Libraries

July 28, 2016

Pokémon GO, the mobile game for smartphones, is so popular that daily usage data from SimilarWeb show it beats popular services like Twitter, NetFlix, and Spotify. Now, librarians are getting in the game with book displays and more. 

Best formats 

Teachers and parents of children with Individualized...

July 5, 2016

Kate Messner writes both nonfiction and fiction for a range of young readers. She’s explored the natural world as well as various themes in novels and picture books. I caught up with Kate while on a tour for her latest book, The Seventh Wish (Bloomsbury; 1619633760).

In it, readers meet 12-year old Charlie who catches a magical fish that grants her wishes. Serious...

June 13, 2016

The amazing cartoonist Hope Larson joins me for this episode of Reading Without Walls. She tells us about writing the next run of Batgirl, when Batgirl goes backpacking through Asia. And she talks about her love of adventure comics, like The Adventures of Tintin. Hope you'll take a look!

 

June 7, 2016

For students who struggle with print, alternative formats are ready, and the AIM-VA staff is accepting orders from teachers so eligible students can read for free over the summer break.

Summer Boost

Teachers who order now can offer students with print disabilities a literacy boost at no cost to families or schools so long as education teams find individual learners eligible for...

May 17, 2016

Reader question: Is there any research on how to prevent the summer slide?  I ask both as the parent of a 1st grader and as a teacher. I teach in a small, rural school with many struggling readers and English language learners, and every year we have kids who work their way up to grade level by the end of the school year but are behind grade level again when school starts the...

May 5, 2016

In my third podcast, I'm sitting down with author Michael Chabon, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Kavalier and Clay, a novel for adults. Chabon has also written books for kids — including The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (a picture book) and the middle-grade novel Summerland. In our conversation, he talks about his lifelong love of epic fantasy books and more....

May 4, 2016

Bravo to native Virginian Cece Bell, a Newbery Honor Book winner and 2015 Children's Choice Debut Author finalist who created and illustrated El Deafo. She has crafted the 2016 official and ready-to-download bookmark for the 97th annual Children's Book Week 2016 that runs from May 2-8.

Equally exciting, there...

April 7, 2016

It was my mom who introduced me to Beezus and Ramona. But the introduction was a bit unusual. We’re not talking about a cozy bedtime story or even a read aloud on one of our family’s long car trips. I had Ramona live in my living room.

Mom was, at the time, English Resource Coordinator for the Piedmont Schools Project. I didn’t know what that meant other than she...

March 31, 2016

A call for submissions for the 2016 Walter Grant is out for new U.S. authors and/or illustrators who are diverse themselves and not yet published. The grant program is inclusive of writers who identify themselves as having a disability as well as other categories of diversity including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion that are listed in the grant application guidelines...

March 23, 2016

Creating access for learning through audiobooks may one day have full acceptance; yet changes are underway and options are improving so teachers, parents and students have choices about how students listen while learning.

Not created equally

Teachers of students who struggle to read print know that audio formats are not created equally. There is a continuum from listen-only...

March 11, 2016

Super author Jeff Kinney, best known for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Wimpy Kid movies, does not have dyslexia, nor do his children, but he champions reading audiobooks! In fact, he personally only reads audiobooks as an alternative to traditional print.

Listening to audiobooks is reading, says Kinney. This view refutes claims by some to the contrary. In...

March 3, 2016

Beverly Cleary has received countless awards. They include being named by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend; Cleary received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her lasting contributions to children’s literature; she is the recipient of a Newbery Medal and several Newbery Honors; and has been the American nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award.

But...

February 26, 2016

The Open eBooks app debuted this week creating access to digital books for children in need. Right out of the box, there are questions on social media about accessibility features. That is a good thing. Many ebooks are not accessible or accessible enough for seriously struggling readers.

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

They need "born accessible" electronic books with...

January 25, 2016

Get ready for the Battle of the Kids’ Books (BoB) that begins March 9. Schools, parent groups, and librarians nationwide work together to put on this "book-centric" equivalent to basketball's exciting March Madness tournament.

Be Inclusive

But wait! Are the chosen books in the competition accessible to students who struggle to read traditional print? AIM-VA offers some ideas...

January 14, 2016

On January 7, the 5th Ambassador for Young People’s Literature was officially installed at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Gene Yang's induction was attended by former ambassadors, Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka in a role also held by Walter Dean Myers and Katherine Paterson.

Yang, a former teacher and self-proclaimed nerd, challenged the children and adults to...

December 21, 2015

Reading for pleasure during school breaks can maintain a struggling student's academic progress and may stave off regressions.

Is Print A Troublemaker?

Titles on the list that follows can turn reading into a happy family affair during the upcoming winter break. These books—chosen by experts—come in accessible book formats that make a difference especially for learners who struggle to...

October 30, 2015

National Family Literacy Day® falls on Nov. 1 2015. This national observance often kicks off a month of family literacy activities in libraries, schools, and community settings. It is a time for educators, librarians and others to celebrate learning differences and many ways to read. Put a spotlight on accessible digital text and alternatives to print. Build a nation of readers. 

Digital...

October 15, 2015

Kidlit TV is a resource chock full of treasures to help educators and parents explore children's literature. Be sure to add the "Read Out Loud" selection to your teacher or parent toolkit. Find several books read aloud by their authors.

In the video above, author Mike Curato reads Little Elliot, Big City (4:46 min.), a story of how a little guy in a big city...

September 22, 2015

A vast majority of libraries in the United States have an e-book collection but few patrons know the books are there for loan, according to writer Michael Kozlowski.

In fact, the American Library Association claims that 90% of all branches have one, and the Library Journal puts the figure around 95%. Yet,...

September 23, 2015

September is National Library Card Sign-Up month – rightly so. Schools are open, but the library card sign-up campaign should be a reminder for parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers that it’s never to early for children to visit libraries. Their adults can get books, ideas and maybe gain...

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"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges