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CCB Newsletter
October 2013


In this Newsletter…



News and Updates


GSLIS and CCB Affiliates are slated to make a strong showing at the Illinois School Library Media Association Conference from October 31 to November 2 at Crowne Plaza in Springfield, IL. GSLIS K-12 School Librarianship program coordinator Georgeann Burch and GSLIS adjunct lecturer Betty Bush will present a workshop on Lexiles and Common Core, while Georgeann will present on standards for practicum supervisors. Details about these events are in the Our Affiliates Out and About section of this newsletter. The GSLIS Alumni reception for ISLMA will take place on Friday, November 1 from 5-6 pm at Crowne Plaza. Keep an eye out for the many GSLIS alums who should be there!

GSLIS Receives IMLS Grant

We’re thrilled to say The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded GSLIS a $46,678 National Leadership Grant for the project, “Closing the App Gap.” The principal investigator on this planning project is Deborah Stevenson, assistant professor and director of the CCB. Kate McDowell, GSLIS associate professor, will serve as co-PI.

GSLIS and the Douglass Branch of the Champaign (IL) Public Library will work together on a pilot project to investigate the benefits of blending technology with traditional summer reading programs. The program will work with children in early elementary grades and will integrate tablet-based apps and e-books in the Douglass Branch summer reading program, with the goal of improving reading proficiency as well as digital literacy.

Stay tuned to hear more exciting information as the project gets underway.


October Calendar

  • Monday, October 7: CCB Closed 10am-1pm—LEEP Weekend
    The CCB will be used as classroom space for LEEP during this time and will be closed to the public. We apologize for any inconveniences.

  • Monday, October 7: CCB Brown Bag: “Common Core for Librarians,” 4:30 pm
    Georgeann Burch and Betty Bush will demystify the Common Core standards and unpack what they will mean for school and public librarians.

  • Wednesday, October 16: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Reading The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

  • Friday, November 1: GSLIS Alumni Reception at ISLMA, 5-6pm
    This event takes place at the ISLMA conference at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, IL.

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

Batter Up!: Books About Baseball
Created by Emily Bayci, CCB Volunteer

Brains, Blood, and Guts Galore: Recent and Recommended Zombie Lore!
Created by Katie Boucher, CCB GA

Storytelling Bibliography: Guess My Name: Rumpelstiltskin Stories
Created by Alice Mitchell, CCB GA


Our Affiliates Out and About

CCB Director Deborah Stevenson and Director Emeritus (and USBBY former president) Betsy Hearne will be attending the IBBY Regional Conference in St. Louis from October 18-20.

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Carol Tilley will attend New York Comic Con, October 11-14, and will discuss “The Secret Origins of Comics Censorship” as part of a panel organized by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

CCB Affiliates Georgeann Burch, Program Coordinator for the K-12 LIS Licensure program, and Betty Bush, Bulletin reviewer and GSLIS adjunct faculty member, will present the preconference workshop “Lexiles and Beyond!: Why Do Kids Have Trouble Reading Nonfiction?” on Common Core text complexity measures at the ISLMA Conference, October 31-November 2 in Springfield, IL. Burch will also present the session “Meet Ed TPA” on new assessment standards for supervisors of student teachers in school libraries at the conference.


Feature: Why the CCB is Closed on Wednesday Mornings; Or, What Goes On During a Bulletin Meeting?

Frequent visitors of the CCB may notice that we’re not open to the public on Wednesday mornings. Still, passers-by in the hallway may hear alternately enthusiastic conversation, quiet turning of pages, and—on occasion—raucous laughter from behind closed doors. What’s going on?

The answer is: the weekly Bulletin meeting. The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, a nationally recognized review journal of children’s books and the source of most of the CCB’s collection, is noteworthy for being the only major reviewing periodical for children’s literature whose entire reviewing staff meets regularly and reads everyone else’s reviews for the issue. Deborah Stevenson, Bulletin editor, has described the results as “peer-reviewed reviews,” in which the group of library professionals, scholars, editors, and students all have input on refining reviews, clarifying key points, and debating the finer points of all of the books on the table.

Of course, the reviewers can get side tracked with trivia about content in the books, or silly discussions about squirrels or robots inspired by the latest in kids’ fiction. But there’s also a lot of serious conversation about children’s and young adult literature. Katie Boucher, CCB GA, says of attending the meetings, “Listening to all of the expert reviewers talk and debate (often passionately) about new children and young adult books is both exciting and informative for me as a prospective youth services librarian.” Alice Mitchell, another CCB GA echoes her sentiments, “Listening to the reviewers debate over the finer points of these books makes me excited to read them so I am able to jump into the discussion and share these books with others interested in youth literature.”

