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CCB Newsletter
November 2014


In this Newsletter…

News and Updates

Guide Book to Gift Books 2014 Release

We’re excited to be able to tell you that the annual Guide Book to Gift Books is available for download now from the Bulletin website! Trust our helpful Bulletin staff and turn to this yearly publication for help finding books for holidays, birthdays, and any other gift-giving occasion you can think of. Titles have been drawn from all kinds of genres and themes, so that you can find a title to match every taste. Books are categorized into four groups of likely age ranges to ensure that each book is matched to a recipient, and every title has an annotation to help you decide if it’s the right one for you to give. Every single book in the Guide Book has been reviewed and recommended by the professionals at the Bulletin. We hope that the Guide Book will help you to gift-giving success!

November is Picture Book Month

Picture Book Month is an international literacy effort that celebrates the print picture book throughout the month of November. You can visit to find activities and daily themed posts from “Picture Book Month Champions,” well-known authors and illustrators joining the Picture Book Month cause. Check out the CCB picture book display in the East Foyer of GSLIS, or visit us in Room 24 to find a new favorite!


GSLIS and the CCB will be well represented at the Illinois School Library Media Association Conference (ISLMA), held from November 6 - 8 at the Tinley Park Convention Center in Tinley Park, IL. 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 discussing the various resources the CCB and BCCB have to offer, along with the CCB's recent research projects. Adjunct youth services professor Betty Bush and K-12 program coordinator Georgeann Burch will also be co-presenting a two-part session entitled “Beyond Lexiles.” 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 7 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Keep an eye out for the many GSLIS alums who should be there! Visit for more information about the conference.

November Calendar

  • Tuesday, November 11: Youth Services Virtual Open House, 5 pm
    Interested in the GSLIS master's program, or know someone who might be? GSLIS is offering a Youth Services Virtual Open House for those who'd like to learn more about our courses, resources, and how to apply. To join this session, please regiser here: Issues joining the session? Contact the Help Desk at 800-377-1892.

  • Wednesday, November 12: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Reading The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
  • Friday, November 14: CCB Brown Bag: Youth Services in South Korea: An International Report, 12 pm
    Associate Professor Kate McDowell reports on her experience at the International Symposium on Library Services for Children and Young Adults in Seoul, South Korea. This meeting will be broadcast through Blackboard Collaborate at
  • Friday, November 21-Friday, November 28: CCB Closed: Fall Break
    The CCB will be closed on Friday, November 21 and the entire week of fall break. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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

Technology: Dewey 600
Created by Travis Faust, CCB Volunteer

Dear Diary: Works of Epistolary Fiction
Created by Michelle Biwer, CCB GA

Our Affiliates Out and About

Several CCB staff and affiliates will be presenting at the 2014 Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) 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. 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 discussing the various resources the CCB and BCCB have to offer, along with the CCB's recent research projects. Betty Bush, adjunct lecturer and BCCB reviewer, and K-12 program coordinator Georgeann Burch are co-presenting two sessions on Friday, November 7:

  • Beyond Lexiles, Part 1: The Other 2/3 of Reading Complexity
    A Lexile number plus a child’s reading range do not always add up to reading success!  Explore the 3-part model for measuring text complexity and discover how “qualitative” and “reader + task” can help librarians and teachers balance the equation.
  • Beyond Lexiles, Part 2: Bringing Theory Down to Earth
    Building on “Beyond Lexiles, Part 1,” apply measurements of text complexity to Jason Chin’s versatile title, “Gravity.”  Brainstorm how to use a book across reading levels and curricular areas.

Kate McDowell, associate professor and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will be presenting a poster about the CCB’s Closing the App Gap grant at ASIS&T in Seattle, October 31 - Nov 5.

Assistant professor Liz Hoiem will be presenting at the 2014 North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) annual conference, which will be held from November 13-15 in London, Ontario, Canada with the theme “Victorian Classes & Classifications.” Hoiem will be presenting her paper entitled “‘Sensible signs’: Object Lessons and The Great Exhibition of 1851.”

Feature: Volunteering at the CCB

If you’ve been to the CCB lately, you’ve probably spoken to our GAs or the other staff members who keep this place running. But if you look closely, you might find a few other helpful individuals roaming the stacks, organizing dozens of new titles each month, or poring over piles of books around a theme. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of our amazing volunteers, and we are taking the time this month to recognize them for what they do!

Many of our volunteers come in at a regular time each week to help with day-to-day activities at the Center. Some of these tasks may seem pretty familiar: shelving books or spine labeling, for example, and they are integral to keeping our collection at its best. Volunteers participate in the creative processes that go on around here, too: for example, many of our favorite monthly bibliographies and displays were created by CCB volunteers. We also rely on volunteers during the busiest seasons at the CCB, such as the annual Book Sale, as well as special projects throughout the year. We always strive to provide a rewarding experience for our volunteers, so we are happy to help our volunteers build specific skills during their time with us.

