This Book is Overdue: how librarians and cybrarians can save us all by Marilyn Johnson
In accordance with the title, the book is about the latest developments and trends in libraries and how they impact the the general public. Johnson, not a librarian, became interested in librarians after finishing her first book The Dead Beat, a book about obituaries. While researching The Dead Beat, she found librarians tend lead fascinating and exciting lives. It made her wonder about the lives of the living librarians. To satisfy her curiosity, she traveled far and wide interviewing librarians of every guild. From librarians training students from third world countries to use the internet to librarians fighting against privacy violations, she talked to everyone! This resulted in an all encompassing and accurate portrayal of the field.
The book has some fascinating information about librarianship, regardless of your experience or expertise levels. Newbies are exposed to the inside world of the library, for example the world wide problem of finding poop in the library. Current librarians learn about the unique ways other libraries are meeting patrons needs, such as virtual library services and author galas. Most of the content is current, with one recently outdated chapter. The use of Second Life for library services is fading with the increased cost of membership. But in such a rapidly changing field, one outdated chapter is an accomplishment!
If you are interested in the book, I would not recommend the audio format. The reader’s voice was monotone and difficult to listen to. Often, I found myself drifting and forgetting what had been discussed. Sometimes her tone conveyed too much sarcasm or left out the humor, leaving the reader to interpret the author’s point. In addition, its a book that I would want to highlight or add bookmarks to, something an audio book doesn’t allow for.
Those interested in the book can find the first chapter free on Johnson’s website or find it at your local bookstore or library!
Thank you for sticking with me despite the lack of posts and welcome to all my new followers! I have been on hiatus due to student teaching, however I am back!
I have also recently discovered GoodReads. If any of you are interested in following me there, the link is here Jessa Rae
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Ethan Wate dreams of a girl he has never met. In every dream he’s trying to save his life. Despite these dreams, his live is that of an average boy livings in a southern rural town. That is until Lena shows up and turns his life upside down. She is the girl from his dreams, literally, and her life is in desperate need of rescue. Can Ethan help her change her destiny? Can Lena help Ethan define himself as something more than his hopelessly small town?
I loved the idea of this book; I did not enjoy the execution of the book. It takes over a hundred pages to engage the reader. I found myself wanting to quit every ten pages. Eventually, it does get better: the action picks up and the plot develops. However there is a lot of fluff in the mean time. I found the book slow and predictable. Having not read the sequels, I also felt that this could have ended in one book, but the author’s wanted to make a series.
If I recommended it to someone, I would give it to someone who likes fantasy, teen drama, and teen love. I would never give it to a reluctant or struggling reader.
Stitches by David Small
The book is a memoir of David Small’s life, primarily his childhood. The major events in his life include developing cancer, moving out at sixteen, and his mother’s death. When he developed cancer, it was due to his father experimenting on him with radiation in an attempt to cure Small’s sinus problems. After the growth appeared, his parents waited three and half years to remove it, allowing it to develop further. The surgery required a vocal cord to be removed, thus making Small mute. Instead of telling Small he had cancer, his parents hid the fact until Small found out himself. After learning of their many lies, Small moves out at sixteen. He becomes a starving artist and eventually taught at a college. When he was thirty, Small’s mother dies, with many of his questions unanswered.
Recommendation / Review
The book is definitely interesting; it is also very strange. Its fascinating to watch the events of his life unfold, but also heartbreaking. The novel is written in comic form and some of the art work is disturbing. I would give it to high school aged students; I doubt I would put it in a middle school library.
Bystander: a bystander? or the bully’s next target? by James Preller
What would you do if you saw someone getting bullied? Would you intervene or let it go? What if the bully was your friend? That’s the situation Eric is in; his new friend is the class bully and he is the bystander. Now he needs to determine whether his friendship is worth the guilt.
This work has a very relevant and interesting topic; bullying is a huge concern in schools and among this age group. The book address an important question: what do you do if you see it? The character takes a long time to determine his role; once he does, the book ends too fast. It also ends realistically, which is good, but also not very hope inspiring. Overall, it is a decent book. I would recommend it, as its one of few books addressing the role of the bystander.
