Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gliori, Debi. NO MATTER WHAT

This summer I have been watching my two preschool grandsons in the mornings. They are sure giving me a run for my money. And they are each vying for my undivided attention. "Mimi, look at me" is heard numerous times a day. And sometimes the behavior goes a bit to the dark side to get my attention. That's what the child in today's book is doing as well. And he longs to know that his mama will love him no matter what.

Gliori, Debi. NO MATTER WHAT

Have you ever felt that no one was paying attention to you? What do you do? Did you hide in your room and sulk? Or did you do something naughty to be seen? Well, Small fox doesn't think that Large fox loves him anymore. So he does naughty things to test Large's love. And what do you think Small learned?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Glenn, Sarlee Mullins. JUST WHAT MAMA NEEDS

What is it that you need today? Do you need to be around lots of people? Do you need to be alone? Each day brings us a bunch of different needs. And it takes a special type of mother to find just what she needs.

Glenn, Sarlee Mullins. JUST WHAT MAMA NEEDS

Abby loves to dress up. On Monday she dresses as a pirate and pretends she is on a pirate ship. And that is just what Mama needs. A fierce pirate to swab the decks. Every day Abby dresses as a different character and Mama always needs just what Abby is. What are some of the ways Abby helps during the week?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I ran into a colleague in the supermarket yesterday. As we were talking we realized that we have less than a month until school starts again. Due to all our snow days that we had to make up at the end of the school year, summer break is shorter this year. And I know my "to do" list still has a great many items on it. I don't think I'll get to everything. I never do. I start my doctoral studies next week and then go on vacation the following week so there really isn't much time to get all the projects finished.

So next week my grandson goes to summer camp. It is just mornings but he is so excited. I remember looking forward to camp and the year that my best friend went to the same camp was the best. Aiden doesn't know any other kids that will be in camp but I'm sure he'll have the best week ever.


Have you ever gone to summer camp? James and his best friend Eamon are looking forward to going to nature day camp. They are going to stay with Eamon's grandparents at the beach and go to day camp together. I'm sure their love of nature will be enhanced by the experiences of camp, don't you?

Monday, July 28, 2008


The past few days have been really dreary. The rain just won't stop. There was a tornado a couple of miles away (we just don't have tornadoes in New Hampshire). My roof is leaking. There has been some ridiculous drama at work. The grandkids have been sick. And so it goes. What I need is a funny book to make me laugh. Laugh-eteria is full of silly poems that are just right for that. Lots of elementary school humor that is making my grandson crack up. And that makes me laugh too! So if you need a laugh, pick this book up!


"Monster meatballs / so scary to chew. / First you bite THEM. / Then they bite YOU." This collection offers some rather off beat poems. From school lunches to dinosaurs to Sir Isaac Newton, there is something for everyone in this funny book.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Doctorow, Cory. LITTLE BROTHER

How much is your identityworth? I have a friend who just tried to renew his driver's license only to find out there was a warrant out for him in another state. He has never even been to that state but his identity has been stolen and now he is a wanted man. He is trying to clear up the situation but it has been hard. In the meantime, he can't have his driver's license, he can't take the new job in the school district that he's been offered, he can't collect unemployment and his life is just a jumble. It has taken awhile but it looks as if his nightmare may be coming to an end but he has lost so much in the meantime. He and his wife are in the process of adopting a baby and that has had to be put on hold.

We hear about identity theft and until it happens to us or someone we know, we may be unaware of how much our lives can be disrupted because of it. And yet many of us give away our privacy everyday. We give away our information for a chance to win a prize. We put lots of personal information into our myspace account. Kids are telling way too much about themselves on the Internet not realizing that the information is there forever. And may be used by strangers. And may come back to kick them (think drunk pirate teacher case). We really need to step back and rethink things. And teach the kids to do the same.

And then there is national security. How much are we willing to let the government do to "keep us safe"? Taking library computers? Strip searches in the airport? Cory Doctorow's new book looks at what may happen if we give up too much of our privacy and too many of our rights. Although a work of fiction, it is certainly not too unbelievable that things like this can happen. What do you think? Should we give up our rights? Is it worth it? Are we safer when old ladies are strip searched in airports?

