Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Comic Book Day- Saturday 5/3/08

Saturday May 3rd, 2008

What is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free* to anyone who comes into their stores.

See for more information

Free Comic Book Day Store Locator:

Each retailer will decide the guidelines for receiving comics

For those near Elizabeth New Jersey:
Free Comic Book Day at Elizabeth Public Library
Saturday, May 3, from 12:30 – 4:30 pm in the Main Library Auditorium

A high quality program with free comics…
Ample parking, directions and information at:
A day full of hands-on learning for long-time manga fans and anyone newly interested. A program well worth the trip.
Mangafest will feature experts in manga and Japanese culture

Mangafest will offer a rich experience of the craft of manga (the Japanese word for comics). Mangafest will feature a hands-on, manga workshop for teens and panel discussions that cover Japanese culture and careers in comics. Customary comic book giveaways, Japanese snacks and autographed books will accompany the day’s events. Guest speakers include Misako Takashima (aka Misako Rocks!) author of Biker Girl and Rock and Roll Love, Ali Kokmen, Del Rey Manga Marketing Director and Janna Morishma, Director or Diamond Kids Group, Diamond Comic Book Distributors. During the drawing workshop for teens, there will be a special Q&A session for adults. The program is free and open to all parents, teachers and students. Please call Kimberly Paone, Supervising Librarian, Teen Services Department for more information at 908-354-6060, x-7235.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rev. Wright, Critical Thinking, Summarizing, and Media Representations

Rev. Jeremiah Wright made a speech to the National Press Club today in which he considered "critical thinking", sound bites (summarizing), media representations, liberation theology and Dr James Cone (a recent visitor who addressed our NJCU community)and made references to the Langston Hughes poem, I am the darker brother, and Carter G. Woodson's book, Mis-Education of the Negro among others.

The complete video of Wright's address is here:
and here

An interesting lesson could be created for middle or high school students in which:

A. Students view the video (it is in six segments)over a period of six days,
B. Students summarize or outline the main points of each segment,
C. Students view the print and video reports created by newspapers and television media.
D. Students compare and contrast their summaries to those of the established media.
E. Students could then examine the accounts for multiple perspectives, bias and subjective language
F. An open-ended discussion of their findings could be the culminating activity.

Some books in the CMC collection that may be of interest are :

Media today : interpreting newspapers, magazines, radios, TV, movies and the Internet (Text 384 .M489)

U.S.-Japan relations : the view from both sides of the Pacific. Part II, The media in U.S.- Japan relations : a look at stereotypes (CMC E183.8.J3 M84 1994)

Students could also take a look at the many theorists, historical events and personages, and literary works that Wright mentioned.

Curricular Units at the Yale National Initiative

The Yale National Initiative to Strengthen Teaching in Public Schools has an online database of currilum units created by its annual teacher institute participants. It includes units from everything on global warming to Latino culturs.
Take a look at

Monday, April 21, 2008

Calling Young Writers and Artists!

I am pleased to announce that the second online issue (Fairy Tales & Fantasy) of Launch Pad has now been published. The issue is accessible on the magazine web site. In this issue, you will meet a genie who loves to work out at the gym, some uninvited guests, fairies that light up the stars, an evil magician, and two brave fairies on a quest to save their village from the dragon. The stories and artwork are superb, and I know you will enjoy reading these outstanding creative works.

Stories and Art about the Ocean, Summer Fun and Mysteries are needed!
Launch Pad still needs contributors. We are looking for works for our upcoming issues about the Ocean, Summer Fun (hiking, camping, summer sports, vacations, etc.) and Mysteries. If you are a teacher, librarian, or parent, please encourage young people to submit their work! We still have space in all of our upcoming 2008 issues, and Launch Pad especially needs young artists. I would welcome any comments that you might like to share about the second issue. Please feel free to forward or post this announcement on listservs, blogs, Facebook, or other resources. Enjoy the magazine!

All the Best,

Paul Kelsey
Editor and Publisher
Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Library Week, April 13-19

National Library Week (NLW) begins on April 13th!
NLW also celebrates its 50th anniversary
Books about libraries and reading will be on display at the Guarini Library!

Julie Andrews, Julie Andrews,Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2008 (April 13-19),delivers a message just for you about NLW!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jersey Boy Wins Pulitzer!

Junot Diaz, Dominican -born, short story writere and novelist from New Jersey won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (PS3554 .I259 B75 2007).

For information on the Pulitzers and other book awards see, The Library Blog

The third of five children, Junot Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, and spent his early childhood living with his family in a neighborhood of that city called Barrio XXI. In 1975, when he was seven years old, he immigrated to London Terrace, New Jersey (a suburb of Perth Amboy), which sheltered a large population of recent Hispanic immigrants from the Caribbean. His father abandoned the family soon afterward, leaving Junot and his older brother Rafa in the care of their mother, who spoke little English. Known to family and friends as "Yunior" (the name of a character often found in his short stories), Diaz exhibited early on a talent for writing and storytelling. Somini Sengupta wrote in the New York Times (September 15, 1996) that "Mr. Diaz began writing when he was broken hearted"; his first sustained effort at writing occurred when, as a sophomore in high school, he wrote long letters to Rafa, who was hospitalized at the time for leukemia.

