Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A funny pairing of boy-ish books

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

By Jon Scieszka

During sixth grade volunteer reading time, one class in particular responded great to slightly "weird" humor. I discovered this when presenting the two books titled above simultaneously. I have to admit, the humor tickled the funny bone of boys quicker than it did the girls…..but it worked for both. I especially appreciated the teacher's positive response to the humor I was reading because sometimes Jon Scieszka's writings are a tiny bit irreverent if not slightly naughty—so sixth grade!

The Stinky Cheese Man has been around for a long time (published 1992) and is a favorite of many older kids that grew up with sweet fairy tales such as The Little Red Hen, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, The Princess and the Pea and The Little Gingerbread Boy. Sceiszka gathered all of these tales, fractured and reassembled them into a jumbled up compilation that makes kids who don't necessarily enjoy reading push on to the end. As with all great picture books, the illustrations of Lane Smith further "tell" the story so that the book is best if the reader searches out the illustrations too. The book is a Caldecott honor book.

Knuckleheads, published in 2008, is a fantastic autobiography of the author's life growing up with five brothers. Scieszka explains that he's been asked so many times about where his stories come from that he thought an explanation in the form of his autobiography would be a good start. Each chapter is super short and either funny or touching in a very boy kind of way. Yes, there is bit of potty humor and story about throwing up but, the book makes the reader laugh through universal experiences of boyhood from any generation. Knuckleheads is, in my opinion, a fantastic way of introducing the genre of autobiography to younger readers. My boys ages 6 and 7 read and giggled through several of the chapters that I read aloud to them. The black and white photographs show the author and family members from an earlier time giving the book a definite "old timey" (in terms of today's kids) feel. For sixth graders, I read a few pages of Stinky Cheese Man and then a chapter of Knuckleheads….asking students if they "got" how Scieska's childhood experiences shaped his humor as a writer. At first, students showed me faces with the "huh?!" expression and then little by little were giggling with me toward the end of our reading session. We all had fun.

Scieszka is an outstanding children's author and was named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the US Library of Congress in 2008. His mission to engage young people, especially reluctant readers and boys, in reading is obvious. Another one of his works that I intend to check out soon is his edited compilation of essays: Guys Write for Guys Read (Viking 2005). Many wonderful details can be learned about Scieszka can be learned at his child friendly website Jon Scieszka Worldwide: That's What It's All About: http://www.jsworldwide.com/yeah_he_wrote_em.html

Scieszka, J. (2008). Knuckleheads: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka. New York: Viking.


Scieszka, J. (1992). The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. New York: Viking Juvenile.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Queen Bees & Wannabes—the missing parenting manual

Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, And the New Realities of Girl World by Rosalind Wiseman.

My first impression of Queen Bees and Wannabes is that it's "the" missing parenting manual for teen girls. What's great about the book that is that Wiseman begins with the foundation of what makes girls act like girls at the early ages of five and up. She connects how and why girls, raised in the context of their families seek out relationships with other girls as they get older, how these relationships turn into cliques that either adhere to our society and culture's vision of what a woman should be and not be or don't.

By the time girls are in the teen years, the idea of what a woman and thus a teen growing toward womanhood should be is so strong that it drives how girls behave. Wiseman, through thousands of hours as an educator of children, teens, parenting, social justice and ethical leadership, gives readers a true inside look at "girl world". She includes hundreds of quotes from girls that have participated in her courses and workshops to back up what she is saying. Wiseman also compassionately provides a few chapters on "boy world" and how boys view and interact with teen girls. Even if you have years and years of experience with young people and teens, you will learn much from this book.

One idea that Wiseman presents right at the beginning of her book is that life as a teen today IS different than it was ten years ago. She lays the foundation for how technology in the form of cell phones, e-mail, social networking and electronic gaming has changed the rules for how young people interact with other humans. This is crucial for today's parents to understand when making decisions for and with their children. Additionally, Wiseman validates the good parenting that so many of us have been slogging through and cheers us into continuing. Wiseman is all about how to send the values a child's family has already established out into the world through the guided choices a teen girl makes. It's tough work but Wiseman provides strong tools. After reading Queenbees, I feel good about what my family has done and empowered to carry on into what so many consider "the difficult years" of teens.

