Author Archives: Sally Snyder

Friday Reads: Ghost by Jason Reynolds

reynolds010Castle Crenshaw, who tells everyone “call me Ghost,” is in 7th grade.  He has been fast ever since he and his mom ran away from his father who was threatening them with a gun. Ghost is often on the edge of trouble, but really doesn’t want any, and doesn’t want to upset his mom. One day he watches a track team practicing, and stands up and races the runner he thinks is too smug. Coach offers him a chance to tryout and be on the team, but he has to keep up his schoolwork and stay out of trouble. He tries, but it is hard for him. Coach knows where Ghost is coming from and has been coaching for years to help kids stay out of trouble.

Ghost is an appealing character and readers will understand why he gets into trouble and how he sometimes reacts the wrong way. Coach is understanding, but also tough and Ghost knows he is serious about his conditions to stay on the team.

This title is Book 1 in a proposed four book series titled “Track” and I am looking forward to the next book.

Reynolds, Jason. Ghost. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016.

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Youth Grants for Excellence Applications due 10/5/16

The Nebraska Library Commission announces that grants are available to accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries for special projects in the area of children’s and young adult services. These grants are awarded to encourage innovation and expansion of public library services for youth and their parents or caregivers. Applications will be accepted for projects in an area that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community; for examples see the “Introduction” link below.

The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is $250. The grants require a 25% match of the requested amount. The $250 minimum grant amount plus the required 25% local match ($63) combine for $313 as the lowest total project amount for a Youth Grant for Excellence. Use the Project Budget Form at the end of the application form to estimate the amount you will need and to itemize specific expenses. You are advised to be as precise and detailed as possible.

There are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 – $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short form. Applications requesting more than $1,000 must use the long form. Please be sure to use the correct form for your project. Please go to the “Introduction” page for links to the forms (at the bottom of the page).

Please note: AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are no longer eligible for a youth grant.

You may also be interested in viewing the NCompass Live session from 8/20/14 titled “What You Need to Know to Apply for a Youth Grant.”

You are welcome to call or email Sally Snyder with questions or to ask for more information.

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What’s Sally Reading?

Spoilers for Award-Winning Books

One of the founders of the 5 Minute Librarian blog page noted in an email to YALSA-BK that she learned last fall that just in the YA genre alone, 5,000 books are published each year, and no one can read them all before the next year’s titles begin to pile up.  So here is the solution, visit Spoilers, Sweetie!  a new blog that spills the beans on award-winning titles for children and teens that you may not have time to read.

I appreciated that when you click on a category, say YALSA Nonfiction Award 2016, the title and author come up accompanied by a gray box.  To read the spoiler just click on the box.  This way you do not accidently uncover a spoiler you didn’t want to see.  Readers of the blog are also invited to join the team and help provide spoilers for others.

Another portion of this web site has a chronological listing of book awards and when they are announced.  Also handy information.

Stower025Troll and the Oliver by Adam Stower is a picture book for preschool through first grade.  Every day, usually around noon, Troll tried to catch Oliver and eat him!  Every day Oliver was too fast and agile and he always got away.  One day Troll did not jump out to try to catch him.  Oliver was very cautious on the way home.  He decided Troll had given up and began to mix ingredients for cake.  Then Troll jumped out of the cupboard and gulped down Oliver!  He tasted terrible so Troll spit him out again.  Luckily the timer dinged and out came cake!  As it turns out trolls love cake so Oliver & Troll share the cake with each other.  Clever—the world is a better place with trolls full of cake!

(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?

Find a book, hide a book…play Book Scavenger!

Looking for a new activity for your children and teen library users? Try finding and/or hiding a book! If you are familiar with the children’s title Book Scavenger, then you may be excited to know that the fictional game is now a reality. It is similar to geo-caching, except now people are hiding books in public places and leaving written clues rather than using GPS coordinates. And, once you find the book you are encouraged to read it, then hide it somewhere else and leave clues on the web site.  What a fun way to share books you love.

If you are hiding a book for its first time, they suggest printing out a game plate to identify it as part of the Book Scavenger game.  The plate is found on this page, just scroll down a bit.

Wonder where books are currently hidden? Go here.  If you go to the web page you will find plenty of books hidden in Nebraska communities. To find only titles hidden in Nebraska, go here.  Dorchester, …Hebron, … and more.  The one hidden in Lincoln was recently found by an eager young reader!  I hope you and your library’s children and teens have a great time and read a book or two.

