Friday, September 24, 2010

Homework Struggles and Inspirational Reads For Kids

I planned to write about new releases, read-a-louds for teachers for the fall... but instead, I spent the majority of my Sunday morning/early afternoon struggling to keep my second grader “on task” with her homework. Even as a parent, educator, and librarian I have difficulty masking my own desire to insert a “big yawn” when the word homework is mentioned. Learning is fun; homework: NEVER fun. Hmm.. I began to think- how can I motivate my child to see the value of homework, and perhaps even begin to have fun with homework? The first thing which popped into my mind was to make a game out of it, put on my “silly hat” and begin to entertain my child... but... then the realistic “facts of life” side of me decided otherwise, and so I turned to my trusty helpers- books. What great books where the main character masters homework could I find? Here is a list of books (mostly read-a-louds) designed to help a parent, tutor, teacher, or mentor conquer the daily homework struggle, all through the motivation of stories...

Zip, Zip…Homework by Nancy Poydar

Mama Rex & T: Homework Trouble by Rachel Vail & Steve Bjorkman

Time for School, Mouse! by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Dragons do eat homework by Marcia Thornton Jones
Fancy Nancy: The dazzling book report by Jane O'Connor, Robin

Preiss-Glasser and Ted Enik

Helping Hand Books: Emily’s First Day at School by Sarah Dutchess of York

ALL of these authors have been guests at Book Expo America! In fact, last year, Sarah Dutchess of York was Master of Ceremonies at the BEA Opening Children’s Book and Author Breakfast! Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Common-Ground Through Literature


What do Zeitoun (Dave Eggers), The Help (Kathryn Stockett), The Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien), and Outcasts United (Warren St. John) have in common?


All titles have been chosen as 2010 “One Book” titles in community read programs sponsored by their local library(s). Community read programs have multiplied since the Washington Center for the Book, led by Nancy Pearl, hosted author Russell Banks in 1998 to discuss his book The Sweet Hereafter, followed by four days of related events.

The ultimate goal: to connect the diversity of the larger community together through the shared experience of reading and discussing one book. The mission is noble, to create commonality out of literature. Increasingly, libraries have embraced their role as the communities living room or the new town green.

Attached are some highlights of my favorite “One Book” programs for 2010 from past BEA guests.

One City One Book/ San Francisco Public Library: Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

One Book One Denver/ Denver Public Library: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

One Book, One Community/ Danbury Public Library, Danbury Public Schools, Western CT State University: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

One Maryland One Book: Outcasts United by Warren St. John

Should your library be included on this list? Share your most successful event, or the reasons you chose the book. Don’t forget to tell us the name of your library!

Happy reading and here’s to long lasting and ever changing “One Book” programs which reflect the diversity of the greater world in which we exist.

The Center for the Book, Library of Congress keeps a running list of community read programs; searchable by country, region, or state: