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The "Children's Choices for 2003" annotated booklist, the latest in the annual series compiled jointly by International Reading Association (IRA) and Children's Book Council (CBC), is now available. A single copy for personal use may be downloaded for free from IRA. See the site for information on purchasing multiple copies, as well as guidelines for using the list.
Over 700 books published in 2002 were evaluated by approximately 10,000 school children, ages 5-13, across the United States. Votes were tabulated earlier this year, resulting in this list of the 103 top books according to the kids who read them. Annotations were provided by the members of the regional review teams: children's literature specialists, teachers, and librarians.
Lists from previous years are also available on the IRA site. Coming next month: the Young Adults' Choices and the Teachers' Choices lists for 2003.
Rhino Linings, as in spray-on linings for pickup truck beds, is offering a discount to customers who bring in children's books to donate to local literacy programs. Kind of a cool connection, which will probably generate a lot more PR for the company than, say, giving away keyrings.
Lee Hadden writes "The New Scientist for July 5, 2003, has an interesting article by
Stanislas Dehaene, "Natural Born Readers," pages 30-33.
"Reading presents a real paradox to neurobiologists. It was only
invented a few thousand years ago, so there has not really been enough time
for our brains to evolve specialized ways to do it. How do brain circuits
produced by millions of years of evolution in a world without written words
adapt to the specific challenges of reading? We know we have to learn the
skill- each language or script comes with its own unique patterns and
rules- but how does the brain learn to read?"
Read more about it at the New Scientist, with a subscription.
This One is a few months old, but still interesting.
A strange phenomenon is occurring at Barrett Elementary School, students are disappearing from classrooms, the children are later found in the bathroom - reading books.
The principal said he has even borrowed books from Carnegie Library of Homestead because, at times, children have told him they have already read certain books on the school library's shelves.
The principal said he happily blames the reading explosion on the elementary participating in the nation's Accelerated Reading Program.
"Is there reading after Harry Potter? Tony Hawk is the first of 12 celebrities to help Yahooligans! answer 'yes' in the new Yahooligans! Book Club, launching today. Yahooligans!, Yahoo!'s award-winning Web guide for kids, is featuring a monthly celebrity book recommendation, located at http://www.yahooligans.com/bookclub/. The program kicks off with Tony Hawk's selection, the modern classic "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Odd Tales" by Jon Scieszka."
"Many of the books children read are recommendations from teachers, parents and their peers. Recognizing that celebrities have a powerful appeal and influence with children, Yahooligans! is working with celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Kwan, Picabo Street, Lance Bass and Tony Hawk, to reach children and motivate them to read. "
"Pro skateboarder and avid reader, Tony Hawk found his selection an easy choice: "This book is a fresh, witty take on traditional fairy tales. It also bends the rules of storytelling, capturing the attention of readers and opening them up to an entirely new world of books." (from Yahoo Press Releases)
January Magazine has a round-up of several books for babies.
"We already know that kids who grow up surrounded by reading material are more likely to develop a taste for books as entertainment than ones that aren't. All that needs to be decided, then, are what books to surround them with."
\"I am a librarian in a medium-sized public library, and I\'m losing my patience about one particular issue...\"
\"...Public libraries are a popular choice for child molesters and \"peepers\" to frequent and search for victims. Parents, please do not leave your little ones alone at the library. We librarians have jobs to do, and although we care deeply about the safety of your children, we are not baby sitters.\" (from Yahoo News)
"Eliminating Sunday hours at most Queens Borough Public Library locations 18 months ago was bad enough. Now, city budget cuts have forced library officials to close 50 of their 63 libraries on Saturdays, too. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to protect the city's quality of life during fiscal crises, but if reducing opportunities for children to read doesn't qualify as an encroachment, nothing does."
"And the cuts affect more than library patrons. Fewer operating hours require fewer librarians and clerks, which will result in dozens of layoffs in coming weeks." (from Newsday)
SomeOne pointed to Newsday.com and an article that says Fourth-graders in the United States score better in reading than many of their peers around the world, but poor and minority U.S. students still lag behind other U.S. learners, a new international study shows. The United States had the second-lowest student-to-teacher ratio in primary education, but in secondary education, U.S. schools had the second highest ratio of students to teachers.
It's an awful story. According to CNN, "A 10-year-old boy was charged with murder Thursday for allegedly luring a 3-year-old boy out of a library, beating him with a baseball bat, sexually assaulting him and dumping him in a ditch."