Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wonder By P.J. Palacio

11387515If you were to ask me some of my favorite books of all time, this would definitely be in my top 5!

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

Wonder by R.R. Palacio

HardcoverBooks for Young Readers316 pages

Published February 14th 2012 by Knopf

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

This book has won too many awards to list here but if you are looking for a book for an upper elementary or middle school student to read, this is it!

Wonder is coming to theaters on November 17th! I got all the feels just watching the trailer, I will definitely be seeing this in theaters. It would be a great movie for the family to see over Thanksgiving.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Shock of Fate

34838287I enjoyed this book and will be reading the next book in the series. It did take me a little bit to really get hooked on the story though.

I enjoyed Van and her growth as a heroine through the story. This is a good YA fantasy full of action, magic, magical creatures and much more. I liked the addition of unique species, like the bunfy, as well as those many readers are familiar with such as trolls and goblins.

I did find the world the author created a little confusing at times and a little hard to follow, but by the end I had a much better grasp on the world the author created.

Here is a link to the book trailer:

Title: Shock of Fate
Author: D.L. Armillei
Published: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Diamond Cove Publishing, LLCPages: 405Series: Anchoress #1

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Crewe Chase and the Jet Reapers

Crewe Chase and the Jet Reapers by [Sisco, E.]Title: Crewe Chase and the Jet ReapersAuthor: E SiscoDate Published: May 9, 2017Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLCPages: 283Series: Crewe Chase

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is not just another story about magic which is what I was expecting, but it quickly deviated from the typical Harry Potter story line. This story has magic, revenge, friendship, intrigue and so much more. I did not expect to get completely pulled into this story after reading the synopsis, but I was hooked! 

This story is about Crewe Chase and his journey to revenge his Uncle's death and become a great magician. There are many books about magic in the market today, however this book holds it's own through amazing characters, humor, and a great story line. 

(Rockcave is definitely my favorite animal sidekick)

I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one!

34999076Crewe Chase and the Pearl Defender

Blistered By Deidre Huesmann

Title: Blistered
Author: Deidre Huesmann
Date Published: 11/9/2016
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Pages: 236
Series: A Modern Greek Myth

This is not Percy Jackson's Story.......Azalee has been imprisoned by her own people since she was three because she is Blistered. Azalee has white hair, white  skin and red eyes due to a curse from the gods at the age of three. Joel believes his fate is to deliver Azalee to the island of Mykonos to join others like her. A third member joins their trip to reach Mykonos, the girl Azalee blaims for her curse, Niribelle.

This story is full of determination, sacrifice, romance and much more. I love the way the author blends Greek mythology and the modern era. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys a female heroine and Greek myths. I highly recommend it!

Next in the series!
Priestess (A Modern Greek Myth Book 2) by [Huesmann, Deidre]Warrior (A Modern Greek Myth Book 3) by [Huesmann, Deidre]

Monday, April 24, 2017

Prompt Week 16

Both of our readings this week talk about the culture of reading and the future of the book. So I have two questions for you as readers, pulling on your own experiences and all of the readings we have done over the semester: First, how have reading and books changed since you were a child, for you specifically?

The biggest change I have seen for me personally, is the growth of Young Adult Fiction. When I "graduated" from the Children's Section of the library there wasn't a teen section. I moved straight from children's fiction to adult fiction. As an adult I really value the growth of this genre and what is provides for our youth.

Second, talk a little about what you see in the future for reading, books, or publishing - say 20 years from now. Will we read more or less, will our reading become more interactive? What will happen to traditional publishing? This is  a very free-form question, feel free to wildly extrapolate or calmly state facts, as suits your mood!

I believe all reading will be done electronically for a couple of reasons. First, publishing books electronically and not on paper saves an immense amount of resources. This includes paper, energy and much more. Secondly, the transfer of data will be much more efficient, a book could go through the publishing process much quicker.

I can also see people that struggle with reading getting more assistance through audio and a learning/teaching feature opening up reading to many more people. I think technology will also allow books to be easily translated into other languages as well.

I could see the addition of virtual reality to reading making it an immersive experience. I think many readers would enjoy being able to experience the World of Harry Potter or Star Wars for instance. I look forward to seeing what the future brings to reading.

