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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

The Long Walk: The Forced Navajo Exile by Jennifer Denetdale

The Long Walk: the Forced Navajo Exile is an excellent title in the Landmark Events in Native American History series by Chelsea House and made me want to devour every title in the series. I found myself compelled to take this title with me everywhere to read and ponder. Marketed for grades 9 up, I wondered why [...]

The Great Death by John Smelcer

The Great Death by John Smelcer. Henry Holt and Company, August 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8050-8100-8 Set in Alaska in 1917 this book gives us a glimpse into a Native village and the lives of two young girls who were their village’s only survivors of a terrible pandemic. While a fictional title, this book is based on factual events. It [...]

Beautiful People & Beautiful Places at ALA

Stop and Smell the Roses! At least admire the scenery once in a while.  If you were president of ALA, you might be able to host receptions in beautiful suites with scenic views. Don’t worry, your hard-earned dues don’t pay for these extras, they are hotel freebies and negotiated benefits for the volume of trade we [...]

How do you get the kids off the playground? Enslow’s "I Like Weird Animals!"

Parents know how difficult it is to convince children their time is up and they need to leave the playground. Imagine my surprise when I’m babysitting Saturday and J comes willingly. From atop the equipment, he spies me reading Enslow’s new series "I Like Weird Animals!" and races over to check it out. This is [...]

ALA Exhibit Hall roaming

Many attendees at this conference were sporting "exhibit only" badges. I understand the financial necessity behind this and I LOVE the exhibits, but I hope everyone will come for the entire conference next year to participate in speeches, committees and more. Fully registered conference attendees have free access to the Virtual conference, also.  In case [...]

My Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder experiences

Betsy Bird promptly posted lots of fun stuff about her Newbery Banquet experience and I just wanted to share a little bit of mine. Here is a photo of Betsy and her tattoos while she is trying to chat with Margarita Engle. I am such a fan of The Surrender Tree and her newest book [...]

Where have I been? ALA’ing

Do you ever wear too many hats? I carry 3 business cards with me for 4 "businesses" and found myself engaged in all 4 at ALA. ALA Executive Board – this is the ultimate experience of a librarian’s career in a professional organization and I hope you will consider making it a goal to serve there [...]

Best Part of ALA – Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an incredible man. He autographed for hours both days. He expressed sadness that so many people were unable to get their book signed. The lines for his autograph must have set new records for length.   He said to me, "Hi, I’m Neal…" Well, just call me ravingly silly librarian who can hardly explain [...]

ALA2009 Emerging Leaders

Mysteriously the heavens aligned so I had some free time Friday afternoon. After running into the ALA Bookstore to see Betsy Bird’s book (and then gushingly telling her this in the hallway), I slipped into the Emerging Leaders Poster Session to see what this talented group has done.  I took LOTS of photos (see Flickr [...]

ALA 2009: Name Dropping

Psst! You’ll never guess who was staying on my floor of the ALA HQ hotel… Ravi Shankar! I kept wondering who all these people were lined up outside this hotel room. So, I asked them. They mentioned the Art of Living Foundation had just finished their conference and they were waiting to meet the founder. [...]