Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: January 10: Celebrating Introverts, Nurturing #JoyOfReading + Questioning #EdTech

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #audiobooks, #BookLists, #Cybils, #EdTech, #GrowingBookworms, #homeschooling, #JoyOfReading, #poetry, #ReadAloud, #ScreenTime, and #WorldIntrovertDay. 

Top Tweet of the Week

The Answer for #Schools Is Not More #EdTech. It’s Teachers and Human Connection | @DASchwartzy @EdSurge | “Could it be that parents are waking up to the realization that too much #ScreenTime is part of what ails our education system?”

Book Lists + Awards

The 2019 @CybilS Finalists were announced yesterday, winnowed by dedicated round1 panelists from 1047 nominees to 10 high-quality, kid-friendly shortlists #kidlit #YA #nonfiction #GraphicNovels #poetry

10 MG Sci-Fi Books with Female Protagonists for National #ScienceFiction Day, #BookList from @literacious #MGLit + #GraphicNovels

A retrospective look at ten of @charlotteslib's favorite time travel + time slip #MGLit + #YA books from the past decade | her faves out of 250 reviewed in 10 years

Events, Programs + Research

IntrovertStreamers_FotorToday (Jan. 2) is apparently #worldintrovertday . I can't believe I almost missed it. Luckily I missed it while working away quietly at home. Here's to all of my fellow introverts. Let's toast each other here on Twitter, instead of in person [Not a link to an article, but a peek at the many posts shared via this hashtag would be refreshing for any introvert.]

This story reminded me of the adorable #PictureBook Nobody Hugs a Cactus (which features a tumbleweed as the love interest) | Cars get trapped by tumbleweeds on a Washington state highway @SimonKIDS

Growing Bookworms

Lovely piece on the many reasons to encourage kids to read "for the joy of it" - @CressidaCowell @BostonGlobe #JoyOfReading #GrowingBookworms

A New Chapter: Turning Your Non-reader into a Reader [Guest Post by @FionaRobyn @TheReadingTub] | Tips for showing kids the #JoyOfReading at home

On the Joy of #ReadAloud In A 1st Grade Classroom, w/ #ChapterBook #BookList enjoyed by @McKenzieRoss20's students

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

I love this post by @dawnafinch @AwfullyBigBlog | We're (not) going on a book hunt, or "How to stop tracking and learn to love #reading again" #LoveOfBooks

End of #audiobook snobbery as scientists find #reading and listening activates the same parts of the brain @Telegraph via @ProfessorNana #neuroscience #ReadingChoice

Raina Telgemeier: The is Comics Industry Person of the Decade says @comicsbeat @goraina celebrated for #Smile + the wave of #GraphicNovels that it ushered in | She sure had a huge impact on my kid's #JoyOfReading

Children’s Literary Obituaries: Paying Tribute to What We Lost in 2019 — @FuseEight #kidlit

Schools and Libraries

Thoughts from @MarlaSzwast on why you should Keep #Poetry A Priority in Your #Homeschooling

This story reminded me of riding my bike to check out books from the public library as a kid: Local #library branch now offering free bike checkouts @mercnews

Donate Books to Little Free Libraries | @mental_floss shares a history and suggests contributing to #LittleFreeLibraries in your neighborhood

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

Literacy Milestone: Collecting Words (the Bigger, the Better)

LiteracyMilestoneAMy daughter has been writing since she could pick up a pencil, more or less. Right now she's going through a stage that I remember going through myself (though I was older): collecting words, the bigger the word, the better. I first noticed this as she was writing thank you notes for her Christmas presents. She ended up thanking my parents "supercalifragilisticexpialidociously much" for a new dress. Because "very" just wasn't cutting it anymore. 

The other day she asked me to read a story she was writing. I noticed that the story featured a girl standing on the "periphery" of the seashore, "pondering about" something. She told me that Alexa had given her "periphery" when she asked for a synonym. A later draft had a couple of word sketched in very lightly, because she planned to later fill those in with stronger synonyms. Once she discovered them, anyway. 

I was reminded of a story that I wrote in junior high, full of words like "frangible". The teacher had me read it aloud to the class. Recalling how pretentious it was makes me cringe. But I was a true lover of words. Does anyone remember the "It pays to increase your word power" feature from  Reader's Digest? I certainly do! 

I suppose it makes sense that my daughter is using the much more state of the art tool of Alexa to learn new words. Do you think she'll one day be talking about how old-fashioned it was to need a standalone AI for that? Of course, for both of us the vocabulary words that we learn and use come mostly from reading.

Not completely, though. The other day my daughter correctly used the word "cronies" in conversation. When I asked her about it, turned out she had picked that one up from a song in the school play (she had a small role in Aladdin). 

Words are everywhere. You just have to look. And listen.

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

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 6: Happy New Year Edition

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on growing joyful learners, mainly bookworms, but also mathematicians and learners of all types. The newsletter is sent out about once a month, depending on how frequently I'm able to post on my blog. 

