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Book Bits is Back! (2/5/16)

It’s high time we revived Book Bits: a random collection of interesting book-related links and information found around the web. Enjoy! Beatrix Potter has a new book coming out! Now you can ask the advice of a “book concierge” like you might a hotel concierge. Rumor has it that a new Little House movie is in […]

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Reading Aloud to Teens, Part One

The last time I talked to my daughter on the phone, she said, “Guess what Adriel is doing now.” That’s my nine-year-old granddaughter, and of course I always want to know what she’s doing now. Since they live 800 miles away, I don’t get to see them very much, but it so happened that the […]

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5 Fun Fairy Tale Reads for February

Love is in the air! Or is it? Despite the myriad of hearts, chocolates, and flowers festooning every available merchandising spot, not everyone wants to read a love story this time of year. But what about a romance? Merriam-Webster defines “romance” as: “a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and […]

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Five Family Read Alouds

Long winter nights and the occasional snow day make for excellent read-aloud weather.  Here are five favorites that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  (Or, if you’d rather listen, several of these titles have been made into excellent audiobooks.) Wolf Story by William McCleery.  NYR Children’s Collection, reprint, 2012.  88 pages.   A man […]

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Caldecott Buzz and Possible Picks

Book award committees have such a delightfully difficult task. The ALA Caldecott awards will be announced, among others, on Monday, January 11, and there is always much discussion in the book world leading up to the event. This year there seem to be a lot of books that are nice but don’t contain much of […]

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Newbery Buzz: Drowned City by Don Brown

Continuing our series of discussions about “buzz” books, this time Janie and Betsy look at a nonfiction work in graphic novel format. Betsy: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans is getting buzz on several Mock lists. Because it is a nonfiction graphic novel, I’ve heard it thrown about as a possible Caldecott, Newbery, and/or Sibert candidate. […]

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What Makes a GREAT Novel?

When was “The Novel” as a literary form invented? The answer is, it wasn’t. The type of long-form fiction we call a novel was not invented but developed over time with many steps along the way. Epic poetry like Homer’s, satires like Ovid’s, and royal romances like The Tale of Genji (from Japan) have been […]

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Reading with Discernment: YA Literature

One of the high school classes I teach is devoted to helping students become discerning readers. Modern young adult fiction can be a minefield of conflicting worldviews, confusing messages, and the subtle (or not so subtle) push for readers to blindly accept the stories they read with little or no hesitation. We spend a good […]

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Betrayed by Books: Always Read with Discernment!

I’m all for diversity in books–after all, God’s creation is full of so many different kinds of people and they are all created in His image. We should be reading about and seeing people of all shapes, sizes, and colors in books. There are plenty of diverse family situations, too; families don’t come in neat little packages […]

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Happy 150th birthday, Alice in Wonderland!

Alice in Wonderland turned 150 years old this year! Here are seven of the many reasons I believe Alice is worth celebrating with a tea party, an unbirthday party, or at least some of the Queen of Hearts’ jam tarts. Why I enjoy Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass 1. Because it was […]

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Flying Ponies and Dump Trucks

Do little kids love fantasy? NPR recently reported on a study done by three academic psychologists on the subject of children and fiction. They asked a group of 4-to-7-year-olds what choose between two stories they might like to read or listen to: one story about a child who found a treasure, and another about a […]

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