The Answer Sheet: Literature


Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/02/2011

That's one heavy book: 10,119 pages, 2 feet thick

There’s a new book in the University of Iowa Libraries but don’t expect anybody to read it all the way through in a single sitting. It’s a 10,119 page, 2-foot-thick book of poetry.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 02/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature | Tags:  biggest book, dave morice, guinness book of world records, iowa writers' workshop, literature, longest book, poetry book, university of iowa

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 02/02/2011

That's one heavy book: 10,119 pages, 2 feet thick

There’s a new book in the University of Iowa Libraries but don’t expect anybody to read it all the way through in a single sitting. It’s a 10,119 page, 2-foot-thick book of poetry.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 02/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature | Tags:  biggest book, dave morice, guinness book of world records, iowa writers' workshop, literature, longest book, poetry book, university of iowa

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Ravitch: The chutzpah of rewriting Mark Twain (and how it relates to "The Wire")

Education historian Diane Ravitch writes about the latest effort to cleanse Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" of hurtful words.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 01/11/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  censorship, classic literature, diane ravitch, huck fin, huckleberry fin, the wire, william shakespeare, writing mark twain

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010

Finalists for young adult literature award

Here are the five books selected by the Young Adult Library Services Association as finalists for the 2011 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 12/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature | Tags:  YAL, adolescent lit, adolescent literature, american library association, books for teens, literature, reading, teen novels, young adult lit, young adult literature

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 11/06/2010

Must we have the digital vs. print battle?

Do we have to have a fight over digital vs. print in children's literature? Why can't we have both?

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 11/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature | Tags:  barnes and noble, children's literature, digital books, digital media, digital vs. print, future of books, getting kids to read, kid lit, kindle, raising a reader

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 09/10/2010

An unusual introduction to Native American YA lit

Here's a rather unusual introduction to Native American literature for young adults, with plenty of interesting titles and surprising facts.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 09/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Sherman Alexie, absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian, alexie sherman, john irving, joseph bruchac, native american literature, native american young adult literature, project letters, the world according to garp, ya literature, young adult literature

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 09/04/2010

How 'Twilight,' other dark fiction affect teen brains

Scientists, authors and education experts are meeting this weekend at Cambridge University to investigate how fiction with dark themes, such as the "Twilight" saga and the "Harry Potter" series, affects and alters the teenage brain. Here's a Q&A with the conference organizer, who talks about what parents can/should do about it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:23 AM ET, 09/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature, Literature, Literature | Tags:  altering teen mind, brain research, cambridge university conference, dark themes in young adult literature, edward cullen, effects on teen brains, emergent adult, emergent adult conference, harry potter and twilight, his dark materials, how teen brains are affected by reading, neuroscience and teenage brain, teenage brain, themes in YA lit, twilight, twilight and teen mind, twilight saga, young adult literature

Posted at 09:56 AM ET, 07/11/2010

The story behind ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

"To Kill a Mockingbird" turns 50 on Sunday. Here's the story of how the author, Harper Lee, came to write it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:56 AM ET, 07/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  History, History, History | Tags:  50th anniversary and mockingbird, anniversary of to kill a mockingbird, atticus finch, boo radley, dill, harper lee, harper lee and to kill a mockingbird, harper lee's novel, jem, literature, scout, to kill a mockingbird, to kill mockingbird's 50th anniversaity

Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 03/05/2010

Wiesel's 'Night,' 'Hamlet' in 60 seconds?

What would you say about an effort to boil down the plots of great literary works into a 60-second video? Would that entice young readers to run to the library and grab the book? Here's a program that thinks it would. I don't.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:00 AM ET, 03/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Literature | Tags:  literature, videos

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 01/27/2010

Newbery winner: How author was discovered

By James Blasingame. When good things happen to good people, it renews my faith in the universe, and when good things happen to two people, doubly so! The newest winner of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents Ted Hipple Award, Wendy Lamb, is definitely a deserving soul. Wendy is one of those people who lights up a room when she enters, but she is also someone who has been lighting up young readers’ minds for years, including eight years with her own imprint at Random House, Wendy Lamb Books. One of the books published by the imprint just won the prestigious Newbery Medal. How did Wendy Lamb find the author Rebecca Stead?

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:00 PM ET, 01/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  james blasingame, literature

Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 01/18/2010

2010 Newbery winner named

Today the newest winner of the Newbery Medal--the gold standard in children’s literature for more than eight decades--was tweeted to a waiting world before it was officially announced. Oops. The winner was "When You Reach Me," by Rebecca Stead. "The Lion & The Mouse" by Jerry Pinkney won the Caldecott Medal for best children's picture book. But there has been controversy about the Newbery in literary circles for some time.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:49 PM ET, 01/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  Newbery Award, children's literature

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/19/2009

In the Age of 'Twilight': About kids who read fantasy... and ‘readicide’

Does your child read fantasy books, one after the other, whizzing through series after series to the exclusion of any other genre? Are you worried that your child is: A) living in a fantasy world; b) wasting time on silly themes; c) wasting time reading easy books?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Reading | Tags:  adolescent literature

Posted at 10:31 AM ET, 11/12/2009

Blasingame: When ‘Twilight’ author Stephenie Meyer visited my class; Why Edward Cullen & other vampires attract readers; What the next big thing is in adolescent lit

By James Blasingame Today, I will explain why I don’t think we’ll ever see a stake driven through the heart of the young adult vampire novel (Sorry about that, but I couldn’t resist).... What young woman in her right mind (well, in her daydreams, anyway) would not prefer the impossibly handsome, but possibly dangerous, alleged badboy who drives through the McDonald’s drive-through on his motorcycle over the definitely nerdy-but-nice, good boy who finishes her shift at said McDonalds with her and asks her to the prom while saturated in vegetable oil?

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:31 AM ET, 11/12/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Adolescent Literature, New Moon, Twilight

Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 10/05/2009

Should Shakespeare Be Required Reading?

A veteran educator gives a list of what she thinks students should learn. Shakeapeare and other great writers aren't on it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:50 PM ET, 10/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Deborah Meier, literature, what students should learn

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009

Willingham: What Should Students Be Required to Read?

What should students be required to read? ... It is not controversial to specify desirable knowledge in other subjects. In science, for example, we expect that students will acquire certain skills-- methods of scientific analysis--but we also believe that there is a body of scientific knowledge that students will learn. The same is true of history and mathematics. What makes literature different? Why don’t standards specify what students ought to read?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Content Standards, Daniel Willingham, Literature, Reading