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Results 26 - 50 of 72,698
26. Instagram of the Week - March 23

A brief look at 'grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform.

On Saturday, March 21, over 130 locations throughout all 21 counties of New Jersey participated in the inaugural New Jersey Makers Day. From public libraries and museums to businesses and schools or youth organizations, each site celebrated maker culture by hosting events that promote making, tinkering, and STEM-based learning. Presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on activities introduced attendees to local makerspaces and provided an opportunity to interact with new technologies such as 3D printers, littleBits and Makey Makey kits, and computer programming. A wide variety of workshops were offered in which participants could try their hand at making things such as light bulbs, balancing toys, jewelry, duct tape bags, robots, and sculptures as well as learn the basics of sewing, gardening, origami, woodworking, car maintenance, and more! For more information on Makers Day and to see a list of activities provided by participating sites, visit the Makers Day website: http://njmakersday.org/

Similarly, just a week prior to Makers Day, Teen Tech Week took place from March 8-14 with the theme "Libraries are for Making." Aimed at helping teens develop digital literacy skills and demonstrating the value libraries can provide for non-print resources and access to technology, this week also provides an opportunity to showcase all the library has to offer in a collaborative and hands-on environment. Many fun programs were held this year and shared on Instagram including a technology petting zoo where teens can interact with different products, using 3D pens, making solar powered cars, and a retro gaming night with older gaming consoles.

Did your library participate in NJ Makers Day or Teen Tech Week? Which types of programs and technology did you offer? How did you get teens involved? Did they volunteer and help ensure programs ran smoothly or share their interests with the community by conduction demonstrations? Did you collaborate with other local organizations or businesses? Share with us in the comments section below!

Have you come across a related Instagram post this week, or has your library posted something similar? Have a topic you'd like to see in the next installment of Instagram of the Week? Share it in the comments section of this post.

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27. Revisiting The Giver

The Giver. Lois Lowry. 1993. Houghton Mifflin. 180 pages. [Source: Library]

It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No. Wrong word, Jonas thought. Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. He had seen it both times. Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blur at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane.

My fifth "review" of Lois Lowry's The Giver. What more could I say that I haven't already said several times before? Feel free to read my reviews from 2007, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

Why did I reread The Giver this year? For two reasons. One. I watched the movie adaptation of The Giver. I watched the movie first, and, then started the book soon after. How do the two compare? What did I think of the movie? Well. The two certainly have a few differences. Jonas is much younger and even more innocent in the novel. But there was something about the movie that just worked really well. So I definitely didn't hate it! And I may have even loved it. I would never say I liked it "better" than the book. But on its own, it's a great movie. I loved many things about it. I loved how it was able to perfectly capture a few scenes from the book including the one where Jonas asks his parents if they love him. I also loved Jeff Bridges as The Giver! I love how both the book and the movie are thought-provoking.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Do you like the book or movie better? Is it ever fair to compare books and movies?

The second reason I reread The Giver is because I'm participating in the Birthday Month Reading Challenge. Lois Lowry's birthday is in March, so, it seemed a good fit for me! 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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28. Elizabeth “Betsy” Orsburn: 2015-16 ALSC Vice President/President Elect Candidate

In an effort to help ALSC members make an informed decision before they vote, the blog posts today consist of interviews with the candidates for 2015-16 ALSC Vice President/President-Elect: Elizabeth “Betsy” Orsburn and Tali Balas. Each candidate was given ten questions and submitted written answers.

This morning’s interview is with Elizabeth “Betsy” Orsburn:

1. What do you consider the most important role of the ALSC President?

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Photo by Christine Caputo

As president I would serve as the presiding officer for our organization’s governance. Yet I would consider my most important role to be the ALSC communicator-in-chief, keeping our association united around our goals and objectives and eager to face what the future brings. Our association is organized for the purpose of “creating a better future for children through libraries,” so that through free and equal access to library services, children can & will develop a love of reading and learning and become responsible citizens in our communities. It is through the united strength of our dedicated children’s librarians & educators that ALSC makes a difference both locally and nationally. Representing the ALSC membership within ALA and on the national stage would be another important aspect of the communicator’s role. To accomplish this, I pledge to listen to our members’ suggestions and concerns and encourage all means of two-way communication as a crucial part of my becoming the members’ true representative.