Bertman026Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman tells of Emily (12) who is a big fan of the online game, Book Scavenger, invented by Garrison Griswold.  When her family moves to San Francisco she hopes she can compete in one of his local games.  She finds a copy of The Gold Bug in the BART station where Mr. Griswold was injured during a mugging.  It could be the first clue in a new game he was planning, but he is in a coma and may never wake up.  Emily and her new friend James try to find more clues while a couple of thugs try to find them.

(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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Friday Reads: Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo

 

Longo055Harper (17) and her best friend Kate have held to the plan for their futures since sixth grade: to become ballerinas and share an apartment in their home city of San Francisco. Then things fall apart. Kate is on her way to their dream, Harper is not. Her body cannot do what Kate can do. With her dream lost, Harper goes to Antarctica to “winter over” for six months as a research assistant (and to patch herself back together). Told in alternating chapters of “Antarctica” and “San Francisco” the book slowly reveals what Harper should have seen coming but chose to ignore. Booklist says, “An adventure story with lots of heart.”

I found this book interesting because Harper knew little about Antarctica or the science studies connected with wintering over, but she lucked into a lesser assistant position. The reader learns about Antarctica and what Harper’s strong points are as Harper learns them (though a couple of times I did want to whack her upside the head). Still, people have to learn in their own time and way – and that does happen for Harper. I liked that Harper was good at her job, organizing the scientist’s notes and data. Ultimately she is generous to an unlikable member of the winter over team.

An unusual setting for a teen novel, it features two people who were dedicated to their futures and approached them with unfailing intensity and effort.  To lose that would be devastating, and it does take Harper quite a while to move ahead.

Longo, Jennifer. Up to This Pointe. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016.

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NEST 529, College Savings Plan Scholarships!

We are excited the NEST 529 contest continues for this year’s summer reading program. It is the opportunity for children and teens, ages 3-18, to have their names entered into a drawing for a $529 scholarship. Fifteen names will be drawn, five each from our three Congressional Districts.  In order to be included in the drawing, children and teens need to complete their library’s summer reading program, as determined by each individual public library.  Additionally, each winner’s home library will receive $250.

Information, Official Rules, and a sample file for name submissions can be found here.

Instructions included on Tab 1 of the sample submission file are:

  • Please inform parents or guardians of the library’s intention to submit the children’s names for the drawing.  The parent or guardian has the right to exclude their child from the drawing.
  • Print out and post the Official Rules for the NEST 529 drawing.
  • As stated in the Official Rules — “Eligibility: Participation is open only to individual, legal Nebraska residents 3 to 18 years of age as of the date of entry.”
  • Include a phone number &/or email address to contact each child/teen. (Space for these is included on Tab 2 of the Excel file designed for submission.)
  • Libraries must submit contestant information electronically to the Library Commission.
  • If you do not have Excel or another spreadsheet program, send us the names electronically in an email.
  • In order to receive the scholarship, after the drawing the parents of the winners must agree to establish a 529 College savings account.
  • Email the completed file to Sally Snyder by the Deadline of 11:59:59 p.m., CT, on August 25, 2016.
  • Visit this Library Commission web page for links to the complete rules and a poster to display in your library.

Have a fun summer!

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What’s Sally Reading?

A Great Resource: Disability in Kidlit

The Disability in Kidlit web page offers the opportunity to look beyond stereotypes to the reality of disabilities. The “About” section on their web page states, “Disability in Kidlit is dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult literature. We publish articles, reviews, interviews, and discussions examining this topic from various angles—and always from the disabled perspective.”

The book reviews presented on the site are of titles that feature a child or teen with a disability, reviewed by people who often also have that disability, to give librarians and others a better idea of what to look for when selecting books for their collections or recommending titles for readers.

Heling062Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play by Kathryn Heling & Deborah Hembrook will draw in young listeners during story time.  Each two-page spread features a clothesline holding things like a shirt, shorts, maybe gloves, a hat, or such, with an item or two on the ground that correspond to a particular sport.  It then asks “What sport does he (or she) play?”  The kids will shout the answer, and the next page also tells the answer.  This is a title I missed for my 2016 summer reading program booklist so I am happy to let you know about it now.  An earlier title by the same authors and illustrator is Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do, which I also recommend.  Thank you to Sandy at Lincoln City Libraries for bringing these books to my attention.

(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?

 The 2016 Teens Top Ten Nominees Announced

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has officially announced the nominees for the 2016 Teens Top Ten.  It is a teen choice list containing titles recommended by teens and voted on by teens across the country.  Teen readers are encouraged to read as many of the nominees as they can, and vote for their favorites starting on August 15th through Teen Read Week (October 9-15, 2016).  The final Top Ten will be announced the week following Teen Read Week.  For an annotated list of the nominees, go to this PDF and share it with your teens!

