A book is a friend for life. The words stay with you, even when you put the book down.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Book I Want to Read

Usually, I write about something that's happened to me or a book I've recently read.

Today is a little different. I want to write about a book I haven't read.

I've been seeing this book pop up a lot in other blogs. The bloggers at SLJ have been passing word around about it. The book seems to be gathering momentum among readers of "award books", and articles about the book seem to be everywhere. The most common thread surrounding this book seems to be that the readers don't WANT to like it, but end up loving it.

I must get my hands on it! Maybe it will appear in my Kindle or Nook -- or maybe I'll buy myself an early Christmas gift. We certainly don't have it in our little school library. And I think I need to read it myself to see if it's appropriate for this audience.

So, what's the book?

The Returning by Christine Hinwood.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Honoring the Dragon Lady

I learned today of the death of one of my favorite authors, Anne McCaffrey.

Anne was a prolific writer, my favorites being the Dragonriders series. I think I've read everything she ever wrote, and many of the things she wrote collaboratively with her son and other scifi authors.

She wrote the first dragon book in the late '60s, and my dad read many of her books before I ever came along. When I was in 9th grade, dad handed me his worn copy of Dragonflight. I was hooked. Her strong female lead and gripping stories have led me to gobble up every book in the dragon series ever since.

My husband and I named our son after one of her characters, much because we were inspired by the character's story. The neatest moment was receiving a personal email from Anne after telling her we'd named our son after the character. She was very personable -- for one so famous, she took the time to write a personal note.

So, we are mourning Anne's passing, but also looking forward to her final book -- due out next year.

(We also heard they are making a movie... we won't hold our breath on that, however...)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fairy Tales

Have you noticed the increasing fascination with fairy tales these days? I've been entranced with the new television show Once Upon a Time.

It's woven fairy tales into a modern drama. Quite an enjoyable mix.

There are some fascinating books out, especially for kids, that do the same thing.

A Kiss in Time, Cloaked, and Beastly by Alex Flinn are great examples. I also enjoyed

Straw into Gold by Gary Schmidt. Vivian VandeVelde has written a couple of books,

Cloaked in Red which was a humorous group of retellings of Red Riding Hood, and Rumplestiltskin Problem, which I haven't read yet...

Amazing what wealth of books are out there, if you're willing to explore!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Movie Versions

Over the weekend, I got to thinking about novels, and the movie versions that are made of certain novels. For the most part, movie versions tend to mess with the story line, change characters, and sometimes do not even attempt to follow the books they are supposed to resemble.

One notable example of this travesty is Rick Riordan's Lightning Thief. My kids have watched the movie several times, and we are reading the book together now. It is interesting to listen to their comments after reading a section in the book, especially those sections that were left out of the movie entirely. "Mom," they react, "that was such a cool part! Why wasn't it in the movie?"

That is increasingly a question I can't answer. Sometimes, I think it's an issue of time and pacing. In order to make a movie, certain scenes must be left out to keep it within acceptable time constraints.

One recent movie that has done honor to the book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The movie makers got around the time constraints by creating two movies from one book. And I am especially fond of the Part 2 movie. Congratulations all around for that one!

Now I'm looking forward to Hugo, the movie based on the Caldecott Award book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The book was amazing, ground-breaking, breath-taking.

Can the movie version possibly live up to the book? We shall see -- this weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Nervous Morning

I was just visited by my professor today! I knew she might be coming some time this month to observe the library, but I didn't know until Wednesday evening that she was coming.

I was incredibly nervous this morning. I wanted to make a good impression, but I mostly wanted our SCHOOL to make a good impression. I didn't know what would be required of me. I was certainly a worry-wart!

It really turned out to be nothing to worry about! She was incredibly gracious, and the visit went well. I enjoyed having my guest in the libraries, and I hope she enjoyed her time here as well.

So, time to put aside my anxiety about the morning. This evening, husband and I are going on a date. Well, the kids are accompanying us, but still, it will be an enjoyable evening.

I also got to spend a little time at the Chickasha Public Library last night to pick up some reading for over Thanksgiving. Can't wait to nibble the delicious treats I picked up:

Stephanie Barron's series "The Jane Austen Mysteries". Mmmm...

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The next month is going to be busy, busy, busy! Of course, the weeks from Halloween through the holiday season are always quite full, but with my course work for my degree, there is even more pressure.

Somehow, I am going to squeeze in the last of my assignments before the end of the semester. Somehow, I am going to fit in all of the projects and writing that I must accomplish. Somehow, I am going to learn how to download, upload, and email all the finished products.

And somehow, I will find a way to rest from this overloaded inbox of assignments.

Hmm, I'm thinking a bubble bath, a warm comforter, and a good book are definitely in order!

For an escapist read, try Amaranth Enchantment, by Julie Berry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I am pumped about our new technology!

