October 9, 2015

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Everyone’s Worst is Their Worst: A guest post by S.A. Bodeen

A close friend of mine grew up under deplorable conditions for modern times: no running water, intermittent electricity, less than plentiful food. I once asked her how she reacts when her children—who have seemingly everything compared to her at their age— complain about something. She smiled and told me, “Everyone’s worst is their worst.”   […]

The Nose by Maris Wicks

Maris Wicks is one of those illustrators whose work I’m always happy to see. This is directly due to the fact that she illustrated the wonderful book Primates, written by Jim Ottaviano. And even more so because she created the art for one of the best summer books in recent memory, Yes, Let’s, written by Galen Goodwin Longstreth. […]

Review of the Day: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

The Hired Girl By Laura Amy Schlitz Candlewick Press $17.99 ISBN: 978-0763678180 Ages 12 and up Bildungsroman. Definition: “A novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education.” A certain strain of English major quivers at the very term. Get enough Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man shoved down your gullet and […]

The Popcorn Astronauts

THE POPCORN ASTRONAUTS by Deborah Ruddell is an excellent poetry collection, definitely one of the best of the year, perhaps the best Newbery eligible collection, especially if we think of Marilyn Nelson’s MY SENECA VILLAGE as more of a narrative work of poetry. All of the poems in THE POPCORN ASTRONAUTS are about food, as the subtitle […]

Mark your calendars! #TLDay15 is just round the corner

Once again, the Rutgers University Master of Information Program and The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) sponsor a day celebrating our profession!  Join us on Monday, October 19th 2015 from 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT /1:00 PM  – 6:00 PM PDT for Teacher Librarian Day A Library 2.015 pre-conference, this open, online, […]

Middle School Monday – Middle School goes through Grade 8

Yes, I realize most of you know this, but how do you consider it when developing your collection? I was recently invited to interview 4 of the Fierce Reads authors during one of their tour stops in my area (it’s not until next week – I’m so excited!) In preparation, their publicist sent me advanced […]

App Review & Blended Pic Tutorial: Fused (with an assist from the Silhouette app)

Monday my co-blogger Heather Booth sent me a text that said,” you might really like this app called Fused.” She had no idea what she was starting as I quickly became obsessed, for the MakerSpace and my teens of course! Using the app I was able to create these images: Now I have been seeing […]

Boys Will Be… Knitters and Lovers and Funny, Oh My

Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli Balzer + Bray, April 2015 Reviewed from ARC Boys Don’t Knit, T.S. Easton Feiwel and Friends, March 2015 Reviewed from final copy It’s a twofer Monday, today, with two delightfully warm, funny, and frankly tender tales of boys grappling with what it means to be a boy, […]

Review: ‘The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea’

Was it in honor of Scholastic’s 10th anniversary or was it because Raina Telgemeier titles are in such high demand? Is that why Scholastic reissued the Babysitter’s Club in color? Back in May, I spoke to a Scholastic rep at Book Expo and she said that both were considerations. Mostly, she explained, it had to […]

Body Parts Blog Tour: Mara Wicks and Her Human Body Theater

Oh, I’m so very pleased today. It’s not every day when you get to be part of a blog tour AND feature a distinctive portion of the human anatomy. Thanks to Mara Wicks, now you can have both. As you may know, a certain graphic novel by the name of HUMAN BODY THEATER is sweeping […]

Sunday Reflections: The Weight and Meaning of Words, thinking about the casual ways in which we use words associated with mental health issues

At some point in the last few years I really began paying attention to the words we use and what they mean. There are campaigns to remind people not to use “That’s so gay” as an insult. Or the “R” word. As we realize the origin of words and how they are used to put […]

Lost in the Sun

Lisa Graff appeared on our Newbery radar with the publication of A TANGLE OF KNOTS which was long listed for the National Book Award, then came another strong book with great reviews (ABSOLUTELY ALMOST), and now she delivers what is arguably her best novel to date, LOST IN THE SUN. I am not the ideal reader […]

Exclusive Preview: ‘Looney Tunes’ #227

Daffy Duck tangles with the IRS in Looney Tunes #227, which will be out in comic shops on Wednesday: When IRS investigator Egghead appears on Daffy’s doorstep, Daffy panics and tries everything he can to get rid of him. Let’s see if Daffy can get through all the red tape—or will the red tape (literally!) […]

Media/news literacy resources to good to miss!

If you read this blog at all, you know I am a fan of Katherine Schulten’s posts for the New York Times Learning Network. This morning she outdid herself with a round-up of resources entitled: Skills and Strategies|Fake News vs. Real News: Determining the Reliability of Sources, in honor of News Engagement Day, coming up […]

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015

Each year Jane Hart does some serious crowd-sourcing.  Earlier this week, she released her 9th annual Top 100 Tools for Learning.  Each year Jane’s list becomes a little checklist for me, actually a kind of shopping list.  I enjoy watching the trends and seeing what’s hot. To create the list, Jane surveyed more than 2,000 […]

This Week’s Comics: First Two Seconds

Magic is in the air and on this week’s list of new releases. BOOM! Studios lets loose the ninth issue of the magical girl temp series Bee And Puppycat, while Dark Horse Comics releases the second issue of their new magical girl series Zodiac Starforce. Music is magic at IDW Publishing as the first Jem […]

Friday Finds – October 2, 2015

Sunday Reflections: Yes, Teens Still Read! Texas Teen Book Festival Recap Middle School Monday – The Shrunken Head (Curiosity House #1) – Giveaway! App Review: Aviary (The quest for the perfect photo app continues) Recently in Book Mail Video Game Weekly: Terraria Book Review: The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy (reviewed by Teen Reviewer Lexi) A […]

Challenger Deep

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman HarperCollins, April 2015 Reviewed from a final copy Six starred reviews. One of the titles on the NBA longlist. This is a deeply personal story, one that has authenticity and hope. Although I’m still frantically reading 2015 titles, this is the book that has me excited at this point in the […]

When Getty Images Attack

I was walking the stacks yesterday, minding my own business, when this book catches my eye: I stare at it for a moment. It looks remarkably familiar for some reason, though I know I’ve never seen it before.  Then it hits me: Barbara O’Connor fan that I am, I remember really adoring this cover when […]

Book Review: Prison Island, a Graphic Memoir by Colleen Frakes

The other day a fellow librarian contacted me and said she needed some good YA nonfiction recommendations, to which I replied PRISON ISLAND! Prison Island is a memoir told in graphic novel format about McNeil Island in the state of Washington. It was one of the last remaining prison islands. Colleen Frake’s family was one […]