Doctorow, Corey. LITTLE BROTHER

It was just supposed to be a harmless afternoon of skipping school. Techno-geek Marcus bypasses the school security to escape with his friends to spend the afternoon playing games. But they certainly couldn't have known that a terrorist attack on San Francisco would change their lives forever. Picked up by the Department of Homeland Security, Marcus is held in an undisclosed location for 6 days and faces intense interrogation. When he is finally released, he is warned not to tell anyone where he has been. San Francisco is now little more than a police state and the DHS is controlling everything. Just how much of their privacy will the population give up to feel secure? Is there anyway that a group of teens can bring down the government? Should they even try?

Saturday, July 26, 2008



Marjorie is a bit down in the dumps. She doesn't feel special like the other cows. She can't ride a bike or do handstands. There is absolutely nothing special about her. But one night, the chickens come up with a plan to help Marjorie feel special. Just what do these chickens have in mind?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Christelow, Eileen. VOTE!

With the elections coming up, we are all trying to get kids to understand the process and well as the stakes. It's hard for kids to see beyond the popularity contest. Actually, some adults can see beyond that either. There are several new kids books about the election process aimed at helping young one understand and take notice. This one is all about voting. If you are interested in helping your kids understand the process, give this one a read.

Christelow, Eileen. VOTE!

The elections are coming up and everywhere you turn, people are asking for your vote. But what does that mean? What is a vote? And who gets to give one? How do you choose who to vote for? How do they raise money to buy ads? Boy, I have a lot of questions. It's a good thing I have this book to give me the answers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today's podcast is for Lauren Child's retelling of The Princess and the Pea. I love this story. And I can't help but think of the great Carol Burnett's version of the story. She always cracks me up and her version of this story was no exception. I tried finding it on youtube but no luck. It is probably there somewhere.


Based on the classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this clever version uses pictures from a doll house to illustrate the story. The king and queen are searching for a proper wife for their son. When a beautiful young woman takes shelter in the castle, the queen tests her by having the servants prepare a bed with 12 mattresses on top. She then puts one tiny little pea underneath the bottom mattress. If the young woman can feel the pea, she can marry the prince.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calmenson, Stephanie. JAZZMATAZZ!

It's been raining just about all the time this week and I haven't been able to play outside with the grandsons. They are feeling a bit antsy and I know they need some outdoor time. But we've been doing some fun things around the house. And watching the movie Bambie many times. I have no idea why they have suddenly become mesmerized by this movie but they can't get enough of it. Well, it let's me get some work done as I don't feel the need to sit and watch it again -- ever! Anyway, we have been having some fun indoors amusing ourselves with games and singing and dancing. What we really need is Jazzmatazz!

Calmenson, Stephanie. JAZZMATAZZ!

"When the weather gets cold/And a mouse slips in,/A jazzmatazz story/Is sure to begin."

When a mouse sneaks into the house, things are going to get strange. I know if I saw a mouse in my house, I would be screaming and running away. But if it were this mouse, I would just have to join in the fun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blumenthal, Deborah. CHARLIE HITS IT BIG

Last month when I was at ALA, I took one of those tours of LA that brought us by the stars' homes and famous sites. We didn't see any famous people but we might have seen tomorrow's stars! You never know. We also drove by the studio where some of those star maker shows are filmed. All these people heading out to LA in hopes of becoming a star. Or at least making a living at it.

So what does that have to do with today's podcast? Well, the book is about a hamster who leaves home hoping to make it big in Hollywood. Does he have better luck than the majority of kids who head west?

Blumenthal, Deborah. CHARLIE HITS IT BIG

He's just your average guinea pig. Isn't he? When Sophie wakes up and finds him gone, she is so sad. He's gone to Hollywood to check things out. And Hollywood certainly likes him. He gets a part in a movie? Wow, he sure hits it big.

Monday, July 21, 2008


This month's book discussion on adbooks is for Edward Bloor's book London Calling. Time travel and history are the big draws to this book. Although set in modern times, Martin travels back to London during World War II and experiences life during the Blitz.


London calling. But how can that be? The old radio that his grandmother left him when she died seems to pull in more than just a few random AM stations. When Martin sleeps, he is drawn into the world of London during the Blitz. Sixty years ago. He meets Jimmy, a boy from the past who asks for his help. Through Jimmy, Martin is going to learn a lot more than just what went on during the Blitz. He will learn about his own family's past as well.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Averbeck, Jim. IN A BLUE ROOM

My grandson Aiden is getting so antsy about going to Kindergarten next month. He is excited but I think he is also a bit nervous. He is so excited about going to school and learning to read and write and all that stuff. In the meantime, I love reading to him and he is such a cuddly audience. Today's podcast is for one of his favorite books. He loves to tell me the ending before we get there!

