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Styling Librarian: Favorite Flawed Characters – TOP 20 Book Recommendations Realistic Fiction

Realistic Fiction

I’ve posted about some favorite realistic fiction books that touched my heart in the past and Wonder by R.J. Palacio is certainly one of the “tops” in that list, but I thought I’d share what I’d recommend to students that come asking for another book like Wonder… I’ve also already posted about books with multiple points of view… so here’s the next focus: flawed yet celebrated characters to love…

1. See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

2. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mulally Hunt

3. Hound Dog True by Linda Urban

4. Counting by 7′s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

5. Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

6. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

7. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

8. Rules by Cynthia Lord

9. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

10. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

11. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

12. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis

13. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos

14. The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

15. Tiger’s Fall by Molly Bang

16. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

17. White Crane by Sandy Fussell

18. Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

19. Hank Zipzer Series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

20. Alvin Ho Series by Lenore Look

Realistic Fiction

Special books- in detail now:

1. See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles – 4th grade and up – Prepare yourself for heartbreak- this is a 4 out of 4 tissue book! Goodreads Summary: “Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she’s not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn’t know he’s gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there’s Charlie: three years old, a “surprise” baby, the center of everyone’s world. He’s devoted to Fern, but he’s annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Ran’s mantra, “All will be well,” is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it’s true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.”

2. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mulally Hunt - 4th grade and up – Just loved this story, unforgettable. Here’s another 4 out of 4 tissue book! Goodreads Summary: “Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she’s placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she’s blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance. It’s easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she’s there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determinded to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protected the boys from a neighbourhood bullly and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she’s feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.”

3. Hound Dog True by Linda Urban - 3rd grade and up – Touching story, a special favorite. Goodreads Summary: “Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing. Custodial wisdom: Mattie Breen writes it all down. She has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his custodial apprentice at Mitchell P. Anderson Elementary School. One week until school starts and she has to be the new girl again. But if she can be Uncle Potluck’s apprentice, she’ll have important work to do during lunch and recess. Work that will keep her safely away from the other fifth graders. But when her custodial wisdom goes all wrong, Mattie’s plan comes crashing down. And only then does she begin to see how one small, brave act can lead to a friend who is hound dog true.”

4. Counting by 7′s by Holly Goldberg Sloan - 5th grade and up – How do you touch other people in your life? Do you help them for the better? Goodreads Summary: “Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life… until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.”

5. Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin - 5/6th grade and up – Quite an interesting story that addresses technology, autism, and more. Fascinating perspective. Goodreads Summary: “Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird—her name is Rebecca—could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca will only see his autism and not who Jason really is.”

6. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg - 5th grade and up – LOVE this book, never tire of recommending it. Goodreads Summary: “Mrs. Olinski, paralyzed in a car crash ten years ago, returns to teaching and chooses four unlikely sixth-grade Academic Bowl team, who become unlikelier champions, in more than the state competition. Julian, the strangest one on the school bus, invites Noah, red-haired Nadia, and silent Ethan, to tea.”

7. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper - 4th grade and up – Fantastic characters, storyline, and a little to realistic. This is a 3 out of 4 tissue book! Goodreads Summary: “Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but no one knows it. Most people, her teachers and doctors included, don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows . . . but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.”

8. Rules by Cynthia Lord - 4th grade and up – Honestly, you should read EVERY book by Cynthia Lord, they’re fantastic. This one rises to the top as my favorite. Goodreads Summary: “Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She’s spent years trying to teach David the rules-from “a peach is not a funny-looking apple” to “keep your pants on in public”-in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she’s always wished for, it’s her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?”

9. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen - 5/6th grade and up – Interesting characters, great to hear from two voices. Goodreads Summary: “Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.”

10. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine - 4th grade and up – 4 out of 4 tissue book- seriously, so much in one story… Goodreads Summary: “In Caitlin’s world, everything is black or white. Things are good or bad. Anything in between is confusing. That’s the stuff Caitlin’s older brother, Devon, has always explained. But now Devon’s dead and Dad is no help at all. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white—the world is full of colors—messy and beautiful.”

11. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko - 5th grade and up – Love this series! Goodreads Summary: “Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I’m not the only kid who lives here. There’s my sister, Natalie, except she doesn’t count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook’s or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don’t want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you’re me. I came here because my mother said I had to.”

12. Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis - 4th grade and up – Very interesting and loved the adults in the story as well! Goodreads Summary: “Emma-Jean Lazarus is a lovable oddball who thinks she can use logic to solve the messy everyday problems of her seventh-grade peers. It’s easy: she just follows the example of her late father, a brilliant mathematician. Of course, the more Emma-Jean gets involved, the messier her own life gets. Suddenly she’s no longer the person standing on the outside of all social interactions. But perhaps that’s a good thing?”

13. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos - 4th grade and up – This series has helped many reluctant readers, fantastic! Goodreads Summary: “Joey Pigza can’t sit still. He can’t pay attention, he can’t follow the rules, and he can’t help it — especially when his meds aren’t working. Joey’s had problems ever since he was born, problems just like his dad and grandma have. And whether he’s wreaking havoc on a class trip or swallowing his house key, Joey’s problems are getting worse. In fact, his behavior is so off the wall that his teachers are threatening to send him to the special-ed center downtown.
Joey knows he’s really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right?”

