Book Blog – Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks, Chapter Book

Finding Serendipity

Title: Finding Serendipity

Author: Angelica Banks

Copyright Date: 2015

Illustrator: Stevie Lewis

Pages: 281

ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-627-79154-0

Dewey: FIC

Reading Level: 5.8

Interest Level: 5-7

Moms are usually around when we need them, but they do get busy from time to time.  That’s how it is with Tuesday McGillycuddy’s mom – Serendipity Smith.  Serendipity is a popular author for children’s books.  One day, Tuesday comes home wishing that her mother has completed her latest book.  She and her dad eat supper then go into Serendipity’s workroom.  She’s not there!  Although Tuesday’s dad tells her not to worry, she does.  After going to bed, she sneaks back to the workroom with her dog Baxterr (notice the extra “r”).  Together, they are whirled into the magical world of storytelling.  Characters with creative names appear.  You will love this adventurous story with its strong mother-and-daughter theme.


This book is a good example on how style and tone can be used for character development.

Book Blog: Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella – Picture Book

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

Title: Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella

Author: Paul Fleischman

Copyright Date: 2007

Illustrator: Paschkis, Julie,

Pages: 32

Availability: Available

ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8050-7953-1

Dewey: 398.2

Reading Level: 4.4

Interest Level: 1-4

Do you have a lot of shoes?  Cinderella does.  Apparently, she has many different kinds of shoes.  She even has diamond anklets.  The Cinderella story has been told over and over again worldwide.  We see this in Paul Fleischman’s picture book the Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella.  Together with illustrator Julie Paschkis, Fleischman wove all the versions together and developed a captivating story.  The illustrations capture the 17 cultures used to retell this classic story.  It’s a must have in any library or even your coffee table.  It is sure to draw up interesting conversation.


This book would be the perfect library book to introduce a multi-culture lesson, underscoring how people still value similar desires for a happy ending but in different ways.

Book Blog: “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume

Are you there god

Title: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Author: Judy Blume

Copyright: 1970

ISBN 13: 978-0-385-73986-3

Dewey Decimal Number: B6262ju-ar

Reading Level: 3.6 / Interest Level: 5-9


What’s it like to have to secretly pray?  We all have issues – and sixth-grader Margaret Ann has her share!  Margaret just moved from a busy city to a quiet neighborhood.  She and her new friends are concerned about developing breasts and starting periods.  She has to secretly pray to God about these issues because her parents are touchy about religion.  This is because her Catholic mother and Jewish father conflicted with their families when they married.  Because of this, Margaret is raised without a religion.  Her curiosity about God and religion grows when she learns that her peers go to worship on Sundays.  When her teacher assigns her class a project to learn about something new, Margaret decides to learn about different religions.  How will her mom and dad react?  Is she ready for religion?  Find out in Judy Blume’s novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.


This book is ideal for a book club that consists of all girls.  It allows girls the opportunity to discuss the changes in their bodies and what’s it like when there’s conflict in the family.

Book Blog: “The Graveyard Book” a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book

Title: The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman

Illustrator: Nowlan, Kevin & Parker, Rick,

Copyright: 2014

ISBN 13: 978-0-06-219481-7

Dewey Decimal Number: 741.5 R961 g

Reading Level: 3.5 / Interest Level: 5-8

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live next to a cemetery?  Think about it – a graveyard as a backyard.  If that’s spooky, imagine living IN a cemetery!  Well, that’s just where a boy named Nobody Owens lived.

Since the age of two, Nobody – or Bod as he is known – lived in a cemetery after his family was murdered.  He is raised by a married ghost couple, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, and he befriends the other residents there as well.  We learn what life is like among the dead as we watch Bod grow from two to fourteen in Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel The Graveyard Book.

You don’t want to miss out on this story.  The illustrations in this graphic novel captures the different moods with its gray and misty white shades of the cemetery to the menacing deep blacks when Bod encounters the evil Jack who killed his family and is back to finish the job.

Are the ghosts able to help Bod survive?  Or, does Jack get him?  Go to your local library and dig up The Graveyard Book.


Take note:

This graphic novel is an illustrated version of the same story that was released in 2008.  The beginning of the written-only version is intense, but it is recommended for elementary and older readers by booksellers.  The graphic novel is just that, graphic.  The beginning shows the family after they have been slain; therefore, it is recommended for middle school and older readers.

This book is especially good during Halloween.  I had a seventh-grade history teacher ask for a book to read as a treat to calm down a particularly rowdy class.  I suggested the written-only novel.  Her students were excited about the book and calmed down when she told them that if they hurried up and did their work, there would be time for her to read to them.  They did their work.  I told her to tell her students about the graphic novel in the library.  Many students wanted to see the graphic version of the story read to them.



Moving for a Library Remodel

Moving for a Library Remodel

Two months ago I had the exhausting task of moving my school’s library for the upcoming remodel. This was my first assignment as a librarian!

At the same time, our school was one of the first schools to receive 189 computer tablets for the students to test on. They sat in the chaotic library while we waited for carts and power strips. It was all a bit overwhelming. I wondered if it would all get done.

Two 40-foot C-trains later, it did. Whew!

Purchasing for a Middle School Library

There’s so much to learn when starting a new job. Being a new teacher librarian is no different. When a large task comes my way, I just take a deep breath and carry on.  Today I went to a training on how to purchase supplies. There was a lot of information compacted in a small time frame — sigh. 

I walked into the workshop completely green. The other trainees had some sort of experience with the process. And, in talking to a few, they had people at their sites who help them. Yeah, I’m envious. I’m pretty much on my own. It’s a scary thought. I’m optimistic, though. It’s good to realize that mistakes will be made. It’s just not knowing how big of a blunder I will make that’s somewhat scary. 

Tomorrow, I will be practicing what I learned by ordering supplies. I have had my order list for quite some time, waiting for over two months for this training. Now, it’s nearing the deadline for placing orders.  I’m a bit nervous about that.  But, I tell myself to take a deep breath and carry on, even though we might be out of book-binding glue and staples.