2.  What skills & strengths would you bring to the office?

Organization and communication are my top two professional strengths; and through years of management experience, I have honed them into skills. I believe both would be excellent assets for the office of ALSC president. In addition, I have the time, energy, experience and enthusiasm to accept the challenge of standing for election to Vice-President/President-Elect.

3.  What area of library service to children is your favorite?

Training/ Professional Development would have to be my favorite, and I was fortunate enough to serve as a Continuing Educator/Inservice Trainer for children’s librarians at the Free Library of Philadelphia and in the state of Pennsylvania. Although I spent most of my library career working on city-wide library programming for children, teens, families, caregivers and educators, participating on the 2014 Newbery Committee brought back to me the JOY of reading and evaluating children’s books. Several grant-funded programs allowed us to experiment & evaluate youth programming using the latest technologies. It’s hard to pick just one favorite area of library service from my many experiences; really the only task I didn’t enjoy was cataloging.

4.  Why should someone choose to join ALSC? What services do you feel ALSC provides that are valuable to new members? To long-term members?

Nowhere else can you find such a welcoming cooperative community of dedicated professionals united around our common goal of providing excellent library service & reading materials for children, than ALSC. Especially for new members, ALSC offers graduate scholarship money and travel scholarships to attend annual conference. Our association gives grants and fellowships to recognize our members, support outstanding programming, and aid in continuing education; there is also special funding to support library programming and collections. ALSC is a treasure-trove of educational opportunities with formal and informal mentoring, sharing in-person through programs, conferences, and institutes, virtually through online courses, ALSC blog, and Connect, and through CHILDREN AND LIBRARIES and other print materials. The opportunities to participate in ALSC process and award committees provide seasoned members with unparalleled professional and personal development; it’s better leadership training for librarians than any MBA program. As an ALA member with many years of experience under my belt, ALSC is still “my professional family” that provides education, comradery, supports and challenges that keep me actively involved. And I am proud that ALSC is a voice on the national level advocating for free, equal library services for all children.

5.  What are your ideas for reaching and involving members? What are your ideas to recruit new members?

Communication in all forms within ALSC is as important as our outreach for new members, and I pledge to keep this communication two-way and interactive. Because growing ALSC membership is such a critical priority for our association, I would commit to becoming an ex-offico member of the ALSC Membership Committee while serving as Vice-President/President-Elect. This hard-working standing committee has always executed excellent recruitment activities that promote the advantages of belonging to our association, as well as the many services and programs available to all members. I have enjoyed participating in ALSC 101 at past annual conferences, when I served on the ALSC Board, and I wholeheartedly support the ALSC Roadshow and continuing the funding for our ALSC volunteers to present, staff booths or coordinate social events at state and local conferences. Another support provided by ALSC through the Education Committee is the opportunity to be matched with an experienced librarian that has volunteered to share their knowledge and mentor newer members.

6.  How has ALSC membership impacted your life? How has your membership in ALSC impacted library service to children?

ALSC keeps me up-to-date and knowledgeable about the latest innovations and information in our profession. This organization has enriched my personal and professional life with friends, mentors, and educational programs, as well as numerous opportunities to develop my professional skills. I was privileged to present on conference program panels, to serve on the ALSC Board of Directors, and to serve on two Newbery Award Committees. All of which helped to build my knowledge, confidence and professional reputation.

My membership in ALSC has always made me a better and more informed children’s librarian and administrator of children’s library services and programming. The professional development materials including annual conference programs, institute sessions, and training materials such as Every Child Ready to Read, were and are so outstanding, I brought the information and sometimes even the official trainers to the Free Library of Philadelphia for our children’s librarians and other interested staff. And today I promote ALSC online materials and membership to my grad students at Drexel.

7.  Changes in the economy and advances in technology are dramatically impacting libraries. What are your thoughts on how ALSC can best continue to be a positive force for librarians, for libraries, and for children??

