daughter is most excited about.]

Resources for Parents (Online Learning, Boredom Busters, etc.)

Worried about being cooped up with bored kids for the next few weeks? Just Get Out a Puzzle says @MarlaSzwast ow.ly/Niua30qq1R2 | #Puzzles exercise the brain, are good for your #MentalHealth too

For all you kids stuck at home… @terrilibenson has suggestions for #ScreenFree fun times (read, play games, go outside, etc.) ow.ly/GSNv30qpDvl | Plus excerpt from her upcoming #BecomingBrianna #GraphicNovel

Timely compilation of #Coronavirus Boredom Busters for kids from librarian @literacious ow.ly/4GYQ30qpXyA #SchoolClosures #OnlineLearning

This looks like another good resource: @Scholastic Creates Free, Open-Access Digital Hub to Help Keep Students #Learning While Schools are Disrupted by #Coronavirus ow.ly/rjiy30qpXST #literacy #math #science

Compilation of links to videos of #PictureBook creators #ReadingAloud their work from @pernilleripp ow.ly/uyp130qpXxl | #ReadAlouds can calm and bring people together

Here's a useful resource: #Coronavirus Support: Teaching Resources for K-8 #OnlineLearning ow.ly/kCp930qpMrN @sljournal #homeschool #SchoolClosures | Online #libraries, author/illustrator resources + more

What? #HomeSchool? @litsafari shares her prep strategy, from a #gratitude list to activities for home school orientation weekend ow.ly/PwBx30qpMmc #SchoolClosures #parenting

Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite #kidlit Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for #Learning Anywhere in preparation for possible school closures. Collected + hosted by @KateMessner ow.ly/QfGF30qoGRd | #STEM, #poetry + more

Resources for Teachers and Librarians

Keeping #Learning Going When We Aren't Gathered at the Carpet | Thoughts from @CathyMere on technology, routines + maintaining connection during this #coronavirus #homeschool time ow.ly/1hsT30qpMwJ

Keep Calm and Read On | #MiddleSchool #Librarian @MsYingling shares her recommendations + plans for coping w/ a #SchoolShutdown ow.ly/DIKg30qpxDJ | "This is an opportunity to learn about a lot of things, and read a lot of books."

Other Timely Information

Tools to help identify real vs. false online information (in general + about #coronavirus) from @larrymagid ow.ly/kAhJ30qpMyH @mercnews @NewsGuardRating @NewsLitProject #FakeNews #InformationLiteracy

A Few Coronavirus Cancellations In Childlit, rounded up by @gail_gauthier ow.ly/z8bi30qpxsJ | Sorry to see #KidLitCon cancelled, but it was inevitable

Other Links Still Worth a Look

Good Books to #ReadAloud to 12-Year-Olds and Start a Conversation! ow.ly/v8Wv30qqcp3 #BookList from @momandkiddo | This seems like a good time to read together if you ask me...

Ghosts of #NewberyAwards Past, Present and Future? Welcome to This Year’s Online #90SecondNewbery Film Festival — @fuseeight ow.ly/1GcP30qpxy4 #kidlit

What Makes a Successful Writer? One Author’s Approach to Instilling a #LoveOfWriting by @carmenoliver @nerdybookclub ow.ly/KzbW30qpxzN | Invite students to read a lot + write about what interests them

Help Wanted: Librarian Blogger(s) to contribute to @TheReadingTub this summer ow.ly/zwek30qpxvP | Share your expertise in #kidlit + #literacy + introduce parents to the wonders of today's #libraries

© 2020 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: March 13: Just Stay Home and Read If You Can Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #Giftedness, #GirlScouts, #JoyOfReading, #LearningDifferences, #LEGO, #OnlineLearning, #play, #ReadAloud, #recess, #STEM, #Studying, and schools. Stay healthy, my friends!

