Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gatekeepers R Us


My fellow kid lit writers know this term; it doesn't sound so friendly, but it actually is. The gatekeepers are all the lovely teachers, librarians, parents, and other adults who put books in the hands of kids. They make sure they're the right books, which is where the whole gatekeeper business comes in.

 I'm lucky enough to not only write for kids, but also be a gatekeeper for my own. It's a real eyeopener, let me tell you. With each book, I have to decide if it's age-appropriate, of quality, and possibly educational.

I thought this Storia app from Scholastic sounded interesting; supposedly it's meant to “use word games, story interactions, and animation to deeply draw your young reader in, further developing confidence and critical thinking skills.” It's out this fall, and I'll be interested to see how the latter in this statement from Scholastic works.

 How do you pick books for the kids in your life? How about apps and toys?


  1. It's hard picking out anything for Elizabeth when I don't know what she has already. With books, it's even harder. Last Christmas I was walking around the bookstore, texting Amy. "How about Junie B Jones? Does she like Fancy Nancy?" Then the things she likes, she has. Argh!

    I've asked her father to set up a Goodreads account for her so I can check that.

  2. Goodreads--that's a great idea! I even have this problem with my kids: don't always know what they have, or already read at the library...