Saturday, May 31, 2014

Celebrate!

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day. Here are some of my celebrations from the week in no particular order.

** My daughter had an orchestra concert Tuesday (that I didn't know about until Monday). It was a bit of a surprise to me, but it was really fun to hear her improvise on her cello in a jazz number. Also great to find out that she will be bringing home a bass this summer to learn because the orchestra doesn't have any members that play it now. That was something she wanted to learn way back in sixth grade so it's fun that she gets to play it for a year.



** I was horribly sick this week. Not really something to celebrate, but the silver lining was sitting on my back porch in beautiful weather during the day and watching the Blue Angels practice for today's airshow.

** My trip to Minneapolis last weekend was really nice. I have attended four anime conventions with my daughter now and this is the one that I enjoyed the most because it was not during winter so I could get outside more. I was able to go for a run to the Lake of the Isles and then visit Birchbark Books with @LibLaura5 for one of my outings. It was wonderful to chat about books - and buy some too. I love meeting Twitter friends.

** At school yesterday, we had a visit from some of the team members of the Blue Angels and then of course, in the afternoon we had extended recess to watch this....




** Finally, another great time this week was watching the live tweets from the diversity panels at BEA. I am thankful that people shared what was happening there via #WeNeedDiverseBooks.

My daughter and I are about to head out to the official airshow. After watching the practices all week long it will be fun to see it from the show grounds. Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reading Challenge Update

It's been awhile since I have done an update for my reading challenges so this took awhile to put together and I have a lot of great titles to share.


For the Latin@s in Kid Lit Challenge, the expectation is that participants read at least one book a month written by a Latino@ author or featuring a Latin@ character. I have read 32 so far this year (most are picture books, but 8 were novels and a few were non-fiction).  Here are some of my favorites so far:





For The 2014 Africa Reading Challenge hosted by Kinna Reads we are meant to read at least five books set in at least two regions in Africa. I started this challenge later in the year than the others. I've read four picture books and three chapter books (listed here) so have met the minimum, but I would still like to read some of her suggested books like Maps by Nuruddin Farah or The Prophet of Zongo Street. My overall favorites so far have been Long Walk to Water, Americanah, and Akata Witch.




Diversity on the Shelf is hosted by My Little Pocketbooks and encourages readers to read books written by or about people of color. By the way, this is a great way to support the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. I chose the 25+ level for 2014. The other challenges I am doing feed into this one so the numbers are way higher. I have read over 130 at this point. The list is here. And here are some of my favorites:




The #MustReadin2014 Challenge hosted by Carrie Gelson will officially post updates in July, but since I was already reporting on everything else, I figured I might as well add this too. This challenge is one to help encourage readers to finally get to some of the books on our TBR that have been waiting. I moved 110 books from my TBR to my Must Read shelf and have been plugging away at them though I haven't read as many lately as I would like. I have managed to get to 36/110 of them and I look forward to getting more finished during summer #bookaday. All of the favorites from this list were also on the Diversity on the Shelf list.

Whew! This has been a great year of reading so far. :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?



It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Previous Week: 

I was at an Anime Convention in Minneapolis with my teen and the weekend was so full that it didn't really register that I should do my It's Monday! post. Somehow that got lost in the shuffle. It's late afternoon and I am just beginning so I may rush through a bit.

While in the cities I got to stop by Birchbark Books and meet up with @LibLaura5 (a Twitter friend). I read and bought We All Count by Julie Flett and Book of Play! while I was there. They both have stunning art work and will be fun for our younger students and those students who like to take books home to read to younger siblings. I love that they are excellent concept books that also happen to show Native culture. We All Count introduces Cree counting and Book of Play! is interactive and showcases the amazing art of Haida, Coast Salish, and Bella Bella artists.

It was so fun to see the great books at the store, but even better was to get to chat with Laura about all things bookish. One of the book titles that came up was The Great Greene Heist and we both ended up finishing it this weekend. I reviewed it earlier today. It is a fun middle grade book that features a diverse cast.