Although this is not a book to leave around for younger kids to pick up and read, there are some sections I will be prepared to allow my children to read when they are ready so that we can talk about how to deal with maintaining their dignity and the dignity of others in the wide array of experiences they will encounter in their lives before leaving home.

I could write on and on about how necessary this book is. However, I realize that when someone such as myself blabs too much about a book, a movie or anything that is a "must see" it can be a turn off. I will be purchasing multiple copies of the book and giving it as gifts to family and friends because I believe that the information provided in this book can be life changing and even life saving. Wouldn't it be great if a generation of us and then our children joined Wiseman in her quest to "create cultures of dignity?"

For those interested in learning more about Wiseman's work and connecting a teen to her continuous advice on her blog and social networking sites, please see: http://www.rosalindwiseman.com/ . Wiseman's latest book is a YA Novel, Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials (2010) Putnam Publishers. You can be sure that I'll be checking this one out too!

Happy Reading!

Wiseman, R. (2009). Queenbees & Wannabes:Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, And The New Realities of Girl World. New York: Crown Publishing.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

GON by Masashi Tanaka, great series for reluctant and ambitious readers


Ah, summer when the reading is easy. My family enjoys a series of books titled: Gon by Masashi Tanaka that is worth sharing. These books are super for reluctant readers and new readers because they are wordless books. However, even my super reader becomes completely absorbed in the Gon stories and enjoys retelling them in detail.

Gon is a dinosaur, a feisty dinosaur, which escaped extinction and now roams the world saving small and defenseless animals from bigger and meaner creatures. Despite some suspenseful violence, many, many scenes are comical and I often hear my kids laughing out loud as they read.

I've wondered as I see how much my children love these books of pen and ink art, are they reading? And, I've come to the conclusion that they are. Gon is divided up into episodes that are read from the back of the book toward the front as many graphic novels and manga books are designed. In order to understand the story of each episode and how each episode of the book is part of the larger story, readers must understand who the characters are, what the action is and where the scene is taking place. The title page for each episode includes sometimes one or two words or a couple of paragraphs. This is great for kids that don't enjoy reading….because by the time they get to these few words they are hooked enough by the story to read to the end. I also love how the ending to each Gon novel is "to be continued…" so that the reader is already looking forward to the next book in the series.

Gon is published by CMX publishers, a trademark of DC Comics. CMX kindly includes a "Know What's Inside" label inside the back (in this case front) cover of the Gon books for adults so that they can decided if the reading material is appropriate for their reader. Gon is rated T for "teen" as opposed to "E" for everyone, T+ "Teen Plus" for ages 16 and older or "M" for mature. Since I am very new to the world of graphic novels and manga, I appreciate this label description. The "T" for the books my children, who are not yet teens, covers the violent nature of some drawings. None of the drawings that I've read are more suspenseful or violent than the Spiderman, Hulk, Star Wars or other action/adventure comics we've checked out of the Juvenile section of our local library. Gon is shelved in the Juvenile comic book (Dewey numbers 741) section of our library alongside our favorite Marvel and DC comics for kids.

Gon books are fun….definitely different than what I grew up with but appealing to today's kids.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale

For all my friends that keep up with Chinese lore and tradition, there is a lovely new-ish (published in 2009) picture book to add to your collection. The story is of Lin Yi, who must go to the market to purchase items for the upcoming Moon Festival….however, money is tight and he might not be able to buy a lantern he has his heart set on. Lin Yi passes through the Moon Gate on the way to the market for good luck. At the market, a typical farmer's market of rural China, Lin Yi bargains his hardest and stops to look at lanterns. Sure enough, he doesn't have enough money for the lantern….however; there are special surprises that wait Yin Li at home for being such a good boy doing the family's marketing. The story is sweet but what I liked even more was an additional re-telling of the 'Moon Lady' tale as well as directions for how to make one's own Chinese lantern. The book is a picture book but very appropriate for children ages 8 and older. I found this gem at my local library.

Williams, B. and Lacombe, B. Lin Yi's Lantern (2009) Barefoot Books.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Picture Books that illustrate 6th Grade US-VA History

I had a fantastic opportunity to volunteer at Mayfield 6 this spring. Since the school was without a library for the second half of their year, Mayfield librarians found ways of bringing library to their students—a remarkable feat—but that is a story for another day.

