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1. Messy Art and Creative Movement

This Fall, my staff and I got very excited about offering something new in addition to our regular weekly storytimes. We wanted to shake things up a bit in our schedule. Luckily I have staff members who are especially excited and inspired by change and trying new things. I wanted to offer a regular music and movement program ( more than my once a quarter dance party) and I had a staff member who wants to do an art program. So after brainstorming and scheduling we created Toddler Art (ages 18 months-36 months) and Preschool Wiggleworms (ages 3-6) to host on Friday mornings.

I was a bit worried about how changing our schedule and taking out Friday storytimes for something else would effect the rest of our programs. Would our other storytimes have a huge jump in attendance? Would we just end up with repeats from earlier in the week? So far, our storytime numbers haven’t had much change and while we do see some families come back for our Friday sessions, we’ve notice a whole new crowd coming into the library. Families are coming to the art program and exploring art activities with a space to get messy. Our preschoolers are loving the chance to do more creative movement, parachute play, instruments and rhythm sticks. We’re bringing kids and families in who haven’t attended a storytime and are discovering all the awesome things we do at the library. Plus, we’re offering this sessions for free where other similar music and art sessions have a fee.

We’ve been running the programs foe a month and have heard numerous comments from patrons thanking us for the programs, providing an opportunity to introduce the arts to kids, and for having a fun, creative family experience. I’m looking into our Spring and Summer schedule and thinking so it how to offer these programs in the evenings or weekends to accommodate working families. I love being able to offer a place for kids to explore art and music and adding these new programs has been a great scheduling change!

The post Messy Art and Creative Movement appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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2. A New Mentor Text for Opinion Writing

Finally! I've found a new picture book I can use in opinion writing units of study. Learn more about One Word from Sophia by Averbeck and Ismail in this post. Then, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of this book.

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3. Etheree poems for October

This month the Poetry Sisters have been working on producing Etheree poems. This form consists of ten lines; and the poems grow by add one syllable to each line. There are no rhymes. Trisha got us started early in the month by posting about the form on here Monday Poetry Stretch. I submitted my first poem there, and then later worked on a few others. You might be able to tell I am in the fall

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4. Dhonielle Clayton @ #yalsa15

The Young Adult Services Symposium is not only great for networking, broadening your horizons but as well as meeting great authors! The author I would like to talk a little about is Dhonielle Clayton. Clayton has recently released her first novel, which she wrote with Sona Charaipotra entitled, Tiny Pretty Things. Clayton will also be releasing a fantasy book series, The Belles, in 2016. I am certain that if you are a teen librarian, you have heard the hot topic about needing more diverse teen books. Well, that's where Dhonielle and Sona Charaipotra’s expertise comes in handy. They have cofounded CAKE Literacy. CAKE Literacy is described as a "commitment to creating delicious and diverse concepts for middle grade, teen and women’s fiction readers".

Why CAKE? Well, usually when these two ladies would meet to discuss books and writing, they always had a slice of cake with their discussions. CAKE Literacy came about because they both shared love for the TV series The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars and noticed how there wasn't any diversity in those shows. Come to think of it, nearly all the fantasy genre books I have read, also lack diversity. With that in mind, I agree with Dhonielle and Sona and support CAKE Literacy! If you haven't check out their website, please do! It's visually stimulating. Don’t forget to visit Dhonielle Clayton at the 2015 YA Services Symposium.

The 2015 YALSA Young Adult Services Symposium will take place November 6-8, 2015 at the Hilton Portland & Executive tower. Register today!

--Annie Snell, YA Services Symposium Marketing and Planning Task Force

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5. Reading Roundup: September 2015

By the Numbers
Teen: 12
Tween: 2
Children: 3

Review Copies: 9
Library: 8

Teen: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Nobody believes Finn when he says that his friend Roza was kidnapped by a man he can't describe, but he knows he's right. With shades of the Persephone myth and two (count 'em) strong love stories, this book sucked me right in.
Tween: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Nobody writes complex middle-school inner life quite like Stead. This is a beautiful examination of friendships, how people change, and how difficult it is to maintain relationships or to know when to let it go.
Children: Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk
Gandhi's grandson doesn't feel like he can live up to his grandfather's peaceful example, until he learns that even the Mahatma still feels anger. Beautiful, thoughtful, gorgeously illustrated - ooo I loved this.

Because I Want To Awards
I Need a Hug Now Please: A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
In the waning days of a devastating war, the last three fairies left in Ferrum struggle to put themselves and each other back together. This book is extremely dark, but its very darkness makes it tremendously hopeful - because if you can survive losing everything, you can survive anything.
Fascinating Meditation on Storytelling: Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Caught up in the sinister machine of fairy tales, a seamstress (or is she?) and a shoemaker (not a prince) try to find a way to break free. It got away from itself occasionally, but I loved how it contemplated the danger of a single story told repeatedly.

