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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Kittens and Kids Moving On

Last year I sent two 17-year old sons to the army. This past week we sent a 16-year old son (#4 son) to the Job Corps program. Government scholarship program. Great opportunity. If you have students who could benefit from a more vocational focus than traditional school, you should research this. He’ll earn his GED [...]

Who said, "I hate you?"

Oh My! Someone said it! They actually printed the words I HATE YOU! on the front cover of a children’s book. Isn’t this the equivalent of using those bad words like "Shut up" and "butt"? Which, by the way, were not bad words when I was growing up like they are to most of the [...]

Gina Capaldi responds

to my questions on art, what goes on in the artist’s head, clothing, and accuracy:  Gina Capaldi:  I spent close to 12 years researching this book so it is near and dear to my heart.  I also felt it was imperative to keep every detail as accurate as possible and have kept reams of documentation [...]

A Boy Named Beckoning

Absolutely excellent. A first-rate resource for teaching the use of sources in a bibliography and a biography of an important Native American activist.  A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero adapted and illustrated by Gina Capaldi, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner, 2008, has become one of my very favorite biographies this [...]

Blog Artist Ted: In a Blue Room

From Ted Edinger: Did you have a bedtime routine as a child? I did (I’m a little OCD…routine is my middle name!)  Brush teeth, say goodnight to my mom, dad, & sister, check my closet for monsters, say goodnight to all my stuffed animals, check my closet for monsters again, say my prayers (including that there were [...]

Guest Blogger Allison: Rain Play

Allison Roberts reviews Rain Play by Cynthia Cotton and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe today. Rain Play is a Henry Holt and Company 2008 title.  Most people leave the park when rain begins to fall, while others enjoy the sights, sounds, and feel of the cool water – until thunder and lightning come near.   Summer [...]

Rock stars or "Rock" stars

Gareth Stevens to the rescue for my poor depleted rock shelf. Since today is Nonfiction Monday, I wanted to share with you the joy I experienced when I opened my mail to find the four-book set of Rock Stars by Chris Pellant and Helen Pellant coming soon. Crystals and Gemstones, Fossils, Minerals, and Rocks. You [...]

Compare yourself to others? You?

‘Fess up! You see news articles like the one from Gannett News Service in the Tennessean today and immediately check your own public library status in the database. . Would you be shocked to read a statement like this, "Tennessee has some of the worst-funded, least-visited libraries in the nation."? Ouch! Fortunately the article goes on to [...]

Ruby Bridges, Racism, New Orleans & Cheerleaders

Sometimes I read a book that has an impact on me and I want to blog immediately, but can’t because I am torn by the emotions provoked from reading. My Mother the Cheerleader by is a perfect example. Most people blogged about this book last year. I set it aside for summer.  I was impacted by My [...]

Hurricane Song by Paul Volponi

Hooray! During ALA annual I snagged a copy of Hurricane Song: a novel of New Orleans by Paul Volponi aViking/Penguin group publication for 2008.  Targeting teenagers (not preteens), I’d heard the buzz and couldn’t wait to read this short novel. The YaYaYa’s interviewed Paul for the Winter Blog Blast Tour and helped raised the excitement.   Do a search and [...]