A Blog of Children's Literature

7th Grade Booktalks: Franklin Fine Arts Center May 21, 2012

Filed under: Book Talks — akibird @ 8:21 pm

Tears of a Tiger, The Hazelwood High Trilogy by Sharon Draper

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle


6th Grade Boys Booktalk: Franklin Fine Arts Center May 20, 2012

Filed under: Book Talks — akibird @ 9:28 pm

All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

   Sir Charlie: Chaplin, Funniest Man in the World by Sid Fleischman
    Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge

Study Skills Period 3 Book Talks: Metea Valley High School May 15, 2012

Filed under: Book Talks — akibird @ 3:07 pm

All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg

Nation by Terry Pratchett

The First Part Last  by Angela Johnson

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson


Study Skills Period 2 Booktalks: Metea Valley High School

Filed under: Book Talks — akibird @ 3:01 pm

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Running Loose by Chris Crutcher


American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang


Truce by Jim Murphy

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson


A Blogger’s Blogs September 20, 2011

As I continue to work toward my career as a school librarian, I value the thoughts, opinions, and reviews of those who have come before me. Narrowing my picks to only a few professional librarian or journal blogs has been difficult, but I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. While my blog has a limited scope of one person’s responses to a limited list of children’s and YA books, these blogs often share so much more from the children’s library and publishing worlds. Click away, peruse their professional suggestions, and enjoy the new goodies!

A Fuse #8 Production
A Fuse #8 Production
is an SLJ children’s literature blog written by Elizabeth Bird, who works for the NYPL system, served on the Newberry Award Committee, and has written for Horn Book. Her blog shares her reviews of new books, predictions of future award winners, literary events, and fun video finds. Her in-the-know writing style shares a lot of great information in quick posts and helps me stay on top of the children’s literature buzz.

Out of the Box
Horn Book has some amazing writers. It was hard to choose from Roger Sutton’s Read Roger, HB’s newest blog Calling Caldecott, or Out of the Box. However, I am drawn to almost every post in Out of the Box by the staff sharing “an exclusive look at what comes into the Horn Book offices.” The blog covers new reads, interesting finds (such as the cool app Shake & Make), and comical musings. After reading Sutton’s A Family of Readers, I grew to understand Horn Book’s impressive collective knowledge and experience, and I cherish this peek behind the HB office doors.

The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Reads
Finally, I have really enjoyed reading YALSA’s The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Reads. I have a special place in my heart for YA lit and am always reminded of the small readers services I performed as an English teacher. As ALA’s official Young Adult Library Services Association, the blog provides pertinent information and books shared by its staff. I found many exciting and interesting books reading the blog’s themed book list posts and know I will use their suggestions in future co-teaching instances.


Goth Girl Rising August 9, 2011

Goth Girl RisingGoth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lyga, Barry.
Goth Girl Rising.
Oct. 2009 (galley). 388p. Houghton Mifflin Books.
Grades 9 and up.
REVIEW. First published August 9, 2011 (Akibird).

After a stint in rehab, Goth Girl Kyra is back with a vengeance and aiming for Fanboy for putting her in the hospital. Occurring six months after Lyga’s popular The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl, Goth Girl Rising switches to Kyra’s narration and shows a lost teen who must transition back into reality and return to school and so-called friends. Truly understanding girl bravado, Barry Lyga portrays Kyra as outwardly confident with her shaved head, blue lipstick, and killer attitude. However, his creative genius unravels Kyra’s true feelings in her evolving poetry and letters to comic legend Neil Gaiman, exposing a girl grieving the loss of her mother and her muddled relationships. The author’s exploration of Goth Girl’s psyche accurately reveals a damaged soul, terrified of abandonment. Rather than talk openly about her feelings, Kyra is willing to sabotage the life of the boy she loves to fill her emptiness and avoid rejection. With a plethora of eye-opening moments and references to popular graphic novels, Goth Girl Rising will be a favorite of fans of the first in the series and also of those interested in angst and identity formation. Lyga’s use of graphic novels in the characters’ lives shows the format is not just about superheroes and tights but can lead to deeper questioning about life, death, and what it all means.


City of Fallen Angels, Book 4 June 6, 2011

Filed under: Reviews — akibird @ 4:20 pm
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City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Book 4).
Clare, Cassandra (author).
Apr. 2011. 432p. Margret K. McElderry Books, hardcover $19.99 (9781442403543). Grades 9 and up.
REVIEW. First published June 6, 2011 (Akibird).

The fourth book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, City of Fallen Angels (CFA) takes place a couple months after the defeat of Valentine at the end of Book 3. CFA follows Clary as she begins her transition from average teen to fighting Shadowhunter, the part angel-part humans who protect the world against demons. Tension builds when Shadowhunter bodies are found in various Downworlder territories, pinning vampires, werewolves, faeries, and Shadowhunters against one another. Readers who have previously enjoyed Jace and Clary’s forbidden relationship will savor their struggle and growth as a couple. More will appreciate the stronger development of other characters, including a closer look at Simon’s new life as a cursed Daylighter vampire, who is struggling to appear like a normal teen and dealing with a love triangle with him in the middle. Clare does not disappoint fans, giving them a big helping of the dramatic paranormal lives of their favorite characters. As the fourth book in a series that was originally supposed to end after the third, Clare creates a whole new set of conflicts that are left to be resolved in the final two installments to come. As City of Bones, Book 1 moves into film production, librarians will have a hard time keeping copies on the shelves as fans crave the latest book in the Mortal Instruments series.