Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Around the Corner

I didn't follow up on any goals for last year. Well, except for get more exercise. I did get more up until the last two weeks (sorry trainer Mike!).

Two things have me thinking.

One, I saw this Kickstarter. I can't even remember how because I don't actually often stroll through Kickstarter. Maybe on FB? Or another blog?
and it reminded me of long ago Franklin Covey days. Plus I love organization. It's calming. Who wants to be looking for stuff or freaking out at the last minute? And the last couple years it has not ben one of my strong points. So ... backed! Still have a couple weeks til it gets here, though. The Kickstarter is closed but I think through this page you can get a six month version. And that direct link goes to some good suggestions I will be thinking over.

Then I received this bit of LOVELINESS in the mail from Big Honcho Media. Check out the Etsy shop where they got them. This one is sold out but so many pretties! STAR WARS! Harry Potter! Other book related stuff!

So of course I've been looking at Instagram pics of planners. There's a whole bunch of crazy sticker/colored pens/washi tape loving peeps. Does that help them to get stuff done? It is pretty. I already have a lot of the materials collected. They've just been sitting in bins or drawers as I think "I really should get rid of that. Maybe take it to school. But it's so pretty! And I spent money!" :P

Really the next couple of days will be spent thinking about what I want from 2016. There are of course the norms ... keep up with better exercise (cause until the last two weeks it was better! So we'll say keep up instead of start again). Eat better. That was going well until ... really the trip. That might help with the sleep and bordering on migraine headaches too, right? And doing better spiritually. I mean, my beliefs are still rock solid but I can't say I've done a lot of growing. Some study there could only help.

But what else? What are some FUN goals ... for the library at school, for the blog, or for me? Anyone willing to share what they are thinking about? Or at least in the case of the blog would like to see? Better book reviews. I love to read but then instead of being useful I just post not much more than "Loved it!" or "Why did I finish this?" Had a blog friend suggest the TPT conference. It IS near The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I just don't see me becoming a TPT rock star. Given the choice I usually choose reading over making new stuff. I only make what I'm using and this year with the change in assistant hours and general school climate that has slowed down. :P

I'm grateful for you all that spend any time listening to me go on. Take care of yourselves and enjoy these last few days of holiday break!

Monday, December 28, 2015

#IMWAYR Dec. 28

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

Let me start with saying how much I will miss Debbie from The Stylin Librarian. She was one of the first two people to comment on my blog. I never got to meet her in person but was always so impressed by her reviews and blog posts and willingness to interact. I hope for peace for her family.

And now. Let the reading of the first week of break be recorded! (Well, and a few of my other reent favorites cause I haven't posted in a while!)

Only one picture book (no new ones at school and my local library doesn't get to order many, either) but I got my mom Mother Bruce for Christmas because it was a bear book and ... it is HILARIOUS!
Of the SW books ... Lost Stars is good but it's definitely not an elementary book. YA, only. the novelization of TFA adds a little more backstory but doesn't really fill in many holes and the writing is not the best. Only for big time fans. Before the Awakening was interesting.
Fires of Invention was really good. The author visited our school and I was so impressed!
I really enjoyed The Map to Everywhere but ... it's a little long for most of my students, I think. Actually reading book two, City of Thirst right now.
I LOVE the Tupelo Landing books and that really surprises me. I did the first two on audio and then read the third. I loved hearing the different voices in the audio, but being able to go back over and reread funny lines in the print. I can't say it's been a super popular one on our Bluebonnet (state award) list but I will keep trying!
The Anne Perry novella was ... not my favorite. Adult authors that I usually love are ... not turning out things I still love this year. SAD.
I enjoyed the last two Dead City books. The kids will like them in January (finally got them back from processing after a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG holdup with the box sitting in the bookkeeper's office ... and I stole them to take home and read over the holiday. FIRST DIBS is a  perk of the job, right? Right? ;)).
Cathedral of Fear was OK. Not my fave but not terrible. I will still keep reading because it's fun to imagine Sherlock as a kid.
And The Jumbies ... I didn't love it as much as the internet but will have to get a copy. Kids like creepy and added plus some exposure to different cultures.

