Books

The Nonconformist Book Club

Are you running a successful book club at the library or your local school? If your book club lacks a spark, what model do you follow? Perhaps it is time to think outside the box and change your modus operandi. I have run numerous book clubs for youth including a book club for differently abled teens. They have all been unique even though they have one common denominator, reading a book.  The distinction relates to the age group of the book club members, their personal features, or the goals of the program. Here you have three models that seek to connect and respond to the needs of our clients. Book Club for Differently Abled Teens: In this book club I worked with teens and their teachers once a month. Reading a book posed a challenge for some of the members, so we used early chapter audiobooks instead. Then, the teachers…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

¡Día De Los Muertos! ¡Celebramos!

¡Día De Los Muertos! Hoy celebramos Día De Los Muertos. Día De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead is not just on November 1st.  It is a three-day festival – October 31 – November 2 – that is celebrated throughout Latin America.  Here in the U.S., places that have large Latino populations, such as Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona celebrate with incredible picturesque decorations like papel picado (estampo), costumbres, dulces y mucho mas. Día De Los Muertos is a huge fiesta – a national holiday – national, as in no school today, chicos! Remember, though, Día De Los Muertos is not Halloween.  Even though trick-or-treating has become more common on Día De Los Muertos, Halloween  is a Northern European tradition.  Instead, Day of the Dead is a blend of Aztec and Catholic beliefs. And yet, even ancient Egyptians once believed that “the spirits of the dead returned every autumn to…

Books

RWD: Book Groups with a Twist

I love movies. Since I was a kid I was fascinated with the silver screen. I loved the actors, the glamour, the costumes but more importantly I loved the story. I would watch science fiction, action, Merchant Ivory films anything with a great story. I also loved reading great stories in different genres as well. While in my capacity as a programming librarian I was always trying to figure out how to engage kids with book groups. Then it dawned on me one day: Why not try to combine my favorite things, movies and reading? That is when RWD was created. I got the idea from looking at my old VHS player’s controls. RWD in the case of the book group stands for Read. Watch. Discuss. I choose a different book based on the season, new movies that are coming out and old favorites. For example this time of year…

Author Spotlight

An Interview with Author Richard Torrey

Author and illustrator Richard Torrey shares his thoughts on the role of libraries and his process creating Ally-Saurus & the Very Bossy Monster. How would you describe your book ALLY-SAURUS & the Very Bossy Monster to children’s librarians sharing this book with young readers? Like the first book (ALLY-SAURUS & the First Day of School), it’s primarily a celebration of the incredible resilience and flexibility of children’s imagination. In this story, Ally-saurus and her friends are having a wonderful time playing pretend, each in their own way. But everything changes when the bossy new neighbor, Maddie, shows up. Maddie insists they play what she wants to play-and according to her rules. When she finally goes too far, Ally-saurus ROARS into action, helping Maddie understand that bossiness is no fun at all. What inspired you to tackle the issue of bossiness in this book? I never intentionally set out to tackle specific issues when…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month Year-Round

Integrating Hispanic Heritage I’d been conducting storytime and other children’s programming for 18 years.  I felt like a veteran, or some kind of master.  In just one hour, my wife Marianne – who was born and raised in Puerto Rico – made me feel like I was only just beginning. For years I would start with a theme, pick out the books, make the puppet shows. And yet, how often did I reach for my Hispanic picture books?  Twice a year?  El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day, commonly known as Día) and Hispanic Heritage Month?  My wife showed me how to take a picture book or a story and build a theme from it – to reverse the storytime building process, and thereby integrate diverse materials into storytime – Every. Single Week. Hispanic/Latino Contributions So, I made a video.  It was all about the contributions…

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Blogger Alyson Feldman-Piltch

A New Classic

Yesterday, Jonda McNair posted about classic Coretta Scott King (CSK)  books on the CSK Blog.  McNair pointed out that often when one thinks of a classic book, they do not think of books written by and about African-Americans. Citing an article she wrote in The Reading Teacher in 2010, McNair shares what her criteria for a classic book in African-American literature are- often  books can be grouped into three categories: “universal experiences (e.g., death, love, and friendship) from an African American perspective, breakthrough books that are a “first” in some way or break new ground, and literary innovation (e.g., use of language, style, etc.).” At the end of the post, Jonda shares the titles of some CSK winners that meet this criteria, and are what she considers CSK Classics, one of which is a personal favorite, Everett Anderson’s Goodbye. As I sat on the train this morning to work, I thought about classics…