Averbeck, Jim. IN A BLUE ROOM

“In a blue room, / Alice bounces, / wide-awake past bedtime.” Alice insists that everything in her room must be blue. When Mama brings in some flowers, Alice says no because they aren't blue. But they smell so wonderful. And the orange tea tastes so good. And the green quilt is so comfy. Can Alice forget that these are not blue and enjoy them anyway?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

St. John, Lauren. WHITE GIRAFFE

Today we look at the last of the nominees for the NH Great Stone Face award. This one takes place in South Africa and involves a child who is orphaned and sent with a grandmother who does not really want her there. Add a legend of the white giraffe and you have a story that kids will be drawn to.

St. John, Lauren. WHITE GIRAFFE

The Africans have a legend, which says that the child who can ride a white giraffe will have power over all the animals….
Orphaned by the terrible fire that claimed her home and her parents, Martine has been sent from England all the way to a wildlife reserve in South Africa to live with her only living relative---a grandmother she never knew existed, and who doesn’t seem at all pleased to be taking on the care of a granddaughter. Struggling to adjust to her new home, new school, and new life, Martine is determined to find answers to her questions: why had she never been told about her grandmother? How did her grandfather die? What special ‘gift’ did the African wise woman detect in her? And finally, the most fascinating questions of all--are the stories about a white giraffe really true?—and did she really see one outside her bedroom window? Join Martine, and delve into the mysteries of Sawubona Game Reserve---you’ll encounter amazing wildlife, ruthless poachers, friends and enemies in unexpected places, and just maybe….the White Giraffe. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Friday, July 18, 2008



On an ordinary day, in an ordinary town, an ordinary girl is about to make an extraordinary acquaintance----- She turned. When his hat had come off, his hair had come off, too. In the confusion, all she had seen was a chalk-white scalp, so she turned expecting to see a bald albino, maybe. But, no. With his sunglasses gone and his scarf hanging down, there was no denying the fact that he had no flesh, he had no skin, he had no eyes, and he had no face. All he had was a skull for a head. When Stephanie inherits her eccentric uncle’s estate, little does she know she’s inheriting something along with it: a life-or-death battle between good and evil. Fortunately for Stephanie, she also inherits a friend and ally that just might help her make it out of this alive---Skullduggery Pleasant. With his dashing fashion sense, snappy wit, and fire-throwing abilities, Skullduggery is just the guy to have along in fight---so who cares if underneath the designer clothes, he’s just a skeleton??? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Thursday, July 17, 2008



Something extraordinary is about to happen to Charlotte Mielswetzski, a decidedly ordinary girl…and it has everything to do with Greek mythology and her creepy English teacher, Mr. Metos. Peculiar, yellow- eyed men in tuxedoes have begun to follow her everywhere. And the sudden arrival from London of her cousin Zee, who believes he is the cause of a mysterious sickness affecting his friends in Britain, serves to thicken the plot. Can these odd strangers in tuxedos really be stealing people’s shadows and taking them to the Underworld through an obscure door at the shopping mall? The cousins must get down to into Hades and across the River Styx to get to the bottom of this …they must save the world from THE SHADOW THIEVES (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two+ podcasts to mention

Yesterday I blogged about a student presentation and never mentioned what book was being podcast on my site. So today I will mention yesterday's book and today's book. And just to add a few more of my students' presentations, here is a link to all the podcasts:

I am getting to the end of the NH Great Stone Face book nominees. Schooled by Gordon Korman is a book about a young man who had been raised on an isolated commune who has been thrust into modern society. I love this kid!!

Korman, Gordon. SCHOOLED

This book is the story of Capricorn Anderson, who goes by the name of “Cap”. It is the story of a 14 year old boy raised on a farm commune by his hippie grandmother named Rain. He is home schooled by Rain and the two of them are the only ones left on the Garland Farm Commune. Cap has never watched TV, tasted pizza, been around kids his age, and has absolutely no idea what a “wedgie” is. When his grandmother falls while picking a plum, she is hospitalized and her broken hip requires her to spend weeks in rehab. Cap is then temporarily placed in the home of a social worker with a teenage daughter who thinks he is very weird. While living with the Donnelly family, Cap attends Claverage Middle School (dubbed “C Average” by the students). Find out what is in store for Cap in the new and foreign land of the place called “middle school”. Read SCHOOLED by Gordon Korman. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Pam Munoz Ryan's book also looks at a child who is out of place in new surroundings. Similar to Korman's book, the young girl has been raised by her grandmother in a very unusual setting. The death of the grandmother forces the relocation of the girl.

