Friday, June 17, 2011

Play Ball

Written by Ann Burg
Published by Scholastic 

This is one of our Iowa Teen Award nominees for next school year.  Ann Burg tells the story of Matt in verse form. From playing baseball to telling the troubled story of Matt's home country these short passages pack a big punch.

Matt wasn't born in the United States and the how and why of him coming here is complicated. All The Broken Pieces is an incredible example of historical fiction. This trailer for a documentary about the events that led to the relocation of many kids  like Matt to American gives you some of the details.

We have lots to talk about with this 2011-2012 ITA nominee.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mystery Artist & Free Book

This week's photograph is from a recent trip I took to the Art Institute of Chicago.

The first Creek student comment that correctly identifies the artist of this work will win a copy of Elise Broach's Masterpiece - a 2011-2012 ICCA Nominee.

From Mystery Pics

I am planning to stop by the Ely Public Library tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to meet students and view part of Gnomeo & Juliet.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Creek Summer Reading Club

Why wait until next school year to begin talking about great books with other Creek students and teachers? We can use Edmodo to meet virtually.  Edmodo is a social networking tool made especially for schools.  Here is the plan.

It is very simple.
1.) Go to

2.) Create a student account using this group code for the Creek Summer Reading Club - ardukm.
You pick a username and password. If you choose to include your Creek email you can receive notifications when club members post new comments or topics.

edmodosignup.png  on Aviaryedmodosignup.png on Aviary.

3.) Then we get started!  You can post information about books you are reading or plan to read. Others can join in. This should be a fun space to share ideas.

I've already posted a question to the club.

Any problems, please email me

Laughing and Scared

Published by Starscape Books (2011)
If you are tired of all the vampire books and related movies (you know the ones I mean) this book will give you some comic relief. Lubar is great at making fun of popular topics (like those vampire books). Enjoy the laughs when you can because all it takes is one turn of the page to be scared. I like this collection of short stories because you are laughing one minute and turning on more lights the next. Many of the stories will give you the creeps because Lubar writes about everyday events that turn out badly - very badly - for the characters. 

Have you ever crushed a spider with your shoe, passed cooties on the playground, wear your ear buds too much, or kicked over an anthill?  I encourage you to stop - right now! Curious?  Plan to read the latest in the Weenies books from David Lubar.  

What? Some of you don't know about these hilarious and scary reads? I know a bunch of you are fans of the Scary Stories books Alvin Schwartz.  This is the next series for you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Make Your Vote Count!

A few days ago I posted about the results of the  International Reading Association's Children's Choice list.

Now it is your turn to vote for the top summer reading choice. What book should everyone read this summer?  Make your vote count!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mystery Pic - June 5

A few posts back I mentioned a book entitled Toys in the Basement. The basement in this week's Mystery Pic contains a few toys (thankfully none of them are alive) but mainly it houses many, many books. Where is this basement?

From Mystery Pics

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Next Great Book or Rick Riordan Takes Over the World

Where do you go to find new books to read? Here are a few places I recommend you visit this summer.

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-so-fabulous Life written and illustrated by Rachel Renee Russell 

International Reading Association
Children's Choice Reading List

A few of my favorite books picked by 5th and 6th graders in 2011:

The Sons of Liberty by Alexander and Joseph Lagos. Illustrated by Steve Walker and Oren Kramek.

The popularity papers : research for the social improvement and general betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow


The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan. Illustrated by Peter Sis

31 Ways to Change the World : We Are What We Do ideas contributed by 4386 children.

I like to keep up with the bestsellers too. I usually watch The New York Times

One guy has almost taken over the top of the charts. Follow this link and you will see another author listed earlier in this post who is doing very well too.

The New York Times  - June 5th

I also like to see what is selling well in independent bookstores. Apparently a certain gentleman is doing well in the independent bookstores too?  I guess I need to read the #1 book. Have you?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mixed Up Robots

One of my favorite books from when I was young is "Norby The Mixed Up Robot" by Janet and Isaac Asimov. This was the first book in a series by the Asimov's about a robot named Norby and his adventures around the galaxy with space cadet Jeff Wells. Norby has been hired to train Jeff to pass his space cadet examines.  It was one of the first science fiction books I ever read and I was hooked right away.  The Asimov's include great descriptions of the robots, futuristic cities, and exciting adventures. Isaac Asimov was someone I read all the way through high school. He has written very sophisticated novels about the way artificial intelligence works in robots, including the book "I, Robot" which was recently made into a movie starring Will Smith. Here is Dr. Asimov describing the three laws of robotics.

I just discovered that a new paperback edition of "Norby The Mixed Up Robot" has been released. I think I might need to add it to my home collection. Should I buy one for the Prairie Creek Library too?

Which cover do you like best?

 If you want to look into the genre of science fiction and need a good starting point consider the Norby series:
* Norby, the Mixed-Up Robot (1983)
* Norby's Other Secret (1984)
* Norby and the Lost Princess (1985)
* Norby and the Invaders (1985)
* Norby and the Queen's Necklace (1986)
* Norby Finds a Villain (1987)
* Norby Down to Earth (1988)
* Norby and Yobo's Great Adventure (1989)
* Norby and the Oldest Dragon (1990)
* Norby and the Court Jester (1991)

Much more SciFi news coming this summer!