Beatty Award, Bookmobile Day, ACL Fellowships, ALSC Booklists

neighborhood sharksKatherine Roy Named 2015 Beatty Winner: Katherine Roy has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Beatty Award, for her book Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands, published by David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook Press.

Katherine Roy is an author and illustrator who is fascinated by the web of life, and her stories reflect and explore the beauty of the natural world and the intricate relationships between creatures large and small. The Beatty Award is given to the author of a distinguished book that best promotes an awareness of California and its people. An engraved plaque and $500 prize will be presented to Ms. Roy at the California Library Association Annual Conference in Pasadena, November 5-8, 2015.

The 2015 Beatty Award was judged by a committee of seven librarians, confirmed by the President of the California Library Association, Robert Karatsu, to reflect state-wide representation. Lana Adlawan, Oakland Public Library; Amy Bradley, Los Angeles Public Library; Tiffany Bronzan, Sonoma County Library; Hillary George, Los Angeles Public Library; Carolyn Tucey, Sacramento Public Library; Jana Waitman, Ontario City Library; and Ashley Kagan, Committee Chair, Palos Verdes Library District.

Celebrate Bookmobile Day: Check out this fun video from the Alameda County Library Bookmobile – .

dorothyhelfeldACL Fellowships Available: The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California (ACL) invites students of children’s librarianship and/or children’s literature to apply for one of up to three annual membership fellowships. Discover a network of active Bay Area children’s librarians who meet monthly to share their passion for children’s literature and libraries. The annual fellowships cover the cost of a year’s membership in ACL, the 11 issues of its review publication BayViews, and attendance at the annual Institute and Performers Showcase.

Who is eligible?  Anyone currently in library school who may be considering working with children; librarians considering a possible change from adult to children’s work; para-professionals working in school libraries; teachers who may be considering moving to school or public library positions; college students who may be considering library work with children. Students considering or embarking on their studies in children’s librarianship will find an encouraging and challenging community of like-minded individuals.

The winner of this fellowship is expected to attend monthly meetings in the East Bay and to review books and partake in the business of the organization to a reasonable extent.

The Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California (ACL) offers three annual membership fellowships in tribute to Dorothy Helfeld, a member and reviewer for this organization from 1992 until her death in 2008. Dorothy’s library experience spanned several decades and locales. Her ACL reviews reflected her passion for presenting the best to children and her always-growing knowledge of story and authors, which she also shared in her contributions to the annual Institute bibliographies. To Dorothy, reading offered boundless opportunity for celebrating, untangling and enduring the complicated knot of life. The fellowships in her memory allow the Association of Children’s Librarians of Northern California to extend Dorothy’s excitement about children and their books to those at the beginning of their involvement in the field which meant so much to her.

Applications are available online at (MS Word File). Applications are due by June 9, 2015. They will reviewed by a 3-person committee in the early summer and the winners will be announced in mid-August. The fellowship begins in September 2015 and go through December 2016. For further information, please contact the fellowship committee at

Summer Reading Lists Available: The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has updated and released three Summer Reading lists. The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer in order to help prevent the summer slide.

Three lists are available to download for free; K-2nd grade, 3rd–5th grade and 6th-8th grade. Each is available to download on the ALSC website in color and black and white. The lists are available at:
Each of the three 2015 Summer Reading brochures can be customized to include library information. Libraries are encouraged to place their summer hours and summer reading programs for children on each brochure before making copies available to schools and patrons.

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Review of the Week: “The Question of Miracles”

question of miraclesArnold, Elana K. The Question of Miracles. Fiction. Houghton, 02/2015. 233p. $16.99. 978-0-544-33464-9

When 11-year-old Iris arrives at her new home in rainy Corvallis, Oregon, she is haunted by the recent death of her best friend, Sarah, back in California. This quiet, character-driven novel beautifully captures Iris’s struggle to understand and cope with the loss of her friend. At her new school, Iris reluctantly builds a friendship with an outcast, Boris. When she finds out his birth was a medical miracle, Iris fixates on the idea of miracles—if they exist, she may be able to communicate with Sarah again. But she also wonders why miracles happen for some and not for others. With well-developed characters and strong writing, The Question of Miracles engages readers in the difficult but relatable themes of friendship and loss.

Ally Hack, Oakland Public Library

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ACL Institute Resources List Available

Woodson Institute
ACL Institute “All Due Respect” a Big Success: The 2015 ACL Institute “All Due Respect” focused on diversity, equity, and creating safe space for all youth, and was held last Friday, April 10th. Special thanks to the San Francisco Public Library for hosting this event, and special congratulations to the event’s coordinator Meredith Steiner!

