Quick Little Post of Possibilities


Book reviews to write, classes to plan and, another article underway. So, I’m just going to quickly share to really good opportunities that I really hope one of my readers will jump at.

First, The International Reading Association’s 60th Annual Conference, “Transforming Lives Through Literacy”will be held 18-20 July in St. Louis. Proposals are being accept until 14 July. That’s this Monday, folks so turn on the thinking cap, email that librarian or illustrator or author who just might, who maybe could … explore the possibilities! This is our opportunity to shine a light on the fact that #WeNeedDiverseBooks!

Another impending deadline:

One of the principles of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association is to promote literacy in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.  In 2013 The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association Board voted to create a program  to provide a $1000 grant  to be awarded annually to a non-profit literacy project, nominated by a GLIBA member store.
Jim Dana was the founder of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, and served as the Executive Director until his retirement in 2010, when he joined the Peace Corps.  Jim was always involved in efforts to increase literacy while at GLIBA, and continuing during his time serving in the Peace Corps.  It is in his honor that the award is named.
Nominations for the grant must be received in the GLIBA office by July 15, 2014. The award will be presented at the Heartland Fall Forum which will be in Minneapolis, MN September 29-October 2, 2014.

Go for it!! #ShineOn!!

Struggling Readers and the Common Core

the following information was received in an email.

Struggling Readers and the Common Core
Improving Literacy in Changing Times

An ALA/Booklist webinar from Orca Book Publishers and Saddleback Education

The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to accelerate students’ reading achievement to grade level by the end of 2014, but educators can’t begin to make an impact on young adults who are reading below grade level without rich resources to aid them.

In this hour-long, free webinar, sponsored by Orca Book Publishers and Saddleback Education, an expert panel will offer tips about how to implement the Common Core State Standards with struggling and striving readers in the middle- and high-school classroom.

Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 2:00 pm EST

Register here.

KC Boyd is a library media specialist in inner-city Chicago and author of the popular blog The Audacious Librarian.
Troy Fresch is the Assistant Principal at Tustin High School in Tustin, California and has served on the Tustin Unified School District’s Common Core implementation team.
Tim McHugh is the co-owner and VP of Sales/Marketing at Saddleback Educational Publishing.
Andrew Wooldridge is publisher at Orca Books and the editor of several series of successful novels for middle and high school readers.

NEH Crowdsources NonFiction Reading Lists

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is asking for our help in creating reading lists for elementary, middle and high schools students. The Summertime Nonfiction reading list will reflect Common Core standards while encouraging students to read science, history and biographies for their own enjoyment. The public is asked to suggest books and a final selection will be made by a panel of experts.

Don’t complain about what isn’t on the list if you don’t take the opportunity to suggest titles now! Be prepared to state what lasting value you believe the book has and provide a brief summary.

I don’t see a closing date on the announcement, so please submit your titles sooner rather than later.

International Book Giving Day





International Book Giving Day is a volunteer initiative aimed at getting books in the hands of as many children as possible on February 14, 2013.

International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to engage in simple acts of giving. We will invite individuals to: 1) give a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or 3) donate a book to a local hospital, shelter or library or to an organization that distributes used books to children internationally.
In addition, we will encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organizations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children, such as Room to Read, Books for Africa, Book Aid International, The Book Bus, Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Pratham Books.
For more, see International Book Giving Day’s new website: http://bookgivingday.com!

Do you ALAN?

I’ve written quite a bit about attending the ALAN conference, but never about ALAN.

ALAN is the Assembly on Literacy for Adolescents.

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents is an independent assembly of NCTE. Founded in November 1973, ALAN is made up of teachers, authors, librarians, publishers, teacher-educators and their students, and others who are particularly interested in the area of young adult literature.

ALAN offers a wealth of opportunities to anyone interested in young adult literature. Our memberships is made up of teachers, librarians, professors, authors, publishers, agents, and anyone else who loves YA!  On the sidebar is a list of docs describing our mission, our outreach programs, our grants, our membership benefits, and our publications.

At the conferences I’ve attended, I’ve met academics, public librarians, lawyers who write YA, storytellers, teachers, publishers and authors. While I’ve been dismayed by the lack of people of color at the events, I have been impressed by their commitment to diversity.

During the conference, the following points were made.

• ALAN is looking to grow their membership. Currently, you can join for the ridiculously low fee of $20. Members receive copies of The ALAN Review.

• ALAN is looking for state representatives to work locally with members.

• There is a need for more people to review books for ALAN. The reviews appear on the ALAN website and/or in the journal.

• ALAN is making efforts to do more work with middle and high school teachers. You could be a teacher, publisher, author or student who has ideas on how this organization can provide resources for this endeavor.

ALAN maintains an online community which anyone can join. Log it, join the discussions, share your ideas and let your voice be heard! Think about going to the conference next year (Have I mentioned that you’ll receive 30 books when you attend??). Consider applying for a grant. Join! Give a friend a membership for Christmas! If you, like me want to see more books for teens of color, we both have to be more active in the YA community.