Ryan, Pam Munoz. PAINT THE WIND

Maya has lived a very rigid life with her grandmother since she was five years old. She feels like a prisoner in her own home. Her grandmother's unexpected death reveals shocking secrets. Her mother's family is one of “them” and Maya is going to live with her mother’s family. She moves from California to Wyoming where a new life awaits her. Horses, ranch life and family are there for her, but can she accept them as her own? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Peak by Roland Smith

At the end of the school year, 6th graders were working on vodcasting with me. We really didn't have much time so the kids ended up just reading booktalks for some of the NH book award nominees. Here's one for the book Peak by Roland Smith. This book is actually on two of the NH lists this year!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I spent the day in Massachusetts at Edubloggercon East unconference. What an amazing day. I wish I could go to the whole conference but I am delighted at just being able to go to this one day. I got to meet so many people who I only know virtually. To get to meet them in "real life" what a thrill. We spoke of many things during the day from pedagogy to professional development to assistive technology. I learned so much and also learned that I am keeping up with the big kids as well. We ended the day with a Web 2.0 smack down where participants were able to share a web 2.0 application. Wow, my list is getting longer all the time.

Today's podcast is for Richard Peck's book On the Wings of Heroes. This is yet another nominee for NH Great Stone Face book award.

This is a story of life in America during WWII through the eyes of Davy Bowman. It is a time of sacrifice for American families. Young Davy spends his time collecting scrap metal that will be used to make ammunition and milkweed pods for stuffing life vests for the sailors. During these searches, Davy meets some of the town’s mysterious and cantankerous characters. He meets old Miss Titus, who later becomes his teacher, because of the teacher shortage. As Davy explains, “We weren’t used to a teacher who looked like a walnut with a mustache.” Davy’s carefree and innocent lifestyle is turned upside down by the war. His father is very sad that another war is happening because when he fought in WWI it was supposed to be the “war to end all wars”. Davy’s brother is a bomber pilot and is flying secret and dangerous missions overseas. Find out how Davy copes with everyday life during a war and how he looks up to his heroes. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Clements, Andrew. NO TALKING

Yesterday I realized that my day book is missing. Of course it has all my important dates and information I need. Yes, that was me going through the trash looking for it. I have no idea where it could be. I had it on Wednesday and then it was gone. I have a bet with my kids when/if it will show up. I have to believe it will but in the meantime I am trying to reconstruct the information.

Today's podcast is about a bet also. It is a bet between the girls and boys on who can stay quiet the longest. This could be any teacher's dream -- or nightmare. Clements' books are always a hit with the middle crowd. The stories are just so on target. He just really gets these kids. And this one is no exception. No Talking is on the nomination list of several state book awards.

Clements, Andrew. NO TALKING
Shhhhhh! No one’s talking. The teachers are confused, what has happened to the once vibrant and chaotic school? Competition. Boys against Girls. Which group will be able to stay silent the longest? The goal: 48 hours. How will they avoid talking to the teachers for that long without getting into trouble? Join in the adventure that unfolds as the students create rules and guidelines to challenge all the adults both in school and at home in their quest for No Talking. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dance fever?

Got a message you want to get out? How about having a dance video? Well, not quite but you can have some fun with pictaps I admit that I am no artist and my little "Read" person could be better (that's supposed to be a book she's holding!), but it is a fun way to get the message out.


Last night on twitter, I read a tweet about social networking. A library student commented that librarians do not necessarily go into the profession to be social. That is why social networking may be uncomfortable for them. I got to thinking about that. We do not all embrace Web 2.0 and social networking simply because we are librarians. There are so many aspects to librarianship that we aren't all cut from the same cloth. I love being a librarian because of that. I get to do so many different things. And to come in contact with so many interesting things that I would not ordinarily in my everyday life. I get to help kids learn about ancient civilizations and I get to help teachers learn how to help the kids. I get to explore and learn. I play with the latest technology and the tried and true. I think it is the best job because of all the different directions I go in each day. Other librarians may not enjoy that and want to concentrate on just one aspect. I spent many years as an academic cataloger and I enjoyed doing that. But I wanted (needed) to get out and be challenged by people. To be introduced to subjects and concepts that I had never encountered.

