From the Editor
This week marks the start of the public phase of the Collaborative Book Review Project. In partnership with Canada's SchoolNet, and the participating publishers, the CBRP* brings classrooms from across the country together to share their reviews of young adult books. They've already begun posting draft versions, which you can see at http://portal.mbnet.mb.ca/cm/cbrp, the CBRP page -- after comparing one another's responses, they'll post revised versions that we'll also print here in CM.
Winnipeg teacher/librarian Harriet Zaidman, a friend and frequent contributor to this magazine, is the project coordinator, but everybody at CM is excited. The CBRP enables students to do something new: to work in a truly collaborative way with fellow-students from every province and territory in Canada to develop skills in reading, writing, and responding to a book.
Books (and films and drama) shape and colour the world we see. To have that art be our servant rather than our master, and to enjoy it fully, means learning first to see literature not as landscape, not as a given part of the world, but as something made. To see it as an attempt at communication that could have been shaped differently to different effect.
By letting students share responses to literature with others from far across the country, we hope the CBRP can help give them that perspective.
So take some time to check out the site (it's also accessible from our Welcome page). The first title is Marion Crook's Summer of Madness, from Orca Publishers. If nothing else, the project should make it make it the most thoroughly reviewed Young Adult title in Canada so far this year.
We also start a new feature within CM proper this week: Notable Web Sites. Of the dozens of sites we hear about every week, these are the ones we thought were most interesting or useful. We're deliberately keeping the list small because, if you don't know already, there are a lot of sites out there, and frankly, a lot of people should get a life and spend less time looking at them.
Hopefully -- and I'm serious about this -- in few years, there'll be little Artificial Agents that will roam around the 'net and then come back and tell you about things you'd be interested in. Meanwhile, since we have to anyway -- it's our job -- we might as well save you the trouble.
If you have comments or questions about the CBRP, the Notable Web Sites, or anything else in CM, please get in touch at the address beneath my name.
-- Duncan Thornton, Editor
*Our Executive Assistant, Peter Tittenberger, who has led CM's contribution to this project, insists on pronouncing it "See-Burp." Everyone else thinks that's goofy.
- Alphabake: A Cookbook and Cookie Cutter Set.
- Debora Pearson. Illustrated by Jane Kurisu.
- Review by Kenneth Field.
- Preschool - grade 6 / Ages 3 - 11.
- Hockey Night in Transcona.
- John Danakas.
- Review by Lorraine Douglas.
- Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 - 11.
- Kitchens of the World.
- Ken MacKenzie-Smith.
- Review by A. Edwardsson.
- Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.
- A Stone in My Shoe:
Teaching Literacy in Times of Change.
- Lorri Neilsen.
- Review by Joanne Peters.
- You Make the Difference:
In Helping Your Child Learn.
- Ayala Manolson with Barb Ward, and Nancy Doddington.
Illustrated by Robin
Baird Lewis. Cartoons by Lee Rapp.
- Review by Maryleah Otto.
- Every Adult's Guide to Talking to Teens.
- Kathy Paterson.
- Review by Harriet Zaidman.
- Notable Web Sites
- The Great Canadian Trivia Contest
- The Little Math Puzzle
- International: "Taming the Tube" Project