February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Meet the Reviewer | Amanda Buschmann

MeetReviewer-YA_Amanda-BuschmanWho are the brilliant and passionate librarians behind SLJ’s reviews? Each month we take a peek behind the books and learn about the folks who help us read and evaluate thousands of titles every year.

What do you do (what grades do you serve, what kind of programs do you run, what responsibilities do you have) at your school?
I am the sole librarian at a middle school of 1200+ students. Naturally, it is quite busy. I collaborate with teachers to bring them information about new tech tools and books. I also recently started a “book talk” club that has been a great success.

How long have you been reviewing for SLJ and what kinds of materials to you review?
About a year. I review books related to my current job (middle school librarian)—young adult, all genres. My favorites are the dystopian/science fiction books.

Why do you review for SLJ? What’s the best part?
It is exciting to be a part of upcoming published books. I also feel it is my duty to give a fair and conscientious review, keeping in mind the young adult audience. The best part is when I receive the final published copy and I can donate it to my school!

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising.
I used to race cars in my college days. I was part of an all-girl racing team called GirlSpeed Racing, and we would meet at Houston Raceway Park to race our cars.

What are you reading (and liking) right now? Or what was the last book you read that you absolutely loved?
Currently, I am reading (and loving) The Jewel by Amy Ewing—I love a good dystopian novel!

Are you involved in any ALA committees or state library organizations?
I am a member of the Spirit of Texas. It’s a Middle School committee through TLA (Texas Library Association).

How and why did you first get into librarianship?
I began teaching high school English in 2003. By 2009, I joined Sam Houston State University’s graduate program in library science. By January 2010, I had my first library job at an elementary school!

Is there a book that made you fall in love with reading?
Certainly not one book—I began reading at four years of age and haven’t stopped since. Books were my refuge during my childhood and they have made me a better, more thoughtful person.