Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Favorites From 2014

smile bookAs I reflected on my reading in 2014, I wanted to pick out some that really stood out to me. I went through my list on Goodreads to refresh my memory about what I read at the beginning of the year. I just wrote down picture books, chapter books, nonfiction books, and graphic novels that really spoke to me. While I was going through the list I had a lot of Book Smiles as I remembered the books that I read. When I was finished going through the list, I was surprised that I listed more chapter books than anything other type of book. So below are my lists, in not particular order.

Picture Books

  • Warning Do Not Open This Book by Adam Lehrhaupt
  • The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
  • Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman
  • The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
  • Big Bug by Henry Cole

Chapter Books

  • Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
  • When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens
  • Jinx and Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood
  • The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore 
  • This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
  • Always, Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
  • The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
  • Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Nonfiction Books

  • A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Fisher Bryant
  • Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko
  • Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth
  • Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
  • Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
  • Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins

Graphic Novels

  • Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci
  • Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani
  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Comic Squad Recess by Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dav Pilkey, Dan Santat, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Ursula Vernon, Eric Wright, and Gene Yang
All of the books that I read this year made an impression on me, but I couldn't list an entire year of reading here. Because of my job in a PreK-5th Grade library I find myself sticking to picture books and middle grade novels, but I read a YA book this year that I really enjoyed. It was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. It is a vampire story and I'm not really into vampires, but I could not put this book down.

What books made an impression on you this year?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Time For A Change!

Christmas Break came at the right time. Even though I didn't realize it, I was burning the candle at both ends. I've taken on a lot this fall, personally and professionally. I didn't realize how tired I was until it was two days before Christmas and I realized I hadn't even shopped yet! Fortunately it is just my parents and myself, so it was easy to knock out the shopping in one day. I had a great Christmas with my parents. We went down to Williamsburg VA. It is always a special place for us to walk around and people watch. It also is my time to sit in the Barnes and Nobles and read picture books. There were some really unique decorations this year. It was so nice to just have to do nothing but walk around and just have some family time.

Big Cork Wreath
Smaller Cork Wreath

Very simple, but surprising!
The flowers were made from shells

Great use of the gum balls!
But as the warm fuzzy feeling from Christmas is fading, I'm coming to some realizations. Every year I try to make resolutions, but I never follow through. As the year goes on, I start to feel guilty about not following through and I vow to do better. But "something" always seems to get in the way. Most of the time, that something is me. As I reflect on 2014 I had some highs and lows like most people. But I had no follow though for what I really wanted to accomplish this year. I start out good, but can't sustain it for months at a time. I think, I'm too focused on the big picture and not the steps to get me there. It is time for a change!!

I'm going to write down where I want to be in my life on December 31, 2015 and put it in a sealed envelope. After I seal the envelope, I'm going to put the big picture goals out of my mind. Knowing me, it will be a checklist. I think I'm going to then write down short term goals for January.

In order for me to accomplish those "big goals", I've come to some realizations.

  1. I need to make time for me! I can't just keep focusing on school.
  2. I need to make some healthier choices with food and exercise.
  3. I need to declutter some areas in my house. I keep a lot of "things" that I need to let go.
  4. I need to get back to being a presence on Twitter and blogging again. I've really missed it.
I'm going to be posting my successes and failures here, in between all the great books posts! Hope you will stay along for the ride. I'm going to start with number 4 first. As my phone and iPad blew up tonight with tweets, I was reminded how much I miss being a part of that online community.

Anyone else with plans for 2015?

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Starting Over in November

smile bookWow, I'm just amazed how life sometimes takes over and before you know it another month has almost passed without a blog post from me. Well I'm considering November my month to start over. I'm making myself a chart so I can keep track of my blogging. Hopefully I can get some motivation from the stickers that I put on the chart. I think that one thing that will help me begin blogging more is I'm actually reading again. So my book smile for today is that I'm reading again! 

I was so overwhelmed with school and all the extra responsibilities that I took on (willingly) I stopped focusing on me. I'm hoping to make a change starting today.

20821124Two of the books that have really gotten me excited to read again are two from Penguin Young Readers. I received both copies to review. The first book was Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I'm a huge fan of Oliver Jeffers, so I had high hopes for this book. I wasn't disappointed! I love that this is not your typical alphabet book the short stories are very quirky which make them more interesting in my opinion. My favorite story was for the letter "i" about an ingenious inventor! This is an alphabet book that I think will be very popular with my students!

22402972The second book that I received from Penguin Young Readers was one that had been on my to read list since I had first heard about it, Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I was so blown away by this book! I related to it as a teacher but also as a student who has dyslexia. I didn't struggle as much as Ally did in the book because I was fortunate to have a good family friend who was a teacher at a school for dyslexic students. She tutored me for three summers and taught me how to strategies to succeed. Even if you don't suffer from dyslexia, we have all had students who struggle and just need that one teacher to take an interest in them. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

So happy that I have finally gotten a new blog post up. Now to go put a sticker on my chart and find another book to read!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Did It Become October Already!?!?

I can't believe it is already October! I have had such a busy beginning of the school year! I am the Demonstration Teacher for my counties Library Media program. I get to interact with all the new Elementary Library Media Specialists for my county. They get to come see my library and we go through what the beginning of the year looks like. I also provide them with six weeks worth of lesson plans to get their year started. I love doing it, but it is a lot of work because I am a perfectionist. I'm also mentoring a 1st year Library Media Specialist and a 2nd year Library Media Specialist. I really enjoy this because their enthusiasm keeps me excited about our job. I love when they can show me new tools! 

I've really missed being able to blog. But something had to give and blogging was it. I've also been off Twitter which hasn't made me happy either! So my goal is to start back on both!

I'll be posting my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post later on today. It is a no kid day at school, so I think I can carve out a little bit of time to work on it.

Happy Reading!

Stacey (@libraryjo92) 

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I can't believe it is Monday again! Time is speeding by so fast. I'm looking at my plans that I had at the beginning of summer and wondering how I can fit most of it in during this last week! But I did get to read some in this past week!

18615736A nonfiction book that I read was the reprint of DK Eyewitness Books: Titanic by Simon Adams. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. The book is just an updated version of the previous one. The cover looks more appealing. I've always been fascinated by the sinking of the Titantic as are my students. This will be a great addition to my library since my other copy has been well loved and is on it's last legs.

18782868While I was at a bookstore last week, I had the opportunity to read some different picture books. One that I really liked was Peanut Butter and Cupcake by Terry Border. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book was a good book about finding a friend. The illustrations were unique and interesting. Though as others mentioned in their reviewed on Goodreads, I was a bit confused by the title. I won't spoil the book by revealing why I was confused, but you should understand after you read the book.


I think my favorite read of the week was Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book is a squeal to Smile. It was great to revisit the family. In fact, I think that I liked Sisters even more than I did Smile! I loved that the focus of the book was on family and how family dynamics can change over time. Smile has been a HUGE hit in my library and I know that Sisters will be as well! I was able to read this book thanks to NetGalley!

What have you been reading this past week?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Book Smiles!!

smile bookI love being able to go to the bookstore, which I was able to do this week. The county that I live in is very small and we are not close to many bookstores. So I loved my opportunity this week to go to a bookstore and spend some time looking and reading. This led to my #booksmiles for this week.


I got to read so many great books while I was at the bookstore. My favorite, which made me have my #booksmiles was Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. First of all I love fairy tales, but what I love even more are funny versions of the fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood has always been one of my favorites so I was quite happy to see it turn into a ninja version. I love the whole story and illustrations just add to the greatness of the story. I will definitely be adding this book to my school library because I want the kids to have #booksmiles about this book too. 

Tonight Corey Rosen Schwartz tweeted about the Ninja Red activity guide. This is a great addition to a wonderful book! I just love how there are color pages in the guide, but it also has black-and-white pages. This makes it so much easier to make copies for the students!

What #booksmiles did you have this week?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, July 28, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It has been a while since I've done a #IMWAYR post. It's not because I haven't been reading, I just have lost track of days this summer. This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

I can't believe that my summer is quickly coming to an end. It is almost the end of July and I'm wondering where the month went! Soon I will be starting that balancing act of teaching and trying to keep up with my reading.

