Monday, May 28, 2007

All-in by Pete Hautman

I was so excited to open a box of review copies to find Pete Hautman's new book!!  Once again, I learned about something I knew very little about -- Texas hold em poker.  I don't know how to play and learned a lot about the game in this book!  And I was routing for Denn to win it all.

Hautman, Pete.

New York : Simon & Schuster, 2007
ISBN 1416913254
Denn is only 17 but you wouldn't know it if you were sitting across the table from him.  When Denn is playing poker, he is a real professional.  And that's one of the reasons he left home and made his way to Las Vegas.  You see, he had won a restaurant back home but lost it after six months.  Yes, he is that good at poker but not so good with the people side of things.  And he is sure that he is going to make it big in Las Vegas.  But after meeting a beautiful casino card dealer, his luck may just be changing.  For the worse.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominees

This year's winner has been announced -- Ghost's Grave by Peg Kehret -- and now the children start reading the nominees for next year.  I've loaded the booktalks for the new nominees of the New Hampshire Great Stone Face award.  I am also adding podcasts for the titles as well.  I love this time of year!

Auch, Mary Jane.  ONE-HANDED CATCH

Cottrell Boyce, Frank. FRAMED

Duble, Kathleen Benner. THE SACRIFICE


Hahn, Mary Downing. WTICH CATCHER


Hobbs, Valerie.  SHEEP

Jones, Kimberly.  SAND DOLLAR SUMMER

Kehret, Peg.  TRAPPED

Lord, Cynthia.  RULES

Lowry, Lois.  GOSSAMER

Lubar, David.  PUNISHED


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. ROXIE AND THE HOOLIGANS


Paterson, Katherine. BREAD AND ROSES, TOO

Pennypacker, Sara.  CLEMENTINE

Roy, Jennifer Rozines. YELLOW STAR

Russell, Christopher. DOGBOY



Stanley, Diane.  BELLA AT MIDNIGHT

Stewart, Paul.  FERGUS CRANE



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Sunday, May 20, 2007

New England SCBWI

For the past two days, I've attended a whirlwind of activities at the New England SCBWI conference.  With keynotes from Bruce Coville and Sid Fleischman, how can you go wrong?  Both authors were delightful and encouraging.  I also got to attend workshops by Kathleen Benner Duble, Cheryl Zach and Laura Faria Stolarz.  I met many more authors during the two days.  So exciting.  Today I attended a two part workshop on story structure by Jacqueline Davies.  Fast and furious but informative. 

Now that all my conference gallivanting has come to an end, I can get back to doing my podcasts and catching up on my reading!

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

New Hampshire Libraries Conference

On Thursday and Friday, I attended the New Hampshire Libraries Conference at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods.  What a beautiful location!  Unfortunately it rained the whole time so we didn't get the full beauty of the mountains.  But the hotel is lovely and I would recommend it highly.

I was involved with two presentations.  On Thursday, I was on a panel about using digital audiobooks with children.  The entire panel was very positive and the value of the audiobooks.  It makes me sad when teachers or parents tell their children they can't listen to books because they are good readers.  Why not listen?  Isn't that a skill that needs practice?  I listened to a book on the ride to the conference and the ride home. 

The second presentation was lots of fun.  It was a twist on my usual round up of YA lit.  Author Michael Sullivan shared the stage and we did "He Said She Said" with Michael concentrating on "boy books" and I did the chick lit.  Lots of fun and laughing!

Workshops I attended included Robin Brenner's No Flying No Tights presentation on graphic novels.  OK, now I have to really start reading them more.  She is such a good ambassador for the format!

I went to a presentation on the invisible Google.  Reg Aubry is great.  If you ever have the opportunity to see him, go.  He's well worth it.

It's always fun seeing old friends and making new ones.  For two days each year, I am lucky to be surrounded by New Hampshire librarians from school, public, academic and special libraries.  Such fun!

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New Hampshire Isinglass Award winner announced!

Congratulations to "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer with 277 votes!  Winner of the Isinglass Teen Read Award for 7th & 8th Graders.  

