For the past few weeks, we’ve had a display in our library that asks students and staff to share what books they’re thankful for. Those books become the feathers on our turkey. And while some simply put the title, others added why. So on Thanksgiving, let me share a few of the books I’m thankful for and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

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  • Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age by Sherry Turkle for all the reasons that I keep bringing up the book in blog posts.
  • Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence for it’s humor and authenticity. She captures what every book lover and/or librarian feels when we read books especially when they come at the right (or wrong) time in our lives.
  • From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty professes a need to talk about death more in our death-scared American culture so that deceitful practices and high prices can be uncovered and allow people to discover what they truly would like after death.
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a contemporary classic that began the conversation about rape in young adult literature that continues to strengthen the voices of teens struggling. Plus, everyone knew the groups that she was talking about in high school from the geeks to the jocks and everyone in between.
  • Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge is a graphic novel with beautiful color and a main character wanting to find her voice as she’s growing up. So, as she’s navigating the good and bad, Gulledge gave me all the feels on every page with how she captured Paige’s internal and external feelings. Those images I will not forget and would use them as wall art they’re so creative.
  • Steam Train, Dream Train and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Litchenheld are two of the most gorgeously illustrated, phenomenally-rhymed, and thoughtful children’s books that I had the pleasure of reading to my own boys. It was more perfect because I had one who was a fan of trains and one who was a fan of construction equipment. It couldn’t have been more perfect a match.
  • Anything by Ruta Sepetys, Erika Robuck, or Jeffrey Zentner. They spin tales like magical weavers of words and I’m lost in their significance any time I pick up a new books of theirs.

I could go on as book lovers are apt to do, so I’ll stop there and ask, what books are you thankful for?


Hello? Hello?

As part of the #edublogclub year-long challenge to blog on education. While the official club has ended, they have shared posts to continue the journey through 2017. This week’s prompt was about a preferred method of communication.

If you asked me which makes me sound more intelligent, I’d say in print. My words tend to flow better, I have the time to think of the right word rather than the quickest word to get to my point, and I can edit for content. Specifically, I revise so that my point is direct rather than my verbal communication where I circuitously make my point (What was I saying again? Or, I forgot what I was saying). I’ve also made improvements like editing out exclamation points and using bullet points when emailing. I’m also the one friend you have that uses capitals when needed and proper punctuation in a text message. I have never used LOL. Ever.

Though improvements can be made for verbal skills as well. Several years ago I heard myself say “no problem” too many times when someone said thank you or deflecting a compliment rather than saying thank you. I wanted to change that, so I made a concerted effort to reply “you’re welcome” when someone said thank you and “thank you” when someone gave me a compliment.


I think about this again and again especially in my constant reflection of Turkle’s book Reclaiming Conversation that I posted about here. We are living in a society that does value digital rather than verbal. People would rather text than talk because it allows for a disconnect in interaction.

As educators to the young and old, we should listen more and talk less, something that I’m working on with teens in my library. I’m quick to put words in their mouth when they’re not coming out fast enough– thinking I know exactly what they’re going to say. But I’m doing the thing that I hate– feeling rushed when speaking. Let’s give our kids a chance to say what they want to say and not scare them into being silent. As they say, listen and silent are comprised of the same letters.

We should also read what they write, I value when current and graduated students send me their work to read and respond to. It’s why we get such a positive response when authors visit and kids are eager to get feedback from those making it in the business. Give praise and feedback to our students because they will then value their own voice in writing and keep that flame alive.


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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Blogging, edublogsclub


Lock-in love

Two times in one day? Yes, I’ll post twice if it matters and I’m sitting here way past my bedtime, writing about the library’s second lock-in. Though, this time we decided to change the scenery and work with our fabulous public library friends and host the lock-in after-hours in their space giving our high school students the opportunity to stretch their legs in their own backyards.

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With a few meeting and study rooms and two floors, our students were playing video games, watching a movie, playing card games, having dance parties, and (wait for it) sitting quietly and reading. Double points for the two girls sitting together and reading out loud to one another. I know, don’t you feel the library love when high school students who we are led to believe don’t read are sitting together and reading out loud? Several students got library cards. Some students interacted with others that they never would have in school. They played life-sized Connect 4 and some sat at the children’s tables and played chess. It was what they wanted to do, safely, and in a community space past most of the adult’s bedtime and they had a ball. The pizza and candy at the end didn’t hurt either.

Pictures were taken, memories were made because two entities decided to work together. Doesn’t collaboration look good? Two public librarians, two school librarians, and a few volunteers including parents and community members and it was a perfect Friday night in the library.

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Posted by on November 18, 2017 in Events


Traveling: IRL & in books

As part of the #edublogclub year-long challenge to blog on education. While the official club has ended, they have shared posts to continue the journey through 2017. This week’s prompt was about traveling overseas and dream travels. 

I must say I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a bit especially when I was younger, less so with a family, but I hope to get back to it as the kids get older. And of course, I always have a few destinations in my back pocket. So I’m going to take you around the world to some of the places I’ve visited and share a book recommendation set in or around the places I’ve visited to make this fun.



