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Two Brilliant Stars Go Out Too Soon

Many readers of this blog will not know these names, but many will.  I am sick with shock and sadness at learning that Kate McClellan (incoming president of the ALSC, the arm of ALA that focuses on children’s services and, among many other things, the Newbery and Caldecott Awards) and her dear friend Kathy Krasniewicz were killed yesterday in Denver.

Two town women, longtime librarians for the Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich, were killed en route to the Denver airport Wednesday morning when their cab was struck by a hit-and-run driver, police said.

The library’s head of youth services, Kathy Krasniewicz, 54, of Palmer Hill Road, Riverside, and former youth services director Kate McClelland, 71, of Dorchester Lane, Riverside, were killed in the accident, a library official said Wednesday night.

Rest of the article here.

I can’t yet process this news, but will say that these women were shining, shining, shining stars and it is hard to imagine this world without them.  I first got to know them attending the summer CLNE institutes and then at various NYC publishing events.  They were such V.I.Ps but always lovely and generous and remarkable women.

Just after the Monday press conference I ran into them and Kate and I together quelled about The Graveyard Book winning the Newbery. Kate went on to say she thought Coraline should have won its year too and I happily agreed with her.

My profound sympathies to all their family and friends.

What a loss. What else is there to say?


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Live Post ALSC Media Award Press Conference Bloggers


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Mr. Bingley’s Status

11 of your friends are attending Assembly at Meryton.

Jane Bennet finds herself very unwell. :(

Lydia Bennet became a fan of Officers.

More here*.  (Thanks to Sharyn November for this — by way of her facebook status feed, of course.)

*by DeeDee Baldwin
inspired by Sarah Schmelling’s Hamlet (Facebook News Feed Edition)

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Bad Time Stories

When I was 8, or maybe 7 or 9, a girl in my class brought in a comic book she’d been given at Hebrew school. It told the story of a girl who’d been in a concentration camp with her mother. The girl’s mother was made to stand naked all night out in the snow. The girl had watched her mother standing there. Then she’d looked away, and when she’d looked back, her mother had fallen down, dead.

If I allow such stories to enter Emilie’s head, I fear that they will never leave.

Judith Warner mulls over her 8 year-old daughter’s interest in stories like the Walmart death in Bad Time Stories at the NYTime.


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Kenny Shopsin’s Mac and Cheese Pancakes

While my students were lunching in small groups at other Lower East Side establishments as part of our annual walking tour, a colleague and I headed to the Essex Street Market where Shopsin’s is located and had  these incredibly tasty items and a hearty helping of walnut pomegranate bean soup. Even if you never go near the place, I highly recommend (it changes daily) taking a gander at the menu just to what else is likely to be served at this unique and legendary establishment.  I first read about Kenny Shopsin in Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker pieces on him.  More recently I saw a documentary on him and recently he came out with a book.  A few months ago there was this article in the Times (with the mac and cheese pancake recipe) along with this video of him making the pancakes.  He was lovely to my friend and me, but as you will see, he is not running a PG joint.


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Off to NCTE

In a few minutes I’m out the door for my flight to San Antonio and The National Teachers of English annual convention. I’ve got two sessions on Sunday and it would be great if any of this blog’s readers come by!

At 8:30 on Sunday I’ll be part of this session:


New technologies offer opportunities for students to connect, collaborate, publish, and share in ways not imaginable until recently. In this session, an elementary teacher, a K-12 technology integration specialist, and a university professor examine samples, strategies, and tools for multiple ‘ports of entry’ to 21st century literacies and learning.

I will be speaking with Bill Teale of the University of Illinois and Gail Desler, a technology maven from California Both are stellar and I think our session will be too.  (My powerpoint for this can be downloaded here.)

At 1PM Sunday I will be co-chairing this session:

(Sponsoring Group: Children’s Literature Assembly)
After viewing a presentation of the thirty 2008 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts, attendees will converse informally at round tables with some of the authors and illustrators about their honored books.These include Ann Bausum, Ruth Forman, Ralph Fletcher, Peggy Gifford, Emily Gravett, Linda Sue Park, Gary Schmidt, and Jacqueline Woodson.

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A Couple Lumps of Coal

There’s Snicket’s.


And then there’s Peter Cook’s (thanks to Neil Gaiiman).

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A Children’s Inauguration

What a fantastic idea! Fran Manushkin has had the terrific idea of a Children’s Inauguration in Washington D.C. to parallel the one for adults. Betsy Bird has this post about it with some more implementation ideas offered in the comments.  Love to know more what we can do to make this happen!


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Children’s Letters to the President-elect

My fourth graders wrote some moving letters to Obama yesterday. You can view them here.


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Our Children’s Future


Yesterday one of my fourth graders (in the green jacket above) was absent, off with his family getting out the vote in Pennsylvania.  When I mentioned that yesterday morning, several other children said they too had been in Pennsylvania several times, going door to door, campaigning for our now president-elect.  Today my class is abubble with the results.Many were wakened by their parents to hear Obama’s speech  All sorts of discussion about where the Obama girls (one is their age) will go to school and how they must feel leaving their friends for the White House.  Mostly there is happiness and pride. Beyond my own multifaceted pleasure at Obama’s win, I am incredibly happy for them.  These children cared. So deeply and passionately. And their optimism and enthusiasm has been rewarded.


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