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A Teen and Tween Librarian's thoughts on books, reading and adventures in the library.
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1. Guest Post: Sarah Fine, author of Of Metal and Wishes

Please welcome Sarah Fine, author of Of Metal and Wishes, to GreenBeanTeenQueen! Sarah Fine is the author of Of Metal and Wishes.

About the Book: Sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic, housed in a slaughterhouse staffed by the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor. Wen often hears the whisper of a ghost in the slaughterhouse, a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. And after one of the Noor humiliates Wen, the ghost grants an impulsive wish of hers—brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including the outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the ghost. As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen is torn between her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. Will she determine whom to trust before the factory explodes, taking her down with it?


The sequel, Of Dreams and Rust will be available in August 2015. You can find Sarah online at http://sarahfinebooks.com/


The Stomach and the Heart

“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” Those are the words of Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle, the book that influenced Of Metal and Wishes. Wait, you might be thinking. Isn’t Of Metal and Wishes a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera? What the heck is this nonsense about The Jungle?
Well. My book is a loose retelling of Phantom. But everything about this book—including the Ghost of the factory himself—was heavily influenced by another novel, which has haunted me from the time I first read it as a teenager.
Upton Sinclair began writing The Jungle at the end of 1904 after spending nearly two months in Chicago, studying the lives and travails of immigrant workers toiling away in the heavily industrialized meat-packing industry. There, he had witnessed how the dream of having one’s hard work repaid with some financial security for one’s family was being completely turned upside-down. Instead of work = fair pay, fair treatment, and a path to success, work = danger, risk, and the inescapable trap of debt and defeat. The system was devouring these people—big business controlled everything, profit was king, and worker’s rights? Virtually nonexistent.
It might be tempting to assume that we don’t have these problems in the United States anymore. In so many ways, we’ve come so far, what with unions to protect workers’ rights, and news media that can report on injustice and distribute it quickly and widely. That assumption would be wrong, however. Meatpacking is one of the more dangerous professions one can have in this country—despite improvements made in the first half of the 20th century, partly due to the response to Upton Sinclair’s work. In the last few decades, the meatpacking industry has consolidated into a few powerful entities. And they have a habit of hiring undocumented workers, who carry all the risks on their back in the hope of earning decent money for their families. These people have little legal or economic leverage, so how can they defend themselves when they’re victimized?
Here’s a clip from Food, Inc., which I was watching the night I decided I needed to write Of Metal and Wishes. It’s less than five minutes long, but it will probably make you shake with rage. It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it:
The Jungle is unflinching in its description of the meatpacking plants, and I did my best to give OMAW the same visceral feel. I didn’t want to shy away from hitting the reader “in the stomach.” I did research into how animals are slaughtered in these places, and it is gut-wrenching and horrific. I won’t link to any videos here, but if you go to Youtube and search for video of slaughterhouse machinery, you’ll find plenty of nightmare fuel.
But like Upton Sinclair, my goal wasn’t to make readers focus only on animal cruelty or the unsanitary way meat is sometimes handled before it enters the food supply. My greatest desire was to get readers thinking about those workers, the ones who come from desperate places, willing to offer their muscles and sweat in exchange for a fair wage and a chance to live and provide for the ones they love. The ones who so often get trampled and ignored. I purposely set the story outside of time and history because these issues existed over a hundred years ago, and they still exist now all over the world, including the US.
Of Metal and Wishes is a love story, yes. A sweet, poignant one, I think. But it’s also a story about people without power who struggle to survive and thrive in a system designed to crush them. I hope it hits readers in the heart.

*There are many organizations involved in the fight for justice for undocumented workers, and one of my favorites is the Southern Poverty Law Center, because they also focus on a number of other important social justice issues. If you go to their site you can get more information, and if you are so inclined, contribute to their efforts.

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2. Picture Book Month: Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

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About the Book: Elephant wakes up feeling grumpy. Until a delivery arrives at his door and a new hat cheers him up. Elephant wants to share his hat and along the way cheers up his friends.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'm a sucker for retro-style illustrations. There's just something about them that make me feel happy. Hooray for Hat! features what could be called some retro-style illustrations and it fits the book perfectly.

Elephant is grumpy but his hat cheers him up. He visits his friends throughout the day and cheering them up with a hat of their own. The text is simple and the illustrations are bright and simple and not distracting making this a great storytime book. There's also a nice repetitive refrain of "Hooray for Hat" that kids can cheer along as the animals become happy.

This is a great story of how a simple act of kindness can make someone's day. This would be a great book to talk to kids about being kind, helping others, and paying it forward.

I've used this one in storytime a few times this year and each time I've read it it's been a bit hit. The kids catch on quickly to saying "hooray for hat" excitedly with each animal. And the joy the animals experience in sharing their gifts expands to the kids. The illustrations catch the expressions of the animals perfectly and the kids can see that and they get just as happy as each animal gets a new hat.

A fun picture book debut that is a great storytime addition.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from final copy borrowed from library

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3. ALSC Blog: Dinovember

Today I'm over at the ALSC Blog sharing about my library's Dinovember display. Here's a sneak peek:

Photo Credit: Valerie Bogert

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4. Picture Book Month: Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

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About the Book: Little Elliot is a little elephant who lives in a big city that is so much larger than he is. Elliot would love a cupcake but he's too small to reach. Will he get his treat?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Every year a book is released that is so adorable and sweet I just sigh with happiness each time I read it. Little Elliot, Big City is that book for me in 2014.

Elliot is adorable-there's just no better way to describe him. I would love a little polka-dotted elephant friend and I would love to share a cupcake with Elliot.

Not only is the story of Elliot finding a friend in the big city sweet, but the illustrations add to the tenderness. Mike Curato captures emotion on Elliot's face as he has to be careful in crowds or when Elliot is too small to reach what we wants. But Elliot doesn't let his size get him down and he takes notice of the small things. The two page spread of Elliot looking sad after he can't get his cupcake is heartbreaking. I also think it's appropriate that the only person that notices Elliot in a crowd is a small child. Of course a child would have the innocence and wonder to notice Elliot. It's a picture that is so simple and also speaks volumes. When Elliot meets mouse and learns he can help someone else, the spread of Elliot feeling big and proud captures Elliot's monumental achievement.

