VACATION!!!

Normally, I take a vacation near the end of August, as my reward for surviving Summer Reading.  This year, a whole bunch of things pushed vacation back a few weeks…and pushed it back a few weeks more….

But now I’m officially on vacation!  A week and a few extra days of rest and relaxation!

I already have reader’s cramp (that ache in the back of your neck after hours of reading).  It’s been worth it.

So far on this vacation, I’ve read the following:
Cress by Marissa Meyer (WHEN DOES WINTER COME OUT?!?!)
Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
Losing It by Melvin Burgews, et al

I’m almost halfway through Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen.  Will definitely be doing a full review of this!

Now if I can only talk The Tiny Human into letting me sleep in this week….

Book Clubs for Kids

At last month’s CYPD conference, I gave a presentation called “You Can Find Me in the Club, The Book Club!” (cue the 50 Cent music). ¬†I talked about the two book clubs our library has for kids, how they work, and what we do during meetings. ¬†Since I’ve been working away at various book club related tasks today, I thought I’d share some book club info with you.

What are your book clubs?

My library hosts two book clubs for kids. ¬†One for kids ages 5-8 called “The Page Turners” and one for our tweens ages 8-12 called “inbeTWEEN the Lines.”

What do the book clubs do?

We meet once a month to discuss a book and do different activities related to that book.  The kids get a free copy of the book (while supplies last) to keep.

Why do you have book clubs for kids?

Why not?! ¬†Book clubs give kids the chance to talk about books. ¬†It can help them define what they like to read (or what they don’t like to read). ¬† It also encourages them to read outside their comfort zone in terms of reading ability and their normal reading tastes.

The book clubs have also given me the opportunity to get the know the kids one on one.  Because book clubs do have a fairly big discussion element, we get to talk about more than just the books.

How do you select the books?

I DO WHAT I WANT!!!  Actually, I try to think about what the kids would like to read and what books might bring more kids to the book clubs.  We mostly read fiction (picture books for the younger group) but I do try to include some non-fiction and graphic novels.  There is also something classic-y every year (i.e. Where the Wild Things Are, Pippi Longstocking, etc.).  In the summer, I try to tie the selections into our Summer Reading Program theme.  In 2013, we read all award winning books in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal.

Where do you get the books?

I have purchased the books through the Scholastic Literacy Partnership and Book Depot.  Both have been fabulous in terms of selection, price, and how quickly the books are delivered.

What have you read?  

The Page Turners (5-8 year olds)

  • Silverlicious
  • The Snowy Day
  • Make Way For Ducklings
  • Bad Kitty
  • The Sandwich Swap
  • Junie B. Jones and the Yucky, Blucky Fruitcake

inbeTWEEN the Lines (9-12 year olds)

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Savvy
  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants
  • Hatchet
  • The City of Ember
  • Dewey the Library Cat

My library doesn’t have a very big programming budget. ¬†How can we start a kids book club?

In Indiana, there are Book Club kits available through the Indiana State Library. ¬† The kits contain 15 copies of each title and check out to your library for 3 months. ¬†If you’re outside Indiana, check with your state library to see if they have a similar program. ¬†I also think this would be an excellent grant opportunity. ¬†Reach out to your Friends of the Library group to see if they could help fund this project.

Have any more questions about kids book clubs?  Ask away!

Bring on the Books: The Jewel

Ok, just drop whatever it is you’re doing and read The Jewel by Amy Ewing.

The Jewel

I first learned about The Jewel when I was poking around for the release date of The One (Book 3 of The Selection series by Kiera Cass, which you should also read). I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for it and I was not disappointed.

For many, life in The Jewel is a glittering world of wealth, royalty, and power. For Violet and other girls like her, life in The Jewel means servitude. Violet, now known as 197, is auctioned off to be a Surrogate. Purchased by the powerful (and sometimes cruel) Duchess of the Lake, Violet is expected to carry a child for the Duchess.  Within hours of her arrival to The Jewel, Violet quickly learns that the women of the city will stop at nothing to be in total control.  As Violet waits for her inevitable pregnancy, she is presented with an unheard of opportunity  for a Surrogate- freedom.  Violet clutches to this dream, while pretending to be the perfect Surrogate, when another unusual possibility comes her way- love.  Violet may now be in over her head because in The Jewel, everything comes with a price.

For the record, it has taken all of my willpower to not just tell you everything that happens in the book.  When I got to the last page, I had to go back and reread because, Holy-Cliffhanger-And-That-Came-Out-of-Left-Field-Batman was I surprised.

When is Book 2 coming out?!?!?!

Bring on the Books: Sidekicked

Sidekicked Cover

What if you had a secret identity?

What if you had extraordinary powers?

What if you still had homework?

Those are some of the questions facing Drew in John David Anderson’s novel Sidekicked. Drew, aka The Sensationalist, is part of a top-secret sidekick training program called HERO. Teen sidekicks are paired up with Supers (aka superheroes) to learn the ropes and hone their skills in hopes they will one day become heroes themselves (or at least super awesome sidekicks). And lucky Drew has the greatest hero of all as his mentor- The Titan.

Or at least The Titan used to be great. Now he spends most of his time hanging off a barstool.

Drew and the rest of his sidekick friends run into huge problems when Supervillians return to their hometown of Justicia- and the Supers are tied up elsewhere.

Can Drew and his friends save the day?¬† Will the Supers come to their rescue?¬† Will Drew have time to study for tomorrow’s math test?¬† The answers to these questions and more can be found in Sidekicked by John David Anderson.

I loved this book and immediately suggested it to a coworker for her grandson.¬† It was full of action and fun. ¬† Drew’s sarcastic views on middle school (and life) really spoke to me and my twisted little soul.¬† I also liked how the themes of good and evil are explored in this and the companion book, Minion.¬† The difference between good and evil isn’t always black and white, and both books do a fabulous job of bringing this to life.

Not to mention this book is perfect for Summer Reading 2015!¬† We’ll definitely be using it in our tween book club.