Friday, February 26, 2010

Dawn by Kevin Brooks


Dawn is fifteen years old. She loves music, especially the Jesus and Mary Chain. She loves her two dog, Jesus and Mary. And right now, she wants to kill God. That is her resolution for the new year.

Right now, Dawn lives with her mother. After hoping for his demons to disappear but they never did, her father disappeared from their lives. Now, it’s Dawn who takes care of her mother, making sure she doesn’t burn the house down when she gets drunk and passes with with a cig in her hand; helping to try to keep track of days lost in her mother’s self-induced haze; doing to cleaning and shopping for the house.

Dawn doesn’t have any friends, except the neighbor boy Splodge, who watches everything from his doorstep. She definitely isn’t in the same group as Taylor and Mel, the popular goddesses at school.

“My name is Dawn.
I’m thirteen years old
My name is Dawn.
I don’t want to think about it.
But every day it hurts more and more and the cave in my
head gets smaller and smaller and the cave in my head gets
darker and darker and the cave in my head gets colder and colder
and if I don’t get out of it soon, I think this cave is going to
kill me.”

She lives in her own tight-knit world, where she can control the safety, and who is allowed in is up to her. Until one night, when Taylor and Mel unexpectedly show up and turn Dawn’s world upside down.

Inside Dawn’s self-imposed inner kingdom, she holds secrets. Secrets about her father…secrets about herself…and the secret about the duffel bag full of money in her house. Who is it really from and why is it here? That’s the conundrum, and one fateful night, when Taylor and Mel come over, some of the secrets pour out of Dawn as the popular girls pour alcohol into her…and that safe world Dawn has created begins to crumble.

Kevin Brooks takes you on a tour de force YA thriller ride when secrets begin to reveal themselves slowly and deliberately. But what makes this such a great novel is that he pairs those secrets with the emotional pain of a teen in a topic that is slowly coming to the surface in many of today’s YA novels. This was published in December of last year, so it’s a relatively new book and worth putting on your shelves. Excellent for high school and those that stuff their minds and voraciously read all of Brooks’s novels. Recommended.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rikers High by Paul Volponi


Martin Stokes grew up in a part of New York City that’s tough to live in. His dad is in prison, his mother and grandmother take care of his younger sisters, and Martin is trying to make it. But he’s not at home anymore, although he wants to be. He’s at Riker’s Island, waiting for his day in court, waiting to go home…if he can make it.

Three times Martin’s gotten on the bus that takes inmates from Riker’s to court. And all three times there’s been a delay. What Martin thought was going to be a small stay has turned into months. And months can turn a young man into a monster, into a skilled survivalist, into a seasoned criminal….

During his stay, Forty (aka Martin) knows who the herbs and new jacks are and how the system really works. It’s them against the COs and the beatings and abuse they take. Everyone knows what happens to the snitches. It’s proving to others that you won’t be taken and putting up a front in order to get into the pecking order of which inmate runs things and which ones you don’t want to cross. It’s getting scarred for life with a razor and keeping that hate deep inside of you, wanting revenge.

But there is also humanity within the cells of Riker’s Island, at least for the teens there. They still have school, and if you make it, you get to leave behind prison life for a little awhile and keep preoccupied with something interesting, even if school wasn’t your thing in the real world. And it’s here that Forty meets teachers who take a stand and those who are as mean as the inmates; teachers who make them think and those who are in it for the paycheck; those who care, and those who could care less.