Little Elliot, Big City is Mike Curato's debut picture book and I can't wait to see more from him. I think Elliot would make a nice storytime book and would pair wonderfully with A Sick Day for Amos McGee about a storytime on sweet and tender friendship.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent by publisher for review

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5. Picture Book Month: Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan

Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan

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About the Book: A family visits the local farmer's market to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I always think it's fun to read books that introduce fruits and veggies to kids. It's a nice way to read about food and help them understand that fruits and vegetables are good to eat. (I don't know that reading about them makes them eat them at home, but I can try and help the parents out at least!)

Cheers for a Dozen Ears is the perfect book to add to my food themed storytime. It pairs wonderfully with Rah, Rah, Radishes. You can even add in the board book We're Going to Farmers Market for a full storytime about fresh foods.

With rhythmic, rhyming text, the kids make sure to get all the items on their list. From eggplant to squash, peaches and green beans, the family counts as they add items to their cart. The bright colored illustrations capture the feel of a hot summer day.

A fun book that incorporates counting and food that makes a nice addition to storytime.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publisher for review

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6. Picture Book Month: The Orchestra Pita by Johanna Wright


About the Book: A snake finds himself in the wrong pit. Instead of a snake pit, he winds up in an orchestra pit and learns about the various instruments that make up an orchestra.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I have a music teacher mother so I was raised on music and books about music. I love finding books that I can use in storytime to introduce instruments and music to kids. Sometimes books that talk about the orchestra are a bit too long or detailed to use with a young audience. Johanna Wright fills that void with The Orchestra Pit.

As our snake finds his way through the orchestra pit, he discovers the various instruments and sections of the orchestra. He even discovers what the instruments sound like comparing the percussion to a gorilla and the horns to a elephant. 

Younger readers might need a bit of help understanding that where an orchestra plays is called an orchestra pit and that each instrument has a unique sound. But The Orchestra Pit is the perfect starting point for that introduction. Read this one before you visit the symphony (or have the symphony visit the library for an instrument petting zoo and concert!) for an extra special treat.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent from publisher

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7. Guest Post: Shelby Bach



I'm excited to welcome middle grade author Shelby Bach to GreenBeanTeenQueen! If the middle grade readers at my library are anything like yours, fairy tales are huge! 




About Shelby: Shelby Bach was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, but while writing the ever afters, she moved almost as many times as her main character. She came up with the idea for the series right before she left New York City, and she finished the first book, of giants and ice, in Montana—the second, of witches and wind, back in Charlotte. Driving up the West Coast to research the settings for the third book, of sorcery and snow, Shelby fell in love with Portland, Oregon and settled there. She would love to set up a Door Trek system in her apartment to visit her family and friends around the country, but she makes due with much slower and less fictional transportation. These days, while finishing up the fourth and final book, she also works part time for a real-life afterschool program. It is strangely similar to the one where her stories are set—except the students study math instead of fairy tales.   






What Fairy Tales Taught Me About Plot
By Shelby Bach

I love adding new characters, and I especially love giving a side character a strong subplot of their own. Of course, this enthusiasm led to several unruly early drafts of my first novel, Of Giants and Ice, and as an inexperienced novelist, I spent weeks overwhelmed by the number of plot threads I was failing to keep straight and develop effectively. Somewhere around draft number five, I started to use the Rule of Threes to help me structure each of the story arcs. It was a good decision—both for my book and for my sanity.

The Rule of Threes is usually explained as a pattern that occurs three times, which happens a lot in fairy tales. In some, these repetitions occur in just one section: for instance, at the end of “Cinderella,” three people try on the glass slipper the prince is carrying: the two stepsisters and Cinderella. Sometimes, these repetitions make up most of the fairy tale: for example, Jack climbs the Beanstalk three times.

I took a fairy tale course in college that analyzed the Rule of Threes in more detail. (Believe it or not, this was one of the hardest classes I ever took at Vassar. Professor Darlington was a stickler for structure and precision in every paper. My grades suffered, but my writing improved.) First of all, plain repetition gets pretty boring, so our class examined what the three instances actually achieved within the fairy tale: the first one describes the process of actually climbing a beanstalk and sneaking around a giant’s house. The second instance establishes what part of that process is a pattern: Jack climbs the beanstalk again but steals a golden goose from the giant instead those gold coins. (It’s usually the shortest passage.) The third instance, however, breaks with what was established with the first two occurrences and leads to some sort of big change: the giant notices Jack stealing his harp and chases him down the beanstalk. Describing just one trip up the beanstalk would have made a fun story, because the first two instances establishes certain expectations, Jack’s third trip has a bigger impact.

Limiting myself to three occurrences helped me tame the plot threads in Of Giants and Ice. It also forced me to make sure every scene in a certain arc served a purpose. An almost spoiler-free example is the subplot around Rory’s dad. Her parents are divorced, so readers don’t actually see her father in person in Of Giants and Ice. Rory does, however, speak to him on the phone—exactly three times. During the initial call, Rory’s father, a Hollywood director, invites her to a shoot in England during the summer. Rory knows immediately that she doesn’t want to go (he barely pays any attention to her while he’s filming a movie), but afraid of disappointing him, Rory tells him she’ll think about it. Her father doesn’t listen well—he starts telling her all about the actress he wants her to meet when they’re in England. This leads to her mother stepping in and Rory’s parents fighting. The second call takes place a few weeks later. Rory tries to talk to her father about something completely different, but he asks her when her school lets out—he wants to book her flight. She reminds him that she hasn’t made up her mind up and quickly ends the call before her mom can step in again. That’s a tiny step forward—she avoids a fight between her parents, but she still isn’t honest. The third call takes place after Rory has come back from her quest. She discovers from the tabloids that her father has started dating the actress he wanted her to meet in England, and Rory calls him up and tells him that she won’t go on the trip with him. Then she explains exactly how much it upsets her that she had to find out about his new girlfriend from an outside source. Because readers have seen Rory struggle to be honest about her feelings in the previous scenes, her strong stance in the final call has more oomph.