This week? Continue City of Thirst. I have the audio of Lake House but since I'm not commuting to school I might save that.
Then ... I don't know! I have the eARC of Salt to the Sea and I keep hearing it's so great. Or Red? Or work on some professional reading? Or binge watch X-Files ...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Reading Resolutions Printable 2016

Shall we start with a Hey Girl? My new favorite. ;) Thank you for bearing with my SW fandom. It will die down eventually. There's just SO MUCH OUT THERE right now. Did you see the video clip of the German department store? It's on the FB page. 1:20 of adorableness. #allthefeels

A photo posted by nerdist.com (@nerdist) on

Didn't get this done before the break, when it would have been nice to get things copied and ready to go before leaving, right? You see versions of this printable all over (I think this was the first place I saw it?) ... this is a library related one we've used for a couple years now. I did have the kids draw their own numbers for a while but some of them made them so teeny I thought I'd give them a start and then they could color to their hearts content.

Here's a Google Drive PDF version. Fonts are by Hello Literacy/Jen Jones. I printed out page four and then ran it back through my printer to get (any of 1-3) the inside. Hoping the double sided copies work. Sometimes I still get them mixed up when trying to print/copy. If I get back and they don't I'll fix it and repost. Fold on the bold line, cut on the dotted.

Reading Resolutions Printable
Reading Resolutions Printable 2
Reading Resolutions Printable 3

Reading Resolutions Printable 4

See how I had to get #yodaontheshelf in there at least one more time?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Currently Dec. (and has been for 5 days, right?)

Behind the curve but oh well. Linking up with Farley.

Love me some Amazon Prime music (I have an Echo!). Though ... I might be changing the station. Not loving some of the super twangy ones. Am I getting old I want my Harry or Josh right now?

I love Christmas lights! Debating attending the new "Zoo Lights" with some of the nieces and nephews that are close enough.

Insomnia has been kind of a fight for months now but this week has become a true NEMESIS. Not productive ... blechy toss and turn kind. I've done some this AM. Can we call that good? #probablynot


At least one of those, anyway.

Faux. I like to have it around too long for a real one. I do love the smell, though.

I got two ahead on my #yodaontheshelf photos. Hooray for being ahead of the game? Not all of the tag users are me. Cause when I just checked some are less than classy. Ugh.

LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!!! Although I am not,actually, attending a midnight showing. When you're in London when the tickets go on sale. Plus you don't really even know anyone who is as crazy a fanatic as you are ... you have to be a little bit patient.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Friday, December 4, 2015

Flat Gingy

This is one of my favorites. Majorly adapted from something I got on TPT by "First Grade Fever" though I use it with second grade because they are the best candidates for the different Flat Stanley stories.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Author Visit and Cove Series Book One Fires of Invention

So the premise is not new. A civilization underground and a government that tells kids what their lifelong jobs will be. But ... this version? Manages some unexpected twists that make it fresh! Dragons. BIG mechanical dragons.
Here's the book trailer. I do enjoy a fun book trailer. A bit of a little funny acting but on the whole amazing! After he showed it he said "Do any of you want to read this book?" and they all yelled "YES!" #bloggerfail for not catching it on video or at least audio!

The author visited our school today. WHAT FUN! He was such a great presenter talking to the kids about creativity and changing their world for the better. He introduced them to Alex, Malala, and Ryan. He then talked to them about writing stories and coming up with goals and obstacles and consequences. He pulled up a few volunteers for an engaging interactive storytelling session. I know tomorrow we're going to have a lot of kids asking for the book and we don't have a copy yet! I was a dummy and when this opportunity came up I totally wasn't thinking and ordered a copy for ME to read on my Kindle. I should have just gotten the hardcover and donated it when I was done. Jumping through all the hoops to order books when it's not a bigger order? Not my favorite. But this time I should have!

Strong 4th through probably about 7th grade fantasy lovers will enjoy this one (plus his other fantasy series, plus the Case 13 zombie books which like an idiot after he left I realized we had a copy of) and ALL of the kids enjoyed his presentation. Definitely recommended!

