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CCB Newsletter
March 2011


In this Newsletter…



New Newsletter Format and February Technical Difficulties

It has come to our attention that last month’s newsletter didn’t arrive in many people’s inboxes. If you are reading this note, this month’s newsletter has been more successful. Please let us know if you have difficulty viewing the new newsletter format and if you haven’t had a chance to, please take a look at the February Newsletter, which includes a message from our director.

Gryphon Lecture: “Books Build Better Brains”
We are hopeful that you will be able to make it to one of the presentations that will be given by this year’s Gryphon Lecturer, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria (listed in the March Calendar). If you are not able to attend or would like more information about his work, visit the Reach Out and Read website. And don’t forget, Illinois educators are eligible to receive CPDU credit for participation.


March Calendar
(See our website for full descriptions of events)

Wednesday, March 2, 6-9pm:
GSLIS Connections presents a movie and discussion featuring “The Namesake”. Food provided.

Friday, March 4, 12-1pm: “Brown Bag About Books and Brains.” Informal Brownbag lunch with Dr. Navsaria at the CCB.

Friday, March 4, 7pm, GSLIS Building Rm 126: “Books Build Better Brains: Wanderings at the Intersection of Children’s Literature and Early Brain Development.” 2011 Gryphon Lecture by Dr. Dipesh Navsaria (CPDU credit available)

Saturday, March 5, 1:30pm, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St, Urbana: “ Reading: Why It Matters to Children and Families.” Community Lecture by Dr. Navsaria (CPDU credit available)

Saturday, March 5, 12-3pm: LEEP Book Sale

CCB CLOSED: Monday, March 7 for LEEP classes.  

Thursday, March 10, 5-6pm: Youth Literature Book Club   

Saturday, March 12, 2:30-3:30,  Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St, Urbana: Spanish Storytime featuring GSLIS student storytellers  

Thursday, March 17, 5-7pm: Story Coach   

CCB CLOSED: March 21-25 for Spring Break

Monday, March 28, 4-5pm: Graphic Novel Book Club led by Lauren Chambers (This month’s book: Library Wars 1 )

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of calendar events, visit the calendar on our website.


New Bibliographies on the CCB Website

Check our website in the coming weeks for our March bibliography on fractured folktales put together by Lauren Chambers.



Interview with PhD Student Minjie Chen: Children's Literature about the Sino-Japanese War

 Minjie Chen

"In the U.S. we have a rich body of youth literature set during World War II, but it's hard to find books portraying Chinese people's experiences."

The major question I pursued in my dissertation is what information about ethnic Chinese people's experiences during the Second World War has been provided to young people in China and the U.S? These two countries were military allies fighting against Imperial Japan, which invaded China from 1937 to 1945. In China this topic has been captured in popular culture of all media formats, including children’s reading materials. . . read more.

Skip to a Question

Tell me about your dissertation research.
Describe some of your findings.
What was it like to do this research in the U.S.?
What is the cultural role of youth literature in China versus in the U.S?
How might your research be relevant to practicing librarians or other practitioners engaged in youth advocacy?
What would you say to students considering research in youth services or more broadly in library and information science?
Further reading 


New Books We Just Had to Read

Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read. These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Ayanna’s Choice: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Reading Level: Gr. 9-12

Pages: 368

Publisher and Year: Simon & Schuster, 2011

ISBN: 978-144240905

Price: $17.99

In a futuristic world where females die at the age of 20 and males die at the age of 25, life as we know it is turned a little upside-down. To keep the population from dying off, girls are kidnapped to become wives for well-to-do young men. Rhine, 16, is one of those girls. Her new life starts in a limo filled with terrified young women, only three of whom survive, and ends in a mansion where Rhine has been married off to Lindon Ashby, a 20 year old male. Taken from her brother, her home, and the life she knew, Rhine creates friendships, learns Ashby’s family secrets, and even finds the potential for love. What the reader does not know for certain until the very end is if Rhine will come to terms with her new life, or if her plans of escape will come to fruition…even if escape is only possible in death.


Laurel’s Choice: Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Reading Level: Gr. 6-9

Pages: 224

Publisher and Year: Antheneum, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9585-2

Price: $16.99

Janie used to love her family's unique lifestyle on a small eco-farm a few miles out of town, but after starting ninth grade she longs for something a bit more average. Janie wants to fit in and have a postcard high school experience, but isn't sure how to make that happen. Over time Janie comes into herself through the help of new experiences and budding friendships. She starts playing bass in a jam band club and researches historical civil rights activism in her area for a class project. Janie also examines relationships with old friends and builds new ones. Readers will be satisfied as Janie dismisses her idealized version of high school and herself in order to appreciate her individuality.

Miriam’s Choice: Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy

Reading Level: Gr. 4-8

Pages: 96

Publisher and Year: National Geographic Children’s Books, 2011

ISBN: 978-1426307614

Price: $18.95

In this delightful and fascinating history of women and bicycles Sue Macy takes us back to the late 1800s when bicycles were just becoming an accessible and popular form of sport and transportation. Women did not join the bicycling craze without a fight; they had to figure out ways to adjust their restrictive clothing and justify their use of this new machine that offered them greater powers of mobility. Bloomers were solution that didn’t receive immediate societal approval; Macy provides a bio of Amelia Bloomer and offers critiques from magazine editors scandalized by women wearing bloomers. Suffragists, athletes, and every-day women are brought to life in this colorful rendition of bicycle history that will captivate readers and provide important perspective on the history of transportation, sports and women’s rights in the United States.



Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Rey, Margret. Curious George Makes Pancakes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. ISBN 978-0395919088.

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.



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Tuesday: 10am - 7pm

Wednesday: 3 - 7pm

Thursday: 10am - 7pm

Friday: 10am - 5pm


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The Center for Children's Books | Graduate School of Library and Information Science | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St. | Champaign, IL 61820 | 217-244-9331 |