Mister Orange was a very unique middle grade book. I am a Mondrian fan and really enjoyed this story set during World War II. It was for young readers, but it managed to deal with some complex topics. Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet is much lighter fare. It was a very quick read. Ana Chen is both African American and Chinese American. The story deals with her middle school graduation and mediating between the two sides of the family in addition to a little bit of interest in a boy.

I met Coe Booth at a lecture earlier this month and so was glad to finally read one of her books. Tyrell is a truly gritty urban book. I really enjoyed the writing even when things weren't going the way I wanted them to. Coe Booth brought me into Tyrell's world. I wrote up a short review here

Namaste and What Can You Do With a Rebozo were wonderful picture books that are culturally rich. I will be using them with students in the future for sure.

I will talk more about Miracle Mud later this week when I blog about our Skype visit with the author David A. Kelly, but this is a neat look at how baseballs are prepped for games. I didn't know they coat them with mud to take off the shine. 

Finally, I read the early chapter books in the Franklin School Friends series. They were sent by the publicist and I will review them later this week or next week.

The Coming Week:
I am behind on reviews right now, so I am going to try and keep this a light reading week unless I get all caught up. I am listening to Heist Society on Playaway and I just got Rainbow Rowell's adult book Landline on CD from a Goodreads giveaway so I will start that too. Otherwise, it will be a busy, busy week with school winding down. I am making stacks for summer #bookaday and really looking forward to that. Have a great week of reading!



Review: The Great Greene Heist

Title: The Great Greene Heist
Author: Varian Johnson
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Pages: 240
Available: May 27, 2014
Review Copy: Digital ARC via NetGalley

Summary: Jackson Greene has reformed. No, really he has. He became famous for the Shakedown at Shimmering Hills, and everyone still talks about the Blitz at the Fitz.... But after the disaster of the Mid-Day PDA, he swore off scheming and conning for good.

Then Keith Sinclair -- loser of the Blitz -- announces he's running for school president, against Jackson's former best friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby hasn't talked to Jackson since the PDA, and he knows she won't welcome his involvement. But he also knows Keith has "connections" to the principal, which could win him the election whatever the vote count.

So Jackson assembles a crack team to ensure the election is done right: Hashemi Larijani, tech genius. Victor Cho, bankroll. Megan Feldman, science goddess and cheerleader. Charlie de la Cruz, point man. Together they devise a plan that will bring Keith down once and for all. Yet as Jackson draws closer to Gaby again, he realizes the election isn't the only thing he wants to win. -- Cover image and summary via author's website

Review: I had The Great Greene Heist on my radar due to Twitter, but I really got interested once Kate Messner started promoting it during the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. It features a very diverse cast. Kate Messner set a challenge for bookstores and for readers. You can read about it here. I have enjoyed Kate's middle-grade mysteries and figured her recommendation was a good one. I was happy to see the title was on NetGalley and I finally had a chance to read it this weekend.

The Great Greene Heist is a high energy romp with many comedic moments. There are elaborate schemes, a few enemies to outsmart, and plenty of fun. The beginning threw me off a bit as the perspectives kept changing allowing the reader to get a sense of the many characters, but that settled down soon enough.

The book seems to be realistic fiction, but the author does stretch the reality. The middle school operates a little more like a high school with clubs that are budgeted and a formal dance. Also, some aspects of the heist are definitely pushing the bounds of believability. Heist is in that area of "fun to believe" instead of straight up realism. I think that's what adds to the attraction though. It's what a kid might wish for in middle school rather than what is there.

I can see this book becoming quite popular in the upper grades at the elementary level as well as with early middle school readers. Jackson Greene provides plenty of mischievousness and offers us all a great escape from everyday life. I've pre-ordered it for my school and look forward to sharing it with students.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Celebrate!


Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day. Here are some of my celebrations from the week in no particular order.
  • We had our annual “Fun Run” at school on Friday. This is the one day a year I get paid to ride my bicycle. I get to ride my bike out in front of all of the students as they run a mile through the neighborhood. It's a lot of fun. After I lead the first runner back to school, I keep riding the route until everyone is back safe and sound. I rode the course at least five times. It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was warm, but not sweat inducing. Lovely.
  • Little things make me happy. I got an neon orange Zumba skirt with the jangly coins on it this week. It's even more fun to shake and shimmy when you are making noise.
  • It looks like I am going to get to have summer checkout this year. I will have the library open two hours every other week. Yay! It's the first time I have done it so I am not sure how it will go. I plan to have iPads out and have a short storytime along with checkout. I am hoping it is fun and more than that, I hope it will keep some students reading this summer that would skip it otherwise.
  • I am in Minneapolis this weeked for an Anime convention with my daughter and her friend. I've taken numerous walks from our hotel downtown. The weather is fabulous. It was so nice to sit by a water fountain eating my breakfast in the sunshine. I am also looking forward to visiting Birchbark Books this afternoon and meeting up with a Twitter friend.
  • I made a yummy rhubarb tart this week. It has a crust similar to a cookie crust, but is made of ground pecans instead. Mmmmmmm.

I hope your week was filled with lots of bright spots!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge


Hiromi's Hands by Lynne Barasch has been one of the books that I have shared with students during Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. I love this biography and my students stay very engaged throughout. The book touches on immigrants honoring their heritage while also adopting some of the culture of a new country. I also appreciate the fact that Hiromi was breaking into a male dominated career. The video below is not for children, but it was interesting to hear from Hiromi herself. It's interesting that the author chose not to address Hiromi's difficulty with school and that she dropped out of high school. Also, the book made it sound more like Hiromi was pestering her dad to let her work with him, but in this video, she says he asked her if she would like to work at the restaurant after she had dropped out of school and was just hanging out at home. The biography was a bit more rosy than reality I think, but I imagine that often happens with children's books.

Goodreads summary: The true story of Hiromi Suzuki, a Japanese American girl who defied tradition to train at her family s restaurant, and who became one of the first female sushi chefs in New York.






We Feel Good Out Here by Julie-Ann Andre and Mindy Willett is a book that I will be sharing with my students. Julie-Ann shares how her family lives in the Northwest Territiories of Canada. Their lives are closely connected to the nature that surrounds them. The book is part of a series, "The Land in Our Storybook" and I want to read more of them.

Goodreads summary: In "We Feel Good Out Here," Julie-Ann shares her family's story and the story of her land-"Khaii luk," the place of winter fish. As Julie-Ann says, "The land has a story to tell, if you know how to listen. When I travel, the land tells me where my ancestors have been. It tells me where the animals have come and gone, and it tells me what the weather may be like tomorrow." Her home is an important part of who Julie-Ann is. She wants to help make sure that her environment is healthy, so it can continue to tell its story to her children and their children.


Yes! We are Latinos! is not technically a picture book, but it does have some illustrations. I couldn't leave it out because it is one of my favorite non-fiction books that I've read recently. I loved hearing from so many different perspectives and learning the history of so many people.

Goodreads summary: Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino.

Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people’s quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II. Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy’s informational yet heartwarming text provides a resource for young Latino readers to see themselves, while also encouraging non-Latino children to understand the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos in the US. Caldecott Medalist David Diaz’s hand-cut illustrations are bold and striking, perfectly complementing the vibrant stories in the book.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Previous Week:


Two of my favorites of the week were the middle-grade books The Secret Hum of a Daisy and The Grand Plan to Fix Everything. The Secret Hum deals with grief and family and the Grand Plan was friendship and humor so they were two opposites, but both kept me glued to the pages. 

Three picture books really spoke to me - Bird, Hiromi's Hands (biography) and Jacob's New Dress. Bird was another book dealing with grief and family. Hiromi's Hands was a fantastic biography that highlights the immigrant experience and places value on maintaining heritage while learning to be part of the new culture. It also shows how gender roles can change. Jacob's New Dress was a great book that would be affirming for anyone who feels that they are different in some way, but especially if they are kids that don't conform to the mainstream gender norms. It would also be a great book for any student.

Yes! We Are Latinos doesn't easily fit into a category. It's another of those hybrid books with poetry and non-fiction text paired together. It was also history. I loved hearing from different voices that showed the diversity to be found within the Latino umbrella term.

The Coming Week: 
I am less than an hour away from finishing A Lion Among Men so I will be finishing it soon. I think that is the last one that I will listen to from that series because they have become progressively boring. I enjoyed the character Yackle, but otherwise, I was not impressed. I started The Great Greene Heist and will be finishing it this week also. Have a great week filled with plenty of reading.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Celebrate!

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day. Here are some of my celebrations from the week in no particular order.

** My son is home from college! I got to drive over to Madison after school Thursday and bring him home. I love having him back in the house. He even made it back in time for...

** My daughter's voice recital on Friday. It was held in a church with a vaulted ceiling and her voice simply soared. Beautiful.

** I was able to run to my Zumba class from my house. It is in a new location 1 mile away and I had time. It is so great to be able to run to class, dance and then run home. No need for a vehicle. 

 ** Mother's Day was relaxing. My husband did the cooking and we didn't have to go anywhere. I got some beautiful flowers and did some reading. 

 ** When I was in Madison, I had time to visit the Central Library downtown. They renovated and it is an amazing space full of art and well, space. The rooms are huge. There are so many different reading nooks and different places to relax or study. There is a cafe too. The Bubbler was pretty cool too. It is a maker space for all ages.



** We invited a Hmong dance group to visit our school and share their dancing in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Our students were a great audience and we even learned some Hmong words. The teens came on their own and had a Prezi to share. They were very professional and it was awesome. One of my students in line to go into the gym was nearly jumping up and down and he was saying, "I'm Hmong! I'm Hmong!" with a huge smile on his face as his class went in.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Non-Fiction Picture Book: Summoning the Phoenix

Title: Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments
Author: Emily Jiang
Illustrator: April Chu
Publisher: Shen's Books
Pages: 32
Review Copy: From Publisher
Availability: On Shelves Now

Review: Before a reader even opens the book, it is obvious that this is something more than a typical informational book. The cover hints at fantasy and magic. It also demonstrates the richness and attention to detail that is found in the artwork throughout the book. The artist explains her illustration process on her blog using one of my favorite spreads from the book. Obviously, the art impressed me, but so did the text.

The text is in two parts, something that I seem to be noticing a lot lately like in Do You Hear the Nesting Bird? and Mama Built a Little Nest. One part is the poems that are telling about the preparations children are making as the time draws near for their orchestra concert. This is not a typical orchestra concert however. The orchestra is made up of musicians playing Chinese instruments. We find out in the author's note that this type of orchestra has only been around for about fifty years and traditionally the instruments would have been played alone, as an accompaniment or in a small group. The book is a blend of modern and ancient.

Readers may choose to go through the book simply reading the brief poems and looking at the illustrations. This could be especially helpful if the reader is young and not ready for the smaller print and length of the informational text. The poems are written from a child's perspective and are pretty  easy for children to understand and enjoy - particularly if they play instruments themselves. I think they will be delighted by "Warming Up" which features fish lips and a pretend kiss. This is accompanied by a wonderful illustration of a girl making a fabulous fish face. Another one that will be sure to engage children is "Friendly Competition." In this poem, two musicians play as fast, long, and loud as they can trying to outdo each other. This results in purple-blue faces. I imagine it would be fun to act this out with or without instruments. The playfulness in the poems is refreshing and often brought a smile to my face.

