Monday, February 17, 2020

Imagine Your Story: Teen Summer Reading (2)

The time has come to start planning the summer reading program. So I'm busy looking at Pinterest for fun crafty ideas as possibilities for programs with teens.

Here are last week's ideas.

Here are some more craft ideas:

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Giveaway: More Than Words

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About the Book:
Title: More Than Words
Author: Jill Santopolo
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons

Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter, a good girlfriend. Raised by her father, owner of New York City's glamorous Gregory Hotels, after her mother's death, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And her boyfriend Tim, thoughtful, kind, and honest, not to mention her best friend since childhood, feels the same. But after Nina's father passes away, she learns he may not have practiced what he preached.

As her world falls apart, Nina begins to question everything she thought she knew and to see the men in her life--her father, her boyfriend, and unexpectedly, her handsome and attentive boss, Rafael--in a new light. Soon Nina finds herself caught between the world she knows and loves, and a passion that could upend everything.

More than Words is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about grief, loss, love, and self-discovery, and how we choose which life we are meant to live.

About the Author: Jill Santopolo
photo credit: Charles Grantham
Jill Santopolo is the author of the The Light We Lost, the Alec Flint Mysteries, the Sparkle Spa series, and the Follow Your Heart books. She holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a certificate in Intellectual Property Law from NYU. Jill is also the Editorial Director of Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group. When she’s not writing or editing, Jill is a thesis advisor at The New School in their MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and is on the faculty of the Columbia Publishing Course. Jill has traveled all over the U.S.—and to Canada and Europe—to speak about writing and storytelling. She lives in New York City.

Sounds good right?
Enter to win a paperback copy  (US Address Only Please)
* Book gifted by the publisher

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope that you're day is filled with candy, love, laughter, and great books.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review: I Only Have Pies For You

I Only Have Pies for You (Wish #7)
Darcy's family bakes amazing pies - except for her. She can't bake a pie to save her life. But she tries. Maybe it has to be with the curse. Her great-grandmother made the best Heartstring Pie - but she hide the family recipes and no one's been able to find it. Anyone that tries ends up with a disaster on their hands.

Darcy's family pie shop is going through a rough patch - just like the town. Businesses are struggling to survive.

But when local celebrity TV host brings her show to town, things start looking up. They spruce up the down, giving it a much needed makeover. More than anything the TV host needs stellar ratings. What could be better than finding a long lost pie recipe?

Soon Darcy's competing with the TV host to find her family recipes. She's determined to find it first so she can save her family pie shop.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - and of course it made my mouth water with all that talk about pies. I loved the baking parts - especially learning more about Darcy's Great-Grandmother. I loved the moments in the bakery - with everyone chatting about life. I liked that Darcy had a temper and it often got the better of her. I loved the horses. I enjoyed the scavenger hunt and how Darcy and her friends tried to uncover the recipe. I liked the her moments with her one time rival then turned friend then turned love interest. A really fun read.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect and adorable
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your tween collection - for both schools and public libraries.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Picture Book Wednesday: Valentine Books

Here are some Valentine Books - many of them are with favorite book characters

One More Hug
One More Hug:
A sweet story about growing up, love and family, and how you're never too hold for a hug. 
* Book sent for review

Llama Llama Be My Valentine
A story about making gifts using your creativeness and your unique talents. A sweet story for fans of the series.

Splat the Cat: Funny Valentine
Splat the Cat: Funny Valentine (A lift the flap book)
The class wants to create a valentine for their teacher - they work together to create something special for her.

Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine (Duck and Hippo, #4)
Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine
Someone is gifting out secret valentines and asking people to meet at the park at an appointed time. Everyone wonders who their secret valentine might be. A sweet story about friendship and making people happy. 

I Heart You
I Heart You (Board Book)
Baby animals playing with their parents - a very sweet story.
* book sent for review

I Yoga You
I Yoga You (Board Book)
A cute diverse story with parents and children saying I love you throughout the day. Parents share yoga moves throughout the day, but they are also compiled at the end of the book.
* book sent for review

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 5 Star Romance Read Predictions

This week's topic is books Romance freebie. I mixed last week and this week up so I'm doing a mash-up of romance books that I predict with be 5 star reads. I confess, I have a lot of 5 star reads. Books just make me happy. I've been waiting and waiting to read these books because I'm so excited about them! I'll create the list starting with books coming out soonest or already out but I have yet to read.

My Best Friend’s Royal WeddingOf Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1)The Upside of FallingFrom Alaska With LoveEvery Reason We Shouldn't (Every Reason We Shouldn't, #1)
If I Never Met YouFirst Comes Scandal (Rokesbys #4)An Heiress to Remember (The Gilded Age Girls Club, #3)What I Like About YouThe Best Laid Plans

There are so many, but I'll stop at 10.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Teen Summer Reading (1)

The time has come to start planning the summer reading program. So I'm busy looking at Pinterest for fun crafty ideas as possibilities for programs with teens.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Summer Reading Kids (6)

Even though it's winter outside, in the library world, it's time to start planning summer reading. This year's theme is all about fantasy and fairy tales in Imagine Your Story.
Four weeks ago I looked at Castles, three weeks I looked at Fairy Tale Crafts, two weeks ago I looked at STEAM programs, last week I'm talking about food programs, and this week I'm talking about new books to order for the collection.

