Sunday, November 9, 2014

Busy Reading, New Role (Chair)

I've been busy reading, very busy reading, but there hasn't been as much time to blog about the books individually because of an exciting new role I've taken on and the reading I've been doing related to it. It became official this weekend!
The Wisconsin State Reading Association (WSRA) Children's Literature Committee is a group of WI education professionals who read widely in an effort to create a master recommendation list of the best books published each year [Sept of the previous year through Dec of the current year] for students based on quality, kid appeal, and value for teacher use. We create two lists: Picture This! (picture books) & Just One More Page! (chapter books up to 8th grade).

I joined this committee last fall, and I'm thrilled to be taking on a new role as the Chair! This weekend, we had our last meeting of the year to discuss and decide on our final lists. Our lists are not revealed publicly until the WSRA Convention in February, but I am excited that every convention attendee (approximately 3000) will receive a copy of the lists this year, and afterwards, it will be posted publicly to share (watch for that post in early Feb!). 

With the changeover and new direction we are heading in for these lists as we work to grow the presence and increase the usefulness, this is a transitional year for us, but I'm proud of the work this group of ten people has done in trying to help teachers, librarians, and parents sort through the wealth of children's books released this past year in order to make recommendations. We selected 120 titles for our Picture This! list and 92 books for Just One More Page! 

So that's where I've been, what I've been working on, and what I'm been focused on lately (outside of my teaching work). I've read over 416 books so far this year (106 of which were novels) - I've upped my picture book reading game considerably. Now I'm anxious to get to those 2015 advanced copies that I had to hide away to avoid temptation until we finished our work on this year's lists!

What would make your list of some of the best books released in 2014?

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