In addition to the useful experience and resume building, volunteering with the CCB comes with some unusual perks! For every five hours of their time, our volunteers are entitled to a free book from our Book Sale collection. Through their work with the Bulletin’s pre-publication books, our BCCB volunteers have the added bonus of finding out about the latest children’s and young adult titles long before they hit stores. CCB volunteers get a sneak peek, too, preparing galleys for our giveaways and assisting with cataloging and display for each month’s Bulletin release. Finally, Kate Rojas, second-year GSLIS student and longtime CCB volunteer, says that volunteering brings perspective and insight into the practical side of working in a library: “It brings everything down to earth,” she says. “If I had all the time in the world, I’d be here more!”

If you’re interested in volunteering with us, we would be happy to have you! The time commitment is flexible; we are grateful for whatever you can offer. If you have any questions about volunteering, please reach out to our GAs Alice Mitchell and Michelle Biwer at Thanks again to all of our volunteers!

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 Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle
Reading Level: Gr. 3-6
Pages: 48p.
Publisher and Year: Millbrook, 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-4677-1463-1
Price: $29.27

Little brown bats are extremely important to our ecosystem, eating hundreds of crop-destroying, disease-spreading insects every summer. Their numbers have been drastically decreasing since 2007, when scientists noticed strange behavior around their cave and discovered hundreds more dead bats on the cave floor.  Also disturbing was a fuzzy white substance covering the noses of many bats, dead and alive.  After ruling out climate change, pesticides, or a virus as the cause of these deaths, scientists eventually identified the fuzzy substance as a new fungus they named Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd, that would dissolve bat’s wing tissue.  Although this fungus is spreading rapidly throughout the United States and decimating the little brown bat population, scientists continue looking for solutions.  Markle has constructed an informative text on a serious environmental problem, drawing on current materials referenced in a short bibliography.  She presents a lot of information in a balanced, developmentally appropriate manner by adapting scientific terms and concepts and including many section breaks, pictures, and a glossary with scientific terms.  While this is a dire situation, Markle offers readers hope by providing information about current research into this problem, as well as material in the end matter for readers to get involved in local and global conservation efforts.  This low-grade nonfiction text demonstrates scientific thought and methods surrounding the decline of little brown bat populations in an easy-to-approach manner perfect for young readers.

Michelle’s Choice: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins

Reading Level: Gr. 6-10
Pages: 320

Publisher and Year: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014

ISBN: 978-1250059307
Price: $18.99

My True Love Gave to Me is an anthology of love stories set during the celebrations of various winter holidays. Many preeminent young adult literature writers are included in this collection, and their fans will be happy to know that their respective stories stay true to their known genre specialties. Readers will find subtle, realistic romances from the likes of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan, a handful of stories with a Christmas miracle or two, and a full-fledged fantasy installment from Laini Taylor, author of the popular Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. The majority of stories effectively show characters falling in love, sometimes at-first-sight. For example, in Gayle Forman’s brilliant installment “What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth,” protagonist Sophie’s quiet sarcasm attracts another student who takes her on a mission to find the spirit of Hanukkah in their small Midwestern college town. Sometimes finding true love takes a bit longer, like in Rainbow Rowell’s “Midnights,” which takes place over a series of successive New Year’s Eves. This anthology, wonderfully curated by Anna and the French Kiss author Stephanie Perkins, is comprised of heart-warming tales about what makes the holiday season truly enchanted: finding and spending time with the people you love, whether they be significant others, family members, or both. Recommended as an excellent holiday gift purchase for all, these stories are also magical enough that you will want to re-read all year long.

Anna’s Choice: Sparkers by Eleanor Glewwe
Reading Level: Gr. 5-8
Pages: 336
Publisher and Year: Viking, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-451-46876-5
Price: $16.99

Despite her status as a halani, a member of the non-magical lower class, fourteen-year-old Marah Levi is hopeful for the future as she finishes primary school. She has a talent for both music and languages, and a strong support network made up of her family and friends, a few exceptional teachers, and her employer, a kind—if mysterious—bookseller. When she saves a child from the elite kasiri class during a moment of political turmoil, Marah is introduced to a different world within her city and a kasir boy who shares her unusual interests. They strike up a friendship while studying an ancient language, but their hobby becomes unexpectedly serious when they realize that the book they are translating holds astonishing truths about the history of their city and the strange sickness that has just taken hold among halani and kasiri alike. Working towards a cure, they uncover terrible political secrets that put them in an extremely dangerous position, just as the sickness strikes both of them close to home. Marah navigates this twisting plot with intelligence and compassion, making her a likable heroine in the face of intrigue, danger, and loss. Even after the last sparks fade, fantasy devotees will want to linger in this lovingly crafted world that is rich with history and magic.

Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

George, Jean Craighead and John Schoenherr. Julie of the Wolves. New York: HarperCollins, 1972. ISBN 978-0060219437.

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

CCB Fall Hours and General Information

Note: The CCB will be closed November 21-28 due to fall break. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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.

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

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