Julie of the Wolves

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

What do you think about wolves?

 

Wolves have always fascinated me. I know they are predators and have legendary howls, but they seem like cuddly wild dogs to me. Earlier this year, we had an assembly where the presenter brought a wolf puppy. I was in heaven! Here was my chance to touch and see a wolf up close.

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This particular pup had been rescued, and was being taken care of by professional animal handlers. However, it was still young enough to be touched and cuddled by humans.

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I got a lifetime supply of wolf puppy kisses and hugs. It also sent me to the book shelves to re-read one of my favorite series – Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. Actually I listened to the series. I love to listen to audio books while I am driving to work and home each day. I haven’t found anyone who will read to me anymore, so this is the next best thing.

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Julie of the Wolves is about a young Yupik girl in Alaska who is trying to find her way between the culture she has always known and the ways of modernization. In her village she is known as Miyax, but her friend in California calls her Julie. After her mother dies, and her father goes missing, she is forced to live with her Aunt Martha. Her aunt only wants to marry her off to Daniel, and soon Miyax realizes her only escape is on the tundra.  Without food or water, she befriends a pack of wolves who allow her to become part of her pack. Mijax struggles to find where she belongs – on the tundra with her wolves, or in town with people.

Julie of the Wolves is an American classic and won the Newbery Award in 1973. I love the realism the author uses to describe life among the wolves. It is based on real-life experiences and research she did when she went to Barrow, Alaska to conduct research for an article about wolves. When I read this novel, especially in the dead of winter, I want to trade places with Miyax, and crawl into the wolf den with her friends. It may help that we share the same first name.

In any case, whether your name is Julie or not, I hope you will pick up Julie of the Wolves and the two sequel novels and experience life among the wolves. It is available in print, audio, eBook formats in a library near you!

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A Fruity Story

What kind of fruit do you like to eat? 

Supermarket Produce (and Poem)
Photo Credit: Faith Goble via Compfight


That was the question my second grade reading group had to ask themselves recently. We read the book The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. In this book, the crayon colors write a series of letters to Duncan, complaining about his use or non-use of them. The red crayon starts by saying,

“Hey Duncan,

It’s me, RED crayon. WE NEED to talk. You make me work harder than any of your other crayons.”…..

After reading the book and laughing about the misery of these crayons, we decided to write our own version. The students brainstormed different topics and then voted to have FRUIT be the topic of our book.

Each student wrote  their letter and then typed them in word. They learned how to change the font, point size and color of  the letters in their final draft. Then they used oil pastels to create their illustrations. 

Here is: THE DAY THE FRUIT QUIT

The Day the Fruit Quit

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What is your favorite page?

If you could write a similar book, what topic would you choose?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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12th Man in the House!

Are You a Seahawks Fan?

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Seattle is 1st in the NFC Western Division and will play the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, January 11th in the second round playoffs. Around the school it’s a sea of 12th man pride with students and staff proudly wearing their Seahawks shirts.

So what do the Seahawks and the 12th man have to do with the library? Books of course! Whether you prefer pro football teams from around the country or college ball, our sports section has a wide variety of team books for you to check out. You will find the non-fiction sports books on the bottom shelf of our 700 section.

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Look through our Sports Fiction choices too! We have books by Mike Lupica, Tim Green, Dan Gutman and many others that will take you on a fun sports ride.

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If you are an avid sports fan, visit the sports section of your local library. I think you will find something there for your reading entertainment.

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What is your favorite sport?

Is there a sports book or author you recommend to your friends?

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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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A Boy and his Dog

How much do you love your dog?

Are you brave enough to give him away?

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Duke, by award winning author Kirby Larson, is set in Seattle during World War II. Hobie’s father has been sent to Europe to fight in the war. Everyone is doing their part to support the war movement and Hobie hopes if he helps too, his dad will come home faster. When he finds out there’s a program where he can “lend” Duke, his German shepherd, to Dogs for Defense he is torn.