14. The Real Boy by Anne Ursu - 4th grade and up – I was on the edge of my seat through the entire reading of this book! A favorite! Goodreads Summary: “On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy. The city is called Asteri, a perfect city that was saved by the magic woven into its walls from a devastating plague that swept through the world over a hundred years before. The forest is called the Barrow, a vast wood of ancient trees that encircles the city and feeds the earth with magic. And the boy is called Oscar, a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the Barrow. Oscar spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master’s shop, grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar’s world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.
But it’s been a long time since anyone who could call himself a wizard walked the world, and now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the trees will keep his island safe. Now, even magic may not be enough to save it.”

Tigers Fall

15. Tiger’s Fall by Molly Bang - 3rd grade and up – Be prepared, there are many dark, sad moments through this book, but the uplifting nature of the ending is just so fantastic and touching… Goodreads Summary: “Lupe loves nothing better than riding her father’s horse, El Diablo. Fearless and agile, she rampages around her rural village in Mexico like a tigrilla (little tiger), which is her father’s nickname for her. But one day Lupe falls while climbing a tree. Paralyzed from the waist down, she will never again be able to ride El Diablo. Her life might as well be over, she thinks.
At first Lupe is filled with rage and self-pity. Her family brings her to a center run by and for disabled people, to recuperate. Despite the evidence around her, she refuses to believe that disabled people can be happy and self-sufficient, and she can’t believe that these people think their lives are worth living. But slowly the people and the spirit of the center help Lupe realize that she, too, has something to offer.”

16. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead - 4th grade and up – LOVE THIS MYSTERY! The book did break my heart at times but in such a good way… Fantastic. Goodreads Summary: “Georges (the s is silent) has a lot going on. He’s having trouble with some boys at school, his dad lost his job and so his mum has started working all the time - and they had to sell their house and move into an apartment.
But moving into the apartment block does bring one good thing – Safer, an unusual boy who lives on the top floor. He runs a spy club, and is determined to teach Georges everything he knows. Their current case is to spy on the mysterious Mr X in the apartment above Georges.But as Georges and Safer go deeper into their Mr X plan, the line between games, lies, and reality begin to blur.”

17. White Crane by Sandy Fussell - 4th grade and up – I’ve had many reluctant readers LOVE this adventure that is packed with action and adventure. Goodreads Summary: “Niya Moto is the only one-legged Samurai kid in Japan, famous for falling flat on his face in the dirt. The one school that will accept him is the Cockroach Ryu, led by the legendary sensei Ki-Yaga. He may be an old man overly fond of naps, but Ki-Yaga is also known for taking in kids that the world has judged harshly: an albino girl with extra fingers and toes, a boy who is blind, a big kid whose past makes his loath to fight. A warrior in his time, Ki-Yaga demands excellence in everything from sword-fighting to poetry. But can the rag-tag Cockroaches make the treacherous journey to the Samurai Trainee Games, never mind take on the all-conquering Dragons? In a fast-moving, action-filled tale that draws on true details of feudal Japan, Niya finds there’s no fear they can’t face as long as they stick together – for their friendship is more powerful than a samurai sword.”

18. The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis - 5/6th grade and up – This whole series is fantastic. Goodreads Summary: “Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 11-year-old Parvana has rarely been outdoors. Barred from attending school, shopping at the market, or even playing in the streets of Kabul, the heroine of Deborah Ellis’s engrossing children’s novel The Breadwinner is trapped inside her family’s one-room home. That is, until the Taliban hauls away her father and Parvana realizes that it’s up to her to become the “breadwinner” and disguise herself as a boy to support her mother, two sisters, and baby brother. Set in the early years of the Taliban regime, this topical novel for middle readers explores the harsh realities of life for girls and women in modern-day Afghanistan.”

19. Hank Zipzer Series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver - 4th grade and up – What a popular series! Fun and quick paced… Goodreads Summary: “For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal’s office on the very first day of school. Then the first assignment his teacher gives him is to write five paragraphs on “What You Did This Summer.” Hank is terrified-writing one good sentence is hard for him, so how in the world is he going to write five whole paragraphs? Hank comes up with a plan: instead of writing what he did on vacation, he’ll show what he did. But when Hank’s “living essay” becomes a living disaster, he finds himself in detention. Strangely enough, however, detention ends up becoming a turning point in his life.”

20. Alvin Ho Series by Lenore Look - 3rd grade and up – One of my favorite books (and authors) of all times. Alvin’s great flaw is his inability to speak a word at school, but does that deter him from being a burst of energy at home? No. Do his parents treat him any different than his siblings? No. Highly recommended!!! Goodreads Summary: “Alvin Ho is an Asian American second grader who is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.”

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

Styling Librarian #WhateverWednesday Amazing Animation

Today’s focus: Amazing Animation – It is fun to reflect on one thing each week that really catches my attention, entertains me, and is special enough I just have to share it with the world.

Here’s my Whatever Wednesday Randomness:  
Oh my goodness, a lovely Facebook friend shared a video (not my favorite, not sharing here) that was shared through The Animation Workshop, what an incredible outlet! So excited to share my favorites from this channel! I was lost for a while watching these!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Thank you again to “Eat the Book” for the Whatever Wednesday meme: http://mretome.wordpress.com David Etkin’s words: “Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. A cool quote or poster, a picture, student work, a video—you know, WhateverEnjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.”