So what does any of that have to do with today's podcast? Well, Bowe's book deals with a shy little girl who has to deal with her only friend moving away. Now she must decide if she wants to remain friendless or tr
y to make friends with someone new. This takes her out of her comfort zone and can lead to new and interesting adventures. Contact with people can do that to you.


Ida May is quiet, shy and has one best friend. That is until her friend moves away. Determined never to be hurt again, Ida May stays to herself. Along comes the new girl, Stacey, who seems nice. However, bossy Jenna takes over to become Stacey's new best friend. Yet, Ida May's intuition tells her perhaps Stacey doesn't want to be the new best friend. Taking her chances, Ida May secretly sends a note to Stacey. Surprised at the response, Ida May journeys into the realm of a secret friendship. Will Stacey discover who her secret writing friend is? If so, will she still want to be friends with Ida May? Discover the adventures in My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Friday, July 11, 2008


While I was at ALA, I got to attend a preview showing of Journey to the Center of the Earth. It opens today and I know several people who will be running off to the cinema to see it. It was so good and is getting good reviews. And I just love Brendan Fraser!! It is not the book itself but the book features prominently in it. It is a great sci fic story as well as a great survival story.

Today's podcast is for Leepike Ridge -- a great survival story. This is yet another nominee for New Hampshire Great Stone Face award. I am pretty sure it will be popular with the kids.


Tom and his mother have always lived near Leepike Ridge. He just never thought he'd end up underneath it. Tom uses a slab of foam to start a ride on a quiet stream. The water turns deadly and Tom is pulled underwater into a cavern underground. There is no light, no food and no way out, and Tom is trapped. How can he survive? How can he get out! (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Yesterday, I attended a memorial service for my lovely niece Brandee who passed away in March. Her mother and I were talking about how it still doesn't seem real that Brandee is gone. It's like a nightmare that you can't wake up from. Some days you wake up and forget that Brandee is gone. But then you remember. And the pain starts again.

Today's podcast is about nightmares that you can't wake up from. Nightmare Academy by Dean Lorey is about a young boy whose nightmares become real.

Nightmare Academy by Dean Lorey

When Charlie Benjamin sleeps, his nightmares become real. You see, Charlie's nightmares open portals to the netherworld where terrible monsters live. Fortunately, there's a place for people like Charlie, nightmare academy. This is a place that can train Charlie to fight the monsters that come out when the lights go out. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Shafer, Audrey. THE MAILBOX

Thunderstorms are predicted for tonight. That should end this terrible heat we are suffering through. On a night like this, it is always good to curl up with a good mystery book. Today's podcast is for THE MAILBOX by Audrey Shafer. There's a death, a missing body, and a kid trying to figure it all out. And, of course, the mailbox!

Shafer, Audrey. THE MAILBOX

ine being shuffled from one foster home to another. That is the life of 12 year old Gabe. Gabe's life takes a turn when he finds himself moving in with Uncle Vernon, whom he never knew existed. As Gabe adjusts and settles into his life, things suddenly change again. Returning home from school, Gabe discovers his uncle's dead body in the house. Afraid of being sent back into foster care, he covers the body and tries to continue in school the next day. However when he returns home again, the body has disappeared. Where could the body be? Who would have taken it and what does this mean for Gabe? Discover the answers when you open The Mailbox! (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. THE LACEMAKER AND THE PRINCESS

Today's podcast is for a book in my favorite genre. I love historical fiction. It is hard to get kids into it though. There are a group of kids that do love it and I love talking with them about the different time periods. Today's book takes place during the reign of Marie Antoinette. Not my favorite setting but this is one good book. It's a rags to riches story where a poor young girl is chosen to be a friend to a rich royal. But all is not perfect of course. It does point out the stark differences between the very rich and the very poor. I think it is something we need to keep in mind with our kids. Today's kids are much more aware of what life is like for the rich. They see people like Paris Hilton who's only claim to fame is her wealth. What has she done for anyone? And yet the kids look up to her.

