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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
Thanks, Judy! I actually saw that typo yesterday and was too busy to fix it :-). That would be quite a long book! Glad to hear that the four year old reader is getting positive PR. Maybe she and her mom will be role models for others. I was just recommending (even though I haven't watched it myself) Hidden Figures to two friends who also have daughters. It is certainly on my list.
In this issue of the #GrowingBookworms newsletter I have four book reviews (picture book and middle grade), one post with my daughter's latest literacy milestone (being read Harry Potter), and two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. I also have a post with excerpts from and responses to two #JoyOfLearning related articles that I read recently. Continue reading
Posted 12 hours ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
It's nice to read about a girl who loves math, and also has relatively normal sibling rivalries and relationships with boys. AND she gets to solve a mystery involving a disappearing scientist and a possible invisibility suit. It doesn't get much cooler than that! I recommend The Impossible Clue for middle grade readers, especially those who love math and/or mystery. I hope that Alice returns for further adventures. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thank you for your kind words, Judy, and for caring about my little girl, even though you've never met her. I will definitely keep sharing the journey! Thanks for brightening my day.
That is definitely something my husband and I are looking forward to, also. We actually took our daughter to Universal about 3 years ago - she barely remembers, and we only went then because he had a conference that had a function there. We look forward to going again - maybe next summer... The trivia game is a good idea for when she's a bit farther along in the books. I doubt we'll get to all 8 movies any time soon, due to fear of nightmares. But we will get there, and it's going to be a fun journey!!
I appreciate your insights Judy, as always (and perhaps especially when they don't line up with my own, because that's when they are the most valuable). I did consider talking with the people at the after-school care, but I was reluctant to impose my family's constraints on all of the other families. While it's true that our pace for reading Harry Potter 1 to my daughter has been influenced by this, what I probably didn't capture in the above is that sharing these books and movies with our daughter is something that my husband and I have been looking forward to for years ourselves. Scaffolding is part of why I want us to read the books to her at this point. Because I know that she's not ready to read them on her own. I stop frequently when I'm reading to explain things to her - not so much about the story, but background and especially UK-specific terminology (what is a corridor, what is a "revision schedule", etc.?). Your comments did make me think, though, that I should see if she wants to listen to the audio of book 1 while she's coloring, as a second read-through. As to the illustrated edition, I did have pause about that. I don't think it's nearly as big an issue as watching the movies, but you're right. In retrospect I might have waited on the illustrated editions. I like Kate's idea below of letting her son look at the illustrated edition while listening to the audio. I think that could be nice for car rides, or for that secondary listen that I talked about. Anyway, I will concede that outside pressures have influenced our timing on Harry Potter. But I have to accept where we are (including the fact that my daughter's two best friends are currently listening to book 3), and figure out the best way to celebrate the Harry Potter experience for our family. I'll report back!
I knew who you meant, Susan. I didn't even notice the typo. I do think that each kid is going to be ready for different books at his or her own time. I don't remember where I first heard of Harry Potter - definitely through my blog. I read the first and then ordered the second from England, where they were published first back then. Time does fly!
You are very welcome, Judy. And it looks to me like Daliyah is on the right track, for sure. I was happy to be able to highlight her story. And yes, Hidden Figures is on my radar. I usually don't see movies until they are on DVD, but that one is on my list for when the time comes. I also received a YA nonfiction book about the story, which I intend to take a look at soon.
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this relatively light week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #STEM, Accelerated Reader, book-rich environments, educational disabilities, growing bookworms, International Book Giving Day, libraries, Marianne Dubuc, math, reading assessment, schools, Sydney Taylor Book Awards, teaching, and higher education. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
It's funny how every family is different, even among those who love Harry Potter. I don't think we ever considered NOT reading the books aloud to our daughter. It's something we always looked forward to. Actually (and I should update the post to mention this), I DID read my daughter the first Harry Potter book once before. But she was an infant and doesn't remember. I figured if I was going to read aloud to her when she was tiny, it might as well be something that I would enjoy. I see your point about reading all the books before seeing any of the movies, but I'm going to have to concede that as impossible. She spends too much time at after school care and at friends' houses for me to make that work (especially given that she's not ready for the later books yet - they do get pretty dark). Anyway, you are definitely not the only family that thinks about this. My husband and I both read the books as they came out, and adore the movies. We have various Harry Potter items around the house - all of which contributes to Child's fascination with the books, I'm sure.
