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Harriet at 50

Even at 50 years old, Harriet can rankle readers. All students of children’s literature (in fact anyone interested in children’s literature) should meet her — even those who first encountered Harriet when they were children. The 1960s were turbulent; change was everywhere — including in books for children. First published in 1964, Harriet the Spy marked a sea change in the direction of juvenile fiction. Some people loved it, others had an equally strong and opposite reaction to the book.

Do Architects Build Dollhouses?

Dollhouse

When you ask my daughter Addie what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll say a number of things, one of which is wanting to be an architect. When you ask her why she wants to be an architect, she’ll tell you that buildings come in all sorts of interesting shapes and designs. She may also mention that it’d be fun to build dollhouses.

30-Second Book Talk + Accessible Books

Time to act. Struggling readers who fall behind often stay behind. Is there a way to lift the burden of print?

Imaginations Take Flight

Last month I read an article about Clip-Air, a concept for a new modular aircraft. Clip-Air would separate the wings from the fuselage so that body of the plane could be loaded with passengers or cargo anywhere — like a bus station or train depot — and then driven to the wings for takeoff. Even more cool is that up to three passenger or cargo units could be attached to one set of wings!

"Pokémon GO" Heats Up Summer: A Great Op for Librarians to Promote Accessible Pokémon Books

Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO, the mobile game for smartphones, is so popular that daily usage data from SimilarWeb show it beats popular services like Twitter, NetFlix, and Spotify. Now, librarians are getting in the game with book displays and more. 

Meet Kate Messner!

Kate Messner

Kate Messner writes both nonfiction and fiction for a range of young readers. She’s explored the natural world as well as various themes in novels and picture books. I caught up with Kate while on a tour for her latest book, The Seventh Wish (Bloomsbury; 1619633760).

In it, readers meet 12-year old Charlie who catches a magical fish that grants her wishes. Serious themes combine with magic, a bit of humor, and contemporary issues including Charlie’s older sister’s addiction.

Chatting with Hope Larson

The amazing cartoonist Hope Larson joins me for this episode of Reading Without Walls. She tells us about writing the next run of Batgirl, when Batgirl goes backpacking through Asia. And she talks about her love of adventure comics, like The Adventures of Tintin. Hope you'll take a look!

 

Supported Summer Reading Starts Now: Kids Can Kick Back and Read Free Audio, Other Formats

For students who struggle with print, alternative formats are ready, and the AIM-VA staff is accepting orders from teachers so eligible students can read for free over the summer break.

Summer Boost

Teachers who order now can offer students with print disabilities a literacy boost at no cost to families or schools so long as education teams find individual learners eligible for accessible educational materials (AEM). The program operates in every state, although eligibility criteria differ.

Can We Prevent the "Summer Slide" in Reading?

Reader question: Is there any research on how to prevent the summer slide? 

Chatting with Michael Chabon

In my third podcast, I'm sitting down with author Michael Chabon, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Kavalier and Clay, a novel for adults. Chabon has also written books for kids — including The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (a picture book) and the middle-grade novel Summerland. In our conversation, he talks about his lifelong love of epic fantasy books and more. Grab a seat and listen in!

 

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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." — Lemony Snicket