We want to help create motivated and engaged young readers. This blog is about children's and YA literature (especially New Zealand), literacy research, and ways to get, and keep, kids reading.
Times they are a changing and so our shelves. As the impact of ebooks widens (or is that deepens) there are some interesting downstream effects, and one of those is around the changing nature of bookshelves in our homes.
My bookshelves almost constitute a Health and Safety hazard especially after staggering home with another bag of books from a local school fair. However, IKEA have recognised a change in what customers are putting on their book shelves, - and it isn’t school fair books. They have responded by redesigning their classic BILLY bookshelf for more eclectic usage, that is for more than just books but also for “ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome.” You can read more here.
What’s next? books without paper…
flickr image by maubrowncow
Our local Public Library has recently taken the step, like many Public Libraries towards eBooks by trialling Tumblebooks. TumbleBook Library is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which includes both fiction and non-fiction titles. Unlike their print counterparts these books come with sound, music and narration, which can be read or have read to.
Ebooks and what it will mean for libraries and in fact the future of the physical book has much been in debate in recent years, so it is also good to see that what was once seen as a threat with the fear of the unknown is now being proven time and time again to not only switch kids onto reading but switch them also onto the physical book.
A recent article in the June 2011 edition of School Library Journal by Lisa Guernsey, recounts the experience of Julie Hume a reading specialist who after observing a class engaging with an eBook via an interactive white board literally got chills thinking of the possibilities for her own students. What makes this article even more compelling is that she utilized a research approach by setting up an experiment with two groups, one of which would receive the “Tumblebook” treatment.
The Tumblebook group leapt ahead of their peers during a three-month trial with not only the interactive components to the stories being a strong selling point but ease of access to the online version. What is heartening is that the group who worked closely with their library, also showed a renewed enthusiasm for the same books in traditional print format.
Further proof of the use of multimedia to hook new or reluctant readers can also be found locally with reading programmes like CSI (Comprehension Strategies Instruction). This programme utilizes high interest topics with interactive text to both engage and give confidence to struggling readers. First trailed at Miramar South School in Wellington, a video showing the class engaged is truly compelling.
While the traditional book, is still for me the perfect reading experience, why not utilize all the tools we have available to add to the reading experience?
Guernsey, Lisa. (June 1, 2011).Are Ebooks Any Good?. School Library Journal,
review by Vicky
image by gileslane
Over 40,000 fully digitised classic books from the British Library will be available through its 19th Century Historical Collection App for the iPad.
No it’s not free but a paltry subscription of £1.99 per month is all it takes to access the full collection. And there’s more coming, in fact by the end of this year over 60,000 titles will be available.
The books all date from the 8th and 19th centuries and include,” novels, poetry and historical accounts.” All are fully digitised, complete with original page markings and illustrations, (like Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe). More information is available here and here.
Apple’s iPad was initially selected because its touch interface can “recreate the experience” of flipping through a real book.”
image by Peter576
Here is a link to Paul Jennings’ blog with the transcript of a wonderful talk he gave “Keep the magic going” with good advice about encouraging reluctant readers.
Some of Jenning’s observations include:
“My definition of a reluctant reader is as follows: a reluctant reader is a child for whom adults have not been able to find a good enough book.”
“Imagination is the food of compassion. We should fear those who lack it.”
“All children need to be given success experiences with books. They need books that they can read and like reading from the very beginning.”
And don’t forget to look down the lefthand side and click on Other talks and articles by and about Paul.
Posted by Jeannie
flickr image by Librarian in Black
Callie, Nia and Hal don’t appear to have much in common. Callie is a member of the I-Girls, a group of popular trendsetters, while Hal is a quiet artist and Nia is known as the biggest freak in ninth grade. When the three of them are summoned to the vice-principal’s office they have no idea what he wants and no intention of becoming friends.
But they do share something in common: a tie to the mysterious and charismatic Amanda Valentino, who has disappeared after vandalising the vice-principal’s car and implicating Callie, Nia and Hal in her crime. Amanda’s cryptic clues raises more questions than answers: why did she give each of them a different background story and address? Where has she gone?
INVISIBLE I is a great mystery characters are well-drawn and there’s enough subplots boiling away to keep any reader (me!) up far too late at night. But the really special part of The Amanda Project is that it goes far beyond the book and into brand new territory: it is an interactive print and web-based event.
The website gives readers the chance to create their own Invisible I character. They can become Amanda’s friend, her Maths teacher or the girl who sat behind her in English and they interact with other characters to try and solve the mystery. Callie, Nia and Hal all post regular clues and updates as prompts and, best of all, readers’ characters and stories will be incorporated into future books (an eight book series is planned).
What an exciting way for students to interact with a book they love by creating and publishing their own stories, songs, poems and art work. The website also includes a kit for teachers and librarians to download with discussion questions and activities. Do check it out!
