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CCB Newsletter
April 2013


In this Newsletter…



News and Updates

GSLIS Annual Storytelling Festival

We’re pleased to announce that the CCB will host our annual Storytelling Festival on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 7-9 pm at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science Building, Room 126, 501 E. Daniel St. in Champaign. The Festival will feature humor, horror, hubris, and more. Our tellers will bring to life some eclectic characters including Anansi, Bluebeard, the boy who cried wolf, and one insatiable pig. Stories will be performed by a select group of GSLIS students and faculty, including new storytellers and seasoned professionals.

“The Festival is a great opportunity for the community to enjoy the art of storytelling and it provides our emerging student storytellers with a chance to shine,” said Assistant Professor Kate McDowell, who teaches storytelling courses at GSLIS.

The cost for students is $3 with a Student ID and $5 for the public. Tickets can be purchased at the door beginning at 6:30 pm. Some material may not be appropriate for children.

For more information or if you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this program/event, contact the CCB at (217) 244-9331 or

If you’re interested in seeing more of what the festival can be like, check out this video of highlights from the 2012 festival, or view our archives of audio and video from past festivals on the CCB website.


April Calendar

  • Saturday, April 6: Annual GSLIS Storytelling Festival, 7-9 pm
    Featuring excellent students and seasoned storytellers, this evening of folk and original tales is bound to be a good time for all! Some material may not be appropriate for children. Tickets are $3 with student ID and $5 for the public. Event will take place in GSLIS room 126.

  • Wednesday, April 17: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Discussing Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

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

Stories about LGBTQ Teens
Created by Hilary Greer, CCB Volunteer and Katie Boucher, CCB GA

Classics Continued and Retold
Created by Anna Holland, CCB GA


Our Affiliates Out and About

CCB Director Deborah Stevenson will be speaking on “Non-Fiction in the Age of the Internet” for the Young Adult Reading Group at Eastern Illinois University on April 2. She will also be presenting a paper entitled “Losing—and Finding—Ourselves in Books: American Children’s Literature Publishing and Minority Representations” at the Cultural Minorities in Children’s Literature and Verbal Culture conference at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík on April 24 and 25.

BCCB Reviewer and Professor of English at Illinois State University Karen Coats will present her paper “Between Fashion and Faith: Religious Identity in Young Adult Literature” at the April 24-25 Cultural Minorities in Children’s Literature and Verbal Culture conference in Reykjavík at the University of Iceland.

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Kate McDowell will be hosting the Annual GSLIS Storytelling Festival on April 6.

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS doctoral student Alaine Martaus attended the 34th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts from March 20-23 in Orlando, Florida, where she chaired panels on “Defining Children’s Fantasy” and “Adaptations in and of Neil Gaiman for Children and Young Adults” and presented on a panel for “Mind(s) Gone Walking: Conceptualizing Gaiman’s Child Characters.”


Feature: Walter Dean Myers Visits Champaign-Urbana

Thanks largely to the efforts of former CCB GA—and current Events Associate and Librarian at the Children’s Book Council—Ayanna Coleman, the CCB welcomed acclaimed author of books for children and young adults Walter Dean Myers to Champaign-Urbana. Myers is currently serving as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and came to speak on his platform as Ambassador, “Reading Is Not Optional.” During his time in town, he presented at a public meet-and-greet at the Douglass Branch of CPL, as well as speaking with teens at Central High School and the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. In spite of his busy schedule, Myers took the time to sit down with assistant editor of the Bulletin Kate Quealy-Gainer for an interview on his campaign:

“The message that I’m trying to get across is that reading is not simply a lovely addendum to your life,” says Myers. “It is essential to being part of our society. All the things most people want—good employment, shelter, a family—all of those things rely on literacy.”

Myers’s goals as Ambassador are not only to raise awareness about literacy and early reading but also to advocate the development of programs within the library and the community that support parents, families, and educators in their endeavors to teach kids how to read.

“It needs to start in the community and at home, not just at schools. Libraries with programs for babies are a great place to start because they introduce both babies and their parents or caretakers to books,” says Myers. “With older kids, parents and teachers have to understand that when a kid says they think reading is boring, they might really be saying that they’re frustrated with reading and we need to address that they may be having problems with reading, but we can’t just give up. We need to emphasize that this is something they need to work for.”