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6. Passive Program Palooza

Time is a precious commodity for us all in libraries. One way to create tremendous bang for our buck is by incorporating passive (or, as I like to call them, stealth) programs into our programming offerings.

I think of these programs as "stealth" programs because they subtly invite our kids and families into the library and help us do our work of literacy support through the effort the families put in rather than having library staff front and center directing.

"Active" programming (hosted/presented by staff or volunteers; taking place at a specific date/time/place) is often the most common type of programming found in libraries. Think storytimes, afterschool workshops and clubs, one time special events, field trips, etc.

But passive/stealth programs can present great opportunities to stretch time, budget and staff in ways that give agency to the children and families involved. These programs take some initial planning to set up but once in place are easily administered by staff. The families and kids provide the "power" on their own time and these types of programs encourage frequent return visits to the library.

Examples of stealth programs that we all do? Summer Library Programs! And 1000 Books Before K Clubs that many of us do are also great examples!

What are some other examples of these types of programs?

Check-out Clubs - these initiatives which can last from 3 weeks to 8 weeks or more encourage kids to check out materials and do a "thing." Great examples of these include Lego Check-Out club, BackPack Buddies, Ice Cream Club, Free-quent Readers and Smart Cookie club.

Scavenger Hunts - whether inside the library challenging kids to discover book collections or beloved characters or outside the library tying into larger community efforts, these often short-term initiatives are a perfect why to program during school breaks or to quickly have something ready is school is cancelled. Examples of these include Dinovember, Book Character Hunts, Gnome Hunt, and Undercover Spy Club.

DIY Stations - these ongoing efforts (or short duration!) invite kids to create, write, draw, imagine and make that require minimal staff effort. Some paper, markers or crayons easily changed writing/drawing/creating prompts and challenges support multiple literacies. Examples of these include Stories in Action tables, exploration stations, or check out Amanda Struckmeyer Moss and Svetha Hetzler's book DIY Programming and Book Displays (Libraries Unlimited, 2010) for a year's worth of easy and delightful DIY ideas.

Whether you are doing passive programs for Teens or kids, this Pinterest board is chockful of great ideas from librarians around the country to make passive/stealth programs as easy as pie!

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7. Celebrating World Teachers’ Day on Two Writing Teachers #WorldTeachersDay

October 5 is World Teachers' Day. Thank you, teachers, for all you do!

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8. Need to Know YA 2015-MLA/KLA Join Conference Presentation

Today I'm presenting at the Missouri Library Association/Kansas Library Association Join Conference! I'm presenting on "Need to Know YA of 2015" My session is only 45 minutes, so I sadly don't get to talk about very many books, so I made a long booklist of books I'm talking about as well as others to know. Here is my handout and booklist from the session. And if you're at the conference, I'd love to see you!

Need to Know YA 2015

MLA/KLA Joint Conference

Sarah Bean Thompson

Trends in YA

Religious Extremism and Cults, End of the World Beliefs
Devoted by Jennifer Matthieu
Eden West by Pete Hautman
No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oaks
Seed by Lisa Heathfield
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle
Watch the Sky by Kristin Hubbard

Mental Illness
Calvin by Martine Leavitt
Disappear Home by Laura Hurwitz
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
Fell of Dark by Patrick Downes
Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Footer Davis is Probably Crazy by Susan Vaught
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
The Last Time We Said Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
The Law of Loving Others by Katie Axelrod
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff
Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B by Tessa Toten
The View From Who I Was by Heather Sappenfield
Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

Retellings of Arabian Tales
A Thousand Nights L.K. Johnston
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury (coming in 2016)
Rebel of the Sands Alwyn Hamilton (coming in 2016)
Sequels and Popular Authors
The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Another Day by David Levithan
Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Mass
The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Fairest and Winter by Marrisa Meyer
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia
The Heir by Keira Cass
Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
I Crawl Through It by A.S. King
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
Magus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
P.S. I Love You by Jenny Han
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Stand Off by Andrew Smith
Walk On Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Websites to Know

Need to Know Middle Grade/Younger YA
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
George by Alex Gino
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Monstrous by MaryKate Connolly
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
We Are All Made of Molecules by Susan Nielsen

Older YA
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromley
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Buzz Books (with Some Issues)
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Hugely Buzzed Books-AKA-The Next Big Thing?
An Ember in the Sabaa Tahir
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Need to Know Non-Fiction
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson

Other Books to Know
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Audacity by Melanie Crowder
Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown
Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Ink and Ashes by Valynee E Maetani
Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
Lock and Mori by Heather W. Petty
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
The Novice by Taran Matharu
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt
A Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
Serpentine by Cindy Pon
Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm
Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Tommy: The Gun That Changed America by Karen Blumenthal
The Truth Commission by Susan Juby
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
Untwine by Edwidge Danticat
Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

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9. When Getty Images Attack

I was walking the stacks yesterday, minding my own business, when this book catches my eye:


I stare at it for a moment. It looks remarkably familiar for some reason, though I know I’ve never seen it before.  Then it hits me:


Barbara O’Connor fan that I am, I remember really adoring this cover when the book came out.  Check out my review if you don’t believe me. But in terms of the cover here’s what I waxed eloquent upon at the time:

Bravo. Bravo, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. You’ve managed to create the most adorable cover featuring a canine since last year’s Sheep by Valerie Hobbs. This is almost too perfect in execution. Nitpickers might point out that this scene never happens in the book, but I say pah. Pah, I say! First of all, this dog looks exactly like the one in the book, down to the black circle around one eye. He’s the right size and his little body is just adorable. I love the use of yellow as a background as well. It really allows the book to pop. Then there are the aesthetics to consider. The black and white of the dog match the black and the white of the spine. This book is one of those rare covers that will lure in an equal amount of boys AND girls. It’s a magic combination, and I just want to credit jacket designer Barbara Grzeslo for a bang-up job. Getty Images strikes again. THIS is a cover.

Keyword: Getty Images.  Because, of course, just because an image appears on one book that doesn’t mean it won’t appear on another.

Now I distinctly remember this coming up when Twilight became a huge hit.  The image of the hands holding the apple was striking, but I feel like it appeared on other books prior to Twilight‘s publication.  Yet a search of the internet today yields nothing.  Am I making this up?  Possibly, but I feel like this was my first real understanding of how Getty Images would work.

Even more recently, it came up when I saw adult author (and friend of my mom) Bonnie Jo Campbell’s latest novel:


A great image.  Just not the first time the picture has been used:


Or even the second time:


A great image remains a great image, no matter how it’s used.  There’s no shame in sharing your book jacket’s photo with other books.  It just behooves reviewers like myself to take every great Getty Image cover with a grain of salt.

By the way, if we’re talking about my favorite incident involving a stock image, then it’s a story that appeared in Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, which I co-wrote with Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta.  The following adult novel was published with a strangely famous author on its cover:


Who’s the writer playing the accordion?  How did he get on the cover of a book by a Bosnian novelist in the first place (because I assure you, he was completely unaware of the book until it was brought to his attention)?  For the answer to that, I highly recommend that you come by my talk on October 7th at National Louis University in Skokie, IL.  I’ll tell all!  Or, failing that, you can buy Wild Things.  Honestly, I’m easy either way.

Shameless self-promotion, out!


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10. Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Apply for An ALSC Professional Award

ALSC Professional Awards

Get your application in for an ALSC professional award today! (image courtesy ALSC)

It’s ALSC professional award season and our goal this year is to see you apply for one of these great grants and scholarships. To help you understand why, we’ve prepared a list of the top ten reasons why you should apply for award or grant this fall!

1. Programs are expense

ALSC has a bunch of great grants that will help cover the cost of materials, speakers fees, and other assorted costs.

2. Your boss will love it

Nothing says, go-getter like going and getting a grant or award. Especially for early-career professionals! Go get ’em!

3. Your community will love it

Awards and grants are great public relations fodder. When you win, you can share the news with your local newspaper. Brag a little!

4. A gateway to becoming more involved

ALSC professional award winners are in a special community among themselves. Winning an award with ALSC shows that you are ready for bigger things. Think of the places you’ll go, for instance, if you won the Bechtel Fellowship and spent four week studying children’s literature at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library!

5. Take advantage of membership

Most ALSC professional awards are open to ALSC members, so make sure to use this benefit to your advantage.

6. Host a famous author or illustrator

This is specific to one amazing award…the Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Award. You could bring a recognized author/illustrator to your school or library!

7. Showcase your great ideas

Think you have a really innovative and exceptional program? This is a great way to show it off. Apply for a grant like the Light the Way or Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant which recognize outstanding ideas.

8. We tailored these specifically to librarians involved in youth services

You’re probably already doing these things in your library, so why not get recognized for it?

9. You can also recognize someone else!

The ALSC Distinguished Service Award recognizes an ALSC member who has made significant contributions to and an impact on, library services to children and ALSC. Know someone like that? Nominate him or her!

