Thursday, March 19, 2015

#Libraries: March Medal Madness

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Trick Question: A Hard-Boiled New Orleans Legal Thriller

Free on Kindle NOW!
Alright, I admit it, I was curious. What's a "hard-boiled" legal thriller? I mean by definition 'hard-boiled' suggests a tough detective story. So what has hard-boiled got to do with legal thrillers?

Well, I found that Tony Dunbar conveyed this new-to-me sub-genre in a very entertaining and compelling manner and now it has become a new favorite.

It starts out with discovery of a thoroughly frozen body by the janitor of a medical lab. When he opens the door to the freezer the body tumbles out and the head rolls across the floor!

Tubby Dubonnet of New Orleans finds himself defending the janitor on murder charges with only a week to prepare. Tubby calls in the troops for the discovery and finds all manner of surprising facts about Cletus (the janitor-voodoo practitioner), the victim and a slew of hidden suspects.
"Dunbar’s understated, syncopated delivery makes you wonder if there are enough honest men in New Orleans for a rubber of bridge" -Kirkus  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What're the benefits of school libraries?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Every Common Sight by Tim Madigan - #HistoricalFiction

Every Common Sight: a novelEvery Common Sight: a novel by Tim Madigan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Historical fiction is one of my favorites and this one definitely fit the bill. It even included a bit of suspense. Tim Madigan has gifted us with a well
written story of two people with long held secrets who find each other and the freedom of release.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

How Libraries Help Kids Stand Up to Bullying

Reprinted courtesy of: American Libraries Magazine

By: Beverly Goldberg
Several years ago, a teenage girl approached Kara Watson, librarian at the Carrboro (N.C.) High School for help: Some of her fellow students had added inappropriate remarks to the girl’s unsecured Facebook account during study hall. Watson printed all the evidence, had the girl delete the offending remarks, and reported the incident to the principal.
Before study hall was over, the principal was dealing with the perpetrators. 
“We handled it all immediately,” Watson tells American Libraries. “That’s a key role of what librarians can do in schools to be a force against bullying. If the students know you’re there, and that you’re an advocate for them, they’ll come to you.”
According to statistics from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, one in seven students in K–12 is either a bully or a victim of a bully, and 15% of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.
As a safe haven, it seems only natural that school and public libraries embrace the burgeoning anti-bullying movement that has been sweeping the nation for the past few years in reaction to high-profile stories of young people feeling so harassed and hopeless that they have dropped out of school or committed suicide.
“You need to be a very consistent force in students’ lives,” Watson says. Her philosophy is to be friendly and approachable so students see her as a trustworthy adult to turn to if they are being bullied or witness such behavior. She says she rejects limiting her role to being “that stereotypical librarian who’s shushing and laying down the rules.”
According to the 2011 edition of School Libraries Count! a national longitudinal survey by ALA’s American Association of School Libraries of school library programs across the nation, 70% of 4,887 librarian respondents indicated they tackle the topics of cyberbullying, harassment, and stalking behavior at school. The survey reveals just how prevalent the problem is in many schools.
“When we were kids, if someone was picking on you at school, you went home and that was your reprieve,” says Watson. “But now it’s just persistent. Kids can text each other all the time.” She says she teaches students how to block unwanted texts and how to configure Facebook for maximum privacy in order to control their social media environment.
“School librarians can play an active role in helping each child become a responsible and caring cybercitizen, ready to take action against the bullies online,” wrote Kathy Fredrick, director of libraries and instructional technology at Shaker Heights (Ohio) City Schools, in the September/October 2013 School Library Monthly.
For Watson, that means starting with freshman library orientation. She introduces herself, learns everyone’s names, and begins to teach the concept that “digital life is life.” She follows up with a unit in 9th-grade health class in which she recounts local cyberbullying incidents from the news, such as the case of a teen in an adjourning county who was harassed in a sexting incident.
For 11th-graders, Watson revisits the don’ts of cyberbullying, coordinating her talk with college application season—a time when students’ online reputations take on additional gravitas.
Click here to read entire article: Public library involvement

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Recommend An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling #BookReview

An Untamed Land (Red River of the North, #1)An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lauraine Snelling's An Untamed Land and the Bjorklund family drew me in and I found myself turning out the light just before dawn...I couldn't put the account of their journey to and life in a new land down.

