Archive | Diverse Books

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The Author in the Mirror

Reading is akin to gathering our thoughts with the help of authors. Books and other forms of written communication can help us speak our minds as well as the minds of the people who authored them. I recall my young children’s response to books that I brought them from a National Council of Teachers of English conference I attended years […]

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Why so Testy?!

Every so often news headlines alert us that the U.S. ranks “below average” in reading test scores, lagging behind other countries, like China, which consistently rank at or near the top. It’s probable that we’ll receive the same news again this spring after many schools dutifully administer standardized tests. Why? Because, as a whole, our education system continues […]

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MO-tivation, not Less

If children are interested in some activity, they will be curious about it, reach out for it, explore it, and if the available support is there, will make progress as they are trying it out. If they maintain their motivation, they will eventually master it to a level of their satisfaction. They will then move on to […]

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A Literal World of Hippo Possibilities

Carrying home from the library a tote full of books for children is a singularly powerful demonstration for small ones how this reading thing is really important. It also can be just another pile of unrelated books about random topics for bedtime wind-down. Given the vast range of book topics for small children that invite […]

Magical books

And the Best Gifts Ever are…

In many countries around the globe, it’s the gift giving time of year when our attentions drift toward how we can delight our loved ones with a thoughtful gift. I know this will come as a surprise, but my favorite gifts are books because they are a gift you can open again and again. Books also make […]

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Permission Granted: Become a Hoarder

Do you know a hoarder? There was a television series sometime back called “Hoarders: Buried Alive” that explored the people who can’t bring themselves to give or throw unneeded things away. We have a dear friend that is a hoarder. Walt is a person who buys and sells things at flea markets around town. However, […]

Get Buff. Read.

Some children don’t learn to love books and reading in school. Estimates are as high as 25 percent of children grow up as non-readers. It’s not that they can’t read’ they just don’t. Superintendents might swear their youngsters have gone through “good” schools. However, if the kids from good schools don’t love books and reading, how can […]

Magical books

What’s Your Pick Up Line?

  Whatcha reading? Conversation between strangers builds bridges. In these troubled times, initiating an interchange focused on a neutral or shared interest can quickly create a positive tone, too seldom enjoyed in the past few years. How’s your book? There are simple book-focused questions that can easily open a conversation between two strangers. The open sharing […]

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Deeply Shared Books Create Community

I’ve mentioned before that I’m involved with a family literacy program called Prime Time* that meets in a lovely elementary school’s library once a week for six weeks. I take the role of discussant and my partner, an accomplished storyteller, initiates each book-inspired discussion with a fully dramatic read-aloud, peppered with sound effects, emotional fluency and […]

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A New Library on Our Block

There’s a new Little Free Library on a corner down the way from my house.  It  recently was dedicated to the memory of the owner’s mother. “Sara’s Library” also has recently acquired a small bench on which readers are invited to rest as they peruse the library’s offerings. Sara’s family had minimal tools and carpentry […]