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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 so much for taking time for this detailed comment, and for sharing all the book recommendations from your son! I think it's wonderful to hear about an 11 year old boy who is such a prolific reader. I think he's reading amazing books, too! Definitely keep doing what you're doing to encourage him, because it's working :-). A couple of other suggestions for him, if he hasn't read them: The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins and the Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Rick Yancey's Fifth Wave books are also fabulous (but more YA than middle grade). My daughter tried The Lightning Thief a couple of times and just didn't get it into it - I really should try again, as she looks for her next big series. She did like the 13 Story Treehouse books a while back. I tried Al Capone Does My Shirts and Spy School for her, thinking those would be up her alley, but no luck so far. She prefers to browse through my stacks of review copies looking for something to catch her eye, but that's been less successful than doing so at the (much, much better organized and curated) school library. I think it's outright stubbornness that keeps her from even trying the ones that I specifically suggest. Ah well, she'll hopefully find more on her own. Sorry I didn't include comments on my own reads this time around - there just wasn't time. Jinxed was my favorite of new-to-me middle grade books. Thanks again for commenting - it's been fun talking books with you!!
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I'll be including one post rounding up my Twitter links for the past month or so. You can find others on my blog if you are so inclined. I also have a Bookworm Moments post about a book-inspired declaration that I am the best mommy in the world, and a post about the joy of re-reading a favorite childhood book series. I had only one other post since the last newsletter (besides the links), about home learning in the very early stages of the shutdown. I find it's a bit dated, so I'm not including it in the newsletter. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from links that I shared on Twitter over the past month @JensBookPage. Although blogging got away from me over these past two months, I did continue sharing links as I found them on Twitter. Fewer than before (I pruned my blogroll significantly due to time constraints), but still lots of good stuff. Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Hi Judy, A tiny copy of the Secret Garden sounds adorable. Not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but The Secret Garden was the book that I read to my daughter while she was in the NICU. I haven't re-read it since, but it is extra-special for me. And yes, I always enjoy reading Karen's comments about her daughters, too. Thank you for your comments. I'm glad I had a post for you to read for a change!
I'm not at all surprised that you loved The Velvet Room, too, Karen! I don't even really need the book for that one. I can just go there in my mind as a quick respite. And yes, checking the same book out of the library many times is an indicator for purchase around here, too. Thanks for reading and commenting, despite my long absence.
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In these conflict-ridden times, a love of books is a gift. If you have a book that you love, no matter what happens in your regular life, you can always go back to visit. You just have to open up the book. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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I hope this post finds you all safe and well. I'm doing fine here. However, I haven't been blogging very much lately, as I balance work and family responsibilities. I have continued to read a few newsletters and blog posts, and I've been sharing links that I think are useful as I find them. Here are highlights from my twitter @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookLists, #conversation, #DistanceLearning, #HarryPotter, #HomeLearning, #Homeschooling, #IdeologicalDiversity, #JoyOfReading, #MentalHealth, #MTHAdventures, #OutdoorPlay, #Podcasts, #ReadAloud, #RemoteLearning, #SocialIsolation, #StorySeeds, #VirtualFieldTrip, #writing, events, parenting, reading, and research. Stay safe and keep reading, my friends! Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
It is funny. It's like a brand new notebook, even if you have 50 of them already.
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My daughter ran across a brand new copy of Raina Telgemeier's Smile that I had stashed on a shelf where I keep potential gifts. (You never know when you might need a solid graphic novel for a short-notice birthday gift.) Here's the conversation that followed: Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Work ethic is clearly a core value that your mother instilled in you, Karen. Your students, and your blog readers, benefit. I know I appreciate you, more and more as my daughter enters her tween years and falls more directly into your target review range.
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter recently @JensBookPage. Topics include #BookWeek2020AtHome, #coronavirus, #DistanceLearning, #EducationalEquity, #OnlineLearning, #Play, #ReadAloud, #ScreenTime, #SocialDistancing, parenting, reading, and teaching. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Well, I may have spoken too soon because we logged in yesterday and things do seem to be ramping up. But we'll find a balance. I still want her to spend lots of time reading and doing LEGO and Minecraft.
I did see something somewhere about that already, and have talked about it with friends. I think that as more and more people start losing their jobs (unfortunately but inevitably), awareness is going to grow that this is affecting people differently. But I also think that all of our experiences are valid. What I mean is, the losses of the kids missing out on the rituals of proms and graduations are real, too.