Top Tweets of the Week

Bloom

Good news here: How #play is making a comeback in #kindergarten classrooms ow.ly/UFKV30qnXnU @jackiemader @hechingerreport @NBCNews | Has the pendulum started swinging back?

I think that BLOOM, the first of a new #ScienceFiction / #thriller series for kids by @kennethoppel is going to be a huge hit. I picked it up just to check it out and couldn't put it down until I was finished. @randomhousekids https://amzn.to/2xtxRfh

Book Lists

10 #Nonfiction Children’s Books That Humanize Mathematics - @MindShiftKQED ow.ly/rVYg30qo9em #BookList #PictureBooks #STEM

Funny books encourage #JoyOfReading for kids. I like this #BookList of Funny Realistic Fiction Novels for Middle Grades by @ariannecostner @nerdybookclub ow.ly/X45s30qnWJu #MGLit

Events, Programs + Research

This warmed my heart: Teen #GirlScout is setting up hospital libraries so babies born early, as she was (+ my daughter was), can hear their parents #ReadAloud to them in the #NICU ow.ly/xT1i30qnQcZ @CNN

These Two Revision Strategies Can Prepare You For An Exam Much Better Than Just Restudying Your Notes – @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest ow.ly/VySU30qoGPb #testing #studying

Growing Bookworms

#Reading IS the Best Intervention: "our most fragile readers need to have texts of appropriate difficulty in their hands all day long" (Allington), not worksheets + short passages that kill #JoyOfReading @LRobbTeacher https://t.co/ChwiHszKE4?amp=1

What #ChapterBooks Are You Reading Aloud to Students? Survey for K-8 Educators in the US from @pernilleripp ow.ly/vJ1G30qpk9N #ReadAloud #JoyOfReading

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

A New #Podcast for Your Children: #StorySeeds Is Live! Host is @fuseeight ow.ly/IS8E30qpk7j @LitSafariMedia @litsafari | Note special PSA on #coronavirus by @JasonReynolds83 | I have subscribed

This is fun: Dutch Artists Paint Giant Bookcase On An Apartment Building Featuring Residents’ Favorite Books | @boredpanda ow.ly/y3aI30qnQlY #JoyOfReading

The importance of #YAF by @VanessaHarbour @AwfullyBigBlog ow.ly/pCvU30qpk3c | "Get out there are and write the best (non-didactic) young adult stories that can make a difference." #YA #kidlit #writing

Parenting + Play

Interesting: LEGO Is Probably The Biggest Education Company On Earth ow.ly/TVfF30qnXhm@Forbes #Learning through #Play @LEGOfoundation

Sounds worth trying to me: Doubling #Recess Time to Put #Play Back in the School Day - @AlysonRKlein @educationweek https://t.co/qQz0h4fZYo?amp=1

Schools, Libraries + Covid-19

#Coronavirus closing your kid’s school? One parent’s plan for #DaddySchool | @educationgadfly ow.ly/esoS30qnXsz | I especially like "gym" for 90 minutes/day, + keeping regular recreational #ScreenTime limits in place

Amid #coronavirus fears, the #CDC told schools to plan for #RemoteLearning. That’s harder than it sounds. ow.ly/8PH830qo9eN @Chalkbeat | Most aren't ready + research generally shows online instruction less effective than in-person

Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite #kidlit Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for #Learning Anywhere in preparation for possible school closures. Collected + hosted by @KateMessner ow.ly/QfGF30qoGRd | #STEM, #poetry + more

Letting Go of Labels, whether of #LearningDifferences or #Giftedness, that impede #Learning - @MarlaSzwast | ow.ly/O8GJ30qoxOk "I worry that our cultural obsession with labeling abilities gets in the way of providing sound development for our kids"

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


Growing Bookworms Newsletter: March 11: Turning A Corner 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, especially bookworms. The newsletter is sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog. 

Newsletter Update: I've named this the "Turning A Corner Edition" of the newsletter because I have several posts around a common theme: the fact that my daughter, after a steady diet of graphic and notebook novels, has abruptly started devouring middle grade fiction.