Paul Volponi is one of those writers who gets it. He’s taken what he’s experienced and wrapped it into a beautifully woven tale of a different life many teens may not ever see, as well as one that many teens can relate to. This is a book that's written succinctly, constructed well, and draws readers to the finale. But the ending doesn’t lie in the book. After finishing this novel, Volponi invites readers to find out what happened to Martin in an epilogue online at paulvolponibooks.com. This epilogue is one that doesn’t sound contrived or put together hastily to end a story. It’s one that is full of redemption and ultimately facing the monsters of the past. Wow….recommended.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Isn't it appropros that Valentine's Day and Teen Dating Violence Awareness fall on the same month? As I was writing this post, I decided to do a little background research on some stats and went (where else?) to Google to find some resources. Wow...what a lack of resources on this topic!! I don't know how long teen violence awareness month has been around, but hopefully, with the passing of time, the resources online with get larger and larger.
I was able to find some information about teen dating violence from our counselors at school. Did you know....
*As many as one in three teens will experience dating abuse? That means in the average classromom, as many as ten students could be hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend - physically or emotionally.

*In the state of Texas, 3 out of 4 individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 have been affected by relationship violence, either personally or about someone they knew? That means that in the average classroom 75% of students are experiencing abuse or know someone who is.

Here's a list of some good online resources:

http://stanford.wellsphere.com/wellmix360/teens-and-violence
http://www.ncfy.com/fvp/dating_violence_prevention_month.htm

For more, here's a list of YA books that deals with teen dating violence:

Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl by Tonya Lee Stone

Things change by Patrick Jones

Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Twisted

Honey baby sweetheart by Deb Calletti

Playing with Matches by Brian Katcher

Played by Dana Davidson

Wild Roses by Deb Calletti

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

Breaking up is Hard to Do short story collection edited by Nikki Burnham

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

Touch by Francine Prose

Story of Girl by Sara Zarr

Who am I Without Him? short story collection by Sharon Flake

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Stay by Deb Caletti



Make a display!! Work with counselors on this!! Let teachers know!! This affects all high school, either public or private, and who knows....you may be able to help a person break those chains through your involvement.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What a great idea I'm going to use!!

We had another district library meeting this past week, and I had the the honor of showing our librarians some web 2.0 they can start using to promote their libraries. One librarian at one of our junior highs shared with us how she can't get into the classrooms because of lack of staffing but had a great program going on. After I heard about it, I told her, "You may not be in the classroom physically, but you are definitely there remotely and use the library to make an impact!!" Here's what she's doing:

She told the teachers how to embed Shelfari into their teacher webpages. The teachers involved created a classroom shelf, where students put in books they've read. This is all teacher-led because they may be more in tune with what the kids are reading. Those books get put on the shelf and the classroom Shelfari with the most books wins a pizza party!!

I'm going to modify it by doing this:
Ask teachers to create a classroom Shelfari. Post a list of approved booklists on the library webpage they must choose from to read. This will help prevent them from double dipping into books read at the beginning of school or even last year as well as teachers cheating (oh my!! yes....some will) to win. They will be books I'm familiar with and/or have read.
When a students posts a Shelfari book, they MUST tag and review the book before any pages get counted. I'll be doing this not by the amount of books, but by amount of pages. All reviews must have the teacher's name, class period and student initials. Teachers and I will regularly review the reviews for authenticity.
After a subscribed set of time, I'll ask teachers to count pages and that class will win!!!
That's what using web 2.0 with students will do! I'm so EXCITED about this and am THANKFUL for the librarian (shoutout to Pam from CTMS!!!) for sharing. Isn't this a great idea!!
BTW, my updated shelfari's right there on the right hand side : )

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One of the Most Valuable Assets in the Library...

They’re right in front of you. You see them almost everyday. They hold so much value and knowledge. But have you tapped into them lately?

What I’m talking about is my student aides. I have a tried, true and trusted library assistant who, without her, my schedule and professional life would begin to frazzle, but it’s the students aides who help me and the library staff who make such a difference for me as a librarian. Let me introduce you to some of them.

