What’s Sally Reading?

sally%203.jpgProof Positive,” an article in the November, 2010 issue of School Library Journal, gives the highlights of a recent three-year study of summer reading programs. Prior to this study, the one completed in 1978 by Barbara Heyns has been a public librarian’s often quoted source. Carole Fiore and Susan Roman wrote the article and were instrumental with the study. One of their most important statistics shows “…kids who participate in these programs are 52 Lexile points ahead of those who do not.” (p. 26) While some of the other statistics are not as definitive, children’s librarians should take a look at the article and the study. Go here to see the Executive Summary and the Final Report. It’s great to have some data behind our knowledge that summer reading programs do a world of good. Gidwitz%202.jpg I just finished reading A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. (Really, I read the last pages this morning in my office before 8:00 rolled around.) It takes some of the lesser known, original Grimm fairy tales and cleverly winds Hansel and Gretel through them. Starting with their adapted story (they get their heads cut off! and then reattached), he then has them continue through their kingdom and beyond, sometimes separately, to encounter the various troubles of the other fairy tales. The author occasionally addresses the reader throughout the book, at first mostly to request that all young children leave the room, for he tells the bloody, gruesome original versions of the stories, and to warn, on page 16, “…this is where things start to get, well …awesome. But in a horrible, bloody kind of way.” This may sound awful, but it is a wonderful reworking of the fairy tales, and kids will be fascinated by the story. Good for grades three or four and up. (The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free to Nebraska school and public libraries.)
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