Celebrate Children’s Book Week with Author Talks and Classic Books from the Library of Congress

For Children’s Book Week, we want to highlight books and authors talks available for free online from the Library of Congress. Of course, these can be powerful and engaging literacy tools any week of the year!

Classic Books Online

Explore Read.gov to discover familiar and unknown classic books  for teens and children, offering both textual and visual delights for readers of all ages. Some of our favorites are:

  • The Children’s Object Book – pictures of objects in and around homes a century ago might help students better understand life at that earlier time;
  • Gobolinks – inkblots and short poems offer ideas for an art project that can also be a writing game;
  • The Rocket Book – a rollicking tale with drawings that might prompt students to wonder about life in the early 20th century;
  • The Jungle Book – a familiar story with beautiful illustrations that students might compare to one of the films based on the book; and,
  • The Raven – haunting art by Gustave DoreĢ interprets scenes from Poe’s narrative poem and might prompt students to create their own visual or performed interpretation.

Illustration of Baloo from The Jungle Book

Illustration from The Raven

The Library also has an archive of author talks from past National Book Festivals. Younger children might enjoy hearing from Jacqueline Woodson, Kate DiCamilloRafael López or others. Teens might begin with webcasts by Kwame Alexander, Sabaa Tahir, Sonia Manzano, or Gene Luen Yang, current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and then explore on their own.

Share your students’ favorites or discoveries in the comments.

William Shakespeare Through the Ages: Different Visions of the Bard in Primary Sources

Does each generation represent William Shakespeare in its own way? April, National Poetry Month, includes the anniversaries of both Shakepeare’s birth and death, and this year marks the 400th anniversary of his death. I was exploring ways the “Tercentenary” was commemorated when the headline “How Each Age Finds New Flaws in Shakespeare: Each Praises – […]

Explore the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature for National Poetry Month

National Poetry month, a month to celebrate poetry, is a perfect time to explore the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. Some of the readings focus closely on the poems; others include musings on the selections and what inspired them. Some of the recordings are of a single poet, and others are panels or conversations between two or more poets. Hearing a poem in the poet’s voice brings it to life in unexpected ways, and the range of poets offers something for all lovers of poetry.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear or Read

In the most recent “Right to the Source” column in NSTA’s magazine The Science Teacher, Michael Apfeldorf discusses reactions in the early 20th century to reports of life on Mars. He explains that as early as 1894, scientists noted that conditions on Mars would not support life, but wild theories persisted in popular media. That reminded us of the Library’s many April Fools’ Day posts featuring primary sources that should not be taken at face value.