Newsletter Update: Happy New Year, readers! I realize that it's been a while since I sent out the newsletter (since November 13th). It was a very busy end of the year for me. I'm getting back on track now, but with some changes coming for the blog (see below). In this issue I have a post about my "one word" for 2020, a new "Bookworm Moment" for my daughter, and a post about "introvert streamers" for World Introvert Day. One thing that I have continued to do throughout my busyness is share links regarding literacy, schools, and the joy of reading. I've included the most recent roundup of those links here. The others can be found on my blog

Reading Update:  Since my last update, I read two middle grade and ten adult titles (eight fiction and two nonfiction). I read/listened to: 

  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Cartoonist. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed November 14, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Joke. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed December 13, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • NightFireMichael Connelly: The Night Fire (Bosch and Ballard, Book 2). Little, Brown and Co. Adult Mystery. Completed November 14, 2019, on MP3. Both main characters did things that made me cringe in this book (crossing lines). I still enjoyed it, but ... didn't like the gray areas. 
  • Scott Adams: Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America. Portfolio. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 19, 2019, on MP3. I've enjoyed Adams' other books, but found this one tough to focus on  in audio. I might have preferred it in print. I'm not sure. 
  • Deborah Crombie: A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series). William Morrow. Adult Mystery. Completed November 28, 2019, on Kindle. These I still love. 
  • Margaret Mizushima: Tracking Game. Crooked Lane Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 3, 2019, on MP3. This newer series I also love. 
  • TheRuinDervla McTiernan: The Ruin (Cormac Reilly, Book 1). Penguin Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 14, 2019, on MP3. This is the first of a new police procedural series set in Galway that I enjoyed enough to give as a gift for Christmas. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Desolation Mountain (Cork O'Connor, No. 17). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 21, 2019, on MP3. I'm now caught up with this series, and will have to look for a new one to start on audio. 
  • Lee Goldberg: Lost Hills (Eve Ronin, Book 1). Thomas & Mercer. Adult Mystery. Completed December 26, 2019, on Kindle. This is kind of a popcorn book, but I liked it. Also the first of a new series. 
  • Dervla McTiernan: The Scholar (Cormac Reilly, Book 2). Penguin Books. Adult Mystery. Completed December 30, 2019, on MP3.
  • FairPlayEve Rodsky: Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live). G.P. Putnam's Sons. Adult Nonfiction. Completed January 3, 2020, on Kindle. This book aligned with my "One Word" selection for 2020. I very much like the author's main point, which is that family responsibilities can only be divided equitably between spouses if each partner takes full responsibility for conception, planning  and execution of their "cards." I don't see following her process in detail, but I am going to take her advice in broader ways. 
  • Janet Evanovich: Twisted Twenty-Six G. P. Putnam's Sons. Adult Mystery. Completed January 3, 2020, on MP3. I have a sense that Evanovich might be taking baby steps toward closing out this series, but I could be wrong... 

My total number of books read for the year was 123: 28 middle grade, 7 young adult, and 88 adult titles. I don't set numeric reading goals, but I will note that this is a bit lower than my usual total, which has floated closer to 150. This is a reflection of a larger number of adult titles in the mix and a bit less time for reading. My daughter ended the year with 407 books logged as read. This is very much a lower bound on her actual reading. I don't try very hard to keep up with her re-reads of her favorites, though I do try to log each new title at least once. She also sits on her own sometimes and reads picture books. I only log those if I happen to find the stack before it's put away. This is a significant drop from her total for previous years, but she is reading much longer books now. The important thing, of course, is that she is reading, not the number of books. Even more important is the fact that she is enjoying reading. That's what I care about. 

MyLifeGamerI'm reading Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg and Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg. and listening to Past Tense by Lee Child. I'm reading My Life As A Gamer (My Life Series, Book 5) by Janet Tashjian and Jake Tashjian aloud to my daughter. We continue to enjoy these, but we took a break over her Christmas vacation. 

On her own, she remains obsessed with the Big Nate series. She got a few new (to her) titles for Christmas, and she re-reads those constantly. She is also tackling The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots, from Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals series. This YA title is a giant leap from the Big Nate books in reading level (and theme, print density, length, etc.). But she found it in my office and was captivated. She's about a quarter of the way through and finding it tough going (sad things happening, plus challenges following the plot). But she is fascinated  and determined. I offered to read the book myself, so that I could discuss it with her, but she refused. She wants to read this big book that I haven't even read. I will report back. 

SpiritAnimals1I also picked out a few graphic novels for her for Christmas that she hadn't read yet. She enjoyed them reasonably well, but hasn't found any new favorites. She read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell for school, and enjoyed that one very much. She keeps talking about it. She's also reading the first Spirit Animals book by Brandon Mull for school. She says that she likes it, and asked me to get the next one from the public library, but she hasn't picked up her current title once over vacation. I asked her about that, and she said that she likes The Wild Queen better. 

Wishing you all a healthy, happy, productive 2020, full of people and books that you love. 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

Celebrating World Introvert Day with "Introvert Streamers"

IntrovertStreamers_FotorI learned via Twitter yesterday that January 2nd had been dubbed World Introvert Day. Alas, I learned of this too late to do much with it for this year, but I have added it to my calendar for the future. 

I mentioned World Introvert Day to my family at dinner. My daughter jumped up from the table. "You need streamers," she said, and raced from the room. I called weakly after her that streamers aren't really what introverts are looking for in an introversion celebration. I was thinking more along the lines of a quiet room, a comfortable chair, a glass of wine, and a book. 

But she surprised and delighted me. She came back down from my office carrying a big pile of books. She plunked them down on the table next to me and said: "These are introvert streamers." 

Indeed they are. I felt understood. It was the best moment of my day. Wishing all of my fellow introverts a belated World Introvert Day. Let's celebrate next year. Alone, in our own homes, with piles of books at hand. 

© 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.

