Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Love to Meet

28 Mar

authors.png

I’ve been so lucky to meet some of my favorite authors already (conferences, BEA, festivals, etc.) But I wanted to create a list of authors that I haven’t yet met that I’d really love to meet in person!

  1. Anna McQuinn – Her Lola & Leo series is one of my favorite read alouds for toddler storytime not only because they’re all adorable, but it “about diveristy” without being “about diversity” – a family going about their day-to-day life who also happen to be Black. Love the series, would love to meet this Irish author!
  2. Salina Yoon – Have you ever seen a cuter penguin in your entire life?!?!?! These adorable stories of friendship just make me want to give their creator a great big hug!
  3. Kate DiCamillo – Everything this woman writes is pure genius and I would love to talk with her about where she finds her ideas (especially the names of her characters) and really just sit down and chat with her on the front porch (because I feel like she’d be the type of person who would love that!)
  4. Natalie Lloyd – Because an author who can stop a very quick reader in her tracks and pause because the words are so beautiful to read, that’s a person I have to meet!
  5. R.J. Palacio – I loved Wonder and appreciate the diversity in this story so much. I grew up helping my parents at programs for people with disabilities and learned at a very young age that a disability/deformity doesn’t necessarily stop you, you just have to be a little more creative. I love that so many kids have read this book and love it as much as I do!
  6. Katherine Applegate – Another prolific author, although I didn’t read the Animorphs series, I really enjoyed Home of the BraveThe One and Only Ivan and Crenshaw. I really appreciate authors who aren’t afraid to tackle the “tough” stuff for kids!
  7. Ann M. Martin – An author who I read growing up (almost all the Babysitter Club books) to the books she continues to write that touch my heart – she would be someone I would LOVE to get a chance to talk with!
  8. Nicola Yoon – I got The Sun Is Also a Star as a Christmas gift and it was one of those stories that sucked me up right away and I didn’t want to leave, so now I’ve got to find time to read Everything, Everything and if it’s as great as The Sun then I feel like we need to hang out and talk!
  9. E. Lockhart – A book that completely blindsides me is an amazing experience and that’s what I got when I read We Were Liars – to learn about how Lockhart came up with that idea would be so cool!
  10. Heidi Heilig – A newer book I got a chance to read – I loved the concept of time travel with a pirate ship and the possibility of alternate dimensions through stories – it was awesome!  Definitely an author I’d love to meet!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Book

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/27/17

27 Mar


finally finished Carmer and Grit: The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horowitz – it took me quite a while to finish and it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy reading it, for whatever reason it just took me some time. It’s the perfect book if you have a middle grade reader who likes fairies and magic but is also interested in adventure and science.

I also sat down over the weekend and read two other books that have been on my radar for awhile – Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate and Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan.  Home of the Brave is written in verse, making it a quick read, but a powerful one.  Kek travels from war-torn Sudan to America by himself to live with his aunt and cousin. He learns about snow, the grocery store and helps a number of friends along the way. It’s the story of growing up and holding on to hope. Amina’s Voice is a newly published novel from Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that, “aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families, and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works.” And what I like most about this story, is that it truly is a diverse story, but at the same time it’s the story of a girl in middle school dealing with family, friends and school – things that absolutely everyone has to deal with. And although her family and her community come in contact with hatred that is all too familiar in this world, the basis of the story is a young girl finding her voice and that’s what makes this diverse read so perfect. Plus, I absolutely love how gorgeous the cover is!

This coming week I plan to read The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi and maybe even jump into some YA books – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge and The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis that I thought about reading last week, but didn’t get a chance to dive into.


imwayr

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next

24 Young Adult Books Featuring Black Protagonists

24 Mar

black ya

My goal was to get this list out during Black History Month, but in all honesty these are amazing books that can be read any time of the year. Like my chapter book list, this list includes historical fiction, realistic fiction and fantasy novels with characters that are black, biracial from around the world.

  1. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  2. Fly Girl by
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  4. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
  5. Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
  6. This Side of Home by Renée Watson
  7. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
  8. Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  9. Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
  10. The Boy In the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  11. The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
  12. Hot Girl by Dream Jordan
  13. If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
  14. Tyrell by Coe Booth
  15. After Tupac & Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  16. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  17. How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
  18. Fake ID by Lamar Giles
  19. Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
  20. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
  21. The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake
  22. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
  23. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  24. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

SLJ’s Battle of the Kids’ Books

23 Mar

unnamed.gifWhere do I even begin? This somehow got past me this year, so we’re in the think of round 1 matches right now.  A little background behind this fun event – The School Library’s Battle of the Kids’ Books is a competition among 16 of the very best titles published in children’s literature of the year.  For more FAQs check the SLJ website. The books are then judged by some of the biggest names in kid lit. Don’t believe me? Check out the judges this year:

  • Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Lulu Delacre
  • James Dashner
  • Varian Johnson
  • Tanya Lee Stone
  • Jane Yolen
  • Nova Ren Suma
  • Brendan Kiely
  • Javaka Steptoe
  • Eliot Schrefer
  • Cynthia Kadohata
  • Sara Farizan
  • Ellen Oh
  • Sabaa Tahir
  • Kwame Alexander

And the titles they’ll be judging:

  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • Freedom Over Me
  • Thunder Boy Jr.
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes
  • Ghost
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon
  • Makoons
  • March: Book Three
  • Samurai Rising
  • Some Writer!
  • Wet Cement
  • When the Sea Turned to Silver
  • Anna and the Swallow Man
  • The Lie Tree
  • The Passion of Dolssa
  • The Sun is Also a Star

Each day a battle is judged and a book is declared the winner of that round. The hardest part, for me, would be that the judges are judging some amazing books against each other. For example, how do you compare Ghost by Jason Reynolds with The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Two books that were written beautifully and completely differently, where do you begin? But the judges, do just that, they judge. So, each day there’s a judge’s post with their reason behind their decision.

We’re moving into the second round today, so have no fear if you missed round one like I did! It’s fun to see authors in this different light as they try and judge two amazing books against each other… follow along for the ride!

 

Federal Budget Cuts, or What Is the IMLS?

22 Mar

C7Xwd1fU8AAr7bRAs I promised in a previous post, this is not a blog to become political, but it is a blog to be educated about library issues and this issue is too big to ignore. This post is longer than usual, but I really want people to understand what the IMLS is and what it does. The federal budget blueprint has been published and eliminates federal funding to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This may not mean anything to the everyday person, but for anyone in the field its difficult to comprehend what this could mean for the work we do everyday.

The IMLS is an independent agency of the federal government established in 1996. It is the main source of federal funding for museums and libraries and focuses on the following national issues and priorities:

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  • Preservation, Conservation, and Care of Content and Collections
  • National Digital Platform
  • Museum and Library Professionals
  • Communities of Practice
  • Accessibility in Museums and Libraries
  • Access to Content and Collections
  • Community
  • Early Learning
  • Management of Content and Collections
  • Makerspaces
  • Inclusive and Accessible Learning
  • 21st Century Skills

C7XTjTbWkAEwlfwThe IMLS supports 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums in the United States. And more specifically, “IMLS supports the full range of libraries, including public, academic, research, special and tribal, and the full range of museums including art, history, science and technology, children’s museums, historical societies, tribal museums, planetariums, botanic gardens and zoos.” I also have a soft spot in my heart for the IMLS, not only because I’m a librarian, but because I also did an internship at the IMLS office in Washington DC during graduate school.

Many people don’t understand how library funding works – and granted, it’s different for different libraries, but in the public sector libraries are usually funded by some combination of local, state and federal funding. I’ll use my library as an example. The majority of funding comes at the local level with limited funding from the state and federal level. Our budget for the year is about $2.1 million. Of this, only about $85,000 comes from state and federal grants.  That means only 4% of my budget does not come from local revenue.

Granted, a cut in funding at the federal level, does not trickle down to my library and cause major damage. The majority of federal funding for libraries is funneled through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) – the only federal program exclusively for libraries. This money is administered by the IMLS and is given to all 50 states, five territories and three Freely Associated States. The amount received includes a base amount, plus a supplemental amount based on population.  For example, Pennsylvania received $5,467,151 for FY 2016. This money is then spread among the over 450 public libraries and countless special libraries across the state. That’s where our $85,000 comes into play.

IMLS funding also supports state-wide grants and programs that would cease to exist without the financial support from the IMLS.  Over the past 20 years, the IMLS funded over 40 projects in Pennsylvania alone – projects to encourage literacy, preservation of archival material, collaborations with museums, and much more.  Specifically, One Book, Every Young Child, an initiative in its twelfth year in Pennsylvania is funded through an IMLS grant.  This program “highlights the importance of early literacy development in preschoolers and the significance of reading early and often to children, as well as engaging them in conversation and other activities around books.” With a shared book title throughout the state, author visits as well as activities for parents, families, early childhood educators, librarians and museum employees, this program benefits numerous people across the state.

So how are librarians reacting to the news?

The President of ALA responded with, “The American Library Association will mobilize its members, Congressional library champions and the millions upon millions of people we serve in every zip code to keep those ill-advised proposed cuts from becoming a Congressional reality.” Check out #saveIMLS on Twitter and the Facebook badge that you can add to your profile picture. Click on over to everylibrary.org to email your representative about the importance of IMLS.

Oh, and by the way, the federal government saves .002% by eliminating the IMLS, but by keeping the IMLS, we show the world that we value education, literacy, culture, science, technology and so much more.

And I know that the IMLS isn’t the only agency/department affected by this budget blueprint, but I want to educate people about the importance of the IMLS and everything that it does for the community you live in, where ever that may be.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: