Tales of an Elementary School Librarian

The Most- Checked Out Books so Far

It has been a while since I pulled the circulation numbers.  I wasn’t able to make public posts like this, so it wasn’t really worth the work. I usually have a pretty good idea of what’s popular around here without the solid stats in front of me. That being said, this is my first time looking at the actual numbers for this year. There were a few surprises. I did it a little differently, this time. I used to just do the top 10 books, regardless of the type of books they were, but this time, I divided it into divisions. They are: picture books,  easy readers, chapter books, graphic novels, heavily-illustrated novels and novels.  This way the list isn’t just all Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Elephant and Piggie books.

The Top 5 Picture Books

#1- Creepy Pair of Underwear


It wasn’t even close, really. This book has been wildly popular around here. And no. The underwear  on the cover doesn’t really glow in the dark. (We discussed this in a public meeting at ALA Midwinter, and it resulted in me cupping my hands in a circle around the undies, and peaking in the pseudo-darkness to test it out. It was all very professionally done, though.)

#2. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes


Believe it or not, it’s almost been 10 years since this book first graced our shelves. (March 2, 2010) If it’s as popular everywhere else as it is in my school, it might be time to start thinking of it as a kid lit classic.

#3. The Pigeon Needs a Bath


You’ll be seeing more Mo Willems on this list, I bet.

#4. Arnie the Doughnut


This one made me really happy. Why you ask? Well, besides the fact that it’s a really good picture book, Laurie Keller is coming to visit our school next month. I haven’t started hyping the visit up quite yet, so the fact that my students are loving this book, already, tells me I picked a good author!

#5. Frozen


Five years later, and the kids still won’t let it go.

The Top 5 Easy Readers

Before I give them to you, let me say that we do have other easy reader series besides Elephant and Piggie in my library.

#1. We are in a Book


#2.  I’m a Frog


#3. I Really Like Slop


#4. My Friend is Sad


#5. The Thank You Book


The Top 5 Chapter Books

#1. Mercy Watson to the Rescue


Mercy has been having a great year. That makes me happy.

#2. Dory Fantasmagory

dory fantasmagory

I heard some kids talking about how this is my favorite book the other day. It might not be my very favorite, but I’m glad (and not surprised) that they can feel my enthusiasm for the series.

#3. The Infamous Ratsos


These guys have been wildly popular.

#4. Lauren the Puppy Fairy


#5. Ivy + Bean and the Ghost that had to go


I love Ivy + Bean almost as much as Dory, so this was a pleasant surprise for me.

The Top 5 Graphic Novels

#1. Dog Man Unleashed 


Wow, that image is huge. That’s ok, though, because Dog Man is huge. He’s taken our school by storm and quickly set himself up as a rival to Greg Heffley, George Beard and Harold Hutchins.

#2 Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties

dogman tale

#3. Smile


This one always makes me smile.

#4. Sisters


#5. Amulet


This series is consistently flying off of my shelves.

The Top Five Heavily Illustrated Novels

I didn’t invent a new book genre because I don’t think these are real novels. I do. I just wanted everyone to see what novels are popular here besides Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants.

#1 Dairy of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down


#2 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School


#3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck


#4. Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets

talking toilets

#5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid


The Top 5 Novels

#1. Wonder


It’s funny. I spent years trying to get kids to read this book, and had some success. It never cracked the top 10, though. I should just let Hollywood do my job for me. They’re really good at getting kids interested in books. (I’m not bitter. I promise.)

#2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

harry potter

Harry’s not going anywhere.

#3. The One and Only Ivan


Sigh. I love this book. I’m glad my students do, too.

#4. Sideways Stories from Wayside School

sideway stories

I can’t really explain this. 2nd grade does a read-aloud of it every year, and I guess it sticks with the kids, because the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders keep checking it out long after they leave 2nd grade. I’ve never heard our 2nd grade teachers read aloud, but they must be good. Maybe I should duck in for story time some day.

#5. Isle of the Lost


I’m not surprised here. My students love the Decendants.

( and finally) The Top 5 Nonfiction

#1. Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition


I was kind of confused as to why this one checked out more than the 2017 or 2018 edition, until I noticed the little Minecraft guy on the cover. Brilliant marketing.

