Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tours, meetings and chicken korma

*Whew!* I'm back from my whirlwind trip to Anaheim for ALA's Annual Conference. I left almost before it started since my main thrust was my presentation at the Diversity Leadership Institute, which you can read about over at the ALSC blog! A truly inspiring and informative event!

After the Institute was over, I headed out with my colleague Lana for dinner and we ended up in Downtown Disney. It was quite a sight! We ended up having some pretty delicious tapas before calling it a night.

Next up was the ISS sponsored Independent School Libraries tour. We were fortunate enough to visit two incredibly different and amazing libraries. The first was at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. A beautiful facility with a reading room featuring beanbag chairs that our middle school kids would die for! Librarian Sarah Knetzer-Davis gave us a fabulous tour, and went above and beyond by delivering some of our ISS members back to conference so that they could make their sessions! Thank you Sarah!

Next up was the Crossroads School in Santa Monica. This felt a bit like home to me as Crossroads is a progressive school, and I have the feeling that many of the students there are quite similar to the ones I have! We visited the Middle and High School library, and it is an amazing site. Most of (if not all of) Crossroads is made up of buildings that used to be used for industrial purposes. The librarians there were great and it sounds like the library is a super active place during the school year, with the students really feeling at home there!

The afternoon was taken up with an ALSC 101 session. Even though I have been a librarian for YEARS (about 12 now), I have been active more with YALSA. Now I am looking to dive into ALSC, so I figured that I would head on over and meet some folks! We had a rousing get to know you fest, and I came away with a better sense of the organization (as well as an author contact for next year! Woot!)

Finding dinner on Friday night was a bit more difficult. Many places had an hour wait. Wandering home I happened upon Gandhi Palace, where I had some really, REALLY good Indian food. So if you are still at Conference and like Indian food, you really should head on over for some dinner!

Then a 4:10 a.m. wake up call this morning, and here I am back in NYC. I'm a bit sad that I didn't get a chance to head onto the exhibit floor, but I am happy to be home!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

California Here I Come...

Well, like so many of you, I am off to sunny California! I am very excited about this conference because not only am I attending, but I will also be presenting and blogging.

I will be representing my school at the Pre-conference on Diversity. I will be exploring the ways that the library can support school wide diversity efforts, and even spear head some of those efforts!

I will be blogging this for ALSC as well. So if you do not have a chance to come to the pre-conference, head on over to the ALSC blog to read all about it.

I am looking forward to going on some school tours while in Anaheim as well. I love seeing how other folks set things up!

Happy travels!

Monday, June 23, 2008

How To Ditch Your Fairy

Have you ever imagined having a fairy of your very own? Imagine the magic, or luck, if you will. But what if your fairy only had one specialty and you had no say over what that specialty was? You could end up like Ro with a very doos fairy that helps her shop and find the perfect outfit on sale every time. You could be like Fiorenze with a fairy that makes boys like you! Or you could be like Charlie, who has a parking fairy. The perfect stop, right out front every time.

The thing is, Charlie doesn't like her fairy. She doesn't think it's doos at all to have a parking fairy. People always want her to ride with them in their cars. The school bully will even go as far as kidnapping Charlie for a spot (and his fairy makes the job quite easy!).

So Charlie has decided to get rid of her fairy. There are several theories making the rounds about how to do so, but Charlie has decided that she will starve her fairy. No more riding in cars equals no more parking equals no more fairy. But walking everywhere is complicating Charlie's life. She is constantly late and getting demerits at her uber strict sports school, and frankly, she's a bit tired of getting into trouble.

After months of walking, Charlie is surprised to find herself talking to Fiorenze. After all, Fiorenze is kind of the envy of many of the girls. Even Charlie's beloved Steffi is not immune to Fio's fairy. But, Fio's parents are fairy experts, and Fio tells Charlie that her mom knows secrets about getting rid of fairies. Can Charlie possibly get rid of her own poxy parking fairy, with the help of someone who has been a sworn enemy?

Justine Larbalestier has written the world of New Avalon where having a fairy is as normal as anything. Swimming in the text is an interesting narrative about pop culture, celebrity worship and the very idea of luck itself. Charlie is hilarious, and her friends are just as dear. This is a sure hit with fans of Larbalestier's work, and will have readers everywhere pondering just what kind of fairy they could actually live with. (Personally, as someone living in NYC, the parking fairy would suit me just fine!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer: A User's Guide

Have you ever looked longingly at those Daring and Dangerous books for girls and boys and wished to be a kid again? Well, wish no longer, because Suzanne Brown's Summer: A Users Guide is right up that alley and aimed at the grown-up set.

Suzanne is a self confessed summer junkie. From her parents renting a bungalow at the Jersey shore, to weekends on the Vineyard with friends, summer held magical moments. Brown uses this book to help those who may not be summer converts to fill their days, no matter the city or country location.

Filled with stunning photographs, readers need not study cover to cover. The format allows for and encourages jumping around. From the initial list of "50 fun things to do this summer" (which includes 8. send a message in a bottle, and 50. spike a watermelon with vodka p. 17) to the instructions on cleaning fish, this is a book that should accompany folks to the beach-house, cottage, cabin, lake house, and kitchen table.

Recipes, instructions for games, hosting, arts and crafts, tire swings, picnics, identifying clouds, car games, skipping stones....the list goes on and on. Yes, this is a family friendly book, but with recipes for cocktails, and instructions for repairing screens, there is a decidedly adult bent.

I really love this book. From the way that it looks to the eclectic content within, it's sure to make a match for plenty of readers. I know that it will be a hostess gift of mine this summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Favorite Author Meme

So, I've been tagged twice! Once at Booktopia by Mindy, and once at Tweendom by Juxtabook.
I decided to answer over here.

Here are the rules:
Link to the person that tagged you, post the rules somewhere in your blog, answer the questions, and tag people in your post. Don’t forget to let the tagees know they were tagged, so leave a comment on their blog! And remember to let your tagger know that your entry is posted.

1. Who’s your favorite all-time author, and why?
I would have to say Robertson Davies. The Deptford Trilogy had a hand in shaping my adult tastes, when I read the books in High School. A big thanks to the English Department at A.N. Myer for putting it on the list!

2.Who was your first favorite author, and why?
I was obsessed with poetry when I was young, so I think it would be a tie between Shel Silverstein and Dennis Lee. I actually still have "The Puddle" by Lee committed to memory.

3. Who’s the most recent edition to your list of favorite authors, and why?
Scott Westerfeld. I started with So Yesterday, whipped through the Uglies quartet, and dove into Peeps, and The Last Days. His books are smart, perfectly paced, and oddly important.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, what would pop out of your mouth?
M.T. Anderson, Scott Westerfeld, Hemingway, Merilyn Simonds, Adam Rex, Oliver Jeffers, Jeanne Birdsall, and Jimmy Gownley. Ecclectic, non?

Onto the tagging!

3 Evil Cousins

Friday, June 06, 2008

Some Helpful Tips for a Better World and a Happier Life

I fully admit that I am very picky when it comes to picture books. I have certain favorites that I revisit over and over, and I am very happy when a new book tickles my fancy.

Some Helpful Tips for a Better World and a Happier Life has indeed tickled my fancy. From the wonky illustrations, to the suggestions themselves, this book will have readers smiling. Some of the suggestions are "Begin each day by making funny faces in the mirror" and "Splash in puddles whenever possible". My little ones are already trying to decide on some special occasions to invent.

Short, sweet and simply lovely.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Luxe - Rumors

New York City Society (with the capital "S") is still reeling with shock over the disappearance and presumed death of Elizabeth Holland. On the cusp of being married to Henry Schoonmaker, she plunged into the river and was not seen again. Only Elizabeth's sister Diana, and Penelope Hayes know the truth, and neither one is talking.

Penelope is busy working her way into the sights of Henry's stepmother Isabelle in the hopes of finally making a match with Henry. Diana, on the other side of things, is desperately trying to avoid all of the matches her mother is trying to make for her in order to mend the family fortune. Diana is still a bit of a wild one and she cannot forget her night with Henry in the greenhouse, and though she suspects what Penelope is up to , she is certain that Henry's feelings for her mirror her own.

Nobody counts on Lina, the Holland's former maid, making her way into Society. But Lina has information, and in turn of the century New York, gossip is currency. Especially if it is about moneyed families taking a fall.

Lush descriptions, fascinating characters, and gossip to rival today's mongers all make for a compulsively readable and enjoyable ride. I am already waiting for the next book from Anna Godbersen, and I am sure those who read Rumors (especially the second last paragraph) will feel the same way!