Saturday, March 28, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Beetle Busters

Beetle Busters by Loree Griffin Burns book coverBeetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It
by Loree Griffin Burns
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Oct. 7, 2014)
Narrative Nonfiction


Looks at the tree-killing Asian longhorned beetle and how the help of everyday people, their neighborhoods, teams of beetle-sniffing dogs, and effort from bug scientists to tree doctors are working to eradicate this invasive pest. 

Why You'll Love It:
  •  Burns really knows how to make nonfiction pop! Seriously, if nonfiction had been presented in this engaging manner when I was younger, I would've been reading it like crazy instead of not really discovering my love of nonfiction until college. 
  • She really helps readers connect science to everyday life. For example, Burns' writing is framed by the experience of a teen who saw his favorite forest area cut and has watched it regrow.
  •  Abundant, close-up, color photos of the insect (from egg to pupa to mature adult), damaged trees, onsite workers, and informative labeled diagrams and maps help tell this disquieting story.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 5-8...and here's the teacher guide.

What Else You Should Read:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Earmuffs for Everyone

How Chester Greenwood became known as the inventor of earmuffsEarmuffs for Everyone: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs
by Meghan McCarthy
Paula Wiseman books (Jan. 6, 2015)
Narrative Nonfiction/Informational Picture Book


This picture book biography of Chester Greenwood explores the invention of the earmuffs and the patenting process.

Why You'll Love It:
  • McCarthy takes readers through the process of inventing something and gaining a patent on one's invention without being boring!
  • The author  mentions that although several sources incorrectly credited Greenwood with inventing earmuffs, her historical research showed that “the facts got muddled” through the years. Readers learn the important lesson that sometimes facts get mixed up and history isn't always reliable.
  • Readers are engaged with McCarthy's engaging writing style and cartoonish illustrations.

Who Should Read It:

Great for 2nd-4th grade. 

What Else You Should Read: 

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Book Fair Time!!

brace yourself book fair is coming meme

Yes, one and all. It's that time of year again. 

This spring's theme for our book fair is Under the Sea. We (meaning my art teacher, some students, two awesome PTO mommas, and our school bookkeeper) slapped this baby up in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Here's the result:

book fair decorations sea shells at the beach Scholastic

book fair decorations beach luau door decorations

ocean sea horses window decorations for book fair Scholastic

The kiddos really loved making fun sea creatures to add to our book fair decor this year. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: "Shouldn't You Be In School?"

Shouldn't you be in school? All the wrong questions Lemony Snicker book cover"Shouldn't You Be In School?": All the Wrong Questions 3
by Lemony Snicket
Little, Brown (Sep. 30, 2014)


Young Lemony Snicket investigates a rash of fires that have plagued the town of Stain'd-by-the-Sea, revealing secrets that involve the Department of Education and the notorious villain Hangfire.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Linguistic play and literary allusions abound in this smart, slyly humorous noir thriller.
  • The illustrations add an extra dimension to the story, and the author does a fantastic job of incorporating mini vocabulary lessons into each chapter. 
  • It's set in a library! 
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 4-7, but you definitely need to read the first two!

What Else You Should Read:

Monday, March 9, 2015

What they're (really) reading : March 2015

kids reading books outside photograph
 photo by Toby Neal

By keeping a pulse on what my kiddos are checking out and keeping a close eye on which books are circulating heavily, I feel that I can spend the small budget I have more wisely by choosing books I know will have a greater likelihood of circulating widely.

Each month I'll feature a few fiction and a few nonfiction books that are on the "heavy rotation" list at our elementary library. They're not necessarily new, shiny, or covered with awards -- they're just what the kids want.

This month's selections:

Aliens and other visitors by Ruth Owen book cover

Aliens and Other Visitors by Ruth Owen

Readers will investigate the truth behind alien stories, exploring the fears and superstitions of different cultures and looking at the scientific facts that might explain the seemingly unexplainable.

Monster Hunt by Jim Arnosky book cover

Monster Hunt: Exploring Mysterious Creatures by Jim Arnosky

Describes giant prehistoric animals, discusses stories of mythical monsters such as dragons, and examines the possibility of the existence of Nessie, Big Foot, and other modern legends. 

Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech book cover

Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech

Jack is studying poetry again in school, and he continues to write poems reflecting his understanding of famous works and how they relate to his life. 

Freddie's Dog Walking Service by Jonathan Rand book cover

Freddie's Dog Walking Service by Jonathan Rand

Freddie and his friends get more than they bargained for when they decide to get rich by starting a dog-walking service. 

Five Little Monkeys Reading In Bed by Eileen Christelow book cover

Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow

The Five Little Monkeys cannot resist reading, even after Mama tells them it is time for bed.

My perfect wedding Disney book cover Lisa Ann Marsoli

My Perfect Wedding by Lisa Ann Marsoli

With the help of her fairy godmother and mice friends, Cinderella plans a beautiful wedding. 

What's popular at YOUR library? Share titles or photos in the comments below...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: The Terrible Two

Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John book coverThe Terrible Two
by Mac Barnett and Jory John; illustrations by Kevin Cornell
Amulet Books (Jan.13, 2015)
Chapter Book


When master prankster Miles Murphy moves to sleepy Yawnee Valley, he challenges the local, mystery prankster in an epic battle of tricks but soon the two join forces to pull off the biggest prank ever seen.

Why You'll Love It:
  • The humor is deadpan and slightly quirky. For example, the fictional town of Yawnee Valley is famous for one thing -- cows -- and random cow facts are peppered throughout the book.
  •  The short chapters and fast pace build confidence in struggling readers. 
  • It's a great new book to suggest to students who have already read all of your "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" read-alikes. 
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 4-6...and here's the book trailer:

What Else You Should Read:
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