About Me


Welcome to the  Bulldog & Bobcats Readers  Blog! Here you can find info about new books, reviews,  lesson ideas, events, visiting authors- in other words – important and fun information about  reading.  I especially love receiving comments from our blogging visitors! If you read something, please leave  a comment!

This is my personal and professional reading blog. The information shared does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of my current or past employers. My goal is to provide a place for readers and  librarians to find information they might need in regards to reading,  learning and technology.

Outside of my family, including my dogs, my greatest passion is connecting kids with books. Kids who think they don’t like to read just haven’t found the right material for them.  I say material because sometimes kids think they are only readers if they read books. Not so. There is nothing in the definition of reading that says you have to only read books to be a reader. Comics, newspapers, magazines, scripts, as well as books all count as reading. Of course, I always hope that students will find a book that speaks to them and enter the life-long joy of reading that is so important in my life.

My other passion is connecting learning with technology. I view technology as a tool students can use to enhance their learning. We don’t do “tech lessons” in class, but rather we do project based learning that incorporates elements of technology.

 Connecting with visitors from around the world and learning from each other is what gives meaning and authenticity to my work. We are not islands, but connected partners crossing the bridges from one place to another. Welcome! Let’s learn together!

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Hembree

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24 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Julie,
    Like Monica mentioned above, I am so inspired by you and the way you take on projects to get students to read and fall in love with the reading “material” of their choice. Thank you for moving our school forward by trying on new technologies to communicate with parents, students, teachers and the community. You are a true bulldog leader and I am so proud of all the great work you do. You and Reese rock!

  2. Hello Mrs. Hembree,

    My name is Brian Carmichael and I teach grade Six/Seven at a school in the Comox Valley. You recently checked out my blog and commented. Thank you for that. Yes, we could be blogging buddies!!
    I am new to classroom blogging so I am trying to get out there and network with other teachers and classes who blog. So I just wanted to drop a line and extend a belated “Hello” your way with the hopes that our students could connect sometime. The class and I really like the look of your site, and we hope to connect.
    If it is okay with you, I would put you on our blogroll and you are more than welcome to do the same with us.
    Please check us out once again at…. http://bcarmi.edublogs.org
    Thanks and Cheers
    B. Carmichael

  3. Thank you for visiting and commenting on our blog. We are a Y4 (age 8-9) class in Manchester, UK. I will add you to my sidebar and let my children know that they can read book reviews here to help them choose books to read.
    Also, I’ve seen your tranlating tool on your sidebar. Could you please let me know how to get that widget, it looks wonderful and I’m sure it would help the visitors we get to enjoy our blog.
    Thank you.

    • Mr. Sumner,
      I have never been as far north as Manchester, although I have been to London and to Kent a number of times. I made my first trip to the UK when I was 13 years old! I loved visiting all the old castles. Even though we are far away from your school, I think we might have similar weather! Cold and rainy in the winter!
      We have the blog translator because we have many students and families who speak different languages at our school, plus we like blogging with schools around the world. We look forward to blogging with you! Mrs. Hembree
      Here is the HTML code for the translator:

      function googleTranslateElementInit() {
      new google.translate.TranslateElement({
      pageLanguage: ‘en’
      }, ‘google_translate_element’);

  4. Hi! I’m India!

    I love the blog, and come to check out the book reviews.
    But one thing- I have no clue how to make a review…
    please tell me! 🙂


    • Dear India,
      I’m so glad you asked how to submit a book review! There are many ways you can give me a review.
      1-Give me your written review in person.
      2 Give your teacher your review and she can put it in my box.
      3-Send me your review in an email to jhembree@lwsd.org
      4-Type your review in a word document and attach it in an email to me.

      So there are 4 ways you can get a review to me! I look forward to seeing which book you want to tell us about!
      Mrs. Hembree

  5. Reese likes to read? Can you ask Miss.Velenta’s class if they want to be there blogging buddy.Because last time I did not get the answer.

    Love: Elisa

  6. Hey Ms.Valentas class this is Elisa I got a phone on my birthday. How are Y ‘all doing? I live in Texas now it is very hot here some times it hits 100 degrees in the summer it hits over 100 degrees. Well bye

    love: Elisa

  7. Dear Mrs Hembree
    I am wondering to myself how come it’s taken me so long to stumble across your marvellous blog when I have seen links to it from other sites for quite a time – well, my loss! It’s wonderful and I shall add it to our blog roll so that we can visit regularly.
    In our class, we generally have a book on the go, and read a poem a day. I am enjoying choosing our next book at present – I have just been hugely impressed by Varjak Paw by S F Said – what an AMAZING book! I think it will have to be next… Have you read it? What did you think?
    Am just about to read the Hunger Games as it seems to be the book to read at the moment!
    Mrs M
    A Room with a View, UK

    • Dear Mrs. M,
      Thank you for your kind comment! I love the name of your blog. It reminds me of a novel I read in college. Reading aloud to your class is so incredibly important. You have the power of opening up the world of reading to your students. Plus, poetry too? Awesome!
      I am not familiar with the novel by Varjak Paw. I will have to look for it. I just finished Alice Miranda because one of our blogging buddies in Australia recommended it. I think the girls in your class would enjoy that one!
      Yes, The Hunger Games is a fabulous teen/adult novel. It’s nothing like I’ve read before.
      Mrs. Hembree

