Search Results for: reading with mary

Friday Reads: Reading with Mary

My dear friend Mary, who lives two floors above me, suffered a television outage last winter. This was catastrophic since her TV is always on, serving as companion, entertainer, and white noise. Out of desperation, Mary–who in recent years earnestly believed she’d lost the concentration needed to read an entire book—picked up the copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer that I’d given her. She read it cover to cover; it reminded her of her home in North Carolina, and she loved it! More importantly, she felt triumphant, proving to herself that she COULD still read books!

I wanted to keep her reading momentum going so when Nigella Lawson, a favorite food writer of ours, released a new book called Cook, Eat, and Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories, I ordered two copies. We kept a running commentary as we consumed the pages. An entire chapter on anchovies? Are they REALLY the bacon of the sea? Saving and cooking with banana peels was a zero waste solution? Not something either of us will try. But her essay on food as a guilty pleasure?  That was worth rereading together.

Nigella’s book made me think of Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life: A Cookbook, and I bought it for Mary and I listened to my copy a second time. This lead to conversations about Ruth’s other books, many of which Mary owned. Just as she’d somehow missed My Kitchen Year, I’d missed For You Mom, Finally, so Mary happily lent me her copy.

I turned to Mary’s own book stacks for my next recommendation, handing her an unread copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer. As a faithful letter writer and a lover of stationary, I had a feeling she would enjoy this epistolary book. She did and was ready for more.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mary-2.jpg
Mary in her eclipse sunglasses, August 2017.
Photo credit: Julee Hatton

After I finished reading Andre Leon Talley: The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir, I thought it would be a good fit for Mary knowing she had been a Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue subscriber. An added bonus was Andre’s North Carolina nativity. After reading the first chapter she told me she was purposely taking it slow to make it last. Mary took a reading break to watch Wimbledon but once she was finished with Andre, I handed her I.M.: A Memoir by Isaac Mizrahi because I could tell she was still in the mood for fashion designers and had a penchant for biographies.

We next tackled, The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free by Paulina Bren, recommended by a coworker. This safe haven for modern, working women was the home to many celebrities including Sylvia Plath, an author Mary had previously researched. We both finished and thought the book was interesting and worthwhile but the finest takeaway was our discussion afterwards.  I was able to ask Mary questions no one had ever asked her before, and she answered them. It was an intimate communion and an evening I will never forget.

Floundering over what to offer Mary next, I ended up loaning her my copy of The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, continuing with the theme of female solidarity. Mary initially greeted this selection with reticence because she grew up in a house with hired help. However, because I’d earned her trust with my previous recommendations, she acquiesced and agreed to try it. She was hooked from the first page! When she finished it a week later, she returned it with high praise and a heartfelt thank you note I will treasure forever.

Having spotted two Rosamunde Pilcher paperbacks in Mary’s collection, I gave her a copy of the The Shell Seekers, confident she would appreciate Penelope, the bohemian protagonist, and the English locations. She finished in a week, sad for it to be over and sharing that she usually skips over description but she read every word in this book. She then expressed concern that she was now spending too much time reading, but she also wanted more Pilcher books!

Most recently–and just in time for the U.S. Open Tennis tournament–I presented her with the new Billie Jean King autobiography, All In. The next day she told me she stayed up way too late the night before, using the index to cherry pick stories, and that she really needed to get more sleep! My copy of All In is on hold at the library, and I’m eager to read it so we can discuss this amazing icon of tennis and gender equality.

I have never experienced this kind of simpatico with another reader. Whatever aligned for us to enjoy so many of the same books at the same time has been a luxury. Our discussions have been a respite from the pandemic and the news, but the biggest gift is learning more about each other and deepening our friendship. It has been such a pleasure to plot Mary’s reading through these last several months, and I must say I’m so grateful Mary’s television stopped working!

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#BookFaceFriday “Took: A Ghost Story” by Mary Downing Hahn

We’re very taken with this week’s #BookFaceFriday!

It’s the perfect time of year for a spooky story like Mary Downing Hahn’s Took: A Ghost Story. Grab a blanket, a warm cup of cider, and a tale of terror… if you dare…

“This creepy tale skillfully weaves in—and honors—the oral tradition of folklore, legends, and ghost stories.”

