Friday, May 31, 2013

YALSA Blogger's Summit-I'm Speaking!!

Will you be attending ALA Annual in Chicago this year? If so, check out the YALSA Blogger's Summit Preconference happening Friday afternoon from 12:30-4:00.

Here's what the preconference is about:

A must-attend event for YA lit bloggers! Take your blog to the next level by participating in a discussion of the state of YA lit and networking with bloggers, reviewers, publishers and authors. Topics such as leadership, marketing, tech help, review writing, ethics and copyright will be covered. You’ll leave with new contacts in blogging and publishing and a clear vision for how to make a positive mark in the vibrant world of YA lit. Authors participating include: Holly Black, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Gene Luen Yang.

I don't know how I got added to such a cool list of people, but I'll be there speaking about blogging as well! I'll be joining by the awesome Gretchen and Emily to talk about blogging and being a librarian and how it all works together.

So if you're at ALA, join us and say hi! We'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

After Committee Reading Slump

Everyone who had been on committees before me warned me of this: the feeling of not wanting to read another book after your committee year is up. Committee work is hard-it's filled with long days (and evenings) of reading, non-stop re-reading and note taking, and so much analyzing and discussing of books, it's no wonder it wears you out as a reader.

I thought I was prepared. I had been told to expect this. I even read outside my typical YA genre that I read so much of for Printz and read more middle grade and adult titles after my committee work was up. I listened to audiobooks nonstop.

But now, it's happened. I'm in that post-committee reading slump. Maybe it's not even a reading slump, but a too worn out to read mindset. I have piles and piles of books I can't wait to read and that I've heard great things about, but I just can't bring myself to read them.

If you're a reader of the blog, you've probably noticed my posting has been down a bit. This is why. I just need some help and motivation to get reading again. So I'm hoping you will help me. What are some great books or audiobooks I can read to help pull me out of my slump? Have you ever felt this way? Any advice for pulling out of it?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary/Humor

Release Date: 2/5/2013

Add to Goodreads

Audible Audiobook Preview

About the Book: Thirteen-year-old Nate is from a small town in Pennsylvania and he dreams of being on Broadway. When his best friend Libby tells him of an open audition of ET: The Musical, Nate and Libby devise a plan for Nate to run away to New York City and audition. Will this be Nate's chance to move out of his small town and become a star?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I knew I was going to love this book from the moment I heard it booktalked at ALA. I love musicals, I love show tunes, I love Broadway. I spent every summer from fourth grade into college attending and working at a fine arts summer camp. I was a drama and choir kid all throughout my school years. I knew Nate and I would become kindred spirits. And I was not disappointed one bit.

Nate is a kid that I would love to have in my library and we would talk Broadway and it would be awesome. I love Nate that much. He has the perfect blend of humor and heart that you just have to adore in a main character. He's from a small town, so he's a bit naive at times, but I believed it all-this is the first time Nate's ever been out of Jankburg PA (except for that trip to Disney) and this is first trip to a big city. His innocence about New York is part of his charm-he sees the good in everything which makes you want to cheer Nate on.

In New York, Nate discovers what Broadway is like-from auditioning in a room full of adults to pushy stage moms and incredibly talented kids up for the same role as you. Tim Federle is obviously writing about a subject he knows-and knows well. He captures the craziness of a show, the excitement and nervousness of auditions and the painstaking wait as you wonder if you'll hear more.

This isn't just Nate's journey to New York, but also to accepting who he is. Nate is teased back home for liking musicals. He's a bit of an outsider and doesn't feel like he fits in. He's teased for being gay, but as Nate says, he's thirteen and he doesn't know who he likes and why should it matter anyway? Nate's journey to New York opens him up not only to the world of Broadway, but to a larger world outside the small minded town he's used to. What I appreciated about Nate's story was that it was a story about Nate learning that he's awesome and it's OK to love musicals-gay or straight-and that he can be a boy who  loves to sing and use Broadway flops and curse words.

