Monday, January 30, 2012

This Week in the Library...

This week in the library, we're getting a head start on Black History Month with these great books...

3rd Grade: Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
From the publisher: Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.

See the author read aloud from Henry's Freedom Box here:

4th Grade: Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill
Dave the Potter tells the story about a slave who dedicated his life to creating beautiful and useful pieces of pottery out of the elements around him.

Here's a video of the illustrator talking about how he created the images in this book:

5th Grade: Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of African Americans and their history through the eyes of an elderly woman sharing her family history.

Here's a great video of the author/illustrator talking about his book and how he illustrated it:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And the Winners Are...

Yesterday, the ALA Youth Media Awards were announced! Included in these awards were the Newbery, which is the award for the best chapter book of the year, and the Caldecott, which is the award for the best picture book of the year.

Here are the winners! (Click on the book cover to read more about each one!)

Newbery Honor Books:

Newbery Winner:

Caldecott Honor Books:

Caldecott Winner:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Joy of Books

Do you think this is what happens in our library at night?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This Week in the Library...

Award Winners!

Since this year's Newbery and Caldecott Winners will be announced soon, we're celebrating award winning books in the library this week!

3rd Grade will be listening to Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein, which was one of last year's Caldecott Honor books.

Click here to see a complete list of Caldecott Winners and Honor books dating back to 1938!

Or, watch this video to see every Caldecott Winner from 1938-2010!

And here's a great book trailer for Interrupting Chicken!

4th Grade will be hearing a book talk over Christopher Paul Curtis's Bud, Not Buddy, the 2000 Newbery winner.

Here's a list of all the Newbery winners and Honor books from 1922 to present.

And here's a great video presentation about the book and its author:

5th Grade will be hearing a book talk over Holes, by Louis Sachar, which was the Newbery winner in 1999.

Here's a trailer from the Disney movie based on the book:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Best of the Best Challenge

(Photo via nSeika on Flickr)

New Year, New Challenge...

Last year, I set a goal for myself to read at least one picture book a day and to read 111 chapter books by the end of the year. (Read about how I did here.) This year, my goal is all about quality instead of quantity! I’m calling this my “Best of the Best Challenge,” because to accomplish my goal for this year, I’ll be reading award-winning books. I’ve chosen a variety of book awards and reading lists to read from, and I’m setting a goal for myself for each award or list. Here are the rules to my challenge:
  1. Read the required books found in this spreadsheet.
  2. Earn “extra credit” by reading the books found in the “extras” column of the spreadsheet. (I don’t actually get anything for “extra credit” books, just the satisfaction of saying that I earned extra credit. I’m a nerd. I know.)
  3. A single book cannot count for more than one award or list. If the same book wins two or more awards, then a book from the extra credit column should be substituted. (I’ll be keeping track of all of this on the spreadsheet and on my blog.)
  4. Books read before 2012 do not count toward this challenge. (Tempting, but it kind of defeats the purpose...)
  5. Read at least 112 chapter books by the end of 2012. Books that are not award books can count toward this total.
  6. Read at least 112 picture books by the end of 2012. Books that are not award books can count toward this total.
My main concerns in completing this challenge are the availability of books and the time constraints of some of the awards. Last year, I didn’t have any requirements about which books I read--just that I read a certain number of books. That meant that I didn’t really have to hunt for any titles; I could just walk into a book store or library and pick up whatever I felt like reading. This year, since I’ll be looking for specific books, I’m going to have to rely on my public library and local book stores a lot more! I’m also worried about the kind of crunch I might run into at the end of the year. Some of these awards are not announced until relatively late in the year, so I may have to hunt them down and read quickly! I’m also worried about the fact that most of the books on these lists will be books that have been published for up to a year already. (I don’t want to miss out on all the great titles that will be published this year!) That’s why I included my 112 total in each category--the goal is to read the “Best of the Best” from the previous year, and to fill in the rest of the quota with books that are published in 2012.

Whew! Do you think I’ve set enough requirements for myself?! My “type A” personality has really taken over on this challenge! I’m looking forward to reading some great stuff and to exposing myself to some titles that I might not usually pick up on my own! 2012 is going to be a great year to read! Happy reading to all!