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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 for sharing your son's story. This is an excellent example of the benefits of audiobooks. I say good for you, paying attention to what was working for him, and defending his right to his own journey. My feeling as a parent is that my only responsibility in this area is to make sure that my daughter LOVES books. I feel like everything else will follow from that. Regarding you being a convert to the idea that parents have a sense of their own kid, I do know what you mean. As a similar example, I always generally felt that graphic novels were fine. But now that my daughter will ONLY read graphic novels (with a few exceptions), I find that I am much more bothered when people are dismissive of graphic novels as not being "real" reading.
Those are very cool! I hadn't seen them, but just googled. I have to admit that I've never personally been to Ikea. But I'm certainly more interested after reading this book :-)
She noticed the dead parent phenomenon years ago, when watching Disney movies :-). She makes fun of it sometimes. I'm with you on it being overdone, but I did think that it added some depth to this particular story. Frankie's attempt to help Walter recover made their choices more understandable, anyway. So it wasn't a gratuitous loss of a parent, at least :-).
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #GraphicNovels, #GrowthMindset, #HispanicHeritageMonth, #ReadAloud, #ReadForTheRecord, book donation, Danziger Awards, raising readers, reading, reading levels, reading motivation, schools, and writing. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jen Robinson's Book Page
One Mixed-Up Night is a super-fun book about two kids who scheme to spend the night in an Ikea store. But it's much more than that, too. It's about growing up, being loyal to a friend, coping with grief, and taking responsibility. And yes, it's about the cool kitchen items that you can find in an Ikea store, and what you might pack for a sleepover. This is a book that definitely belongs in all libraries serving middle grade readers. Highly recommended, and one of my favorite new releases of the year. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have three middle grade book reviews and one post about my determination to give my daughter choice in reading. I also have a post about whether or not audiobooks "count" as reading for kids, and a post with extracts from and responses to two recent articles on reading choice. I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Black Moon Rising is the second book in D. J. MacHale's The Library series, following Curse of the Boggin. The events in Black Moon Rising begin just a week after middle schooler Marcus has become an agent of the magical Library and had his first adventure. The Library is a place out of space and time in which uncountable numbers of stories reside. The stories are written by ghosts who track mysterious events throughout the world. The agents enter into certain stories and try to help. In Black Moon Rising, Marcus is asked to travel through the Library to a Massachusetts middle school where strange mishaps have been occurring and escalating. Marcus and his two best friends, Theo and Lu, find themselves confronting witchcraft. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Today I share two posts that I read last week that talk about giving kids choice in their reading. I also wrote about reading choice last week myself, and was glad to see that the NCTE website and Pernille Ripp were on the same page with me. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Yes, I love "listen to this", too, Terry. I've been lucky because I was reading about how to encourage readers for years before I ever had a child of my own. So the idea of free choice was just engrained. I still catch myself being occasionally judgmental, but I am generally able to rise above.
Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowingBookworms, #JudyBlume, #nonfiction, #reading, #STEM, Ada Lovelace Day, independent reading, literacy, math, and schools. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
The other night my friend texted me about how much she was looking forward to getting the kids to bed so that she could read "my trashy, stupid, not educational, seriously below my reading level Stephanie Plum book". She added "I haven’t read one in awhile and love the humor break in my life. I love reading funny, silly, entertaining books that let me escape for just a little bit." As a matter of fact, I share my friend's occasional enjoyment of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books (I listen to the audio versions). My friend went on to muse "why on earth would I ask my child to read for any reason that is not fun? Why would I care about AR points and levels?" Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks for reading this follow-up, Nari, and for asking such a good question in the first place. I completely agree with you about audiobooks - I usually remember them much better than I do print books, because I can't skim. I think as long as your son is progressing with phonics and reading, audiobooks should always count. But that will be between you and his eventual teachers :-).
The Edge of Extinction books should be a great fit for any adventure-loving middle grade readers, particularly those who enjoy reading about dystopias or dinosaurs. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed by Code Name Flood, a worthy successor and conclusion to Sky's story. Highly recommended, and one I will be saving for my daughter to read when she is a little bit older. Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Yes, I love audiobooks (and the Magic Tree House books). Great stuff all around!
Recently, in response to a post that I wrote about my daughter's 20 minutes a day of required reading, a mom of a four-year-old boy commented. She said that she and her son listen to audiobooks together constantly. She wondered if, when he is in school, those sessions would count towards time spent reading. I thought about this for a bit, and decided that the short answer is: "It depends." Here's the longer answer. Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 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 #BannedBooksWeek, #BookList, #Cybils, #DiverseBooks, #GrowingBookworms, #HomeSchooling, #KidLitCon, #math, #STEM, literacy, parenting, play, raising readers, reading, and teaching. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I think you're going to love this one, Judy! I certainly hope so, anyway. Mrs. Woods is wonderful!
Hi Judy, Sorry the post was unclear. Definitely the fault of the writer. I was really going for humor/poking fun at myself as a book person, which I thought that regular readers would relate to. It's interesting that you had a different response, coming from such a different circumstance (though also being a book person). Anyway, thanks for, as always, trying to help!!
The Perfect Score is the latest middle grade novel by Rob Buyea (who also wrote Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again). Like Terupt's previous books, The Perfect Score is a multi-narrator story that highlights the impact that a caring teacher (in this case two caring teachers) can have on kids at the cusp of middle school. As the cover image and title suggest, The Perfect Score also takes on the standardized testing craze. Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
In this issue of the #GrowingBookworms newsletter I have four book reviews (picture book through young adult) and one post about my own hypocrisies as a parent when it comes to books. I also have a post with my daughter's latest literacy milestone, reading to fall asleep at night. I also have two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Sounds like your kids are pretty smart all around, Camille.
Like With Malice, The Hanging Tree is full of twists and turns, and features a not necessarily likable protagonist. The Hanging Tree is told, mostly, from the first person perspective of high school senior Skye Thorn. Skye, who does fake tarot card readings to earn extra cash, is in serious need of money with which to move to New York after high school. Desperate, she gets involved in a kidnapping scheme. But, of course, things become more complex than Skye expects. Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
This is how book-loving parents are, I guess. We have slightly tired kids, and we run out of bookshelf space. Glad to hear from a kindred spirit, Jenny.