#BookwormMoments: This Is How Bookworms Exercise

HowBookwormsExercise_FotorRecently my daughter taken to slowly roller-skating around our kitchen while reading graphic novels. When initially questioned about this behavior she said: "This is how bookworms exercise." Can't argue with that. Personally, I listen to audiobooks when I exercise, but whatever works. 

She also  rode in the shopping cart at the grocery store today, with food stacked all around her, so that she could read while I grocery shopped. Extra exercise for me, at least. 

Happy New Year! 

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

My One Word for 2020: LESS

A number of bloggers that I follow choose "One Word" to strive for each year. It's a simpler version of setting resolutions, I suppose. You pick a word that speaks to where you are at the moment, and where you would like to head in the coming year. 

As to where I am at the moment, my workload for the job for which I am actually paid has increased. Juggling that together with family responsibilities, especially during the holiday season, has been challenging. The phrase that has been most often on my lips (or at least in my head) for the past couple of months is: "I don't have time." As in:

  • "I'd like to wash my hair today, but I don't have time to blow-dry it."
  • "I wanted to personally wrap gifts and mail them to my family members, but I didn't have time, and had to have things shipped directly."
  • "I should write a blog post about this incident, but I don't have time."
  • "I want to read that book, but I don't have time." 
  • Etc.

My reading is down. My blog is sorely neglected. I find it nearly impossible to relax, because I'm always thinking about this or that "productive" thing that I should be doing. And I am tired of feeling like this. 

I've read a number of books in the past year about focusing, making time, changing habits, and being indistractable. Assimilating the advice of these various smart authors and thinking about how I feel right now, one word definitely comes to mind. The word is LESS. 

  • Less trying to sneak in checking work emails when I'm with my daughter.
  • Less running around after said daughter, trying to keep my house tidy.
  • Less forcing my introverted self to socialize more than I can handle.
  • And lots more.

I am unsubscribing from a number of blogs and email lists that I have been reading, in the interest of streamlining. When I think about doing something extra around the house that doesn't really need to be done (or at least doesn't need to be done solely by me, right now) I think "Less!" and try not to do it. I'm going to try to do the same thing with work. I don't know if any of this will help, but I'm trying... 

As for my blog, I'm ready to make a change that I've been thinking about for quite some time. I'm going to stop accepting review copies. I've been reviewing so few books for the past year that this won't be a visible change for my blog readers. But I've continued to receive some books, and it's past time for  me to notify the so generous publishers that they should stop spending resources on me. I'll probably still write the occasional review, but if I want a book enough to review it, I can buy it or check it out from the library. I'll still talk about books that my daughter and I are reading, and we will surely read from the stack of books that we already have for many years to come. 

If I'm successful in applying LESS to my work and personal responsibilities, then I will continue to share my own reading, my daughter's literacy milestones and bookworm moments, and articles about nurturing the joy of reading in children. 

My hope is that if I strive for LESS of the things that aren't strictly necessary and/or are wearing me down, I will have more time for things like reading and sleeping and spending quality time with my husband and daughter. That's the goal, anyway. I wish all of you success  in the coming year and decade in figuring out how to allocate your precious time. Thanks for reading!

© 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: Year-End Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared over the past  couple of weeks on Twitter @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookAccess, #BookList, #dyslexia, #EdReform, #HigherEd, #IntrinsicMotivation, #JoyOfLearning, #JoyOfReading, #math, #reading, play, schools, and teaching. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and a book-filled 2020.  

Top Tweet of the Week

The #BookTruck Brings Free Books to Thousands of L.A. Students | @RuthEbenstein @sljournal #BookAccess #BookDeserts #LoveOfReading

Book Lists + Gift Guides

Saying Goodbye to 2019 with the Best in Children’s Books | Here's a nice roundup of some of the BestOf lists from @MA_Cappiello @sljournal #kidlit #BookLists

Best #STEM Books for Kids 2020, inventions, scientists, animals + more – @literacious @CBCBook @NSTA #Nonfiction

Middle Grade Books with Muslim Characters, #BookList from @momandkiddo #MGLit #DiverseBooks

31 Days, 31 Lists: 2019 #ScienceFiction@fuseeight | One of my favorite sub-genres in #MGLit is #SF (as distinct from fantasy)

It’s a Wrap! for the 2019 Gift Idea Guide from @TheReadingTub a small sample of the ways to share your #LoveOfReading + help kids connect books w/ “real life.” #literacy #GiftGuides

Gift Idea for Families: The #ChapterBook Edition from @TheReadingTub #BookLists #GiftGuides | I'm with Terry: Winter IS the perfect season for family #ReadAloud time

Growing Bookworms

What Does Student Independent Reading Look Like? A Whole District Audit – Questions from @pernilleripp to help figure out how districts can build #JoyOfReading #schools

5 reasons I always get children #PictureBooks for Christmas | Kym Simoncini @ConversationUS via @tashrow | expanding vocabulary, countering stereotypes + more

Higher Ed

#Colleges Agree to Allow Increased Competition for Applicants, closing a 2 year DOJ antitrust investigation - @EricaLG @nytimes #HigherEd

Fewer Students Are Going To College. Here's Why That Matters | @ElissaNadworny + @jmlarkin @MindShiftKQED #HigherEd | Strong economy, demographics, costs all contribute


Want to Motivate Students? Make Their Work Visible - @JustinMinkel @EdWeekTeacher via @MindShiftKQED | #teaching #IntrinsicMotivation

The things that do – and don't – motivate kids to succeed - #IntrinsicMotivation, #rewards + #learning @BBC_Worklife via @EducationNext

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Looking into the Bond We Make with Literature – @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU muses on ways to encourage hesitant readers to stretch from the safety of always reading the same book

Schools and Libraries

Sigh. #Kindergarten Teachers Are Quitting, and Here Is Why | #PeterGray @PsychToday | "teachers are not being allowed to do what they believe and know is right" | "Please, let’s allow them to #play!"