#2. Pokemon Visual Companion


#3. Minecraft Combat Handbook


#4. Minecraft Redstone Handbook


I’ll be honest. I have no idea what a redstone is, or why it needs a handbook.

#5. The Airport Book


This was probably the biggest surprise for me. How did a nonfiction picture book sneak it’s way onto the list among all of the Minecraft and Pokemon contenders? We may never know, but it could be because it’s a very good book.


That’s it! I’m glad and can do this kind of thing, again. What’s been popular in your library?




Review: Square by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen


Sometimes, a book has to sit in your mind for a few days before you can really appreciate it. That’s how it was for me with Square, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s forthcoming book, the follow-up to Triangle.

I came to the book expecting more mischief and sneaky tricks, and I didn’t get that at all. (Although, Triangle is noticeably absent. Who knows what happened when Square got himself unstuck from Triangle’s door. We do know that Jon Klassen doesn’t shy away from grizzly murders. Just saying. It might be worth looking into.)

We open the book and find Square free from the confines of Triangle’s door. (We can assume that he lost weight due to starvation, and eventually just fell, right?) He’s busy doing his Square thing (pushing rocks around) and Circle approaches and assumes that he’s up to something else. (We just met him, and I already like this Circle guy. He assumes the best of people.) I won’t say anything else, I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say that initially, I didn’t know what to think about it. It wasn’t what I expected. I was looking for more of the lighthearted meanness of Triangle, which I loved, and that would have entertained me, but it would really just have been Triangle II.  A good second book in a series does something entirely new.  Instead of that funny spite, we get kindness, a character trying to learn something new, perseverance and a big surprise.

After the seeds of the book burst open in my mind and took root, I began to appreciate Square more and more. That appreciation grew and brought me to where I am today, where I can honestly say that I love this book. It isn’t Triangle, and it isn’t trying to be. It’s Square. New, bold, and funny in a different way.  Barnett and Klassen have improved the series, and I can’t wait to read this book with my students.

Look for it on May 8. Until then, read Triangle again. After all, it is a 2018 ALSC Notable book. 🙂

Author Interview with Sage Blackwood


Today, I’m very pleased and honored to be interviewing author Sage Blackwood about her Jinx series, her latest novel Miss Ellicott’s  School for the Magically Minded and a few other things.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed talking to her.

Me: Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do this! You have had some great success with the Jinx books. I know you’ve been writing for a while. Did that take you by surprise, or did you have a feeling that Jinx was something special while you were creating the first book?

SB: Thank you! I did have the feeling that it was different, yes. With most books, you’re writing them and at the same time you’re thinking about what you’ll write next. I wasn’t doing that with the Jinx books. They really came from the heart.

Me: When did Jinx as a character first start speaking to you?

SB: When I was drawing a picture of him. He was quiet for a long time. Simon and Elfwyn both spoke to me first.

Jinx and Simon meet

Me: Oh, cool! Thanks for sharing that drawing!  Simon does have a flipping distinctive voice doesn’t he?

SB: Laughing! Thank you. Yes. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a character who talked back to me. I used to think writers were being a little pretentious when they talked about characters taking control of the story. Now I know.

Me: Was it hard to say goodbye to Simon in the end (after Jinx’s Fire)?

SB: Oh yes. Although of course, you never really say goodbye to favorite characters. Their stories go on in your head, but I miss the way he would write himself. Most characters don’t do that.

Me: So, was it hard to move on from post-Simon depression and to start thinking about your next book?

SB: Well, I kept waiting for another Simon to turn up. And he didn’t in the next book, although I developed quite an attachment to Queen Haywith, who was also very generous in terms of writing herself.

Me: So tell us about a little bit about your latest book, Miss Ellicott’s School For the Magically Minded.


SB: A black girl and her dragon take on the patriarchy. That was my elevator pitch.

Me: I was excited to hear that you were writing a fantasy book with a main character of color. We definitely need some diversity in that genre (and every other genre.)

SB: I was so glad to have the opportunity to write a black protagonist. For many years, white writers were explicitly told by the industry not to do this. This resulted in far too few opportunities for black kids to see themselves riding dragons and doing magic.

