Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading!!

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.

My last post before my long break was this type of post.  I'm not going to let that happen again!  I'm motivated again to start blogging again.  See my last post for my motivation!

Since I haven't posted since October, I've been doing a lot of reading.  I'm going to just start with what I've been reading recently.  I've been reading a lot of chapter books.

Someone on either Twitter or Goodreads talked about The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place:  The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood.  Click here for the Goodreads summary.  I wasn't sure what to think of this book when I started.  It took me a while to fully invest in the story.  I've never been a fan of stories with Lords and Ladies.  But there was something about the voice of the main character, Miss Penelope Lumley, that kept me reading. Once I got to the middle of the story, I was glad that I stuck with it.  Now I'm just waiting for my Public Library to get the next one in the series.  There is a little twist at the end that has made me very curious to see what happens next in the series.

I also started the Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon!  My big question about this series is:  Why didn't I start it before this month??  I love this series.  I enjoyed the mix between graphic novel and chapter book.  I think that this might help some of my reluctant readers who have begun reading graphic novels and like them.  This would be a great bridge for them to move into chapter books.  

I'm also in the process of reading Of Giants and Ice by Shelby Bach.  This is one of my impulse pick-ups at Public Library.  Click here for the Goodreads summary.  I am really enjoying this book.  It is an interesting take on the fairy tales.  I'll post more next week after I have finished the book.  There is a second book in the series, but unfortunately it won't be published until July 2013.

Up next for me is lots of picture books and a few adult books that have come out recently that I've been waiting a while for.

Hope everyone has a Happy and Safe New Year's Eve!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92) 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wow, I've Been Away For So Long!

It's been so long since I've posted anything.  There is no big story about why I haven't posted.  I just was short on time and the blog is what I had to give up.  I've missed it and I have felt guilty each time I sat down a the computer to use the Internet.  I would see the link that I have on my favorites bar and I would be filled with guilt for not writing.  I'm now going to get back to regularly posting on both blogs.  I haven't only been neglecting this blog.  I've also been neglecting my blog for my Library Media Center.  

Over the Christmas Break on Twitter I've been reading tweets from Niki Barnes (@nikiohsbarnes) about her excitement over starting her blog.  Reading all the tweets from her reminded me about how much I enjoyed blogging.  She just published her first blog post here:  Loved her first post because it brought up a lot of memories!  Looking forward to reading more posts from her.

The other blog post that really got me thinking and wanting to post again was from Jocelyn  (@Elementary_Librarian) at  She posted her library goals for 2013.  Her post really made me think about what I wanted to accomplish during the rest of the school year.  I love when blog posts really make me think and reflect.  I've been thinking a lot about what my goals are for 2013.  I'm not ready to post them yet, but I will.

I look at this post as a new beginning for me.  I'm going to make sure that I'm posting regularly on both blogs.  I guess you could say that with that last sentence, you are getting a sneak peek at one of my goals for 2013.

Happy Reading!!
Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading??

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.

I didn't do as much reading as I wanted to this week.  It was a crazy week.  I'm hoping this week calms down, but I don't think it will since my book fair will be coming this week.

I had a chance to read a few picture books I really enjoyed this week.  From the library I pick up 1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker.  It was just as good as L-M-N-O Peas.  For some reason I just love all the expressions on the peas.  I also got Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack.  This was a great book about turning a bad situation into a good situation.

I didn't read as many picture books because I was reading three chapter books.  I finished the third in the Theodore Boone series, The Accused.  John Grisham is the author of this series.  I have been a fan of John Grisham ever since I read The Firm while visiting my grandparents at their retirement village.  I stopped reading Grisham's adult novels after I while, I lost my taste for them.  But I have really come to love the Theodore Boone series.

Once I finished The Accused, I started on 3 Floors.  This is the second in Patrick Carman's Floors series.  When I went to get my hair done, I forgot to bring 3 Floor with me, so I stopped by the library on the way.  While I was there, I picked up Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder.  Once I started it I had to finish it.  Such a great story.  I really enjoyed it and could identify with Penny.  Since I had to finish it, I was glad I had only just started 3 Floors.

