LIBRARY IDEA FOR SEPTEMBER:

HISTORY OF BOOK CENSORSHIP: This presentation is perfect for Banned Books Week or as an introduction to book burning in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The slides give a brief history of nine censorship and book banning incidents in world history.

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THE MAID: Molly’s orderly life as a hotel maid is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect.

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Library Challenge #1 tasks you with an annual review (or maybe your first review) of your library's Selection and Reconsideration Policies.

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This article is 10 essential tips for new school librarians. These are the 10 things you should do FIRST in your new school library.

You’ve landed a brand new school librarian job–congratulations! All summer, you’ve looked forward to standing in the middle of your very own library, taking a deep breath, and reveling in

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This is a collection of fun ideas for middle school library orientation. Even if you don't use the ideas, the videos are a lot of fun to watch!

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Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs : A Librarian’s Perspective Review

Sweet Shadows is the second book in the Medusa Girls series by Tera Lynn Childs. Is it worth buying for your library?

AUTHOR: Tera Lynn Childs
SERIES: Medusa Girls, book 2
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept. 4, 2012
ISBN: 9780062001832
PAGES: 328
SOURCE: publisher’s ARC
GENRE: fantasy/mythology
RECOMMENDED FOR: MS (essential); HS (advisable)

SUMMARY: Picks up minutes after the end of Sweet Venom. Reunited but still unsure of each other and their new status as the Key Generation, triplets Gretchen, Grace, and Greer set out to locate Gretchen’s mentor and learn more about their Gorgon destiny.

REVIEW: As with Sweet Venom, I liked-but-did-not-love Sweet Shadows, and I can’t help but feel a little sad about that. Both Sweet Venom and Sweet Shadows have everything going for them. I love the three sisters’ characters and how they are still learning how to interact as siblings. I love Nick as a romantic lead, and Thane is a nice little mystery I can’t wait to unravel. The mythology is interesting, and the action scenes are fun to read. Tera Lynn Childs is one of my favorite YA authors. But for both books, what should be a home run for me ended up being more like a third-base hit. Not bad, but not as exciting as it might have been.

I have seen some whopper 5-star reviews for Sweet Shadows, and I know that my students will enjoy it. I have so much faith this series that I am including it on my school’s 2012-2013 Lone Star Plus list. I do not add books to this list lightly–many of my students take my book recommendations as gospel, and I cannot let them down. Again, I have no major complaints; I just feel like, for some reason, I didn’t connect with it the way others have.

Please don’t take this review to mean I didn’t like Sweet Shadows–I really did. I think my expectations were just too high, and I hate it when that happens.

SMALL SPOILER: (highlight white space below if you want to read the spoiler)

Is there anyone else who wants Grace to end up with Thane? It seems pretty clear he will end up with Greer (the only one without a real love interest), but that just seems so…obvious. I know Grace and Thane are brother and sister (I know–ew!), but they are both adopted. Unless they end up somehow related by blood, I think they would make a better pairing than Grace and boring, put-me-to-sleep Milo.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I’m underwhelmed, but I am positive my students will like it much better than I did. Reading Sweet Venom first is highly recommended.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have two copies of Sweet Venom. Sweet Shadows is not out yet, but I will be ordering multiple copies of both books when it comes out in September. I plan to include both on next school year’s Lone Star Plus list.

READALIKES: Oh. My. Gods. series (Childs); Percy Jackson series (Riordan); Cronus Chronicles series (Ursu); Goddess Girls series (Holub)

RATING BREAKDOWN:

  • Overall: 3.5/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 3/5
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

CONTENT:

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: very mild–one very small kiss on the lips
  • Violence: mild-medium–descriptions of monsters and fighting that are descriptive, but not bloody; Gretchen carries a knife at all times
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none
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