After the reviews have been discussed at the table, they go to the editor, Deborah Stevenson, and assistant editor Kate Quealy-Gainer to be revised and prepared for publication. The process is unique in producing the top-quality reviews and respected commentary that the Bulletin has come to be known for.


New Books We Just Had to Read

Katie’s Choice: The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
Reading Level: Gr. 10 up
Pages: 464
Publisher and Year: Knopf, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-96877-8
Price: $20.99

The Killing Day, as it became known in the once-quiet town of Oleander, Kansas, saw townsfolk transform into cold-blooded killers, and while popular star student Cass, the only surviving killer, has no memory of murdering the very child she was supposed to protect, she is now resigned to a life of incarceration and regret. Other Oleander teens like Daniel, mostly known for his zealous alcoholic father, and West, a football player buckling under the weight of his own secrets, propel this story forward into even darker days when a massive tornado ravages the already battered town, which is then immediately and mysteriously quarantined by the government. Along with Jule, a girl branded by her family’s lowly indiscretions, and Ellie, Oleander’s most famous sinner-turned-saint, these teens will fight to survive this small town terror when it seems everyone around them is seeing red. Desperate, panicked, and ostensibly abandoned by the rest of the world, Oleander’s raging residents resort to violence and depravity, even employing human pyres to execute distorted and primitive justice. Are these acts born of pure human nature left to its own devices, or is Oleander under the influence of an elusive and even more sinister man-made plot? Readers will be as desperate for answers (and refuge) as Oleander’s inhabitants as Wasserman’s gripping and tortured tale plays out through varying and poignant perspectives, all thoughtfully crafted with equal parts humanity and horror.

Tad’s Choice: More Than This by Patrick Ness
Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
Pages: 480
Publisher and Year: Candlewick, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6258-5
Price: $19.99

Seth drowns in the angry winter sea off the coast of Washington state—but awakens thirsty, starving, and naked in a desolate, dried-out version of the town in England where he grew up and where his actions as a small child irrevocably changed his family. Convinced that returning to an empty place haunted by the past is his own personal hell, Seth ekes out survival, tortured by dreamed remembrances of his unhappy life, where his boyfriend provided his only sense of security and self. When he stumbles upon two other people in the wasteland, however, he’s skeptical about their claims that his death—like their own—was merely a jolting from the Lethe, a Matrix-like online version of reality that the whole of humanity has retreated into in the face of a crumbling planet. The three survivors band together to avoid the Driver, a powerful automaton programmed to ensure people are safe in the Lethe—at any cost. The story is anything but straightforward, though, as flashbacks to Seth’s childhood blunder and the events that broke his heart and drove him to suicide carry readers through devastating and ominous territory to a conclusion that refuses to answer the questions about the nature of reality, perception, and an afterlife that have been raised. Thoroughly disturbing, sorrowfully hopeful, and pulse-poundingly gripping, this book pushes readers to strange new worlds in asking: What if there’s more than this?

Alice’s Choice: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Reading Level: Gr. 6-8
Pages: 374
Publisher and Year: Disney Hyperion Books, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4231-6491-3
Price: $16.99

This exciting and chilling story takes place in London, where the Problem—an excessive number of ghosts, called “Visitors,” who now plague the mortal realm—drives people into their homes before dark. Only sensitive people under eighteen can sense these Visitors, so psychic detective agencies, run by adults, hire children to go out at night and hunt these dangerous creatures. Lockwood & Co., Lucy Carlyle’s new employer, is a private, unsupervised agency that has fallen on rough times. Anthony Lockwood, their energetic leader, gets the company a job that seems routine, but leads to a murder investigation and a night in one of the most haunted houses in England, Combe Carey Hall, where centuries of the house’s inhabitants of the house have suffered the consequences of braving the Screaming Staircase and the Red Room. Not only do Lockwood & Co. have to survive the night in this terrifying house, but they also have to find the Source of the Visitors’ power, Visitors that have killed professional agency members before them. Readers will want to be prepared with a few iron chains and a pile of salt by their side before delving into this book filled with supernatural frights and humorous dialogue that will leave them excited for the next book in Jonathan Stroud’s new series.


Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Beheshti, Jamshid and Andrew Large. Information Behavior of a New Generation: Children and Teens in the 21st Century. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0810885943.

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. To stay up-to-date with CCB events and news, be sure to ‘like’ our Facebook page.

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