Brothers Roald and Carl land in New York in 1880 with their families and a dream to forge a farmstead out of the wilderness. The proud Norwegian immigrants are determined to find a new life in the Dakota Territory but will they be able to win against the forces of the vast prairie?

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

4 Out of 5 Stars to Helen Bryan's War Brides

War BridesWar Brides by Helen Bryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

They've escaped the blitz but what about the shortages and the challenges of a small village? You'll feel the joys and sorrows of these young women as they join forces to survive war time English village life and then reunite 50 years later in the same village.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Why Not Read Instead of Just Texting? Cell-phone Book Clubs Are Here!


I love the Little Free Library movement where neighbors put up wooden boxes full of paper books to share.

Now here’s another grassroots possibility—cell phone book clubs that you could start for your public library, school, neighborhood, workplace, traditional book club, place of worship, sports team or other purposes.

What’s a cell phone book club, minus any extras?

It’s just a way for phone owners with shared passions to work out the technical details, discover and enjoy books on their phones, discuss the books together, and perhaps get guidance from librarians or teachers (earlier thoughts here).

In fact, libraries could launch full-strength cell phone book clubs (complete with videocasts through Google+ hangouts), described here in detail.

LibraryCity has also mentioned the club-related possibilities for schools, where students so often learn better together.

But why not informal, do-it-yourself cell phone book clubs as well? The tips below even include advice for people without cell phones right now, or the usual WiFi connections. Book-capable phones running the Android operating system can sell for less than $20 without shipping.

A way to expand reading choices, not replace neighbor-to-neighbor book swaps

Cell phone book clubs are not substitutes for the charms of Little Free Libraries or other book swaps, just tools to multiply the number of reading choices.
Scads of free books are online for the entire world to enjoy, and library e-books are now available in most U.S. communities. Not to mention the ever-expanding collections of Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and the like.

“Besides,” I’m fond of asking, “what are you most likely to carry with you, almost always?” Yes, a cell phone—just like your keys and your purse or wallet.

The cell phone book club idea is timely right now. Salon has even published an article titled “War and Peace” on the subway: How your iPhone is saving literature. A headline writer can dream, right? Still, the potential is there in less dramatic form. Most U.S. teenagers own smartphones, capable of displaying e-books. And phone screens keep getting bigger and sharper. Apple is expected to introduce a phone with a 5.5-inch screen, and companies like Samsung sell six-inch models.

Double- or triple-click on the photo to the right, of the screen of a Blu Life Pure phone. If you’re viewing this with the right software and hardware, you’ll appreciate how sharp the words can look on a modern cell phone screen.

Why not start a cell-phone book club?

The nuts and bolts: 10 steps

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What do they call R.L. Stines's Goosebumps series in France? (Hint: Read #6) #AuthorInterview

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Dead Red Alibi by R.P. Dahlke #BookReview

A Dead Red Alibi (The Dead Red Mystery Series #4)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even now that Lalla has decided has decided to start a new phase of her life after being a model and a crop duster there's still fun to be had.

Her father has sold the crop dusting business, she's walked on her wedding and they've both taken off for Arizona to decide what now. But when her Dad disappears and is found in an abandoned mining pit the mischief and mayhem has begun.

You'll enjoy the non-stop action, twists and turns and quirky characters they find in Wishbone, AZ...oh did I mention that one of the quirky characters that show up is Lalla's cousin Pearlie who fancies herself an investigator (which, by the way, comes in handy when there are murders to be solved).

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