This December Holidays Library Lesson covers winter holidays from all over the world! Features Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Pancha Ganapati, Boxing Day, and La Befana. Includes whole-group library lesson, scrolling slideshow, Recommended Reads, Scavenger Hunt activity, and lesson plan template.

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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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Review: Finn Finnegan (Karchut)

AUTHOR: Darby Karchut
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Spencer Hill Press
PUBLICATION DATE: March 12, 2013
ISBN: 9781937053321
PAGES: 200
SOURCE: publisher’s ARC
GENRE: fantasy, action-adventure
GIVE IT TO: middle school boys

SUMMARY: 13-year old Finnegan MacCullen works as an apprentice to Gideon Lir, a Celtic warrior who secretly battles the Amandan, goblin-like creatures living among humans in the Colorado suburbs.

ROMANTIC HEAT: Pretty chilly. There is no romance or kissing. A couple of hints at potential romances are misunderstood by the young characters and never acted upon.

REVIEW: Though I am definitely not the target audience for Finn Finnegan (alas, it has no romance), I know that my middle school students–particularly the boys–will eat this book up. Finn has plenty of action, fighting, and mythical beasties, all of which will appeal to the massive Lightning Thief crowd. I laughed out loud often when Finnegan and Gideon butt heads. I love the inclusion of Gideon’s and Finn’s journal entries, which comically demonstrate how alike master and apprentice really are. I often read excerpts aloud during book talks, and the journal entries would make some excellent read-alouds.

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you prefer books with at least some romance, this may not be your book. But if you want lots of fight scenes, physical training, legendary beasties, and well-placed humor, I wholeheartedly recommend Finn Finnegan.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I will absolutely be getting this book! It will be an easy “sell” in book talks and would make a fun addition to booktalks circa St. Patrick’s Day. I may even invest in 2-3 copies.

READALIKES: The Lightning Thief (Riordan); The Magnificent 12 series (Grant), Janitors (Whitesides)


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


  • Language: mild; a few a**
  • Sexuality: none
  • Violence: mild-medium; lots of sword- and knife-fighting scenes with monsters
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none
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