Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children's Book Week

Books are like an extremely strong telescope. They are the gateway to the entire universe. When you enter a book, it takes you into a new life, a new setting, a new situation and forces you to live in the shoes of someone else. It is a way to explore aspects of lives and history that we could never be part of. Where the Wild Things Are takes you to a fantastical island filled with monsters, The Giver takes you to the future where the government restricts our rights, every day takes us into the mind of a person who is more than just himself, and Hurt Go Happy puts us in the shoes of a young girl trying to protect something that can't protect itself and trying to overcome her past. These are all places that we would never be able to visit without the help of books. Books build empathy, experience, and understanding all needs that all make their reader a better person and it is pretty entertaining along the way! -Kellee

Children's Book Week History

Children's Book Week was established in 1919 and is a time to celebrate the amazing literature that children and teens have to read. While researching, we learned that CBW is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country- AMAZING! It is administered by a literacy organization,  Every Child a Reader,  and a non-profit trade association for children's book publishers, The Children's Book Council

Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards

In 2008, the Children's Choice Book Awards Program was established and gives children and teens the opportunity to voice their opinion about the literature. The awards are categorized into K-2, 3-4, 5-6, and Teen. Each year there are 5 finalists and 1 is crowned the winner. This year our winners were Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young, Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel, Dork Diaries 4 by Rachel Renee Russell, and The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  

     I love being able to see what books children/teens are enjoying. This is getting the information straight from their hears and I loved seeing some of my favorite authors, illustrators, and books on the list. I know how much Pete the Cat is loved because of Jen and her boys as well as one of my best friend's daughter who LOVES Pete- glad that he made an appearance. Also, as an avid Mo Willems fan, I am always happy to see him being recognized. Interestingly enough, I only knew the winner in the 3-4 category and I'm not a huge fan of Bad Kitty, so I obviously am not in touch with the 3rd/4th graders. 
     Since I teach 6-8, I see many of the books listed in the 5-6 and Teen being read in my classroom. Dork Diaries is loved in my class by my ladies. Liar and Spy is one of the favorite books that I read last year- Rebecca Stead really knows how to write! All of the teen books are hits in my classroom (except that specific Clare book because I don't have it) and I am so happy that TFioS won because John Green is truly loved by teens.  I was sad to not see Wonder on the 5-6 list, but I am glad to see R.J. Palacio on the author list along with 4 other authors who are just rock stars. Great job picking amazing books kids!!!
     In my class, the favorite books that were published in the last year are: Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of Radioactive Robo-Boxers & Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey, The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney, Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, Endangered by Eliot Schrefer, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, Prince of the Elves by Kazu Kibuishi, Bird & Squirrel on the Run by James Burks, Cardboard by Doug TenNapel, One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale, Teenboat by Dave Roman, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, and Cow Boy by Nate Cosby. As you can tell they are big fans of some fabulous illustrators and authors! 

     It makes me so tremendously happy to know that we have the Children's Choice Book Awards because children's literature is for kids so it only makes sense that they should have a voice in deciding the best books of the year. I think the ALA committees did a great job this year but I also love to compare to what kids are voting for. I'm thrilled to see Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy buttons on the last. Last year at this time, I took Peanut to an author signing with Eric Litwin and James Dean. It was such an interactive experience and so much fun. We adore Pete the Cat in our house. We also get a kick out of Mo Willems' pigeon books and it was exciting to see that Duckling Gets a Cookie made the list as well. We have been reading so much non-fiction this year since that's all Peanut ever wants to bring home from the library and it's nice to see a few non-fiction books represented on the lists, too! I know I'm going to be checking out Get the Scoop on Animal Poop! That is definitely a book my kids would love!
     For older readers, I was happy to see Liar and Spy on the list. I really thought the characters in Liar and Spy were so unique and it's cool to see that young readers are connecting with them. I'm most excited to see The Fault in Our Stars as the teen book winner. Hooray for The Fault in Our Stars! I was in  high school this week and there was a student named Hazel. What do you think I was thinking of when I heard her name? I was totally jealous of her and her awesome name. I haven't read all of the other teen books but I am very familiar with them. I have to say that I loved Lauren Kate's Fallen series! It was a series that I started reading later so I didn't have to wait and wait for the books to come out. That was pretty awesome.
     Overall, I love that we get to celebrate books again but this time we get to hear directly from the students! Love it! 
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