Saturday, October 30, 2010


Haven't blogged much this week. What time I had to myself (which wasn't much ... how do women with families do it? It's just me and I feel like I'm running around like a crazy person) I spent reading Juliet by Anne Fortier. I'm not done yet but it's so good. Must catch up on school reading soon.

Never did post last week's book list. Or this weeks. The updated of this week's is still at school. Last week's was on bullying and accepting others. Not gonna say this is the most spectacular list ever but these are some we have in our collection that could work and aren't necessarily on ALL the other lists out there.

Calvin Coconut Trouble Magnet (Graham Salisbury)--On this year’s Bluebonnet list!

The Rat and the Tiger (Keiko Kasza)

One (Katherine Otoshi)--Also works for an art lesson!

Alfred’s Nose (Vivienne Flesher)--Seriously cute photos!

Me and You (Genevieve Cote)

Mouse Was Mad (Linda Urban)

Tough Chicks (Cece Meng)

Can I Play, Too? (Mo Willems)--work with me on this one. It fits!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Slightly Spooky Stories

So ... I don't go as all out as I might, if I had walls in our library. It never fails but some of the people going through the hallway spoil the effect.

But I don't let it stop me entirely. For a couple of years now I have offered 15 to 20 minute "Slightly Spooky Stories" the week before Halloween.

I have a string of orange lights that we pretend is a campfire. A silly flashlight with buttons for screams or wolf howls. A CD of creepy noises. It's all in fun. The most popular (and creepiest) stories have come from Robert San Souci's Short and Shivery books.

This year I think I will add some of Neil Gaiman's read aloud of The Graveyard Book. And something from Half Minute Horrors. Some of those give me the wilies!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Books About Writing and Story

Sent this to my staff on Tuesday. Going to start a weekly "themed" list ... with the new book order this seemed like a good place to begin.

The Plot Chickens (Mary Jane Auch)-So funny. Little ones will love the illustrations and will start to grasp the storytelling concepts. Same with the older kids!

A Book (by Mordecai Gerstein)--PERFECT for some sort of genre work station after a lesson. I won’t say this one makes a great read aloud. It’s one that needs to be “looked at” closely.

The Library Mouse (Daniel Kirk)--LOVE this one. Keep meaning to make my own Kleenex box complete with mirror and pencil banner.

Chester’s Masterpiece (Melanie Watt)--I usually dislike cats. But Chester is too funny and this one is all about HIM writing the book.

Once Upon a Time: Writing Your Own Fairy Tale (by Nancy Loewen ... find in 808 LOE)
Explores the tools that beginning writers need. This title includes a review list of key concepts, four exercises for getting started, and numerous writing tips.

The Best Story (by Eileen Spinelli)

A Beginning, a Muddle, and an End (by Avi)--of the two the first one The End of the Beginning is my absolute favorite but this one is also cute and it fits the topic! And an FYI ... I would disagree slightly with the age recommendation on this review. I think it skews a little higher. But that’s me.

Word After Word After Word--Patricia MacLachlan is a Newbery award winning author of somewhat ... sentimental books. So’s this one ... but it still works! (And, BTW ... she is one of the most quick-witted and sarcastic people I’ve ever heard speak!)

Adventures in Cartooning (by James Sturm ... found in 741.5 STU)--AAACK! Not usually a fan of the comic/graphic novel genre (which is NOT to say they are not the perfect educational choice for some of the kids, they’re just not my favorite) but this one is TOO CUTE.

Spilling Ink (by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer)--If I had my way fourth or fifth grade would all read this as a novel study. Of course, I’m not in charge and we don’t necessarily have all the time we would like. Still ... EXCELLENT book. Check out the website.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Book I'm Reading

Well. There are several. But after a four month wait I FINALLY got The Death and Life of the Great American School System (by Diane Ravitch). Sadly interesting. I'm not finished yet ... (all the rotten robbery business has distracted me). But here are a couple of quotes I've marked so far ...

"It is the mark of a sentient human being to learn from experience, to pay close attention to how theories work when put into practice." (pg 2)

"In my writings, I have consistently warned that, in education, there are no shortcuts, no utopias, and no silver bullets. For certain, there are no magic feathers that enable elephants to fly." (pg 3)

"Students should certainly think about what they read, but they should read something worth thinking about." (pg 20)

"No Child Left behind, by contrast, was bereft of any educational ideas. It was a technocratic approach to school reform that measured "success" only in relation to standardized test scores in two skill-based subjects, with the expectation that this limited training would strengthen our nation's economic competitiveness with other nations. This was misguided, since the nations with the most successful school systems do not impose such a narrow focus on their schools." (pg 29)

I may have to just get my own copy (and for someone that, I will be very honest, very rarely reads anything but fiction!) so that I can underline and make notes. I just get frustrated when I can never articulate my feelings about the public education system. Then I read this author's work and find out "Hey! She says what I think most of the time and in a much more coherent way!" I LOVE the quote about reading.

First new book orders of the year came in last week. Check out the Goodreads widget on the sidebar if you are interested. I never write super long or detailed reviews ... but I do try to write something. More to come!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Well. It's been a week. Again.


And this just makes me more grateful to all of the great bloggers out there who continue to come up with great content even when life is just ... distracting.

Haven't slept all that well the past couple of nights. But the GREAT part about that is I finally finished Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus. I love Theodosia. So funny. I wish I'd kept better track of funny quotes for you. One about research was just a hoot.

If you haven't read them ... make sure to check any of the four out. This one really might be my favorite, though.

Shall I be honest? Wasn't in the mood to keep track of quotes because somebody broke into my house and stole a bunch of stuff. Just stuff. But it's upsetting all the same. But hey! Still liked the book. Even when there was a break-in as part of the story. Oddly ironic.