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Reading

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts  and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I’m having a brief sharing week as I am presently on a night train to Vietnam… having a huge family adventure and hopefully enjoying many books… Prewriting many posts so that I can focus on new books, fun family adventures, and not be focused on the blog…

Loved reading:

Cress – The Lunar Chronicles #3 by Marissa Meyer - I’m was completely lost in this book. Since my husband read this book before me he completely understood my howl of frustration at the conclusion though. CANNOT WAIT for the next book. I think I’m as anxious for the following book as I was for the Hunger Games books to be released… Such a great premise, memorable characters you care about immediately, and interesting plots that interweave fairy tales with a distinct dystopic society. This time Cress’s story which is slightly mentioned in the prior book connects with Rapunzel. Pretty fantastic to have a rapunzel like character be stuck on a satellite! Goodreads Summary: “In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.”

Picture book time:

Ghost Train by Paul Yee, paintings by Harvey Chan – 1996 – What a gorgeous, touching book following a young girl whose father goes to the US to work on railroad development and how she is able to mystically help many people… just beautiful. Goodreads Summary: “Winner of the Governor General’s Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award and the Ruth Schwartz Award. This powerful, unforgettable and multi-award-winning tale is based on the lives of the Chinese who settled on the west coast of North America in the early 1900s. Left behind in China by her father, who has gone to North America to find work, Choon-yi has made her living by selling her paintings in the market. When her father writes one day and asks her to join him, she joyously sets off, only to discover that he has been killed. Choon-yi sees the railway and the giant train engines that her father died for, and she is filled with an urge to paint them.
But her work disappoints her until a ghostly presence beckons her to board the train where she meets the ghosts of the men who died building the railway. She is able to give them peace by returning their bones to China where they were born.”

Poetry Special Times:

What the Heart Knows – Chants, Charms & Blessings by Newbery Honor Winner Joyce Sidman, illustrations by Caldecott Honor Winner Pamela Zagarenski – This is a book full of thoughtful poetry that accommodates every reader, young and old. Children will not “get” every poem in this book, which is just fine, something that should be challenging. Goodreads Summary: “What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings is a collection of poems to provide comfort, courage, and humor at difficult or daunting moments in life. It conjures forth laments, spells, invocations, chants, blessings, promises, songs, and charms. Here are pleas on how to repair a friendship, wishes to transform one’s life or to slow down time, charms to face the shame of a disapproving crowd, invocations to ask for forgiveness, to understand the mysteries of happiness, and to bravely face a dark and different world. These words help us remember or grieve; they bolster courage and guard against evil; they help us celebrate and give thanks. This elegant gift book also includes a red ribbon for readers to mark their favorite poems. Poet extraordinaire Joyce Sidman won the Newbery Honor Medal for Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night and continues to write poetry for children that has been called “fresh,” “inspiring,” and “accessible” to her young audience. She is intrigued by the idea of “words of power”—chants and charms that were once believed to have real influence in everyday life. Caldecott Honor-winning Pamela Zagarenski’s beautiful art captures a world of emotion and the essence of Sidman’s words.”
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Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

Styling Librarian Hong Kong Update Catch Up 1

Flowers from colleagues. So kind.

It is a challenge to catch up on over two months of activities in a few posts (because I enjoyed a month of posting about our adventure into China over Chinese New Year holiday), but here we go:

In the last two months, we had major events at home such as moving to a new apartment and my having two surgeries. I’ve been back at work now for a few weeks and am doing well. Two major medical crisis in one school year feels a little extreme, but that’s how I roll I suppose. Grateful to be around and recovering from my talented surgeon’s work.

Liz Million Author/Illustrator Visit

Liz Million Author/Illustrator Visit

At school we had a few special events: book giving day, book character day, author visit with Liz Million, Skype visits with Patrick Carman and Tara Lazar, and many special readers in the library as well.

I’ll share catch up posts for the next few weeks. Our family will be going on a major two week adventure journeying into China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. We’ll have many night train journeys along the way in addition to many other modes of transportation… so I expect this catch up on life activities will be the closest posts there will be to “real time” updates for a while. I am pretty certain that these two weeks coming up will be many, many posts. Which isn’t a bad thing!

Catching up with our family:

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First off, yarn bombing is quite amusing. I noticed it at the top of the steps I walked up and down every day, had to snap a photo… cute little mushrooms at the bottom.

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Next, my coworkers and I went to support a former staff member’s new restaurant/bar that opened up- in Central, called Gweilo Bar and Grill. Had yummy food treats and a variety of drink selections. The buy one-get-one-free deal worked out quite well. Hong Kong friends, check it out: http://gweilohk.com/

1898194_10202391760408597_877869392_nThere is a very specific reason that we don’t have any other pets beyond our sweet dog Dulcie: Dulcie herself. She was a nervous wreck when my husband brought home Peanut, the long haired guinea pig, from one of his school’s year 2 classrooms. Such a cute, mellow little creature. I used to own a hedgehog for numerous years and adored him… fun to visit with another creature for a weekend… But for around a week afterwards, our dog Dulcie prowled our small apartment checking the place from corner to corner to make sure that Peanut wasn’t there anymore. Fun visit for our family to distract us from the move that was looming over our heads the following weekend!

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Interesting to try out a local dessert place that’s speciality was to make egg custard in an egg shell. Doubt this would be sold in the US with all the regulations around there but boy this was darn yummy and a pleasant surprise. Fun to explore new places and try things we normally wouldn’t venture towards…

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Moving… moving… moving…

Big announcement: We decided to stay at Hong Kong for two more years beyond the original contract. So, I signed a renewal to work at my school for two more years, thru 2016. We’re excited about this change. It is incredible to experience life here. I’m at an incredible school that I love working at, my son is thriving, and my husband is enjoying Hong Kong as well… hard to not return to Oregon, we miss family and friends there, but we feel like we’re not done here.

