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A Teen and Tween Librarian's thoughts on books, reading and adventures in the library.
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1. Picture Book Month: The Great Thanksgiving Escape

The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing

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About the Book: What's a kid to do when it's another Thanksgiving at Grandma's full of relatives? Try to escape to the back yard and the swing set! Can they do it?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Escaping Thanksgiving family drama can be hard for anyone, especially if you're a kid. There are guard dogs, overly affectionate aunts, zombies, and the great hall of butts! Giving a kids-eye view of family gatherings, Gavin and his cousin Rhonda try to make a break for it through a family filled obstacle course.

These two kids who aren't babies anymore but are too old for the teenager table weave their way through family to find their place at Thanksgiving. It's a humorous take on surviving family gettogethers when you're that pesky in between age and can't seem to fit anywhere. Some of the humor I think will be understood more by adults than the kids but it's a silly book to enjoy together and a funny take on your usual Thanksgiving read.

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from library copy

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2. Picture Book Month: Kids Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith

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About the Book: The Terrible Toads are causing havoc all over Drywater Gulch. They are in need of a hero to solve their toad problem. Enter Sheriff Ryan, riding into town on his turtle. He might not know a lot about robbery and roping, but he sure knows a lot about dinosaurs. And that has to come in handy when catching criminals.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This is a perfect picture book pairing bringing together a hilarious duo. Lane Smith captures the Western-style wonderfully with brown and beige hues makes the reader feel as though they've landed in Drywater Gulch. Bob Shea's text is written to be read aloud. This book just begs to be read aloud with various accents and voices.

The reader will laugh along as the oblivious (or is he really?) Sheriff Ryan makes many observations about dinosaurs along the way. The humor comes from the Toads wanting the credit for their crimes and Sheriff Ryan and the Toads each outdoing each other with what really caused each incident.

Is Sheriff Ryan a smart sheriff who knew who to catch the criminals all along? Or does he just love dinosaurs? The book has such a hilarious twist that readers will be laughing and talking about it long after the book is finished. This is the perfect read aloud for school visits!

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

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3. Picture Book Month: Picture Book Biographies

This year we've seen lots of picture book biographies! Here are a few of my favorites:


A Boy and A Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chein

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About the Book: A shy boy who stutters find comfort in talking to animals.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Oh how I have my fingers crossed for a Schneider Award win for this book! (If you don't know about the Schneider Award, it is given to a book that "embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience." I believe that A Boy and A Jaguar does that perfectly. It's a powerful story told in a simple way. Alan Rabinowitz describes how he always had trouble speaking, that no one knew what to do about his stuttering and how he felt most at home when he was with animals. He talked to animals at the zoo and he practiced speaking to his pets at home. His love of animals combines with his desire to give animals a voice. As he studies jaguars and remembers the jaguar he saw and spoke to at the zoo, he becomes a powerful advocate for saving the jaguar. What I love most about this book is that it isn't a story about growing up and getting over a disability. It's a story of living with a disability and not letting it stop you from your dreams. 


Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson


About the Book: The fascinating story of entertainer Josephine Baker.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was vaguely aware of Josephine Baker before reading this book, but only as someone who was a performer. I learned so much from this book and I was dazzled by the text and the art. It is the perfect tribute to such an eccentric and fabulous star. The text is told in a verse, poetic format that makes you feel the jazz and rhythm of Josephine. The illustrations match this perfectly adding the perfect amount of spark and energy. The illustrations jump off the page and dance before the readers eyes. It's a dazzling picture book biography that is absolutely stunning. I would have put this on my library's Mock Caldecott list if I didn't think the length would deter some of the younger readers (it's a longer picture book biography, coming in at just over 100 pages). But maybe Josephine will surprise us all with an award win this Winter!

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

About the Book: The story of Peter Roget, who created Roget's Thesaurus, the most widely used and continuously published thesaurus. 

