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Friday, April 30, 2010

Poetry Friday - Gloved

I found this poem on the May Day Poetry Project blog, a site where poets from Canada and beyond publish poems during the month of May. They've done it for five years in a row so far, and I'm hoping they'll do it again this year. Here's the link, if you're interested in checking out their site. Today's poem was one of the ones submitted on May 1st of 2009, and it's by a poet named Kerry.


punch deep, hook fingers
into dark, dead-end of glove
braced in your coach’s belly –
soft, slow dig to the gut
as she cinches laces
around forearms

tied and taped, you can’t pat
sweat from your face,
sweep hair from eyes

gloves turn hands dumb,
useless except for hammering
nose flush with cheekbone
testing for hollow
behind ribs

between rounds you beg
to have water
poured into your mouth,
tip your head back
and swallow

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It will only be here for four days, people, so get ready. Start searching under those couch cushions for change and bust open that piggy bank. All profits support the WOMS library!

Happy birthday, Keenan

Well, he SAID he didn't want his picture taken, but he looks pretty happy, don't you think? AND he has a great book recommendation. The Titan's Curse. Happy birthday, kiddo!

Check it out, your teachers were in the Outlook!

If you go to THIS link, you can see a photo of the great ice cream sundae extravaganza. It's pretty funny, I have to say! Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy birthday, ladies!

Last week Taylor, Rayanna and Makayla celebrated their birthdays and had some fabulous book suggestions for us. Without further ado, I present these three lovely ladies and their books to you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poetry Friday - "I Like to Think of Shakespeare"

Happy birthday Shakespeare (and my sister Shannon!). This is a little tribute to Shakespeare. Enjoy!

I like to think of Shakespeare, not as when
In our London of the spacious time
He took all amorous hearts with honeyed rhyme;
Or flung his jest at Burbage and at Ben;
Or speared the flying follies with his pen;
Or, in deep hour, made Juliet`s love sublime;
Or from Lear`s kndness and Iago`s crime
Caught tragic hint of heaven`s dark way with men.

These were great memories, but he laid them down.
And when, with brow composed and friendly tread,
He sought the little streets of Stratford town,
That knew his dreams and soon must hold him dead,
I like to think how Shakespeare pruned his rose,
And ate his pippin in his orchard close.

-E.K. Chambers, author of The Elizabethan Stage( 4 vols.).
and William Sh.: A Study of Facts and Problems ( 2 vols.).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chasing Lincoln's Killer - James Swanson

Well, I don't often really hate people, and it doesn't really do any good at all to hate someone who's already dead, but in this case, I just can't help myself. John Wilkes Booth was a horrible, conniving, scheming, evil CREEP! He killed ABRAHAM LINCOLN!!!! And it wasn't just in the heat of the moment, no he PLANNED the whole thing out. Oh, I feel my blood pressure rising again, just like it did when I was reading this story this weekend.

The book itself is very well done. It's very interestingly told, reading like a story not like a history book. This version is the adaptation for kids of a longer book called Manhunt. The author has been interested in Lincoln since he was a little boy. I'm not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg in this case, but the author of this book was actually born on the same day (February 12th) as Lincoln. Not, of course, the same year.

The book gives some background information on Lincoln, his family, the Civil War, and the time period, but it mostly focuses on JWB. It talks about his background a little, his planning/reasoning, and his escape and the manhunt that followed. It includes a lot of pictures, which was really great. I was pretty fascinated, but at the same time the idea of anyone killing the president is just reprehensible. Even when I haven't liked the president, I never wanted anyone to kill him. It's horrifying.

It's a very suspenseful story and definitely kept this reader's attention. I wish there had been source notes in this book, though, to show how the author got his information. WOMS students always have to provide their source information, I was surprised that he did not. I assume it's all factual, but I have no evidence, really, except that the author says so. That's a disappointment in an otherwise very good historical work.

Available at the WOMS library.

Birthdays galore!

Well, it seems that somehow I took some birthday pics and then never posted them. I think maybe someone borrowed that camera from the library before I'd downloaded them. So when I went to post some new ones, I found a whole bunch of others, too. My apologies to our birthday stars who have been languishing inside the camera for over a month now. I know it's kind of dark inside a camera. I hope you were still able to read. Check out all these great recommendations!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ice Cream Insanity

OK, Friday I did one of the most crazy things I have ever done and probably one of the most crazy things I ever will do...I let myself be made into a human ice cream sundae. Of course, it was all in the name of reading. When the students of WOMS come through and read 700 hours+, they deserve some excitement! That's why the 6th grade team, Mr. Garrison and I were all covered in ice cream, chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream WITH a cherry on top, of course on Friday. And so, without further ado, I present you with some pictures from Friday's Ice Cream Insanity. If you want to see the video and a few more pictures, you can go to the WOMS library Facebook Fan page.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Poetry Friday - "Eel Grass"

Another Emily Dickinson poem this week. LOVE her! Just had someone point out that I had the wrong attribution here.  This poem is by Edna St. Vincent Milay. So sorry for the misinformation. Thanks, reader!