This week I will finish 3 Floors and try and get through some picture books that I picked up.

Happy Reading!!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finally My Dot Day Post!!

It's only taken me about a month to post my Dot Day Activities.  I've had so much on my plate that, this post had to take a backseat.  But now I've finally had a chance to post it.  Also I was doing a post on my Media Center blog and I was waiting for some permission slips.

Due to days off, not all Kindergarten and First Grade students got to participate in our Dot Day celebrations.  I have something else special planned for them in the future.

Every year on or around September 15th educators around the world are invited to take time and celebrate their students' creativity.  This event started because of the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.  Click here for a summary of the book.

We started off by listening to The Dot on TumbleBooks, which is available through the Public Library website in my county.  We discussed how this book teaches us a great life lesson, trying your best even when you think you can't and making your mark on the world

In Kindergarten, we talked about how their name is an important part of how they make their mark on the world.  Each student got a half sheet of paper with the first letter of their first name written on it.  Then they had to make that letter their own by covering it with dots!  The kids had a great time and showed a lot of creativity.  As they got done, I broke the students into small groups and allowed them to use an iPad app, Drawing Pad, to as a group make dots.

In First Grade, I broke the class into two groups.  One group stayed at the tables and designed their own dots.  It was interesting to see the creativity and thoughtfulness behind their creations.  The other First Grade group came to the other end of the Media Center with me and we worked with the iPod Touches and the iPads.  I broke this group into two smaller groups, so that they could have time working on both the iPod Touch and the iPads.  We used the same app, Drawing Pad on the iPad's.  Some of the kids were so creative!  
On the iPod Touches, we used an app called Press Here.  This app is based on the book Press Here by Herve Tullet.  The book and the app are full of dots.  The kids had a lot of fun using this app too.  After about 12 minutes we switched big groups and did it all again.

If you want to see the photos, please go to my Hollywood Elementary Media Center Blog.  I only got permission to use them on that blog.  I'm looking forward to expanding our celebration to include more grade levels next year.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)  

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.

I haven't been doing a lot of reading recently because I couldn't find the time and was just too busy.  But I made sure that changed this past week.

Well, I first had to read the three books from the Sharp/Schu book club that I hadn't read yet.  Those were Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, The Gentleman Bug by Julian Hector and Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills.  I was not disappointed with these three books!  I just loved each one!  

I also had a nice surprise, I forgot that I pre-ordered The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.  Once I got this book, I had to read until I finished it.  I was not disappointed by this book in the Lost Heroes series.  I just wish I didn't have to wait until next fall to have the next book.

I had also pre-ordered Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems.  It is the newest Elephant and Piggie book.  As I was reading it, I found myself reading it out loud as I would if I were in front of my kids.  I just love the Elephant and Piggie books.  One of my kids stopped in the hall a few days ago to tell me that she just thought the Elephant and Piggie books were so funny!

Another surprise book this week was Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy. She did a contest on Twitter and I won!  I was excited because it was the pick-me-up that I needed that day.  I had read it earlier this summer when it was published.  After I finished The Mark of Athena, I reread it.  Well, it was even better the second time around.  If you have to read Small Medium at Large, I would definitely recommended you adding it to your to-read pile or moving it up to the top!

I don't know what books are up next for me.  I've got some picture books that I checked out from the library last week that I need to read.  I guess I will see what the week brings.  Feel free to leave me any suggestions!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (libraryjo92) 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

National Book Festival Part Two

Sorry it took a few days to get back to finishing my post about my experience at the National Book Festival.  There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.  Trying to get myself on a schedule to be able to work on everything.

When I left off I was waiting in line for Peter Brown to sign my two copies Creepy Carrots! (Which by the way is a great book!)  I was waiting by myself, while my friends listened to other authors.  The line moved slowly, but it was such a great day I didn't mind waiting!  I also had a great view to keep me occupied while I waited.  I also am a huge people watcher, so this was a great opportunity!

