Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ALAN Breakfast speaker, Sharon Creech and her CODA character

The last few weeks have been increasingly hectic with the end of the semester approaching. I arrived home late Sunday night and didn't have time to post anything about the wonderful time I had at the ALAN Breakfast at the NCTE Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Laurie Halse Anderson, (pictured left) author of Speak, was presented with the 2008 ALAN Award. She was absolutely hysterical making fun of some of the required reading that was forced to read in school. She mentioned The Scarlet Letter and made a horrible face. Following her award, the ALAN breakfast speaker, Sharon Creech (pictured right) delivered her inspiring message about reaching students like a young Laurie Halse Anderson. Creech is the best-selling author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons, and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. She is also the first American in history to be awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler. During the breakfast, she spoke about her book, Love That Dog. The first time I read Love That Dog I cried... the story is that good. Creech's recent book, Hate That Cat: A Novel, picks up another year of Jack's life with teacher Miss Stretchberry. The exciting thing is... and it was a shocker for me during her presentation... Creech gives us more information about main character Jack's life. Readers even discover that Jack is a CODA- his mother is Deaf and uses sign language to communicate! Can you imagine how excited I was sitting at the ALAN Breakfast and finding out about a Deaf Character being added to her recent novel?!? I love how life is full of surprises. Jack's mother is a minor character but still....

Hate That Cat: A Novel by Sharon Creech
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Joanna Cotler (September 23, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0061430927

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Need another reason to join ALAN? Try FREE books!!!

Joan Kaywell just sent a reminder that the ALAN WORKSHOP in SAN ANTONIO is right around the corner. Read an excerpt from her email below. Even if you can't make it to this year's meeting, you may want to consider joining. The application is attached below in SlideShare.

You won’t want to miss the annual ALAN Workshop, occurring on November 24-25 in San Antonio, TX. There is still room available but now you’ll have to register on site. The cost of the two-day workshop is practically nothing when one considers that you receive a year’s membership and a free box of books! Seeing and hearing the authors’ presentations is worth it even if there were no freebies. But for those registered, here’s a little information about the packet of books that you will be receiving as a registrant for the ALAN workshop:

This package will be a box (16” x 16” x 12”) that will weigh approximately 30-35 lbs.

Alan Membership Form

View SlideShare document or Upload your own.

YouTube Video- Rally Caps

RALLY CAPS - A fun baseball story

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Adolescent Literature & the Presidential Elections

The closer we come to Election Day, the more talk there is in the media about the Presidential Elections. Everywhere I go people are discussing the candidates and talking about change. I believe that voting is not only our right as citizens but our responsibility. This week I encourage you to try to include adolescents in your discussions. They don't necessarily need to know every detail about the economy, health care, and the war but they do need to be involved in the importance of elections.

Why not introduce your favorite adolescents to Megan McDonald's Changes for Julie (American Girls Collection) (2007).

The main character Julie is sent to detention for passing a note to Deaf Character Joy, a new student who has trouble understanding what their teacher is saying. When Julie is sent to detention for passing the note, she is determined to change the rules for detention and the system itself. Julie runs for Student Body President while Joy runs for Student Body Vice President.

This book offers an uncanny parallel to our U.S. elections. The characters discuss their principles and concerns for electing someone who is a little "different" (the student body has never had a Deaf girl who "talks a little funny" and uses Sign Language as their VP before).
Want to know more about the author? Visit one of my earlier posts with an interview with Megan McDonald.