 And what I really love is the beach, too. Although I'm not sure I could love anything called "eel". Have you ever seen one of those? They are something kind of creepy. Kind of cool, but kind of creepy. These are just eel grasses, though, so maybe...My favorite line here is

"The jingle shells that lie and bleach"

That is a fabulous image!


No matter what I say,
All that I really love
Is the rain that flattens on the bay,
And the eel-grass in the cove;
The jingle-shells that lie and bleach
At the tide-line, and the trace
Of higher tides along the beach;
Nothing in this place.

Poetry for Young People -- Emily Dickinson Edna St. Vincent Milay

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hey, we got mentioned on the Readergirlz blog!

Check it out here!

Support Teen Literature Day at WOMS

We are having SO much fun on Support Teen Literature Day here at WOMS. Books 4 Giving donated a lot of great books to us recently, so we shared those as our contribution to Readergirlz' fabulous Rock the Drop celebration; we shared poems with each other for Poem in Your Pocket Day; AND we had ice cream to celebrate another fine season of OBOBberry. I don't know how we can top it. Oh yeah, by capping off the week with our heman ice cream sundae celebration at the West Orient's Got Talent show tomorrow. there are sure to be some crazy pics from that event.

In the meantime, you can see a few of the great photos from today's activities here, and find more on our Facebook Fan Page! Search WOMS Library.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Operation Teen Book Drop is tomorrow!

It's time for Operation Teen Book Drop (TBD), an annual event held in honor of Support Teen Literature Day. On Thursday, April 15th, 2010, - the combined efforts of readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, YALSA, and If I Can Read I Can Do Anything - will be dropping over 10,000 new YA books, donated by publishers, into the hands of teens on Native American tribal lands. Nationwide, librarians, over 100 YA authors, and teens will drop YA books in their own communities. YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THIS AWESOME PROJECT BY DROPPING A NEW OR GENTLY USED BOOK SOMEWHERE IN YOUR COMMUNITY FOR SOMEONE TO FIND! Participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they'll leave behind at the Readergirlz website.

Happy birthdays

Last week was Christopher's birthday and today is Cassidy's and both had great recommendations. Christopher chose Oh My Gods, a great Greek mythology book that has about a zillion fun facts in it. Cassidy chose Schooled, by Gordon Korman, a man I'm convinced must never sleep because he's written SO many books. And the thing of it is, they're all good!

Happy birthday to both of you :)

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

I loved, loved, loved this darling book. It's my second favorite I've read this year! It's set in 1899 and the main character, the young Calpurnia Tate, is a burgeoning scientist. Her grandfather, of whom she's generally been afraid all her life, is a scientist himself, and when he discovers Calpurnia is interested in science, they quickly become partners in exploring the world around them. Calpurnia records all her findings in a special notebook, and she makes sure to only include scientific observations once her grandfather's explained that to her, although occasionally that means she has to do a little erasing :)

Calpurnia is the only girl in a houseful of boys, so she has to put up with a lot of shenanigans and also has to learn to do man more "girly" things than she'd like. Her experiences of learning to cook and knit and tat (does anyone even know what that means anymore?) are hilarious and often made me laugh out loud as I was reading.

Each chapter begins with a quote from Darwin's Origin of the Species, and the title is a play on words based on his theories of evolution and Calpurnia's evolution as a young woman and as a scientist.

Calpurnia's character is extremely well developed, and I was very impressed when I read that this novel is this author's first book. I was also doubly impressed when I read she's also a lawyer AND a doctor. talk about over-achievers! Holy smokes.

People who like books about long ago, strong girls, or science are sure to love the journey through this novel. Available at the WOMS library.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poem in Your Pocket Day is only TWO days away!

Make sure you've got a poem in your pocket on Thursday so you can earn PAWS!!!!! You only need four lines. Can't wait to hear what you've found!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Library Appreciation Day Today!!

Here is a lovely poem from author Linda Sue Park to celebrate this auspicious day! Enjoy

Villanelle: Why I Love Libraries
by Linda Sue Park

I lose myself within the book-walled maze,
with no end to the promises in sight,
through passages to many worlds and ways.

The aisles meander pleasantly. A craze
of unread pages beckons, tempts, invites;
I lose myself. Within the book-walled maze

a googolplex of lexical arrays
for exploration flanks me left and right.
True passages to many; worlds and ways

that lead to corners sharp with turns of phrase,
and tales both commonplace and recondite
to lose myself within. The book-walled maze

reveals its pleasures slowly, but repays
the debt of time in thousandfold delight—
through passages to many worlds, in ways

mapped out by words. A sudden blink of light:
It's checkout time—they’re closing for the night.
I'd lost myself within the book-walled maze,
through passages to many worlds and ways.

©2009 Linda Sue Park. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Poetry Friday - Hope

I love this poem, particularly in springtime when all the birds are out and there's a hope of summer in the offing!


