Rewind: The One and Only Ivan


I was pretty excited Monday when Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan won the John Newbery Medal. I am still trying to process the amazingness of what happened. Not ready to write about the moment and what I think it mean for children’s literature. However, I have spent some time this past week reflecting on year with The One and Only Ivan, and I stumbled upon a short little blog post that I wrote last February. 

I’ve decided to rerun my post from February.

I don’t know how to write a review for The One and Only Ivan. Trying to come up with the right words for a book that I love so much is hard. The bottom line is that I want every middle grade reader to have access to this book.

A library without Ivan is a library with a hole. The One and Only Ivan is a book that is accessable to most fourth grade readers, at the same time, I feel like sixth and seventh graders will be able to take so much away from Katherine Applegate’s story.

As of today I believe that 7 of my students have read Ivan. The cool thing is that all of them seem to be getting emotional at different parts. Each reader is connecting with the story in their own way. I love this book.

I understand that this isn’t much of a reivew. I’m sorry. Earlier I said that a library without Ivan has a hole. I felt a little like my blog without Ivan also contained a hole. I’m hoping that I’m able to work up the courage to maybe write a more complete review of Ivan in the future (maybe on Nerdy Book Club), but in the meantime, please read The One and Only Ivan. I believe that it is Applegate’s masterpiece.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Happy Monday! Be sure to head over to Mentor Texts to see what books some of my awesome reading friends are celebrating today.

Genie Wishes

By: Elisabeth Dahl

Genie Wishes

Number the Stars

By: Lois Lowry

Number the Stars

The Quiet Place

By: Sarah Stewart

Pictures By: David Small

The Quiet Place

Maniac Magee

By: Jerry Spinelli

Maniac Magee


Total Miles Ran: 88

Total Books Read: 79

running song of the week

Pre-Newbery Musing


As librarians from all over the country gather this weekend in Seattle for the American Library Association Mid-Winter Conference I can’t help but think to myself, golly gee I hope The One and Only Ivan wins the Newbery Medal. If it doesn’t win, I’ll be sad. If it doesn’t win or honor, I will be mad.

I keep telling myself to keep things in perspective and think about what is important this weekend. When I think about things that way I feel a lot less stressed about Ivan and the Newbery. Instead, I think about 1000s of librarians talking about books. I start to think about the passionate educators honing their craft and doing whatever it takes to find that perfect book for each and every child that walks through the doors of their library.

I feel much better now.

I’ll leave you with a couple of videos that you might find fun or silly as we head into a weekend celebrating librarians.

I’m super excited that the 2014 Newbery Committee is haning out for the first time. My kids made a video for them last school year.

It’s Wednesday! What Are You Reading? 1/23/2013


I love doing my It’s Monday! What are you Reading? blog post. I can’t believe that I have missed two straight Mondays. This week I have a good excuse: our internet was down.

Squish 5: Game On

By: Jennifer and Matthew Holm

Game On! (Squish, #5)

Ollie & Moon: Aloha!

By: Diane Krenderson

Ollie & Moon: Aloha! (Step into Reading Comic Reader)

The Mighty Lalouche

By: Matthew Olshan

The Mighty Lalouche


By: Phyllis Naylor

Shiloh (Shiloh, #1)

Dicey’s Song

By: Cynthia Voigt

Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2)

Genie Wishes

By: Elisabeth Dahl

Genie Wishes

International Book Giving Day


I’m all about celebrating a day that gives books. If you haven’t had the chance to check out the International Book Giving Day website, I highly recommend that you stop by.

Today, I am very honored to be the guest blogger for the International Book Giving Day blog. Click on the image below to read about the book sway my students and I will be doing on Valentine’s Day.


#sharpschu Book Club Laurel Snyder Edition


I apologize in advance for the finger covering the camera during part of this video. My 4 year old daughter filmed me, and she is still learning how to create how quality videos.

I am crazy excited for this month’s #sharpschu Twitter book club chat.

Be sure to check out what @mrschureads has to say about this month’s selections.

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 12.52.36 PM

It’s Thursday! What Are You Reading? 1/17/2013


It was very weird not doing a “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post this past Monday. I was hosting Amy Timberlake on Monday, so I wasn’t able to do my normal Monday post.

Better late than never. Right?

The Winter of the Robots

By: Kurtis Scaletta

The Winter of the Robots

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

By: Jordan Sonnenblick

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip

Extreme Babymouse

By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Extreme Babymouse (Babymouse, #17)

A Visit to William Blake’s Inn

By: Nancy Willard

A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers


Miles ran last week: 8

Total miles ran: 37

Total books read in 2013: 38

It’s #sharpschu Book Club Day!


I love hanging out with my reading friends during the #SharpSchu twitter book club. Mr. Schu and I hope that you will be able to join us tonight as we host Tom Angleberger and Michael Buckley for an hour of awesomeness.

Things I will do today to prepare for the #SharpSchu Book Club:

1. Read my students Kel Gilligan

2. Listen to The Strange Case of Origami Yoda audio on my way to school. It will be my fourth time listening.

3. Ask myself the important question: Is Origami Yoda real?

4. Ask my students: Is Origami Yoda read?

5. Chat with my Buckley and Angleberger readers. I need to find out if they have any burning questions for me to ask them.

6. Search the internet high and low to see if I can find any inside information on the next Angleberger novel.

7. Book Club!