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Showing posts from September, 2013

Day In the Life of a Librarian

Life as a public librarian means no two days are ever the same. It's one of the reasons I love my job-I never know what to expect each day and each day brings something new. Here's a peek into a day last week:  8:20-Arrive at work,  turn on computers, clean off keyboards, get department open and ready to go. 8:40-Meet with new staff member to go over training for the day. This morning I'm taking our new teen associate out and about to meet our school librarians for our partner schools. We're taking the librarians bookmarks of the state book awards to help promote the lists. 8:40-9:05-Drive and visit first area middle school and talk about ideas of what we could do to partner with them. 9:05-9:40-Drive to second middle school and meet librarian. Brainstorm more ideas for partnerships and talk about some book club possibilities. 9:40-10:10-Drive and visit third middle school. The librarian tells us about how they're integrating technology in the sch

Mock Caldecott List

It's time for me to get my library Mock Caldecott list together so I can start promoting our program to our schools and patrons. We plan our programs very early and many months out at my library, so I'm already working on this event for January and starting to get our promotions together so everyone can read the books leading up to the program. Earlier this year, we hosted our first ever Mock Caldecott event and it was a huge success! We had a mix of kids to adults and it was a blast discussing books with everyone. I can't wait to repeat it again in January. Here's what we'll be reading and discussing: Bluebird by Bob Staake The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin  Journey by Aaron Becker Locomotive by Brian Floca Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown Stardines by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Carin Ber

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is a school librarian at Modesto City Schools. He blogs at Heavy Medal for School Library Journal. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.  Since I'm so focused on literary merit on Heavy Medal, I've decided to spotlight a handful of books that I've found extremely popular with my middle grade students.     HARRIS AND ME by Gary Paulsen would always be my first read aloud of the year when I was a classroom teacher because it was hysterically funny and the kids knew they could trust my book recommendations.  Underneath that hilarity, however, there's a very poignant story of a boy finding a place that he--finally!--belongs.  SKINNYBONES by Barbara Park is also pretty darn funny, and it's an easy sell because the kids have read JUNIE B. JONES. SAMMY KEYES AND THE HOTEL THIEF by Wendelin Van Draanen is my go-to mystery series for

I'm a Cybils Judge

I am pleased to share that this year I will be part of the Cybils! The Cybils are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards.  This year I will be part of the Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Second Round Panel with an amazing group of people. I can't wait to get started! But before we get reading, we have to have nominations! Starting October 1st, you can visit the Cybils page and nominate titles in each of the categories-and there are tons of categories to choose from! Picture books Young Adult to Book Apps, there is a category for all ages. So be sure to let your voice be heard and nominate your favorite books of the year that you think the judges should be reading. It's a great way to get involved and the nomination lists area great tools for reader's advisory. So happy reading and happy nominating!!

So You Want To Read Middle Grade: Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Kathryn Fitzmaurice is the author of the middle grade books, The Year the Swallows Came Early and A Diamond in the Desert . Her most recent release, Destiny Rewritten , was published in February and was an IndieNext Pick for Spring. You can find Kathryn at her website: Middle grade readers, in my opinion, are full of optimism.  They mostly see the world in a positive light.  They believe anything can happen, and many times, they tend t o dwell in possibility.  This is to say that most readers have faith that things will turn out for the better, that whatever situation occurs, even events that might cause pain, in the end, things will be okay.  Typically, the main character sees the world differently because of something they have learned, some true event or idea that has shifted their focus in a small but very identifiable way.  Some of them still make wishes on shooting stars, hoping that their wish might come true.  Many believe in best friends

Judge a Book By Its Cover: Hardcover to Paperback

I love comparing covers and judging books by their covers! We all do it and it's fun to analyze what works and what doesn't. Here are some recent cover changes I've come across: The Diviners by Libba Bray Hardcover:  I love the color and the eye on the cover just feels like this is going to be something spooky and mysterious. Paperback: I still like the color, but I'm not sure about the rest of the cover and I'm not sure why. I do like how this cover gives more of a feel of the 1920s, but I think the spookiness is missing.  Crewel by Gennifer Albin   Hardcover: I think this one is pretty, but nothing special. It wouldn't catch my eye. Paperback: -I like how this one has a more futuristic feel, which I find appealing. It also feels a bit science fiction like and for some reason makes me think of Star Trek (which has nothing to do with the book and it's nothing like Star Trek ) but it would make it pic

