ALSConnect - June 2011, Vol. 9, no. 2

***Attn: This is an ARCHIVE page. Web sites and e-mail addresses referenced on this page may no longer be in service.***

Officially Speaking

President’s Program: Autism in the Library

According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects 1 in 110 children, and 1 in 70 boys in the United States. Yet, the first comprehensive study of autism using a total population sample issued in May 2011 indicated that actual prevalence rates could be as high as 1 in 38 kids. Given these startling statistics and ALSC’s mission of making libraries vital to all children and their families, how can we best serve young people on the autism spectrum?

Enter Dr. Ricki Robinson, the keynote speaker for the 2011 Charlemae Hill Rollins President’s Program, who has dedicated her pediatric practice for twenty-years to an integrative—and individualized--approach to treating children on the autism spectrum. A Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California and the author of Autism Solutions: How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child (Harlequin, 2011), Dr. Robinson is a speaker who is nationally recognized for her groundbreaking knowledge and expertise. During her address entitled, “Autism from the Inside Out,” Dr. Robinson will define autism, debunk long-standing myths, and explain the underlying causes of the standard symptoms associated with this developmental disorder. Sharing the brain science that provides evidence for giving help to—and ultimately hope for—children on the autism spectrum, “Dr. Ricki,” as she is fondly called by her patients, will also provide practical suggestions for making visits to the library a positive experience, including partnering with parents and other caregivers.

Following her lecture, Dr. Robinson will be joined for a panel discussion by award-winning authors Cynthia Lord (Rules) and Francisco X. Stork (Marcelo in the Real World), who are also committed to helping others learn more about the distinctive experiences of those with autism through their writings. Tricia Bohanon Twarogowski, who has developed innovative library programs for special needs children and their families, will round out this group of compassionate experts. Concluding with a question-and-answer-session, the 2011 ALSC President’s Program will help enhance your ability to integrate young patrons with ASD and autism into your library and community.-—Julie Corsaro, ALSC President

Back to top of page

Tell the Story: Over and Over and Over Again

“A mouse took a stroll in a deep, dark wood….” When my niece Meghan was young, her favorite book was The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Like many children who love a book, she wanted to hear this story over and over and over again. So we read it to her, over and over and over again, until we could quote lines back and forth like the best readers’ theater company. Ten years later, the stanzas still pop into my head at random moments.

One of my favorite management mottos reminds me to “Communicate Relentlessly.” It’s another way of telling the story over and over. As managers or advocates, we may feel like we’ve told the story, whatever story it is, so many times that our audience should be able to quote it back verbatim. But just as my niece took something she needed away from each reading of The Gruffalo, so our listeners take away new or increased understanding each time we repeat our message.

This presidency year, I’m inviting us all to strengthen ALSC by focusing on communicating value—the value of children and tweens, the value of libraries, the value of our work, the value of our expertise, and the value of ALSC. Our first task in pursuit of that goal is to be sensitive, clear, and relentless communicators.

While all of us are good communicators—after all, we’ve gotten this far, most of us also know where our growing edges are. Improving our communication skills is a job for life. Fortunately, it’s also one for which there is ample help. Here are some ideas:

Cultivate exceptional listening skills. Communication, even relentless communication, is never one-way. For every story we tell, someone else has a story he deeply needs us to hear. Acquiring exceptional listening skills—the ability to pay attention, truly process what’s being said, and demonstrate understanding—can change your life. Search out books and workshops to strengthen your skills. Volunteer to host the question-and-answer period at an ALSC program your committee presents, practicing listening to paraphrase the question for the rest of the audience. Treat meetings and customer interactions as opportunities to exercise your new expertise.

Read, read, read. This is an easy way to improve written communication! Read books on communication. Read award books, noticing their beautiful language and elegant sentence structure. Read Children and Libraries and ALSConnect cover to cover, and practice your professional writing skills by submitting an article for journal publication. (Most issues of Children and Libraries have instructions for authors.) Volunteer to post on the ALSC Blog.