Challenges to the national economy have only re-enforced my commitment to ALSC and its strong national advocacy, which provides information and support for state and local resources for children in both public and school libraries. ALSC must continue this vital leadership role of advocacy for children and increased funding for libraries no matter what is happening in our nation’s economy. Another positive force from ALSC is the Everyday Advocacy project that empowers librarians to speak out. So whether on the local or national level, the association must ensure that it has a “place at the table” whenever decisions are made that affect children’s rights to libraries that are staffed with professional librarians.

Staying ahead of the curve with technology is essential for providing excellent library service to children, and ALSC serves as the fountainhead of knowledge in the field of library technology & its effects on children. By demonstrating, evaluating and educating our members on the best tech devices, systems, programs, applications, and materials currently available, our budget-starved libraries can wisely spend their limited funds on the best products & materials for children. Dealing with new media and technology is when I rely on our association’s newer members to help me & the other more experienced librarians to become more tech-savvy.

8.  ALSC has a commitment to conversations on diversity and inclusion and the essential roles that children’s librarians have in ensuring rich and diverse collections and programming. How will you work to enhance this commitment?

One of ALSC’s strong commitments to diversity can currently be seen in our joint support with Reforma for the DIA: Diversity in Action program. As ALSC President, I would certainly want to continue the exciting efforts that culminated at ALA Mid-Winter 2015 with the Day of Diversity and the Diversity Matters sessions. These conversations included finding practical strategies for increasing diversity awareness in the publishing and library worlds, ways to increase diversity in print and digital materials available for children, how to attract diverse children and families into libraries, and ways to build partnerships to create and share resources that support multicultural programming. From these rich conversations, our association will be able to formulate a plan of action and what our next steps will be. I believe that ALSC will institutionalize our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and if elected, I pledge to make this a priority. In addition, I have a strong commitment to support diversity among our membership.

9.  What is your motivation in running for this position?

I want to pay forward the numerous benefits that ALSC has provided for me. My membership in ALSC has enhanced my professional career and increased my enjoyment of children’s librarianship and literature so much. I look at standing for this election as my way of giving back to the organization that has given so much to me.

I wholly support the ALSC strategic plan and its blueprint for our organization, but we also need re-evaluate the plan and increase our commitments to diversity and emerging technologies. This is not a criticism of our strategic plan, which was formulated in 2010-11 when I was a Board member. Our strategic plan calls for a re-examination in 5 years (in 2017), and I would like to be part of this re-assessment.

10.  What else would you like the voting ALSC membership to know about you before they vote?

Here are three miscellaneous facts:

  • When not reading children’s books, I enjoy non-fiction, biographies and historical fiction. I guess the college history major in me still comes through.
  • I have come full circle since retiring from The Free Library of Philadelphia, by returning to my alma mater Drexel University to become an adjunct professor and teach Children’s Literature. Taking an earlier version of this same Children’s Literature course at Drexel was what convinced me to become a Children’s Librarian.
  • My orientation trainings as a new Children’s Librarian were led by Carolyn W. Field and Helen Mullen, both of whom served as ALSC presidents.

Thank you, Betsy!

The post Elizabeth “Betsy” Orsburn: 2015-16 ALSC Vice President/President Elect Candidate appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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29. Day 23 of the March SOLSC! #SOL15

ANNOUNCEMENTS You have until noon EDT today 3/23 to leave a comment for a chance to win the wonderful prize donated by The Highlights Foundation.  Click here to leave a comment on the… Continue reading

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30. #659 – Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox & Stephanie Graegin

9780803740914_medium_Peace_is_an_Offering

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Peace is an Offering

Written by Annette LeBox
Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Dial Books for Young Readers         3/10/2015
978-0-8037-4091-4
40 pages          Age 3 to 5

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“Peace is an offering.
A muffin or a peach.
A birthday invitation.
A trip to the beach.

“Follow these neighborhood children as they find love in everyday things—in sunlight shining through leaves and cookies shared with friends—and learn that peace is all around, if you just look for it.”

Review

Peace is an Offering contains a strong message about what the abstract concept of peace means for the young (and old): helping one another, being kind, joining together, and enjoying all aspects of life with respect to your family, friends, and neighbors. Peace does not need to be overcomplicated or forced. Peace is the accumulation of all the small, meaningful acts we do each day.