It was so great to see Peter Brown in person.  He was a very gracious person who took the time to talk to each person and listen.  I wish I could have heard him speak.  It was funny when I was tweeting about seeing him at the book festival and friend of my was surprised that he was there because she had just seen him in Indianapolis the day before.  To my delight he tweeted back to the both of us!  (I just LOVE Twitter!!!) 

As soon as I got my books signed by Peter Brown, I rushed on over to stand in line to see Tom Angleberger!  I love, love, love his books.  They are always checked out of my library.  Tom really impressed me last school year when I had two students write to him.  I emailed their letters to him and both boys had a response that afternoon.  Of course, as I was waiting in line I had to talk books.  I had two parents in line behind me, that once they found out I was a Media Specialist, were asking for book suggestions.  This made the time past quickly.  Tom started his signing early and excited the line by running up and down thanking everyone for coming!  I tweeted the picture that I took, and he tweeted back that he thought it made him look like a loon, but it was great to meet me.

As I was leaving I stopped to listen to Mary Pope Osborne and her sister.  It was interesting to hear that she was only contracted to write four Magic Tree House books.

A few helpful hints that I learned:  
1.  Bring a backpack!  The bag that I carried the books in after I bought them left a bruise on my shoulder.
2. Buy the books ahead of time!
3. Have friends that will stand in other lines for you!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.

This past week I haven't been doing a lot of reading.  I've had a lot of school work to do.  I'm hopefully setting a schedule for myself this week to chunk my time and allow me time to try and do it all!

I finished Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turage.  At first I wasn't sure how I was going like this book.  The beginning don't really keep my interest, but once I got a few chapters in, I had to finish the book!  It turned out to be a really interesting mystery that kept me guessing until the end.

Right now I'm in the process of reading Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald.  This is a fun book about "not reading", while you are actually reading the book.  I can see a lot of reluctant readers and great readers really enjoying this book.  I saw that there was another Charlie Joe book:  Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit.

I've go two, possible three books up next for me.  This is in preparation for the Mr. Shu/Colby Sharp Book Club on 10/3.  I've got Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and The Gentleman Bug by Julian Hector on hold for me at the library.  I will pick them up today.  I'm hoping that Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills comes in tomorrow, so I can read it before the Book Club.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

National Book Festival Part One

This past weekend was that National Book Festival held on the mall in Washington D.C.  A few of my teacher friends and I decided to venture up to see what it was all about!  Well I had a great time!

We took the Metro into D.C. and we then walked two blocks because we couldn't figure out what train to get on when we had to change trains.  It was a beautiful day so walking was fine.  This was the sight that we first saw when we got close to the mall!

My friends and I wandered around the different tents.  I made sure to stop by the Scholastic tent to visit my friend Brenda, who was working there.  But soon I realized if I wanted to get some books signed, I needed to go buy the books.  Well, let me tell you that was an experience!!  I found the books that I wanted and got in line very fast, because it was LONG!  I was starting to worry because I was trying to get to have Peter Brown to sign my books.  Luckily I was out and in line in time.  There were so many people waiting to get books signed.  At least I had some great scenery to look at while I waited. 

As I was waiting in line, I was tweeting about my experiences.  I found out that two of the ladies that I regularly tweet with where at the festival as well.  @HannahlilyS was actually in line to see Peter Brown in front of me.  After she got her book signed, she stopped by so we could chat.  @sylvie_shaffer was standing two lines over and when she was going to hear another presentation, she stopped by to chat.  It was great to finally meet these ladies in person.

I'll finish up with another post tomorrow!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (libraryjo92)

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's been a bit since I've had time to do my It's Monday! What are You Reading post.  This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts

This doesn't mean that I haven't been reading.  I did a bit of reading the books that I got from the National Book Festival.  So here is what I read this past week.

Creepy Carrots 
by Aaron Reynolds
illustrated by Peter Brown
Creepy Carrots!

I got to see Peter Brown at the National Book Festival and have my books signed by him.  Look for another post about the festival.  I just loved this book so much!  Great story and great illustrations.  Can't wait to share it with my kids.

