I love new books.

I really do. I had a case of the lazy Mondays when I got up this morning, so I was thrilled to find a box of new books waiting for me in the office.

Here are the four I'm stealing away and taking home with me before anyone else can get to them first. :)

Elephants never forget. 1, Big city Otto
741.5 SLA    Slavin, Bill.   
Author's website
Published 2011
Reading Level: 3.0  Interest Level: 3-6    
Otto, a sweet-natured elephant, dons a trenchcoat and fedora and, accompanied by his pal Crackers the parrot, heads to America in search of his childhood friend Georgie, a chimpanzee who was abducted from their forest home by a man with a wooden nose.     

Charlie Joe Jackson's guide to not reading           
FIC GRE    Greenwald, Tom.     Author's website
Published 2011
Reading Level: 5.8  Interest Level: 5-8      
Middle schooler Charlie Joe is proud of his success at avoiding reading, but eventually his schemes go too far.    

Book trailer (YouTube)

The other half of my heart          
FIC FRA    Frazier, Sundee Tucker.  Author's website         
Published 2010
Reading Level: 4.9  Interest Level: 3-6      
Twin daughters of interracial parents, eleven-year-olds Keira and Minna have very different skin tones and personalities, but it is not until their African American grandmother enters them in the Miss Black Pearl Pre-Teen competition in North Carolina that red-haired and pale-skinned Minna realizes what life in their small town in the Pacific Northwest has been like for her more outgoing, darker-skinned sister.   

The limit              
FIC LAN    Landon, Kristen.   Author's website            
Published 2010
Reading Level: 4.1  Interest Level: 5-8      
When his family exceeds its legal debt limit, thirteen-year-old Matt is sent to the Federal Debt Rehabilitation Agency workhouse, where he discovers illicit activities are being carried out using the children who have been placed there.    


And the winners are...

Some of my librarian friends have spent the last few days in Dallas, Texas attending the American Library Association Midwinter Conference, and today was the day that many school and children's librarians were most looking forward to - the Youth Media Awards breakfast. It was webcast live this morning at 7:45am, and while I was at school this morning, I got to follow along as the winners were tweeted!

Here are some of the awards I'm most excited about:

2012 Newbery Medal goes "to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children."

The winner is Jack Gantos for Dead End in Norvelt.

Newbery Honors go to...
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai and Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Welchin

2012 Caldecott Award goes "to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children."

The winner is Chris Raschka for A Ball for Daisy. 

Caldecott Honors go to...
Blackout by John Rocco,Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, 
and Me... Jane by Patrick McDonnell

2012 Sibert Informational Award for "most distinguished informational book for children" goes to...
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet
2012 Coretta Scott King Awards are "given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions."

CSK Author Award goes to...
Kadir Nelson for Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

CSK Illustrator Award goes to...
Shane W. Evans for Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom

There are LOTS of other book and media awards that were also presented, but I'll just refer you to the official Press Release for the rest. Of these books, only 2 are currently available at our library, but that will change soon! :)


Happy MLK Day!

In honor of our school's namesake, I hope you have an inspiring and thoughtful Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Listen to his "I Have a Dream" speech below with a little African and Indian hip hop flavor. :)

I Have a Dream Remake by JamesWhetzel



At the end of the last school year, Jennifer and Matt Holm, of Babymouse fame, introduced a new character to the world - Squish!

My students love the Babymouse graphic novels and were absolutely thrilled about a new series by this dynamic duo. Enter Squish!

If you haven't heard of the series before, here's the book trailer for Squish #1: Super Amoeba.

Fear not, kids! Squish #2: Brave New Pond will be arriving at our library before Spring Break - it's on my next book order. :)

Isn't that the most purplicious cover ever? Oh how I love it! 


Take care of those books!

It's our first week back to school after Winter Break, and my New Year's resolution is to have less books to repair!

But see, I can't make that happen on my own. In order for my Book Hospital to have far fewer patients, students need to take care of their books better. And for that to happen, we must review proper book care rules. I know it doesn't sound thrilling, but it's the best way to keep our books happy and healthy and ready for tons of checkouts. So, all week long, at every grade level, we are going to read books and do activities that will remind students how to take care of their library books.

One of my favorite books to read about book care is The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by Rebecca Thornsburgh. Skoob, the Shelf Elf, is responsible for keeping the library neat and tidy, and in this book, he reviews several tips like using a shelf marker, keeping books away from food and drink, and using a bookmark. There's a Book Hospital in this book, so I like to show students that I have one too!

With younger students, I'll read Mr. Wiggle's Book by Paula Craig and Carol Thompson, illustrated by Bobbie Houser. In this book, Mr. Wiggle is quite sad that someone has mistreated his book. Each page illustrates a different way that a book can be damaged, which is a great discussion starter for how we should treat our books.

Earlier in the year, we read What Happened to Marion's Book? by Brook Berg, illustrated by Nathan Alberg. This story follows Marion the hedgehog who gets to check out from the library for the first time and has many accidents with her borrowed book - from dropped jam to a spin in the washing machine, Marion's book is ruined. In the end, Marion confesses to the librarian that she tried to repair the book herself (oh no!) but ended up totally destroying it. The librarian was understanding, but a ruined book does mean Marion will have to pay to replace it...

For LOTS more book care lesson ideas, check out the Elementary Library Routines wiki, where I found another activity I'll use with students on the SmartBoard - the No, No, Never, Never! game.

Finally, I love free bookmarks, so I printed two different types - the Do's and Don'ts for Library Lovers (a poem) and Hardie Gramatky's classic illustrations.

Here's to hoping that 2012 will be a year of healthy books!

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