The hard part of this post is trying to decide what to share. I've been reading quite a few chapter books lately. I've had a stack of them sitting on a table and I'm finally making my way through them. In between I've been reading some picture books which you can see in my Book Smiles posts below.

18085456The first chapter book I want to share is Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I was excited to read this book, since I loved Jinx so much!  In Jinx Sage Blackwood really created characters that I grew to care about and that continues in Jinx's Magic. I can't wait to share both of these books with my students next year. I know many of them enjoy fantasy, so I'm hoping this will only add to their enjoyment. If you don't, make sure you follow Sage Blackwood on Twitter (@urwalder).

20578900Thanks to NetGalley I was able to read Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of Padawan by Jeff Brown. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is the second book in the Jedi Academy series. I loved this book, it is just a fun read. The hardest part for me is the names, but in my head I make up something that sounds right and move on. I just love how Brown takes what is going on in the middle grade world today, but puts it in Star Wars world and terminology. This is going to be a hit with my students, just like the first one was. This book will be published tomorrow, July 29th.

20578902On Saturday, once again thanks to NetGalley, I had the opportunity to read the first book in Cynthia Lord's newest early chapter book series Shelter Pet Squad. This first book is all about Jellybean, a guinea pig. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is such a great early chapter book! I know that many of my 2nd grade students love animals, but are not ready for some of the older chapter books with animals in them. I really liked that this isn't the typical pet story, but instead highlighted Pet Shelters. At the end of the book there were directions on how to create the dog treats mentioned in the book and ways to help out the animals at the Pet Shelters.

20578979The other book that I've read, thanks to NetGalley, which my kids have been waiting for is Amulet #6: Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuish. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. Besides Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Amulet series is the most read series in my library. Emily and Navin have been two favorite characters of my students. In this book they are continuing their battle against the Elf King. There is so much action and adventure that happens in this book I know it will be a favorite of my students. When I was talking books with my 5th graders, they were crushed to learn that this installment wouldn't be published until August 26th, when they are in middle school and no longer with me. Before then end of school last year, I started a hold list with my fourth graders and I know it will only continue to grow!

What great things have you been reading? Look for a Book Smiles post later on this week.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92) 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Smiles!!

smile bookMy #booksmiles book this week is one that I spotted and then had to grab off the new book shelf in my public library. The cover immediately drew me in and I had to find out what the book was all about. The book is Pardon Me by Daniel Miyares. Click here for a summary on Goodreads

18689751All the main character (the bird) wants is to enjoy the nice little spot that he found to sleep. But he keeps being joined by so many other animals. It reminds me of The Mitten, and The Hat. The ending though, made me laugh out loud! Not going to spoil it for anyone, so you can have the same laughter and #booksmiles that I had!! This is one book that is definitely going on my next order for my library. My kids are going to LOVE this book!

Pardon Me is Daniel Miyares' first book as author and illustrator. You can visit his website at danielmiyares.com. Can't wait to see his next book!

What book made you smile this week?

Happy Reading!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Chapter Books You Must Read!

Even though I haven't been posting a lot, I have been doing a lot of reading! I've been reading picture books, chapter books, some nonfiction books, and a lot of books off MD Black-Eyed Susan Award nominee list. I do have to get better about reading more nonfiction. If you have any suggestions of some great nonfiction books please post them in the comments or tweet me.

I'm going to recommend two really great chapter books that I think everyone should read if you haven't already. I know a lot of people on Twitter have read these because they been tweeting about them. The two books that I'm talking about are This Journal Belongs To Ratchet and the soon-to-be published Always, Abigail by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. Click here for a summary of This Journal Belongs To Ratchet on Goodreads. Click here for a summary of Always, Abigail on Goodreads. I was able to read Always, Abigail from a copy I obtained on NetGalley.

15942671Wow is the word that came to mind when I finished both of these books. The other thing that happened is I wanted to start them over and read them again right away. Both of these books are great fifth-grade and middle school books. Nancy has truly captured what it's like to be a middle school girl. The characters are very easy to relate to and believable. To me a sign of a good book is when I can find parts of myself in a character and in This Journal Belongs To Ratchet I could totally identify with Ratchet's awkwardness. When I think back to middle school awkward is a great way to describe me and that time period. I also wrote about this book on my Summer Update for my Must Reads in 2014.

18509629In Always, Abigail the character that I found myself relating to the most was not the main character Abigail, but Gabby who played a big role in the story. Once middle school hit I became the girl that everybody made fun of. It was a hard time in my life, but it shaped me to be the person that I am today. As I read this book it made me truly wish that I had a friend like Abigail to get me through that isolating time in my life. 

If you've not read This Journal Belongs To Ratchet I highly suggest you get a copy and read it. I'm thrilled that this book is on our fourth through sixth grade list for the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. I think it's one that everyone, boy or girl, should read. Always Abigail is due to be published on August 5th. I highly suggest that when you can order this book you do so and read it because it is such a wonderful powerful book. It is also another that boys and girls should read.

If you can't tell, these books really made an impression on me and I'm really passionate about everyone reading them. What book(s) have you read that has brought out that passion in you?

Also, don't forget about suggesting some great nonfiction books to me! 

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Smiles!!

smile book
I read my book early in the week, but I was suffering from an allergic reaction to some medication. So I was not doing a lot because the Benadryl I was taking. But now my head is clear and I can think again.


My #booksmiles for this week is Clumsy Duck by Britta Teckentrup. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. She has also written two other books that I love: Grumpy Cat and Big Smelly Bear

This book was such a fun read because like Duck I'm a little clumsy, so I identified with the character. When I was younger it was suggested that ballet might not be the activity for me since I was dancing into walls and couldn't keep my balance. This book was also a great reminder that we all need to be cheerleaders to help the kids find how they can be successful. 

And how can you not smile when you look at the cover of this book.

What book made you smile this week?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Smiles!!

smile bookCan't believe another week has passed and it's time for another #booksmiles post! The summer is going by way too fast!!

My #booksmiles this week is a favorite of mine. I was talking about with a friend, who is looking for some books to read aloud to her son. He loves robots, so Ame Dyckman's Boy + Bot immediately came to mind. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is one of my favorites. It's a great story about friendship and acceptance of each others differences. The trailer is also a favorite of mine. I always show it to my Kindergartners and First Graders for summer reading ideas. If I'm talking about Ame's books I have to mention Tea Party Rules. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This one is just a fun book. I loved watching Cub trying to follow all the Tea Party rules. This will be a popular book in my library next year. I can't look at Ame's newest book, Wolfie The Bunny without smiling. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I can't wait to a hold of this book! It will be a long wait until February 2015. For now I can just look at the title and cover and smile! 

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

I also had #bookfriendsmile moment this week. On Monday and Tuesday in Michigan #nErDcampMI was held. My partners in #booksmiles, Niki and Ann both were in attendance. I lived vicariously through their tweets and many other peoples tweets. But they let me know they were thinking of me. This picture just made my day! I was having a bad day and the picture really turned it around. Hopefully one day it will be a picture of the three of us! If you don't already follow Niki (@daydreamreader) and Ann (@KingandKids) on Twitter you really should!

When I first joined Twitter I didn't know what to expect. It was the great unknown. I thought that I might get some new ideas for my library and my lessons. I never expected to form friendships with people I have never met face to face. Twitter has been one of the best Professional Development activities that I have participated in. I'm so happy that I had to join because of a technology class I was taking.

What book or moment made you smile this week?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Smiles!!

smile book

Book Smiles!!

I've been smiling a lot this week, because I've been able to read a lot more this week. I can't believe that we are already into July! This summer is flying by! I need to get motivated to get some of my plans done before summer is over!


Hope everybody has had some great books that made them smile. My book this week that made me smile was Arlo Rolled by Susan Pearson. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book was a lot of fun. Arlo does not want to be eaten, he wants to see the world. So he starts to roll so that he can explore the world around him. This book reminded me of a Gingerbread Man story. Loved the ending!

What book has made you smile? Post in the comments and/or if you are on Twitter post with the hashtag #booksmiles.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Must Read in 2014-Summer Update

Wow! I can't believe it is already time to do the summer update for my Must Read in 2014 list. I'm just in shock that it is already July! June went by so fast!

Well in January I started my list with 18 books and at the update in April I had read 9 of the books off of that list. In the April update I also added another 12, to bring my total up to 30.  Looking back over the whole list, I'm feeling pretty good because I have read 15 of the books!

Below are a few of the highlights of the 15 that I've read.

I just loved Duke by Kirby Larson. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. In fact, I haven't found a Kirby Larson book that I haven't fallen in love with. This is going to be a great book to add to my library next year. 


Another great book from my list was The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I never get tired of the pigeon books. I love each and every one! And I love sharing them with the kids. I made sure to have multiple copies of this book for the kids next year.


I really enjoyed Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I fell in love with this book while showing the book trailer to my Kindergarten and First Grade students. 


A book that wasn't on my Must Read in 2014 list, but is a wonderful read, is This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book just wowed me! Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop until I finished. I could really identify with the main character Ratchet (Rachel). Like her, I always felt (and sometimes still do) like I was on the outside looking in when it came to friends and fitting in. If you haven't read this one, I highly suggest that you pick it up.


Happy Reading!! 
How have you been doing on your Must Read in 2014 list?

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Smiles!

smile book
It is time once again for another book that made me smile! If you didn't check out  Daydream Reader's post and King and Kids post last week make sure you check them out. They choose some really good books! I can't wait to see what they pick this week! Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier on King and Kids blog got me some strange looks in the bookstore as I was laughing out loud as I was reading it.

18377674My book this week is It's An Orange Aardvark by Michael Hall. Click here for a summary on GoodreadsI am a huge Michael Hall fan and this one didn't disappoint me. My book smiles actually started before I even read the book. I had so much fun showing the book trailer to my kindergarten and first grade students. They were so excited about the book. I can't wait to share with them next year because it's a definite purchase for my library.

What book or books made you smile this week? Make sure you share, we all need more book that make us smile!

Happy Reading!!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Plans

Kids at the Beach
free clip art
Every year at the start of summer I make plans. I'm only a week and three days into summer and already my plans of going out the window. Had a few more things to finish up at school last week which I did happily. Then just other little things of gotten the way like appointments that I needed to go to. And then this past weekend I got the flu. I couldn't believe that I waited until summer to get sick. I hadn't been sick all school year, but I waited until summer. The only silver lining was I didn't have to write lesson plans. I could just be sick.

Since I'm not going on a big trip this year, I have lots of plans. I hope that I'm going to be able to follow through. First and foremost I'm going to be reading. I've got the #Summerthrowdown coming up in July and I've got a lot of reading to do for Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award nominees. There some great books on that list of nominees and I'm excited to read them. Click here to see the list of nominees. Once to this page, click on the drop down menu for the Black-Eyed Susan Awards. Then you can pick picture books, 4-6, 6-9, high school, and graphic novel.

I've got a lot to do around my house. There are always closets to go through, drawers to go through and not to mention the work outside. I also have some school work to do as well. Once again I am a demonstration teacher for our new Media Specialists in the county and I'm also a mentor to the new Media Specialists as well. So I have lesson plans but I need to update and I'm trying to put together a handbook of helpful hints and tips for our new Media people. I love being a demonstration teacher and mentor because I am so enthusiastic about my job I want everyone to love it as much as I do.

What are your plans for the summer?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Smiles!

smile bookWow, I haven't posted since April! I got caught up and got so busy with the end of school. Something had to give and unfortunately it was this blog. I have missed posting, so I taking this summer to get back in the habit. I think that I might need to make a sticker chart on the calendar. Every day that I post, I'll put a sticker on the calendar.

A few weeks ago some nerdy friends and I were talking about, what else books and blogging. We came up with the hashtag #booksmiles. We agreed to post about books that make us smile. But we wanted to wait until school let out.

I'm finally on summer vacation, so I'm really smiling now! I also have more time to read, which also makes me smile.

Here is the first book that made me smile this summer:


Growing up I always loved the bloopers on television and in the movies. This book brought me back to my children and made me laugh out loud.

I just found a blog post at Design of the Picture Book going behind the scenes with Tom Lichtenheld the illustrator of this book. It is a great post about how he came up with the illustrations.

What book has made you smile? Use the hashtag #booksmiles on Twitter, leave a comment on the blog so we can find more books that make us smile. Also don't forget to check out  Daydream Reader's post on her blog. The book that made her smile is now on my to read list! Also keep a eye on King and Kids blog for her first #booksmiles post.

Happy Reading!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

This has been a VERY slow week of reading! It is now that busy busy time of year and I'm just struggling to keep my head above water. I did fit in a few books.

17814086I finished one chapter book, When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens. Click her for a summary on Goodreads. This was such a fun read, once I started it I had to finish reading it. Audrey Rhodes has moved into the White House or 1600 as she calls it. She is not truly sure how she fits into this new political arena that is now her life. Audrey is adrift until she finds a diary that belonged to Alice Roosevelt. Audrey finds all of Alice's antics entertaining, but also helpful because she finds someone else who has felt the same way she is feeling right now. this book has made me want to find out more about Alice Roosevelt. She lived her life by her own terms, which makes me interested to learn more about her.

6796462I also read the graphic novel Gabby & Gator by James Burks. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I really enjoyed this book a lot. I identified with Gabby because I'm always looking to try and find people who will accept me for me and find a friend. I finding stories that show great examples of being a good friend because so many students don't know how to be a good friend. This one is very hard to keep on my shelf, it's very loved.

Later in the week I'm going to be reviewing the books below, because I can hear my bed calling my name!

17866844               14780587 
  12467036               13058150

Also, I have a guest post about some of my favorite books of 2014 (and a few from 2013) on the Elementary Librarian Blog. If you haven't been to her site, it is a wonderful resource for Library Media Specialists!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

Even though I've been on Spring Break I haven't done a lot of reading. I've got a few titles to share that I've been reading. I've been too busy visiting family and catching up on grading. It's amazing how fast Spring Break goes!

13623777I've been waiting to read Ungifted by Gordon Korman for most of this school year because it is on the Maryland Back-Eyed Susan Award nominees this year. I finally had the time to pick it up and read it. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I had mixed feelings about this book. Overall I enjoyed the book, but I did have a few problems with the story. I felt many of the characters acted how we would typically expect the "smart" kids, the "average" kids, the "bumbling/clueless" adults to act. I can see why my students really liked the story, but I wanted a bit more. It held my interest, but it is not one that I would find myself picking up again and again.

18060008Another book that I picked up on a lark was Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. I knew nothing about this book before I started, but the cover drew me in. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I always love a good mystery and this was no exception. Theodora (Theo) is a strong main character doing what she has to do to keep her family home. She comes across a very old, but hidden Renaissance masterpiece. This could be the answer to her prayers, but is worried about if it was stolen. The story behind the painting leads her to learn a lot about her grandfather and a terrible time in Jewish history. Any students who love mysteries will love this story. The ending was a little to perfect for me, but I had to keep reminding myself this was a kids book.

The last book I was able to read was Captain Awesome to the Rescue by Stan Kirby. I had to check this book out of the Public Library because it is always checked out from my library. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This was such a fun book. I can see why my kids have it checked out. There is not a lot of meat to the story, but it deals with problems that those younger students have. For example moving to a new town, finding a new best friend, and dealing with a baby sister who is starting to move everywhere. I'm going to be promoting these books even more to some of my reluctant readers in second grade who don't want to try chapter books.

I go back to school tomorrow and it is now the mad dash to finish everything before the end of the year. I'm going to try and get as much reading done as I can. Right now I'm reading an ARC from NetGalley, The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore. I haven't gotten very far into yet, but I'm enjoying the story so far. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I've also got Jinx by Sage Blackwood at the top of my to-read pile. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I've been hearing such good things about this book, I can't wait to dive in.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)