Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Finn's fun trucks: The Construction Crew by Finn Coyle, illustrated by Srimalie Bassani

So many sections to update! But I have made a start on updating the board books, which I hope to continue this year. This is one of the new titles I purchased from Flowerpot Press - their books are generally sturdy and fun, but sometimes they have a few too many moving pieces.

The first spread introduces the construction crew - front and center is a black woman, a man on the left could be Hispanic or Asian, and of the other three white men one has dark hair and a mustache, one has red hair, and the third is balding with grey, curly hair. All wear orange hard hats and are a little pudgy around the middle!

The rest of the spreads include one member of the construction crew introducing a machine, "This is a cement mixer. Can you guess what it does?" on the opposite page you see the machine with some simple identifying captions, "mixing drum, chute, water tank". Lift the vehicle flap and you'll see the machine in action.

The last spread shows the whole crew and all the machines - lift the full-page flap and see a whole city under construction.

The flaps are full pages, made of sturdy cardboard. A little reinforcement on the hinge might be a good idea, otherwise I expect the book will last for many repeated readings and through the loving touches of many little hands!

Verdict: A fun addition to construction board books. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781486713875; Published March 2018 by Flowerpot Press; Purchased for the library

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Fairy's first day of school by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Sara Not

There are a lot of first day of school books, going to a new school books, and other general school books. But I've only got two (very old) books that are younger than kindergarten. Which is weird, because so many kids go to daycare and/or preschool now!

When I think of Bridget Heos, I'm more likely to think of laugh-out-loud funny (and mustaches), but this book is adorably sweet. A curly-haired fairy wakes up in a flower, ready to start school for the first time. She and the other children fly with their parents (or on the schoolbird) and have a lovely day meeting new friends, having fairy snacks, playing, and reading stories.

Of course this is an imaginative approach - preschoolers won't really expect to be able to clean up with a whisk of a wand, nap in a tree under flower petals, or tightrope walk on a spiderweb. But the general activities will be familiar and the cozy approach will comfort nervous little ones and make them giggle.

Sara Not's illustrations are adorably sweet; there are lots of colorful flowers, miniature details, and a nice variety of skin tones and body types among the fairies. The main fairy character is biracial, shown at the end with her curly-haired, darker skinned father and blonde, white fairy mother.

Verdict: A delightful addition to new school books, perfect for the littlest ones starting preschool, this fairy tale will be a delightful read at any time of the year.

ISBN: 9781328715593; Published 2018 by Clarion; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Monday, January 28, 2019

Green Slimers: Opossums by Ellen Lawrence

A new, icky animal series from Bearport! This one is "Slime-inators and other slippery tricksters" and I received a copy of the opossum title for review. So, I know some people think opossums are cute. I am not one of them. I think they are gross and creepy, like giant rats. And I have never observed the whole "playing dead" thing, only them hissing at me and looking creepy. So I have no problem with this book emphasizing the "beneficial animal but omg so gross and creepy" theme.

In this book you will learn about opossums playing dead (and the stinky green slime and poop they release while doing so), their diets (extremely gross, especially the picture of them eating the innards of a dead squirrel), their homes, reproduction cycle (marsupial!) and other facts.

At the end of the book, there's a recipe for making your own slime using marshmallows, corn starch, and food coloring, a picture glossary of "science words", brief index, three suggested titles, and a few sentences about the author. I was surprised there was no photo of the actual stinky green slime (especially considering the roadkill and carrion squirrel being ripped apart pictures), but maybe it's hard to get a photo of an opossum's butt...

Other titles in the series cover slime molds, hagfish, parrotfish, slugs, and animals with poisonous slime like poison dart frogs.

Verdict: A delightfully stinky and gross new series, sure to please fans of the publisher's previous poop science set and those who love all things gross and gag-worthy.

ISBN: 9781684026968; Published 2018 by Bearport; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

Sunday, January 27, 2019

RA RA Read: Laugh 'n' Read, Funny Beginning Chapter Books

Every age and reading level loves humor, but it can be hard to find funny books for those kids just getting into chapters. Even at a young age, humor is a very individual thing, but these are some series and individual titles that I've found have a wide appeal to kids transitioning to chapters.

Just transitioning to chapter books

  • Jump-into-chapters from Blue Apple Books
    • Some of these are out of print or you have to purchase directly from the company. However, it's worth it! Kids laugh endlessly over them. Our favorite series are Mr. Ball by Michael Townsend and Andy by Maxwell Eaton
  • Noodleheads by Tedd Arnold
    • These are based on old folktales - the trope of the foolish person - and they feature two kids who are, literally, noodles!
Beginning chapter books
  • Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger
    • I thought these were more weird than funny, but the kids thought they were hilarious. It's a brief series that features a venus flytrap as detective, along with his goat sidekick. A companion series, Didi the Dodo, is coming out later this year.
  • The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
    • This graphic series features a group of traditional bad guys - Big Bad Wolf etc. - who are trying, sort of, to change their reputation.
  • Flying Beaver Brothers by Maxwell Eaton
    • This is an old graphic novel series, but it's still available in prebound or paperback. It has Eaton's trademark deadpan delivery as it relates the wacky adventures of two beavers.
  • Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale
    • Both boys and girls will love this series about a fancy, frilly princess who turns into... the dashing Princess in Black to fight monsters!
  • Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
    • I was initially doubtful about this series about a little girl with a wild imagination, but they have turned out to be very popular.
  • Ella and Owen by Jaden Kent
    • I haven't seen much buzz in this series from little bee, but I have quite a few dedicated fans. It features the goofy adventures of two dragon siblings, starting with their confrontation with a terrifying vegetable wizard!
Intermediate (one step up) beginning chapter books
  • Roscoe Riley by Katherine Applegate
    • A typical "school misadventures" series, but kids love them.
  • Stinky Cecil by Paige Braddock
    • This graphic novel series is funny AND includes nonfiction! It's a little more challenging to read.
  • Two dogs in a trench coat by Julie Falatko
    • This is really middle grade, but it is heavily illustrated and kids who are invested enough will enjoy it. I laughed until I cried. 
  • My Weird School by Dan Gutman
    • This isn't just one series - it's a never-ending series of series. I don't get the appeal myself, but the kids think they are hilarious.
  • Gum Girl by Rhode Montijo
    • This is a graphic blend series featuring a girl who gets superpowers when she chews special gum. It's also more challenging - think Bad Kitty level (most of which are actually very complex!).
  • Down Girl and Sit by Lucy Nolan
    • These are available paperbacks, although the originals are mostly out of print. They feature two dogs, who think their names are Down Girl! and Sit! and are hilarious. I love them and the kids do too!
And finally...
  • Branches from Scholastic
    • These range from just transitioning to chapters to transitioning to middle grade. They are illustrated and meant to be "branches" from easy readers to full chapter books. Some of the series are long-running while others pop out a handful of books and then end. The funniest series, in my opinion and that of the kids, are:
    • Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings
    • Princess Pink and the land of Fake-Believe by Noah Jones
    • Boris by Andrew Joyner
    • Kung Pow Chicken by Cyndi Marko
    • Haggis and Tank Unleashed by Jessica Young