Sky Color
written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Sky Color
This is the third in the Peter Reynolds' books about being creative and trying your best.  Just love all of the books in this series!  Just today I had a student who kept saying that he couldn't draw something and I reminded him of the lessons we learned from Vashti in The Dot.  After that little reminder, my student began to try drawing the animals. (I was a little disappointed that I couldn't go back up the festival to hear and meet Peter Reynolds.)

Kel Gilligan Daredevil Stunt Show
by Michael Buckley
illustrated by Dan Santat

Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show

When you put Michael Buckley and Dan Santat together in a book, you get a very funny book!  This is going to be a great bedtime book for students of all ages!  I had seen this book at the airport a few weeks ago, but didn't have enough room in my carry-on for it.  I was disappointed, but I was able to get autographed copy at the book festival!  Didn't get a chance to meet Michael Buckley because I was standing in the line to meet Peter Brown.

Dinosaur vs. Santa
by Bob Shea

Dinosaur vs. Santa

It seems like all of my favorites are coming out with Christmas themed books this year.  It is a cute Christmas story for those who like the Dinosaur vs. ___ series.  Though I must admit, I enjoyed Dinosaur vs. the Library a little more than this one.

Up next for me is Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.  I'll try to get my post up earlier next week.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (libraryjo92)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Starting Over!

It has been a long while since I've posted.  I've had one of the busiest months that I can remember having in a long time.  I was out for two days to attend a wedding reception for a close family friend.  We had to travel up to New Hampshire, which required a lot of creative packing.  It was in the 80's the day we arrived, but dropped to the 60's by the next day.  I had a lot of fun and was glad that I went.  While I was gone my new assistant was taken out by her 70lbs dog!  Since I was out, she came to work on Monday using crutches and wearing a full leg brace.  So I had a sub for the rest week, when I came back.  

I've felt like I have just treading water, trying to keep my head above.  I've realized that I have missed blogging and I have to make time for it.  It is all about prioritizing and I haven't been doing that.  I'm starting over tonight with this post.  I've got a few that I have to write, about my QR Code Scavenger Hunt, my Dot Day Activities, and my first trip to the National Book Festival.  I promise that there will be quite a few posts very soon.

Happy Reading!!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Hit the Ground Running!

This has been a crazy start to school.  I'm still not feeling organized yet!  But I'm getting closer to being settled into this year.  This week is the first full week and I'm really dragging going into Friday.  I'm so glad that due to Labor Day I have Monday off.  I need this weekend to finish organizing myself and clean my house.  

I'll post this weekend about my QR Scavenger Hunt which went over so well!  I enjoyed myself and so did the kids.  I also hope to get some reading in the weekend as well.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Kids Come Tomorrow!!

I am excited that the kids come tomorrow.  It was great to see all of them today.  Some of them have gotten so tall over summer!  Still trying to finalize my plans for my little kids.  For my big kids, I've got a really great activity planned.  On the blog Sharing the Shelves I found a great activity using QR codes.  I created 15 questions and made QR codes for the students to scan to find the answers.  Click here for the link to post.  It gives a great explanation about the activity.  I thought this was a new and fun way to introduce the library and the procedures.  I hopefully be able to post some pictures and let you know how it goes.

Also I'm going to be a guest blogger this week.  I'll be posting a link to the blog.  It will be about my top ten favorite books that I read during the Summer Thowdown.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts

I so wanted to write a post mid week, but with the funeral of my family friend and starting back to work it just didn't happen.

I did manage to do quite a bit of reading this week.  I think part of it was an escape from reality.

When I posted last week I was only on page 78 of Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani.  Well I finished it early in the week and I loved it! It was really great how the two characters found similarities even though they were so different. I really enjoyed the letter format of the book.  I think that in this electronic age letter writing is becoming a lost art.  I remember the joy I felt growing up when I went to the mailbox and found a piece of mail addressed to me.  This past year, I had my fifth grade students write letters to different authors.  It was great that some got a response.  Even if I was emailing the author, I made sure they wrote a complete letter to attach.  

