Book Recommendations for the week of 9.16.19

Navigating Early, (2013) by Clare Vanderpool
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Grenade, (2018) by Alan Gratz
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The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912, (I Survived #1), (2010)
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Restart, (2017) by Gordon Korman
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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, (2017) by Dusti Bowling
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Have a suggestion on what I should add, please share it! I love putting books and audiobooks on my list; especially ones you recommend!

Book Recommendations for the week of 9.9.19

To begin is easy, to persist is art.

-German proverb

Each week I’ll feature a variety of books. Some new, some old, but all great. I’ll book talk these books in the Resource Center, but they will live here too in case you want to revisit titles throughout the year. If you have books you think I would love, please share them with me too!

Ghetto Cowboy, (2011) words by G. Neri, illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson
Goodreads Summary
Middle School The Worst Years of my Life, (2011) by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
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Squirm (2018) by Carl Hiaasen
Goodreads Summary
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, (2016) by Leslie ConnorGoodreads Summary
The Thing About Jellyfish, (2015) by Ali Benjamin Goodreads Summary

New Year: New Role!

Tomorrow begins my 29th year in education! After more than two decades at The Hubbard Woods Elementary School, I’m eager and excited to begin my new journey as a teacher-librarian at The Skokie School in Winnetka, IL. This unique school is a fifth and sixth grade building in which all of our feeder elementary schools gather for the first time in one place.

I’m moving into the role that was held by a beloved librarian who has excited and ignited the reading lives of students for many years. It is a lot to live up to, but I am ready!

The possibilities of flexible scheduling, deep and meaningful collaboration with classroom teachers and a redesign of the physical space have my mind racing with possibilities.

I look forward to learning and growing with the staff and students. I’ll use this blog to reflect and celebrate our growth together!

Lifelines: Books That Bridge the Divide

When Wendy Garland and I traveled at total of 13,000 miles to meet face to face, we had already spent dozens of hours planning for our presentations at the 2018 ALA International Conference. Our first discussion was about what we had both read on the flight. Wendy had just finished Ann Braden’s The Benefits of Being and Octopus, and couldn’t stop gushing about how powerful it was. I had just finished Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. Being librarians, we connected the books to our communities and our students and our own lives. The next day, we had the chance to experience traditional Emirati culture. We toured the Jumeira Mosque and then attended a traditional Emirati luncheon. We ended our day by taking a walk through a historic section of the city called ‘Old Dubai.’ Our stomachs and minds were full when we encountered this amazing painting.

We had learned about the cultural significance of the Burqa, or facial covering, that was worn as a symbol of engagement, earlier in the day. I thought the painting showed a woman empowered and I quickly fired off the tweet above. It reminded me of the great new series Meet Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi. that I had just added to our library’s collection.

You can probably imagine how flabbergasted I felt when I received a direct message on Twitter from Ann Braden and Saadia Faruqi asking if Wendy and I would like to be interviewed for an upcoming podcast on the Lifelines Podcast that they produce. Wendy and I couldn’t believe it. Twitter had just connected us with two authors over 7,000 miles away, all because of a photo I’d taken after spending a day learning about another culture.

A couple of months later, we were recording the podcast with Ann reminiscing the incredible opportunity we had to learn from and share with dozens of librarians from the middle east. And now, today, the podcast with Ann Braden and Saadia Faruqi launched.

I love that Saadia brings in the titles that help us as librarians open the eyes of our students. As you’ll hear in the podcast, we all believe in the power of books to empower and enlighten our students. One book, in particular stood out to me from the many that Saadia mentioned. The book, This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids Around the World, is especially powerful for elementary readers. I like that the author invites the reader into the story and presents each of the cultures as equal and valuable.

I hope that you will enjoy the podcast as much as Wendy and I did. Thank you to Ann and Saadia for inviting us to be a part. Keep up the fantastic work on this podcast!