Chain Reaction Playlist

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2011 by Anita

Simone Elkeles shares her playlist for Chain Reaction @ Anna Reads!


Waiting on Wednesday: Anna Dressed in Blood

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2011 by Anita

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,that spotlights upcoming releases I can’t wait to read!

This week, I’m waiting on…

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna Dressed in Blood, #1)

Expected publication: August 30th 2011 by Tor Teen

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas’s life.

Summary from Goodreads

I’m a huge, HUGE fan of the TV series Supernatural, and this one sounds a little Supernatural-ly.  Can’t resist.


Honus and Me by Dan Gutman

Posted in book reviewers, further reading, videos on August 11, 2011 by Anita


Joe Stoshack lives for baseball. He knows everything there is to know about the game — except how to play well. His specialty is striking out. Stosh feels like a real loser, and when he takes a low-paying job cleaning a bunch of junk out of his neighbor’s attic, he feels even worse — until he comes across a little piece of cardboard that takes his breath away. His heart is racing. His brain is racing. He can hardly believe his eyes. Stosh has stumbled upon a T-206 Honus Wagner — the most valuable baseball card in the world! And he’s about to find out that it’s worth a lot more than money….

Summary from Goodreads


Many baseball experts will ague that Honus Wagner was the greatest player that ever lived.  A contemporary of the more well-known Ty Cobb, Wagner actually out played Cobb in the 1909 World Series, which Wagner’s Pittsburgh Pirates won.

Wagner is perhaps even more well known for the T206 Honus Wagner, the rarest and most expensive baseball card in the world.  The T20 baseball card series was produced from 1909 – 1911 by the American Tobacco Company, and Wagner, who objected to smoking, refused to allow the company to continue production of his card.  Only 57 copies were distributed to the public.

The Card has had multiple books written about it, including the adult book The Card: Collectors, Con Men, and the True Story of History’s Most Desired Baseball Card by Michael O’keeffe and the children’s book All Star!: Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever by Jane Yolen.

This card is at the center of the first book in Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures series.  After finding the rare and valuable card while cleaning out his neighbor’s attic, Joe Stoshack discovers he can use it to travel through time.  Joe first brings Honus to him, but then travels back with Honus to witness the 1909 World Series for himself.

Luckily for Joe, Honus’s card isn’t the only one that holds this power for him.  Joe can use many baseball cards to travel through time, allowing him to eventualy meet Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, among others (interestingly, Joe never meets the great Ty Cobb, perhaps because Cobb is known to have been an angry and unstable man.)

Boys and girls who are fans of baseball will love the Baseball Cards Adventure series, which is packed full of baseball facts, history and exciting baseball games.  Gutman also places baseball in it’s social context, exploring how the game influenced and was influenced by history.  In Jackie and Me, Joe goes back in time to meet Jackie Robinson for a school project, and has the chance to see what it was like to be an African American in America in the 1940s.

Of course, there are many places to explore baseball on the web and many enhancements to a series like this.  Nearly all the players Joe meets are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  In fact, Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth were both among the original five inductees.

Ken Burns: Baseball


Students looking for more information about the history of their favorite game would do well to watch Ken Burns’s Baseball.  Burns dedicates his amazing talent to exploring not just the game’s history, but it’s place and import in American society.  Baseball is currently available for Instant View to Netflix subscribers.   

Of course, those looking for information on current teams and players and the current baseball season must visit Major League Baseball’s official site.  Video clips and highlights are posted daily from games around the league.  Clips from the annual All Star Game and Hall of Fame acceptance speeches are also available.

Additional Reading

There are many choices out there for kids who want to read more about baseball, but Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz provides a perspective most might not recognize.  Japanese players have found a home in Major League Baseball only recently, despite the widespread popularity of baseball in Japan, and the existance of professional baseball in Japan since 1920.  Samurai Shortstop explores the origins of the game’s popularity in Japan.






Mare’s War

Posted in curriculum, further reading, ya lit on July 14, 2011 by Anita

Black History Fact of the Day: Beyonce Knowles, an award-winning singer, songwriter and actress, holds the record for the longest run on the Billboard Hot 100’s No. 1 spot in 2003 with the songs “Crazy in Love” (8 weeks) and “Baby Boy” (9 weeks).

A blend of historical fiction and road trip novel, Mare’s War is a great summer read. I have to admit I especially love the new cover (bottom).


“Meet Mare, a World War II veteran and a grandmother like no other. She was once a willful teenager who escaped her less than perfect life in the deep South and lied about her age to join the African American Battalion of the Women’s Army Corps. Now she is driving her granddaughters—two willful teenagers in their own rite—on a cross-country road trip. The girls are initially skeptical of Mare’s flippy wigs and stilletos, but they soon find themselves entranced by the story she has to tell, and readers will be too.

Told in alternating chapters, half of which follow Mare through her experiences as a WAC and half of which follow Mare and her granddaughters on the road in the present day, this novel introduces readers to a larger-than-life character and a fascinating chapter in African American history.”

— goodreads

We think women in the military is a new thing, but in fact they played a huge role during World War II.

African Americans were there, too.

Black and White Airmen: Their True History

But perhaps one of the groups whose roles are least explored is that of African American Women.  The Women’s Memorial site actually offers a Brief History of Black Women in the Military, including some info on their roles in WW2.  Other sites contain resource lists and some great photos, but information seems to be a little scarce.

 It’s great to see some YA lit exploring the role African American women have played in history.  Mare’s War is only one example.  Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith explores the role of an African American female pilot during WW2 who has to “pass” as white if she wants the chance to fly.


Lookingfor more?

Goodreads has some great lists:

YA Holocaust and WW2 Novels


Civil Rights Books for Children


And don’t miss more from these authors and about African Americans in American History

Tanita Davis’s Blog

Sherri Smith’s Blog

Bio’s Black History Month Resources includes videos, timelines, biographies, and a Black History Fact of the Day.

ebook for School Librarians

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2011 by Anita

From Buffy Hamilton, The Unquiet Librarian

“School Libraries: What Next?” Ebook Project


We are delighted to accept submissions for a collection of crowdsourced short
essays on the future of school libraries from multiple perspectives, to
bepublished in e-book format to coincide with Treasure Mountain and AASL in
October 2011. We believe this e-book is a way for librarians to take the lead as
content creators and publishers with custom, community-significant content for
patrons. We imagine e-readers as publishing platforms for us, not

Whether you’re an ardent supporter or see the proverbial handwriting on the
wall, what do you see as the next 10 or 20 years of school libraries? This book
will also tackle an “elephant in the room” question: with the nation’s education
systems in an economic depression and many school librarians being pink-slipped,
what is the future of school libraries? How might they be reinvented to remain
deeply significant – for student learning? Should they? What past practices will
we need to jettison? What stalwart beliefs must we hold tightly?

We’re posing a set of essential questions that will encourage you — and us! —
to think deeply about the future of school libraries in the areas of:

  • Gaming
  • 21st-Century Learners
  • Who and When Do We Teach?
  • Reading
  • Emerging and Multiple Literacies
  • Networks and Organizations
  • The Physical Library
  • The Virtual Library
  • Collaboration
  • Collection Development
  • Librarian Coursework and Professional Development

You can learn more about our project, the topics we
are exploring, and how to submit by visiting the links on the Submissions
The Submission Guidelines document will let you know more
about the length, style, and topics.

Thank you for your interest in our experiment – we hope you will join us!
Please visit the project page by clicking here.


Kristin Fontichiaro

Buffy Hamilton

How To Be Bad ebook CHEAP!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2011 by Anita

How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle: NOOK Book Cover

How To Be Bad

By E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski & Lauren Myracle

Limited Time: How to Be Bad is only $1.99 in eBook format from BNITunes, and Books-a-Million.

Waiting On Wednesday: Born Wicked

Posted in further reading, ya lit on July 12, 2011 by Anita

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,that spotlights upcoming releases I can’t wait to read!

This week, I’m waiting on…

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)

Born Wicked

The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1

by Jessica Spotswood

To be released February 7th, 2012

“Cate Cahill and her sisters are considered eccentric bluestockings—a little odd, a little unfashionable, and far too educated for their own good. The truth is more complicated; they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it could mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. Before their mother died, she entrusted Cate with keeping them safe and keeping everyone, including their father, in the dark about their powers. When her father employs a governess and Cate begins to receive notes from her missing, presumed-mad godmother, her task becomes much more difficult. As Cate searches for answers in banned books and rebellious new friends, she must juggle unwanted proposals, tea parties, and an illicit attraction to the new gardener.  Cate will do anything to protect her sisters, but at what cost to herself?”


Author Jessics Spotswood has her own blog, and includes a book list of what she’s reading.  Her goal?   To read 100 books in 2011.  She’s hit 35 so far, and I’m guessing the titles with hearts next to them are her favorites.  She tweets, too, of course.

Can’t wait for Born Wicked to do some witchy reading?

Try some of these while you’re waiting.

Witch Child (Witch Child, #1)                                   Blue is for Nightmares (Blue is for Nightmares, #1)

More books on witches & wiccans

And, of course, don’t forget my favorite movie…

Practical Magic Poster