February RACWI meeting

I attended a meeting of Rochester Area Children's Writers and Illustrators last night, my first connection with a local writing group. Given that I'll be moving before long I don't think I'll join; I'll find some groups closer to my new home. Grub Street for certain.

It was a useful session. A panel of children's librarians (both public and school) from around the area answered questions about reading trends, books they wish there were more of, etc. Interesting highlights included the need for:
  • Fiction books to support social studies and science curriculum.
  • Fun books to lure reluctant readers into the joy of reading.
  • Books with age appropriate content but lower level vocabulary for older kids who read below level. For example, imagine a teacher trying to encourage a high schooler who currently only reads at a 4th grade level... Judy Moody isn't going to cut it.
  • Elementary level biographies.

The general consensus was that kids love-love-love series, and are currently stuck on all things vampire, zombie, and fantasy. (In case you didn't know.)

I'm glad I went, and have been ruminating all night about a book for a 3rd grade little boy who doesn't yet know he loves to read...