Library of Things?

October 6, 2015 by

So apparently there is a new “trend” in public Libraries. In addition to lending out books – they have started to lend out things! I just read this article in the New York Times which talks about these participating libraries categorizing things in dewey decimal order for people to check out such as sewing machines, musical instruments, board games, and craft-making materials (things like a state-of-the-art bike repair kit are for in-house use only).

I’ve already been hearing about “maker”-spaces in libraries-an idea that I like- but “stuff” libraries take it to a completely different level. More and more libraries seem to also be transforming into community centers. Some people think that the Library should just be for books- but I disagree. I think that a Library should be a place of knowledge. The spirit of learning that is found in books can be found through other mediums as well. Lending out these objects or having them available for patron use could be a great way to bridge the gap between Libraries and the fast-paced modern world.

It will be interesting to see how these “Library of Things” do and to see if this trend catches on. What do you think?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

October 6, 2015 by

index.aspxI had tried reading this novel a month ago, but could not force myself to get past more than about 5 pages. However, Georgia recommended listening to it on CD, so I will give that a try. For some background about the book, keep reading.The protagonist is a new high school senior, Greg Gaines, who plans on maintaining a low profile throughout the year to combat the misery of high school. His only other plan includes making some films with his ‘friend’, Earl. However, Greg’s mother browbeats him into befriending a girl with cancer, and his life takes a turn for the worst…

Happy Meals: A Burger and a Book

October 4, 2015 by

Three Roald Dahl book covers  For 6 weeks this fall, when kids buy a Happy Meal at McDonalds in the United Kingdom, the prize will be a Roald Dahl book. The Roald Dahl estate has partnered with McDonalds to give away 8 different Dahl titles that excerpt sections from the famous Dahl repertoire. The National Literacy Trust hopes to encourage family reading time with titles most British parents enjoyed when they were children.  There has been some negative feedback to the campaign saying that the program encourages unhealthy, fast food consumption in children by promoting the book giveaway with meals that are not nutritional. Maybe the campaign will connect books with food and fun times.

The Newbery Award: Contenders and Predictions

October 3, 2015 by

We are about 3 and a half months away from the Newbery winner announcement, but already a lively discussion among children’s book lovers has been active in magazines, blogs and web sites. Reading about other people’s predictions is a good way to learn about good books to read even if they don’t end up being the winner. Here are a few titles that have been bounced around as possible award winners for the January announcement:

Circus Mirandus  The War that Saved My Life  Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower Echo Gone Crazy in Alabama

Goodbye Stranger   Here are six titles that are possible winners (or at least they are pretty good books to curl up with!)

CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley

THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Bradley


ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan

GONE CRAZY IN ALABAMA by Rita Williams-Garcia


The Impossible Knife of Memory

October 1, 2015 by


Many young people today struggle with various family issues, including divorce, drug abuse and alcoholism. Laurie Halse Anderson throws all three problems into the mix of survival within a dysfunctional family. Seventeen year -old Hayley, her boyfriend Finn and her best friend Gracie are all struggling with one or more of these issues. Hayley’s mom is dead, her dad is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and suffers from PSTD, which causes him to relive constantly the horrific times that he endured during his service. Even worst, he describes them in detail to his daughter when he is sober. Hayley’s burden is crippling: PSTD, alcoholism, drug use, poverty, abandonment and the possibility of flunking all her classes. Finn, her boyfriend, has parents who have enabled his sister to continue abusing drugs and Gracie’s parents are splitting up after years of intense arguments. Anderson leads her readers through the journeys and struggles of these three students, with hope always hanging in the balance. The novel is a good read for ages 13 and up.


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