After high school, Diaz entered Kean College, in Union, New Jersey, then transferred to Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he earned a bachelor's degree in literature and history. He continued his studies in the graduate program in creative writing at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. To support himself while in college, he worked at a variety of odd jobs, including dishwashing, steelworking, and delivering pool tables; after college, he clerked for a pharmaceutical firm in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Diaz told Alexandra Lange for New York (September 16, 1996) that Toni Morrison was a major influence on him during his college years, largely because of "her ability to evoke a community and not to do it with a circus atmosphere like 'See us--we are brown' or 'See us--we are interesting.'"

Diaz's first big break came in 1995 when he sent a story called "Mr. Delightful" to Story magazine, which is deluged with an average of 300 submissions a week. Story's editor, Lois Rosenthal, was so impressed that she called Diaz at once to purchase the manuscript. She published several of his short stories and recommended him to a literary agent, Nicole Aragi, who was similarly captivated. After Rosenthal arranged for Diaz to read to an overflow crowd at KGB, a trendy bar in the East Village section of New York City, book editors began to seek exclusive rights to his works. At a subsequent auction for rights to publish his work, The New Yorker bought two stories, and Riverhead Books, an imprint of G. P. Putnam, agreed to publish a collection of his stories; that collection was issued in 1996 under the title Drown (PS3554.I259 D76 1996 ).
~Biography Reference Bank

Monday, April 07, 2008

The History of Comics and Graphic Novels-4/30/08

Union Middlesex Association of School Librarians
invites you to our spring meeting

The History of Comics and Graphic Novels

Join us for an interactive presentation by Jack C. Harris,
a former writer and editor for DC Comics, and current
faculty member at the School of Visual Arts

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
4:30 pm Meeting
Followed by dinner and presentation

Dunellen Hotel
120 No. Washington Ave
Dunellen, NJ

Cost $20 includes program and buffet dinner

RSVP: Kim Alongi, msalongi@yahoo. com OR 908.754.4620 x604

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Eric Velasquez, Graphic Novels and MORE

New Jersey Reading Association
Spring Brunch,
April 12, 2008
Mount Prospect School
111 Hansom Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

8:30-9:00: Registration
9:00-9:10: General Assembly Welcome: Dr. Deborah Woo, President, NJRA
9:10-9:50: Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jill Lewis, Promoting Adolescent Literacy
10:00-10:40: Books to Brunch on: Dr. Allan De Fina and Dr. Lace Cassidy
10:45-10:55: Exemplary Reading Program Award
11:10-12:00: Breakout Session One (Grade Level)
12:05-1:05: LUNCH (Enthusiastic Readers; Discussion with Dr. M. Jerry Weiss)
1:10-1:20: M. Jerry Weiss Book Award
1:20-1:50: Eric Velasquez, Author/Illustrator
1:55-2:35: Dr. Barbara Tierney: The Role of Advocacy
2:45-3:25: Breakout Session Two (Topic)

Breakout Session One:
Grade Level (Choose One – Registration On-Site)
Presenter Title
Dr. Beth Asbury Real Reading! Real Writing! Informational Text, 3-6
Denise Callaway Supporting Struggling Readers in the Intermediate Grades
Dr. Heather Casey Considering Content: Literacy Learning Across the Curriculum, 7-12
Tom Chiola and Angela Borgia Student Generated Rubrics in Primary Grades
Susan Esposito Vocabulary Instruction, Grades K-3
Carmen Gordillo Boys and Books
Gail Robinson Vocabulary Instruction, Grades 5-8
Jeff Willamson Creating a Community of Kindergarten Readers and Writers

Breakout Session Two:
Topical (Choose One – Registration On-Site)
Presenter Title
Dr. Janet Ankiel Uncovering Young Authors’ Voices
Dr. Jessica Anspach Writers’ Workshop in Elementary Grades
Brian Kelley Graphic Novels and Other Visual Texts in the Classroom
Iris Klein Poetry: Ideas to Inspire and Equip Young Poets
Laura Porcaro Teaching Authors’ Craft
Dr. Shannon Riley-Ayers Practical Strategies for Vocabulary and Comprehension, K-3
Kris Tucker and Jan Jaffe Strategies for Non-Fiction in the Classroom
Jeanette Widensky Unlocking the Keys to Comprehension

Attendees will receive a certificate for Six (6) Hours of Professional Development.
-------------------------------------------------------------(cut here􀂉
Student $30 􀂉 NJRA Member $60 􀂉 Non-Member $75
Name: _______________________________________________________________________________________
Street: _____________________________________________________
City: ____________________________
Phone Number: ____________________________
E-mail Address: ___________________________________
Faculty Signature (For Students Only)______________________________________________________________
Please make checks payable to NJRA and mail with registration form to:
New Jersey Reading Association
186 Mantoloking Road - Ste 2A
Brick, NJ 08723

See for more details and directions