Horn Book Magazine

It’s available to all Nebraska OverDrive Libraries in eBook format. 173 libraries across the state share this collection of 17,165 audiobooks and 28,972 eBooks. As an added bonus it includes 130 podcasts that are always available with simultaneous use (SU), as well as SU ebooks and audiobook titles that publishers have made available for a limited time.

If you’re a part of it, let your users know about this great title, and if you’re not a member yet, find more information about participating in Nebraska Overdrive Libraries!

Love this #BookFace & reading? Check out our past #BookFaceFriday photos on the Nebraska Library Commission’s Facebook page!

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What’s Sally Reading?

Teens’ Top Ten Voting is Now Open!

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that voting is now open for the 2019 Teens’ Top Ten.  They encourage teens, ages 12-18, at your library to read and vote by October 13, 2018 for the book they think is the best.

The list of 25 contenders is located on YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) page, just scroll down a bit for it, and you will also see where you can download a PDF of the 25 titles with annotations.

Teens, and only teens, may vote on this designated page by clicking on the “Vote” button below their choice. Teens may vote for up to three books.

The “Top Ten” titles will be announced on October 16, 2019.  You can revisit the main TTT page to learn the results.

Not on this year’s TTT list, but still powerful, Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess bring us Swing. Noah (17) (and white) has feelings for longtime friend, Sam (Samantha) but has yet to say anything to her. His best friend, Walt (African-American), who now goes by Swing, encourages him to let her know. Walt is determined to make the baseball team this coming year, and has a love of jazz – so both combine for his new, self-imposed, nickname. When Noah finds some old love letters in a gently used handbag he bought for his mother, he is inspired to use them as a guide to write to Sam. But he is caught off-guard when Swing gives one to her anonymously, for him. All of this is swept aside after a tragedy in the park.

Jazz, poetry & art, love, told in free verse.  As Kirkus (9/1/18) says, “Noah is the narrator, but it is Swing, with his humor, irresistible charm, and optimism, who steals the spotlight.”

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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NEST 529 College Savings Encourages Nebraska Children, Teens to Embrace Summer Reading

Media Contacts:
Terry Severson                               Jana Langemach
Director of Marketing                    Director of Communications
First National Bank                        Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office
tseverson@fnni.com                      Jana.langemach@nebraska.gov
402-602-6549                                 402-471-8884

NEST 529 College Savings Encourages Nebraska
Children, Teens to Embrace Summer
Reading

Read to Win $529! Drawing to Award 15 Summer Readers with
$529 Each in College Savings

 Lincoln, Neb. (May 10, 2017) – First National Bank of Omaha, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and the Nebraska Library Commission today announced the Read to Win $529! Drawing, which will award 15 Nebraska children and teenagers each with a $529 contribution to a NEST 529 College Savings account. Each winner’s respective library branch will receive $250.

“The Read to Win Drawing adds to the already countless benefits of reading,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST. “This drawing invests in 15 Nebraska children and in libraries across our state that assist and engage kids and their local communities.”

Beginning May 15 and ending August 23, a child or teen between the ages of 3 and 18 who registers for the Nebraska Summer Reading Program at a local library and who completes local requirements for the program will be automatically entered in the drawing.

“Nebraska public libraries’ summer reading programs are great opportunities for children and teens to take time to enjoy reading while maintaining and improving reading skills. They can also enjoy the many activities that are part of this year’s Build a Better World summer reading program,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner.

“As places for learning, libraries are a natural partner for NEST—helping to illustrate the importance of children and their parents setting aside money for college education. The Nebraska Library Commission is pleased to join with the Nebraska State Treasurer, First National Bank of Omaha, Regional Library Systems, and Nebraska public libraries to promote lifelong learning, financial education and planning,” Wagner said.

“This is our third year partnering with the Nebraska Library Commission, and we are thrilled to continue our joint mission to motivate our state’s children and teens to prepare for college—both academically and financially,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha. “We encourage children and teens to participate and look forward to rewarding 15 summer readers with savings that will advance their educations.”