Learn to fear public speaking less than death. Surveys show that most people rate public speaking as more fearful than dying. Challenge your fear. Listen to excellent speakers. Attend ALA annual conferences and make time to hear the keynote speakers like Al Gore and Gloria Steinem. Analyze what made them excellent. Join a local Toastmasters club to develop your own public speaking chops. Practice them by volunteering to be moderator or handle introductions at an ALSC program your committee is presenting.

Pursue fluency in body language. More powerful even than our words, body language is an essential part of what we communicate. Author Janine Driver (You Say More Than You Think) has some useful insights. Practice reading body language at the ALSC 101 program at Annual Conference, while you’re being introduced to the association or its newer members.

Consciously honing communication skills reaps results personally and professionally. In ALSC and all other areas of life, your sharpened communication skills will help you tell –and hear—the stories that must be shared. And when we tell compelling stories about our work creating a better future for children through libraries, we’re communicating its value. That’s a story worth telling—over and over and over again.—Mary Fellows, ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect

Back to top of page

Thanks to Our Donors

Many thanks to the following contributors to ALSC. To learn how you can contribute, visit and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.

Frinds of ALSC

President's Circle

Cynthia K. Richey

Gold Circle

Mary Burkey
Dudley Carlson

Notables' Circle

Julie Corsaro
Lexy Largent
Claudette McLinn
David Mowery

Friends' Circle

Caitlin Dixon
Kim Olsen-Clark

ALSC Carole D. Fiore Leadership Fund

Dianne C. Brady (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Samuel Eason (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Carole D. Fiore (in honor of Susan and Richard Roman's 50th wedding anniversary)
Nicholas Fiore (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Janice Margle (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Susan McCleaf Nespeca (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Dr. Thomas Park (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Patricia Panella (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Jean Peters (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
David A. Sokol (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Rita Spelkoman (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Phyllis Van Orden (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Booker Warren (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
Christian Warren (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)
George B. Wilkins, Jr. (in honor of Stan Fiore's 90th birthday)

Back to top of page

Bright Ideas

New Life for Used Books: Summer Reading Incentives

After years of struggling with what kinds of gifts to offer those who persevere and finish our summer reading program, the children’s room staff at the Falmouth (Maine) Memorial Library came up with a wonderful and easy idea. Why not give each child a free book! This idea also fit nicely with the children’s room’s overall goal to foster a love of reading for reading’s sake, rather than rewarding the children with elaborate or expensive prizes.

Yet with more than 650 children signing up each year and 247 or more completing the program, how could my small, rural library afford books for each child? Fortunately, the solution was just as easy as the idea: use books donated for the library’s book sale.

Throughout the year, the library receives hundreds of books that are sold in the book sale. Seriously, hundreds of books! As books come into the library, staff rummage through the boxes and select books that fit the criteria of being in good condition, with no worn covers or names written inside. When it comes time to promote the summer reading program, we tell the children that if they complete the program they are eligible for a “free book.” We explain how we got the books and encourage children to donate any of their gently used copies to our stash. This helps make the whole process more personal and promotes the idea of recycling gently used books, sharing with others the books you love but do not want to keep forever.

We have offered a free book as the main prize for 9 years. As our “End of Summer Reading Party” draws near the anticipation and excitement grows. It isn’t about the performer or the free ice cream we serve; the excitement is all about the books. “I wonder what book I’ll select this year.” The books are displayed and arranged by age and reading level, from: board books, picture books and easy readers, to chapter books for grades 3-5 and older readers through grade 6. It is a joy to watch the children wander around the room as they try to make a decision about which book will be theirs. Our reward is when we hear one child telling another, “Read this one. It was great.” And, “You chose my book! Cool! You’ll love it.”--Louise Capizzo, Youth Services Librarian, Scarborough Public Library, Scarborough, Maine (formerly at Falmouth Memorial Library)

Back to top of page

Promoting Summer Reading on YouTube

It's a scary thing to put the crazy, off-the-wall summer reading presentation you do at schools on YouTube for everyone to see. It may seem like the right thing to do to reach the people who need to hear your message, but the bright idea is making sure your videographer understands you and your goals!

