Plains Reading Council
Watercolor "Camp Wannaread" by Arvis Stewart from May 1993 cover of The Reading Teacher
Plains Reading Council
An affiliate of the Alabama Reading Association and the International Reading Association

Web Information of Special Interest to Literacy Educators
The links below take you to sites of particular interest to Plains Council members.
  International Reading Association
  National Reading Conference
ð  Alabama Reading Association
ð  Alabama Reading Initiative
ð  Reading Online .  Electronic journal published by IRA.

Children's Literature Sites
ð  Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Website
ð  Writing Children's Books
ð  The BookWire Index
ð  Jan Brett , author of many lovely children's books, has pulled together teachers' classroom applications of her books.  She even has printable masks teachers can use to create reader's theater.
ð  Aesop's Fables site with 655+ fables from Aesop and LaFontaine, with some audio and lesson plans.
ð  Oyate:  Native American book reviewing site focusing on children's literature.  Pretty radical but worthwhile. They also have a long list of books they do recommend (and distribute) some of which would not be readily available from other sources.
ð  Children's Literature Web Guide .  This is a comprehensive database for children's literature. Includes awards, authors, subject-oriented children's sites such as Native American sites, Reader's Theater sources, Teachers' Resources, Storytellers Resources, etc.
ð  Children's Book Council Web Page .  This non-profit organization of publishers provides a teachers and librarians page, a poetry page, authors and illustrators page, etc.
ð  Poetry Teachers .  Ideas and activities for teachers to encourage incorportating poetry in the classroom.  Includes poetry theater, poetry contests, author visits, etc.
ð  Cooperative Children's Book Center .  Includes online book discussion groups of children's books.  Primarily they provide annotated book lists for children of different ages.
ð  Project Gutenberg .  Almost 10,000 classic books on the Web; can be read and downloaded for free.
ð  The On-Line Books Page .  More free books to download.
ð  Publishers Weekly .  In-depth author interviews, publishing news and early reviews of adult and children's books

Websites Designed for Children

ð  National Geographic has a Kids Magazine section and has articles on animals and other topics under their 'stories' archive.  These are not fictional stories (or are a mixture of storyline and factual material). 
ð  National Geographic for Kids Archive
ð  Uncle Ben's Guide to U. S. Government has essays on a wide range of U. S. government related topics from money and how it's minted, to symbols of the United States.  The site is divided into age ranges.  The articles are from the different branches of the government and very in readablility and interest from very interesting and readable to "ho hum."
ð  National Wildlife Federation with links to Ranger Rick
ð  KidsConnect -- Question and answer service run by librarians
ð  Internet Public Library -- With biographical information
ð  KidsWeb -- Links to literature, authors, and children's writing
ð  KidPub -- Web publication opportunities for children
ð  KidsHealth -- A safe place for kids to learn about their bodies and feelings
ð  Yahooligans -- Search engine for kids
ð  Rainforest Action Network
ð  One Sky, Many Voices -- inquiry-based science curricula
ð  Exploratorium
ð  Amazing Travel Bureau -- From National Geographic
ð  Dav Pilkey's Web Site o' Fun
ð  Jan Brett's Home Page
ð  Kids' Space Connection
ð  Learner Online Exhibits Collection
ð  Little Explorers
ð  Nine Planets: An Interactive Tour of the Solar System
ð  Sesame Street
ð  Virtual Renaissance:  A Journey Through Time
ð  At the Tomb of Tutankhamen .  A you-are-there look at the unearthing of the boy pharaoh's tomb.
ð  Audrey Wood's Website .  An interactive look into her books.
ð .  Learning games divided by age categories.
ð  Kids' Castle . Interactive looks at the Smithsonian treasures.
ð  Kinetic City Cyber Club .  Learn about physics and energy in a quest for truth, justice, and deep-dish pizza.
ð  National Zoo .  Webcams catch the animals live.  At 10:30 AM CDT they feed the elephants.
ð  Redwall:  The Brian Jacques Home Page .  All about the author and his works.
ð  Salem .  History comes alive when you are accused of being a witch.
ð  UNICEF Voices of Youth .  Find out about young people all over the world.
ð  Zoom Dinosaurs . An interactive online hypertextbook about dinosaurs.
ð  Between the Lions .  A reading web site designed to be accessed by children, parents, and teachers.  Accompanies a PBS literature series for children.

Looking for expository text for children?  Dr. Judy Lechner suggests, "Go to Ebsco Host through Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) and select Searchasaurus.  The articles in this elementary school database range from articles from children's magazines, such as Cobblestones, to material from popular newpapers that have a low reading level but were not designed for children, such as USA Today.  I try to encourage students to get their AVL card through their public library, so they are used to using AVL when they get to their schools and demand it (because if we don't use it we'll lose it).  But they can also get to the same database through Auburn University Library's Find Articles--Ebsco.  They should select Primary Search.  Also through either AVL or AU Library they can get to InfoTracKids and to SIRS Discoverer. Each of these databases has magazine articles for children.  SIRS even identifies the reading level (at least loosely).  Finally, in Ebsco there is also Animal Encyclopedia, which is meant for children.  Each animal has its own essay and pictures."

Plains Council Recognized as Honor Council by International Reading Association

The International Reading Association recognized Plains Reading Council as one of only select eight local councils in Alabama to be recognized as Honor Councils for 2001-2002.

