battle of the books July 25

Battle of the Books by Sherry Gick

Five years ago, on my very first day in my new position as middle/high school librarian, our Agriculture teacher came into the library and told me we needed to start a Battle of the Books program at our school.  I immediately said, “Sounds great! Let’s do it!”  Followed by, “What is it?”  (Those of you […]

zombie baseball beatdown July 24

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi – Review by Irene Kistler

Have you ever taught, or parented, an always-moving, sports-loving, book-avoiding elementary child? Have I got a treat for you! Paolo Bacigalupi’s Zombie Baseball Beatdown was inspired by his wife’s 5th grade classroom and her boys who hated to read. In the spirit of If you read it, they will come, Paolo Bacigalupi wrote a gore-appropriate […]

complicit July 23

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn – Review by William Polking

Many think pieces have been written this summer (I’m defining “summer” as any point after my school year ended, which was May 20—don’t hate me) about young adult (YA) fiction. Pieces trying to define the genre, pieces addressing a lack of diversity within the genre, pieces analyzing the popularity of the genre, pieces asking whether […]

absolutely almost July 22

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff – Review by Katherine Sokolowksi

Last year in about mid-September, I turned to a colleague and said, “If I say I’m reading another chapter book at the start of the year to all of my reading classes, please shout at me.” Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of the read aloud, and so do the teachers on […]

Sharon and Kelli July 21

The Magic of Author Visits by Teresa Bunner

Magic. Something we find in Harry Potter books or movies about dragons. But we all know magic doesn’t exist in the “real world.” Or does it? I just wrapped up my third summer running a writing institute for high school students. I’ve come to believe magic does exist and that it happens when you bring […]

Hit Pause by Donalyn Miller

Shifting books around, I realized that I have started five books, but not finished them. No, I won’t tell you their titles. These books sit on my nightstand–with bookmarks sticking out of them—reminders of interrupted stories. I feel guilty about not finishing them. Daniel Pennac gave us the “right to not finish a book,” but […]

the story of fish and snail July 19

Our Top Ten Favorite Picture Book Friendships by Jillian Heise & Kim McSorley

It all started with Elephant & Piggie. A comment about how much I love We Are In a Book led to a question which led to a conversation with Kim which led to a disbelieving look that I had only read the one Elephant & Piggie book, which led to this goal-setting tweet…. Thanks to […]

wild life July 18

How I Addressed Gender Bias in My Book Club by Sedley Abercrombie

After attending a conference early last school year I finally got up the nerve to try a book club.  At the time, I was lucky enough to work with a very supportive principal who supported my ideas.  But where to start?   I began to research and I find this AWESOME website:  http://www.amightygirl.com.  As a […]

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa Partners book cover July 17

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Partners Written by Erica Silverman, Illustrated by Betsy Lewin – Retro Review by Caroline Flory

I originally found the Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa books because of Colby Sharp and Mr. Schu’s #ReadGeisel challenge earlier this year. Honestly, I accidentally picked up the wrong book in the series! The first book in the series won the Geisel award, but I grabbed Partners, thinking it was the book on the list.   It […]

how to train a train July 16

How to Train a Train – Written by Jason Carter Eaton, Illustrated by John Rocco – Reviewed by Ann King

  Did you know that I am the meanest mom in the world?  Well sometimes the meanest. According to my children, anyway. Why?  Because I won’t let them have a pet.  A real pet.  Not just the fish we have, they say.  A real pet.  Like a dog or a cat. They are horribly deprived […]