Friday, December 09, 2016

Celebrating libraries and Dewey Decimal Day in December

December is full of holidays, but I'll bet you didn't know Dewey Decimal Day was one of them! Yes, December 10 is Dewey Decimal Day, the birthday of Melvil Dewey (1851-1931), the inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification, the most widely used system in the world since 1876. Time to celebrate with this poem by Liz Steinglass from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations:

And you'll find these Take 5 activities for this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations too:

And for more poems about libraries, books, and reading, look for my list in The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. Here's an excerpt:

Poems about Libraries, Books, and Reading 
  1. Alarcón, Francisco X. 1999. “Books” from Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems/ Los Angeles Andan en Bicicleta: Y Otros Poemas de Otoño. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press. 
  2. Appelt, Kathi. 1997. “Javier” from Just People and Paper/Pen/Poem: A Young Writer’s Way to Begin. Spring, TX: Absey & Co.
  3. Bagert, Brod. 1999. “Library-Gold” from Rainbows, Head Lice and Pea-Green Tile; Poems in the Voice of the Classroom Teacher. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House.
  4. Dakos, Kalli. 2003. “When the Librarian Reads to Us” from Put Your Eyes Up Here: And Other School Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  5. Frost, Helen. 2003. “Do Not Leave Children Unattended” from Keesha’s House. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  6. George, Kristine O’Connell. 2002. “School Librarian” from Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems. New York: Clarion Books. 
  7. Giovanni, Nikki. 1971. “ten years old” from Spin a Soft Black Song. New York: Hill & Wang. 
  8. Glenn, Mel. 2000. “Eddie Sabinsky” from Split Image. New York: HarperCollins.
  9. Greenfield. Eloise. 2006. “At the Library” from The Friendly Four. New York: HarperCollins.
  10. Grimes, Nikki. 1997. “At the Library” from It’s Raining Laughter. New York: Dial.
  11. Grimes, Nikki. 1998. “42nd Street Library” form Jazmin’s Notebook. New York: Dial.
  12. Gunning, Monica. 2004. “The Library” from America, My New Home. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. 
  13. Herrick, Steven. 2004. “Lord of the Lounge” from The Simple Gift. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  14. Hopkins, Ellen. 2006. “See, the Library” from burned.  New York: McElderry.
  15. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2000. “Good Books, Good Times” from Good Books, Good Times! New York: HarperTrophy.
  16. Katz, Alan. 2001. “Give Me a Break” from Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs. New York: Scholastic.
  17. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. “Please Bury Me in the Library” and “Necessary Gardens” from Please Bury Me in the Library. San Diego, Harcourt.
  18. Lewis, J. Patrick. 1999. “Read… Think… Dream” from: The Bookworm's Feast: A Potluck of Poems. New York: Dial.
  19. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. “#66 The Hippopotabus,” “#174 The Librarian,” “#116 Library Fine,” and “#89 New York Public Library” from Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year. New York: Little, Brown.
  20. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. “Librarian” from The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse. New York: Simon & Schuster/Atheneum.
  21. Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1994. “Quiet” in Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. April Bubbles Chocolate; An ABC of Poetry. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  22. Lottridge, Celia Barker. 2002. “Anna Marie’s Library Book and What Happened’ in Pearson, Deborah. Ed. When I Went to the Library. Toronto: Groundwood Books. 
  23. McLoughland, Beverly. 1990. “Surprise” in Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1990. Good Books, Good Times! New York: HarperTrophy. 
  24. Medina, Jane. 1999. “The Library Card” from My Name is Jorge on Both Sides of the River: Poems. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  25. Merriam, Eve. 1998. “Reach for a Book” in Rich, Mary Perrotta, Ed. 1998. Book Poems:  Poems from National Children’s Book Week, 1959-1998. New York: Children’s Book Council.
  26. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 1998. “Because of Libraries We Can Say These Things” from Fuel. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions.
  27. Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2005. “The List” from A Maze Me; Poems for Girls. New York: Greenwillow.
  28. Prelutsky, Jack. 2006. “It’s Library Time” from What a Day It Was at School! New York: Greenwillow. 
  29. Sidman, Joyce. “This Book” from:
  30. Silverstein, Shel. 1981. “Overdues” from A Light in the Attic. New York: HarperCollins. 
  31. Soto, Gary. 1992. “Ode To My Library” from Neighborhood Odes. San Diego: Harcourt.
  32. Worth, Valerie. 1994. “Library” from All the Small Poems and Fourteen More. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  33. Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 2009. “Librarian” from Steady Hands: Poems About Work. New York: Clarion.

Based on: Vardell, Sylvia M. (2006). A place for poetry: Celebrating the library in poetry. Children and Libraries. 4, (2), 35-41 and Vardell, S. M. (2007). Everyday poetry: Celebrating Children’s Book Week with book-themed poetry. Book Links. 17, (2), 14-15.