So, since we’re happy and staying for a few more years, we decided to move to a different apartment. We had a wonderful apartment opportunity that opened up so we grabbed it and moved over to Causeway Bay. It was terrible timing and a little bit of a struggle to move when we did, but we’re now settled and happy here in a larger apartment with friends in the same complex… Really special to feel settled and a little more at home.

IMG_2268We said goodbye to the construction that our apartment faced and that we lived with for 1 1/2 years. That didn’t make me feel too sad, ridiculously loud some days, especially weekends… We hired a wonderful moving company to pack us up and move us over to the new apartment. It worked out pretty well, moved in and unpacked from a Saturday afternoon to a Sunday evening.

Old apartment:

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New apartment:

We found a restaurant that’s become our new healthy “go to” restaurant… YUM. Vietnamese Pho place:

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Then the next day I went in for surgery. Took 10 work days of rest and then I went back the following week… I still am being careful but really grateful for life’s opportunities, good health care, insurance, and a caring patient administrators and colleagues.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian Tech Update: Instagram

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View before hurricane hit area... was much darker, felt like nighttime at 9:30am.

View before hurricane hit area… was much darker, felt like nighttime at 9:30am.

Oh the possibilities of Instagram… I love stealing time to try out new things, especially having enough time to add a new program to my everyday life. Now sometimes other applications need to fall by the wayside and then other times the application turns out to naturally integrate into routines and lighten the load on others…

Instagram turned out to lighten my load…

I knew Instagram would probably fit my style but I was tentative about jumping into a new app, quite protective of my time online. So months ago my talented teacher librarian friend Dianne @dimac4 mentioned how much she appreciated Instagram on her blog, I took her post seriously.
http://librarygrits.blogspot.hk/2013/07/instagramming.html

I first thought, “I’m not a talented photographer and I have no time for another program.” Then three weeks ago, I thought, “WHY NOT”. So I jumped in. I was just recovering from a surgery so I was moving around slowly and able to take my time on not so crowded Hong Kong streets, this allowed me to look at new things… I clicked here and there. I set up my account: “stylinglibrarian” - http://instagram.com/stylinglibrarian

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Helpers Rights, articles collected, eyelashes top= negative messages, bottom = supportive/caring voice

Helpers Rights, articles collected, eyelashes top= negative messages, bottom = supportive/caring voice

Now, Dianne is talented. She is additionally quite savvy about hashtags and networking with others. Presently, I’m just beginning but appreciating another outlet. What I appreciate most is being able to post images simultaneously to Twitter and Facebook when I’m posting on Instagram. This application is almost as useful for sharing pictures as it is to use Hootsuite to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Additionally, I appreciate being able to tweak and edit my images in other apps like Pic Stitch before I share on Instagram. Lovely option.

Cool, right?

Now, when I joined Instagram, I decided to follow all my talented friends on Facebook automatically. This was useful but I wanted to follow others like authors, publishers, etc. I went on a search for lists of Instagram quality posters and came across two that were useful:

http://www.epicreads.com/blog/19-young-adult-authors-to-follow-on-instagram/

http://bookriot.com/2013/12/12/ten-authors-publishers-follow-instagram-2/

While I was noodling around online I came across an interesting idea-

Pacman in old neighborhood.

Pacman in old neighborhood.

Visual Storytelling Instagram article:

http://randomnotes.randomhouse.com/visual-storytelling-instagram/

Another stage to using Instagram.

Inspired.

So, thrilled to add another bit of technology to my repetoire, especially since it helps rather than hinders. Going on a huge Asia adventure in a week will lead to many pictures shared, hope my followers/friends don’t mind! Again, my account info: “stylinglibrarian” - http://instagram.com/stylinglibrarian

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian #WhateverWednesday YouTube and the Mind

Today’s focus: Playing with your Mind – It is fun to reflect on one thing each week that really catches my attention, entertains me, and is special enough I just have to share it with the world.


Here’s my Whatever Wednesday Randomness:  

Every once in a while, I slow down to enjoy Brain Pickings, came across an article that I really enjoyed about lucid dreaming… led me to a new YouTube channel to enjoy and subscribe to!
Here’s the links that led me there and where I’ll go next.
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/10/12/the-science-of-lucid-dreaming/
Can YOU control your dreams? Here are some interesting strategies to do just that, might be helpful for someone who is dealing with nightmares, etc.:

So… how does science enchant the brain? Enjoyed this as well:
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/08/10/power-of-music-animated/

Also, I know I’ve shared favorite YouTube channels before, (THIS LINK) here’s another one:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AsapSCIENCE?feature=watch
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Thank you again to “Eat the Book” for the Whatever Wednesday meme: http://mretome.wordpress.com David Etkin’s words: “Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. A cool quote or poster, a picture, student work, a video—you know, WhateverEnjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.”

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian: How I became a teacher librarian #whylib

whylibI watched a stream of Twitter and then blog posts unfold a few weeks ago and thought it would be interesting to throw my experience of becoming a teacher librarian into the mix of voices. Here’s the original post that inspired me:
http://barrowmediacenter.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/tell-your-whylib-story-for-school-library-month/

Here’s a pretty good explanation about what happened next:
http://www.thelibraryfanatic.com/2014/03/whylib-my-story.html

All the participants of #whylib posted their story here: http://padlet.com/wall/whylib I spent a few hours reading over people’s experiences, wow. We’re so lucky to work in a sharing, caring field where we pass along ideas and enjoy inspiring others, especially lucky since people come to the library from so many diverse fields. I am quite grateful to be in a career that I’m passionate about and can express my interests in so many ways, including this blog!

bookdebbieI think what brought me to every stage of my education career was this question:
“If I don’t follow my passion now, then when?”

