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CCB Newsletter
March 2013


In this Newsletter…



News and Updates

Walter Dean Myers Visit

The CCB is pleased to be able, through the support of the Children’s Book Council, to host National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and critically acclaimed author of children’s and young adult literature Walter Dear Myers for a visit to Champaign-Urbana. Myers will be giving a lecture on his platform as Ambassador, “Reading is Not Optional,” at a public event at Champaign Public Library on Monday, March 25. Students, parents, and educators are all encouraged to attend. Q&A session and book signing will follow the talk. Myers will also be speaking at a public meet-and-greet aimed at middle grade students at the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 26. While in Champaign-Urbana, he will also be doing events at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center and Central High School. For more details about these events, please see the calendar below and on our website.



March Calendar

  • Friday, March 1: CCB Brown Bag on folklore and storytelling with Brian Sturm, 12 noon
    Sturm is Associate Professor of LIS at the University of North Carolina and scholar of literature, digital worlds, and storytelling, as well as being a practicing storyteller himself.

  • Friday, March 1: Annual Gryphon Lecture Featuring Brian Sturm, 7 pm, GSLIS 136
    Prof. Sturm will present “Paradoxically Speaking: Just One of the Ways Children's Folktales Engage Listeners.” Reception to follow in GSLIS 131 and East Foyer.

  • Saturday, March 2: K-12 Assessment Portfolio Work Session, 5 pm
    Georgeann Burch, Ruth Shasteen, and a GSLIS alum will lead a hands-on, informal work session for K-12 LIS Certification students who wish to assemble their portfolio until 6:30.

  • Wednesday, March 6: CCB Brown Bag with Rebekah Willett, 12 noon
    Willett will be speaking on the application of children’s media research to LIS teaching and practice

  • Wednesday, March 13: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Discussing Unwind by Neal Shusterman

  • Monday, March 25: Walter Dean Myers: “Reading Is Not Optional” at Champaign Public Library, 7 pm
    The CCB is bringing National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Mr. Walter Dean Myers to Champaign, where he will speak on his platform: “Reading is not optional.” A Q&A session and book signing will follow.

  • Tuesday, March 26: Walter Dean Myers: Event at Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library, 3:45 pm
    Mr. Myers will visit the Douglass Branch for an informal program aimed at middle schoolers discussing his life and how he became a writer in addition to the Reading Is Not Optional platform.

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of events, visit the calendar on our website.



New Bibliographies on the CCB Website

WWII through the Eyes of Young People
Created by Anna Holland and Katie Boucher, CCB GAs, and Zoe Weinstein, CCB Volunteer

Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Novels
Created by Liz Engebrecht, CCB Volunteer



Our Affiliates Out and About

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Kate McDowell will be travelling to libraries that serve youth in Amsterdam as part of a developing research project about current trends and transformations in youth services librarianship. McDowell received the GSLIS Centennial Scholar Award to fund this trip.

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Carol Tilley will present “Beyond Ephemerality: Kids, Comics, and History,” a colloquium talk at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for the History of Print Culture on March 19. Tilley will also present her research on kids, comics and Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent on a panel for the event “Surely You’re Joking, Dr. Wertham!” at the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art in New York City on March 20.



Feature: Carol Tilley’s Comics Research Hits the Newswire

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Carol Tilley recently published a paper, "Seducing the Innocent: Fredric Wertham and the Falsifications that Helped Condemn Comics," in Information and Culture: A Journal of History that has recently a great deal of press coverage and has gone completely viral across Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. In the paper, she reveals evidence in anti-comics crusader Fredric Wertham's archives that proves much of the information in his book Seduction of the Innocent to have been falsified. Tilley was among the first people to gain access to Wertham’s personal archives when they were released by the Library of Congress in 2010.

Seduction of the Innocent—which documents Wertham’s research into the effects that comics have on children’s psychology, sexuality, and behavior—became a highly acclaimed and influential book when it was published in 1954. It was part of the evidence that lead the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency to hold televised hearings on comics, which in turn lead to the creation of the Comics Code Authority, a self-censoring branch of the comics industry. Tilley presented some of this research at the ALA Midwinter Conference in her YALSA Past-Presidents’ Trends in YA lecture “Comics: A Once-Missed Opportunity.” The University News Bureau first picked up the story of Tilley’s research in early February. This story was picked up by comics enthusiasts widely, and led to reprints and other news sources contacting Tilley to comment on her research.

The story of Tilley’s groundbreaking research has since hit Bleeding Cool, ThinkProgress, the blog of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, io9 (Gawker Media), and—perhaps most notably—the New York Times. The CCB encourages you to check out these articles to see more about the implications of Tilley’s research and to join us in celebrating her achievements.