SMASH: Trial by Fire by Chris A. Bolton, illustrated by Kyle Bolton

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars Genre: Comic Book/Superheroes Release Date: 9/10/2013 Add to Goodreads Check out author Chris A. Bolton's Guest Pos t  About the Book: Andrew is obsessed with Defender, the local superhero. But when a blast destroys Defender and somehow transfers superpowers into Andrew, suddenly Andrew is the new hero in town. He can fly, he has super strength, he can stop bad guys-and he has to be home in time for bed. Being a fifth grade superhero is a rough job! GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Superheroes are always a fan favorite and Smash  pays homage to the superhero genre and comic book format. Smash   feels like a classic superhero tale-from the storyline of a kid getting powers to the fighting of the main jealous bad guy Magus, to the powers and secrets that Andrew now has, this is a great choice for readers looking for a hero tale. The book is being marketed for middle grade readers and I think the artwork and story will appeal to readers wanting something th

Guest Post: Asterix and the Library by Chris A. Bolton, author of SMASH

Please welcome Chris A. Bolton, author of the comic book, SMASH: Trial by Fire to GreenBeanTeenQueen! I haven't been what you could call a "child" for, um, several years now. (How many? Never you mind.) But my childhood experience with my local library was so strong that, to this day, when I hear the word "library," my first thought is: Asterix . Surely you know of Asterix the Gaul? The star of the French comics created in 1959 by writer René Goscinny and artist Albert Uderzo? Asterix is the short, shrewd, blond-haired warrior who, along with his enormous friend Obelix, stumbles into countless adventures, usually while battling the Roman army that surrounds their tiny Gaulish village. Like soccer and Tintin, Asterix is hugely successful and wildly beloved all over the world -- but only moderately popular in the U.S. As a young boy who loved and devoured superhero comics featuring Batman or Spider-Man, I'd never heard of Asterix until o

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Anne Clark

So You Want to Read Middle Grade? Booktalking Minus the Eye Rolls. Hopefully. Anne Clark is a children’s librarian with the Bay County Library System in Michigan. She blogs about working with kids from birth through sixth grade (and related shenanigans) at So Tomorrow ( ). Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. Choose-your-own adventures are always a hit with middle grade kids, who have so few choices in their schedule-packed days. Meanwhile is a choose-your-own adventure graphic novel that starts with our hero picking an ice cream flavor. I don’t want to spoil any of the 3,856 possible endings, but you should give it a try. I booktalked this to elementary students (100 at a time) using an Elmo and I thought that I would be killed in the ensuing stampede of boys coming at me. National Geographic Kids’s Weird but True series is another great choice to share with a group of students. Each page has 1-4 facts with full color photographs. The facts run

Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School by Fowler DeWitt PLUS GIVEAWAY

Rating: 4/5 Stars Genre: Humor/Mystery Release Date: 9/3/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Wilmer Dooley is a scientist. His father always says "observe!" and that's just what Wilmer loves to do. So when Wilmer notices the kids at school start turning strange colors and have an excess of energy, Wilmer decides to research this strange new plague outbreak and he's sure to win the Science Medal with a cure! But Wilmer's nemesis is on his tail and the science teacher Mrs. Padgett just knows Wilmer is up to no good. Can Wilmer solve the mystery, save the school, and maybe even win the heart of his crush Roxie? GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:  Science and humor make for an awesome blend in Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School . Wilmer is an incredibly likable character-his scientific observations and his crush on Roxie make him incredibly endearing-he reminds me a young Leonard from Big Bang Theory . Wilmer loves to observe and make scientific discoverie

So You Want To Read Middle Grade: Kellie Celia

Kellie Celia is the Marketing Communications Manager, Publishing for Walden Media focusing predominantly on Walden Pond Press, a middle grade imprint co-published by HarperCollins and Walden. There are many ideas out there about what type of book is “truly middle grade”: Books written with middle schoolers in mind; books for upper elementary school students; rare titles that can appeal to the 9-year-old and the 13-year-old reader alike. Some folks might say middle grade is anything more complex than a chapter book without the sex and romance of a young adult novel. Others might claim middle grade is defined by the age of the protagonist; any main character over 14 immediately pushes a book into young adult territory. Still others might classify middle grade by awards—if the reading level of a book is 3 rd grade or above, but it is still eligible for the Newbery Award, then it can be considered middle grade.  And I say, great! Any of these ideas could work.   But in the deep