Wednesday, June 24, 2009

@ the library, summer reading

It has been a number of years since my last venture into a library for summer reading. Sadly, summer reading at an academic library is nothing like summer reading in a public library (though under the right circumstances it could be). This morning I took my niece to her scheduled summer reading program at the local public library. There was a group story time for second and third graders, two different craft tables, and naturally, time to choose books to read.

The best part was watching the children interact with each other; all of the girls sat at one table and the boys another. Their story time leader did not specify seating, nor did the craft/activity, the children segregated themselves with little thought or planning. It was a definite study in eight-year-olds; the boys gossiped like a group of little old ladies discussing movies, Wii, and playstation, while the girls worked quietly finishing the task at hand. I am still wondering what the "B" word in the movie was, but all-in-all found my morning very educational.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stanley Cup Champions: Pittsburgh Penguins!

Goal calls and post-game celebration featuring Hall of Fame announcer Mike Lange.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Somthing to read

Today was my Saturday shift for the summer term (and now it's over!). There was a newly cataloged cart of children's books awaiting delivery to the new book shelves in the juvenile collection. It is never enough to just rearrange and shelve the books, there is always time to review new additions; as I was shelving I could not resist selecting one or two or six to check-out.

"What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you’re fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you’re a former jock turned freak, you can’t afford to let the secret slip. "

"But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they’re more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful wouldbe mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price." -- Dull Boy,
Amazon product description

"Micheal, Tommy, Mixer, and Bones aren't just from the wrong side of the tracks--they're from the wrong side of everything. Except for Mr. Haberman, their remedial English teacher, no one at their high school takes them seriously. Haberman calls them "gentlemen," but everyone else ignores them--or, in Bones's case, is dead afraid of them. When one of their close-knit group goes missing, the clues all seem to point in one direction: to Mr. Haberman." -- Gentlemen, Amazon product description

Two were destined for home this afternoon, Gentlemen and Dull Boy, and are resting comfortabley on the sofa as I listen to the hockey game on Pens radio and try to ignore the ten second delay between radio and television because of the fickle announcers on NBC (they are very pro-Redwing, the Pens have not yet won a game, it's the Wings losing). I'll soon have to decide listen or watch, doing both is very disconcerting.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards 2009

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced. "Presented annually since 1967, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards reward excellence in children’s and young adult literature and are given in three categories: Fiction and Poetry, Nonfiction, and Picture Book."

Fiction and Poetry
Nation, by Terry Pratchett
Check out the Terry Pratchett video on

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary, by Candace Fleming

Picture Book
Bubble Trouble, by Margaret Mahy

All three of the winning authors are widely renowned. Mr. Pratchett, perhaps best known for his raucous comic fantasies for children and adults, displays a philosophical bent with Nation, a young adult novel about two nineteenth-century children who create a new society from the ground up. Candace Fleming’s dual biography of the President and Mrs. Lincoln employs the intricate scrapbook format that distinguished her earlier Ben Franklin’s Almanac and Our Eleanor. Margaret Mahy, winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award and a two-time recipient of Boston Globe–Horn Book Award honor book citations, has written scores of novels, easy readers, and picture books. Bubble Trouble, a tongue-twisting tale about an airborne baby, marks the New Zealander’s second collaboration with English illustrator Polly Dunbar.

Judges also selected two honor books for each category as well. In the fiction and poetry category; The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume Two: The Kingdom on the Waves, by M.T. Anderson and The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman; in the nonfiction category The Way We Work, by David Macaulay and Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, by Tanya Lee Stone; and in the picture book category, Old Bear by Kevin Henkes, and Higher, Higher, by Leslie Patricelli.

I was happy, and a bit smug, to find all of the books honored are part of the library juvenile collection (whew). If you are interested in more information about these awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards includes links to past and present award winners, audio and video of acceptance speeches, and criteria and submission guidelines.