The first one I automatically think of is the high GPA, top 40 in her class, academic girl. I just love her because of her motivation and her hugs she gives me everyday she walks in. This is a girl on her toes, involved in community service and linked to the “smart” kids at school. What’s your value potential? She’s my gauge of how the academic databases and the library webpage are being used – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. And I use this group’s suggestions to start modifying (example: see how I redid my library webpage for easier research usage)

The next one on the list is one of two guys that works with us. Actually, he requested to work in the library, which is one of the most sought-after student aide positions in the school, and let me tell you, looks can be deceiving. He’s been in the gang scene and is now out of it. But surprisingly, he is a hard worker. His value? It’s the inside look at what motivates him to do better in school, what books appeal to his reluctant reader side, how to get those students who aren’t the academic nose-in-the-book student to use the library. Books get bounced off of him to let me know if it’s true to form or swagger. He connects me to those who may never get the connection.

Another student that pops to mind is my book loving, poetry reader, skater and jerking (if you don’t know this dance craze, get ready!!) other guy. He’s the lover…the sensitive one, the one the girls like and the one who’s not afraid to stand out. He doesn’t look like your typical reader, and he doesn’t read the typical YA books. But he is invaluable to me because not only does he keep me aware of trends in the teen culture, but he also lets me know the holes in the section I least read (poetry) and his personal review on poetry books I’ve purchased. This is a bright teen, both academically and socially, and he just makes me smile.

Last of all (I wish I could give homage to all of my aides, but it would be a looooong blog – I have 10!!) would be my athlete. She’s definitely a lover of books, especially teen romance, but more than that she’s a proliferate reader. Get her together with any other student and she’s recommending books left and right. Her goal? To read all the books I’ve booktalked as well as the one sitting in my office. She just got a full-ride volleyball scholarship to a prestigious part of a Texas university whose colors are maroon and white. She’s that conundrum…an athlete that reads? Yes, and she brings in the other ones too because of her role as athlete in this school.

Okay, one more! She’s my band student, but not just a band student, but a girl who has an active high school life, including a boyfriend she’s dated for more than two years ( a record in high school!) and lots of friends. Although she plays an instrument, she isn’t a instrument-carrying marcher, but works the field with the rifle corps. What’s her value? That this is a girl who peruses the shelves and puts back the books, but doesn’t read too often? She’s the one that I have to capture and find ways to capture, and when it happens – it happens quickly and the reading begins. Then it’s onto trying to get her involved in another book. She keeps me on my toes and I try out all my trailers on her in the hope that she’ll pick up the book to read, which she does….

So there you have it. Look at the value in your library. Put them to work for you without letting them know. Create those relationships, and you would be amazed at how fast that one relationship will spread with others. Teens talk about their teachers, including their librarians. What do you think they say about you when you’re not around….?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan


Finn and Chloe have been best friends since fourth grade. They live next door to each other, stay at each others homes – one would even say they’re like sisters, finely tuned into each others’ families and lifestyles. Chloe is the beautiful one, the one who everyone revolves around. Finn is more down-to-earth; a local girl who befriended the city girls when she moved in.

Now they’re juniors in high school and fast approaching what it’ll take to get into an ivy-league school and all the pressures that come with it. It doesn’t leave the girls a lot of time, but enough time for Chloe to flirt with Dean and Finn to help her. They had enough time for them to still watch television and the drama that unfolded on the L.A. Price show when Margaret Cook came home after being abducted. The girls had enough time to plan…

Applying to get into a prestigious university is one thing; getting in is another completely different beast, and Chloe and Finn know that. After hearing their counselor reiterate the fact that what they’re doing now in the small town of Colt River has no bearing on them actually getting in, and hearing as well the statistics of how many students across the nation apply and how many actually get in leaves the girls, but Chloe especially, in a spiral of desperation. And with enough time on their hands and a seed of inspiration, the girls create a scenario that will definitely make them stand out. Months of meticulous planning, and the show is about to begin…

What Finn doesn’t realize is that eleven days will take its toll on her. While Chloe’s abduction goes into full swing, Finn sees the brunt of it and the impact it’s taking not only on her hometown, but on individuals themselves. But how far is too far? When does it stop being a game and start being real?