The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell is an intricate and moody story of a girl growing up outside of St. Petersburg where she and her mother are tasked with helping the wolves re-acclimate to the wild after being kept by Russian elites. When they lash out because they are wild animals, they are sent away, but to kill them is also bad luck. Darkly endearing.


ElephantTalkElephant Talk: The Surprising Science of Elephant Communication by Ann Downer-Hazell is exactly what the title and subtitle tell you it’s about as a short nonfiction explanation of how elephants communicate and how humans have studied and learned about these animals as people like Jane Goodall did with primates. It’s one of two reasons I went on a solo trip to Africa after I got my Bachelor’s degree– to see a wild elephant.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce is and feels very “European”. A gentleman struggling with issues at home goes on a mysterious trek on foot to reunite with a woman reader’s believed was only a tangential person in his life only to discover the deeper connection and how spiritual a mission can be for the human spirit.

All the Places I’d like to Travel to Next… 

FromHeretoEternityIt begins with a single step (actually, some money and a plane ticket) and I know a few places that are on my list, but in the meantime, I want to add a recent read that gave me the traveling bug again: Caitlin Doughty’s From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. I’m a super fan of hers. I love her YouTube channel and everything she stands for. So her 2017 publication took her work a step further and highlights all the ways the dead die and are cared for after death. Not to pick one method over another but to highlight the similarities and differences in American death culture and what happens around the world for better or worse. She wants to educate and educate she did in her humor and curiosity.




As part of the #edublogclub year-long challenge to blog on education. While the official club has ended, they have shared posts to continue the journey through 2017. This week’s prompt was what an alternative career would have been.

When I saw this prompt, I had to laugh out loud a little and then I got really quiet. What would an alternative be? I don’t think I have ever really had a crisis of conscience that I wasn’t in the right field– well except for those fleeting moments during a stressful day or March (educators– amiright?). Luckily those are few and far between.

And I can read the prompt one of two ways– 1) a dream job that I could do without worrying about things like income or 2) if librarianship went extinct tomorrow, what would I then do?

Humor me and I’ll answer both. First, my dream job would be reading and writing. Reading children’s, young adult, and adult literature and blogging, speaking, and sharing everywhere and anywhere people would have me. Luckily that seems like something I’m doing on the side now, which is a good thing and I won’t rock the boat. It’s a nice balance.

But, if school librarianship went away? Gosh. That’s a tough one. If I trusted my horoscope, I should go into something like mortuary science or investigation. Maybe psychology. But I’d have to take a long hard look at what’s out there in the job market. There were times where I thought about being a paramedic. The truth is that it is too difficult to think this way.

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Because Allen Smith’s quote rings true. Everything I do in life prepares me for being a librarian. While I know I sound super annoying to love my job as much as I do, it is good to dream and think. What would you do if you weren’t doing what you’re currently doing?



Posted by on November 12, 2017 in Blogging, edublogsclub, Librarian Life



As part of the #edublogclub year-long challenge to blog on education. While the official club has ended, they have shared posts to continue the journey through 2017. This week’s prompt was short and long term goals.


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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Blogging, edublogsclub, Librarian Life


Looking to be inspired

As part of the #edublogclub year-long challenge to blog on education. While the official club has ended, they have still shared posts to continue the journey through 2017. This week’s prompt was blogs we follow. 


A few years ago, my colleague and I wrote an article for School Library Connection about being local book bloggers. In addition to contributing to a books blog for our local newspaper’s online community, I have maintained this blog for a few years and have grown into what I want the blog to be about. And my message in our article was that for years I was inspired by others and it was time to give back (also my theme for professional development).

Here are my six sensational blogs to follow and why I follow them:

  1. Seth Godin
    • There are so many valuable insights he provides that I actually have a folder called Godin-isms and there are three posts that are printed and sitting on my computer at work to inspire me. Godin’s posts tend to be short, succinct, and pointed in their advice or question about why we do the things we do.
  2. Reading While White
    • I’m white and I work at a school that is predominately non-white. I always need to explore my biases, especially when reading and reviewing books as I do. The offering of multiple perspectives is what keeps this blog fresh.
  3. Librarian Leaps
    • Yes, she’s a colleague and a friend. She’s also an elementary librarian. And while I’m at a high school library, she’s a go-getter and inspiration. She even guest posted for me as part of another edublogs prompt.
  4. Mrs. ReaderPants
    • When I want to know what’s going to be published in middle grade and young adult, I look no further than Mrs. ReaderPants. I’m guilty of not paying attending to publication dates especially since I do so much reviewing and receive so many galleys that I hardly ever pay attention to when they’re available to the masses. She keeps me grounded in when everyone has access to the amazing-ness that is YA books!
  5. 500 Hats
    • While not frequent in her blogs, when she does post it’s always something to stop and read. Her premise being that as librarians’ we wear so many hats and who would disagree?
  6. Goodreads
    • It’s no secret that I love Goodreads since it keeps my reading life organized– gone are the days of laminated pages in a binder using Microsoft Word. So it makes sense that I would follow their blog of book candy.

And this isn’t to say I don’t follow more local, national, and non-librarian blogs because I certainly like to keep my inbox full, but these are a few that pique my interest when they arrive in my mailbox. Consider them for yourselves.