On or about September 15, 2017, five winners from each of Nebraska’s three U.S. Congressional Districts will be chosen in a random drawing.

For complete scholarship contest rules and regulations, visit www.NEST529.com and click on Grow. Then select Scholarships & Rewards. Contest rules also are available at https://treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships/.

For more information on the Nebraska Summer Reading Program, visit the Nebraska Library Commission’s website at http://nlc.nebraska.gov/youth/summerreading/ or contact a local library.

To find out more about NEST College Savings Plans, visit www.NEST529.com or treasurer.nebraska.gov.

About NEST
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 249,000 accounts, including 75,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.

About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured* – No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee – May Lose Value
*Except the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option

# # #

 

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Friday Reads: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is a remarkably modern book that’s just shy of its bicentennial birthday. Often called the first science fiction novel, it’s a parable for how mastering technology (and the pursuit of knowledge and success that comes along with that) can ruin us if we don’t keep our goals in perspective. Mary Shelley manages to warn us to remember to keep things in balance—without ever coming across as anti-modern or anti-technology. (And she wrote this when she was a teenager—there’s your real Halloween scare.)

Sure, you may have been required to read Frankenstein in high school. You’ll get a lot more out of it when you read it as an adult, trust me. First of all, the structure of the narrative is totally bonkers—it should not work, but it does. I can tell you this without giving away any spoilers: One character is telling his story and another character’s story (and that second character is telling the story of some other characters) and it’s all wrapped up in the narration of yet another character, who is in the middle of writing letters about the whole story he’s hearing—along with his own story. It’s a nesting doll structure that any writer would be wary to imitate. The heavily mediated structure helps illustrate the isolation being experienced by most of the main characters, and at the same time, lends the story an authenticity—a feeling that this may really have happened.

Reading Frankenstein as an adult also allows the reader a lot more insight into what motivates the characters… as well as some skepticism about whether they’re really coming clean with each other. You’ll enjoy giving it a second (or a first) chance.

Frankenstein is available to you in many editions and from many avenues. (Here at the Nebraska Library Commission we even have it as one of our book club kits.) Two common editions are from 1818 and 1831—I’d recommend the 1818 edition myself. Because of the age of the text, it’s available in the public domain, and the Internet Archive has a few editions to choose from. You can also listen to a free audiobook from Librivox here and here, and those are only a couple of the audio versions they have available.

Happy Halloween… and remember, don’t go out there and create your own worst nightmare!

Shelley, Mary W, and Marilyn Butler. Frankenstein, Or, the Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

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Friday Reads: Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary, by Gail Jarrow

Jarrow213As a child I first heard the term “Typhoid Mary” as a term, not a person, and did not think much more about it until I read Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow. The author provides clear and concise information about the disease and how it is spread. She then focuses on Mary Mallon and the effort that went into identifying and locating her.

The author gives a brief history of typhoid fever, noting that is has been around since prehistoric times. Then she brings the reader to January of 1903 in Ithaca, New York, where typhoid fever infected a number of local citizens as well as Cornell University students. The author tells of the disease, how it was transmitted, and efforts to reduce the possibility of contracting it. The New York State Commissioner of Health contacted George Soper, a sanitary engineer, who had helped Galveston, Texas deal with sanitation issues and disease following a deadly hurricane. The clean-up of the wells, cesspools and outhouses in Ithaca, along with the installation of a filtration system took several months.

Determined to prevent future outbreaks Soper was soon on the trail of one individual he felt was responsible for spreading the disease in 1906 and beyond. His efforts, along with assistance from others, and Mary Mallon’s viewpoint that she was being harassed for no reason, are documented throughout the rest of the book.  Mary continued to assert she had never contracted typhoid fever and thus could not infect others. Mr. Soper insisted that she must have had a light case that was not diagnosed and continued to carry the disease, his opinion eventually being verified after she was detained and tested.

This account reads like a detective novel and a tragedy. One person feeling persecuted and other people suffering from a terrible disease. Reading this put in my mind a real person who was appalled when the name “Typhoid Mary” first appeared in the newspaper. She had always been honest and worked hard and couldn’t understand why people were so convinced she was spreading disease.

