January 2006

(SAN ANTONIO) Lynne Rae Perkins, author of “Criss Cross,” and Chris Raschka, illustrator of “The Hello, Goodbye Window,” are the 2006 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, the most prestigious awards in children’s literature.

Perkins and Raschka were among the award winners announced January 23 by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, January 20-25. Considered the “Academy Awards” of children’s book publishing, the Newbery and Caldecott medals honor outstanding writing and illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year.
“Criss Cross” follows the lives of four 14-year-olds in a small town, each at their own crossroads. This ensemble cast explores new thoughts and feelings in their quest to find the meaning of life and love.

“Writing in a wry, omniscient third-person narrative voice, Perkins deftly captures the tentativeness and incompleteness of adolescence,” said Award Committee Chair Barbara Barstow. “In 38 brief chapters, this poetic, postmodern novel experiments with a variety of styles: haiku, song lyrics, question-and-answer dialogue and split-screen scenarios. With seeming yet deliberate randomness, Perkins writes an orderly, innovative, and risk-taking book in which nothing happens and everything happens.” The book is published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The 2006 Caldecott Medal for illustration is awarded to Chris Raschka for “The Hello, Goodbye Window,” written by Norton Juster and published by Michael di Capua Books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children. In this sunny portrait of familial love, a little girl tells us about her everyday experiences visiting her grandparents’ house. Raschka’s style resembles the spontaneous drawings of children, perfectly mirroring the guileless young narrator’s exuberant voice. White space balances the density of the layered colors, creating a visual experience that is surprisingly sophisticated.

“With a few energetic lines, Raschka suggests a world filled with affection and humor,” said Award Committee Chair Gratia Banta. “The richly textured tones of these expressive illustrations convey the emotional warmth of the intergenerational connection.”

Raschka won a Caldecott Honor for “Yo! Yes?” in 1994.
Four Newbery Honor Books were named: “Whittington” by Alan Armstrong, illustrated by S.D. Schindler and published by Random House; “Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and published by Scholastic Nonfiction, an imprint of Scholastic; “Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale, published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books; and “Show Way” by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott and published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

In “Whittington,” Armstrong creates a glorious barnyard fantasy that seamlessly weaves together three tales: Whittington the cat’s arrival on Bernie’s farm, his retelling of the traditional legend of his 14th-century namesake, and one boy’s struggle to learn to read. These three tales unite the disparate citizens of the barn community in a celebration of oral and written language, the support of friends, the healing power of humor and the triumph of life.
How could the Holocaust have happened? Bartoletti delivers a chilling answer by exploring Hitler’s rise to power through the first-hand experiences of young followers whose adolescent zeal he so successfully exploited and the more extraordinary few who risked certain death in resisting. The meticulously researched volume traces the Hitler Youth movement from the time it formally gathered strength in the early 1930s through the defeat of the Third Reich. The grace and clarity of the writing make “Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow” a powerful addition to Holocaust literature for children.

Miri and the other young women of her rocky highland village are forced to leave their close-knit community when the prince must choose a bride in “The Princess Academy.” Like the miri flower, which sprouts from the cracks in the linder rock, Miri soon becomes the strong, resilient and courageous leader of the academy. The book is a fresh approach to the traditional princess story with unexpected plot twists and great emotional resonance.
“And the children leaned in./And listened real hard.” Jacqueline Woodson’s magnificent poem “Show Way” tells the story of slavery, emancipation and triumph for each generation of her maternal ancestors. She pays tribute to the creative women who guided their “tall and straight-boned” daughters to courage, self-sufficiency and freedom. Whether with quilts or stories, poems or songs, these women discovered and shared the strength to carry on. “There’s a road, girl./There’s a road.”

Four Caldecott Honor Books were named: “Rosa,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni and published by Henry Holt and Company; “Zen Shorts,” written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth and published by Scholastic Press; “Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride,” written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, An Anne Schwartz Book from Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster; “Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems,” illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman and published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

From the arresting cover through the endpapers, “Rosa,” with Giovanni’s spare, elegant prose and Collier’s iconic illustrations, celebrates the quiet courage of Rosa Parks. Collier’s radiant watercolors of faces and hands highlighted against the edges of his richly colored collages create another distinguished work of art from this award-winning illustrator. Collier also received a 2002 Caldecott Honor for “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” written by Doreen Rappaport.