One teacher asked me to bring books to read aloud to her students that fit with their 6th grade Standards of Virginia Learning: The SOLs. Since Social Studies is my "thing," I found this assignment more than just a little fun.

All of the books below are picture books—a GREAT way for students of any age to learn about history. However, these books are especially helpful to reluctant readers/learners. If you have a fifth grader looking ahead to 6th grade US History, give some of these books a look over the summer. All of these books were borrowed from the Prince William County Library.

Title

Author

Category

Description/Comment

The Escape of Oney Judge

Amy Arnold McCully

E = Easy Reader

Oney is Martha Custiss Washington's slave. George Washington frees his slaves upon his death…but Martha's family doesn't. Oney must escape to experience freedom. True story.

Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story

Janet Halfman

J=Juvenile

Robert is a slave that achieves the rank of ship's captain in the Confederacy until he escapes to the Union. Smalls goes on to greatness after. True story.

The Story of the H.L. Hunley and Queenie's Coin

Fran Hawk

J

The development of submarine warfare…astoundingly good and true story.

Daniel Boone's Great Escape

Michael Spradlin

J Bio

Exciting picture book biography of Daniel Boone. Kids LOVED it.

January's Sparrow

Patricia Polacco

J fic

We can teach facts about slavery and escaping to freedom but cannot give the feeling of it like Polacco can. Based on a true story

Pink and Say

Patricia Polacco

J fic

We can teach facts about fighting the Civil War but cannot give the feeling of it like Polacco can. Based on a true story.

Mississippi Mud: Three Prairie Journals

Ann Warren Turner

J

Poems of the journey west to Oregon from the points of view of 3 children in a family.

The Legend of Blue Jacket

Michael Spradlin

J

Incredible story of a young American's kidnapping and adoption into the Shawnee tribe….Blue Jacket's life is intertwined with Daniel Boone. Based on true stories.

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek

Deborah Hopkinson

E

Not an SOL book….but oh, so much fun to read. Will have kids giggling and thinking about a different side of Abe Lincoln and his buddy.

Don't Know Much About the Pioneers

Kenneth C. Davis

J

Author of the fun "Don't Know Much" series…Davis presents lots of interesting facts about pioneer life. This one is not one that I got to read aloud…would of if I had the time.

Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs. The Virginia

Patrick O'Brien

J

I left this book for the teacher to read aloud. It's a wonderful story about the making of the first ironclads—true story but reads like a fiction book with amazing illustrations.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

American History Graphic Novel

The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale

What a fun read! The Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale by Lora Innes is a YA graphic novel that leads readers into America of 1776 when patriots were fighting for their lives against the British war machine. Dreamer, opens with a great two page summary of the American Revolution, "which brings us to the events described in the following pages…" Modern teen Beatrice Whaley is in love with the man of her dreams, literally. Every time Beatrice falls asleep she dreams of hunky Alan Warren a historical figure from America's Revolution who rescues her from being held hostage on British General Howe's ship in Long Island Sound. Soon after, Warren tries to engage historical figure Nathan Hale into delivering her safety to Boston just as British troops invade Long Island and General Washington is retreating with the entire Continental Army to Manhattan.

As in any good action story, Beatrice lands right in the middle of a battle in the Jamaica Pass as it was fought in Revolutionary War times. Rescue of the Damsel in distress by Hale, additional historical figure Thomas Knowlton and Warren all become parts of the exciting plot as guerilla warfare and life behind the Continental Army lines are portrayed.

In life between dreams, Beatrice cannot convince her friends of the conflict that is ongoing for her which complicates friendships and a new romance with a boy that she's had a crush on for years who is finally showing interest. By the end of the novel readers are offered a link to learn more about the story and characters of Dreamer which looks to be the beginning of a series. Hooray! http://www.thedreamercomics.com/ At the site, the author also sells additional historical short stories that look interesting—although I did not buy any. Innes maintains a blog that fans can read in and participate in. The author has a true passion for this historical period.

Dreamer is a true YA graphic novel (look in the 741 Dewey numbers of the library for graphic novels) which means it has the look of a comic book but all the elements of a novel: the story is carried in chapters with consistent setting, characters and plot from beginning to end. What I enjoy about Dreamer is its appeal to female teens who may be reluctant readers of American History. There are a few words, and artwork that seats this novel securely on the YA shelf and not in the Juvenile section– be aware if you offer this novel to younger, high-level readers. I would say the content is similar and even a bit tamer than that of a daytime soap opera as far as age appropriateness. The love story is definitely "girl-ish" in nature…but a great way of making history more interesting than a typical text or even difficult to read 18th century primary sources for young women. I look forward to seeing more from this author. Additional helpful reviews can be found at Amazon.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John

It's always interesting to me when my eleven year old daughter and I read the same book at the same time. Simultaneously, one of my daughter's favorite teachers and a different teacher friend of mine sent Lauren St. John's, The White Giraffe for each of us to read – unbeknownst to any others of us. I began reading the story yesterday during a break in my reading schedule for sixth graders at Mayfield 6. I had about an hour and sped through the first sixty pages.

My first impression of the story is that it is very, very familiar…..much like one of my childhood favorites The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. A young girl survives a terrible tragedy that takes the lives of both her parents and is sent to live with a grandmother she's never heard of. Grandmother is cranky and emotionally distant doesn't appear thrilled with guardianship of Martine. Furthermore, she lives in South Africa and is the owner of a wild game farm and exotic animal refuge that she forbids her granddaughter to enter. There is much updating of the story with the addition of many characters—not the least of which is Jemmy, the white giraffe. Despite the fact that the plot is incredibly implausible, I found myself really seeing South Africa, especially the animals of the game farm in my mind. The descriptions in the story invite every sense to participate in the lush and wild land—especially at sun rise and sun set. By the end of the story, I was satisfied with the happy ending and glad to have read the book.

My daughter's experience with the book made me chuckle. Never one to be "beat" at anything; she finished the story about ten minutes ahead of me at the breakfast table. If I weren't responsible for getting three of her siblings off to school—I would have beat her to the end handily. Oh well! My daughter loved the story. The parts of the story that I, as an adult, cannot picture really happening didn't matter to her. What mattered to her is that the main character and the giraffe have the ending that she was wishing for. She also loved the descriptions of South Africa….especially as the World Cup Soccer games are beginning now and my daughter is a big fan of the game. She wrote a note to the teacher who loaned her The White Giraffe to say that she LOVED it !!! She can't wait to also read Dolphin Song by the same author.

It just goes to show me…..no matter what I or any adult thinks of a story, to really know how it reads with kids….it has to be read by kids. Don't get me wrong, The White Giraffe is a lovely story, fully deserving of the positive reviews it has received by many adults and kids, especially pre-teen girls, around the world. I found the plot a little too fanciful for me but did enjoy the trip to South Africa immensely.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bud, not Buddy

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

I just finished reading Bud, not Buddy. What a gem of a story….which is not a surprise. Bud, not Buddy won the 2000 Newberry Award for Excellence in American's Children's Literature. The story, written for readers as young as eight, is about a boy named Bud who lives in a Michigan orphanage in the mid 1930's. Unfortunately, Bud has difficulties in yet another foster home and is forced to go "on the lam." While on the run, Bud meets up with kind friends and strangers that unknowingly help him survive, travel to and get acquainted with his new family. Along the way, Bud suffers the difficulties of being parentless and penniless in the Great Depression—despite the fact that he is never, ever without his suitcase containing precious items that no one else would consider valuable. We get to know about the orphanage, a soup kitchen, a Hooverville, attempting to hop a train and Jazz bands with outlandish names. I adore Bud's description of the library and librarians that help him in all kinds of ways as he tries to figure out his next moves. The description of the smells and feels of the library put me right back into the little hometown library that I grew up with.

Bud, not Buddy is such a celebrated book that there are lots of places to read about the story and how to make meaning of it with young people. I like how Common Sense Media rates books and movies. Their description of the book was helpful to me. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/ .

If I were teaching with this book and could focus on any questions I wanted I would ask readers to figure out what Bud has and what Bud doesn't have at various points in the story. During the 1930s and today there is much made of those who "have" and those who "don't have". What might people "have" in abundance even if they lack material possessions? How is 1930 the same or different from the times we live in?

The author of Bud, not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis
has written several more critically acclaimed books. I will also read The Watson's Go to Birmingham and Elijah of Buxton over the summer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How do I find books about…?