Me: A main theme of the book is walls and how perceived threats can be politicized and how maybe the walls aren’t really needed. That was very, um, timely.  I know you started the book before Trump’s campaign, but it seems almost like a response.

SB: Yes, it was bizarre how the wall thing turned out, in terms of timing. It made it seem like the book was prescient. Although of course, talk of border walls had been in the zeitgeist for a few years……. and yet the book was the opposite of prescient. I had been thinking how well the book would go with the inauguration of our first woman President.

Me: Yes, I was going to say that our current president wasn’t the first to suggest building a wall. I keep thinking back to the Robert Frosts’s poem “Mending Wall” and how the narrator wonders if good fences really do make good neighbors.

SB: Robert Frost doesn’t seem to have liked his neighbor much.

Me: Haha. I think it was more that his neighbor didn’t like him. You aren’t shy about voicing your political opinions on Twitter. Has that, along with the wall theme of Miss Ellicott, brought you any backlash from conservative readers or their parents?

SB: No, none. I think that conservative readers are aware that most children’s authors are not conservative and have made that adjustment.

Me: I have to ask. It’s something I’ve wondered about. Why do you think most children’s authors are not conservative?

SB: Well, there’s so much we haven’t learned about the brain yet. But there have been several studies suggesting that conservatism and liberalism are hard-wired. Whether that wiring happens before birth or after, I don’t know. But I suspect the answer is in the brain, and in the kind of thinking we as individuals have accustomed ourselves to doing. There’s research, too, that shows that when given a moral question to solve, liberals will make a decision based on degrees of harm, while conservatives will make theirs based on established rules. And honestly, it’s hard to make a good story out of reinforcing established rules. Harry Potter and the Established Rules would be about ten pages long. So that  may be the reason. But I don’t know. That said, I do know one or two conservative authors.

Me: Tell me about creating a girl protagonist. Was it easier for you than writing a male character like Jinx?

SB: No, it was harder. I think this is partly because in most of the books I read as a child, to have great adventures one had to be male. In some, like Tintin, you had to be male to even get on the page. Then in terms of creating the character, I love writing protagonists at the MG age because it’s an age of becoming. But it’s also a time –even today– when as the world opens up for boys, it is in many ways closing in for girls. 

So Chantel ends up battling the thing that every girl has to face at this age: The world’s expectations of who she should become.

Me: That’s one of my favorite parts about this book. Chantel is such a strong character. Do you see our world getting to be a more welcoming place for young girls and their talents, or is it the same old, same old that we’ve always had?

SB: Thank you! I see it moving in both directions at once. Much like our country. There are so many good things going on in schools, like programs to encourage girls in STEM. But then in society as a whole, it seems like it’s becoming more hostile.

Me: What are some actions that adults can take to help?

SB: Adults in the schools are doing so much already! But in general? Don’t label things as being for boys or girls. Books, activities, attitudes, sparkly pink toys, they should all be for everybody. It’s so hard to stop ourselves from doing this. I catch myself a lot.

Me: Yes! It doesn’t help that the kids do it, too. I had a boy refuse to read a Ramona book the other day because of the pastel colors on the cover and the girl main character. It’s how they were taught to think, though.

SB: That’s too bad. He missed a great book. The Ramona covers used to be red and yellow. It’s unfortunate that some book covers are coded as being for girls or for boys.

Me: I should already know this, but I’ve been kind of shut away from the kid lit world these last two years. What is next for Sage Blackwood? Are you working on anything new?

SB: Well, you’ve been on the Notable Books committee, that’s not quite like being shut away!

Me: No, you’re right. I just mean I haven’t been able to have these conversations.

SB: You’ve been cloistered within kidlit. I’m working on a new book tentatively called The Ghost Ships.

Me: Ooo. Can you tell us anything about it?

SB: A boy is sentenced to spend eternity on a ghost ship, for a murder he didn’t entirely commit. But mysteries abound. Also mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and giant rhinoceroses. And of course moral ambiguity, because I don’t like to leave home without it.

Me: Sounds great, and I can’t wait to read it. I always like to end with this question. Is there anything good you’ve been reading lately?