The book includes period photographs, posters, cartoons, and newspaper items that convey the living conditions of the time and the suggestions for avoiding disease. Source notes, a bibliography, and an index are also included.

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What’s Sally Reading?

Finding Upcoming Titles

Recently I was asked for some suggestions of how to find out about titles that are soon to be published, including subsequent titles in series.  Here is a good start: Naomi Bates wrote a blog posting about different sites that help readers keep up with teen lit, including recommendations and series.  Take a look at the sites she included, you may find a new favorite!

Two sites mentioned in the comments section of her blog posting are FictFact; you can click on any day on the calendar to learn which titles are being published that day.  This web page appears to focus on teen titles in series.   Also mentioned is Recaptains, which gives a summary of the action in each title in an included series, great for reminding you what happened in book 2 before moving on to book 3.

Becker197Quest by Aaron Becker is a wordless picture book and a follow-up to his 2013 title, Journey.  In Quest the girl and boy, each with their special crayon, encounter a king who also has a special crayon.  He gives them a map and some unusual items before being pulled back through a door.  The children follow and  they journey through this land trying to help the king.  Beautiful artwork and the solving of a puzzle will appeal to the intended audience of Kindergarten through grade 3.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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October is National Reading Group Month!

October is National Reading Group Month!

To help you celebrate your reading group, here are some novels that feature book groups you can check out from the Nebraska Library Commission Book Club Collection.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
21 Copies
Available to Talking Book Service users
Request This Kit

Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
13 Copies (also 1 Video (DVD) copy)
Request This Kit

The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
7 Copies
Request This Kit

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
12 Copies
Request This Kit

 

 

 

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Benches Encourage Reading

benchSeussFifty “book benches” are illustrating the joys of reading on the streets of London this summer.  Each book-shaped bench is covered with a colorful picture.  The benches are part of the National Literacy Trust’s Books about Town campaign  to celebrate books and reading.  Benches feature Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Mary Poppins, the works of Dr Seuss, and many others. This fall, the benches will be auctioned off to raise funds for the NLT.  It’s an impractical wish, but wouldn’t it be great to have one of them?

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What’s Sally Reading?

Books Full of Ideas…

Recently a discussion was held on YALSA-BK about holding a live Clue® game for teens.  One person noted that ideas on how to do this were included in RoseMary Honnold’s 101+ Teen Programs That Work (2003).  I looked through it several years ago and just took another look today.  It is a wonderful resource of ideas from those that need very little funding to those that need quite a bit.  She followed with a second book, More Teen Programs That Work (2005) which follows the same format and has many more ideas to use with teens.  The Library Commission owns both titles and you are welcome to borrow either one whenever they are here.  The publication dates show they are a tad old, but the ideas are still fresh.

Hayes011Patrick Eats his Peas and Other Stories by Geoffrey Hayes begins with Patrick claiming peas are “little green balls of mushy poison.”  Mother is patient and firm, finally Patrick finds his own way to eat a few peas.  The other stories involve Patrick helping with chores, taking a bath, and going to sleep.  Told in graphic novel format the appealing illustrations convey Patrick’s energy, his tendency toward trouble and his parents’ love and patience.  Great for beginning readers.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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Children Completing Nebraska Summer Reading Programs to Be Entered to Win More Than $11,000 in NEST 529 Scholarships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2014

Contact:
Christina Kahler
Director of Marketing, NEST
402-602-6549
ckahler@fnni.com

Jana Langemach
Director of Communications
402-471-8884
Jana.langemach@nebraska.gov

 

NEST partners with libraries statewide on scholarship program, demonstrating that Books Are Just the Beginning at Nebraska libraries

Omaha, Neb. (June 5, 2014) – Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans (NEST), First National Bank of Omaha, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and the Nebraska Library Commission announced today the NEST Read to Win $529! Drawing as part of library summer reading programs across the state.  More than $11,000 in NEST 529 College Savings scholarships and donations will be awarded.

Fifteen summer readers, five in each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts, will be randomly drawn from those who complete a summer reading program. Each winner will receive $529 in a NEST college savings account. The library of each winner will receive a $250 donation. To enter, children must register for the summer reading program at their libraries and complete the program as defined by their libraries.