How do I find a book about……spider monkeys, pentominos, scuba diving, oil spills, Pok√©mon, award winning books? There is any number of topics that any one of us could want a book about. Or, better yet, there are books on topics we'd love for our kids to read about. How to find just the right book? Novelist is a great place to start looking.

Novelist is a reader's advisory database that allows users to look for book titles from many different angles: age of reader, titles of books, author of books, plot descriptions, non-fiction and fiction books. Better yet, once a book is found there is a way to find "books like these" or, "read-alikes" that will lead the searcher to new titles. Novelist is also a fun place to browse for: Award winning books, Recommended Reads for differing age levels, Author "read-a-likes". There are also book discussion questions, talks and extension activities to engage readers in a whole new level of reading. Novelist is a database maintained by EBSCO who offers subscriptions to libraries. If your public library has "e-sources" or databases for patrons to take advantage of, it likely has Novelist.

Give Novelist a try to find some new titles. Here's how:

If your library allows you to access its databases via internet, navigate to the main page of your library system and find the link that connects you to the databases. My local public library has a link on its main page titled "electronic resources". I can click on that and be taken to a list of dozens of databases that my library subscribes to.

If your library does not allow internet access, you will need to find the database on a computer in your library. Ask a librarian at the information desk to help you out. Librarians love databases—so much information all in one spot!

Once at the electronic resource page, find Novelist and click on it. You will likely need to enter your library barcode number and a possibly a password to enter the database. Once in the database, it is easy to find the search bar and the categories of searches you would like. Novelist also connects to your library's electronic card catalog to let you know if the books you have found there are available at your library.

Recently, my friend Sandy asked me about "best friend" books for her daughter. I don't know too many of this type of book off the top of my head to recommend….but Novelist presented me with a list of over 5,000 "best friend" titles for older kids and teens. Her daughter could browse this list and pick out some interesting books to read over the summer. If she finds a book she enjoys she can also use the "find books like these" finder of Novelist to find more books.

Give Novelist a try and let me know how it works for you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer 2010 Young Reader High Reading Level Books

Books I've recommended to teachers, friends and family as good books for young readers with higher reading levels. I categorize the books the way my local public library does: Juvenile Literature content is generally for grades 3-7. Young Adult Literature content is generally for grades 8-11. Of course, with all books there are tremendous exceptions to these categorizations—which is so much fun for librarians to play with. For example, Patricia Polacco's wonderful picture books, January's Sparrow, Pink and Say, and The Butterfly are beautifully illustrated picture books….but are categorized as Juvenile literature, as opposed to the Easy Reader/Picture Books, because the content would be emotionally difficult for children younger than third grade to grasp. Fiction books are labeled Fic. Non-fiction books are labeled Non-fic.

Title

Author

Category

Description/Comment

The Magician's Elephant—and all by this author.

DiCamillo, Kate

Juv Fic

Kate DeCamillo's incredible and poetic writing in a beautiful literary story. Would appeal to literary girls. My daughter and I think it moves too slowly for most boys. A GREAT read aloud for parents and teachers.

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett

Juv Fic

FANTASTIC who- done-it story about a stolen Vermeer painting, coincidences---or are all events really related, pentominos—math puzzles, logical thinking. First in a GREAT series.

Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam

Cynthia Kadohata

Juv Fic

A wonderful story about a service dog in Vietnam. There is one or two scenes of battle that are tough—but ok, especially for boys ahead of peers in literary maturity and can handle the topic of war.

Carver: A Life in Poems

Marilyn Nelson

Juv Non-Fic

Book in verse about George Washington Carver. Lots to learn about this amazing African American inventor and innovator but in poems.

Home of the Brave

Katherine Applegate

Juv Fic

A Somali teen boy refugee comes to the US—Minnesota in the midst of winter and learns what it means to live in US. The book is great and ALL in verse

Pictures of Hollis Woods

Patricia Reilly Giff

Juv Fic

An artistic girl in the foster care system goes through the challenge of allowing herself to be loved and to love an adoptive family….more of a girl's book.

Rules

Cynthia Rylant

Juv Fic

Teen girl has an autistic brother but wants to make friends with a new neighbor….just as she makes friends with another special needs friend. GREAT book


The Sniper

James Riordan

YA Fic

The youngest sniper in the Russian Army during WWII is actually a girl….an amazing story that will keep both boys and girls turning pages…based on a true story that is detailed at the end of the book.

