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Windows and mirrors | Class #2, 2016

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Please join the adolescent lit class at HGSE as we discuss three recent YA books for our second class on February 2. The students are required to comment on one of the readings, but we hope any of you who have read one of these will want to join our discussion on these individual posts: […]

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Class #2, 2016

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie tells Junior’s story with lots of humor but pulls no punches in depicting the brutal truths of alcoholism, poverty, and bigotry both on and off the reservation. In his article “Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood,” Alexie talks about the importance […]

Eleanor and Park | Class #2, 2016

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Rainbow Rowell’s nontraditional romance novel Eleanor and Park portrays a young love that is genuine in its intimacy and awkwardness, as well as the painful realities of life that are well beyond the control of the young protagonists. What are the universal themes of this book distinctly set in the 1980s, and what elements are […]

Brown Girl Dreaming | Class #2, 2016

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Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a coming-of-age memoir in eloquent free verse. Consider how form and voice reflect the young girl’s discovery of self and the world around her.

Adolescent lit class begins tomorrow

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This year both the adolescent lit and children’s lit classes at Harvard Graduate School of Education (where I moonlight when I’m not designing, reviewing, and blogging here at the Horn Book) will be taught in the spring semester. That means we’re running them back-to-back and holding our book discussions out in the open with all […]

Are you following Calling Caldecott?

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I hope so. If not, here’s the link. At this time of year — from Labor Day to the beginning of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference — my blog attention is divided because I also write for Calling Caldecott, a mock Caldecott blog. I hope some of you teachers have tried mock Caldecotts in […]

How the Grinch stole the show

Grinch stole Christmas

Every classroom teacher has a special tradition that gets pulled out each holiday season. In devising my own tradition, I fell back on what I know: Dr. Seuss. I spent my senior year of college becoming a Seuss-ologist (a term coined by my now-fiancé) while working on a research project that explored the language use […]

Going back in time: The graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time

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The best stories really stick with you. And since I remembered really liking A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle as a child, I decided to read Hope Larson’s graphic novel version to see how the story was adapted. I’d been thinking that I barely remembered this book and reading the jacket flap didn’t help…but a […]

Biographies with girl power

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Doesn’t it seem as though many of the biographies written are about men and their accomplishments? Don’t get me wrong — there are plenty of admirable men who have changed the world through their daring, innovation, and wisdom. But how about the other half of the world’s population? Women just haven’t gotten the press they […]

The best-of-the-year lists have begun

The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books

Teachers often ask how to keep up with the best new books. Good intentions are one thing, and real life (long days, class prep, paper grading) is another. For those with limited time, I recommend going online near the end of the year when children’s book review journals post their “best of the year” lists. […]