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The poster in his classroom seems to be screaming at him. Are YOU doing all you can?  Hobie struggles inside. Is he really doing everything he can to help his dad? He’s saving all his dimes to buy war stamps. He’s helping his Uncle Tryg and trying to be the man of the house for his mom.

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Is it enough? Hobie has spent hours training Duke and the military could use him to sniff out mines or help patrol borders. It is important work and Duke would be a great defense dog.

From the moment Hobie says yes, and watches Duke leave, he regrets his decision. What if Duke doesn’t come home? What if his Dad doesn’t come home? Does Hobie have what is takes to be this brave? You will have to read Duke and find out!

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Kirby had a book launch party at Third Place Books recently. She talked about her love of history, the research about Dogs for Defense and the backstory she used from her own family that developed into the book. You can also watch an interview with Kirby talking about her book.

Kirby is a serious dog lover and a portion of the proceeds went to Reading with Rover, a local reading organization where children read to dogs and practice their reading in a fun and non-stressful way. Along with some other Reading with Rover teams, Reese and I had the opportunity to attend the launch of Duke at Third Place Books.

IMG_2028cAll the copies sold out and I think Kirby found some new fans for her books! Kirby also signed copy for our library! Thank you! Check out Duke at your local library or buy a copy at your favorite bookstore. If you would like to learn more, visit Kirby Larson’s website and find out about other books she has written.

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Could you give up your dog or other pet for a good cause?

How can students help other people?

 

 

 

 

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Bully Free Starts with Me

Did you know that you have the right to stand up to bullying?

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As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, I have paired two powerful books for  first and second graders to open the conversation about how it’s not good to be mean to other people.

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Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seger is a the story of a bull, who is bullied by a bigger bull. It hurts his feelings, but instead of standing up to the bigger animal, he begins bullying other, smaller animals calling them names like Slow Poke, an Pig. Eventually a Billy Goat stands up to him and shows him that he is hurting his friends and the bull stops.

Bully is a great book because it teaches the importance of reading both illustrations and text. Minimal text and simple illustrations draw attention to the emotion and tone of the words. When the words Pig! are typed in a large font, the children know immediately that Bull is name calling. When he says, “sorry” with tears in his eyes, they understand that he has made a change.

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Enemy Pie,  written by the Washington state author Derek Munson, tells the story of a boy who thinks he is the enemy of Jeremy who just moved into the neighborhood. When Jeremy doesn’t invite him to a party and laughs at him when he strikes out at a baseball game, Jeremy decides to make an “enemy list”. He hangs the list in his treehouse and then tells his dad about his problem.

Luckily, Dad undertands the problem with enemies, and makes his son some Enemy Pie to give to Jeremy. When the recipe calls for him to spend some time with Jeremy and get to know him, this young boy learns that often all we need to do is spend time with an other person and get to know them. Before you know it, you’re not enemies anymore, you are best friends.

Here is a video of the story Enemy Pie, narrated by Camryn Manheim.

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What steps can you take to stop people from bullying you?

What kind of Enemy Pie would you make?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Real Boy Book Trailer Debut

Have you read The Real Boy yet?

Imagine a story that combines fantasy + fairy tales +cats +adventure + wizards + magic + friendship into one magical  middle grade fantasy novel by Anne Ursu. Like a favorite wool cloak, Real Boy will wrap you inside a wondrous tale of magic and friendship. It is a joyful, amazing story that will surprise you over and over by the author of Breadcrumbs.

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Since early October blogs around the kidlitosphere have been celebrating THE REAL BOY with reviews, giveaways, interviews, and posts from author Anne Ursu, illustrator Erin McGuire and editor Jordan Brown. In this last stop of the blog tour, we debut our book trailer THE REAL BOY.