Also look for the following poetry books:
  • Rich, Mary Perrotta. Ed. 1998. Book Poems:  Poems from National Children’s Book Week, 1959-1998. New York: Children’s Book Council.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Wonderful Words: Poems about Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2011. I am the Book. Holiday House.
  • Salas, Laura Purdie. 2011. BookSpeak!. Ill. by Josee Bisaillon. Clarion.

Jone is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering this week, so don't forget to check out those posts over at Check it Out!

Friday, December 02, 2016

NCTE 2016

I'm sure you've read posts by many others who attended the recent NCTE conference (National Council of Teachers of English) in Atlanta. It's always a great event, but this year's conference had an amazing richness of poets present! Look at all the poets who were there! And I'm probably forgetting some other names. But, WOW, right? 
I believe you can search the program for sessions by these poets here and then look for any handouts from those amazing sessions at the NCTE GoogleDoc here. On Twitter, use #NCTE16 to see what people were tweeting at the conference.

Plus, they announced the newest recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children: 
Marilyn Nelson! 

I also attended a session presented by the committee for the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children during which they present their annual list of "Notable" poetry books. That list is published annually in School Library Journal and you can find the 2016 list here. However, this year I learned that they also generate a list of "Notable Verse Novels" and somehow I had missed that previously. Apparently, they've been making that list for a few years and it is published in the New England Reading Association (NERA) Journal, but I can't find a link for that. (Please let me know if you find the link!) I was very excited to hear they were singling out verse novels for a separate "notable" list! The 2016 list of notable verse novels includes:
  • Crowder, Melanie. 2015. Audacity. New York: Philomel.
  • Engle, Margarita. 2015. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir. New York: Atheneum.
  • Hilton, Marilyn. 2015. Full Cicada Moon. New York: Dial.
  • Holt, K. A. 2015. House Arrest. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  • Jensen, Cordelia. 2015. Skyscraping. New York: Philomel.
  • Rose, Caroline Starr. 2015. Blue Birds. New York: Putnam.
  • Sonnichsen, A. L. 2015. Red Butterfly. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
Look for the article because it includes reviews, curriculum connections, and related titles.
>>> I was lucky enough to present a panel on verse novels with Jeannine Atkins, Patricia Hruby Powell, Margarita Engle, and Janet Wong. 

I spoke first about the roots of the verse novel-- some say as back as far as Homer, and certainly many credit Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology as a seminal work in this form. 
I pointed out these groundbreaking books helped shape the form and build an audience for verse novels-- and it didn't hurt to win a Newbery Medal (Karen Hesse for Out of the Dust).
And that even more recent award winners (Newbery, Newbery honor, National Book Award) were novels (or memoirs) in verse.
I reminded our audience of the many pedagogical advantages of the novel in verse form and how that serves as a motivating advantage for teen and tween readers and as a natural form for performance as readers theater. 
Then we involved volunteers from the audience in performing excerpts from each of our authors' recent works, starting with Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins. Jeannine spoke about her process in researching and capturing these women's voices and persona from the past.   
More volunteers helped bring to life an excerpt from Patricia Hruby Powell's Loving vs. Virginia-- complete with a gum-smacking sheriff reader! And Patricia spoke about how this book came to be and about her path from dancer to storyteller to author and poet. 
Another small troop performed several passages from Margarita Engle's book, Lion Island, reflecting multiple characters and inviting the whole audience to chime in on the repeated word, "power!" Margarita spoke about the true story behind her work and the power of language to speak for freedom. 
Finally, we performed "Dracula" by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand from You Just Wait with the whole audience joining in on "shushing" where the poem requires it while two volunteers read the dialogue for Carmen and her sister. 
Janet spoke about her work in writing response poems to the poetry of others and weaving those poems all together to create a mini novel in verse-- or verse novella-- in You Just Wait.

She shared her poem in response to the "Dracula" poem here:

Then she shared two other examples of poems + response poems. Here's "Black Ice" by Joseph Bruchac (who was also at the conference):
Here's Janet's poem in response to "Black Ice."
Here's "Future Hoopsters" by Avis Harley, an acrostic poem.
Here's Janet's poem in response to "Future Hoopsters"-- also an acrostic poem, but one in which each initial WORD in each line (rather than the initial letter) creates a new sentence.
Now she's working on new poems in response to other poems for a new book we have in the works. (More on that later.) Janet shared one example of a poem-in-progress with the audience. Here's the initial poem, "'Break-Fast' at Night" by Ibtisam Barakat (who was also at the conference):
 Here's a draft of Janet's response poem:
Finally, we ended with this beautiful quote from First Lady, Michelle Obama, one of my favorites for wrapping things up:
What a great panel and responsive audience! You can find our complete handouts, including a comprehensive bibliography of novels in verse at the NCTE link hereThey're already soliciting proposals for next year's NCTE conference in St. Louis. Here's the link for submitting proposals (by Jan. 5).

Now head on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones where Bridget is hosting Poetry Friday! Enjoy!