A great novel from a great YA author, Corrigan puts her signature on this book. The reader is hooked on page one and the pages continue to flip until the final moment on the last page. The hook happens not only with the fullness of the character, but with the situation as well. What the main characters find fascinating, the reader sees the nightmare behind it from a classmate’s to a parent’s perspective. This is a fast paced white-knuckle book where the reader gets to live through the perpetrators’ actions and watch the victims’ emotional and mental breakdowns. Recommended. This book isn't due for publishing until August 2010. Publisher: Scholastic
I'd be happy to share this galley with the first person to contact me:
naomi.bates@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm overwhelmed!!! And I like it...

7:30am-5:00pm. Most would think that's a looooong day. But not when you're at TCEA!!
You wouldn't BELIEVE how much I've learned today at this tech conference! It's like sitting at a Chinese food buffet and gorging because everything is sooooo good. Okay, that's not a really great analogy, but first of all, I love Chinese food and secondly, I know how that feels after I get up from the table.

Well, try ingesting all of the amazing and powerful web 2.0 sites out there I learned today, and I'm stuffed, overfilled, and can't wait to go back for seconds!! But I really really need to digest what I've learned and pick and choose which ones I'm going to want to keep on my plate and those I just want to sample.

And the dessert? Listening to Dr. Teri Lesesne speak about 21st century readers and technology. They're integrated....not separate. She is a goddess who speaks common sense wisdom with research behind her words! Can't wait for her new book, Reading Ladders, to get published!

Okay, enough of the analogies. Want to know the sites I found AMAZING? Here they are, in no particular order:

jamstudio.com - create your own music online and download as mp.3
photopeach.com - slideshow alternative
dialmycalls.com - make and send a single phone call to up to 25 people free
vocaroo.com - record your voice and post online
formatoz.com - file converter
letterpop.com - templates to create newletters, flyers and more
magtoo.com - slideshow with pop!
loonapix.com - animate or put effects onto your photos
plurk.com - another social networking site
blabberize.com - make a talking picture
stagedproject.com - make a 3-D video
toondoo.com - make an animated video
scribd.com - embed your doc online instead of using another app to open it
polleverywhere.com - use a cell phone as a CPS response
timetoast.com - interactive timelines
greatsummary.com - finds the topic sentences and summarizes texts for you
tagcrowd.com - word cloud creator
wordsift.com - word cloud creator and vocabulary builder. Click on a word in the cloud to create a text visualizer
chartgizmo.com - online chart creator. No more excel spreadsheets

And I still have another two days!!! Yessssssss.....

And no, haven't given up on the reading either. At night, I trying to balance my time between the two, and am currently reading Eireann Corrigan's newest book, Accomplice. Will post that review as soon as I finish reading it. So far, so great. I'm loving that one to the point of creating a trailer....

And Angela Steagall, you inspire and motivate me to do next school year what you're doing right now!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This state I love....and authors who live here!!



Right now I'm firmly ensconced in a hotel room ready for the big opening of TCEA (Texas Educators Association) to learn more tech and applications for kids and teachers in today's world. Went to a pre-conference with Discovery this morning and wow....need to brush up on those skills! It was held at the Bob Bullock Museum of Texas, which sadly, I've never been to. So I was equally in awe of everything there as well!!
So, in homage to Texas, here's a list of brilliant YA authors who live and write in Texas, and just some of my favorites too!!

Gail Giles - Shattering Glass; Right Behind You; Playing in Traffic, What Happened to Cass McBride

Cynthia Leitech Smith - Tantalize; Eternal

A.M. Jenkins - Damage; Beating Heart; Night Road (I'm ready for the next one!!!!)

Libba Bray - Great and Terrible Beauty series; Going Bovine

Rosemary Clement-Moore - Prom Dates from Hell series; Splendor Falls

Rene Saldana - Whole Sky Full of Stars

Marian Hale - Dark Water Rising

Lori Aurelia Williams: When Kambia Elaine Flew in From Neptune; Broken China

April Lurie - The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine; The Less Dead (i'm wanting to read this one!)

