The book Goodnight Moon is an old but classic children’s picture book about a bunny saying goodnight to all the objects in his bedroom. As the story progresses, children can pick out changes that are happening on each of the pages. In a 2012 survey, it was placed at #4 on the School Library Journal’s list of the “Top 100 Picture Books,” a testament to its popularity over time, despite being published in 1947.
In a delightful parody of the book, Penguin USA have created a modern YouTube version of the story to appeal to “the gadget-crazy kid in all of us.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ouOwpYQqic&feature=player_embedded) This version shows the plethora of electronic devices available to children these days, and how it’s a very good idea for them to say goodnight to each of these devices as they get ready to sleep.
The combination of the National Year of Reading with the London Olympics provided a golden opportunity for us to run a Reading Olympics competition for all our Middle School boys. The boys were challenged to see who could read the most in the 8 weeks leading up to and during the London Olympics, and this was a perfect way to not only link reading with sport but to also reward a non-sporting achievement.
The 16 Middle School classes divided neatly into 4 sporting teams and 4 countries, and each boy was given a score-sheet based on his country and team. Each 10 pages read represented one point, and medals were awarded according to how many points were earned – 2000, 3000 and 4000 for Years 6 and 7, and 3000, 4000 and 5000 for Year 8. The boys whole-heartedly rose to the challenge and we ended up awarding 111 individual medals – 55 gold, 23 silver and 33 bronze – while the overall winners of each sporting team and country received trophies. The most successful team was the Athletics team with 49 medals, the Australian team came second with 34 medals and the Cycling team placed third with 31 medals.
Individually, the winning students read 19137 pages, 13961 pages, 12813 pages, 12385 pages and 12008 pages.
During the 8 weeks of the competition, 1344 books were recorded as read; in reality this number would have been much higher because boys who were not in the competition were also reading. In all, it was a very enjoyable and highly successful competition promoting books, reading and literacy.
“Bargain reads, free ebooks and book reviews for the Amazon Kindle, nook, Kobo, Sony and other ereaders, Kindle Fire, nookColor, Kobo Vox, and other tablets, along with some games, music, technology and computers tossed in now and then.”