"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket
Imagine leaving for a new apprenticeship and getting caught in a complicated mystery. Now imagine trying to solve the mystery, but asking all the wrong questions. That is exactly what Lemony Snicket does in this latest novel. Lemony has a new apprenticeship and ends up in Stain’d by the Sea, a town drained of its sea and virtually abandoned. There, he and his mentor attempt to return an object that was never stolen. Follow Lemony as he searches for clues, fights with his mentor, steals library books, and follows chilling screams.
This novel is very well done! I was never an enthusiast of Snicket’s work; however this was a very good book. It was slow to start, however the characters are well developed and the plot does eventually pick up. I really enjoyed the variety in characters in both age and personality. Snicket’s writing is very unique; he explains a lot the vocabulary in the text and the text reads like a monologue. This could be both tiring and educational.
I would recommend this to readers that have the patience for Snicket’s work. I would not recommend it to a reluctant reader as the writing style is too difficult to read for those who aren’t interested in reading. If you enjoyed A Series of Unfortunate Events, then you will definitely love this book.
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Rules are the only thing Catherine’s little brother understands. David is eight years old and autistic. He navigates life by the rules that Catherine and her parents make for him; everything from no toys in the fish tank to some people think they know who you are, when they really don’t. Although Catherine loves her brother, she also struggles with his autism. She fears that his outbursts and behaviors reflect negatively on her. In the course of a summer, Catherine learns the true meanings of friendship and family.
In this heart warming novel, Catherine learns that friends and family don’t have to fit the definition of normal. As she makes his discovery, the author develops a beautiful array of characters and relationships. Rarely do I cry while reading, however this book created characters who I not only cared about, but bonded with and felt their emotions as my own. This is very hard to do as an author.
Having never had a sibling with autism, I was interested in whether the book was accurate. I asked a friend whose brother is autistic to read it. She returned the book with tears in her eyes; she said the character’s feelings and David’s behaviors were accurate to her own experiences. The novel touched close to home and reflected her own fears and concerns regarding her brother. After her review, it was pointed out to me that the author wrote the novel for her own children, one of which has autism.
I would recommend this novel for any elementary or middle school library or student. If you don’t have a relative or friend with autism, then this book will help you see life through their eyes and broaden your understanding. If you do have friends or family with autism, this book may help you work through your own emotions and concerns.
The Case of the Missing Cutthroats: an ecological mystery by Jean Craighead George
Spinner Shafter hates fishing. In fact, the only reason why she’s fishing is to make her dad happy. That is, until she catches the largest cutthroat her family has ever seen. Even more important, the cutthroats are disappearing from the river. The fact that she caught one is rare. After catching the fish, Spinner and her cousin Alligator decide to investigate where all the cutthroats have gone. They venture into the wilderness with enough food and scientific gear to find the clues and solve the case. As they work, they are confronted by territorial fishermen, angry bears, harsh storms, and even broken limbs. Will Spinner and Alligator survive long enough to solve the case? Venture into the wilderness to find out!
I read this book for a series of mystery book talks I was giving for student teaching. This was the most requested and popular out of all of them! It even beat Nancy Drew, The 39 Clues, and Sammey Keyes. The mystery itself is different from your average mystery, which makes it new and interesting. The only flaw I found was that there wasn’t appropriate developments between plot points. Sometimes I would reach a scene and wonder how I got there. Overall though, the story was unique and worth reading. I would recommend it to any fourth, fifth, or sixth grade student who enjoys the outdoors, mysteries, and fishing.
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Follow the lives of four young adults as they struggle to find their place in the world. Cara struggles to meet her parents unrealistic expectations while determining who she is. Kendra yearns for the perfect body and fights to achieve, by any means necessary including starvation, surgery, and pills. Sean wants nothing more than the future he has mapped out and will do anything to achieve it. Andre struggles to fit his parents mold without loosing his passions. Ultimately, all of them want to be one thing: perfect. But as they soon learn, that is not easily defined.
Recommendation and Review
This book is well written and gripping. The book is entirely poetry, but still weaves together a story with proper plot and character development. Hopkins truly knows how to pull the heart strings as the story unfolds with events and emotions that every teen or adult experiences. The best part is the author’s message at the end; she tells each reader that regardless of anyone’s standards they are perfect just the way they are. I haven’t cried during a book like I did with this one. I would recommend that every young adult read this book; the message is strong for both boys and girls. I would be cautious about the age level. The story does include two rapes, one of which is talked about, the other is described. I would recommend to anyone in high school, any other age should be considered on a case by case basis.