Sunday, March 22, 2015

It's almost time for Shelf Challenge 2015

2015 Shelf Challenge Logo (1)
It's almost time for the SLM Shelf Challenge of 2015!
Matthew Winner (aka The Busy Librarian) started the Shelf Challenge in 2012 as an opportunity to check out what is REALLY on your school library shelves during the month of April. 
This year he's passed the torch to me, and I can't wait to travel on this journey.
It's a simple quest really:
  • Find a shelf in your collection to read daily throughout the month of April. Your goal may be to read what you really have on those shelves, find some hidden gems, discover weeding material, or just have fun expanding your PLN on Twitter. (Some librarians choose a shelf in Easy Fiction to read cover to cover, some read a section of Fiction, just by actually looking at the cover, inside and reading a blurb from every book on one shelf in Fiction. The choice is yours!)
  • Sign up for the challenge on this Google Form. Attempt reading each book on that shelf for the month of April. Let me know what shelf you are reading and your other info so I can be your shelf challenge cheerleader!
  • Share your finds on social media (See links below.)
  • When you are done, please fill out this Google Form and let our PLN know how you did! 
All the links- join up with your favorite social media!
The blog: I'll be blogging about my shelf reads here and other library adventures on my blog Create Collaborate Innovate.  Last year, I read through a lonely shelf in my fiction section and found all sorts of amazingly bad 80s book covers. This year, I've chosen a shelf in graphic novels I'd love to get to know and I'm going to try and post about each read every day!
The Pinterest: Join our Pinterest board and add your favs and your "I can't believe I haven't weeded this..." books:
The Twitter: Tweet it out with our #shelfchallenge hashtag.
Embed the Canva: Edit the logo, make it your own, and put it on your blog:

The Instagram: For all of the #librariesofinstagram, use the #shelfchallenge hashtag and I'll "re-gram" your post on my lamar_library Instagram account!
Let's get reading!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Days 12-30.

My remaining thoughts, finds, and shares for this years' s Shelf Challenge will be posted through our SLM Shelf Challenge Pinterest board. That seemed to make more sense than posting it twice. 

I hope you'll join us there. 

Until then, happy reading! 

- Matthew

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 11. Quiet in the Garden

Book 29
Spending quiet time in the garden yields countless opportunities to observe nature at work. In the case of this story, a boy observes local fauna after local fauna eating and commenting on the different ways one another feeds. The tone is quiet and observant and the illustrations hint at all of the animals any child could see when he or she spends some time in the garden.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 10. Back to Front and Upside Down!

Book 26
From the creator of Lucy and the Bully, a book about dyslexia handled in a really, really normal way. It's Mr. Slippers's (the principal's) birthday and Stan's class decides to throw a party. Stan is awesome at drawing, but is filled with dread when the class brainstorms sentences for the students to copy onto cards for Mr. Slippers. Stan's brain reads the letters back to from and upside down as he tries to copy, but all is not lost. With a classmate's empathy and a teacher's (Miss Catnip's) patience and devotion, Stan eventually manages to write a letter for Mr. Slippers and feels pretty good about it when he's accomplished his task.

Reading this I couldn't help but feel that a lot more of our students struggle on the dyslexia spectrum than I give credit. Another testament to the power of children's literature.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 9. Iris has a Virus

Book 23
The title explains it all, but the timing couldn't have been better. Our boy has been home from school for four days as his body battles a stomach bug. It's not a groundbreaking work about contracting viruses (Ha! Is there such a thing?!), but there is definitely something here that resonates with readers. Being at home and quarantined from friends is no fun at all and this story speaks to that experience.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 8. Good Night, Commander

Book 20
It is not often that a picture book feels so counter cultural to me, yet when it comes to speaking about the affects of the Iran-Iraq War on children I think it's a very powerful thing that picture books can challenge our perceptions of world events.

At the risk of oversimplifying the plot, this story focuses on a boy who is about to meet his new mommy. His mother was a victim to the casualties of war and the boy is determined to avenge his death. His family gathers for dinner at his house. All the while he envisions his encounter with the enemy, pulling himself across his bedroom floor with the help of his prosthetic leg. When he finally encounters the enemy (his future step-brother), the two lock (toy) guns on one another in a difficult scene that escalates to both boys shouting, "If you don't drop your gun, I'll shoot." The situation deescalates when the main character realizes the enemy boy is also disabled. They part on a hopeful note and the main character shares to the reader that he feels ashamed he did not avenge his mother.

It's probably the most challenging picture book I've ever read, but I'm thankful it's in our collection for the very unique audience it will reach.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7. You are the Best Medicine

Book 19
Some books are written for a specific audience. A very specific audience. But they are still written for everyone. Those books give us a wind into worlds we may know nothing about. Unfamiliar, strange, and truthful.

That said, You are the Best Medicine was written from a mother to a child. The mother is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The text is delivered as a wish for the child to understand and find comfort in the strength her love gives her mother.

The story is told in the future perfect tense, which is in and of itself unconventional, and the affect is a feeling that the parent is looking out for the child beyond the parent's own suffering.

It's incredibly moving.

I'm glad that this book found me.


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