Early Literacy Programs in Libraries

**This is my Annotated Bibliography for the LIS 651 Introduction to Information Science course I took in Spring 2013.**

As I would like to be a children’s librarian in a public library, early literacy is a very interesting topic to me. The following articles demonstrate the importance of library programs that introduce both young children and their parents to reading. Research has shown that children who develop early literacy skills are more likely to be academically successful later on.

Albright, M., Delecki, K., & Hinkle, S. (2009). The evolution of early literacy: A history of best practices in storytimes. Children & Libraries, 7(1), 13-18.
In this article, the authors trace the history of library storytime programs. These programs began in the 1940s and are very similar to those in libraries today. When storytime programs were first created, their purpose was to prepare children for school, allow children to socialize, and instill a love of books in children. In the 1950s, library storytime programs became more literacy-focused as a means of helping children learn to read. While at the time their methods of rhyme, repetition, and dramatization were seen as engaging rather than educational, we know now the importance of these techniques. One issue with library storytimes is whether or not to include the parents. The authors conclude that the parents should be present at storytime to learn how to better use books as learning tools.

Ash, V., & Meyers, E. (2009). Every Child Ready to Read @ your library: How it all began. Children & Libraries, 7(1), 3-7.
This article examines how the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) program was implemented in public libraries by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. It began in the year 2000, when a report on the importance of early literacy development was published by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. ECRR was designed for public libraries to support parents in developing children’s early literacy skills. Six pre-reading skills were identified and parents were taught how to enhance their children’s development of these skills in ECRR workshops and through ECRR publications. ECRR materials can be adapted to meet the different needs of communities, and this was demonstrated through three case studies.

Becker, K. (2012). 24 hours in the children’s section: An observational study at the public library. Early Childhood Education Journal, 40(2), 107-114.
The author of this article observed patrons in the children’s section of a small town public library in Arizona. She visited two branches of the library for a total of 12 two-hour visits. She noticed that the children’s department was busiest during the library’s storytime program. She also observed that parents used the library as a place to socialize with one another and to use the library’s computers. Her most relevant findings, however, were related to children developing early literacy skills, learning how to use the library, and demonstrating other skills (language, social, problem solving, etc.).

Bodrova, E., Leong, D. J., & Norford, J. S. (2003). It only looks like child’s play. Journal of Staff Development, 24(2), 47-51.
This article examines the Scaffolding Early Literacy program, which teaches early childhood educators how to use literacy theory in the classroom. Studies have shown that students in classrooms that implement this program are likely to demonstrate increased cognitive, language, and literacy skills. The program is based on seven interrelated principles and its strategies allow children to focus on more than one skill at a time. The Scaffolding Early Literacy program also provides a curriculum, assessment system, and continued professional learning for teachers.

Dickerson, C. (2012). The preschool literacy and you (PLAY) room: Creating an early literacy play area in your library. Children & Libraries, 10(1), 11-15.
This article was written by an Ohio librarian who received a grant to create a PLAY (Preschool Literacy and You) room in a public library. This space was designed for local children who are unprepared for kindergarten. The space consists of learning centers where children can visit the market or post office, play with dolls and puppets, read books, or use computers. There is also a special section for babies. Each center comes with an activity sheet that is arranged by five literacy skill builders and includes booklists, rhymes, and activities. The computers have touch screen monitors, color-coded keyboards, and are loaded with dozens of literacy development programs. Other literacy enhancers in the PLAY room include wall panels where children can create stories and a “Spin a Story” section. Volunteers in the PLAY room create word labels in multiple languages and are also encouraged to offer suggestions on how to increase literacy aspects of play.

Fehrenbach, L. A., Hurford, D. P., Fehrenbach, C. R, & Brannock, R. G. (1998). Developing the emergent literacy of preschool children through a library outreach program. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 12(1), 40-45.
This article stresses the importance of library outreach programs. Not all children are able to visit the library, so the library should come to them. The authors conducted a study to evaluate one such outreach program. 29 preschool-aged children were participants in this study. There was one control group and two experimental groups. The children in the experimental groups had a librarian present an interactive storytime program twice a week for six weeks. The children in all groups were assessed both before and after the study to measure their emergent literacy, pre-reading, and reading skills. The scores of the experimental group participants increased significantly while those of the control group did not. These findings indicate that storytime programs provide preschool-aged children with important early literacy skills.