A Time of Angels

Karen Hesse

YA Fic

A young girl leaves Boston during the great flu epidemic of 1914. Incredible story

Out of the Dust

Karen Hesse

Juv Fic

The story of a girl living through the dust bowl days of the Great Depression. Winner of the Newberry Award and all in verse—great poems—emotionally challenging but informative.

Aleutian Sparrow

Karen Hesse

Juv Fic

The story of a village of Eskimos relocated during WWII. Emotionally challenging but an incredible story. The story is told all in verse.

The Wednesday Wars

Gary D. Schmidt

Juv Fic

Young boy in 6th grade gets stuck with his teacher every Wed. After some funny interactions they begin to study Shakespeare together and what the boy learns mirrors what's going on in the world at the time 1968.

Counting on Grace

Elizabeth Winthrop

Juv Fic

Young Grace goes to work in a factory in the early 1800's. Story about factory life. Grace eventually leaves to become a teacher.

F*E*G* Ridiculous Poems for Intelligent Children

Robin Hirsch

Juv Non-fic

Great poems that fit the "rules" of various types of poetry—but take poetry to the limit! Clever stuff

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

Berlin, Eric

Juv Fic

Great story for puzzle lovers—solving the puzzles helps solve the mystery. This author used to write crossword puzzles. Readers can go on-line to download puzzles if they don't want to cover their books with pencil marks.

The Potato Chip Puzzles

Berlin, Eric

Juv Fic

Second book of Winston Breen mysteries.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Thoughts on The Best of It: New and Selected Poems

I'm a new reader of Ryan's work….but thankfully her book of poems is available at my local library. From the beginning I was completely wowed by her very fresh voice and spin on poetry in The Best of It: New and Selected Poems.

"The only justification/ for extraordinary lengths/is extraordinary distances.
You don't find this in the majority of instances." (p. 35)

At first glance, I wouldn't guess that her poems would be celebrated. They are short, use common words and often rhyme. But oh, don't be deceived. To read Ryan's poetry is to have a bit of your brain kidnapped by the incredible and thought provoking questions she paints in stark images. For example the poem Among English Verbs:

"Among English verbs
to die is oddest in its
eagerness to be dead," (p.189)

One must really think and work the muscle in the brain for new vocabulary. Words such as: grots, swards, nascent, fillip, persiflage, nacreous, lacunae, armature, congeries and many more pop up and nest easily against more every day speech. Ryan's poems are not obviously meant for children…..but they are rich sources of wonder for children as young as elementary school age to as old as ninety-nine. I would include this volume in a middle or high school library. This is a book I want to own for my personal library. The poetry is astoundingly good and Ryan's tenure as Poet Laureate of the United States is noteworthy as well.

Ryan, K. (2010). The Best of It. New York: Grove Press.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

First Post to Edgewise

A Word Edgewise is a 2010 Summer Project that I'm assigning myself. Today, I am all that my profile describes and....have so much more to say and share. Most of what I like to share relates to one of two topics: Library and Creative Writing.

Soon, I'll be interning as a School Library Media Specialist. After eleven years experience teaching various classes of Social Studies (most High School US History and Economics) and another ten years of full time motherhood, this is a perfect fit for me as an educator, parent and citizen. I've loved reading and books with a passion since I was very young. As a teen, I organized and re-organized books on shelves in my room for fun! And, I love learning and sharing what I learn with others. Even as a new mother, I found myself researching topics on the internet and sharing information and sources with friends constantly. I just love to be in the know about some things. It's fun! A Word Edgewise is a great place for me to share information about books, learning and information literacy.

Also, as a new mom, I fell into creative writing. Like so many new writers, all it took for me to think I was a real writer was a couple of compliments from professors and classmates in some of the writing courses I took. That was about eight years ago. Now, I have journals and notebooks and even plastic bags full of writings and words I intend to use in poems, essays and stories. Some of these writings have been published in magazines and journals. These and others, I'd like to share publically. When I can find the time and courage to share, I'll post to Edgewise.

All are welcome to Edgewise. I hope to learn enough about blogging to put my skills to good and practical use as a school librarian sometime in the near future.