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CCB Newsletter
September 2014


In this Newsletter…

News and Updates

CCB Annual Open House

Please join the faculty and staff of the Center for Children’s Books for our upcoming Annual Open House & Galley Giveaway, Wednesday, September 17 at 5 pm. During the Open House, you will be able to get an overview of the center and its staff, as well as meet and mingle with GSLIS youth services faculty. This event also serves as the first Galley Giveaway of the school year, so come on in to get some free pre-publication copies of books for kids and teens. We’ll also have Curtis Orchard cider and doughnuts for you to munch on…we hope to see you there.

CCB Brown Bag: An Insiders’ Guide to Youth Services at GSLIS

Throughout the academic year, the CCB hosts monthly Brown Bag lunch presentations related to a variety of topics in youth literature and librarianship. This month, a panel of current GSLIS youth services students will give peers the scoop on how to manage the youth services concentration. Date and time TBA—stay tuned!

September Calendar

  • Monday, September 1: CCB Closed: Labor Day

  • Wednesday, September 10: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Reading Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

  • Wednesday, September 17: CCB Open House and Galley Giveaway, 5-7 pm

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

KA-POW! Books with Superheroes
Created by Tad Andracki, former CCB Outreach and Communications Coordinator

Are We Alone?: The Alien Invasion into Youth Literature
Created by Alice Mitchell, CCB GA

Our Affiliates Out and About

Deborah Stevenson, Director of the Center for Children's Books and editor of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, and Kate Quealy-Gainer, assistant editor of the Bulletin, will be presenting at the 2014 Illinois School Library Media Association annual conference.  The conference theme is year is “Leading Change” and it is being held November 6 - 8, 2014 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Stevenson and Quealy-Gainer will be discussing the various resources the CCB and BCCB have to offer, along with the CCB's recent research projects. Stevenson will also be presenting on October 24 at the Iowa Library Association in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on the CCB’s Closing the App Gap project.

The CCB will also be sharing a presentation about the Closing the App Gap grant at the Library Research Seminar VI in Champaign, October 7 - 9 and ASIS&T in Seattle, October 31 - Nov 5.

CCB Affiliate and GSLIS Assistant Professor Carol Tilley will be presenting a number of invited talks this month:
“When Comics Almost Died: Readers, Censors, and Innovation” (tentative title) at the Brookline (Massachusetts) Public Library (time TBA) on September 22 and at the 2014 Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival at the Iowa City (Iowa) Public Library at 7 pm on September 24, with a special screening of Diagram for Delinquents, a documentary in which she appears, on September 22. She will also be presenting at an open meeting with University of Iowa students, staff, and faculty to talk about comics the morning of September 25, as well as an open meeting at Uni High School regarding comics and censorship on September 26 at 1:25 pm. Finally, she will be presenting an invited talk at the Urbana Free Library at 2 pm on September 27 entitled “The Secret History of Comics Censorship.”

Doctoral student Cass Mabbott will be presenting on a panel at the African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture Conference 2014: Panel: “‘What Books, Then, Shall We Choose?’: The Impact and Legacy Room of Charlemae Rollins’ We Build Together,” Sept 18 – 21, in Madison, WI.

Feature: A Letter from the CCB Director, Deborah Stevenson

Another exciting academic year begins at the Center for Children’s Books!  This fall we’re welcoming three new staffers, Michelle Biwer, Anna Shustitzky, and Melissa Albarran, to the CCB/BCCB, and a new youth services faculty member, Liz Hoiem, to GSLIS, in addition to the usual exciting new influx of graduate students.

Fall is the usual time for our regional conference attendance, and this year is no exception.  Kate Quealy-Gainer and I will be presenting at ISLMA in November to discuss the BCCB and the CCB, and in October there’ll be several of us at the Iowa Library Association conference in Cedar Rapids; I’ll be presenting on our Closing the App Gap grant, and Kate Quealy-Gainer will be co-presenting with GSLIS alum Anna Hartman.  Please look us up and say hello.

We’re also continuing our work in apps and digital media for youth by winding up the Closing the App Gap grant and developing a proposal for a larger app-based project.  We’ll be talking about that work at various conferences and making information about our projects available, so stay tuned to hear more if that’s an area that interests you too.

We’re also preparing the usual run of CCB fall activities.  Our last year’s Insider’s Guide to Youth Services, where the grizzled second-year veterans advised the new intake, was so popular that we’re using it to kick off the brown bag slate again this year, and the CCB has also been representing GSLIS in helping with the College of Education’s biannual Youth Literature Festival—come to the iHotel for the Community Day on October 18th to see a slate of authors and enjoy a raft of kid-friendly activities.  Fall also means a trip to local landmark Curtis Orchards for cider and doughnuts, so that we can share at the CCB’s traditional semester-opening Open House on September 17.  Be there for free treats, free galleys, and an always-free chance to catch up with the whole GSLIS youth services crew!

Deborah Stevenson, Director, Center for Children’s Books

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.

Alice’s Choice: The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
Reading Level: 12 & up
Pages: 320
Publisher and Year: Random House, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-385-36976-3
Price: $17.99

With humans and jinn at war, Zayele wants nothing more than to stay in her village with her family, but the caliph’s vizier chose her to be Prince Kamal’s first bride, forcing her to travel to Baghdad to marry him.  On her first visit to the human world, jinni Najwa finds herself in the caliph’s palace—the first jinni able to travel there since wards were put up keeping jinn out.  Najwa is quickly put on assignment to spy on the humans, and when she hears about the princess coming to marry the caliph’s son she grows curious.  When Najwa goes to spy on Zayele, Zayele is so desperate to return home that she makes a wish on Najwa to switch places, leading to danger and discovery that has dire consequences for both of them.  Lough takes readers to the Middle East, a refreshing change of setting from traditionally European fantasy fare.  Although Najwa and Zayele do not interact much as main characters, their alternating narrations are crucial to constructing a complete picture of the past and present political tensions around the conflict between the jinn and humans; those keen to find a tender romance will find one in a subplot. Lough has constructed a well-developed fantasy world that will leave readers invested in the relatable characters and wishing for a sequel.

Anna’s Choice: I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! by Jill Esbaum; illustrated by Gus Gordon
Reading Level: 5-7 yrs.
Pages: 32
Publisher and Year: Dial, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8037-35248
Price: $16.99

Nadine the cow is amazingly brave… at least, that’s what she tells her friends. As a result, they decide she is the perfect cow to lead them on a daring adventure through the nearby forest. Everything starts out as birds’ nests and blackberries while Nadine and her friends discover the woods. As the sun falls, however, Nadine finds that the forest requires a bit more bravery at night. When her friends leave her alone in the dark, Nadine is frightened by her own tail and sets off on a panicky chase through the woods. She goes charging right off a cliff—and into her friends, who are hopelessly lost and quite impressed that she has (apparently) come to rescue them. Upon their return, her barnyard friends hail Nadine as the bravest of heroes. In true Nadine fashion, she accepts the accolades and maintains her façade of bravery to the end. The story is wonderfully illustrated with a combination of watercolor, pencils, crayons, and collage. The animals themselves are simple but expressive – wide eyes and furrowed brows clearly convey everything that Nadine is trying to hide from her friends. The rhythmic, lyrical storytelling is packed with amusing side notes that make this a lively choice for story time or for early independent reading. With so many details to discover in both the text and illustrations, young audiences will enjoy this story again and again.

Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Law, Ingrid. Scumble. London: Puffin, 2011. ISBN 978-0142419625.

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

CCB Fall Hours and General Information

Fall Hours

  • 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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