In an idle moment, you've probably drummed on a desk with your pen. But chances are middle schoolers could show you some skills. Masters like Shane Bang and many less well-known practitioners are pushing the old idea of pen-as-drumstick - Pen Beats, aka Pen Tap - to new heights. [more inside]
John D. Fitzgerald had written three fictionalized memoirs of his family's life in the late 19th-century Utah west before the night he happened to regale a group of friends with childhood stories of his money-crazed brother, Tom. At their urging, he crafted a funny and clever series of children's books chronicling the adventures of The Great Brain. Like countless other readers, the blogger and researcher behind Finding Fitzgerald (and its companion blog and Facebook page) has been fascinated with discovering the real settings and stories behind the books. And the truly committed can even watch Jimmy Osmond in the 1978 film adaptation.
Was your favorite childhood book written by a radical lefty? Scholars reveal the socialist history of 20th century American children's literature. Discover the myriad connections between midcentury American socialism and Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Syd Hoff (Danny and the Dinosaur), and the authors of many of the Little Golden Books and I Can Read Books.
For more than forty years, Betty Debnam has been writing, illustrating, and publishing a newspaper for kids: The Mini Page. It's now fully archived online. [more inside]
"Give your children a program that Jesus could join. Why not step beyond a politically correct scouting program in which a Christian might not feel completely comfortable at activities, or with the materials furnished by a central committee? Are you tired of pretending to be neutral?" Keepers at Home and Contenders for the Faith are Bible-based alterntives to traditional youth scouting groups. Keepers at Home features lessons to prepare girls for their future roles as help meets, mothers, and keepers at home," while Contenders for the Faith learn "everything a Christian boy needs to learn to prepare him to be a man." Just like traditional scouting, Keepers offers uniforms, badges, and handbooks. girls. Keepers is just one of many Christian approaches to scouting; others include American Heritage Girls, Awana, and Mpact.