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Showing posts from August, 2011

A Couple Cool Links For Readers

I stumbled across a couple cool links while browsing around online today (I know, big surprise).  For all of those readers with little ones out there, here is a slide show of the best books to read to your kids , via   One of my favorites of all time, Where the Wild Things Are kicks off the list.  To be honest, I never heard of some of the titles.  Most of the titles seem a little old.  I am also a little upset that the Mr. Men and Little Miss books by Roger Hargreaves did not make the list (especially since so many of the titles on the list were older.).  Also, where are the No David books?  Those are amazing, especially when there is a four year old boy running around at home. Come on, Where is David on this List? Not long after stumbling across the previous list I discovered this list of the top 100 nonfiction titles of all time thanks Time Magazine (one of my favorite places for "top lists").  This slide show is much more user-friendly, with tit

Some Tips To Start The School Year Off on a Good Note

Where did the summer go?  It just seems like yesterday I was searching for a June read of the month and congratulating the graduating seniors of Carlson High School.   Monday, I head back to work for what I hope to be another amazing school year.  While 2011 has been a tough year for public education, I still love my job and have no desire to look for other employment.  I also love my "job" as a father now that my oldest child is in elementary school.  With thirteen years experience working in the public schools and two years experience as a parent of a school aged child I wanted to share some tips I think can be helpful for your children as they start the school year. Get to know your child's teachers.  Attend the open house and conferences if possible.  A strong relationship with the teachers at your child's school will only help their education.  Keep in touch with teachers via email after the open house.  Keep in mind, it may take some time for a teacher to retu

What To Do With Reluctant Readers

While browsing around online I stumbled across this New York Times blog entry regarding reluctant readers.  Articles about assisting reluctant readers always catch my eye.  I wrote a paper on the topic while working on my Master of Library and Information Science degree at Wayne State University.  I strive each day at work to place the best books into the hands of all readers at Carlson High School. I really enjoyed the video segment which includes one of my favorite authors, James Patterson.   I love his "Alex Cross" novels, and I also love that he has branched into young adult fiction.  I tend to agree with what Patterson had to say; one of the best ways to help reluctant readers is to allow choice when it comes to reading.  It seems most elementary aged children love reading.  They love library time at school and book fairs are a huge success.  For my kids, getting a new book is as almost as exciting as receiving any new toy.  Then, as children age something changes.  R

August Read of the Month Review

I quickly completed my August Read of the Month Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  I really enjoyed the unique format in which the novel was presented.  Hannah Baker, sends a series of cassette tapes to individuals she believes are partially responsible for her suicide.  As a reader we follow Clay Jenson as he listens to all of the tapes.  While reading we experience Clay's thoughts and actions, as well as Hannah's narration on the cassette tapes.  Each chapter is presented with Clay's narration, as well as the tapes playing in Clay's headphones.  I really enjoyed the point of view format used by Asher in this novel. As a reader we are able to listen to all of the tapes and hear the story behind each person mentioned on the tapes as a "reason why."  I will not give much away, but the reasons presented are many of the issues teens deal with in high school.  My only issue with the novel; I really started to dislike Hannah.  Some of the reasons she mentioned

A Jewel in Our Own Backyard

One of the many perks of my job as the librarian at Carlson High School is my time off in the summer.  I enjoy and value this time much more now that I am a father.  I love spending nearly every day in June, July and August with my two children.  Having all this free time means searching for ways to entertain the kids so summer time is not a bore.  I am thankful for morning walks/bike rides, trips to Chapman Elementary School for the summer reading program, visits to The Trenton Veterans Memorial Library to check out books, and stops at Pap Pap and Grandma Chris's pool for a swim on a hot summer day. Nate Enjoying the Pool at Pap Pap and Grandma Chris's House Even with all of the free activities available in the downriver area things can still get boring during my Mr. Mom time in the summer.  Three years ago I decided to purchase a family pass for the Toledo Zoo during a family zoo trip.  It is hard to pass up, since a yearly pass is about the cost of two visits fo

The Best 100 Opening and Closing Lines From Books

While spending some time browsing around online today I came across two interesting lists that fellow book geeks may enjoy.  Stylist Magazine (a weekly magazine published in The United Kingdom) comprised two lists for book lovers.  First, The Best 100 Opening Lines from Books provides obviously the best 100 opening lines from various selected novels.  Simply click on one of the books pictured and a nice slide-show starts providing all 100 opening lines.  There are some great books on the list, and as I watched the slide show it brought me back to beginning some of my favorite novels of all time ( The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath, to name two).  After browsing through the list I have to believe "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" by Charles Dickens have to be the most famous opening lines in literature. The second list is comprised of  The Best 100 Closing Lines of Books .  Again, the list is easy to view and work with.  I really enjoy the slide sh

Expanding On The Gift of Reading Program

I wrote about The Gift of Reading Program I oversee along with the help of the Carlson High School Student Council earlier this year.  It is a great program that provides each incoming kindergartner with a new book after they complete their kindergarten screening in the spring.  Over the past two years we have provided over 500 new books to our youngest readers in the Gibraltar School District. Each summer, I spend time preparing for all aspects of my job at Carlson High School.  I reflect on the previous year and think about what I can improve.  While I was very impressed with the Gift of Reading Program, I believe it can be expanded and improved.  The first step I took was creating a committee of student council members that will help expand on the gift of reading program.  I was pleased to see excitement on the faces of many members when the idea was mentioned at one of our summer student council meetings last week.  The committee will meet this fall and work to continue the book

August Read of The Month, Thirteen Reasons Why

For the second consecutive month, my Read of the Month will be an eBook.  I really enjoyed reading my first eBook last month.  Soon after finishing I decided to use my iTunes account to pick up a new eBook for August.  I thought August would be a great month to read a young adult novel to get me into "back to school" mode.  My selection for August is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. August Read of the Month, Thirteen Reasons Why   The novel is centers around a box of cassette tapes sent by Hannah Baker to classmate Clay Jenson.  He is one of thirteen individuals to receive the tapes from Hannah (after her suicide via overdose).  The novel shifts between Clay's thoughts and Hannah's voice on the tapes.  According to Hannah, each person that receives the tapes has something to do with Hannah's suicide.  I am only a few ePages in and I am hooked.  I think it is going to be an amazing novel.  Many of the reviews I read mention that the book should be a must