Anyone can take a video and use editing software to make a short film. This means many options existed for filming “The Crabby Librarian Strikes Again,” Madison (Ohio) Public Library's summer reading skit. Fortunately we belong to Northeast Ohio Regional Library System (NEO-RLS). This means we could hire the talents of its senior technology analyst, Shawn Walsh, and use NEO-RLS’s studio and equipment to record our “genius” for posterity. We could have found a cheaper way to make the video, but we didn't even look. There was never the question of using anyone other than Shawn. He had something that a high school AV club or amateur videographer didn't have. Shawn understood what summer reading promotion was all about and why it was earth-shakingly important to us!

When recording day arrived, we roasted under bright lights, accidentally yelled into table microphones, and got multiple attacks of stage fright. We took up almost a whole day of Shawn's time. Yes, we hired him so he had to humor us, but it was more than that. He wasn't just the camera operator and sound mixer. He became the director, producer, acting coach, and cheering section. He made us look good! Multiple camera angles and close-ups. Props and script edits. We couldn't have done it without him.

Putting our presentation on YouTube and also on DVD filled a need. Our DVD allows us to “visit” 500 students at one of our local elementary schools that we cannot see in person. In addition, we had over 800 hits on YouTube. We reached homeschoolers, local parents, and children outside the community. If we learned anything from our first video (other than to memorize our lines and not read from a script!), it is the importance of having someone care for the technical aspects of our production as much as we care about the content and audience. We want to encourage everyone to see if their library systems or consortia have tools similar to what we have through NEO-RLS. If your system doesn't have “a Shawn” to help you, we hope you can find someone with the passion and commitment to summer reading that we found. Maybe it's someone with fond memories of summer reading as a child or perhaps an enthusiastic library patron who adores the Children’s Department. Find somebody who loves summer reading as much as you do and your video will be fabulous.--Melanie A. Lyttle, Head of Public Services, Madison (Ohio) Public Library

Back to top of page

"Scene" on ALSC EDLs: Summer Reading Incentives for Toddlers

Karen Rutkowski, Director of Early Literacy Services, Fayetteville (NY) Free Library, recently posted to the preschool services eletronic discussion list (, asking for suggestions for appropriate summer reading incentives for toddlers and preschoolers and the vendors who sell them.

ALSC-L subscribers offered the following suggestions. You might find these recommendations helpful too.

Star Bright Books. A good selection of board books, including ones in other languages, plus non-profit and quantity discounts.

Indestructibles™. "Baby-proof" books made to withstand wear and tear. Many of the books are wordless and can be enjoyed by families of all linguistic backgrounds. for beach balls and soft ball rattles. The site includes a variety of fun products for kids and features a "Bargain Basement" section.

More product suggstions include:

bath mitt puppets (Dollar Tree)
beach balls
chunky board books
coloring sheets
feeding spoons that change colors (K-Mart)
ice cream coupons for local parlor
magnetic letters
rubber ducks, rubber duck thermometers
sippy cups (JanWay)
soft blocks
soft board books (Dollar Tree)
Starbuck's gift card (once a week raffle for mom and dad)
water squirters


Back to top of page

ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Terry Young
School Librarian
West Jefferson High School, New Orleans, La.
ALSC membership: 4 years

Where did you attend library school?
Louisiana State University – School of Library and Information Science

What attracted you to library service to children?
I love the look of wonder and discovery on children’s faces when they become acquainted with the world of books, first the face-to-mouth examination followed by face-to-hand juggling…and finally when they so often say, “Read it again daddy.” “No, you skipped a page.” Family literacy nights are important to me and I do several a year for local students from low socio-economic schools. My dear and departed teacher, colleague, friend, and neighbor, Coleen Salley, got me involved with children’s books and together we carved out a niche of the best in science read aloud books. I knew the science and she knew a read aloud book.

