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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Taking care of our soldiers

Yesterday #2 son deployed overseas. I was on the phone with him late at night until we heard the call, "Soldiers, form up" and I knew he was leaving. We had laughed earlier when I asked him which personal items he took with him. I knew about the computer and NintendoDS. When I asked how [...]

A student comments on Theseus

One of my 8th graders shared this review of Theseus: Battling the Minotaur by Jeff Limke, illustrated by John McCrea. Lerner Books, © 2009. He wrote: This book is a thrilling adventure about a Greek Myth where a young man goes on a great adventure to Athens. While on his journey he encounters many bandits. [...]

Most popular new graphic novels? Lerner’s Graphic Myths and Legends

Atlanta: The Race Against Destiny by Justine & Ron Fontes with pencils & inks by Thomas Yeates. Lerner Publishing.  © 2007. ISBN 0-8225-5965-X Psyche & Eros: The Lady and the Monster by Marie P. Croall with pencils & inks by Ron Randall.Lerner Publishing ©2009 ISBN 978-0-8225-7177-3 I believe I will never get these books catalogued because the 6th graders [...]

Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith

Last year I loved Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith, so I wanted to be sure to read her newest book, even in galley, Mother Poems. Excellent 72-page book of poems. Smith has another winner on her hands for middle school and upper elementary. I’m so glad I was able to share this with my faculty during [...]

Messages from Marian Wright Edelman’s speech

Marian Wright Edelman is a dynamic speaker. I will travel to hear her again! We need her to speak at our library conferences because she goes to the true heart of education – the needs of the child. I recall seeing a biography of her on my shelves, but her message had never reached me as [...]

Messages I heard from Walter Dean Myers’ Arbuthnot lecture

Walter Dean Myers named his Arbuthnot Lecture "The Geography of the Heart". He said , "I write books for the troubled boy I once was and for the boy inside me still."  Of course he was an avid reader while growing up. For him, reading worked. He mastered the skill of decoding and the creative process of [...]

Getting to the Arbuthnot Lecture by Walter Dean Myers

So a sullen student stalks to the circ desk, slams his selection down, and says, "Check me out ’cause my teacher says I hafta read and some guy said this author Walter Dean Myers was okay." I live for these moments. I casually slide a full-color print out of this picture, place it near the student’s [...]

Michael Phelps: Anything is Possible

Michael Phelps: Anything is Possible (Defining Moments Super Athletes) by Meish Goldish. Bearport Publishing, 2009. ISBN: 9781597168557 Simple 32-page biography of the achievements of Michael Phelps. This seems most appropriate for elementary school readers with the shortened sentences and simple vocabulary. I appreciated the ending material: Just the facts and a Timeline. Did you know [...]

Black Mambas and a new favorite for snake books

Black Mambas: Sudden Death by Nancy White is part of the series Fangs from Bearport Publishing. (2009 ISBN 9781597167666) This book has caused me to add 2  new favorite categories when I’m reviewing books: Favorite Designer:  Dawn Beard Creative Favorite Photo Researcher: Q2A Media: Poulomi Basu If you haven’t started ordering Bearport titles for your elementary and [...]

Rock me, Rebels, with these muscial titles from Enslow

 Poor Bob, my technical support specialist. He was trying to fix computers in the library and I was following him around asking questions like, "Are you a DEADHEAD?" while the Spanish class was researching Hispanic athletes. We have determined that we are muy simpatico in our musical interests.  Enslow Publishing released a series called Rebels [...]