New Books We Just Had to Read

Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read.  These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Anna’s Choice: One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Reading Level: Gr. 5-8
Pages: 257
Publisher and Year: Knopf, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-86925-9
Price: $16.99

The year of thirteen-year old Georgie Burkhardt’s remaking begins with a coffin. Inside lie the remains of her beloved sister Agatha’s blue-green ball dress and a body so unrecognizable Sheriff McCabe brought it all the way back from Dog Hollow to be identified. Unable to accept that her flighty older sister is dead, Georgie sets out from her small Wisconsin town to find Agatha and bring her home. Before she goes anywhere, though, she needs a horse and a horse can only be bought from Billy McCabe, Agatha’s former beau. Armed with her grandfather’s Springfield single-shot, a copy of The Prairie Traveler, an unfortunate mule, and the unrequested company of Billy, Georgie trails the  “pigeoners” (the con-men who follow the passenger pigeon migration and with whom Agatha ran off in the first place) to uncover the truth. Along the way, Georgie and Billy stumble into their fair share of secrets and trouble, which only thicken the mystery surrounding her sister. Will Georgie’s call-it-as-you-see-it nature, youthful innocence, and uncanny abilities with a rifle be enough to bring her sister home, or is the truth already buried?

Katie’s Choice: Nugget & Fang by Tammie Sauer
Reading Level:  5-7 yrs.
Pages: 40
Publisher and Year: Harcourt, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-85285-0
Price: $16.99

Nugget (a minnow) and Fang (a shark) are fishy friends happily cavorting in the sea, unaware that they are not meant to be friends at all. In fact, as Nugget learns from his teachers at Mini Minnows, he is destined to be Fang’s food – not his friend. Despite his efforts to argue with other ocean dwellers that not all sharks are “big and bad” with murderous toothy grins to match, Nugget cannot escape the ridicule of having a shark for a best friend and, in time, succumbs to their anti-shark mentality, ending his friendship with Fang. Devastated by the loss of his beloved minnow companion, Fang is desperate to convince Nugget that he is truly harmless and a willing vegetarian. After dressing up as a mermaid to soften his scary exterior and tattooing Nugget’s name on his fin fail to convince his friend, Fang’s gleeful “glugs” turn into brooding “blubs.”. When Nugget and his fellow minnows are caught in a fisherman’s net, Fang must flex his fins and put his toothy grin to good use in hopes of saving them and reforming his vilified reputation. Rich hues of violets and blues accompany the charming and quick-paced narrative of this fishy tale about an unlikely and endearing friendship that is sure to leave any reader sporting a toothy grin of their own.

Tad’s Choice: Pinch and Dash and the Terrible Couch by Michael J. Daley; illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
Reading Level: Gr. 1-2
Pages: 48p
Publisher and Year: Charlesbridge, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-58089-379-4
Price: $12.95

“Ding-dong. Ding-dong! DING-DONG!” goes the doorbell, and in this way, movers interrupt Pinch’s cozy cookbook reading with a terrible couch in tow. Despite Pinch’s desperate pleas (and utter confusion), the movers barge in and dump the couch in Pinch’s living room with a note from Aunt Hasty, asking for Pinch to store the couch temporarily. Pinch is upset—“His snug chair was not snug anymore”—until his best friend and neighbor Dash shows up with some bright ideas for rearranging the furniture. The sofa-wrangling only serves to tire Dash out and make Pinch more agitated: It’s still too cramped and the couch does not match his décor at all. Pinch finally comes up with a solution: move the couch, whose “daring dashes of red” match Dash’s drapes, next door into his friend’s home—complete with sleeping Dash atop. This cleverly paired animal friendship, although perhaps a cliché, is a good one, and Pinch and Dash are characters readers will enjoy running into again and again. Daley’s simple sentences with repeated phrases that roll off the tongue give beginning readers a boost up, while Yezerski’s relaxed line-and-watercolor illustrations buzz the story right along. Pinch and Dash’s quiet adventures are sure to win over those of us following along in our own snug chairs and soft sofa cushions.



Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Messina, Lynn. Little Vampire Women. New York: HarperTeen, 2010.

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.



CCB Fall Hours and General Information

  • Monday: 10am-5pm
  • Tuesday: 10am-7pm
  • Wednesday: 4pm-7pm
  • Thursday: 10am-7pm
  • Friday: 10am-5pm

For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.

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The Center for Children's Books | Graduate School of Library and Information Science | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St. | Champaign, IL 61820 | 217-244-9331 |