Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Book Report: Sharing the latest in books, apps and literary marketplace news

"Books" by Paula Slade

Welcome to another edition of “The Book Report.” This weekly column is dedicated solely to the best in books, apps, audio and video adaptations, technology updates as well as literary news and events. Like our sister columns, “If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours,” Thursday’s “Musical Notes” and Friday’s “Popcorn Report,” which respectively features the information on toys and travel, music, and movies, this weekly post highlights the important world of literature as positive entertainment for children and teens. Be sure to check back each Wednesday.

In yesterday’s column, “If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours,” we featured games that promote spelling and literacy in honor the 2011 National Spelling Bee, which is taking place in the Washington D.C. area this week. In today’s edition of the Book Report, we will continue that theme, covering literature for and about spelling bees, as well as sharing information on an upcoming author event, and terrific websites that are designed to spark interest in spelling and the news.


New site shares news with kids

One of the best methods for increasing a young person’s vocabulary is to read the news, but oftentimes, today’s headlines and breaking news stories are scary and inappropriate for certain age groups. Well, that's all changed as kids ages seven to 13 have their own site that’s age appropriate, fun, and provides excellent coverage on current events – Go Go News.

The founder and CEO of GoGo News, Golnar Khosrowshahi created the site out of a personal need to provide her own children with a safe source for real time news, and current events.

Staffed with an advisory board that includes educators and child psychologists, news is presented in an age-appropriate platform, and offers parents caregivers, and teachers an opportunity to “start a conversation with children,” while providing “a safe means by which to deal with the harsh realities of the world in which we live.”


Talking About Words and Pictures 

Engaging, popular and award-winning author and illustrator, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, sits down for an interview with The Carle’s Andy Laties. A book signing will follow.

Sunday, June 5, 200 at 11:30 a.m.
at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA 01002
FREE with museum admission

Event notes from The Carle: 

“Krosoczka received a contract for his first book just six months after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design. His books have since been short-listed in several national publications and have grabbed the attention of Hollywood-- the Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are both currently in development as feature films.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is the author and illustrator of several picture books and middle grade graphic novelsWith new picture books and new Lunch Lady books on the horizon, Krosoczka is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, MA, where he resides with his wife and daughter and their pug, Ralph Macchio.  For more information visit:

For more information about this Krosoczka’s visit: Email: or, or phone: (413) 658-1100 | Fax: (413) 658-1139


With this week’s focus on the televised drama that accompanies the Scripps National Spelling Bee, children might just get bitten by the spelling bug, as oftentimes, positive peer examples offer the best motivation.

What are the tools that you can offer your child to help them become friends with spelling and literacy?

It’s no secret that Webster’s Third New International Dictionary Unabridged is a definitive resource, and is used each year at the National Spelling Bee.

The tome weighs four pounds and has 2,816 pages packed with words, words and more words, along with their pronunciation, etymology and definitions. A true classic when it comes to dictionaries.

To read customer reviews for Webster’s Third New International Dictionary Unabridged, visit where the book retails for $73.67, but best price is available through Amazon Marketplace for $59.98. 

The real National Spelling Bee is explored in a five-star book of stories, Red: The Next Generation of American Writers – Teenage Girls – On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, edited by Amy Goldwasser.

Included in Red is a humorous, first-person account, Apiarian Days,” by violinist, Samantha Gillogly, who at the actual 2001 National Bee was ousted in the 6th round on a musical term. The story captures much of what these children face during this week of nail-biting competition.

“Apiarian Days” was recently selected for its high quality and realistic portrayal of American teenage life by the United States Department of State, Office of English Language Programs for their literary anthology, American Themes, a collection of excellent American young adult literature, which is intended for educational use by secondary students abroad.

To read customer reviews for Red: The Next Generation of American Writers – Teenage Girls – On What Fires Up Their Lives Today visit where the paperback edition retails for $11.90, but best price is available through Amazon Marketplace for $0.01. 


There are a number of fun online sites when it comes to spelling, but Reading Rockets and Spelling Bee:Thinkmap’s Visual Thesaurus, are perhaps the best resources for teaching everything you ever wanted to know about words. 

Reading Rockets also provides a number of other categories, which promote literacy in children. The Rockets' site is geared for parents, caregivers and educators, and their menu of topics covers everything from recommended books to phonic awareness.

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