Fulton, R. (2009). Taking it to the streets: Every Child Ready to Read on the go. Children & Libraries, 7(1), 8-12.
The author of this article is a children’s librarian at Cleveland Public Library, which has implemented the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) program. They tweaked the program by making it mobile. Their On the Road to Reading program is housed in a bookmobile and provides parents and child care providers with the information needed to create literacy-rich environments. Child care providers are taught how to provide children with six early literacy skills through storytime. Parents are taught these six skills as well and given a brochure and book. The article also details how the program used their bookmobile as an advertising strategy, what books they chose to add to the collection, and how they recruited participants for the program.

Hands, A. S., & Johnson, A. (2012). Lighting the way: Grant applications showcase range of programming ideas. Children & Libraries, 10(2), 56-57.
This article details many of the project ideas that were submitted in applications for the 2012 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved grant. There were two proposed projects which would serve teen parents through storytime programs, book distribution, and literacy material instruction. A very interesting proposal was titled City Bus Outreach, in which librarians would ride public buses and point out library branch locations, discuss the library’s services, distribute children’s resource bags, and register riders for library cards. Another proposal sought to provide storytime programs to deaf and hearing-impaired children, as well as provide early literacy workshops for their parents and add sign language books and DVDs to the library collection. There were also project proposals for a storytime program for children with physical or learning differences and for a program to assist parents who don’t speak English as their first language in helping their children with homework.

Irwin, J. R., Moore, D. L., Tornatore, L. A., & Fowler, A. E. (2012) Expanding on early literacy: Promoting emerging language and literacy during storytime. Children & Libraries, 10(2), 20-28.
This article states that early success in reading leads to future reading success, which also affects achievement in other school subjects. The skills that prepare children to be successful readers include alphabet knowledge, concepts about print, phonological awareness, and expressive vocabulary. The authors provide the key elements of a storytime program that allows children to enhance these skills. It should be planned around a goal, engaging, developmentally appropriate, and allow children to interact. Specific storytime activities are suggested which focus on each of the four skills as well as book handling.

Kissinger, A. M. (2004). The need for emergent literacy events in schools. Knowledge Quest, 33(2), 58-60.
It is important that parents are literacy role models for and share an enthusiasm for books with their children. This should be done through informal activities rather than formal (flash cards, workbooks). There are three different dialogic styles that parents can model when reading a story: describer, comprehender, and performance-oriented. The author also makes the point that library outreach programs only work if they reach lower-literacy families. She also suggests that librarians follow the MVP strategy in order to assist parents. Librarians should model behavior, verbalize what they are doing, and provide a print description of the activity.

Martinez, G. (2008). Public libraries – Community organizations making outreach efforts to help young children succeed in school. School Community Journal, 18(1), 93-104.
This collective case study included 26 public librarians in Maryland, in different demographic and socioeconomic areas. The research goal was to discover how these librarians and their programs provided early literacy opportunities. The librarians were interviewed, key phrases were identified, outreach documents were collected, and the information from the four different counties was analyzed. The findings showed that public libraries were providing outreach to various community organizations and the librarians wanted to expand these services further and evaluate them.

McKechnie, L. E. F. (2006). Observations of babies and toddlers in library settings. Library Trends, 55(1), 190-201.
This article details an exploratory participant observation study conducted by the authors. They observed eleven thirty-minute baby storytime programs in two branches of a public library system and conducted parent interviews. The results concluded that the children engaged in early literacy activities and social interaction. The parents benefited as well as they were able to obtain and exchange information. The authors explain why participant observation works best in this situation and provide tips for conducting a similar study.

McKenzie, P. J., & Stooke, R. K. (2012). Making a difference: The importance of purposes to early learning programs. Children & Libraries, 10(2), 47-52.
For their research, the authors of this article observed 50 storytime programs and informally interviewed participants. They found that parents went to storytime programs to get out of the house, become part of a social support group, and support their children’s development. The goals of the storytime program sponsors, which included public libraries and other non-profit community organizations, were to support and educate parents as well as demonstrate their own value to the community and funders. The authors explore what occurs when these goals align and when they conflict. They also suggest that libraries and community organization can learn from each other. Storytime programs should include use of physical artifacts, rhymes, and interactions as well as socially support the parents. Good storytime programs also improvise, are flexible, and are open to all.

Pannebaker, S. (2008). One Book, Every Young Child: Pennsylvania literacy initiative enters third year. Children & Libraries, 6(2), 36-39.
This article introduces the One Book, Every Young Child program in Pennsylvania, which was in its third year at the time of publication. Its purpose is to foster early childhood literacy by teaching parents how quality interactive experiences with books are critical for young children. The article then details the history of the program and lists its goals: to increase awareness among parents and the community of the need for practices that promote early literacy development, reach at-risk children, and collaborate with schools. The program selects one picture book each year, which is mailed to child care centers across the state. Promotional materials are created and the author and illustrator of the book make appearances. Puppets, games, and a guide related to the selected book are also available at libraries and child care centers.