The day featured several speakers including award-winning children’s author Jacqueline Woodson (seen above), as well as Malinda Lo, Maya Gonzalez, Laura Atkins, Nina Lindsay, and Aya de Leon. Be sure to check out the Bibliography of related websites compiled by Linda Perkins, available on the Institute page: .

Two of the presentations at the Institute were videotaped, and should be uploaded onto the Institute webpage soon. You can see them here:


Congratulations to Meredith and everyone involved with putting on this event!

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Programming Ideas for “Read to the Rhythm” and “Every Hero Has a Story”

Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas

Read to the Rhythm“Read to the Rhythm” 2015 Summer Reading Program

Each year’s summer reading theme offers a great topic for a Do-It-Yourself program. In California, the 2015 summer reading program materials provided by the California State Library celebrate “Read to the Rhythm.” A program on that theme could include:

Icebreaker: Dance! Have a dance party to kick-off your event, with simple line or circle dances like “The Chicken Dance” or “The Hokey Pokey.”

Craft Stations:
Make a home-made guitar:

Make a home-made drum:

Decoupage with sheet music:

Game Stations:
Ring the Drum: Place some small children’s preschool instruments on the ground. Have player stand four to six feet from the instruments. Have player toss three embroidery hoops over the instruments. If they can ring one, they win! Make sure the hoops are large enough to go over the instrument. Drums work very well for this game.

Pin the Microphone on the Popstar: Get a large poster of Harry Styles (from One Direction) or any other popular singer that appeals to tweens. Cut out construction paper microphones. Have a blindfolded player tape the microphone on the poster, trying to get it as close to the hand as possible. This is similar to “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”

Name That Tune:

Community Partners:
Have a musical instrument petting zoo. Partner with a local music program, such as the nearby middle school, so children can see and touch a variety of musical instruments. Include instruments from various cultures and countries.

Invite a local science teacher to do some demonstrations. Do some simple science experiments that explore the science of sound:

Ask your high school volunteers to run an area where kids can play some “old school” music-themed videogames such as Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero.

Refreshments: Since many of the dance activities are aerobic in nature, be sure to have lots of water and juice drinks. Fresh fruit would also be a welcome treat!

Movie Showing: If you want to show a full-length movie highlighting music, try a Sing-Along movie showing. Use a DVD that has lyric captions, such as “Frozen,” or “Sound of Music.” For more summer programming ideas, check out: iRead programming ideas:
2015 SRP Hero 2“Every Hero Has a Story” 2015 Summer Reading Program

Each year’s summer reading theme offers a great topic for a Do-It-Yourself program. In some areas, libraries will be using the 2015 summer reading program materials provided by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (, celebrating “Every Hero Has a Story.” A program on that theme could include:

Icebreaker: Read a few fun “superhero” picture books, such as:
• Leroy, Jean. Superfab Saves the Day.
• McCloud, Bob. SuperHero ABC.
• Morales, Yuyi. Nino Wrestles the World.
• O’Connor, George. KAPOW!

Craft Stations:
Make superhero capes out of rolls of plastic tablecloth: .

Make simple Batman and Robin action figures out of toilet paper tubes:

Make simple Avengers bookmarks out of craft sticks: .

Game Stations:
Phone Booth Clothing Change Race: Just like Superman, players will need to change into their superhero costume in a “phone booth” you make out of a large cardboard box (be sure you cut a window in the top portion of the box so you can see the player). Have them remove their Clark Kent eyeglasses, necktie, and jacket, and put on their capes, wristbands, and boots. See who can change their clothes in the shortest amount of time!

Kryptonite Hunt: Paint some rocks (about the size of an egg or baseball) with some florescent green paint. Hide them around the garden area or patio of the library like you would Easter Eggs. Any player who finds a Kryptonite rock can exchange it for a prize! You might want to limit this to just one per child. You can also do this in small groups of children who are the same age, to give little kids a fair chance.

Capture the Villain: Tape printouts of superhero villains, like the Joker, Penguin, Green Goblin, or other bad guy, to some empty 2-liter soda bottles that have an inch or two of sand in the bottle. Each player receives three beanbags and takes aim at the bottles; if they can knock down one of the villains, the player wins a prize!

Community Partners:
Invite the local firefighters to come. They can show the children their fire truck and equipment, and talk about their jobs.

See if a local service dog group can bring some of the dogs that assist military veterans or those with disabilities, to explain how these hero dogs are trained.

Refreshments: Superheroes eat their veggies, so offer some carrots, celery, and other raw veggies along with ranch dressing for dipping, and bottled water.

Movie Showing: If you want to show a full-length movie highlighting heroes, try “Big Hero 6.”

