Lights, Camera, Middle School!

“Babymouse is back and sassieer than ever in her middle-grade debut, Babymouse Tales from the Locker: Lights, Camera, Middle School! Using Babymouse’s signature humor and engaging illustrations, sister and brother duo Jennifer and Matthew Holm are now introducing their beloved Babymouse to a new crop of readers sure to embrace the humor and heart of the new graphic novel series as younger readers have done for the original books.” From Random House Children’s Books

I’ve been waiting for a new Babymouse book. I never thought she would turn up as a middle schooler! Babymouse has to grow up? No, say it isn’t true! However, Babymouse has the same issues as before, but now in a larger scale. This time she is the director of a film for the film club, but of course, nothing works the way she envisioned. Laughs and problems only Babymouse could have will entertain fans from beginning to end. The novel/graphic format format will appeal to readers who love Babymouse but are also ready for a longer book.

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A Gift from Australia

Do you like surprises? I do! Especially AirMail packages!

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52 storey

Look what came in the mail this week from our school librarian friend in Australia! She sent us a package with the brand new book  The 52 Storey Treehouse by the Australian children’s author Andy Griffiths. Here’s the note she sent inside the package.

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This is our third Treehouse book Miss Yeomans has sent us. As you can read in the card, this time she had to wait in line for a two hours to get it signed for us.

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On her LRC blog, Miss Y published a post about her visit to meet Andy Griffiths. I hope you will click over to her website and get all the details. She shared a photo she took of Andy Griffiths signing our books. This is used with Miss Y’s permission.

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Andy signed books from 4:30 until 9:00 when the store closed, but he couldn’t stop. He kept signing books until 11:30 at night! That’s 7 HOURS of signing his name! Can you imagine doing that for SEVEN hours?

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 The treehouse series is not the only series he has written, and if you come into the library, I will show you others you can find by Andy Griffiths. He writes very funny books. Look what happened earlier this month!

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Are you wondering yet what a treehouse story might be about? Wait for it…… a TREEHOUSE! But not your regular kind of boring treehouse. If you do an internet search with your family, you will find kids love this book so much, they have even created Minecraft treehouses, based on the book.  Here is a book trailer about the 26 Storey Treehouse, narrated by Andy Griffiths himself. It will give you a clue and then you can come to the library and read all three books! If you make your own Minecraft or Lego treehouse, take a photo so we can see it here on the blog!

 

 

 

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Hard Luck is here!

Need to read the latest book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series?

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You’re in luck! We have two new copies! You might be in Hard Luck though because they are popular. Come let me know you want it, and I will put you on the reserve list! I saw this Hard Luck van photo. I wonder where you have to be to get to see it in person!

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book reviews

 

Looking for a good book?

The summer is winding down, but reading sure isn’t! Check out the latest middle grade books I’ve been reading.

 

greatwall

 

An honest betrayal of sixth grade girls, pressures of family expectations, what it’s like to be Chinese/American and dealing with life as a whole. The main character is bullied by another girl at school and has to deal with a family who wants her to spend every Saturday at Chinese school, when she would rather be at basketball practice.

 

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Like a favorite wool cloak, Real Boy will wrap you inside a wondrous tale of magic and friendship. A joyful, amazing story that will surprise you over and over. A must read by the author of Breadcrumbs.

 

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Ten year old Sugar lives on the sugar cane plantation in the years following the end of the Civil War. She’s free, but that doesn’t mean she can play and run free like the white children. She’s a worker just like the adults, planting, weeding and cutting the sugar cane. When the owner of the plantation brings in some Chinese workers, sugar finds herself in the middle of the worker racial divide.

 smidgen of sky

 

Piper’s dad disappeared and is presumed to have died four years ago in a plane crash over the Atlantic. Still, ten year old Piper holds out hope that one day her Daddy will walk through the front door declaring, “Piper, I’m home.” When her mom falls in love with Ben and they decide to get married, Piper’s life starts careening out of control. Can she be loyal to her dad and accept this new situation too?

 

homesick

Mom has left for New Orleans because she can’t handle Benny’s dad anymore. Now Benny is stuck at home alone to deal with the mess that is his dad – a hoarder with a big problem. Pizza boxes and dirty dishes fill the kitchen, a motorcycle is being restored in the living room and every space is filled with Dad’s stuff. Cardboard covers the windows so nobody can see what’s inside, including the rats who have moved in. When the town wins the America’s Most Charming Small Town Contest, the townspeople threaten to clean up the house. Benny is torn between loving his dad, missing his mom, and wishing for a life a little less chaotic.

 

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I admit it – I am almost scared to hand out this book fearing it will give kids new ideas on how to torment teachers! Imagine walking into homeroom only to find it’s been filled with ball-pit balls or finding the gym is covered with thousands of crickets. Yikes! Pickle is a hilarious story about Ben who begins a “prank- club” but hides the real purpose of the club behind the pickle-making cover.

I hope you are finding some fun books to read this summer. You can still sending photos too! I’ll be in the library starting to set it up starting tomorrow. A couple folks got a sneak peek!

sneak

 

 

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Rack up Those Reading Minutes!

Have you been to the library lately?

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check out Ulises and Pakal are at our local library earning more minutes toward their summer reading goals for the KCLS summer reading program. They have already read 500 minutes and earned their halfway prize. Now they are on their way to earning the finisher prize! Every year the KCLS offers a free summer reading incentive program. It’s easy to participate.  Just stop by your local branch of the KCLS library and pick up worksheet. Not in town?  Download a reading log or sign up online and track your minutes virtually. Go here and sign up now! Just remember, the deadline to submit your minutes is August 31st! Thanks for sending in your photo Ulises and Pakal!

deadweather

I have also been reading this summer.  If you like Pirates of the Caribbean or wild adventure stories, especially ones with kids, pirates, blood, stumps and gore, then you will want to read Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey. Josa gave me this copy with high recommendations. I agree with him. This story of Egg, a 13 year old boy who lives on Deadweather, a pirate infested island with his Dad and siblings will take you on a fun, read-in-the-summer entertaining romp of a story! (You can read it in Australia in the winter too, but since it’s summer here, it seemed an appropriate description.) The sequel New Lands is already published, so once you finish one, get the next one and read it too. Then tell me about it, but not too much. I want to find out what happens to Egg, Millicent and Guts and the rest of the crew when they leave Port Scratch.  I tweeted yesterday that I really enjoyed the story and today I noticed this on the author’s  Twitterfeed:

deadweather snipGeoff has his own website http://geoffrodkey.com/ which I highly recommend you visit. Look for yourself, especially the letters to his son at summer camp. The underwear issue is particularly good.

rebel

I fell in love this summer with Rebel McKenzie. Rebel is an aspiring paleontologist and wanted more than anything to go to the Ice Age Kids’ Dig and Safari summer camp. Instead of digging up prehistoric bones, she has to dig deep into her bucket of patience and discover ways to keep her nephew Rudy occupied while she babysits all summer. Things get really crazy when Rebel decides to enter into the Miss Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department Beauty Pageant. I love Rebel’s free-thinking ideas and love of science. She knows how to speak her mind, although not always with the best manners. But that’s why I love her!

overtheedge

Most readers who know me also know I love a good mystery! I think I was born a mystery reader because all my best childhood reading memories involve a mystery story. I also love to travel. That’s why this series about our national parks is so awesome. You can travel to one of our parks and enjoy a great mystery all at the same time! This book takes place at the Grand Canyon, and brought back great memories of my recent trip there.

shoelessjoe

If you are a baseball fan, then Shoeless Joe and Me should go on your reading list. This is one of the Dan Gutman baseball card time-travel adventure series books. Go back in time and learn more about why Shoeless Joe, one of baseball’s greatest outfielders was banned from baseball. Was he given a raw deal? Check it out and find out!

bugjuice

When I was a kid, I loved going to “sleep-away camp”. The food, camping, swimming, games and dirt was the highlight of my summer. However, Eleanor hates camp! She hates the bugs, the dirt and especially the lake when she finds out she has to be in the “baby” swim group. Will she change her mind about camp, or get out of dodge and back home where things are normal? The book is the sequel to Pickle Juice on a Cookie, but you don’t have to read one before the other.

JH Paperboy

Do you remember Darth Vadar – specifically the voice of Darth Vadar? Here is a link to a video some of his best quotes. The man behind the voice is James Earl Jones and what you may not know is that he barely spoke for eight years. His stuttering problem was so severe that he chose not to talk, rather than deal with the hardships of stuttering. The book Paperboy is set in Memphis in 1959, and 11 year old  Victor, has a similar problem to James Earl Jones.

“The reason I hate talking to people who don’t know me is because when they first see me I look like every other kid. Two eyes. Two arms. Two legs. Crew-cut hair. Nothing special. But when I open my mouth I turn into something else. Most people don’t take the time to understand what’s wrong with me and probably just figure I’m not right in the head” (page 5)

Once I started Paperboy, I couldn’t put it down. Paperboy is about stuttering. It’s also about facing problems head-on as a kid and dealing with reality. Reality is when you take on your best friend’s paper route, talking to strangers and working through the hardships of not being able to communicate what you really want to say, when you want to say it. If you have ever  struggled with stuttering, or know someone who has, then this book will have even deeper meaning for you. Like James Earl Jones, the author Vince Vawter suffered through a stuttering problem in his childhood years. This book is partly his story, and partly the story of a boy you won’t soon forget.

secretzoo

I went  hiking today with Reese and Mrs. Adair. I brought along Secret Zoo just in case I had a chance to read a couple pages. It seemed like the perfect book to have on a hike in the Pacific Northwest, home of the infamous Sasquatch! A whole bunch of angry, nasty Sasquatches is who the scouts find when they ventured into the Secret Zoo after Megan. This is book one of a fantasy/adventure series. Except for the huge pawprints Reese made in the river mud, thankfully we didn’t see any signs of Sasquatch.

reese

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What have you been reading this summer?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

Send me those photos too!