“Will you stay with me?
Will you be my friend?
Will you listen to my story
till the very end?”

The children in this large neighborhood, make, find, and (most importantly), show kindness to each other every day in simple heartfelt ways. The poem is beautifully written and illustrated. Children will easily understand each deftly visualized line or verse of the poem. Multicultural children interact with each other, families spend time together, and friends stay close.

peace is an offering 1

What is not to love about Peace is an Offering? Nothing, though the spread alluding to 911 seems unnecessary. The verse feels out of place, as does the illustration, which deviates from the light, airy, everyday life depicted on the other spreads (see two examples here). but for those who lost a loved one or friend, the spread may provide comfort. Peace is an Offering is a gratifying read; uplifting and inspiring young and old alike. The author finishes the poem by offering advice to children.

So offer a cookie,
Walk away from a fight.
Comfort a friend
Through the long, dark night.

I loved every aspect of every spread. The poetry speaks to the heart. Pencil and watercolor illustrations have those details I rave about. Simply said, Peace is an Offering is a joy to read.

PEACE IS AN OFFERING. Text copyright © 2015 by Annette LeBox. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Stephanie Graegin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Penguin Random House, NY.
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Purchase Peace is an Offering at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryPenguin Random House.
Learn more about Peace is an Offering HERE.

Meet the author, Annette LeBox, at her website:  http://annettelebox.com/
Meet the illustrator, Stephanie Graegin, at her website:  http://graegin.com/
Find more picture books at Dial Books for Young Readers website:  http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/dialbooksforyoungreaders/

Dial Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Penguin Random House.  http://www.penguin.com/children/

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.

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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: acceptance, Annette LeBox, Dial Books for Young Readers, family, friends, love, multicultural, peace, Peace is an Offering, Penguin Random House, relationships, Stephanie Graegin

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31. Wildlife Book Review

Title: Wildlife Author: Fiona Wood Publisher: Poppy Publication Date: September 16, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0316242097 400 pp. ARC provided by publisher Wildlife is Australian author Fiona Wood's US debut, and my love for Australian YA grows. Wildlife is a dual narration novel, with Sibylla telling one story and Lou telling another. Both live in the same dorm during a wilderness semester at

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32. Day 24 of the March SOLSC! #SOL15

Write your Slice, share your link, and give at least three comments to other bloggers. We're in the home stretch now!

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33. Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 23 of 31

A good comparison or metaphor can take you far!

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34. Building a great e-audio collection

The audiobooks in your library’s digital collection are easy to access from computers, tablets, iPods and smartphones. As you build and market the collection, keep in mind the different ways that children and families use audiobooks, and select titles to meet a variety of needs.

Preschool children may be drawn to the stories and characters of their favorite picture books. Think carefully about how the text will play without the pictures that help tell the story. You’ll also want to take checkout limits into consideration. Collections of multiple books, like Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss, and early chapter books like Hooray for Anna Hibiscus! may be more attractive to borrowers than a title which only lasts a few minutes.

Families listening together need titles that appeal to everyone. Stories like The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher include characters of multiple ages. Parents listening with older children will find a lot to talk about in nonfiction like The Port Chicago 50.

Children who have their own tablet or iPod can download and listen independently. For older elementary kids, having what they want the first time they look is crucial. Order at least once a week and pre-order when you can, so that your homepage shows the freshest new titles and you always have the latest books in their favorite series.

What are your secrets for building a great e-audio collection? Please share them in the comments.

Rachel

This month’s blog post by Rachel Wood, ALSC Digital Content Task Force

We would love to hear from you. Please email us at digitalcontenttaskforce@gmail.com and join our ALSC Digital Content Task force group on ALA Connect. Share ideas! Add to discussions!

The post Building a great e-audio collection appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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35. Blog Tour: Rockin' the Boat by Jeff Fleischer PLUS Giveaway

Rockin' The Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries- From Joan of Arc to Malcom X

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About the Book: We love to root for the underdog, and when it comes to underdogs, few are more impressive than the world’s great revolutionaries.