SB: Well, I’m rereading the Harry Potter books, and they’re good! But I’ve also read a couple MG fantasies I really enjoyed lately and highly recommend. One was ODDITY by Sarah Cannon, a debut author. The other is BEAST & CROWN by Joel Ross. Both very funny and imaginative, which is what MG fantasy always is at its best.


Me: Terrific I’ll have to check out Oddity. I’ve read and loved the rest. Thanks so much for agreeing to do this. It’s been a lot of fun! Is there anything you want to say to all of the children’s librarians out there?

SB: Yes: You rock. Thank you for all that you do!

Me: Thanks, Sage!

You can find Sage Blackwood’s books at all fine bookstores, and you can follow her on Twitter. Her handle is Urwalder







#UkulelesongFriday Shake My Sillies Out

The coolest thing happened at ALA Midwinter in Denver this last week. I was at a burger place with some friends, sitting across from a librarian I don’t really know super-well, but whose work I admire. She casually told me that she had read one of my ukulele song posts, learned the song and played it for her story time, and she said that it went really well!

So many cool things happened in Denver, but this was a moment I’m going to remember for a long time. I don’t ever remember getting much feedback from a ukulele post before, and I realize that librarians with ukuleles is a very specific audience, but this was so encouraging for me. This particular librarian does so much good work (particularly regarding the Geisel award) and I didn’t even realize that she played the uke.

Anyways, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to keep the ukulele posts going because I wasn’t sure that anyone was reading them, but now I feel like I have a fresh set of wings.

Today, I’m featuring a song that is my standard for story times. I’ve been opening up with it for years. Even before I played the ukulele, I played the Raffi version on cd and danced with the kids (I don’t have to dance anymore thanks to the ukulele). I wouldn’t bring my ukulele to work until I had this one down. I knew that if I couldn’t play “Shake My Sillies Out” I wouldn’t be playing the ukulele in front of kids. Any time I pick up a new ukulele, and want to see how it sounds, this is the song I play.

Here are the chords. They are written in my terrible handwriting, and for that I apologize.

You can also listen to me play and sing it in a very rough version, here.

I hope someone out there can use this and learn it. It’s a great song, and one my students never get tired of, even though they hear it every week.

Ps. If this key doesn’t work for you, please let me know and I’ll transpose it for you.

Goodbye to Notables (and Books I’ve Really Loved the Last Two Years)

It is over. Most of you know that I’ve spent the last two years serving on ALSC’s Notable Children’s Books Selection Committee, and it has been a wild ride. I spent EVERY day of two whole years thinking about and working on the notable list in some way.  There were months that I was having to read 300+ pages a day to keep up. (My marriage survived and is somehow stronger for it! For real though, I need to stop and thank Ashley for supporting me through all of this. We have four kids and it hasn’t always been easy. She’s the best.) There were books (who am I kidding, there still are) all over my house and office at work, and I lived in my own little castle made of 2016 and 2017 kid’s books.

I was extremely fortunately to be able to attend ALA conferences in Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago and Denver. Each city had it’s own charms, and adventures, and in all four places I got to discuss the best kids books of the year with some of the best children’s librarians, ever. I’m not even exaggerating. Both the 2017 and 2018 committees were amazing. The people I served with were fervent, dedicated, and brilliant. I became a better person and a much better librarian because of them. I’ve been very lucky to get to know some people who will be life-long friends, and I’m going to miss (I already do, honestly) working with them, terribly. I hope someday in the future, some of us find ourselves working together again.

The hardest part (for me) of serving was not being able to talk about books outside of those meeting rooms. I thought that I was going to really enjoy being able to do that again, (and I will), but now that it’s over, I find myself just wanting to discuss books with my Notables friends a little more. I would definitely sacrifice my public voice for more of that. That committee became so much a part of who I am, that I’m finding it a little difficult to let it go. One of my friends on the committee said,  “It’s like at the end of Lord of the Rings when the ring is destroyed and Frodo has to go back home, and nobody knows what all he’s been though.” She’s spot on. I take some comfort in the fact that we put out two freaking good lists, (You can find the new 2018 list here and the 2017 list here)  and that next year’s committee is in wonderfully capable hands.