PS Here's his Twitter account!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Yoda on the Shelf Part Two

Lighting's not the best. I'm new to this. Meet #Yodaontheshelf. Later there might be #Chewie or #R2D2 or #C3PO also on the shelf. We'll see. Creativity possibly running low. You can't tell but it's printing a Yoda snowflake. Every print job is an adventure. "Will it work? How many times can I pull out a cord and put it back in? Or burn my fingers on the extruder?"

If the books ever come back from processing future pics will include SW titles in our collection. Of course my personal one could also be raided.

I need ideas for pics! Suggestions?

Apologies to those who saw this on Instagram already. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 20, 2015


Tonight I'm grateful it's a break. Not for nine days! Hopefully then I'll be able to better rise above.

Because this little guy is growing on all of us. And plates are pretty cheap.

Thought about returning to paper planning. Ended up getting one off of Kickstarter but found this one soon after.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Finally Friday ... the 13th!?!?!?!

I mean, really, why? It should be a holiday. SLOOOOOOOW in the library. Like really slow after #makermornings (behaviour there was not at its high point there but hey, that was 11 hours ago, right? Who even remembers!) and morning announcements sans sound (I pulled it all down on my head yesterday and haven't figured out how to hook it back up correctly yet. I'm fine, just embarrassed! They had to rush into the PA to finish). Two stories/checkouts. Three class checkouts. And that's it. All sorts of district visitors all over campus, I suppose, could have been part of it. I don't like days like that. I felt ridiculous when they decided to hold one of their meetings with a grade level in the library. Couldn't relax and just enjoy the quiet to get caught up. Just felt appalled they were now going to think we sat in the library and twiddled our thumbs all day. Tell me they didn't even notice, right? Too busy in their own world?

Has anyone ever figured out something the library can help offer teachers that are overwhelmed? All lesson ideas I come up with don't seem to alleviate anything. There is sugar coming out of our ears in the staff lounge (so chocolate is out, even if I could offer it without eating it myself!) already. Just puts them on a sugar high and then LOW.

I am excited about a flat screen tv we are getting to put in the hall. It's ordered and on its way. The ONLY downside to the walls we got last summer was the loss of visibility so this will be like a little electronic window into the library. Trying to remember to take pics. That is hard during the school day! Anyway, pics of our lessons, pics of book covers they might want to come in for (or just go to Overdrive for), completed tech projects, screenshots of relevant database articles, and examples of projects we might do.

Pins below as I've gone on long enough. Have a great weekend.

Simple idea. Brilliant!

Ooh, a favorite color combo.

I want! You may not but I do!

I do love the idea. Started out so well with the concept and then cooled last year. So much else going on. Maybe I'll try again. I do know at school there's an Amazon box with a pair of Google Cardboard glasses in them. That I can't get at because the new bookkeeper hasn't started yet and the office staff won't let me have the box until she's "received" it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Recap Post on Randoms

Since there has not been a lot of interesting action around the library lately I thought I would specifically highlight a book again that I read this summer and really loved.

Yes, it is science fiction. Though it is not, in fact, a Star Wars book!

Here's the Goodreads blurb.

A science fiction superfan finds himself on his very own space adventure when he’s randomly selected to join an alien confederacy in this hilarious middle grade debut novel.

Zeke Reynolds comes from a long line of proud science fiction geeks. He knows his games, comics, movies, and TV shows like Captain Kirk knows the starship Enterprise. So it’s a dream come true when he learns the science fiction he loves so much is based on reality—and that he’s been selected to spend a year on a massive space station. To evaluate humanity’s worthiness, the Confederation of United Planets has hand picked three of Earth’s most talented young people—and then there’s Zeke. He’s the random.