Candymakers1I first share a Bookworm Moments post about her carrying multiple books around Disney World. I next reflect on this as a Literacy Milestone: the first text-based book series that she has inhabited so completely that she finds it difficult (and sad) to leave. In my third post, I share a tale of a delightful Saturday that my daughter spent reading in bed for hours, because she simply HAD to finish a new (long) book. This last is, as you'll see, also a validation of giving kids reading choice

I was traveling for a couple of weeks and wasn't able to share as many links as usual, but I do have a couple of roundups of literacy and reading-related news. I've included the most recent roundup in the newsletter. The others can be found on my blog

Reading Update:  Since my last update, I read three middle grade, four young adult, and five adult titles (four fiction, shown, and one nonfiction title, not shown below). Cross-country travel helped, as did a cluster of exciting YA thrillers. I read/listened to: 

  • MyLifeMemeJanet Tashjian: My Life As A Youtuber. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed February 5, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter from library copy.
  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Meme. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed February 28, 2020. Read aloud to my daughter from library copy. These books are so good! I highly recommend them, especially for kids who enjoy notebook novels, but who are ready for something with not quite so many illustrations. They also make great read-together books between parents and kids, bringing up issues like bullying and peer pressure without being heavy-handed. 
  • Kenneth Oppel: Bloom (The Overthrow, Book 1). Knopf Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. Completed March 8, 2020. I read this book, the first of a new speculative fiction trilogy, in a single sitting. It is suspenseful, intriguing, and filled with well-rounded characters. I think it's going to do extremely well. 
  • Adriana Mather: Killing November. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Young Adult Mystery/Thriller. Completed February 7, 2020, on Kindle. This is the first of a new, suspenseful series. It skated right on the border of being too dark for me, but I will certainly be back reading when the next book comes out. 
  • Maureen Johnson: The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, Book 3). Katherine Tegen Books. Young Adult Mystery. Completed February 20, 2020, on Kindle. I found this to be a satisfying conclusion to the Truly Devious series. Now that the books are all available, this would be a great recommendation for any mystery fan, early teen to adult. 
  • DeadlyScandalsJennifer Lynn Barnes: Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, Book 2). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Young Adult Mystery. Completed February 25, 2020, on Kindle. This wrapped up the mysteries for the main character introduced in the first Debutantes book (reviewed here), but Barnes opened the door for future books based on a younger set of related characters. The ending is wildly implausible, but I still found this book a lot of fun. A perfect vacation read!
  • Karen McManus: One of Us Is Next (sequel to One Of Us Is Lying). Delacorte Press. Young Adult Mystery. Completed March 5, 2020, on Kindle. McManus did a nice job here setting a second mystery in the world of One Of Us Is Lying, but featuring different (related) characters. This is one of those books that I enjoyed thinking about before I went to sleep, wondering  how the pieces were going to fit together. 
  • Michael McGarrity: Tularosa (Kevin Kerney, No. 1). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed February 8, 2020, on MP3. The fact that this series uses the same narrator as the Walt Longmire books bothered me at first, but I soon got past that. This series has gotten me out of my audiobook slump, which is a relief. 
  • LiarsParadoxTaylor Stevens: Liar's Paradox (Jack and Jill, Book 1). Pinnacle. Adult Thriller. Completed February 15, 2020, on Kindle. This is the first of a new thriller series, of the hyper-competent protagonist, daring escape, shady government agency, variety. The family drama takes it to another level, though. It features twins raised by a mother who is either paranoid and delusional OR a former spy trying to keep them alive. Or maybe both. I have downloaded the next book, though I don't feel the need to read it immediately. 
  • Michael McGarrity: Tularosa (Kevin Kerney, No. 2). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed March 1, 2020, on MP3. 
  • Michael McGarrity: Serpent's Gate (Kevin Kerney, No. 3). W. W. Norton & Company. Adult Mystery. Completed March 9, 2020, on MP3.