Saturday, January 26, 2019

This week at the library; or, Winter is here

I ended up doing a lot of work in the back
as well as a couple hours in the basement
since I couldn't go out on desk and
so many programs were cancelled.
What happened at the library this week:
Projects for this week:
  • Finish juvenile fiction weeding
  • Start working on lost/missing list
  • Put together MOPs presentation
  • Update Winter Wigglers obstacle course
  • Continue working on updating toy bags and kits
  • Walmart grant - send orders and start publicity and paperwork
  • Start contacts for art show.
  • Look at two upcoming grants.
  • Prep for Snow Fun and my three days off next week!
Of course, I started the week with a sinus infection/cold. Why not? I coughed, sneezed, and moaned my way through my to-do list though. We had a snow emergency Tuesday night and into Wednesday so my Wednesday morning outreach was cancelled and we rescheduled the yoga to next week and just had a block party. Then the weather continued, clearly determined to make up for its former mildness with all the snow and cold at once - all together I had 5 programs or outreach events cancelled or rescheduled! I did get a lot of maker kits and toy bags replaced, updated, or added. You can see them here.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Spirit Hunters: The Island of Monsters by Ellen Oh

I really liked the first book in this series. It was rather gory and definitely creepy, but also fascinating and very satisfying. Alas, I didn't get as many kids to check it out as I'd hoped. "Too creepy!" My voracious younger readers told me. "Too long!" My reluctant, wanting-scary-books-with-pictures older readers told me. Sigh. Still, I enjoyed it myself and was pleased to finally get around to the second book.

After the events of the first book (Harper's little brother, Michael, was possessed by an evil spirit) life has gone back to normal. Sort of. Harper now has the tacit but uncomfortable permission of her parents to pursue her training as a shaman with her Korean grandmother, she's finally back together with her best-ghost-friend Rose and... of course things start going wrong.


After a run-in with a terrifying monster, Harper is devastated to lose her ghost-friend Rose. She's even more reluctant to accompany her family on their vacation to a tropical island - one that is giving both her and her grandmother a really bad feeling. However, there's no way to get out of it and off she goes. Her worst fears come true when she discovers horrible, monstrous demons, rakshasas from Hindu mythology, inhabit the island. And there are even darker secrets lurking in the grove... and they're not all in the past.

Harper must draw on all her courage, strength, and the help and guidance of her friends if she, and her family, are going to survive their tropical island vacation.

This is gory - there are disemboweled corpses. Just so you know. But not described in extreme detail, so I personally didn't think this was as scary as the average horror movie that kids watch. It's mostly atmospheric horror and the mounting pressure of secrets and Harper's family's refusal to acknowledge what's happening, even after the events of the first book.

Verdict: If you have readers who loved the first book and like atmospheric, skillfully written horror, they will be eager to read this satisfying sequel.

ISBN: 9780062430113; Published September 2018 by HarperCollins; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Major Eights: Battle of the Bands by Melody Reed, illustrated by Emilie Pepin

This is the first book in a new(ish) beginning chapter series from little bee. It introduces a diverse group of girls, Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet, and focuses on a different girl in each story. This book focuses on Jasmine, who is Asian-American. She and her friends have a band together - Scarlet sings, Becca plays the guitar, and Maggie the drums. Their band is make-shift (the keyboard doesn't work and Becca can't read music) but they have fun together. Until Jasmine's older brother taunts her about not being in a real band. In an effort to prove herself, she signs her friends up for a Battle of the Bands. But they're the only eight year olds, everyone else is a lot older, they don't know what they're playing, and she didn't tell her friends she was signing them up! Things get more and more convoluted, until Jasmine has to decide if her friendship or winning is more important to her (not that they can actually win, but going ahead and actually playing I guess).

The resolution is a bit of wish-fulfillment - they play a little ditty they made up together, naming themselves the Major Eights for their age, and get an honorable mention. There are seven books planned so far in the series, so various characters must make multiple appearances. I know in the next Scarlet, the African-American singer, gets a solo gig and I would guess it endangers their friendship. The black and white illustrations are fine, if not stand-out and it's little bee's slightly smaller paperback size.

Verdict: There are a lot of these "diverse groups doing stuff" series and I'm not sure this one will be interesting to my audience since it seems to focus heavily on music and performance. I'll probably test it in a book club first.

ISBN: 9781499805642; Published January 2019 by little bee; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Small Readers: Detective Paw of the Law: The Case of Piggy's Bank by Dosh Archer

I admit that I wasn't initially crazy about Dosh Archer's Urgency! Emergency! series but once I saw how much the kids absolutely loved them I was won over. We've been using them in book clubs for several years and my only regret is that not every library in our consortium owns a wide selection so I have to use inter-library loan to get enough copies for book club.

I was thrilled to discover that Archer is debuting a new easy reader series; it has the same goofy sense of humor, pastel cartoons, and memorable characters. Detective Paw is a dog who isn't up on all the new tricks, but he's still a good detective. Luckily, he has his assistant, Patrol Officer Prickles, who knows how to use all the latest technology. In this first mystery, they solve the case of Piggy's Bank. Piggy the bank manager has called in with an urgent crime - the bank has been robbed!
Detective Paw examines all the clues, interviews the witnesses, and then, after discussing the case with Prickles, comes to a conclusion and the guilty thief is arrested.