Unfortunately, Zeke finds life in space more challenging than he’d hoped. When he saves his transport ship from a treacherous enemy attack, he’s labeled a war criminal. Now despised by the Confederation, rejected by his fellow humans, and pursued by a ruthless enemy, Zeke befriends the alien randoms: rejected by their own species, but loyal to each other. But their presence in the Confederation may not be so random after all, and as the danger increases, Zack’s knowledge of science fiction might be the only thing that can save himself, his friends, and Earth itself.

RandomsRandoms by David Liss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Probably the most geeky sci-fi book of ... just about any book I've ever read. Maybe even a four and a half. Four and three quarters?

Name a geekdom? It's probably mentioned. Bonus points for lots of Star Wars. Also Star Trek and Dr. Who. Those I recognized. After poking around I discovered there might be even more comic book references. I'm not up on my comics.
The characters. Each most definitely adds something different to the story. Humor. Strength. Compassion. Wit. Sarcasm.
The visual movie I played in my head. Weird (see the second quote) but fun!

A little on the long side. More than a little on the long side. I loved the detail but it will derail less involved readers.
Would someone who didn't already care about at least one of the geekdoms really "get" this book? It's hard for me to imagine since I most definitely do care about the geeky references contained therein.

Definite possibility for a middle school collection. The content so much didn't give me pause (there is some violence of the space battle kind, and just a bit of inter-species junior high romance) as the length. Would need to be a strong fifth grade reader to finish.

A few quotes from my advanced copy. Since it was on my Kindle I don't have proper page numbers.

[re dealing with a school bully] "In my defense, he had been standing in the part of the hallway where I was heading, and I like to look where I'm going, but still. I understood his point." (location 64)

"a giraffe in a business suit had entered the room" (location 308)

"What about the Force and Jedi powers? Are they real?" (location 365)

"Her eyes had a sadness in them, as though she had seen things in her travels she wished she could forget." (location 767)

"The word 'awesome' gets overused a lot--I, myself, have on occasion been a serious abuser--but this was awesome in the truest sense." (location 1169)

"We couldn't control what people thought of us. We could only change those things that were in our power." (location 3338)

And my favorite? "It's an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. This is a light saber." (location 4391)

I am a total idiot and tweeted then emailed the author, especially when I found out he was local. He was super nice about it. If I could have thought of some decent questions I'd have asked him for an blog interview! I never know what to say to authors beyond "I really liked your book." Duh.

I forgot the third Lockwood & Co on Monday's #IMWAYR. Which is crazy because I loved listening to it. More on that later.

Monday, November 9, 2015

#IMWAYR Nov. 9 and Last Call for #VoyagersHQ Giveaway

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

Really only finished one book this week. And it wasn't great (three is generous WITH the fun photographs factored in at like a five ... the text just does not work in a book! At least IMHO.)

Happy!Happy! by Pharrell Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

But I've started several others (kid lit Fires of Invention, grown up lit The Angel Court Affair). And still (obviously not very quickly) working on the professional ones.

I also wanted to remind you that the Voyagers giveaway is open for a few more hours!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Simply Saturday Fave Pins and the Week in Recap

South Texas. It goes from stinking hot and a drought of months to raging flash floods to colder than I felt in London. Crazy.

It's November!

I'd love to tell you about some awesome lessons the past week. It's getting harder and harder to convince anyone to do something. More than a couple stood me up for ideas we did have. I missed an "organizational health index" survey on Monday because of a library meeting. People are so unhappy and so stressed. I wish I knew better how to help. I'm not dealing with the frustration level very well myself.

In kinder we read I Really Like Slop! and checked out from the shelves for the first time (up to now we put books out on a table). Actually some of the calmest first shelf checkouts ever. Some years they've looked like a bomb went off when they were done. Of course the assistant was around more than he normally would be as his tutoring responsibilities were cancelled two days because of early dismissal.

(Side note ... but we can't cancel tutoring on ONE DAY for ten minutes for one grade and thirty for another for an author visit that the publisher is paying for? When last year the office allowed a choir field trip to be scheduled over an author visit that the library paid for because the school pulled the $500 they were going to contribute at the last minute?)

And with a couple first grade classes, anyway, we used Pebble Go to practice some simple reading for info and notetaking on Wild Turkeys. Due to dumb luck my part time assistant knew of a kit from our Regional Service center that was in the science lab. That foot was gross.

