Friday, December 20, 2013

See you later UMS!

After months of waiting and having my belly get bigger, my twins are almost here* (hooray!). I am super excited to meet the little girl and boy who have been kicking me for the past 8(ish) months, but that does mean I won’t be seeing all of you wonderful people at UMS for a while. Sure, I will be in and out… score-keeping at volleyball games & taking times at track meets, stopping at the Young Author’s celebration, visiting teacher friends, and grabbing some books to read… but I won’t be back as librarian this year for sure.
While I am sure I will be having lots of fun cuddling with my babies and 4-year-old son, I will miss seeing you all, helping you find things you actually want to read, and hearing about your days. It makes me so excited when you find something to read that draws you in and makes you come back for more.
I hope you all have a wonderful remainder of the school year and keep checking out/reading books from the library!

--Mrs. Ruud

*Once the babies have arrived I will post a picture on the blog and let you know what we named them. Someone will also post a picture in the library so you can all see the babies once you get back from break!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

STUDENT REVIEW - MVP by Douglas Evans

By Douglas Evans
Published by Boyds Mills Press, 2004
192 pages (hardcover)

Every kid's dream is to be named Most Valuable Player. But how many ever dream that the game is a race around the world (no flying allowed) in just 40 days? That's the challenge Adam Story faces in the Great Global Game. As the player for the *Magellan Voyage Project, he competes against 23 other players for a four-million-dollar prize! Of course the trackers in red sweat suits and hoodies with their blowguns and sleeping darts don't make things easy. Nor does the nefarious Baron von Sheepsbottom, who will stop at nothing to stop Adam. But it's time to go — the game's afoot!

This was a good book because it’s very descriptive and you sort of learn with the main character. I wouldn’t change anything about this book! Yes, I would recommend this for a middle schooler if you were into travel/adventure books because that’s what this is all about.
--Ella K.

Monday, December 16, 2013

March: Book 1 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell

March: Book 1
Published by Top Shelf Productions, 2013
128 pages (paperback)

Top Shelf Productions is proud to present the first volume of March, a graphic novel trilogy co-authored by Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) and Andrew Aydin, with art by Nate Powell (a New York Times bestseller, Eisner Award winner, and finalist for the LA Times Book Prize).
March is a vivid, first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights (including his key roles in the historic 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March), meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. In March, a true American icon teams up with one of America's most acclaimed graphic novelists. Together, they bring to life one of our nation's most historic moments, a period both shameful and inspiring, and a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Hooray! I finally got around to reading this book. March: Book 1 has received the highest of praise since before it was published and all that praise was definitely earned. I don’t know what I expected (I knew it was about the Civil Rights Movement), but the amazing John Lewis did a great job of explaining segregation and the early days of the fighting for equal rights.
However, for all the information and background on the Civil Rights Movement in March: Book 1, my favorite part was when John Lewis explained his relationship with the chickens on his farm and how he preached to them as a boy. It was sweet and funny and endearing and a testament to Lewis’s caring character.
I would say that this is one of the new must-reads for the Civil Rights Movement. As a bonus, it is a graphic novel so it is a quick read that is accessible to most students and adults. Now I am just waiting for the other two books in the series to come out!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

STUDENT REVIEW - Okay for Now by Gary D, Schmitdt

Okay for Now
By Gary D. Schmitdt
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012 
360 pages (paperback)

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

It was good because I learned new things. [It could be] more interesting. [It] seemed boring because there was no action really. Yes [I would recommend it] because it has good vocabulary but No because it needs more action.
--Katie S.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Will o’ the Wisp by Tom Hammock and Megan Hutchinson

Will o’ the Wisp: An Aurora Grimeon Story
By Tom Hammock and Megan Hutchinson
Published by Archaia Entertainment, LLC, December 3, 2013
208 pages (hardcover)
Source: NetGalley

After her parents’ accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps.
Joined by her grandfather’s pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves.
Along the way she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic.
When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried.

This is an interesting and creepy mystery that will tough to put down. I enjoyed the fantastical elements, unique characters, and engaging story. However, there were quite a few times that I was confused about what was going on. It seemed like pages and transitions were left out so it took me a bit to figure out what was going on and when. For example, an intense evening changes to the next day, but the story just continues like no one went home to bed and the sun didn’t come up. A few extra pages here and there would have made this good book excellent. I would still recommend reading the book, though, especially to those who love scary stories of the supernatural.