This isn’t much different from most goals in fiction—to show how conflict has changed our characters—but the Rule of Threes was a helpful way to think about it, especially when working with an overwhelming amount of plot threads. As I mentioned earlier, the Rule of Threes was most helpful during the revision process—conscious repetition is easier to develop when you have a whole plot to work with. It’s also easier to recognize where plot threads intersect. In my second novel, Of Witches and Wind, I challenged myself to take several story arcs and see how many third instances I could pack into one scene. It tightened the book’s pacing and gave the ending a way more epic grand finale.

 Find Shelby online:

Blog Tour – Shelby Bach


November 3 – Middle Grade Mafioso
November 4 – From the Mixed-Up Files
November 5 – Log Cabin Library
November 6 – Amanda K. Thompson Blog
November 7 – Novels, News, and Notes
November 8 – Green Bean Teen Queen

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8. Picture Book Month: Buddy and the Bunnies In: Don't Play With Your Food by Bob Shea

November is Picture Book Month! To celebrate, throughout the month I will be sharing about picture books!

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About the Book: Buddy is a monster who wants to eat some bunnies. But these are smart bunnies who know just how to escape being monster dinner.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Ok, so I will probably say that anything Bob Shea writes is wonderful and hilarious. But trust me, Don't Play With Your Food is wonderful and hilarious!

Bob Shea masters writing humor that is appealing to kids and adults and I think he hits the perfect balance with this book. The bunnies are clever and adults will catch on quickly to the bunnies tactics. Kids might be a bit slower to understand exactly what the bunnies have in mind, but they will soon figure it out and be laughing along with the bunnies as they district Buddy with their plans.

Bob Shea also includes lots of clever jokes in the illustrations. It took me a few times reading it to notice the bunnies multiplying throughout each day. It's a small joke that works masterfully in the story.

Don't Play With Your Food is an absolute treat to read aloud. I've used it in storytime multiple times and each time it's a big hit. I love that you can create different voices for the characters. It also works well as a partner reading. I used this with a co-worker on an outreach event and one person played Buddy and one person played the bunnies. It was lots of fun to pair up. I think it could also be a fun speech or reader's theater piece for older students.

Add this one to your storytime and personal collection now if you want to be laughing out loud! It never fails-I crack up every time I read it!

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

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9. Tune In Tuesday

Welcome to Tune In Tuesday! What is Tune In Tuesday? It's a monthly round up about music-favorite songs, favorite albums, and favorite ways to use it in the library! If you have a Tune In Tuesday post this month, be sure to share it in the comments so I can add it to the round up-and let me know if you want to host next month.

The Pop Ups: Appetite for Construction 

I recently discovered The Pop Ups-a fantastic kids music duo from New York and I've become the biggest fan. I've been telling everyone I know about them and trying to get everyone to listen to their music. This is fantastically fun music that kids and parents will love!

The Pop Ups have three albums out, with Appetite for Construction as the latest just released this year. I love all three and they are great for background music for programs at the library or play time at home. But I've also used several of their songs for programs.

Check out a preview for Appetite for Construction.

Robot Dance: I've used this one in my dance party and as part of my geeky storytime. What's more geeky than robots? It's a lot of fun and a great imaginative and pretending song.

Block House: A song about blocks? It's the perfect opening song to kick off my block parties.

Airband (from Outside Voices): I used this one in storytime and we jumped around like rock stars-tons of fun!

Be sure to check out The Pop Ups-I'm sure you'll become addicted to their music like I have!



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10. Picture Book Month: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin

November is Picture Book Month! To celebrate, throughout the month I will be sharing about picture books!

Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin

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About the Book: It's time for bed but two little nuts, Hazel and Wally are having too much fun! Will they listen to Mama Nut?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I love Pete the Cat (let's be honest, I love the original four written by Eric Litwin). They are in my go-to storytime collection. I can recite I Love My White Shoes and Four Groovy Buttons from memory.  So I was excited about The Nuts because I couldn't wait to see what fun and groovy book Mr. Litwin would come up with next.

And I'll be honest, the first time I read this one, I wasn't sure what I thought. It was cute, but did it meet my high expectations and was another good storytime book? Then I read it aloud to my niece and I had my answer-yes!

The key to Bedtime at the Nut House is that it needs to be read aloud. The song needs to be sung and you need to have an audience to enjoy Wally and Hazel's antics.

When I read this one in storytime, the kids really enjoyed it. I had them practice Mama Nut's song "all little nuts need to go up to bed" and Hazel and Wally's refrain of "we're nuts, we're nuts, we're nuts!" and then we were ready to read. The kids had a lot of fun singing "we're nuts!" and the parents laughed at Hazel and Wally's refusal to go to bed and the various ways they try to put off sleeping. Be sure to sing Hazel's part of "fig-a-nut"-it always gets a big laugh. And listen to the nut lullaby on www.thenutfamily.com-it's very sweet and I even sing it to my son at bedtime!

When you have a one on one reading with a child or a small group, you can point out all the jokes in the illustrations. The "dipped nuts" in the ball pit, mama as a "roasted chestnut" when she's upset, and my favorite, the "Nutvana" poster in Hazel and Wally's room. There are so many funny things to find in the illustrations it's a book you'll want to read over and over.

I would add Bedtime at the Nut House to your storyhour collection and gift to every parent and child who have had the battle over bedtime. Another winner from Eric Litwin!

I can't wait for the next Nut adventure


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11. Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little Preorder Giveaway


On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.



Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.


TO ENTER:

  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.


  • PRIZES:





    (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER:



    1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)

    2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson

    3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White

    4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt

    5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf

    6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)

    7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings

    8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)

    9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)

    10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards

    11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)





    (1) SECOND PLACE WINNER:



    1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson

    2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings

    3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)

    4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)

    5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)

    6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards

    7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)









    (13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS:




    1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings

    2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)

    3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards

    4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)










    Good luck!






    Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


    About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.




    Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.




    With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.




    Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.




    Follow Kimberley:



    About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.

