June 22, 2017

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Interview: Raina Telgemeier on ‘Drama’

When Raina Telgemeier’s Drama was published, five years ago, it was an immediate hit, just like its predecessor, Smile. At the time it was a rarity, though, because it was set in a middle school and included gay characters. Five years later, LGBTQ characters have become common enough in graphic novels for children that I […]

#SJYALit: The X-Men and the social justice of diverse brains (Or, Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a hero), a guest post by Rachel Gold

  When I was twelve and in my fifth year of getting bullied at school, I discovered a place where people could go to learn to use their powers for good, to band together against prejudice, and to save the world: Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.     I had to spend part of […]

Off to ALA Annual 2017

I’m making my way to Chicago for the American Library Association Annual Conference. I’m planning to post a recap when I get back, but until then, I’ll be sharing the trip via Instagram and Twitter, if you want to check in there.

Review of the Day: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Beyond the Bright Sea By Lauren Wolk Dutton (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers) $16.99 ISBN: 978-11-101-99485-6 Ages 10-14 On shelves now. No author gets a free pass. Your last book have been a spot-on bit of brilliance, lighting up the literary landscape like a thousand Roman candles. Pfui. A writer is only as good […]

Interview: Kevin McCloskey on Making Science Comics for Kids

In the course of researching my article on science comics for SLJ, I interviewed Kevin McCloskey, the author of We Dig Worms!, The Real Poop on Pigeons!, and Something’s Fishy, all published by TOON Books as part of their “Giggle and Learn” series. Here’s the full interview; you can check out previews from each of […]

Interview: Kevin McCloskey on Making Science Comics for Kids

In the course of researching my article on science comics for SLJ, I interviewed Kevin McCloskey, the author of We Dig Worms!, The Real Poop on Pigeons!, and Something’s Fishy, all published by TOON Books as part of their “Giggle and Learn” series. Here’s the full interview; you can check out previews from each of […]

“It’s bigger than it looks.”

Forgive me but one more brief rant about television. What is UP with shows that hobble perfectly watchable characters and situations with annoying and incomprehensible long-game backstories? Sense8 and Orphan Black, and Fringe and Alias before them, are in most ways just the kind of TV I like: human characters in the contemporary world who […]

TPiB: Build an Escape Room by Michelle Biwer

Escape rooms and breakout rooms are a buzzworthy program in librarian world of late. I tried building my first escape room in the fall, and recently finished my second one! Here is my strategy: Steps for Building an Escape Room Pick a general theme! Murder Mystery? Based on a book? Science? Who is your audience? […]

Books on Film: Youth Media Award Winners Reactions

I really never get tired of hearing Youth Media award winners talk about getting The Call. All credit to John Schumacher of Watch. Connect. Read. for reminding me via tweet that there are a whole bunch of new videos by ALA Youth Media Award winners (Newbery, Caldecott, etc.) up over at the I Love Libraries […]

Summer Reading 2017

Summer Reading 2017 The Classroom Bookshelf will be taking a summer vacation, returning on Monday, August 28th. As our final entry for the academic year, we offer you a collection of links designed to keep you and the children and young adults in your life happily reading over the next several months. We wish you […]

ALA Attire

The worst thing about the days leading up to ALA is the wardrobe issue. You’re saving all the good (well, better) stuff for Conference and you wear rags to work. Those V-neck t-shirts you bought by mistake. The socks that used to be purple but are now decidedly pink. Don’t look at me. But I […]

Interview: Dana Simpson, Creator of ‘Phoebe and Her Unicorn’

I interviewed Dana Simpson, the creator of the Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novels, when I was writing the article “Just Another Day in an LGBTQ Comic” for SLJ. As often happens, it was a great interview and I could only use a few sentences in the story, so I’m running it in full today. […]

Book Review: Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of School Library Journal. I am SO EXCITED to now […]

A Photographic Tour of My Blogging Cave

Here’s where I do most of the work for this blog and The Yarn. Let’s have a look around. 1. This is a memento from my year on the Caldecott committee: A drawing by Brian Floca of one of the characters from Locomotive. 2. A Little Golden Book birdhouse that a co-worker gifted me. 3. […]

Fusenews: Always Pegged Batman as More of a Tomi Ungerer Fan Myself

Happy ALA Conference Week!  Starting this Thursday or Friday or so the librarians will descend en masse upon our fair Chicago.  To better prepare you please be so good as to check out Andrea Vaughn Johnson’s piece for the ALSC blog Chicagoland Mini-Tours for Book Lovers. That will fill in any gaps you might have […]

MakerSpace: DIY Fidget Spinners in Three Ways

This past week we spent some time setting up a DIY Fidget Spinner station at the Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). There are no shortage of DIY Fidget Spinner tutorials out there and we tried several and landed on the following three for our DIY Fidget Spinner […]

10 to Note: Summer Preview 2017

Here we go, folks. One season, Ten books that I’m excited about. Books that make me go . . . Let’s begin. Picture Books Monster’s New Undies by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Tad Carpenter Orchard Books | June 27 | Grades PreK-2 Decades from now we will look back at the twenty teens and remember […]

Book Trailer Premier: How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan

Let me be clear – I don’t actually post every book trailer I’m asked to premiere.  If I’m lucky, I may already love a book and then find myself offered the chance to debut it after previously falling for it hook, line, and sinker.  How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan fits […]

Exclusive Preview: ‘Teen Titans Go!’ #22

We have a musical interlude for you today with an exclusive preview of Teen Titans Go! #22: Something “Smells like Teen Titans Spirit” when Raven judges a musical competition and Punk Rocket’s band threatens to shake the city to pieces! Then our heroes grow “Bored of the Dance” when Starfire’s plans for a Titans Prom […]

Sunday Reflections: Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Lead Pipe, aka on “Due Process” in Literature and Yes, Another Discussion of MOXIE

A teen stumbles on a body in a field. Or their best friend is missing. Or they get a mysterious package in the mail. What do they do? They almost never call the police. Never. In the great tradition of Scooby Doo, they investigate themselves, because of course they do. In fact, if they didn’t, […]