October 24, 2012

Hooray for Book Fair!

It's Book Fair week. We are set up and rarin' to go. There are so many books available to students that I am overwhelmed. Maybe you are too, Library Friends? 

Check out our ONLINE BOOK FAIR to make purchases from the comfort of your own home!

My Juvenile Fiction/Non-Fiction favorites:

Basher Science: Algebra & Geometry
Image from Scholastic
Basher now turns his attention to the fun and funky characters in Geometry and Algebra. Readers will meet Polygon and Plane, Reflection and Rotation, Odd Number and his buddy Even Number and the three amigos Sine, Cosine and Tangent. Readers will discover the secrets of their world and how they like to throw their numbers about. Bringing his charming manga-style artwork and tongue-in-cheek approach to explaining the basics, Basher brings a whole new spin to the world of higher math. (series)

Image from Scholastic
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories - Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Friendship Doll
Image from Scholastic

I am Miss Kanagawa. In 1927, my 57 doll-sisters and I were sent from Japan to America as Ambassadors of Friendship. Our work wasn't all peach blossoms and tea cakes. My story will take you from New York to Oregon during the Great Depression. Though few in this tale are as fascinating as I, their stories won't be an unpleasant diversion. You will make the acquaintance of Bunny, bent on revenge; Lois, with her head in the clouds; Willie Mae, who not only awakened my heart, but broke it; and Lucy, a friend so dear, not even war could part us. I have put this tale to paper because from those 58 Friendship Dolls only 45 remain. I know that someone who chooses this book is capable of solving the mystery of the missing sisters. Perhaps that someone is you.

Who Was Dr. Seuss?
Image from Scholastic
Theodore Seuss Geisel loved to doodle from the time he was a kid. He had an offbeat, fun-loving personality. He often threw dinner parties where guests had to wear outrageous hats! And he donned quirky hats when thinking up ideas for books like his classic, THE CAT IN THE HAT. This biography, with black-and-white illustrations throughout, brings an amazingly gifted author/illustrator to life.

October 15, 2012

Freedom & Enlightenment

Friends, I am a complete philosophy nut. Plato teaches that our task as the enlightened is to ascend into the light, descend back into the dark, and bring others to know good. (This entire post may be an excuse to get you to watch the video below, which explains the Allegory of the Cave. Maybe.)

SO, here I am sharing stories that will help you enlighten the young people in your life when it comes to FREEDOM. Young Liberty Friends, these are AWESOME books. Read them. Come speak with me about them when you finish. Tell me what you think. (I'll bribe you with a Twizzler.)
Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of…
Image from Library Thing

Picture Books~
Dancing to Freedom by Li Cunxin
Scarlet Stocking's Spy Trinka Hakes Noble

The Wall by Peter Sis
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Juvenile Fiction-
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Image from Library Thing
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddox
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

October 4, 2012


Image from reboundair.com

Friends, there exist in my library realm POGO STICK books. (Not a technical term--a Liberty Lady creation.) These books have cover art and titles that make a grown up roll her eyes. These books include an element of the ridiculous. These books seem dumb.

Kids know better. These same books make them laugh, don't require intense cognitive effort, and occasionally involve a little bathroom humor. These books are POGO STICK books--they help the reader pogo to another type of story.

Image from Barnes & Noble
Gary Paulsen is one of my faves. He's my go-to author for wilderness adventure books. Here's the thing: not all scholars love to read a coming of age story set in the forest. Let me tell you, they are missing out BIG TIME. Gary's work is vast and varied
I hand wilderness adverse students Lawn Boy. Gary wrote Lawn Boy, but it's a different kind of book. The cover art is mischievous, the story clever. While this book contains no bathroom humor with it's carefully crafted message of independence and self-reliance, it appeals to the same crowd. Lawn Boy is a pogo stick book to Hatchet,Brian's Return, Brian's Hunt, and Brian's Winter. 

More POGO STICK authors? Jim Benton. Andrew Clements. Dan Gutman. Megan McDonald.

October 2, 2012

Boys and Books

"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life." 
~W. Somerset Maugham

Has reading changed your life? It has changed mine and I wish the same experience for children. In our home, we read together almost every day. I've read every kind of book you can imagine to my kids. I've mastered the voice of Yoda. Man, I have the reading force. 

So much has been written about boys and the trouble they have finding great books to read. You might find that your son eagerly listens to stories, but won't pick up a chapter book and read on his own. There are two books I recommend to grown ups that address boys and reading:

Best Books for Boys by Pam Allyn
Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How to…
Image from Library Thing

Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean
Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean
Image from Library Thing

In addition, I find these websites to be useful resources in the hunt for the perfect "boy" book:

Browsing my library for books, I am reminded that the series listed below are excellent for ALL students. I often recommend these books to boys .

The Mystery on Alaska's Iditarod Trail by…
Image from Library Thing
Carole Marsh Mysteries are superb. Her tag line is "Real Kids, Real Places." I like these books for the location--National Parks, famous sites, places families might visit together. Check out Carole's website--phenomenal. 

Murder, My Tweet: A Chet Gecko Mystery by…
Image from Library Thing
Bruce Hale writes about the detective, Chet Gecko. These books play on words with titles like Murder, My Tweet and Bruce's storytelling is superb. Bruce's website doesn't disappoint.

Goblins Attack (Special Edition of The…
Image from Library Thing
Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black have written a fantasy adventure series called "The Spiderwick Chronicles." If your reader likes fantasy this series is complete with field guides, character guides, and more. 

Let me know if you try out these books . . . I'm eager to hear what works well in your house.

October 1, 2012

Hugs and Shrieks (aka, historical fiction)

Recently a student asked me for some historical fiction/non-fiction book combinations. Sweetie, your request was right up my alley. (Really, I just about grabbed you in a crazed hug and shrieked with joy.) 

At the bottom of this post, I'll list the FIRST of these combinations. For now, read a little about an author I admire: DEBORAH WILES. She rocks my library world and rocks it hard.

Ever since I read Each Little Bird That Sings, I've been a fan of Deborah Wiles. Perhaps it's her southern voice? Maybe it's the humor? I'm not sure it matters--her characters and tight plots draw me in and keep me recommending her books for years.

Last year I read Countdown. Um, A-MAZ-ING. This genre is called "documentary fiction" and readers experience history as they read the story of Franny Chapman. Check out her Pinterest board for both Countdown and the upcoming sequel. Yeah, I'm salivating. I love me some history AND fiction!

Countdown Book Trailer

Countdown Ideas

Historical Fiction/Non-Fiction Combo Numero Uno:

Cold War
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene…
Image hosted by Library Thing
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin 
Check out Yelchin's website for great explanations of socialism and Stalin. This site is so complete and completely written for young people. 

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain…
Image hosted by Library Thing
The Wall by Peter Sis
This book is a graphic memoir of Sis' childhood behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia. Wowsa. It's lovely. Here's a great site for the book from Macmillan. (Super YouTube videos--I had to stop myself from putting them here or you might never get to the actual books!)

Visiting Author