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    12. Geek Storytime Part 2: The Return of Fandom Starts Early



    Last year I wrote about the Fandom Starts Early Geeky Storytime I did at my library. I had too much fun that I had to repeat it and hopefully get a crowd of geeky kids and parents to attend. Here's how The Return of Geeky Storytime went.


    Opening Song: A Tootie Ta-this is a great song to get the kids up and moving

    Opening Song: The Robot Dance by The Pop Ups (because we have to dance like robots at geeky storytime!)

    Rhyme: I explained the kids that we would be talking about all sorts of fandoms and being geeky. I told them that geek meant you really loved something and asked what the things they really loved were. They said they loved playing, Batman, and video games. Then I had them recite a rhyme that made up just for our storytime.

    I'm a geek, yes it's true.
    I'm a geek, how about you?
    There are lots of things I love do
    And no one can tell me they are not cool. 
    So stand up proud and shout hooray
    For all the fun things we will do today.

    This book cracks me up every time I read it and the kids had fun shouting out the opposites.
    Song
    Soft Kitty
    Soft kitty,

    Warm kitty,
    Little ball of fur.
    Happy kitty,
    Sleepy kitty, Purr, purr, purr

    Flannel Board: Mustache Lou-I got this flannel story from Sunflower Storytime and used it in my mustache storytime. I thought it was funny and fit my silly geeky theme.




    This book is so interactive and creative I knew it would be perfect for my group.

    Song: The Freeze Dance by Greg and Steve, with special appearance by Doctor Horrible-I used a picture of Doctor Horrible and told the kids about his freeze ray. Whenever he appeared we would have to freeze because he had stunned us with his freeze ray. The kids ended up using their carpet squares as shields to deflect the freeze ray-pretty creative kids!

    Parachute the TARDIS: I used a picture of the TARDIS, made two copies of it and glued popsicle sticks inside to give it some weight. As I played the theme song to Doctor Who, we parachuted the TARDIS so it spun through space and time. The kids had a blast trying to shake the parachute so hard the TARDIS fell out.

    It was also a Free Comic Giveaway Day thanks to our local comic book store! Each kid got two free comics!

    Activity Time:

    Geeky Matching Game-


    -I made a matching game where kids had to match characters to their item (Gandalf to a white horse, Harry to a broomstick, Kirk to the Enterprise, etc) This was an activity that both the parents and kids had lots of fun with.

    Superhero Masks and Supervillain Mustaches 


    -I used our dicut to make the masks and I had some leftover mustache templates from my mustache storytime. This was the most popular activity and the kids loved making the masks.

    Make the One Ring


    -These were leftover from a Hobbit program Miss V and Miss A put together so I reused them for storytime. I put out markers so the kids could write their own inscription on the rings. The rings are made from spray painted paper towel tubes that were then cut up.

    Star Wars ABCs

    -This was also left over from a Star Wars program that Miss V and Miss A did. I used the poster of Star Wars ABCs and the death star (globe painted with chalk paint) and a Star Wars: The Clone Wars Pop Up Book.

    Star Trek Colors

    -I used the foam blocks that we have in our storyhour collection for a color sorting activity. I asked the kids to match the blocks into the correct Starfleet colors-Red for command (with Picard), Yellow for Security and Engineering (with Data) and Blue for Medical and Science (with Crusher).

    How it Went: Overall it was a lot of fun. The crowd was smaller this year and I had eight kids attend. I did have kids that liked superheroes, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who attend this time around so that was fun. I still think there's a geeky audience out there somewhere for my Fandom Storytime-I just need to find it! I'm thinking I might try it as an outreach event and find those geeky parents somehow. I know I'm not the only one who thinks a fandom storytime is lots of fun!


    0 Comments on Geek Storytime Part 2: The Return of Fandom Starts Early as of 10/28/2014 9:25:00 AM
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    13. Atlantia by Ally Condie Giveaway

    Add to Goodreads

    About the Book: Rio lives Below in Atlantia. Since the Divide, Below in Atlantia is the safest place to be. The intricate water system of tunnels and habitats makes a safe environment for the surviving humans. But Rio longs to go Above.

    After the death of their mother, Rio promises her twin sister Bay she will stay Below and they can be together. But when Bay unexpectedly chooses to leave for Above, Rio is left to figure out just why Bay left. With a dangerous mentor in her aunt, Rio tries to uncover what happened to her mother and tries to formulate a plan to escape through the complex system of Atlantia to Above.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: It's hard to describe Atlantia. It's a little bit dystopian,  an underwater world setting, a story about sirens, and a little bit of mystery. It's a book that has a lot going on!

    The main part of the story focuses on Rio, who is trying to find a way out of Atlantia and escape to Above where she longs to be. Things are unveiled slowly throughout about Rio's gift as a siren and as to how and why the Divide occurred and how Atlantia was formed. If you're a reader who wants all the information up front, you're going to have to be patient because things are uncovered bit by bit. Hints are dropped throughout and things mentioned and then layers are added to the story to slowly answer the questions Rio and the reader have.

    Rio is a siren, as is her aunt and sirens are one of the miracles of Atlantia. I really liked the siren lore and aspects of the novel and it was unique without feeling like a paranormal. I think even readers who typically shy away from novels with magical creatures would find these sirens to be engaging and very human.

    The plot is interesting and the story is engaging, but it does have a bit of a slower pace, which might surprise some readers, especially fans of Matched. The writing is rich and detailed though and Atlantia is an interesting world to uncover.

    The great thing about Atlantia is that it's a stand alone novel-yay! Don't worry about having to commit to a series-it's all right here in one book.

    Would you like to win a copy of Atlantia? One lucky reader will receive a signed copy thanks to Penguin Books for Young Readers! Leave a comment below to enter.

    -One entry per person
    -Contest ends 10/28
    -US Address only Please
    -Age 13+

    0 Comments on Atlantia by Ally Condie Giveaway as of 10/22/2014 8:51:00 AM
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    14. MLA: Need to Know Teen Lit 2014

    I am very excited to present on Need to Know Teen Lit (and some Middle Grade!) at the Missouri Library Association Conference. Here is the list of books I talked about. Let me know if you have any others to suggest!

