Not SCARY Scary

Halloween is this week. Isn’t that nuts?  I’ve had kids in my department for weeks, asking for Halloween books, for ghost stories, for scary stories. And then there are the kids that want something maybe creepy, maybe suspenseful but “not SCARY scary.” I love these kids.  These kids are my kindred spirits because I hate being scared. I can’t watch a horror movie and I never read a Goosebumps book when i was younger. But I do enjoy suspense and a little gloom.  Take a look at these books for your kids who want to have some Halloween reading but want to be able to sleep at night: The Theodosia Throckmorton series by R.L. LaFevers: Theodosia can see curses and get rid of them. This comes in handy as her parents work in a museum and there are artifacts with curses everywhere.  This is a fantasy adventure and though there are…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Camps: The New Trend in Summer Reading

This summer at the Fayetteville Free Library in Fayetteville, NY we piloted our first ever week long summer camp during Summer Reading. The Fayetteville Free Library Geek Girl Camp is a camp for girls in grades 3 through 5 introducing them to hands on STEM skills and to female role models. Months of work went into planning this camp fulfilling a need in our greater community.  According to the Girl Scout Research Institute,  “Research shows that girls start losing interest in math and science during middle school. Girls are typically more interested in careers where they can help others (e.g., teaching, child care, working with animals) and make the world a better place. Recent surveys have shown that girls and young women are much less interested than boys and young men in math and science.”[1] We had 44 girls attend the FFL Geek Girl Camp from all over the greater…


Back to School Booklist – Humor

So, the kids are going back to school. Or are already back in school. Down here in Mississippi, this is the fourth week of school! Middle school is hard. The adjustments, the transitions. A lot of turmoil. So what I’m saying is that I think our kids deserve a laugh. If you need a quick display idea or just something to hand a kid who’s dreading going to school on Tuesday, here’s a list of really hilarious middle grade:   The Ginny Davis books by Jennifer Holm (of Babymouse fame!). These are old enough that your middle school readers might not be familiar with them, and they’re great. Filled with photographs, journal entries, and looking like a scrapbook, this colorful series will grab a tween’s attention–and make them giggle, too. Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle – every single person I talk to about this book says “HILARIOUS” in…

Live Blogging

Flash Reading Mob at #alaac14

This morning I participated in the Vegas Flash Reading Mob with a small (but very excited) crowd of participants. We met under the Eiffel Tower at 8am on the strip and froze for 5 minutes to read. I took the opportunity to increase awareness of the need for diverse books and read Jacqueline Woodsons’s new book Brown Girl Dreaming. This event was put together by librarians from the American Library in Paris, who also created a very successful flash reading mob under the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

ALA Annual 2013

Author Inspiration

I had two opportunities to hear authors today at #ala2013 and both knocked my socks off! I decided several months ago to attend the Bookmobile Saturday: Author Lunch, hosted by OLOS , which required a $25 ticket.  Lauren Myracle and Audrey Niffenegger were the guest speakers, and since my daughter has declared herself Lauren Myracle’s “biggest fan,” I figured it would be a great opportunity to meet her. I planned to stick to the free programs during my first ALA Annual Conference, but I highly recommend trying a ticketed event.  For $25, I received a yummy lunch, heard two talented authors speak, and received signed copies of each of their books, courtesy of Abrams Books.  It was much more fun than standing in long lines in the crowded Exhibit Hall for an author signing. And Lauren Myracle signed my daughter’s copy of Twelve! I also attended a program called “Krosoczka! TenNapel!…


The Gamification of Reading

John Hersey, author of Hiroshima, once worked on a committee for his children’s school to determine why children were struggling at reading. The group’s discovery was that the reason the children were struggling was because they thought the primers they were reading looked boring. They didn’t want to read stories featuring illustrations of perfectly mannered children that just looked dull, insipid, and boring. This idea of using interesting illustrations was taken up by William Ellsworth Spaulding, an editor at Houghton Mifflin’s textbook division. He borrowed an illustrator named Ted Geisel from Random House to create a textbook that contained words that experts had decided were important for first graders to know. Nine months later a book featuring 236 of those words from the list was created. Geisel had noticed that many of the words on the list rhymed; the first two words happened to be cat and hat. Cat in…

Blogger Angela Reynolds


I’ve been thinking about reading lately. Since I learned to do it, I have been in love with reading. From the moment that Green Eggs and Ham went from being an orange cardboard and paper object to something that I could actually READ, a bibliophile was born.  I stayed up late as a child, yes, with a flashlight under the blanket. As a teen I would spend the whole weekend reading a book, shirking my chores. I once broke a lamp while trying to read and vacuum at the same time (if only I had known about audiobooks back then!) When I went to college, after a brief flirtation with science I realized that I could get a degree in reading. Yes, English major with a minor in Classics (reading in ancient languages, anyone?) When I finally realized that spending the rest of my life surrounded by books could actually…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Mock Newbery Book Club

October still feels like the beginning of the school year, but it is approaching the end of the publishing year.  So for me, it is time to take stock of the year’s best books, and begin the process of narrowing the list to the 6-8 titles we will use with our annual Mock Newbery book club of 4th through 6th graders. Our Newbery club meets once per week, beginning in November culminating with a party following the announcement of the actual award (January28th this year) for a total of about eight to ten weekly meetings depending how the holidays land.  Attendance is nice for discussing the books, but not required to participate. Our meetings are held before school, and some of our truly avid readers stay up way too late to get to school early! Everyone participates by filling out a Newbery Club Score Card when they finish a book. …