10. Money doesn’t grow on trees..nor do books!

Maybe your parents told you this at one point, but it’s true! ALSC grants and awards are a great way to supplement your library budget. If you’re in a small library that wants to build your collection, consider applying for the Bookapalooza program (applications open soon)!

Hurry! Many ALSC professional awards have deadlines of November 1, 2015. 

The post Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Apply for An ALSC Professional Award appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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11. Create a Kids Art Program with Inspiration from Museum Websites

Are you planning a family painting day, an art scandal mystery event or turning your children’s room into an ancient Egyptian maze? Finding new ways for creative kid programs are just clicks away at your favorite museum.

You might be surprised by a new update, an added blog, or an interactive art activity.

I recently followed an alien through the MoMA, popped yellow and red balloons through the Met and discovered William the blue hippo from Egypt is not very friendly.  (All of this online.)  Be part of art history through interactive museum websites.  The Smithsonian, J. Paul Getty Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Art are just a few amazing art websites filled with kids, family and teacher resources.

My new favorite art museum website to explore is #metkids at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  MET Kids is a new feature launched in September with multi-media content aimed at 7 to 12 year olds.  The Met says kids from New York City and around the world “helped to shape the content, design, and user experience of the website. It is truly “Made for, with, and by kids.”

#metkids detailed map

#metkids map photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Walk around the museum online with the Map, get in a Time Machine and travel to different centuries or watch a new art video made by kids today.

  • Map: touch a yellow or red balloon to learn about different art pieces.  (The directions say yellow or red pin but every time I see them I think of the balloons from You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman.) Learn about a sculpture, a new artist or a room by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Have you seen the “Celestial Globe with Clock Work” from 1579?
  • Time Machine: Push the red “push” button to explore different time periods all around the world.  “Program your destination to explore worlds of art.”  From 8000-2000 BC to 1900-present, get in the time machine and discover, learn and create.  Listen to an art curator talk about the selected piece or discover a “fun fact.”   The time machine is filled with ideas and questions for children to think about.
  • Video: The videos are separated into four different sections-Create, Made by Kids, Q&A and Celebrate.  Watch an original animation film about Degas’ dancer in “Made by Kids” and go behind the scenes in the animation lab.  “Jumping into the Met” is filled with great ideas-connecting famous paintings with stories and film.  Click on the “Create” section and follow step by step instructions to learn how to make scratch art, symmetrical prints, collage and more.

What amazing art resources! For more art websites, check out the ALSC Great Websites for Kids-The Arts

Please share your favorite museum website in the comments below.

For a selection of fun art books to use in your next museum program, explore my art shelf on shelfari.

Paige Bentley-Flannery is a Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library. For over fifteen years–from Seattle Art Museum to the New York Public Library to the Deschutes Public Library-Paige’s passion and creative style for art, poetry and literature have been combined with instructing, planning, and providing information. Paige is currently serving on the ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee, 2015 – 2017. She is a former Chair of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force and member of the ALSC Great Websites Committee.  




The post Create a Kids Art Program with Inspiration from Museum Websites appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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12. #743-45 – Charley Harper’s Animal Alphabet, Count the Birds and Book of Colors by Zoe Burke and Charley Harper

Charley Harper’s Animal Alphabet— Count the Birds — Book of Colors Written by Zoe Burke Illustrated by Charley Harper Pomegranate Kids     6/30/2015 978-0-7649-7233-1 — 978-0-7649-7246-1 — 978-0-7649-7261-4 20 pages     Age 1—3 Today is not December 8th, but that is the date of Charley Harper Day in Cincinnati, Ohio where Mr. Harper …

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13. YALSABLOG TWEETS OF THE WEEK - October 2, 2015

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between October 2 and October 9 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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14. Fur, Fins, and Feathers by Cassandre Maxwell

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15. Weekend Reading #4

I have lofty goals for this weekend!  
I am currently reading four books that I am enjoying and need to finish (I actually have 7 books on my currently reading list on goodreads.  SEVEN!).  

We got our first order of the year this week--6 boxes of brand new shiny books.  I have taken home more than I need to and I still have a few ARCs I have to get read and reviewed.  So, I must finish somethings this weekend so I can move on to more things!

I am closest to being done with Jackaby and actually hope I will get it finished today (I have been taking my lunch time in the back room so I can read while I eat).

George is a new book I started that is small and quick, that shouldn't take too much time.

I am just at the Scoundrel section of The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farm Boy.  I know that this book flies so hopefully I can get that done tomorrow morning before out Saturday soccer games start!

And lastly, I was sent a copy of Doldrums and it's so pretty that I want to get it reviewed soon.  Maybe get that one done Sunday night.

