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Well-Educated or Well-Read?

In the 1940s, a high school diploma was considered the ultimate in formal education. Over the years, as professions and business development grew, society required more and more education. By the 1960s, a college education became the pinnacle of educational attainment. By the year 2000, without that single piece of paper, there wasn’t much available […]

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Informative Books, Family Discussions Comfort Children in Uncertain Times

Factual information helps people feel empowered and safe. A new COVID-19 collection of books written in English and Spanish, and narrated in many languages helps high-risk, underserved children and families navigate this stressful pandemic.

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Abandoned Books = Fraud Readers?

When I was a child in school—a thousand years ago—we were taken weekly to the library and encouraged to find books we could enjoy for that week. The following week, we’d return the previous week’s choices, swapping them for a new set of books. Simple. Early on, when a book report was called for, or […]

Family 2

Racism and Children: Read, Talk About What You Read

Kids are home from school (still) and the vastness of summertime stretches before us filling our vision of what that once meant, and how, due to the pandemic and to overdue showcased racial inequalities in our lives, those possibilities have forever changed. I recently read, with a strong measure of personal embarrassment and regret, a book […]

solo reader

The Simplicity of Building Literacy Foundations

This week, my hometown newspaper published a list of 100 books to enjoy during social distancing, which reminded me of many similar lists that have been published recently for parents, for new graduates, and for kids. The Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards lists of books preferred by kids are among my favorites. (I featured them in my May 21, 2020, blog.) […]

Reading to Family 6

Books Provide Powerful Learning, Heartfelt Conversation

I’ve just finished reading one of 10 essays from the 2012 book When I Was a Child I Read Books, by Marilynne Robinson. It was a no brainer for a literacy teacher, teacher educator and a contributor to a children’s library like myself to be drawn to a book with this title. However, I received this […]

Sierra Nevada College

Building a Future from Tragedy

These days there are so many ways for us to dismiss a religious, political, racial or economic individual or group as not fitting, in one way or another, and thus not seen as any kind of asset to our lives. All my life, I’ve heard that children can be so cruel and petty to each other. […]