Daily Archives: August 27, 2008

Take the CLAT

Go take Roxanne‘s and my CLAT Level III: Children’s Literature Application Test (from the September/October Horn Book). Then come back and let us know how you did.


Filed under Children's Literature, Reading, Teaching

Imaginary Books

What do the books Fifty-Three More Things to Do in Zero Gravity, Dust Thou Art, A Moral Dustbin, and Unburnt Boats have in common?  They only exist in other books.  To see more titles (and add more), go to The Invisible Library.   (Thanks so much to John Crowley for this intriguing site.)


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Filed under Reading

School Wars

One way to navigate this new era of “giving” is by asking a simple question: Would these folks [Gates and other educational philanthropists] send their own children or grandchildren to their “reinvented” schools? Is a steady diet of memorization, work sheets, and testing the sort of education the children they love receive? Of course not. If affluent children enjoy beautiful campuses, arts programs, interesting literature, modern technology, field trips, carefree recess, and teachers who know them, I suggest that we create such schools for all children. What’s good for the sons and daughters of the billionaires should be good enough the rest of the children, too.

Another worthy article from GOOD Magazine: “School Wars” by Gary Stager (whom I know many, many, many years ago when doing a degree in computers and education at Columbia University).

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Filed under Teaching

Holden’s Relevance

Anne Trubek, in GOOD Magazine, on Why We Shouldn’t Still Be Learning Catcher in the Rye.

Why is The Catcher in the Rye still a rite of high school English? Sure, J.D. Salinger’s novel was edgy and controversial when teachers first put it on their syllabi. But that was 50 years ago. Today, Salinger’s novel lacks the currency or shock value it once had, and has lost some of its critical cachet. But it is still ubiquitously taught even though many newer novels of adolescence are available.

Now I’m a big fan of classics, but I think she has a point.  There are many, many, many wonderful books that could be used in schools in place of this particular teen-angst book.  Don’t get me wrong; I was a huge Salinger fan in my teen years. But that was decades ago. There are so many truly terrific books that would probably resonate with larger numbers of kids than Holden’s story now does.  Trubek, at the end of her piece, recommends several worthy candidates and I can think of quite a few more.

Via bookslut.

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Filed under YA