After all, it’s pretty hard to find a more powerful opponent than the world’s biggest empires and emperors. And that’s part of why we’re drawn to the stories of revolutionaries. Many of these men and women were born into virtual dystopias, and they fought throughout their lives, against all odds, to forge a path to a better future. And whether they succeeded, failed, or succeeded only to become a new kind of enemy, there’s something inherently fascinating about that effort to change the world.

Rockin’ the Boat tells the stories of fifty such iconoclasts — including the gladiator Spartacus, the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca, the inspired religious fighter Joan of Arc, the abolitionist John Brown, women’s rights icon Margaret Sanger, and Maori chief Hono Heke — from an incredibly diverse set of places and times. Each entry includes a mix of history, biography, and analysis, and is supplemented with photos, sidebars, and an incredible amount of trivia as well.

As a result, Rockin’ the Boat provides a unique and powerful view of history — a view from the bottom up, through the eyes of people who dared to imagine a different world from the one in which they lived.

You know what I always think is weird? History is not my favorite subject (sorry GreenBeanSexy Man history teacher!) I found it interesting enough but never anything I wanted to keep researching or read about in my free time. Yet I'm a sucker for books that give interesting tidbits and facts about cool people and events in history. I'm not sure why. Maybe it makes history a bit more engaging? Maybe I can handle the small snippets? I'm not sure. But even if you have readers who may snub their nose at a history book, they should still give Rockin' the Boat a chance.

There are 50 people profiled in the book. Some are well known and others are not. Each section is short and they can be read in order (chronologically) or you can jump around and read about whoever you're interested in that moment.  Pictures and clever captions add to the lighthearted appeal of the book.

Want to win a copy? Fill out the form below! 
-One entry per person
-Ends March 30
-Ages 13+
Contest thanks to Zest Books!

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36. Ella Minnow Pea (2001)

Ella Minnow Pea. Mark Dunn. 2001. Random House. 224 pages. [Source: Library]

It has been years since I first read Ella Minnow Pea. For better or worse, my original review was more of a teaser, I didn't record what I *felt* about the book after reading it. The sad thing is, I was tempted to go that way this time as well. The premise is probably the most interesting thing about the book.

Ella Minnow Pea is set on a fictional island called Nollop located a dozen or so miles off the coast of South Carolina. The people of Nollop supposedly "worship" Nevin Nollop, author of this not-so-little sentence: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. When the letter tiles start falling off the statue/memorial, the High Council decide it's a sign from Nollop the Supreme Being. It's oh-so-obvious to them, though not particularly to the average citizen, that Nollop is telling them to STOP using the fallen letter. One by one the tiles fall--over six months or so. The penalties for speaking or writing one of the forbidden letters is severe: a matter of life or death if you persistently rebel. But you don't even have to be defiant or rebellious. A crime is a crime no matter if it's accidental or intentional.

How does this effect life? at school? at home? at work? Will this turn neighbor against neighbor? Or will it somehow bring it closer together?

Readers meet a handful of characters through letters. But characterization isn't one of the novel's strengths, in my opinion. All the characters tended to blend together.

The plot, well, it comes a bit later in the novel. A challenge is issued at some point by the council, if and only if, someone can write a new pangram--a sentence using all twenty-six letters, and for the purposes of this challenge limited to thirty-something letters, then the council will bring back all the forbidden letters and life will go on as it did before. The last third of the book is about trying and failing to write the pangram by the deadline.

The premise is the novel's strength. And depending on your mood, the novel may prove worth reading even if it's just for the premise alone. It is a unique idea, in my opinion. And epistolary novels aren't all that common.

What I didn't comment on in my initial review, so I have no idea if it bothered me then or not, is the WORSHIP aspect of this one. How the island has built a cult, of sorts, around Nollop, and talk as if he is actually a supreme being instead of another human. There are elements of this one that are just so over-the-top. I am not sure if it is innocent humor, or hit-you-over-the-head symbolism.

Did I love it? No. Probably not. Did I like it? Well, I read it twice. And it isn't like anyone forced me to pick it up again. It was a quick read and pleasant enough for the most part.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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37. Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 24 of 31

Do you teach English Language Learners? Some ideas and resources for blogging with ELLs.