“The Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office is happy to help sponsor the NEST Read to Win program this summer in local libraries all across Nebraska. Libraries are special places where children and teens can explore, learn, and dream. These early experiences in their local hometown libraries help children foster a love of reading and learning and set the stage for their years of formal education, from kindergarten through a four-year college, community college, or technical school. We here at NEST wish the very best for all the young readers in Nebraska and for their educational futures,” State Treasurer Stenberg said.

“NEST is proud to support the educational efforts of Nebraska’s children as well as the great work of the libraries statewide,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director of NEST at First National Bank of Omaha, the NEST Program Manager. “With the libraries encouraging leisure reading during the summer, children can daydream and think of places they want to go and what they want to be. We hope this scholarship program encourages children and families to get involved in summer reading and complete the program with a little extra incentive for a possible scholarship.”

“Nebraska public libraries’ summer reading programs are great opportunities for children and teens to have the time to enjoy reading while maintaining and improving reading skills. They can also enjoy the many science-themed activities that are part of this year’s programs,” said Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner. “As places for learning, libraries are a natural partner for NEST—helping to illustrate the importance of children and their parents setting aside money for college education. The Nebraska Library Commission is pleased to join with the Nebraska State Treasurer, First National Bank of Omaha, Regional Library Systems, and Nebraska public libraries to promote lifelong learning, financial education and planning.”

Winners will be drawn from the names of children who complete the summer reading program as submitted at the end of their programs by libraries throughout Nebraska. Winners will be announced during college savings month in September.

For official scholarship rules, visit the NEST College Savings Plans at www.NEST529.com, the State Treasurer’s Office at www.treasurer.org/cs/or the Nebraska Library Commission at http://nlc.nebraska.gov.

###

About NEST
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and The State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as the Program Trustee. First National Bank serves as the Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using the NEST 529 plans, which have more than 215,000 accounts, including 62,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and www.treasurer.org/cs/ for more information.

About First National Bank
First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, which is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have $17 billion in managed assets and nearly 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

About Nebraska Library Commission
As Nebraska’s state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services-“bringing together people and information.” Visit http://booksarejustthebeginning.com/ for more examples of how Books Are Just the Beginning at Nebraska libraries.

Investments Are Not FDIC Insured*   No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee    May Lose Value *Except the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option

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What’s Sally Reading?

NPR’s List of “Best Ever Teen Novels”

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I sent an email to the CHILDLIB-L group giving you a link to National Public Radio’s list of 235 finalists and asking you to vote for ten of them as your choices?  Well, the list has now been set at 100.  Visit their web page  to see the list and decide how much you agree with the voters and the panel of judges.  Looking at the list it is clear their definition of “Teen Books” differs from YALSA, they are using an “appeals to teens” approach.  It’s an interesting list that would be fun to discuss with others and to contemplate what is missing and what is there that you feel should not be.  And, maybe, you will find a title or two that you really must read.  I know I did.

Rosemary Wells has a new series for young readers called “Kindergators.”  The first book in the series is Hands Off, Harry and it addresses personal space.  Harry is usually bothering the other students: poking one and shouting “surprise” from behind another.  Babette brings the bumper tube (inner tube type item) back from the gym.  Harry cannot touch anyone while wearing it and he finally spends some time thinking about personal space.  Cute and clever, even with this didactic message kids will enjoy the story.  Just so you know: Book #2 in this series is Miracle Melts Down, however, I haven’t yet seen a copy of it.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What’s Sally Reading?

ALA Book Awards will be announced January 23, 2012!

Awards from the Association of Library Services for Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) are always announced on the Monday of the ALA Midwinter meeting.  That will happen on January 23rd this year.  You can watch the announcement live online.  Details are here.  Afterwards, if you wish, you can share your thoughts on the winners by posting or Tweeting (please use #alayma and #bestofyalit).  I can’t wait!

Stars by Mary Lynn Ray is a fun title for next year’s summer reading program.  The joy of stars is celebrated in this appealing picture book.  While children cannot put a real star in their pockets, they can cut one out of shiny paper.  They can find stars in the garden (strawberry blossoms) in the woods (moss on a tree) and in winter (snowflakes).  Marla Frazee’s amazing illustrations convey the beauty and wonder of stars.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What’s Sally Reading?

A Contest for the New Year!

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has an online literature blog, The Hub, and right now it has a fun contest you are invited to enter.  All you need to do is write a fabricated summary of a book title.  Choose from the list of titles and make up a plot that matches the title.  Submit your entry by January 20, 2012.  Go here for the titles and to enter the contest.  Good luck!  (And you may decide to look at The Hub regularly, it has book reviews, “Tweets of the Week,” interviews with authors, and more!)

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick is another amazing book in the vein of The Invention of Hugo Cabret.  He tells the stories of two people in alternating sections: one is Rose, a girl who is deaf living in 1927 and her story is told completely in illustration.  The other story is told in text about Ben, a boy in 1977 who loses his hearing after being struck by lightning.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What’s Sally Reading?

Teen Read Week is Oct. 16 – 22, 2011!

The theme this year is “Picture It @ your library” so there are plenty of different directions you can go with it.  A recent post on YALSA-BK by Rosemary Honnold offers several different websites to visit that have resources for you mix and match to create your program.   Thank you, Rosemary!  Here they are:

YALSA Teen Read Week page:

Teen Read Week Wiki: (add your titles and program ideas to the lists!) This link has “50 Ideas for Teen Read Week” by Pam Spencer Holley, a list of general ideas that will work for any year (link also included below).

Teen Read Week Facebook page:  This link has a video contest for grades 9-12, one of whom will win a $1,000 scholarship.

Teen Read Week Photo Contest for ages 13-18.

YALSA Blog postings about Teen Read Week every Thursday beginning September 1.

The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Reads.

Check out Pam Spencer Holley’s 50 Ideas for any Teen Read
Week:

And for “Ten Ideas for Teen Read Week without Having a Social Program,” check out this page on Rosemary’s See YA Around site.

In honor of preparing for Teen Read Week, I recently finished the book Firespell by Chloe Neill.  This looks like the start of a new teen series, “The Dark Elite” which seems likely to be connected to her adult series “Chicagoland Vampires” (Some
Girls Bite
, etc.).  Lily is sent to boarding school in Chicago (from upstate New York) while her parents take a sabbatical to Germany.  A high school junior, Lily is not happy with this major change.  However, she soon learns one of her new
roommates is involved in something that keeps her out late at night… and is dangerous.  Lily follows her and is enmeshed in a conflict between two groups with magical abilities.  Lily has no such abilities but wants to help her roommate, Scout, and her group to protect others.  No vampires in this title, but good storytelling, action, a bit of romance, and good vs. evil.

(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers.  After review, the books are distributed free, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What’s Sally Reading?

sally%203.jpg
Proof Positive,” an article in the November, 2010 issue of School Library Journal, gives the highlights of a recent three-year study of summer reading programs. Prior to this study, the one completed in 1978 by Barbara Heyns has been a public librarian’s often quoted source. Carole Fiore and Susan Roman wrote the article and were instrumental with the study. One of their most important statistics shows “…kids who participate in these programs are 52 Lexile points ahead of those who do not.” (p. 26) While some of the other statistics are not as definitive, children’s librarians should take a look at the article and the study. Go here to see the Executive Summary and the Final Report. It’s great to have some data behind our knowledge that summer reading programs do a world of good.
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I just finished reading A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. (Really, I read the last pages this morning in my office before 8:00 rolled around.) It takes some of the lesser known, original Grimm fairy tales and cleverly winds Hansel and Gretel through them. Starting with their adapted story (they get their heads cut off! and then reattached), he then has them continue through their kingdom and beyond, sometimes separately, to encounter the various troubles of the other fairy tales. The author occasionally addresses the reader throughout the book, at first mostly to request that all young children leave the room, for he tells the bloody, gruesome original versions of the stories, and to warn, on page 16, “…this is where things start to get, well …awesome. But in a horrible, bloody kind of way.” This may sound awful, but it is a wonderful reworking of the fairy tales, and kids will be fascinated by the story. Good for grades three or four and up.
(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What’s Sally Reading?