This is a higher level of easy reader; more suitable for second to third grade or a high-level first grader. They also could be read aloud. I was disappointed that they were more stereotypical than Archer's previous series; Both Paw and Prickles are male, as is the bank manager, security guard, and one of the tellers. The only females are the elderly victim and the second bank teller. There was also some stereotypes - Prickles' gadgets don't find any clues, but Paw's trusty old magnifying glass and experience solve the case.

Verdict: For younger kids who like mysteries, this new series is sure to be a hit. Recommend to fans of King and Kayla and Archer's previous books.

ISBN: 9780807515570; Published October 1, 2018 by Albert Whitman; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

No frogs in school by A. LaFaye, illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans

This funny story features a black kid. Buy it now! Ok, a little more information.

Have you ever met one of those kids that just pushes all the boundaries... but they're such cute little stinkers you can't help but laugh even when they're driving you crazy? That's Bartholomew Botts and he LOVES pets. Naturally, he wants to share this love with his classmates so he brings along his newest pet, Ferdinand the frog. This does not go over well, especially in art class, and especially with the teacher, Mr. Patanoose. "No frogs in school!" So the next day Bartholomew brings a salamander - after all, it's not a frog... "Keep your amphibians at home!" So Bartholomew brings Horace the hamster. He's not an amphibian...

Bartholomew works his way through the animal kingdom and Mr. Patanoose works his way through an ever-diminishing supply of patience until Bartholomew finds his way around the last blanket prohibition, "no more of YOUR pets" and all ends happily for teacher, classmates, and animals.

Cheery cartoons show a lanky, white male teacher with absurdly large red glasses, a diverse (albeit unrealistically small) classroom of 8 children, and a fun assortment of cheeky animals.

Verdict: This is a top pick for a silly storytime - and to teach kids a few animal classes like rodents, amphibians, and reptiles. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781454926986; Published August 2018 by Sterling; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Monday, January 21, 2019

Your amazing skin from outside in by Joanne Settel, illustrated by Bonnie Timmons

"Poetry about skin" is not really something I would have thought I'd be up for - for one thing, I'm really not a poetry person - but I really liked Settel's earlier book, Exploding Ants so I gave this one a chance. And I'm glad I did!

Brisk rhymes take readers on a fascinating journey with "Dr. Jo" through the world of our own skin. Starting with skin layers, continuing on to colors (both permanent and changing), Settel explains the function and make-up of our skin. The poems are interspersed with facts, cartoons, and diagrams while the poems themselves include bolded vocabulary. "Inside the dermis of the skin/are protein threads called collagen,/which coil like springs, so skin can then/be stretched and still spring back again."

Once readers have learned the basics, the poems move on to fingerprints, why and how you sweat, get goosebumps, or wrinkled skin in the water. The next three chapters addresses the healing process of skin from cuts and bruises, to sunburns and mosquito bites, finishing with pimples, blisters, and warts.

The concluding poem reminds readers, in a humorous and friendly style, to take care of their skin, especially with sunscreen. A detailed glossary follows, then a list of websites, references and additional reading, and an index.

Older readers who may balk at poetry, will be drawn in by the cartoons and find themselves learning words like "epidermis" and remembering that they have two million sweat glands in their dermal regions without even realizing it! Teachers will find this a welcome resource for learning about the human body and curious readers will be interested to dip into the poetry and pore over the facts as they learn about their wonderful skin.

Verdict: A unique resource for your human body section, sure to find readers among teachers, families, and kids. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781481422055; Published September 2018 by Atheneum; Review copy provided by author; Donated to the library

Sunday, January 20, 2019

RA RA READ: Beginning Chapters for Animal Lovers

I first created this list some years ago, when I weeded Animal Ark (circulation was dropping, the books we still had were in awful condition, and the whole series was out of print). I knew I needed alternatives readily at hand for all the kids who were upset that the books were gone and I had plenty to choose from! Beginning chapters about animals are always popular, but there are a gazillion series out there so there's no need to stick with the old ones! (Note that these are realistic animals only - no magical fairy dust involved, although some of the animals talk)

Included in our beginning chapter/series section

  • Animal Inn by Paul Jacobs
    • A group of animals "run" the boarding house/grooming business.
  • Critter Club by Callie Barkley
    • A group of girls helps animals. Still being published.
  • Puppy Place by Ellen Miles
    • A group of boys and girls help puppies. Still being published.
  • Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro
    • I swear I am not including this just because I love it so much! Most of these series involve some kind of veterinary care or an animal shelter; Zoey and her mom care for magical creatures (with science!) so even though they're not "real" animals it usually attracts many of the same readers.

Included in juvenile fiction (sometimes they're slightly older/harder, sometimes they're hardcover)

  • Vet Volunteers by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • Older elementary version of Critter Club. No longer being published but still in print (I think)
  • Buddy Files by Dori Butler
    • Buddy is a dog who investigates mysteries, but he's a very realistic dog as well. There's also a pre-series that's upper easy reader - Kayla and King.
  • Dog Diaries by Kate Klimo
    • Each book features a different historical dog or breed.
  • Shelter Pet Squad by Cynthia Lord
    • This is a trilogy and is complete.
  • Lulu by Hilary McKay
    • This is one of my favorite series, although it doesn't get as much circulation as I think it should. It's about a little girl obsessed with animals who has all sorts of silly adventures. The series is complete but I think still in print.
  • Ranger in Time by Kate Messner
    • This is more of a read-alike for I Survived. A failed rescue dog goes back in time to save people from various disasters.
  • Down Girl and Sit by Lucy Nolan
    • This is a super funny series told from the viewpoint of the dogs. The series is complete and, I think, sadly out of print.
  • Daisy Dawson by Steve Voake
    • Daisy Dawson loves animals and when she finds out she can talk to them, they have many adventures.
  • National Geographic Kids Chapters
    • Each book has 3-4 true stories about animals grouped around a theme - animals who help people, animals who do funny tricks, etc.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

This week at the library; or, Let all the things happen, let them flow over you, don't panic!

