Advertising Books Thru Media

Since 2012, my 4th grade students have created book trailers for favorite novels.  In the past four years these student trailers have had thousands of views. Video is an amazing way to promote reading and advertise fabulous books to other students.

We’ve also had the ability to connect with students around the world. For the past two years, we’ve partnered with Angels Soriano in Valencia, Spain. This year her students made hand-drawn book trailers of local fairy tales in their native Catalan language. You can view them here.

Here are the latest book trailers we have published. The students made them on Photostory3, which is a Windows 7 program for the PC. I hope they inspire you to go to your local library this summer and check out these books for some fun summer reading!

Dragon of the Red Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne


City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau


People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau


Wonder by RJ Palacio


Nest by Esther Ehrlich


A Dog’s Way Home  by Bobbie Pyron











If you would like to read more about the trailers we have completed in the past with Angels Soriano, this Sway showcases our program in the 2014-15 school year. You can also find our complete list of book trailers at the top of this website on the Book Trailers tab.


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Rack up Those Reading Minutes!

Have you been to the library lately?

la foto-6b

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!


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 which I highly recommend you visit. Look for yourself, especially the letters to his son at summer camp. The underwear issue is particularly good.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.



What have you been reading this summer?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

Send me those photos too!

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For the Younger Readers


What have you been reading so far this summer?


Reese was doing some newspaper reading this morning. Apparently he didn’t like what he read, so now we have a shredded mess all over the living room floor! Nice! Well it’s Saturday and I have been doing some reading since school let out.After reading Destiny Rewritten, I decided to move to some new chapter books that younger readers would enjoy.


You can’t go wrong with any of Lunch Lady graphic novel series. This time a terrible technology villain invades the school and steals everyone’s gizmos and gadgets. Yikes! Will the Lunch Lady solve the dilemma?


Jennifer S. Holland has a new non-fiction series perfect for kids just starting to read chapter books. If you like animals, you will love these short stories about the friendships between some pretty unlikely animals.


Magic Tree House fans will like book #49 Stallion by Starlight. This time Merlin the Magician wants Jack and Annie to find the secret of greatness. What makes a person great? To find the answer they travel back in time to ancient Macedonia to meet Alexander the Great and his famed horse Bucephalus.

book 5


Newbery winning author Patricia MacLachlan’s new book is perfect for dog lovers. Zoe’s mother rescues Great Pyrenees dogs. “Pyrs”, as they are called for short, are large, yet gentle 140-150 pound, white fur dogs. When Phillip moves in next door, he becomes friends with one of the rescue puppies. Will the puppy help him speak again?


Any girl who loves the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor will adore her newest chapter book series. A little bit fancy, a little bit Nancy Drew, and a little bit mysterious fun, these books will entertain transitional picture book to chapter book readers.


Mystery fans will love the funny new mystery series by the author of the Lunch Lady series. The author Jarrett J. Krosocaka will be our featured guest author next year, so make sure you keep up with all of his latest books!


I hope these books will give you some ideas for the upcoming weeks! Tomorrow I’ll be traveling to San Antonio, Texas to attend the ISTE technology conference! I’ll be going to classes and finding out all sorts of different ideas to use in our library lessons in the fall!

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!


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!


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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Read Aloud Tuesdays Resumes


“Mrs. Hembree, what’s the new read aloud book?”
“Are you starting today?”
“We’re going to choose it?”
“Wow, okay, I’ll be there! Still at noon, right? Still on Tuesdays?”


On Tuesday, the Read Aloud Club Kids chose Bigger Than a Bread Box as their next choice for me to read during our read aloud recesses.

Bigger Than a Bread Box is the story of 12 year old Rebecca who is forced to move to her grandmother’s house in Atlanta with her mom and little brother while her mom tries to figure out her marriage. Dad is back in Baltimore along with all of her friends and everything she’s ever known.

Rebecca is angry, confused and alone when she finds a magic box in the attic of her grandmother’s house. A box that delivers her wishes. Like better jeans, and a new watch and new tennis shoes. She gets everything she wants, except her dad. Is having stuff enough to make Rebecca feel happy again? We will read Bigger Than a Bread Box to find out!

Watch the book trailer by Lily, age 12 who made the trailer with a Canon SD 1300 Digital Elph camera and iMovie.


But wait there’s more!

The kindergarten-3rd grade students are starting Read Aloud Tuesdays too! From 12:30-12:55, Mrs. Hembree will be reading a chapter book to the younger students. We have something for everyone in the cold, wet, wintery months!


The men and older boys always go on a Dragonquest each year, but Darek is still too young to go. When they come back with a Great Blue, the largest and fiercest of all the dragons, Darek discovers a baby dragonling in the Great Blue’s pouch. He decides to take the dragonling back to the fearsome Valley of the Dragons.

Dragonling is a moving and adventureful fantasy story, perfect for younger readers. It is my personal favorite for introducing readers to the fantasy genre.

So, remember, come on Tuesdays to the library for your chance to get out of the rainy, cold outside and into a world of books!


What would you wish for if you had a magic bread box?

What is the best book you’ve ever heard?



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New Year 2012 = New Books!

Custom Glitter Text


 The Bulldog Readers wish you lots of reading happiness!

What better way to launch a new year of reading than with new books? The first group of books was purchased with funds from Reading with Rover.

 Reading with Rover donated $250 to our school toward purchasing books for reading. It was their way of thanking Mrs. Daly and myself for our commitment to Reading with Rover with our dogs Jett, Silas and Reese. I spent my portion of the money on new library books!




I couldn’t forget our older readers, so they got a new stack of books too!


Who knows? Maybe one of these will become the next Newbery Award winner for 2011!

Have you read any of these new books already?
Which one do you want to check out?
Do you have any suggestions for us to buy?
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Look in the Baskets!

Finding a perfect book to read is as easy as looking in a …..


Our early chapter book readers don’t have any trouble finding books to read because we have them all in baskets where they are easy to find!  Like Junie B. Jones? Find the basket? Like Magic Tree House?

Find the basket! It really is easy as one, two, three!

In class we also have done lessons on all of the easy chapter book series available in our library! Using a worksheet with only some of the letters of book series typed in, students had to sleuth out the answers!

 By the time everyone finished the paper, they had found all of our early chapter book series. We have over 20 different series to choose from! Now when someone says, “I need a good book“, we all respond, “Look in the baskets!”

What is your favorite early chapter book?
How do you have your books arranged in your library?
Leave us a comment and let us know!


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Blazing Books are Here



Thanks to a generous grant from the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, our library has

 118 new, blazing hot books!

The non-fiction Blazing Books Grant shelf

 If you are a younger reader, you are going to love, love, love these books! Every new non-fiction book had to pass Mrs. Hembree strict wow criteria questions.

Is it a fun book to read?

Is it an exciting book to read?

Is it action packed?

Here are the new car books to select from. No boring books in this group!

 To go along with our math focus at school, some of the new books are math related.

“Crunch, crunch! The farm’s horse loves munching apples.

Can you predict which color of apple the horse will eat next?

The horse has six red apples and two green apples.

Is it more or less likely she will pick a green apple?”

So, what do you think the answer is? Find out inside the book Pigs, Cows, and Probability!

I know a lot our students love joke books, so I added more to our collection! Here’s a sample from the Jokes about Bugs:

“What did the bug say after it hit the window?

If I had the guts, I would do it again.

I also bought a new series called Easy Magic Tricks. These books teach you how to perform magic tricks with playing cards, coins, straws, balloons, and more! There are plenty of ideas here to challenge our budding magicians!

Not all of the books are fact or non-fiction books. We also have some new everybody picture books for our younger readers. They are housed on a special shelf too!


 It seems like there are never enough Star Wars books in our library, so look at the new ones we’ve added!

This group of books includes early chapter books that are both fun to read and a little bit longer than the usual picture book. These are perfect for our readers who are ready to read chapter books.

Ten more Backpack Buddies have been added to our expanding Backpack Buddy collection. Inside each backpack is a book, a matching puppet, a journal and instructions on what to do.  They are a super fun way to practice reading at home! 

If you check out one of these books from our Bulldog Library, I hope you will let me know what you think about them! You can leave a comment on the blog or you can tell me in person! I am even hoping some people what to give me a review on film with our new Flip cameras! Imagine that….YOU can be a Bulldog Reader Star!

Our LWSF grant is also featured on the Lake Washington Schools Foundation Spotlight page! You can read the full article here.


What do you think about our new books?
Which ones do you want to check out?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
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My Australian Bindi Story

Every book has a story. No…not the one between the covers. The story that got you to the book in the first place. Was it a recommendation from a friend? Did you see it on the shelf? Did a librarian hand it to you?

The copyright in the image is owned and retained by Australia Zoo. Used with written consent of Australia Zoo.

Image provided by and used with written consent of Australia Zoo.


My book story began with the Oprah show in January. She brought a plane load of Oprah Fans with her to Australia for an all expense paid trip.  I am an Oprah fan too!   However, since my invitation to join her in Australia got lost in the mail somehow, I had to watch the shows on television!


On the last day, she filmed from the Sidney Opera House and interviewed Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin. They have carried on Steve Irwin’s legacy at the Australia Zoo- Home of the Crocodile Hunter.


Bindi was talking about her new book series: Bindi Wildlife Adventures.  Set in the Australia Zoo, Bindi carries on her father’s love for reptiles and other animals in an adventure book format.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone.  Kids can read a fun and exciting book, and hopefully lose some of their fear of all things reptile. The Irwins share their knowledge of wildlife conservation with the world. And the Australia Zoo benefits by receiving a portion of the proceeds for each book sold!

Trouble at the Zoo_Book 1

That’s all it took for me to head for the store and buy a copy for our library.

Bindi’s books offer a different kind of adventure story to the chapter book genre.  Any book that starts with a girl having a pet Burmese python wake her up, and smiling at the thought ,brings a whole new concept to the idea of an alarm clock! 

 Each story is set at the Australia Zoo and features Bindi, Robert, and their mother Terri.

 In book 1, Bindi’s birthday party at the zoo is almost spoiled when a 10 year old visitor tries to steal one of the zoo’s water dragons.  Can Robert and a very special green macaw save the day and Bindi’s birthday party?  You will have to read the book to find out!

 Animal Fact Files with important facts about the featured animals are included in each book. Including some non-fiction facts with the fictional story is a great way to get kids started in some research of their own. Bindi’s books are appropriate for ages 7+.  Check them out!  They are a fun addition to any children’s library!

Coming soon….

Game Over_Book 2







Bushfire_Book 3


What adventure stories do you like?

Which Bindi Wildlife Adventures have you read?

Do you have a story about how you found a book?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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