Johnson004To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson is the sequel to The Great Greene Heist which came out in May of 2014.  Jackson Greene (8th grade) has again promised no more schemes or pranks, and stuck with it.  He is surprised when the principal calls him into his office and accuses him and Charlie (his best friend) of flooding the school over the weekend.  There is even video evidence they did it.  They did not do it.  Now they need to discover who doctored the video, and what can be done to clear their names.  The con they concoct will do the trick, if everyone can stick to their task.  Great for middle school readers who love teens getting one over on scalawags.

(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?

School Library Journal’s “Battle of the Kids Books” and

28th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced

School Library Journal’s “Battle of the Kids Books” began on March 7th. Find out more here or go here to learn the results of Round 1, Match 1.  I just have to say that the term “kids’ books” that School Library Journal is using is a bit misleading. The first match was between The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose and Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman… decidedly not kids’ books (depending on how you define “kids”). Otherwise, enjoy the contests!

The 28th annual Lambda Literary Awards, often call the “Lammys,” “celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2015.”  A total of 321 publishers provided a record-breaking 933 submissions for the various categories this year.  Scroll down the list on the web page and within the 25 categories of finalists you will find the LGBT Children’s/Young Adult category which lists eight finalists.  Winners will be announced on June 6, 2016.

Harper007 A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper is a picture book I predict many public libraries will add to their collections.  Little Card was trained to be a birthday card, but learns there was a mix-up and now he is to be delivered to a library – where he runs in the door and shouts “Happy Birthday!”  Little Card soon learns his new duties and becomes the library card for a girl.  Imagine his glee when he learns that while birthdays only happen once a year a library card can be used almost every day!  It is fun to see things from a different perspective, that of the new library card.  Another good choice for preschool through grade 1.

(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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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?

Bram Stoker Award Finalist Lists

The eleven finalist lists have now been announced on their web page.  In the category Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel the finalists are:  Jennifer Brozek for Never Let Me Sleep (Book 1 of the Melissa Allen Trilogy), Michaelbrent Collings for The Ridealong, John Dixon for Devil’s Pocket (sequel to Phoenix Island), Tonya Hurley for Hallowed (Book 3 of the Blessed trilogy), Maureen Johnson for The Shadow Cabinet (Book 3 of the Shades of London series), and Ian Welke for End Times at Ridgemont High.  I have not read any of these titles, which shows me a gap in my effort to include all genres of books in my reading and recommendations to Nebraska librarians.  (I did read The Diviners and Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray.)  I promise to include more in my reading (and keep the light on at night).

Goodrich019We Forgot Brock! written and illustrated by Carter Goodrich shows the great friendship between Phillip and his imaginary friend Brock.  One fun illustration shows Phillip’s parents in the foreground looking out the window and seeing only Phillip, when the reader knows Brock is there too.  Life takes a turn when the family goes to the Big Fair.  Phillip and Brock have a great time on the rides but Phillip is sleepy when it is time to go home.  Brock, still at the Fair, looks but cannot find Phillip anywhere.  Fortunately he is rescued by Anne and her imaginary friend Princess Sparkledust.  Phillip and Brock struggle to go on without each other – until they run into each other again!  Soon all four are friends.  A fun picture book for preschool through grade 1.

(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?

Gene Luen Lang Named Newest Ambassador for Young People’s Literature!

The purpose of the Ambassador is to “raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people” (from their home page, link below).  Lang’s theme for his two-year term is “Reading Without Walls.”  Named in January by the Library of Congress and sponsored by The Center for the Book, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader, the first Ambassador was Jon Scieszka for the 2008-2009 term. A selection committee reviews nominations and makes their choice. Visit their home page to see the criteria and read more about the newest choice.  Previous Ambassadors, in term order, are: Jon Scieszka, Katherine Paterson, Walter Dean Myers and Kate DiCamillo.

Spencer128The Sweetest Heist in History, Book 2 of the “Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective” series by Octavia Spencer finds Randi visiting her aunt Gigi in Brooklyn, New York for Thanksgiving and bringing her new friends D.C. and Pudge with her. They soon uncover suspicious doings in her aunt’s apartment building and at the Brooklyn Museum across the street. Could there be a plot to steal some of the Fabergé eggs soon to be on display? Randi and her friends are determined to outwit any criminals and save the eggs. A fun mystery for readers in grades 4-6.

(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?

2016 Notable Children’s Books Announced

The Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) has announced their list of books from 2015 that were selected as Notable Children’s Books – 2016.  As it says on the web page, “According to the Notables Criteria, ‘notable’ is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.” The list is divided into four sections: Younger Readers, Middle Readers, Older Readers, and All Ages. Each category is “loosely” defined by grade ranges in the introduction. Enjoy looking over the list and I hope you find something to add to your collection!