Why did you join ALSC?
As a school librarian in a large district I interact with librarians. ASLC and YALSA are the book divisions of ALA while AASL focuses on leadership and advocacy. So, I am a member of all three divisions. I am a continuous member of ALA and AASL for 31 years. Attendance at both ALA annual and midwinter along with the division conferences keeps me in touch with new trends, allows me to network with both the established and up and coming leaders in our profession. Sharing the information with other librarians in the area is important.

What to you is the biggest reward of being a librarian serving youth?
It’s like Christmas everyday. A familiar and worn book to me is a new book to others. Sharing the joy of a story leads to our children becoming competent readers.

What is your favorite job responsibility?
Selecting, reading, book talking, literacy nights, and finally displaying the new books.

Do you have any advice or a helpful tip for library school students or new librarians just starting out?
Get involved in your professional associations at all levels – local, state, and national. Work with your local public library children’s and young adult librarians to create dynamic partnerships.

What is the most popular activity or event at your school library?
Read Across America Day…We bring out our Dr. Seuss hats and invite local celebrities and school board members, and volunteers to come and read to our students in my adopted elementary schools.

What is your favorite children’s book out this year so far?
Bones by Steve Jenkins and I love the work of Ashley Bryan.

If you could be the character from a children’s book, whom would you be?
IThe earliest character that I identified with was Thumper in Bambi...I still remember what he said: "If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all. " And those words have stuck with me throughout my life. In more recent times the character is Epossomandus from Coleen Salley's stories. He is such a literal character but he respects his mother.  As I see the kids in the world around me so often I say to myself, "They don't have the sense they were born with."

What are your hobbies?
Traveling and, of course, reading, and great movies.

What three words best describe you?
Passionate, creative, caring

Back to top of page

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

Sylvia Vardel, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas, and poet Janet Wong, have compiled the first ever, electronic-only poetry anthology featuring top poets for children (ages birth-8). PoetryTagTime, available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, is a collection of 30 new, unpublished poems, ranging from the humorous to serious, about tongues, turtles, and toenails, in acrostics, quatrains, and free verse, written by 30 of the best children's poets. Top talents such as Jack Prelutsky, Joyce Sidman, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Pat Mora, took part in an inventive game of tag, culminating in this collection of connected poems. In the creation of PoetryTagTime, each poet "tagged" another poet and explained how her/his poem connects with a previous poet's offering, in a chain of poets, poems, and play. For more information, visit

Summer Ed Opportunities to Fit Your Schedule

ALSC is offering four multi-week online education courses, beginning on July 11 and running through August 18, that are sure to enlighten and engage librarians at any point in their career.  Course selections include: Information Literacy—From Preschool to High School; Out of This World Youth Programming; The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future; and Reading Instruction and Children’s Books.

Webinars include Leveling Easy Readers (June 15, July 7, and August 5) and Family Programs on a Shoestring @ your library® (June 10, July 22, and August 23). Each is offered multiple times between now and September to allow individuals more flexibility; however, participants should only register for and plan to attend one session.

Detailed descriptions, prices, and registration information are on the ALSC Web site at For more information, contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch at jnajduch at or 800-545-2433 ext. 4026.

Back to top of page

ALSC Elections

Please submit suggestions for the 2012 ballot for the following positions to Pat Scales, chair of the Nominating Committee:

ALSC Vice-President/President-Elect 
ALSC Board
2014 Newbery Award Committee
2014 Caldecott Award Committee
2014 Sibert Award Committee

The 2011 election results were announced on April 29. Dr. Carolyn S. Brodie, professor, Kent (Ohio) State University, School of Library and Information Science, was elected ALSC vice president/president-elect.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to further serve the ALSC membership and to be a part of the dynamic leadership team of the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children," Brodie said.  "We are living in challenging times as ALSC continues to lead, support and energize our membership to work together toward an environment where 'libraries are recognized as vital to all children and their families.'"

