CFP: Children’s Literature and Media Culture

CFP – 21st Biennial Congress of IRSCL: Children’s Literature and Media Cultures

Contemporary children and adolescents divide their time over many different media. These media do not develop in isolation. Rather, they shape each other by continually exchanging content and modes of mediation. This conference addresses the exchanges between children’s literature and adjacent media (oral narrative, theatre, film, radio, TV, digital media).  

Media are best defined as cultural practices that forge specific links between senders and receivers of messages, facilitating certain types of communicative behavior. As newer media tend to imitate, if not absorb, older media, they force older media to reassert their uniqueness and indispensability in a rapidly changing media landscape. How has children’s literature staked out its own niche in these historically variable ‘mediascapes’ in the course of time? How do electronic and digital media affect children’s emergent literacy and literary competence? How have children’s books and the newer electronic and digital media impacted on children’s play? What sort of communicative behaviors are facilitated by the diverse media available to children and adolescents nowadays? Which ethical and political issues are raised by the fact that children’s literature has to share its claim to the audience’s attention with a whole gamut of alternative media? These questions are central to the 21st biannual conference of the IRSCL.  

The aim of the conference is to strengthen the ever closer ties between children’s literature scholars and media experts, and to bridge the gap between hermeneutic methods from the humanities and empirical, experimental methods from the social sciences.


Without a doubt, things change and sometimes, we even know why. I haven’t heard mention made of it, but I’ve noticed this year the conventions are much later than usual. I can remember when I was little we’d take vacations to visit family in Chicago and the outings would always be planned so that we would return in time to watch the convention. I know I didn’t want to watch them, but I knew they were important and exciting because my parents, aunts and uncles were all glued to the screen following and discussing every detail. Of course, that was when more of the convention was actually televised and the American public wasn’t pandered to with events meant to be more glamorous.

Perhaps having students back in school during this year’s convention will give teachers the opportunity to highlight the events in class. Even if students are too young to vote, they’re not too young to get excited about the process. I don’t remember ever being involved in a mock election but they sure do get young people to pay attention to the process!

Rock the Vote does too.

Election years are also good times to teach students about information literacy: how to find good sources of information

primary vs. secondary and tertiary sources

create information products

credit sources

analyze information

It can be difficult to find sources without bias, sometimes we just have to be able to recognize what the bias is. can help with that. Politico tries to be unbiased and I’m going to believe NPR does, too. Students might want to follow the campaign of both candidates on Twitter and FB. It can’t hurt to know what the other guy is saying!

Not often political in natural, but a good place to get the conversation started is the Sociological Images blog. Click for an interesting piece about Oprah’s hair and another about the racializing impact of Romney’s welfare ads.

The more politically involved college students might be interested in learning how it all works by getting involved in their state legislature as an intern. I was reminded of the ones here in IN when I received a very informative newsletter from one of my congressmen. Students can apply for Republican or Democratic internships.

Finally, if you’ve moved be sure to update you voter’s registration!

I think I’ll work on a list of books featuring teens of color that relate to voting and politics. Any suggestions?

book review: Ask Me No Questions

“Ask Me No Questions is a moving, thought-provoking novel, and an important story of the immigrant experience post-9/11. ” ~ Teen Book Review

book review: Ask Me No Questions

author: Marina Budhos

date: 2006; Scholastic

main character: Nadira Hossain


Ask Me No Questions is a story of crossing borders: crossing into Canada, into America and even into adulthood. While some are more visible than others, borders are often manmade and the source of conflict.

Nadira tells us her family comes from the edge of water, from Bangladesh where the British drew borders that disrupted her family’s homeland and caused them to have to leave. They sought refuge in the United States but 9/11 creates a very difficult situations for men from Muslim countries and they decide to make what becomes an unsuccessful crossing into Canada. The family becomes separated as Nadira and her sister, Aisha, are sent back to live with relatives while her father is held in detention and her mother stays in a shelter near her husband. The situation tests the strength of each person’s character as some rise to the occasion and others whither.  While Budhos blames British colonialism for today’s immigrant issues, she places solutions in the hands of youth.



Suggest a Title for YALSA’s Awards and Booklists! YALSA’s booklists and awards are taking your suggestions for next year’s awards and lists! Almost anyone (authors and publishers cannot nominate their own titles) can suggest a title for the 2013 lists. Be sure to bookmark the new URLs, as our forms have moved to the YALSA website. Don’t be shy and suggest a book today.

