Monday, July 17, 2017

Don't worry, I will keep this up going, but with just some changes

Life gets interesting at times, and this is one of them. I created this years ago to help keep Renton Junior High students reading while I was at the other 2 schools I was over at the district. Then 6 years ago, I was pulled from Renton completely to be at those 2 elementary schools instead, so I keep this up to help the students until money could be found to put me back there. Both students and teachers there use this.

Now do to more budget decisions by central office, the school district will not even have a librarian in it. Money for STEM was needed so something has to go. In Michigan, that usually means the librarian. Many schools in Michigan don't even have a librarian or even a room that can be called a library. Hard to believe if you don't live here, but yes that is the way it has been for years. I was lucky to be able to serve Huron students as long as I did.

So this will be changing some to met the needs of the students in the new library I will work. I am not sure right now where that will be, but I hope that books I will add will find their way to the original school library for students to use. I have been told how useful this blog is and seen how it is used so widely. Too much work has been put into this to stop now. I will still add only about 6 books a years so it doesn't become too big to use easily. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Ivan seems to only remember his life being in a circus style mall. But when the owner buys a baby elephant, he starts to remember his youth of freedom before he became an attraction for humans. He has his animal friends, Bob a homeless dog that likes it that way and Stella the old elephant who is there with him. But it is a promise he makes to Stella that starts him on a journey that will forever change his life and those around him. Can he really trust some humans to help? Julia, the janitor's little girl seems to want to help. Can other humans be trusted? What is really a happy ending if you are just a captive animal far from your natural home? Why do books use something sad as the needed push so the main character will work for that happy ending? Maybe that is the question will let you in on the secret of how to find the happy ending in your life.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lizzie Bright and the Buckmister Boy by Gary Schmidt

Sometimes you find a book that makes you angry at the beginning and keep giving you reasons for that anger to grow. Turner, the new minister's son, finds many reasons to hate his father's new job in a small town on the coast of Maine. Between the bullies and the older people who are quick to judge you when you are a minister's son, he finds little support. But then he meets Lizzie while on the beach alone, he finally gets a friend and a friendly place - the island colony that was founded by freed slaves where she lives with her grandfather. She is also an outsider since she looked down upon because of her race. It seems no matter what he does, nothing will get better. But sometimes you have to stand up for what is right, no matter the costs. The costs are high, maybe too high. Price is always paid when you take on the powers of both small towns and people's racism. But sometimes you find a few bright lights no matter how dark life becomes. Too many will relate to Turner and maybe his courage will help those who do.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Wheels of Chance: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a few flat tires along the way) by Sue Macy

Maybe this book explains the real start of the modern women that think they can do anything they want the way they want. How could an invention that started out called bone shakers or penny fathings (very weird beginnings that you just have to see) could bring the wind of social change? Well, lets start with how you had to dress. Have you seen what type of clothing women had to wear? All the layers and how long it was. How about the freedom to ride away from male eyes that controlled their lives. Men worried that if women were allow to ride bicycles that maybe they would want to right to VOTE!!!! Oh, the horrors that our time period would bring to those guys. Did you know there were famous riders who people paid to see? For the guys, you will enjoy the history of our first attempt to find a way to not have to walk every where or clean up after the horses that hauled us around. It is just worth the look to see the period pictures. I bet you can't find those on Google images.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Courage Has No Color; The True Story of the Triple Nickles, American's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone

Have you ever felt the system is stack against you? Life is not fair? Sometimes, you just want to give up? Everyone has those thoughts at your age, but in modern America, most of the time, if you put in the work, you will get to your dreams. But what about those who lived earlier in our history, could those thoughts be true? How can you continue and not just give up? Character, inter-strength, determination to prove them wrong and, at times, guts are great answers. But a group of men proved that sometimes you just have to prove to those who think you are inferior that they are plain wrong can be the driving force. In their own words and photos, the brave men who dared to dream and put the hard work in, tell about how they broke the color barrier while the author will fill you in on the history. Be prepared to be angry at times, but you will also learn that how to rise above those who judge you.

Monday, August 8, 2016

When The Earth Shakes; Earthquakes, Volcaneoes and Tsunamis by Simon Winchester

Who knew that a scientist could writing  an interesting, readable, and at time scary story of 3 of the ways that the very earth that we live on can kill you? If you love watching shows that show destruction and death that Mother Nature seems to enjoy doing more lately, this book is for you. The author tells about how he actually experience some of these and lived to tell about it. He even broke the law to get the last interview of one of the most famous victims of Mt. St. Helens explosion that proved that yes, even in the United States there are volcanoes. Lots of great pictures and resources to find more death and destruction. Who knew science could be this fun? Just right up Evil Mutant Librarian's alley. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Angel Island; Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman

Why would anyone want to come to a place that requires a long and at times dangerous voyage only to end up not even being welcomed? Limited job opportunities and prejudice, that at times comes with violence, is a given. Hated enough for laws to be passed to limit their numbers and even stating their children could never become citizens. The answer was the American dream of a better life and the promise that being treated equally because of the Constitution will happen some day.