Dr. Brodie received her Ph.D. in Library and Information Science in 1988 from Texas Woman's University, Denton, and has been an ALSC member for 22 years. She is currently serving a second term on the ALSC Board of Directors and also has been a member of several ALSC committees, including the Newbery (2000 Chair) and Caldecott, among others.  From 2006-2009, she was an ALA councilor-at-large and served as Ohio’s ALA chapter councilor from 1996-2004.  She received the 2008 American Library Association’s Scholastic Library Publishing Award that is given to a librarian whose "unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession."

Three members were elected to serve on the ALSC Board of Directors: Ernie Cox, Iowa City, Iowa; Lisa Von Drasek, Bank Street College of Education, New York; and Jan Watkins, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library.

The newly elected vice president and board members will be seated to the ALSC Board of Directors in June 2011, at the close of the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Individuals elected to serve on the 2013 Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert Committees are:

2013 Newbery: Virginia Collier, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, Roswell, Ga.; Amber Creger, Woodson Regional Library/Chicago Public Library; Roxanne Feldman, The Dalton School, New York; Jos Holman, Tippecanoe County Public Library, Lafayette, Ind.; Caroline Kienzle, Seminole, Fla.; Amy McClure, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio; Elizabeth Moreau, Mountain View Branch Library, Anchorage, Alaska; and Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills (Calif.) Public Library.

2013 Caldecott: Elise DeGuiseppi, Pierce County Library, Tacoma, Wash.; Nancy Johnson, Singapore American School, Singapore; JoAnn Jonas, San Diego County Library; Miriam Martinez, University of Texas, San Antonio; Kiera Parrott, Darien (Conn.) Library; Carol Sibley, Minnesota State Library, Moorhead; Maida Lin Wong, South Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library; and Nancy Zimmerman, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

2013 Sibert: Martha Baden, Alice Boucher World Languages Academy, Lafayette, La.; Linda Ernst, King County Library System, Bellevue, Wash.; Carol Goldman, Queens Library, Jamaica, N.Y.; Toby Rajput, National-Louis University, Skokie, Ill.; and Dean Schneider, Ensworth School, Nashville, Tenn.

Three proposed ALSC Bylaw changes  that also appeared on the spring ballot were approved. For details about the changes, visit

Julie Corsaro, current ALSC president, has appointed the following award committee chairs: Steven Engelfried, Hillsboro (Ore.) Public Library, 2013 Newbery Award Committee chair; Sandy Imdieke, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mich., 2013 Caldecott Award Committee chair; and Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Silver Spring, Md., 2013 Sibert Award Committee chair. Mary Fellows, current ALSC vice president/president-elect, will appoint the remaining members of these three committees, as well as the members of ALSC’s other prestigious award committees this fall.

Back to top of page

Special Events, Resources Mark Día's 15th Year

April 30, 2011, marked the 15th Anniversary of El día de los niños/El día de los libros, traditionally celebrated on April 30, and more than 300 libraries registered their Día events with ALSC. These celebrations appear in a database that can be searched by state to develop future programming ideas. The database now contains more than 1,500 events. Each library that registered in the database received complimentary stickers for distribution to children.

Noted author and Día Founder, Pat Mora, celebrated the anniversary at the Valencia Branch of the Pima County Library System in Tucson, Arizona.

This spring ALA Editions published, El día de los niños/El día de los libros: Building a Culture of Literacy in Your Community through Día by Jeanette Larson who has been involved in Día since its beginning. Complemented by numerous bilingual book suggestions, the book is an ideal resource for collection development, early literacy story times, and year-round Día program planning.

In April ALA Graphics launched a new Día poster and bookmark illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

For the first time, the largest Día book list ever published features more than 200 titles representing cultures from around the world and nine languages. It will remain on the Día Web site throughout the year, with updates in the fall of 2011. A Día 101 webinar was presented by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, the children’s librarian at the Seattle Public Library.