I just started building my cart for new books for summer.

As you can see I'm looking at castles, faeries, fairy tales, princes and princesses, knights, trolls, and magic. Here's a sample books in my cart at the moment.

What are you looking to purchase for your library?

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Movie Review: Miss Americana

Taylor Swift's documentary made lots of great points about women and society, eating disorders, mental health, happiness, and learning how to speak up for your beliefs.

It was really intriguing to watch and yes - I'm a huge fan. 

Small Pieces:
I loved the musical performance snippets.

I loved watching her work out the song lyrics and music

I loved the peeks into her journals. I love that she used quill and ink for a while.

Big Pieces:
I admired how she changed herself from being the good girl seeking everyone's approval to thinking for herself to standing up for her beliefs. It's not easy, but she did it.

I love how she opened up about social media and looking at her body and how that made her feel. I love that she talked about the spiral of hate and how she stopped looking at photographs of her for her mental well being. I love that she talked about how damaging it was to spend time looking at herself through the eyes of society - and how she stopped eating and exercised all the time. And came to the conclusion that it wasn't healthy. her body wasn't healthy and neither was her mind. So she took note and changed.

I felt terrible for her about the whole Kanye debacle, but I love that she came out the other side with new music because that was the one thing in her life she could control. And I loved how she used this horribleness to find happiness on her own terms.

My heart broke for her as she talked about the court case - where a person in the musical industry groped her. She had seven witnesses and a photograph as evidence. And still it was horrific. She described the process as dehumanizing and even though she won the case, it didn't feel like a victory. And what happens when the woman isn't believed? I loved the moment when she opened up about that in a concert one year later.

This is the moment that everything changed for her. 

She listened. She educated herself. And she started speaking up.

Times Up.

And it's amazing. I'm glad she spoke up. I'm glad that she share her political views, even though the men on her team didn't want to her to. I'm glad she spoke about not just getting out and voting, but who she was voting for and why she was voting for that person. I'm glad that she talked about the values that mattered to her. 

Even though her first political goal failed, she's not giving up. She's doubling down. In listening to her new song Only the Young, I'm all fired up too.  I'm ready to help.

Where do we start? What's next?

Friday, February 7, 2020

Nonfiction Review: Little Legends

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Mini biographies of 35 exceptional men in Black History - ranging from John Lewis to Bill Russell to Langston Hughes.

Another great book from Vashti Harrison highlighting important men in Black History. This book is similar to her Little Leaders book with amazing art work, mini biographies, and the spotlight on men who made a difference in this world. 

Library Recommendation: A must have book for school and public libraries.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

World Read Aloud Day

Yesterday was World Read Aloud Day.

I used to hate reading aloud, but now it's part of my everyday job. I used to feel very self conscious. I'm not great at pronouncing words I'm unfamiliar with, but kids don't care about that. And it shows them that everyone stumbles, which is a nice message. 

And now I also understand the importance of it. Reading aloud isn't just for small children; it benefits everyone.

You can read more about why the day was founded here.

You can read more about reading aloud and why it matters here.

Part of my job involves storytimes, which I used to be intimidated by.
 I feel more confident after four years. I've learned a lot and I'm still learning.

Picking stories to share for storytime is different than picking books to read with your children.

Here are a few tips for picking books to read with your children:
1. Let them pick out a few books
2. Take a look at the new books on the library shelf - we're always getting new books
3. Vary your reading topics
4. Read books with children who look like your children and books that don't look like your children. (This fosters the idea of everyone is welcome and everyone is valued)
5. Find a favorite author or illustrator and read their books.
6. Ask your librarian for suggestions. They read A LOT

Here are few tips for reading together:
1. Use voices for different characters.
2. Ask questions about the story - open ended questions are best, but it's great to ask about animal sounds, colors, or counting. The possibilities are endless.
3. Ask questions about the illustrations
4. Predict what might happen next.
5. Ask if they liked the book and talk about why or why not.
6. Create a reading ritual - read together before bed or in a special reading nook. Make reading time special and memorable.

Reading is important. But you don't have to spend all day reading (unless you want to). 15 minutes together every day makes a huge difference.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Picture Book Review: Parker Looks Up

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Parker, her sister, and her best friend are visiting the National Portrait Gallery. Together they respond to the paintings and how they make them feel. At the end of the day, Parker looks up and spies the portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. And she's stunned!

I loved this picture book and the true story behind it. I loved the wonder of the girls looking at the paintings - especially the moment in the front of the ballerinas. I love that Parker saw Michelle Obama as a Queen and that she saw all the possibilities for herself in that moment. I love the hopes and dreams this painting inspires. A fantastic children's picture book with great art and a great message.

Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: A must have book for school and public libraries

* this book is great to showcase during Black History Month, but it's also an amazing story to share throughout the year.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: 5 Star Reads

This week's topic is all about 5 star reads, so I'm going to highlight my last 5 star reads. I give a lot of books 5 stars. But I'll stick to the last 10.

They Called Us Enemy by George TakeiThe Map from Here to There by Emery LordThe Start of Me and You by Emery LordMichigan vs. the Boys by Carrie  S. Allen

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. PayneExplore China: A Mulan Discovery BookPeek-A-BruceLike a Girl

Not Quite Snow WhiteCome Next Season