Plains Reading Council  Links
Watercolor "Camp Wannaread" by Arvis Stewart from May 1993 cover of The Reading Teacher
Plains Reading Council
An affiliate of the Alabama Reading Association and the International Reading Association
Links on this page were supplied by Plains Reading Council members.
Click here for the official Plains Reading Council website.

Web Information of Special Interest to Literacy Educators
The links below take you to sites of particular interest to Plains Council members.
  International Reading Association
  National Reading Conference
  Alabama Reading Association
  Alabama Reading Initiative
  Reading Online.  Electronic journal published by IRA.

Children's Literature Sites
  Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Website
  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.
  Aesop's Fables site with 655+ fables from Aesop and LaFontaine, with some audio and lesson plans.
  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.
  Poetry Teachers.  Ideas and activities for teachers to encourage incorportating poetry in the classroom.  Includes poetry theater, poetry contests, author visits, 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.
  Project Gutenberg.  Almost 10,000 classic books on the Web; can be read and downloaded for free.
  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.
  The Ultimate Guide to Children's Authors. Introduces some of the major voices in children's literature.
  All-School Guide to Children's Books. Links to information on children's authors and illustrators.

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 readablility and interest from very interesting and readable to "ho hum."
  National Wildlife Federation with links to Ranger Rick
  Internet Public Library -- With biographical information
  KidsWeb -- Links to literature, authors, and children's writing
  KidPub -- Web publication opportunities for children
  KidsHealth -- A safe place for kids to learn about their bodies and feelings
  Yahooligans -- Search engine for kids
  Rainforest Action Network
  One Sky, Many Voices -- inquiry-based science curricula
  Amazing Travel Bureau -- From National Geographic
  Dav Pilkey's Web Site o' Fun
  Jan Brett's Home Page
  Kids' Space Connection
  Learner Online Exhibits Collection
  Little Explorers
  The Planets of Our Solar System
  Sesame Street
  At the Tomb of Tutankhamen.  A you-are-there look at the unearthing of the boy pharaoh's tomb.
  Audrey Wood's Website.  An interactive look into her books.  Learning games divided by age categories.
  Kids' Castle. Interactive looks at the Smithsonian treasures.
  Kinetic City Cyber Club.  Learn about physics and energy in a quest for truth, justice, and deep-dish pizza.
  National Zoo.  Webcams catch the animals live.  At 10:30 AM CDT they feed the elephants.
  Redwall: The Brian Jacques Home Page.  All about the author and his works.
  Salem.  History comes alive when you are accused of being a witch.
  UNICEF Voices of Youth.  Find out about young people all over the world.
  Zoom Dinosaurs. An interactive online hypertextbook 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 newpapers 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."

Plain Talk:  Booknotes from the Plains Reading Council
Click here for annotations on recent children's literature from Plains Council readers.  See some digital pictures of Plains Council annotators at work!
Look here for images of Gordon Korman speaking to the Young Writer's Conference .

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.

Homepages of Plains Council Members
Here you can find all sorts of interesting information courtesy of the literacy educators of the Plains Reading Council.
  Dr. Bruce Murray.  The Reading Genie, with links and lessons on learning to read
  Dr. Judith Lechner.  With links to Newbery authors

Join the Plains Reading Council
Click here for the 2009-2010 brochure, including a membership application.

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

This page last updated on August 16, 2010.