Peterson, S. S. (2012). Preschool early literacy programs in Ontario public libraries. The Canadian Journal of Library & Information Practice & Research, 7(2), 1-21.
This study was conducted using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Library staff members, parents, and children from ten public libraries’ preschool early literacy programs in Ontario were research participants. It was discovered that staff members’ goals for preschool library programs were school readiness (including developing learning routines and listening skills) and instilling a love for libraries and reading in the children. The goals of parents were to prepare their children for school by allowing them to interact with other children, in groups, and without their parents present; to have their children develop a love for books and reading; and to enhance child-parent relationships. The results of the study concluded that after the programs, children were more engaged with books, displayed improved social skills, learned to follow directions and listen, and demonstrated a greater knowledge of letters, words, and phonics. The parents also reported that they learned new ways to interact with their children using books.

Snell, K. (2008). Ready to Read grant: How Columbus Metropolitan Library got it and what they learned. Children & Libraries, 6(2), 45-48.
The author works for the Columbus Metropolitan Library, which implemented the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) program in 2004. A library staff member partnered with an employee from an organization called Action for Children to apply for a United Way grant, which they received in 2007. The Columbus Metropolitan Library and Action for Children used the grant money to sponsor workshops for library staff members and parents and distribute tool kits filled with books, puppets, and other resources. They used free meals as an incentive to get parents to attend the workshops.

Strickland, M., & Abbott, L. (2010). Enhancing the early reading experience: Books, strategies, and concepts. Reading Teacher, 64(1), 66-68.
This article offers assistance to parents and teachers in choosing books that will enhance children’s early literacy skills. It states these six skills, as defined by the Public Library Association: vocabulary, narrative connections, print motivation, print awareness, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness. The article provides questions pertaining to each specific skill that parents and teachers can ask themselves when selecting books. Examples are also provided of books that highlight each skill.

Teale, W. H. (1999). Libraries promote early literacy learning: Ideas from current research and early childhood programs. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 12(3), 9-16.
The way librarians think about literacy changed as these three concepts emerged: literacy learning starts early, young children construct their understandings of literacy, and adults are vital in teaching children literacy. While it was once thought that children didn’t learn to read and write until age five, it is now known that this can occur at a younger age. Children learn literacy independently through exploration such as invented spelling but parents also need to assist in the process by providing learning opportunities. Librarians can also promote early literacy learning through storytime programs, creative children’s departments, and library activities that incorporate reading and writing.

Thomas, J. (2008). Wonderful “ones”: The key to successful storytimes for one-year-olds. Children & Libraries, 6(1), 23-27.
Providing a storytime program suitable for one-year-olds can be a challenge. But it can be done if the following elements are included: lots of action, parental involvement, a loud voice, singing, and patience! Objectives for the children include interacting with other children, recognizing letters and numbers, improving motor skills, and being able to identify body parts, colors, and shapes. The author outlines a typical storytime schedule and states that repetition is key. He only changes the storytime slightly from week to week.

Williams, A. (2007). Storytime model for large groups: Implications for early literacy. Children & Libraries, 5(2), 27-29.
This article explains how library storytime providers can maximize their services to preschool-aged children by following the Storytime Model for Large Groups. A large group is defined as thirty or more participants. The author’s suggestions for library storytime providers include to have participants pre-register, schedule ample time for the program, wear distinguishing clothing, consult with caregivers about storytime themes, and advertise the program. The author states that the Storytime Model for Large Groups supports the Every Child Ready to Read program.


Kindergarten Preparation

These resources have been gathered to assist parents and caregivers in preparing their children for kindergarten.


Look out kindergarten, here I come! by Nancy Carlson
Henry has been getting ready for kindergarten all year! But once that day comes, he’s scared. His mom and teacher reassure him and at the end Henry knows that “kindergarten is going to be fun!”


A place called kindergarten by Jessica Harper
Tommy lives on a farm and all the animals are confused because one day he doesn’t come to visit them. When the dog tells them that Tommy went to kindergarten, they have no idea what that means! When Tommy returns home after school, he tells the animals all that he has learned, including his ABCs.


Kindergarten countdown by Anna Jane Hays
The girl in this story is so excited to start kindergarten in seven days! This rhyming picture book introduces children to numbers and days of the week as well as typical kindergarten routines (learning ABCs, show and tell, 1writing names, lunch time, etc.).


What your preschooler needs to know edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and Linda Bevilacqua
Parents can use the poems, stories, art reproductions, song lyrics, and history and science lessons in this book to ready their children for kindergarten. Sidebars provide examples for how parents can discuss the information provided with their children while strengthening skills such as reading comprehension and vocabulary.


