I agree with Allie Jane Bruce that “kids say this stuff” is a piss-poor reason for racist language in books for children. It’s a piss-poor reason generally, as the point of fiction has never been to mimic reality, which rarely makes nearly as much sense as even the most hackneyed novel. Fiction is always selecting: as Miss Binney explained to Ramona, […]
After ALA, we had a couple of days to visit with our kids and grandchildren up in sunny Marin. One afternoon, Miles (just turned six) and I were walking back from the playground when a friendly neighbor lady approached and pressed an envelope into Miles’s hands. “Oh, I know what this is,” he said, “it’s […]
Despite a preponderance of research that shows that external motivators do not increase student engagement and motivation over the long-term, it still seems that you can’t find an elementary school where reading is not at some point tied to coupons to free food, stickers, certificates, or miscellaneous prizes. These gimmicks and contests do reiterate that […]
The topic is daunting. Imagine someone coming up to Gutenberg while he was working out the kinks on his first press and asking, “So, John, where’s this printing thing going?” I’ve spent the last few years prowling in the digital space and am more or less up to speed on what’s happening now, but the […]
Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point—today’s point—is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of the pond. That would […]
Author-illustrator Leo Landry, a twenty-year bookselling veteran of The Children’s Book Shop in Brookline, Massachusetts, is the creator of picture books (Space Boy; Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise!), as well as chapter books (Fat Bat and Swoop; Sea Surprise); newly independent readers should line up for Grin and Bear It, his latest offering. In this […]
>Apparently some politicos are fond of spouting a factoid (please note correct usage, book reviewers everywhere) that links third-grade reading scores to the formulas states use to estimate their future requirements for prison beds. Not so. No word yet whether or not Baby Einstein foretells a playdate with Old Sparky.
>Is reading on the web going to destroy our children’s ability to read books? Does it matter? Here’s an excellent article on those questions. Have you noticed how much the web likes to talk about itself? That’s what I find worrying!
>In the comments on the earlier post about dueling reviews, `h wrote: Speaking of the good stick. There’s something I’d like you to measure — heavy handed instruction — when an author sticks something into the text that clearly doesn’t fit in order to model some lesson– girls are just as smart as boys, or […]