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The OCTOBER Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup


Welcome to the October Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup, brought to you by Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Terry Doherty of The Family Bookshelf and me.

This month’s Roundup cannot be started before we express our love and concern for all so seriously affected by Storm Sandy; we know in particular our friends in New York and New Jersey and others are suffering significant losses.  We’re here for you and are eager to know of things we might each do as bloggers and friends in this world of kid lit.

We have all watched as well with awe and sadness as the story of brave Malala unfolded; we indeed wish this young girl who fervently believes in education for herself and others a full recovery.


A first assignment for each of us on “What can I do to help in the aftermath of Sandy?” is to check out KidLit Cares organized by Kate Messner. And what is Kid Lit Cares? Check the webpage, all the details for this auction are there for you to study.

Emma Thompson and Peter Rabbit: A recent NPR Morning Edition featured a discussion with Emma Thompson about her new book THE FURTHER TALE OF PETER RABBIT.  I found fascinating the role a little box of radishes played in the request to Emma as the first person writing about Peter since Beatrix Potter.

First Book to give 100 millionth book in November! Check out their TEN BOOKS EVERY CHILD SHOULD OWN and vote for YOUR favorite.  This voting will help First Book choose just what that 100 millionth book will be!

National Book Award Finalists were announced on October 10.  Your favorites?

imageTHE GUARDIAN’s Children’s Fiction Prize went to Frank Cottrell Boyce for The Unforgotten Coat. Boyce was the writer who worked on the opening ceremony for the British Olympics. This winning story was not written for commercial distribution, it was commissioned by a charity with 50,000 copies distributed free.  Read about it, you will be touched.

Two of the Booklist’s “Top Ten Books for Youth” entries I have read so far that I commend to you are the one that is a listing of First Novels and the other listing Arts Books for Youth.

***Late Breaking***
Announced by twitter today and then compiled by The Horn Book, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2012!

Many, many more book lists many sources to come I am sure…very exciting time of year!

imageDigital Learning Day Feb. 6 is a day you will want to start preparing for now.  The website gives you free resources, toolkits, blogs and webinars. Be on alert for this year’s video contest rules, take a look at last year’s winners. The day is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians and the Alliance for Excellent Education; it is a day of celebration of teaching and learning through the use of digital media and technology.


Stanford Report of October 10, 2012 notes “New research can identify the neural structures associated with poor reading skills in young children and could lead to an early warning system for struggling students.”  The full report can be obtained with a membership from PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The Role of Early Oral Language in Literacy Development by Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D. and Christopher Lonigan, Ph.D. appears in the latest issue of Language Magazine. Both authors served onthe National Early Childhood Panel (NELP);  the article both gives a good overview of the NELP findings as well as discusses practical applications for home and early childhood settings outside the home.

INVESTING IN KIDS by Dr. Tim Bartik, a Senior Economist with the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, is discussed in his recent TEDx talk as well as further discussed regularly on his blog investinginkids.  This TEDx event organized and held at Miami University of Ohio included a variety of talks on early childhood programs which can be found linked at the event’s website.


Two articles of note related to children with learning disabilities and reading:

Rethinking dyslexia on the Washington Post blog ON PARENTING discusses a recent film "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia" directed by James Redford (yes, the son of Robert). James is the father of Dylan, a young man who is dyslexic. Redford noted in his interview with Janice D’Arcy this film is the one he wished for when his son was diagnosed

Content-Area Literacy
was the primary focus of a recent LDOnline which is produced by WETA.  And what IS this term we hear so frequently today? This publication notes:

Content-area literacy means that reading and writing occur both inside and outside of the language arts classroom. Science, math, and history teachers also work to integrate important reading and writing skills with their content. Discover resources that can help teachers, parents, and students navigate literacy skills within all content areas.

imageThe Role of Imaginative Re-creation in Literacy & Learningwas the title of a recent blog post by Trevor Cairney which opens with “Imaginative recreation is an essential part of learning, probably even life. It sits alongside ‘story’ as an essential way to relive or enrich narrative experiences. Story in its own right is critical to learning, communication and well-being. Imaginative recreation is one of its essential foundations.”  Trevor not only discusses the idea fully but gives very concrete examples for parents and teachers in three age groupings.  Thank you, Trevor!

Books about Books" was a recent post by Amy at Literacy Launchpad where she gives us all a good “reminder” of the great books available to help us learn more about books for children whether we are studying as a parent and/or a teacher!
Thanksgiving Books : Time to start reading the books about this special time of the year; here’s a list for preschoolers and early elementary students. I am particularly fond of The Thanksgiving Door  by Debby Atwell.

Food for thought: I appreciated so much the thinking I had to do on the issue of setting goals and just what “proficient” really means when I read Heather Rader’s opening piece in The Big Fresh on October 20. Heather, 60% was a great %, and I wished I could have watched some movies with you all!

The Reluctant Readerby Heather Cato was a super post recently coming from The Nerdy Book Club. I was reminded of my own experience with reluctant readers in the library when I was student teaching. My problem was I thought every student in that sixth grade class loved to read like I had always loved to read…goodness I was green.

We’ll be back soon with a mid-November Roundup. And in the meantime, we’ll be sharing reading-related news on Twitter @CHRasco, @TheReadingTub, and @JensBookPage. Thank you for your passion and advocacy for children’s literature and literacy!

Tags Jen Robinson Jen Robinson's Book Page Terry Doherty The Family Bookshelf Quietly Carol Hampton Rasco Storm Sandy Malala KidLit Cares Kate Messner Emma Thompson Peter Rabbit The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit First Book National Book Award Finalists The Guardian's Children's Fiction Prize Frank Cottrell Boyce The Unforgotten Coat Booklist Top Ten books for Youth First Novels Booklist's Top Ten Books for Youth Arts Books The Horn Book The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2012 Digital Learning Day AASL Alliance for Excellent Education Stanford Report PNAS Timothy Shanahan Christopher Lonigan