From Book Explosion. One of
these is edible... can you tell which?
What happened at the library
Projects I worked on this week:
  • Big social issues unit for school - I'm excited to update and add to the list I've been putting together for the teachers, as well as request and process multiple copies of the books. (399 holds in two days! Record! May have gone slightly overboard...)
  • Meeting with my staff and school colleague to discuss the Walmart grant I received for purchasing sensory-friendly toys for the Storyroom. Also planning the big party in April.
  • Trying to get in a quick weed of juvenile fiction before the book sale on Thursday before starting back on picture books.
  • 18 middle school and high school students came to Book Explosion! Probably because there were cupcakes and lots of sugar. We also had polymer clay.
  • Prepping for several upcoming programs and presentations as well as looking at a couple grants coming up soon.
  • Finally ordering replacements and new materials for the kits that have been piling up behind my desk.
  • Tons of snow Friday night! I came in early and shoveled some walkways.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Long, long ago, in 2009 to be exact, I reviewed the first three books of an Irish fantasy series that seemed to me the most awesome thing since Harry Potter (actually, not being a particular Potter fan, I liked them better!) I booktalked them like crazy and then was both annoyed and disappointed when I discovered how difficult they were to find. I ended up buying some from the UK, picking others up at random stores when I saw them, and then just got generally discouraged. Years passed by and while I still diligently booktalked the series and kids frequently grabbed the first couple, the series had waned in popularity.

In the summer of 2018 I was thrilled to discover that HarperCollins was making another push to bring this popular series to life in the US, reissuing new paperbacks with covers that really grab readers and making the whole series available! In the fall I received review copies of the first three titles and decided it was definitely time for a reread.

The first title introduces Stephanie Edgley, a self-contained girl of twelve, at her eccentric Uncle Gordon's funeral. She's intrigued by a glimpse of a strange, tall man, his face hidden, and later encounters him again at the reading of her uncle's will where she finds herself the beneficiary of the bulk of his fortune and his house (to the fury of her nasty relatives). A few days later, left alone at the house, she's enjoying her own company, when a strange and terrifying man pushes his way in and she's saved by the mysterious stranger. He warns her away from his magical, dangerous world, but Stephanie refuses to leave and so she enters the world of Skulduggery Pleasant.

He's a living, breathing skeleton, a detective (of sorts) and there's a whole other world Stephanie never knew existed. A world where terrifying ancient gods called the Faceless Ones are being called by dangerous sorcerers and only a desperate battle will keep the world safe. Stephanie doesn't hesitate; she's always wanted to be part of something, to have something happen more than just the daily round of home and school. Her new life is terrifying, magical, confusing, dangerous, but never, ever boring. Soon she's encountering her uncle's strange stories in real life and coming to be friends with the eccentric skeleton known as Skulduggery Pleasant.

So, while this can be compared to Harry Potter, it's like jumping straight into the end of the series. From the get-go readers will know that there's a lot of gray in this world and it's hard to know who to trust. Even Skulduggery Pleasant has secret motives and a long past. There's no instant magical heritage or chosen ones either; Stephanie may have the blood of the ancients running through her veins but she's still a child and is going up against fighters who have had hundreds of years to train and prepare. For those who wanted more from Rowling's female characters, Stephanie, aka Valkyrie Cain is everything you've wanted. When she falls down (or off - literally - a wall) she determines to pick herself up and train harder. When she masters one magical skill she's onto the next. She's surrounded by powerful and complex women, China Sorrows, Tanith Low, and others.

Finally, it's extremely funny. Even while you're desperately worried that Stephanie won't survive her introduction into this world or that utter disaster will befall everyone, you can't help laughing at the witty one-liners dropped by Skulduggery and the other characters.

Verdict: This is a great opportunity to establish a new fan base for this wonderful series; recommend it to your Harry Potter, Rick Riordan, and fantasy fans or to any readers who want a great adventure, humor, and some truly awesome heroines.

ISBN: 9780008248789; This edition published May 2018 by HarperCollins; Purchased for the library; Review copy provided by the publisher

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sarai and the meaning of awesome by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown

I generally stay away from books written by/featuring celebrities (no shelf-life) but this one clicked with me for several reasons. It's not the best-written, but it fills a lot of gaps.

I had never heard of Sarai Gonzalez, and I've never heard any kids talking about her, but apparently she appeared in a very popular music video a few years ago and is, according to her brief wikipedia page, a Latina icon. She'd be about 13 or 14 now and I'd guess from the style and the story that she's probably better known on the East Coast (she lives in New Jersey and the music video featured Brooklyn NY).

However! That's neither here nor there, as most of the kids I'm going to suggest this to are allowed limited, if any, access to utube. In her first book, Sarai is ten and has her own business making cupcakes. She has a normal relationship with her younger sisters and a large and supportive family. Sarai is ready for another awesome day when she gets bad news - her grandparents are going to have to move, since their rental house is being put up for sale. Sarai sets out to make enough money to buy the house that is central to her family's gatherings. First she tries baking cupcakes with her sisters, but they're too little to help and Sarai gets too bossy; it ends in disaster with little money to show for all her effort. Then she tries a lemonade stand, that morphs into a stand for chicha morada, a purple corn drink from Peru. Finally, she and her cousin Juju audition for a dance contest with a big prize.

In the end, the girls don't make it to the dance-off competition and they don't make enough money; but everything ends well as her family finds a new home that's right down the street where her grandparents and cousins can live and Sarai learns some lessons about being adaptable and listening to her sisters and family.

Although a bit rough and didactic, this is generally a very relatable story. Sarai and her family aren't wealthy by any means and although everything ends happily it's not a wish-fulfillment ending but a practical solution, finding another house and the family all working together to purchase it. Sarai has fights with her sisters, gets over-enthusiastic and messes up, and has grandiose plans that don't play out. She isn't immediately catapulted to stardom and she gets frustrated and upset. But her family is always there to help and the story gives readers a look into a warm and supportive, multi-generational family with a variety of traditions. Sarai and her family are shown going to church, partying with the family, and working together. Black and white illustrations show a variety of body types and skin colors and, in what might be my favorite part of the story, none of the many girls pictured are absurdly skinny. They're all healthy, happy, sturdy girls with a normal body for a child and the adult women show a variety of body types and sizes.