Do at least follow ALAN on Twitter and on FB

Summer Reading Matters

Ahh! Summer!

OOOoo!! Summer Reading!

Each season seems to temper our reading selection and summer seems to be the time to stop meeting expectations and read to truly enjoy whether it be a pile of classics, a newly purchased paperback romance or the ESPN magazines that have been stacking up all year. It’s easier to get some teens to read during the summer than others because even the most avid may want to take a break from all the books. Yet, we know that summer reading is critical for teens to retain and hopefully improve reading skills. Give them the newspaper, magazines, comic books, novels or biographies. Giving them what they want to read will keep them reading! Us too!

Why not try a summer themed book?

How Tia Lola saved the summer by Julia Alvarez Miquel’s loveable Aunt saves what promised to be a dull and boring summer.

 Chameleon by Charles R. Smith Shawn’s mother may think it’s time for Shawn to grow up, but he’s planning nothing but fun for this summer before high school!

The summer I turned pretty; It’s not summer without you and We’ll always have summer by Jenny Han  No one does summer romance like Jenny Han!

When the stars go blue Candid Ferrer Soledad by plans to spend her summer teaching dance and saving some money until stars cross and she meets Jonathan and gets talked into joined the drum and bugle corps.

The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis A classic book about a family’s summer road trip.

 Mare’s war by Tanita Davis Octavia and Tali spend their summer on a road trip with Mare, their red sports car driving grandmother who is too young to be called ‘grandma’.

Surf mules by Greg Neri Logan and Z-boy have finished high school and are given a summer job that could make them quite rich, if it doesn’t kill them first! Yeah, and they surf, too!

 Marcello in the real world by Francisco S. Stork  Marcelo Sandoval is given the summer after his junior year to experience the real world

Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: Aristotle and Dante meet at a pool when summer begins.

 L.A. summer: friends til the bloody end by Sheryl Mallory Johnson  Mikki, Carlette and Stacy have different talents and different backgrounds. Will this be the summer they become friends, or not?

Be sure to visit your local public library to sign up for summer reading programs and checkout a few of these great summer books!

A few online summer reading programs:

TD Banks Summer Reading Program

Scholastic’s Summer Challenge (International)

Target’s Roundup of Summer Reading Programs

Book Adventure


Cured and Gathered

Win a copy on YA Book Queen. Register now through 21 Apr

First, I’m so excited to tell you that Julie Kagawa’s Immortal Rules trilogy (yes! the entire trilogy!) has been purchased by Palomar Pictures. Her response to the news?

Julie Kagawa ‏ @Jkagawa Guys, if you could see me…my feet are about 6 inches off the ground. Thank you all. #Giddy#theimmortalrulesmovie 🙂


The State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a philanthropic program of State Farm, is accepting applications for youth service-learning projects designed to create sustainable local change in communities across the United States and Canada. Projects must be designed to address the root cause of the following issues: access to higher education/closing the achievement gap, financial literacy, community safety and natural disaster preparedness, social health and wellness, and environmental responsibility.

Applicant organizations must be a K-12 public or charter school, or institution of higher education. Nonprofit organizations also are eligible if they are able to demonstrate how they plan to impact student achievement within the public K-12 curriculum. Grants will range from $25,000 to $100,000. Deadline: 4 May

The White House recently responded to the School Librarian petition. Using the “We the People” portion of the White House website, the response concluded by saying

The Obama Administration remains committed to supporting school libraries and the critical role they play in providing resources and support for all students in their learning, to ensure that all students — regardless of their circumstances — are able to graduate from school ready for success in college and career. Check out this response on We the People

It seems that while some areas are continuing to eliminate school librarians, the state of Texas is struggling to find more people qualified for these positions. In reading about the shortage, it’s interesting to learn how they’re  transitioning from book based librarians to being librarians who working with accessing, organizing and working with information, not just books.

Do you know REFORMA? REFORMA is  The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking and they are busy these days!!REFORMA is

YALSA is currently accepting applications for its Teens Top Ten. Let your teens have a voice in selecting top books for teens for the next two years! The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country. Find out more and apply!

The Hub has a nice re-cap of this year’s Virginia Hamilton Conference. I usually attend the conference, but for health and professional reasons, couldn’t this year. I’m sometimes disappointed at the lack of diversity at this conference which meets for that very purpose but have always enjoyed the intimate atmosphere and opportunity to network that is provided.

Today, Paula Yoo’s blog says this is her last post. Well for now that is!  From today until 7 May, she’s posting daily blogs at the official NaPiBoWriWee site, the site she began for an event called “National Picture Book Writing Week.”  Need to get your write on? This may be your perfect opportunity!

Are you participating in World Book Night and if so, where will you be distributing your books? I’ve seen so many interesting places people have chose to distribute books! I have to thank my friend, Maria, for picking up my books from Kids Ink Bookstore. I’ll be be giving copies of The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks at the Julian Center, a shelter for women here in Indy.

In all this news about libraries, books, and the many ways we access information in this rapidly changing world, sometimes we need to slow down and be reminded of the critical need for continued free and open access for all citizens. Knowledge is power!