Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading…It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.
The district school board voted 6-1 Thursday night to remove the entire reading list
If you’ve been following the story of a Delaware school board’s decision to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post from its high school summer reading list, apparently the final decision is in — the entire reading list has now been removed.
That means not only has Cameron Post been removed, other books including Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, John Lewis’s March, and even John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars will no longer be recommended as summer reads for incoming freshman at Cape Henlopen High School. A sad end to a really wonderful and diverse reading list.
I’m furious about this, not just because this means excellent books will be that much farther out of teens’ reach, but because it’s such a cop-out. The school board was faced with a difficult decision, and essentially decided to not decide.
They decided there was no way to make everyone happy, so they’d just duck and cover and hope to scrape by and get re-elected by eliminating the issue altogether. The thing is, you can’t eliminate issues just by pretending they don’t exist.
Kids in Delaware will still make choices about what to read — but now they’ll be doing so in the dark, despite the team of librarians who had carefully selected a list of books they thought would be good matches for their students.
I’m sure the school board thinks this is a “compromise” solution. When in reality this is the ultimate coward’s way out.
So incredibly infuriating.
The safe and nurturing space of the school library offers students a place where they can simply be themselves and grow.
I, bookphile, will be hosting a Tamora Pierce Tortall Universe read-a-thon from August through October (because there’re 17 books come on now). Why? Because she’s my favorite author and more people on tumblr need to know about her books!! There are five series of books in the Tortall universe (three with 4 books, one with 2, and one with 3).
-Send me an email (email@example.com) by July 25th saying you want to join the read-a-thon. Allow me a couple days to reply. And if you want to join only for a specific series, or all of them. I will open entries again when we’re close to finishing each series, just to give more people a chance. I will create a group for us on goodreads for discussions. And maybe host discussions on a chat board after each series.
-You do not have to participate in all the series (re-)reads. So if you only want to read one series and participate and don’t want to read the rest of the books that’s fine. Or if you want to join in later, because you don’t want to (re)read the earlier books, that’s fine, too. I strongly recommend you do not join later on if you have not read the early books because you will be confused. But you must join before book 1 of each series begins to be read, and you must read the entire series not just one or two books.
-I will be posting quotes from the books, reblogging fan art, asking questions, leading discussions on this blog and the book club. You’re welcome to do whatever you like, reblog, comment, etc. If you want to reblog something or post something for me to see please tag it with either bookphile or tortallbookclub, make sure you don’t have more than 5 tags per post or else tumblr won’t let me see them (their rules not mine). You can also submit posts to me.
-After we finish reading all the books, I will host a giveaway, in which a winner will get to pick a series (with all the books) as prize. But only people who participate in the read-a-thon will be allowed to enter. I will not be making the link to the giveaway public on this blog.
The series will be read in this order (dates are tentative):
The Song of the Lioness Quartet August 1st to 10th
From Goodreads: The Song of the Lioness quartet is the adventurous story of one girl’s journey to overcome the obstacles facing her, become a valiant knight, and save Tortall from conquest. Alanna douses her female identity to begin her training in Alanna: The First Adventure, and when she gains squire status in In the Hand of the Goddess, her growing abilities make her a few friends — and many enemies. Books 3 and 4 complete Alanna’s adventure and secure her legend, with the new knight errant taking on desert tribesmen in The Woman Who Rides like a Man and seeking out the powerful Dominion Jewel in Lioness Rampant.
4 books. The Lioness books aren’t that thick and read quickly, so ten days should suffice, plus that’s two weekends.
The Immortals Quartet August 11th to 24th
From Wiki: The Immortals quartet, by Tamora Pierce, is the story of Veralidaine Sarrasri (known as Daine), an orphan with an unusual talent: she can speak with animals.
4 books. The Immortals books are a bit thicker, so I’m giving them a bit more time, but again, that’s two weekends.
Protector of the Small Quartet August 25th to September 14th
From Goodreads: Ten-year-old Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight.
4 books. While the first two books aren’t that thick, the last two are. Plus the writing and world gets much more complex. So this will take a couple of weeks. I’m guessing quite a few people will be going back to school as well.
