Tag Archives: literature

Just When I Think…

25 Jan

28263.jpgJust when I think the kid lit world can’t get any better, Jason Reynolds is interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show and it’s everything I expected and more. If you haven’t seen the clip yet, watch it… NOW! (I’ll wait)


As he stated, Jason has written nine books and each and every one is amazing in it’s own way. What I love about Jason is that he is very aware of what kids think will be cool or uncool, boring or interesting and he capitalizes on making sure his books are never boring. He’s written everything from contemporary YA literature to Miles Morales: Spiderman and middle grade titles sure to hook even the most reluctant readers.

In the interview Jason says, “I am in service to young people. They are not in service to me.” And this is what I think is so remarkable about Jason Reynolds and other children’s and young adult authors and illustrators – they care so much for the kids they right about and for. They aren’t doing this work for fame and fortune, they are doing it to make sure their readers know that they are seen and that people care about them.

And as for me, if I can promote these amazing authors and illustrators and get their books into the hands of kids in my community, then I’ve done my part to make this world just a little bit better.


2017 Nerdies Awards

4 Jan

cropped-nerdy-bannerIf you’re looking for some wonderful suggestions for what to read next, check out the results of the 2017 Nerdies Book Awards, hosted by The Nerdy Book Club. What I love about booklists such as these, is that I rediscover the titles I loved during the past year and get a chance to pick up a few more titles that I know will be amazing reads. Plus, I get to stretch my literary wings and try out some of those genres I don’t normally get to during the year – this year it was nonfiction and poetry/novels in verse.

I’m planning on using the fiction picture book list as jumping off point for my #blogbookaday posts each day, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing some familiar titles!


Picture Book Month: Books

12 Nov

12“I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories…” And so starts the journey of a little girl who travels through the pages of books using her imagination on the way. If you to are a child of books, you’ll thoroughly enjoy pouring over these pages as the author and illustrator used text for classic literature throughout the book as part of the illustrations. I don’t want to give too much away, but this book is a delight to read and one that I need to add to my personal collection!  Continue reading

What Makes a Book a Classic?

5 Jan

classic-literature-006Just Google “classic literature” and you’ll come up with dozens upon dozens of lists that are each a little unique about what they consider a “classic.” Although an older story, “In Literature, What Makes a Classic?” on NPR is a great discussion/interview with  Alfred A. Knopf editor Sonny Mehta and writers Joan Didion and Z.Z. Packer of what makes a book a classic and what books may be popular, but not a classic.

So, why am I thinking about classics right now? As I’ve mentioned before, my library is currently working on a massive weeding project to update our collection and remove old volumes that are MUSTIE. And somehow, I volunteered myself to take on the 800s, that’s right, Literature.  I’ve got everything from how to write a book to every piece of literature under the sun including classics, short stories and poetry.

So now I’m spending time trying to create a core collection of titles that we want to ensure we have in our collection and allowing other material (i.e. short story collections and a lot of poetry) go. But, what do I keep? What do I get rid of? How much time is required to make a title a classic? And what about classic titles that are not European-based? And then you have to think about demand? What title are our high school students required to read? And where do we put these classics – in nonfiction or in our paperback Classics collection?

As you can see, I still have a ton of questions. And a lot of work to do. So let me know what you consider a classic and what I should include in my core collection.

Picture Books in the Classroom – Not just for storytime!

11 Sep

I tweeted this story yesterday, but thought that it was so interesting that I wanted to get the chance to comment on it today. Yesterday, on the School Library Journal website they posted an article titled, “Teachers Find Many Reasons to Use Picture Books with Middle and High School Students.”  The writer spoke to a number of middle school and high school teachers who use picture books in their classrooms to assist in critical thinking, learning as an English Language Learner, as an introduction to classic text and to create a community of readers.

For many students, I would expect classic picture books can take them straight back to their childhood.  I think picture books can make English class more accessible for students, because picture books seem unassuming and inviting.  Picture books also make a great study for vocabulary, which is why it’s so important to read aloud to your children every day.  The rich vocabulary is very different from every day spoken word and studies show that children are more ready to learn when they get to school if they’ve been read to regularly at home.

In the library, it’s not uncommon that I’ll hear a parent talking with a child saying, “Oh, don’t take that baby book, you’re a big kid now.”  And it breaks my heart, picture books are not just for babies, in fact they aren’t the best choice for babies at all.  They’re great for absolutely everyone, including preschoolers, elementary, middle school, and high school students, not to mention adults.  And don’t even get me started on the art that book illustrators create, it can be absolutely stunning!

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