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Pigeon!
I was talking with Sandy Wallick (Gere Branch, Lincoln City Libraries) a few weeks back and she shared some wonderful information with me. This web page has lots of fun things for kids. There are coloring pages you can print and use; kids can learn how to draw the pigeon; games to play and more. You can also find teachers’ guides and event kits on the “Grown-up Stuff” section. And if you click on the “More Mo!” icon, it takes you to another page with Cat the Cat and her friends. If you want a craft using an empty toilet roll tube, go here. Thanks, Mo Willems! (and thanks, Sandy!)
I am reading The Body at the Tower by Y. S. Lee, Book 2 in the “Mary Quinn Mystery” series. In Victorian London, Mary is now 18 and her second assignment for the secret detective agency (all women) is to disguise herself as a boy and work at the construction site of the Houses of Parliament and the clock tower as an errand boy to try to discover any information concerning one man’s death and the perpetual delays in the construction. Gives some insight into the plight of the everyday worker of the time, especially young boys. An interesting mystery, a strong capable woman, and some romance.
(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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What Sally’s Reading

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Win a chance to have Sharon Flake visit your school!
I heard about this opportunity on the YALSA-BK mail list. The contest is open from June 1, 2010 – August 13, 2010. First, interested students should read any or all of Sharon Flake’s books. Then they need to write a 500 word essay about how one of Flake’s novels, short stories, or poems has affected his or her life or changed the way he or she looks at their community. This reading contest is open to students in grades 5 – 12 who live in the lower 48 states. All essays are due by Friday, August 13, 2010. Email essays to flake.sharon@gmail.com. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. For details, check out the contest page: http://www.sharongflake.com/4u/contests/ It would be great if a student in Nebraska won!
I am in the first third of The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan. Gabrielle (Gabry) lives in Vista with her mother, Mary (from The Forest of Hands and Teeth). Gabry is frightened of the world outside the village’s walls, but one night her friends talk her into climbing the wall and exploring with them, with horrible consequences. As a result of this terrible event, Gabry and her mother talk; Gabry is shocked to hear her mother’s whole story, and chides her for not trying harder to find and rescue her friends after she was safe. Mary leaves the next day to do just that. Now Gabry must decide what she will do.
(The Nebraska Library Commission receives free copies of children’s and young adult books for review from a number of publishers. After review, the books are distributed free to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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2010 One Book One Nebraska: Are you reading The Home Place?

One Book One Nebraska 2010 invites citizens across the state to read The Home Place, by Wright Morris, a native of Central City, Nebraska. This “photo-text” is an account in first-person narrative and photographs of the one-day visit of Clyde Muncy to “the home place” at Lone Tree, Nebraska.
We know that library involvement is the key to success of our Nebraska statewide reading efforts. We also know that the staff and volunteers of Nebraska public libraries are very busy with a variety of library services and reading promotion activities. We continue to request your input into the resources and tools that can help libraries bring communities together through literature by hosting reading and discussion activities.
Is your library interested in celebrating One Book One Nebraska 2010 by reading The Home Place by Wright Morris? Please take a look and the Website, http://centerforthebook.nebraska.gov/onebook/2010/and comment below with suggestions and ideas for tools that might help you with reading/discussion activities and other events.
Thanks, Mary Jo Ryan

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Are you reading Crazy Horse: Strange Man of the Oglalas at your library?

Readers across the state are celebrating One Book One Nebraska by reading Crazy Horse: Strange Man of the Oglalas, by Nebraska author Marie Sandoz and by participating in local discussions throughout the year. Nebraska libraries are invited to join in the fun by organizing book discussion sessions and other events.
To help you get started, see http://www.onebookonenebraska.org/2017/index.aspx for discussion questions, program ideas, and a calendar of events.
Book Club Kits, nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/bookclub/, are available from the Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Regional Library Systems.
2007 One Book One Nebraska is coordinated by Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center at Chadron State College and cosponsored by Nebraska Center for the Book, Nebraska Library Association, Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Regional Library Systems, and other organizations.
Please comment on this posting with your ideas for programming, reactions to the book, etc.
Thanks, Mary Jo Ryan

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