Archive for September 2015

Banned Books Week

September 28, 2015

Banned Books Week is happening now – September 27th through October 3rd. How many of the books listed below have you read? Speak up for the freedom to read, and thank librarians, teachers, and others in their efforts to make all books available for anyone to read, learn from, and enjoy.

1. Harry Potter(series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

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Library Card – Don’t Leave Home Without It

September 24, 2015

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Do you have a library card? Do your children have library cards? If you don’t have one or your children don’t have one, waste not a moment more. Get thee to a library and sign up for a card today. It can change your life.

What is a library? It’s a home away from home. Today’s libraries are not the libraries of yesteryear. Step into a modern library and be amazed by all they have to offer. Not only are there books, CDs, DVDs, e-books, magazines, and newspapers, there are also computers, printers, copy machines, story hours, teen programs, adult programs, homework centers, summer reading programs, and many more valuable resources to benefit everyday living. If not for yourself, get a library card for your children. Libraries offer the tools to enhance the educational development of children and keep them on the right track. Libraries are the place to be!

Along with taking full advantage of the public libraries, I’m happy to see Little Free Libraries popping up in many different places. Can you guess where these were spotted?

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Don’t know? Here are some picture hints.

Both of these Little Free Libraries are in and around the spaces below.

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Any thoughts?

It’s time for the reveal.

The first Little Free Library is in …

Greenway

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston.

The second Little Free Library is in Boston’s North End.

Whether it’s the public library or a Little Free Library, libraries are invaluable! Take advantage of what they have to offer!

The Silver Bullet

September 17, 2015

On April 20th, my van carried us to Boston to see the Boston Marathon. On that same April day, my van was parked by a valet in a parking garage. On April 21st, my van was returned to me looking like this!

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We were told there was a slight accident in the parking garage. Slight accident???

In April, we filled out papers and had the damage appraised. In May, we waited to hear from the insurance company. In June, the answer came. My car was totaled. We were compensated, and my van went away.

After many years of having two cars, we were suddenly a one-car family. That can get tricky at times. While sharing our one usable vehicle, I received lots of suggestions as to what I should get for my next car.

Sports car, hybrid, SUV, blah, blah, blah.

I politely listened, but I already knew what I wanted – another van. That word elicited a reaction like none other. You would have thought I’d shouted out a forbidden swear word in front of a group of innocent children.

Comments like:  Are you crazy? You don’t need another van. You’re in a rut. Maybe it’s time for a family intervention.

All this pooh-poohing because I want another van? Hey, it’s my car. I’m driving it, and you’re not! I’ve had a van since my daughter was in preschool. I have loved each and every van I’ve owned. Boring? Yes. But I like driving them. They’re great for carpooling. They offer lots of room for stretching out, moving furniture, lawnmowers, plants and trees for landscaping, lumber, pets, and I can see all around me. And now that we have two beautiful granddaughters, the van will be perfect for them as they grow.

On September 10th, I bought a new van. It’s safely parked in my garage.

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Keep an eye out for me in the Silver Bullet!

Here are two great picture books that celebrate vans. Check these out.

Product Details

This Old Van written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Carolyn Digby Conahan

This Is the Van That Dad Cleaned written and illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst

They Have Arrived!

September 10, 2015

Contrary to what others may believe, it’s my opinion that not all newborns are the most beautiful babies anyone has ever seen – unless they’re your own. With that said …

Drum roll, please!

I’d like to announce that my husband and I are officially grandparents to two gorgeous baby girls. It doesn’t matter how pudgy, scrawny, blotchy, wrinkly, bald, pimply, or goofy-looking they are. They are ours, and with the exception of our daughter, these girls are not only the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen, but their personalities are already over the top!

Ta Da!

The Girls!

Silence is Golden

Silence is Golden

Why are you so noisy?

Why are you so noisy?

Wait! Is it lunchtime?

Wait! Is it lunchtime?

Me! Me! Feed me first!

Me! Me! Feed me first!

Life is so exhausting Life is so exhausting!

Life can be so exhausting!

What are you looking at? My hat? Get over it!

What are you looking at? My hat?
Get over it!

These girls are going to add so much joy to our lives. We’re such lucky grandparents!

Grandpa

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Double Take

September 3, 2015

I’m seeing double these days, and you will be, too. Check back here next Thursday for a charming surprise.

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In the meantime, enjoy your Labor Day weekend!


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