Verdict: While this may not be an everlasting classic, it's a great addition to diversify your beginning chapters and will be very attractive to readers (probably mostly girls) ages 7 and up.

ISBN: 9781338236682; Published August 2018 by Scholastic; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Walk and see 1 2 3 by Rosalind Beardshaw

This backlist title is part of a series showing children exploring the outdoors. It's not 100% realistic - the kids are shown wandering a rather pristine woodland and field with no adult supervision in sight - but it's adorable nonetheless.

A child with tanned skin and a shock of black hair sticking out from their cap and a white child with strawberry blonde hair flying around their headband, start the story by running through the fields with their friendly white and black dog. The two friends cross a wooden stile and start up a hill toward three trees, passing under four clouds. They encounter squirrels and acorns, mushrooms and pinecones, ducks and stepping stones. They eat apples, investigate a fish pond, and stop by a herd of sheep to pick blackberries from a hedge. Finally, having reached 20 footprints, they walk home under the light of 100 stars and with a flashlight leading the way. The two end up tucked up together in one cozy bed (which is apt to strike American readers as... weird. Although it's never expressly stated, the dark-skinned child appears to be male and the white child female).

The illustrations are soft and colorful, although again not exactly realistic. Most of the scenes seem to be of a typical four seasons fall - squirrels gathering acorns, falling leaves, and apples. But there are also yellow dandelions and although they see geese flying south the ducks seem to have no urge to do so. Maybe early fall?

Verdict: Although not realistic, this is a sweet and attractive celebration of outdoor fun along with some simple counting practice. Toddlers are sure to enjoy finding each animal, leaf, and natural object in the pictures.

ISBN: 9780763693381; This edition published August 2018 by Nosy Crow; Purchased for the library

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How to eat pizza by Jon Burgerman

Burgerman's Rhyme Crime won me over, despite being not at all the kind of book I usually like. So, I viewed his latest import, showing a panicked pizza slice in eye-searing color with eager anticipation and was not disappointed.

The story opens with a circle of yellow pizza slices, snoozing under their paper napkin blankets (one is clutching a teddy bear). An unseen narrator invites readers to get started by choosing a slice, add a few toppings, and... wait a minute.


The pizza slice goes into an immediate panic, and tries to convince the reader that there are so many other options! Eating pizza is disgusting - what about the crusty bottoms?! The slices next try to stick together and encourage the reader to try some veggies instead, but this backfires since the reader decides to eat.... pizza with FRIENDS! i.e. all those tasty vegetables!

The goofy story ends with a box of nervous doughnuts suggested that maybe a bagel would be better?

Verdict: Goofy and colorful, this appeals to every kid who loves a good "being eaten" story, which is pretty much all of them. Go forth and devour!

ISBN: 9780735228856; Published November 2018 by Dial Books for Young Readers; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Monday, January 14, 2019

Water Land: Land and water forms around the world by Christy Hale

This is a really interesting and unique look at parallel geographical features. Each thick, glossy spread shows a body of water, like a system of lakes. Small people are shown in the background and on the water. Turn the page and the cut-out of the water turns into a land feature, like an archipelago.

After the five spreads, there's a comparison of each of the water and land forms with a definition and a thumbnail. Open this spread up and see a list of examples of specific bodies of water and land formations, then open it out into a giant outline map of the world with the different areas pinpointed on it.

The art looks like prints, but is actually created with digital layers. The small people shown enjoying the water and land are shown in a variety of races and hues, but none have visible disabilities.

Verdict: While not a particularly interesting book for storytime, this would be a unique addition to a unit on geography or the water cycle and fills a gap in this area. It would also make a good choice for an art or science-themed program, encouraging kids to create their own art that flips to create a new picture.

ISBN: 9781250152442; Published 2018 by Roaring Brook; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Sunday, January 13, 2019

RA RA Read: Stories with Science

When I originally made this list, back in 2016, it was a small, but popular sub-genre: fiction that included science experiments or concepts. They range from more heavily narrative-based to more science with a light narrative. Reluctant readers, those who prefer non-fiction, and kids who like hands-on learning often like these stories. Happily, in the two years that have gone by, the volume of science-based narratives has really exploded, thanks to adults discovering the maker movement "look at this cool new thing!" (librarians and teachers mutter that we've been doing it for decades thanks very much). However, more science-based stories is good!

For Younger Readers (Grades 2-4)

  • Summer Camp Science Mysteries by Lynda Beauregard
    • Mystery, Graphic Novel, Science Experiments
    • Each book in this series is focused around a different science concept. The counselors at camp pose questions, challenges, and perform experiments relating to the central concept. It's mostly still in print, either in paperback or more expensive library bound.
  • Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro
    • Fantasy, Science Experiments
    • I love, love, love this series! Zoey uses science to help her mother treat the magical creatures that come to their door. She tests compounds to help a monster get rid of the mold on his fur, learns about bacteria when helping a unicorn, and so on. There are science experiments in the back as well as the science included in the book.
  • Ellie Engineer by Jackson Pearce
    • Realistic Fiction, Making
    • This series is based more on the maker movement. Ellie has a hammer, drill and other tools and likes to build things. Along the way, she gives the reader tips, learns about math, and also negotiates social relationships. Safety tips and suggestions are included in the back. This series is still coming out with new titles.
  • S.W.I.T.C.H. by Ali Sparkes
    • Science Fiction, Nonfiction Blend
    • This series is in two parts; it starts with bugs and then moves on to reptiles. This weigh more heavily on the narrative side; they feature twin boys, a mad scientist neighbor, and transformations into bugs or reptiles. Incorporated throughout the books are facts and information about bugs, reptiles, and other animals and science is (with differing levels of realism) used to solve each crisis. Some titles are out of print, but most are still available from Darby Creek, an imprint of Lerner, in either paperback or (expensive) library bound.
  • Doyle and Fossey by Michele Torrey
    • Mystery, Science Experiments
    • This six-book series is still available in paperback, although most hardcover and prebound versions are out of print. They're basically Encyclopedia but with science instead of misc. logic puzzles. The solutions and science experiments are at the back of the book.
  • Girls Who Code by Various
    • Realistic Fiction, Coding
    • This is a fairly typical friendship series, which a diverse group of girls working together. They all meet in and around coding club and coding is incorporated into their projects and activities. This series is written by a variety of authors and sponsored by the Girls Who Code group.