  8. Hi Mrs Hembree
    I read E M Forster’s A Room with a View many years ago, and it has always stuck with me, so seemed an apt name for a classroom with a view of an ancient ruined castle on one side, and miles of open green dale on the other from our first floor windows.
    Varjak Paw is great if you’re looking for a book with meaning… a story of a cat who’s different from his clan… dig a little deeper and it is a great philosophical take on how to live your life. I think we will be reading it after Easter in our class.
    Hopefully we’ll do a poetry post soon based on our poetry reading – we’ve been looking at Mr Salsich’s Poetry Madness… then we got under the skin of William Blake’s The Tiger today – I was amazed at the depth of thought from 26 7-9 year olds all firing off each other!
    I will look out Alice Miranda!
    Mrs M

  9. Dear Marion,

    Thank you for visiting our blog. However, we are not interested in education links that make money on this school library blog.

    Thanks for asking,
    Julie Hembree

  10. Congratulations!

    You’ve been honored in EducationWorld’s Top 25 Educator Blogs for 2013 list. The list represents EducationWorld’s favorite educator blogs to follow in 2013, and our team thinks that your work is worth celebrating. Below you’ll find links to our honoree lists, and an award badge is attached to this message for displaying your achievement on your blog. Thanks for everything that you do to help educators in their mission and more!

    http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/top-educator-blogs-2013.shtml (List Part 1)

    http://community.educationworld.com/content/edworlds-top-25-educator-blogs-2013-continued (List Part 2)


    Jason Cunningham
    Social Media Editor, EducationWorld.com
    (203) 599-4809

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  12. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    My name is Art Avina and I am kindergarten teacher at LAUSD’s Olympic Primary Center. I wanted to present a project that might be of some interest to you. It has been making the rounds in education blogs the past few weeks and growing in popularity…

    Ask students and teachers about favorite children’s stories, and it’s almost guaranteed that “Miss Nelson is Missing” will be named. My students and I recently took this classic story and adapted it for the small screen. What started off as a class project on school and community became an epic production that blended technology, music, and dramatic arts, and at the same time, developed reading comprehension, vocabulary, and oral language skills. The students were encouraged to be creative and work collaboratively, and the results have been rewarding to say the least. The reaction to our movie has been enthusiastically positive by all who have watched it so far. At this point, several parents and teachers have contacted me to let me know that their kids absolutely LOVE it! Teachers have found it to be a great extension when reading the book (and also seem to think it’s a nice way to give their kids a treat for 13 minutes).

    It is my hope that teachers, parents, and kids are entertained by our efforts and hopefully encouraged to blend more technology and dramatic arts into the curriculum. We poured an incredible about of work and love into our project, and it is with great joy and pride that we present it to the world. If you think it’s something your readers would like, would you consider sharing it? We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it. Thank you for your time.

    Arturo Avina
    Olympic PC

    • Dear Laura,
      I really loved the trailers your students made! They are crisp with music that energize the trailers. Wow! Thank you for sharing! Have you made one yet? I hope to make one this summer.
      Thanks so much for sharing your trailers!
      Julie Hembree

  13. The link to your blog was on the AG Bell website, so I clicked through and I’m so incredibly glad I did! Thank you so very much for providing this plethora of information about everything books! You are greatly appreciated and we will definitely be using you as a resource over summer break. =)

    • Dear Jodi,
      Thank you for visiting! I hope you will visit more in the summer. I have posts planned on our summer reading program, will have information about books I recommend, and our new picture book genre project.
      Come back soon!
      Mrs. Hembree

  14. Your blog inspires me! I am a librarian on a campus with 150 kiddos. Your campus is MUCH larger! I am wondering how you manage your “makespace” projects. Our recess times vary from 15 minutes to 25 minutes. How do you control how many students come to your library rather than recess. I’d like to implement some of your fun projects, but I’m not quite show how to get started! Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Kerri,
      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment! When librarians work together, it makes all of our work much lighter.
      You first need to know that sometimes I just jump in the water, and see what happens. That’s the case with Makerspaces. I had read about them on Twitter and then last summer took an all-day workshop where one of the sessions was about makerspaces. I decided it sounded like fun and something I could try in the library. I spent the summer collecting K’Nex and Legos at garage sales and thrift stores. In the fall, I told my classes about the new Makerspace and launched the program.
      Each Monday I advertise in the daily announcements the theme for that day. I have “Makespace Mondays” and try something different each week. I open the library at recess and students can choose to come if they wish. If I need to, I limit the number that come, but most times it just works out on its own. Some kids depending on what interests them. Then the rest of the week, the materials are available for creating and tinkering. I’ve written Donor’s Choose grants and gradually added items to the collection.
      One super popular FREE item is a box of plastic cups. I found the box in a cupboard and we started off making towers. Now the kids build towns, towers, buildings, – you name it, they create it – all with cups.
      The most popular and best expenditure was on MagnaTiles. I’m going to buy more when I can. They are used everyday and if I had 10 sets they would be used everyday.
      I suggest you start small and see what the kids enjoy. Even if all you have is popsicle sticks, your kids will have a blast trying to create cross-weave trains.
      Have fun and keep me posted on how it goes!

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