10 things I’ve Learned This Decade About Change in #Education@katiemartinedu #Schools #Learning

Re-thinking Our Learning to Infuse More Joy and Choice, especially for older students – @pernilleripp #JoyOfLearning #ReadingChoice #play #creativity

Interesting piece from @DTWillingham  On the Reality of #Dyslexia - #ReadingPerformance #Teaching #LearningDifferences

New $100,000 Prize from Will Reward #Teaching Excellence - @EducationNext | Founders Glenn + Amanda Fuhrman wants prize to give positive attention to #teachers, who are "underappreciated"

Opinion | There Is a Right Way to Teach #Reading, and Mississippi Knows It @ehanford @nytopinion | State's reliance on #CognitiveScience explains making the most progress in #NAEP


Kids' #preschool #math ability is often underestimated by parents | Exposure to a variety of more complex topics better prepares them for #school @jackiemader @hechingerreport

The Case for Limitlessness Has Its Limits: Review of #LimitlessMind by Jo Boaler - @NumCog @EducationNext | Ansari says that the book's "nurture bias" ignores research on the effects of nature + worries this could leave some readers frustrated

© 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: December 13: #ReadAloud Benefits, Themed #BookLists + Demoralized Teachers

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.  Topics this relatively light week include #BackgroundKnowledge, #BookLists, #Dyspraxia, #ELA, #FreePlay, #GiftGuides, #GraphicNovels, #JoyOfReading, #ReadAloud, #ReadingChoice, #RetrievalPractice, literacy, schools, and teaching. The "top tweet of the week" below was especially popular with readers. Enjoy!

Top Tweet of the Week

Kids Have Sharper Vocabularies by Age 3 When Parents #ReadAloud to Them | This is obvious, but the new study also found kids who were genetically at risk did as well as peers if they'd been read to @wordswithjen @people

Book Lists + Gift Guides

I'm not sharing all of @FuseEight's 31 Days, 31 Lists 2019 posts, but I especially appreciate her focus on 12/9 on #Math Books for Kids #BookLists

TX #Library Assn Releases ‘Little Maverick’ #GraphicNovel List for kids K-5 — @TXLA @GoodComics4Kids | A #BookList I will mine for ideas for my daughter for sure

Some of my daughter's faves on today's 12 Days of Giving #BookList from @abbylibrarian | Great #GraphicNovels @haleshannon + #LeUyenPham, @goraina + more

Over at @TheReadingTub, Terry is doing a series of themed book + object Gift Idea posts. Yesterday: Adventure Stories #GiftGuides #kidlit | I like #DisasterDays + #FirstAidKit

Events, Programs + Research

#Bookmobile: When the #library comes to the homeless shelter - @HarryBruinius @csmonitor via | #BookAccess #LibraryOutreach

Growing Bookworms

Top 10 Ways to Be a Literacy Leader in #Schools by @PrincipalGarden @nerdybookclub #ReadingChoice, #BookAccess, time for independent #reading + more

Talking w/ students about the Luxury of Extra #Reading Time Over the Holidays, while honoring #ReadingChoice + varied formats @frankisibberson @ChoiceLiteracy

Parenting + Play

30 Reasons Why #FreePlay Benefits #ChildDevelopment | @AAAStateOfPlay @KimberlyEHart via @drdouggreen | A mix of inspirational quotes + research results on #play

Schools and Libraries

(don’t) Forget About It: Activating #BackgroundKnowledge with #RetrievalPractice in #ELA@MsJasmineMN | "without (teaching kids) active retrieval, we are leaving students to unproductively struggle"

Prof. John Sweller @ConversationEDU on #CognitiveLoad theory + why #ExplicitInstruction is more effective than letting students discover on their own for biologically secondary knowledge

How to Identify and Support Students With #Dyspraxia | @edutopia via @MindShiftKQED | affects fine and gross motor development, can make it difficult for kids to learn, but #teachers can help

Many Frustrated Teachers Say It’s Not Burnout — It’s Demoralization | @stephenoonoo @EdSurge via @MindShiftKQED #schools #TeacherShortage

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

Links I Shared on Twitter Recently: December 6: #BookLists, #Literacy Programs, #Testing + More

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past two weeks @JensBookPage. Topics in this jam-packed edition include #BookLists, #GettingReadingRight, #GiftGuides, #GivingTuesday, #GraphicNovels, #GrowthMindset, #HigherEd, #KidLitCon, #Kidlitosphere, #LoveOfReading, #PISA, #Play, #Poetry, #ReadAloud, #SocialMedia, math, parenting, schools, teaching #literacy, and testing. 