Countdown to kindergarten by Alison McGhee
There are 10 days left until kindergarten starts, and the girl in this story is worried… Because she doesn’t know how to tie her shoes! She tries everything to avoid the dreaded day but when it finally comes, she learns that most of her classmates can’t tie theirs either! And that the teacher is going to help them learn how.


Helping your child start school by Bernard Ryan, Jr.
Guides parents in helping their children understand what will happen during their first year of school. Also provides physical and psychological characteristics of kindergarten-aged children so parents can understand their children’s needs and development.


Mom, it’s my first day of kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum
In this book, the roles are reserved and it’s mom who is so worried about kindergarten instead of the little boy! He loves his first day of school and afterwards tells his mom how “awesome” it was.



Arnold, R., & Colburn, N. (2011). Get ready, get set… School Library Journal, 57(9), 21.
A kindergarten transition program has been implemented in Portland Public School with great success. Children attend the “practice kindergarten” for three weeks in order to gain classroom familiarity and critical skills. Parents also attend sessions and learn how to promote learning at home.

(2006). Television programs get kids “ready for school”. Reading Today, 24(1), 42.
This article introduces Grace Foxwell Murdock’s “Ready for School” TV show, which she developed after hearing teachers state that so many kindergarteners were coming to school unprepared. At the time of this writing it had aired for three seasons, each of which focused on a different skill (alphabet, math, and reading). DVDs of the program are distributed to children finishing preschool, along with Learning Boxes filled with supplementary materials.

Wildenger, L. K., & McIntyre, L. L. (2011). Family concerns and involvement during kindergarten transition. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20(4), 387-396.
The authors conducted a research study to examine parental concerns, perceived needs, and involvement as their children prepared to attend kindergarten. Based on the result, they suggest a need for professionals to support children and their families during this transitional time.


Junie B. Jones: Books 1-8 by Barbara Park
This audiobook set contains the first eight Junie B. Jones books. These short chapter books follow Junie B. as she embarks on the many adventures that kindergarten brings.


Curious George’s first day of school by Margaret and H.A. Rey
This classic is now available as a picture book kit. The narration is accompanied with music and other background noises. Curious George attends his first day of school and as usual, chaos ensues!


Vera’s first day of school by Vera Rosenberry
The sound recording in this picture book kit provides narration with or without page turn signals. Listen along as Vera experiences both fear and excitement on her first day of school.


Online Resources

“How can I prepare my child for kindergarten?” from Baby Center
This website offers helpful advice to parents, such as to tour their children’s future school with them and help them develop their fine motor skills. Links are also included to reading and math skill building activities.


“Kindergarten preparation” from Education.com
This page on Education.com links to many different articles and guides designed to prepare children for kindergarten. Information provided includes kindergarten entry requirements and preparation checklists from organizations such as the National Head Start Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.


“Preparing for kindergarten” from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Caregivers can learn how to develop children’s literacy, math, fine motor, social, and safety skills. Links to additional resources are included as well as book suggestions to ease children’s nerves.


“33 ways to prepare your child for kindergarten” from I Can Teach My Child
This checklist is available to download as a PDF. It provides parents with simple ways to help their children develop the necessary skills to succeed in kindergarten.


“Transitioning to kindergarten toolkit” from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc.
This toolkit is provided so that teachers and parents can enhance children’s early literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten. Materials include a readiness indicators checklist and observation/activity guide, drawing and writing sample template, screening tool, and handouts. Each section is available to download as a PDF.


“Beyond the backpack” from Nickelodeon
This website is designed to help parents prepare their children for kindergarten. Users must take a quiz and answer questions about their children’s language, social, emotional, math, physical, and wellness abilities to receive a customized learning plan. Games, articles, printables, and videos are provided to assist children with the skills that need improvement.


“Preparing for kindergarten” from Scholastic
Description: This website provides parents with information about what skills their children should possess before attending kindergarten and which skills they should be expected to learn during their first year of school. Language arts, listening, communication, and math skills are included.


Cherokee History in North Carolina

**This is my Pathfinder Project for the LIS 501 Reference course I took in Fall 2012.**

Part 1: Basics

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is the only federally recognized Native American tribe in North Carolina. Their history is both fascinating and heartbreaking, from their roots as one of the most advanced tribes in the nation to the loss of so many members during the Trail of Tears. The Cherokees who evaded the forced removal in the 1830s are now known as the Eastern Band and their descendants still reside in western North Carolina. This pathfinder is designed to assist high school and university students who are researching Cherokee history as well as those who are simply interested in learning more about the topic.

Part 2: Written Resources

Reference Book 1: The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina


Chapter 12 in this reference book is titled “The Cherokees” and opens with the Cherokee myth of creation. It details the history of the Cherokees from the 1630s, when the first European settlers arrived in the area and the Cherokee population was at its peak (approximately 20,000), to the 1830s, when many of the Cherokees from North Carolina and neighboring states were forced west on the Trail of Tears. During this time, the Cherokees were one of the largest tribes east of the Mississippi River. This chapter provides information on where the Cherokees lived, how and what they traded with the European-Americans, how they integrated new technologies into their society, how new diseases affected their population, the status of women in their society, their agricultural methods, and how their alphabet was created. There are also two major factors that the book states led to the removal of the Cherokees in 1838: the discovery of gold in the area and the election of President Andrew Jackson. Other information provided includes the impact William Holland Thomas had on the Cherokee community and the legend of Tsali, on whom the popular play Unto These Hills is based.

Ready, M. (2005). The tar heel state: A history of North Carolina. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Available in the reference section at the main branch of the Henderson County Public Library.

Call number: NC 975.6 R

Reference Book 2: Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913


Chapter 26 in this reference book is titled “The Cherokees” and opens with stories about the origins of Native Americans. It describes the Cherokees as being a “superior tribe” as they were one of the largest and even had their own national government. This chapter provides information on the introduction of guns and smallpox to the Cherokees, trading paths, the massacre at Fort Loudon and other threats to the tribe, various treaties, the first Cherokee mission, the invention of the Cherokee alphabet, the discovery of gold in Georgia, the removal treaty and forts, and life for the Cherokees who avoided the Trail of Tears and remained in North Carolina. The book also includes information on famous Cherokees such as Nanakatahke, Junaluska, Yonaguska, Sequoya, Tsali, William Holland Thomas, and Salali. At the end of the chapter is a list of Cherokee myths. It should be noted that this book was written in 1914 and therefore the writing style is somewhat old-fashioned.

Arthur, J. P. (1914). Western North Carolina: A history from 1730 to 1913. Johnson City, TN: The Overmountain Press.

Available in the reference section at the main branch of the Henderson County Public Library.

Call number: NC 975.6 A

Journal Article 1: Cherokee Population Losses during the Trail of Tears: A New Perspective and a New Estimate

This article examines the relocation of the Cherokees from North Carolina and other states in the southeast to Oklahoma in the 1830s, which is known as the Trail of Tears. The main focus of the article is on population loss, including how many Cherokees died during the relocation as well as what their population size might be if the relocation had not occurred. There are many reasons provided as to why so many Cherokees died on the Trail of Tears, such as “adverse weather, mistreatment by soldiers, inadequate food, disease, bereavement, and the loss of their homes” (Thornton, 1984, p. 289). Once the Cherokees were relocated, they continued to face hardships such as starvation and disease. The article details events leading up to the forcible removal of the Cherokees, including cases taken to the Supreme Court. It then states that the first few thousand Cherokee were relocated by steamboat, and then they went overland in thirteen groups of approximately 1,000 Cherokee in each group. The article includes personal accounts by a solider and by a Cherokee woman who was three years old when she made the journey.

Thornton, R. (1984). Cherokee population losses during the Trail of Tears: A new perspective and a new estimate. Ethnohistory, 31(4), 289-200.

Available in the “America: History & Life” database via EBSCOhost.

Journal Article 2: Sequoyah: Planter of the Talking Leaves

This article details the life of Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian who was born in North Carolina. Sequoyah means “with the foot of a pig” and he got that name because he was disabled in a hunting accident as a child. He is also known as George Gist or George Guess, after his British father. He is most famous for developing the written Cherokee alphabet. Sequoyah’s reason for developing it is because he believed European Americans were so successful at stealing land from Native Americans because they had a written language which enabled them to write documents. So despite the fact that Sequoyah only spoke minimal English (and it is believed that he could not read or write the language), he was able to study English books and figure out that “letters corresponded to sounds” (McNamee, 2010, p. 50). He also served as an Army soldier and scout and was known as a talented orator, storyteller, student, and interpreter.

McNamee, G. (2010, July/August). Sequoyah: Planter of the talking leaves. Native Peoples Magazine, 23(4), 50-52.

Available in the “Bibliography of Native North Americans” database via EBSCOhost.