Imagine that you are eleven years old, and every day you must work in order to make enough money to eat. You hand sew lace all day long in a crowded, dirty room, the same room in which you live with your sick m
other and harsh grandmother. You sew and you dream, dream of the riches of the palace of the King and his family. The Lacemaker and the Princess is the story of such a girl, eleven-year-old Isabelle, living in France in the late 1700s, a third-generation lace maker. One day, she gets to make a delivery to the palace and seizing the opportunity, Isabelle snoops to see all she can outside her own world. She gets caught up in a crowd, trips and is almost trampled but is rescued by the queen Marie Antoinette. The queen decides that Isabelle should meet Princess Marie-Therese, who chooses Isabelle to be her friend. Now, Isabelle gets to live the dream of the palace. She gets to eat like the princess, wear clothes like the princess, learn to ride horses like the princess. It is no wonder it is hard to go home every day and work like she always had. The difference in the world between the working masses and the few elite of France are obvious, and the revolution boils over while Isabelle finds who she is and where she fits in. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

600th podcast

Today I posted my 600th podcast! Wow, that seems like so many books. But when I think about all the times I wasn't able to post because of computer issues or even vacations, that still boggles my mind.

So number 600 was inspired by a movie I'm watching this morning. I teach intro to computers at a small college. The kids just want to learn to do the "stuff" and get out of the class. But I like to give them some background to computing history. I tell them about some of the men and women responsible for where we are today. Most of the kids have no idea how long a history there is. Most think computers have come about during their lifetime or shortly before. When I talk about modern technology, I love to show clips from one of my favorite movies -- "War Games". And that is what I am watching today. There are such great examples of "old" technology shown in the movie. From telephone couplers to tape backups, it is all there. And of course the premise that computers will take over and destroy us if we aren't careful.

Today's podcast is for THE SOFTWIRE: VIRUS ON ORBIS 1 by P.J. Haarsma, In this book, we have a kid who can control computers with just his mind. Of course this leads to him being feared by everyone since anyone who controls the computers, controls the world. Just like in War Games where a kid is the one who can control the computer and save the world. The Softwire is classic sci fi and a great read. It is also a nominee for the NH Great Stone Face award.

A group of children are shot into space towards the ringed planet, Orbis1. But during their 253-year trip, the life support systems failed and killed just the adults. Now orphans, the children are sold into slavery as soon as they arrive on Orbis 1. Johnny Turnbull is one of these orphans who discovers that he has the ability to enter any computer just by using his thoughts. He is known as the “softwire” and he is both feared and misunderstood. He discovers a computer virus and must destroy it before the warring factions on the planet go to war and destroy the planet that is now his home. This is classic sci-fi and a real page-turner with a lot of action, suspense and 2-headed aliens. Or are the children the aliens?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Funke, Cornelia. IGRAINE THE BRAVE

Last week I actually got to meet Cornelia Funke. OK, I just got to say hi during a book signing but I did "meet" her. Her ARC of Inkdeath was one of the most sought after at ALA. Scholastic kept them under lock and key until Funke's signing. Only those who waited in line for the signing got a copy. There was no way I was going to pass up that line anyway -- I was 3o minutes early and definitely not the first in line. So I got my signed copy and can now say I met Cornelia Funke!!

Today's podcast if for her book Igraine the Brave. It is on the NH Great Stone Face list for 2009. I acutally went in to a bookstore and bought a copy of this. Now those of you who know me know that I rarely ever "buy" a book. I borrow from the library or get review copies. But I had spoken at the Iowa Library Conference and was on my way home when I realized that I had packed the book I was going to read on the airplane. I had already checked my bags so I went looking for a bookstore. No such thing in Cedar Rapids airport so when we stopped in Cincinnati, I practically ran to Borders. And there I was drawn to the cover of this book and, of course, the author. So, I had a wonderful read for the rest of the flight!

Funke, Cornelia. IGRAINE THE BRAVE

Princess Igraine wants to become a knight, but her family of magicians just doesn’t understand her dreams. Castle life is boring and magic spells don't interest Igraine. The day her parents turn themselves into pigs, is the day a greedy neighbor decides to capture Igraine’s family home. Her big dreams are coming true but things don't always work out the way you think. (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy July 4th!

Between the cookout and the fireworks, we are sitting around relaxing and enjoying the beautiful day. On a day that celebrates freedom, there are so many freedoms that we should be thankful for. Please take a few minutes to think of the men and women who have sacrificed so much to let us celebrate today.

Now that I'm home from California and back on my main computer, I've started recording podcasts again. Today's podcast is for another book that is nominated for the NH Great Stone Face book award. When I was at ALA, I saw a sequel to this book. I don't know if I picked it up or not. I haven't unpacked and organized all the books yet. And I have at least one box coming in the mail. Anyway, the new one is called Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls and is due out in October. I'm sure it will be as much fun as the first Emmy book.


