Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 3.09.57 PMGuest blog by Elizaveta Friesem

Do you have any media literacy books on your book shelf? Frank Baker wants every school and public  library to have a strong contemporary collection of books about media literacy.

Frank Baker is a media literacy educator and founder of Media Literacy Clearinghouse – a nationally recognized media literacy resource website. Frank is a national Jessie McCanse Awardee and “Leaders in Learning” honoree. He is a consultant to the SC Writing Improvement Network, and former consultant to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). On May 31, 2016, he joined an online Media Smart Webinar organized by the Media Education Lab to review some of the best media literacy books that every school and public library must have. In just one hour, more than 50 books were reviewed by Frank and Renee Hobbs. Watch the webinar here:

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.33.00 PMFrank shared his experiences of conducting media literacy workshops and working with school librarians for over 20 years. Initially, when Frank would go to school libraries looking for books about media on their bookshelves, he found very few of those. The Media Literacy Clearinghouse website now it lists a variety of titles that educators can use to help students develop their media literacy skills. His book  shows educators how they can bring media literacy into the classroom – whether that classroom is English language arts, social studies, health, or any other subject – and teach students skills that enable them to become knowledgeable media consumers and producers.


The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV (1984) by Stan and Jan Berenstain
When Mama Bear decides her family spends too much time in front of the TV, she bans it for a week. Then the Bear family finds other ways to have fun and keep busy, so they watch less when TV is allowed again – and they don’t even miss it. Perfect for pre-school (age range: 5-8).

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.35.59 PMLet’s Find Ads on TV (2016) by Mari Schuh. What do television ads look like? How can you tell that ads are not part of TV shows? Why do companies make TV ads? Readers will learn to identify and evaluate the advertisements they see on television. Accessible text and explanatory photos help students understand the role of advertising in their lives. Perfect for pre-school (age range: 5-8). 

Learning About Ads (Media Literacy for Kids) (2015) by Martha E. H. Rustad

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.37.43 PMAdvertisements are everywhere! Younger and younger students are exposed to them every day. What do they need to know to evaluate ads? Straightforward text and clear photographs kickstart the media literacy conversation with young readers. Perfect for K-1 level. Also in this series:

Identify and Evaluate Advertising (2015) by Valerie Bodden. What is advertising, and why should you care? Learn how to think critically about advertising. Who created and paid for an ad? What do the people who made the ad want you to do? Why does it matter if a website includes advertising? This book will help you pinpoint and evaluate common persuasive techniques used in advertising, including the bandwagon approach, emotional appeal, repetition, and more. Perfect for grades 4-6.


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Let’s Think About the Power of Advertising (2014) by Elizabeth Raum. This book helps children to develop critical thinking and debating skills. It examines the topic of advertising in a lively and accessible way. Information is presented to help readers deliberate, debate, and decide for themselves. The book looks at the power of advertising: how it works, the pros and cons, the impact of consumerism and how advertising affects our daily lives. Perfect for grades 3-6.

Does Advertising Tell the Truth? (Debating the Issues) (2014) by Aubrey Hicks. This title will help you think about advertising and the many issues facing consumers today. Find out some of the effects of advertising on society. Explore the line between a wold in which we are able to find what we need and a world in which our behavior is controlled by mega corporations. Perfect from grades 6+.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.42.41 PMMade You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know (2013) by Shari Graydon and Michelle Lamoreaux. The kids’ survival guide to advertising, revised and updated for the digital age. Perfect from grades 6+.

The Hugo Movie Companion: A Behind the Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture (2011) by Brian Selznick. Lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs from the movie, and filled with fun, informative interviews of the cast and crew, comparisons of artwork from the book alongside people, props, costumes, and sets from the movie, plus fascinating information Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.44.06 PMabout automatons, filmmaking pioneer Georges Méliès, and an essay on the birth of movies written by Martin Scorsese, The Hugo Movie Companion  extends the experience of the book and the movie, and is a must-have for fans of all ages. Perfect for grades 3-7.

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: How Greg Heffley Went Hollywood, Revised and Expanded Edition (2012) by Jeff Kinney. Go behind thScreen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.45.40 PMe scenes with Jeff Kinney and the making of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie, a live-action film by 20th Century Fox. Includes photographs, script pages, storyboard sketches, costume designs, and original art by Kinney. Perfect for grades 3-7.

Abdo Series – How to Analyze the Films of (2010-2012). Clint Eastwood, Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers… and more. Perfect for grades 8-12.

How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons: Learn how to write, direct, and edit your own film without a Hollywood budget (2015) by Robert Blofield. How to Make a Movie in 10 Easy Lessons takes you through the full production process. Discover tips for sharp editing, learn the difference between long shots and wide angles, explore tips for writing a clever script, and much more. Perfect for grades 3-7.


Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.50.15 PMDigital Filmmaking For Kids For Dummies Paperback (2015) by Nick Willoughby. This fun and friendly guide walks you through a ton of cool projects that introduce you to all stages of filmmaking. Packed with full-color photos, easy-to-follow instruction, and simple examples, it shows you how to write a script, create a storyboard, pick a set, light a scene, master top-quality sound, frame and shoot, edit, add special effects, and share your finished product with friends or a global audience. Perfect for ages 7-16.

Digital Filmmaking for Teens (2004) by Pete Shaner and Gerald Everett Jones

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.51.13 PMThis book educates and encourages the young generation on how to be both capable and fearless about publishing their personal videos. Perfect for grades 7+.

Movie Maker: The Ultimate Guide to Making Films (2010) by Tim Grabham, Suridh Hassan, Dave Reeve, Clare Richards, Garry Parsons. This kit discusses techniques for storyboarding, sound and lighting, design, special effects and more. Perfect for ages 7-12.

Shoot Like… Series (2015-2016) by Christopher
Kenworthy.  Soft-bound books that take the reader behind-the-scenes with still images from each film. The author breaks down how the director approaches various methods and techniques. Featuring the works of Steven Speilberg and Quentin Tarantino.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.57.25 PMThe Influencing Machine (2012) by Brooke Gladstone and Josh Neufeld. Bursting onto the page in vivid comics by acclaimed artist Josh Neufeld, this brilliant radio personality guides us through two millennia of media history, debunking the notion that “The Media” is an external force beyond our control and equipping us to be savvy consumers and shapers of the news.

100 Media Moments That Changed America (2009) by Jim Willis.  This encyclopedia covers 100 events in world history from the 17th century to the present―moments that alone were major and minor, but ones that exploded in the public eye when the media stepped in. Topics covered include yellow journalism, the Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.58.49 PMWar of the Worlds radio broadcast, the Kennedy-Nixon debates, JFK’s assassination, the Pentagon papers, and Hurricane Katrina. Perfect for high school.

To find out the other 40 great media literacy books for every school and public library, watch the webinar online.


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