Prompt Week 15

What do you think are the best ways to market your library's fiction collection? Name and describe three ways you do or would like to market your library or your future library's fiction. These can be tools, programs, services, displays - anything that you see as getting the word out.

Social Media would be the first tool/program I would use. I think with today’s society it is important to have a presence on social media. I would like to post new additions to the library’s collection, reading lists that correspond with what is currently popular (such as TV shows or movies), advertise programs such as book clubs, and and promote seasonal reads. I would utilize, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

I would utilize displays to increase circulation of fiction books. I would primarily have themed displays that relate to the season, holidays, subgenres, TV shows and more. The display needs to be eye catching and constantly checked to see if additional books need to be added for patrons to check out.

I would also use programs to market my fiction collection. I would like to offer some themed book clubs, such as Mysteries, YA for Adults, Romance, and Book to Movie. I also think having some kind of program for when a much anticipated release comes out would be a good way to promote a part of the collection.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Week 14 Prompt

Consider yourself part of the collection management committee of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work. You must decide whether or not to separate LGBTQ fiction and African American Fiction from the general collection to its own special place. Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff are uncomfortable with the idea - saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader. Do you separate them? Do you separate one and not the other? Why or why not? You must provide at least 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.

The first time I read this prompt I was leaning towards labeling these sub-genres in a similar manner to the way we label a mystery or romance. However, upon further thought I have decided not to separate these from the general collection. Instead I would like to create bookmarks and booklists to help those who are not familiar with the authors locate them.

I made this decision for a couple of reasons.
  1. A label is never going to perfectly identify an object or person. The LGBTQ society is all about recognizing that people don’t always fit into the “norm”, so why should be try to label them?
  2. My second reason is that once you start labeling more specifically where do you decide to draw the line? I think labeling these sub-genres would open up many more issues in the library.
  3. Image result for no labelsI believe patrons that are checking out books generally read the synopsis and a reader can get a good idea of whether the book would fit into these guidelines. For readers who are not familiar with these sub-genres, this is where bookmarks, displays and reading lists come into play.
  4. A big theme in library studies is that a library or librarian does not censor. If we are separating these books from the general collection it feels like that is censorship.
Image result for no labels quotes

Including these sub-genres in regular themed book displays is important as well. These genres will include themes such as romance, suspense, redemption and much more, so be sure to always try to include these in your choices.

This quote states it perfectly.

This article really fit this theme in my opinion and had a similar line of thinking. 

Janice Pariat. "Why we don’t (and why we do) need a LGBTQ label for fiction." 3 Jan. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week Thirteen Prompt - Adults Reading YA

Though this week's group of "genres" all seem very different, they all have in common the fact that many people don't feel that they are legitimate literary choices and libraries shouldn't be spending money on them or promoting them to adults. The common belief is that adults still don't or shouldn't read that stuff. How can we as librarians, work to ensure that we are able to serve adults who enjoy YA literature or graphic novels? Or should we?

I find this a very interesting topic, especially considering I primarily read YA Fiction.

Image result for ya fiction    

There is a great article that was featured in The Guardian that also addresses this topic, I highly recommend it. The article also states “A survey in 2012 showed that 55% of YA readers are actually adults”. As I have taken classes for my degree in Library Science I have learned that I am definitely not the only adult that reads this genre and the article coincides with that thought. The article gives many reasons for why this genre is so popular for all ages.

I personally think the Harry Potter series attracted many adults to the genre to begin with, followed by the Hunger Games and Divergent. These stories all feature another world and allow the readers to use their imagination while reading. The storyline in all of these is also one of good vs. evil, a classic.

Image result for ya fictionAnother reason that I believe this genre is more popular is because it doesn’t totally focus on sex or violence. These topics might be referenced or featured but it doesn’t consume the story or go into graphic detail. I believe more attention is given to the characters, story line and world building as a result making it so popular.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with adults reading YA fiction, as long as they are reading. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences and that definitely should include choice of genre. During our studies this semester I have also seen book clubs focused on adults that read YA, and I know I would love to participate in one! Pinterest if full of recommendations for adults that enjoy YA!

