Archive for October, 2008

Hats off to Jen Robinson’s Book Page!

There is one person out in the blogosphere that continues to inspire me with her informative posts and beautiful displays of children’s literature and that person is… Jen Robinson! As her blog states in the tag line, Jen Robinson’s Book Page is all about “promoting the love of books by children, and the continued reading of children’s books by adults.”

If you are looking for new titles for your classroom or just want to keep current with the ever expanding world of children’s lit, Jen’s blog is a must read!

For a sample of the types of book reviews Jen writes, check out her recent review of Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris. Jen writes:

Like it’s predecessor, Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris features a brave, clever eleven-year-old heroine, an intriguing, atmospheric setting, interesting historical and archeological tidbits, and a plot that will keep kids turning the pages. Despite the fact that the title character is a girl, I think that this book will absolutely appeal to middle grade boys, too. (Think reanimated mummies walking the night streets of early 20th Century London, should you have any doubts.)…

Moving beyond book reviews… Stay abreast of the latest children’s literacy trends, news and research, by taking a look at Jen’s Children’s Literacy Round-Ups (click here for a sample).

Bravo Jen! Your blog is pure inspiration!

Anna

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Google Books!

Who doesn’t like free books?!

A colleague recently reminded me about Google Books.

Google Books allows users to search for books, browse through books and in cases where the book is out of copyright or the publisher has given permission, readers can see a preview of the book and/or the entire text. (To learn more about other Google Books features, click here.)

Since I had a bit of time this evening before joining my husband for dinner, I decided to play around with the site to see what types of books Google has to offer…

Using Google Books’ advance search function, I found a full copy of If I had a Million Onions (by Sheree Fitch) and The Paper Dragonfly (by Mary Watson). (To see a list of other children’s books Google Books has in “full view,” click here.)

As a lover of books and all things digital, I have to say… Google has done it again! What a great resource! Bravo!

Happy reading!
Anna

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Keeping up with the times: Video Game Novels

Yesterday the New York Times published a very interesting article by Motoko Rich titled, “Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers.” The article notes:

“You can’t just make a book anymore,” said Mr. Haarsma, a former advertising consultant. Pairing a video game with a novel for young readers, he added, “brings the book into their world, as opposed to going the other way around.”

Mr. Haarsma is not the only one using video games to spark an interest in books. Increasingly, authors, teachers, librarians and publishers are embracing this fast-paced, image-laden world in the hope that the games will draw children to reading.

Spurred by arguments that video games also may teach a kind of digital literacy that is becoming as important as proficiency in print, libraries are hosting gaming tournaments, while schools are exploring how to incorporate video games in the classroom…

While the debate is still up in the air as to whether playing video games really helps children learn how to read, as aforementioned, advocates state that video games are excellent environments for helping children and teens develop digital literacy skills. In addition, games often inspire students to read mediums like blogs and user manuals when they might not otherwise be motivated to read at all.

So, what does a novel+video game combo look like anyway? Take a look at the video clip below as author Christopher Paolini discusses Vroengard Academy–a game that was created to go along with his book series the Inheritance Cycle. If you’re intrigued, also take a look at Alagaësia Adventureanother online FREE game that was created for the Inheritance Cycle book series!

Have fun exploring!

Anna

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