This was the second year I attended Camp Read-a-Lot, and I was much more prepared for the conference this time. I started reading the children’s books earlier in the spring so I could easily finish by early July.
I attended both days of the conference and so read the Early Literacy book list and the 2nd & 3rd grade book list. I think the conference facilities were better this year at Prairie’s Edge Casino than in Marshall last year. I especially enjoyed the presentations on Tuesday by Laura Purdie Salas. She was energetic, knowledgeable, and easy to follow. It was interesting to hear her perspective as an author about the book writing process, which involves working with the editor and the illustrator. Poetry has never been an interest of mine, but the way she presented her information made me more open-minded and willing to listen and try her suggestions.
I have a book list of specific authors that she suggested that I will be reading in the coming months. I also liked having the Camper’s Choice Bibliography, as we discussed the books in our small group. I will also be reading through some of the suggestions from the bibliography. On Tuesday when we broke into small groups to discuss the books on the reading list, I was fortunate to be in a group that was willing to share thoughts, listen to others, and be respectful of differing opinions. Most of the camp counselors came well-prepared and led the discussions with a positive outlook and ability to stay on topic. On Wednesday I was a camp counselor for the small group discussion time. I’m not sure I will do that again, because I missed being able to hear the opinions of the other teachers and librarians as they discussed the books on the reading list.
I would like to thank Rebecca and Pam for all the work they put into this children’s literature conference. And thanks to SAMMIE for providing scholarship funds so I could attend Camp Read-a-Lot!