Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
The Sioux City Journal reports on those darn kids today, and all that trash they're reading. Gone are the days of "Nancy Drew," "Sweet Valley High" and the "Babysitters Club." Provocative teen novels are flying off the shelves and into the book bags of teen and tween girls, the biggest consumers of the publishing industry's fastest-growing segment.
Most books for kids ages 12 and up sell fewer than 20,000 copies, but some controversial teen fiction titles have sold more than a million copies.
The Afternoon Adventure with DUNGEONS & DRAGONS program will include everything librarians need to start regular gaming programs in their library with the original pen-and-paper roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D for short). Players assume the persona of fantasy characters and pursue magical adventures, confronting and solving problems using strategic thinking and teamwork. For three decades, D&D has appealed to an ever-increasing population of fans for its use of imagination and storytelling over competition. This free program will include a Dungeons & Dragons Basic Game (a $24.99 value), instructions for starting a D&D group in the library, a guide to using D&D as an introduction to library use, recommended reading lists, and other practical resources.
Anonymous Patron wrote in with a USA Today editorial against bad textbooks.
There's some good points about state-approved texts and bland readings, plus some speculation about the health risks of carrying heavy books.
But is attempting a classical education really to blame for illiteracy? Isn't that like blaming vegetables for obesity?
Perhaps something more in-tune with the current tone of political discourse, say like the L.A. Math Test, would be a better approach? Or does Dewey have the answer?
JET writes "http://www.ireadpages.com/current/overdue.htmLibraries have long been a haven for children and adults. But what about teens? As libraries work harder and harder to attract patrons, this often overlooked group is getting some newfound attention."
From the Cincinnati Enquirer : a story about Kenton County (KY) Public Library's 'courtly manners program', held last Monday evening, giving 34 teens and pre-teens practice in saying "please" and "may I be excused?" during a free five-course dinner at the Madison Banquet Center.
Sara Howery, youth librarian and middle school coordinator for the Kenton County Public Library, said the world would be a more pleasant place if everyone had a refresher course in etiquette now and then.
Of course, some participants were just hoping that they behaved well enough to get dessert.
The Tucson Citizen tells us:
When the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library reopens next week, it will have a different look and what managing librarian Daphne Daly hopes is a new feel.
"We wanted to go from a place where you would go and pick up your books and leave to a destination where you would go and spend some time," Daly said. A new area for teenagers to do homework, surf the Internet and read books has been added.
"The seating is such that it looks like a little cafe," Daly said. The $1 million expansion added 5,000 square feet to the branch and transformed its storefront location into a multilevel facility with sweeping architectural features, colorful carpet and vibrantly painted walls.
NPR has Getting Kids to Read. All the vacation book lists and reading games in the world aren't enough to get some kids to pick up a book over the summer. Children's authors keep trying new tactics to entice young readers -- but is it working? We look at the whys and hows of getting kids to read.
They also have Summer Reading Picks from Local Bookshops.
Hilary Armstrong was happy to see her 12-year-old daughter Katherine reading at the kitchen table one afternoon -- until, that is, she glanced at the back of the book jacket. "I was mortified," says Mrs. Armstrong. The book, which her daughter got from a friend, had a blurb on the back that read, "After all, no one really wants to go to college a virgin.""
gsandler writes "Here is a provocative essay at Slate
on contemporary Young Adult fiction. "The real trouble with such issues-oriented contemporary fiction is that it encourages what you might call (in Jeanne Kirkpatrick style) literary equivalence: The genre, as teachers have discovered with the help of accompanying guides, lends itself to trendy and tidy didacticism. And so the books can end up as assigned reading for older kids precisely when these students deserve to be discovering the difference between real literature and the melodramatic fictional equivalent of an Afterschool Special."
GregS* writes "When the ultimate curmudgeon gives a postive outlook to pop culture notice should be taken. John Derbyshire reviews Everything Bad Is Good For You and discusses why we have an culture that is "intellectually demanding".
Rochelle adds this NPR interview with the book's author.