Okay, now that everyone I know has picked his or her jaw up from the floor, let me just say that I am excited about the options technology gives educators.

I am loving the new ways to send and edit papers, especially Google Docs. Some cool things happening there, let me tell you!

I am also loving iPads! I recently borrowed a helpful book from the Chickasha Public Library. It's iPad for Dummies, and it is amazingly helpful. I now feel confident enough to work on the high school iPads and get things ready to go. I've actually downloaded and chosen apps for the high school, and I am growing more excited about finding even more treasures there. I hope I'll be able to share this new-found joy with the high school teachers, who I hope will share the joy with their students.

Yep, bubbling over with love of technology today! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mornings and Joy

Let me tell you, I am NOT a morning person. I especially love autumn mornings, crisp and cool and perfect for snuggling back into the covers with a good book.

But Sunday morning was a different story this week. I woke up, glad to see the sunshine. I thought happy thoughts all morning -- until a friend spoke an unkind word (though I don't think she thought about it). I felt like all the happiness was being sucked right out of me. But another friend, who had happened to be there, said some very profound words to me:

"Don't let anyone steal your joy!"

That helped so much. And, you know, it's true. The way I feel should not be changed by someone else. It's up to me to keep that good attitude or have a sunny day drowned by clouds. I'm determined -- no one is going to steal my joy today!!

Fun, joyful books today -- Toys Go Out and Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Library, My Hope

I was thinking about writing a post about my busy daughter today. You know, the fact that she played a basketball game then turned around and spent the evening in dance class. But her active life led me to think of something else.

We are all busy. Some days, I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I need to do. I sometimes think if I was as dedicated to my profession as I should be, I would spend more hours working on the mess students (and teachers) leave behind when I'm not there. I often wish I had more time to spend cleaning house and having fun with my kids.

I also am tired. What tires me most? The rants I have to read from fellow librarians/teachers/students about how unimportant the library is. Do all librarians and teachers hate their jobs? Why are they in the profession if they hate it so much? Why must the news always be bad? Why is the cup always half empty?

So here is my antidote for all the naysayers, for all those people who seem to have spilled what was left in their cups. Yes, sometimes I wish I had more time, but my cup is still closer to full than empty. My gas tank is not running on empty. My glasses are still rose-colored. "All's right with the world." Need hope, librarians? Here is a dollop:

Book suggestion for hopeful thoughts -- Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford.

(Here's to the little guys and Captain Nobodys everywhere!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Basketball Season

Well, folks, it's officially basketball season again. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE watching basketball! I try to get to as many high school games as possible, usually a junior high game or two, and now elementary games as well since I have a couple players myself! Of course, I'm addicted to NCAA basketball and can't wait for the March Madness season.

However, I'm nauseated watching all the hubbub surrounding the NBA. I will never understand why an industry that makes so much in revenue can't get their acts together to START THE SEASON ALREADY! Besides, our little town is impatiently waiting to see one of our own as a Thunder Girl!

Having had that little rant, I feel better, thank you. I have been enjoying watching my 5th-grader play. She has improved so much since last year, since being aggressive on the court is not exactly her personality. Especially on defense. It cracks me up when she "gets tough". :)

A little basketball reading suggestion -- Mike Lupica's Miracle on 49th Street!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So, we've been trying to plan the many upcoming holiday events with family. Scheduling is always difficult with so many people wanting to see us, and many people living so far away. The best part about the holiday season is getting to see everyone! Hmm, or maybe I should say trying to see everyone!

It all starts around Thanksgiving. So many family members, so few days off! Then, somehow, we manage to schedule time to do everything in the month of December. But what a fabulous excuse to get together with everybody! :)

I couldn't live without Facebook. That's the only way I manage to communicate with my family. I love how I can send one message, and everyone in my family can get it and respond. A bit like a 5-way phone call! I especially love being able to see pictures of my family the moment they are posted. I just saw my brother's amazing family photos, and I won't see them in person until December! :)

No matter how far apart we live, my family will always be close. What a blessing they are to me!

Recommended Reading? Captain Osborn's Legacy (written by my aunt about our famous great+grandfather!)

Monday, November 7, 2011


It's finally autumn in Oklahoma! It was a long, dreary summer and promises to be a long, cold winter, so I intend to enjoy whatever possibilities autumn may provide... even if there are only a couple of days offered!

I've been working hard on finishing my library degree, and haven't blogged like I intended. In fact, it was working on the degree that made me come back here! I was working on an assignment that called for blogs of interest to librarians (or something like that). And I realized, I could be one of those bloggers!! I miss writing (and reading the works of others), so here is a little tidbit for today!

Best book(s) to read this autumn while curled up in a blanket with that new peppermint hot chocolate from McDonalds = A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray. Which must quickly be followed by the other two books in the series, Rebel Angels and Sweet Far Thing.

Happy autumn!