Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Children’s Literature

Skills learned from SLT

Peggy Hogan-Rao

  I am so close to being done with my studies at Simmons. When I look back at my courses at Simmons, I feel like all I want to say is thank you. I have one step into the door of working professional and one foot still in the door of graduate student. As I am slowly creeping into the role of a library teacher, I am using the skills that the Simmons School Library Teacher program has equipped me with to be a library assistant in an elementary school library.     In my LIS 406 course Management of School Libraries, I learned valuable skills in outreach to the community. When you work in a school library, it is good to partner with local bookshops for book orders, but most importantly the local public library. In the school where I work now, we are working very closely with the public library’s children’s librarian to give children access to information resources.     LIS 461 the Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the SLT (School Library Teacher) gave an overview of…


Librarians are Resources!

Peggy Hogan-Rao

My assignment for yesterday was to bring a picture book of my choice that was published within the last five years, along with 6 assigned picture books, to my Writing for Children class. To prepare for class, I went to my local branch of the Boston Public Library. The children’s librarian there is very helpful for students of all ages. She is a Simmons grad and loves working at the library with the youngest patrons. This is just one example of how everywhere I go in the Boston Public Library – whichever branch I visit – I find a Simmons grad. Hoping to utilize the expertise of the librarian, I told her that I needed an exemplary picture book written in the last five years. I was hoping for a book that could teach me about a picture book’s narrative structure.  The children’s librarian searched for notable picture books from 2018, and suggested A Perfect Day by Lane Smith: a hilarious book inspired by animals visiting the author and illustrator’s backyard. Knowing I had a…


Books and Adaptations

Ashley Jackson

Hello again! I am back in Boston as of late last night (early this morning) and they weather is gorgeous.  I read many great books while abroad including a thriller/mystery series. My sister-in-law had obtained a collection of books from the UK author Ann Cleves. These books are great mystery books and the Vera series has been made into a television series in the UK (which we can watch here in the States on Hulu).  These series remind me of Agatha Christie series with Hercule Poirot.  Great for summer time beach reading of you’re into that sort of thing. Reading these books got me thinking about books that have been adapted into television and movies.  I feel that most popular books have now been adapted into a film or television series. Often, people only know about the adaptation before learning that it was a book first (with the exception of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games). The Divergent series, The Maze Runner series, The Book Thief, and Riverdale as well as Lemony Snicket as Netflix…


Comprehensive Reading List and Learning to Love Old Genres

Ashley Jackson

Are you an avid reader and stuck in a genre? I certainly was before I attended Simmons. I have my preferred genre’s and have difficulty convincing myself to read something different. Especially when it comes down to books I read for pleasure.  In the Children’s Literature program, you will be reading a lot of books.  I was so overwhelmed at the beginning of the semester, the few books I brought with me from Texas to read in my “spare” time sat on my little bookshelf collecting dust.  Each week I had anywhere from two-five books to read. While these books are young adult books, some of them falling into my preferred genre, there were some I was not too excited for.  It had been quite some time since I read anything outside of fantasy so when books like The Boxcar Children (a book I loved as a child), Little House in the Big Woods, or Happy Endings are All Alike showed up on our reading list, I was a bit apprehensive.  However, as each week…


Why I Chose Simmons

Ashley Jackson

I came across Simmons when reading a snippet on Kristin Cashore’s blog. She mentioned she got her M.A. at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College and I thought, “Any school that incubated and turned out this type of creative author has to have something special going for it.”  I was currently an undergrad at Texas State University and put Simmon’s in my “Some Day” folder I have filed away in the back of my head.  Fast forward five years and I am half way through my LIS degree at University of North Texas.  I took a children’s literature class and during my first research paper I knew I wanted to learn exclusively about children’s literature and all that encompassed it.  I did enjoy the LIS program, but I thought, if I am going for my dreams, I am going all the way.   I researched more into the school, requested packets of information (which I received in abundance) and did a little outside research about different authors who attended the program. I…


Bookish Thoughts:

Josie Snow

This semester has introduced me to many books, here are some of the books I have enjoyed or found interesting so far:  Books that taught me things I didn’t know before Danza: Amalia Hernandez and the Ballet Folklorico of Mexico by Duncan Tonatiuh The Noisy Paint box: The Colors and sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerta Taro and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson  Books that provoked an emotional response: Unleaving by Jill Paton Walsh Push by Sapphire Shizuko’s Daughter by Kyoko Mori House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  Old favorites that I get to see in a new light: Marcello in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman


Educational Experience

Josie Snow

The semester has only just begun, and already, I can tell that this is going to be a semester that makes me think.  So how do I know that I will be really thinking deeply this semester? Well, in my Narrative non-fiction class we got into a discussion about biographies, and how they sometimes present a person as an inspirational ideal which raised some new questions for me: How do we pick the people we want to hold up as heroes? How true can an account ever be? What makes a person extraordinary? What if the heroes we hold up in biographies are not actually the great people we believe them to be? Do the actions they are famous for cancel out the actions they are not famous for? Should we be more realistic in presenting them? Are we creating role models, or modeling life in these portrayals?  Then I went to my class, Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults (Realism) and, before the first class even began, more questions floated up: How do I…


Blogs: The Perfect Remedy to Academic Article Overload

Katie Caskey

I know that as grad students, we are never in short supply of something to read. Between class work, research, any reading for the plethora of part-time jobs and internships we take on, and just trying to keep up with the latest work coming out in our particular field, it is truly surprising that our eyes don’t just go on strike and refuse to read one more word! But if, by some miracle, you should find yourself in need of something to read, might I suggest exploring the vast world of the blogosphere? With writing of every skill-level on every topic imaginable, there is no shortage of 500-word snippets to tempt any literary palette. I know the selection pool can seem overwhelming, so allow me to suggest a few of my personal favorites to get you started. In no particular order, here they are… Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac Link: http://childrensbookalmanac.com/ This blog is perfect for a librarian in search of a book for read-aloud time, a parent browsing for a new book for their…


I Do Love a Themed Snack!

Katie Caskey

I am currently waist-deep in my classwork for the semester and starting to feel the toll of the impending final projects, presentations, and papers, not to mention the weekly coursework I still need to stay on top of. But, thankfully, I was recently treated to a wonderful surprise that brightened my week and reminded me again why I love this school, this program, and my fellow students. One of the classes I am taking is entitled Victorian Literature, in which we are focusing particular attention on the subgenre of school stories. Well, as any lit. major knows, it is almost impossible to escape a Victorian literature class without encountering the infamous Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. Now, it’s time for a confession…I’ve never read either of the Alice books before this year. I’ve seen the Disney movie a couple dozen times, sure, but I entered this class and this book with fresh eyes. Well, Mr. Carroll did not disappoint. The whimsical characters, bright poetry, and charming word pictures were a welcome change from the…


Family Reading

Alison Mitchell

As a mom, and as a librarian, I’ve never underestimated the importance of family reading.  We read all the time!  But twice recently I experienced the importance of reading out loud to kids. This summer, my husband grabbed a bunch of chapter books from a “free” box on the street.  One was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, which I remembered fondly from my own childhood.  I gave it to my 9-year-old, who is an advanced, eager reader.  For whatever reason, she couldn’t get into it, and she was super upset.  I said I’d read it with her, which turned into me reading it out loud to both kids, which was great.  What a super book, with all sorts of vocabulary and concepts to discuss.    I’m taking Children’s Collections this semester, and had to read 37 picture books for one class meeting.  Sure, I could have sat down at the library where I work and read them all in an hour, but instead I checked them out, brought them home and read them…