Back when I first officially became an educator, I’d finished my Bachelors in Education getting dual certified in Special Ed., Elementary Ed, and endorsed in Art Ed. and was so proud and excited to be hired at the school where I had student taught. I loved the colleagues, enjoyed working with the students and already felt part of the community when I settled in. I appreciated the district I was teaching in because they had extended education workshops offered throughout the year and within that first four months of teaching Special Education, I noticed I’d taken six classes in the evenings. I thought, “Hmm, I certainly am keeping up my momentum of learning… but I’m not as happy or passionate about this position as I expected to be.” I found myself drawn to the library. There was a fantastic school librarian and library assistant there who didn’t mind sitting down and chatting constantly about books, lucky me! I had always been honestly obsessed with children’s literature and found that I just kept wanting to understand more about the workings of the library, read more children’s literature, teach more technology, and integrate research skills into my student’s learning experiences….

So, soon I realized that my interests were actually leading me towards becoming a teacher librarian. “If I don’t follow my passion now, then when?”
I decided that even though I was just at the beginning of my special education career it would be wise to keep up my passion, interest, learning momentum and begin exploring the teacher librarian field. I applied and was accepted into a Masters program forty-five minutes from the place I was living and committed to driving there two nights a week plus weekends. I kept my teaching job and also worked on the Masters which seemed to go smooth enough considering. I loved applying knowledge I was learning in context and was able to reduce my position as special education teacher to .8 so that I could be in the library more often. I also loved working in the public library over the summer. I knew I was going in the right direction…

litldebbie

So… “If I don’t follow my passion now, then when?” – I got my Masters within a year of beginning it. I had drive, passion, and was really excited to jump into my “own” library. Luckily, it didn’t work out that way. I moved to a new state (just over the border from Washington to Oregon) was able to get a job at a school that already had a talented teacher librarian so I had the beautiful bonus experience of working with a fantastic colleague who helped shape, guide and inspire me! I loved being able to collaborate, share responsibilities, and learn with a colleague. I wish all educators could begin like this… even if you have a hard time sharing, it is extremely helpful to have a partner like this. I know now with online resources we have our PLN, professional learning network, and I’m constantly inspired by people all over the world but actually working together with another person every day was invaluable. *Still so grateful Heidi!!

DebbieandPeteAfter a year in that fantastic position, I knew that the position would soon be cut due to another school opening up down the street so I applied for another teacher librarian position and was hired… at my lovely library where I thrived for 12 years. I loved being there. It was a fantastic experience. I enjoyed growing, supporting others, adopting PYP, primary years programme, at the school, and more. It was a fantastic choice to shift to being a school librarian that was also still challenging, invigorating, and fulfilling. Once I was in the field of teacher librarians I was thrilled to meet up and collaborate with colleagues in my district and around the state. I enjoyed this field for thirteen years in Oregon. In around 2006 the teacher librarians in my district started feeling pinches in positions, the economy took a terrible turn. We had to fight for specialist positions for six years. It was exhausting and frustrating as the last year led to Beaverton School District cutting 51 of 52 teacher librarians. The library staff were shuffled into random positions based on their certification. It was heartwrenching. I now watch from afar and see how library assistants are now called librarians and the library programs have declined. I know fantastic library assistants work their hardest to maintain successful programs to accommodate readers. I honestly believe that having a certified teacher librarian at every school who is focused on literacy, technology, and research instruction, collaborating and supporting educators, and inspiring families to embrace learning in various ways is imperative.

Luckily for me personally I decided once again: “If I don’t follow my passion now, then when?” I saw through six years of fighting that the end was near and I wanted to be my own advocate, decide my fate, so I decided with my husband’s full support to look into teaching abroad. We were luckily able to move to Hong Kong after I had a Skype interview with four administrators at Bradbury School. I love being here as a teacher librarian, still able to pursue my passions, be a leader, inspire readers, celebrate technology, work with fantastic administration and incredibly talented colleagues, and support information literacy in this position. Sure, I look back on my past and terribly miss the colleagues, students, and community that I loved being with for 12 years but I’m also looking ahead and enjoying what life opportunities we have in the future. I’m in my second year as a teacher librarian at Bradbury and signed a contract to stay here for two more years. Feeling lucky every day…

debbielastday

Hope others are able to look within and find out their passions and follow them as I have… those passions might need to be supported with a second and third job but sometimes that’s what it takes…  How lucky we are to be in a time where we are connected around the world with a little electricity?
I’m so grateful to my parents for being my initial enthusiastic literacy support system, for my first school I was at that had NO school librarian so that when we moved and I went to my new elementary school and walked in the library I knew I was in my second home… and also fondly remember the friendly, welcoming eyes of the librarians who supported my daily visits in all my educational settings over the years. I feel incredibly lucky to welcome, learn from and inspire my students in my school library. I feel like this is one of the best jobs and careers…

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Reading

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts  and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Might be quiet next week… going on a huge family adventure. Can’t wait! (Reading time is a huge part of our plan during the trip…) So excited to go on night trains, adventures, and experience life around new-to-us areas of Asia…

Loved reading:

Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier by Ying Chang Compestine and Vinson Compestine Historical Fiction/Fantasy, 4th grade and up – I read the first chapter of this book with all my Year 4-6 classes to help them prepare and become familiar with Ying’s novel writing style in comparison to her picture books… Really excited to have her visit with students this coming week. I’ll have a special review about Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier on the blog soon. For now: I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who loves reading books that have suspense mingled with fantasy and historical fiction. One reviewer said that it felt like Indiana Jones story, it does have the archaeology and adventure portions. Goodreads Summary: “In this action-packed adventure and coming-of-age story that finely weaves fact and fiction, thirteen-year-old Ming lives in a small village in Maoist China in the 1970s. His father is convinced that Emperor Qin’s tomb—and the life-size terra-cotta army created to serve and protect the emperor in the afterlife—lies hidden in the hills around them. But if Ming’s father doesn’t prove it soon, the town’s Political Officer will condemn him to the brutal labor camps. From the stories of a terra-cotta soldier who has survived through the centuries, Ming learns the history of Emperor Qin, known for building the Great Wall of China, and how and why the terra-cotta soldiers came to be. As their unlikely friendship develops, Ming experiences the mysterious tomb firsthand, braving deadly traps and witnessing the terra-cotta army in action. Most importantly, he comes to see how he can save both the terra-cotta soldiers and his father from the corrupt Political Officer and his Communist cronies.
The book is illustrated with photographs of Communist Chinese village life in the 1970s, the Great Wall, and, of course, the excavated tomb with its many terra-cotta soldiers. It also features a special recipe from the story.”
I was excited to find an article on Terra Cotta Soldiers this weekend, thought it was a perfect resource to accompany the book: Terra Cotta Soldier

Picture books (multicultural, older)

Oscar and Arabella Hot Hot Hot

Oscar and Arabella Hot Hot Hot by Neal Layton – What a darn hilarious book! Loved the ice age humor in this book… I was thrilled to have a book that introduced seasons/cycles since I know my Year 1 teachers will appreciate this book for their unit they’re teaching presently. Good quick story with a lovely surprise ending. Goodreads Summary: “Looking for an escape from the heat? Kids will laugh out loud at the lively illustrations in Neal Layton’s tale of two fun-loving, enterprising mammoths. For wild and woolly mammoths like Oscar and Arabella, playing in the ice and snow and arctic winds of an Ice Age winter is the coolest fun. But when the snow starts to melt, and thousands of brightly colored plants sprout up and irritate their eyes, and insects are swarming, and it just gets hotter and hotter and hotter, it seems there’s no end to their misery. Then one day, the shaggy pair comes up with a bright idea. It may be a close shave, but it looks like they’ve finally found a way to enjoy the hottest summer ever!”

The Moon Lady by Amy Tan, illustrated by Gretchen Schields – 1992 – I was curious about this book, kiddo picked it out for us to read this weekend. We love reading cultural books together and I was curious to see how a picture book by Amy Tan felt as a read aloud. Especially since it was adapted from her book The Joy Luck Club. It was a lovely story spun through a grandmother telling her granddaughters about her childhood. Think it would be a lovely story to share in connection with appreciating the elderly, talking about the past, and also connected to Moon Festival. Goodreads Summary: “A MAGICAL NIGHT WHEN SECRET WISHES CAN COME TRUE: On a rainy afternoon, three sisters wish for the rain to stoop, wish they could play in the puddles, wish for something, anything, to do. So Ying-Ying, their grandmother, tells them a tale from long ago. On the night of the Moon Festival, when Ying-ying was a little girl, she encountered the Moon Lady, who grants the secret wishes of those who ask, and learned from her that the best wishes are those you can make come true yourself.”

Alex and the Watermelon Boat by Chris McKimmie- 2012 – Quite the curious, slightly desperate story that recounts, somewhat, the experiences of the floods in January 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. Really curious story book. I read this with my son and one of his friends and we were forever puzzling over the pictures in the book. There’s just so much going on, so many mediums used, and interesting layers within the story. I grew a little tired of how many random names were brought up in the story that seemed to not connect with anything else beyond a person that was seen… but when you’re in a flood, things are random, desperate, and tough. (So I imagine…) Goodreads Summary: “The river had burst its banks. The dam was overflowing. ‘Don’t go outside, Alex!’ Mum shouted. But then Rabbit hopped out the open window …”

Really enjoying reading:

Cress – The Lunar Chronicles #3 by Marissa Meyer – I’m completely lost in this book. Actually borrowed my husband’s Kindle so that I could read it… (we don’t share a Kindle account and he had Cress preordered). I’m often playing catch up to him (if you think I read a load, it’s a little crazy how much he reads… So, I’m at the half-way point in this book and getting anxious at multiple situations occurring in the book, but LOVING IT, even more than #2… Reading on a Kindle vs. my iPad is odd though, I’m actually offline even more because I’m so focused on the book… Not a bad thing! *I still prefer to hold an actual book. Goodreads Summary: “In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.”

Posted about these lovely books this past week:

Hollywood, Dead Ahead Series, #5: 43 Old Cemetary Road by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

The Ninja Librarians – The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey

Also interviewed the lovely:

Deborah Underwood – happy Book Birthday to her new release:  BAD BYE, GOOD BYE, illustrated by Jonathan Bean! Also, have you read her other new book HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT, illustrated by Claudia Rueda? Go jump into that one too! Lovely review of HERE COMES THE EASTER CAT, illustrated by Claudia Rueda by the lovely wonderful Margie @loveofxena - http://librariansquest.blogspot.hk/2014/04/holiday-treats-feline-fantasy.html

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

Styling Librarian China Adventure Guangzhou Day 4

Hello beautiful horse...