Koehler096Something small and white this week reminded me of the picture book The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler. The Little Snowplow joined the BIG trucks for the town, and they all told him to leave the jobs to them, they would handle them and he was too little. So he cleaned up after parades, cleared streams and other small jobs, but as fall began to change to winter he began his training exercises. When the snow fell, it was soon overwhelming. He kept clearing and clearing, and soon went to work to help the dump truck who was caught in an avalanche. Power of the small.

(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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ALA Announces the Youth Media Awards

The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) Division of the American Library Association (ALA) announced Monday, January 11, 2016, the winner of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson, is the 2016 Newbery Medal winner. Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: The War that Saved My Life written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Roller Girl written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson, and Echo written by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

The 2016 Caldecott Medal winner is Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick. Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: Trombone Shorty illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews, Waiting illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, Last Stop on Market Street illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de le Peña.

To read a copy of the ALA press announcement and learn about all the other award winners and honor books, go to: http://nlc.nebraska.gov/youth/ala.yma.2016.pdf

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Friday Reads: How to Babysit a Leopard by Ted & Betsy Lewin

Ted and Betsy Lewin take turns recounting some of the many experiences they had while traveling the globe in order to research different animals and locations for the books they have written for children.  Some events were frightening – somLewin072e humorous, all retold for the reader to share the back seat during their lives on the road in Africa, India, Mongolia and more – covering six continents!

Plenty of their sketches from the trips as well as photographs are included on each two-page spread.  I enjoyed reading about Africa, somewhere I have been, as well as the many places I have not!  This book may inspire future travelers, artists, and writers. What amazing lives they have led!

 

 

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What’s Sally Reading?

Refresher for Series Reading

The Recaptains website reminds you what happened in a book to get you ready to read next book in series.  As it states on their web page, “Yay! The next book in your favorite series is coming out soon! But hey, wait a second… what was it that happened in book 1 again? Did they kiss? Did they beat the bad guy? Did they have to run for their lives and was there a Cliffhanger with Capital C?”  Now you can find out quickly and easily what happened in the previous book.

It contains Goodreads summaries and with a click on “read more” you can access more detailed information.  There it includes an “In Short” paragraph, a “What Went Down” bulleted list of actions that occurred in the book, and “How Did It End.”  I just read through the information on The Diviners by Libba Bray since I plan to read the sequel Lair of Dreams this weekend.  It did a great job of reminding me who the characters are and what events happened in the first book.  It doesn’t cover everything, I just searched for Terry Pratchett and he is not on their author list, still I’m going to be using this site often.

Shurtliff003My highlighted book this time is Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff; I heard the author speak at the Norfolk Public Library’s 21st Annual Literature Festival held on July 25, 2015, which is a great opportunity to hear authors talk about their writing processes and get a book signed!  (Their next Festival is scheduled for July 30, 2016.)

In the book, Jack’s 7-times great grandfather was the famous Jack the Giant Killer and this Jack wants to imitate him, except that there are no giants.  But then two giants come down from the sky and take everything – the entire town – and Jack is soon up in their land to find his father and slay some giants.  Things are not that easy.  Full of adventure this twist on the fairy tale is logical and fun – with a bit of a message about greed.  Fans of her book Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin (one of the Golden Sower nominees for 2015-2016) are sure to grab it.  This book is written for grades 3-6.

(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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Youth Grants for Excellence Applications due 10/2/15

The Nebraska Library Commission announces that grants are available to accredited public libraries and state-run institutional libraries for special projects in the area of children’s and young adult services. These grants are awarded to encourage innovation and expansion of public library services for youth and their parents or caregivers. Applications will be accepted for projects in an area that will benefit children and/or teens and which you see as a need in your community; for examples see the “Introduction” link below.

The Youth Grants for Excellence require a 25% match of the amount requested (grant amount), of which at least 10% must be a cash match. The minimum amount that will be awarded per grant is now $250. The $250 minimum grant amount plus the required 25% local match ($63) combine for $313 as the lowest total project amount for a Youth Grant for Excellence.

There are two different application forms. For projects requesting $250 – $1,000 in grant funds use the abbreviated, or short form. Applications requesting more than $1,000 must use the long form. Please be sure to use the correct form for your project. Please go to the “Introduction” page for links to the forms (at the bottom of the page).

Please note: AWE work stations, or similar stations of other companies, are allowed this year (2015) and then will no longer be eligible beginning in 2016.

