Wednesday, January 28, 2009

American Library Association Announces 2009 Notable Children's Books

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out Named an ALA Notable Children’s Book!

The ALA has announced its list of 2009 Notable Children’s Books! Only books that the selection committee determine to be “worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, and outstanding” are designated as an ALA Notable Children’s Book. The ALA website explains its Notable criteria regarding children's books: “Notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children's interests in exemplary ways.”

The NCBLA is thrilled that this year’s list of “Notable Children’s Books for All Ages” includes Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. Created by over 100 award-winning writers and illustrators as an exciting means to promote both literacy and historical literacy, Our White House is an expansive anthology of original poetry, historical fiction, nonfiction, and primary source materials about American history and thematically unified by the White House.

In addition to recognizing Our White House as a Notable Book for children of all ages, the ALA also honored three additional books in the same category: Wild Tracks: A guide to Nature’s Footprints by Jim Arnosky, published by Sterling; Frogs by Nic Bishop, published by Scholastic; and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, written and illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson, published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman.

Review the complete list of 2009 Notable Children’s Books at the website.

Read and Learn More at OURWHITEHOUSE.ORG

To learn more about Our White House, take a look at its coordinating educational website,, which provides additional stories and essays, as well as pertinent activities and discussion questions related to book topics that adults can implement at home or in the classroom. On you can read Gregory Maguire’s expanded poetic metaphor "Looking In, Looking Out;" Nikki Grimes’ poignant poem, "Staking Claim," about a blind person’s visit to the White House; and Katherine Paterson’s profile of President Calvin Coolidge, "The Eloquence of ‘Silent Cal.’"

Enter the Letters from the White House Writing Contest!

Also on you can find all you need to know about participating in the national creative writing contest, Letters from the White House. Using Our White House and as inspirational passports into American history, young people enter the contest by writing letters and journal entries that explore the history of America as they imagine and write about the experience of living or working in the White House.

Letters from the White House is co-sponsored by the NCBLA, Reading Rockets, and All entries are due by February 16, 2009, Presidents Day! Learn more about the contest on the website.

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