You might be asking, "What is an ARC?" Well, because I was able to attend the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, I was able to grab a lot of ARCs or Advanced Reader Copies. The publishers do this to encourage librarians to read the new books and then purchase them for their library.
A few years ago, I received an ARC of Holly Goldberg Sloan's book, I'll Be There. It was a great read! Then, this April at TLA, I got an ARC of her second novel, Counting by 7s. I love this book and will be ordering it for the SBMS library when it comes out in August!
Holly Goldberg Sloan wrote screenplays for movies you might recognize, such as Angels in the Outfield and The Big Green. She has an amazing grasp on characterization and it feels like her characters could come to life any moment. After I finished reading last night, I wanted to sit down with the main character, Willow, and talk to her about what happened in the novel. I can't wait for kids to read this!
Last week I had the privilege of attending the Texas Library Annual Convention in Fort Worth. I met authors, attended sessions about technology, received new books to preview, and shared ideas with fellow librarians. Fort Worth welcomed us with open arms and took great care of us as we explored their downtown area.Many thanks to the SBMS PTA who graciously paid my conference fees and gas for the trip. Thank you for being so supportive!
Pictured above are just a few of the fun pictures from the trip...I'm pretty sure Texas is the only state that provides a waffle in the shape of itself! The large star is made of all different cowboy hats and many are signed by famous Texans including singers, politicians and other notable people. And finally I had the opportunity to see my favorite professor at the Sam Houston booth! Tricia Kuon is a kind and caring individual and makes for a great professor too. It was such a blessing to see her again!
Pictured to the left are just a few of the great authors I got to see and meet while at TLA. Nia Vardalos starred in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and has now written a book about her journey through adoption and motherhood. Neil Gaiman is an amazing young adult and children's author - we all laughed throughout his presentation! Caroline Cooney wrote many books, but the most famous is The Face on the Milk Carton. Ruta Sepetys wrote Between Shades of Gray, an amazing story about Lithuania and Russia during World War II. I so enjoyed meeting these authors and many more!
I was fortunate to have a special guest travel with me to Fort Worth, my boyfriend, Rich. He enjoys hearing authors and is working on his own great book ideas! We stayed an extra night, had dinner with friends, and then went to the Fort Worth Zoo on Sunday. We had beautiful weather and got to see amazing animals! I got to see a kangaroo up close for the first time and loved watching the elephants. It is a great destination if you're ever in the Fort Worth area.
I just finished reading Wish last night and it was a great book! This book was on the 2012 Lone Star List and I finally got a chance to read it. It's a great story about Bee and her brother, Tommy. Tommy has Cystic Fibrosis and has been awarded his dream trip by a Wish Foundation to swim with Great White sharks. Tommy, Bee, and their mom leave the east coast and head west to sunny California for the experience. Tommy and Bee bond together throughout the trip while their mom does her usual "stuff." I would recommend this to anyone who likes a sad, but hopeful story.
R.J. Palacio's book, Wonder, is a great read! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. A few students had recommended it to me, and I finally got a copy back in the library to read it.
August Pullman is a young boy who is born with a cleft palette and another rare facial deformity. He grows up thinking he is a regular kid...until he goes to school with 5th graders. Read this great story of hope, family and friendship to find that beauty truly is more than skin deep.
Over the break, I finished The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott. It is a historical fiction book about the Titanic. The characters were well developed and I learned a lot of new things about the Titanic. For one, I learned about the trials they held once the travelers arrived in America. Of course, many famous people were aboard and tried to get out of the trials, but the judge would have nothing to do with that. Overall, it was a great read about the history and culture of the time period and event of the Titanic.
Yesterday, Scholastic Book Fairs hosted a special event for librarians and a guest. The feature author was Lemony Snicket! He has a brand new series out called: All the Wrong Questions. I took my boyfriend along with me and we both had a great time listening to Mr. Snicket talk about his life and his books.
Having heard from fellow colleagues and friends that Mr. Snicket was a hilarious presenter, I was excited to hear him. My friends were correct! He had the whole crowd laughing from beginning to end. I purchased a copy of the book for myself and one for our school library, so look for it on the shelves soon! Thank you Scholastic Book Fairs!
Adam Gidwitz wrote the wildly popular and excellent book, A Tale Dark & Grimm. It made the 2012 Texas Lone Star List and I cannot keep enough copies on the shelf! It is a great book for all readers, especially reluctant readers!
With that said, In a Glass Grimmly, is the companion book to A Tale Dark & Grimm. While I love the fact that the novel stays with a fairy tale theme - always a good choice in my book - I was not crazy about the book. Many different fairy tales are woven together through the life of Jack and Jill. It took me a bit to catch on, but once I did, I enjoyed the book a bit more.