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Showing posts from 2015

Where Have You Been?

My blog has really suffered this year-but for a good reason! I have been spending my time working on the 2016 Caldecott Committee! We're getting down to the wire now with our meetings starting next week, so this past month has been incredibly hectic. Nope, no Caldecott eligible titles in this photo-this is my son's giant to-read pile, but you can use your imagination and pretend to understand the amount of reading I've been doing this year! So, what is it like to be on an award committee? Well, it's lots and lots of reading. And then lots and lots of note-taking. Luckily, I've had some help in that area: Now that Midwinter is getting closer, there's even more reading, note-taking, reading again, reading what others have said in their nominations and preparing your notes for what you want to say in all of your discussions.  That's where I've been and what I'll be up to over the next couple weeks. There most likely won't be man

Voyagers Giveaway

Voyagers: Project Alpha by D. J. MacHale About the Book:  Earth is in danger! Without a renewable source of clean energy, our planet will be toast in less than a year. There are 6 essential elements that, when properly combined, create a new power source. But the elements are scattered throughout the galaxy. And only a spaceship piloted by children can reach it and return to Earth safely. First the ideal team of four 12-year-olds must be chosen, and then the first element must be retrieved. There is not a mistake to be made, or a moment to lose. The source is out there. Voyagers is blasting off in 3, 2, 1… Add to Goodreads GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I was thinking the other day about trends in middle grade lit and I realized that science fiction and stories set in space are becoming more popular. Add that to the multi-platform trend of middle grade books written by various authors (think 39 Clues, Spirit Animals ) and you've got a winner. I know that I have an aud

Flannel Friday: Buddy and the Bunnies by Bob Shea

Flannel Friday is a weekly roundup of posts about storytime and flannelboard ideas. You can visit the website here . Librarian confession time-I am not a crafty librarian. Crafts for me mean fingerprints or play-dough. I wish I could knit cute puppets to use in storytime, but if I'm lucky, I can make an ok paper bag puppet. And my flannels just aren't pretty-so I rarely make them. (I'm more of a print it off from Kizclub and use magnets type of librarian!) But I wanted a way to tell Buddy and the Bunnies by Bob Shea  so that the kids knew who was talking. I'm reading the book, puppets weren't going to work. And since this is one of our state picture book award nominees, I'm planning on reading it a few times. In the past, the kids have had trouble knowing which character was speaking. So I made Buddy and Bunnies. While reading, I'll point to each character and move them on the flannel board to help the kids visualize who's speaking. So her

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Add to Goodreads About the Book: After an accident leaves Samantha homeless and fatherless, she's not sure what to do. It's Missouri, 1849 and her dreams of being a musician are not going to be easy-she's a girl and she's Chinese American. Without a place to go, she's invited to a local hotel run by her landlord. But he has other plans for Samantha in mind-namely working in his brothel. Samantha fights back and finds herself needing to escape and fearing for her life. She meets a slave who works at the hotel named Annamae, who is also planning to run. So together they disguise themselves as boys and set off on the Oregon Trail to find Annamae's brother and and a new life for Samantha. As Sammy and Andy, they meet up with a group of cowboys who become unexpected allies. But if they knew the truth, the group could be in trouble-Annamae and Samantha are both wanted by the law. A powerful story of friendship and family. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Who knew the wo

Blog Tour: The Toymaker's Apprentice-Sherri L. Smith Author Guest Post

Sherri L. Smith's newest book is based on The Nutcracker. Taking on a classic story is always interesting and I love knowing how authors research and make a well known story their own, so I wanted to know more about the research process for The Toymaker's Apprentice.    Most people don’t realize that the Nutcracker ballet has its origins in an E.T.A. Hoffman story, Nussknacker und Mausek├Ânig published in 1816.  Some thirty years later, Hoffman’s strange story caught the imagination of Alexandre Dumas—the man who wrote The Three Musketeers and other popular novels.  It was Dumas’ version that Tchiakovsky based his ballet upon.  Luckily for me, as a kid, I fell in love with both the Hoffman story and the ballet.  As an adult, I found myself still daydreaming about the mysterious godfather Drosselmeyer, and the story behind the story.  So it wasn’t much of a stretch to think that one day I would tackle those questions for myself. In my office is a blue binder stuffed to th

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

I love the idea of a superlative blog tour for First & Then by Emma Mills-such a fun blog tour! I was given the superlative of "Most Likely to Make You Cry on Public Transportation" and of course, I had to ask Emma herself which books make her cry: I would have to say Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is the book that makes my cry the most! My father first read this book to my sister and I when we were kids, and I remember so clearly the overwhelming sense of loss I felt right along with Jesse. A beautiful—but tough to take!—book about grief. Runner-ups: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – it has wrung the most book-fueled tears from me in my adulthood. Hazel’s relationship with her parents really gets to me. Marrying Malcolm Murgatroyd by Mame Farrell—I first read this in junior high and shed more than a few tears. Very bittersweet, lovely middle grade story. Before I share my own list, I first need to tell you something-I don't c

