September 24, 2009

And the Winners Are ?

I’m excited to introduce our new Mora Award Logo. The following libraries applied for the 2009 Estela and Raúl Mora Award:
Topeka and Shawnee County PL, Topeka, KS
San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA
Moline Public Library, Moline, IL
Farmington Public Library, Farmington, NM
San Mateo County Library, San Mateo, CA

Congratulations to each of these libraries for their commitment to spreading bookjoy through Día and for taking the time to submit their application. Thanks to the support of my sister, Stella Mora Henry, our family will again provide two awards this year. REFORMA members are currently making the big decision. I have no doubt that each of these libraries deserves our applause. If you live in these communities, do support the work of your library. If your community didn’t apply, call and offer to help with the annual Día celebration in April 2010, Día’s 14th Anniversary.

September 21, 2009

Summer Book Club, part 2

One of the highlights of my summer was hearing from Conni Su Siminski about this summer book club. Talk about sharing bookjoy! Yea to Conni Su, the moms and the girls! Hope others will send us your bookjoy sharing ideas. Pat

(More about the summer book club from Connie Su . . .)
The Summer Book Club with about 10 girls from Monte Vista Elementary School in La Crescenta, CA, met weekly for 6 weeks. Pat's book was the kick off and the best book to do that as it had all these great foods to taste and haiku to read plus lots of additional educational facts and tips. The girls went around the table and took turns reading everything on the page...the facts and the haiku. The girls learned so much and had a ball. There was lots of interaction and discussion encouraged and Moms (or Grandmother as in my case) were present and could contribute as well. Photos were taken at each meeting to be displayed and used to make a craft at the end to take home. It was a multicultural group of girls and the club covered different genres: Haiku the first week, then poetry the next week with Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. Each girl read her favorite from the book along with other classic poems. Another week it was a nonfiction book, What To Do About Alice, which was about Alice Roosevelt with a feminist bent . One week the girls had a tea party complete with gloves and hats and tea sandwiches while reading, The English Roses by Madonna. One week the girls met at the local Barnes and Noble for their meeting and another at the beautiful downtown Los Angeles public library. The last meeting discussed the book Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, which the girls read during the week. Afterwards, they watched the movie of it while the moms got a BBQ together and all the girls’ families came and had dinner together. It was a feast and a glorious way to end the summer book club. All in all the entire 6 weeks had an air of excitement and festivities and fun!

Starting a book club. . .

For moms looking to start a book club, here’s another idea. A club at our school is headed by a mom who has it in her home each month. It is a Mother/Daughter Book Club and this year the moms will select the books beginning with Frindle by Andrew Clements. The club meets each month for about 1 1/2 hours with healthy snacks and beverage at the end. Moms read the books with the girls during the month so everyone can help in discussion. Each girl draws a paper from a hat naming a role they will have to help expedite the discussion. The roles are: Discussion Director leads the group to talk about the book by asking inspiring questions; Problem Prober finds the problem in the story and how it is solved; Theme Teller discusses the theme and sub-themes and the overall 'big idea' of the book; Connecting Captain connects between the book and the world experiences around them or what it reminds them of in their own life or another book; Character Captor analyzes the main characters in the story and talks about their qualities; Setting Specialist reports on the setting of the story and how that affects the story; Word Wizard looks closely at the special words the author chose to use in the story like funny words, long words, descriptive words, etc.; Passage Picker picks an interesting passage from the story to share and tells how the story is made more powerful by that passage; Artful Artist makes something to creatively represent an important part of the story which could be a drawing, map, costume, props and the groups guesses which part of the story is represented. A great side benefit for the above group was learning all the parts of a good story in a fun way. Both of the book clubs function differently but enhance the love of reading, camaraderie of the girls and the moms, and makes reading and discussion fun! Nothing could be better!

Summer Book Club

A short time ago a woman in California wrote Pat about her book, Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America's Sproutings, mentioning that her granddaughter would be reading Yum for her upcoming book club meeting. Isn’t that cool? Pat sent the girls, 10 third-graders at Monte Vista Elementary School in La Crescenta, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, a personal note.
Dear California Readers,

I wish I could be with you when you talk about YUM! Aren’t the illustrations wonderful? The illustrator lives in CA and also illustrated my book, BOOK FIESTA! You can read my answers to questions readers ask me here. I loved being a third grader and going to the library’s summer reading club. How I would have liked being in a book club like yours. Keep reading and writing.

Pat Mora

Here’s a delightful account of the first meeting of the Summer Book Club sent to Pat from the grandmother, Conni Su.
Hi Pat,

Just to let you know...yesterday's Girl's Summer Book Club was a fantastic success and because of your book!! If you can believe it, the girls lasted 3 hours...from 2 PM to 5 PM reading every word of your book, drawing their own special fruits on the butcher paper covering the dining table, making Haiku and mostly tasting every fruit in your book except the chili's (they smelled chili powder very briefly instead)...we did notice you wrote the chili pepper haiku in one syllable words like the music term, staccato, to represent 'hot.' They thought that was really clever! We had cold, fresh prickly pear and it was enjoyed by the women but the girls only wanted to smell and lick it. The girls gasped with joy when I read your email and were proud we adults would work together on something to put their school on your blog. Some girls expressed an interest to write to you. For any who follow through is there a PO Box number or anything where we can send the collected drawings and writings?

Again, thank you so much. The diversity of the girls aided their enjoyment of the book with the places of origin of the foods hitting home for several. One girl drew a Brazilian flag to celebrate it being touted more than once. All in all it was a great ice breaker and we had so much fun munching and interacting and everyone sharing stories and experiences from either their homeland or just picking from their garden. YUM! AND a day of real learning, too!

Thanks for being part of our very special day!

September 3, 2009

Bookjoy Logo!

Thanks to my wonderful web friends, Bobbie Combs and Laurina Cashin (blog editor), we are ready to share our exciting new bookjoy logo and motto.

I hope you’ll use these to help promote the pleasure of reading. Both high res and web resolution versions are available on my web site in Spanish and English.

Now that my book on creativity practices for educators and their students has gone into production, I am thinking about Día 2010, Día’s 13th anniversary. As we ease into fall, it’s a good time to begin planning how you can grow this family literacy celebration in your community. We know our grim national drop-out statistics. I firmly believe that sharing bookjoy through Día is a positive way to grow a nation of readers. Check with your local library and nearby school and help grow this national family literacy tradition.

September 1, 2009

International Literacy Day

September 8 is International Literacy Day, a day of reflection and celebration when a community of nations hosts
local and national events that recognize the value of literacy to individuals, families, and communities. The International Reading Association (IRA) has a special page which talks about events in Washington DC, and includes a downloadable brochure, fact sheet and ideas.