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38. Snowglobes and my research quest

First rose of springToday I was stopped at a red light in downtown Santa Rosa, and I looked over to see a tough guy in a muscle car with sheer delight plastered across his face. We were enjoying the same magical scene: thousands of tiny white petals scudding across the avenue, swirling in the air, drifting onto benches and signs and people.

This could explain the sneezing fit I had last night, but that snowglobe moment was worth it. When we were contemplating this move, no one said we would experience this beautiful warm snowfall. No one has commented on it to me at all. I guess it’s just me and Tough Guy, thrilled by the floor show.

I had no idea how beautiful this small city, and our neighborhood in particular, would be in the spring. The neighbors’ gardens are not even in full bloom, yet every block is resplendent with color and redolent with fragrance. My rosebushes, brave little souls who survived five years on a cold, partially shaded, windswept deck in San Francisco, are stretching their limbs toward the warmth and the light, their foliage thick and lush, their buds fat, the first rose gorgeously impeccable.

I am stretching my own limbs to the light as well, professionally and in my growth as a scholar–and with leadership studies, of course the two are ever entwined). Coming back from some reasonably tolerable conference, I realized I was happy to walk into the library. It is a human institution and not the Good Ship Lollypop, but it’s filled with caring people determined to make a difference in other people’s lives. (I wonder what things were really like on GSL, anyway. Probably lots of dental issues.)

Last night I turned in my last short homework assignment for the doctoral program. Assuming it doesn’t bounce back to me with a request for revision (Lord please no — I cannot write anything more about net neutrality), I have completed my last class for this program. Up next: completing my qualifying paper, studying for and taking comprehensive exams, developing and defending a dissertation proposal, then doing the research for, writing, and defending my dissertation.

Piece of cake, eh?

Yes, a lot of work, and the doctoral work is folded under a lot of work-work, and (since some of you may be wondering) compounded by my mother’s health care crisis, which has its four-month anniversary in two days. It’s one of those life crises many of us will deal with at some point — a foreign land that, when you get there, you find populated with a lot of people you know.

But I get a lot of sustenance from my doctoral work. My qualifying paper is about the lived experiences of openly gay and lesbian academic library directors. (A friend of mine teased me that I should interview myself, which reminded me of a stern lecture everyone in my class in the MFA program received about The Crime Of Solipsism, which sounded like something we should stand in a corner for.)

I deeply love this research project, and I earned this love. I did the hard thing — prolonging this project by over a year by torpedoing two papers that were too small, too meaningless, too insufficient, too lacking in rigor; papers I wouldn’t want to see my name on — to find my literary-research beshert, that topic I was meant to wrap myself around. The kind of topic that pulls me into its own snowglobe, where I stand arms upraised in its center, watching meaning swirl around me, its brilliant small bits glinting in the sunlight.

Later on, I hope, I’ll write a bit more about my research. I owe a lot to the great people who shared their time and thoughts about my work in this area, giving me courage to ditch the crap and focus on the gold, and to the subjects who providing fascinating, heartening, hilarious, heart-tugging, thoughtful, surprising, invigorating, and fully real interviews for my research. The Association of Openly Gay and Lesbian Academic Library Directors could fit in a hotel suite, but it’s a group I’d share that suite or even a foxhole with, hands-down.

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39. Short Review: Laughing At My Nightmare

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane BurcawRoaring Brook Press. 2014. Review copy from publisher.

Burcaw's memoir, based on his tumblr of the same name, is a humorous look at his life with spinal muscular atrophy. It's told in short, episodic chapters -- while it's roughly chronological in order, it doesn't have to be read in order or even all at once. This structure is both a weakness and a strength: those wanting an in depth, detailed examination will be disappointed. But, that's looking for this bok to be something it isn't. It is, instead, a funny, hilarious look at life. And that is it's strength: the short chapters means it's easy to read, and also easy to read over an extended period of time. A few chapters here, a few chapters there, is, a think, the best way to approach Laughing at My Nightmare.