Angel Island is the Ellis Island of the West Coast, where most immigrants came into this country.  The stories of those who came and how they were treated will stick with you The author was not really planning to even tell this story, but a question to one of "those librarians" who pestered him with more information and pushing until he wrote the book.

Learn about how the fight for equal rights finally worked. Learn about what finally got the Island saved for us to visit. Learn about the famous Russian composer whose music you have heard could not even escape being detained there out of fear of what he might bring to our shore. Yes, our history does repeat itself when you don't read and understand the past. Are you brave enough to learn or will you join those who don't want to remember?

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tsunami; The True Story of an April Fool's Day Disaster by Gail Langer Karwoski

How could a dream job in Paradise turn into a life or death moment?  How could we as a country forget this type of event? How could a normal school day suddenly turn out so wrong? Can it happen again? Learn the answers to these questions and why living on any large body of water could not be as safe as you thought. If you like reading about what those cable shows seem to like scaring people with, this book is for you. If you are a science geek who likes to learn how the world works, you will enjoy this who, why, and how book on not just this tsunami but others that have hit and killed too many people.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Stella has dreams, but it seems that Jim Crow laws will get in the way. It is 1932 and segregation is enforced by law and terror. It takes a community to overcome and stand strong, and this will prove to Stella that her dreams may come true. She just has to get through the year, but what a year it is. When some of the men stand up and want to vote, it seems everyone will pay a price. How can someone be so cruel as to burn a house or turn away when someone could die if they don't help? Can good come out of all this bad? What is stronger, hate or love?  If you want a story that will stay with you and could haunt you, read this book.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Somebody on this Bus is Going to be Famous by J. B. Cheaney

If you ride a bus, you know that each kid has his own story and dreams. Some live in the subdivision, others down the road. Life on it is ruled by the bus driver who is either nice or evil. On this bus, she leaves the students a mystery -- why does she makes a stop at the end of a road where no one is waiting? That is not the only mystery. Doing a report, Miranda learns about a mystery involving the class of 1985, which is the grad class of some of their parents, but NO ONE WANTS to talk about. The only thing about these mysteries is that they will affect everyone's future, either positively or negatively. It takes a tragedy to finally be able to solve both. Are you just like one of the kids? To find that out and see who and how they become famous, read the book.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Cheshire Chees Cat :ADickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright

From the writer that brought us The Library Dragon, a twisted tale of a friendship between a cat, a mouse, and a missing little girl. Shilley is an alley cat with a problem and needs to find a home. He thinks the answer to his prayers will be becoming the house cat for "Ye Old Cheshire Cheese" pub. He does this by making a deal with the mice that helps both, but Charles Dickens himself can see something is up with that cat and those mice. The pub has the reputation of having the best cheese in the whole of England. When Shilley finds a missing tower raven, the plot thickens. But when the cook's helper brings in another cat to get rid of the mice, Shilley may lose it all -- his home, his best friend, the raven, and his secret. If you like a fast paced, funny story with lots of twists and turns, enjoy. You will not believe the ending when Pip the mouse helps out one of the greatest writers ever to write one of his most famous lines.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How the Beatles Changed the World by Martin W. Sandler

Did you know that the Beatles ready did change the world in more ways than you think a simple rock band could? Music, yes, but fashions, movies, and religion also??? If you want proof of this, read it here. Were they really responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union and the eastern bloc? There was never a band like the Beatles before them and probably never will be again. But what was the cost of all that fame and success? Would you want to go back in time and trade places with them? Really?? Just read about the wild ride and all the hard work that 4 guys from working class Liverpool had and did. You will never listen to another Beatles song the same way from when they were a group or the songs that Paul, John, George, and Ringo did after. I promise you that.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It has been 6 years now and how to find the best books on this

It is hard to believe it has come to this since. This book blog is only 6 years old. My goal was to keep this blog to just the great books I know any student (or adult) will be able to find one to love.  It was NOT created to be one of those blogs that had too many books on it for students to find useful. That is why after putting a book, or two or four, on every month or just not adding them in July, I will be going bimonthly from now. Since everyone that knows the Evil Mutant Librarian will tell you that I am odd duck, I will be doing the blog on even months.