Journal Article 3: The Holdouts

This article discusses John Ross, who was only one-eighth Cherokee but still a chief, and a warrior named Major Ridge, who was his counselor. These two men devoted much of their lives to negotiating with the United States government in an attempt to protect the interests of the Cherokee. The article details the early lives of Ross and Ridge, how they met, how they fought together in court for the Cherokees, and how they came to disagree with each other to the point that there were rumors that one had hired someone to kill the other. The article also describes how President Andrew Jackson played a major role in the relocation of their tribe. Background information about the tribe as a whole at that time is also provided. In the 1820s the Cherokees had developed a written language, adopted a constitution, and built a capital city. They also held out much longer than the other tribes in the southeast but finally signed a treaty requiring them to relocate in 1838.

Hicks, B. (2011, March). The holdouts. Smithsonian, 41(11), 50-60.

Available in the “America: History & Life” database via EBSCOhost.

Part 3: Online Resources

Online Resource 1: Cherokee Nation


Cherokee Nation is the official website of the Cherokees. The website features an extensive history section divided into facts, Trail of Tears accounts, biographies, places, chiefs, and events. The “Facts” subsection gives a brief overview of the tribe’s history, distinguishes between an “old settler Cherokee” and an “eastern emigrant”, tells about Sequoyah’s creation of the Cherokee alphabet, provides a timeline of the Cherokee’s involvement in the Civil War, lists census information, and details the various treaties that were signed by the tribe. Biographies are provided of Ned Christie, Samuel Worcester, Zeke Proctor, Redbird Smith, Henry Starr, James Taylor, Sequoyah, Goingsnake, and Archibald Scraper. Places described include the Cherokee National Prison, Camp Gruber, the Cherokee National Female Seminary, the Cherokee Capitol Building, and early Cherokee settlements. The events of the first telephone in Indian Territory, the most disastrous fire in Indian Territory, the escape of 14 Cherokee prisoners from the National Jail, and the Cherokee Declaration of Causes are detailed on the website as well.

Cherokee Nation: About the Nation: History. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/History/Default.aspx

Online Resource 2: Eastern Band of Cherokee


According to their website, the Eastern Band of Cherokee is the only tribe in North Carolina that is recognized by the federal government. There are approximately 14,000 members and the reservation consists of 56,000 acres in western North Carolina. The “History & Culture” section of the website provides a brief historical overview of the tribe. Historically the Cherokees lived in seven states in the southeast, including North Carolina, where they had towns, villages, and hunting camps. The women in the tribe controlled the social structure, marriage, and property. However, when the European settlers came to the area, the Cherokees knew they must adapt to survive and therefore developed schools, a written alphabet, and a bilingual newspaper. The website tells of the changes that occurred in the 1830s resulting in the removal of the Cherokees from their native land, which included the state of Georgia petitioning to expand state jurisdiction. Those Cherokees who avoided relocation were able to live and work on land purchased by adopted Cherokee Will Thomas until they obtained a corporate charter from the state of North Carolina in 1870.

Eastern band of Cherokee: History & culture. (2012). Retrieved from http://nc-cherokee.com/historyculture/

Online Resource 3: Blue Ridge National Heritage Area: Cherokee History in the North Carolina Mountains and Beyond


The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area was designated a part of North Carolina, Appalachian, Cherokee, and American history by the government in 2003. The website provides an overview page of the history of Cherokees in North Carolina as well as historical facts in greater detail in five parts. The Cherokees once thrived with an estimated 25,000 members but now only 9,000 members of the Eastern Band remain on the western North Carolina reservation. The “An Ancient People” section states that the Cherokee have lived in North Carolina since 10,000 BC but only developed distinct Cherokee traditions around 1,000 years ago. “European Contact” began in 1540 with the arrival of the Spaniards, who brought diseases that killed off the majority of Native Americans. In the 1600s, “Trade and Conflict” began. The Cherokees became British allies in the Revolutionary War and in turn lost most of their land when the British lost the war. Despite these setbacks, the Cherokee were still able to develop schools, churches, a government, a written language, and a bilingual newspaper. However, in the 1830s most of the Cherokees were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma on the “Trail of Tears” except for around 300 tribe members, who hid in the mountains and were finally recognized by the U.S. government in 1868. The website’s history section concludes with “Twentieth Century to Present”, which details the preservation of Cherokee cultural traditions.