For more summer programming ideas, check out the Collaborative Summer Library Program website:

Penny Peck,
SJSU iSchool

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Review of the Week: Last Stop on Market Street

last stop on market streetReview of the Week: De la Pena, Matt. Last Stop on Market Street. Christian Robinson, Illus. Picture Book. Putnam/Penguin, January 2015. [32]p. $16.99. 978-0-399-25774-2.

As brown-skinned CJ and his “Nana” take the bus from church to their usual Sunday destination, a community soup kitchen, CJ grumbles with envy about advantages other children enjoy. In response to each complaint, Nana points out the beauty of their gritty, urban neighborhood and diverse array of friends: “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.” The taut, upbeat narrative reveals a warm sense of community without sentimentality or sappiness. Robinson’s characteristic collage and acrylic figures travel through San Francisco-like city scenes and interact realistically with fellow bus riders. Unfortunately, a few items
specified in the text cannot be found in the pictures, but these omissions cannot sink a buoyant Sunday outing that finds eclectic urban beauty in unlikely places among an offbeat cast of characters.

Linda Perkins, Independent

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ACL Institute this Friday, April 10th; Out of the Ordinary – Reissues and More

2015 ACL InstituteReminder: ACL Institute this Friday, April 10, 2015 at San Francisco Public Library
Date: April 10, 2015

Time: 8:30am -4:30pm

Location: San Francisco Public Library – Main Library

Presentations by Jacqueline Woodson, Maya Gonzalez, Malinda Lo, Aya de Leon

Cost :ACL Members: $55; Non-Members: $65; Students: $25, limited space available at the door for $75.

Register NOW – online  .

Out of the Ordinary:

TuckBabbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting: 40th Anniversary Edition. Square Fish/FSG, 1975/2015. $19.99, ISBN 978-0-374-30167-5.

If a publisher wants to put out an anniversary edition of a beloved children’s novel, this is the way to do it. First, the novel itself is still popular and relevant, and secondly, this edition is packed with extras to make it a worthy purchase.

This edition kicks off with an introduction by Gregory Maguire, author of several tween novels as well as the adult novel Wicked, which was turned into the hit Broadway musical. He discusses Babbitt’s writing style and sophisticated themes, which acknowledges the intelligence of her young readers.

At the end of the book is an in-depth interview with the author. Here Babbitt expresses her respect for children as readers and her distain for those who underestimate the emotional intelligence of children.

The other extra that concludes the book is a selection of excerpts from Babbitt’s other books, which serve as a form of booktalks; readers will be motivated to check out her other books based on these selections.

The plot has definitely stood the test of time – the question of a Fountain of Youth and living forever is still relevant. The writing never talks down to the reader and is especially good at incorporating challenging vocabulary in context so it is easy to discern what a word means.

Like many of the classic novels this column has reviewed, this is relatively brief at 139 pages. It is another reminder that the “doorstop” tween novels of 300 and 400 pages are not always better or more challenging just because they are long. Writing a concise story is often stronger than some of the rambling narratives being published today for the same age group.

Although the film version, also titled “Tuck Everlasting,” wasn’t a hit, it is relatively true to the original with the exception that the main character Winnie is a teen, not an 11-year-old. But the actors are exemplary – Sissy Spacek and Jonathan Jackson are especially good in their roles. This edition would be great for a tween book discussion group that also watches the film and compares the two.

Lester, Helen. Pookins Gets Her Way. Illus. by Lynn Munsinger. HMH, 1987/2015. $8.99, ISBN 978-0-544-32406-0.

Lester, Helen. Score One for the Sloths. Illus. by Lynn Munsinger. HMH, 1987/2015. $8.99, ISBN 978-0-544-32405-3.

Two of Lester’s and Munsinger’s humorous picture books have been reissued with downloadable audio recordings, available on the publisher’s website ( ). These two titles join eight of their previous books reissued with audio; along with the solid narration, the recordings contain subtle sound effects, as well as a light bell sound to signal when to turn the page. These will work well for libraries since the password allowing one to download the recording is on the verso of the title page, and the download isn’t assigned just to one computer.

There is also a download PDF that contains discussion and activity guides for each title. The guide seems best suited to classroom use as the activities are discussions or writing exercises, not arts and crafts or games. The books with downloadable recordings are under an umbrella series called “Laugh-Along Lessons.”

Both titles are popular and fun with sly lessons on proper behavior. For example, Pookins learns it is not always good to get one’s demands, and the Sloths learn to give activity a try. Lester is very good at making these messages subtle, and tempered with humor, and Munsinger continues the fun with her cartoon illustrations. These make nice replacement editions for libraries that need new copies.