I was lucky enough to listen to this one on audiobook and there are some authors that are just meant to narrate their books and Tim Federle is one of them. He gives Nate a wonderful voice and blends his optimism, innocence and passion for musicals in a brilliant way. He also plays the jokes well and really adds to Nate's humor. I'm sure I would have laughed if I had read this book, but listening to it I was laughing out loud the entire time. It's well worth listening to!

 A funny and heartwarming read that has worked it's way into my heart. It's the perfect book to hand over to kids who feel as though they a bit of an outsider and are looking for a place to belong. I hope this debut isn't the last from Federle-he's a writer to look forward to.

Book Pairings: Withering Tights by Louise Rennison, Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt,

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from audiobook provided by the publisher for review

Monday, May 20, 2013

Caldecott Storytime: Week 14 & Week 15

I'm doing Caldecott themed storytime for preschool storytime in January-April.Check out all my Caldecott Storytime plans here.

So I did two storytimes with this years winner, but silly me forgot to keep my full plan for Week 14. That week I introduced the winners from this year and read Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, and Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds. My group was a little young, so I abridged some of Extra Yarn. I also wasn't sure if they really liked Creepy Carrots, but we made our own carrots for a craft and after I heard them playing in the department saying "my creepy carrot will get you!" so it must have been a hit!

For Week 15, I saved this year's winner for last. It was lots of fun and a great way to end our Caldecott series. Here's what I did:

Open: Where Is Thumbkin and Shake My Sillies Out by The Wiggles


-A couple of the kids new this one because they had read it before and they were excited to talk about the big black fish the fish make in the end.

Song: These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner


Song: Octopus by Charlotte Diamond (the kids loved this song!)


Song: Ten Little Fishes (I got this from my mom and I'm not sure where she got 

it!) I printed out little fishes and had each kid hold a fish and walk around so their fish could swim. My mom uses this in her music class and tells the kids that the fish swim around and greet each other by getting very close to another fish and saying "hello". So as the kids walk around with their fish, they can go around the room and greet the other kids and their fish. As we walked we sang:

"One little, two little, three little fishies
Four little, five little, six little fishies
Seven little, eight little, nine little fishies,
Ten little  fishes in the sea."

Then I added a verse about the "fishies swim high" and "fishies swim low" and had the kids move their fish higher in the air and then low to the ground.

"Fishies swim high in the water
Fishies swim high in the water
Fishies swim high in the water
Ten little fishies in the sea."

"Fishies swim low in the water
Fishies swim low in the water
Fishies swim low in the water
Ten little fishies in the sea."

The kids loved this song and loved having fish props to use. I plan to use it again in storytime.


-Rubber Ducks in a tub of water 

-Blocks with bubbles inside 

-Reading station (I put out other Caldecott winning titles and had a mat set up where the kids could read and check out other Caldecott titles)

-Puppets-we made fish puppets to go with our story

Overall this was a great storytime and I loved doing the Caldecott theme with the kids. As the weeks went by the kids knew what the award was and become  more interested in checking out Caldecott winning titles. It was a great success!

Friday, May 17, 2013

All About Summer Reading

I love this photo of Nedd Stark warning everyone that Summer Reading is coming! It makes me laugh every time.

So Summer Reading is coming! I love learning how libraries run their summer reading programs, so I thought this summer I would do a weekly breakdown of what exactly it is librarians do during the summer. I've learned that my non-librarian friends have no idea how much time and effort goes into summer reading-and it's a ton of work and also a ton of fun. So after giving my summer reading spiel to thousands of kids over the past few weeks, now I'll give it you! (Sorry, this will be a long post!)

About Summer Reading Program:

-Kids can read anything they want! Books from home, school, library, bookstore, friends, etc. ANYTHING! We let them read various formats as well-fiction, nonfiction, comics, ebooks, audiobooks, reading aloud to someone, being read aloud to-all that counts for summer reading.

