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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Madness Continues

Yes, March Madness has swept through the library at Evergreen! We are doing our part to contribute to the craziness that comes with filling out a bracket and rooting for your favorites.

Now, to be honest, this is the first year in I don't know how long that I haven't filled out a college basketball bracket. Chemo brain just didn't allow me to think clearly enough to compete. And since I know better than to pick my favorite Bulldogs, I wouldn't have been too disappointed with my bracket.

But March Madness at the library is almost as crazy! There have been blowouts, buzzer beaters, and upsets! We started with 32 books, all determined by the top circulations in our library since the start of school. Adjusting for series: only the top circulating book in a series was "allowed" into the tournament as decided by the tournament official (me).

First round: Some very interesting outcomes!
--8th seed Leviathan battled 25th seed Unwind. In the end, the winner was determined by the FINAL VOTE, with Leviathan prevailing.

--The 20th (Red Pyramid) and 21st (Chomp) seeds upset their competitors.

--Two of my favorite books were paired up against each other, so I knew from the start I was going to lose one of my favorites in the first round. False Prince battled to the win over A Long Way Gone.

--3rd seed Maze Runner did not crush it's competitor (Breaking Dawn) quite like you'd expect of a 3rd seed, but it did come out victorious in the end.

Sweet 16:
--9th seed Matched upset Leviathan in the closest matchup in this round.

--My FAVORITE book in the tournament, Swim the Fly (4) was upset by Red Pyramid. I am bracket is blown. It's all fun and games until your favorite "team" loses.

Now we are on to the Elite 8. Voting is open until Tuesday, 4/2 at 3pm. You can vote online here, or get a paper bracket from the library. Will your favorite book(s) make it to the Final Four??? Stay tuned...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Come Show Your Support for Mrs. Yusko

Next Friday, 3/29...Be There!!

Several Evergreen graduates are putting on this event on the 29th. It takes place at the Old Fire House Teen Center, from 7-9pm. See the invitation for details.

Yes, I will be there! I am excited to see these talented students perform. It should be a good time...and I hear there will be baked goods, so what could be better?!

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March Madness in the Library!

Starting Monday, the library will be holding it's own March Madness tourney! Students AND staff can compete and win prizes. Will your favorite book(s) make it to the Final Four???

Come to the library each week to get your bracket. Round 1 voting starts Monday, and ballots must be returned to the library no later than 8AM Friday 3/22. Sweet 16 voting starts Monday 3/25.


WHAT IS IT?                                                                                                                            
A contest to pick the best book at Evergreen! (The Top 32 books based on circulations this school year are competing).                                                                                                             Voting will be finished before spring break.    
HOW DOES IT WORK?                                                                                                                               
Students and staff will vote for their favorite books. Books are divided into brackets, starting with 32, then Sweet 16, Elite 8, and then the Final 4 & Winner.                                                                                                                                
Vote each week to ensure your favorite books make it through the bracket.
ARE THERE PRIZES?                                                                                                                               
YES! There will be prizes awarded each week (fun stuff) and grand prizes awarded at the end (gift cards and free books).                                                                                                                                
Students AND staff can win BIG prizes by voting for the books that make it to the Final Four, and for picking the winner. There are also smaller prizes awarded each week.
You can't win prizes if you don't remember to put your name on the ballot :)

VOTE EARLY, VOTE OFTEN?                                                                                                                         
Campaigning for your favorite book IS allowed…but you can only vote ONCE each round. If you have a favorite book and want it to win, get other people to vote for it. To see how your favorites are doing, check out the giant bracket in the library for updates!                                                                                                                            
If you would rather vote online, you can! Use the links below. (This week only, there are two on both to vote for all the match-ups). You can actually start voting online now.

Western Conference
Eastern Conference

Friday, March 15, 2013

Amazing Authors visit Evergreen!

Evergreen was so lucky to host two amazing authors this week. Lisa McMann and Jennifer Nielsen took time out of their busy touring schedule to visit students in the Library Tuesday morning. Several 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Language Arts classes were lucky to be able to hear the presentation. It was a PACKED house!

Now, right off the bat, let me just say that I was very happy to be able to organize this event as I am a HUGE fan of BOTH authors and their books. I was also glad that I was feeling well enough to be there so I could meet them. (I tried not to embarrass myself too much by gushing like a teenage fan-girl...I promise).