I did get phase two of my library transformation plan (basic gist ... what do we want to see in five years and how do we get there?) 95% done. I like to obsess and tweak over things. It felt weird even "dreaming big" again after the walls were such a surprise. Less bulky furniture, fewer tables, a LEGO wall, $ for books and tech and making. Good for the kids. Even in all the ARGH this week I looked around one morning at kids busy and thought "Yes, I wish I didn't have to get up so early and drive so far to get here. But these kids are having fun and working together and wow, that is a pretty good way to start the day."

One day I spent a good amount of time messing around with the 3D printer. I now feel I have a ... basic knowledge. Petrified to try teaching kids how to do it, yes. I'm hoping that they catch on faster than I did because of experience in Minecraft. Kind of makes me feel seasick.

Click through for original sources. Amazed you made it this far down the post!


Possible bit of spoiler here. And just for the record she is doing quite well on her own. Though having a brother around is always a good thing.

I should add this to the half done electronic resources board in the library. It's really hard to get stuff like that done when people need things every few minutes. Which is what we do, right? Postpone "our" agendas for the needs of the patrons?

I ordered a couple Google Cardboard kits but I'm now thinking our iTouches are too old to even work.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! The books really were fun.

On a total side note ... the TPT conference is in Orlando. it's actually tempting because Harry Potter would be SO CLOSE! Not that I ever plan on that part of my online world becoming huge. But some social media knowhow and digital design tips could also spill over into other parts of my life. So when I saw that email it sounded kind of fun there for a sec.

I guess at some point if I'm going to rant I should point out I blog as ME and not as a representative of my school or district.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Currently November

Linking up with Farley. Are you of the ilk that will sing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" with me? Too soon?

Dumb TV. Pre DVR I got a lot more done. 
Star Wars things everywhere! Everyone tags me. The latest posted to my FB timeline was a Death Star waffle iron.
I missed my workout class today. School meeting went too long and was too far away. :( Exercise is not fun but you feel so much better when you do it. The Star Wars 5K that was supposed to happen in early Dec. got cancelled.
It seems like lately at school I am spending more and more time doing uninteresting stuff like "go and check computers that everyone has downloaded the announcement software." Instructions have been emailed out TEN times. Teachers are not children and they are modern professionals. So few interesting projects yet this year. Teachers are so overwhelmed they hardly pay attention ... and it's hard to plan anything completely independently. Too many times I tried and then it wasn't what they needed or I couldn't get them even to come and I wasted all the planning time.
Mess everywhere! Still! A staycation, really, after my vacation. I know. Could I sound more self centered? I got a vacation! An amazing one!
Having eaten a few today ... I <3. I'd say with oatmeal, hey, healthy ... but also sugar and butter.

#IMWAYR Nov. 2 #VoyagersHQ giveaway! #ad

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

The last couple weeks I had the fun opportunity to read the first two books in the Voyagers series. If your upper middle grade readers (strong 4th through early 7th) love action and adventure they will love these books. The young characters (12 years old) show bravery and strength when faced with the charge of an inter-stellar voyage to gather an assortment of materials that will quite literally save the world. There are strong male and female characters. Book one is already out and book two releases this week! The list of contributing authors to the series is just awesome.

Would you like to win the first two books and a fun iPhone 6 case? Read on for more details and scroll down to the Rafflecopter and comment section to enter ...

The action is on the page, on your device, and out of this world! This multiplatform middle-grade series is fully locked and loaded and ready for launch, blasting off in Fall 2015.

Part sci-fi, part eco-mystery, all action-adventure.

As the young heroes in VOYAGERS journey into outer space to save planet Earth, readers are invited to become part of the story by joining the crew through the multi-platform, VOYAGERS HQ. The HQ extends the adventure beyond the page, unlocking games and activities on their devices.

Each book has clues and codes that lead to world extensions to be explored, played, and shared. Your online profile tracks your progress through the VOYAGERS universe, and gives you rewards, ranking and virtually currency for each product code redeemed.