-We count hours, not books. Each level is four hours of reading.

-Participants do not need to have a library card, live in the county, or check out books from the library to participate. We of course encourage summer readers to get library cards and check out books, but it's not required.

-Program attendance is not required. Again, we encourage it, but it's not required to take part in summer reading.

-Our program runs for 11 weeks which I'm learning is a crazy long summer reading program in the library world. We start Saturday May 18 and end Saturday August 3. Nothing is passed out or ready to be picked up until the start date and the end date of the program is the final day to pick up prizes.

Tiny Tots (birth-36 months): This is a new program we're trying this year, so we'll see how it goes. In years past, I would get frustrated when parents were surprised they could do the summer reading program babies and toddlers. "But they can't read yet!" And I would say, "yes, but it's the summer reading & listening program-you can read to your baby!"

So this year, the Tiny Tots program features a simplified reading program. Adults will receive a brochure-type piece with a place for baby's photo, a place to list ten books they read this summer, and a fun flow-chart-type of activities for various moods. After reading ten books and five activities, babies receive a board book of their choice from the prize book cart. They are also entered into a drawing for a gift basket that includes a rubber ducky, board books, blocks, and more. There's one drawing per branch (we have 10 plus a Mobile Library).

Kids Program (ages birth-grade 5): Since Tiny Tots is new this year, we're easing everyone into it by giving them a choice. For the kids program, kids pick up a game board and complete three levels. Each level is made up of four hours of reading and three activities. The activities are listed on the back of the game board and include things like "write the library a postcard about what you did this summer" or "check out a library book on dinosaurs" or "build a reading fort" or "get a library card" or "attend a library program".

Level 1: The Food and Fun Flip Card. I'll be honest and say that I have love/hate relationship with this card. The Flip Card is a card that offers free and discounted offers all around town-free bowling, skating, ice cream, cupcakes, swimming, discounts at the local arcade, the zoo, and local inflatable places are all included. It's a great idea and it gets the kids excited, but sometimes people sometimes get greedy about it and that's not the point of summer reading. This card has become very known in the community and it's why people start gearing up for summer reading in March-they want this card!

Level 2: Choice of a bookmark, coloring sticker, or tattoo and a Fine Waiver Card-good for waiving overdue/late fees on your library card one time during the summer. Also a very big prize that people can't wait for!

Level 3: Free Book! (The best prize of course!) And as I tell the kids-"do you have to bring this book back to the library? NO! Do you just get whatever book I hand you? NO! You get to pick out whatever book you would like from the book prize cart and keep it forever!!!"

Each child can only do the game board once during the summer, but if they finish the game board and want to keep going, we have what we call the Eager Reader Challenge. It used to be just read another four hours and you get entered into a drawing, but this year we changed it up to be a challenge of five things like "read a book of poetry" or "listen to a book" or "read a book that became a movie" or "tell a librarian a book you read this summer". I love the extra challenges and I think the kids will really like it too. At the end of summer, all the eager reader entries are entered into a drawing for summer reading t-shirts and gift cards. And again, these are done by branch, so because I'm at the headquarters branch, we end up with a bunch of prizes to draw for at the end.

Teen Program: Our teen program has been online now for about five years and it's really made a difference in our numbers and helping the teen summer reading program grow. As I tell the teens, "you can do the summer reading program at home, in your PJs at 2:00 in the morning!"

The teen program is all about reading and there are no activities. The level one and level 2 prizes are the same as the kids program, except the teens get something from the treasure box in addition their Fine Waiver Card (these things include tattoos, pencils, various other tchotchkes)

The big difference in the teen program is that after 8 hours of reading, they have two entries into the drawings. Any additional four hours of reading earns them another entry. We pull names for weekly prize drawings (books, journals, movie size candy, water bottles, backpacks, pens, earbuds). At the end of summer reading, we do a grand prize drawing (which is system wide) for a Kindle Fire. (Last year it was a Nook Color and we've done iPods in the past). We also do a drawing at each branch for a gift basket of books, candy, and various other prizes-one per branch.