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

Today I'm presenting at the Missouri Library Association/Kansas Library Association Join Conference! I'm presenting on "Need to Know YA of 2015" My session is only 45 minutes, so I sadly don't get to talk about very many books, so I made a long booklist of books I'm talking about as well as others to know. Here is my handout and booklist from the session. And if you're at the conference, I'd love to see you! Need to know YA 2015 from greenbeanteenqueen Need to Know YA 2015 MLA/KLA Joint Conference Sarah Bean Thompson sarahbean@thelibrary.org www.greenbeanteenqueen.com Trends in YA Religious Extremism and Cults, End of the World Beliefs Devoted by Jennifer Matthieu Eden West by Pete Hautman No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oaks Seed by Lisa Heathfield Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle Watch the Sky by Kristin Hubbard Mental Illne

Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler Blog Tour-Author Guest Post

Please welcome Sonia Gensler to GreenBeanTeenQueen (photo credit: Eden Wilson Photography) Writing horror for young readers Growing up is scary and painful, and violent, and your body is doing weird things and you might, to your great horror, become something beastly and terrible on the other side.  —Greg Ruth, “Why Horror is Good for You (and Even Better for Your Kids)” http://www.tor.com/2014/05/29/why-horror-is-good-for-you-and-even-better-for-your-kids/ Every day young people deal with horror landscapes, both physical and psychological. They face the gauntlet-like labyrinth of school hallways, and the confinement of overcrowded classrooms. They defend against emotional and/or physical bullying, all while feeling haunted by the “stupid” things they’ve said or done. In fact, young people often feel downright monstrous—their bodies are changing too quickly, or not quickly enough, their emotions are fraught with ups and downs,

Heather Petty Author Guest Post-Writing Lock and Mori

Add to Goodreads About the Book: (from Goodreads)  In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students, one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James "Mori" Moriarty, meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart. Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more. FACT: Someone has been murdered in London's Regent's Park. The police have no leads. FACT: Miss James "Mori"Moriarty and Sherlock "Lock" Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene. FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted. FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock's one rule--they must share every clue with each other--Mori is keeping secrets. OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can't trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again. GreenBeanTeenQueen: “I'd love to know what inspired Ms

Please Look Up: Part 2

A month ago I wrote a post about how often I see parents looking at their phones instead of engaging with their kids at the library, especially in programs.  The feedback I received from this post called me judgy, said there was no way I could know the whole story, and that most likely these kids were being engaged at home. It's true you can never know the whole story, but I still believe it's all about balance. I was inspired to write my original post because it's something I see happen a lot at the library, but it's also something very personal to me. Being glued to technology is something I see happen every day in my family. "family time"  This photo is of a recent family get together. My son is just off to the right of this picture, playing with toys and hoping to catch the attention of his family. Instead, they're plugged in to their phones (and the ironic thing is my father-in-law captured this family moment on his phone!) It frustrates me

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary Release Date: 9/1/2015 Add to Goodreads About the Book:  Maddy has SCID, a disease which means she's allergic to everything. She never knows what could cause her to be sick, what could make her have an allergic reaction. She's been kept in her house with no one but her mom and nurse and her only access to the outside world is through the computer. Until the day Olly moves in next door, Maddy doesn't feel like she's missing out on much.  Olly and Maddy develop a friendship online and Maddy starts to wonder if there could be more to her life. But if there was, it wouldn't end well for Maddy. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:  I honestly don't know what it was about this book that made me devour it and enjoy every moment. I've thought about and tried to put my finger on it what it was exactly, but I can only guess. Nicola Yoon's writing is addictive and her characters are just so real that I cared about them from the very beginning. I l

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Genre: Contemporary Release Date: 8/4/2015 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Bridge survived an accident and as she left the hospital she was told she must have survived for a reason. Emily is embracing a new found popularity with boys at school and a crush on an older boy. And Tabitha is the friend who tells people like it is. Sherm is writing letters to his grandfather-but not sending them. And an unnamed narrator wanders the neighborhood on Valentines Day wondering about what makes a true friend. This cast of characters will connect and their lives will entwine and they'll figure out middle school together.  GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Librarian confession-sometimes I feel like I'm the only non Rebecca Stead fangirl. I mean, I liked Liar and Spy well enough and I When You Reached Me was ok, but I felt like the only person who didn't gush over it. Yet there's something about her writing-and the mad devotion from librarians all over-that keeps me reading.  I