Top Tweets of the Week

The Most Popular #Reading Programs Aren't Backed by Science, according to @educationweek survey + review - @s_e_schwartz #GettingReadingRight #Phonics #teaching

Three Cheers For Repeating Text! @HonorsGradU celebrates the power of repetition in books like #BrownBearBrownBear to engage young readers

Book Lists + Gift Guides

Happy Thanksgiving! 15 Books About Being Grateful from @literacious #PictureBooks #BookList #ElephantAndPiggie

It's 31 Days, 31 Lists time @FuseEight | Today: 2019 Transcendent Holiday #PictureBooks #BookLists #GiftGuides

Kicking off her 12 Days of Giving series, @abbylibrarian shares Books for Babies and Toddlers #BookList #BoardBooks #GiftGuides

10 #ChristmasBooks to Read with Your Kids - timely #BookList from @MarlaSzwast #PictureBooks #poetry + #Dickens

Top 10 Holiday Reads from @literacious #PictureBooks, #MGLit + #YA in this #BookList

101 Great Books for Kids (2019 Edition) — @fuseeight announces Evanston #Library #BookList, by category + w/ PDF version #PictureBooks #GraphicNovels #MGLit #Poetry + more

Creative Gifts for Kids Just Learning to Read, one of many nice #Literacy themed #GiftGuides from @growingbbb #GrowingBookworms #reading

Best #GraphicNovels 2019 per @sljournal | We already have nearly all of the ones in my daughter's age range on this solid #BookList

Books Like Smile: Read These Next if You Love @goraina #GraphicNovels + #MGLit, #BookList from @momandkiddo

12 Books Tweens Can Read after Raina Telgemeier - My #GraphicNovel -obsessed 4th grader would approve of this #BookList from @wearealsc @goraina

Books About Kids in Crisis, #BookList from @growingbbb #immigration #war #NaturalDisasters + more

Events, Programs + Research

Registration for #KidLitCon2020 is now open, reports @charlotteslib | The new logo is super-cute. Tagline for @KidLitCon this year is "Seeing Clearly" | #kidlit + #YA bloggers + authors should check it out!

This story will brighten your day: 104-year-old writer Betty X. Davis collects 104 kids’ books to donate to #SchoolLibrary for her birthday | @KXAN_News #KidLit

Interested in supporting #literacy for #GivingTuesday? Great roundup in the 2019 Bookish Charitable Giving Guide — @100scopenotes | #BookAccess @RIFWEB @FirstBook @dollyslibrary + lots more

#SCBWI's Third Annual #Literacy Initiative Gives Books to Readers in Need @scbwi @CynLeitichSmith #BookAccess #BooksForReaders

The Call for Hosts for the next 6 months of #PoetryFriday is up: @MaryLeeHahn #poetry #kidlitosphere

A Prescription of #Poetry to Help Patients Speak Their Minds - Doctors at several hospitals experimenting w/ poems to offer psychological relief + connection @rddysum @WSJ

When the best way to take notes is by hand - @BBC_Future via @ResearchDigest Except for #learning simple facts, you process material more deeply when you take selective notes by hand (vs. typing verbatim) + remember it better

Interesting: Abstaining From #SocialMedia Doesn’t Improve Well-Being, Experimental Study Finds, in contrast to more correlational research @mattbwarren @ResearchDigest

Using #FidgetSpinners May Actually Impede #Learning@rey_z @ResearchDigest | Study finds they may be actively distracting, rather than helping kids focus

Growing Bookworms

If you want to raise a #bookworm, make it more about #play than work | "the joy gets wrung right out of the act of #reading when students don’t have ample time to get excited about books they read for themselves" @estherjcepeda

This is excellent advice! Teacher @biblio_phile on Bringing the Joy of #ReadAlouds to #MiddleSchool Students, using "real-along" to add learning, build community + celebrate #JoyOfReading @EdWeekTeacher

I think the idea of #ReadAloud Posters for coloring is genius | Give kids something active to do related to the book while you are #ReadingAloud #RubyReads via @growingbbb #Vanderbeekers #LittleHouse #EdwardTulane Helping Older Students Fall in Love With Reading (Again) by Nicole Kronzer @nerdybookclub | Teacher + #SchoolLibrarian work together to help HS seniors find #JoyOfReading

Higher Ed

How to Fix #College Admissions - @WSJ surveyed various stakeholders + distills 10 ideas to remove some of the distortions of privilege @melissakorn #HigherEd

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Bold Girls | On how striving for perfection is holding back girls, and the need to distance #creativity from right + wrong | "there is value in the half-finished, failed, messed up, abandoned story too" @KMcCaughrain #writing

Various fun stuff in 2019 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea — @100scopenotes #kidlit #kidlitosphere

This looks like good advice: A guide to fighting lies, #FakeNews, and chaos online - @thedextriarchy @verge #InformationLiteracy #SocialMedia

I want to write for children... A guide to #Writing for Children & YA - @Strachanlinda @AwfullyBigBlog | #kidlit #YA

Parenting + Play

The Importance of The Father-Daughter Relationship Helping girls achieve more academically, make better relationship choices and have more confidence. @Danaparenting #parenting

A reminder from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU that Imaginative #Play is A Product Of Boredom | If you don't rush to find something for your kids to do when they are bored, incredible things can follow | #parenting

I just downloaded some suggestions from Family-Friendly #Podcasts to Make Thanksgiving Travel Tolerable - Chris Kornelis @WSJ #STEM #parenting

Schools and Libraries

Stop Arguing About 'Equity' and Focus on Improving Classroom Instruction to Increase Students' Academic Outcomes @MsJasmineMN #EduCountdown2019 #schools #teaching

