Thursday, January 31, 2008


Scholastic Audiobook/NCBLA Book Basket Auction Benefits the NCBLA

Scholastic Audiobooks has donated 10 new audiobooks, including Gregory Maguire’s New York Times Best Seller What-the-Dickens! for an online auction to benefit The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (, a 501C3 not-for-profit that advocates and educates on behalf of literacy, literature, libraries and the arts. This audiobook collection includes The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Main Street #1 by Ann Martin; Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher; and Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

In addition, the NCBLA Board has donated many personally autographed audiobooks and books to this collection including works by M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Susan Cooper, Nikki Grimes, Patricia MacLachlan, Gregory Maguire, and Katherine Paterson. The retail value of this book basket exceeds $1,000. For a detailed list of books and audiobooks, go to:

The auction begins today, January 31, 2008, and runs until February 9. 2008. To find the online auction, on or after January 31 go to:

In the search window, top left, paste in the title of the auction:

Signed Wicked! +Unique Collection Autographed New Books

and click, Search.

If you like you can also select the category: Books.

Or go to:

Teen Poetry Writing Workshop in New York!

Begins with Teen Writing Workshop
at Mount Pleasant Public Library

Monday, February 4, 4:30pm

Poetry Westchester! — a new Westchester-wide initiative offering free writing workshops, poetry readings and discussions — is funded by the Westchester Library System, NY. Poetry Westchester! begins with a Teen Poetry Writing Workshop led by poet Hettie Jones on Monday, February 4, at 4:30pm at Mount Pleasant Public Library. The workshop continues on February 11, 25, and March 3.

Hettie Jones will act as "poet in residence" in Mount Pleasant, where she'll lead workshops for adults and teens and give a talk on "The Beat Poets." Joining her in a distinguished roster will be award-winning poets Edward Hirsch, speaking about How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love With Poetry (the title of his best-selling book) and reading from his latest poetry collection Special Orders, and Tom Sleigh, the author of Space Walk, who has been hailed by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney as a poet of "lyric absolution."

For a complete schedule of Poetry Westchester! programs in Irvington , Hastings , Katonah, Larchmont, Mount Pleasant, Pelham, Scarsdale and White Plains, visit


Mount Pleasant Public Library
350 Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY 10570
(914) 769-0548 (ph)
(914) 769-6149 (fax)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Library Fundraiser in Westhampton, Massachusetts!

Mardi Gras Party & The Gypsy Wranglers Fundraiser-
You're Invited!

Saturday, February 2, 6:30-10:30 pm Westhampton Town Hall, in Westhampton Massachusetts.
Come celebrate the recent fund raising successes and accomplishments of Westhampton's Town Center Library Project. Delicious New Orleans finger foods, decadent desserts and live swing music featuring The Gypsy Wranglers. Suggested donation at the door, $10 adult; $20 family. 6:30-8: Food, mask making, socializing 8-10:30: Live music & dancing. All welcome. Family Friendly. Extravagant costumes encouraged. Sponsored by the Friends of the Westhampton Memorial Library.

For more info: 413-527-5903 or

Great Blog!

For Teachers, Parents, Librarians,
and Children's Literature Aficionados:
Check Out Educating Alice!

Monica Edinger, a teacher and member of the 2008 Newbery Award Committee,
writes Educating Alice, an informative and entertaining blog for everyone
interested in books for young people.
Put it on your blog hit list!
Check it out at:

And while you are there take note of this special posting concerning the The Micki Nevett Literature Scholarship that honors an outstanding school librarian from New York who recently passed away.
Micki was one of those magical school librarian who change children's lives.