While Burcaw's memoir is uniquely about his own experiences, it's also universal. Starting middle school, worrying about making friends, anxious about a first kiss -- Burcaw isn't the first person to worry about these things. Burcaw is funny and blunt: he knows teen readers will wonder "but how does he go to the bathroom?" and so he addresses those questions. And the humor is such that will appeal to a lot of teen readers.


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

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40. 2015 Teen Tech Week Grant Winner - Davie County Public Library

Local teens tuned in to the Davie County Public Library in Mocksville, North Carolina, as the Youth Services Department celebrated Teen Tech Week  March 8-14. The following events were sponsored:

Movie Magic: Behind the scenes technology: Teens saw how movies are brought to life with the use of technology! Behind-the-scenes clips from several popular movies were shown and discussed.

Cyber Safety and the Law- Speaker Rob Taylor, ADA: Mr. Taylor gave a speech about cyber safety and cyber bullying. Teens, parents and interested adults were invited.

Libraries Are For Making: A hands-on workshop was held featuring the following stations:

-Robotics station featuring the Lego Mindstorm EV3: Teens worked together to figure out how to build and program a robot to complete each simple task like pushing a wooden block, turning around a coin, and picking up an object.

- Brush robot construction: Teens followed instructions provided to create the robots from wires, toothbrushes, pager motors, and batteries.

- Augmented reality book preview: Teens were able watch books come to life and created their own augmented realities through pictures and video captured by an iPad.

- Teen Tech Tutors: Teens were encouraged to show parents and friends how to use a device provided, and to answer any questions about the devices.

- Animation Station: Teens were able to use this studio for creating stop-motion animation videos that enabled them to build and shoot their own short movie using given props.

A wide variety of print resources were available that featured different areas of technology.

 

 

Submitted by Debbie Archer

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41. Little Blue and Little Yellow (1959)

Board book: Little Blue and Little Yellow. Leo Lionni. 1959/2011. Random House. 42 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 First sentence: This is little blue. Here he is at home with papa and mama blue. Little blue has many friends but his best friend is little yellow who lives across the street. 

Premise/plot: Little blue and Little yellow are best, best friends. One day Little blue goes over to play with Little yellow. He wasn't home, no one was home. He worries. He must find Little yellow! Luckily, he finds him. He was just around the corner. They hug. That's when something happens...Little Blue and Little Yellow turn green. Oh no! What will their parents say?

My thoughts: I had no idea that this book was first published in 1959! I love this sweet story of family and friendship and blending colors. The story is simple, yet full of emotion. The art is simple, but bold. Have you read it? Did you like it? love it? I'd love to hear what you thought of this one!


© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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42. A Great and Glorious Adventure

A Great and Glorious Adventure: The Hundred Years War and the Birth of Renaissance England. Gordon Corrigan. 2013/2014. Pegasus. 320 pages. [Source: Library]

A Great and Glorious Adventure was a sometimes fascinating read on the Hundred Years war. (Did England have a rightful claim to France? to rule certain domains in France? to the whole country? Corrigan explains why so many monarchs thought they did.)

The opening chapters fill readers in on British History from William the Conqueror to Edward III. However, most of the book focuses on the reigns of Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. (The author has his favorites.)

I would say a love for British history is an absolute must for this one. That isn't to say that every history lover will love this one. Yes, it's about history, but it's more military history, war, and battles. (So much detail is given for so many different battles and/or conflicts.)

So the book is about England's ongoing conflicts with France, Scotland, and Wales over several centuries. Readers also learn a little bit about the Black Death. (But only a little bit).

It is sometimes fascinating. I won't lie. There were chapters I enjoyed. But it is sometimes less than fascinating. There were chapters I just didn't enjoy all that much.

If you enjoy reading about the War of Roses, and would like a better, stronger foundation for understanding it, then this one would be worth reading.



© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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43. #658 – The Story Starts Here! by Caroline Merola

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The Story Starts Here!

Written and illustrated by Caroline Merola
Owlkids Books         9/15/2014
978-1-77147-079-7
40 pages      Age 4 to 8

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“Little Wolf wants to do things his way. And that includes starting HIS story from the back of the book. But Little Wolf’s topsy-turvy day gets a unexpected twist  when someone else decides to join in on the fun.