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area: Cherokee history in the North Carolina mountains and beyond. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/heritage/cherokee/cherokee-history

Online Resource 4: National Park Service Trail of Tears DVD

This video, which is 23 minutes long, is available online in two parts. It was produced in collaboration with the Cherokee Nation and is the official film of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The video tells the story through black and white drawings with narration and reenactments which include a family speaking Cherokee (with English subtitles). Before the relocation of the Cherokees, they had already started to embrace a new way of life by building schools and churches; living in cabins; farming the land; establishing a government, court system, and police force; writing a constitution; holding a national election; creating their own written alphabet; and publishing a bilingual newspaper. An interesting section of the video shows a map with what was once the Cherokee nation and how it got smaller and smaller as they relinquished over 90% of their land to the European settlers. The video states that the events leading up to the Trail of tears were the election of Andrew Jackson (who said the Cherokees “must disappear”), the passing of legislature in Georgia that took away Cherokees’ civil rights, and the discovery of gold on Cherokee land. The Indian Removal Act was then passed, which became a landmark case after the Cherokees took it to the Supreme Court. Even though the Cherokee won the case, citizens and militia members from Georgia violently forced them out of their homes and took their land. This led the Cherokee to negotiate a removal treaty, which was technically illegal since 90% of the Cherokee didn’t agree with this. Those who disagreed then signed a petition, which Cherokee chief John Ross took to Congress, where it was denied. The Treaty of New Echota was then ratified and soldiers captured 16,000 Cherokees from their homes and took them to forts and prison camps. At first the Cherokee were put on boats for the relocation but due to a drought they were soon marched over 800 miles overland, with many dying along the way due to extreme weather. The video concludes with an explanation of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, which is maintained by the National Park Service, as well as an overview of the Cherokee Nation today, including the Eastern Band.

National Park Service: Trail of Tears DVD. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/trte/photosmultimedia/dvd.htm

Online Resource 5: Museum of the Cherokee Indian


The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is located in Cherokee, NC and its mission is to “perpetuate the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee people”. The museum boasts extensive archives including over 4,000 books, 1,000 photographs, and 900 reels of microfilm documents. The website offers historical information by describing the three permanents exhibitions and two traveling exhibits in their collection. Their permanent exhibits are centered around specific time periods: the Paleo Period, the Archaic Period, and the Mississippian Period. The Paleo Period, from 11,000 BC to 8,000 BC, was when the first people (Paleo Indians) inhabited North America. The Archaic Period, from 8,000 BC to 1,000 BC, was when Native Americans began to use more sophisticated tools and cultivate plants. The Mississippian Period, from 900 AD to 1500 AD, was when corn was developed, arts and crafts were refined, and ceremonies were celebrated. Emissaries of Peace: The 1762 Cherokee & British Delegations is one of the museum’s traveling exhibits. It tells of Henry Timberlake, who took Cherokee leaders to meet King George III in London. The other traveling exhibit is the Trail of Tears Photography Exhibit, which displays 50 of David Fitzgerald’s photographs of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/index.htm

Young Adult Novels: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!

**This is my Literature Project for the LIS 518 Lit & Media For Young Adults course I took in Spring 2012.**

So you read The Hunger Games trilogy and watched the first film… Wondering what YA novel will hit the big screen next? Here are twelve books that are currently being made into movies!

Tiger Eyes

In Tiger Eyes, Davey’s father is murdered in the convenience store where he works. She and her family decide to move to New Mexico after his death to start over. There she meets a boy named Wolf, whose own father is terminally ill and dying. Will Davey learn to deal with her grief? Judy Blume’s own father died when she was young and she lived in New Mexico where the book is set.

The Tiger Eyes film is set to be released this year and stars Willa Holland. Judy Blume’s son Larry is directing the movie and wrote the screenplay.

Willa Holland

Blume, J. (1981). Tiger eyes. New York, NY: Dell.

Heist Society

Katarina’s father is a master art thief in Heist Society. To escape a life of crime, she enrolls herself in boarding school. However, she is soon called upon to save her father after he is falsely accused of stealing paintings from a dangerous man. She only has two weeks to find the real thief, steal the paintings back, and rescue her dad from a mobster.

Drew Barrymore is set to produce and direct the film version of Heist Society with a tentative release date of 2014.

Drew Barrymore

Carter, A. (2010). Heist society. New York, NY: Disney/Hyperion.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a series of letters written by a teenager, Charlie, to an anonymous person. It takes place in the early 1990s and references many classic books, movies, TV shows, and songs. It deals with serious topics such as suicide, drug use, molestation, homosexuality, and mental illness. The book was one of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2009.

The film version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower is set to be released on September, 21, 2012 and stars Logan Lerman. Paul Rudd (as Charlie’s English teacher) and Emma Watson (as Charlie’s love interest Sam) co-star.

Paul Rudd

Chbosky, S. (1999). The perks of being a wallflower. New York, NY: Pocket Books.

