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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.

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!

 

Children's Book Week: Free El Deafo Bookmark! New Accessible Formats for Struggling Readers

Cece Bell El Deafo

Bravo to native Virginian Cece Bell, a Newbery Honor Book winner and 2015 Children's Choice Debut Author finalist who created and illustrated El Deafo. She has crafted the 2016 official and ready-to-download bookmark for the 97th annual Children's Book Week 2016 that runs from May 2-8.

Bringing Ramona to Life

It was my mom who introduced me to Beezus and Ramona. But the introduction was a bit unusual. We’re not talking about a cozy bedtime story or even a read aloud on one of our family’s long car trips. I had Ramona live in my living room.

Janet Worthington

'We Need Diverse Books' Values Authors Who Know Diversity Personally, Including Disabilities

A call for submissions for the 2016 Walter Grant is out for new U.S. authors and/or illustrators who are diverse themselves and not yet published. The grant program is inclusive of writers who identify themselves as having a disability as well as other categories of diversity including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion that are listed in the grant application guidelines.

Winning audiobook sources (but check for learning supports)

Creating access for learning through audiobooks may one day have full acceptance; yet changes are underway and options are improving so teachers, parents and students have choices about how students listen while learning.

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"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney