Tag Archives: authors

Quick Book Display

18 Jan

I don’t know if others have seen it, but two days ago President Obama sat down with the chief book critic of The New York Times and talked about how important reading and books were during his years in office. I’m a librarian and I follow a lot of book related news, so this has been popping up on my Facebook and Twitter news feeds ever since.

So, easiest thing for me to do today? Throw together a book display of books President Obama mentioned as being his favorites or interesting to him. As this is his last week in office, it’s the perfect time to put this together – timely and library focused! So get ready for some new books to add to your TBR list!

  • William Shakespeare
  • Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Junot Díaz
  • Philip Roth
  • Saul Bellow
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Marilynne Robinson
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The following list is from Off the Shelf – a collection of books President Obama mentioned reading during his presidency.

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Heart of Darkness and the Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
  • Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín
  • The Whites by Richard Price
  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding
  • Rodin’s Debutante by Ward Just

Anna Dewdney Read Together Award

15 Dec

llama.jpgAn amazing award is being created by Penguin Young Readers, Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader to remember acclaimed children’s author/illustrator Anna Dewdney who passed away in September from cancer.

The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award “will be given annually to a picture book, published in the U.S. during the five prior years (for the inaugural award, between 2011 and 2016), that is an outstanding read-aloud and encourages compassion and empathy” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Nominations are currently being accepted until February 5, 2017.  Anyone – a parent, caregiver, librarian, teacher or bookseller are welcome to nominate picture books for this beautiful award. I can’t think of a greater way to remember the author of so many of my favorite storytime read alouds than this award.

13 Picture Books That Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

14 Sep

hispancic-heritage-books-feat-768x550-c-centerCheck out this awesome list to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month created by Brightly that I helped with this month.

Check my blog in the upcoming days for an even more extensive list of titles (because there’s so many great books to chose from).

ARCS, What Are They and What Do You Do With Them?

8 Jul

ARCs have been discussed on Twitter over the past few days because a blogger grabbed an over-abundance of ARCs at a conference (multiple copies of each title) and are now trying to send them to people for $20 and up.  The cost to send books through media mail is under $5 and supplies definitely do not cost $15, so they are clearly making a profit.  This is not right and not legal – these books are illegal to sell and blogger’s who pick up ARCs to sell are creating a bad environment for bloggers, librarians, and parents who are promoting these books to kids they know who will absolutely love these books.

What are ARCs?

I’ve mentioned ARCs, here on my blog a number of times.  ARCs, or Advanced Reader Copies, (also known as galleys) are books that have been pre-published as a part of a marketing campaign to promote the title, author and publisher.  ARCs can be physical books or available as an eBook through Netgalley and Edelweiss.  ARCs are also considered uncorrected proofs, which means that many times they have editorial mistakes (spelling punctuation), sometimes they’re missing illustrations, and sometimes they’re missing chapters or pages, depending on the book.  But, usually the books are complete and only have minor mistakes.

Where do you find them?

ARCs are usually found at large conference and conventions – American Library Association conferences, Book Expo America, through the publishers directly and as I said before online through Netgalley and Edelweiss.

What do you do with ARCs?

I pick up ARCs at conferences to read (obviously).  It’s a great way for librarians and bloggers to read and promote authors’ works.  I usually read a book and then know instantly a kid who needs to read the story.  I also try and review the new books coming out to promote them to other librarians and parents through my blog and on Twitter.

What do you do after you finish reading them?

Here’s the most important thing to know: you CAN’T sell these books.  (It says so write on the book cover) I keep a stock pile at my desk for the kids looking for something specific to read and I happen to have an extra copy or for the kids who needs a book at home.  We use them for prizes and drawing at the library too.  What we don’t do is sell them in our used book sale – it’s illegal!

You can also donate these books to classroom teachers, school libraries (for prizes), shelters, prisons or even laundromats or doctor’s offices where there are often kids sitting and waiting.

The Dos and Don’ts of ARCs:

  • Don’t sell them!
  • Don’t grab 8 copies of your favorite author’s book at a conference or expo (it’s rude).
  • Try hard not to take too many ARCs (especially if you aren’t going to do anything with them!)
  • Talk with publishers – they love to hear what you’ve liked that they published recently and what you’re looking forward to.  If you strike up a conversation, a lot of times they’ll go the extra mile to find something that they are excited to share with you!
  • Review those ARCs – they cost money to publish and send to you, personally or to conferences, so make it worth the publishers’ while.

When School Administrators Think They Know Best

8 Jun

Many authors enjoy being placed on the banned book list, not because their book is challenged, but often because it means their book gets into more hands when people become curious as to why it was banned.  But, I also think that it must hurt when adults don’t understand or are uncomfortable with topics that authors write about for kids, even when they do it in an age-appropriate way.

Just yesterday, there were two instances that were published in which authors were uninvited from visiting a school.  The first was Kate Messner, who on the day her new book, The Seventh Wish was released was uninvited from a school visit.  She discussed the issue on her blog and states that she was disinvited from the school visit that has been planned for over five months because her book discusses the impact of drug addictions on families.  What I don’t understand, is that even though Kate Messner was very clear in a letter to the school about what her story was about, and the school sent a letter home to the parents, and the students began reading the story in class, and the visit has been planned for a long time, they cancelled a day before, a day before.  Is drug addiction a difficult topic, yes it is, but Kate Mesner writes for children and although I haven’t read the book yet, it has received many positive reviews and I believe that she wrote about this topic in an appropriate manner for the age group.  It’s a shame that these kids won’t get the chance to see an author come to their school and learn about their writing process, ask them questions and maybe even provide kids with hope.

The second instance was posted on the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom webpage.  Phil Bildner has been visiting the Round Rock Independent School District every year since 2007, but after booktalking other author’s books (which is something he does at every visit) and has since been uninvited back.  The books he talked about included WonderOut of My MindThe One and Only IvanCrenshawEl Deafo and George.  All books that discuss diversity and courage and learning about who you are and what that means within your family, school and community in one way or another.  After booktalking at a few schools, Phil Bildner began seeing district administrators and the Director of Library and Media Services at every presentation.  And since has been uninvited back.  Are there kids out there who are learning about who they are, figuring out where fit in the world, maybe even transgender?  Of course there are.  How will kids be able to learn about diversity without getting a chance to read about it, talk about it, and learn about it.

This is an older situation, but still just as pertinent.  Shannon Hale was visiting a school and realized that only the middle school girls were present for the visit.  The administration believed that the boys in school would be bored with the presentation because Shannon Hale writes “girl books.”  Because boys won’t read books with girl protagonists… oh wait, what about The Hunger Games?

Again, school administrators who believe they know what is best for their students, but if they’re not willing to allow kids to expand their knowledge, discuss difficult topics, learn from teachers, counselors and authors, than what are they doing?  As, I’ve said in the past and will probably say countless more times on this blog, children will connect to characters that look and act like them, they’ll see themselves in literature and it will make them feel important, noticed and maybe even special.  Diversity in books can also teach kids about people who are different than they are, who maybe believe something different, look differently or whose family is from another place.  As for school administrators, please let your students learn, grow, and experience new things!

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