Mary Beth Miller - On The Head of a Pin

And thanks to Cynythia Leitech Smith, there's a more extensive list of children's and YA authors from and in Texas on her blog: http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/lit_resources/authors/texasauth-ill.html

And here's a list of YA fiction about Texas:

Getting It by Alex Sanchez
Whip It by Shauna Cross
Soul Enchilada by David Gill
Picture Perfect by D. Anne Love
A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary Pearson
The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill Alexander
The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Lee
The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
Comfort by Carolee Dean
Deep in the Heart of High School by Veronica Goldbach
How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar de Alba (adult fiction)
Feels Like Home by E. Charlton-Trujillo
The Ruling Class by Francine Pascal
The Confessional by J.L. Powers
Houston, We Have a Problema by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Adelante, Texas!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

This World We Live in by Susan Pfeffer


It's now April, and Miranda, her mother and her two brothers have survived the fallout when everything was devastated by the moon's gravitational pull on the earth. Ash from volcanic eruptions completely obliterates the sky and only those with the physical, emotional and mental strength are still alive. Electricity is scarce, food is even more difficult to find, and living in extreme weather conditions makes everyone in Miranda's family more than a little on edge.

Changes slowly take place in Miranda's life. When her brothers go out on a fishing expedition, Matt (her oldest brother) brings back a wife...an another mouth to feed. Shortly after that, Miranda's father and wife comes back, bringing with them several other people they traveled with...and even more people to support. In a world of scarcity, do you protect what you have and let others suffer or do you take them in and hang onto your humanity?

*******

Alex and Julie survived the horrible end of New York City and made it out alive. They found their older brother Carlos in Texas, but now are making their way back to the east coast in order to keep Julie safe. That was Alex's plan all along. The only reason he has survived was to protect Julie not only from the elements, but also to what could happen to a young girl in this new world. Along the way he met up with another group of people heading toward New York who showed him not only protection, but hospitality as well.

As they travel together, the journey ends for Alex's companions in the small town of Howell in Pennsylvania. Alex is partly relieved to stop for awhile and get rest and food, if possible, but he has to complete his personal journey. But then he meets Miranda....and life just got a little more complicated.

Pfeffer has taken the main characters from her previous two books (Life As We Knew It and The Dead and The Gone) and merged them into this third book in her series. And this third books doesn't disappoint. Both Miranda and Alex have evolved since the original books and have grown up not only physically, but emotionally as well from the impact of their environments, which continue to rupture and devolve. Secrets, betrayals, and choices these two have to make will continue their evolution, not only as characters, but as people in a strange new world they have to survive in.

I'm not a reader of series books. Usually, I'll read the first in a series if they're well-received, and order the rest without reading the next one published. But this is a seris I've read all of have enjoyed thoroughly.

There is a caveat though: The first two could well stand on their own without having read the previous one, and that's the only kink I found with this third installment. Previous knowledge has to come into play in order for the reader to make sense of this one, but if they have been read in the past, readers will be enthralled with this book. If not, they might not see the full character development. Keep an eye on this: Due out in March 2010
FYI!!! If you want an advanced copy of this, go to netgalley.com to download to a Kindle, Nook, Sony E-reader et al. Thank you Harcourt!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2009 List of Under-praised YA


I troll through so many sites and blogs looking for books that'll whet my appetite, keep me on the edge of YA lit, and fill my love for reading and sharing YA lit. There has been a slew (or is it slough?) of YA reading out there, and the best of the best made the accoladed lists and got the well-deserved literary slap on the back. But there were some, in my opinion, that deserved that slap on the back but only got a tap. Many of these books made booklists, either national or state level, but weren't publicized as much as I thought they should. So here's my homage to those books that ROCKED the 2009 lists and reasons why. Keep in mind also, I'm looking at 2008-09 copyright dates because that's what is usually put on the year's current lists.