While the poems are interesting and fun to read, the second part of text, the informational portion, adds a lot to the book and shouldn't be entirely skipped. Even with a young child, I would share at least some of the information. Each instrument is named (with pronunciation) and Jiang explains how it is put together. She also tells about how the instrument is played and describes the sound. What really caught my imagination though were the legends and little tidbits about some of them. That was where the phoenix came into play. Legend says that the xiao, a flute made of bamboo,  has magical powers that allowed it to summon creatures such as a dragon and a phoenix.

I am looking forward to sharing this book with our students. Music is something that many children connect with and the format and illustrations are sure to capture their attention and allow for interaction. I would definitely recommend this book for purchase. I am also looking forward to the album, Songs for Summoning the Phoenix, that is scheduled to be published also. That was the only thing that was missing for me. I wanted to actually hear the instruments as I read. I hope you get a chance to experience this book for yourself. It's a treat.

Other reviews & interviews:
Kirkus - review
The Pirate Tree - review
Mary Robinette Kowal - interview/guest post
Whatever - interview/guest post

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

The Past Week:


Three great non-fiction texts, two poetry collections and one trickster tale

Two non-fiction texts, one poetry collection, two picture books and a middle grade novel in verse
One more non-fiction text

I would recommend any of the books that I read this week, but here are my favorites:

New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver: This is a fantastic collection that spoke to me in so many ways. I appreciate Mary Oliver's ability to be still and present in nature. She has such a sense of wonder about the world around her. Poetry month did its job and I am reading more of it again. :)

Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-li Jiang: This is a picture book that takes place during the Cultural Revolution in China. More than that though, it is a story of the love between a father and son. Simply beautiful.

Summoning the Phoenix: This is a fantastic text about Chinese instruments. There is a combination of poetry and non-fiction prose that helps to explain the history of the instruments and their use now. The illustrations are fabulous. (I got this copy from the publisher and will be reviewing it soon.)

Chukfi Rabbit's Big, Bad Bellyache: A Trickster Tale by Greg Rodgers is a lot of fun. That tricky rabbit tries to pull one over on everyone, but this is a trickster tale I can truly appreciate. He gets what he wants, but he also gets what he deserves. (I read it as a ARC from Edelweiss and it should be out in June. I will review it here soon.)

The Coming Week:
I am reading these right now and hope to finish them this week


As for what will come after that, I will be reading Beyond Magenta for the CCBC listserv conversation coming up soon. Have a great week of reading.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Celebrate!

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day. Here are some of my celebrations from the week in no particular order.

* My daughter and I drove up to the cities so I could attend the Arbuthnot lecture. It was a great day. We arrived at The Source in time to participate in Free Comic Book Day. Then we headed to the Central Library in Minneapolis. There we visited the book store and purchased some great used books. My daughter visited the teen section & read while I visited the children's section and did the same.
Central Library
Birchbark Books
Next we went to Birchbark Books. What an amazing store. I loved the calm atmosphere and the beautiful birch inside the store. It was also fantastic to have access to so many books written by or about Native people. We made our purchases in honor of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and then headed next door to The Kenwood after getting a recommendation at Birchbark. The food was wonderful and we had just enough time to get to the lecture. Andrea Davis Pinkney shared her personal story of growth as a writer from childhood to today. She also shared the history of African American children's literature. The lecture seemed to fit in perfectly with the theme of the week in social media #WeNeedDiverseBooks. As an added bonus to the already amazing lecture, we got to meet Kate DiCamillo. She was super kind and welcoming.


In addition, I met the authors Swati Avashti and Coe Booth in line. I also had a nice discussion with Stephanie Lurie from Disney Hyperion. It was interesting to find out more about publishing.