Final post to share about our newest adventure in China! So, this last full day we decided to venture back to Chimelong. First we quickly visited Chimelong Paradise to enjoy a little bumper car action and rides. We also watched a highly amusing lumberjack show where people danced around to Western music, had log rolling contests, and raced one another carving things with chain saws. It was ALL in CHINESE which made it even funnier… We also zipped over to see a magician perform which was also amusing. There were card tricks, vanishing acts, and more. Our son was quite entertained.

Birds on display. They were miffed. The "keeper" made them return to their nests, they were wandering around a little bit...

Birds on display. They were miffed. The “keeper” made them return to their nests, they were wandering around a little bit…

After we visited Paradise, we walked over to where the bus would bring us to a part of Chimelong we hadn’t visited before, Crocodile Park. Now, the bus there is slightly less convenient than the others. It takes two different buses and a lengthy wait for the second bus. We read about the food there and thought it would be nice to try out lunch in a new place. Note to other visitors, DON’T DO THIS. We were thoroughly disappointed about the food selections and the closed restaurants. We did not enjoy the food for lunch at all. The entertainment? Pretty good.

Yes, we met a hippo.

Yes, we met a hippo.

First, we walked over to see the hippos. I was a little thrown by the water and the hippos lurking beneath but was glad that they had their own space. We noticed a “feed the hippo” notice and chatted with a keeper. One hippo obligingly climbed out of the water and promptly urinated and flung poop all over (watch out for the swinging tail!), we dodged all by hiding behind a conveniently located tree. My kiddo enjoyed throwing vegetables into the hippo’s mouth.

We watched pelicans perform and then went over to meet the crocodiles. It was fascinating to hear the little baby crocs making sounds and also meet an iguana.

Hello cute one.Since we’re now in The Year of the Horse there were some special horses on display in the human entertainment area. There was a healthy sports course for people to run around and other fun things to do.

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We visited the incubation and hatching areas for more crocodiles which was fascinating to browse.

Incubation room.

Incubation room.

Eggs on display, fascinating.

Eggs on display, fascinating.

Breeding farm area for crocodiles.

Breeding farm area for crocodiles.

Jump jump jump, one after another...

Jump jump jump, one after another…

IMG_1765

Then we went to see the pigs. These pigs raced, leaped, jumped, dived, and more. It was quite the entertaining sight.

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Yes, an alligator.

Yes, a crocodile.

Finally, we decided to watch the crocodile show. This show was completely in Chinese (as was all the other presentations) and we could mostly follow what the people were saying, not that we understand Mandarin… There were two trainers who confidently wrestled, lifted, and performed with crocodiles, leaving that to the experts!

Another husband treat, macaroni and pulled pork underneath.

Another husband treat, macaroni and pulled pork underneath.

We returned to our new favorite restaurant, 13 Factories.

Yes, I ordered the same thing at 13 Factories again, and it was AMAZING AGAIN.

Yes, I ordered the same thing at 13 Factories again, and it was AMAZING AGAIN.

Pretty nice place to relax and enjoy a family meal at. Then we walked back to the apartment. (Remember that we do take the subway back and forth from the hotel, it was still easy and convenient as long as you don’t mind walking a little bit!) It was an entertaining vacation, happy we were able to get away and return to Chimelong. Nice to experience it in a very different way!

(We were thrown by a mall’s restaurant- where we found a restroom… what was up with these names!?)

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian Saturday Book Share Hollywood, Dead Ahead

Saturday Book Share

”Pull up a chair, it’s a Saturday Book Share”.

Here’s to celebrating books that strike my fancy every week!

I’ve had a few new books to review, happy to have time to reflect and share my thoughts!

 

photo 5Hollywood, Dead Ahead Series, #5: 43 Old Cemetary Road by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise – thoughts

How much do I love this series? Let me count the ways:

  1. No back story
  2. Fascinating complicated problems throughout
  3. Interesting characters
  4. Hilarious situations
  5. Best character names
  6. Illustrations pull my readers through the book
  7. Great tongue-in-cheek humor thoughout
  8. I love the ideas… of course the fantastic books, 43 Old Cemetary Road, could be optioned for a movie deal… how many of us have said “yes, I agree to this upgrade contract’ on iTunes without reading the entire contract? So, couldn’t a book character sign a contract without reading the entire thing? I think so!

photo 1Have you ever known better but been pulled into something that wasn’t good for you? Have you ever had loved ones making huge mistakes without you being able to do anything about it? Read to find out how three very different beloved characters react to the Hollywood bug! This new story is perfect for fans of the series but doesn’t necessarily need to be read in order. There are many new wonderful characters that you will enjoy despising, laughing and also learn to appreciate! Enjoy…

Goodreads Summary: “In this fifth volume from 43 Old Cemetery Road, the trio at Spence Mansion leaves Ghastly for Hollywood, California . . . and for a shot at stardom! The film producer Moe Block Busters wants to make the 43 Old Cemetery Road story into a movie—and he promises it will be a sure-fire hit! Lured by the lights of Tinseltown, Ignatius B. Grumply, Olive C. Spence, and Seymour Hope pack their suitcases. But when they arrive in Hollywood, Olive has a sure-fire fit when she discovers how quickly fame changes Iggy and Seymour. Even worse, Olive has been written out of the script! “Little old lady ghosts are so yesterday,” says Moe. “What America wants is a terrifying ghost named Evilo.” Well, if it’s Evilo they want, it’s Evilo they’ll get. And Olive knows just the femme fatale to help her scare Hollywood’s most despicable director half to death.”

