Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Graphic Novels

 This week is a freebie week. Since I reviewed a graphic novel yesterday, I thought I'd share a list of upcoming graphic novels that I'm excited to read. 

Middle Grade and Kids:


What else should be on my list?

Monday, February 27, 2023

Graphic Novel Review: Play Like a Girl


Misty isn't that excited about seventh grade. But when the boys tell her she can't play football - she's determined to prove them wrong. She tries out for the team, convincing her best friend, Bree, to try out too. 

Bree isn't all that interested. She never wants to practice and she'd rather hang out with Ava, a more popular girl, and talk about boys and clothes. Misty isn't sure what to do about her friendship. Bree says hurtful comments disguised as jokes. Misty isn't sure she wants to remain friends. But she is sure about proving herself to the football team. 
My Thoughts: I Loved this one. Misty reminded me of me at that age. I wasn't into football, but basketball. I love her determination, how she kept going when the times got tough. I love how she made friends on the football team and the cheerleading team. 7th grade is hard to navigate, but it seems like Misty figured out what she wanted and didn't want. I didn't want this one to end! 

I really liked the illustrations. And the author's note at the end. 

Cover Thoughts: Love it.
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your school and public libraries - highly recommended!

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Library Program: Black Inventors

 This year at the library, we wanted to do something more than the usual displays for Black History Month. So, we decided to have a Take & Make Craft Bag each week featuring a craft of a Black invention. We included a mini biography of the inventor and how they created or improved the invention.

Here's a sample of our social media posting:

And the four crafts:

Elevator Doors: 
This one we created ourselves.

It was just a different way for us to highlight Black History Month.
And I should have kept it up and did the same for Women's History Month and AAPI month....

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Teen Summer Reading Program (1): We are Stronger Together

I rarely follow the summer theme for teens - there are times when it works out nicely and times when it doesn't. The teens in my community don't seem to care if the programs are based on a theme. They just want to have fun.

These could be Friendship - as in make them and gift them to a friend/neighbor...

Could be virtual or in person. 
We do a virtual one every four months at my library for teens and adults.

You can make keychains or jewelry...
You can draw, you can use stramps, you can trace
the sky is the limit here. 

Come back next week for more craft ideas!

Friday, February 24, 2023

5 Things: Stellarlune


It's hard to talk about this one without spoilers, so I made a Five Things Post

Already looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Review: Flip the Script


Hana loves K-dramas but this is her first time acting in one. Her co-star is a K-Pop star with tons of fans. But still the ratings for the first few shows aren't what they hoped. The executives come up with a plan - for Hana and Bryan to fake date. 

Hana doesn't like Bryan. In fact, there might be someone else on the show that she's crushing over. But how can she make a move when the world thinks she's dating Bryan. And neither scenario is good for the show...

My Thoughts: I'm a sucker for Hollywood stories and while this isn't set in Hollywood - it's still filming a TV show. I loved the moments on set. I loved the moments Hana explores South Korea. And the food! There's so much to love with the food in this book. Lots of tropes here: fake dating, secret relationship, love triangle, famous people... If any of those are your jam, read this one! I loved the ending and how it ties into the book title. 

Tiny Spoiler: Hana is bi. She was born in American but now she and her family moved to South Korea for her acting career. All of this drama forces her to realize that she's not okay with staying silents.  I really liked two points in this book: 1. old fashioned vs homophobic and 2. the need to be safe in telling your truth. You don't have to share your truth unless you want to. Hana was Brave and Inspiring. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly Recommended for your school and public library.

If Lyla Lee sounds familiar to you, she's the author of fabulous Mindy Kim series for kids!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: Finding Your Happiness

These books are all about feelings - happiness especially.

This board book is super cute. It talks about what makes us happy. Then it asks the reader what makes them happy. 

I read this in my outreach storytimes and it was great. I asked the kiddos if the moments in the book made them happy too. 

The beginning of the book talks about happy moments as father and son are outside walking. But soon a storm comes and those feelings turn into something quite different.

I loved this book - first because it's a father and son talking about their feelings together. Second because it gives coping mechanisms for when you're feeling afraid. Third because it's true-  no storm lasts forever. Fourth because it talks about how feelings are never silly or something to be embarrassed about. And finally fifth because of the resources at the end of the book. 

And now I'm going to ask, what makes you happy?

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Heroines

 This week's topic is favorite Heroines.  I'm going to try to keep it under control...

From my childhood:

Anne of Green Gables

Also Emily of New Moon

Jo March from Little Women 

Kristy Thomas from the BSC

Betsy from the Betsy series

My Teen and Adult Years:

Lizzie Bennet

Princess Mia


Princess in Black

Who are your favorite heroines? 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Graphic Novel Review: Crunch

* Book 5 in the Click series *
Olive has too many things going on her life - she's trying to be a good friend to everyone. She's taking guitar lessons - and she's supposed to be practicing 3 hours a week. She ends up taking scout lessons after a failed intervention with a friend's parents. She's involved in student council - and taking on the school's unfair dress code. And she just saw an advertisement for a local film festival. With school and family life - could it all be too much?
My Thoughts: I love this graphic novel series - there's so much about friendship and school and family. This addition is great - talking about spreading yourself too thin, picking which activity is right for you, and giving yourself a break. I love how Olive tries many different activities. Middle schoolers are already trying to figure out who they are, it's great that they have the abilities to figure about their favorite activities. Of course, I loved the talk about mental health. It's so important to be happy in your own skin. Another great chapter in this series. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: If this series isn't an auto-buy for your library, it should be. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Author Event: James Ponti

 I’m a huge fan of the series City Spies and was thrilled that James Ponti was coming to a local bookstore at RJ Julia's in Madison, CT

He was joined by Lauren Tarshis, a CT author (Westport) - who writes the I Survived series. There are 23 of these so far...

Fun Facts about James Ponti:

He used to work in television 

He was a reluctant reader as a child. 

Favorite book:

There's a funny story about how he discovered that the author lived in his hometown (Florida). 

For City Spies series:

The idea came from travel - he wanted to write books that would take place all over the world. And readers could travel the world through his books. 

Came up with the idea traveling to London and Paris

He liked the idea of middle schoolers as spies because they

1. disappear into the background

2. test out different identities

3. no one would ever think they are spies

Writing Points:

He likes to blend the old ideas with the new ideas (ancient Egypt but hacking creating the problem)

He conductions expert interviews: asking people "What do you hate about books or movies that gets them wrong?" 

He's mostly a pantser BUT he does know the ending. 

And we have Suzanne Collins (of the Hunger Games fame) to thank for his books. She persuaded him to start writing. They used to work together writing for TV shows. 

Also, the movie rights were sold! 

Here we are together. Because I'm awkward, I didn't get a picture with Laura. But this one came out nice.