So that's our Summer Reading Program! In addition to all that, my branch hosts seven weekly storytimes (three for toddlers, three for preschoolers and one for ages 4-8), will do outreach to two offsite locations once a month, host a weekly performer for two performances, host monthly Baby storytimes and play group, monthly dance parties, monthly evening storytimes, and a huge crazy amount of other special programs happening throughout summer.

And to give you an idea of the population we serve, last year we had 3,609 kids participate in the summer reading program and 962 teens participate in the summer reading program-just at my branch alone!

So if you see a librarian this summer, you know why we always look so exhausted! Give us a hug-and maybe some chocolate!

How does your library run their summer reading program? Anything you like or dislike about it?

YA Movie News

Lots of exciting movie news this week!

Tris goes Dauntless in the newest photo from Divergent thanks to Entertainment Weekly:

-Downton Abbey Seasn 4 will premier in the US on January 5th. 

-Vampire Academy has added more actors to the cast.

-Lionsgate is making a nice little niche with  YA novels turned movies and Wonder by R. J. Palacio is next on their list. Early Word reports that the film has been optioned. 

-Debut novel School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani has been optioned for a film.

It's the time of year when TV Networks announce their Fall lineup, which includes several book and comic based shows. Fox has passed on Delirium and it doesn't look like The Selection will be happening at The CW either.

Several of the shows have released trailers, so here's what's coming up based on books (or loosely based on books this Fall):

 And while Reign on The CW is not based on a book, it looks ripe for YA novel tie ins, don't you think? Plus, I might just watch it because it has Anne Shirley in it!! :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel

Release Date: 5/7/2013

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About the Book: Nate and Charlie have an unlikely friendship. Nate is the president of the robotics club and Charlie is the popular basketball captain. The two friends find themselves pitted against each other in a student council election-and it's war. The cheerleaders, including Charlie's ex-girlfriend, want money for new uniforms and the robotics club want money to attend a robotics competition. Only one can win-and it's up to student council to decide who gets the money. And what will happen if the two decide to team up?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I love a fun graphic novel and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is a very fun graphic novel! The premise is hilarious and unique-when have you seen robotics club represented in YA and when have you seen robotics teams partnering with cheerleaders? It's a heartwarming and laugh out loud funny story of friendship and the unexpected with high school politics.

Nate and Charlie are both great characters and Faith Erin Hicks helps show their personalities with her illustrations. I love Prudence Shen's characters and story and the illustrations just add to the format, showing off Nate's neurotic side and Charlie's shyness. The supporting cast of characters is well done and even if we don't get to see some of them very often, the storytelling and the artwork blend well to make them fully fleshed characters. The robot action scenes are fantastic and the illustrations really excel at showing what a competition is like, how much blood, sweat and tears goes into building a robot, and the teamwork that happens throughout.

What I really loved and appreciated about this graphic novel was how it bent stereotypes. Charlie is the popular athlete, but he's kind of shy and doesn't really know how to embrace his popularity. He also maintains a friendship with Nate, even though their paths don't cross much. The cheerleaders are a bit icy and mean, but they have some redeeming qualities. And Nate is just overall lovable and so into robotics you can't help but cheer for his passion. Yet the part that really stood out to me is that this is a story about friendships and breaking high school stereotypes, not a romance. There maybe could be a slight romance that is inferred, but it's such a tiny part of the plot that it's not a big deal. I loved that! It made the whole book seem even more realistic to me.

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is one of new favorite graphic novels and a must read from this year. It would be perfect for teens looking for a graphic novel that is fun and just a bit different. It's a ton of fun and I loved being part of Nate and Charlie's world.