Another book that I found on the library shelf was Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner.  This book was about a 13 year old girl, Raisa, who leaves her Polish shtetl to come to America.  There are many hardships that she encounters being new to America.  Raisa goes to work at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and is there during the tragic fire.  I drawn to this book because I've always been interested in that time period and the tragedy.  Sometimes this book dragged on with little events that didn't seem very important.  While the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory seemed to be over before it even began.  I did enjoy the book, but was a little disappointed in the perfect happy ending.  Many places said that this book was for 5th grade and above.  I would not recommend this to anything less than 7th grade and above.  

The other book that I just finished reading is The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.  Once again, I heard about this book from the wonderful people on Twitter.  I started this book and I really wasn't sure I was going to like for about the first few chapters.  But then the story took a hold of me and I could not put this book down.  I knew I had to finish the book in one day because I had to know what happened next.  I was excited to realize that this was book one of a trilogy.  But then I realized there would be a wait for the next book, since this was published this year. :( 

Not sure how much new reading I'll get done this week, since the kids start back on Wednesday.  But I'll be sure to post about what I'm doing with them.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts

I had great intentions of posting midweek last week, but life got in the way.  I had a very close family friend pass away.  So that kind of took over my life and I didn't do a lot of reading.

Though I did get some reading done this week. I was so excited to get my copies of The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger!  He has got another winner on his hands.  I LOVED this book!!  Once again we meet up with the gang from McQuarrie Middle School, except Dwight and Origami Yoda are not there.  Everyone wonders what to do without them.  After a while Fortune Wookiee makes an appearance and begins to give advice.  If you want to find out more, you have to read the book.  I think this is my favorite out of the three.  If you have not read this series, run don't walk to the library or bookstore and check it!

I also read the newest Junie B. book, Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) by Barbara Park.  I have to admit that this is the first Junie B. book I have ever read!  I can see why it appeals to kids, but it was not a favorite of mine.  I'm not going to run out and read more.

Giants Beware! by Rafael Rosado was a book that I had on hold for quite a while.  It finally came in this week.  I was thrilled with this book and it was worth the wait.  I really liked how main character was a female.  This book is going on order for this coming year!

When I went to the library I also saw sitting on the shelf Same Sun Here by Silas House and Neela Vaswani.  I have been waiting to read this book ever since I read Jen Vincent's and Colby Sharp's blog posts about the book.  Click here to go to Part One of their blog posts.  I am only on page 78 and I am loving this book!!  I don't want to put it down!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts

This is going to be a short post because even though I read a lot not many book really excited me.  I guess I've had half of my brain focusing on school stuff.

The one book that did stand out for me was Sit In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney.  This book was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in.  This would be a great book to have in any classroom library.  I'm adding a copy to my order this year for my library.  I truly loved the illustrations by Brian Pinkney.

I guess this is a post of what I'm looking forward to reading this week.  The one book I cannot wait to get my hands on The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee by Tom Angleberger!  I am a HUGE fan on Tom Angleberger's books.  I love the Origami Yoga books and have high hopes for Fortune Wookiee!  I was lucky enough to get a digital doodle from him for my Fortune Wookiee books!  Now I just need the book!!

On a side note, I'm thinking about doing some book clubs this school year.  I've never done one at all.  I would love some suggestions on how to start it, and how to run it.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  Thanks in advance!!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My "Other Blog"

I've been having so much fun with this blog, I decided to start one for my school Library Media Center.  I'm having a lot of fun with that one too.  Granted it is a lot more work having to post on two different blogs, but I think that it is a great way for me to share book ideas, websites, and news with my students and their parents.  One thing that I decided to do to keep my students reading this summer was to create the "Take a BOOK on Vacation" program.  The point of the program is to get pictures of them reading over the summer.      

At the end of the school year I showed the students the blog and my examples of me reading at Fort Necessity in Pennsylvania.  I passed out the form that I created and waited.  Since this was the first summer I was trying this, my goal was to get one student picture back.  So far I've gotten four students pictures back!  One student even sent back five different pictures!!  I even got pictures from my school nurse.  (I sent the form to the staff as well.)  When I go back to school I will have the pictures printed out and they will be part of my first bulletin board.

Here is a link to my other blog.  Feel free to look, but if you wish to comment please do so on this blog.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Wow, it's Monday already!! The past week just FLEW by!!  I did some reading, but not as much as I would have liked.  I've slacked a bit in our Round 2 of the #summerthrowdown!  I have to step it up for the League of Librarians, maybe since I have my League of Librarians t-shirt, designed by Jarrett J. Krosoczka I might be motivated again!

I did read a few great book this week.  I got a chance to read an ARC of Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, thanks to @sylvie_shaffer.  I found this to be a very interesting story.  I love books where the author can still surprise me.  This one did many times.  My Twitter pals highly recommended another Rebecca Stead book, When You Reach Me.  So I've now added it to my ever growing to-read list!

I read four great picture books this week the first was Darth Vader and Son!  I love Star Wars a lot, so I knew this was quickly going to become a favorite of mine.  I have to get at least two copies of this for my library.  I think it will be a very popular book!  The second book was A Gold Star For Zog by Julia Donaldson.  This book is about a dragon named Zog who is in dragon school.  Each year he learns a new skills and practices with help from a little girl.  I'm a sucker for any books about school.  The illustrations by Axel Scheffler really made this great book even better!  The third book I read was Is Everyone Ready for Some Fun? by Jan Thomas.  I have been a fan of Jan Thomas since I read the book What Will Fat Cat Sit On? to my students.  Her books are so much fun.  I can see myself using this with my PreKindergarten students this year.  The last picture books was a nonfiction one called Animals...and Their Families by Barbara Nascimbeni.  This was a very simple nonfiction book, but provides a lot of information.  On the left page is a black picture of the animal with its name.  On the right page there are color pictures of the mommy, daddy, and baby animal with specific names if they have them.  For example, on the owl pages it has owlet written by the baby.  It also tells their sound, their home, and their meal.  I just loved this book and can't wait to get a copy for my library.

I also read one other chapter book that came highly recommended by one of my fifth grade students this past year.  It was The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas.  This book is about a thief who is drawn into a life of magic and adventure after picking the pocket of a powerful wizard.  This book was a bit of a slow start for me, since I was coming off of reading a lot of grown up books.  I had to get into the "kid book" mode again.  Once I got into the book, I was captivated.  I picked up the second and third book for my library.  I have a student in mind who I think will really like this one.  It reminded me of The Land of Elyon series by Patrick Carman.

Up next for me is some more picture books that I picked up at the library on Saturday.  I also picked up the newest Lois Lowry, Gooney Bird on the Map.  I'm a big fan of Gooney Bird.  She is the type of person I always wish I could be!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I was on vacation from July 2nd until July 17th.  My family and I went to New Hampshire first to visit good friends of ours.  We stayed with them for eight days and had a wonderful time!  We don't get to see each other very often and it is a whole lot of fun when we do!!  During this time I was reading more grown-up books because I downloaded them to my e-reader.  I don't like downloading kid books because many times, what I purchase becomes a part of my school library collection.  Some of the grown-up books I read were:  Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay, Grace Among Thieves by Julie Hyzy, Afraid to Die by Lisa Jackson, The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder by Mary Jane Maffini, and Slightly Irregular by Rhonda Pollero.  (If you can't tell, I LOVE mysteries!!)  I highly recommend each and everyone of these books and the series that they belong to.

While I was on vacation Babymouse for President by Jennifer and Matt Holm was published, so I had to get my hands on it!  I was not disappointed at all by this book.  I loved it!  Can't wait to share it with my students next school year!  I also picked up One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.  I had been hearing all the chatter on Twitter about it, so I had to buy it too.  I was blown away how powerful and emotionally invested I became in this book!  I needed quite a few tissues during this book, especially at the end.  If you haven't read this book, run don't walk to the library and check it out!!

When I got back from vacation I had to reread Wonder by R.J. Palacio for the Twitter Book Club talk.  Once again this book brought me to tears.  But I just loved rereading it.  I also had gotten from Mr. Schu, a copy of Capture the Flag by Kate Messner.  I was only going to read a few chapters and then begin to unpack from my trip.  Well I couldn't put the book down until I was finished with it.  It was a mystery and I just love mysteries.  I've got quite a few kids in mind who will love this book!

Up next for me is to get back reading for my Goodreads Challenge and for Round 2 of the #Summerthrowdown.  I am just waiting for my wonderful League of Librarians t-shirt, designed by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.  I think the next chapter book on my plate is Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.  Once again, I've heard great things about this book on Twitter.  I haven't been disappointed yet by the recommendations I've gotten from Twitter, so I have high hopes!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back From Vacation

I love going on vacation!  It is so relaxing and nice to not have the everyday worries and chores.  But now that I'm back I'm feeling a lot of pressure!  I'm trying very hard to get that relaxing feeling back.  So I'm making a list of five things that I want to get done today.  I might not get everything done, because an issue that I have to take care of, but I'm sure going to try.  I did a lot of reading while I was gone and I'll post about what I read soon.  

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.
I took a break from kids lit for most of last week.  While I was taking my break, I read some wonderful grown-up books.  I wrote about them in my previous blog post.  It felt so good to take a break, I guess we all need a change of pace every few weeks. 

I did ease back into some kit lit this week with two books.  The first was Outside Your Window A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Hearld.  Wow, all I can say is wow!! I loved this book!! The poems were fun and really brought the feeling of each season alive.  I think my favorite poem Acorn, which was found on page 68.  Mark Hearld's illustrations made a great poetry book even better.  I found myself eager to turn each page for the the next poem and illustration!  If you haven't seen a copy of this book, I highly suggest you go to your library and check it out!

The other book that I read was Titanic Sinks! by Barry Denenberg.  I enjoyed this book because I'm fasinated by anything dealing with the Titanic.  The book did keep me interested from cover to cover.  But the thing that I really was not sure about was it "unique presentation of fact and fiction".  As I was reading the book, I really couldn't tell what was the fiction part.  It was not until I was reading the authors note at the back where I found out what was the fiction part.  I think that it will be hard for any students to separate out what is fact and what is fiction.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Break from Kid Lit

I really needed a break from kid lit.  I was not enjoying the books as much as I have in recent weeks.  I guess you could say I was in a reading rut.  To get out of it I pulled out some of my grown-up book authors and found some of their newest offerings.  About a two years ago I was really sick, it was right after I got my Kindle, and I was unable to go out to get anything new to read.  I came across Julie Hyzy's books.  She has got two different series out.  The first series that I stared reading is the White House Chef Mysteries.  In this series the main character is the White House Chef and allows seems to be in the center of the mystery.  This series is a just a fun read.  Her other series is Manor House Mysteries.  This time the main character is the new curator of Manor House and does some investigating on the side.

The other series that I came across, is surprise, another fun mystery series:  Cupcake Bakery Mystery by Jenn McKinlay.  The fourth book in the series, Red Velvet Revenge was published on July 3rd.  This series is also a very fun read, but since it has to do with baking I find myself craving some sweets as I'm reading.  This series led me to another fun "food" mystery series:  Donut Shop Mysteries by Jessica Beck.  My only hint about this book is, try not to read on an empty stomach because each chapter ends with a donut recipe!  I haven't made any of them yet, but they sound wonderful!!

It's been nice to take a break from kid lit, but I've found a few that I'm looking at to get me started again next week.