The Daughter of the Lioness Duology September 15h - Sep 28th
Sixteen is a rebellious age for most young people, and Aly is no exception. With her mother, the lady knight Alanna, forever being summoned to some crisis or other, and the young men of Tortall little more than diversions, Aly is bored and restless. But everything changes when Aly, sailing alone down the coast of Tortall, is captured by pirates and winds up a slave to the Balitangs, a kindly noble family of the Copper Isles. Enter Kyprioth, patron god of the Isles, also known as Trickster, who is looking to shift the balance of power back to his raka worshipers. But deals with gods are never simple matters; she doesn’t count on becoming personally involved in the raka revolt, or with an unusual young man who has his own plans for Aly..
Only two books, but they’re quiet thick, so I’m giving it two weeks, one for each book. School will be back in session so I’m taking that into account.
Provost’s Dog Trilogy September 29th - October 19th
Hundreds of years before Alanna first drew her sword in Tamora Pierce’s memorable debut, Alanna: The First Adventure, Tortall had a heroine named Beka Cooper - a fierce young woman who fights crime in a world of magic. This is the beginning of her story, her legend, and her legacy….
Three books, also quiet thick, so one week per each book.
Please respond by July 25th, I mean, I’ll do it, even if no one else does, but I wouldn’t mind company. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Signal boost! (I’ll be traveling during that time, otherwise I’d totally do it. )
The biggest issue with equating the library with a Netflix for books is that it sends a false message that libraries are worth little more than $8 or $12 or $20 a month. That the services offered in libraries are little more than options to which people can subscribe, rather than actual services anyone can utilize at any time.
When the library is made to be seen as a business, rather than the heart of a community or a fundamental service made possible through citizen-approved tax dollars, it makes the library expendable. That expendability then moves down the chain: staff salaries get cut, then staff withers, then more programs and projects that benefit the community — books and movies and CDs and magazines and newspapers and wifi and computer access and database subscriptions and programs for all shapes, colors, and sizes of people — disappear, too. It detracts from the unique aspects that make a library what it is: a place for all, rather than a place for some.
Libraries reach out where Netflix reaches in.
You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. This one is a little different.
So the peer-review process at Sage’s Journal of Vibration and Control (oh the jokes I won’t make) has been manipulated by a variety of sockpuppets and other forms of review fraud, forcing them to retract 60 (!) articles.
Note that this happened to a major for-profit journal publisher, the type that supposedly has better controls than open access journals.
It’s also evidence why research assignments and information literacy instruction should not robotically insist that peer-review status is the standard by which the quality of a source is judged. Critical appraisal by the researcher is far more important, and should be applied across both the web and when using academic journals. A checkbox in a database is not enough when determining the value of a source.
I wonder how many other journals and scholarly articles have been affected by this kind of fraud?
I was searching for a DVD for a group of younger high school boys when I overheard this conversation between them:
Boy 1 [looking up at our skylight]: “Why do all libraries have tall ceilings?”
Boy 2: “Because libraries are cool.”
Boy 1: “Yeah, libraries are pretty cool places.”
Boy 2: “They’re cooler than people expect them to be.”
Orange is the New Black explaining the fun that is the Dewey Decimal System!
we need some READ posters featuring the OITNB ladies
- LITTLE GIRL: You have butterflies in the library.
- ME: We do! They're called painted ladies. See how pretty their wings are when they open them up?
- LITTLE GIRL: Oh, they look like a tiger!
- ME: I think so too.
- LITTLE GIRL: I'm not scared of tigers.
- ME: You're braver than me, then. I think I would be very afraid if I saw a tiger.
- LITTLE GIRL: Nope, not me.
- ME: I bet you would be a Gryffindor!
- LITTLE GIRL: Yeah, probably!
- : :Long Pause::
- LITTLE GIRL: My dad killed a tiger.
- ME: Um--
- LITTLE GIRL: Yeah, with a knife. A big knife. He killed it and then we ate it for dinner. As tiger burgers.
- ME: That is really not where I expected this conversation to go.
"Like everyone I was shocked and saddened by the announcement that author Walter Dean Myers had recently passed away. The first National Ambassador of Children’s Literature to leave us, there is little to say about his life that hasn’t been said by others far more eloquently than I…