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Happy Vacation Reading

Do you recognize this reader?

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Hannah recently visited Lake Chelan in eastern Washington and did some awesome vacation reading! She is reading one of the Cupcake Diaries books, a popular series about the friendship of some girls. These books are available in paperback and now in eBook version too. If you want to know more, visit the Cupcake Diary website. Thanks for sharing your photo Hannah! What will you read next?

Being on vacation is the perfect time to get some reading done! I did the same thing while I was on vacation with Mr. Hembree on our southwest vacation. Dog even checked out the mystery books in the Zion National Park bookstore! I bought a copy of Over the Edge for our new library. It will be available in the mystery section.

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In the photo above, I am holding Skinny-Bones by Barbara Park. Skinny-Bones was written in 1982 and is still a very funny book to read! Alex is a 6th grader who is just not the best baseball player in the world. He does have a great sense of humor though, and uses it to help him get out of a lot of sticky situations! You might recognize that very famous author name too! Do you remember what other books she has written?


Have you been reading too this summer? Send me a photo and I will get it published on the blog. Just have your parents send it to:

gmail

Keep Reading!

Mrs. Hembree

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Some Down Under Book Love

 

Look what came in the mail from Australia!

That’s right, two books and a wonderful note from Miss Y in Melbourne, Australia. She is a librarian at the St. Martin of Tours Primary School. We have been blogging buddies for over a year now, exchanging ideas for books back and forth.

These Andy Griffiths books are going to be BIG hits in our library. You can’t NOT laugh when you read them. They are just that funny! Look at this photo of him from his website. Does he look like a serious kind of guy? I haven’t had a chance to read the books yet, but here’s what it says on Andy’s website:

“Andy and Terry live in an incredible ever-expanding treehouse and create very silly books together. Andy writes the words and Terry draws the pictures… well, when they’re not too distracted by all the amazing things going in their incredible ever-expanding treehouse! Last year they opened a new school with a brand new library.”

 

I think these books sound like some crazy fun. If you are in 3-5th grade, this might be the just-right book for you. Stop by the library and put in your reservation. They will be available for check out early next week.

It’s been quite a week for connections. First a phone call from New Zealand and then a package from Australia. I love these reading connections! Miss Y’s students have been enjoying some Mo Willems books we sent her last year and now we have some Andy Griffiths books here! It’s a full circle of reading fun!

Here’s a photo of what the school looks like outside, courtesy of the magic of Google maps! I hope you will visit Miss Y’s LRC blog soon and leave her a comment.  I just watched a new book trailer she made about a new book in the Clementine Rose series for girls by Jacqueline Harvey. This is the author of the Alice Miranda books we already have in our library! Jacqueline visited Miss Y’s school last year. Here is the post about this visit. I sure hope if Jacqueline ever visits the Pacific Northwest on a book tour, she will stop by our library!

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What do you think about our surprise package?

Have you ever read any Andy Griffiths books before?

Look at the title.What word do we spell differently?

 

 

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Favorite Books of 2012

Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t forget?

Did it make you laugh? Cry? Shout?

 Today’s post is about my favorite books from 2012. These are the standout books from a year of reading.  Even though I may have read them months ago, I still think about them and consider them book friends. When I see the cover, or think of a passage from the book, I get a smile on my face. Not all of these books were written in 2012, although most of them were. I am in the process of reading all the Newbery Medal winners, so one book was published years ago. All, except the young adult books are available in our library. I hope you will stop in and check them out!

Tomorrow the American Library Association will announce all of the Youth Media Awards at their Mid-Winter Conference here in Seattle. I will be at the press conference for the very first time!  I can’t wait to see what books won medal and honor awards. Above any other books, I have my fingers crossed for The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Wonder by RJ Palacio.

Here are my standouts from a year of reading!

Categories: Favorite Graphic Novels, Favorite Picture Books, Favorite Non-Fiction Picture Books,Favorite Middle Grade Novels, Favorite Young Adult Novels, Favorite Audio Books

So there you are…my favorites. Not all will win awards tomorrow at the ALA conference. However, they have already won a special award in my heart because each of these books has touched me in a very personal way. I’m looking forward to lots of reading in 2013 and seeing where my reading travels take me!

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Were any of these books favorites for you this year?

Is there a book I should have included?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Top Ten Titles for 2010-2011

 

The statistics are in!

 

Which books hold the top ten places in fiction for this year?

 

Drum roll please…….

 

 

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IMG_0565 five

 

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And the #1 fiction book for this year is…..

 

 

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Congratulations to Jenni and Matt Holm,

Jeff Kinney

 and Jarrett Krosoczka!

Our authors of the year! 

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What do you think about the results?

Are there any surprises?

Why do you think Babymouse holds 6 out of 10 places?

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