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About Pull up a chair, it’s a Saturday Book Share: I’ve had many books I review that I just want to feature. Simple and easy, celebrate a new book encounter. So that’s what Saturday Book Share is about for me, celebrating books! Perhaps some days I’ll share the book with a short reading of a portion. Or perhaps other days I’ll just share a glimpse of the book.

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

Styling Librarian Ninja Librarians Promotion #BeANinja

NL_JacketCover

I recently received an advanced readers copy of The Ninja Librarians – The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey through Netgalley, and knew I was in for an adventurous read! I wasn’t wrong. Loved every minute. I became a little anxious while reading this book… I mean, as a present day librarian, I haven’t been approached with the idea of being part of a secret underground society that is actually protecting the world and able to travel through time… when would MY time be coming? Nail biting!

NinjaLibBlogBadge-600x150I loved this book as much as another book, Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. Where Brandon goes science fiction with a technology slant (and dinosaurs in the mix), Jenn Swann Downey goes science fiction adventure in history and time twist complications. Just loved this book.

NinjaLibrarians_Poster

Sometimes Jenn can be an author who can make you frustrated, saying to yourself “Hey, I KNOW I read about this situation EARLIER! When is the character finally going to notice the connection?” And then she’ll finally reveal how the character catches up and smoothly uses his/her memory…

NinjaLibBlogBadge-216x442v2I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, especially to students who love adventure, science fiction, and suspenseful books! Certainly this book would be in perfect partnership with Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein.

So… do you like “Golden” lines? I decided these were sparkly golden library lines:

“Dorrie listened so hard that her ears seem to be creeping away from her head.”

“The panic that Dorrie had been staving off now exploded within her, electrifying her fingers.”

“An idea with stubby wings and a ridiculous ungainly body took clumsy flight within her.”

NL_JacketCover

The Ninja Librarians

By Jen Swann Downey

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

April 2014 ● ISBN: 9-781-4022- 8770-1

Hardcover/$16.99 ● Ages 9 -13 

“A rollicking adventure with a smart heroine, heaps of mystery and the whole of history to explore. 

It’s like finding Lara Croft running your local library!” —Lissa Evans, author ofHorten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, long-listed for the Carnegie Medal (2012) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (2011)

Your  mission should you choose to accept it: support and promote the unsung heroes of literature, the defenders of the Dewey Decimal system, the freedom fighters of free speech — Ninja Librarians!

Sneak Peek – The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand from Monica Babaian on Vimeo.

NinjaLibBlogBadge-216x334From the publisher:

Dorrie Barnes had no idea an overdue library book would change her life. When Dorrie and her brother Marcus chase her pet mongoose into the janitor’s closet of their local library, they accidentally fall through a passage into Petrarch’s Library —the headquarters of a secret society of librarians who have an important mission: protect those whose words have gotten them into trouble. Anywhere in the world and at any time in history.
Dorrie and Marcus meet highly trained, dangerous, sword-fighting, karate-chopping freedom fighters with an important mission: protect those whose words have gotten them into trouble. Here, Hypatia of Alexandria and her colleagues train many of the world’s librarians to not only catalogue and sharpen short pencils, but to pull heretics off of stakes in fourteenth century Spain, and track down stolen manuscripts through the wilds of ancient Persia.
Dorrie would love nothing more than to join the society. But when a traitor surfaces, she and her friends are the prime suspects. Can they clear their names before the only passage back to the twenty-first century closes forever?

Do you want a cool poster to promote Ninja Librarian? Just fill out the form below! (Limited to US and Canada entrants, sorry world wide readers!)

Jen Swann Downey2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Swann Downey’s nonfiction pieces have appeared in New York MagazineThe Washington PostWomen’s Day, and other publications. She’s never visited a library in which she didn’t want to spend the night. Jen lives in Charlottesville, VA with her family.

Blogger fun:

Dorrie and Marcus accidentally bring along Moe, a mongoose, on their adventure (Well, okay, more like they follow him to the mysterious room).  What animal would you take with you if you were going on an adventure?
Hedgehog- instant armor, warm belly, simple meals, and independent, plus small enough to come along…

Which historical figure would you like to be an apprentice for?  What would you like to learn from them?
Tough one.
Ghandi – to practice humility and thinking of others.
Nelson Mandela – to learn patience and public speaking.
Amelia Earhart – flight school and confidence.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter.

If you wish to read other author interviews, please visit this page: http://thestylinglibrarian.com/authors-celebrated/

I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

Styling Librarian #WhateverWednesday Good Healthy Tears

Today’s focus: Good Healthy Tears- It is fun to reflect on one thing each week that really catches my attention, entertains me, and is special enough I just have to share it with the world.


Here’s my Whatever Wednesday Randomness:  

I know I’ve shared a few videos here before on a Wednesday that provoke tears… but recently I came across two online posts, quite different, that provided me with a dose of good healthy tears.

First, I watched this video: “My Beautiful Woman”


-Just lovely.

Second, I read an eloquent post by a favorite blogger, Carrie of “There’s a Book for That” that she wrote called: The part that is true, I highly recommend a read and reflection of her thoughts:

http://thereisabookforthat.com/2014/02/08/the-part-that-is-true/

I think everyone should have a good healthy tears moment now and then…

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Thank you again to “Eat the Book” for the Whatever Wednesday meme: http://mretome.wordpress.com David Etkin’s words: “Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. A cool quote or poster, a picture, student work, a video—you know, WhateverEnjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.”

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