Archive for April, 2011

Sugar Changed the World

Posted in blogs, create your own, low tech ideas, music, ya lit on April 28, 2011 by Anita

When encouraging kids to read, we can’t neglect informational books.   And we can’t forget to promote wonderful informational books. There are so many online connections to history and science that can help bring an informational book to life that the pairing seems obvious.

For their book Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Freedom and Science, authors Marc Aronson & Marina Budhos also created a website to share the sights and sounds of the history of sugar.  The Sugar Changed the World website includes music and dance, web links, a teacher’s guide and more.

Be sure to let readers know about the site.  Place a mailing label with the website and a brief description in the front or back of your library’s copy of Sugar Changed the World.
And don’t stop there!  Create your own guides for informational books both in the book and online.  See our low-tech label ideas and sample pathfiners on our wiki!

Don’t miss Marc Aronson’s blog, Nonfiction Matters, for daily discussions about informational books.


Beatle Meets Destiny

Posted in create your own, curriculum, pathfinders, ya lit on April 22, 2011 by Anita

Imagine your name is John Lennon, only everyone calls you Beatle.
And then you meet your dream girl and her name is Destiny McCartney.
But what if you’re already with the perfect girl?
A novel about change, chance and everybody doing the wrong thing.

-summary from goodreads

When we think of pathfinders, we usually associate them with class projects.  But, if you’re anything like me, you know some of the most exciting research takes place outside the classroom, when you find a topic that really, really interests you: a new hobby, a bit of history… a favorite band.

So why not create pathfinders for popular topics that kids might want to pursue on their own?  Or, better yet, have the student “expert” create the pathfinder for you?  A lot of kids will jump at the chance to create a resource list on their favorite topics.

Think outside the box when creating a pathfinder.  Traditionally, pathfinders were handouts given to students when they came to the library.  Then we started posted them on websites.  But how to organize them?

One great alternative is using a social bookmarking site like delicioius.   It’s an easy way to keep track of recommended links for student use, but you can also use tags to create pathfinders within delicious.

The Beatles

For popular topics like The Beatles, use delicious to bookmark informational sites, links to information about movies on the Beatles, links to video clips, audio clips… and don’t forget to link to books in your online catalog.

With some topics, you can even include fiction books on the topic!

Don’t miss out on other great pathfinder tools, like

Jog the Web


And don’t miss Joyce Valenza’s Neverending Search for the perfect pathfinder platform!

Authors Are Rockstars!

Posted in podcasts, ya lit on April 21, 2011 by Anita

Check out Authors are ROCKSTARS!, a monthly YA Lit podcast!

Debut episode:

An interview with Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.  How can that NOT rock?!?

Waiting on Wednesday

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 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!

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

Coming September 29th

I have so many books on my to-read list that have already been released that it seems almost shameful to be waiting on more.  But this one sounds irresistible – something a little different from Maureen Johnson.  I love her contemporary fiction and can’t wait to see what she’s done with this history laced thriller.

“The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.”

Summary from Goodreads

But even before The Name of the Star is released, Johnson has another new book. The Last Little Blue Envelope, sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, is coming out April 26th.  In anticipation, you can download 13 Little Blue Envelopes FOR FREE from now until the sequel’s release date!

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)     The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)

Here is the link for Kindle

For Nook

For Sony reader

Read more about Maureen Johnson & her books on her blog or follow her on Twitter @maureenjohnson !

Who is Saint Giovanni?

Posted in blogs, ya lit on April 19, 2011 by Anita

Rane Anderson is blogging her new book.  Yep, you read that right.  She’s serializing the whole book on her blog, and you can read along for free.


Who Is Saint Giovanni?

The morning after a near-death experience, seventeen-year-old Emily Edwards discovers an X carved between her eyes. It’s painless, bloodless, and she has no clue how it got there. No one else seems to see it. As if that’s not bad enough, Emily’s senses are freakishly sharper, like she has been living, until then, a little deaf, a little blind, and without taste buds. Desperate for answers, Emily turns to Giovanni, the only person in Italy she promised herself she would avoid. He’s everything she hates in guys. Impulsive, secretive, and reckless, just like her father. What kind of guy grabs a girl he doesn’t know and kisses her? But Giovanni may be the only one who can see the mark. Though he denies it, Emily swears she’s caught him staring at it. Before long, Emily learns she’s a pawn in a deadly game that has existed for centuries. The only one she trusts has stolen her soul, and she doesn’t even know it. Although some call Giovanni a saint, others call him a devil. Emily must determine whose side he’s on by finding the answer to a single question.
Who is Saint Giovanni?
Summary from The Lit Express

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Posted in ya lit on April 18, 2011 by Anita

The meme is hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books.

Another good week for reading, although I slacked off a bit over the weekend.  I have a small stack of books I need to read for class/book club and they’re slowing me down a bit, not exactly what I’m in the mood to read.

2011 Reading Challenge

I’m still 26 books behind on my 2011 Reading Challenge on Goodreads.  My goal is to read 175 books this year, and I’ve been trying to read one a day in April to get me caught up (the year got off to a slow start).  I’d love to participate in The Catching Up Readathon, sponsored by Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century, but I don’t have a four-day weekend (just a regular old two day one) and I’ll be out of town for those two days.  Instead, I’ll try to keep up with my one-a-day pace.

What I Read:

Spies of the Mississippi by Rick Bowers

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – Disappointing.  I’ve read so many excited reviews of this series and I just found Belly really, really annoying.

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway – I LOVED this one; it wasn’t talked about enough

Jane by April Lindner – I need to do an entry on this one.  It was a great reworking of Jane Eyre. Who wouldn’t love Mr Rochester as a rock star?

Moccasin Thunder ed by Lori Marie Carlson – I can’t take credit for reading the whole thing; I just couldn’t finish it.  I assigned it to my class at the request of a guest speaker, but I found it really depressing.

What I’m Reading:

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork – I’m only about two chapters into this one and not loving it so far. I’m reading it for our book club, though, so I’m going to try to finish it.

Plan to Read:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King

Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul B. Janeczko

Every Bone Tells a Story by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw

Reading History

Posted in curriculum, ya lit on April 15, 2011 by Anita

I’m doing a presentation at the Illinois Council for Social Studies conference today with a history teacher from my former high school.  We’re presenting on using social networking and books to get student excited about history.  We’ll share the project we created last year using Shelfari and a wide assortment of historical fiction and nonfiction books.  Our goal was to get the kids to see history and reading in a new light and to get them talking about books – and it worked!  So many new things grew out of this project; many used it as a lead-in to their final research project.

Reading History

We’ve created a small wiki to share our lesson plans and materials with conference participants. Please feel free to use any of the documents we have posted and adapt them to your own needs if you’d like to try the project in your school.