October 19, 2017

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Presentation: Adult Graphic Novels for Teens

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of attending the Mass Library Systems Teen Summit, where I made a presentation on “Adult Graphic Novels for Teens.” Here’s the PowerPoint deck, which is mostly book recommendations. I started out with a brief discussion of the topic and what sorts of adult books work well for teens—keeping in […]

Book Review: Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango and Tyler Terrones

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 November 2017 issue of School Library Journal.    Here, There, Everywhere by Julia […]

Cover Reveal: How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk, ill. Sara Palacios

We’re taking a lovely, leisurely stroll in the park when you turn to me and say, “Betsy, why don’t you write more about coding on your blog?” And I shuffle my feet a bit, maybe kicking a stray acorn. I avoid eye contact with you as I mumble something indistinct about it being scary and […]

Review: ‘The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1: Unstoppable’

The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 1: Unstoppable Writers: Jeremy Whitley and Mark Waid Artists: Elsa Charretier and Adam Kubert Marvel Entertainment; $12.99 Rated T+ for teens 13 and up Marvel has spent the last few years introducing a wide variety of new legacy characters in an effort to help diversify their traditionally white, male, and straight […]

TPiB: Easy Peasy DIY Jack-O-Lanterns

So I got a Silhouette Cameo and I was trying to figure out how to use it, and how to use it with teens, when I stumbled across an easy and fun craft idea. You can do it with or without a Silhouette Cameo, it’s easily adaptable. I made my examples using the Silhouette Cameo. […]

The Hate U Give

In a fairly rare occurrence, we all three read today’s book BEFORE the scheduled post date, so today’s post has all of us discussing it together, just like a RealCommittee might, if six people were missing. Sarah: Friends. Friends. Is this the book to beat this year? To be honest, it’s hard to know where to start here. […]

The Hate U Give

In a fairly rare occurrence, we all three read today’s book BEFORE the scheduled post date, so today’s post has all of us discussing it together, just like a RealCommittee might, if six people were missing. Sarah: Friends. Friends. Is this the book to beat this year? To be honest, it’s hard to know where to start here. […]

Book Review: Ruby & Olivia by Rachel Hawkins

  Publisher’s summary: A contemporary story with a twinkle of magic, RUBY AND OLIVIA is a pacey, gently creepy book filled with lovable characters and snappy humor. At its core, this is the story of two girls who are not friends learning that they might have more in common than they ever expected – even […]

YA? Why Not?

So, what about YA?  We talked about this quite a bit in the comments of our post about the National Book Award Longlist, which was heavily Young Adult.  It’s come up in other places too, including in one of our very first posts this year, about VINCENT AND THEO.  There are quite a few titles […]

Morning Notes: How a Picture Book Is Made Edition

OFFICIALLY FUNNY A Fuse #8 Production is up to something. A grassroots award for funny books she’s calling the Danzinger Awards. I am in full support of this idea. Click here to find out more. POOH The A.V. Club is not a fan the new Winnie-the-Pooh movie. Click here to read. VIOLA DAVIS WRITING NEW […]

Letter to the World

Over on Facebook, Penguin/Putnam Executive Editor Stacey Barney* led me to a great how-I-got-into-publishing-and-how-publishing-could-be-better piece by Random House adult editor Chris Jackson, best know for his publishing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. I was especially struck by Jackson’s story about being in his first publishing job and not knowing how to type […]

Post-it Note Reviews of Elementary and Middle Grade Books

Now that I work in an elementary library, I’m reading a lot more titles for younger readers. Rather than review all of them like I usually do, especially as many are older, I’m going to steal Karen’s Post-it note review idea and share the titles with you that way. It’s been super interesting to me […]

Book Review: Like Water by Rebecca Podos

Publisher’s description Like Water is an unforgettable story of two girls navigating the unknowable waters of identity, millennial anxiety, and first love, from the acclaimed author of The Mystery of Hollow Places. In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was […]

Walking and Talking with . . . Elizabeth Wein!

I’m not supposed to have favorites. Periodically Steve Sheinkin will pop up like a magical elf and offer me one of his magnificent Walking and Talking comic series for my blog, and I always thank him profusely, loving each and every one individually. Today’s is different. I’m not sure quite why. I think it has […]

Preview: ‘Teen Titans Go!’ #24

Here’s a cure for the Monday blues: A preview of Teen Titans Go! #24, in which our try to build team spirit with a party game but end up in another dimension: Things get “Twisted” when the Titans borrow a game Starfire brought from home. Who knew they’d merge into one giant pizza-eating, self-destructive bundle […]

Sleepers

Today I’m talking about two books that are impressive, powerful, skillfully crafted reads. Both have received some minor critical acclaim (1 star for Maresi, 2 for Fire Color One), and both are books no one is talking about or name-checking, which is a damn shame. More similarities: Both are imports and both are unexpectedly short, which […]

Silhouette Cameo 101: The Manual It Doesn’t Come With, But Should (MakerSpace)

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to use and evaluating the Silhouette Cameo for our Teen Makerspace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). You can read my initial thoughts here: MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo – a review MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo […]

For All That’s Real and Fair(e): Two Outstanding MG GNs

As  the Newbery Committee manual dictates, the “committee is to make its decision primarily on the text” and “[o]ther components of a book, such as illustrations, overall design of the book, etc., may be considered when they make the book less effective.” In other words, good designs and fabulous illustrations that enhance the overall reading experience, theoretically, should not […]

Can an Aardvark Bark?

Can an Aardvark Bark? Written by Melissa Stewart and Illustrated by Steve Jenkins Published in 2017 by Beach Lane Books ISBN 978-1481458528 Grades PK – 4 Book Review: Bark, grunt, squeal, roar…. A chorus of animal vocalizations emanates from science writer Melissa Stewart’s latest picture book, a concept book focusing on the sounds that animals […]

Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#4)

I used this website to (virtually) create 3 LEGO book covers. They’re listed from least challenging to most challenging – see how many you can name.
How’d you do?

Answer

Answer

Answer
Previously . . .
Name That LEGO Book Cover! (#1)
Name That …