Friday, February 24, 2017

House Arrest by K.A. Holt

2015, Chronicle Books

12 year-old Timonthy is writing in his journal.  He doesn't want to do it, but his probation officer and psychologist told him he had to in order to ensure the judge his actions wouldn't be repeated.

What he did wasn't felonious, according to him.  All he did was swipe someone's credit card and make a $1000.00 purchase on it.  But it wasn't for him, it was for his sick baby brother Levi. And well, for his mom too, who is working two jobs on her own to make ends meet.

They still don't have enough food.  Timothy is still in need of clothes that fit him.

Levi remembers one of the last best moment of his life.  It was the day Levi was born.  His dad was so excited and proud to become a father again.  But life changed.  Levi was born with only a small hole in his trachea.  Because of this he has to have constant care and attention.

His dad couldn't handle it, so he left....

Now, Levi and his mother are doing all they can to make sure Levi stays alive and breathing, including doing all of the nasty stuff, including suctioning mucus, cleaning up constant throw-up, and listening to the sound of the breathing machine.

Now, he's under house arrest, but couldn't love his baby brother more.  His love is very protective too, including when a nurse comes in and Timothy knows she's not doing her job.  He also protects himself from letting people, including Mrs. B and Officer James.  They don't need help, or do they?His best friend Jose, and his family, help out. And then there's the mysterious benefactor leaving amazing stuff on their front door.

But his baby brother is still getting very ill, making ICU visits a regular thing.  How long before his mother implodes?  What can a 12 year old kid do?

This quick novel in verse will take your through a one year journey of brotherly love and sacrifice.  It will also take you on the journey of one young man's self-awareness and the grit and determination he has to make sure family stays together.  You hear his joy, but you will also hear his pain, anger, and desperation.  Be ready....this may make you cry, a definite sign of an excellent book. Highly recommended addition to any junior high or high school collection.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

15 Science Fiction Reads for Young Adults

A list of great sci-fi for teens, including sequels and link to pdf 

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh.  2016, Delacorte Press

Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  2015, Alfred A. Knopf. Sequel Gemina, 2016 

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid.  2016, Simon & Schuster

The Fever Code by James Dashner.  2016, Delacorte Press

Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig.  2015, Gallery Books.  Sequel The Map of Bones 2016

Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse.  2016, Kathy Dawson Books.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman.  2016, Simon & Schuster

Replica by Lauren Oliver.  2016, Harper Collins
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer.  2016, Feiwel and Friends

Mr. Fahrenheit by T. Michael Martin.  2016, Balzer + Bray

Alive by Scott Sigler.  2015, Del Rey.  Sequel Alight 2016

Dark Energy by Robison Wells.  2016, HarperCollins

Legend: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu.  2015, G.P. Putnam's Sons

Flawed by Cecilia Ahern.  2016, Feiwel and Friends.

The Taking by Kimberly Derting  2014, Harper Collins.  Sequels: Replaced, 2016; The Countdown, 2016.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

15 Ways to Use Snapchat and the Library

So, yesterday a colleague and friend of mine, Sarah Thomasson, sent out an email that started me down the path of using Snapchat.  I can be like one of those kids in left field that sees a butterfly...and I'm off doing something else.  Well, Sarah sent me a big butterfly and shared the fact that Snapchat can be used as a QR code reader!

You know what that means?

Students will be more likely to scan QR codes using their favorite social media site  than having to download a site that are favorited by educators.  And off I went down this path of resistance to blow it wide open.

I confess, I was one of those people who wasn't going to Snapchat....at all.  Why?  Because it was for "another generation" beyond me, I didn't want to learn something else, I was fine with what I already have.  But then Sarah's butterfly kicked my butt!  That is NOT the right attitude to have!  If social media is going beyond the standard, then I should hold myself up to that standard too!

So....ideas just started FLYING!  I'm going to write them down really quick so I won't forget them either!

1. Of course, QR codes....

2. learning from my followers!!!  Ideas come from all over!!

3. Highlight the great things happening in the library with a story so people can see the importance of school libraries.

4. doing quick booktalks

5. sharing book covers from a certain genre or collection

6. A quick reminder to students about what's happening

7. before and after pics or videos

8. Using those silly filters on books with faces (a librarian shared hardcopy of these...I want to try digital now!)

9. monthly library "story" update

10. Snapchat school events I attend (to show librarians DO things other than "librarian-ish" things)

11. Quick preview of new library resources

12. testimonials on the importance of libraries from teachers, admin, students

13. take a pic of a tweet you're going to send to "smash" two social media apps together instead of typing it all over again

14. do a library mystery theater or "escape room" type of program

15. answering the age-old question, "What do librarians do all day??"

This was a QUICK overview of my enthusiasm spilling over today but I hope you can use these ideas as well as SHARE great ideas via comments with everyone.  And if you want to follow me, I'm at nhstexlibrary

Have fun, and start Snapchatting!

See you on the filtered side!!








Saturday, February 4, 2017

Blood, Bullets, Bones: the story of forensic science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA

2016, Balzer & Bray.  Written by Bridget Heos

Turn on any television network, and you'll find programming about murder, mystery, and a savvy team of solvers.  It seems there is an interest in forensic science, but it's also a science that is very broad.  And that's where this amazing YA book comes in.  It captures the history, as well as the interest found today in our modern society.

Not only is this a book about forensic science, but it's also about the history of forensic science.  How long has this practice been instituted (far longer than the FBI and CSI)?  How has forensic science changed over the centuries?  These are just a few questions this book will answer.  It also includes some interesting facts including:

The word "coroner" derived from the English word "crowner," (SUPER interesting how this came about!)

The very first FBI group, which happened in Europe, not the States

The trend of murder in the 1800s - early 1900's (not, it's not guns either)

How forensic science investigation has changed from the macabre to the technological.

The best part of this is that there are numerous different cases Bridget Heos inserts that gives the readers as sense of where this science was during that particular time. Readers will have insight into the science AND the judicial side as well and how that has morphed into what it is today.

 This isn't a book filled with scientific vocabulary. From testimony to "expert" witnesses, admissible information to complete accidental findings, Heos takes the reader on a scientific journey that will pique curiosity, perhaps make you cringe a little, and explains this exacting science in a narrative format that young adults will be drawn to.  Heos  inserts cases into the narrative, but also historic and current images that solidifies what forensic science looks like.

Highly recommended for upper JH to HS and beyond.