Sharp Nationwide Enrollment Drop in #Teacher Prep Programs Cause for Alarm | @laurenonthehill @usnews #TeacherShortage

Why teachers need to do so much to help kids develop #vocabulary in the Classroom + some daily strategies for doing so @HuntingEnglish @EducationNext (adapted from #ResearchEd Guide to #Literacy)

Lots of links on #phonics + #TeachingReading in this @educationweek Special Report: #Getting Reading Right #EarlyLiteracy

Why I Decided The Clip Chart Wasn’t For Me from @McKenzieRoss20 @HonorsGradU | How + why a 1st grade #teacher shifted to #PositiveReinforcement in #ClassroomManagement

In Mississippi, an Unlikely Model for #SchoolDesegregation - @Tawnell @WSJ | K-12 district organizes by #GradeLevel instead of geography, w/ each school having 1-2 grades. Lots of busing, but success, too


Students talk through #math in this CA school. Now test scores are rising, especially among Latino students | @sydneyfjohnson @EdSource #testing #WordProblems

In today's obvious (but w/ important implications) news: Students Who Eat Breakfast Perform Better on Standardized Tests, UK Study Finds #testing @Newsweek @drdouggreen

Are #Reading Pressures Leading to the Decline in Scores? Tiffany Post @WeAreTeachers argues that schools pressure kids to read too soon, too fast + then too much

Australia and Finland slide further in #PISA 2018 – @greg_ashman blames use of progressivist #education policies instead of knowledge-rich curricula #KnowledgeGap

U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers in #PISA #testing, especially trailing students in Asian countries | Performance gap in US also widened @Tawnell @WSJ

On a brighter note re: #PISA results, @tonywan @EdSurge highlights the fact that students w/ more of a #GrowthMindset did better in #reading than those w/out

© 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: November 22: Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BodyImage, #BookAccess, #BookClubs, #BookLists, #Bullying, #CognitiveTraining, #DualCoding, #Grammar, #JoyOfLearning, #KidLitCon, #LearningStyles, #LoveOfReading, #Math, #mistakes, #nonfiction, #Play, #ProductiveStruggle, #ReadingChoice, #ScreenTime, #WimpyKid, publishing, schools, teachers, and writing. I will probably skip the roundup next weekend, with my daughter off for Thanksgiving break. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday! 

Top Tweet of the Week

Why children become bullies at school - @BBC_Future “Socially dominant bullies want to be the leader of the crowd,” says @DrDotEspelage. “And the way that they do that is to push kids down the hierarchy.” via @pragmaticmom

Book Lists

The Unexpected Ending: #PictureBooks That Stick the Landing in Weird, Wild Ways | Fun #BookList from @fuseeight

Female Superhero Books for Kids: Old Favorites and New Friends in various formats #BookList from @momandkiddo | We love #PrincessInBlack + #ZitaTheSpacegirl in my house

Links to Best Of lists for #nonfiction #kidlit titles from #KidLitFrenzy | #NCTE, @KirkusReviews + more

Events, Programs + Research

Announcing Keynote Speaker @DawnEQuigley for #KidLitCon2020 @KidLitCon | Dawn also just announced a #Native #ChapterBook series w/ @HarperChildrens #Heartdrum imprint

This is fun. Oakland Airport wait? Try a free on-demand #ShortStory on eco-friendly paper @swirlgirl_jy @mercnews | > 3500 printed in first month | #BookAccess

How People Learn Best: #LearningStyles vs. #DualCoding, a Guest Post by Benjamin Keep from @tlearningagency @Doug_Lemov | Dual Coding says presenting info in different formats can accelerate #learning | #CognitiveScience

This is sad: A recent study found: Teachers Show Biases Against Overweight Kids, Including Giving Them Lower #Grades@rey_z @ResearchDigest #schools #BodyImage

Strong piece by @annetergesen @WSJ on What Science Tells Us About Preventing #Dementia | reviews research to highlight 6 ways to reduce risk, from blood pressure control to #CognitiveTraining

Could #Reading + Protect Against the Forgetfulness of #Dementia? asks @TrevorHCairney, citing a recent study that found #illiterate people developed dementia earlier @sciam #GaryStix

Moving stories (+ great photos): inside the #BookBuses changing children's lives in Kabul @guardian via @CynLeitichSmith | #literacy #BookAccess

Growing Bookworms

Let’s Talk Books: Resources for Supporting Informal At Home Book Discussions w/out a formal #BookClub @TheReadingTub | I like 'ask teens about faves they "used to love"'

The Book Matchmaker. 8th grade #teachers Eva Goins shares 4 ways she connects middle schools w/ books @nerdybookclub | #ReadingChoice, #ReadAloud + more

Tips And Tricks Parents Can Use To Nurture a #LoveOfReading in Kids | Great to see: "Let Kids Read What They Want" @Kschwart @MindShiftKQED citing @PamelaPaulNYT

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Teachers Lament Loss of #Grammar in student #writing in the age of #texting. @lesliebrody @WSJ

Children's Books and Movies Through the Decades, @growingbbb will focus on plenty of favorites for Family Dinner Book Club #kidlit

A @wimpykid #WreckingBall Event for the Ages shows efforts to "break out of a standard event model and better center children’s book events around their intended audience" Meghan Dietsche Goel @PublishersWkly via @CynLeitichSmith

Parenting, Play + Screen Time

Is Handpicking Your Children’s #Teachers Really Benefitting Them? Maybe you should let your kids struggle + learn coping skills while they are young @HonorsGradU

