Monday, November 16, 2009

Giveaways! (at other sites, though, not from me!)

The lovely Julie, aka Booking Mama, is hosting yet another fabulous giveaway. Actually there are a couple. One is for Chasing Picasso's Rooster, a delightful-looking interactive book for children, helping them explore art. I would LOVE to win this for my classroom, as I know my little students would love all the animals and I would love exposing them to more art. Plus we're learning all the ASL signs for animals right now (and some are learning the sounds, too), which is a perfect tie-in.

The other giveaway is for Diane Haeger's historical novel The Queen's Mistake: In the Court of Henry VIII. I adore historical fiction, and this one looks like a page-turner. You can read an interview with the author by clicking the link.

Can't wait to see if I win! Now really, I'm off to bed. It's past 1am!

Total Posting Slacker...

I have such good intentions, but such lousy follow-through. Sigh. The story of my life...

Since I've last posted, I've read:
The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale (borrowed from a friend before she could even read it)
Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale (library, after reading Goose Girl)
According to Jane, by Marilyn Brant (won from the Free Book Friday blog)
The Confessional, by J.L. Powers (borrowed from another friend)

Since I've started this blog, I've read:
The Story of Edward Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski (from the Book Club Girl blog) (this book was WONDERFUL. I promise to devote a post to this book., was it good)

And I've started:
The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale (library) (on a bit of a Hale kick, eh?)
About A Boy, by Nick Hornby (Goodwill) (saw "An Education" last Friday and felt inspired to read one of his novels)

I feel that I'm missing at least one book, but I can't think of what it is. Perhaps it's all the Signing Time I've been watching lately that's filling up my reading time. Oh, how I adore Signing Time. If I had children, I'd actually let them watch TV. I'm even debating having a heated discussion with my boss to let me show my students these videos. Yes, they are that good.

It's almost 1am, and I should be in bed (reading, of course). But maybe I'll stop by the library's webpage first and request some of those Shelf Discovery titles first...

'Night, all!

Friday, November 6, 2009

My new educator's library card! Plus, a new bosom friend...?

I have been going through major library withdrawals these last six months... As someone who would like to eventually become a librarian, I shouldn't really admit this, but I am terrible about paying my fines. Especially when they're really high because I check out 20+ titles for my classroom at a time. And then they get lost when I move... ugh, I'm sure you can see where this is going.

But the good news is that today I received my brand new educator's card! 6 whole weeks of checked-out bliss, plus the ability to check out bins of themed books for my students and other benefits I'm not even aware of yet =)

The best news, though? I met Paulina, who is the children's librarian for the branch closest to school. She's young, Hispanic, beautiful, and probably as enthusiastic to meet me as I was to meet her. After I introduced myself, she asked if I would ever bring my students to the library for field trips. As they're only 2- and 3-years-old, and the fact that we don't have a school bus, I declined the offer. But as I started to describe some of my needs for my sign-language projects, she interrupted me and said, "I have the perfect books for you! I'm saving them in the back; wait here!" Then she dashed off to her office and brought back at least six titles. They were stories, filled with rhymes and colorful pictures, that featured a new sign on every spread. I had to protest taking them all (explaining that resisting the temptation of excess is a current project of mine), but I settled with two on pets and the farm - our month's theme - and one about clothing. But I'll certainly be back for food, zoo animals, and colors.

Paulina helped we with a few other items and we chatted awhile, and she gave me her card. Mostly though I am so tickled that she pulled books from a stack on her desk. It reminds me so much of how I met Barbara, my inspiration back in small-town Virginia. Dear Barbara used to find a title that she thought I'd like and place it on hold for me, without telling me, so that I always had a pleasant surprise at checkout. Or she'd order new books for the library with my students' research projects and interests in mind. Oh how I miss her. But now, maybe I can form a new librarian-patron relationship with the lovely Paulina.

P.S. And I'm making progress: I only checked out 3 books and 1 DVD on that trip! Sadly, I discovered the power of online reserves later that night, and I now have a dozen titles in my queue. Oh well; I tried, right?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shelf Discovery Challenge

Booking Mama is hosting the Shelf Discovery Challenge on her blog, which happens to be the impetus for this blog! I've been meaning to start a reading journal for ages, so this just might be the kick in the pants I need.

The challenge is based on Lizzie Skurnick's new book Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading. From the website:

Launched from her regular feature column “Fines Lines” for, this spastically composed, frequently hilarious omnibus of meditations on favorite YA novels dwells mostly among the old-school titles from the late ’60s to the early ’80s much beloved by now grown-up ladies...

Since I don't have a copy of Lizzie's book yet, I don't know which specific titles she covers. But based on a sample from her website, here are the six titles I will be reading between November and April:

The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh
Kin-Flicks by Lisa Alther
My Darling, My Hamburger by Paul Zindel
The Grounding of Group 6 by A. Thompson

There are so many beloved titles on that list! Bridge to Terabithia... Jacob Have I Loved... Starring Sally J Freedman Herself... The Westing Game... Homecoming... Ring of Endless Light... oh, the love goes on and on!