“Zen Shorts,” Muth’s story of inquisitive siblings befriending a wise panda, is told through luminous watercolors interwoven with three lessons, set apart by starkly contrasting Asian-inspired brush paintings. The interplay of artistic styles elegantly conveys the gentle, timeless messages of self-knowledge and acceptance.
Energetic lines and rich watercolors animate “Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride,” an aerial adventure over 18th-century France. Priceman, who previously received a 1996 Caldecott Honor for “Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin,” combines spare text, dynamic design and masterful perspective to illuminate the humor and high jinks of three animals swept up in the winds of history.
Eleven joyful songs of everyday pond life throughout the seasons are celebrated through “Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems,” an elegant and satisfying combination of visual drama, poetry and scientific facts. The organic lines of Prange’s exceptionally executed, hand-colored woodblock illustrations enlarge upon Sidman’s expressive nature-themed poems.


Announced on Monday, January 16, the newest selection for Oprah is a short 120 page book sure to have a dramatic impact on all readers. It is Night by Elie Weisel. Here is a link to information about the High School Essay Contest sponsored by Oprah Winfrey.

On December 30, President Bush signed into law the Defense appropriations bill, which included the Hurricane Education Recovery Act. This Act provided funds for public and private schools that are educating displaced students and schools that were damaged and/or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.

Section 101 of the Hurricane Education Recovery Act provided funds for the “Immediate Aid to Restart School Operations.” According to the legislative language, these funds may be used for a wide variety of activities including the initial replacement of instructional materials and equipment, including textbooks. Congress intended these funds to be flexible. We have contacted officials at the U.S. Department of Education and they concur with Congressional intent.

If you are in any school that qualifies for these funds, please contact your school administrator to ensure that the needs of the school library are met. If you are told that purchasing materials and/or equipment for school libraries is not an allowable use of funds, contact us immediately . We will provide you with official clarification from the U.S. Department of Education.

Emily Sheketoff

Melanie Anderson

The new Library Grants Blog, by librarians Pam MacKellar and Stephanie Gerding, provides a free resource for finding library grant and award opportunities. This blog is the only single online location where a librarian can find the latest grants from all types of sources – government, foundations, corporations, organizations, and professional associations – as well as additional opportunities for awards and internships.

Examples of current postings include government grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, foundation grants from the Verizon Foundation and the For All Kids Foundation, awards from the National Library Commission and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, a corporate grant from the Bank of the West, an internship at Cornell University Library, and grants from the American Library Association.

For more information on applying for grants, purchase their new Neal-Schuman title, Grants for Libraries. Visit the Library Grants Blog at http://www.librarygrants.blogspot.com/ for a complete listing of grant opportunities.”

Source: http://www.lisnews.com

How would you rank your job stress? I found a link to this article from the British Times online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1980961,00.html

Maybe I should offer a workshop in stress management this summer! 🙂

Here is a link to part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences From the Students’ Classroom. Students will be able to construct a graph online. http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/
Source: Sybil Finemel, Librarians’ Index to the Internet http://lii.org/

TeachingBooks.net has announced the expansion of its content and addition of new features designed to help educators use technology to reveal the spirit and personality behind books.
With more than 4 million student users, TeachingBooks.net now includes simpler searches, curriculum-aligned resources, and training materials to enhance usability and facilitate classroom integration. In addition, TeachingBooks.net continues to increase the number of online resources available, now offering more than 10,000 author programs, book readings, book guides, and other multimedia resources.
Enhanced search capabilities allow for quick and easy navigation, offering educators the option of searching by author, title, keyword, grade level, or subject. A new QuickSearch function provides educators with access to English language learner (ELL) materials and state book award resources such as the Texas Bluebonnet reading list.
The latest version of TeachingBooks.net offers easier accessibility for educators and students via one-password access. IP authentication provides automatic sign-in for students at school, eliminating the need for student passwords.
In addition to improving search functions and access, a new section providing resources and services is now available to help educators incorporate TeachingBooks.net into their lesson plans. The Educator Area features more than 600 thematic K-12 booklists, information on most English language children’s and young adult book awards and distinctions, and thousands of links to professional resources for educators. To further support the use of TeachingBooks.net in schools, support and training resources are now included with every subscription.
To sign up for a free 14-day TeachingBooks.net trial, visit
Source: TeachingBooks.net,

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