For Middle Grade Readers (Grades 3-6)

  • George's Secret Key by Stephen Hawking
    • Action and Adventure, Scientific Theory, Technology
    • The loose story lines, treasure hunting, journey to space, etc. are just filler for the explanations of technology, scientific theory, and essays from prominent scientists throughout the book. These won't appeal to kids who want a straight-forward narrative, but those who want science with a little story to hold it together will enjoy it.
  • Club CSI by David Lewman
    • Mystery, Scientific Method
    • These are spin-offs of the popular CSI tv shows. They feature middle school students using their forensic class studies and logical deductions to solve various mysteries. There is no blood or gore.
  • Nick and Tesla by Bob Pflugfelder
    • Action/Adventure, Technology
    • This series is based around the stories of twins Nick and Tesla, who live with their eccentric uncle, who is also an inventor. They fight off bad guys and discover secrets about their parents all while creating various scientific contraptions like robots, alarms, and more. The books are all available from Quirk Press.
  • Explorer Academy by Trudi Trueit
    • Action/Adventure, Technology
    • This is a new series from National Geographic, their first step into middle grade fiction. It's kind of like 39 Clues but with technology. A lot of the gadgets, technology, and futuristic science is explained at the back. The story was fairly blah, but I think kids may get into it.
  • Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang
    • Graphic Novel, Coding, Math
    • I will admit these drive me crazy, but the kids like the combination of puzzles, adventure, mysteries, and coding they include.
  • Science Comics by Various authors/illustrators
    • Graphic Novel, Science
    • This series from First Second often includes some kind of framing story around the central scientific concept. For example, in Koch's Bats: Learning to Fly, a bat being rehabilitated introduces readers and himself learns about his species and how they are endangered and being helped. In Dinosaurs by M. K. Reed and Joe Flood readers learn the story of Mary Anning and the history of fossils, both their discovery and natural history.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

This week at the library; or, Now things are really getting started

Rainbow girls! The metallic and fluorescent biocolor was
very popular!
What's Happening at the Library
  • Monday
    • Paws to Read
    • Department Managers Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • Toddlers 'n' Books (2 sessions)
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
    • Anime Club
    • Free Lego Build
  • Saturday
    • All the colors of winter: An art extravaganza
  • Worked 41 hours: 20 hours on desk: 7 programs
Enough vacation. Let's get back to work. No, I did not do 8 straight storytimes, two dance parties, and an after school activity on Wednesday. I only did four storytimes and after school, an associate did four storytimes and my school colleague did the dance parties. For the after school activity I took air-dry clay for their paleontology theme and we made our own fossils (and unicorns, pinch pots, etc.). Plus books!
Finished weeding the ya fiction. So many perfectly nice books had to go. I wish there was an equivalent of Wimpy Kid for teens so we could buy a couple shelves of those and then feed our circ numbers off that and get interesting stuff for the rest of the collection. I spent about an hour Friday night looking through statistics from our consortium and playing with spreadsheets...
Saturday's program was basically lots of paint! I had biocolor, tempera, paper, stickers, markers, scissors, magnet, glitter finger paint, and a few other things. My staff worked super hard to set up, keep things clean during, and clean up afterwards. I finished paperwork, filled one more cart to weed on Monday, and went home!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Knights vs. Dinosaurs by Matt Phelan

I don't really think of Phelan's water colors being funny, but pit Arthurian knights against dinosaurs and, well, yeah.

Sir Erec is pretty much your average knight and is having an average, if slightly annoying, evening at the Round Table. For some reason, when it's time to share deeds of valor, he decides to up the ante and proclaims that he has defeated forty dragons. Never mind that they all know dragons aren't real, that there has been peace for years, and everyone is slightly bored. Next thing he knows, Merlin has sent him off on a quest with several other knights and they're facing... what are they facing? Could these be REAL DRAGONS?? Thankfully, they don't breathe fire - because they're pretty much terrifying as it is!

With a few deft strokes, both in black and white illustrations and text, Phelan sketches a picture of the slightly nervous Sir Erec, muscle-bound Sir Bors, bookish Sir Hector, and mysterious Dark Knight. Then there's Mel, the squire, who turns out to be very useful in the end. The book is just under 150 pages, but it's definitely not a beginning chapter book; similarly to Princess Cora and the Crocodile, it has sophisticated humor and vocabulary, even if it doesn't match up to the popular 400 page tomes of middle grade today (which are ridiculous because few kids can read that long a book anyways but that's a different discussion). There are some panels of illustrations interspersed among the pages and in the back are facts about dinosaurs and an explanation of why dinosaurs from different eras showed up together (because Matt Phelan thought it was cool, which is, to my mind, a perfectly reasonable explanation).

Verdict: I'm not a fan of Arthurian fantasy and I can take or leave dinosaurs, but I laughed all through this and look forward to introducing it to my readers, young and old. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780062686237; Published October 23, 2018 by Greenwillow; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Super Potato: The epic origin of Super Potato by Artur Laperla

Super Potato originated in Spain and now his awesome adventures are coming to the US, courtesy of Graphic Universe.

The story begins with Super Max, an amazing superhero with great hair, 737 muscles (he has more than the average human!), and no problem defeating the bad guys... until the villainous Dr. Malevolent turns him into a potato! All hope is lost! Potatoes can't be superheroes!

Or can they?

A quick stop at home for the accessories of his (failed) action figure, and Super Potato is on the job, complete with great hair! Er, maybe no hair. His first task is to get Dr. Malevolent to turn him back to the awesome Super Max, of course, but when that plan goes awry (think giant potato peelers!!) he'll have to decide if he can keep being a superhero - without great hair or his 737 muscles.

The goofy cartoons reminded me a little of the style of Trondheim. Super potato is a, well, a potato while Dr. Malevolent (and his pet rat) are skinny, long-nosed creatures that posture and rant. A quasi-futuristic city, distressed potato-citizens (Dr. Malevolent got a little handsy with his ray gun for a while), and plenty of jokes, both for superhero fans and young readers, make it clear why Super Patata is a popular comic strip in Spain.

