Posts Tagged Reading
Fabulous Flavourwire, makers of taste and purveyors of internet good taste have posted this list. The books are an interesting take on must read childrens classics. Would you have chosen them? It got me thinking, I wonder what would be on a similar list if it was made in New Zealand? Surely there’d be a Maurice Gee or a Joy Cowley, a Jack Lasenby or a David Elliot. There would also probably be some of the books on this list too. I know everyone else in the country would insert a Margaret Mahey but my kids never really loved those and I didn’t much love reading her books to them. My kids would have had Wombat Stew and Possum Magic and The Little Yellow Digger when really little and Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and Matilda on their middle of their childhood lists. I guess everyone would have different titles but it is nice to have a think back and remember and also to think about the books which helped form you. Have they had an affect on your reading tastes in the long term? I wonder.
Watch The Vlog Brothers perform a live concert at Carnegie Hall. It is great! the music is lovely and the sentiments in the songs resonate! Lovers of the Green Brothers will be in heaven!
Get your buying list notebooks or apps out to take notes for when your budget is all filled up again, cos there are some things you’ll want to buy/read on this list folks. This is a list of the new cool stuff hitting the shops in the States this winter. Books for every level are here. Some are out already here, a couple are in my ‘I’m taking this home for the holidays box’ right now. Here is the link to the list. And look at that, here is a link to the downloadable shelf talkers. Oh how I love shelf talkers.
Link from 100 Scope Notes – full of the power of awesome.
I stumbled upon this interesting story via a Storify link. There are three parts to Linda W Braun’s Young People, Reading and Libraries. You will need to delve into it yourselves and pick out the gems but there are certainly some gems for secondary school librarians in the report but also in Linda’s storify which has plenty to mull over without even leaving the first page.
Items which I found particularly interesting were the ebook readership, interesting stats. I’m interested in these figures as I decide whether to delve into the ebook platform and these stats make me feel rather better about delaying my decision. Go look at the figures there.
Also interested in the graph on where teenagers get their book recommendations from. I wonder if these stats would be the same here in New Zealand. Probably the same. And what would happen if they surveyed younger students, I think in my school it would be quite different statistics with many of them relying on my recommendations – possibly equal to those of their peers. I do like the idea of students recommending books to each other. That is my ideal world, a sharing of reading joy the “I loved this book, you should read it too!” which happens all the time with adults who read.
Science Fiction author Gareth L Powell presented this marvellous speech three years ago, The Role of Science Fiction in our Understanding of the Future, yet it is just as relevant today.
Powell refutes the role of the science fiction writer as a predictor of the future, rather suggesting that their aim is to dream up plausible futures, to model a vast range of possible outlooks. By assessing the sociological and technological trends, they show us what may happen if man continues on their current path.Good science fiction looks at the world we know and asks, “What happens if?”
- What happens if the ice caps melt and sea levels rise by fifty feet?
- What happens if we discover a way to halt the ageing process and everyone lives for 1000 years?
- What happens if the government puts a CCTV camera on every street corner?
“This is my job as a science fiction writer: to speculate and imagine, and tell stories. The future is truly an undiscovered country. Futurology and philosophy can give us a map of the terrain. But if we want to know what it’s going to feel like to live and work and love there, one of the best tools we have is science fiction.”
He says that futurologists and philosophers can tell us the possible outcomes but that the science fiction writers make the future human by creating characters that must adapt and survive in, generally, these dystopian worlds. The author must take the reader on a journey to really understand what living through such a scenario would be like, to experience such an event, and so the reader asks themselves, “What would I do?”
Gareth Powell’s speech is well worth reading – it puts a clear voice to what science fiction is all about.
Just imagine being in a class with this guy! I dare you to role model him in your library tomorrow!
(via School Library Journal A Fuse #8 Production)
Oh yes, myths and legends!
There was a question recently on the listserv about how to choose books for senior students, there was a deluge of responses with suggestions of ways and means. This image has some answers to that question. Also, in the ‘This irritates me constantly department’ I always resent it when people assume that I have time to read during paid work hours. Seriously? Haven’t you looked into my workroom, that mass of paper, books half processed, projects half completed, displays half put up, planners all over the show, timetables being adjusted. Oh and look I’m not in my workroom, I spend at least half of every day out working with teachers and students in their classes. Oh how I’d love the time to sit in a cosy chair and read at school – oh wait that is what I set it up for the students to do! Lucky sods.
From NPR’s Best-Ever Teen Fiction poll where the incredibly huge number of 75,220 people voted for their favorite young adult novels. The list of finalists to choose from is here. That list is very probably the best buying list for a high school ever – discounting Australian and New Zealand books – yes I did see Marcus Zusak there, but you can’t leave Scot Gardner off any list of YA fiction in my opinion.
Anyway the final list has all the usual suspects like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but there are some unexpected titles on there as well. Ann of Green Gables? Call of the Wild? I guess the voting is open to one and all, but I can’t imagine any of the teenagers I work with voting for this kind of book. There are lots and lots of recent and old school wonderful books on the list. Crikey John Green makes the the list 5 times!
If you are new to school libraries these are exactly the sort of lists that make life easier. Read your way through this list in a year and you’ll have lots of wonderful books to recommend to your students for years to come. Or check your shelves to make sure you have these books and if you don’t, it makes a great starting point for making buying plans for next year. Here is the link again.
I found it here.
Gorgeous video from the Australian National Year of Reading. Enjoy!
The report of the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group Commission in the United Kingdom compiled by the National Literacy Trust report is just out. It is a large document at 28 pages but well worth the time spent browsing it. Certainly it is worth sharing with your Senior Management Team and with your English Department and Literacy teachers whatever school you are in if you have boys (or indeed are the parent of boys).
There is much for librarians to nod and agree with, some things of course we well know already from being at the coalface of literacy, but there are some recommendations we can work with too and it is always great when they are written in a report from an authoritative body.
The Commission’s Recommendations
1. Schools should have access to an evidence framework to inform
effective practice in supporting boys’ reading.
2. Every child should be supported by their school in developing as a
reader. Crucially, schools must promote reading for enjoyment and
involve parents (overtly fathers) in their reading strategies.
3. Every teacher should have an up-to-date knowledge of reading
materials that will appeal to disengaged boys.
4. Parents need access to information on how successful schools are in
supporting boys’ literacy.
5. Libraries should target children (particularly boys) who are least likely
to be supported in their reading at home.
6. Social marketing and behavioural insight need to be deployed
to encourage parents to support the literacy of their children –
7. Every boy should have weekly support from a male reading role model.
8. Parenting initiatives must specifically support literacy and fathers.
9. A cross-Government approach to literacy needs to be developed and
I thought this quote interesting too “Three-quarters of schools are concerned about boys’ reading” and the skeptic in me has the comment in return “then why are you busy chopping libraries of every kind and school librarian hours – surely there is an irony there!” I’m fairly certain that the UK is not dissimilar to us in respect of boys reading. Get this document out in your school and shout out the need for great books for boys. Boys of all ages! And maybe your school will sit up and note that school libraries are vital to getting boys interested in reading and give you a great big enormous budget next year. (Well you can hope!)
Get the report here
Image from: Image: ‘Doctor Who’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/41346951@N05/5717178307