Readers become part of the VOYAGERS world, which extends beyond the books to a digital interactive experience, and downloadable pay-for-play mobile apps games.

Readers can create their own custom VOYAGERS character, follow the team and experience this space adventure through the eyes of their own virtual droid.

Free content on Voyagers HQ:

Team Alpha Member Profile
Every registered user will have a personal profile page. This is where they can see their rank/level, view their achievements and badges, access their inventory and ZRK creations, as well as enter and track codes.

VOYAGERS Secret Intelligence
After players register, they will be given a project folder that contains ciphers and decoders that can be used in conjunction with the books to unlock secret content and virtual currency.

Secret content includes:
Character dossiers and expanded background information, mission briefings, ship and vehicle schematics, detailed information on the planets from ZRK probes, and opportunities to test their STEAM knowledge.

VOYAGERS Bonus Chapter
In addition to the secret intelligence files, each book also has a special puzzle that unlocks a free bonus chapter. This will complement the book and fill in some additional details and storylines. It is not required reading, but they should add to the book narratives in a meaningful way.

VOYAGERS series creator and architect, Patrick Carman is head of PC Studios which has created and overseen pioneering multimedia brands including SKELETON CREEK, TRACKERS, 3:15, and DARK EDEN. He is also an acclaimed, New York Times bestselling writer of more than 30 books, and one of the first authors chosen for 39 CLUES. patrickcarman.com

42 Entertainment is the premiere online multimedia company developing the immersive, interactive universe for VOYAGERS. 42 Entertainment is a next generation studio world renowned for some of the largest online experiences in the world including THE DARK KNIGHT,THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and TRON LEGACY. 42entertainment.com

by DJ MacHale
In Stores Now

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…

* Author Photo Credit: Gayle Goodrich*

About the Author:
D.J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon, Morpheus Road, the SYLO Chronicles. He has written, directed and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?; Flight 29 Down and Tower of Terror. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California. djmachalebooks.com

by Robin Wasserman
In Stores November 3rd

The Alpha team has been chosen and they've already snagged the first element on planet J-16. The second is hidden on Meta-Prime, a planet filled with metal mazes, catapults of fire, and warring alien robots. But what our Voyagers don't know is that there is another ship, the Omega team, following hot on their trail...

*Author Photo Credit: Sonya Sones*

Author Bio:
Robin Wasserman is the author of several acclaimed books for children and young adults, including The Waking Dark, The Book of Blood and Shadow, Hacking Harvard, the Cold Awakening Trilogy, and the Chasing Yesterday Trilogy. A former children's book editor, she lives and writes (and frequently procrastinates) in Brooklyn, New York. robinwasserman.com, @robinwasserman.

BOOK 1: PROJECT ALPHA BY D.J. MacHale [out now]
BOOK 2: GAME OF FLAMES BY Robin Wasserman [11/03/15]
BOOK 3: OMEGA RISING BY Patrick Carman [01/05/16]
BOOK 4: INFINITY RIDERS BY Kekla Magoon [03/01/16]
BOOK 5: ESCAPE THE VORTEX BY Jeanne DuPrau [03/01/16]
BOOK 6: THE SEVENTH ELEMENT BY Wendy Mass [05/03/16]

Learn more at Voyagers HQ.
Follow the authors on Twitter:
@PatrickCarman | @DJMacHale | @RobinWasserman

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Random House Children’s Books.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Finally Friday Oct. 30

So ... long time no writing, right?

Of course you shall be subjected to London photos. Even more than already posted on Instagram. But not yet. For now just this pic of my drive home today.
It's supposed to keep raining tonight. Messed up family fun tonight ... but others in south Texas had it much worse. Weird to be driving to school with a tornado warning on the radio.

Loads of book character pumpkins this week. Some really unique ones. 120 total.

Here are some of my favorite pins. See you on Monday with a Voyagers giveaway. On a totally unrelated note who remembers the ancient TV show of the same name that always ended with a "Find it at your library" sound bite? So terrible and yet I enjoyed it. Was on Amazon Prime for a while. Books completely not even the same thing, just the same name.

