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    Bad vs. Badly: Sort Them Out for Good!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Which of these sentences is correct?

    1. I felt really bad when he lost the game.
    2. You don't need to feel too bad about that.
    3. She was sorry she had written the letter so badly.
    If you think they are ALL correct, you're right!
    You’ve probably heard people say, "I feel badly about what I did," thinking "badly" sounds more formal or grammatically correct. They might feel even worse if they knew they were making a common grammar mistake.

    • Bad is an adjective. It modifies nouns and pronouns: He had a bad headache after he saw the bad grade on his test.
    • Badly is an adverb. It modifies action verbs and other adverbs: They badly wanted to win the game, but they lost after the pitcher was badly injured.

    Problems with BAD and BADLY come when we use linking verbs that express emotion or sensory perceptions but not action. Linking verbs like be, feel, seem, or taste are followed by adjectives rather than adverbs. The one that causes the most confusion is FEEL.
    Here are two strategies for determining whether to use the adjective BAD or the adverb BADLY when you are expressing a feeling:
    - Mentally replace the verb FEEL with a form of BE (is, am, or was) to see whether the adjective BAD or adverb BADLY should be used.

                I felt bad/badly when she didn't return my call.

    Replace: I was bad/badly when she didn't return my call
    You can see at once that the adjective BAD is needed in the original sentence.
    - Mentally substitute another adjective like sad, wild, or proud for the word BAD in your sentence:

                He probably didn't feel too bad/badly if he spent the money.

    Replace: He probably didn't feel too wild/wildly if he spent the money.
    Again, you can see that the adjective BAD is needed in the original sentence.
    Now that you know the difference between BAD and BADLY, test yourself. Then, say what you mean with confidence!

    Five Reasons Young Adult Fiction Matters

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Teen Literature Day is a celebration of Young Adult literature. With rich characterizations, authentic emotional experience, inspiration, and compelling plots, Young Adult (YA) fiction is becoming one of the most popular genres.

    YA makes great reading for teens because it can:

    Create role models and memories
    All through their lives, people remember characters from books they enjoyed as children or young adults. The books that captured our imaginations formed parts of our personalities. As YA book author Meg Wolitzer says, "Books not only sometimes stay with you; they can become you."

    Form a bridge to more difficult literature
    Many YA books use plots and other elements that are common to the works of classical literature. Finding out that characters in a YA novel have problems similar to characters in literature they are reading in high school is an exciting revelation for young readers.

    Help challenged readers master their skills
    In exploring strategies for selecting teen reading, researchers Laura Jimenez and Kristin McIlhagga found that "When students are interested and engaged, and value what they read, they attend to misunderstandings, apply fix-up strategies, and persevere through reading difficulties in order to make meaning from the text."

    Encourage teens to identify themselves as readers
    Finding books that satisfy them and seem truly relevant to their own lives gives young adults satisfaction that empowers them. As Jimenez and McIlhagga suggest, when struggling readers discover books they enjoy, they are "more likely to read carefully, discuss and compare understandings with others, and begin to see themselves as readers."

    Create a sense of being part of our world
    YA novels offer teens a chance to learn about people whose lives are different from their own, to see that we all share similar feelings, dreams, fears, and to develop empathy for others' situations.

    John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, sums up the value of Young Adult fiction in these words:

    "This is what good YA novels do for teens that Angry Birds cannot: they offer light that can burn bright even in the way-down-deep-darkness-which-is-you . . . [They] can matter by helping us to feel unalone, by connecting us to others, and by giving shape to the world as we find it."

    Happy reading!

    Today is Drop Everything and Read Day!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    You can start your celebration of Drop Everything and Read Day with this video. Then, postpone the errands or time-wasting TV and curl up with a book that will take you to new places. Family fun with reading is one of the best ways to build your children's skills and their love of books. Happy reading!

    See it Through Your Child's Eyes

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Through Your Child's Eyes is an innovative tool from that uses video and simulations to let you experience firsthand the frustrations a person with learning challenges faces. You'll be surprised and inspired by what you learn!

    It's National Poetry Month!

    Last updated 3 years ago

    What should I write?
    To begin, get your thoughts and feelings down on paper (or into a document) just as they come to you. Don't worry about form. When you've finished your freewriting, it's time to think about how to organize your words into a finished piece. Consider these points:

    Try writing your ideas as a poem if:

    • you have some words that capture you with their sounds as well as their meaning.
    • you picture vivid images that you want to show your reader.
    • your words can be arranged in rhythms and patterns that intrigue you.

    "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes is a good poem to look at. It begins with vivid images:

    The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees
    The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.

    Even though the poem tells a complete story, if you listen to the words, you can hear the strong rhythms that make the action so exciting. Only a poem can sustain drama in this way.

    You may want to write a story if:

    • you've imagined characters you want to know better.
    • you need to explain why, how, or when things happen and what happens next.
    • describing the setting or place is very important.

    Look at the story of "Snow White" as an example. A story is interesting only when we care about the characters in it. We need background and explanations to understand what happened to Snow White in the past and what might happen next.

    Essay or Speech
    Your ideas may belong in an essay or a speech if you want to:

    • convince your reader to take some action or change a belief.
    • explain an important point.
    • inspire someone to take an action.

    "The Gettysburg Address" is a great example of an essay that does all of these things. In this short speech, Lincoln tries to explain how important the battle was and to inspire Americans to keep supporting the war to preserve the country.

    The important thing is to express your feelings. As Barbara Kingsolver says, "Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say."

    Whatever you decide to write this month, begin it now!

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