Saturday, February 27, 2021

Teen Summer Reading (1)

It's that time of year again to start planning the Teen Summer Reading Program.

I have a bunch of craft ideas to choose from this year. I'm not sure teens care about the theme as much, so my crafts don't always follow that.

We're virtual again this summer, so we're creating Take & Make craft bags.

Here are some ideas - all from Pinterest. 

I think this is super cute! 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Book Pairings (2)


To be honest, I forgot about this idea until I read the tea books.

I have a couple fiction and nonfiction pairings for you today.


Tea Parties Around the World: After a quick introduction, this books travels the world (alphabetically) through some of the countries that enjoy tea. Each country has little tidbits about  history of tea and the way tea is served. There's a full menu for tea accompanied by recipes and gorgeous photographs. 

Teatime Around the World: a Picture book with just a few words on the page telling the story along with text sharing information about tea in different areas in the world. And it includes the author's Tea Story - which is fun.

Why the Pairing: It was fun learning different ways people drink tea around the globe and both books give you that information. Perfect for readers of different generations to read together. 

* these books inspired me to have my own tea parties and try out recipes I've been meaning to try. So, I decided that once a month I'm going to host a tea party (right now because of the pandemic it's just me and my husband). We drink from the fancy cups and eat delicious treats. 

Here's the latest tea photo:

Lore: This is a new action packed YA book based on Greek Mythology where the gods become mortal for seven days and the hunt begins. They can be killed by descendants of ancient bloodlines. And Lore has a score to settle - even though she escaped that world. Someone brings her back in...

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths: Stories of Greek Mythology.

Why the pairing: In the author's notes, Alexandra Bracken talks about using this book as research and inspiration. I wasn't familiar with this idea behind her book, but it seems that others are. Probably because they know more about Greek Mythology than I do... perhaps they read this book!

Golden Gate: This is the second book in the series where two of the five teenage spies are brought into the public eye. This presents a very large problem where they have to lie. But someone is always watching and putting pieces of a bigger puzzle together. Could their found family be in danger?

The Secret Life of Spies: This nonfiction book shares the secrets of 20 known spies across cultures and time period. Each spy has a page spread detailing their life.

Why the Pairing: Reading the fictional series, it's interesting then to read about real spies. You can see differences in operations, but also lots of similarities.  Plus, spies are so much fun to read about.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Review: The Comeback

Maxine loves skating; she's hoping to make it to the next level. After that, the Olympics. But it's a lot of pressure and a lot of work. Maxine's parents aren't sure she can handle it all - on top of school. Things at school aren't great with a racist bully making comments. Maxine isn't sure how to handle him, but she's not about to tell her parents. She also isn't about to tell them she feels intimated by the new skater at the rink. This skater has more grace than Maxine and she can jump. With everything combine, it's no one Maxine feels all the feelings these days. But can she block out all the feelings on the day of her competition?
My Thoughts: I'm a huge fan of figure skating and figure skating books. As soon as I saw the cover, I wanted to read this book. And it was really great. I loved the skating parts and learning more about the moves. I wish I could skate like Maxine. (I wish I could skate period - but it's been years and even then I wasn't very good.) I felt bad for Maxine and all that she had to deal with - but she handled it well. I wanted to give her a hug when she faced down her bully. I'm glad that she could speak up, even though it's difficult.  I love how she and Hollie bonded over 90s music. I admire how they came together and became friendship who were very supportive of each other. An #ownvoices story and a great debut! I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: A great middle grade sports book for your school and public libraries - highly recommended. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: Black History Month


It's Black History Month!

We're talking about picture books with Black main characters. Last week, we talked about books celebrating Black Joy.

This week we're talking about nonfiction picture books and some nonfiction books. These are great books for the entire year, not just in February. 

I bought a bunch of nonfiction biographies for the library and they haven't come in yet, But be on the lookout for those on the blog later. 

Picture Books:

This book starts with an empowering quote and finishes with a glossary of important terms and people mentioned in the alphabet. With the bold colors and important information, this book is a must have for schools and public libraries.

If you're a basketball fan, you wan to read this picture book about the Harlem Globetrotters. They changed the game of basketball because they weren't allowed to play in the white leagues. 

I've talked about this book previously but it's worth another mention. Simon Biles is one of my favorite athletes and this book was so inspiring. 

