Reading Movie Magic

Where did you read this summer?


Where  did you read this summer? Was here or there? Near or Far? To keep their reading skills sharp our readers kept reading all summer long. It’s just as important to read in the summer time as it is during the school year. To make it a little more fun, we added a dose of silliness! We got caught reading in super fun or super silly places! We had…..drum roll please…..

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Each one of our participants will receive a special bookmark, a free bag of popcorn and a starring slide in our yearly Super Summer Reading movie! Thank you everyone for participating. A special thanks to all the families who took the photos, sent them and gave permission for them to be included on our blog! You rock!



What was your favorite book from the summer?

Leave me a comment and let me know!


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A Peek at the New Library

Where do you like to read?


Our new school and library opened yesterday to smiles all around! For the past two days I have heard, “Ooh!  It’s beautiful!” One of the magical places in the library are the windows. Between the stacks are tall windows with ledges. They were the first place students headed to with a book this week! Our shelves aren’t in great shape yet, and we have lots of decorating left to do, but that doesn’t matter when you have a wonderful place to come and read.


Our Bulldog Readers have been sending in more photos too! Here are the latest entries from the parents of Eric, Joel, Ben, Jimmy and Gabe.






As summer ends and the school year begins it’s time to think about a new reading challenge.  Anyone have a suggestion?

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Happy Labor Day Weekend

Are you having fun this weekend?


It’s the last big holiday for us before school begins and the last of our reading photos are here! Josa is in Winthrop, WA enjoying a few moments of fun and reading!


Mina and Penny recently went on a camping trip with their family. I have to vote the two toilet photos as the silliest I have seen all summer. Who knew that there would be a campground with outside toilets, not for business, but just for show. I think Dav Pilkey would really get a kick out of seeing the Mina reading Captain Underpants on the outside toilet!


Nicholas went to see the tall ships in Kirkland last week. The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain are moored in front of the Woodmark Hotel and will be holding tours and mock battles this weekend. You can find more information here.


Ramsey went to see the Sounders game at the stadium in Seattle. Rock on Sounders! Way to go Ramsey for getting the details in the game program before everything started!


School begins Tuesday and the teachers are all ready! My annual Super Summer Reading posters are made, printed and waiting to get hung up on Tuesday morning! Thanks everyone who participated this summer!  There is a reward in your future. Here are a couple photos of the new library as a tease before the complete unveiling next week.


What was the favorite part of your summer?

What book did you read that you hope others will read too?


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Airborne in a Kayak

Who says kayaks need water?


Ellie and Landon were visiting Potholes State Park  in eastern Washington when their parents took this photo! Yes, the car was at a complete stop and nobody was harmed in the making of this photo!


On another trip they visited Mt. St. Helens. This is the famous volcano near Portland, Oregon that blew its top in 1980 and destroyed hundreds of miles of forest land. Now, the area 33 years later, is a volcanic national monument with thousands of visitor walking the scenic trails or climbing the crater rim.


When he’s not reading Laura Joffe Numeroff books, Jalen like to read spooky stories and books about animals. You will have lots to choose from in the new library.


Different than her brother, Ariana is reading non-fiction (read facts) book. Does anyone know what book she is reading? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Many thanks to Ellie, Landon, Jalen and Ariana’s families for participating in our Super Summer Reading program this summer!


What place did you visit this summer?

What interesting fact did you learn?




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Look at our Readers

Do you recognize any of our readers today?


We have five new Super Summer Reading photos to share today. Lauren and Kate had some backyard reading fun recently. With all this reading practice, I think they are definitely ready to start the school year!


Orcas Island is where Meredith had her photos taken. Check out how she can read and kayak at the same time! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do that without getting wet. However, reading while swinging on the hammock used to be one of my favorite summer reading places.


Mrs. Yollis is one of our blogging buddies in California. She visited some family in Minnesota this summer and shared this photo of her relaxing in the lake. Her school started yesterday and she already has a blog post. She would love it if you visited her blog and left a comment!


