Posted tagged ‘Friends’

Good Friends and Good Friend Books

January 4, 2011

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” – Unknown

We celebrated the New Year with my dear friend from high school. Sharing a new beginning with an old friend was a perfect way to spend the weekend.

True friends are hard to find, and I am happy to say there are some very special people in my life I call my true friends. They are rare treasures and light up each day of my life.

Books can be your friends, too. Some of my favorite books are about friends and friendships. Four series immediately pop into my head. The Frog and Toad series written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, the Mouse and Mole series written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee, the Cork and Fuzz series written by Dori Chaconas and illustrated by Lisa McCue, and the Ivy and Bean series written Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall are perfect selections for young readers who are looking for books about friends. Each of the series has endearing characters, playful humor, and artwork that enhance the stories. The Ivy and Bean books are longer and are great for a more advanced reader. These books are a fun read whether they’re read alone or shared with an adult.                

It’s a new year. It’s a good time to make new friends be it a book or a real person. As the song goes “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.” A good friend makes your heart sing!

Books: Disaster and Friendship

November 9, 2010

I’m always on the prowl for books to share with my library students. I just finished reading two books that I think will be hits in the library.

Masters of Disaster by Gary Paulsen, a master of adventure, keeps you turning pages to see what new disaster Henry and his friends get into as they try to make a name for themselves. This middle-grade reader is perfect for boys who are reluctant readers or who are fascinated by crazy mishaps that include slime, crud, ooze, and lots of smelly poop!

Reading this books also comes with my motherly/teacher warning:  Do N-O-T, not, attempt any of these stunts or you will be grounded for the rest of your life!

And that comment brings me to my next book. Clementine, or as one student dubbed her, “the orange girl,” is at it again. Sara Pennypacker‘s Clementine, Friend of the Week does not disappoint. Clementine tries to be the perfect friend in order to get lots of good comments in her Friend of the Week book. When her kitten disappears, Clementine spends all her time searching for it and forgets her promise to help her classmates decorate their bikes for a rally. Feeling like she has let everyone down, Clementine learns what true friendship is when one special friend enlists the help of Clementine’s classmates to help in the search for her kitten. Clementine, Friend of the Week is funny, refreshingly honest, and touching.

I know if I leave these books on the library table there will be a knock- down-drag-out fight to be the first to read one of the books. As a sneaky librarian, my solution is to shelve the books in their proper places and test the library skills of the students. Ha!

Okay, fine, I’m done. I’m on the prowl for the next great book.

Five Simple Reasons to Belong to a Critique Group

August 20, 2010

“Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil – but there is no way around them.” ─ Isaac Asimov

If you’re a serious writer–especially if you’re a newcomer to the profession–becoming a member of a critique group is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Below are five simple reasons why you should search out a critique group that is a perfect fit for you.

 1. Writing is a lonely business. A critique group offers you the opportunity to interact and socialize with other writers.

 2.  You can exchange writing ideas and talk about publishing houses, editors, agents, and marketing.

3.  You get feedback to help improve and polish your manuscript before you send it to a publisher.

4.  You learn to become more critical of your own writing and enhance your writing skills. 

5.  You have a great support group during the ups and downs of your writing career.

The members of my critique group write picture books, poems, and chapter books. Some of us have been published and some have not, but everyone is a valuable asset to our group. We encourage and support one another in our writing careers and in our personal lives. For me, it’s been a very positive experience. We laugh together. We cry together. And sometimes we get rowdy. (We had to move our group from the library to a coffee shop.) I’m happy to say the members of my group are not only talented writers, but they are also my friends.

For information on children’s writing and critique groups go to:  www.scbwi.org


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