Attaining Honor Council is the result of submitting documentation for council members' efforts throughout the year that meet a number of IRA requirements.  These councils will be recognized at the April 28 Awards Celebration program at the IRA conference in San Francisco.  IRA will mail the Honor Council certificates to the council presidents, and I'm sure each certificate will be displayed at council meetings for all to see.  Alabama is indeed fortunate to have councils throughout the state whose members have made done so much to promote literacy.

Eight local councils have earned Honor Council this year:
    Autauga Reading Council - 1 year
        President, Faye Smith
    Baldwin County Reading Council - 4 years
        President, Diane Havard
    Birmingham Area Reading Council - 9 years
        President, Marilyn Coman
    Elmore County Reading Council - 1 year
        President, Jenny Finlay
    Metro-Mobile Reading Council - 16 years
        President, Lynn Huey
    Northwest Alabama Reading Council - 4 years
        President, Jennifer Massey
    Plains Reading Council - 1 year
        President, Katie Forster
    Tennessee Valley Reading Council - 5 years
        President, Valerie Powell

Alabama Reading Association also earned the Award of Excellence for 2001-2002 from the International Reading Association.  This is the thirteenth time the organization has attained this prestigious award.  Betty Dean Newman leads the state association and Betty Fowler verified all the documentation tbat was sent in by IRA's deadline.  Attaining the Award of Excellence is indeed a team effort.

Join me in congratulating all those who worked so diligently to attain these honors, particularly Plains Council President Katie Forster.  This is indeed celebration time in Alabama.

Look here for images of Gordon Korman speaking to the Young Writer's Conference .

Tell the world about a good book!
     We invite students and teachers to tell others about the good books that they have read.  We will publish the reviews that you send us on this website.  You can read some book reviews that others have written here .
    To tell others about a good book that you have read, regardless of whether it's a new book or an old one, send us an e-mail message that includes the following information about your book, in this order:     We invite any elementary or secondary school student or teacher or any university student or faculty member to submit reviews.  Send your review by e-mail to Terry Ley at .  Then watch the website for your review to appear!
    Join us at our reading website soon with a good book to share!

Plain Talk:  Booknotes from the Plains Reading Council
Click here for annotations on recent children's literature from Plains Council readers.  See some digital pictures of Plains Council annotators at work!

Best Young Adult Literature of the Nineties
    Ted Hipple, Executive Secretary of the Adolescent Literature Assembly of NCTE, surveyed 120 professors, teachers, librarians, and publishers about what they thought were the ten best young adult novels of the 1990s.  Those who responded selected these books as the Best of the Nineties, beginning with the participants' top choice.

Lois Lowry, The Giver
Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust
Louis Sachar, Holes
Virginia Euwer Wolff, Make Lemonade
Chris Crutcher, Ironman
Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons
Chris Crutcher, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
Rodman Philbrick, Freak the Mighty
Norma Fox Mazer, When She Was Good
M. E. Kerr, Deliver Us from Evie

Homework help sites

Literacy Conferences
Please help us collect information on state, regional, and national reading conferences and workshops.  We need dates, web links, topics, speakers, and procedures and deadlines for program proposals.  You can e-mail us by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Dec. 4-8  National Reading Conference, San Antonio, Texas.
Apr. 28-May 3:  International Reading Association Convention, San Francisco, California.

Plains Council Teachers Study Literature Circles
Click here for the findings of our Literature Discussion Group on Research Related to Literature Discussion/Response Groups, Literature Circles, and Book Clubs.  You'll also find a detailed bibliography to guide your reading on a powerful activity for encouraging independent reading.

Homepages of Plains Council Members
Here you can find all sorts of interesting information courtesy of the literacy educators of the Plains Reading Council.
ð  Dr. Bruce Murray .  The Reading Genie, with links and lessons on learning to read
ð  Dr. Judith Lechner .  With links to Newbery authors

Plains Council Members
Members, please help me update this record.  Click the e-mail link at the bottom of this page to add your school affiliation and e-mail address or to correct any errors.

Page Adams
Nancy Beldon, Central High School, Phenix City,
Edna Brabham, Auburn University,
June Brand,
Cathy Buckhalt, Opelika Middle School,
Mattie Burton
Debbie Cimo, Drake Middle School, Auburn
Katie Forster, Dean Road Elementary School,
Suzanne Freeman, Auburn City Schools
Jean Gravette, Dadeville Elementary School,
Judith Hayn, Auburn University,
Debbie Holt, Yarbrough Elementary School, Auburn,
Joan Horton, Tuskegee University
Harriet Huggins, Learning Resource Center, Auburn University,
Judy Lechner, Auburn University,
Terry Ley, Auburn University,
Bruce Murray, Auburn University,
Charlotte Noles, Dadeville Elementary School
Connie Rosenblatt
Susan Villaume, Auburn University,
Jan Ruth White, Beulah Middle School
Gloria Willis, Dadeville Elementary School
Patricia Ann Woody
Tom Worden,
Pam Yandle, Yarbrough Elementary School,

Join the Plains Reading Council
Click here for a membership form .

Send submissions, comments, questions, reports of dead links, member updates, and other messages to us via e-mail at .

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This page last updated on November 6, 2001.