Last semester I piloted an assignment (along with a colleague and good friend) that asked our children’s literature students to follow a children’s literature blog or blogs throughout the semester. (I’ll be doing something similar this semester, but that’s another post.)
One of the things that I find most helpful about reading blogs and book reviews is that it is an accessible and time-sensitive way to stay current with the field of children’s literature. I think this is important for teachers (and others) who are in a position to share books with children. I added the assignment for my students as a way to help them broaden their knowledge base of literature as well as think about how they will stay current when they are in their own classrooms.
Personally, I read lots of blogs and I am a huge fan of The Horn Book Magazine – it’s like getting a gift in the mailbox every two months. The writing, not only of the reviews but of the articles as well, is always thought-provoking and inspiring. In addition to my addiction to literature, reading reviews has served other purposes as well:
- it helps me stay current in the field in regards to books that I may want to share with my chidren’s literature students, teacher friends, and children
- it helps me decide what I want to read
- it allows me to have conversations with other children’s literature professionals, fans and addicts like myself.
These experiences as an instructor and reader have made me think about how I will make decisions about what to review and post about on this blog.I was inspired by a post a few days ago over at the Nerdy Book Club. This coming year, they will be having reviews of both new and retro books, so I’m going to follow along and do a combination of both. My goal will be to post two reviews a week, we’ll see how it goes. I suspect it will vary as the semester progresses and depending on what sorts of books I decide to read. I’m also over on Goodreads and have decided that I will be doing much shorter reviews there, while reviews on this blog will be more in depth. I hope this will provide another opportunity to engage across disciplines, professions and interests.
Teachers: What do you find helpful and useful? What resources do you wish were available? What is interesting and inspiring when it comes to your own reading and sharing books with your students?
Current bloggers, reviewers, and fellow children’s-literature-geeks: what advice or suggestions do you have?