Verdict: I've been wrong about European import comics (and vegetable-themed superheroes) before, but I really think this one will click with younger kids. I wouldn't go out on a limb for it if I wasn't sure though, because the library bound titles are expensive at over $20 apiece while the more affordable paperbacks will be so skinny they disappear on the shelf.

ISBN: 9781512440218; Published August 2018 by Lerner/Graphic Universe; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: A walk in the forest by Lisa Manuzak

I'm catching up on board books - I bought a bunch in August to fill in the board book section and I've also, slowly, been opening up a bit more to buying less sturdy titles with toy elements. I'm still careful to assess them for how quickly they will wear out or be damaged, but I'm starting to view this collection as more ephemeral, like magazines. We've also added a little bee sticker and the logo "busy books" to books with a toy element (lift the flap, sliding, wheel, etc.).

This title is produced for Smithsonian Kids and is an exploration of the forest. The book is large - about 8x8 inches - with a curved top and rounded edges. The top is cut out like a handle and also allows the wheels to spin. Each page includes multiple different sections of type. Across the curved handle is the simple narration, "Let's take a walk in a leafy green forest. We can look for animals, plants, and bugs." On the page itself are small chunks of text adding information, describing things in the picture, and giving suggestions for experiencing the forest. There are also captions on the animals and plants and a little "Did you know?" information box on every other page.

Each spread has a spinning wheel. The wheel is thin cardboard and has curved edges, making it easy to turn. The thick cardboard pages are tightly sealed around the edges, so the wheel can't be torn out or the pages pulled apart (hopefully). As you turn the wheel, different animals or plants appear in the picture. One wheel, that of birds in a tree, shows the bird at the top of the wheel and a caption on the turning part of the wheel. It's not designed quite right and bits of the birds show in the edges as you turn it, which could be an issue with kids trying to rip the window open to see the rest of the picture.

The art is colorful and cute, but mostly realistic and although a lot is included the scenes are not too crowded.

Verdict: This is overall a sturdy and fun book that can be used with children in many different ways, both talking and reading. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781680522365; Published December 2017 by Cottage Door Press; Purchased for the library

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

No boring stories! by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Charles Santoso

I was not a fan of Snappsy the Alligator and so had firmly convinced myself that, ergo, I was not a fan of Julie Falatko. But then I read Two dogs in a trench coat go to school and laughed all the way through. And now I have found myself, however reluctantly, becoming a fan of her latest picture book. Clearly, Snappsy and I just didn't click but everything else is just fine.

The story begins on the end papers, as a cute, fluffy bunny tries a series of writing groups - fluffy bears, cute kittens, cuddly puppies... finally, she comes across the International Society for Writers of Odd and Weird. Trembling with hope, she makes her way past signs prohibiting cuteness, cuddling, and birthdays. At first, it looks like she will be welcomed as Star-Nosed Mole opens the meeting, but no, there are No Bunnies Allowed! The rest of the group shows up; Giraffe-Necked Weevil, Babirusa (a kind of pig), and Yeti Crab and they recap their story so far. Meanwhile, eyes are watching them...

As the story progresses, Bunny keeps trying to join them only to be kicked out at every turn. Finally, she begs to be allowed to join and explains that she doesn't want to be in boring, cute stories anymore! She wants to write weird, exciting stories like they do! Fine, she can listen. But she can't interrupt! The story is progressing nicely, with evil grapes, a babirusa princess, and... no ending. Maybe they do need Bunny's help to pick an ending after all?

Although a picture book, it's written and paced like a comic with panels lightly picked out in gray backgrounds, speech bubbles, and a nice flow between words and pictures. There are definitely some lessons about judging on appearances and finding your own place, not to mention polishing writing skills. However, it's also just a funny story about weird creatures and evil grapes.

Verdict: This is not only a fun story, it's a good choice for teachers to use in classrooms in writing units to encourage readers and writers to explore parts of a narrative and work together to create a story.

ISBN: 9780451476821; Published November 2018 by Viking; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Monday, January 7, 2019

A frog's life by Irene Kelly, illustrated by Margherita Borin

I don't know how I missed Kelly's books, when I've read so much easy nonfiction! However, even though I had a few listed as having read them, this was the first I bought for the library and which pinged on my mind.

This is one of my favorite kinds of easy nonfiction, having simple sentences in bold or different-colored fonts and then a longer paragraph of information. This makes the books perfect for both storytime and longer reads with classrooms or individual children. Kelly's book has sentences like "Camouflage allows frogs to hide in plain sight" followed by three brief paragraphs on how specific frogs use camouflage. Another example is "When a female frog hears a male singing, she sings back. The two frogs follow each other's voices until they meet." The reader can decide whether or not to read the following paragraphs describing simple how frogs mate and produce fertilized eggs. The book includes a general description of amphibians, behavior and habits of specific and general frogs and toads, and an overview of the dangers frogs face.

Back matter includes an index, list of rescued species, and ways to help and learn more about frogs. Borin's delicate watercolors are a lovely match for the beauty and fragility of these creatures. The frogs' species are identifiable but still artistic, showing soft colors and textures blending to create these marvelous creatures.

Verdict: A great choice for storytime or one-on-one reading as well as classroom research. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780823426010; Published May 2018 by Holiday House; Purchased for the library

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Cybils Shortlists; A very long post with data you may or may not find interesting

The Cybils shortlists have been announced and I am especially pleased with the excellent choices made by the category I chair, Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction. Now the second round judges will be hard at work, reading and discussing the shortlists, and eventually choosing a winner for each category to be announced on February 14th.

I'll be posting more data/collection development posts over the next few weeks, but here's a beginning! (note - I don't purchase ya fiction, so I did not include those lists.)

