What’s the media Feeding us?

feed

For the past six weeks, I have had the pleasure of teaching an English course to a group of highly motivated high school students enrolled in the summer session of an Upward Bound program. This summer’s book selection — Feed by M. T. Anderson — has spurred a campus conversation that I keep catching snippets […]

World Elephant Day 2014

oconnell_a-baby-elephant-in-the-wild

To celebrate World Elephant Day (August 12, 2014), here are some books about those larger-than-life creatures, with reviews from The Horn Book Guide Online. Picture Books Bunting, Eve Tweak Tweak 40 pp. Clarion 2011. ISBN 978-0-618-99851-7 (Preschool) Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. “‘Hold on to my tail, Little Elephant,’ Mama Elephant said. ‘…If you want to […]

There’s bold but then there’s brazen.

BurnedBoldAndBrazen72lg

So much trouble in this world could be avoided if we all simply shutted up when we did not know whereof we spoke but here I go. I have never read Alfred Ollivant’s Bob, Son of Battle, but Lydia Davis’s explanation of the changes she made for a new New York Review of Books edition […]

Five questions for Judith Viorst

judith viorst by milton viorst

Judith Viorst, creator of Alexander (he of the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), writes about another little boy who might just wish he could curl back up in bed. The young protagonist of And Two Boys Booed (Farrar/Ferguson, 4–7 years) is excited to perform in the school talent show… until it’s almost his […]

Back-to-school books

Chrysanthemum

Down South sometimes we do things a little differently… like starting back to school in early August. So while many a teacher is still enjoying their summer vacation until after Labor Day, my first day of school was a week ago. To me, the first days of school are some of the richest times for […]

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — after hours!

hogwarts express

Live, reporting from Orlando, Florida — it’s the intern! Every year around Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday (July 31st, in case you aren’t quite the Harry Potter addict I am), approximately 3,000 fans convene for the annual LeakyCon. Once a Harry Potter–only conference, LeakyCon has since opened its doors to fan communities of all […]

Who’s doing the thinking?

teacher-point

Over the summer, I’ve been doing some literacy work with an educational consulting group here in Boston — we’re taking some of their existing professional development (PD) and classroom tools and modifying them to better address the Common Core. Last week, I went with some other members of the team to a PD session for […]

Keep Manhattan

Nora is showing me the process of creating Photoshop files for silkscreen printing.

When I was invited to visit with the 2014 Sendak Fellows at Maurice’s farm, I thought it would be, you know, a “farm,” AKA a rurally situated but otherwise urbane getaway retreat. But it was an actual farming farm with rows of vegetables and corn and a tractor and silo and chickens.  Sendak’s longtime assistant […]

Starred reviews, September/October Horn Book Magazine

from Bow-Wow's Nightmare Neighbors

The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October issue of the Magazine: Draw!; written and illustrated by Raúl Colón (Wiseman/Simon) The Lion and the Bird; written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc; trans. from the French by Claudia Z. Bedrick (Enchanted Lion) Viva Frida; by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author with photos by Tim O’Meara (Porter/Roaring Brook) Bow-Wow’s […]

A visual life

Andre the Giant

Whether you are teaching history, English, or nonfiction writing, biographies and memoirs can be great tools. They can create a personal connection to and a deeper understanding of a period in history, or illustrate specific types of writing techniques, or showcase a person’s unique perspective. Unfortunately, some students think these books are dry or unappealing. […]