The “Three J’s” are up in the treehouse for this photo! Thanks Jake, Jonah, and Josa for showing us how it’s done. I think Geoff Rodkey would love seeing Deadweather and Sunrise, plus New Lands up there in the treehouse. Cardboard is a funny graphic novel about a boy who gets a cardboard box for a birthday present. Here is a link to Doug Tennapel’s website where you can get more information about his other books.


Do you know Rachel? She is the bronze pig statue at the Pike Place Market who has had thousands of visitors take a  ride since she arrived in 1986. Thanks Josa for sharing one of Seattle’s famous landmarks with our readers.

Do you want to send in a photo of you reading this summer? You are not too late! The deadline for submissions is August 31st! Just have your parents send me a photo to:



Have you ever visited any of these places?

What was the best book you read this summer?

Leave me a comment and let me know!


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Test Your World Landmarks

Where is Parker?

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If you guessed somewhere outside of the US you are correct! Recently, Parker traveled with her family to Portugal. In the photo on the left, she is reading at the Western most point in Europe.  The 2nd is her reading at the Castle of St. Jorge in Lisbon and the last picture is her reading at the Roman temple to Diana in Evora. If you want to learn more about Portugal and the wonderful sites you see there, visit official Portugal tourism website.

Where are Jake and Mackenzie?


This time if you guessed inside the US, you are correct! Jake and Mackenzie went on a family road trip this summer and visited some sites within the western states. In the photo above they are at a tourist stop along the original Oregon Trail.


Do you recognize any of these signs? Like Mr. Hembree and myself, Mackenzie and Jake visited Zion and Bryce National Parks. In the top right photo, Jake is in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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 I don’t know about you, but this rock looks like a dinosaur head to me! It’s not though. Instead it’s a rock dwelling in Arizona on the Navajo Indian reservation.


 In the last group of photos, they are at Meteor Crater in near Winslow and Flagstaff, Arizona (left 2 photos). On the top right they are at Montezuma Castle National Park in Arizona and at the Grand Canyon National Park on the lower right.

Thanks to Parker, Mackenzie and Jake for sharing their reading photos while you were visiting these amazing places!

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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.




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.



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.



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?



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.



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?


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:  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.

Adair lincoln

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.

josa Collage

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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Wait! There’s Still Time!

Have you sent in a photo yet?


Audrielle took a little trip to California with her family and here she is in California Adventures. I’ve never been there, but people tell me it’s a fun place to visit.

It’s August 1st and there are still 30 days to send me a photo of you reading. I am going to make a poster  of all the Bulldog Readers and display it in our brand-new library. I know you want to be part of this! Tell your friends too! Our poster last year was the most viewed bulletin board in the room.


Now, here’s a great example of how you don’t have to go far to get a great reading photo. Josa is in the comfort of his own home reading the newspaper.

Remember, reading is reading. It can be a magazine, a newspaper, a book, an eBook, a brochure, a map, the dictionary, the encyclopedia (does anyone have those anymore?) – whatever you are reading is great! Just have your family send it to this email address and I will get the photo posted within a few days.


Maybe I could get an author to send a photo of them reading one of their books! Maybe I should ask Geoff Rodkey!

Hey Geoff – if you have a spare minute, would you send me a photo of you reading Deadweather and Sunrise or New Lands? PLEASE?! Our readers would love to see a real author reading too!

If you missed my last post and poll to vote for your favorite Deadweather and Sunrise book cover, here is the link. People have been voting for their favorite cover. So far, it appears that the US cover is the favorite, although Germany is rising to the top in second place.

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Since I posted that, a new Israeli cover came in and Geoff has it posted on his blog. It’s a blast having this book cover/blog/author/librarian conversation. Please visit and read about More Fun with Foreign Covers and tell us what you think about this Israeli cover. I will go on the record saying my favorite cover is the one used in Australia, Italy and Turkey. The title is bold and grabs my attention, and the pirate ship is larger. It communicates the important details of the story without emphasizing one item over another. The cover works for me.


This is a great adventure book to read, so stop by your local library or bookstore and pick up a copy. The sequel New Lands is out too!


What reading photo are you going to send in?

What do you think of the poll results?

What surprises you about the Israeli cover?

Leave a comment and let me know!

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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!


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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