Suggestion Forms

Alex Awards

Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Best Fiction for Young Adults

Edwards Award

Fabulous Films for Young Adults

Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Morris Award

Nonfiction Award Odyssey Award

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

 Printz Award

Readers’ Choice Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Nominate Your Favorite 2012 Book

Several months ago, the Pirate Tree Blog posted the 2012 Notable Books for a Global Society. As is often the case, while looking for something else, I came across the posting again. I looked over the list and wanted to grab several of them (all of them!) a blanket, and a cup of tea and just hide out! Take a look at this fabulous list! 

The Notable Books for a Global Society is compiled by the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association. Their mission is to “promote the educational use of children’s books by focusing on recently published children’s  literature, supportive professional books, issues relative to children’s literature, and current research findings.”

Selection and Criteria
Annually, a committee of the Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (CL/R SIG) of the International Reading Association selects 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world. The committee reviews books representing all genres intended for students K-12. Information on the NBGS project, criteria for selection, committee roster, and lists of previously selected books are available on the SIG website.

To be eligible for selection, a trade book must have been published in the United States for the first time during the year preceding a list’s publication. For example, to be eligible for the 2013 list, a book must have been published in the United States for the first time during 2012.

 Nominations are currently being accepted. Be ready to state your reason for nomination, including a multicultural or global component.



The Perseid meteor showers began this weekend! I started to go out to see them last night, but the air gets so funky here at night that I didn’t step outside. I love watching this annual display and may have to bite the bullet and step outside (Or breathe it, as the case may be.) I think I’ll spend most of the day today reading while the Olympics play out. That was my plan yesterday, but I made the impromptu decision to go see “Hope Springs”.

I spent a lot of time on Twitter, too! One of the gems I found there led me to Joyce Valenza’s Twiplomacy post. She introduces us to this site which analyzes world leader’s use of Twitter.

The governments of almost two-thirds of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter: 45% of the 264 accounts analysed are personal accounts of heads of state and government, but just 30 world leaders tweet themselves and very few on a regular basis.

This study shows that while the social network invites direct interaction between users, few world leaders take advantage of this opportunity to develop connections. Almost half of world leader accounts analysed don’t follow any of their peers. A quarter of world leaders and governments follow President Barack Obama and the White House, but @BarackObama and the @WhiteHouse have established mutual Twitter relations with only three other world leaders: Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg, the UK Prime Minister and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.

This gets to one way I like to use Twitter, and it speaks to my librarianship. As a librarian, I want to know what leaders are reading, from where they get their information. On Twitter, while I like following people who will interact with me and who will follow me back, I really like to follow the people who leaders follow. So, when I follow @leeandlow, @donnabrazile, @ajenglish, I look to see who they follow. If I were teaching, like Valenza I would take my students to twiplomacy and teach them how to use Twitter more reliably.

Do know someone with dyslexia or other problems reading print? If so, introduce them to Bookshare, an accessible online library. Mindshift recently wrote about the service.

Bookshare books aren’t just PDFs of print pages. Each page is scanned and processed through an optical character recognition program that translates the image file into a text file. That file is proofread to eliminate typos and ensure that things like odd page layouts haven’t damaged readability. Finally, the file is formatted so that it can be “read” in a digital voice by screen reading software — a computer program that reads what’s on the screen — or fed to a Braille notetaker.

UT Austin and U of North Carolina are both in court arguing the right to base admission on race. UNC last week used a recently released 10 year multidisciplinary study to support their case. In reporting about the cases, HigherEd included the response by Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a group that doesn’t want race as a consideration for admissions.

“The issues chosen to show how racial diversity correlates with property? How about tax? ….), and of course law itself is a discipline in which such correlation is more likely than most others (Is there a Latina perspective in chemistry? Mathematics? Economics? Engineering? Russian? Etc.) Even if there are some educational benefits to having racial diversity in a class on “Race and the Law,” that would not justify racial preferences in undergraduate admissions to the University of Texas.”

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

 Cinco Puntos gives praise to librarian Francisco Vargas!

Debbie Reese takes heat for calling attention to the lack of diversity in NPR’s recent 100 Top Teen list.

Tarie presents the Second Philippine National Children’s Book Award winners.

APALA site posts award nomination forms for the upcoming JCLC Convention.

And with that, I’m off to the Olympics!