Thursday, August 27, 2009

America's Young People Have Lost a Champion

"Every American should have the opportunity to receive a high quality education, a job that respects their dignity and protects their safety, and health care that does not condemn those whose health is impaired to a lifetime of poverty and lost opportunity."

Senator Edward Moore Kennedy 1932-2009

For over forty years he fought for all of our children. He never gave up. He never wavered.

He championed Head Start, Early Head Start, and fought to reauthorize and expand Head Start programs over the years to include Native American children, and the children of migrant workers. He fought for the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act that expanded funding and supported state programs for abused and neglected children. He sponsored the Military Child Care Act to increase funding for child care in the armed forces. He worked continually to make college more affordable and accessible for young people eager to learn. He worked continually to get federal dollars into public schools and libraries.

He brought his favorite books to schools and read to children on a weekly basis, loving every minute of it. He fought for federal funding to support Reading is Fundamental and worked with First Book to create a National Book Bank for Children.

He cared for black children and white children and every shade in between. He cared for children with intellectual disabilities and physical challenges. He cared for poor children, rich children, immigrant children, and native born. He cared for the tall and the small; the weak and the strong. His heart was big enough to hold them all.

Because of the life work of Edward Moore Kennedy all of our children lead healthier, safer lives--all of our children have a better chance to fulfill the gifts given to them by their Creator.

Thank you Senator Kennedy.

Mary Brigid Barrett
The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance

To read Senator Kennedy’s full record on educational issues, go to:

To hear Senator’s Kennedy thoughts on young people’s civic education, go to:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ALA Announces 2009 Great Website for Kids

NCBLA's OurWhiteHouse Website
Named a Great Website for Kids!

The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance is thrilled to announce that its educational website has been selected for inclusion in the American Library Association’s Great Web Sites for Kids, located at: The website is now listed with other distinguished sites in the "US History-General" category.

Great Web Sites for Kids are those considered the best websites for ages birth to 14, outstanding in both content and conception. As applied to websites for young people, “great” should be thought to include sites of especially commendable quality, sites that reflect and encourage young people’s interests in exemplary ways. The ALA's selection criteria can be found at:

The NCBLA developed to support and expand the content of its literature and art anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. With a guiding mission of creating a book that would encourage young people to read more about America’s rich history and culture, to think more about America’s future, to talk more about our nation’s leadership, and to act on their own beliefs and convictions, the NCBLA worked with a dream team of over 100 authors and illustrators to create Our White House. Our White House is available in libraries and bookstores everywhere.

Learn more about the book and discover its rich online supplemental materials at:

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Adventure Begins This September!

Join the Library of Congress and the
National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance on the Hilarious Exquisite Corpse Adventure!

Come along with National Children s' Book Ambassador Jon Scieszka and his award-winning motley crew of authors and illustrators--M.T .Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate Di Camillo, Timothy Basil Ering, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snickett, Steven Kellogg, Gregory Maguire, Megan McDonald, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, James Ransome, and Chris Van Dusen-- as they embark on a rollicking story adventure game to discover The Exquisite Corpse!!!!

Jon Scieszka will reveal the first Exquisite Corpse episode at the National Book Festival on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Joining Mr. Scieszka on stage in the Children's Pavilion will be fellow Exquisite Corpse contributors Kate Di Camillo, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Steven Kellogg, and Megan McDonald all participating in a special launch event moderated by NCBLA president and founder, Mary Brigid Barrett.

The Exquisite Corpse Adventure will continue over the course of one year with each new episode and illustration appearing on the Library of Congress's new website every two weeks!

With the assistance of the Butler Children's Literature Center at Dominican University, the NCBLA is developing educational support materials for the The Exquisite Corpse Adventure which will be posted on special pages on the NCBLA's home website, beginning September 26th. The NCBLA hopes that every episode of the Exquisite Corpse will inspire young people to find more great books to read and is thrilled that Thomas Barthelmass, Curator of the Butler Center and new Association for Library Service to Children (ALA) President, is creating an annotated bibliography for each Exquisite Corpse episode. In addition, Assistant Dean of Dominican University's Graduate School of Education Marilyn Ludolph will be working with faculty and students to develop educational activities and discussion questions for the use of parents, teachers, and librarians.

The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance and the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress hope the Exquisite Corpse Adventure will introduce young people to the new website, and we also hope it will encourage young people to read books just for the fun of it . . . and read more!!!!

For more information about the Library of Congress National Book Festival, go to:

For more information about the NCBLA, go to:

For more information about the Butler Children's Literature Center at Dominican University,
go to: