My Favorite Websites
Resources, Resources, Resources ~Websites for Children’s, Middle Grade, and YA Literature
American Indians in Children’s Literature (americanindiansinchildrensliterture.org) ~If you want to know if the book you’re considering presents an accurate and authentic perspective on an American Indian experience, then you’ll most likely find information about the book at Dr. Debbie Reese’s site. Reese, a Nambe Pueblo Indian, established AICL in 2006 to provide “criticial perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books.” Her detailed book reviews are eye openers about Native American cultures, and the entire site offers a great deal of information about the history and culture of indigenous peoples.
American Library Association (ala.org) ~Are you familiar with the Newbery and Caldecott awards? What about the Coretta Scott King Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award, and the Printz Award? Well, all of these awards and many more are sponsored by the American Library Association. Go to ala.organd you’ll be amazed by the book choices the ALA awards introduce you to as a reader, parent, and teacher.
Becky’s Book Reviews (blbooks.blogspot.com) ~Hostess Becky established her blog “To promote the love of reading by providing teens, tweens, parents, teachers, librarians, fellow bloggers, and booklovers of all ages, with reviews of books published for children, young adults, and adults.” True to her goal, her blog is a treasure trove of detailed reviews, reading challenges, and an easy-to-access archive of hundreds of reviews. The site is user friendly, inviting, and very interesting to navigate.
Brightly (readbrightly.com) ~The Brightly newsletter offers book recommendations, reading tips, and seasonal inspirations for children, teens, and parents. Browsing through one of the newsletters, I found practical guides and inspiring suggestions for motivating kids and teens to enjoy reading. Some examples from just one issue: “25 of the Most Exciting Picture Books of Fall 2017,” “12 Nonfiction Books Kids Will Actually Read,” “10 Must-Have Books for 2-Year-Olds,” “10 Things You Can Do This Summer to Get Your Child Ready for Kindergarten,” “Children’s Books That Show Kids the Goodness in the World,” “Happily Ever After: 17 Multicultural Fairy Tales to Delight Every Child,” and, for teens, “10 Books for Fans of We Were Liars.”
Children’s Book Council (ccbooks.org) ~The CBC is dedicated to motivating children and teens to become lifelong readers. To meet this challenge, CBC sponsors Children’s Book Week, Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards (books selected by children and teens), the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and annual best books lists for STEM books, social studies and science trade books, and all sorts of information about authors, illustrators, and the book industry.
Cynsations (cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com) ~ Best-selling and award-wining author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Feral series, Tantalize series, and many other children’s and YA books) manages an active blog about children’s and YA book news, author outreach, publishing information, and writer resources.
E-book poems and resources: PoetryFridayAnthology.Blogspot.com; PoetryTagTime.Blogspot.com; TeenPoetryTagTime.Blogspot.com; PoetryGiftTag.Blogspot.com; PoetryforChildren.Blogspot.com; PoetryTeachersBookofLists.Blogspot.com.
Guys Read (guysread.com) ~What can a teacher or parent do to get the males in their lives interested and even passionate about reading? The support this site provides to lure males ages two to adulthood into reading is phenomenal. Books recommended by teachers, librarians, booksellers, publishers, parents, and guys themselves cover a wide range of interests and tastes including action/adventure, the comic, nature/exploring, traumatic or life events, and the creepy and weird. Author interviews and audio books also enrich the experience. Wander and wonder.
Kenn Nesbitt, Children’s Poet Laureate (2013-15) ~Visit this wildly popular poet’s website at poetry4kids.com. Nesbitt’s poems have appeared in numerous bestselling anthologies, school textbooks, and children’s magazines. His website is the most visited children’s poetry website on the internet. Wacky humor is his brand, and it rocks!
Kidlitosphere (kidlitosphere.org) ~Kidlitosphere Central is the site of The Society of Bloggers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature. The bloggers are book reviewers, librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers, parents, and other fans of children’s and young adult literature. You don’t have to be a blogger to receive daily online book reviews, a monthly round-up of good books for kids and teens, weekly blogs on nonfiction and poetry, and the annual list of CYBILS, award books chosen by bloggers.
KidLit TV (www.kidlit.tv) ~KidLit TV is an award-winning entertaining and motivational site where books come alive with inspiring author and illustrator interviews, story time events with authors, drawing events with illustrators, podcasts, and all sots of information about books and the people who write, illustrate, and promote them.
Latinxs in Kid Lit (latinosinkidlit.com) ~A site that explores the world of Latinx YA, middle grade, and children’s literature. The site’s goals are to “engage with works about, for, and/or by Latinxs; offer a broad forum on Latinx children’s, MG, and YA books; promote literacy and the love of books within the Latinx community; examine the historical and contemporary state of Latinx characters; encourage interest in Latinx children’s, MG, and YA literature among non-Latin@ readers; share perspectives and resources that can be of use to writers, authors, illustrators, librarians, parents, teachers, scholars, and other stakeholders in literacy and publishing.”