“Emmy was a good girl…she really was a little too good... which is why she liked to sit by the Rat. The Rat was not good at all…” So begins the fascinating story of a girl who found she could communicate with the class Rat. This led her into the mysterious secrets of the rodent world and an explanation of why her heretofore loving parents had become so distant of late. Could her very intrusive nanny, Miss Barmy, really be as evil as it now appeared? (New Hampshire Great Stone Face nominee, 2008-2009)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

On my way to a doctoral degree!

I got my official letter today. "I am delighted to inform you that you have been accepted into the Doctoral Program in Leadership and Learning." I had been conditionally accepted before but they needed to wait for the GRE scores. Boy did I not want to take the GREs. Its been years since I took them. You would think that the fact that I have two master degrees already would negate the need for the test but they are trying to quantify their standards. Anyway, I'm in and I start on August 5.

If it's Thrusday...

If it's Thursday, this must be New Hampshire! I'm home from a week in California. Nice place to visit but it isn't home.

I've been reading other blogs that talk about horrible airline problems -- lost baggage, missed connections, delays. So I thought I'd share my experience. I took Continental this time. I don't usually do that but this time they came out the least expensive. So what did I get? On the way to California, they did not charge for my bag, I got a pretty decent meal (egg and cheese muffin, fruit, yogurt, bran muffin), two movies (neither of which I watched but others might enjoy them), and a nice flight attendant. The topper was getting into LA early! OK but what about the way home. I got a flight that left early since all the passengers were all there. I did have to pay for my extra bag. I had packed a suitcase within a suitcase since I knew I'd have ARCs coming back. 70 lbs of books and only paid $25. Cheaper than the post office. No meal because it was an overnight flight. There was a movie but I slept through it. We got into Newark early! Left Newark on time and got into Manchester 1/2 hour early! Can't beat that. I slept most of the time but I know they gave those lovely pretzels. And the plane was brand new! Cute little prop plane. And both my bags got to NH the same time I did. Yeah Continental!! Thanks for the great service.

Now I have to unpack and organize those 70 lbs of books. Before the box I mailed gets here! The grandkids already tried to help me unpack but they were just looking for things to grab for themselves. Of all the things I brought back for them, their favorite is the ProQuest message fans. I won't see them again! Thanks ProQuest!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wednesday in LA

24 hours from now I'll be home. I can't wait. I've enjoyed ALA but it is definitely time to go home. Today will be spent on a 7 hour guided tour of LA so that should be a hoot. Then it is on to LAX and an overnight trip to Newark on a full plane. I hope I can get some sleep. We get into Newark at 6 in the morning East Coast time and then I have a layover before my flight to New Hampshire. I just checked on my seats and I hadn't realized that it is a smallish turbo prop to NH. I'd rather be in a larger plane but if it gets me home, I'm all for it. Can't wait to get back on EST! But I do have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I hadn't thought too much about that when I made the reservations since the appt is on July 3 and I'm going home on July 2. Well, I won't be home til the 3rd! So I have about 2 hours from the time my plane is scheduled to land to my appt.

The one of the main ideas I'm coming home with is the issue of privacy. What is it and who has a right to it. As librarians, we try to protect our patrons privacy -- even to the point of not letting them know which books that have already read. I remember the feeling of going into the small library in Colchester Vt and looking at the book cards and seeing that B127 and knowing that I already took the book out. But it is not that simple anymore. We have tried to not collect information but that is probably not the way to go. We need to find a way to encrypt information so the patron has control over it and can use it the way they want. We don't need to have access to it but they have a right to their own data. It shouldn't be hard to do that. It is just a matter of getting the vendors to want to do it. We also need to educate our patrons about the issue and try to protect them from themselves. All over the exhibit hall, I saw people handing over their little cards to vendors for a chance to win some prize or other. What info is on those cards? And why are we so quick to surrender it just for a small chance to win a prize? OK, I admit I handed over my card several times to enter drawings. But it felt wrong somehow.

Another major theme is how to use web 2.0 tools with kids to help them become better users and producers of information. I read a summary of a session from NECC about having the kids use their cell phones in school in their education. I need to read more about that. We should be taking the kids from where they are to where we want them to be.

Lots of notes to go through but probably not on the plane tonight. I have an ARC of Let it snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle to occupy my awake moments on the way home. I'll spend tomorrow catching up with the family and sleep. But I need to look over the notes while it is still fresh!

So, hello LA today and then I bid a fond farewell to the west coast.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday at ALA -- last day

Today was the last day of ALA 2008. I went to the morning session -- a conversation with Khaled Hosseini. What a wonderful speaker. It was set up as a q and a with a moderator. Hosseini did a great job with the questions and didn't seem to shy away from any. He was a delight. I wanted to get a signed copy but when I looked at the line, I just couldn't face standing in line that long.

I finally got to spend some time in the exhibits but of course most of them were closing down. I did get to sit in on a few demos and, as usual, wanted everything I saw. If only my budget matched my imagination. I did get a few prizes though. Always like the free stuff. Does anyone know if you can change the message in the ProQuest fan?

I participated in the legislative day and sent emails to my congressmen (yes, they are all men). I got an automated response from one. Nothing from the others. They really should have an automated response. It gives some small sense of satisfaction that at least they got the email! I do have my bright red shirt now though. BTW -- I was wearing last year's "Support Libraries" shirt last week when we stopped at a rest area. A man walked by me and said he didn't want to support libraries. I guess I could have engaged in discourse but you never know if you are talking to a looney or not!

I missed Diane Carroll's closing session. I was in a demo and was actually enjoying it. I did pick up several 1/2 price books at Libraries Unlimited that I wanted but didn't want to spend a lot on. HarperCollins was selling all their stock for $1/each so I dropped some money there also. How can you pass up Fancy Nancy for $1?

Spent the afternoon at Downtown Disney. I have no idea what possessed me. I was looking for treats for the grandkids but went into way too many stores. I was good though and didn't spend a lot!!

Tonight I'll stay in to pack for the trip home tomorrow. I brought a second suitcase so will need to arrange everything into two less-than-55lbs suitcases. I should be ok but it will take a bit of finesse!

Tomorrow I have a ticket for a bus tour of LA. I just couldn't leave LA without seeing the "sites". So I booked the most touristy bus trip I could find. On the Grand Tour, I'll see Hollywood, Mann's Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame, Sunset Strip, Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood sign, and so much more in 7 glorious hours. I just hope I don't miss my shuttle back to the airport!! My plane leaves a 9:30 and I'll be flying all night. I should be back in NH on Thursday morning. I hope!!

ALA has been fun. I've met some new people and caught up with old friends. I've been challenged and learned new things. I am tired but it was worth it. Until next year -- goodbye ALA.

Monday at ALA

The day started at the YALSA Technology for Teens poster session. This was sponsored by the committee I'm on and we were excited to see the sessions we invited. The presentations were great. Some amazing things are being done with and for teens around the country. I have lots of pictures that I will post in a few days. (I forgot to bring my camera connection for the computer!) A couple of the presentations were by the teens themselves. Way cool.

I finally got to spend some extended time at the exhibits and grabbed quite a few books. And got quite a few signed. Signings include Brian Selznick, Christopher Paul Curtis, Ellen Levine, Kadir Nelson, Geraldine McCaughrean, AM Jenkins, Roland Smith, Lauren Myracle, and Sherman Alexie. I always seem to follow someone who is very generously getting a signed book for a give away. I never give away the books. If I stand in line, the book is for me!!

I went to a program called Handmade Tales with storyteller Dianne de las Casas. She was quite entertaining. She showed us how to do some cut and tell stories as well as folding bandanas and string tales. I was not proficient in any of them. I don't think I'll be showing off that talent to the kids anytime soon.

I went to the preview showing of Journey to the Center of the Earth sponsored by Walden Media. The staff took my camera away from me on the way in and we were scanned with a metal detector. There was more security for the film than for the exhibit hall. The seats were very comfortable in the theater and I was afraid I'd fall asleep. But all the action in the film made that impossible. I don't dare tell anything about it but I will say that it is in 3D and totally not cheesy. There were a few shots aimed at maximizing the 3D effect but for the most part it was just a movie you felt you were in. Amazing feeling like you are standing next to Brendan Fraser!!! Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Teribithia) played Brendan's nephew in the movie and he was in the theater to answer questions after the showing. What a presence he has. Only 15 years old but so self assured and poised. The teen girls in the audience were very excited. Probably how the rest of us would have felt if Brendan had benn there!!