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Showing posts from October, 2013

Sometimes You Just Need a Librarian Win

(This is what I look like after a librarian win day) I love my job. I think it's the greatest job in the world and I am excited to go to work every day. But as much as I love it, I can still have days that are just off. A couple of weeks ago, my weekly toddler storytime had a huge number of attendees. We don't have registration, so while we have regular attendees, we also have a lot of visitors and new faces each week. This week I happened to end up with 40 kids and 30 adults in my storytime, which made the room very crowded! It's not unheard of for us to get these many for one storytime, but it always takes me by surprise when the crowd just keeps coming in, especially when it's not summer (in summer we get huge numbers!) It's not that my storytime was bad. The books were fine, I did stories about frogs, sang my regular songs, did the Five Little Frogs fingerplay, and had lots of activities around the room about jumping, tossing flies into the mouth of t

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Julie Jurgens

Julie Jurgens is a children's librarian who blogs at Hi Miss Julie . After writing out all of my selections, I realized how many of them would be great read alouds. If I can emphasize anything, it would be that reading aloud to children shouldn’t end at kindergarten! The more children can hear expressive, fluent reading, the better readers they will be (in my unscientific opinion). Teachers, give it a try! Librarians, schedule some older kid storytime programs or reader’s theater! Okay, agenda pushing over, on to the books! The House with the Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs I don’t remember many of the details of my childhood-- frankly, not a whole lot of it was worth remembering--but I do remember vividly the books that most comforted and thrilled me. The first and foremost would be The House with the Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs. How, pray tell, is a mystery/horror novel illustrated by Edward Gorey at all comforting? Because Lewis Barnevelt is

Flame in the Mist Halloween Mini-Spokathon Tour

The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff Visit Kit’s website: About the Book : Secrets surround Agromond Castle and young Jemma. Life at the castle is all she's ever known, but Jemma is not who she thinks she is and there is more to her past that she's about to uncover. Jemma soon finds herself in a race for her life and with the help of her pet rats and her friend Digby, Jemma becomes wrapped up in a fight against darkness. Follow the Tour: Friday 25th: Green Bean Blog - Top 13 Spooky Things at Agromond Castle I Monday 28th: Icey Books - interview with Jemma about Halloween Tuesday 29th: Emily's Bookshelf - book review Weds. 30th: Literary Rambles - Guest post: Promoting a debut Kidlit novel: tips for nervous newbies Thurs. 31st: The Mixed Up Files - guest post: Why scary books could save mankind Thurs 31st: The Lucky 13s - Interview with Laura Golden: How the Agromonds would celebrate Halloween TOP 13 CREEPIEST THINGS

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Catherine Gilbert Murdock is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. Her most recent novel, Heaven Is Paved With Oreos was released in September. You can find her online at I've been thinking a lot about Christopher Healy's post ( GreenBeanTeenQueen August 27, 2013 ) on how lame the term "middle-grade fiction" is, how it should be called awesome-grade fiction. Now I feel really silly for never getting the double entendre of "middle grade." Perhaps that explains the blank looks I get at cocktail parties. Ah.  I agree that “middle-grade fiction” is lame and that "awesome-grade fiction" is awesome. But I'm thinking even bigger. I've heard that jazz musicians don't call what they play "jazz," they call it "the music." There's "the music," and then there's all the other kinds of music that all need qualifiers: classical, hip-hop, folk . .

Bibliobop Dance Party

About two years ago, I came across a program called Bibliobop from a blog called Storytiming.  One thing librarians are great at is sharing programs and ideas, so I emailed Storytiming, asked if I could take the idea and name and use it at my library, and my version of Bibliobop Dance Party was born. It's one of my most favorite programs that I run. The idea of Bibliobop is to give kids and parents a chance to dance and have fun with creative movement while highlighting the great music collection the library has. I always tell parents that all the music I use is available to check out and it's a great way to let them hear kids artists that they might not know about. Plus, it's just a blast to run and get to dance with kids! In each dance party I include scarves, instruments, parachutes, and I've even done rhythm sticks, though my crowd tends to run a little young. I advertise the program for ages 2-6, but end up with mostly 2-3 year-olds and some baby siblings. 

Reality Boy by A.S. King

Rating: 5/5 Stars Genre: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction Release Date: 10/22/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: When Gerald was a child, his family took part in a nanny reality show-and Gerald was made out to be the star. He was the family terror, angry at everything and in his anger, he would defecate on anything. He earned the nickname "The Crapper." No one wanted to see that the show was edited and what the real problem in the family was. Instead, Gerald was the problem, he was forced into the special needs classroom at school, and he was told the only path he was on would land him in jail. But Gerald knows that's not true. And he wants to break free of everyone's labels and ideas about who he really is. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says : A.S. King is a writer who gets better with each book. Each new book she releases manages to top the last one and pull at my heartstrings in a new way. Reality Boy  is no exception-I felt for Gerald-and not just a surface leve

So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Mike Jung

Mike Jung is the author of Geeks, Girls and Secret Identities. You can find him online at I wasn't familiar with the industry term "middle-grade" before I became a children's author. I'd spent a few years working with kids, so I knew they had a massive range of developmental levels, interests, and abilities, but the industry's specific breakdown of recommended reading ages was new to me. I knew I wanted to write for kids, and it was interesting to eventually realize that the stories I feel most compelled to write are for the middle-grade audience. It's an odd thing to be aware of that, because my own reading habits have never fallen within such concretely defined boundaries. I started reading Stephen King's very adult horror novels when I was 12, but I also continued reading Anne McCaffrey's fantasy novels (which I think of as middle-grade) in my twenties and thirties. McCaffrey's HARPER HALL tri