Lowry, Lois. Anastasia Krupnik. HMH, 1979/2015. $6.99, ISBN 978-0-544-33668-1.

Lowry, Lois. Anastasia Again! HMH, 1981/2015. $6.99, ISBN 978-0-544-33667-4.

Anastasia Krupnik is one of Lois Lowry’s most popular characters; the series is being reissued in paperback with new cover art and with new introductions by the author. The first two titles came out in January 2015, and books three and four will be available July 2015: Anastasia At Your Service and Anastasia Off Her Rocker.

Anastasia was always an intriguing, likable character in part due to her intelligence – she wasn’t the average clueless girl getting into trouble. Her parents were somewhat unusual and she had an independence that readers envied, which makes these books still popular. Also, they had a calm humor that was very relatable.

The new jacket art is done in a color cartoon style featuring a skinny girl with long blond hair – the artwork evokes the style of fashion design drawings. The new introductions are different in the two books I was able to see, and it is nice that the publisher didn’t skimp by giving readers the same intro for both books. Lowry talks about her character and the motivation for writing the series. Plus, she briefly describes a few things that may seem “dated” to new young readers who don’t remember the 1970’s and ‘80’s.

These paperback versions would be great purchases for summer casual reading, and the strong female main character is certainly timely and welcome.

There are nine books total in the initial series of “Anastasia” books, followed by a spinoff starring Anastasia’s baby brother Sam, which began with All About Sam (1988), followed by Attaboy, Sam!(1992). These last two titles will be reissued in paperback with new cover art in January 2016.

O’Connor, Jane. Fancy Nancy: 10th Anniversary Special Edition. Illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser, Harper, 2006/2015. $17.99, ISBN 978-0-06-235214-9.

What started as a story for preschool girly-girls has turned into an industry, with more than 15 picture books, a transitional fiction series starring the character, and several easy readers. The books have been translated into 18 different languages, and Tina Fey has optioned the book for a live-action feature film. There is even a “Fancy Nancy” stage musical! So it is no surprise that the publisher would reissue the book for its 10th anniversary.

This new edition is very similar to the original book; in fact, it only contains one new element. On the back endpapers are the lyrics to one song from the musical, “Anyone Can Be Fancy.” If you go to the website you can download a recording of the song. Because there is only one minor new element, this is not worth purchasing by most libraries, unless you need replacement copies of the original.

Penny Peck,  SJSU iSchool

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ALSC Preconference, Ellen Conford Dies, Waterstones Prize, Webinar on YA Books

HorningALSC PRECONFERENCE IN SAN FRANCISCO:  The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) and the ALSC Awards Preconference Pilot Program Task Force announced the theme and speakers for the 2015 ALSC preconference program. This program takes place 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday, June 26, 2015, at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

The program, entitled “Distinguished and Diverse: Celebrate the 2015 ALSC Honor Books,” will spotlight 2015 Honor Book recipients for the Newbery, Caldecott, Batchelder, Pura Belpré, Sibert and Geisel awards. The keynote speaker for the program is K.T. Horning, and there will be a panel facilitated by Judy Freeman.

The event will feature authors, illustrators and editors such as Cece Bell, Jacqueline Woodson, Lauren Castillo, Mary GrandPré, Candace Fleming, Yuyi Morales, Jillian Tamaki, Katherine Roy, John Parra, Patricia Hruby Powell, Mark Siegel, Christian Robinson, Jon Klassen and Melissa Sweet. ALSC members receive a special discount (use code: ALSC2015) on registration: .

Author Ellen Conford Dies: Author Ellen Conford died on March 20, 2015, at age 73 Confordafter a long illness. Conford wrote more than 30 books for children, most of which are humorous novels for ages 7-12, including the “Jenny Archer” series. Two tween novels, The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations, and Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate, were adapted into afterschool specials for television. For more information, see: .

Blown AwayRob Biddulph Wins Waterstones Prize: Rob Biddulph’s debut picture book Blown Away was awarded the Watershones Children’s Book Prize for 2015. He wrote and illustrated the tale of Penguin Blue and his friends’ unplanned trip to the jungle. Sally Green’s Half Bad was named the best book for teens, and Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike was named best young fiction book. For more, see: .

What’s New in Young Adult Literature 2015 Update
Presenter: Michael Cart  Cart
Format: Free Webinar
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Start Time: 12 Noon Pacific
At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will be familiar with:
• Trends in YA literature and publishing
• New YA fiction that comprises “first purchases”
• Nonfiction for both recreational and classroom use
• Graphic novels and comics
• Adult books for young adults and New Adults
This webinar will be of interest to both public and school library staff with young adult collection development responsibility. For more information, free registration, and to participate in the April 21st webinar, go to .

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