Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Caroline Arnold

Both an author and illustrator of over 100 books for children, Caroline Arnold, themes range from animals and the environment, fossils, ancient cultures, sports and other topics. She has recently won the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Award for Nonfiction, 2005. She also provides some activities and projects for students after completing some of her books.

Some of Caroline Arnold's recent publications are:
Pterosaurs, Rulers of the Skies in the Dinosaur Age
Dinosaurs With Feathers
Did You Hear That?
Easter Island
Australian Animals
Giant Shark

Monday, October 24, 2005

Authors & Illustrators Web Guide

This site has it all, lists of award-winning books, teaching ideas for books, and links to author pages. David K. Brown has indexed children's authors and illustrators from A-Z and all over the world in his children's literature web guide. This site allows you to visit official websites of your favorite authors and illustrators as well as give you a few clues as to what they are known for. This is a great site to visit for new ideas!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Australian Authors and Illustrators for Young People

This is a wonderful site which contains an index of Australian authors and illustrators. It also contains booklists such as 20 Most Borrowed Australian Books, 50 Picture Story Books for Australian Children, Premier's Reading Challenge Booklists, 75 Authors/Illustrators Everyone Should Know (CBC-US), etc.

The site also lists authors and great compilation of resources pertaining to Australian authors.

This is a great site to get ideas from for students of all ages!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


ReadWriteThink is a wonderful site which contains a lesson plan index. Lessons are categorized by Title, Grade, and Date.

One of the lessons that I felt would be enjoyable and interactive for high school students is A Biography Study: Using Role-Play to Explore Authors' Lives. In this lesson, eleventh-grade students read biographies and explore websites of selected American authors. They collaborate in teams to design creative projects and role-play as the authors in a panel presentation. They then synthesize their knowledge into essays about their authors to post online.

**Also visit the Web Resource Gallery

Friday, October 14, 2005

Teen Read Week

Get Real @ your library!... October 16-22, 2005

A national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association that is aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults. The continuing message of the Teen Read Week initiative is to encourage 12-18 year olds to "Read For The Fun Of It". Each year an annual theme allows YALSA to focus on timely topics and teen interests. Teen Read Week is celebrated the third full week in October every year.

Booklists and Book Awards (YALSA)

Teen's Top 10

Support and promote reading and a lifelong love of books!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Julia Alvarez & Gary Soto

The writing of Julia Alvarez incorporates her vivid memories of childhood in the Dominican Republic, which her family fled in 1960, and the subsequent adjustment to a new life in New York City. Alvarez first made her mark as a poet but is best known for her novels, particularly the award-winning How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. The Julia Alvarez Website contains a biography about Alvarez, articles and interviews, artwork from her books, and la ñapa or "the little extra."


It would seem that Gary Soto is an author true to his Hispanic heritage and culture. He now has an official website at The Official Gary Soto Website. He was born in Fresno, California, of Mexican-American parents. His education includes a degree in English from California State University at Fresno and a Master of Arts degree in Fine Arts and Creative Writing. He has been a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He is an acclaimed poet, essayist and fiction writer.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Esmeralda Santiago

Esmeralda Santiago is the eldest of eleven children. She spent her childhood in Puerto Rico, moving back and forth between a tiny village and Santurce, a suburb of San Juan. With her mother and siblings she moved to New York in 1961, at the age of thirteen. She attended junior high school in Brooklyn, and Performing Arts High School in Manhattan. After the extraordinary years described in her two memoirs, When I Was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman, she graduated from Harvard University and received a master's degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Santiago is also the author of America's Dream and is coeditor, with Joie Davidow, of Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories. Santiago lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and two children.

My Favorite Book of Esmeralda Santiago's is...
When I was Puerto Rican. Esmeralda Santiago has an amazing tact for descriptive prose and her language transports the reader into the world of her childhood memories most vividly. This book is one of the best coming of age stories I've ever read but it is also much more. Here, a young girl who is struggling with family issues, feelings of abandonment and the other normal stresses of adolescence as she at first moves from rural to urban setting in Puerto Rico and then is finally ripped from the life she knows and is transported to an entirely new one in New York City. This memoir of childhood is written in a beautiful almost poetic style and is an absolute pleasure to read. The story is inspirational as well as a realistic view into another culture.

Official Site: Esmeralda Santiago

Vera B. Williams

Vera B. Williams writes books surrounding the themes of community and family. They may be used to study memoir and to encourage children to write their own memoirs. The books may also be used to encourage children to begin inquiries into their own family stories. They can record their stories, memories, knowledge, and impressions in the form of books and/or artwork. These books are especially good to read when studying communities. They also lend themselves to making predictions about the text and to allowing the reader to think of solutions to very real problems in life.

My favorite book of Vera Williams is...
A Chair for My Mother:(Caldecott Honor book) This book deals with difficult times for a single parent and her family. A working-class family consisting of a daughter, mother, and grandmother have lost their house in a fire. Although the community banded together to help them assemble the essentials, they have been saving their change in a jar for a year to furnish their bare living room in their apartment. They dream of the perfect chair and, when the jar is finally full, like Goldilocks (as Grandma said), they go searching for and find a chair that's just right. This book focuses on three generations of women who are self-reliant. The illustrations are bright and colorful and each spread is embellished with a floral or geometric border. I especially love the illustration of the community showing people of many hues coming out of their houses and lining up to deliver household items to the family in need.

Teacher Resource File: Vera B. Williams

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month September 15th - October 15th


Help students identify authors and illustrators by ethnic origin to assist students in searching for the "authentic voice" in multicultural children's literature, i.e. authors raised within the community they describe. The ethnic origin of authors is only one factor in the evaluation of authentic multicultural children's literature--other factors would include the accuracy and validity of the text and the illustrations.

Multicultural Children's Authors

Books and Readings: Hispanic Authors

Infoplease- Hispanic Heritage Month

Fact Monster from Information Please- Hispanic Heritage Month

Monday, October 03, 2005

Author Studies and Education

Author Studies are a powerful teaching tool. There is no better way to turn kids on to reading than to build a community joined by a great book. The goal of an author study is to make a connection between a book and an author's life. This shows children that authors are real people, develops motivation to seek out other work by the same author and hopefully inspires children to write and continue to read on their own.

This is a great site to get started with author studies for all students.

Index to Internet Sites:Children's and Young Adults' Authors & Illustrators