Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's All About the Books

May 5, 2016--9:00-3:30
Carman United Church, Carman, MB
Cost is $75

To register, email 
or contact Barb Lepp at

8:15 – 8:50 a.m.       Registration, Coffee & Book Displays
9 – 9:15                    Welcome  - Lisa Carlson, PERC Chairperson  
                                 Greetings – Louise Duncan Past-Chairperson of Manitoba Reading Association

9:15 - 10:15              Illustrated Books for your Classroom -   Sally Bender

10:15 – 10:35           Coffee & Book draws.  Book Displays & Networking.

10:35- 11:30             Ideas for I Love to Read
                                 Lisa Carlson, Christine Wolf and Suzanne Godard-Elm Creek School         
                                 Opportunity for participants to share ideas and events for I Love to Read

11:30 – 11:40           What’s New from Scholastic - Ian McGowan

11:40 – 12 noon       Demonstration of Lightbox – a digital application with a book
                                 by Patric Colpitts of Follett School Solutions

Lunch                       Homemade soup, open-faced buns, dessert, beverage (Gluten-free option available)

Lunch hour               Visit displays

1 – 1:20 p.m.            Sharing our Stories
                                 Elma Maendel and Linda Maendel, Authors

1:20 – 2:20               Non-fiction, Poetry & Graphica Selections - Sally Bender

2 :20– 3:15               Round Table Literacy groups
3:15 p.m.                  Upcoming speakers and events. Exit Slip

Book Draws throughout the day!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Calling All Picture Book Lovers

Check out the details as the Winnipeg Children's Literature Roundtable celebrates the Amelia Read-In here.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Upcoming Events for Literacy Leaders

Moving Comprehension Instruction Forward in Manitoba
with Tanny McGregor

Product DetailsManitoba Reading Association is sponsoring Tanny at their spring session on Thursday, April 14th at  the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg. Tanny is a member of Heinemann Professional Development Services and a nationally known workshop presenter. Register on the MRA website.

Product DetailsWinnipeg Children's Literature Roundtable (@WpgCLR is hosting the Amelia Read-In on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  The Amelia  Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award is awarded to an outstanding illustrator of a children’s book published in Canada during the past year. Join special guest Ruth Ohi, author and illustrator of the Chicken, Pig, Cow books. Ruth has a new book available April 1st.  Read more about her at  Check out the Wpg CLR on Twitter, on Facebook or on their blog .

It's All About the Books!

Our annual PERC workshop is happening on Thursday, May 5th, in Carman, MB. Special guest Sally Bender is coming back with book recommendations! We have guest authors Linda Maendel and Elma Maendel. Representatives from Scholastic and Follet will be on hand to provide info on new offerings. Cost is $75 and you can register or find out more by emailing to

with Sandra Herbst & Brenda Augusta 
at Club Regent, Winnipeg, May 11, 2016

Manitoba ASCD is sponsoring Sandra and Brenda. Find out more on their website.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena

 Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena. New York: Random House Children's Books, 2008

I chose to read this book for two reasons.  I was very impressed with Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Pena's Newbery winner this year.  Here is a picture book that won the Newbery medal! It is a heart-warming story with an important message for all of us.  I enjoyed asking middle years students why they thought the picture book was worthy of a medal usually given to chapter books.  They had no difficulty providing reasons. So I decided I needed to read more of de la Pena's work.

Secondly, I am a follower and proponent of #weneeddiversebooks.  Just the title, Mexican White Boy, made me realize that this book would provide me with further insight to a mixed racial identity. Students need to see themselves in books they read, but also they need to have books that are a window into other situations.

Danny grew up in San Diego, close to the Mexican border, to a father who is Mexican and a mother who is white.  His school classmates consider him Mexican because of his skin colour, but his Hispanic relatives consider him white because he cannot speak Spanish.  Danny's father is no longer living with the family, but Danny spends the summer with his Dad's relatives to help him in his search for his own identity.

Danny is also s remarkable baseball player--when he is on his own on the diamond.  When trying out for his school team, he is unable to show his pitching skill and the coach suggests he comes back the next year. Over the summer baseball is his ticket to friendship and acceptance among the kids he meets.

The story unfolds in a way that keeps the reader turning the pages. The characters are well developed and deal with struggles that are very typical for teens.  Danny is a very likeable character and I was cheering for him both in his baseball dilemmas and in his personal struggles.  I felt some of the other characters are deserving of their own stories. The book will cause the reader, teen or adult, to really question why parents or adults don't talk more to their kids.I think the book will be great for conversation starters about what really matters to young people.

This book would be a good addition to your school or classroom library. People who like baseball stories will relate to Danny, but the novel is an intense, important story of finding one's identity. It will also be useful to compare cultures and differences, but also the sameness of young people no matter where they grow up.

Here is a book trailer to introduce the book