Friday Update: Free Books, Online and Live Events, and More

By Catherine A. Cardno — May 04, 2012 2 min read
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Scholastic launched its “Summer Challenge” this week. The challenge is a free, interactive reading program that enables students to log the minutes they spend reading over the summer. It runs from May 1 through Aug. 31. The current record for Scholastic’s “Read for the World Record” is 64,213,141 minutes (set in 2011), and kids are being challenged to beat that number this year with their summer reading. A handy map allows students to track the combined minutes of their schools, cities, states, or countries and compare their performances against other’s performances across the globe. The 20 schools with the highest minute counts will appear in the 2013 Scholastic Book of World Records.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is live-streaming a discussion with Meira Levinson, author of No Citizen Left Behind (Harvard University Press, 2012), next Thursday, May 14. In the book, Ms. Levinson argues for the recovery of the “civic purposes” of public schools. The free, online event will run from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and will include remarks by Ms. Levinson and panelists Charles B. Adams, head of the SEED School of Washington, D.C., and Amber Goodwin, the director of network initiatives at

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day! On the first Saturday in May each year, participating comic book shops do just as advertised: They give away free comic books. Keep in mind that while the comic books that are given away are pre-selected, you can still come away with quite a stash. My kids are still reading and re-reading the stack we received last year. And of course, feel free to support your local comic book shop by purchasing a few additional items while you’re there.

Corwin has sold the Chinese translation rights of its “Best of Corwin” Series to East China Normal University Press. The East China Normal University is one of the leading teacher-training universities in China, and university officials bought the translation rights, they say, because they are interested in current U.S. best practices that they can use in local case studies, according to Corwin. As the Corwin press representative described it, “While we’re looking at Shanghai to see what works in education, Shanghai is looking at us.”

Children’s Book Week, a national celebration of books and reading for youth, begins on Monday, May 7.
Check out listings of events on the Children’s Book Week website. As I’ve written about elsewhere in BookMarks, you can request a free copy of the 2012 poster (designed by David Wiesner) and download a free copy of the official 2012 bookmark (designed by Lane Smith).

A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.