ALSC was awarded a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to significantly expand Día to include and celebrate a variety of cultures. Mini-grants were awarded to 15 libraries: $4,000 to eight libraries that serve a population of 75,000 or less; and $6,000 to seven libraries that serve a population of more than 75,000.

For 2011, material was created with a new tagline summarizing Día: Many Children. Many Cultures. Many Books. Día partners once again strongly supported libraries. HarperCollinsRayo distributed a poster featuring Pat Mora’s Book Fiesta. Several publishers offered special discounts to those libraries celebrating Dia: Arte Público Press; Charlesbridge Publishing; Children’s Book Press; and Cinco Puntos Press. ¡Colorin Colorado!, a bilingual Web site for families and teachers of English language learners, continues to offer resources for librarians and teachers.

The ALA Public Information Office redesigned an online Día Media Kit for librarians. It offers resources to assist libraries in publicizing their Día programs in the community. The kit will remain on the Dia Web site throughout the year.

The Dia anniversary celebration will continue during the ALA Annual Conference, with a program scheduled for June 25, featuring Pat Mora, Oralia Garza de Cortes and Jeanette Larson with introductions by the presidents of ALSC and REFORMA, Julie Corsaro and Lucía González. ALSC and REFORMA also are co-sponsoring a Día program during the REFORMA National Conference IV in September 2011.

For more information, please visit

Back to top of page

Help Break the Record: Read Llama Llama Red Pajama


Jumpstart, Penguin, and the Pearson Foundation are thrilled to announce that we will be reading the beloved Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney on October 6, 2011! Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, presented by the Pearson Foundation, is not just a world record breaking celebration, it’s a way for all of us to demand that all children receive the quality early education they deserve.

Children in low-income neighborhoods start kindergarten 60% behind their wealthier peers. On October 6, 2011 more than 2 million voices will call for an end to this early education achievement gap by reading Llama Llama Red Pajama .

Pledge today to Read for the Record on October 6 and take a stand for children everywhere.

Back to top of page

Jersey City Library Inspires Young Supporter

Congratulations to Paul Valleau for his support of the Jersey City Free Library. In April, the 8-year-old library advocate presented library director Priscilla Gardner with a check for $1,212.84, which he earned from used book sales and a $400 donation from the NFL Alumni Association. Valleau spends every weekend at his bookstand for “Save the Library Saturdays.” A voracious reader and frequent library user, Valleau not only raises money through new and used book sales, he even attends City Council meetings in support of the library.

"What Paul does is very important because not only does he raise money for the library, but he also goes to council meetings to ask that our budget not be cut," Gardner said. "All of us here at the library love him for all of the work he does and are so thankful for that."

Valleau’s Facebook page, “Opus Jr.,” chronicles his efforts and includes information on how to donate books.

Nice work, Paul!

Back to top of page

90-Second Newbery Film Festival

What a fun idea! Wouldn’t kids at your library love to work together to create a 90-second video based on a favorite Newbery title? How would they tell the entire story of a winning Newbery book in 90 seconds or less? Think it can’t be done? Check out this video entry for the much loved 1963 winner, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

Back to top

Find the complete details, including information about the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival to be held at the New York Public Library this coming fall, at

Over 500,000 Votes Cast for Children's Choice Awards

The Children’s Book Council (CBC) in association with Every Child A Reader, the CBC Foundation, announced the winners of the fourth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards during Children’s Book Week (May 2-8, 2011). Children across the country voted in record numbers for their favorite books, author, and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, and at, casting over 500,000 votes.

The Children’s Choice Book Award winners are as follows:

Author of the Year
Rick Riordan for The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1) (Disney-Hyperion)

Illustrator of the Year
David Wiesner for Art & Max (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year
Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby (Putnam/Penguin)

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Knopf/Random House)

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)

Teen Choice Book of the Year
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (Dutton/Penguin)

Back to top of page

 Book Campaign to Fight Obesity

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have joined with the best-selling children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and with We Give Books to help families learn about healthy eating habits at home. The Eating Healthy. Growing Strong. Campaign is an important part of the Alliance’s mission to combat childhood obesity. ( spx)

This spring, more than 17,500 pediatrician offices across the United States received free copies of specially created The Very Hungry Caterpillar books, together with growth charts and parent handouts that encourage doctors and parents to have meaningful conversations about the importance of healthy eating.