    Trends
    #weneeddiversebooks-be sure to check out the Tumblr page

    "The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park":

    I’ll Give You the Sun
    Maybe One Day
    Say What You Will
    Side Effects May Vary

    Zac and Mia

    Other John Green and Rainbow Rowell connections:
    Althea and Oliver (Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Eleanor and Park)
    The Drowned Forest (Looking for Alaska meets Stephen King
    Let’s Get Lost (Paper Towns)
    Love and Other ForgienWords (for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell)
    The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy (for fans of John Green
    All the Bright Places (out in 2015)
    Everyday Angel ("John Green for middle grade with a touch of magic")

    Teen Written Memoirs:
    Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek
    Positive
    This Star Won’t Go Out
    Laughing at My Nightmare
    We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarassingly, a True Story

    The Books:
    100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
    Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
    The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
    Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
    Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack
    The Crossover by Kwami Alexander
    Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire
    The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni
    The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
    Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
    Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
    Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
    The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
    In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
    The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
    Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
    Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels by Rob Harrell
    Loot by Jude Watson
    The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham
    A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
    My True Love Gave to Me by various authors
    Noggin by John Corey Whaley
    The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
    Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
    Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
    Saving Lucas Biggs by Marissa de los Santos and David Teague
    Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
    Sekret by Lindsay Smith
    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
    Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
    Sisters by Raina Telgemeir
    A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
    A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
    To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
    The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson
    Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
    West of the Moon by Margi Preus
    Wildlife by Fiona Wood
    The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
    We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
    When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
    Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts

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    15. ALSC Blog: Block Party!

    Today I'm over at the ALSC Blog talking about our successful summer program of Block Parties! Come check it out!

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    16. Author Guest Post: Julie Sternberg PLUS GIVEAWAY

    Please welcome author Julie Sternberg to the blog! Julie writes very funny books for middle grade readers and they include fantastic illustrations. I asked Julie to talk about what it's like working with an illustrator with her books since her books are such a big combination of pictures and text.
    Credit:Meredith Zinner

    I am embarrassed to admit this, but here goes:  I did not instantly love the illustrations for my first book, LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE. 

    I love them wholeheartedly now. I can’t imagine better ones.  And a framed copy of this one is the first thing I see when I walk into my apartment. It makes me very happy:


    But, in the beginning, I found the illustrations jarring, for this reason: Although the PICKLE JUICE story is fiction, it is based on a moment in my life; and I had a clear picture in my head of most of the characters. The book’s immensely talented illustrator, Matthew Cordell, has never met me (authors and illustrators don’t typically meet) or the people I had in mind when I wrote the story. The illustrations show his vision of the characters, not mine. That can be hard, especially for a first-time author. 
    But I adjusted! Matt made it easy for me, with pictures like these:  

    I skipped the startled phase with Johanna Wright’s illustrations for FRIENDSHIP OVER, the first book in THE TOP-SECRET DIARY OF CELIE VALENTINE series. I’d gone through the process before, and the story and characters are farther removed from my life. So it was easier to simply enjoy Johanna’s vision.  
    Our process for the FRIENDSHIP OVER illustrations was particularly fun for me, too. Usually authors are urged to include very few, if any, art notes for the illustrator. The general rule is that an art note is only appropriate if the text requires a particular image—and one that isn’t clear from the text itself. (For example, the author might want to make a joke that the text sets up and the illustration finishes. In that case, an art note can set out the punchline for the illustrator.) 
    I can’t remember including a single art note for Matt. But, in FRIENDSHIP OVER, Celie is supposed to be drawing the pictures in her diary. They are very much a product of her thinking. So I was able to include many art notes, saying, essentially, this is what Celie wants to sketch here. It was astonishing how well Johanna translated those notes into pictures that absolutely could have been drawn by Celie herself. 
    Just as one example:  The art note said, “insert dispirited doodle by Celie, maybe of a very small Celie on very large sofa,”and Johanna drew:

    I want to emphasize that I have NO visual artistic ability. I struggle with bubble letters (particularly S and N). Yet all of my stories have been enhanced by remarkable art. I feel very, very lucky. 

    Follow Julie's blog tour for Friendship Over:
    Mon, Sept 29
    Mother Daughter Book Club
    Tues, Sept 30
    5 Minutes for Mom
    Wed, Oct 1
    Sharpread
    Thurs, Oct 2
    KidLit Frenzy
    Fri, Oct 3
    The Hiding Spot
    Sat, Oct 4
    Booking Mama
    Mon, Oct 6
    Ms. Yingling Reads
    Tues, Oct 7
    GreenBeanTeenQueen
    Wed, Oct 8
    Great Kid Books
    Thurs, Oct 9
    Teach Mentor Texts
    Fri, Oct 10
    Unleashing Readers
    Sat, Oct 11
    Bermuda Onion

    Want to win a copy of Friendship Over? Leave a comment below!

    One entry per person, contest ends October 14, ages 13+, US address only, contest thanks to Blue Slip Media


    0 Comments on Author Guest Post: Julie Sternberg PLUS GIVEAWAY as of 10/7/2014 11:13:00 AM
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    17. Blog Tour: Can I Come Too by Brian Patten, illustrated by Nicola Bayley


    About the Book: A young mouse sets out on a grand adventure to discover the biggest animal in the world and makes new friends along the way.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Can I Come Too is a sweet and charming cumulative picture book perfect for preschoolers. The little mouse wants to discover the biggest animal in the world and spends the day meeting new animals and discovering bigger and bigger animals along the way.

    The illustrations are gorgeous and are sure to inspire readers to pour over the pages and take in all the details. The text is simple enough for young readers but engaging enough for older readers to join in.


    I love how the author deftly includes some science into the text. What animal is the biggest animal in the world? What animal will be next-it has to be larger than the animal we just met. It's a great way to get kids thinking about animals and their size. Pair this one with Steve Jenkins Actual Size for a fun filled animal science storytime! 

    Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publisher for review

    Be sure to follow the tour: 


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    18. Blog Tour: The Rise of Aurora West and EXLUSIVE ART by David Rubin




    About the Book: Monsters are plaguing Arcopolis and children are not safe. Haggard West is the hero that is trying to take them down and he has an apprentice: his daughter Aurora West. Aurora discovers that the monsters may have something to do with the mystery behind her mother's death and if she can unlock her childhood memories and remember her imaginary friend, she might be able to piece it all together. All she has to do is survive Sadisto and his murderous gang long enough to uncover the past.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen: The Rise of Aurora West is set in the same world as Battling Boy but is a prequel to that graphic novel and stands on its own. No prior knowledge or readership of Battling Boy is required, but I'm sure readers will want to pick up Battling Boy after finishing this one! The story is fast paced and is a bit dark with an everyday hero out to fight monsters in a dystopian future.

    The Rise of Aurora West is a graphic novel with lots of adventure, mystery, family drama and secrets, an awesome hero on the rise and a fantastic father/daughter relationship. Add in some pretty creepy monsters, a city with no hope, and a a bit of archaeology and you've got one action packed story that is easy to get lost in. This is part one of a two volume series and I can't wait to get my hands on the next part of Aurora's story! If you have graphic novel fans who enjoy adventure and hero stories, be sure to add this one to your shelves.

    Check out this exclusive art from David Rubin featuring one of those creepy monsters-seriously, I would not want to run into this guy!



     Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by publisher for review

    0 Comments on Blog Tour: The Rise of Aurora West and EXLUSIVE ART by David Rubin as of 9/25/2014 9:39:00 AM
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    19. Blog Tour: Stanley the Builder by William Bee PLUS Giveaway

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    About the Book: Stanley is a helpful guinea pig who helps his friend Myrtle build a new house.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: When it comes to picture books, I can't help but do the storytime browse when I look through them. You know the one. You open a book, check the length of the text on the page and if it's a page long, you put it aside in the not for storytime pile. Yes, I know, longer picture books are great for lapsits and older readers, but I'm always on the lookout for simple text to use with my youngest storytime crowd.

    New toddler books are hard to find so I am thrilled that William Bee's Stanley is here! Bright colors, simple text and fantastic vocabulary all make this a wonderful addition to toddler storytime.

    Stanley builds Myrtle's house using a variety of trucks which is sure to be a hit with young readers. I love that in addition to the vocabulary of each vehicle used, there's also an introduction to the color of each vehicle. The colors are bright and vibrant and sure to engage young readers who will love looking at Stanley's adventures.


    Along with his friend Charlie, Stanley builds Myrtle's house using concrete, bricks, nails and of course paint! 


    The process of building is explained in a way that toddlers will understand. They're sure to want to read it again and again. And who can resist the adorable Stanley? 

    Stanley is a great addition to toddler storytimes and would pair nicely with Lauren Thompson's Mouse Series

    Would you like to win a copy? 
    -One entry per person
    -US Address only
    -13+
    -Contest ends September 8

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    Full Disclosure: Copy reviewed from galley received from publisher for review 



    0 Comments on Blog Tour: Stanley the Builder by William Bee PLUS Giveaway as of 9/1/2014 8:49:00 AM
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    20. Tune In Tuesday

    Welcome to the first ever Tune In Tuesday! What is Tune In Tuesday? It's a monthly round up about music-favorite songs, favorite albums, and favorite ways to use it in the library! If you have a Tune In Tuesday post this month, be sure to share it in the comments so I can add it to the round up-and let me know if you want to host next month. (Also, if anyone is super creative with making logos, would you make one for Tune In Tuesday?)


     

    -I only recently discovered Bari Koral Family Rock Band and it's a new favorite of mine. When I looked the groups website, I noticed a blurb that said "Sheryl Crow for kids" and I couldn't agree more. 

    The songs are catchy and folksy and perfect for kids of all ages and their grown ups. The album has a great indie folk feel and is one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to adults. I wouldn't be surprised if adults enjoyed listening to this one even without the kids around.

     I used some songs from this album at my most recent Bibliobop dance party and they were big hits. I used Bee with scarves and had the kids shake the scarves anytime the chorus came on about the bumblebee. It was a great slow versus fast song and I had one girl tell me that it was her favorite song of the day. I also used Give a Hug as an ending song and plan to use it in an upcoming storytime on friendship. I've also recently started using it as background music during activity and craft time during storytime and it's fantastic background music too! 



    -Zee Avi is an artist who needs to produce more children's albums. Seriously, Ms. Avi-please getto work on that right now and children and parents everywhere will thank you. Nightlight  is a cover album full of lullabies ranging from Rainbow Connection to Don't Worry Be Happy to Mockingbird. There's also a Nightlight Medley which includes a Malaysian lullaby perfect for introducing kids to lullabies from around the world. (and would pair nicely with Putumayo Kids Dreamland) The entire collection is beautiful with Zee Avi's delicate and tender voice and gorgeous melodies combining to make a fantastic lullaby collection that's not just for kids-or bedtime. This album is perfect for anytime you want to put some lovely, peaceful music. 

    I used Mockingbird as a parachute song at my dance party. It was the perfect tempo for the younger kids and a great calm song to slow things down after a full morning of dancing hard. This would be another great choice to also use as background playtime music anytime.


    Roundup:

    Abby the Librarian talks about using Asheba's Monkeys-this is one of my favorites too Abby! 

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    21. Blog Tour: Stanley's Garage by William Bee

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    About the Book: It's another busy day for Stanley! His friends need help fixing their cars and Stanley and his garage is there to rescue them.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Stanley's adventure in his garage is perfect for transportation loving toddlers. William Bee's illustrations are bright and colorful. The color scheme and clear illustration style make this one that would work great in a group setting for storytime as well as one on one.

    Stanley's friends all drive different colored cars, so there's a subtle inclusion of color introduction as well as a simplified insight into what cars need to run. Animals need help fixing a flat tire or getting gas and Stanley helps another friend whose car breaks down and needs a tow. The text is simple but offers a lot of great vocabulary (overheating, radiator, oil) which is a fantastic way to give young readers a look into how cars work.

