Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

NCTE Fun November 24, 2008

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Doesn’t Tomie DePaola bear a striking resemblance to Santa? That, of course, is a high compliment! Can you tell I was THRILLED to get to meet the artistic and literary genius? 


My funny friends “Dana Bob” and “Spam” having fun with a Texas tiara and a Howdy Doody hat.


NCTE High!

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Well, I’m back from NCTE and still flying high! You will have to endure many future posts about my experience at the conference, from first timer tips for the future to all the authors that I adore and got to meet (I am an author junkie if you haven’t figured that out!). My friend Pam and my new friend Dana also had a fabulous time and we are making plans for next year’s NCTE in Philly already.  Laptop is still dead which is a major inconvenience and problem professionally. Hope to get that taken care of over Thanksgiving, but that might be too hopeful.  

This is us standing on the US map on Ohio!


Greg Mortenson’s new picture book collaboration November 22, 2008

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listen-to-the-windGreg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea, has a new picture book coming out based on his experiences in Pakistan. He is one of many authors that NCTE has had in their line up.

Listen to the Windis a beautiful picture book that is done in collage by Susan L. Roth. The book starts with the children of Korphe, Pakistan and is told from their point of view. They describe the stranger’s, who becomes know as Dr. Greg, arrival and time in the village. After being told by the village’s wisest man to “Listen to the Wind”, and realized that the village needed a school and that he needed to help them have one.

I love how the story is told from the point of view of the children and how the village all works together to help build the school. In the end of the book, his new project that he talked about at NCTE, Pennies for Peace, is mentioned.

I think that this book is a must-have for schools to include in their libraries and would fit in very well to a multicultural study or character education focus.  

Nicely done!


NCTE Rocks

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I love NCTE. I can’t believe I have never come to this before. Unfortunately my laptop hard drive died yesterday. Hope I can get it fixed when I get home Monday. I have met so many amazing people and amazing authors, I can not get over it! Another thing I can not get over is the amount of free materials I have been given my publishers. Books, books, books. You can’t have enough.  I have shipped home 4 boxes of books and materials from the business center and will still have 2 full suitcases when I leave.

The sessions have been amazing, the people I have met have all been so friendly. Even though I have never met any of them before, it is like talking to old friends.

I will post photos galore and books reviews in the coming days and weeks. I did try something new for 2 of the big sessions with Cover It Live blog posting of Lucy Calkins and Lester Laminack. Click on the link to read the whole post.


Cover It Live Lucy Calkins November 21, 2008

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I used Cover It Live to add information about the Lucy Calkins, Brenda Powers, and


CoverIt Live Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth-The Power of Read Alouds November 20, 2008

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Lester Laminack, Reba Wadsworth and Read Alouds (11/20/2008) 
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Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth-the power of picture books
Here I am in San Antonio at NCTE. Got checked in and off to the convention center.
Holocaust-Reba’s favorite book The Harmonica by Tony Johnston. A Holocaust story from the point of view from a little boy. He was from a poor family but he and his parents were very happy. They loved music, but could not afford a piano.
They saved up and bought him a harmonica. They all loved Shubert and he would play and play while his parents would dance. The soldiers showed up one day and took them to a concentraion camp.
Eventually the Commodant heard the boy playing and made him play for him. He would throw an old piece of bread to him-which probably kept him alive. He felt guilty about the music, but the other camp prisoners thanked him for giving them hope through music. Also recommended Erica’s Story.
Immigration-When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Hess
A story of a young girl who immigrates-sews lace to save money to bring over her grandmother.
Lester Laminack is so funny! Today he started with his clock metaphor how some things are never going to change-not doing his description justice.
One thing that always is around is hate which is driven by fear. The concept of bullying has been around forever in all cultures and communities.
We should be allowed to build communities in school and the basis is mutual respect. It’s a mistake to tell children to love one another. First comes mutual respect, From mistake comes friendship, and maybe eventually love. 

Even if love isn’t legal in California.

Respect is at the core of the books we want to looke
Mem Fox-Who Ever You Are-we have more things in common than different. 

Bullying is such a huge issue. It is subtle, whisper campaigns, and it begins in elementary school.

Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon (I LOVE this book!) The capacity of children’s books-Lester reads it aloud-very expressively!
“Molly Lou Melon had buck teeth that stuck out so far, you could stack ten pennies on them.” She didn’t mind-her grandmother tells her to stand proud. Things are fine until she must move and Ronald Durkin calls her “SHRIMPO!”
How important is expression in a read-aloud?

 ( 100% )

a Little

 ( 0% )

Not at all

 ( 0% )


Other books mentioned:
Message to Ground Zero by Shelly Harwayne
Across the Alley-a young Jewish boy and a young African American boy. One’s father wants him to play the violin, the other, baseball. Turns out the opposite child is talented at the other one’s talent.
Tone, intenstiy, pacing and mood. When you deliver a story you must pay attention to these things.
Dog Eared
modeling fluency-NOT accuracy and rate! If you read a book like the six o’clock news, it will fall flat.
Otis the dog is being bullied, so the tone of his voice will be intimidated and quiet. If I hadn’t read the book to myself ahead of time, you wouldn’t know that the first page being read aloud can start the book entirely wrong.
If we then give 10 creepy questions, response log, text-to-text, post-it, turn and talk, you are taking away from the book. It is about the author’s purpose, not the details, The reader’s job is it interpret, not to give the answers to someone else’s question.
“Talk to your neighbor about how Otis feels.” It is a dangerous question to pursue. In order to deal with adversity, you must be able to turn inwards, not outwards.
You’ll never be satisfied with yourself if you need someone to validate you-you need to be taught strength of self-like Molly Lou Mellon.
You must believe in yourself first!
Turn attention to bully dog-he is yellow. Bullies are cowards who are
The insult he yells is because of a fault he preceives in himself.
USA Today-Bullying, Nightline last night
Sissy Duckling, William’s Doll, Odd Velvet, My Secret Bully
all are picture books that deal with bullying.
Must start with respect and human dignity.

In-Flight Reading

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What I’m reading on the way to NCTE:
Reading for Real reading-for-real                                         and Fablehaven fablehaven