Book Pairings: Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by the publisher

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Summer Reading Is Coming: Start With a Book Blog Tour

I am so excited to part of this lovely blog tour promoting Start With a Book. When Amy at Show Me Librarian asked me to be part of this tour and talk about this great resource, I jumped at the chance. Start With a Book is a great resource for parents, librarians, educators-really anyone who wants to read with a child!

As a librarian, I know the value of having storytime and reading to kids. Reading at all ages is important! It's a great way to develop skills that kids need like growing their vocabulary, learning how stories are told, hearing the rhythm and sound of words, and beginning to recognize letters and words and start to read. Not only that, but it's a fun way for adults and kids to share in an activity that will help them bond. Nothing is more fun than sharing a book with a child.

Even if a child can read on their own, they still should be read to! I've been out doing summer reading promotion at area schools and each class I visit-even high school-I ask if I can read them a picture book and tell them they are never too old to be read to. They are always eager to listen to a story and are so engaged in the books I bring-they love being read to.

One thing we often joke about at my library is that we could do storytime every minute of every day and have an audience waiting to read books. It would be fun (and very crazy!), but it's not possible for librarians to always be the ones doing storytime. That's why I love Start With a Book. We are always encouraging parents to check out books and have storytime at home, but so often I get asked about what books parents should read or how do they even find a book to read at home? It can be intimidating to walk into a library and see shelves and shelves of books and not know where to start or what book is the perfect book for you.

Start With a Book offers adults a great resource with their themed booklists. Every day I am asked for books on various topics and themes and Start With a Book has created fantastic themed booklists that give kids and adults a chance to pick a topic and create a storytime at home. The lists include a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles as well as a target age group, which is so helpful when adults are looking for a good fit for their child.

Not only does the Start With a Book themed booklists include books, but ways to take the reading experience further by including activities, crafts and websites to help kids and adults explore each theme. It's like having a storytime at your fingertips planned and ready to go!

Every kid deserves storytime-at the library and at home. So Start With a Book and go exploring this summer!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tween Tuesday: Feedback from Chat & Chew Bookclubs Part 2

In Missouri, we have a state book award for fourth-sixth grade called the Mark Twain Award. This year my library has partnered with seven area elementary schools for a program we call Chat & Chew. Each month we meet with a group of fourth & fifth graders to talk about a selected book from the Mark Twain list (chat) while the kids eat lunch (chew). It's been a lot of fun and the kids have had lots of great feedback about the books we've read so far. I posted about the first half of the year in January and here's our second half round up:

Hide and Seek
Half Upon a Time

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
-"It started off with a lot of action and it made me want to keep reading."
-"It has something for everyone-adventure, action, animals, magic."
-"It was the best book-it's going to win!" (I thought so too, but our winner ended up being Out of My Mind)
-"I was surprised by the ending." (everyone agreed it was a great surprise ending!)

Gilbert and Aldwyn were the most popular characters
Undecided on Skyler-lots of mystery surrounding her character!!

Everyone wanted a familiar and the animals they would like ranged from dogs, snails, and birds to horses and unicorns. The most popular ability for a familiar to have would be telekinesis or flying. Mostly they wanted telekinesis so they could move objects and hit people with the flying objects and surprise them-this was a common theme throughout all the groups! Ahh..tweens. :)

Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

-"This one had some mystery to it."
-"I liked the farm-I wanted to visit."
-"I was afraid of what would happen in the end-it kept me reading."

The groups seemed a bit mixed on this one. They liked the magical farm setting and thought it had suspense with Polly's powers and her brother. But there were some tweens that thought this one was a bit slow. 

Hide & Seek by Katy Grant

-"I liked the geocaching."
-"It was a god mystery."
-"The Dad might not have always been bad, but he made bad choices."
-"It made me think about what I would do."

The groups really liked this one. It was a mystery which they all enjoyed. We had a great discussion about the characters, if Chase should have told about what he discovered, and if the characters were all good or bad or maybe a bit of both. It was really cool to hear their insight about what Chase should do, what they would do in a similar situation (finding missing kids), and when and how to get adults involved. 