You may also be interested in viewing the NCompass Live session from 8/20/14 titled “What You Need to Know to Apply for a Youth Grant.”

You are welcome to call or email Sally Snyder with questions or to ask for more information.

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Friday Reads: School for Brides & Keeping the Castle, by Patrice Kindl

I recently finished A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl, a new companion title to her Keeping the Castle which came out in 2012.  I might be cheating by talking about two books, but they certainly go hand-in-hand.

Kindl011Keeping the Castle is reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice with a touch of Cinderella – due to stepsisters.  Seventeen-year-old Althea knows the only way to save her family’s decaying castle, its grounds, and their tenants for her widowed mother and much younger brother is to marry well.  The two unkind stepsisters living with them could contribute funds to reduce the costs but choose to complain instead.  Althea has an unfortunate habit of speaking her mind which makes finding a suitor much more difficult; she would prefer to remain single if it wasn’t so necessary to wed.  She does what she can to aid her new friend, Miss Vinchy, in finding a match, but doesn’t seem to make any progress for herself.  Readers will see the possibilities long before Althea does, which adds to the fun.  Romance, proper behavior of the time and surprises are included.

A School for Brides is set in the same time and place – the early 1800sKindl084 in the town of Lesser Hoo in Yorkshire England – and some of the characters from the first book make secondary appearances here.  The eight young ladies of the Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy study their lessons in math, French, comportment and stitching; but their real purpose at the school is for each to find a husband.  Too bad Lesser Hoo has only one sort-of-eligible bachelor.  Things look up when a young well-to-do gentleman is thrown from his horse.  A broken leg necessitates his stay at the school and soon some of his friends come to visit.  Manners of the day, social standing, treatment of household staff and the winning or losing of ladies’ hands are all addressed.  A couple of mysteries and some ne’er-do-wells in the mix make a humorous and gratifying tale.

I greatly enjoyed both books, the setting, the humor, and the writing; the author has provided two enjoyable Jane Austen-like capers.  They are a fun and lovely change from the many teen dystopia and/or killer suspense novels I have been reading lately.  They will be enjoyed by teens and adults.

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What’s Sally Reading?

Booktalk Database

If you are interested in book talks but don’t have time to write them all yourself, visit Nancy Keane’s website.  Click on “New This Month” on the left and you will find ways to search the database on the left.  You can choose searching by author or by title, as well as a subject list.  If you are more interested in seeing what is new to the site you can click on the month by month listing in the main area of the page.  She welcomes everyone to contribute a book talk and to use any that are there.  Some books have several book talks written by different people.  There are plenty of titles, picture books on up to young adult choices.

The Library Commission owns several titles about booktalks by Joni Richards Bodart, the first person to write about booktalking, including Booktalk!,  Booktalk! 2, and the more recent Booktalk! 5, about how to write booktalks and how to present them as well as having samples if you are looking for something to help you get started.  Good luck!

Dyckman029In Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, the Bunny family finds a basket on their doorstep with a wolf cub in it.  Mom & Dad are thrilled.  Daughter, Dot, exclaims, “He’s going to eat us all up!” but the parents continually ignore her.  Finally, one day at the market, it looks like her prediction is coming true (by this time Wolfie is wearing a pink bunny suit) but instead it is bear who wants to eat Wolfie.  Dot to the rescue!  Sibling rivalry, cleverness and courage, and family love are at the heart of this story.  This picture book will capture readers’ attention, especially when the bear appears!

(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?

Get to Know the Nominees for Teens’ Top Ten 2015

The Hub has begun a four-part The Hub to highlight the 24 titles on the Teens’ Top Ten list for 2015.  The books were published between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.  You can see the entire list here if you want to check and see how many your library owns.  Teens from all over the country can vote for their favorite title beginning on August 15, 2015 and continue through Teen Read Week (October 18-24, 2015).  The ten titles receiving the most votes will be named the Teens’ Top Ten list for 2015.  I hope your teens will want to participate!

Vernon048Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon, who wrote the Dragonbreath series, introduces readers to new characters and setting, which could become a series as well.  Castle Hangnail has been without a master for far too long, and the main caretaker is worried it will be decommissioned.  Then Miss Molly, a 12-year-old witch arrives to claim the castle.  She does have an invitation (one of many sent out) but she seems so unorthodox, she’s nice (usually) and considerate, but she can do some magic.  She has four tasks to complete in order to claim the castle, maybe everything will work out.  Then, the sorceress who was the actual recipient of the invitation appears at the door; and she is nasty, just as the master of the castle should be.  But the minions in the castle rather like Miss Molly, what should they 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, via the Regional Library Systems, to Nebraska school and public libraries.)

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