We were honored to have Myers join us in the CCB as he brought his message to young people in this community. For the complete interview, visit the link on the GSLIS main website.


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: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
Reading Level: Gr. 7-10
Pages: 306
Publisher and Year: Whitman, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8075-0615-8
Price: $16.99

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” wakes up alone in Penn Station with no prior memory of who he is or why he’s carrying a well-traveled copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Quickly adopting the name Henry David for his own (Hank for short), he befriends a fellow runaway and roughs it out on the streets before falling in with a dangerous crowd and escaping by train to Concord, Massachusetts, convinced that Walden Pond might hold some clue to his past. In Concord, Hank finds more friends, including a research librarian with a troubled past and a kind soul; Hailey, a most amazing girl with a voice that steals his heart; and, of course, the literary spirit of Thoreau, guide and helpmate for when the “beast” of Hank’s most painful memories lurks dangerously close to consciousness. As piece by piece the memories realign to tell Hank’s grievous history, Thoreau alone will help him face his irreversible mistake, stop running, and return home. Thoreau fans will appreciate the contemporary integration of Walden and the subtle transfusion of Thoreau’s literary spirit into Hank’s journey of rediscovery.

Katie’s Choice: Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
Reading Level: Gr. 7-10
Pages: 310
Publisher and Year: Houghton, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-92853-1
Price: $16.99

Depressed, anxious, and practically an only child since his sister Jorie was kicked out of their house, sixteen-year-old James Whitman is struggling to stay afloat by obsessively reading Walt Whitman’s poetry and hugging trees to release his stifled emotions. James finds he is sinking deeper and deeper into a depression brought on by his abusive parents—referred to as the Brute and the Banshee—his guilt over his sister’s expulsion and downward spiral (both emotional and physical), and most of all by the invisible forces that deny him any semblance of confidence, calm, or happiness. James only shares his darkening mindset with his imaginary therapist, Dr. Bird, a pigeon residing in his mind: “I do not tell Dr. Bird I want to kill myself sometimes, but she knows. She’s up in my head. She perches on the power lines of my thoughts.” In addition to navigating his depression, James must also deal with the standard anxiety-inducing trappings of the teenage experience, including his relationship with his aloof best friend Derek and his cripplingly high hopes for romance with Beth, a high school journalist who might just understand him. Possessed by the idea that he can somehow solve Jorie’s problems and reinstate her in their home and school, James must face the hard truths of his own illness and the possibilities his future holds if he only allows himself to hope for one.

Tad’s Choice: Starstruck by Rachel Shukert
Reading Level: Gr. 8-12
Pages: 352
Publisher and Year: Delacorte, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-98984-1
Price: $17.99

When Margaret Frobisher gets a chocolate ice cream soda in Schwab’s Pharmacy, she hopes maybe to catch a glimpse of Dane Forrest or Diana Chesterfield, her Hollywood crush and idol. What the up-and-coming Pasadena debutante doesn’t expect is to be offered a screen test at Olympus Studios—which is precisely what happens. Margaret—rechristened Margo Sterling in her whirlwind transformation—discovers that she was picked up to fill Chesterfield’s role in an upcoming drama, due to the famed actress’s sudden disappearance. It’s not long before Margo learns that everything’s not as it seems on the studio lot: in spite of her (widely known) desire to get closer to Dane, executives set her up with Olympus’s young song-and-dance man in an effort to circumvent gossip about his sexuality. As Margo watches another starlet and friend nearly self-destruct on prescribed pills and diets and the also newly arrived bit actress chase love while covering the tracks of a tawdry past, she can’t help wondering where Diana really is. There’s enough backstabbing and swooning over gowns here to fill a daytime drama, but Margo has real emotional depth as she deals with severed relationships and being manipulated by those with money. History also haunts the novel as communist screenwriters and Jewish directors react to Hitler’s ascent, while the exploits of Bette Davis and Clark Gable garner attention from the starlets of Olympus. Aficionados of the silver screen will certainly want to snatch up a ticket to this behind-the-scenes tour, but those who simply like a bit of intrigue with their romance will also sit back and enjoy the show.


Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Turner, Philip M. Helping Teachers Teach: A School Library Media Specialist’s Role. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2003. ISBN 978-1591580201.

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 |