I'm reading This Is Marketing by Seth Godin in print, Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge on Kindle, and the new Joe Pickett novel by C. J. Box, Long Range on audio. For future reading, I'm in a twisty YA mystery/thriller phase, if anyone has any recommendations. Nothing too violent. I had to stop reading Lee Child's Reacher series, which I had really liked. Somewhere along the way, my appetite for violence has cooled a bit. 

Lemoncello1My daughter and I have been reading favorite picture books since catching up on the My Life series (next book coming in April). You can see her choices here. Highlights included three from the Questioneers series by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts and two favorites from Bob Staake. I was going to start Elizabeth Enright's Gone-Away Lake the other morning, but couldn't find it (a problem when you have too many books in your house). We're giving Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein a try as a read-together instead. We've only read four chapters, but I think it might take. 

As for my daughter's own reading, you can read the posts below to see what's going on with that. I must say that this has been a satisfying period for me as a bookworm mom. This weekend she had me read a passage from Land of Stories: Book 3 that disturbed her (characters injured and in peril as a war commences). I said something like "Maybe you shouldn't read these  books, if they're going to upset you." She snatched the book away, held it her chest, and snapped "Mine! You are NOT taking this book away." And I thought: "Success." (With fingers crossed for no bad dreams.)

This journey of raising a child who enjoys books is a long one, and I know that there are pitfalls ahead (AR, dull whole class novels, time constraints, etc.). But we are in a fun phase right now and I intend to enjoy every minute! Thanks for joining me on the journey.

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


Quite Possibly my Favorite Saturday Morning Ever (and a validation of giving kids #ReadingChoice)

As I write this, it's 11:15 on a Saturday morning. My husband is out of town. My daughter has been awake for 3 hours. She is still in bed. Reading. There are occasional peals of laughter or cries lament ("Not the PRINCESS!") from her room. She's called out a couple of times to make me guess what chapter she is on. But the house is otherwise quiet. This is quite possibly my favorite Saturday morning ever.

LandOfStories3She's reading the third Land of Stories book, A Grimm Warning, by Chris Colfer. She is hoping to stay in bed until she finishes. I have postponed the plans that I had to take her to library this morning. I am getting a lot done. Regular readers know that this is NOT the primary aspect of this that is making me happy, though it is a nice bonus.

[Updated to add that she took a short break for what turned out to be brunch, and then went back to her lair and read until she finished just before 2 pm. This post may need to be re-titled something like Literacy Milestone: Spending All Day Reading on a Saturday Because You HAVE to Finish. I even had to turn down a playdate. ]

Remarks are in order here about reading choice. Someone, I don't remember who, recommended this series to us. I checked out the first book from the public library a couple of months ago. My daughter had no interest, and I returned it, unread.

Last week she picked up the third book from her school library. (This story is a validation of well-stocked school libraries, too.) Book 3 was the one in stock. Her friend told her that it wasn't necessary to read the first two to follow the story. That was good enough for my kid!

She's been devouring A Grimm Warning ever since. This is the book that helped her to get back into reading after she had trouble shaking the Candymakers world from her brain. I'm grateful that there are more books in the series. We already have requests in to the public library for the next two books (which are checked out from our local branches.)

Back to reading choice, in case this wasn't obvious. My daughter had no interest in this series when I recommended it. But when she found it on her own, seconded by a recommendation from a peer ... she was all in. Sure, some of that is because even though it's only been a couple of months, she's at a different reading  stage. But I truly believe that a big part of her immersion in A Grimm Warning this weekend has to do with the fact that she chose it herself. And that is it should be. 

Parents, if you want your kids to be readers, by all means make sure they have access to books. But as much as you can, let them choose. If you do, you may one day be rewarded with a Saturday like this one. 

Thanks for reading!

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