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Jen Robinson
San Jose, CA
Dedicated to growing joyful learners: bookworms, mathematicians, scientists, artists, + more
Interests: joy of learning, education, children's books, hiking, reading, walking, red sox baseball, wine tasting, mysteries, literacy
Recent Activity
Today I would like to share quote and my responses to two recent articles from teachers about nurturing a love of reading in kids. Although these articles are both technically aimed at educators, I think there are important messages for parents, too. Pernille Ripp calls for helping kids learn to love reading by letting them read books that are easy for them (while also encouraging them to develop their skills). Lisa Westman makes a similar point when she says that teachers should be focused on helping kids to love reading, rather than taking away the joy by making reading a chore. Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Book: Into the Hurricane Author: Neil Connelly Pages: 240 Age Range: 12 and up Into the Hurricane by Neil Connelly is the story of two troubled teenagers who meet in a lighthouse on Shackles Island, Louisiana as a major hurricane... Continue reading
Posted 9 hours ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Ah yes, reading in a wet bathing suit, trying to keep the book dry, and ending up with damp bottom of the pages anyway. I also read on a raft in a lake one time, swimming back and forth while holding the book up out of the water :-). Hope your garden will allow you to relax outdoors one day.
:-). The funny thing was it wasn't even a huge chunk of time. But it's going to stand out in my memory. Hopefully we can do it again.
I can certainly identify with your patio with trees and a comfortable spot to read. Reading outside in just-right temperature and breeze might just be my very favorite thing to do :-). These days I, too, require the comfortable chair, but when I was a kid, any perch would do. I also used to read on (the flat part of) our roof when I was a kid. Anyway, thanks for understanding this post and for taking time to share your impressions. I hope that you have lots of just right reading time this summer, too.
In this post I describe my daughter's first experience of reading up in a treehouse, and why this mattered to me as a milestone. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Audiobooks, #BookLists, #math, #play, #SubwayLibrary, #SummerReading, #writing, bookmobiles, chapter books, Chapter Books, diversity, Free Range Kids, growing bookworms, kindergarten, libraries, literacy, and schools. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
While not, perhaps, of strong interest to me personally as an adult, I think that Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want To Survive the Cafeteria absolutely belongs in elementary school libraries and in the home of kids who are fascinated by the social dynamics of insects and/or grade schoolers. A standout title. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Interesting, Judy. Looks like that's a 12 book series, starting with The Boys Start the War (Boy/Girl Battle). I added the first couple of books to my daughter's wish list. There must be books where the girl rescues the boy. I'll have to give that some thought. Of course Hermione is smarter than Harry or Ron, which is some consolation.
Thank YOU for the suggestion, Judy!
Morris Mole by Dan Yaccarino is about a mole who is smaller than all of his brothers but proves that he can still do "big things." Morris isn't just smaller than the others. He's also different in style, wearing a checked suit and jaunty hat to his brothers' hard hats and boots. He eats at his own small table, and sleeps in his own small bed, reading while the others snore away. When a food crisis arrives, Morris is the only one who thinks to dig upward instead of downward, as they've always done before. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I would certainly agree about more strong girl characters now, especially in YA. But I think you almost need the ones where there's NO male sidekick if the girl is to really solve things, and not be rescued. Sigh. But it is getting better. And of course we can (as Judy pointed above) highlight the good ones. I clearly need to do a followup post about this, when I can find the time. Thanks for chiming in!
Well, Judy, you could try, where there are various strong girl-focused lists. See also and Some of my favorite adventure-loving girl heroines (chapter book to middle grade) include Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren), Clementine (Sara Pennypacker), the narrator in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place books (Maryrose Wood), Theodosia (Robin LaFevers), Enola Holmes (Nancy Springer), Kiki Strike (Kirsten Miller), Gilda Joyce (Jennifer Allison), and the girls in Annie Barrows' Magic in the Mix series. Sounds like I might have to do a booklist myself, when time permits. You can also check out my list of Cool Girls of Children's Literature, though I haven't updated it in ~10 years:
The other day my daughter made an observation. She said: "It seems like there are more boys having adventures in books than girls having adventures." (Or something to that effect). For what it's worth, she made this observation as we were starting the fourth Harry Potter book together. She is seven, and just finished first grade. Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Audiobooks, #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #GraphicNovels, #PictureBooks, #ReadAloud, #SummerReading, Audiobook Month, Father's Day, gender equality, growing bookworms, play, reading choice, teaching, and time management. Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls, by Beth McMullen, features an elite boarding school that is actually a cover for a hidden spy agency with female teen agents. Who could resist that? Not I. Narrator Abigail knows none of this when her mother strong-arms her into attending Smith School for Children, but she finds out soon enough when a late-night escapade and an escape attempt go awry. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
In this issue of the #GrowingBookworms newsletter I have four book reviews (picture books and young adult) and two posts with my daughter's latest literacy milestone (reading to recharge and needing the next book in a series). I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and one that shares my top five tips for parents to encourage kids' summer reading. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Awww. Thanks for your kind words, Judy. This comment made my day. Funny, I never once thought of the Literacy Milestones as a book. But if nothing else, they should be a book that I print up for her one day. For the record, I do have better hiding places for things like Christmas presents. Perhaps I subconsciously wanted her to find these :-). I know that when I was my daughter's age, or maybe a bit older, my mother used to take me to used bookstores to find the next books in the series that were consuming me at the time (the Famous Five and Trixie Belden come to mind). I do know that I'm fortunate to be able to buy a few paperbacks on a whim when I "need" to. I just compared the cost in my head to, say, downloading a new season of a series on her tablet, and it was an easy decision :-)
Fans of Super Happy Magic Forest will probably be as thrilled as my daughter was to see that there is now a sequel. While I'm not sure the second book completely holds up to the fun and inventiveness of the first (because that would be difficult), Super Slug of Doom is still well worth a look, and a must-purchase for libraries serving the K-2 set. Recommended. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
My daughter has been reading up a storm lately. She reads in the car, in her bed, when she's waiting for us to be ready to go somewhere, etc. She's reading so much that it's become a slight challenge, despite all of the books I have in my house, to keep her in books. The reason is something that I should have predicted: she's come to appreciate the power of the series. Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I'm so glad you like these posts this much, Judy. They are my favorite ones to write. Lately, as she's reading more on her own, they are even more fun. I think it's because she's starting to catch up with my childhood memories of my own behavior. It is frustrating not to be able to read in the car. My husband and I sometimes listen to audiobooks on long drives (and I certainly do that on my own), but I miss the days when a drive anywhere was a chance to read. I'm glad for you that you're still able to do it.
Thanks, Judy! I'm PTO chair for language arts and reading at the school, so I figured this feel within my responsibilities. I'm glad you approve of the tips that I selected, given how much experience you have with this :-).
I think you'll like this one, Judy. Enjoy!
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #EarlyReaders, #GrowingBookworms, #PictureBooks, #play, #RaisingReaders, #STEM, #SummerReading, audiobooks, BEA, book awards, bullying, crafting, eBooks, education, kidlitosphere, parenting, poetry, preschool, read aloud, and reading. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I hope you like it, Charlotte!