Books for Kids for the Holidays!
RIF RAP
December 2018
At Holiday Time, What Better Gift for Kids Than....BOOKS!

Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwaanza...holidays, birthdays, fun-days, Mondays -- all are great days to give the joy and wonder of books to the children in your life! Stumped for book ideas? Not to worry! Below is a sampling of a few of the best-of children's book lists for 2018. Whoo hoo!

Smithsonian Magazine has a 10-best list of children's books for 2018, including the titles pictured above. Smithsonian's list ranges from a book on baby feminists to one about the building of a hug machine! Find the titles here.

The Washington Post has an annual list, too. Click here to find the Post's top 20 in picture, fiction, and non-fiction categories.

Parents Magazine is always a good source, as you can see here! This list of 15 picks was chosen by literacy experts and 75 kid testers!
Each year, a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) offers a Notable Children's Books list with its picks for best-of- the-best. The current year's Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books are always part of this list. (In case you were wondering, the 2018 Caldecott Medal, illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell, went to Wolf in the Snow.)

The Children's Book Council suggests creating an at-home library for kids, with guidance to parents, grandparents, and other caregivers on how to do so! Here's that list.

And if you want a list of the top picks BY kids and teens FOR kids and teens, here's that list from The Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards.

No kids to buy for? Wanna share some book love?

No problem! RIF of NOVA kids would love to get a book from YOU! Click here (and read more below) to find out you can help provide books for deserving kids!

How does it work? Every $2 donation provides a book for a child. Books are given out at 36 RIF of NOVA schools and sites during fun and educational book distributions organized by RIF "liaisons" -- teachers, librarians, reading specialists, and parents. The young and eager readers are oh-so-thrilled when they can pick out -- and keep forever -- a book of their very own! Two recent distributions are highlighted below.
Groveton ES Throws a Graphic Novels Book Party!
The excitement was palpable among students at Groveton Elementary School in Fairfax County as they celebrated RIF of NOVA day with a Graphic Novels Book Party. In advance of RIF day, the children learned about graphic novels, and then each child made a graphic novel of his or her own. The novels made by each class were bound and published in a single class volume to be added to the library's collection. Then the young authors enthusiastically searched for and chose their two RIF books to take home. Not surprisingly, graphic novels and books about super heroes were prominent among the picks, but books with stickers were also in high demand. 
Groveton first graders...smiled...
...and smiled...
...and smiled about their new RIF of NOVA books!
Groveton's Librarian -- A Liaison with a RIF History!
Before students picked their RIF books, librarian Rocco DeBonis presented the newly published "Our Graphic Novels" to first graders...who responded with oohs and aahhs as they located their own novels in the collection. This was Rocco's first RIF distribution at Groveton, but his introduction to RIF came some time ago when he was a first grader in Queens, N.Y., and picked out a Clifford book. He remembers his mother keeping it "nearly forever," even though his brother had torn the cover. Oh, those brothers!
RIF of NOVA at Crestwood's Ornamental Reading Festival
Students from Crestwood Elementary School in Fairfax County enjoyed an Ornamental Reading Festival for their RIF book parties. Having already experienced a snow day, these first graders were ready to celebrate the winter holidays. Scented book marks were a big hit as was a showing of a "Fixies" video, a STEM series featuring how technology works. Books, science, and fun...a perfect combo!
Crestwood children had a chance to make a paper ornament with stickers, feathers, balls, and other festive bits. 
They chose their books with great care – sharks, weather, and cats seemed particularly popular with this class.
Devon's Library Finds its Home at Bel Air Elementary School

RIF RAP readers may remember a story from the September RAP about parents Liza and Justin who turned the loss of their son into a collection of 602 donated books -- which they then donated in their son's memory to RIF of NOVA. The collection is called Devon's Library . On December 11, Devon's Library found its new home during a very special book donation event at Bel Air Elementary School in Woodbridge (Prince William County). Bel Air librarian and RIF of NOVA liaison Cari Hammel was on hand for the book delivery at her school, along with several RIF of NOVA board members and plenty of eager children.
Watch the Devon's Library story in this video by Liza and Justin, as they tell how they are turning sadness into joy and hope through the magic of books. RIF of NOVA is very grateful for this most incredible gift that can now be enjoyed for many years to come by the children of Bel Air Elementary School.
Devon's Library distribution day at Bel Air ES! Just look at the happy faces of these third graders as they hugged their new books, flanked by Devon's parents, Justin and Liza.
Bel Air librarian and liaison Cari Hammel gave book advice.
Readers took to the floor with their new Devon's Library books.
This Devon's Library thumbs up pretty much says it all!
Bards Alley Gets a Big
Thank You!
Bards Alley is an independent bookstore and cafe in Vienna, VA. When the American Bookseller's Association donated 24 copies of Jason Reynolds' award winning book, Ghost, to Bards, owner Jen Morrow (in photo) and her team knew just what to do! They reached out to RIF of NOVA to find the books a good home. That home was Fairfax County's Whitman Middle School, where students were enthusiastic recipients of this generosity -- and they made a big thank you sign to say so!

Learn more about Bards Alley and its very cool programs here: www.bardsalley.com.
January 11!  It's the DEADLINE to give to RIF of NOVA via the Combined Federal Campaign ...
If you are a Federal employee, retiree, or government contractor, or know someone who is...

...please consider giving to RIF of NOVA via the Combined Federal Campaign, the official workplace giving campaign of the Federal government. The campaign runs through January 11. Learn more here! Reading is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. can be selected here by typing us in by name or by our number -- # 18818.
You can also give directly...

1) ...at any time via PayPal on the RIF of NOVA website www.rifnova.org.

2) ...by sending a check to our mailbox: P.O. Box 7012, Arlington, VA, 22207-0012.

3) ...by registering with smile.amazon.com. Type in Reading Is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. to select us as the charity you want to support. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to RIF of NOVA.
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