Lisening Library (www.booksontape.com) ~Listening Library’s range of available children’s, middle grade, and YA audio books is overwhelming, but that’s the joy of knowing about this source for fantastic listening experiences. LL’s quality is notorious. Some of the best voices are chosen to give a book its best dramatic reading in keeping with its overall tone. Books come alive in the Listening Library.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day (multiculturalchildrensbookday.com) ~This is a very popular annual event dedicated to raising awareness for books that explore diversity. The program offers free resources for teachers and parents that can keep the focus on multicultural books active throughout the entire year. Some “freebies”: diversity book award lists, free book for teachers, fee book for reviewers, book giveaways on Multicultural Children’s Book day blog, free classroom kindness kit (ages 4 – 12), and a free Multicultural Children’s Book Day poster. Stay tuned and stay in touch.
PoetryforChildren.blogspot.com ~A fabulous resource that includes a comprehensive list of poetry websites and blogs.
Prose and Kahn (proseandkahn.blogspot.com) ~This upbeat blog explores “Reviews and ramblings about children’s and young adult literature by an absentminded middle school librarian.” The reviews are revealing and conversational, accessible and inspiring. Occasional reviews of audiobooks are included.
The Educators Spin on It (theeducatorsspinonit) ~Two former classroom teachers have put together a website that features exciting activities for kids 0 to 8. The activities invite children to engage in reading, writing, math, science, cultural diversity, travel, cooking, crafting, learning a second language, and gardening. The activities foster kids’ learning through hands-on experiences that help build self-confidence and self-esteem.
The Horn Book (hbook.com) ~Are you serious about wanting to explore children’s and YA books? Interested in informative book reviews that’ll send you searching? Interviews with authors and illustrators? Subscribe to The Horn Book Magazine at hbook.com
/subscriber-info. And on hbook.com, you’ll find news and information about award-winning books, classroom strategies for teaching literature, and interesting book-related hot topics. There’s also a wealth of enlightening reviews in The Horn Book Guide and The Horn Book Guide Online.
The Midwest Book Review (midwestbookreview.com) ~It’s a site providing links to hundreds of book reviews written by volunteer reviewers. The link to Children’s Bookwatch Index comprises reviews of books, music, games, and DVDs ideal for preschool through young adult readers. The titles are suitable for family, school, and community library collections. Amazing information for book lovers, teachers, librarians, and all other reading enthusiasts.
The Miss Rumphius Effect (missrumphiuseffect.blogspt.com) ~Reviews of poetry and nonfiction books, thematic book lists, ready-to-use lesson plans for teaching various types of poetry, interesting links to blogs about promoting and teaching good books —-that’s what this blog from a teacher educator is all about.
The Picture Book Review (thepicturebookreview.com) ~A blog that features reviews of picture books and books with pictures. Authors, illustrators, publishers, and publicists submit books for possible review. A visually stunning site.
The Poetry Friday Anthology: Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core. Compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Princeton, NJ: Ponmelo Books, 2012. The K-Grade 5 edition contains 218 poems by 76 poets explored in brief exciting lesson plans that encourage kids to experience poetry with drama, read-clouds, and personal connections to content and theme. The grade 6-8 edition (Pomelo Books, 2012) contains 110 poems by 71 poets, and I was just as wowed by the poems and activities in this edition that are sure to attract middle school kids. The teaching and reading strategies invite middle schoolers to participate in poetry as a way to comprehend it. Practical and inspiring.
Virginia Hamilton Conference (www.kent.edu/virginiahamiltonconference or www.facebook.com/virginiahamiltonconference) ~The longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults, the annual Virginia Hamilton Conference honors author Virginia Hamilton and reflects her commitment to promoting cultural awareness and affirming cultural pride. Teachers, librarians, and kid lit enthusiasts of all kinds gather at the conference to participate in workshops and hear authors and illustrators describe their art and mission.
We Are Teachers (weareteachers.com) ~While this site is all about teaching ideas, classroom management, and professional development, it also gives a lot of attention to children’s interests, needs and diversity. Check out the site’s book lists such as “50 Nonfiction Picture Books for Learning About the World.”
We Need Diverse Books (weneeddiversebooks.org) ~Diversity in the broadest, most inclusive meaning of the term is what drives the We Need Diverse Books mission. “We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities,” wrote the organization’s team on its website. We Need Diverse Books advocates for diversity with writing contests, teaching tips, resources for writers, grants to support interns who’d like to pursue a career in publishing, annual book awards, comprehensive book searching resources, and mentorships for aspiring writers and illustrators..