In addition to beginning the conversation on healthy eating between pediatricians and parents, the campaign also showcases ways to integrate discussions of healthy active living into family reading time. Tips for parents to discuss healthy active living using The Very Hungry Caterpillar include:

  • Teach your child that apples, pears, plums, strawberries, and oranges are all fruits. Ask them if they can name other fruits.
  • Talk to them about how fruits are good for your body.
  • Talk about how when the caterpillar overeats, he gets a stomachache— so it is important to stop eating when you feel full.


The materials were provided to the campaign by We Give Books, a digital initiative from Penguin—the publisher of The Very Hungry Caterpillar—and by the Pearson Foundation. Visitors to We Give Books will have the chance to read a library of great children’s books for free, any time they like, and each time they read a book at, the Pearson Foundation donates a brand-new book to a leading literacy group.

“I am delighted that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Pearson Foundation have selected The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a spokescharacter for their important work,” said author and illustrator Eric Carle. “I'm so pleased that my caterpillar can help to promote healthy eating in the fight against childhood obesity, and I hope The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be a happy reminder for children to grow healthy and spread their strong wings, like the butterfly in my book.”

For additional campaign information, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

Back to top of page

Reading Rockets Goes Mobile

Research-based tools and strategies for teaching children how to read and helping those who struggle are now available on your mobile phone. Go to on your phone's web browser for Reading Rockets’ official mobile Web site. You’ll find daily news headlines about reading, the latest articles and research, recommended reading lists of children’s books, Q&A with literacy experts, and Reading Rockets’ extensive video catalog featuring exclusive interviews from award winning authors and prominent professionals in the field of teaching reading and writing as well as video of real-world examples of best instructional practices.

Reading Rockets would like your help in spreading the word and advice on how to make their mobile offerings most useful to you. Try it out and then click “Mobile Feedback” to tell them what you love or what can be improved. Every week, Reading Rockets will randomly select one feedback email to win an autographed children’s book. Sharing gets rewarded too: Tweet about Reading Rockets Mobile using @readingrockets or comment on Facebook about the site to be entered for a chance to win an iPod.

Back to top of page

Getting Together

Library of the Early Mind, Now Playing @ ALA

Part of the new Now Playing @ ALA series, the film “Library of the Early Mind” is an exploration of the art and impact of children’s literature on our kids, our culture, and ourselves. From the first stories we hear told to us to those childhood heroes that stay with us a lifetime, children's books' impact on our culture runs deeper than what we might expect. “No one suspects the children’s writer,” says author and illustrator Mo Willems, a former "Sesame Street" writer. The film features nearly 40 prominent authors and illustrators talking about their work, its genesis, and its impact. The number of books in print by the authors in "Library of the Early Mind" exceeds 240 million.

The film is being held during ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 25 at 8 p.m. in the Morial Convention Center, Auditorium C. Following the film will be a Q&A with authors/illustrators and the film producer Ted Delaney. ALSC would like to thank the sponsors of the "Library of the Early Mind" film screening, including Media Source, Inc.; Little, Brown and Company; and Macmillan Children’s Book Group. Without their generous donations, this event could not take place.

Writers to Discuss Series Fiction 

Don’t miss Booklist’s Books for Youth Forum at ALA Annual Conference on Friday, June 24, from 8 to 10 p.m. in the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Rooms 393-394. This year’s program, Keep ’Em Coming: Series Fiction Creators Talk Shop, will feature a panel discussion with Jonathan Stroud, Lauren Myracle, Dan Gutman, David Levithan, and Booklist’s Children’s Books Editor, Ilene Cooper.

 Back to top of page