Soul Enchilada by David Gill (2009): This has lots of humor and as much wit about two young people in El Paso looking to get rid of their demons - not your typical "undead" book because it really makes you laugh!!

Skinned by Robin Wasserman (2008): In this dystopic future, there really is nothing left of Lia, literally, but she's still alive. Where do medical ethics draw the line, and how far would a parent go to save their child?

Parliament of Blood by Justin Richards 2008): Vampires in Victorian England are being hunted by archaelogist intern, a lovely actress, and a street urchin. Steampunk it's not, but it as close to it as it comes.

Destroy all Cars by Blake Nelson (2009): Read about James Hoff's life through English essays, including his love/hate relationship with his girlfriend, his friends and his parents.

In the Small by Michael Hague (2008): This graphic novel takes a look at a worldwide event that metamorphs human to seven inches tall...can you even imagine the chaos? You can with this one!

Playing with Matches (2008): Has to be one of the most powerful romance stories I've read in a year. Where does true beauty lie, especially with teenagers. My personal take on this book - it doesn't get picked up much because the cover isn't "there"...AMAZING book.

Dirty Laundry by Daniel Ehrenhaft(2009): In a private school, this is part mystery, part romance all Ehrenhaft. This man can write with humor and wit, as displayed in his previous books.

Life on the Refrigerator Door(2007): okay okay, this isn't technically a 2009 book, but it's only one year off and I don't think it even recieved a pat on the back! Every girl who has read this book (fast read, prose fiction) has come back saying how much she cried. If a book can get that emotional response out of teenagers, it's worth buying and putting on the shelf! I dare you to read it and not cry....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hey, Sydney and Mrs M....

You guys WON!! I've got a Starbucks card and trailers on jump drives waiting for you!! Thanks for guessing. I was sure someone would figure it out, but the post with all my keywords for my new trailer? It was Dark Divine, which I posted the next day. It was just something I couldn't hold back any longer : )

Thanks you guys for guessing though! Please email me at:
naomi.bates@gmail.com

I need addresses as well as the five trailers on the blog you'd like my to send to you

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hype or Not?


Verdict is still out for me....trying to decide if an electronic reader of any kind is a substitute for the real thing. I bought this a year ago because, honestly, everyone was talking about them. Haven't used it any at all during that year except to learn how to download free books onto it.

But then I received news on how you can get a free e-galley of Susan Pfeffer's new book, The World We Live In, via a website. This was one I've been wanting to read (and yes, I've got a review in my head that I'll blog tomorrow) and so I dug up the e-reader to get it.

I've read it in my office, during lunch, even took it to bed with me. Read it in bright light, natural light, and the quiet light on my bedside table. And still....didn't feel, smell or handle like the real thing. But I got the galley!

But I can't write on, highlight, take notes, make lists for a trailer with the e-reader. Can't give it to another person to get their take and/or converse with them through the e-reader (hey, I love my colleagues, but with a nearly $300.00 machine, it may get a little tricky). Can't tell the kids who have devoured Pfeffer's two others that I have a surprise for them....but I got the galley for sixty days!

This is a great marketing technique for Harcourt, and I actually do applaud theirs and the other publishers who decided to go "green" with their galleys and be able to give more out for reviewers than through snail mail and paper copies. Thank you so much for this opportunity publishers!! And I'm not picking on them.

I'm still trying to decide if I like e-readers or not!! Hmmmmm-ugh. I can't get Marvin Gaye's song, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby" out of my head...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's it take to be a good...nay, a GREAT librarian?

That was a question posed to me today in an email. Rather, it was more, "what are some tips to being a good high school librarian?" and I thought about it, and thought about it...and these are what I think (emphasis added). You may or may not agree with me, this may even make you mad...but I mean every word I say...

