For the inauguration of Barack Obama, our students wrote persuasive letters about books that should be included in the White House library. The winning students had their books purchased and sent to the White House with their persuasive letter. You can listen to the students reading their letters by listening to our Gcast podcast at the bottom of the media center homepage.
Today was a day full of awards in the world childre’s literature. Take a look at some of the award winners below. We have a few of the titles in our media center and I’m putting others from this list on our next book order.
“The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman, HarperCollins Children’s Books
Newbery Honor Books
“The Underneath” by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
“The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle, Henry Holt and Company, LLC
“Savvy” by Ingrid Law, Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in partnership with Walden Media, LLC
“After Tupac and D Foster” by Jacqueline Woodson, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Books for Young Readers
“The House in the Night,” illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson, Houghton Mifflin Co.
Caldecott Honor Books
“A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever” by Marla Frazee, Harcourt, Inc.
“How I Learned Geography” by Uri Shulevitz, Farrar Straus Giroux
“A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams,” illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co
Belpré Author Award
“The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle, published by Henry Holt
Belpré Author Honor Books
“Just in Case” by Yuyi Morales, a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership
“Reaching Out” by Francisco Jiménez, Houghton Mifflin Co.
“The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos” by Lucia Gonzalez, illustrated by Lulu Delacre, Children’s Book Press
Belpré Illustrator Award
“Just in Case” by Yuyi Morales, a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership Press
Belpré Illustrator Honor Books
“Papa and Me” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros, Rayo, and imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
“The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos” illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucia Gonzalez, Children’s Book Press
“Are You Ready to Play Outside?” written and illustrated by Mo Willems, Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group
Geisel Honor Books
“Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’” written by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell, HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers
“One Boy” written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, a Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership
“Stinky” written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis, The Little Lit Library, a division of RAW Junior, LLC
“Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator” written by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell, Boyds Mills Press
2009 Coretta Scott King (CSK) Illustrator Book winner: “The Blacker the Berry,” illustrated by Floyd Cooper, written by Joyce Carol Thomas. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Three 2009 CSK Illustrator Honors:
“We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball” written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
“Before John Was a Jazz Giant” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sean Qualls, published by Henry Holt and Company.
“The Moon Over Star” by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.
2009 CSK Author Book winner: “We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro League Baseball,” written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
Three 2009 CSK Author Book honors:
“The Blacker the Berry” by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“Keeping the Night Watch” by Hope Anita Smith, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, published by Henry Holt and Company.
“Becoming Billie Holiday” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc.
2009 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: Shadra Strickland, illustrator of “Bird,” written by Zetta Elliott, published by Lee & Low Books.
Great news! Our card catalog is now available from home. You can search for books at home and come in the next day to check them out. Just follow this link.
Two students came into the media center and were very excited about a book that they had just finished. After they told me all about it, I asked if they wanted to record a message on our media center podcast. You can listen to it here. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click “play” on the Plemmons Podcast.
I just wanted to remind everyone about a great resource on the Athens Regional Library webpage. You can download audio books by creating an account with your PINES library card. The selection of books for children and teens is steadily growing. There are two books by Deborah Wiles, who is coming to our school on March 17th. You can download The Aurora County All-stars and Each Little Bird That Sings. Check it out!
We have a new feature on the Barrow Media Center webpage. It’s called Gcast. This small box located at the bottom of the homepage will contain audio updates from me and other guest speakers. I’m not sure how often we will update it, but I’ll include a blog post when it updates. You can also subscribe to this feature. Gcast allows you to record audio on your phone and immediately publish the audio onto your webpage. I’ll most likely use this to quickly tell you about new books in our media center, but I’m sure we’ll think of other ways to use it throughout the year. Visit our website and check it out.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful break. I wanted to share something new in the Barrow Media Center. I received a special chair for Christmas, which now sits in our media center. It’s the chair I will sit in as I read stories to everyone. Of course, there’s a story to go along with the chair.
Last May, I was at my parents’ house in Blue Ridge, GA. We visited Arts in the Park, a local arts and crafts fair. My eye was caught by a rocking chair made out of thin, twisting sticks from the forest. I had never seen a chair like this before, but I immediately knew that this was the perfect rocking chair for me and my love of old stories. The $300 price tag was not as welcoming as the chair.
I showed the chair to my dad and he, of course, said, “I could make something like that.” He almost always says this, and it’s true. He can build practically anything he puts his mind to. I knew I wasn’t buying the chair, but my mind started working and thinking about what my own stick rocking chair might look like. I gave my dad a few ideas and dismissed the thought of him building one because I know how busy he is taking care of my Mom and Grandparents.
This Christmas, as we were opening our presents, Dad handed me a little bag with a note tucked inside. “Go to the basement. Look under the tarp. Love, Dad.” I was taken back to Christmases ago when I had to go on a scavenger hunt to find one of my Christmas presents. As soon as I saw the note and thought about the scavenger hunt, I remembered the chair I had seen in May.
Down the stairs I went to uncover the tarp. When I pulled back the tarp, this is what I saw.
The chair is made of several pieces of trees that Dad gathered from various locations on our property in Blue Ridge. The seat and arms are made from wood from the “Old House”, which was part of the plan I shared with Dad back in May. The seat and the arms are really what make the chair the most special to me. The “Old House” was my Great, Great Aunt’s house. It is hidden in the woods down a road that you really have to look to find, and it’s walls are beginning to crumble. My Great Grandfather was raised in this house and the wood used to build its walls was collected from the property where the house sits. Today it is over 100 years old. The seat and arms of my rocking chair are made from wood Dad salvaged from the kitchen area of the house.
In May, I had only thought that the chair I saw was perfect. Now I have the perfect chair. It’s a chair that holds many memories. Memories of the “Old House” where my Dad and I worked in the garden, drank water from a spring on the side of the road, and chopped wood to sell. Memories of my childhood in Blue Ridge and the trees and stream that I loved to play in and around. Most of all it holds memories of how much my Dad cares for me. He will always do anything for me and has sacrificed so much for me to make it to where I am today. I try my best to not take the things that I have for granted, and this chair will remind me of the hard work he has always put in throughout his entire life. Thanks Dad for this beautiful chair.