Elementary Nonfiction Finalists

Middle Grade Nonfiction Finalists
Easy Reader Finalists
Early Chapter Finalists
Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

  • Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
    • 7 copies in my consortium, 4 checked out
  • Love, sugar, magic: A dash of trouble by Anna Meriano
    • Purchased for the library; 10+ copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • Snared: Escape to the above by Adam Jay Epstein
    • 5 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • Stone girl's story by Sarah Beth Durst
    • Purchased for the library; 9 copies in my consortium
  • Sweep by Jonathan Auxier
    • 9 copies in my consortium (not including ebooks); 4 checked out
  • Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain by Zac Gorman
    • 2 copies in my consortium
  • Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
    • 10+ copies in my consortium (not including ebooks, audio, LP, etc.), 3 checked out
Fiction Picture Books Finalists
Board Book Finalists
  • Peek-a-Who by Elsa Mroziewicz
    • 2 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
    • Added to my to read list
  • But first, we nap by David Miles and Darya Dremova
    • 1 copy in my consortium
    • Added to my to read list
  • These colors are bananas by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin
    • 1 copy in my consortium (I have it checked out)
  • Why the face? by Jean Jullien
    • 4 copies in my consortium, 2 checked out
  • Zoe and Zack: Shapes by Jacques Duquennoy
    • Not owned in my consortium
    • Added to board book list to purchase
  • Black bird, yellow sun by Steve Light
    • Review copy donated to the library; 10+ copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • Llamaphones by Janik Coat
    • 4 copies in my consortium, 2 checked out
    • Added to board book back list to purchase eventually

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novel Finalists
  • Escape from Syria by Samya Kullab and Jackie Roche
    • 3 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
    • 7 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • Be Prepared by Anya Brosgol
    • Purchased for the library, 15+ copies in my consortium, 8 checked out
  • The witch boy by Molly Ostertag
    • 10 copies in my consortium, 3 checked out
    • Added to my juvenile graphic novel backlist to purchase eventually
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery; graphic adaptation by Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler
    • 8 copies in my consortium, 4 checked out
  • Cardboard kingdom by Chad Sell
    • Purchased for the library; 20 copies in my consortium, 4 checked out
  • Mr. Wolf's Class by Nels Steinke
    • 10 copies in my consortium, 2 checked out
Young Adult Graphic Novel Finalists
  • As the crow flies by Melanie Gillman
    • 5 copies in my consortium
    • I still wish I could have purchased this one, but in the end the $20 for a paperback was just too high.
  • Anne Frank's Diary: The graphic edition by Anne Frank, adapted by Ari Folman and David Polonsky
    • 10 copies in my consortium, 5 checked out
    • The adult services department purchased this for the adult collection
  • Grand Theft Horse by Greg Neri and Corban Wilkin
    • 4 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka
    • 10+ copies in my consortium, 5 checked out
    • Added to my ya graphics backlist to eventually purchase
  • On a sunbeam by Tillie Walden
    • 10+ copies in my consortium, 4 checked out
  • Prince and the dressmaker by Jen Wang
    • Purchased for the library; 10+ copies in our consortium, 3 checked out
  • Quince by Sebastian Kadlecik, Kit Steinkellner, Emma Steinkellner, and Valeria Tranier
    • No copies in my consortium. This is not available through our primary vendor and only available as a used paperback from Amazon so it's not likely that anyone will get it, although it looks interesting.

Poetry Finalists
  • Mary's Monster by Lita Judge
    • 5 copies in my consortium
  • H is for Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg and Sawsan Chalabi
    • 1 copy in my consortium
  • Can I touch your hair by Irene Latham, Charles Waters, Sean Qualls, and Selina Alko
    • 5 copies in my consortium
  • Long way down by Jason Reynolds
    • 20+ copies in my consortium, 3 checked out
    • Purchased for our teen fiction (our cataloger buys YA fiction)
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
    • 10 copies in our consortium
  • In the past by David Elliott and Matthew Trueman
    • 8 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
    • On my picture book backlist to order eventually
  • Traveling the blue road by Lee Hopkins, Denver Butson, Bob and Jovan Hansman
    • 2 copies in my consortium

Middle Grade Fiction Finalists
  • Harbor me by Jacqueline Woodson
    • Purchased for the library, 15+ copies in my consortium, 6 checked out
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
    • 10+ copies in my consortium, 6 checked out
    • On my juvenile fiction backlist for eventual purchase
  • The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stephanie McAnulty
    • 15+ copies in my consortium, 4 checked out
  • Skylark and Wallcreeper by Anne O'Brien Carelli
    • 4 copies in our consortium, 2 checked out
  • The orphan band of springdale by Anne Nesbet
    • 5 copies in our consortium, 1 checked out
  • The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
    • 10+ copies in my consortium, 3 checked out
  • The doughnut fix by Jessie Janowitz
    • 6 copies in our consortium, 1 checked out
Junior High Nonfiction Finalists
  • Apollo 8 by Martin Sandler
    • 4 copies in my consortium, 2 checked out
    • Added to the juvenile nonfiction backlist for possible later purchase
  • Capsized by Patricia Sutton
    • 4 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
    • On my to read list
  • The disappearing spoon (young reader's edition) by Sam Kean
    • 3 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
    • Adult edition on my to read list
  • Spooked! by Gail Jarrow
    • 9 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
    • Added to juvenile nonfiction backlist for possible later purchase
    • On my to read list
  • Facing Frederick by Tonya Bolden
    • Purchased for the library, 7 copies in my consortium
  • Chasing King's Killer by James Swanson
    • Purchased for the library, 15 copies in my consortium, 2 checked out
  • Boots on the ground: America's war in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge
    • Purchased for the library, 10 copies in my consortium, 3 checked out
Senior High Nonfiction Finalists
  • The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix
    • 10 copies in my consortium (multiple being cataloged), 3 checked out
    • I bought another story of Bonhoeffer and wasn't sure I needed this one as well, but going by how few people know who he is (even here in WI, land of Lutherans!) I think I need this one as well and have added it to my to order list.
  • Bonnie and Clyde by Karen Blumenthal
    • 6 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • The Grand Escape by Neal Bascomb
    • Purchased for the library, 7 copies in my consortium, 3 checked out
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (young reader's edition)
    • 7 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • We say #never again: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists
    • 5 copies in my consortium
  • Votes for women by Winifred Conkling
    • Purchased for the library, 9 copies in my consortium, 1 checked out
  • We are not yet equal (young reader's edition of "White Rage") by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden
    • 7 copies in my consortium, 2 checked out
    • Added to my ya nf backlist for possible future purchase