Play along as Little Wolf turns the picture book on its head!”

Review

Little Wolf is one stubborn little guy.

Oh, wait! I forgot to tell you a very important thing—The Story Starts Here has the ending at the beginning and the beginning at the end.  So flip the book around and upside down, and then open the back “front” cover. Ready?

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Little Wolf is one stubborn little guy.

“Because I said so.”

He wants things his way, including with you; you are reading his book upside down and backwards. Little Wolf eats dessert first, puts his pants on his head, and plays piano with his toes. Little Wolf declares today is backward day to his unwilling and objecting parents.

“No, you will not begin with dessert.”
“No, you will not play piano with your toes!”

Sent to his room to think about his contrary behavior, Little Wolf sneaks outside (with his pants still fashionably atop his head). Outside, all the creatures are quickly running away from something. Little Wolf turns around and finds he is face-to-face with a monster. The Story Starts Here had me laughing from the get go at Little Wolf and his backward antics. Little Wolf playing the piano and wearing his trousers’ on his head is hilarious, but not as much as the twist. The monster is feeling a bit topsy-turvy itself. “It” explains this to Little Wolf, who seems to understand . . . until the monster tells Little Wolf to flip the book back over.

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Oh, wait! I forgot again. Keep the book open and flip back over so the beginning is the beginning and the end is the end. Now we can finish the story.

Despite the funny goings on the story could be better. Little Wolf is the same stubborn wolf as he was at page . . . the beginning of the story. He does not even think the twist is funny. (Spoilt sport, he is!)  I really like The Story Starts Here and the concept of an upside day. Feeling a little off is a good time to mix things up. Good thing dad understands his son.

I love “Dad Books.” The Story Starts Here will entertain fathers and sons, making a great reading experience for both. Little Wolf is generic and so can be any child; dad can be any father. Kids will love the craziness of flipping and reading backward, then suddenly flipping back. It is one more way to engage and interest them in reading. Kids will also love the surprise ending (a new fashion, which had me laughing, is born).  If the book does not make you dizzy—it will not—you and your child will enjoy a funny story and a great lead into a discussion on how sometimes a story—or the world—has more than one view.
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THE STORY STARTS HERE! Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Caroline Merola. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Owlkids Books, Berkely, CA.
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Purchase The Story Starts Here at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryOwlkids Books
Learn more about The Story Starts Here HERE.
Meet the author/illustrator, Caroline Merola, at her website:  http://www.carolinemerola.com/
Find more picture books at the Owlkids Books website:  https://store.owlkids.com
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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
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Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.


Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: "my way", Caroline Merola, fathers and sons, Owlkids Books, stubborn, The Story Starts Here, tolerance, topsy-turpy, world view

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44. Where is Curious George? A Look-And-Find-Book - Around Town

I am a huge fan of look-and-find books, especially if they are geared towards the preschool crowd. Good look-and-find books at this level seem to be hard to find, but Curious George? Where is Curious George: Around the Town, which follows Where is Curious George?, are perfectly geared toward the toddler crowd. And who doesn't love Curious George?  Each page has rhyming couplets that sets

0 Comments on Where is Curious George? A Look-And-Find-Book - Around Town as of 3/24/2015 3:52:00 AM
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45. Family Stories: A New “Mini Unit”

Our sixth grade writing workshop year follows a predictable and well planned path: personal narrative, followed by memoir, then feature articles and argument. Until my students suggest something new ...

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46. Where the Wild Books Are: Addressing the State of Global Publishing in America

It’s amazing what a blog post can do. About a year or so ago I wrote some thoughts about picture books created in other countries, and how they are received when they are brought to American shores.  I’ve a great deal of experience with librarians considering some types of illustrations too “weird” to promote to children and parents and it rankles.  Likewise, there are many publishers that eschew a certain kind of look that comes with picture books from other countries.  My blog post sparked something, it seems.  The great illustrator Etienne Delessert caught on to it and the result is the following program, coming this April 18th.  If you are in town and around, I highly suggest you check it out.  The line-up is AMAZING! Plus it’s free and you can register here for it.