    The Stanley books follow the same format-Stanley helps his friends and then heads home for supper, a bath, and bed after a busy day. The repeating format, fun illustrations, and engaging text make this series stand out as a great toddler addition. A sure hit with young readers-be prepared to read about Stanley's adventures frequently!

    Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent by publisher

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    22. Blog Tour: Visions of the Future: Writers Talk About Their Apocalypses

    I'm very excited to host the next stop in the Visions of the Future Tour from MacTeens. Emmy Layborne is talking about her post-apocalyptic world in her series Monument 14.




    Ah! Post-apocalyptic visions of mass destruction - you are so varied, so specific and so horrible! It’s a pleasure to be here today talking about my own personal brand of ruination.

    In the Monument 14 trilogy, an escalating series of environmental catastrophes results in a breach of chemical weapon storage facilities at NORAD. 

    Two chemical weapons are released. One is a magnetized blackout cloud, designed to hover above the detonation site and jam all radio, television and cell signals. The other is a compound called MORS, which divides the population based on blood type, turning people with Type AB blood into paranoid freaks, people with A blood blister up and die almost immediately. Type O people become deranged, consumed with bloodlust, driven to slaughter indiscriminately. The fourth blood type, B, shows no outward symptoms. They’ve been made sterile and infertile, but otherwise they’re fine - and must witness the chaos and bloodshed around them.

    Fourteen kids ranging in age from 5 to 18 wind up stranded together in the relative safety of an empty super store. Inside, they must band together to form a new society in order to survive the threats of their new world.

    Once I finished Monument 14, I took a moment to ask myself: What is wrong with you, Emmy?
    Why did you feel the need to cast the world into such darkness? Why did you have a mega-tsunami wipe out the eastern seaboard? (That happened in the chain of catastrophes I mentioned before.) Why did you set the epicenter of all this misery in Monument, Colorado - where your own mother-in-law lives?! 
    Okay, so I can totally answer the first one. It had nothing to do with destroying my MIL’s hometown, I promise. I simply wanted a small town in Colorado, and I was familiar with Monument and knew I’d be visiting Monument 2-3 times a year to do additional research. I swear!

    But why did I feel the need to create such a dark world? And why did my vision of the future have such a high body-count? One answer is that I created a dark world so that the inner light of my characters could shine through. There’s truth in it, but that seems a little easy, doesn’t it? 

    Did I do it because I was following the trends? God, no. If I’d been following the trends I would have made the central character a girl and put her smack dab in the middle of a Niko/Jake love triangle!

    I think my impulse to destroy the world comes from a sub-conscious recognition of a true need that young adults have. I think post-apocalyptic and dystopian YA literature originates from this: Teenagers need to destroy the world of their parents so that they can create their own, new worlds. 

    And so, in the twisted, terrifying world of Monument, CO in the year 2024, I forced the characters to create a new social construct and to find out who they are - in a new (okay, terribly dark and violent) world. 
    So there you have my rumination on the post-apocalyptic world I created in the Monument 14 trilogy. Hey, I’d love for you to read the series and tell me why you think I put the kids in such terrible danger.

    Thanks again for having me here! If you’d like, follow me on on InstagramTwitter or like my author page over at Facebook. And over at www.emmylaybourne.com you’ll find giveaways and the latest news on the “Monument 14” movie deal. 


    Be sure to follow the tour:
    Monday: Andrew Smith at Cuddlebuggery 
    Tuesday: Caragh O'Brien at Finding Wonderland
    Wednesday: Farel Dalrymple at The Book Wars
    Thursday: Here!
    Friday: Carrie Ryan at Forever YA

    0 Comments on Blog Tour: Visions of the Future: Writers Talk About Their Apocalypses as of 9/11/2014 9:00:00 AM
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    23. Evil Librarian Blog Tour: Michelle Knudsen Guest Post

    Please welcome Michelle Knudsen to GreenBeanTeenQueen! She's sharing a playlist of her favorite musical theater songs in honor of her latest book, Evil Librarian.

    About the Book: (from Goodreads): #EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

    When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety)

    Like Cyn, the main character in Evil Librarian, I love musical theater. In college, a bunch of my theater friends and I lived on the far edge of campus from where rehearsals usually were, and we got into the habit of listening to musical theater mix tapes during the drives there and back. I would often listen to my favorite songs from shows and sing along in the car when alone, too, but it was even more fun to do it with a few like-minded friends who could all sing different characters in the multi-part numbers. In honor of the Evil Librarian blog tour, I thought I’d put together a little playlist of some of my favorite musical theater songs — the ones that would definitely make it onto a playlist if I were making a new one today. These are in no particular order — it’s just a list, not a ranking. :)

    1. “Quartet (A Model of Decorum and Tranquility” from Chess (U.S. version)
    Chess is one of my all-time favorite musicals to listen to (both the Broadway and London versions, which are very different from each other) although I’ve never yet seen it performed on stage.

    2. “I Heard Someone Crying” from The Secret Garden
    This is one we used to sing together in the car on the way to rehearsal. I’ve never seen this one live either, although (of course) I’ve read the book it’s based on.

    3. “Potiphar” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    They did this one my freshman year of high school, and it was a lot of fun to watch and listen to. I still really love all the music, but this is one of the songs I most often find randomly popping into my head.

    4. “Belle” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
    I’d go with the movie soundtrack version on this one. Does that still count? I saw the movie in the theater 10 times when it first came out. And I still love to sing this one in the car. And outside the car. I still know every word by heart.

    5. “Any Moment: Moments in the Woods” from Into the Woods
    It was hard deciding between this one and “On the Steps of the Palace.” Those are my two favorite songs to sing from this show. I saw the Public Theater “Sondheim in the Park” production in 2012 which was amazing (with the same two best friends mentioned in #7 below).

    6. “One Day More” from Les Misérables
    One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals of all time. I think I picked this one for this list over “Stars” (another of my favorites) because it’s got everyone in it, and I love big ensemble numbers so much.

    7. “The Devil You Know” from Side Show
    I first encountered Side Show at Broadway on Broadway in NYC with two of my best friends (the two friends Evil Librarian is dedicated to, actually) and I fell in love with it at once. I didn’t get to see it on Broadway before it closed, so I’m super excited about the revival opening this fall!