Flickr image by jukie Bot
Just a heads up about our new sister blog to be launched on the 1st Feb. L2: Libraries and learning blog is designed to present and inspire our readers with new concepts, and research to do with 21st C Literacy and Inquiry. Posts will be twice a week and topics covered in February include; open content and the school library, transliteracy, personal learning networks and a number of other cutting edge ideas that will play a significance part in the development of school libraries and education this century.
The blog can be found here on the National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools website in the lefthand column - just scroll down.
Don’t forget to establish a feed from the new blog on Tuesday and at the same time check your old feed to Create Readers - though those who use the feedburner Rss (the majority of you ) will be fine.
Flickr image by vanhookc
This novel gets full marks for cover design,graphics, the mylar casing and the handwritten journal entries. It urges readers to Read it. Watch it. Live It. Patrick Carman calls Skeleton Creek 'cross platform storytelling' and blog posts from readers show they love all the options. A teacher also says it was a great read aloud and the kids were hooked after he showed the first online video to them.
Ryan is housebound after breaking his leg. He and Sarah were investigating a mysterious dredge left in the woods and the inexplicable accident has meant his parents have decided to restrict his access to the computer and Sarah. Ryan has great aspirations to be a writer and Sarah keeps in contact with mysterious passwords to online videoclips. Their research is a model for information skills. Two things that bothered me. No, three. The first; the librarian, Gladys Morgan has skin like crumpled newspaper,her lower lip has lost its spring and she sits in the dark with a loaded gun ? Nothing much happens. Ryan is slightly paranoid ,opinionated and in bed. Thirdly, if I was really reading on a beach and the last sentence says 'Go to sarahfincher.com to find out what happens next' I might be tempted to immerse the book or run to an Internet cafe. Think kids will love it and it is a brilliant model for genre writing.
Get your students creating and they can win cool prizes
It is not too late to get started on your entry for the Great NZ Remix & Mashup competition.
Cash, prizes and undying glory are up for grabs, including a $10,000 cash prize for the Supreme Mashup.
The competition has something for everyone: cartoon remixes, poetry, the poster for the great kiwi summer holiday, teacher resource remixes, mobile apps, visualisation mashups, an open government data category, a newbie award and much much more.
There's a total prize pool of $30,000 in cash and prizes. You have until 30 November 2010 to get your entries in.
Everything you need to know is right here: www.mixandmash.org.nz
So what are you waiting for? Get making!
best of luck from the National Library.
This new site, including a separate community for kids, asks users "Which 5 books shaped your life?"
New York, NY (October 28, 2010)
To celebrate the importance of books and reading, Scholastic is launching You Are What You Read, a social networking site for readers around the world.
Users log on to http://www.youarewhatyouread.com/, list the five books that had the biggest impact on their lives, and connect with readers all over the world through these shared “Bookprints.”
The site also contains the Bookprints of more than 125 “Names You Know” – notable people from entertainment, academia, business, media, publishing, and more – including Scarlett Johansson, Al Roker, Sir James Dyson, Venus Williams, Jodi Picoult, Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, President George H.W. Bush and President William Jefferson Clinton.
After logging into You Are What You Read via Facebook or Scholastic.com users can:
You Are What You Read also features a separate community for young readers that provides kid friendly information about books and other activities.
“Books leave an indelible mark on who we are and who we will become,” said Maggie McGuire, Vice President, eScholastic, Kids and Parents Channels. “You Are What You Read is a celebration of the books that bind us together, and the personal connection we feel when we read a great book. In addition, the new site adds a tool in our arsenal to help kids and parents find the books that will keep kids reading every day. We know that parents struggle with this challenge and yet they are the number one source kids’ rely on for recommendations. We plan to help them.”
The site is part of Scholastic’s Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. global literacy campaign, in celebration of Scholastic’s 90th anniversary. For more information on the Read Every Day campaign, visit scholastic.com/readeveryday.
Teens are reading and writing more than ever before.
Many would argue this, but teens know that ordinary citizens can be publishers, movie makers, artists, songwriters, and story tellers and they use web 2.0 tools like Twitter, FaceBook and Blogs everyday to prove it. Sadly when asked what they are 'reading', research has also shown that teenagers automatically assume you mean books! (The paper variety)
They don't equate their online activity as reading.
Perhaps we need to rethink how we are surveying reading?
Publishers have picked up on the online communication trend and are developing sites that encourage teens to be engaged online with the story and the authors and have the opportunity to be published in the next book.
Take a look at the Harper Collins project -
Penguin has incorporated a blog run by teens -
as well as a host of interactive online stories -
I'll finish with a link to this article about the 'Post-literate society' and the importance of Libraries.
Johnson, Doug, 2010. http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/libraries_for_a_post-literate_society_1_2.htmlLibraries for a post-literate society. Connections, Iss. 72, pp. 1-2.
What better way to promote the use of your school library and the love of reading than to give students information, skills and access to a wealth different of formats and resources and in doing so, enable them not only to engage with the authors and stories online and in print, but to create and share their own….
by Vicki Stephens
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