Oh, I love Acadia National Park! I haven't been there in quite a long time, but my husband and I vacationed there occasionally when we lived in Boston. We had some amazing hikes there, back in the day. I also spent one of my all-time favorite days sitting on a chaise outside a little cabin, surrounded by water on 3 sides, reading all day. And drinking wine coolers, which will date me a bit :-).
I hope that we'll see other books about the Fletchers, too. It is encouraging in general to see increasing numbers of books that feature diverse characters and viewpoints, without necessarily being "about" that.
I think it's great that he didn't start to have interest until he was ready for the whole series. Didn't work out quite that way for us, but we each have our journey to the joy that is Harry Potter, I guess :-). Glad he enjoyed them.
I think it's fair to say that a modern milestone for book-loving parents involves the reading to one's child of the Harry Potter books. In this post, I share my family's experience in finally (on the third try) reading the first Harry Potter book together. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island is the sequel to The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher (my review). Both books feature a family with two dads, four adopted sons (two brown-skinned and two white-skinned), two cats, and dog. This installment is set on a small island off the coast of New England, where the family is spending the month of August in a long-beloved cottage. The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island is an episodic story, with viewpoint shifts between the four boys and an entertaining mix of adventure and chaos. They're a bit like a more diverse, and more male, Penderwick family, off to Point Mouette. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Simon Thorn and the Viper's Pit is the second book in Aimée Carter's Simon Thorn / Animalgam series, featuring a race of people, hidden in plain sight, who can turn into animals. This review does contain spoilers for the first book. Simon, as introduced in Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den, has discovered that he is the grandson of two ruthless, competing Animalgam leaders from different kingdoms. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Last week I found two articles related to the joy of learning that I thought were worth sharing in more detail. In the first, father and teacher Tony Sinanis urges educators to look more closely at school practices that take away the love of reading. In the second, math teacher Mr. C. shares his approach to moving from textbook-based math to real-world math, and the positive response from students. I'm encouraged to see these two teachers both encouraging others to make learning (whether reading or math) more joyful for students. Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Occasional grumpiness IS universal.
I am not at all surprised that you want the Snowy Day stamps, too, Judy. They are irresistible to book people like us. And thank you for your kind words about these posts. I'm so glad to know that you find other blogs worth reading through them. Sometimes I do feel like I am just sending these links out into the void - it definitely helps to keep me motivated to hear that you find them useful. Have a wonderful weekend!
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage (plus a couple of links from last week, when I did not post very much and did not do a roundup). Topics this week include: #arts, #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, #GrowthMindset, #math, #RaisingReaders, easy readers, growing bookworms, reading, screentime, teaching, the Cybils Awards, and The Snowy Day. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks for the real-world validation that this book works as an elementary school read-aloud, Mary Ann. I love when a story can make kids gasp with surprise!
Little Big Girl is not a complex book, but it's a nice, positive spin on what happens when someone becomes a big sister or a big brother. The illustrations are heart-warming (just look at that cover above), and the minimal text will keep the attention of even the youngest of big sisters. Little Big Girl would make a great gift for anyone you know who is expecting a second child. Recommended! Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have five book reviews (all picture books - I have several middle grade reviews coming up), one post with my daughter's latest literacy milestone (appreciating audiobooks), and one post with links that I shared recently on Twitter. I also summarize my reading, and my daughter's reading, from 2016. Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
It was the post by Katie Fitzgerald that inspired me to try again. But yes, kids are ready for different things at different stages. I'm just happy that she's ready for this one, now. I think it's going to improve the quality of our driving around together, too.
Thanks for (as always) reading these posts, Judy. I am pretty pleased about this one myself. I would SO much rather have her listening to audiobooks than many other things.