Happy Reading

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids' version borrowed from the wonderful ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.
I just want to say thank you to all who visit this blog.  This was something that another Library Media Specialist and I started for a class in May 2010.  This has been one of the best Professional Development activities that I have done. So again thank you for visiting and commenting on my posts.  Now onto the books that I've been reading.
Like in previous posts I've been doing a lot of reading for #summerthowdown. To find out more about #Summerthrowdown go to Heise Reads & Recommends, a blog created by Mrs. Heise, for more information.
I posted last week about the Lucy Rose series by Katy Kelly.  Well, it finally dawned on me that the Melonhead series by Katy Kelly were related!  Katy Kelly took the character Melonhead and give him his own series.  I enjoyed these just as much as Lucy Rose.  Melonhead is such a unique character who is all boy.  There are three books in this series: Melonhead, Melonhead and the Big Stink, and Melonhead and the Undercover Operation.  I've read the first two and I'm trying to get a hold of the third.
I also read two really great picture books this week.  The first was Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld (who illustrated Duck! Rabbit!)  I just LOVED this book! It reminded me of The Little Engine That Could.  It's a story of a petite cloud who thinks that she is not big enough to help the earth as all the big clouds do.  She gets inspired by the all the big clouds accomplishments and wants to have a positive effect of the Earth. 
The other picture books was Hide and Sheep by Andrea Beaty.  This is a great counting backwards book.  The sheep escape from Farmer McFitt farm and travel around to different places.  This was just a fun book and it had great illustrations by Bill Mayer.
I'm going to take a short break from kids books for about the next week or so. I'm getting a little burned out, so I'm moving to grown-up books.
Happy Reading!!
Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The One and Only Ivan

Last night I had the oppertunity to particiapate in a great chat on Twitter about the book The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate! It was hosted by two great educator John Schu and Colby Sharp. It was wonderful to be able to disscuss this wonderful book with others. I've had many great discussions about this book with many of my students who have read it, but not many adults. If you havn't read this book, I would highly recommend it. 

The One and Only Ivan is about a gorilla named Ivan who lives at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.  He has gotten use to living among humans and rarely thinks about his former life in the jungle. He instead thinks about his animal friends Bob, a stray dog, and Stella, an elderly elephant, and his "art".  Then Ruby, a baby elephant, comes to live at the Mall.  This single event makes Ivan begin to question where he is living and what he can do to make it better.

This book was incredible!! It is written from Ivan's point of view.  Many times throughout the story I forgot that I was reading a gorilla's point of view.  I tend not to read animal stories, but this one sucked me in and found a place in my heart.  I have so many favorite lines from this book, but my ultimate favorites are from the first page: "I am Ivan. I am a gorilla.  It's not a easy as it looks." I used these lines to get many kids to read this book.  A few of them were a hard sell, but those where the ones who came back and said that Ivan was their favorite book!

One of the questions that John Schu and Colby Sharp asked was: "How did you hear about the book?"  I heard about it on Twitter.  Just one more reason for you to join Twitter if you haven't yet.  It is such a great resource for educators.  John Schu also provided two great resources for this book.  The first is a link to the real Ivan ( and a link to the discussion guide from Harper Collins.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Wow, have I been doing a lot of reading the past week!  It is due to #summerthrowdown!  I posted about it in the post below.  I've been a regular at the Public Library!  It was so great when I went on Saturday because I ran into three of my students.  Two of them I was not surprised to see at the library, but the third one I was shocked to see him there.  I was quite happy and really made a big deal about him signing up for the summer reading program and checking out books!

I came across a really great new to me series, Lucy Rose by Katy Kelly.  I the second one in the series, Big on Plans.  I then had to go and read the rest of the series!  I loved this series because of the main character Lucy Rose.  She reminds me of a mix of Ramona and Junie B.  I found her to be such an interesting character to read, I was always wondering what she would do next.  I have most of this series at my school library and will be promoting it next school year.

I finally got a hold of Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon.  Loved this book so much!! I have to get a copy for my library and one for myself.  It is such a fun read and one that I think will even draw in the reluctant readers that I have in my younger grades.

I'm still reading Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins.  I have found this to be a very interesting read.  It has given me such great insight into the Common Core.  Once I've finished I'm going to be going back through before school starts.

Up next for me is Melonhead and Melonhead and the Big Stink by Katy Kelly.  Melonhead is a character from the Lucy Rose series.  I can't wait to see what adventure Katy Kelly has written for Melonhead. Another one that I'll be reading soon is Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies.  I've been looking at this since I got it at the book fair saying that I really want to read it.  Well now I have the time.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)