Author Archive

Mary’s Household Tips and Tricks

October 15, 2017

 Mary Berry is the former host of the “Great British Bake Off.” This is a reality show on British TV that can be seen in the US on DVD through our library system.  Having enjoyed watching Mary Berry judge the chefs, she has not returned to the show this season due to contract disputes. Many of her cookbooks are available. Although many of her household hints you’ve already thought of, I like the comments she inserts in between hints:

“For many people, the television is the focal point of the room. Try to choose one that doesn’t get Channel 4. It’s gone downhill dreadfully recently and features programmes with that awful, money-grabbing Paul Hollywood.

“When baking, don’t use any of Prue Leith’s cookbooks. She really doesn’t have a clue what she is doing.

I am hoping that she returns to TV soon in another venue as her proper, upper crust English ways are entertaining to watch.

Long list- National Book Awards

October 5, 2017

If you’re looking for your next book to read, referring to the National Book Awards long lists may be a good place to start. The winners will be announced in November. Categories include: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and  young people’s literature.

National Book Foundation, Presenter of the National Book Awards

The committee also has categories such as “5 Under 35” presenting honors to 5 debut authors under the age of 35.  Visit the web site to learn more about the finalists and recommendations.

National Book Award Winning  Medal

Banned Books Week September

September 28, 2017

The statistics have been calculated for the past year. Here is the latest list of titles along with reasons for the challenges. How many have YOU read??

The 10 most challenged books in the US last year:

1. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Reasons: Challenged over LGBT characters, drug use and profanity. It was also considered sexually explicit, with mature themes.

2. Drama, written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: Challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit and considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.

3. George by Alex Gino
Reasons: Challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”.

4. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Reasons: Challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and “offensive viewpoints”.

5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Reasons: Challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit content.

6. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons: Challenged for a sexually explicit scene that might lead a student to “sexual experimentation”.

7. Big Hard Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction, illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
Reason: Challenged because it was considered sexually explicit.

8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk
Reasons: Challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness and being “disgusting and all-around offensive”.

9. The Little Bill series by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P Honeywood
Challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.

10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Reason: Challenged for offensive language.


‘The War I Finally Won’- coming soon!

September 21, 2017

The sequel to Kimberly Brubaker Bradley’s Newbery honor-winning book will be released next month. This middle-school level title of historical fiction is set in England during World War II. Ada and her younger brother are sent to the countryside from London to escape the dangers of war.  Everyone who reads the first title has loved it- both boys and girls.  This sequel has gotten good reviews so far. Looking forward to finding out what happens next…

Jason Reynolds reads “Ghost”

September 14, 2017

Jason Reynolds captivates my students when he reads from his novel “Ghost.”
Watch this video and get hooked.

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