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #ALMA2020, #BookLists, #Homeschooling, #LoveOfReading, #NationalPoetryMonth, #OnlineResources, #RemoteLearning, #Resilience, #SmallBusiness, #TomieDePaola, parenting, and writing. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I hadn't thought of that, Gail. But yes, it is kind of like that. And probably only the relatively more privileged kids are getting tutored at all, just like back then.
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I hope that you are all safe and healthy and managing coronavirus quarantines reasonably well. My sense this week is that the outpouring of online resources to help families keep kids learning has peaked (though many wonderful teachers, authors, and illustrators are continuing to produce and share wonderful resources - I'll have a link roundup tomorrow). I'm seeing a bit of a backlash among parents, who are finding that working from home and managing requirements for kids' distance learning is a challenge, to say the least. Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks for reading, Laura. Yes, it's a blessing that my daughter likes to read. She stayed in bed until noon today reading a Land of Stories book. Awesome on multiple levels! Thanks for the Library Thing suggestion. I'll have to see if she wants to do something like that. It might be fun. I've been enjoying your posts!
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #Audiobooks, #BookADay, #Homeschool, #LoveOfReading, #OnlineLearning, #Podcasts, #puzzles, #ReadAloud, #Resilience, #SchoolLibraries, #ScienceOfReading, #STEAM, parenting, writing. I hope that all of you are safe and healthy and managing as well as you can in all of this. I remain deeply appreciative of the efforts and encouragement of my (now wholly virtual) communities. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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One of the things I've been grateful for in all of this coronavirus quarantining is knowing/following quite a few authors, illustrators, homeschooling parents, and teachers. Many of these people have been generous with their time and experience and are offering useful resources and/or perspectives. As I have run across things that I think are interesting or useful, I've been sharing them on Twitter @JensBookPage and on my personal Facebook account. I usually round up shared links once a week on this blog, but these are not usual times. Here are the links that I rounded up and shared earlier in the week. Today, I have some new resources that are well worth a look. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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I shared quite a few online resources this weekend on Twitter @JensBookPage and on my personal Facebook account. I thought it would be worth rounding them up in one place as a resource. It's great to see so many individuals and organizations stepping up to help keep kids entertained and/or learning in this challenging time. Topics below include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #FakeNews, #gratitude, #Homeschool, #literacy, #OnlineLearning, #puzzles, #ReadAloud, #SchoolClosures, #STEM, libraries, parenting, and writing. Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #coronavirus, #Giftedness, #GirlScouts, #JoyOfReading, #LearningDifferences, #LEGO, #OnlineLearning, #play, #ReadAloud, #recess, #STEM, #Studying, and schools. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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I've named this the "Turning A Corner Edition" of the newsletter because I have several posts around a common theme: the fact that my daughter, after a steady diet of graphic and notebook novels, has abruptly started devouring middle grade fiction. I first share a Bookworm Moments post about her carrying multiple books around Disney World. I next reflect on this as a Literacy Milestone: the first text-based book series that she has inhabited so completely that she finds it difficult (and sad) to leave. In my third post, I share a tale of a delightful Saturday that my daughter spent reading in bed for hours, because she simply HAD to finish a new (long) book. This last is, as you'll see, also a validation of giving kids reading choice. Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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As I write this, it's 11:15 on a Saturday morning. My husband is out of town. My daughter has been awake for 3 hours. She is still in bed. Reading. There are occasional peals of laughter or cries lament ("Not the PRINCESS!") from her room. She's called out a couple of times to make me guess what chapter she is on. But the house is otherwise quiet. This is quite possibly my favorite Saturday morning ever. Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2020 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
It's great to have you reading and sharing this milestone, Judy. I know you've been waiting for it, too. She does get an allowance. We use it to teach her about saving money, and having to use her own money for things that she wants. It's been very useful. Stay tuned for another post Monday about her next step in this process :-).
Reader Greed is definitely a thing. There was a picture book series that I had to buy for her last year, because I did want other kids to be able to check them out. I checked and the public library has a ton of copies of the second Candymakers book, so I will grab that one and keep it for a while with minimal guilt. She does have a birthday coming up and at least one friend who wants to buy her a gift card dedicated to books...