Number One: First and foremost - SHOW NO FEAR because really, there isn't anything to be afraid of!
I don't know how many times librarians in younger grades have expressed a feeling of trepidation when walking into the high school library during the day for a district meeting or other gathering for librarians. WHY?!? They're just older kids, but with a little more attitude. Believe it not, some still like to hug you hello, and others like to give Christmas presents or make homemade cards for your birthday. But overall, they're wanting and needing guidance - maybe not as much as little bitties, but it's still a need. Which leads to...

Number Two: Be accessible and be real! If there is one thing teens know how to do, it's to see through a guise. If you hate teens, PLEASE find another job! Why in the world librarians would want to work at a high school and keep kids out of it is beyond me, and I don't care how young or old they may be. What the heck?!? And it's those attitudes that help perpetuate the "librarians don't do anything" persona. This goes hand-in-hand with...

Number Three: High school librarians need to be inventive! Even more so than elementary. Why? Because, believe it or not, we don't spend the majority of our day reading to little ones and shelving books, working in a fixed schedule environment with little to no help. We have flex schedules and sometimes may not even see a class in a day. So what to do with that time? I'm not going to give a list, but SPEND IT WISELY. We can all say we're soooo busy, but come on... everyday? Even I have slow days, but I find something to enhance the library, the books, the classroom, work with teachers, be involved with professional associations etc...and then there are the times when I get to read. Aaaaahhhhhhhh, the best part of my profession, which leads to -

Number Four: READ! Simple directive, but makes a difference. HUGE difference. Why in the world would anyone want to be a high school librarian and not read books? It's about connections, and connecting kids with books, especially students who are going through a stage when YOU (the librarian) has to struggle against athletics, academics and taking and passing the almighty test to graduate to even get a student to pick up a book and read. THAT is the challenge, and if you're not up to it, then you need to start right now (and I recommend you pick up the book Read-icide as the first professional resource book to read)

Number Five: Network, share, learn, be passionate, and take time for yourself. Sometimes I get sick and tired of reading...do you? My nature is to be quiet, alone, and isolated (and if you know me, you're laughing, but it's the truth!) To be your personal best takes effort, willingness and time professionally, but to be your best also means taking the time and effort to surround yourselves with things outside the library as well. And who knows? Maybe those other passions will transcend themselves into something useful and creative in the library world!

And Finally: Always be there for others first. We are a consumer-driven position. We are there to help others first, either through technology, books, in the classroom, relationally - all of the above. When we put others first and help them out, the library, our profession, our value in the scheme of things, blossoms...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trailer time!! The Dark Devine by Bree Despain

Here's one I just finished. I'm trying to get more creative not only with background, but with fonts now too. I've come light years than since I first began...
video

Monday, February 1, 2010

Time to play! Ready, set....

So, I'm creating a new booktrailer after reading this YA book that is begging for a trailer to be made. I don't have money to give away, but one thing I do enjoy is playing games, especially quizzing types. So, I'm going to share my tags for my booktrailer with you.
If you can guess the title and author, add a comment (I'll post them on Friday through moderation). Watch for comments as well! I'll post a comment with your name if you've got it right : )
If you guess right, you'll be put in a drawing. For what? Well, the only thing I can give away really, are some of my trailers. I know you can download them, but I'll put five of the trailers I've put up on this blog on a flash drive and mail it to you (your choice). Heck, I'll even throw in a Starbucks card too.
And if you're a YA author, I'll create a trailer for a book you've written and send that one to you as well as post it online!
So, you have until this Friday! And here we go....

KEYWORDS:
dog snarling - rabid dog - Urbat - brother/sister - Knights Templar - love
loup garou - old book - statues - Gabriel - moonstone - lone street light - art - lycanthrope - walnut tree - mad dog - dark eyes - Hounds of Hell - Hounds of Heaven - silver dagger - church - redemption - forbidden love

Have fun!!