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Pictures / Visual literacy | Class #5, 2018

This week’s class (Feb. 28) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. Students will read two picture books and a choice of graphic novels. The prompts below address the role of these books in the classroom; you might also respond to the interplay of text and […]

Beyond the world we know | Class #4, 2018

This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far-away places of other worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely metaphor […]

The past made present | Class #3, 2018

Next Tuesday (February 6), the YA literature class will be discussing several books on the theme The past made present,” considering both nonfiction and historical fiction: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. […]

Windows and mirrors | class #2, 2018

This week in Adolescent Literature we will discuss two works of realistic fiction: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie tells Junior’s story with lots of humor, but he pulls no punches […]

Adolescent lit class begins tomorrow | Class #1, 2018

Lolly’s children’s literature class at the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrapped up in November with lively discussion and debate in their Mock Awards committees, a terrific culminating event. Tomorrow, adolescent lit begins, and we’ll continue to hold our class book discussions out in the open here and invite you all to join the conversation. […]

Charlotte’s Web | Class #6, fall 2017

During our last class meeting (November 15), our mock book award committees will meet, discuss, and vote. We have three Caldecott committees, one Geisel committee, and one Sibert. We try to make the experience as authentic as possible, which means bringing in snacks (a key part of my own award experiences) and we follow ALA/ALSC’s […]

Annotated bibliographies

We had our fifth of six children’s lit classes last week, which means the big assignment was due: an annotated bibliography of fifteen books on a single subject. Students choose a topic they are interested in and I help them focus and revise those topics until each topic is neither too broad nor too narrow, […]

Poetry and folklore | class #5, fall 2017

For our class on November 1, we will read four books and one article. Since this class only meets six times, we have to double up on some genres. These two go together better than some because they both need to be read aloud. Successful folklore books must have a strong voice. Folktales and fairy […]

Class #4 | Information books, Oct. 18, 2017

I’m posting a little late this time, after a busy week preparing for the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards Friday night and Horn Book at Simmons colloquium Saturday, focused on the theme of Resistance. Both events were well attended and the speakers were amazing. I love it when the judges award older book creators (like Ashley […]

Chapter books | Class #3, fall 2017

For our next class on October 4, we are reading three chapter books — Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series (the sequel to Juana & Lucas has not yet been published) and […]