Books and Reading

Hear Me Roar - a booklist about strong girls!

Even if you've never heard the song, "I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar)," which topped the charts in 1972 and became an anthem of sorts for the women's lib movement (oh, and won a Grammy), you will enjoy these stories featuring heroines who grapple with the big challenges and mysteries of life. Ranging from hilarious to heart-breaking, there's something for everyone.

Let Teens Pick Their Own Books!

 A recent New York Times article on school reading has been making the rounds among librarians, teachers and parents.  In “A New Assignment: Pick Books You Like,” Motoko Rich reports on the “reading workshop” model of engaging middle school students in reading.  Unlike the traditional assignments, where the whole class reads and analyzes a classic book together, this approach encourages kids to choose their own titles.  “If your goal is simply to get them to read more, choice is the way to go,” says one literacy professor.
 At local middle schools, even kids with assigned reading can participate in a voluntary reading program. Café Book, a collaboration between the public library and eight middle schools in Fredericksburg, Stafford and Spotsylvania, encourages seventh and eighth graders to read from a list of twenty new books, discuss them during lunch periods, and vote on their favorites.

New Books for New Readers

    “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.”  This saying, attributed to Pascal, applies perfectly to books for beginning readers.  Writing a seven-hundred-page novel is quite an accomplishment, but some writers might argue that writing a thirty-two page reader with limited vocabulary is even more challenging.  Here are a few recent examples of the best.

Words Into Pictures

 One of the most popular displays in our children’s rooms showcases children’s books that have been made into movies.  For every reader who complains, “the book was better!”, there’s another who delightedly discovers that a favorite movie was based on a good book.
 Currently in theaters is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” an animated movie based on the picture book of the same name by Judi Barrett.  Translating a 32-page picture book into a 90-minute film means adding more characters and plot twists, but the critics seem to be positive about the results.

Who Was First?

“In fourteen hundred and ninety-two/ Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”  But there’s more to the story.  As Columbus Day approaches, take a new look at the explorer in Russell Freedman’s “Who Was First? Discovering the Americas.” 

Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie

 Lauren Thompson’s story begins, “This is the pie, warm and sweet, that Papa baked.”  But how did Papa make the pie?  Start with apples, “juicy and red,” then the tree, “crooked and strong,” and so on until we come to “the world, blooming with life, that spins with the sun, fiery and bright…” 
 Perfect for this time of year, “The Apple Pie That Papa Baked” is a rollicking picture book illustrated by Jonathan Bean in tones of cream, sepia, black and red, evoking classic illustrations by Virginia Lee Burton and Wanda Gag. 

Fall Into New Books

 The next time you’re in the library, take a look at some of the newest books to grace library shelves.  Readers of all ages will be entranced with Jerry Pinkney’s wordless edition of Aesop’s “The Lion and the Mouse.”  The story of kindness rewarded has a simple plot filled with action, just right for a wordless treatment.

Sherman Alexie Interview

Check out this recent PBS NewsHour interview with Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and War Dances.

Visit the PBS NewsHour web site to watch more videos of Sherman and to listen to him read several of his poems.

Lit Bistro@ Porter

The Lit Bistro group got together today to talk about books.  If you are a teen in grades 7-12 and like to read and talk about the books that you read....then this is the group for you.  We are very informal and you can talk about any book you want ...it can be an old book or a new book....there is no assigned reading....any book!!!!

Some of the books we have at our group are donated to us by a friend of mine....these books are so new that they are not even in the library system yet...but they are available to you when you come to Lit Bistro.

Teen Read Week: YALSA Announces 2009 Teens' Top Ten Winners

The Young Adult Library Services Association has just announced this year's Teens' Top Ten. Over 11,000 teens voted online for their favorites from August 24 through September 18. And the winners are ...

1. Paper Towns by John Green
2. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
4. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins
6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
7. Wake by Lisa McMann
8. Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast
9. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Teen Read Week is all about reading for fun, so take a break from homework by checking out one of these great books.