    8. “Heaven on Their Minds” from Jesus Christ Superstar
    I love to sing this one, but never where anyone can hear me. I know I can’t really sing it. I’m sure it sounds ridiculous and horrible when I try. But I love to anyway.

    9. “Skid Row (Downtown)” from Little Shop of Horrors
    We did this one in high school. It’s really not a good show for the chorus, at least in terms of stage time — except for a few small character parts, most of the chorus only got to sing in the opening and the finale. But it’s a fabulous show to watch/listen to. (I love the movie version, too, which is not always the case.)

    10. “A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd
    I couldn’t end this list without including something from Sweeney Todd, which is the show Cyn and her classmates are doing in the book. One of my all-time favorites. If you’ve never seen it, buy or borrow a copy of the 1982 recording of the Angela Lansbury/George Hearn performance and watch! I love this song because it’s such a great example of the blending of the darkness and humor and madness and brilliance that runs through the entire show.

    Follow the tour:
    WhoRuBlog
    9/9/2014
    Elizabeth O. Dulemba
    9/13/2014
    Random Chalk Talk
    9/10/2014
    Books 4 Your Kids
    9/11/2014
    Green Bean Teen Queen
    9/12/2014
    Katie's Book Blog
    9/15/2014
    Word Spelunking
    9/16/2-14
    Book Chic Club
    9/17/2014

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    24. Blog Tour: Pig and Small by Alex Latimer

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    About the Book: Pig and Bug want to be friends, but their size difference is causing them trouble. Bug is too small to play chess and Pig is too big for Bug's presents. Can they find anything that they can do together?

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Pig and Small is an adorable picture book about friendship. Pig and Bug work hard to be friends, but it's not always easy because of their size. But they find things they have in common and it makes their friendship stronger. It's a great story about working at friendship and finding things to do together as friends.

    The illustrations add to the detail and humor-Bug sweating and pushing hard on a large chess piece, Pig chomping on a small cake in one bite. The illustrations add more for kids to talk about and discuss. The message that friendship doesn't always come easily is thoughtful and portrayed in a sweet and humorous way.

    Pig and Small could also be a great addition to preschool storytimes and pair well with other seemingly mismatched friend stories.

    Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publisher

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    25. Be a Changemaker Blog Tour: Laurie Thompson Guest Post

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    About the Book: Do you think you have what it takes to be a changemaker? Laurie Thompson shares stories of young entrepreneurs whose ideas made a difference and shares how readers can be changemakers themselves.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: If you're looking for an inspiring book that will get you excited-and give you advice-on how to ignite change, Be a Changemaker is going to kickstart your ambitions. Laurie Thompson gives readers examples of young entrepreneurs who decided to make a change and start something that mattered and gives practical, easy to follow advice for teens looking to start something in their own community. The result is inspiring and is sure to spark ideas among teens about how they can get involved.

    The book covers a wide range of topics and balances real life experiences and stories with ways teens can start now and get involved in their community. The library is the perfect place to get teens involved! I would love to host a library book discussion over this book and see what ideas the teens come up with!


    Please welcome Laurie Thompson to GreenBeanTeenQueen! She has a great idea for how libraries can encourage changemakers and be at the forefront of the changemaker revolution! I know I can't wait to think about using Makerspaces as a place for reaching out in the community and I hope others will join in as well!

    Making Change in Schools and Libraries
    As a parent and kidlit author, I try to keep up with trends in education and library services. Two recent trends in these areas that seem to be popping up all over lately are a focus on STEM topics and the emergence of makerspaces. I think there’s great potential in adding the idea of changemaking—solving real-world problems in the community and beyond—to both of those missions, in schools and in libraries.
    As technology continues to advance, the world keeps changing faster and faster, and it has been widely accepted that having a solid foundation in the STEM subjects will be necessary for an individual to thrive in that environment. But, rather than contriving exercises and assigning made-up tasks, perhaps we could instead focus on teaching STEM-related skills in the context of how they can be used to solve actual problems that students care about. What better way to learn and practice new STEM-related skills than by applying them to a clear and relevant purpose? Mastering new skills is that much more satisfying when students can immediately use them to help themselves and others in their own communities. Focusing on empowering people to become changemakers naturally leads them to improving their STEM-related skills, thereby teaching those STEM-related skills in direct, hands-on ways with meaningful applications.
    Many schools and libraries across the country are now experimenting with offering makerspaces, places where people can go to create and build together using shared technology, equipment, and tools. Typically, the emphasis is making tangible items that can then be taken home. But what if the same concepts of collaboration and shared resources were applied to changemaking, with an emphasis instead on solutions—projects that can be applied to problems in the greater community? Why not take the image of a typical makerspace user—a hobbyist or an entrepreneur—and extend it to a community activist or social entrepreneur? If the purpose of a makerspace is to allow people to be creative with technology, it seems to make sense for us to encourage and empower makers to create solutions to problems they see around them every day.
    We know that schools and libraries exist to provide information and opportunities for connection to others, and both of those goals mean so much more when directed toward a higher purpose. Whatever area you’re thinking about—STEM education, the maker culture, humanities, the arts, etc.—everything jumps to the next level when you give it a direction and apply it to a problem that really matters. Plus, whenever anyone in a community is empowered to become a changemaker, it benefits not just the individual but everyone in the community, and not just once but on an ongoing basis.
    So, can schools and libraries to start making change a priority within their communities? Most already have in place the resources necessary to enable a changemaking mindset, they just need to increase awareness of those resources and the endless possibilities for their application in the realm of changemaking and allow people to form groups around the causes they care out. In this way, schools and libraries plant the seeds of inspiration and give them room to grow, while enabling students and patrons to bloom into active changemakers within their communities. When a school or library makes change accessible, anyone in that community can become a changemaker. And that’s a very good thing—for everyone.

    Follow the Be a Changemaker Tour:
    Fri, Sept 19
    A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
    Sat. Sept 20
    Elizabeth O. Dulemba

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