Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Read. Connect. Share. Inspire.

I believe in the power of story. I believe in the power of connection. It's in the moments where these overlap that magic happens.

Today Kevin Emerson very graciously offered to Skype with a 5th grade class for World Read Aloud Day. He read to us from his new book, The Fellowship for Alien Detection, and revealed that he had once worked in a bank about a mile from our school! The questions came fast and furious and with each answer Kevin won over the hearts of these young readers (and this not-so-young librarian!) He fielded each question with seriousness and humor (from "Were you fired from the bank or did you quit?" and "How could there possibly be aliens in the world?" to "Do you REALLY believe in aliens?" and the one that gave him most pause, "What do you like better, reading or writing?") Kevin made some lasting connections by sharing that one of his favorite authors is Sharon Creech and favorite books include the His Dark Materials series (this might make us secret soulmates). He sparked a hold list a mile long not just for tFfAD (fad! What a great acronym!) but for the book he shared as his current read- The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (another gem).

To see 20 5th graders sit for 30 minutes as we chatted with an inspiring author was powerful. It really felt like he was in the room with us just hanging out.

I think they might flip when I tell them we will have to Skype again to hear Kevin's live version of The Fellowship for Alien Detection song.

I believe in the power of connecting with the creativity behind the story. And my students do, too.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ZERVCOTT votes are in!

Oh my, this blog has had a serious hiatus. Not for lack of awesomeness happening in the library, but from a complete lack of time for this library teacher to write up events. It spiraled when I then felt like the blog was missing SO MUCH and I froze. Like writer's block, but more like blog freeze. Trying to fix that now! I will breeze by (and come back to) Picture Book Month (some amazing cross-country connections!), Brian Lies' author visit, 5th Grade Bookclub starting, and more. What is pressing now are the results of our 2nd annual MOCK CALDECOTT (aka the ZERVCOTT medals!)

Let's begin.

I had a hard time not including amazing picture books on the mock list, so we had 30 (yes 30!) in our first round of voting.  Here they are in all of their cover glory:
Starting in November (the aforementioned wonderful Picture Book Month), I shared these books during library classes and talked them up to teachers. Throughout December, 1st graders learned a lot about the Caldecott medal and had lots of time to peruse the pages of these gems. Grades 2-5 had lessons and chances to view the books and all grade levels voted on their favorites in early January. I then had the 1st graders and 5th graders serve as my "Zervcott Committee" members and re-vote for their choices from a Top 6 generated from the first round voting.

Here are the Top 6:

First graders also designed medals that the 5th graders voted on.  Without any further ado (or my rambling) - here are the results.

Zervcott honors (and their medals!):

Chloe and the Lion - Zervcott honor 2013
Zervcott Honor Medal by Alyssa

Green - Zervcott Honor 2013

Zervcott Honor Medal by Suvi

And the 2013 Zervcott Winner is......

This is Not My Hat- Zervcott WINNER 2013!
Zervcott Medal by Thomas

Our kids LOVED This Is Not My Hat. Will it win a Caldecott? I'm not sure. But it won the hearts of many students, and that's what counts!  Look for future posts with student reactions/responses to Green and a video homage to This Is Not My Hat!