Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Follow the NCBLA on Our Website!

The NCBLA's new website, which went live at the end of 2015,  is streamlined, redesigned, user friendly, and now, up and running! You will find all our most recent and future blog entries there. Just click the BLOG button on the home page.

Have fun exploring the anchor of our new site, our Great Reads author gallery!

We know families and teachers are always looking for Great Reads for their kids, so we decided to ask some experts —authors and illustrators who daily create their own books for kids— to share their favorite reads. Some of our authors and illustrators are new to the children’s book world; some are experienced veterans. Some work with big, international publishers; some work with small publishers. All are committed to doing the best work they can for all of our children. They share their favorite Great Reads with joy, and in turn we hope you will take a look at their books, too!

Check out the photo gallery on the HOME page and visit our Great Reads Booklist page to see the complete list of all books that have been recommended by our Great Reads authors and illustrators. (To learn how you can recommend an author or illustrator for Great Reads, click here.)
Also be sure to check out our themed booklists, which include recommendations from expert librarians, as well as our recommendations of booklists created by other literacy and library organizations.

Explore! Discover! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


New Book Addresses Civic Illiteracy

Civics education is “on the books” in all 50 states, yet civic illiteracy is widespread. Only one third of 12th graders are able to explain the significance of the Declaration of Independence and fewer than half of 8th graders know the purpose of the Bill of Rights. This instructional guide,
Teaching Civics in the Library:  An Instructional and Historical Guide for School and Public Librarians by Renee Critcher Lyons, explores the foundations of civics education—and the reasons for its demise—with commentary from civics education leaders and scholars across the nation.

Questions for eliciting civics discussion are provided for all grade levels, along with detailed civic action and service projects and reading plans. Best practices and grant writing options are included. The author argues for a return to early 20th century civics education and details the traditional and present-day role of America’s libraries in developing a civic minded populace. School and public librarians are urged to utilize trade books and carefully evaluated websites to integrate civics within educational and youth services offerings.
The chapter for Grades 5-6 is devoted solely to activities based on the NCBLA's award-winning anthology Our White House:  Looking In, Looking Out, providing discussion prompts, civic action, and civic service ideas (based in the AASL standards).

Be sure to check out Teaching Civics in the Library AND Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out at a library or bookstore near you!  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Register the NCBLA as Your AmazonSmile Charity

Help the NCBLA
Each Time You Shop on Amazon
An easy way to contribute to the NCBLA is by registering us as your AmazonSmile charity. AmazonSmile is the charitable foundation of, and it provides an easy way to support charities like the NCBLA each time you shop online. All you need to do is register the NCBLA as your AmazonSmile charity recipient, and AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases directly to the NCBLA at no extra cost!

National Childrens Book and Literacy Alliance Inc
To register, just visit and select National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance Inc as your charity of choice. Once you have registered, the NCBLA will automatically receive donated funds every time you shop as long as you start your shopping at

Thank you very much for your kind consideration!

To read more about the AmazonSmile program, click here.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Share the Story of Our National Anthem with Your Kids

"The Star-Spangled Banner"
Will Be Played at Many Celebrations
This Weekend
Do You Know Its History?

Try your luck at a few trivia questions about our national anthem:  
Do you know what battle inspired the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner?" Did you know our national anthem was originally given a different title? Why is the "The Star-Spangled Banner" played at baseball games?

You can learn the answers to these questions and more in the article "Star-Spangled Presidents" by Helen Kampion on  
On this fourth of July, why not take a few moments today to share the dramatic story of our national anthem' history with the young people in your life? 

While visiting, be sure to check out the vast array of other articles, resources, and activities that help young people connect with American history. 
And be sure to ask for the art and literature anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out at a library or bookstore near you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Keep Your Kids Reading This Summer

Reading Rockets Provides
Engaging Summer Reading Resources

With the coming of summer comes summer reading! And Reading Rockets has lots of resources and ideas you can share to help caring adults encourage kids to learn, read, and have fun in the summer sun.

    Start with a Book, features 24 kid-friendly themes, like dinosaurs, building, animals, sports, superheroes, music and more! Each theme introduces young readers and their families to great fiction and nonfiction books, along with hands-on activities that support reading, writing, and critical thinking skills and links to other great websites and apps with related content. You’ll also find:      

Plus, Start with a Book offers Reading Tips to Go to support to parents who need extra help coming up with ideas to keep kids’ reading and writing skills improving over the summer. Subscribers to this free service get 3-4 short text messages per week—all summer long—in English or Spanish.

Please consider sharing Reading Tips to Go with your readers via social media. A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that San Francisco preschoolers whose parents received text messages with highly-specific tips on reading to their children or helping them sound out letters and words performed better on literacy tests than children whose parents did not receive such messages.

There’s even more to share with families getting ready for summer at Reading Rockets. The "virtual beach bag" of activities is packed for teachers to help them help families get ready for summer and to launch students to fun, enriching summertime experiences.

And the great titles selected by Maria Salvadore in the 2015 Summer Reading Guide will take young readers on summer reading journeys to Paris, Provence, Zimbabwe, the beach, Market Street and more!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Celebrating Poetry Month

The Horn Book Interviews
Poet Nikki Grimes

In honor of Poetry Month, the Horn Book's Robin Smith recently interviewed acclaimed poet for young people Nikki Grimes. Here is an excerpt:

QUESTION: As you travel and engage with children, how do you inspire in them an interest in reading and writing poetry?

ANSWER: That interest is already in them. Poetry is a huge part of their childhood, from the ABC song to jump-rope rhymes to “Ring Around the Rosie.” Stoking that interest only requires sharing poems with them to which they can relate. One whiff of poetry about the stuff of their own childhood, their own lives, and they are off and running. Once they’ve gotten a good taste of poetry, just try and stop them from reading and writing it!

Read the entire interview here.

MORE About Nikki Grimes
Nikki Grimes does not consider herself a bona fide storyteller, but, as she told an audience at the Library of Congress, she is happy to own the title Poet. Born and raised in New York City, Nikki began composing verse at the age of six and has been writing ever since that time. Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin's Notebook, Talkin' About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings. Grimes is a member of the board of directors of the NCBLA. She lives in Corona, California. Learn more about Grimes and her books on her website

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Looking for Quality Books for the Kids in Your Life?

Check out the Bank Street College
Center for Children's Literature
List of Books Published
for Kids 0-18 in 2014!

The Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature recently published The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2015 Edition, which includes more than 600 titles chosen by the Children’s Book Committee as the best of the best published in 2014. 

In choosing books for the annual list, reviewers consider literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes. Nonfiction titles are further evaluated for accuracy and clarity. Each book accepted for the list is read and reviewed by at least two committee members and then discussed by the committee as a whole.

To download the list (which is categorized by age group), visit the Bank Street College website here.