Book reviewer extraordinaire!

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Joy of Being a Children’s Librarian

I can read all the books I want without feeling embarrassed!! When I get funny looks from the checkout clerks in book stores my husband cheerily offers the explanation, “she’s a children’s librarian.” He likes the kids books as much as I do!

As of late he has taken to the 39 Clues series’ of books. We finished the first series in record time! He is reading the second series and is very opinionated about who the Vespers are and their motives! I even use him as an example to other parents as to the greatness of these books because my husband has dyslexia and reading was always difficult. He has a master’s degree in IT so he can read when he must but reading for enjoyment just did not happen. When I tell parents he read the series out of enjoyment for the story lines, the history, biographical information and geography touched upon, they are amazed!

I also get to enjoy the pure silliness of reading! Who doesn’t love Dirty Bertie and Walter the Farting Dog? I get to read silly and sometimes a little inappropriate material and share the fun of saying those forbidden words (stupid, dumb, and well, FART) AT SCHOOL!

No one has as much fun as I. I get to read it all. Prekindergarten level all the way through adult reading material. It is great!

I am currently reading a cozy mystery, a 39 Clues children’s adventure mystery, and a realistic fiction adult book. I have on request from my public library a YA sci-fi. No justification needed but just in case anyone actually asks, I AM A CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN!

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Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Book Report Covers

Book Report Covers (Photo credit: m kasahara)

This story still chokes me up. Not because of the dog but because of the boy. It is an old-timey story of what it was like when America was new in Texas. Men had a job to do to provide for their families. That job took them far and wide away from their families. This is the story of how a family had to make changes and make do without their protector and provider. It is the story of how a boy became a man and how his perspective of family changed as a result. Love it!

What I find amazing is the fact that my students did not feel saddened at the loss of the father, the innocence, and the dog. Nothing. No emotion. Does that mean my students are no longer capable of feeling? I don’t think so. I do think they see so much drama, not the good kind, on television they have become apathetic. They feel no empathy because it is not over-dramatized and the emotion of this book must be felt to understand the book. It makes me sad that these children are spoon-fed emotion, action, and reaction without requiring understanding and sympathy for what others have gone through. This actually terrifies me as I wonder what this group of children will become without developing that inner emotion and empathy for others.

<shudder>

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor

Fancy Nancy

Fancy Nancy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I must confess, I really like this series on so many levels.

Nancy is a little girl who adores using her colossal vocabulary, much to the chagrin of her friends and family. Sometimes it gets her into a little trouble and sometimes she works out her troubles. These are not complicated stories but they do help students develop a larger vocabulary at a second grade reading level. They are similar to the more complex Geronimo Stilton series by addressing the need of children to develop larger vocabularies. Which is the main reason I like these books.

I also like these books because they allow us to be a little silly and pretentious a we read them!

Can you tell a bibliophile wrote these books? You betcha’! They are entertaining and educational!

HELP!! My library is OLD!!!

I have just taken over a school library in a rural area. The first thing I did was run a collection analysis to see where were. I am so saddened to find my students’ lack of reading desire is due to the age of the collection. I am not sure where some of the books came from but even in the 1980s when the school was built the books were outdated.

The average age of my collection is 1985. Almost 35 years old. The problem with that is there are books in the collection from the 50s. No, not classics that can transcend time. The collection has been added to sparingly over the years so there are a few newer items. However, there are no Encyclopedia Brown, A to Z Mysteries, and I am certain that in my library Pluto is still a planet.

If any publisher wishes to have reviews posted here please send me your books and I will gladly review them and add them to my collection. If any bookseller wishes to be kind and donate relevant materials to my students, I will gladly make it known here! Yes, I am begging … for my students. My library reaches PK through 4th grade and I have a few upper level readers who are borrowing books from my personal collection. Please help!

No Talking! by Andrew Clements

Goodness! Do I know a group of unshushables! I am reading this book to a group of third and fourth graders with the hope and desire they will get the idea to try the same contest with similar outcomes!

So, boys against girls…no talking for two whole days…who will win? Seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Not really, the lessons learned by both students and faculty alike are refreshing. Andrew Clements has a way of getting to the core of the issues and in this book it is the incessant desire of a fifth grade class to talk, constantly, non-stop, they probably even talk in their sleep kind of yakkers.

My third and fourth grade classes are loving the book. Partially because of the cooties and trash talking involved but I do’t care, THEY ASK ME TO READ IT!!! For a group of kids wit the attention span of the 5 minute commercial break I will take it!

Thanks Mr. Clements, you may have helped me spark a desire in these kids to read on their own. Great read for kids and adults. Short chapters allow students to feel as though they are moving through the book quickly and silly enough they remember where we left off from week to week. If you have a reluctant reader, this will help get them motivated. The kids are even asking me if they can read it when I am done!!!!!

Welcome!

I am starting a new review blog to focus on children’s books. Fiction and nonfiction alike!

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