Georgina Howlett (Britishbiblioholic). "Why are so many adults reading YA and teen fiction?." the Guardian. 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 9 Apr. 2017.

YA Annotation - Everything, Everything

Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Date Published: 9/01/2015
Setting: California & Hawaii
Pages: 310

Maddy hasn't been outside of her house in seventeen years because she has a very rare disease, SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency). The only people she has any contact with are her Mother and her nurse, she handles this with ease until a family moves in next door. The family has two children, one of them is a handsome teenager named Olly. Maddy soon becomes obsessed watching him from her window, and they soon establish an online friendship. Maddy knows she is falling in love with him, but will she survive it?

Image result for everything everything movieYoung adult fiction is typically written for ages 12-18 and the main character will be within in that age range as well. This genre deals with contemporary issues and experiences while having characters that teens can relate to, and uses contemporary language. The issues faced in this book are lying, abuse, health, and parent relationships.

Image result for everything everything movieI chose this book because I often feel like I am allergic to the outside world because of all my allergies and was able to empathize with the character. I like that the main character was an Afro-Asian girl, more books need to feature characters that represent the different ethnicities in our country. Based on the reviews I have read most people either love it or hate it. I don't hate the book but I also don't think it is very realistic.

The book has been made into a movie and will be released May 19th. I am looking forward to the movie because Amandla Stenberg is playing Maddy, for those that don't know she played Rue in the Hunger Games. I can't wait to see how closely it follows the book.

Read Alikes:
The books all feature a character that deals with some type of illness.
Book Jacket             Book Jacket
One                      18699403

These options feature multi-racial characters. Everything, Everything does not focus on the fact that the main character is multi-racial; however, I feel that it is important to promote these books.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Readers Advisory Matrix - Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

Readers Advisory Matrix - Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

  1. Where is the book on the narrative continuum? This is a graphic novel and reads like narrative nonfiction.
  2. What is the subject of the book? The book looks at the study of primates and three female scientists that made major breakthroughs in this area.
  3. What type of book is it? Graphic narrative nonfiction novel
  4. Articulate Appeal
    1. What is the pacing of the book? The pacing is quick, this might be in part due to it being a graphic novel.
    2. Describe the characters of the book. The story focuses on Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas and how they ended up in the field studying primates. All three of the women had many things in common. They were all very intelligent and dedicated to their work.
    3. How does the story feel? Though these ladies experienced many trials and tribulations during their time the story focuses on the good.
    4. What is the intent of  the author? To educate about the breakthroughs these women made in their field.
    5. What is the focus of the story? Louis Leakey found these women and helped secure funding for their research, he was positive that women would make greater strides with primates than men, Goodall studies chimps, Fossey studied gorillas and Galdikas studies orangutans.
    6. Does the language matter? Yes, it is written in language everyone can understand. As an introductory book on the topic, it is important that a layperson be able to understand the words used.
    7. Image result for primates bookIs the setting important and well described? The setting is very important, the scientists studied the primates in their habitat. Good descriptions are given and graphics also add to the details about the habitat.
    8. Are there details and, if so, of what? There are details about how each scientist worked hard to get close to the different kind of primates, their habitats and their discoveries.
    9. Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials? Are they useful and clear? It is a graphic novel so there are plenty of pictures, there aren’t any charts to support the story.
    10. Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding and experience? The book focuses on these three things and on the breakthroughs the women made in the study of primates.
  5. Why would a reader enjoy this book.
    1. Rate appeal.
      1. Great graphics
      2. Good story
      3. Educational

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 11 Prompt

Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape. What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors?

Image result for kindle logoI love Ebooks and Audiobooks, this is how I get my reading in as a full time teacher, Mom of two and a grad student. If it wasn't for these options I wouldn't be able to keep up with my favorite authors or make progress on my very long To Read list.

If you can't hold a book and feel the physical weight of it in your hands, how does that affect your knowledge of the genre? How about readers being able to change the font, line spacing, and color of text - how does that affect pacing and tone?

I have a Kindle Paperwhite and know of people that use a Nook. I prefer Kindle over Nook because I have an Amazon account and they work well together. I first went with Ebooks in 2011 because of the cheaper cost and I am running out of room for books in my house! (I am horrible at returning books to the library and always end up with fines) This is actually my third Kindle, I think they are very user friendly and recommend them to everyone.

