Reginites Guadalupe Valladares, Indigo Smith, & Kasmira Watson are working hard to raise $5000 to send six Boys Hope, Girls Hope student scholars to Guatemala this August to build a library in a rural community there. Libraries have the power to lift people out of poverty and open worlds to people on the margins. See the video below for a terrific, firsthand example of how libraries can affect change.
Please consider donating to their project by visiting their
YouTube Pick of the Week
Remember the Bookmobile? Storm Reyes tells the story about when the Bookmobile arrived in the fields of her Native American migrant farming camp and changed her life.
Brown Girl Dreaming (2014) by Jacqueline Woodson
Location: FIC Woodson
National Book Award Winner
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. --Goodreads
"Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery."--
The New York Times Book Review
Through the Woods (2014) by Emily Carroll
'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'
Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
A wealthy young woman weds a man in a lonely old house, and at night she hears a forlorn song of unavenged murder lilting from the walls. A girl spends the summer with her brother and his fiancee, who is not what she seems. Three sisters wait for their father to return, but one by one they disappear with a tall man in a broad-brimmed hat. All the tales in Carroll's debut graphic novel are fairly standard ghost stories, but it is her eerie illustrations popping with bold color on black, glossy pages that masterfully build terrifying tension and a keep-the-lights-on atmosphere. With cantilevered perspectives and dark inky splotches speckling the corners, the spooky images of stark forests, gaping caves, bloodshot eyes, and ominous shadows are brilliantly married to the text printed in manic handwritten fonts, some crazed and swirling, others coldly deadpan. The best ghost stories make great use of dramatic tension, and Carroll is no slouch here, either: she amplifies the scariness of the stories full of ghosts, murder, and monsters with startling page turns revealing grotesque, squeal-inducing images. --Booklist
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn't play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone's business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he's been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon's junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out-without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met. --
Debut novelist Albertalli writes believably in the voice of a confused, openhearted 16-year-old. The large cast of companionable and well-developed characters contains a heroic drama teacher and Simon's embarrassing but well-meaning parents. Page-turning tension comes from the anonymous quality of Simon's emails with Blue, which are interspersed with chapters written in Simon's first-person voice that chronicle Simon's increasing frustration with Blue's reluctance to divulge his identity, as well as the deepening nature of the boys' relationship. Blue may hesitate, but readers will fall madly in love with Simon. --
The Punctuation Guide
You know that ellipsis (...) your aunt ends every text message with? The one that trails off into a void, and you begin wondering what she might be implying? Is she waiting for me to say something? What is she not saying? Or, what about semi-colons? I can't say I've ever used a semi-colon and been confident I know what I'm doing. Also, is there such a thing as too many exclamation points? oR wHaT aBOuT alTeRnAtiNg CaPs. Are those still cool? Zayn Malik thinks so.
If you have a question about punctuation, this is the site to visit. Clean and simple, this website goes deep into rules on punctuation with an easy-to-use interface. Unfortunately, there's no app for this site. But, spend some time here, and you might find a punctuation rule you've been breaking for years.
Or, consider watching the Comma Queen on
The New Yorker website. She wears Christmas lights as a scarf, and that's cool:
Visit the Punctuation Guide by clicking
Watch the Comma Queen at
The New Yorker