Twelve year old Peter Lee and his family are avid baseball fans. Even his strict Chinese immigrant father Ba -who has Peter do homework on the way to games- has some regard for the sport. However, once tragedy strikes, and takes with it a cherished loved one, no one talks about baseball anymore. Peter’s mom stops talking altogether. Convinced that what brought them together before can keep them together now, Peter joins a Little League team. The only problem? The league is short one coach. Ba steps in to seemingly save the day, but his methods rub Peter and his teammates the wrong way. Now whatRead More →

The Brothers of the Ikkuma Pit have fended for themselves since birth. They have no Mothers; only themselves and each other. When they arrive outside the Pit as babies, they must spend a whole night alone before they are welcomed inside to be cared for and guided by the Brothers that came before them. Every time a new Little Brother enters the Pit, a Big Brother must leave to make room for him. No Big Brother has ever returned after leaving to tell of what the outside world holds. Urgle is a Big Brother and he’s not very good at it. His Little Brother CubbyRead More →

Growing up isn’t easy. It never has been, and it probably never will be. High schooler Jason is just trying to make it to eighteen with as little trouble as possible, which is difficult when you have an abusive small time drug dealer for a dad and a little sister to look after. But Jason knows how to fight back; there isn’t a day that his dad comes at him that Jason doesn’t give as good as he gets. His tough kid reputation has made sure that no one at school messes with him. He makes money doing odd jobs around the city, saving upRead More →

Study finds e-readers have opposite effect on middle school girls who struggle with reading (blog.smu.edu – Posted on March 21, 2012 by Margaret Allen) Middle school boys rated reading more valuable as an activity after two months of using an e-reader, according to a new study. The findings come from a study of 199 middle school students who struggle with reading and who participated in a reading improvement class that included Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, said one of the study’s authors, Dara Williams-Rossi, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The researchers found that boys consistently had a higher self-concept of their reading skill than girls both before and afterRead More →

10 great resources from Reading Rockets: Keeping kids interested and motivated to read is sometimes a challenge. Learn how to effectively motivate young learners, including tips from kids for teachers and parents, classroom strategies that work, and guidance for motivating struggling readers, reluctant readers, and boys. What Parents Can Do: Reading Tips From Kids Parents can make reading more motivating by letting children choose books and making reading a memorable family event. Find out what children themselves have to say about these guidelines for parents to increase motivation. Teacher Practices that Impact Reading Motivation Using Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) or practices to encourage engagement, educatorsRead More →

We loved this article by Patrick Carman from SLJ-Check it out now! From School Library Journal, Nov. 1, 2011: Read Beyond the Lines: Transmedia—and its multiplatform brethren—has changed the very notion of books and reading By: Patrick Carman Whenever I speak to a group of middle school students, I run the same simple test. I ask the audience to think about the day before I arrived. Only that one day. Then I have them count on their fingers each of the following things they did the day before I got there: • Used a cell phone • Used a personal device to listen to musicRead More →

School Library Journal’s Nell Colburn (9/1/11) reports: Four-year-old Ana peeks out the window and jumps up and down as soon as she sees a special visitor pull up in front of her apartment complex. “Mama, the bags, las bolsas,” she shouts. Mama has the two bright red bags ready. They’re full of children’s books, the only ones in their home. One holds Spanish-English board books for Ana’s baby brother, Tomás. The other has books for Ana: two picture book classics in English, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (World, 1969) and Martin Waddell’s Owl Babies (Candlewick, 1993), and two bilingual picture books in Spanish andRead More →

From Shaping Youth – Aug. 27, 2011:   Last week the NYTimes Arts Beat ran a solid session on reluctant readers with an extra oomph of focus on boys, GuysRead.comstyle tips about literacy lag and an interesting video of uber-authors James Patterson (Read, Kiddo, Read project; the Maximum Ride series) and Rick Riordan (the Percy Jackson series). Aside from the NYTimes’ sensationalized “Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?” headline which seemed to be a self-defeating hook to glean more eyeballs, it DID make me think a lot about the messages pummeling kids about reading as if it were a Mary Poppins tune “Just a SpoonRead More →