Now that I can talk about whatever books I want, I’m finding it a bit challenging. I still have that little sensor in the back of my head telling me, to stay quiet or I am going to get in trouble. In order to break through that, I decided I would just post a monsoon of all the books I loved in the last two years with no comment, except the fact that I loved all of these books. There are lots more that I liked, but for some reason or another, these are my favorites. Lots of them are on our notables lists and some aren’t.  I’m sure there are several I’ve forgotten, so I reserve the right to go back and add books when I realize it. Maybe you’ll see a new book or two here, but mainly, this is therapy for me.  The books are in no particular order, and they are for lots of different ages, so don’t go out buy Scythe for your preschooler and then blame me.









When a Moment Can Change A School Year

I don’t always make the right decision. Heck, I’d even say I don’t usually make the best decision. I usually settle for the acceptable decision, but once, a few weeks ago, I did make the best decision and that has made all the difference. (I bet you weren’t expecting a Robert Frost quote in this post.)

Let me set up the scene for you. It’s Friday. Going home time on Friday. Both of my kids are being nuts. It has been a long day and a hard one and I ‘m ready to be home. I’m flipping off the lights in the library, and I’m about to walk out of the door. Before I can, though, a mom and her son hurry into the library to turn some books in.

The boy is a nice kid. He’s always polite and friendly. He just doesn’t like to read. He has told me as much.  He reads what’s required for school and nothing else. He’d rather be playing football or basketball or soccer with his best friend who also doesn’t like to to read. (His friend has also told me as much.) His mom is obviously in a hurry and eager to get home as well, and I am gathering my stuff and my children to follow behind them, but a little voice inside speaks to me before I could make it out.

Let me tell you about this little voice. It doesn’t speak to me all that often. I wish it would, but it only speaks up every once in a while. I call it my “inner librarian.” Every so often it will speak up and tell me exactly what book to get a specific child. It’s not a suggestion, it’s more of an order. Kind of like, “This kid NEEDS this book.” The voice is usually right, so I’ve learned to trust it.

This time, though, I fight it. The mom is obviously in a hurry. I’m ready to go too. Like, REALLY ready. And this time, the voice is wrong. So obviously wrong, because this kid doesn’t even like to read. He’s already met his reading requirements with the books they just turned in, so he probably won’t even read the book if I gave it to him. Plus, the book is just an easy, funny book, part of a series for “struggling readers.” (And no. I’m not going to tell you the book or the series. I don’t want to get kicked of of the notables committee. Just Google “Angie Manfredi Newbery” if you think I’m overreacting.) So, even if I do give it to him, and even if he does read it, it won’t change his life or anything. Let’s all just go home.

Something about my tone and what I am telling myself alarms me. I don’t really believe any of that, do I? Benji from 5 years ago believed that EVERY kid is a reader. Every kid just hasn’t found the right book, yet. Benji from 5 years go believed that ANY book, paired with the right reader can change a life.

In short, even though I’m tired, kind of annoyed at my kids and ready to be home where I have a heap-load of reading to do for notables that probably won’t get done, there is enough good still in there to see through all of that and be disgusted with myself.

“Wait!” I call out.

The mom turns around.

“He needs a book to read this weekend.”

She kind of looks skeptical, like she thinks he isn’t going to read it either, but what kind of mom isn’t going to let their kid’s librarian give them a book? I run and get it, and hand it to her.

She says thanks and they go on their way, as do we.

Fast forward to Monday.

I’m going about my business having a usual Monday when I get a surprise visitor. It’s the kid from Friday. He has the book I gave him, and a big smile on his face. He told me that he read it all Friday night, and wants some more in the same series. Of course, I help him find them. Later that same day, his best friend, who as I told you before, doesn’t like to read either, came and asked me for the book his friend had just turned in. I just watched in amazement the next few weeks as they both returned to the library every few days to get a new book and eventually read the entire series. I’ve known both of these kids since they were three years old, and I never thought I would see anything like this.

The cherry on the sundae came this morning. A boy, who isn’t really close to either of the other two boys came to see me. He had noticed from afar that they were devouring this series, and wanted to try it for himself. It’s funny, I thought, how things snowball from one moment. I could have very well gone with my initial response, and let them walk away bookless. Three kids would be missing out on this awesome, hilarious series. I’m so glad I didn’t though. It kind of makes me wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed out on over the years because I just was feeling tired or was distracted in the moment. Hopefully, I’ve hit the mark more than I’ve missed it.