What are you up to this weekend?

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16. Review: Daughters Unto Devils

Daughters unto Devilsby Amy Lukavics. Harlequin Teen. 2015. Reviewed from ARC.

Daughters unto DevilsThe Plot: Amanda, sixteen, and her family live in an isolated mountain cabin. The previous winter had been very bad: they were snowed in, her mother got sick, there were complications when her youngest sister was born, and Amanda herself.... well. They don't talk about that.

Amanda's father thinks life will be better on the prairie, so he packs them all up in the wagon and moves them out, where they find an abandoned cabin.

Life isn't better. The horror is just beginning.

The Good: One of the scariest books I've read in the last ten years; made scarier by how short this book.

Amanda is sixteen; the family lives in a cramped one room cabin, a cabin "built for three" but now housing Amanda, her parents, and her four younger siblings. Emma, her younger sister and best friend; the children, Joanna and Charles; and baby Hannah, born deaf and blind.

Amanda is full of guilt: guilt over wishing her baby sister dead instead of a burden, draining the life out of her mother; guilt over the child she carries, the result of sweet words and warm embraces with the boy who brings the post to the village at the foot of the mountain; guilt over how she went crazy last winter, convinced she saw the devil in the woods and that he was coming for her.

While there are references to a bigger world - the village where Pa goes for supplies and where Amanda sees Henry for the first time, Aunt Charlotte and her children - the world of Daughters Unto Devils is small, as small as Amanda's family and the one room cabins they live in. This is a family isolated; a family that seems close but sharing beds does not mean sharing secrets.

Early on, Amanda is told a ghost story and delights in the thrill it gives her. The story is explained as being about "the land itself. It had been soured by an infection of constant panic, hate, and fear. The man [telling this story] said that in some places, the land can come out to play through the living. It can even make folks go mad."

A land infected that in turns infects others. Panic and hate and fear -- and yes, guilt -- making one susceptible to such infection and evil.

What happens to the people in such a land?

I don't want to say much more. Just where can one hide from devils and demons and the land itself?

And remember how the scariest part of Twilight Zone episodes was that terrible things could happen to anyone? That it wasn't about who deserved it; it one could only live through it and not escape. Bad things happen to people.

In Daughters Unto Devils, very bad things happen.

And for days after, I was half-afraid to look out the windows or into mirrors, afraid of what may be lurking in corners, just out of sight.

Heck yeah, a book this scary is one of my favorite books of 2015.

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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17. Partnering: Early Literacy and Early Intervention

We all love finding great partners in our community! One of my favorite community connections is the amazing staff at Early Intervention which is a part of our county’s Infant & Toddler Services. Libraries and Early Intervention are a natural complement to each other’s services. We target similar ages and both have a strong focus on early childhood development.

Our relationship with Infant & Toddler Services began two years ago when we offered a county wide inclusive playgroup. Our librarians developed the play ideas and Jessica, a social worker from Early Intervention came and played with us. We didn’t attract many families who were already receiving services but it did offer a wonderful opportunity for Jessica to talk with families about any developmental concerns. It was so powerful! There probably isn’t a parent in the world who hasn’t had questions about their child’s development at some point. Right!?!

This program opened a door for continued collaboration between Jessica and myself. I had previously provided Sensory Storytimes but had to discontinue them due to interest that fizzled after about a year. Jessica and I discovered we both have passion for “sensory kids” and have worked to revamp this program. It is launching in January 2016 and we are very excited to start this new adventure together!

Early Intervention also has the power to make sure families know libraries are a welcoming place for special needs children. Who else has partnered with your community’s Early Intervention? I would love to hear about what you have done!

If you haven’t made a connection with this service in your community I urge you to make a call today. You will have no regrets!



Erin Rogers is a Children’s Librarian in Virginia and a member of the Library Service to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee

The post Partnering: Early Literacy and Early Intervention appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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18. Hacking health - and literacy - in the library

How do students’ research skills turn into love of inquiry?  The answer is HackHealth!  I work in a middle school library with grades six through eight.  Because I serve a population of over 1,000 students, it is challenging to see all of my students on a regular basis.  When I did see them, their research skills were very basic and most of them knew only Google.  Although I love Google myself, I know that there is so much more that goes into research.  How can I teach these skills to students with the limited time that I have with them?

The Beginning

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park came to me with the idea to form a weekly after-school program, HackHealth, to teach students how to research health topics that interest them.  I jumped at the opportunity.  My first step was to recruit students.  There are several very effective ways to do this, but I will focus on the method that I used because it worked so well for me.  I approached my school’s science team.  I told them about the HackHealth program and asked them to recommend students who were interested and would benefit from this program.  I received responses back from almost 20 students who were interested.  We had an initial meeting with approximately 12 interested students where the program was introduced by the UMD researchers.

Implementing the Program

The HackHealth program at my school lasted for 12 weeks.  During the first session, I talked with them about choosing a topic.  Our students viewed short videos introducing them to the program. The next step was to explore possible sources for their research.  Students brainstormed sources which they would use to find credible information.  For example, would they use the Internet, ask a family member, read a newspaper?  They discussed the pros and cons of each of these sources based on prior knowledge.

How to Take Notes

sandwich boardsUMD researchers and I went over notetaking skills.  Three skills were introduced:  Mind-mapping, tables, and making lists.  The students were introduced to each method and then formed groups to practice these methods.  At the end, they were asked to present their assigned note-taking strategy to the group.  The group discussed which method is most effective for which circumstances.

Credibility Screenshot Activity

postit1 postit2

We used posters of various health-related Web pages for this activity.  The posters included: WebMD, Dr. Oz, Wikipedia, a government website (alzheimers.gov), a blog (“Sharing my life with Lewy Body Dementia”) and a kids health website (KidsHealth.org).  The students were given red and green post-its.  The red represented not credible.  The green represented credible.  The students wrote why they felt the website was credible or not on their post-its. We got together at the end of this activity to discuss the differences in opinion and how to handle the “grey” areas on assessing credibility of online information.


computerlabAnother activity that focused on the validity and relevancy of websites was an iEvaluate activity.  Students were given a list of websites that appeared at first sight legitimate, but were all hoax websites.  They were asked to evaluate these websites by looking at the website’s purpose, finding the author of the website, and analyzing whether they learned anything from the website.  Our students noticed a few red flags like no author name, no contact information, and facts that just didn’t seem accurate (like a tree-climbing octopus!)

The End

After all of the learning and hard work, it is finally time to show us what they know.  Our students were given several options to present their research findings and they did so very creatively.  We had an interview about discrimination against handicapped people, a Prezi about bronchitis, a song about thyroid disease, an interpretive dance about Kawasaki disease, and a chart presentation regarding sickle cell anemia.  

And best yet...they were very excited about returning again next year!

These are just a snapshot of a few activities that my students enjoyed during the 12 HackHealth sessions.

I would HIGHLY recommend HackHealth for library media specialists or any educator who is interested in teaching their students research skills.  The activities are so varied that students with different learning styles will benefit.  For educators who implement HackHealth, the options of lesson plans and activities are so varied that they can be incorporated into a variety of lessons.   To me, the abundance of lesson plans and activities, and the flexibility of this program are its strengths.  HackHealth can turn any student into a skilled researcher.

See http://hackhealth.umd.edu/about-us/project-phases/ to access the lesson plans and activities.

-Melissa Bethea is the school library media specialist at Charles Carroll Middle School in Prince George's County Public Schools.


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19. Small is Beautiful

The last few weeks have given me a chance to celebrate and network with librarians working in small libraries at two special events that reminded me again of my abiding respect and enthusiasm for those working in libraries serving small communities.

In September, I was one of the teaching facilitators for an intensive three day Wisconsin Youth Services Leadership Institute. Twenty-five library staffers involved with youth work, almost all from small libraries, were selected from over sixty applicants.

At the beginning, many felt that they didn't deserve to be called librarians because they lacked a master's degree. Over the course of the three days, through workshops on history, advocacy, leadership and more; through many individual and group conversations and expressions of mutual support for each other; and through some eye-opening goal setting, all the participants claimed their title as librarians and leaders doing great things for their communities in libraries.

Then I attended the recent Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference. I had long heard that this was one of the best library conferences out there and I can't disagree. Fifty-nine break-out session presentations; five major speakers at meals throughout the 2.5 day conference; and plenty of support for everyone to network and talk together during breaks, dine-arounds and receptions. The organizers made sure everyone felt welcomed.

I heard over and over people talking about colleagues they met from all over the country with similar situations (both triumphs and tears) and how great it was to touch base and connect. The focus on issues and concerns specific to the those working in small libraries had alot of meat for people from larger libraries and I found myself tugged between many great sessions scheduled opposite each other (eight programs per time slot!!).

Perhaps my favorite part was how many presenters were from small libraries sharing their expertise. It was great to hear new voices and ideas and perspectives and worth the price of admission. When I go to conferences, I love to hear from people working in many different library situations and my favorite panels are those that are made up of voices from multiple libraries of various sizes and regions.

