Wonderful libraries are everywhere, each one home to a unique collection of the world’s knowledge and history. The collections in these libraries, though, top the charts. Grab a bib, English majors—you’re about to drool.
“And yet, by every criterion listed, children’s fiction is entirely capable of being great literature. Indeed, if you’re looking for writing that changes the reader and the world, there may be no better form….I’ve visited countless schools and seen for myself the life-changing power of children’s books. It’s impossible to overstate the transformative effects they can have upon individual readers – and collectively, across generations, upon the world.”—“Who says children’s books can’t be great literature?”
“It’s true that it’s a strong year for conventional picture books, and I couldn’t fault the committee if it should recognize nothing but conventional picture books, but I do hope they will at least look outside the box. Because surely the artwork in Boxers & Saints and March is among the most distinguished of the year, and since there is no limitation as to the character of the book, it makes no sense to consider, say, Mr. Wuffles!, Bluebird, and Odd Duck but not Boxers & Saints and March.”—
"The generation gap doesn’t stand a chance—perhaps because Dunham and Blume have reading in common. ‘When we, as young women, are given the space to read, the act becomes a happy, private corner we can return to for the rest of our lives,’ Dunham explains in her introduction. ‘We develop this love of reading by turning to stories that speak to the most special, secret parts of us. And here comes Judy Blume.’"
Coffee and Conversations, a one-hour session that caters to homeless people, is the brainchild of Jo Giudice, who became the director of the Dallas Public Library system last year. Giudice’s office is at the central branch.
“This type of program has been a dream of mine since I moved from branch manager to the central library years ago,” Giudice said. “As director, to see it in action just gives me goose bumps.”
Two sessions have been held since early last month, and the next is set for Dec. 19. Attendance has doubled to more than 70.
“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”—Nelson Mandela (via chelseyphilpot)
Because Hollywood execs want to make money and ensure that this generation of children will never sleep again, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark — a tome containing tales penned by a demon from hell — will be turned into a movie. Here are the stories which marred our childhood dream times, otherwise known as the stories we hope the movie doesn’t ignore.
“'We wanted to do everything that we could to fight this,' Chris Finan, ABFFE president, tells SLJ. 'Never have I heard a story like this in which books were removed from the classroom under the eyes of the students and thrown into boxes that actually had the word “banned”written on them. And I spent a lot of time verifying, in fact, that that’s what these people did, and so it was completely shocking.'”—“Library Advocates File Brief to Challenge Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Ban" article by Karyn M. Peterson
“'The shining star of this book is that it appeals to struggling readers because it’s written in a roughly fifth-grade Lexile reading level,' [Dawn] Welshs shares. 'They can read, enjoy, and feel successful after finishing it. And it also has social economic topics and coming-of-age issues that my honors students can discuss. They realize that Arnold has a tough decision to make in leaving the “rez,” but he takes the chance and does it. For 24 years, that’s the message I’ve tried to put forth to my students: life is a series of opportunities and you have take advantage of what comes your way.'”—Shelley Diaz, “Alexie’s ‘Part-Time Indian’ Pulled from West Virginia School Curriculum”
“The ABZ Book made it clear that Silverstein hated the condescending brand of writing often used in children’s literature—and what better way to change the state of affairs than to write them better yourself? Convincing Silverstein of that took a fair amount of wheedling and cajoling, but his friend (and children’s author/illustrator) Tomi Ungerer, along with famed Harper & Row children’s editor Ursula Nordstrom, was up to the task. Eventually, they persuaded Uncle Shelby to take a crack at the real thing.”—
“'Parents have a tremendous amount of choice,' says [Jessica] Swencki. 'But at the same time, if this is the book most widely recognized for the AP exam that specifically addresses certain literary themes, parents need to understand that if they’re opting out, [their child] may be missing out on an opportunity. These books were chosen for a specific reason.'”—Lauren Barack, “Parents, School Districts Push Back On Book Challenges”
Technological experimentation is making “feeds” more possible every day, at a speed that I find somewhat surprising and disconcerting. For several years now, neuro-electrical scans have mapped what a buying frenzy looks like in the brain. And as of this year, we have managed to transfer movement impulses between humans over a cyberlink. We can force rats to “remember” impulses that they’ve never encountered before by digitally, and then neurologically, encoding those impulses. Intel says they want chips in consumers’ heads by 2020. These products could soon be a reality. —M.T. Anderson
But when people ask me why one writes picture books for children, I can really answer only for myself. Most of my books are about relationships, friends with friends, brothers with sisters, brothers with brothers, sisters with sisters, parents with children, the interpersonal relationships and the emotions they engender, joy and sorrow, hate and love, admiration and envy, anger and hope. These are all emotions we adults feel, too, but children are coming to everything for the first time, and give in to the immediacy of the moment.
Writing for them, I am really writing for myself. Some adult emotion sets me off, but it is a sort of déjà vu, a double exposure reliving the child’s emotion but reaching back into it with an adult perspective that gives it some protection or explanation.
“As I was writing The Good Braider, and as the story emerged in images told in spare language, I was not thinking of possible readers. I was looking for the key to capture the truth of the story. That way of homing in on a subject was what drew me to the specificity and spareness of poetry. I love what Rita Dove, a former U.S. poet laureate, said about verse novels during an Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference panel titled ‘Staggered Tellings: Immediacy, Intimacy, and Ellipses in the Verse Novel.’ Verse novels, she said, offer ‘the weight of each word, the weight of the sentence, the weight of the line, the weight of white space, heightened attention to sound, and deep allegiance to silence.’”—Terry Farish, “Why Verse? Poetic Novels for Historical Fiction, Displacement Stories, and Struggling Readers”
“Susan Polos, school librarian at Mount Kisco Elementary School in New York and a current member of the Newbery Award selection committee, thinks that Junie B. is ‘actually an excellent role model for transitional readers. After all,’ she says, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history and Junie B. is ready to take on the world.’ Books in the series fill two full shelves in her school library ‘but at this point in the year, most are not in the library but in the hands of children,’ she says.”—Rocco Staino, “Barbara Park, ‘Junie B. Jones’ Author, Dies at 66”
“When I write books, I’m exploring the things I’ve figured out over 50 years. One of those things is, you can never take for granted that you know people. Even the most straightforward people turn out to sometimes have big secrets. You think your parents are on Earth for you, to be wise and protective, and there’s a slow dawning that you’re not as much like them as you thought you were. They may have secrets as well. It’s like the fall from paradise.”—Meg Rosoff, “Somewhere between Childhood and Adulthood | A Conversation With Meg Rosoff”