The Yankee Reader

What gets you excited about your day?


For my nephew it’s baseball with a healthy dose of reading (and maybe a couple computer games). He is a diehard Yankees fan as you can see from his room decor. Everything is Yankees from tip to stern.
My favorite part of his room are the stacks of books. I wish I had taken more pictures, but trust me. He loves to read and his shelves prove it. We are DEFINITELY related! Like a true reader, the books closest to his bed are the important ones. The sports books by Tim Green, Mike Lupica, and Dan Gutman. Florida adventures by Carl Hiaasen. Then there are the top tier books- Wonder and The One and Only Ivan. These are the ones that will stay in his room, or at least that’s my prediction.


 Now he has a copy of Comics Squad. It never even made it downstairs to get read. Nope! It was consumed in one night. Right there in my nephew’s personal Yankee Stadium.

Now, where will it go on the pile?

PS. I have another sport book to suggest. If you like baseball, look for Screaming at the Ump by Audrey Vernick. This middle grade novel puts a twist on the typical baseball story by looking through the lens of a 12 year old and umpire camp. Cool sports story and well paced.

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Reading in a Teepee

Check out our first summer reading photo from Connor!


He’s reading the “STAT” series by Amar’e Stoudemire. STAT means Standing Tall and Talented is a basketball series written by a former professional basketball star. Amar’e Stoudemire, Captain of the New York Knicks and a six-time NBA All-Star, is a well-respected professional basketball player who has left his mark on the game and the community through his award winning outreach. He is focused on creatively inspiring youth to avoid poverty through education. He is the father of three children.

There are four books in the series. Here’s a review of Book #1 Home Court. If you are a fan of sports fiction and basketball, this might be the perfect series for you. 

stat series

Check them out at your local library or at a bookstore near you. Remember to let me know what you think! Is this a series we need to add to our Sport Fiction section?

The Super Summer Reading program is open to anyone near or far. If it’s summer vacation or still the school year for you, please have a trusted adult send a photo of you reading to me! The email address is shown here. 

summer read email pic

Be sure to let me know where you are so I can let our readers know in the blog post. For more information about this fun summer reading program, click on this link.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Hembree

PS. I am  currently reading The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern (realistic fiction)

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12th Man in the House!

Are You a Seahawks Fan?


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.


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.


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.


What is your favorite sport?

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

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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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Honus Wagner Card Sells for $2.1M

On Saturday, the rare 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card sold for $2.1 million  in a public auction to an unnamed bidder. Honus Wagner was a Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop in the early 1900’s and considered to one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

There are only about 50 of these cards left in existence, which makes them extremely rare. The story is that Honus Wagner made the American Tobacco Card pull the card because he had not granted them permission to print the card. He did not want children buying cigarettes to get his card.

The story of Honus is the first book in Dan Gutman’s baseball adventure series. It’s the story of a boy who finds the Honus Wagner card and finds he use it to travel through time.

Dan Gutman wrote this book in 1993. He submitted it to a publisher in 1994 and within two months it was rejected. He tried again and it was rejected again. He was rejected SEVEN times before HarperCollins – publisher #8 said, “yes! we like it!” You can read more about his rejection story on the Dan Gutman website.  

The book is now available in an audio version, was made into a TV movie called The Winning Season, and a play that was performed in four different cities, including Seattle. The importance of persistence is an important message that Dan shares with his readers on his website:

The good news is that there are now ELEVEN books in his baseball adventure series! Ted and Me is the latest book to be published. It’s about baseball legend Ted Williams and is Gutman’s 100th book to be published!

If you would like to learn more about the story of the T206 Honus card, ESPN has produced a 15 minute video about the history of this baseball player and the famous cards. Click here for that link. You can find Gutman’s adventure series in the sports section of our library.


Why do you think this collector paid this much money for a baseball card?

If you could create a sports card about a person, who would it be and why?


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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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Student Review by Baptiste


Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

In this book the main character is Nate. The boy is eleven years old and he is the Valley’s quarterback. The coach of his team puts him in as a quarterback because of his big and strong arm. Everybody calls this football fan “Brady”, after the New England Patriots quarterback because he can throw long like him and the young player is Brady’s biggest fan.

The main problem is that Nate wants to meet Tom Brady. One day, he went to the shop, “Sportstuff” and he saw a big poster saying “During the Thanksgiving game, at half time, there will be a contest to see who can throw the longest. The winner will receive a big check for million dollars.” The boy signs up immediately for the contest. Will he win the contest? You must read this to find out.

What an awesome book!!!!! I recognize myself in this book, and it makes me happy. Nate loves football and I love soccer. Nate is eleven years old and I am too. I will recommend this book to students who love sports.

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Student Book Review by Baptiste: Foot by Patrick Bruno

      (This story was written in French) This story is talking about a soccer team named Miraval. The team is getting invited to make a movie. First, I said “why are they going to make a movie if the title of the book is Soccer.” The money they make from the movie would help them go to China for a big tournament. But one of the main problems is that when they are making the movie they have another Championship going on and school is going on too. Another problem is that one of the characters in the movie got hurt in a really bad accident and he has to stay in the hospital. So will they stop the movie and not go to China or will they continue the movie and go to China…

       This story makes me feel happy because it’s what I do in life. I play on a soccer team. We don’t make a movie but we play in Championship games like they do. I hope that you like this book as much as I did. Remember this book is in French!!

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Book Review: Go Big or Go Home by Will Hobbs

go bigWant to go for a wild, extreme ride? Then check out this book! Set in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Brady’s world changes dramatically when a meteorite crashes through the roof of his house and lands on his bed! Luckily Brady was not in bed when it landed. As you can imagine, having a meteorite for a visitor is a bit extreme, and its arrival launches Brady and his cousin Quinn on a wild ride.

This book is for adventure and extreme riders only. It’s a fast page turner and I really like how Hobbs weaves in a lot information about the history and landmarks of the Black Hills region without getting boring. You can find out more information about Will Hobbs on his website at: (review by Mrs. Hembree)

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