Thursday, 31 January 2008

Young people's self-perceptions as readers

New research based on a survey of pupils in 29 primary and secondary schools in England has been released by the National Literacy Trust. It reveals that the majority of children (71%) enjoy reading and rate themselves as proficient readers, but many are more likely to read magazines, websites and emails than fiction. The report, Young People's Self-Perceptions as Readers, suggests that emphasis needs to be placed on a broader range of reading materials, including new media, in order to engage more young people with reading.
Read more, with links to the report and an article on it's findings.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Library Research: Children & Young People

Library Research: Children & Young People - this blog summarises recent research reports and articles. Don't be put off by the word "library" - the content is quite broad and includes much to interest student teachers, e.g. postings on information literacy and out of school activities.

New book lists

Our website has a small selection of children's fiction book lists, based on our stock and arranged by author or theme. Some recent additions and updates are:

The Holocaust: This list is updated every year in time for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January. It also includes some non-fiction, e.g. books about Anne Frank, and a brief list of relevant websites.

Recent children's book awards: Not a comprehensive listing, I update this about twice a year with the prize-winning books we've added to stock.

Richard and Judy: This influential bookclub now includes choices for children in four age ranges - 5+, 7+, 9+ and 12+. All the titles are in Jordanhill Library.

You can actually make up your own book list from our catalogue quite easily, using the theme index. For example, do you need a story to go with your project on bullying? Do you want to find stories set in Scotland? Browse the theme index to find these and hundreds of other subjects in our children's picture book, novel, short stories and poetry collections.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Children's Literature in Education

An index to articles in the December 2007 issue of Children's Literature in Education. Find it on the Serials gallery at S824.


Ngoshi, H. & Pasi, J. (2007). Mediating HIV / AIDS strategies in children’s literature in Zimbabwe. Children’s Literature in Education, 38(4), pp. 243-251.


Chappell, S. & Faltis, C. (2007). Spanglish, bilingualism, culture and identity in Latino children’s literature. Children’s Literature in Education, 38(4), pp. 253-262.


Pantaleo, S. (2007). Scieszka’s The stinky cheese man: a tossed salad of parodic re-versions. Children’s Literature in Education, 38(4), pp. 277-295.


Adams, R. & Rabkin, E. (2007). Psyche and society in Sendak’s In the night kitchen. Children’s Literature in Education, 38(4), pp. 233-241.


Lewis, D. (2007). A conversation with Posy Simmonds. Children’s Literature in Education, 38(4), pp. 263-275.

Teen Titles

Teen Titles is a bright, lively magazine with reviews and interviews written by teenagers for teenagers. It's published by City of Edinburgh Council and the latest edition is its 40th, or ruby, issue. To celebrate, there is a "Find the Hidden Ruby" competition and a Teen Titles 40 quiz, both with prizes, while other highlights include interviews with authors James Jauncey and Marcus Sedgwick. The magazine is filed in our Serials section at 011.62.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Seven Stories

Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books, is the only exhibition space in the UK dedicated to the celebration of British children's literature. It's in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and well worth a vist if you are ever in that area, as I was last autumn. The main exhibition was "We're going on a bear hunt - picture book adventures", in which ten titles were recreated, almost as stage sets. You could actually step into the room with the Large family from Jill Murphy's Five Minutes' Peace, or go on the titular bear hunt with Michael Rosen. Coming up next month is an exhibition based round Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry books which should prove equally fascinating.

The Centre also has an academic purpose, maintaining an extensive collection of artwork and archives from leading authors and illustrators, such as Philip Pullman and Shirley Hughes, which shows the creative process behind children's books. In November 2007, the Collection webpages were launched - click on the link above, then choose the Collection tab on the home page. This gives access to a catalogue of holdings, sometimes with images of the item, detailed biographical information about the authors, a section on hilghlights of the Collection and an interactive game, Browser's Quest. Happy hunting!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Books for Keeps

The January 2008 edition of Books for Keeps has hit the library bookshelves. We subscribe to this bi-monthly journal, but you can also read a lot of the content online. It's full of reviews, interesting articles and regular features such as the "Authorgraph", an interview with a leading children's author or illustrator. Here are the highlights from this edition:


Barnes, C. (2008). Authorgraph no 168 : Sally Grindlay. Books for Keeps, 168, pp. 12-13.


Maile, S. (2008). Reading in the middle years (9-11) : texts and choices : reading non-fiction in the middle years. Books for Keeps, 168, pp. 6-7.


Horn, C. (2008). Ethical book production. Books for Keeps, 168, pp. 3-5.
Are children’s publishers green?


Philip, N. (2008). Why do we really tell stories? Books for Keeps, 168, pp. 10-11.
Is plot really the essence of storytelling?


Cremin, T., Bearne, E., Goodwin, P., & Mottram, M. (2008). Teachers as readers. Books for Keeps, 168, pp. 8-9.
How much do teachers know about children’s literature? A survey by UKLA Children’s Literature Special Interest Group.


Alderson, B. (2008). Classics in short no 67 : “That brave company of shadows” surrounding A traveller in time. Books for Keeps, 168, p. 28.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Children's Literature Internet Sites

Another feature of our webpages is a list of good children's literature internet sites. I have added a couple of new ones this week:

Children's Books Online. This is the website for the Rosetta project, which describes itself as "the largest collection of illustrated antique books online...we think". You could lose yourself for hours reading these beautifully illustrated books, in categories from pre-reader to adult, some of which have audio files attached so that you can listen to the text too.

Spinebreakers. A teenage site from Penguin Books, this is for "story-surfing, web-exploring, word-loving, day-dreaming, readers/writers/thinkers aged 13-18". It features reviews, competitions, author interviews, alternate scenes and poems. It's contemporary and lively and actively encourages participation.

These two sites are a real contrast to each other, and this underlines one of the drawbacks to our list - it's long and undifferentiated. I'd like to split it up more into categories - the poetry page was a start - but haven't got very far. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Reluctant Readers

I have recently updated our page for reluctant readers. Here, you can find suggestions for engaging the interest of those who can't or won't read, including graphic novels, talking books and storysacks, plus a brief list of links to other sites. The Reluctant Readers page can also be collected as a leaflet from the display area of the Jordanhill Library Children's section.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Children's Literature Update

Every term I produce a booklet called Children's Literature Update, a subject index to relevant articles in journals the Library subscribes to, plus some newspaper articles. Eventually, we hope to have the index available as a searchable database on our webpages, but for now it is available for collection from the display area of the children's section in the Library and I will keep a log of new articles here.

Last term's index went out just before Christmas, and I have started collecting material for the new one. Since coming back to work after the New Year I have gathered together the cuttings I collected in December, which are:


Kellaway, K. (2007, December 23). Mother superior: as her best loved books are republished, children’s writer and illustrator Sarah Garland talks about the joy of drawing messy families. Observer Review, p. 22.
Cuttings file no. 1145.


Frean, A. (2007, December 7). Ofsted wields its vorpal sword at Jabberwocky approach to poetry. Times, p. 3.
Cuttings file no. 1142.

Meikle, J. (2007, December 7). School poetry teaching too limited, Ofsted says. Guardian, p. 7.
Cuttings file no. 1143.

Paton, G. and Reynolds, N. (2007, December 7). Classic poems “losing out to nonsense verse”. Telegraph, p. 13.
Cuttings file no. 1144.


Stokes, P. (2007, December 3). Dolly Parton: rhinestone, reading and Rotherham. Telegraph, p. 3.
Cuttings file no. 1141.
Parton launches the UK version of her Imagination Library in South Yorkshire.

You can access these articles in various ways - directly from the newspapers' own websites or, if you are a student at Strathclyde, through our LexisNexis subscription or by asking at the Jordanhill Library Lending Services Desk for the relevant cutting number.