Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Reading Days

July has come and gone so fast this year. Luckily, the summer is still going strong and there is plenty of reading time left. My publisher just released five new books and I want to share them with you before school picks up again.  If you get a chance to read one or all of them, be sure to let me and the authors know what you thought. We love to hear what interests YOU, the reader!

All of these look exciting and I can't wait to read them. There is a special book at the end of the list. It is a book by a fourth grader who was the recent ANGEL to ANGEL contest winner. Great job and congrats on your publication! 

On Angel’s Wings They Greet the King
Angelic Harmony hardcover and softcover

by Rosemary Kuhn

inspire with the spirit of the first Christmas. Multicultural children offer their unique gifts to the Christ Child and represent all the children of the world who possess special gifts to offer the newborn King on Christmas. A Christmas song, too.

Prairie Dog Play Days, Little Stinkers & Bald Eagles Rule
Academic Wings

by Margot Finke
Three fantastic American animals eat, fly, and dig their way across the pages of this rhyming picture book. Prairie Dogs, Skunks and Bald Eagles are just waiting for your child to meet them. Cool critters, and cool facts: how can you beat a combination like that?

by Joni Klein-Higger
In this fun educational musical about recycling, a “nutty professor” transports four modern day kids back to the 1950’s. Together they compare the lifestyles of today’s “disposable generation” to kids living in a time before plastic bags, aluminum cans, and water bottles became a part of our every day life.

The Fearless Grandpa
Littlest Angels

by Mary Esparza-Vela
A grandfather proclaims that he is not afraid of anything until a tiny mouse crawls under his shirt and causes a commotion. His grandchildren learn that their Grandfather is afraid of something after all, but everyone accepts it in a humorous way.

The Secret in the Attic - an Angel to Angel contest Award Winner
Angel to Angel 

by 4th Grader Laura Mansour

(Note, scroll down the page a little bit and you will see the book.)

That's it for this month, so let's get READING! Which ones are your favorites? 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Technology's Impact on our Grammar

As an author who is also responsible for the promotion of my work, I use technology. I use it ALL THE TIME. In fact, on weekends when I do most of my writing and promoting, the first place my family looks for me is at the computer. During these times, I find myself reading over Facebook posts, Tweets, comments, e-mails, and many other outlets. 

The more I used these tools online, the more I notice how often grammar and spelling errors appeared. Now, it is almost "normal" to see these errors.When these trends began, spelling and grammar mistakes were often obvious. But I think something happens to us as we continuously expose ourselves to incorrect grammar and spelling. The mistakes become "normal" and if we are not paying attention, we may be teaching ourselves to read and write in this way as well. 

For example, how many times have we read a sentence like this:

"Your being silly."


"The dog chaces it's tale."  

(Bonus: How many errors were in those two sentences? Hint: The answer is not two.) 

The more we see and read errors like this, the less we notice them. With phones and texting, our kids are taking in this information constantly. 

As a mom of three children, including a teenager, I know it is impractical to suggest our kids text perfect grammar to each other. In fact, they probably look forward to a few minutes where they are not graded on their usage.

So, what can we do? Aside from running a militant grammar home, I believe the answer is simple. We need to ensure our children are reading more. We need to ensure they are not just reading the computer screen, but are reading novels, chapter books, and picture books. Our children should be bombarding their brains with as much literature as possible. 

Why? Because just like reading constant errors online trains our brain to see the errors as normal, the more we read literature and other published material, the better our language skills will be maintained and sharpened. 

One way to do this is to encourage our children to read 15-20 minutes a day. If they can and want to do more, fantastic! Sometimes you'll see that they read for 15 minutes and become engulfed in the book. Other times, they may be tired and have had enough. The important part is to get reading and make it a habit.

For great tips for encouraging children to read, visit Reading is Fundamental. There are great ideas and resources that will help with all readers. 

Share with me:

How often do you read? What do you read? Have you increased your reading this summer?

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