#ScreenTime Up as #NAEP #Reading Scores Drop. Is There a Link? - @educationweek via @MindShiftKQED | There does seem to be at least correlation w/ screen use at home + in #ELA classrooms

This piece on @parentingtandt by a mom facing her daughter's burn out, overwhelm + loss of #JoyOfLearning made me sad | I Refuse To Let My Teen Burn Out from #AcademicPressure says Christine Carter

Schools and Libraries

#Kindergarten Teachers Speak Out for Children’s Happiness | Dr. Peter Gray @PsychToday asks if their letter to #school board advocating letting kinders learn via #play helped #JoyOfLearning

This @WSJopinion piece posits that "the Cure for What Ails America’s #Schools" is to hire more support staff to relieve #teachers from clerical work + chores like playground monitoring. Thoughts?


Our Problem With Percentages - To understand everything from cancer risk to tax rates, we need to better cultivate statistical literacy. @WSJ #Math #STEM #statistics

Opinion: #Math scares your child's elementary school teacher — and that should frighten you - @DTWillingham @latimes #education #NAEP

Judge Reduces J&J Opioid Fine After Mistaking Thousands for Millions - @nytimes | I this this story should be shared w/ students far + wide. People make mistakes. Learn from them. #GiftOfFailure #GrowthMindset #LimitlessMind #math

© 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: November 15: Teaching Writing, Defending Graphic Novels, and Sniffling

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this busy week include: #BookLists, #CommonCore, #Curiosity, #Curriculum, #EarlyReading, #Giftedness, #GivingTuesday, #GraphicNovels, #History, #LoveOfBooks, #MentalHealth, #NancyDrew, #ReadingLogs, #ScreenTime, #SocialMedia, #STEM, #Writing, failure, libraries, reading, and schools. 

Top Tweet of the Week

Why You Should Encourage Your Child's Love of #GraphicNovels | Sarah Lindenfeld Hall @yahoolifestyle | "The goal, says @Dr_Pendergrass, is to raise a child who identifies as a reader and feels confident picking up any book"

Book Lists

The 10 to Note: Winter #kidlit Preview 2019-20 @100scopenotes features all #GraphicNovels. I added a few to my daughter's wish list

9 #PictureBooks for When You Have the Sniffles – @literacious has such timely #BookLists

More Books Like #DogMan, Please! Kids Will Love These! | #BookList for @momandkiddo focused on similarly fun, over-the-top funny books

This is fun! Here Are All 56 Original #NancyDrew Books, Ranked Worst to Best by @BookRiot #kidlit #mysteries

What Would Be Your Perfect Comic Collection for Kids? — librarian @fuseeight is doing some shopping + seeking feedback on gaps | #GraphicNovels #ComicBooks

Events, Programs + Research

Conversations Around #Literacy Research: Let's CrowdSource | A request from @CathyMere (please share). I agree w/ Cathy's focus on a "this AND that approach" + respect this attempt to keep learning about how to best teach #reading

Today is apparently Wear a Cardigan Day to honor Mr. Rogers on #WorldKindnessDay@literacious has the scoop and a #BookList #CardiganDay

How Curiosity Makes You Crave. Fascinating. Study found people who had their #curiosity triggered + left unsatisfied were more likely to splurge in other ways (un-met need for a reward) @GarethIdeas @sciam via @nireyal

What's the best way to learn? 85% rule, supported by recent study, says a healthy number of mistakes is more effective for learning new skills #failure @LaVarsovienne @TODAYshow

In @EdReports' First Review of #EarlyReading Programs, No Materials Make the Grade - @EdWeekTeacher #ELA #CommonCore

Growing Bookworms

Why You Should Consider Ditching #ReadingLogs + Using #Reading Accountability Partners instead @allienthrower @edutopia #JoyOfReading


On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Are Readers More Successful? | Survey of 1000 people (not clear how they were selected) finds the act of #reading correlates happier, healthier, and more successful lives @SuperSummary

Why #Writing Matters: Reaching Your Writers | @LannyBall kicks off new series at Two Writing Teachers blog | I am certainly with them believing that writing matters for many aspects of future success

Compared to other subjects research on #writing instruction is very small | @jillbarshay @hechingerreport finds one lesson: students benefit from step-by-step guides to writing in different genres

We Don’t Need No Education | @KMcCaughrain of @AwfullyBigBlog has a new blog to provide resources for organizing #CreativeWriting groups for teens | In her first post, she encourages the adults to just provide time + space for #writing

Parenting, Play, Screen Time, and Mental Health

This Colorado Middle School Banned Phones 7 Years Ago. They Say Students Are Happier, Less Stressed And More Focused | @COPublicRadio #ScreenTime

Sadfishing, Predators and Bullies: The Hazards of Being ‘Real’ on #SocialMedia - @juliejargon @WSJ | As influencers share more about #anxiety and #depression online, teens are following suit—and becoming targets | #MentalHealth

Schools and Libraries

Updated @ncte Position Statement on #IndependentReading reminds teachers that "Research supports that independent #reading has the most significant impact on student success in reading"

The real work of an #ELA teacher is "creating a culture of literacy and nurturing a love of reading and writing" | Focus on that, says @_ACoops_ @nerdybookclub

A 'Roadmap' for #Teaching Civics + #History Is Coming. Will It Restart an Old Curriculum War? @EdWeekTeacher #CurriculumDevelopment

