Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Shadow Children Series

Margaret Peterson Haddix promises to keep you on the edge of your seat with the Shadow Children Series. Among the Hidden, the first book in the series, has been an exciting first read-aloud for our classroom. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews from our avid classroom listeners!

VOTE! June and Moon!

The Kid Who Ran for President is the perfect book for our community read aloud. I'm so excited this book was chosen. It is the perfect way to discuss the upcoming election and Dan Gutman really knows how to make me laugh!! Whether it is 12 year old Judson Moon, first babe Chelsea Daniels, campaign manager Lane Brainard or running mate June Syers, the characterization in this book is spectacular! Every middle-schooler can probably relate to someone in this book. Will the Lemonade Party make it to the White House!? Stay tuned to find out!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lois Lowry

I am truly fascinated by Ms. Lowry. Number the Stars, The Giver, Gathering Blue, The Messenger, Gossamer, and her most recent, The Willoughbys are brilliant stories with thick plots, intense characters and vivid descriptions. Powerful messages lie within these novels... Lowry's purpose can be argued endlessly. What is she trying to tell us? Give it a try.... I'd like to hear what you think.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Three Cheers for Jeff Kinney!!

Jeff Kinney is an absolute genius. 7th grader and self-proclaimed Wimpy Kid, Greg shares his middle school trials and tribulations in this hilarious graphic novel. His stick figure comics and unique voice had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.
I first read Diary of a Wimpy Kid way back in December. I bought two copies. One for me and one for my cousin, who will be entering 5th grade this year. This cousin, an allstar baseball player, is an awesome kid. He is fun to be with and always makes me laugh. Just one thing about this cousin... he doesn't like to read. When I read Wimpy Kid, I knew I had to try to get him to read it. I sent it home with his Dad as a Christmas gift. Not 3 days later, I got a phone call that went something like this:
Cousin: About that book you got me...
Miss D: Uh oh.... what about that book?

Cousin: Well first of all, let me tell you. I don't like to read. I hate to read actually.

Miss D: Is that so?

Cousin: Yup. And guess how many pages I read yesterday?

Miss D: 20?

Cousin:90. And I just finished the book tonight. I couldn't stop laughing.

Miss D: What was your favorite part?

Cousin: Where he thinks he is secretly listening to his brother's music at night, but doesn't realize he didn't plug the headphones in and he has it up really loud and his dad comes down to yell at him!

This conversation lasted for about 15 more minutes and ended with a promise that I would purchase each Wimpy Kid book for Cousin for his birthday, Christmas or whenever (I can spoil him... I stood in as his Godmother).

Point being.... EVERYONE (young, old, readers, non-readers) will enjoy the hysterical antics of Greg Heffley's journal in Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. (and soon to be released Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw....January 09!)

Want more?
Check out: for an interview with Jeff Kinney!

The Sisters Grimm

In a fantastic series of books, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm encounter a giant, a jaberwocky, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, and more! The Sisters, along with Granny Grimm, Puck, and the occasional team of pixies, uncover mysteries entwined with twisted fairytales. I love the way Michael Buckley's fairytale characters all come together. Who would have thought the three little pigs are responsible for keeping crime under control in Ferryport Landing, New York? Or that Mayor Charming, now bound to the restrictions of his small town, was a former prince? An adventure awaits and promises to entertain!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Brian Selznick is now officially one of my favorite illustrators. Without realizing it, I had previously purchased two of his books pre-Caldecott award announcement. He is the man responsible for the breathtaking images in Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride as well as When Marian Sang, incidentally both written by a favorite author, Pam Munoz Ryan.
Hugo Cabret was a brilliant read I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the illustrations, the adversity faced by the characters and the unpredictable ending. I lent it to my Grandma to read. She is French and her Mother came to America from France to join my Great Grandfather. She loved it just as much as I did. My soon to be fifth grader cousin, an avid non-reader, also enjoyed the book. The Invention of Hugo Cabret must be pretty special to be enjoyed by 3 different generations. So, for those of you that haven't read it yet, don't let the 500 or so pages scare you! Most of them are beautiful illustrations and this exciting adventure will keep you reading until the very end!
Other books written by Mr. Selznik: A Boy of a Thousand Faces
Other books featuring Mr. Selznick's illustrations: Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements, Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements, Frindle by Andrew Clements, The School Story by Andrew Clements, When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan, Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan

Saturday, July 12, 2008


To the tune of xm radio and the scent of fresh chocolate chip cookies or cinnamon scones, readers in the form of parents, teachers, grandparents and young children, have been a big part of my life for the last 11 months. From story time, to magic tree house book club nights and special events (Clifford, Froggy, Toot and Puddle), I have been lucky enough to call the Children's Department at Barnes and Noble my home. It has seen me through bad times and good; including, but not limited to, crazy holiday hours and employee discount days (my favorite!)

After August 2 I will trade in my bookselling shoes (they exist, and they are terrible!) for beautiful new teacher shoes (Clarks!) This page is dedicated to all of the wonderful people I met at B&N, for all their guidance and support. Booksellers have a wealth of knowledge...thank you for all who shared their wisdom with me. Not all can be so fortunate to endure the trials and tribulations of the children's department, but I survived and am armed and ready to share my love of literature with a new crowd........

5th graders!