I like the portability of my Kindle, I always carry a book with me just in case I have the opportunity to read. My Kindle is much easier to carry with me everywhere and it stays charged for a long time. I don’t particularly miss the feel of holding a physical book though I know some people do. I don’t have a problem seeing close up but I know some people do, so the ability to change  the font style and size enables the reader not to have to purchase or check out a large print book.

How about audiobooks? Track length, narrator choice, is there music?  
Image result for audible logo

I have listened to audiobooks for many years, I have books on cassette and cd. I have used Audible to purchase audiobooks for a couple years now. I typically listen to audiobooks while driving in the car, I drive 30 minutes to work five days a week. Audible is a subscription service run through Amazon, I pay a monthly fee that gives me a book credit, I save money by using this service versus paying per book. The narrator can make or break a story. Jim Dale and Gerard Doyle are my favorite narrators, Jim Dale narrated Harry Potter and Gerard Doyle narrated The Hunger Games among many others. In a series I find it much easier to follow the characters and more enjoyable when the same person narrates the entire series. I also prefer to have one narrator versus a male and female narrator switching back and forth between characters.
Image result for overdrive
The nice thing about both formats is my local library uses Overdrive, a service that allows you to check out Ebooks and audiobooks. This service comes with my library card. There is usually a waiting list for the more popular items so it requires patience, but the savings do add up and its a great option when trying out new authors.

Western Annotation - The Revenant


Title: The Revenant
Author: Michael Punke
Publisher: Picador
Date Published: January 6th, 2015
Pages: 272
Time Period: 1820s

The Revenant is based on a true life story of trapper Hugh Glass. Set in the 1820s this is a story of revenge, betrayal and retribution. Working as a scout for a trapping expedition Glass encounters a grizzly bear and it looks as though he will not survive his wounds. Against all odds Glass survives but the lengths to which he goes to accomplish this are true examples of perseverance and revenge. 
Image result for the revenant

The Revenant was made into a movie and debuted in 2015. The movie starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter. IMDB gave the movie 8/10 stars and earned a 76/100 from Metacritic. 
Image result for the revenant

Westerns take place in the American West and descriptions of the landscape are of vital importance to the story. This genre focuses more on action and description than dialogue. This is a story of good vs. evil and at times forgiveness. Vengeance and resolution are key themes in a western and the main character, a male, is bigger than life. 
Image result for the revenant

Image result for the revenantI chose this book because I had heard of the movie and that it was quite successful. I did not have high expectations for this genre. I enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape immensely and wish I could have seen it unspoiled as Hugh Glass and Jim Bridger did. I appreciated the historical references as I don't know a lot about this time period. This book really helps you get a sense of the rough lifestyle the trappers endured. I don't think this genre is growing, I think die hard fans are keeping it alive.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Historical Fiction Annotation

The Secret Wife
By: Gill Paul
Published: August 25, 2016
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 417
Genre: Historical Fiction
Period: WW1 and Present

This novel is a blend of two stories from very different eras and how they are connected. The story during the WW1 era focuses on Dmitri Malama and Duchess Tatiana and their forbidden romance. We eventually come to understand their connection to the main character, Kitty. The present day portion focuses on Kitty as she learns of her husband’s infidelity and flees to a cabin she recently inherited from a relative she knew nothing about. Kitty restores the cabin and searches for information about her great grandfather and what caused him to live in this secluded cabin estranged from family.

This historical fiction novel focuses on Duchess Tatiana and the rest of the royal family. Due to the many theories about whether all members of the family truly died; there is a dedicated following already in place for this story. The story provides a wealth of information about life in Russia, the royal family, and other historic events. The author did a wonderful job including these in the story without including too much information. The novel flows at a leisurely pace following the main characters lives.

These historical fiction novels feature the Romanov Family.
This Nonfiction choice provides a very close look at the Romanov Family.
These Historical Fiction choices are written in a similar style to that of the author.

Wonder By P.J. Palacio

If you were to ask me some of my favorite books of all time, this would definitely be in my top 5! I won't describe what I look like. ...