Half Upon a Time by James Riley

-"The best book ever!!!"
-"My favorite book-I've already read the sequel!"
-"I loved this one the most-I want to change my vote because I read Half Upon a Time and now it's my favorite!"
-"I liked the fairy tales."
-"The fairy tale mix was really fun to read."
-"The fairy tales were the best part-you never knew what was going to happen."
-"It should be a movie!"

This was by far the most popular book we read in Chat & Chew. After hearing all the groups rave about this book, I was surprised that this one didn't end up winning. Both guys and girls liked this one and I think it was the most agreement we had from all the groups about everyone liking a title. They loved the fairy tale mashup, the twists in the plot, and the adventure throughout. Not one student said they didn't like this one. Many of them had already gone on to read the sequel and we had a long waiting list for book three at the library!

Friday, May 10, 2013

YA Movie News

-Every once in awhile a list of books to movies that are in development comes out. The Examiner released one for YA books to movies that have been optioned and gives a status update. Hopefully these books make it to the big screen!

-Spinoffs are becoming the next big thing. The CW has officially ordered a spin-off for The Vampire Diaries called The Originals. ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars spin-off Ravenswood, has started casting. Thanks to Cynopsis for the news.

-Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones are having a fairy tale mashup. Lily James (aka cousin Rose) is playing Cinderella in an upcoming live action film and Richard Madden (aka Robb Stark) is playing Prince Charming.

-Sad news: the pilot for Delirium was not picked up by Fox.

-But in some happier news, sequels to the yet to hit the big screen films City of Bones and Divergent are in the works.

-And speaking of Divergent, Veronica Roth reveled the cover for Allegiant today and talked about the amazing chemistry between the actors in the movie!

-The Maze Runner boys are already in training for the film! And this week was the release of the first Ender's Game trailer! I really need to read that book!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Simone Elkeles Wild Cards Cover Reveal Tour

I am a huge fan of Simone Elkeles, so I can't wait for her new series Wild Cards which is coming out this October. I'm even more excited to share another piece of the cover-if you're a reader of Simone Elkeles, you know her books are not only awesome, but her covers are amazing-and I don't think Wild Cards will disappoint! The full cover will be revealed on Friday on the Bloomsbury Teen Facebook page, but here's a sneak peak at the cover:
About Wild Cards: After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek's counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else's family drama. Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek-someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

It's gonna be great, right??

Wanna catch up with the other sneak peaks?

Monday May 6-The Story Siren
Tuesday May 7-Once Upon A Twilight
Wednesday May 8-Green Bean Teen Queen
Thursday May 9-Anna Reads
Friday May 10-Bloomsbury Teens Facebook page-FULL COVER REVEAL!!!

Catch Up with Simone Elkeles
Simone Elkeles Fan Page on Facebook 
Simone Elkeles Author Website
Simone Elkeles Twitter
Bloomsbury Kids Twitter

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tween Tuesday: Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci, Illustrated by Sara Varon

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Graphic Novel

Release Date: 5/14/2013

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About the Book: Theodora loves everything to her way. She has everything planned out just the way she likes it. She has a perfect swimming routine, she has perfect exercises, a perfect routine for running her errands. When Chad moves in next door, Theodora notices that Chad is a bit odd. His house is a mess,  his feathers are dyed strange colors, and he makes lots of noise with his art projects. Theodora is sure she and Chad will not be friends? But can the two ducks find a way to get along? And is either one really that odd?

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Go get a copy of this book right now-I'll wait. Got it? Good-because you'll love it! I read Odd Duck and then I had to read it over again because that's how much I fell in love with Theodora and Chad. This is a book that will make you laugh, cherish friendships, and even think about your own odd duckness in a way that is so completely and utterly adorable you won't be able to put it down. You'll have to recommend Odd Duck to everyone you know because it's just that great!

Odd Duck is a short chapter book with a graphic novel feel. The book is illustrated in full color throughout and the chapters are short. It's a book that works well with all ages. I can't wait to share it with the kids at my library-graphic novel fans or not. I think it would be a great intro to graphic novels for readers who aren't sure they enjoy graphic novels as it has a nice picture book feel and there aren't any comic panels that the reader has to follow. I also think it would make a great read aloud for students.

Theodora and Chad are just too funny and I'm sure you will see yourself in them. The story is very clever and very funny. The characters of Theodora and Chad are well developed and thought out and the writing shows us about their odd ways. The illustrations just add icing onto the cake and make a wonderful addition to the book. Not only do we get to  read about Theodora and Chad but the illustrations expand upon their characters and tell us even more about their odd duck habits. Sara Varon adds in additional jokes and even some cameos from previous books that are so fun to look for.

A perfect pairing of text and illustrations, Odd Duck will make readers embrace and stand up and cheer for their own odd duck selves!

Book Pairings: Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, Jellaby by Kean Soo, Bake Sale by Sara Varon

Monday, May 6, 2013

Caldecott Storytime: Week 13

I'm doing Caldecott themed storytime for preschool storytime in January-April.Check out all my Caldecott Storytime plans here.

Theme: Making friends

Open: Shake Your Sillies Out by The Wiggles

Skill: Tell Stories 


-I opened this book by asking the kids if they ever wanted to play with animals. I told them about how the little girl in this book just wanted to make some new friends, but the animals would run away or hide. As I read the book, one little girl kept repeating after each page "but she just wants to play!!" She got the rest of the kids giving a call and response as well and they loved the book because of it.

Song: These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner


-I opened this book by talking about measuring and talking about how the inchworm was very small and made very small movements. The kids really liked this one too, but I did have to point out where the inchworm was on the page for the large group.

Song: Boogie Walk by Greg and Steve-I used the Boogie Walk song and asked the kids to move like an inchworm and measure our steps. We tried small steps, big steps, and medium size steps throughout the song.


-Bug/Animal Mural-I hung paper on the wall, put out crayons and some diecuts and asked the kids to draw about what animal they would love to play with.

-Measuring Station-We have a big stash of rulers that were donated to the library, so I pulled those out with a bunch of various items like a shape-sorter, a tissue box, and a bean bag and put them on a table and asked the kids to measure the various objects. This was by far the most popular station of all and the kids loved measuring the objects. They even found other objects around the room they could measure.

How It Went: I was really happy with my idea to incorporate some math into this storytime with our measuring and it was a huge hit! The kids would have happily measured things longer if I had had more items out for them to play with. The books went over much better than I was expecting as well. I wasn't sure how they would respond to the illustrations, especially since Play With Me is an older title, but they loved it! It was a great storytime that I will happily repeat.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trends in YA: Girls in Sports

I love watching trends in YA. The Girls in Sports trend has been around for awhile-there's always been some books out there featuring female athletes. But it seems like this year there are even more girls in sports novels being released-or maybe I'm just noticing them more.

After Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Dairy Queen Series, Miranda Kenneally is becoming my go-to author for books that feature female athletes. She's also gaining quite a fan base with the teens at my library. Ms. Kenneally has written previous novels that feature girls playing sports and her upcoming novel, out in December, features a girl  training to become a jockey:

Girls and horses go together! This novel features a girl who wants to become a Catch Rider (show rider) and works training horses:

After horses, tennis seems to be a popular sport this year:

(This one not only has tennis but is set at a sports academy, which features characters playing a variety of sports)

Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iacopelli (if a tennis only academy is what you want)

And what I think is the coolest girl in sports premise of the year:

About a girl who joins the school golf team.
Also, Simone Elkeles has a new book coming this Fall called Wild Cards (the cover to be revealed next week! I'll have a peice to tease next Wednesday!) It also features girls playing sports:
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek's counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else's family drama. Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek-someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Have you seen any other female athletes in novels this year? What do you think of this trend?

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