Tuesday, November 24, 2020

It's the End of the World as I Know it by Matt Landis

 It’s the end of the world as I know it is the newest book by middle school social studies teacher and author Matt Landis. It chronicles the struggle of a boy, his sister, their dad, and a sickly next door neighbor as they try to get through the worst year of their lives. And it all centers on a doomsday prediction made in a blog that the main character reads. The supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park is about to go off and all the main character’s focus goes into his makeshift doomsday shelter. There are other friends who play soccer and make signs, a pet snake, HAZMAT suits, and a dry flush toilet involved. It is on the Middle School Reading Olympic List for the Montgomery CountyIntermediate Unit so, get prepared for … It’sthe end of the world as I know, it by Matt Landis.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Don't Cry for what you've lost... be joyful that she lived...

 This past week was rough at the middle school. We lost a beloved colleague and friend. She retired in June amid the problems with COVID. She was high risk and wanted to be able to travel and do all the things retired English teachers do. Unfortunately, she didn't get to do any of it. We are sad for her family, and for us but we are better at what we do because she brought her joy and love of literature into our lives. Every year she would dress in a cape with a stuffed Raven and read the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Oh, how I wish I had been able to record her performance. I can't read or listen to "The Raven" without thinking of her. I found this on YouTube and post it here in Ellen's memory. Enjoy. 

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Banned Book Week 2020

As a school librarian, Banned Book Week is one of my favorite weeks of the school year. I usually have my library decorated with caution tape and signs that say "these books are Readio-Active." A play on words but that is the best way to explain the phenomena of banning a book. Librarians hate censorship! But when a book is censored, it makes children want to read the books even more. The perfect book to explain this and to highlight many banned children's books is doing a read aloud of Alan Gratz's book, Ban this Book. It not only talks about kids in an elementary school sharing banned books, it highlights many of the children's books that are banned and the reasons some people don't think children should have a choice in what they read. It is only fitting that Banned Book Week comes right after we celebrate Constitution Day. The First Amendment is what Banned Book Week is all about. 

One of the books on this year's list is a real shocker to me. Skippy Jon Jones author Judy Schachner is an inspiration to me. She had such a bad school experience that she often does not do school visits because of it. The first time I head her speak was at a reading conference. She described the panic attacks she would have walking by the principal's office in school she visited. She, like me suffered from a reading disorder and was often punished for not reading. Her story touched me because I always thought I was a failure because of my reading problems which went undiagnosed until my own children were going through what I went through in elementary school. The reading specialist helped me do exercises with my children that helped them overcome many of their problems. It helped me too. To make a long story short, Judy Schachner autographed her first Skippy Jon Jones book to my yet unborn grandson that day. Her book is still one of his favorites and he loved the way his mom read it him! The picture is Judy Schachner's response to being the #8 most challenged book series from the Intellectual Freedom Blog.

Friday, October 02, 2020

I think I finally got my blog back!

 For years I have been having problems getting to this blog! I have tried to get rid of the Widget Server Bug that had taken over and would not allow my blog to be seen! Finally, today I got rid of all the widgets on my blog. Forget them! I don't need no stinking Widgets! I just want my geeky librarian voice to be heard. 

So, I'm back! Thank you Cori Frede for telling me your New Year Resolution to post a blog post every week... you got me moving to try to resolve this issue. Now, if I can do a blog post once a month... that would be something! Yeah! I'm Back!!!