This week’s book talks 5/13-17

17 May

Monday

w204

Up For Air  by Laurie Morrison

Tuesday

download.jpg

Extraordinary Birds  by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

Wednesday

download-1.jpg

Over the Moon  by Natalie Lloyd

Thursday

download-2

The Girl King  by Mimi Yu

Friday

download-3

HurricanE Season  by Nicole Melleby

A little YA historical fantasy this time

16 May

I make no secret that I love historical fiction.

Julie Berry’s newest novel, Lovely War, mixes two love stories set during the First World War with Greek mythology to come up with an amazing story.

91mtMzHwLOL

Publisher’s Summary: They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

 

It might sound impossible to mix the two stories, but in doing so, Berry turns a good love story into something so much better.

I listened to the audiobook and it was fabulous. Whether you read the print version or listen to the audiobook, you will not be disappointed.

Some lasts

14 May

With only five weeks of school left, my mind has begun looking for lasts. In addition to this being the end of another school year, this is my last year as our union secretary, a post I’ve held for the last three years. There are some aspects of the job I won’t miss, especially late Monday nights. But there are several I will.

Last weekend we had the last union board retreat. Every year we spend a weekend in Hood River, a lovely little town along the Columbia River. It’s work, but there is always a little play time. This year, during the scavenger hunt, our mission was to find something  Red for Ed. What my team found in the Goodwill had us laughing.

Yesterday, I said farewell to one of my favorite jobs: reading the letters from graduating students who applied for the scholarships we offer. The scholarships were established in the name of a man who was a great volunteer, so students are asked to write about their volunteer experiences. The team meets at a coffee shop and it makes for a really lovely couple of hours.

There are still lots of thing on my “last ____ of the year list”, but I am a little sad that these two won’t be on next year’s list.

screen-shot-2017-12-02-at-6-09-23-am

What is it about YA historical fiction?

13 May

There is a belief in publishing that historical fiction doesn’t sell in YA. When I look at my classroom library, I can see that my historical fiction section clearly has significantly more middle grade then YA.

Over the weekend, I finished Someday We will Fly  by Rachel DeWoskin, a work of YA historical fiction that shed light on a little know piece of history.

81jhUwOloiL

I knew that many people had fled Russia during the Revolution, travelling through Siberia to take refuge in China. Shanghai became a refuge for many from Europe and that’s what this story is about.

Why didn’t I know about the Jews who fled to Japanese occupied Shanghai? Or the way in which the Japanese and Germans worked to ghettoize them after the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

I will say that I was slow to warm up to this book. The beginning is a lot of telling, rather than showing what is going on. I can see that it built background and helped get us and the characters to Shanghai, where the bulk of the story takes place, but it was a bit of a slog. If I hadn’t been interested in the topic, I don’t know that I would have persevered to the end.

Publisher’s Summary:

This week’s book talks 5/6-10

10 May

Monday

download

The Absence of Sparrows by Kurt Kirchmeier

Tuesday

download-1

The Great Jeff by Tony Abbott

Wednesday

No booktalk – I was marching for fully funded schools

Thursday

download-2

Poison in the Colony  by Elisa Carbone

Friday

download-3

Friendroid by M.M. Vaughan

 

Tied up in knots

7 May

“Ms. Gillespie, I tied my shoes together.”

So said the 6th grade boy standing before me. He should have been on his way back to his seat from the meeting area, where I had just taught a fabulous lesson, but he couldn’t walk. I knelt to take a closer look. He hadn’t tied shoe laces together – he had braided bungee laces around the clips. Maybe my lesson hadn’t been that fabulous after all.

IMG_0240

“You’d better take a seat and take off your shoes,’ I said as I stood up. “I’ll see what I can do while you work,” I replied.

I poked a bit with a pencil before channeling my inner MacGyver. I took a paperclip from a dispenser, unbent one end, and began loosening the laces. While they should have been working, a few students came up to offer assistance.

“I have long fingernails.”

“I’m a Boy Scout.”

“My little sister does this ALL the time!”

I declined all offers of assistance. My strategy was proving successful. I loosened one strand enough to loop it over the clip, loosening even more. My MacGyvering was working and before too long, I laid two, separated shoes on the student’s desk. He felt a little foolish, but I felt fabulous.

 

 

Guest blogging at The Hub today

6 May

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 5.32.17 am

I am the guest blogger at YALSA’s The Hub today, where, inspired by the movie Bohemian Rhapsody,  I tackle that age old question, “What Would Brian May Read?”

In this post, I talk about fiction and non-fiction, and how much Brian May looks like Isaac Newton. You can read that post by clicking here.

i.chzbgr

The Fat Squirrel Speaks

Knitting, spinning, and assorted awesomeness.

Global Yell Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

andrea gillespie

Inquiring My Way Forward

Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Horn Book

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The History Girls

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

%d bloggers like this: