Bruce Murray, College of Education The Reading Genie


Links to Resources from Local Literacy Educators

Camp Wannaread
Camp Wannaread

Watercolor “Camp Wannaread” by Arvis Stewart from May 1993 cover of The Reading Teacher

Plains Reading Council

A former affiliate of the Alabama Reading Association and the International Reading Association. Links on this page were supplied by local literacy educators.

Web Information of Special Interest to Literacy Educators

The links below take you to sites of particular interest to Plains Council members.
International Literacy Association (ILA)
Literacy Research Association
Alabama Literacy Association

Children’s Literature Sites

Writing Children’s Books
The BookWire Index
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The On-Line Books Page.  More free books to download.
Publishers Weekly.  In-depth author interviews, publishing news and early reviews of adult and children’s books.

Websites Designed for Children

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).
National Geographic for Kids Archive
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 readability and interest from very interesting and readable to “ho hum.”
National Wildlife Federation with links to Ranger Rick
KidPub — Web publication opportunities for children
KidsHealth — A safe place for kids to learn about their bodies and feelings— Students’ internet research guide
Dav Pilkey’s Web Site o’ Fun
Jan Brett’s Home Page
Little Explorers
The Planets of Our Solar System
Sesame Street
Audrey Wood’s Website.  An interactive look into her books.  Learning games divided by age categories.
Kinetic City Cyber Club.  Learn about physics and energy in a quest for truth, justice, and deep-dish pizza.
Redwall: The Brian Jacques Home Page.  All about the author and his works.
Zoom Dinosaurs. An interactive online hypertext book about dinosaurs.
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 newspapers 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.”

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.

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.

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

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Last modified: September 6, 2022