As a longtime freelance storyteller in my state, I had the opportunity to go to many, very small libraries over the years. Each time I learned some new cool idea, some tip or trick, an arrangement of collections or services that was, well, completely brilliant. The creative librarians at many of these libraries became my role models, my go-to inspiration and pals.

Their work was echoed again in these two conferences and reinforces one of my deep and abiding beliefs. We are all librarians - regardless of education, all community advocates, all dedicated altruists who believe in the power of reading to change lives and that librarians from medium and large libraries have a TON to learn from our colleagues in small libraries.

Small is beautiful!

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20. Two for Joy

Two for Joy. Gigi Amateau. Illustrated by Abigail Marble. 2015. Candlewick. 96 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Two for Joy by Gigi Amateau was a heart-felt read with memorable characters. Jenna, the heroine, loves, loves, loves her mom and her great-aunt. The book opens with unsettling news: Tannie (the great-aunt) has fallen again. The two decide that perhaps Tannie shouldn't live by herself anymore. Maybe it is time for her to come and live with them instead. That will mean big, big, big changes for everyone. And the first step will be to convince Tannie--who is gloriously stubborn and independent--that this would be for the best, that they genuinely love her and want her. The first step may be the hardest, in some ways, but the next steps aren't exactly easy either...the family has a lot of learning and growing to do as they go through this transition.

Two for Joy is an interesting coming-of-age novel. I enjoyed it very much. I love to see books highlighting the special bond between generations. There is something precious about it. The book is quite honest and heartfelt. I definitely liked it.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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21. First & Then Superlative Blog Tour and Author Guest Post: Books Most Likely to Make You Cry On Public Transportation

I love the idea of a superlative blog tour for First & Then by Emma Mills-such a fun blog tour! I was given the superlative of "Most Likely to Make You Cry on Public Transportation" and of course, I had to ask Emma herself which books make her cry:

I would have to say Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is the book that makes my cry the most! My father first read this book to my sister and I when we were kids, and I remember so clearly the overwhelming sense of loss I felt right along with Jesse. A beautiful—but tough to take!—book about grief.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – it has wrung the most book-fueled tears from me in my adulthood. Hazel’s relationship with her parents really gets to me.

Marrying Malcolm Murgatroyd by Mame Farrell—I first read this in junior high and shed more than a few tears. Very bittersweet, lovely middle grade story.

Before I share my own list, I first need to tell you something-I don't cry too often at books. Which honestly, I find a bit strange because I'm an emotional person and I cry at just about everything else, but books really have to get me to get me bawling. And these books did! So fair warning when reading on public transportation (or anywhere!):

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling-OK, I admit this one is cheating a bit, because seriously, what HP fan can read this one (or pretty much any book from 4-on) without bawling like a baby?

If I Stay by Gayle Forman-I cried so much at the end of this book and had to mourn that it was over. So I was incredibly grateful for the sequel-which yes, also make me cry.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley-Oh my goodness, this book just gets you in every emotional way and just tears at your heartstrings and makes you laugh and cry and smile all at the same time.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern-I actually listened to this one on audiobook while driving-bad idea. It turned me into a blubbering mess and it was hard to sob and drive at the same time!

What books make you cry?

About the Book: Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

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22. The Poetry of Place: Celebrating Geography in Poetry

I just got a copy of the new anthology, Amazing Places, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and I was tickled pink to see that the State Fair of Texas was included in the 14 landmarks across the U.S. highlighted in poetry. So.... of course I had to take the book with me on my annual visit to the state fair this year and get my photo taken with Big Tex himself! 

    The arrow points to the image of Big Tex that is included in the illustration!
Big Tex as featured in the book illustration
The accompanying poem is "Midway Magic" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich-- a wonderful poem to read aloud-- nice and LOUD! 

Lee is having a great year with three books of poetry out in 2015 and each one is a treat:
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2015. Amazing Places. New York: Lee & Low.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Sel. 2015. Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems. Ill. by Jane Manning. 
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Sel. 2015. Lullaby & Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby. Ill. by Alyssa Nassner. New York: Abrams.
And because I love to travel, it was fun to browse through each of the sites featured in Amazing Places and savor each of the poet perspectives, too. That got me thinking-- are there other works of poetry that particularly showcase the importance of place? Of course there are! So, I pulled a list together to share with you here-- and I welcome additional suggestions, of course. 

