WOW Dozen: Books That Should Have Won Awards

Compiled by the Worlds of Words Center Board

November, December and January are every bookworm’s favorite months because many book awards are announced. The National Council of English broadcasts the Orbis Pictus and Charlotte Huck awards before Thanksgiving. In December, the National Book Awards are celebrated and then in the first month of the year, the American Library Association announces the children’s and young adult award winning books for numerous awards such as the Pura Belpré Award, Schneider Family Book Award and the Mildred L. Batchelder Award. At a recent Worlds of Words Center gathering, we discussed the many titles that were acknowledged, but were disappointed that some of our favorite 2022 books didn’t receive greater recognition. This month’s WOW Dozen shares the books that we think should have done better this awards season. What book titles do you think should have won a major award? Please share in the comments section. Continue reading

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The Power of Home: Promise or Uncertainty? Part I

by Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, Westminster College, PA, Bobbi Jentes Mason, Fresno Pacific University, CA, Karen Matis, Shenango Area School District, PA and Grace Klassen, Exeter School District, CA

A young Black girl with pigtails looks out the window of a brick building.

“Our [nation] wasn’t originally built for everyone. Some took light-filled rooms with beautiful views. Others were consigned to basements. We’ve got to renovate so that there are good rooms for all — so that power is broadly shared.” (Danielle Allen, 2023 ).

This month Bobbi, Karen, Grace and I come together to examine the hope of home and affordable housing for all families. Through our first feature blog, we explore picturebooks offering “light-filled rooms with beautiful views” through Home is a Window and Farmhouse. Next week we assume a much less comfortable “basement” stance by examining the living spaces of under-resourced families through The Blue House, Sanctuary, The Notebook Keeper and I See You. Each situation helps us broaden our notion of home. Each text can inspire dialogic conversations with students to help broaden their lens on others who might find themselves in uncertain home settings. Continue reading

Imagination Friday with Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall

Meet Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall as they introduce their highly anticipated new graphic novel, The Beatryce Prophecy, a fantasy about fate, love, and the power of words. Set in a time of war, Beatryce lives in a world where reading and writing are against the law, leading her on a dangerous quest to unseat the king and change that world.

Kate and Sophie share their new book and process of writing and illustrating, invite children to create their own stories, and answer questions.

You must register for the webinar to attend. You will receive a link to join this exciting interaction with Kate and Sophie. Teachers who want to show the webinar live to their classes can live-stream the webinar. The webinar will be recorded. Those who register will receive a link to watch the recording if unable to join us live. You can also return to this event entry to watch the recording.

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW
Panelists: Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most revered storytellers. She is a former Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist for The Tale of Desperaux and Flora & Ulysses. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis.

Copies of the books featured on Imagination Fridays can be ordered from UArizona BookStores.

Sophie Blackall is the acclaimed illustrator of more than forty-five books for young readers and a two-time Caldecott Medalist for Finding Winnie and Hello Lighthouse. Born and raised in Australia, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Imagination Fridays is co-sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books and Worlds of Words/University of Arizona and will occur one Friday a month at 1:00-1:45 pm from September to December with a new author and/or illustrator to introduce a brand new book. Add excitement to Fridays with world-renowned children’s authors and illustrator to promote new books and encourage children as readers, writers, and illustrators.

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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Beatryce Prophecy

In this review Kathy Short and Marilyn Carpenter share their responses to The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo with illustrations by Sophie Blackall.

MARILYN: As soon as I finished this book, I eagerly read it again. With the first reading, I found the plot most engaging. On the second reading, I admired the author’s craft. The story takes place in the Middle Ages during a time of war. Five characters carry the story. First, the reader meets a monk, Brother Edik, who has written a prophecy about a girl who will unseat a king. Next, we are introduced to a cranky and fearsome goat, Answelica, who has a major role in the story as a protector of Beatryce, a young girl that Brother Edik finds ill, wounded and bloody curled up next to that goat, fast asleep. It turns out that the child has experienced a horrific trauma that has left her without any memory except that her name is Beatryce. As Brother Edik comes to know her he discovers that she can read and write which is dangerous because there is a law that says that no girls or women can read or write. Brother Edik shaves her head and disguises her as a young monk. Continue reading