City of Bones

City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series. Set in New York City, 15-year-old Clary is the main character in this urban fantasy novel. The book opens as she witnesses a murder where only she can see the killers and the body disappears. She befriends one of the murderers, Jace, and soon Clary discovers she lives in a magical world of Shadowhunters, demons, vampires, and werewolves.

The film version of City of Bones is set to be released on August 23, 2013. So far the only actor definitely attached to the movie is Lily Collins, who will play Clara.

Lily Collins

Clare, C. (2007). City of bones. New York, NY: M.K. McElderry Books.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

This is the third YA novel that authors Cohan and Levithan have collaborated on. (You might remember their first book, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which became a movie starring Michael Cera.) In Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, Lily leaves a notebook full of clues on a bookstore shelf hoping the right guy will find it and in turn, find her. Will the scavenger hunt around New York City turn into real love?

The film version of Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is set to be released in 2013. It is being produced by Scott Rudin.

Cohn, R., & Levithan, D. (2010). Dash & Lily’s book of dares. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.


Wither is the first book in the Chemical Gardens trilogy. It is a dystopian novel, set in a future where all humans are genetically perfect but females die at age 20 and males at age 25. 16-year-old Rhine is kidnapped and sold to a man who has multiple wives. She spends her days plotting ways to escape with her friend and servant Gabriel.

The feature film rights to Wither have been purchased by Prospect Park and Violet House Productions. No release date has been set.

DeStefano, L. (2011). Wither. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is the first book in the Caster Chronicles series. Set in the small southern town of Gatlin, SC, the novel introduces readers to Ethan and Lena, star-crossed lovers whose fates have been intertwined for centuries. Ethan soon discovers Lena’s secret: that she is a “caster” and will either go “light” or “dark” on her 16h birthday. The plot counts down to this big day, as Ethan and Lena try to find a way to keep her from the darkness.

The film version of Beautiful Creatures is set to be released on February 1, 2013 and stars Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Margo Martindale from Justified (one of my fave TV shows) will be playing Aunt Del. Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, and Emmy Rossum are also co-stars.

Margo Martindale

Garcia, K., & Stohl, M. (2009). Beautiful creatures. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

The Giver

The Giver is a classic young adult dystopian novel. It is set in 2065 and revolves around a teenage boy, Jonas. In this “perfect” modern society, there are no emotions or pain. Jonas is set to become the Receiver of Memory after The Giver and discovers the power of knowledge. He must decide if he should stay with his family or run away to live a richer life. The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal.

The film version of The Giver will be produced by Jeff Bridges, who will also play the title role. It is set to be released in 2013.

Jeff Bridges

Lowry, L. (1993). The giver. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Wicked Lovely

In Wicked Lovely, Aislinn is one of the few who can see the powerful and dangerous faeries who live in the mortal world. A faery begins to stalk her and she soon discovers that he is in fact Keenan the Summer King, and wants Aislinn to be his Summer Queen. But what does Aislinn want?

The film version of Wicked Lovely is being produced by Vince Vaughn’s company, Wild West Picture Show. The script is to be written by Caroline Thompson and the movie directed by Mary Harron.

Vince Vaughn

Marr, M. (2007). Wicked lovely. New York, NY: HarperTeen.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus is a fantasy novel set in 19th century London. Celia and Marco are the children and proteges of two magicians in Le Cirque des Rêves. Their fathers are using them to determine whether magic is a talent one is born with or a skill that can be taught. They fall in love, unaware that they are players in a game where only one can be left standing.

Summit Entertainment has acquired the film rights to The Night Circus. Moira Buffini is set to write the adapted screenplay. The movie is tentatively slated to be released in 2013.

Morgenstern, E. (2011). The night circus. New York, NY: Doubleday.

The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst is the first book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. Twins Sophie and Josh have summer jobs at a bookstore in San Francisco. They discover that the owner of the bookstore is actually the famous Renaissance alchemist Nicolas Flamel. He and his wife have become immortal by taking a magical elixir. An important book with the recipe for the elixir of life is stolen and must be found within a month, or else they will die and the world will be destroyed.

The Alchemyst is being made into a film and will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and his Di Bonaventura Pictures. So far there is no official release date.

Scott, M. (2007). The alchemyst: The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke & Bone is the first book in a planned trilogy. It revolves around an art student named Karou who has been raised by creatures called chimaera. She is sent around the world to run errands and along the way encounters many mysterious beings and finds herself in the middle of a supernatural war. Daughter of Smoke & Bone was the only YA title on Amazon’s top 10 best books of 2011 list and the New York Times named it one of five notable YA novels of the year.

Film rights to Daughter of Smoke & Bone have been purchased by Universal Pictures.

Taylor, L. (2011). Daughter of smoke & bone. New York, NY: Little, Brown.