Go to:

Book Festival at Oxford

Meg Rosoff, David Almond
and Charlie Higson to Appear
at Sunday Times
Oxford Literary Festival

"For centuries, the magnificent university city of Oxford has fostered ideas, art, literature and fierce debate. This spring, at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, we invite readers to witness all these in the making – and to take part in their shaping. Between March 31 and April 6, Christ Church, Oxford’s most beautiful college, will throw open its doors to all who want to think, to laugh, to disagree and to discover." Sunday Times, UK

For more information go to:

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Scholastic Audiobook/NCBLA Book Basket Auction Benefits the NCBLA

Scholastic Audiobooks has donated 10 new audiobooks, including Gregory Maguire’s New York Times Best Seller What-the-Dickens! for an online auction to benefit The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (, a 501C3 not-for-profit that advocates and educates on behalf of literacy, literature, libraries and the arts. This audiobook collection includes The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Main Street #1 by Ann Martin; Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher; and Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

In addition, the NCBLA Board has donated many personally autographed audiobooks and books to this collection including works by M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Susan Cooper, Nikki Grimes, Patricia MacLachlan, Gregory Maguire, and Katherine Paterson. The retail value of this book basket exceeds $1,000. For a detailed list of books and audiobooks, go to:

The auction will begin on January 31, 2008 and run until February 9. 2008. To find the online auction, on or after January 31 go to:

In the search window, top left, paste in the title of the auction:

Signed Wicked! +Unique Collection Autographed New Books

and click, Search.

If you like you can also select the category: Books.


Gregory Maguire, NCBLA Board Member, 
Recommends This Provocative Essay by Ursuline Le Guin
in Harper's February Issue!

Excerpt from
Staying Awake. Notes on the Alleged Decline of Reading

by Ursula K. Le Guin

If people make time to read, it's because it's part of their jobs, or other media
aren't readily available, or they aren't much interested in them‹or because they enjoy
reading. Lamenting over percentage counts induces a moralizing tone: It is bad that we
don't read; we should read more; we must read more. Concentrating on the drowsy
fellow in Dallas, perhaps we forget our own people, the hedonists who read because
they want to. Were such people ever in the majority?
I like knowing that a hard-bitten Wyoming cowboy carried a copy of Ivanhoe in
his saddlebag for thirty years, and that the mill girls of New England had Browning
Societies. There are readers like that still. Our schools are no longer serving them
(or anybody else) well, on the whole; yet some kids come out of even the worst schools
clutching a book to their heart.
Of course books are now only one of the "entertainment media," but when it
comes to delivering actual pleasure, they're not a minor one. Look at the
competition. Governmental hostility was emasculating public radio while Congress
allowed a few corporations to buy out and debase private radio stations. Television has
steadily lowered its standards of what is entertaining until most programs are either
brain-numbing or actively nasty. Hollywood remakes remakes and tries to gross out,
with an occasional breakthrough that reminds us what a movie can be when undertaken
as art. And the Internet offers everything to everybody: but perhaps because of that
all-inclusiveness there is curiously little aesthetic satisfaction to be got from Web-surfing.
You can look at pictures or listen to music or read a poem or a book on your computer,
but these artifacts are made accessible by the Web, not created by it and not intrinsic to it.
Perhaps blogging is an effort to bring creativity to networking, and perhaps blogs will develop
aesthetic form, but they certainly haven't done it yet.

Besides, readers aren't viewers; they recognize their pleasure as different from that of
being entertained. Once you've pressed the on button, the TV goes on, and on, and on,
and all you have to do is sit and stare. But reading is active, an act of attention, of absorbed
alertness‹not all that different from hunting, in fact, or from gathering. In its silence, a book
is a challenge: it can't lull you with surging music or deafen you with screeching laugh tracks
or fire gunshots in your living room; you have to listen to it in your head. A book won't move
your eyes for you the way images on a screen do. It won't move your mind unless you give it
your mind, or your heart unless you put your heart in it. It won't do the work for you.
To read a story well is to follow it, to act it, to feel it, to become it everything short of
writing it, in fact. Reading is not "interactive" with a set of rules or options, as games are;
reading is actual collaboration with the writer's mind. No wonder not everybody is up to it.