This beautifully illustrated book about Aretha Franklin says a lot without many words. I love how it spells out the main sentiment on the page. It's impossible to read this book with out hearing the song in your head. 

This one made me cry. Tired of not being able to vote and not having a say in the community matters, Reverend F.D. Reese organized a march full of teachers and professionals. He wanted the country to take notice. He wanted to bring attention to the need for voting rights for Black people. And he did.

A short biography of Thurgood Marshall that's the perfect introduction to this great lawyer. This book is full of information accompanied by wonderful pictures.

I'm so glad I purchased this book for the library. It's important to have modern day heroes alongside historical heroes. I love that Lizzo shares her love for her body and herself. I really enjoyed learning more about this impressive singer.

Part of the Who Was series...this new series with the orange banner is about people still living - and these books are about half the length of the other books in the series. I really liked learning a little bit more about our current Vice President. 

This book talks about 25 historical marches; these marches reach across cultures and races. The marches raise important issues that should be in the history books. There are marches I was unfamiliar with, some introduced in this book and some like the Capital Crawl I learned about recently. We can all learn from the past.

* Sent for review

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Blog Tour: Sock on the Loose

 What happens to the missing sock when you've washed it and can no longer find it? Could it be off on an adventure??

My Thoughts:

This is a super cute story about socks gone missing and what they might be doing. It talks about friendship, exploring, trying new things, and missing home. The illustrations are cute and fun to pour over. This would be a great read-aloud.  Highly recommended for your libraries.

My Sock Decorated:

My Sock off on an adventure - painting flowers

Top Ten Tuesday: Funny Books

 This week's topic is books that make your laugh. I have a few authors who I turn to when I'm in need of a laugh.

In no particular order:

Kristan Higgins
Janet Evanovich
Jill Shalvis
Julia Quinn
Tessa Dare
Maya Rodale
Meg Cabot
Alexa Martin
Jenn McKinlay
Sandhya Menon

Have you read these authors?
Are there other authors I should add to my list?

Monday, February 22, 2021

On Your Radar: Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai (48)

Title: Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai
Author: Debbi Michiko Florence
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 3, 2021

Reasons It Should Be On Your Radar:
* Friendship
* Talking about Feelings
*Broadway Diner
* Milkshakes
* Writing for Newspaper
* Investigating
* Taking a Risk
* Opening Your Heart
* Keiko Carter

I loved Keep It Together, Keiko Carter and was over the moon to hear about Jenna's story. And the companion story was everything I wanted it to be!

* ARC sent for review

Library Recommendation: A must have book for your school and public library collection. 

While you're waiting, take a look at these books.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Picture Books: Winter Books

 An extra edition of Picture Book Wednesday this week with Winter Books

Three friends try to play hockey but the ice is not ready yet. So they take their mind off waiting - which is hard. 
A funny story about waiting, hockey, and having fun with friends. 

* I didn't realize this book was part of a series.

There's snow on the ground. Gabo sees other children having fun and wants to join them. But he doesn't have a sled or winter clothes. Gabo meets neighbors and friends as he travels to the hill who help him.

As an adult, I found this book to be very sad. But it is realistic and it does end happily. I think there's a great discussion to be had talking about friendship and kindness and how not everyone has money for extra things. 

Groot and Rocket do not have to save the galaxy today. Instead they are having a snow day with Spiderman in New York City.

Lots of superheroes in this book. Plus snowy fun. Perfect for your superhero readers.

A boy and his grandfather walk in the woods together, looking at nature and wildlife. 

This is a sweet story about being outside in the snow and taking it all in. The Grandfather shares the names of the animals in the Ojibwemowin language.

Lily and Milo play outside in the snow. Milo's warm clothes go missing...but someone special find them in the end. 

Fun illustrations will make anyone want to play outside in the snow. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Summer Reading Kids (3)

I'm a little late with the planning this year, but I'm starting to look at summer reading programs. This year is ALL about animals.

It's possible to break up the summer into weeks:
Farm Animals

Previously I talked about easy crafts and food programs

This week is all about books.

Animal Books are a little bit easier because they come out all the time. And they circulate really well. I usually spend the year stocking up on books for the summer's theme.

These are ones I've read this year and ones I'm going to order for the library. There's a nice mix of older titles and upcoming books. 

Picture Books:




Graphic Novels:

Chapter Books:



Nonfiction Books:


Many of these nonfiction books are part of a series, which is great!