What We're Getting Wrong About #GiftedEducation - Treating #giftedness as in-born has led to underrepresentation of low-income kids, students of color + kids gifted more on the creative side @EdWeekOpinion @JosephRenzulli

How Helsinki Built ‘Book Heaven’ - gorgeous public #library serving 10k patrons/day @dccdudley @CityLab

Anonymous Note Decrying #LittleFreeLibraries Sparks Gentrification Debate | @ndelgadillo07 @DCist via @tashrow #libraries #reading


#Math Looks The Same In The Brains Of Boys And Girls, Study Finds | @NPRjonhamilton @MindShiftKQED via @drdouggreen | Other factors like girls being stronger in #reading + making other choices in wealthy districts may help explain #GenderGap in #STEM

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

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 13: Incorporating #LoveOfReading into Playdates, Photo Albums + Visits to the Mall

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 sent out every four weeks.  

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have a review of a wonderful new middle grade novel and two tips for growing bookworms (scheduling playdates at the library and taking photos of your young children with books).  I also have one bookworm moments post about reading while walking through the mall.  I have three posts with literacy and reading-related links that I shared on Twitter. 

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

  • Janet Tashjian: My Life As A Book. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed October 18, 2019, read aloud to my daughter. We are very much enjoying reading this middle grade series together,  and I highly recommend these books as bridge books for kids branching out from a steady graphic novel diet to add some more text-based fare. The main character, Derek, is more more excited about drawing comic strips than he is about reading. The books include little stick figure sketches in the wide margins of less familiar vocabulary words. Even if the words are familiar for your child, the sketches are hilarious. 
  • StuntboyJanet Tashjian: My Life As A Stuntboy. Square Fish. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed October 29, 2019, read aloud to my daughter.
  • J.J. and Chris Grabenstein: Shine!. Random House Children's Books. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed November 1, 2019, print review copy. My review. The fact that I liked this book enough to write my first review since August should tell you how much I enjoyed this one. 
  • Kristen Simmons: The Deceivers (Vale Hall, Book 1). Tor Teen. Young Adult Mystery. Completed November 10, 2019, on Kindle. I liked the premise and plotting of this twisty YA novel about a tiny boarding school for teen con-people, but it didn't completely hold my attention  for some reason. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Manitou Canyon (Cork O'Connor, No. 15). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed October 18, 2019, on MP3. Still love Cork O'Connor. 
  • Thomas Perry: The Boyfriend. Mysterious Press. Adult Mystery. Completed October 27, 2019, on Kindle. Although I usually like Perry's work, I found this one, about a private eye on the trail of a contract killer who hides out by becoming the boyfriend to call girls, less than compelling. 
  • William Kent Krueger: Sulfur Springs (Cork O'Connor, No. 16). Atria Books. Adult Mystery. Completed November 1, 2019, on MP3.
  • LimitlessMindJo Boaler: Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers. HarperOne. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 2, 2019, personal copy. This book, by the author of Mathematical Mindsets, applies recent neuroscience research to ideas about learning: growth mindset, productive struggle, making mistakes, etc. It  is fascinating and could be useful to teachers, parents, or anyone looking to expand their brains and keep learning. 
  • Nir Eyal (with Julie Li): Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. BenBella Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed November 3, 2019, personal copy. This was the latest read in my quest to read everything out there about focusing in the digital age. The part I found most interesting was the early part, in which Eyal talks about the internal drivers of our distraction (seeking out novelty, etc.). The later parts, about ways to  reduce distraction in  one's environment, is good stuff, but wasn't as new to me. 

MyLifeCartoonistI'm listening to The Night Fire: A Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch mystery by Michael Connelly. I'm reading A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series, Book 18) by Deborah Crombie. I'm reading My Life As A Cartoonist (My Life Series, Book 3) by Janet Tashjian and Jake Tashjian aloud to my daughter. I originally intended for my daughter to start reading these on her own after we had read the first book together. But in fact we are both really enjoying reading them together. Derek, like my daughter, is an only child. Let's just say that his complaint the other day about his parents' excessive focus on his trials and tribulations resonated with my daughter. This morning we kept reading long past when we were scheduled to stop, because we both HAD to know what was going to happen next. Luckily it was pajama day at school. 

On her own, my daughter is most obsessed with the Big Nate series these days. The missing books in her collection (which is most of them, she's mostly read library copies) are one of only two things she has requested (so far) for Christmas. My husband is reading her the first Nancy Drew book before bed, but I think it's going pretty slowly because they are tired. 

WreckingBallShe also eagerly awaited the recent new releases in the Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid series. In each case we preordered the book and had release day on our calendar. When I went to pick her up from after school care, she positively flew out out to the car, shrieked loudly with excitement, and read the book cover to cover IMMEDIATELY. This is the goal, my friends. Having a child who screams with excitement because the latest book in a series that she loves is here. She reacted similarly yesterday to the news that the ARC of the first book in the Babysitters Club Little Sisters series had arrived. Sadly, I think that one skewed a bit young for her, and so was a little disappointing. But I'm sure it will be a huge hit with younger kids. 

The Scholastic Book Fair at our school is next week. Scholastic offered a new option to create some sort of digital wallet for your child, so that they could essentially charge books to you without you having to be there. Me, I steered far, far away from that. First of all, my daughter would select too many books. Second, she would also be tempted by the non-book stuff, some of which is fun but which can get out of hand. 

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