To access the full article online, go to:
For a blog response by Scott Horton, got to:


NCBLA Board Member Nikki Grimes
shouts out for a new children's book award-
Horace Mann Upstanders Book Awards

Antioch University Los Angeles today announced the launch
of their first annual
Horace Mann Upstanders Book Awards
for K-6 fiction.
An 'upstander' is a person who recognizes injustice
and acts
in a way to right the wrong. The award honors new
literature that best exemplifies the ideals of social
action and in
turn encourages young readers to become agents
of change
themselves."Being an Upstander is when an individual
or a
group chooses to take a positive stand and act on behalf of
themselves and others" added Dr. J.Cynthia McDermott,
Chair of the Education program at Antioch University Los
Angeles. "These awards honor literature that encourages
readers to take that risk and stand up for something they
believe in."

The award committee will be comprised of Antioch University

Los Angeles graduate students, faculty members, and local
educational community leaders from the greater Los Angeles community.
The panel will be looking for literature that is well developed, with
sincere characters and a heartfelt story that promotes upstanding
behavior and choices. Examples of literature works that would meet
the criteria include: The Araboolies of Liberty Street by Sam Swope;
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell; and The Good Griselle by Jane Yolen.

"The Horace Mann Upstanders Book Awards are all about encouraging

children to become civically engaged and to become active members in
our democratic society" said Dr. Neal King, President of Antioch University
Los Angeles. "At AULA we are passionate about social change and we believe
there is no better way to encourage this behavior than through literature."
The awards are sponsored by the Antioch University Los Angeles graduate
education program, in partnership with the Better World JL Institute and
the South Bay Literacy Foundation. Books submitted for consideration must have
been published in North American in 2007/2008 and be targeted towards K-6 grade
readers. Submissions are being accepted through March 15, 2008 and the first
annual Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award winner(s) will be announced in
June, 2008.

For more information contact Joanna Gerber,
Director of Communications &
Public Relations, at (310) 578-1080 ext. 119.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Great Read:

Baltimore Sun:
Hometown Author
Wins Newbery Medal

Read the delightful article and interview with Newbery Award winning author Laura Amy Schlitz in Baltimore Sun at:,0,1829647.story?coll=bal_sports_baseball_util

For more information concerning the American Library Association's Young People's book awards go to:

Monday, January 14, 2008


Our White House:
Looking In, Looking Out

Publisher's Weekly
great "Children's Bookshelf" newsletter unveils the cover of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance's fall publication, Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

Our White House,
which boasts a stunning cover illustration by NCBLA Board member David Macaulay and a moving introduction by Pulitzer Prize winning historian and NCBLA Honorary Board Member David McCullough, has been created by the NCBLA to promote both family literacy and historical literacy. In planning Our White House, the NCBLA kept the needs of busy families and busy classroom teachers in mind. It is our deepest hope that Our White House will not only make American history "come alive" but that it will provide a springboard for young people to read more about America's great heritage and culture together with their families and classmates!

To check out the Our White House:Looking In, Looking Out cover, and to find more new books about history, government, and elections go to PW"s Children's Bookshelf at:

Newbery and Caldecott Medal Announced!

The following is a list of all ALA Youth Media Awards for 2008:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature. “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village,” written by Laura Amy Schlitz, is the 2008 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick.

Three Newbery Honor Books were named: “Elijah of Buxton,” by Christopher Paul Curtis, published by Scholastic; “The Wednesday Wars,” by Gary D. Schmidt, published by Clarion and “Feathers,” by Jacqueline Woodson, published by Putnam.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” illustrated by Brian Selznick, is the 2008 Caldecott Medal winner. The book is published by Scholastic.

Four Caldecott Honor Books were named: “Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Ellen Levine, and published by Scholastic; “First the Egg,” illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, and published by Roaring Brook/Neal Porter; “The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain,” illustrated and written by Peter Sís, and published by Farrar/Frances Foster; and “Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity,” illustrated and written by Mo Willems, and published by Hyperion.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. “The White Darkness,” by Geraldine McCaughrean, is the 2008 Printz Award winner. The book is published by HarperTempest, an imprint of HarperCollins. Four Printz Honor Books were named: “Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet,” by Elizabeth Knox, published by Frances Foster Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux; “One Whole and Perfect Day,” by Judith Clarke, published by Front Street, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.; “Repossessed,” by A. M. Jenkins, published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins; and “Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath,” by Stephanie Hemphill, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books.

Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. “Elijah of Buxton,” written by Christopher Paul Curtis, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Scholastic. Two King Author Honor Books were selected: “November Blues,” by Sharon M. Draper, published by Atheneum Books for Young Adults and “Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali,” written by Charles R. Smith Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier, published by Candlewick Press.

“Let it Shine,” illustrated and written by Ashley Bryan, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Two King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “The Secret Olivia Told Me,” by N. Joy, illustrated by Nancy Devard, published by Just Us Books, and “Jazz On A Saturday Night,” by Leo and Diane Dillon, published by Scholastic Blue Sky Press.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award; “Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It,” written by Sundee T. Frazier is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. “Kami and the Yaks,” written by Andrea Stenn Stryer, illustrated by Bert Dodson and published by Bay Otter Press of Palo Alto, Calif. wins the award for young children (age 0 to 10).

“Reaching for Sun,” by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, New York is the winner in the middle grades category (age 11-13).

“Hurt Go Happy,” written by Ginny Rorby, a Starscape Book, published by Tom Doherty Associates, is the winner in the teen category (age 13-18).

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers. “There Is a Bird on Your Head!,” written and illustrated by Mo Willems is the 2008 Geisel Award winner. The book is published by Hyperion.

Four Geisel Honor Books were named: “First the Egg,” written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and published by Roaring Brook/Neal Porter; “Hello, Bumblebee Bat,” written by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne and published by Charlesbridge; “Jazz Baby,” written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and published by Harcourt; and “Vulture View,” written by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins and published by Holt.

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Orson Scott Card is the recipient of the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens for his novels “Ender's Game” and “Ender's Shadow.”

The Pura Belpré Award honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books. Yuyi Morales, illustrator of “Los Gatos Black on Halloween,” written by Marisa Montes and published by Holt is the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Margarita Engle, author of “The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano,” illustrated by Sean Qualls and published by Holt, is the 2008 Pura Belpré Author Award recipient.

Two Honor Books for illustration: “My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez/Me llamo gabito: La vida de Gabriel García Márquez,” illustrated by Raúl Colón, written by Monica Brown and published by Luna Rising and “My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo,” written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez and published by Children's Book Press.

Three Author Honor Books were named: “Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life!” by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and published by Marshall Cavendish; “Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale,” retold by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin and published by Peachtree; and “Los Gatos Black on Halloween,” written by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales and published by Holt.

Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children. “The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain,” written and illustrated by Peter Sís, is the 2008 Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Farrar/Frances Foster.

Two Sibert Honor Books were named: “Lightship,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca, published by Simon & Schuster/ Richard Jackson and “Nic Bishop Spiders,” written and illustrated by Nic Bishop, published by Scholastic/Scholastic Nonfiction.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video. Producer Kevin Lafferty along with executive producer John Davis, and co-producers, Amy Palmer Robertson and Danielle Sterling, are the 2008 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video - for the production of “Jump In! Freestyle Edition.”

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children's book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States.

VIZ Media is the winner of the 2008 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for “Brave Story.” Originally published in Japanese in 2003 as “Bureibu Sutori,” the book was written by Miyuki Miyabe and translated by Alexander O. Smith.

Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “The Cat: Or, How I Lost Eternity,” published by Milkweed Editions, originally published in German as “Die Katze,” and “Nicholas and the Gang,” published by Phaidon Press, originally published in French as “Le petit Nicolas et les copains.”

The first-ever Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production is Live Oak Media for “Jazz.”

