That’s the first thing you do when you finish reading a book? Pass it along to a friend? Return it to the library? Place it on the unruly pile of titles that you charitably call your “office”? Scores of dedicated readers log on to Goodreads and share their opinions with the world. Imagine Facebook and your [...]
Life After Death: Susin Nielsen’s tenderhearted novel, ‘The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen,’ explores the aftermath of a school shooting | Under Cover January 2013
As a librarian, I love it when I find books that relate to one another in terms of themes or content, which gets me thinking about potential program ideas. The titles selected for this first column of the new year are full of such connections. Starting with the idea of focusing on longer fiction, I found two semiautobiographical novels in verse, and both are historical fiction that deal with the protagonist coming of age.
AHLBERG, Allan. The Goldilocks Variations. illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. 40p. Candlewick. 2012. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6268-4.
PreS-Gr 2–With whimsical illustrations and interactive features such as flaps, pop-ups, and pull tabs, the Ahlbergs showcase six silly variations on the classic tale. The standout of the bunch has the heroine wandering into the “trood (or spaceship) of The Three Bliim.” Full of silly alien words, the tale begs to be read aloud. In other adventures, Goldilocks takes on 33 bears, the furniture (chair, bowl, and [...]
HAYES , Nick. The Rime of the Modern Mariner. illus. by author. Viking. 2012. Tr $32.. ISBN 978-0-670-02580-0.
Adult/High School–In cleverly constructed verse that echoes (without mimicking) Coleridge, Hayes presents the tale of a 21st-century explorer who has ridden the high seas in search of (illegally hunted) whale bone for scrimshaw. He has been sucked into the swirling mass of garbage in the north Pacific (see Rachel Hope Allison’s I Am Not a Plastic Bag by [Archaia 2012]) and eventually comes to a London park bench to [...]
Oh, Mama!: What to do when a parent wants to narrow her child’s reading choices | Scales on Censorship January 2013
As I was preparing a library card for a new student, she handed me a two-page list of books that her mother won’t allow her to read. Then later on, her mother called and told me she expected me to monitor what her daughter was reading. What should I do?
You need to tell the mother that it’s not your role to monitor students’ reading. If she has an issue with the titles that her daughter chooses, then she [...]
BERNIER, Anthony, ed. VOYA’s YA Spaces of Your Dreams Collection. 224p. appendix. charts. diags. further reading. illus. index. photos. websites. VOYA. 2012. pap. $50. ISBN 978-1-61751-011-3. LC 2012935470.
Bernier has compiled every “YA Spaces of Your Dreams” column for VOYA since its inception in 1999 through 2010. The book is divided into three main parts by size of the teen space (less than 500 square feet, 501 to 1000 square feet, and more than 1001 square feet), and the sections are organized chronologically by publication date. It provides [...]
Preschool to Grade 4
AHLBERG , Allan. The Goldilocks Variations . illus. by Jessica Ahlberg. Candlewick. p. 74.
BROWN , Don. Henry and the Cannons . illus. by author. Roaring Brook. Jan. 2013. p. 89.
BRYANT , Jen. A Splash of Red . illus. by Melissa Sweet. Knopf. Jan. 2013. p. 89.
HALPERIN , Wendy Anderson. Peace. illus. by author. S & S/Atheneum. Jan. 2013. p. 92.
HELQUIST , Brett. Grumpy Goat. illus. by author. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2013. p. 78.
JEFFERS , Oliver. This Moose Belongs [...]
Planet Dinosaur. DVD. approx. 3 hrs. Prod. by BBC Worldwide. Dist. by Warner Home Video. 2012. ISBN 0-7806-8447-8. $19.96.
Gr 5 Up–In the last two decades, paleontologists have made great discoveries about dinosaurs thanks to new computer-generated imaging (CGI) technology and cutting-edge research. The film, narrated by John Hurt and featuring computer-generated images, brings these prehistoric creatures to life. A whole new cast of dinosaurs are introduced, such as the Predator X, a sea creature that liked to tear the Plesiosaurs to [...]
BLACKWOOD, Sage. Jinx. 360p. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212990-1; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212992-5.
Gr 4-8–“In the Urwald you grow up fast or not at all,” readers learn in the opening of this rich and fecund fantasy. Jinx is that staple of children’s literature: the scorned, ill-used orphan who proves to be so much more gifted and important than he ever imagined possible. He occupies a world that is simultaneously original and familiar, influenced by centuries of folklore, but newly envisioned and [...]
HALLIDAY , Ayun. Peanut. illus. by Paul Hoppe. 216p. Random/Schwartz and Wade. Jan. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86590-9; PLB $18.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96590-6.
Gr 7 Up–Worried about transferring to a new school, Sadie comes up with the idea of faking a peanut allergy. She thinks that pretending to have a life-threatening condition will draw attention to her and generate sympathy. Her predictions come true, and she makes several new friends and even attracts a boyfriend. But as time passes, Sadie finds it harder [...]
Fifty years ago this May, people around our country turned on their televisions to the sight of children being viciously assaulted with fire hoses and snarling dogs by uniformed grown men, their faces twisted with hatred. The violence in Birmingham, Alabama, stirred a swelling of national conscience and raised questions demanding an answer: Do we really believe that “all men are created equal”? What would our country look like if we really did? What has to change to make that dream a reality?