The 5K I'd signed up for in December was cancelled day before yesterday. That bums me out. I hadn't gotten the cardio training in I wanted but it had helped me get on the treadmill when I didn't want to at all. Guess I don't need this anymore.

Laugh, it made me.

While in London I discovered the tastiness that is orange spiced cocoa. Got it at Pret a Manger. Will have to see if this comes close? #emptycalories

I NEED this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Funny Things Kids Say and AMPING UP #makermornings

This morning three little first graders were bringing the books from their classroom to be checked in and they had a lot to say.

 "Miss, did you cut your hair? It looks so nice!" (I did. About four inches.)
"Miss, I like your scarf. It looks like tiger stripes." (I was thinking fall colors but hey, I'll take it.)
 "Miss, you look so pretty today!" (Well. How does one respond to that?)

 I kid not. I want them to come visit me EVERY MORNING FROM NOW UNTIL FOREVER!

I weeded some old Star Wars books on Friday. I did. They were like 8 years old and not that many kids ever could tell me anything about them after checking them out. I think all the strange names would get them confused. Kids try to say all the names. And as a purist ... they were old canon, anyway. I ordered a few more from B&N (well, 5) so we'll see if they are more successful!

 This was delivered today. See that box? Do you know what it is? CRAZY TOWN! In our little elementary library. Here's to figuring it out after I get back from my trip.
A photo posted by Angie Oliverson (@msoreadsbooks) on

I get to host another giveaway soon. It will be for the Voyagers series. Super excited because I've heard all good things.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Finally Friday on Saturday 10/10

I hope everyone had a great week!
By the time Friday rolls around anymore I am just so tired I fall asleep before getting anything done. Like blog posts. Or folding laundry.
Lots to do today to get ready. If you are on Instagram the week starting Oct. 17 will be less in the library or Star Wars related. For a week it will be much more ANGLO-PHILED. And Sherlock-ified. And HARRY POTTER ALMOST ALL THE TIME. Just saying. What it usually lacks in interest might be better that week. When there is wi-fi. International data plans are not great.

Here are some pins I liked or used this week. Click through to get original sources.

We just got two of these a couple weeks ago. So far just used Masterpiece and Tangrams. Masterpiece was a huge hit. Tangrams was as well. Both required reminders that the things that are worth it usually ARE hard.

Yes, of course I love this one. Though it should add "Choose a NEW book, you will!" Because that is really a reason we want books back, right? So that they can get new ones? And, of course, so that others can read the book they had. Just got back The Most Magnificent Thing after SEVEN MONTHS. SEVEN MONTHS. Yes, that frustrates me. No excuse. Better late than never.

That tired led me to some blood tests (where a rude person totally crunched my bumper and drove away :X) and an MRI last week. Of course (luckily!) they found nothing and it will be three months before the sleep-authority neurologist can see me. But that and a silly book study about leadership and "teams" led to some low points this week. "I'm so tired." "There's not enough time in the day to get done what needs to." "MY HEAD HURTS." "I'm so tired." "I miss before the the big budget cuts when I had a full time assistant and felt like part of a team in the library and trusted all members of the team outside of the library." "MY HEAD HURTS." The book goes on about being the right person in the right job and I've wondered. I really have. Then a kid's face will light up when he or she sees me and I try to remember

and since I believe in the kids I keep going. This pin also relates to religious belief. I don't talk a lot about that here but we had a great biannual conference weekend last week after the MRI where I heard a lot of messages that will hopefully help me whine less and remember the purpose of it all more. ;)

The only thing I haven't loved about genrify-ing the fiction area is that creating a HUMOR section hasn't dulled the kiddos' near inability to see any book that doesn't have the word WIMPY on the cover. It hasn't saved Hank books. I weeded another 7 or so and that was half of what we had left anyway. I always suggest Hank. It never works. :/ Hank on audio is what made two of my brothers readers.