Five honor titles were named: “Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy,” produced by Listen & Live Audio; “Dooby Dooby Moo,” produced by Scholastic/Weston Woods; “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” produced by Listening Library; “Skulduggery Pleasant,” produced by HarperChildren's Audio; and “Treasure Island,” produced by Listening Library.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences “American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China,” by Matthew Polly, published by Penguin/Gotham Books; “Bad Monkeys,” by Matt Ruff, published by HarperCollins; “Essex County Volume 1: Tales from the Farm,” by Jeff Lemire, published by Top Shelf Publications; “Genghis: Birth of an Empire,” by Conn Iggulden, published by Delacorte; “The God of Animals,” by Aryn Kyle, published by Scribner; “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” by Ishmael Beah, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Sarah Crichton Books; “Mister Pip,” by Lloyd Jones, published by Random/Dial Press; “The Name of the Wind,” by Patrick Rothfuss, published by DAW; “The Night Birds,” by Thomas Maltman, published by Soho; and “The Spellman Files,” by Lisa Lutz, published by Simon & Schuster.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture recognizing an individual of distinction in the field of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. Walter Dean Myers, widely acclaimed author of picture books, novels, poetry and non-fiction for children and young adults, will deliver the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children's literature experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit the ALA Web site at

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Blog Buzz

Reading Rockets!

Make sure you check out children literature expert, and NCBLA advisor Maria Salvadore's entertaining and informative blog on the Reading Rockets website!

Go to:

Professional Development Workshops

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Designed for classroom teachers, librarians, art teachers, and others interested in engaging students in the visual arts and the art of the book, the Museum’s professional development programs emphasize teaching through the arts to encourage critical and creative thinking.

Upcoming topics include:
Picture Book Texts: One Part of the Whole Book
A Space to Create
An Introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies
A Book in Hand: Leading Multiple Copy Storytimes with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
2008 Education in Pistoia, Italy

For more dates, directions, and more information go to:

Quotes of Note

Isaac Bashevis Singer
In his 1978 Nobel Prize address Isaac Bashevis Singer cited ten reasons why he writes for the young:

1. Children read books, not reviews. They don't give a hoot about the critics.

2. Children don't read to find their identity.

3. They don't read to free themselves of guilt, to quench their thirst for rebellion, or to get rid of alienation.

4. They have no use for psychology.

5. They detest sociology.

6. They don't try to understand Kafka or Finnegans Wake.

7. They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff.

8. They love interesting stories, not commentary, guides or footnotes.

9. When a book is boring, they yawn openly, without any shame or fear of authority.

10. They don't expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity. Young as they are, they know that it is not in his power. Only adults have such childish illusions.

Agree? Disagree?

Friday, January 11, 2008


"We realized that the school libraries are hemorrhaging, and it was far worse than we ever imagined," said Layera Brunkan.

Parents' group tries to stop demise of the school librarian in Seattle.

Bill Richardson the only presidential candidate in either party who has consistently addressed education issues has now dropped out of the race. Those of us who care about our children, their education, and one of our greatest national treasures-- our free public and school libraries-- need to speak up. All presidential candidates need to know that education is as big a priority to us as national security or health care. What is happening in Seattle is happening all across the country, and in many areas schools, and school and public libraries, are in much worse shape than Seattle.

Take a moment and contact the presidential candidates, as well as your political party, and let them know that you want them to start talking about our children and their education, NOW!

Read more about Seattle libraries at:

Contact Presidential candidates and national political parties:

Democratic Party website and contact info:

Republican Party website and contact info:

Presidential Candidates websites and contact information:
Hilary Clinton:

John Edwards

Rudy Giuliani

Mike Huckabee

John McCain

Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

Fred Thompson

Upcoming Literary Event-New England

7th Annual Massachusetts Book Awards

Thursday, February 7 1:30p
at Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA

Celebrating Massachusetts writers Louise Gluck, Alice Hoffman, Claire Messud, Nathaniel Philbrick & others at annual awards event for Massachusetts books and writers.

For more information go to the Massachusetts Center for the Book website at:

In Case You Missed It!

"..I began to be aware that, of the two audiences, adult and young, it was the young people who were being profoundly affected by what they read. Time and again I received letters from kids telling me of ways in which they found themselves not just moved, but changed by a book."
Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry visited Yale University last November. Interview and article of interest in the Yale Daily News.