* Another highlight was my Zumba class. I still have the same instructors, but we have changed locations. I was worried since the building is not a dance studio and we no longer have mirrors, but wow! We have huge windows looking out into a park. Seeing the grass, trees, and sky is a bonus well worth the loss of mirrors.

* New books! A large order came in and it is always a treat to go through them while getting them ready. 

* My son will be home from college in less than a week! Making plans for getting him home has been making me smile a lot. :)

I hope your week was full of celebrations and if not, I hope next week will be an improvement.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge


Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I am late getting this posted, but wanted to share a few books that focus on fine arts.




Much like in her earlier and shorter book Hands, Ehlert shares her own art journey in this scrapbook of her life. Both books explain how her family nurtured her artistic talent. The Scraps Book, goes further into her adult art life and shows even more. Seeing her process is fascinating. Ehlert does such a good job of keeping things simple yet engaging.  


Music Everywhere! combines amazing photographs with easy to read text about instruments and music making from around the world. I appreciated the specificity when talking about the people who are in the photos or who traditionally use the instruments. Individual groups of people are named rather than simply saying something or someone is from Africa. The specific country or even tribe is given. The pictures and descriptions are likely to inspire readers to create some music of their own or hunt down examples on the Internet. At the end, there are also simple instructions for making some musical instruments too.


The other books were library books, but this final book, Summoning the Phoenix, was provided by the publisher (Lee and Low Books). I will post a full review within the coming week. The illustrations are wonderful and it includes two different sets of text. On each page, a Chinese instrument is highlighted through a poem and a few paragraphs of description. One could read the poetry all the way through or choose to read the prose or read both together. I really enjoyed the fact that traditions and legends about the instruments were included. I wanted to track down all of the instruments online and hear how they sound. 

-- Cover images are from Indie Bound

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelfImages via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

**In an effort to get enough sleep tonight, I am basically just listing the books that I read without a lot of commentary.

Previous Week: 




The standouts for the week were Caminar (I will review this one on Rich in Color later this week), Music Everywhere, and the Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. My students adored Mi Familia Calaca. All were enjoyable though in their own ways.

The Coming Week: 
Reading With My Ears


Reading With My Eyes

I just got the ARCs of The Great Green Heist and Chufki Rabbits Big, Bad Bellyache and will likely read them this week. I also have a pile of books from the library as usual. I wasn't able to get to the Geisel Award books this week, but at this point in the challenge, all of the books from here on out are a complete repeat. I am not sure if I will continue the challenge with everything else I am juggling. If I can fit it in though I will read those too. Have a great week of reading!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Celebrate!

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres has a link-up on Saturdays where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every day. Here are some of my celebrations from the week in no particular order.
  • I had an article published in School Library Journal about how to make a difference as a teacher librarian in the area of diverse lit. I am still pretty amazed that they let me write something for them. Seriously. I get a little giddy every time I think about it. 
  • After Zumba the other day most of the class members and our fabulous teacher went out to dinner together. There was much laughter. Time with them lifted me up and chased away any stress.
  • Dia de los NiƱos was a fun day. We enjoyed Pat Mora's Book Fiesta in the younger grades and Yuyi Morales' books Just a Minute and Just in Case in the older grades in addition to sharing Putamayo music. We also had bilingual and diverse books on display and many were checked out. Teachers celebrated reading in their classrooms too. I also enjoyed hearing from my students about some of their favorite characters and books in the library in honor of School Library Month (some featured in the above video).
  • The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign has been fascinating to experience this week. I wrote about it here.
  • I get to listen to my daughter play the cello in the orchestra and the snare drum in the band for State Solo & Ensemble today.
  • My daughter and I will be driving to the cities where we will visit a comic book store for Free Comic Book Day - our first time participating in this event. If there is time, we may stop at Birchbark Books and/or the library too.
  • We will have dinner together and finish the evening with the Arbuthnot Lecture featuring Andrea Davis Pinkney.
It should be a full and rather wonderful end to the week. Have a great weekend!