Combat summer brain drain with our All-Access Passport to summer fun!
Need some inspiration for how to spend the summer?
Get ready to go back in time with Surrey Libraries’ Teen Summer Adventure 2021, Time Travel Edition (Ages 12-18)
Combat summer brain drain with our All-Access Passport to summer fun! Our All-Access Passport is filled with time travel themed challenges and activities you can do all summer long. Complete activities to earn tickets that go toward 8 weekly prizes and 3 summer-end grand prize draws!
Sign up by July 10 to be eligible for all 8 weekly prizes!
Come down to the School Library to see our display of recent “Award Winners.”
The Printz Award and the Alex Awards are significant honours to consider when adding title to a secondary school library collection. The Printz Award is given for excellence in young adult literature, while the Alex Awards are given to books written for adults but that have special appeal to young adults and teens.
The Printz Award is “for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.” (ALA) The 2021 Printz Award was given to Everything Sad Is Untrue(a true story) by Daniel Nayeri. In this autobiographical novel, middle-schooler Daniel, formerly Khosrou, tells his unimpressed and at times cruel classmates about his experience as an Iranian refugee.
Printz Honors were awarded to Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth; Dragon Hoops created by Gene Luen Yang; Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh; and We Are Not Free by Traci Chee.
The Alex Awards “are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.” (ALA) This year the Alex Awards were presented to the following titles:
· Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
· The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
· The Impossible First by Colin O’Brady
· Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf
· The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony
· The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
· Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth
· Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi
· Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
· We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel by Quan Barry
Find out more about all the other books and authors that were honoured with these very prestigious awards in the world of youth and children’s literature: ALA Youth Media Awards.
The rights and freedoms of Canadians include the right to read what you want to read. Such rights and freedoms are fundamental to democracy. Yet there are forces at work in our society that seek power by attaching your rights, including attempts to censor or limit your freedom to read.
Authoritarian forces and totalitarian states know that uneducated and illiterate citizens are easier to control and oppress. Such forces can only celebrate that the work is much simpler when significant portions of the population choose not to read. Censorship becomes less pressing when “aliteracy” becomes prevalent.
A true democracy guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms to its citizens. But to work effectively, indeed, to survive, democracy requires that citizens exercise those rights. In particular, democracy breaks down if citizens aren’t educated, informed and active.
The rise of powerful new information technology in the last few decades has made it more important than ever that citizens are highly “information literate.” Citizens must not only have access to information, they must have the tools required to wade through increasingly destructive levels of misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, and outright lies. Citizens need to have access to information that is credible, accurate and trustworthy.
The rise of anti-intellectualism and anti-science movements, perhaps most recently represented by anti-vax conspiracies, are part of the wider breakdown of democratic institutions. There is little doubt that attacks on public education over many years have reaped some these results and are integral to the rise of authoritarianism.
It is not enough to celebrate the Freedom to Read. As citizens of democratic societies, we have an obligation to exercise our Freedom to Read, in part so that we are equipped to defend our democratic rights and freedoms.
It is clear that democracy is under attack, throughout the world, and in our back yard. We must act.
Note* The above quote, or variations on it, are often popularly attributed to Mark Twain. However the original source of this quote, or its variations, remains unclear.
Freedom to Read Week celebrates your freedom to read what you choose to read.
These books have all been challenged.
A challenge means that at some point in Canada, someone or some group has said that you shouldn’t be reading these books in school, or borrowing them from libraries, or in some cases, even buying them from stores.
Freedom to Read Week is a chance to celebrate your freedom to read what you choose to read. It is also a time to reflect on the ongoing battle to protect that freedom. What better way to celebrate Freedom to Read Week, and to exercise your rights and freedoms, than to read a book– maybe even one of these.
Find out more about books that have been challenged in Canada:
In last week’s “School Library FAQ” we asked, “What is fiction? What is nonfiction?” Those are complex ideas and are most certainly “Frequently Asked Questions” that we have dealt with many times. Use the site menu or click here to go to our site FAQ page to see one answer that we came up with.
This week’s School Library FAQ: “How do I borrow a book? Where do I go and what do I need?”
Take some time to think about it. Click on “Leave a Comment” below to share your answer. Check back for a future School Library FAQ. We will also have a new question or two for you.
There are many good resources available to help students learn more about how to find reliable sources of information. One of those is the BBC’s “Real News” which has materials that “aim to help secondary school students (11 to 18-year-olds) examine critically information they receive online through websites, social media, pictures and data and to develop skills and methods to help determine what is real.”
What is fiction? What is nonfiction? Even many Grade 12 students still have difficulty answering these questions. Give it some thought. Click on “Leave a Comment” (below) to share your answers. Check back for some of our answers in the next “School Library FAQ.”
Today is BC School Library Day. Help celebrate the day, and more importantly the power and joy of reading, by rising up to the “Drop Everything and Read” Challenge.
Students, teachers and all staff at Lord Tweedsmuir are challenged to take at least 20 minutes during Block A this morning for recreational reading. That means put away the textbooks, take a break from the lessons, set aside the homework, end the conversations, put your phone in your backpack, and sit back for some silent, uninterrupted reading.
Read for fun, read to escape, read to be scared, or to laugh, or to learn something you want to learn about. Read something you choose because you will enjoy it. Read for reading’s sake.
If parents or somebody asks you why you were reading for fun instead of doing school work, you can tell them, you were doing both. Students who read more for fun do better in school.
Should teachers set aside time during the school day for kids to read for pleasure?
Should schools do more to encourage kids to become recreational readers?
Will there be enough of a payoff for our education system even if it means less time spent on other things?
The answer to all these questions is most certainly yes.
Reading for pleasure, recreational reading, free voluntary reading, personal reading– whatever you want to call it– is built upon the intrinsic goal of reading because it directly benefits the reader: Reading for the sake of reading. Yet there are myriad indirect benefits that come from recreational reading, many of which lead to profoundly positive educational outcomes.
A teacher should care that a student reads for pleasure, because reading brings pleasure to the student! However, more than that, a teacher can also point to so many other benefits that come from recreational reading that will pay off in terms of academic achievement, social learning and character education.
If teachers (or parents, or administrators) are worried that the kids are missing out on valuable educational lessons, please remember this: Students who read more for pleasure will do better in school. Recreational reading has many, many indirect educational benefits to students. Students who do more recreational reading will see improvements in vocabulary, writing skills, grammar, spelling, comprehension, critical thinking, concentration and so many other skills that are essential to one’s overall education.
Moreover, students who read more for pleasure will grow in social and emotional learning, as students can share in the experiences of different people, growing in empathy and understanding for people all backgrounds, ages, genders, orientations, beliefs and cultures.
As if those weren’t enough reasons for reading, here are some more. Reading books can help mitigate against the harmful effects of too much time spent on phones and in front of other screens. One simple and yet important example of this is that studies show that people who read from books or magazines before bed will sleep better than those who are looking at screens before trying to fall asleep.
There are so many reasons to read.
Schools need to do more to encourage kids to read for reading’s sake. In doing so, the school will reap the rewards of having kids who do better in school.
October is International School Library Month
and Canadian Library Month.