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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Books!

 I have finally finished unpacking my suitcase and all the treasures that I picked up at the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference in San Diego. This includes all the galleys that I received while I was there. Actually, the books arrived the day after I got home (thanks to the miracle of Priority Mail), but I didn't have the shelf space to unpack them!

Thank goodness for TAs and substitutes in the library. I finally cleared out some space in my office and shelved all the galleys according to publication date. Please don't laugh at the fact that they are not in author order. It already makes my secretary crazy, but the system works for me.

Now I can get busy READING! And offering up titles to my students.  And believe me, there are some good ones in the pile! I've already read:

Whatever Happened to Goodbye (Sarah Dessen)
The Last Little Blue Envelope (Maureen Johnson)

Cryer's Cross (Lisa McMann)
Where She Went (Gayle Forman)
Cloaked (Alex Flinn)

Reviews coming soon, I promise.

There are so many good choices I know my students will be excited for, and I can't wait to read myself: Angel (Patterson/Maximum Ride); Family (Ostow); Ten Things We Did (Mlynowski); Beauty Queens (Bray); The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group (Jinks); Withering Tights (Rennison); She loves you, she loves you not (Peters); Shine (Myracle); and Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance (Halpin/Franklin). These are just a few of the ones I'm looking forward to. There are MANY! I'll post more of the titles later.

I have three shelves of galleys right now, but as soon as I start telling the students the books are here, I'm sure they will disappear. I'll keep you updated on reviews and what their favorite titles are!

What new book are you most looking forward to?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am kind of in shock...

One of my students came to me asking for books. Now, this is not a newsworthy or unusual occurance, but the story she told about why she wanted the books is still shocking to me.

This 8th grader had just finished listening to my book talks that accompany the "Survival" Unit reading project and was very interested in books about the Holocaust. (By the way, this is probably because our school is the only school in the country that does NOT study The Diary of Anne Frank...don't get me started on that. And yes, I am shocked by that). Anyway, I digress...

Said 8th grader went home over the weekend and was having a conversation with her mom about the Holocaust. (This is everything that we hope kids do about books and subjects they are interested in)! The discussion turned to Nazi experimentation on Jews and she decided that she wanted to know more. So, she went to our local public library over the weekend and asked for books about Nazi experimentation during the Holocaust. She was told, "you probably shouldn't be reading about that," and the person at the reference desk wouldn't help her find any books on the subject.

AAAAH! Having worked for almost 7 years in the public library before moving to school libraries, this REALLY shocks me. I am still in awe about the entire exchange, and am hoping that it was a misunderstanding!

By the way, on Monday when she told me about this, I made sure she checked out our copy of Surviving the Angel of Death: The story of a Mengele twin in Auschwitz. Which, I must add, the local library owns, and shelves in their Young Adult Biography section.

At least I got to be the hero in this story! In talking about this experience with several non-librarian friends, it is good to know that they were as shocked as I was.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yes, I really am alive!

It has been awhile since I have posted. And there are several reasons for that including the holiday season, a lovely vacation in Hawaii, and some sketchy Internet connections...and a new found addiction to Plants vs. Zombies, but that's a story for another day.

But the biggest reason that I haven't posted lately is that I've been READING...A LOT! No really, I have! As part of YALSA's 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) award committee, I spent the last month reading, reading, and reading. There were 191 books nominated for the award, and I managed to leave a number of them until Winter Break. Perhaps too many of them. There are some days that I'm very vague about the details: did I take a shower? Eat? Did the kids get to where they needed to be? I was kind of in a reading haze.

But it was all worthwhile last week when our committee met in San Diego at the American Library Association's Midwinter Convention. Sitting in a room all day, for 5 days talking about books was great fun. And then we finally voted on which books should make the list. Very interesting!

Here's the proof: The 2011 BFYA List
You will see all the titles that made the final award list, as well as a link to the Top 10 (which is a GREAT list of books in my opinion). Please note my name on the list of committee members...the only proof that I really was busy reading and not lost in Plants vs. Zombies on my iPad!

Are any of your favorite books on this list? Pretty soon I'll post my own personal Top 10 from the list, as well as those books that I LOVED but just didn't make the cut.

By the way, nominations for the 2012 list open on February 1st. I have a few weeks to read what I want until the next award cycle! Funny thing though, the only thing I've been reading are all the galleys (advance copies) that I picked up at Midwinter. There were so many good ones...more on those later, I promise!

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