Such a good time was had by all. AND we received some great advice to help us with our writing. Here are just a few of the important things to keep in mind:
(1) Story connects all of us! Books, music, dance, art...all creative endeavors tell a story.
(2) When you write something you think it's AMAZING, and you're sure that your teacher will think it's PERFECT. No such luck, right? The teacher always thinks your work needs revision. UGH! But Ms. Nielsen decoded the word "revision" for us: This is your teacher's way of saying what you have done is pretty good, but it could be great...with revision. "It's not enough to be good, I expect you to be great."
(3) Great writing comes in re-writing.
(4) Ms. McMann reminded us to always ask the "What If?" matter where you are, or what you see, there's a story in it.

Their combined tips for wannabe writers:
(1) Read your favorite book over and look at it like a writer.
(2) Don't give up!
(3) Don't be afraid to fail.
(4) Be true to who you are. Write your own voice. "We need your voice!"
(5) Read!
(6) Keep writing.

Besides being a fan of each other's books, Ms. McMann admitted to being a fan of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and the "Chronicles of Narnia" books when she was a tween/teen. Ms. Nielsen loved (and still does) "The Outsiders" when she was in middle school. (Great choices, ladies!)

About the morning, Ms. Nielsen had this to say, "So glad to have met you, and the others there, and the fantastic students. Lisa and I really enjoyed our time at your school." Well, we really enjoyed our time with both of you! Thank you...and a big THANK YOU to Third Place Books for bringing this event to us.

To hear more about their books, read this previous "Trailer Tuesday" post.

And if you ever have a chance to see these dynamic women in person, DON'T MISS IT! You will not regret it. And if she doesn't tell you the story, ask Ms. Nielsen how her and Suzanne Collins share something in common.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mrs. Yusko and the Katy Perry Wig Make the Paper

If you received a copy of the Redmond Reporter at home, you might have seen the article about me, which included a great picture of me in the library (sporting my favorite wig).

If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out online here as it is a terrific article about the wonderful community that has been supporting me throughout this journey. Thanks to everyone, whether you were mentioned by name or not!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Trailer Tuesday

Today's Trailer Tuesday is in honor of the TWO authors visiting Evergreen today.

First up, Lisa McMann, author of so many books/series that are popular with Evergreen readers. Here's an interview with her where she discusses one of these books.

And a trailer for one of her new series, "The Unwanteds." Love it!

Here is the book trailer for The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I loved this book and am so glad the sequel is out.

I am so excited to meet both of these amazing authors today!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trailer Tuesday: Eve and Adam (Grant/Applegate)

Action, suspense, and sci-fi combine in this new title by two popular authors: Michael Grant (author of the Gone series), and Katherine Applegate (author of The One and Only Ivan and the Animorphs series).

Definitely series possibilities, but I don't know if it will be a series. A very interesting premise that will have you talking. Check out "Eve and Adam" soon! 

Celebrating Seuss, Part 5

Can you name the book this quote comes from?

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Books in Series You Love

Okay, I have discovered that chemo and reading do not go together quite as well as I thought. My hope for being on medical leave for this extended amount of time was that I would at least catch up on all the books I wanted to read. And I would have time to write the reviews of those books here for you.

No such luck for a variety of reasons:
(1) Chemo has changed the structure of my eye somehow and reading is hard. I can no longer see things that are smaller print, and close up (books, my phone, texts, medical forms I'm supposed to sign, etc).

(2) I am tired all the time from the chemo, and just can't read non-stop like I used to. This makes me sad...

(3) Neuropathy has set in. This is where your hands and feet go numb, either off and on or continuously. I'm lucky that this comes and goes right now, but it is kind of hard to type when you can't feel your fingertips.

(4) Your brain is affected by chemo (it's called "chemo brain") memory is gone! Very hard to write a review when you've forgotten you read the book!

So, instead of lamenting over writing a review for you of all the books I am reading, I think that I'll start posting books I would recommend, without a big review. I'll let you look them up in the library catalog or on to see if it is a book that would interest you. 

First up, several new books in series that are already popular. If you liked the first book(s) in these series, you will enjoy these:

(1) Prodigy by Marie Lu, sequel to Legend

(2) Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer, sequel to Cinder

(3) The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson, sequel to The Name of the Star

(4) Requiem by Lauren Oliver, third book in the Delirium trilogy

(5) The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe, sequel to The Way We Fall

Celebrating Seuss, Part 4

So true!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

More Seuss!

A very appropriate book to read today! Happy Birthday to you, Dr. Seuss!

What is your all-time favorite Dr. Seuss book? I have several, but one of them is a less well-known title that was published after his death: My Many Colored Days.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday tomorrow, and Read Across America Day and Month, I thought I would spend the next week or so posting some of my favorite "Seuss-isms." 

To get you in the mood to READ, READ,'s today's Seuss inspired poetry:


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