Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lisa Schroeder will be celebrating the release of her latest MG novel, Sprinkles and Secrets, this Sunday, 10/2 at 2:00 at Powell's in Beaverton. This is a companion novel to It's Raining Cupcakes. It's a great chance to meet an author. And sometimes she has treats at her events! Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I met Sarah Dessen!!!!!!!

If you were a student at the WOMS library the last seven years, you probably know I LOVE Sarah Dessen. And why wouldn't I? She's a fantastic author and really funny, too. So when I got the chance to meet her at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC this last weekend, you can imagine how excited I was! First, I got to hear her speak in the Teens tent, and then I lined up with hundreds of other people to have her sign my book just so I could say hi to her. It was pretty cool. We weren't allowed to step behind the table, but of course I still had to have my photo taken with her. Enjoy!

It's Banned Books Week - Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

Poetry Friday poem removed.

Interestingly, this summer I had a note from Jane Yolen's publicist, assistant, someone, who told me I had to remove a poem of hers from my Poetry Friday posting because I did not have permission to publish it. I am wondering if anyone else out there has had a similar experience. I think it's really odd. It was presented in a very complimentary way and this blog and Poetry Friday are designed to get kids to want to read poetry. You'd think a poet would like that kind of thing. You'd hope so, anyway. Really disappointed today in Jane Yolen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Llama, Llama Red Pajama, Anna Dewdney

There's a pretty cool event coming up on October 6th. It's Jumpstart's Read for the Record, and the idea is that millions of people will all read the same book to kids across the country to focus attention on the early achievement education gap we have in the US. Millions of children in low-income neighborhoods are at risk of school failure before they even start kindergarten. That is not cool. But what is cool is trying to do something about it.

Here's what you can do. Find a copy of Llama, Llama Red Pajama - maybe at the library, the bookstore or maybe you even have it at your house already. Find a small person. Take the pledge below, and read the book to the small person on October 6th. Easy peasy!

You will love the book, too. Little Llama is pretty funny. I had no problem imagining him bawling in his bed. I'll bet most of you reading this know of someone who has acted an awful lot like Little Llama at one time or another, too. Might even be the person looking back at you from the mirror...Just sayin'.

I hope you'll join the campaign. It's important stuff! Plus, it's fun!

I pledge to read Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney with children in my life on October 6, 2011. By sitting down to read, I'll be joining more than 2 MILLION people in calling for an end to America's early education achievement gap. Together, we'll stand up to demand that all children receive the quality early education they deserve.

2 Marla Frazee books

Marla Frazee, amazingly talented illustrator and winner of the Caldecott honor not once but TWICE, is coming to the Oregon Association of School Libraries conference in October and I get to introduce her. I actually even got to talk to her on the phone the other day. That was pretty exciting, I have to tell you!

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to review a couple of her books here. These two are both picture books - appropriate for all ages. I guess that's why elementary schools call them EVERYBODY books. A Couple of Boys is just a hoot. The boys are funny and goofy, and they act just like little boys. You can really imagine real boys behaving just like these characters. One thing that never ceases to impress me about picture books is how someone can create so much expression on a face with the simplest drawings. It's amazing. Of course I say "simplest drawings" but clearly there's an art to it and they're really NOT simple. But they look like they would be. Not for me, though. I'm all about the emoticon smiley face. That's my speed! Thought this book was quite a fun read. It also made me want banana waffles...

All the World is a much different kind of book. Less goofbally, very lovely. The book is all told in rhyme and has just a tiny bit of text on each page. The drawings were more detailed in this book and had many more people in htem. I really like how Marla includes all different kinds of people in her books. It's very natural, but if you look for it, you'll notice it. This book also uses color beautifully to convey mood. She's a wonder, this Marla Frazee. I'm so excited to meet her!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Teens' Top Ten Voting on NOW!

Between now and September 15th you can cast your vote for the Teens' Top Ten awards for 2011. Here's the link. Go. Hurry!

Monday, September 05, 2011

End of summer already!

Can't believe it's the end of summer already. This is my final end of summer entry, and the rest of what I read was mostly grown up books, so it will be a little bit short. First, thought, I will tell you about 6 books I read by P.B. Ryan called The Nell Sweeny Mysteries. They're shortish books, all set in the late 1800s in Boston. I thought they were excellent mysteries and 8th graders and older who enjoy historical fiction mysteries would enjoy these. Obviously I liked them because I rad all six and I actually had to BUY them! I hardly ever do that. that Kindle can be a little dangerous!

Now for the grown up books. I read the very popular but I'm not sure why A Reliable Wife. I couldn't find anything to really like about theses characters, so I really didn't like it. I tried hard, I really did.