#ukulelesongFriday Hands are for Clapping



Hi guys! While I’ve been on notable children’s book committee hiatus, I’ve been thinking of ideas for this blog when I come back in February. An idea that I wanted to pursue was #ukulelesongfriday where I share the song I’m playing and singing for preschool that week. I thought, “Why not start now?” So here I am.

I had planned on doing a fun version of “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” this week, but I have a flannel board set that I wanted to use that’s coming in the mail, so I decided on this one instead.

It is by Jim Gill, children’s singer/songwriter extraordinaire. If you haven’t heard, ” Hands are for Clapping” before, you can hear it here. I have played it for preschool story times before, but something didn’t go right, and I didn’t have a whole lot of success with it, so I scrapped it from my rotation.

This week, I decided to try again, and I  added a few silly verses (tongues are for wagging and noses are for sneezing,) and I took out the snapping verse (because 90% of my preschoolers can’t snap and complain about it during the song) it went MUCH better. It’s one I will definitely do again. The chords are down below!

F                                                                    C          F                                                              C    

Hands are for clapping, clapping to this song. Hands are for clapping, so let’s all clap


along. “CLAP ALONG!”

Repeat those chords for the whistling part. Or if you don’t like to whistle (I’m not so good at it) sing “clap clap clap clap clap clap” to the beat.

Toes are for tapping, tapping to this song. Toes are for tapping, so let’s all tap along.

Knees are for slapping, slapping to this song. Knees are for slapping, so let’s all slap along.

Teeth are for brushing, brushing to this song. Teeth are for brushing so let’s all brush along.

Tongues are for wagging, wagging to this song. Tongues are for wagging, so let’s all wag along.

(make silly noises wagging your tongue back and forth for the whistling part)

Noses are for sneezing, sneezing to this song. Noses are for sneezing, so let’s all sneeze along.

End with the “hands are for clapping” verse again.


That’s it! I hope someone can use it! It’s a fun one.  Also, please tell me what songs you love to sing with your students/library patrons. I’m trying to have a whole school year with a new song every week, so I am always looking for ideas.

A Quick Check-in

Hi guys!

I know, I know, long time no post. I said I was going to be back and blogging in January after my time on Notables was finished, but some things happened on my committee, and I was asked to stay on for a second year. Because of that, I still can’t really talk about kids books on the interwebz. That’s kind of what this whole blog was about, so I thought it was probably best if I kept my blog suspended for another year.

Things have been good, though. The school year is rolling right along. We are getting lots of great reading done. This year, two of my kids are also two of my students, and that has been simply wonderful.


I am still playing the ukulele for preschool and kindergarten story times. I’m adding new songs to my arsenal all the time.

And that’s about it, really. Family life, notables, and some ukulele playing are what I’m filling my time with these days.

Sorry there isn’t much else to talk about.

Oh yeah! Also, I wrote a song about Elephant and Piggie. It’s from Gerald’s perspective and he is singing to Piggie. It’s a friendship/love song, but I think it’s really a love song from me to the series. You can watch me and Ashley sing it, here.

Until next time, happy reading!

Signing off for a season

I want to start this post by thanking everyone who has followed my blog for the past few years. Being a solo school librarian can be a lonely job sometimes. The biggest thing I miss about being a public librarian is seeing other grownups every day who are passionate about kids books and having great discussions with them. This blog has given me a place to keep that conversation going, and has helped fill that void.

Unfortunately, things have really piled up lately. We have a newborn at home (along with our other three kids)  and the Notable Children’s Books Committee reading and nomination writing has gotten really intense, and with the busy season at work arriving (Book fair! Author visit planning!) I haven’t really been finding the time to post.

I know the blog has been sagging these past few months. I’m not supposed to talk about 2016 books publicly, and since that’s all I’m reading and thinking about these days, it’s been hard for me to find topics to blog about. With all that in mind, I’ve decided to suspend my blog for few months. I will start back in late January after ALA  Midwinter when my Notable Children’s Book Committee service is finished. You can still find me on Twitter (@mrbenjimartin) and Facebook, and I am really looking forward to January when I can talk about new books with you all again.


Happy Reading!


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