Uglies 221
So B. It 141
Raven's Gate 140
Elsewhere 107
Red Kayak 81
Airborn 70
Last Dog on Earth 62
Surviving Antarctica 55
Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi 53
Lucas 49
Dragon and Thief 47
Things Left Unsaid 45
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo 44
The Skin I'm In 41
Dirt Eaters 32
Private Peaceful 30
Truesight 25
Ask Me No Questions 22
Snow-walker 19

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

May booktalks update

Well here it is the middle of the month and I have just now loaded the May update to Booktalks Quick and Simple.  It has been such a busy month.  I have finished grading all the projects in the 3 night classes I was teaching.  I now have a couple of weeks to catch up on other things before the summer comes on fast and furious.  I'm teaching one face2face computer class starting June 1st.  And I'm teaching 2 distances classes this summer.  One is for Open-NH and I've taught it before and had a good time.  The other is for YALSA and I'm actually designing the course and teaching it starting in July.  I'm so excited.  And I'm finishing up the online module for University of North Texas.  This is fun stuff!

So the May update has very few books that I have read!  I do have state nominees from Colorado, Washington and the picture books from South Carolina.  More will be on the next update.  Including the New Hampshire award nominees.  We have our annual conference this week and will be announcing winners and new lists.

Today is Mother's Day and it is a beautiful day out there.  Last year, New Hampshire suffered unbelievable flooding on this day.  I had never experienced anything like it.  Things like that just don't happen here!  We had a sink hole downtown and my school was opened as a shelter.  You can't tell me that the climate isn't changing!  Fortunately my house is enough away from the river and on higher ground so we were fine.  We had more flooding last month and people who had just rebuilt their homes lost them again.  How tragic!!

Anyway, here is a book for all the mothers out there.

Wood, Douglas. WHAT MOMS CAN'T DO
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, c2001.

There are many things that lots of people can do but moms can't.  Are you surprised?  Do you think your mom can do anything?  Well, how about saying good night?  Moms just can't do that without a hug and a kiss.  Or watching movies.  Don't they need their children on their laps?  What are some of the other things that moms can't do?

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Friday, May 11, 2007

New Hampshire Flume Book Winner Announced

The winner of the 2007 Flume Teen Book Award is Twilight by Stephanie Myers.  Twilight garnered 129 votes out of the total 531 votes cast.  The Flume award is a new award in New Hampshire.  The other titles earned the following votes:

The Truth about Forever  -- 82
Velocity -- 53
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment -- 41
A Great and Terrible Beauty-- 38
Haunted -- 37
Tithe -- 35
The Burn Journals -- 29
Powder Monkey -- 24
Looking for Alaska -- 23
I am the Messenger -- 19
The Geography Club -- 15
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp -- 8

Congratulations Stephanie Myers!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Author visit today

For the past couple of years, I have had support of the PTO to bring an author in to speak with our 6th graders.  And today was the day!  Author Lea Wait spent the day with our kids and it went really well. She gave three assemblies, had lunch with some student representatives and then did a book signing at the end of the day. 

I never know how the kids will react to situations like this but I was quite proud of them today.  They were well behaved and asked appropriate questions.  Whew!!

Lea spoke to the kids about her journey towards being a children's writer.  She talked about her missteps as well as her successes.  She even shared some editor marked-up pages from one of her novels.  The children were fascinated by seeing those!  Lea also shared school books from the 1820s that the characters in her books might have used in school.  I think they appreciated their 21st century texts!

All in all, it was a great day.  Thank you Lea Wait.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Hoping for more time

On Tuesday I finished up teaching my evening class at NH Tech.  Interesting presentations.  I now have to finish up grading all the finals.

Finished up both classes for Plymouth State University yesterday.  Now I have to grade 37 cataloging policy manuals.  I really do love teaching Cataloging and Classification but I know it is not the favorite class of any of the students!  But we got through it!

Once I finish up all the grading and a few other projects I have going, I've got to find time to read again.  I've been reading "I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you" for the past two week and am only half way finished.  It's not that I'm not enjoying the book it just that I've been reading it in 15 min. intervals!  Summer school vacation can't come soon enough.  Six more weeks.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

State Book Award time

Children all over the country are voting on their favorite book of the year.  I love looking at the children's choice award winners from around the country.  It's great to see the variety.  And this is the time of year when many states announce their winner and reveal the nominees for the upcoming year. 

For the past few years, I have been including booktalks from state award nominees.  This past week, I have posted the booktalks for the Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Award nominees and the Washington Evergreen Young Adult Award nominees.  I have several other lists to include on the site as well.  My own state of New Hampshire will be announcing the state winner and the new nominees in two weeks.  I will have those loaded as soon as I can.

To check out Colorado and Washington nominees, visit

Some of my favorite books are there.  As well as new titles that I'll have to check out.

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