Baking Cakes in Kigali, set in Africa, was funny, culturally intersting and all-around fab and I hope there will be more by this author. Thanks again to the Mother-Daughter Book Club for this gift.

Also read two others they gifted me - The Land of Painted Caves - over 600 pages! - by Jean Auel which was pretty good but I think my reading tastes have changed some since I read the first ones in the series, and The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. This was a fantastic and scary serial killer book Not for kids but great for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Finally, I read about four Pride and Prejudice alikes. I love P&P above all other books, and I love these read-alikes that are usually continuations of the story of Jane et. al., but sometimes they're just the same story told from a different perspective or something. They're almost always great fun and these were no exception.

I hope you had a fantastic summer and found some gems in your reading as well. Looking forward to seeing my WOMS kiddos every once in a while as I start my new job this year. I'll miss seeing you every day, that's for sure!

Buried Alive - A National Parks Mystery, Gloria Skurzynski

This mystery is another great one in the series by Gloria Skurzynski and her daughter. They're all set in the national parks and all have the same family in them, the Landons. The mother in the family is a veterinarian and the parks people call her in when there's a mystery they can't solve with animals in the park. I'm paticularly partial to this one because the mystery centers around wolverines!

When one of our nieces or nephews turns 13 we take them to a national park of their choice, and this summer we took Logan to Denali in Alsaka. That's where this story is set, so it was fun to read about a place where we were and to spot things on our visit that were mentioned in the story. The high suspense in this story made it a great read-aloud, too. There's a mystery about the animals but about one of the people in the story, too, so there's lots going on.

This book is available in the WOMS library. I definitely recommend it and the others in the series that are there.
Mysteries in Our National Parks: Buried Alive: A Mystery in Denali National Park

2 YA books - Ball Don't Lie, Sean Griswold's Head

I am really excited that Matt de la Peña is coming to Portland this year for the Multnomah County Library Teen Author lecture in October. I think he's going to be fab. Ball Don't Lie is a GREAT book with lots of suspense and action. If you love basketball, this is definitely a book for you. This book is a little cahllenging at the start, though, becasue the author's style is a little different than most other authors. It's a very stacatto type of writing and it jumps right on into the action. Plus, the main character of this book, Sticky, is a bit of a quirky character. What I have to say is, STICK with it (get it. Stick with Sticky). It's so totally worth it. Stayed up til like 2 AM reading this one!

Sean Griswold is a completely different kind of book. More "normal" I guess you could say. the main character in this book is going through some struggles, so her counselor tells her to pick a focus object and write about it in a journal. She really means an OBJECT, but Payton can't pick one, so one day she just decides, why not Sean's head. See he sits in front of her in pretty much every class, so she sees a lot of his head. Seems as good as any other thing, right? Except this object is actually attached to a person, and that sort of complicates everything.

It's a funny story and also heartbreaking at times with the struggles Payton is going through. It's really well done and I definitely recommend it. Available at the Multnomah County Library.

The Not So Great Depression, Amy Goldman Koss

The full title of this book is The Not-so-Great Depression : in which the economy crashes, my sister's plans are ruined, my mom goes broke, my dad grows vegetables, and I do not get a hamster. So now I don't really need to tell you about the story because between that title and the cover, you pretty much know what happens. But, I will tell you it's a funny book that deals with some pretty tough issues that a lot of kids are going through with these tough economic times. Amy Goldman Koss has a knack for doing that - dealing with tough things but lightening the situation up. I think that's a great skill for all of us. Rough things happen to everyone, but how we deal with them is what's most important.

This book is available at the Multnomah County Library.

Wolves, Boys and Other Things that Might Kill Me, Kristen Chandler

Somehow I got it into my head that this was going to be a werewolf book, so I have put off reading it. WRONG. And I loved it. It was actually a mystery story and it reminded me a lot of the National Geographic series I like called Mysteries in the National Parks as this one was set in Yellowstone. Although I have to say this one did have more kissing than any of those have had.

The story focuses on the struggles between humans and wolves around Yellowstone. Many ranchers have problems with the wolves killing their livestock and they want to get rid of the wolves. Environmentalists, on the other hand, want to keep the wolves since they were actually there first. It's a really interesting story and well told from both sides of the issue.

Available in the West Orient MS library and recommended by yours truly.

one last gasp of summer reading

School started this week, and I needed some EASY adult reading, so I turned to an old favorite, debbie Macomber. I read Orchard Valley Grooms, and I have to say that while it did its job of being an easy read, it was not my favorite of hers. A little TOO predictable, even for her!