Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Moving!

... my blog.

I've been too much a slacker here, so I'm picking up and starting fresh. Check it out here if you like to follow me...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Connecting Boys with Books

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time (or had time to go back to previous posts... there aren't many!), you may notice a oft-repeated topic... how to get and keep boys interested in reading. Well, crazy things are happening in library-land! (Cool things happen when you talk to God about not sitting on your butt for fear of failure.) The statistics are there about boys... the research about brain/learning style differences are there. (I'll bore you sometime with the info, I'm sure.) Thankfully, there is evidence of some changes due to the past few years increased awareness (and acceptance) of the difference between boys and girls in reading.

Well, in recent months, we've continued with our daddy and me storytimes, daddy catcher days, collection development (material ordering) and reader's advisory focused on boys and educating grown-ups. But we've stepped it up a notch at the library. In December, I put out a display to collect names of boys interested in a "guys read"/boys only reading group. I was hoping for at least 5-10 boys so I could start a "pilot" group... to date, over 30 boys have signed up. Luckily, as I contacted male teachers in the school district (because I can do the program, but I think it would be that much better to remove even myself from the mix), I have four guys from the elementary level and one from the middle school, so a total of 5 teachers. That means I can have a middle school age group and split the elementary school age kids into two age groups! THREE groups to start. Those will be starting in March.

In addition, we have Eric Wight, author of the awesome prose/comic hybrid (review to come, because they're awesome... starred reviews in Kirkus, the most "wet-blanket" tough of professional review sources librarians use)... coming for a visit at the end of the month. We currently have over 40 kids signed up after the signup was out about a week, and we expect an increase after Eric visits local schools the days leading up to his library visit. We also have two local authors, Josh Berk and Scott Heydt, coming for an older/middle grade audience to do a writing workshop and author visit in April.

And the crazy (awesome) thing is, it's all definitely struck a chord with people... not just me doing something I have an interest in personally. Parents continue to ask me "when are we starting the guys read?", "my son keeps asking me". They sign up for related programs as soon as I explain what it's about. Parents seem relieved and enthusiastic when I share information about boys and reading.

Oh, and the Pennsylvania Library Association Early Learning Best Practice Award my director and I will go to Harrisburg to pick up in April won't be too bad, either!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They're the Oscars of Children's Books!

So I know I should totally be banned from being a blogger EVER AGAIN. It's always the same excuse... living life. I should get in the habit of short posts, just to keep on top of things ;) But yes, busy life. Busy, busy life.

But on to the book fun! The American Library Association Announced the 2010 Youth Media Awards yesterday! It's a day I look forward to the last few months of the year as I wait for the announcements... reading blogs, results of "mock" contests, etc. This year, I pretty much had an idea of what would win, not because I'd read them and loved them (although they got amazing reviews and I ordered them!)... but because each probably won 90-95% of mock contests and were children's book blogger favorites for their respective awards.

And the winners are...

Newbery Medal: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Caldecott Medal: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

I'd already requested the library's copy of When You Reach Me due to all the buzz/general interest in reading it, so I was stoked. In general, I'm just children's book nerd enough to be stoked that I had guessed the winners right and had most of the medal/honor books in general!

Okay, I'll be satisfied with this for now. But I promise I'll try to be good (for real this time). For all two of my readers. Because maybe then I'll get to share all the fun news... like about winning state awards, planning author visits and more fun!

Now it's time to pick up a good book and read.