Last year we had classes decorate ... well, they looked like brown bowling pins ... turkey bodies! Then they added favorite book titles to paper feathers. That put all the work on them. I love this one. But it would put a lot of the work on me and I still need to finish the electronic resources board inside the library (finally took down the SW "Read and the Force will be with you" banner). Decisions.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for two free copies of the new Mo Willems/Tony DiTerlizzi title Diva and Flea! Closes in just a couple days! I've loved hearing where you might like to go.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pigeon and Pirates and Copyright and Plagiarism

I ... am very tired of doing digital citizenship/ copyright lessons. And there are still at least two more to go. And that's the two that actually ANSWERED me and scheduled something.

So this year I was going to read The Pirates of Plagiarism again. Just got it last year after some drama because new admin/bookkeeper had totally different rules and expectations for spending bookfair money. And then I couldn't find it. Anywhere. :P

3-4 watched a video provided by our district and played a Kahoot game.
5 watched the video and practiced some easy citation.

K-2. Oh, K-2. What do we do when your librarian can't find a book? And the topic is full of vocab that is so hard? We talk about things that are digital. We talk about citizens being part of a group needing to follow rules for safety and to get along.

And then we read The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog. And do a drawing lesson (drawing Pigeon is pretty easy ... I actually start with an imaginary ice cream cone and then add the neck/head/eyes). We give credit to Mo Willems by writing his initials in the top right corner. Talk about how MW has the copyright and can tell people if they can use his pigeon by purchasing the book. And that as students we can play with ideas as long as we give credit and don't try to sell them (over simplified but these are little ones).

Then we add pirate accessories (P is for Pigeon and Pirate). Adorable. And talk about how pirates took things that didn't belong to them. Don't be a pirate!

I've been letting them take their drawings and never getting any pics. Bad blogging teacher librarian. So tired. LOOONG day yesterday with PTA. And a long meeting after school today. (Gym classes are "off" this week. I'm supposed to be doing the treadmill.) Can I stay awake to read some of this?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for TWO copies (one winner gets to keep one and give one to a friend!) of Diva and Flea.

Monday, October 5, 2015

#IMWAYR Let's Have an Adventure in Paris! #DivaandFlea #ad

So ... I mentioned this briefly last week. But here it is again because, I mean, look at this cover. What is not to love? And this, coming from a not really animal person! And of course you can tell where they are, just from the curved understructure you catch just a bit of across the top.

And then look at the author and illustrator. Can you say ROCK STARS?

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

I loved this one!

Want to win two copies of the book--one for you and a friend? Bonjour, ami! Keep reading and follow the entry instructions at the bottom of the post.

Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.

For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France–but at no fixed address. When Flea flâneurs past Diva's courtyard one day, their lives are forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.

Mo Willems (www.pigeonpresents.com), a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head!and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering four Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let's Go for a Drive! and A Big Guy Took My Ball!). 

Tony DiTerlizzi (www.diterlizzi.com)a number-one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, created the middle-grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and made into a feature film. He won a Caldecott Honor for illustrating The Spider & The Fly, and in 2014 he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter and dog, Mimi.
Find out more on at Disney.com
Follow Disney on Twitter and Instagram
Follow Mo on Twitter
Follow Tony on Twitter and Instagram

Want to learn more about THESE TWO FRIENDS?

It was adorable. It really was. I can't wait for some kiddos (let's say 2nd grade? Strong 1st grade readers of course and then 3rd and maybe 4th will still enjoy it) to discover it. SO. To ENTER. Please comment ONCE with a place where you would love to have an adventure and be a flanuer. I'm excited because I will be heading to LONDON in just a few more days. Only for a week (it is still the school year, after all ... I've never been gone that long before during the school year!) but I am super excited!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This prize was provided by Disney Publishing. Thanks!

Monday, September 28, 2015

#IMWAYR Paris and the Force

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

Read Later in Sept

Come back next week for more info and a giveaway on The Story of Diva and Flea! And by Wednesday or Thursday I should probably have finished the "new" TA version of Return of the Jedi and I'll do a whole post on them together. Because ... STAR WARS.