The Poetry of Place: Poems and Geography
  1. _______. 2012. A Poem as Big as New York City: Little Kids Write About the Big Apple. Ill. by Masha D’yans. New York: Teachers Writers Collaborative.
  2. Asch, Frank. 1996. Sawgrass Poems:  A View of the Everglades. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  3. Asch, Frank. 1998. Cactus Poems. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  4. Asch, Frank. 1999. Song of the North. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  5. Begay, Shonto. 1995. Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa. New York:  Scholastic.
  6. Brown, Skila. 2014. Caminar. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  7. Bruchac, Joseph. 1995. The Earth under Sky Bear's Feet: Native American Poems of the Land. New York: Philomel Books.
  8. Bruchac, Joseph. 1996. Between Earth and Sky:  Legends of Native American Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  9. Coombs, Kate. 2012. Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems. Ill. by Meilo So. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  10. Dotlich, Rebecca Kai and Lewis, J. Patrick. 2006. Castles: Old Stone Poems. Ill. by Dan Burr. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. 
  11. Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree. New York: Holt.
  12. Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. New York: Henry Holt. 
  13. Engle, Margarita. 2014. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  14. Engle, Margarita. 2015. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir. New York: Atheneum.
  15. Greenfield, Eloise. 2011. The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Ill. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins. 
  16. Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Is It Far to Zanzibar: Poems about Tanzania. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 
  17. Grimes, Nikki. 2004. Tai Chi morning: Snapshots of China. Chicago: Cricket Books.
  18. Gunning, Monica. 1998. Under The Breadfruit Tree: Island Poems. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  19. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2000. My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  20. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2009. City I Love. Ill. by Marcellus Hall. New York: Abrams. 
  21. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2002. Home to Me: Poems Across America. New York: Orchard.
  22. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2006. Got Geography! Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
  23. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2015. Amazing Places. New York: Lee & Low.
  24. Johnston, Tony. 1996. My Mexico-Mexico Mio. New York: Putnam.
  25. Katz, Bobbi. 2007. Trailblazers; Poems of Exploration. New York: Greenwillow. 
  26. Kurtz, Jane. 2000. River Friendly, River Wild. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  27. Lai, Thanhha. 2011. Inside Out and Back Again. New York: HarperCollins.
  28. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2002. A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme. New York: Dial.
  29. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Good Mornin’, Miss America: The U.S.A. in Verse. School Specialty Publishing. 
  30. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Monumental Verses. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.
  31. Lewis, J. Patrick. Ed. 2015. The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry. Washington DC: National Geographic.
  32. Littlechild, George. 1993. This Land Is My Land. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  33. Mora, Pat. 1994. The Desert is My Mother/El Desierto es Mi Madre. Houston, TX: Pinata Books.
  34. Myers, Walter Dean. 1997. Harlem: A Poem. New York: Scholastic.
  35. Myers, Walter Dean. 2011. We are America; A Tribute from the Heart. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: HarperCollins.
  36. Prelutsky, Jack. 2002. The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders. New York: Greenwillow.
  37. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
  38. Siebert, Diane. 1988. Mojave. New York: Crowell.
  39. Siebert, Diane. 1989. Heartland. New York: Crowell.
  40. Siebert, Diane. 1991. Sierra. New York: HarperCollins.
  41. Siebert, Diane. 2000. Cave. New York: HarperCollins.
  42. Siebert, Diane. 2001. Mississippi. Ill. by Greg Harlin. New York: HarperCollins.
  43. Siebert, Diane. 2006. Tour America: A Journey through Poems and Art. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  44. Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Monday on the Mississippi. New York: Henry Holt.
  45. Thompson, Holly. 2011. Orchards. New York: Random House.
  46. Wassenhove, Sue Van. 2008. The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills/Wordsong.
  47. Wolf, Allan. 2004. New Found Land; Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  48. Yolen, Jane. 1996. Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Meanwhile, head on over to Heidi's place, My Juicy Little Universe, for the Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!

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23. Family Maker Fun

Wednesday evening we had a great program at the library -- Family Maker Fun!  As you can tell by the name, we certainly had fun.  Families came and played with various building toys together -- ZOOBS, K'NEX, a Quadrilla marble roller coaster, Keva planks, Snap Circuits, Jr. and of course, LEGOs. The next Family Maker Fun is on Wednesday, October 28th at 7 PM (registration date is October 14th). Hope to see you there!

 Posted by Sue Ann

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24. A View From The Classroom: Month One.

October is here! We’ve been in school for just about a month now, and our writing workshop has moved from its early stages of uncertainty and experimentation to let’s-get-down-to-it writing routines...

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25. Enchantress

Maggie Anton visits Congregation B'nai Israel

I interviewed author  Maggie Anton about Apprentice, the first book in her Rav Hisda's Daughter series, back in October 2013 - you can listen to that podcast here. Here is my follow-up interview with her about the second book in the series, Enchantress, which continues Hisdadukh's story.


Or click Mp3 File(22:00)


Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries  
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band  
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast  
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 
Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife!
Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

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