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Finished Reading The Chronicles of Prydain

We could hardly stop reading just before the big final battle. And really, how could I stop reading until we found out how the battle turned out. And once the battle ended, could we stop before we found out whehter Taran finally proposes to Eilonwy? So it was a quarter past midnight when we finally finished reading my tween the fifth book in Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. The…

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Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

  The brain was not designed for reading. There are no genes for reading like there are for language or vision. But spurred by the emergence of Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Phoenician alphabet, Chinese paper and, finally, the Gutenberg press, the brain has adapted to read. Before the Internet, the brain read mostly in linear ways — one page led to the next page, and so on. Sure, there might be…

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Don’t Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Greater parental involvement in school (serving on committees, checking the kids’ homework) does not correlate with greater academic achievement. I wonder how these findings would relate to homeschooling. The theory was that more active and invested mothers and fathers could help close the test-score gap between middle-class and poor students. Yet until the new study, nobody had used the available data to test the assumption that close relationships between parents…

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Dear Google: You Should Have Talked to Me First

Teacher Jen Marten responds to Google’s latest educational initiative: Do you know what Accelerated Reader and programs like it are doing to readers these days? I’ve heard of teachers being reprimanded for not leveling all their classroom books. I know of school libraries where children have to show the librarian a card with their reading level on it before they can check out books. I know of kids excited about…

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – About the game

30th anniversary refit of the cruel, cruel text-adventure game. The game is still the same wonderful piece of interactive fiction that Douglas Adams wrote and Steve Meretzky programmed, but in finding it a new home, a few changes needed to be made. The old Flash game would not work on the new servers, and in porting it to a new HTML5 incarnation, several innovations took place. We were able to…

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Melissa Terras’ Blog: Male, Mad and Muddleheaded: Academics in Children’s Picture Books

Labcoats, suits (but not if you are female!) or safari suits (but not if you are female!) are the academic uniform du jour. The names given to the academics are telling, with the majority being less than complimentary: Professor Dinglebat, Professor P. Brain, Professor Blabbermouth, Professor Bumblebrain, Professor Muddlehead, Professor Hogwash, Professor Bumble, Professor Dumkopf, Professor Nutter, and two different Professor Potts. There is the odd professor with a name…

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The Out-of-Control Author

When you’re writing just for yourself, you’re in control. Of everything. You control what your characters do, what they say and think and wear, what happens to them, where their story begins and ends. Every aspect of the story is completely in your hands. It’s your book. All yours. When you work with a publisher, that changes. All of a sudden, you’re not alone. You have a team. Other people…