Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why I write for Children

I recently had this email from a fellow author of books for children. Here is what she has to say about My Name is Sangoel and her experience using it in the classroom. The second part give me shivers:

I really do love that book. When schools ask for modeling on response to

literature, that's one of the three books I always grab off my shelf.

Some of my favorite responses have been the character responses. Sangoel is

brave and then they offer up 3-4 examples from the text where they thought

he acted in a brave way. Or, Sangoel was clever, and again they provide

evidence from the text.

One of the most powerful responses I read was a personal response from a 5th

grade boy who said how his brother had given him a nickname that now

everyone knew and used and how it made him feel on the inside whenever he

heard it. This student offered to share what he had written and when he

completed the response several kids in the room looked at him and said,

"I'll never call you that again. Promise."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Beach Tail Now a Recorded Book

A Beach Tail is now available on Recorded books performed by Dion Graham. Unabridged with a second track included with page turn signals.

Check it out on line or from:

Recorded Books
270 Skipjack Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Birthday and an Obituary

It is a good thing to google yourself once in while. I try to do it regularly. It is a great way to procrastinate and also to find out where you stand in the world arena. Do you come up first on the search engines? Is that person really you? How many pages of you are there on Google?

The last time I looked I was amazed to find out they were celebrating my birthday in Australia. And this really was me. I think this is a great idea and everyone should be celebrated in this way. Also everyone should celebrate my birthday and forget my age ;-).

Happily the next entry on Google after the birthday was an obituary for well.... not me, but Karen Lynn Williams. I was relieved to find out that it was an article about the death of a different KLW and I am still around to write and celebrate more birthdays although I did give a moment of silent thought to the family whose lost another Karen Lynn Williams. It seems there are many of us out there.

See below for the blog that describes my birthday celebration in Australia! Perhaps we should all celebrate a Harmony Day ...everyday.


22nd March Karen Lynn Williams (1952)

Yesterday at school we celebrated Harmony Day with a visit from a wonderful group of people from the Torres Straits. Harmony Day is celebrated around Australia on 21 March each year. It's a day where all Australians celebrate our cultural diversity. The day is also the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The message for Harmony Day in 2011 is that Everyone Belongs, which means all Australians are a welcome part of our country, regardless of their background. Our school has extended this message to become Harmony Week. This is extremely fitting given that the school community is quite homogenous and needs to be made more aware of cultural diversity.

Today is American author Karen Lynn Williams'birthday. She is the perfect author for this week as she has lived and worked in developing countries and worked tirelessly with refugees in her own country. She has written widely based on her experience and her books certainly help in the quest to eliminate racial discrimination. We have three of her books (pictured) in our library perfect for discussion on a variety of topics from racism, sexism, inclusion to family similarities if it is with very young children. You can read blurbs, reviews and teaching suggestions for the books on her website.