Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dear Well Meaning Adult, Here’s how to buy books for teens on your list.

Books are the perfect gift for any occasion. To ensure you purchase the most fitting book for the teen in your life this holiday season, here's some helpful advice from Teen Librarian Toolbox.

Dear Well Meaning Adult, Here’s how to buy books for teens on your list.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In Country

Bobbie Ann Mason. New York: Harper Perennial, 2005 (originally published 1985). 246 pp.
Rating: Decent + 5 Scoops

"My mother never told me much about him, what he was like or what his favorite food were or anything. I don't even know how tall he was or what kind of personality he had. He's just a face in a picture, but now I'm getting real curious." (64) 

To eighteen year-old Samantha Hughes, the Vietnam War is everywhere, but nowhere. Surrounded by her Uncle Emmett and his war buddies and with the blood of a Vietnam soldier running through her veins, Sam is on a mission to piece together the Vietnam War. Devouring every book, newspaper article, video report, and personal story she encounters, Sam attempts to reconstruct the life of a Vietnam soldier traipsing through the dense jungles of Vietnam. Although she's searching for answers to understand her Uncle Emmett's behavior, she hopes to learn about the father she never knew, and in the process find herself.  However, the road to truth means making peace with the past.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Are You Rich?

Amia at three-years old in all of her
independent glory.
Though it's been almost a whole year...an entire 365 days, literally, since the incident, the memory still haunts me. Oh, the shame, the shame. Last Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2013, I missed an opportune teachable moment.


Back in 2011, I purchased my youngest sister's children their first journals. At that time, my nephew was 7 and my nieces were 5, 5, and 3. As I explained to them the many uses of a journal (i.e. creating lists, drawing, writing about their day or their feelings, etc.) my nephew, in all of his seven-year old wisdom, proudly proclaimed, "You write secrets in your diary." Then Amia, one of the twins, said "Stephanie, let me see your secrets," rendering me momentarily speechless."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Top 10 Books For Reluctant MG And YA Readers by F.T. Bradley

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club. Another great top 10 list!


When I set out to write the Double Vision trilogy, I wasn't all that knowledgeable on reluctant readers, what books appealed to them, and why. All I wanted to do was write a fun, fast-paced thriller. The kind of book I would like to read if I was still twelve (okay, if we're honest: the kind of book I still like to read...)

But when I found myself the parent of a very reluctant tween reader, I got serious about understanding what makes kids turn away from books. More importantly: I wanted to figure out how to get those kids to pick up a book again. For fun.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)

Gail Carriger. New York: Little Brown and Company, 2013. Ebook. 
Rating: Decent

Goodreads Summary: Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.


But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Forbidden Book Trailer

Being the historical fiction lover that I am, I knew that I had to get my hands on Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little, when I first heard about it four months ago. Not only is the book trailer beautiful, but it also contains "betrothed" one of my favorite words. (-:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Black and White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Conner

Larry Dane Brimner. Honesdale: Calkins Creek, 2011. 114 pp.
Rating: Striking + 5 Scoops


The March on Birmingham evokes images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leading thousands of people through the streets of a 1960's Birmingham, Alabama. Huge dogs barely contained by the law enforcement officials to whom they are entrusted. Fire hoses drawn, aimed, and shotfiring torrents of throbbing, rushing water into the crowd hurtling protesters several feet through the air, and chaos run amuck. Seldom, if ever, does Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth spring to mind. Though I grew up in the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery, Alabama, before reading Black & White, I had never heard of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Like many of you, I depended on the public school system to teach me all I needed to know of the the Civil Rights Movement and its leaders. However, had it not been for Fred Shuttlesworth, desegregation in Birmingham may have been months or even years away.