February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for December 2014

On searching your drive

Lately, finding stuff in my Drive has been a lot like finding stuff in my closets. Sure, I’ve created lots of folders to help me.  But the problem now is that I have lots of folders. I’ve starred lots of documents too.  But the problem is that I’ve starred lots of documents. Sadly, my closets […]

Mary Poppins Books

Almost three years ago, I talked about Mary Poppins books (practically perfect in every way). These are books that deserve stars and commercial acclaim and critical praise. They are in the top of the crop for the year, but they’re… a little thin. Like Mary Poppins, they appear and have their moment and then off […]

SLJ’s Most Popular Posts of 2014

From early literacy and culturally diverse titles selected by our review editors to a model public library program, the top articles of the year at School Library Journal.

Woodson’s “Brown Girl Dreaming” excels in audio format | Audio Pick

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. 4 CDs. 3:56 hrs. Listening Library. $28. ISBN 9780553397260. digital download.
Gr 4-7–Free verse is an effective writing style for describing dreams. Woodson’s text is particularly compelling when detailing the small moments of life, such as the “Saturday night smells of biscuits and burning hair” or bemoaning the “hair ribbons that anchor (her) to childhood.” And while poetry is sometimes difficult to follow on audio, this author is a masterful narrator. The sounds of the words […]

We (don’t) want the funk! Take 5: Ways to break out of a reading funk in the new year

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. I promise. One day, you’ll pick up that next book on your TBR pile, have no idea why it’s there, and 50 pages in realize that you don’t remember the main character’s name and don’t care to figure it out. Then you’ll realize that you can’t […]

Karen’s Guide to Working with Your Local Radio Station, adventures in creative marketing

For 7 or 8 years, I got to be on the local radio station every Friday morning. It was a glorious thing for me. So today I’m going to share with you how that relationship came to be and some of my tips for working with your local radio station. I highly recommend that if […]

Review: Tao the Little Samurai, vols. 1 and 2

Tao the Little Samurai #1: Pranks and Attacks! Tao the Little Samurai #2: Ninjas and Knock Outs! Written by Laurent Richard, illustrated by Nicolas Ryser Lerner Graphic Universe, 2014 Gr. 2-5 Tao the Little Samurai is your basic mischievous schoolboy story with a martial arts setting. It’s a charming, very well drawn, sort of funny […]

Betsy Regretsy: Books I Most Regret Not Reviewing in 2014

Babies.  They just sorta throw the whole reviewing machine into a tizzy.  When I first started blogging I was actually able to do a review a day.  That was crazy.  Then kiddo #1 was born and that slowed to 2-3 reviews a week.  Manageable.  This year (2014) kiddo #2 made his debut and now I […]

Top 10 Posts of 2014: #3

The Wildest Children’s Books of 2014

Junior Library Guild Announces New Book Categories for 2015

Junior Library Guild announces seven new book categories available to its customers starting in January 6.

Getting ready, whether real or mock

We are nearly done with our “redux” posts of our shortlisted titles, and as you each finish your reading, I encourage you to go back to those posts and add your thoughts. The ALA youth media awards this year are happening a little later than usual, and that gives us the whole month of January […]

Folklore Author Robert San Souci Dies at 68

Acclaimed folklore author Robert San Souci, best known for his Caldecott-honored The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South, died December 19 following a head injury resulting from a fall. He was 68.

Pictures of the Week: Inside Artist and Author Lorenzo Pace’s Studio

Author and artist Lorenzo Pace, known for Jalani and the Lock, opened up his studio to SLJ editors.

Giving Data Some Soul | Project Advocacy

Presenting data persuasively is an important advocacy skill for librarians.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Book Review: Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca (The #SVYALit Project)

As part of my Cybils reading, I came across a book called Pandemic. I’m a huge fan of pandemics (in theory only of course). In fact, I have the movie Contagion on my DVR and watch it quite often, much to The Mr.’s dismay. So I was immediately intrigued by this title and looking forward […]

Review: Pippi Won’t Grow Up

Pippi Won’t Grow Up Written by Astrid Lindgren Drawn by Ingrid Vang Nyman Translated by Tiina Nunnally Drawn & Quarterly, $14.95 Writer Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking returns to comics in another new volume from publisher Draw & Quarterly, containing Tiina Nunnally’s translation of Lindgren and artist Ingrid Vang Nymann’s original 1950s comics starring the world’s […]

Top 10 Posts of 2014: #4

2014 Books from Caldecott Winners

Egg & Spoon

Egg & Spoon, Gregory Maguire Candlewick Press, September 2014 Reviewed from final copy What an ingenious little (okay, big) book this is. Maguire is at his best when he’s being sly and subverting tropes and expectations; he did it to genius effect in Wicked, which remains one of my favorite novels, and while his overall […]

Surveying the silver and gold

In my last post, Find new apps, but keep the old . . ., I listed a few portals and lists I regularly visit to discover new apps and to search for tried and true tools to accomplish learning goals and tasks.  I see making these discoveries, old and new, as a new form of […]

Middle Grade Monday – The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

I am honestly delighted with this second entry in the distinctly well written Lockwood & Co. series by Stroud. It has so many elements to recommend it to my middle school readers! In case you missed it, I recently reviewed the first book in the series, The Screaming Staircase. When I opened the library’s latest book shipment, […]