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Poetry for Young People -- Emily Dickinson

Gale -- a strong wind
Abash -- to astonish, to make feel ill at ease or self-conscious
Extremity -- a most difficult or dangerous time or situation

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A bunch o' reviews of kid books. Yippee!

OK, as promised, I'm reviewing a WHOLE bunch of kids books I've read recently, so hold onto your hats. If you want more info, please email me or come see me. these books are all worthy of full reviews, but I've been kinda busy teaching, so a QUICK spin is all you get.

Surface Tension - Brent Runyon. the story of a young man and his experiences with his family at their lake cabin 4 years in a row. It's interesting to see how he changes from year to year. Frankly, I liked him better when he was younger, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be OK when he grows up.

Gym Candy - Carl Deuker - Disturbing story of a HS football player who decides he needs to take steroids to be competitive. This book made me really want to keep reading! Steroids are nasty business, and Carl Deuker does NOT sugar coat anything about them in this story.

Change-Up - John Feinstein. another mystery with Stevie and Susan Carol, teen reporters who are always encountering a mystery at a major sporting event. Less tension in this one than some of the others, but I kind of liked it better.

Not to leave the girls out, I also read a couple books which are definitely more girly.

Dear Pen Pal - Heather Vogel Frederick is the third installment in her four book series, and just as much fun as the rest. For me, though, I wish I'd read the others closer to reading this one so I didn't forget some of the details about the characters. I really enjoy reading about these girls and I love how the author weaves in the books their group is reading with the rest of the plot. A great series that all the girls I know who've read it love.

Boys Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots - Abby McDonald The lovely people at Candlewick sent me an ARC of this book - I entered a contest and won! Very exciting stuff to find a new book in my mailbox, I'll tell you! And I loved this one. It's a coming of age story about a young woman who goes to spend the summer with her godmother up in Canada. She has some pretty firm ideals, but she learns that perhaps those won't necessarily hold up for everyone, and she learns some powerful lessons about judgment and trusting. This book deals with serious issues but also has some fine humor which keep it from being weighed down. I definitely recommend this book also.

Finally a book for everyone. The Magician's Elephant - Kate DiCamillo. Well, I say for everyone, but really you need to be a special kind of reader to do this one, as it's a little bit different. It's interesting, but strange. A bit of the mystical interspersed with some realism. It's a little dark, as well. It's by the same author as The Tale of Despereaux, but if you haven't read either of those and you're going to choose one by this author, I'd definitely go with Despereaux.

I hope you'll have a chance to take a look at some of these books and let me know what you think! Leave me a comment or stop by the library. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

stay tuned - kid reviews tomorrow!

I've been so behind on my book reviews that I feel like people are going to wonder if I even read anymore! Watch tomorrow for a passel o' kid books being reviewed. I figure if I put this statement out in public it will force my hand in getting it done. Down with procrastination!

some grown-up books reviewed (finally!)

I am way behind on my reviewing, so I'm going to try and catch up by doing shorter reviews of a bunch of books at once. today, the grown up books, tomorrow the kid books. Here are four grown up books I've read lately.

The Game on Diet by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson, The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale, Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani, and Await Your Reply by Michael Chaon.

The Game on Diet
is my current obsession. I'm playing this fitness challenge with 16 friends, and it is a LOT of fun. the focus is on creating good habits, about eating, exercise, sleeping, drinking water and life habits, like trying to stop procrastinating. You eat 5 small meals a day which have to include a carb, a protein, and a fat, and then you also eat veggies twice a day. I am loving it and hoping I'll be more fit when the four weeks ends!

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale was not my favorite Shanon Hale - I mean how can you beat Princess Academy and Book of a Thousand Days, but it was a fun story to read. Required a bit of suspension of disbelief, but it worked. I laughed and cried both in this book. Good beach read!

Lucia, Lucia is by Adriana Trigiani, an author I saw reviewed by Mrs. Yingling and She Who is Too Fond of Books both (see links to their blogs on the right!). I trust both those ladies, and they were spot on with this author. Great character development and loved the focus on fashion. It was so fun. I've started another by her now. Both on audio.

Await Your Reply is a strange one. It's on the best Books for Young Adults list, but you'd really have to be someone who's willing to persevere to stick with this one! It's a mystery that has three individual stories being told, but somehow the author manages to wrap them all together, and the reader's job is to try and figure out how. I sort of figured out how two of the stories were connected before I finished, but I never would have guessed the other. That's my adult book group choice for this month, so I'll be interested to see how others liked it.

Our amazing student assistant Katie

Check out this amazing Hmong outfit that Katie, our fantabulous library assistant wore today for her speech about her culture. She jingles when she walks! Awesome! :)

Thanks for sharing your culture with us today, Katie, and your amazing talents in the library every day. You are a superstar!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Happy birthday, Ally

Happy birthday today to Miss Ally. She chose Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun for her recommendation today. She was one of our OBOB team members, and this one was one of her faves! Happy birthday :)