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I feel like the theme of picture book biographies is sometimes "here's a quirky person and some facts that make them stand out and show that quirky is special." That's not a bad thing at all, but it sometimes gives picture book biographies a feel of simplicity and sameness (which I am sure Roget could have thought of better words!) And while that might be part of the message of The Right Word (Roget prefers to be alone, is shy, and loves to make lists of words), it feels different. The combination of text and illustrations blend together perfectly. Melissa Sweet uses letters, book pages, and a scrapbook style to create a visually stunning biography. Jen Bryant's text give insight into Roget's life without sounding too easy or simplistic. It's the perfect balance of fact and heart and brings readers into Roget's life. The Right Word was a book I finished and immediatly wanted to give to someone else to pour over, read, and enjoy all the illustrations. It's a beautiful package.

Full Disclosure: All titles reviewed from library copies

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4. Picture Book Month: Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett is having a very good 2014! He has three picture book releases this year, all of which are delightful! Be sure to check them out!


Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

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About the Book: Sam and Dave are digging a hole and they won't give up until they find something spectacular.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mac Barnett teams up with Jon Klassen for another winner. Klassen's illustrations match the text perfectly and gives the feel of an outdoor adventure. Readers will spot the spectacular treasure that is hiding just out of Sam and Dave's reach and are sure to laugh when the get so close but then change directions. They'll also be sure to notice the dog is the only one who seems to have a nose for treasure hunting. A fun tale that is sure to inspire some digging of your own.

President Taft is Stuck in the Bath

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About the Book: President Taft is stuck in the bath! How will he get out?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mac Barnett takes on a presidential tall tale with humorous results. The president is stuck in the bath and everyone has an idea of how to help. The ideas get more and more ridiculous, from butter to explosions. There are also plenty of textual humor from the secretary of the treasury who responds with "throw money at the problem" to "the answer is inside you" from the secretary of the interior.  Chris Van Dusen's illustrations are cartoonish and add to the humor of the tale. The end of the book provides some historical facts about President Taft and his bathtub. This would pair with King Bidgood's in the Bathtub for a silly bathtime storytime.

Telephone

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About the Book: It's time for Peter to fly home, but his message about dinner gets scrambled along the telephone line.

GreenBeanTeenQueen: Remember the game telephone? Where what you start out saying ends up completely different? Mac Barnett and Jen Corace re-imagine the telephone game with a flock of birds on a telephone wire with hilarious results. Each new message gets more and more mixed up which is sure to leave young readers howling with delight. Each bird hears something new that makes sense to them and matches their own interests and hobbies. The illustrations reflect the each birds interests and helps the reader find clues as to why each bird heard what they did. A hilarious take on a the game of telephone perfect for reading aloud.

Full Disclosure: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and President Taft is Stuck in the Bath reviewed from finished copies sent by the publishers. Telephone reviewed from library copy.


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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. 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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9. 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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


0 Comments on Picture Book Month: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin as of 11/3/2014 1:11:00 PM
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15. 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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    16. 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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    17. 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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    18. 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

    0 Comments on MLA: Need to Know Teen Lit 2014 as of 10/9/2014 3:08:00 PM
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    19. 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

    0 Comments on Evil Librarian Blog Tour: Michelle Knudsen Guest Post as of 9/12/2014 7:58:00 AM
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    20. Blog Tour: Pig and Small by Alex Latimer

    Add to Goodreads

    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

    0 Comments on Blog Tour: Pig and Small by Alex Latimer as of 9/15/2014 10:00:00 AM
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    21. Be a Changemaker Blog Tour: Laurie Thompson Guest Post

    Add to Goodreads

    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

    0 Comments on Be a Changemaker Blog Tour: Laurie Thompson Guest Post as of 9/18/2014 9:22:00 AM
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    22. 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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    23. 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: 


    0 Comments on Blog Tour: Can I Come Too by Brian Patten, illustrated by Nicola Bayley as of 10/6/2014 12:23:00 PM
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    24. 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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    25. 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!

    0 Comments on ALSC Blog: Block Party! as of 10/9/2014 9:35:00 AM
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