Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Memes: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.

The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. 233 p. Illustrated by Scott Fisher. Magisterium series #4. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., October, 2017. 9780545522366.

Publisher synopsis: A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn't succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt.

Now Call is one of the most feared and reviled students in the history of the Magisterium, thought to be responsible for a devastating death and an ever-present threat of war. As a result, Call has been imprisoned and interrogated. Everyone wants to know what Constantine was up to-and how he lives on.

But Call has no idea.

It is only when he's broken out of prison that the full potential of Constantine's plan is suddenly in his hands . . . and he must decide what to do with his power.

In this spellbinding fourth book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take us beyond the realm of the living and into the dangers of the dead.

First line: Prison was not like Call expected it to be.

Page 56: "I can't believe your original escape plan requires another escape plan," Jasper said. "You suck at escaping."
     Tamara fixed him with a glare. "I guess the more we escape, the better we'll get at it."
     After a moment, Jasper brightened. "Maybe it's not so bad that we've been kidnapped. I mean, this is all very dramatic. When Celia understands what's happened to me, she's going to feel terrible about dumping me..."

This is book four in a series that you really need to read in order. It's quite popular at my school.

Fact Friday: Zoo Scientists to the Rescue by Patricia Newman

Zoo Scientists to the Rescue by Patricia Newman. Photographs by Annie Crawley. 64 p. Millbrook Press/ Lerner Publishing Group, October 28, 2017. 9781512415711. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

I reviewed this on the blog here but I featured it on the morning announcements at school today. I had scheduled it for today weeks ago but when I spied this picture at the Phoenix Zoo outside their conservation center on Sunday,
I was thrilled by the happy coincidence.

This was the announcement: It's time for Fact Friday. When Ms. Kahn was in Phoenix, Arizona for a conference last weekend, she visited the Phoenix Zoo. She spied a giant poster of a black-footed ferret outside the Conservation Center, which is a building staffed by scientists who are trying to save the black-footed ferret as well as five other animal species from extinction with breeding programs. She first learned of these kinds of zoo scientists in the book, Zoo Scientists to the Rescue by Patricia Newman. This highly readable book features three scientists who work at three different American zoos and highlights their conservation work. It's a beautifully designed book full of fascinating full-color photographs of the animals as well as the scientists at work. The book focused on the ferret conservation work being done at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, but the two zoos are partners in this conservation effort.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#tbt: The Adventures of Captain Underpants: the first epic novel by Dav Pilkey

The Adventures of Captain Underpants: the first epic novel by Dav Pilkey. Scholastic, September, 1997. 

#tbt features The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. Tra-la-la! It has been 20 years since Capt. Underpants burst on the scene to captivate younger readers and annoy adults like parents, teachers and librarians (Not me! I snort-laugh) with its ubiquitous potty humor. Dav Pilkey was a creative kid who had trouble reading and sitting still. He spent a lot of time at a desk out in the hallway and was 7 or 8 when he created the characters of George and Harold. He was actually told by one of his teachers that he would not amount to much. His first book, World War Won, was published in 1987 when he was 21 but he had written and illustrated it as a teenager. He submitted it to a writing contest where he won first place. The prize was publication of the book. Thanks for persisting Dav!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Cute as an Axolotl by Jess Keating

Cute as an Axolotl by Jess Keating. The World of Weird Animals series. Random House Children's Books, August, 2018. 

Found out about this on the author's FB page last week. I couldn't find anything about it on RH webpage so I grabbed the image off the author's FB page and cobbled together the information from Goodreads. Jess Keating is a zoologist turned author who, with illustrator, David DeGrand create eye-catching, fun-fact-filled informational books. So excited for this because Pink as a Blobfish is a real crowd-pleaser at my school. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Teen Tuesday: Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan

Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan. 272 p. Candlewick Press, April, 2017. 9780763690342. (Purchased)

Teen Tuesday features Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan. This debut is set in a tiny fishing village in Louisiana on the gulf coast before and after Hurricane Katrina decimated the area in 2005. Evangeline Riley is turning sixteen and loves nothing more than to glide out onto the water on her skiff and fish. Her sister is more interested in cheerleading and boys and can't wait to flee their tiny town. When they have to evacuate in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, their world is turned upside down as their town is nearly destroyed, and their friends scatter to different parts of the country. This evocative novel has a strong sense of place and a sweet romance.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Middle Grade Monday: The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick

Sometimes I coordinate my review with the Daily Booktalk for our morning announcements. I read and reviewed this back in July. Even though I was posting the Daily Booktalk to my blog and our school's public library web page through the summer, I chose to wait until school started to make sure as many students heard as possible. Then I forgot. Until Thursday, when I heard Jordan speak twice about the two books he has out this year. Remedying now:

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick. 193 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., August, 2017. 9780545863223.

Middle Grade Monday features The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick. This is the story of Maverick who is entering sixth grade. To say that his life has been tough is an understatement. His dad died while on deployment in Afghanistan and his alcoholic mom can't seem to hold a steady job or find a stable boyfriend - or, at least one that doesn't hit her. Mav has been the parent to his mom, constantly protecting her when he rarely has enough to eat or clothes that are clean or fit. Jordan Sonnenblick is a master at telling a sad story with a light hand and there's always hope in his stories. While you will cry, there is also a lot of humor in this affecting story.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

AASL17 is a wrap

Well, the conference is over. There was a fairly large exodus of librarians from Phoenix yesterday. Seeing them tugging their luggage behind them as they squeezed in their last sessions before heading to the airport kind of made me regret staying the extra day in Phoenix. 

The pros: I get a day of sightseeing. I mean what's the point of traveling to a city I've never been to if not to take in some of the sights. I suppose I could skip sessions to do so, but then, what's the point of attending conference?

The cons: I don't get a day of rest before heading back to school. I pay for an extra night for the hotel. Plus, I miss my husband and my dogs.

I had a horrible night's sleep, waking every 45 minutes and then rising at 4:15 when I realized that sleep was hopeless. This does not bode well for a day of activity before leaving. Here it's nearly 6:30 and I'm ready to go back to sleep. But, I always sleep poorly the night before travel. Not that I'm the best sleeper in the best of times.

I think I'll spend the morning at the zoo. It's going to be a beautiful day and since climbing Camelback isn't in the cards (not recommended on weekends due to crowds), it's a way to be out in nature of sorts. 

If there's time before heading to the airport, I will walk the downtown area though there is absolutely no room in my suitcase for any purchases.

I still need time to process all that I experienced but feel good about the conference and happy to return to work to try out some ideas that have germinated.