 I hope to added the books that I just had to tell you about because they are so good I couldn't stop myself. Some will be older, those who have patiently waited their turn to shine. Some will be new and were so wonderful they had to jump ahead of those waiting.  While there are lots of great, wonderful, and must-be- read books out there, I try to only pick those that might mean something to that special reader who really needs to find that book - the one that will change a life. Just remember when you click on the labels that help you find the type you want, to scroll down to the bottom of the list and work your way up. The books may be older, but these were the one that just had to be added first because students made me buy extra copies to meet the demand.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Lanesha lives with her Mama Ya-Ya, the midwife who delivered her and kept her after her mother died at her birth. Mama Ya-Ya is old and tries her best to raise her with very little money but lots of love. School is where she feels out of place with a few friends.  Smart and curious in a place where big dreams are not the norm, she finds encouragement from a teacher who believes in her. She is looking forward to her birthday, but there is a storm brewing in the Gulf that Mama's dreams keep telling her will be the end of their world. It is up to Lanesha to get ready and as others leave, she and Mama do not. It is only after Katrina hits that Mama understands what her dreams mean. They are in big trouble and it will take everything Lanesha can think of to save herself, the dog in her care, and one of her friends. But it will take the love of a mother who has always been there when the flood forces Lanesha to do things she didn't think she could do.  Which mother is it, the one who raised her or the one she knew that never really left her? Does a mother's love really ever die?

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

Reveta has seen a lot in her 13 years, which has helped her to become a bright and strong person. She will need to be both when living in the  kingdom of Sylvania with her soldier father who has finally retrieved her from the safe place her mom left her when she died.  She is pulled into a mystery that has to be solved - where do the 12 princesses go at night and how do they get out of the locked place that their father the king has them every night? When a friend is hurt trying to solve this, Reveta knows she has to solve it or else. What she didn't know is that she will have to make a choice that no mortal should have to make. When she makes it, she is drawn into another mystery that has even more at stake. If you love fairy tales, myths, and plot twists, you will love this book. Would you have made the same choice or do you have the courage to live with your choices?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

How does someone go from being a counterfeiter of money to being a grave robber? Maybe it involves being desperate or could it be stupidity? Big Jim Kennally thinks stealing Lincoln's body will solve all his problems, but he is in over his head and doesn't know it. The head of Chicago Secret Service has his sources so he is out to stop it. When both men's plans don't go as planned, it makes an interesting twisted tale that would be a great fiction book if it was not in the real history books. If you are ever interested in how counterfeiting is really done or the crazy method they come up with to keep Lincoln's body safe, you will enjoy this. Or maybe you just want to find out what a bone orchard is or why you might not want to be left there on a dark night.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Up Close: Frank Lloyd Wright by Jan Adkins

If he was alive today, talk show hosts would be fighting to get him to talk. The press would have a field day about his private life, but this man changed American architecture and he didn't even have a college education. His buildings were so wanted by people that he could get away with not listening to his clients and even staying in budget. The home you live in may have been different if not for his ideas. Look up Fallingwater  or the Guggenheim Museum or the Robie House or any other of his masterpieces online to see why. Maybe this is why he could be such a cad and still be designing buildings 65 years after he started.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Aviary Wonders Inc. by Kate Samworth

This is for all of you who miss picture books. Set in the future, a future that we hope doesn't happen when birds have all but disappeared. It isn't just a catalog, it is also an instructional manual that started renewing the world's bird supplies since 2031. Founded by Alfred Wallis, who must have wanted this ancestors to roll in their graves - you will have to read it to see why. You can page through and choose the parts to make real birds or make up your own.  The only rule is that these birds cannot be caged. Would you be able to teach your bird to fly or sing? Just be careful, or you may end up with a problem that only Alfred can solve.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl

Emily's life is full of limits. Limited by the social practices and expectations of women in the 1840s. Limited by her mother's health and her mother's worries about hers. Limited by the fact that everyone in her small village knows her family, the Dickersons. So when she is out in the fields, she meets a young man who refuses to tell her his name so she calls him Mr. Nobody. She sees him in town. The next time she sees him, he is dead in her family pond. Because she is not the only one who doesn't know his name, he is laid out in the church basement to see if anyone knows who he is. Emily makes it her quest to find out who killed him. As she tries to follow the clues, she has to keep all the adults in the dark about her doings, especially her mother. As the clues lead closer and closer to the killer, the danger grows. Whoever did it has killed once and will kill again to keep from getting caught. Will Emily really risk her life and maybe the lives of her family to just bring Mr. Nobody's killer to justice? If she does, will she finally learn his name? Maybe you should not wish that your life is too boring just like Emily did. You might not like the excitement that may come your way.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Far North by Will Hobbs

If you love the Hatchet series, try this and you will find a new author who you will love. Gabe is in boarding school in Northwest Territories of Canada to be closer to his only parent, his dad. His roommate Raymond is one of the First Nation people but comes to school with an electric guitar and a hockey stick.  When Raymond's great uncle Johnny Ravin leaves the hospital to go home, the boys join him on the plane. When the pilot decides to show the boys some of the beauty of the wild country without letting air traffic controllers know, the trouble begins. It will be up to the boys to get themselves and the other survivor out, but being modern teens do they even know how? Johnny Ravin's worries about how the old ways are being lost may be right - how do you survive if you have lived your life dependent on others to supply all your needs? How many ways are there to die in the wilderness of Canada? Read this and you will learn about too many.