 
This post is a part of The Real Boy blog tour hosted by Walden Press Books. If you would like to read previous blog posts, check out the itinerary below.
THE REAL BOY BLOG TOUR:

Monday, 9/30 – Maria’s Melange – Maria’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Tuesday, 10/1 – There’s a Book – Danielle’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Wednesday, 10/2 – sharpread – Colby Interviews Anne
Thursday, 10/3 – Novel Sounds – Elena’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Friday, 10/4 – Word Spelunking – Aeicha Interviews Anne
Saturday, 10/5 – The Hiding Spot – Sara’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Sunday, 10/6 – The Brain Lair – Kathy’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Monday, 10/7 – Read, Write, Reflect – Anne Talks Oscar with Katherine
Tuesday, 10/8 – Librarian’s Quest – Margie’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Wednesday, 10/9 – Buried in Books – Heather’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Thursday, 10/10 – The Book Monsters – Kristen’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Friday, 10/11 – Cari’s Book Blog – Cari’s Take on The Real Boy + An Interview with Anne
Saturday, 10/12 – Unleashing Readers – Kellee Interviews Illustrator Erin McGuire
Sunday, 10/13 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Gina’s Take on The Real Boy + Giveaway
Monday, 10/14 – Heise Reads and Recommends – Editor Jordan Brown Interviews Anne
Tuesday, 10/15 – Bulldog Readers Blog – The Bulldog Readers Debut Their Book Trailer
 
And here are all the blogs featuring exclusive artwork from THE REAL BOY.
 
EXCLUSIVE ARTWORK REVEALS
 
You can find THE REAL BOY at your local school,  public library, or your favorite book store today!

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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.

 

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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.

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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?

 

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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!

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The Fun Days of Summer

Is reading dangerous?

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Luckily, Ema used lots of safety equipment to keep her free from injuries while she was reading! In her hands is book 5 from the How to Train Your Dragon series by the British author Cressida Cowell. If you like her books, or saw the movie and want to find out about her books, visit her website: http://www.howtotrainyourdragonbooks.com/  She has games, drawing competitions, videos, e-cards and all sorts of other fun stuff to do. There’s also a link to a  Cressida Cowell YouTube video where she talks about how the stories are somewhat autobiographical! Imagine that! Check it out and you’ll see for yourself.

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Mrs. Adair recently took a trip to Washington, DC, our nation’s capital where she visited many historical sites, including the Lincoln Memorial. Abraham Lincoln, the president who always wore a black top hat believed that all men are created equal, one of the founding principles of our country. Through his hard work, he was able to save the union and ended the Civil War. His legacy is forever remembered in this memorial. However, you don’t have to travel to Washington DC, to see it. You can visit virtually from the comfort of your home through this  Lincoln Memorial Interactive tour.

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Who wants to play? Josa is with the “Puddle Jumpers” bronze sculpture by Glenna Goodacre. It would be hard to resist playing with these children in the park! You can learn more about this sculpture and others at Marina Art.

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School begins in less than a month. I hope you are reading, logging your minutes, taking photos of you reading, and getting those prizes at KCLS just like Pakal and Ulises!

 

 

 

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Judging a Book by Its Cover

Did you know that book covers vary by country for the exact same book?

Copyright All rights reserved by demonkeeper

Copyright All rights reserved by demonkeeper

Last fall at a presentation at WLMA, Royce Buckingham, author of Dead Boys, a 2014 Sasquatch nominee showed photos of the different covers to his books. They varied by country, sometimes by a little and sometimes by a lot. I thought that was fascinating. Why would a publisher change the cover? Is there that much difference in reading audience expectations in regards to book covers? Apparently, the answer is yes. Look at the differences in the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows covers.

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 These book cover differences amuse me. Why are they so different?  Who makes these decisions? I just did a post about The Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise and as I looked for book cover images, I discovered that there are quite a variety. Geoff Rodkey talks about this topic on his website too. So I thought we could have a poll and you could vote for your favorite book cover. Here are the options first to help you decide which cover you like the best.

Option A: USA

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Option B: United Kingdom

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Option C: Spain

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Option D: France

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Option E: Germany

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Option F: Italy, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand

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So what do you think? Enter your opinion here on our poll!


You might also we interested in viewing the book trailer for the book. There’s even a TV ad in Turkish available to view. Check out Geoff Rodkey’s website.

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