Blogger Chelsey Roos

On Building Reading Comprehension: Jerry Craft’s New Kid and Themes of Prejudice

Back when we could still host in-person programs, my book club for fourth to sixth graders met to discuss Jerry Craft’s New Kid. I was confident they were going to like it – it was about to win the Newbery (among other awards), and I had been on a hot streak of choosing books my book club adored (not to brag!). I opened our book club discussion the same way I always do: by asking who liked the book and who didn’t, and by reminding them that it’s okay not to enjoy a book we read – they won’t hurt my feelings by expressing their opinions. This opening question lets me discretely check on their reading comprehension without feeling too much like a quiz. I was surprised when almost all my kids said they didn’t like the book – but I was downright shocked when I asked them to talk…

Guest Blogger

Intergenerational Book Clubs: How to use reading to raise social justice awareness

We are living in complicated times. There’s plenty we can reflect on about 2020 and its impacts on our families, our professions and our relationships. And with the arrival of 2021, the conversations have only become more complex. Explaining the world to our children and our students is no easy task. In order to set up our students for success, we need to seek out culturally and linguistically diverse viewpoints. 

Blogger Nicole Martin

Roller Girl Rocks

I just got around to reading Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) and boy, was it awesome! This great graphic novel for middle-grade readers follows twelve-year old Astrid, who is inspired to join a summer youth roller derby camp after her mother takes her to a Rose City Rollers derby match. Astrid immediately falls in love with the sport and aspires to be like the rad roller ladies, whose colored hair, witty names, and rainbow socks absolutely scream cool. Unfortunately, Astrid’s best friend Nicole doesn’t seem quite so impressed by the roller derby. Soon after Astrid discovers that her bestie will be spending her summer at ballet camp with one of her not-so-favorite people, Rachel. So begins Astrid’s summer of growth as she learns that sometimes friendships change and that skating is not quite as easy as it looks. The story felt very authentic to me, capturing the sort of girl drama that can blossom between friends, especially…

ALA Midwinter 2015

ALSC to receive 2014 USBBY Award #alamw15

Recently, ALSC was awarded the 2014 Bridge to Understanding Award for their Día Family Book Club Program. ALSC President Ellen Riordan will accept this award from the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) during the USBBY Gathering from 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 at the Hilton Chicago – Williford A. This event is open to all ALA Midwinter attendees. Established in memory of Arlene Pillar, an educator who served USBBY as newsletter editor from 1984 until her untimely death in 1990, the Bridge to Understanding Award formally acknowledges programs that use children’s books to promote international understanding among children. The responses of many of the families who participated in the Día Family Book Club show just how successful this program has been. For more information about the Día Family Book Club program and to download the club toolkit and lesson plans please…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Mock Newbery Book Club

October still feels like the beginning of the school year, but it is approaching the end of the publishing year.  So for me, it is time to take stock of the year’s best books, and begin the process of narrowing the list to the 6-8 titles we will use with our annual Mock Newbery book club of 4th through 6th graders. Our Newbery club meets once per week, beginning in November culminating with a party following the announcement of the actual award (January28th this year) for a total of about eight to ten weekly meetings depending how the holidays land.  Attendance is nice for discussing the books, but not required to participate. Our meetings are held before school, and some of our truly avid readers stay up way too late to get to school early! Everyone participates by filling out a Newbery Club Score Card when they finish a book. …