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January 2017 - Posts
I mentioned in a previous post that this year's Show-Me nominees, picture books for Missouri readers in grades 1-3, are FULL of animals! Animal books almost always win, and there are eight of the ten nominees this year which feature animals. Of course I love animals, too, so my favorites fall right in line with the students. These are my two favorite nominees this year: Strongheart by Emily Arnold McCully and Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Interestingly, these two are both also true stories about famous animals. I will be interested to see how the voting comes out and if either of my favorites wins!
Posted by kparker  On Jan 23, 2017 at 9:44 AM 14 Comments
I love when I can recommend an entire series to my readers, and the Winners trilogy, by Marie Rutkoski, is complete with three excellent books.The first book is The Winner's Curse. The main character, Kestral, is 17 years old and the daughter of a fierce general in her country of Herran. On impulse when passing a slave auction one day, she purchases Arin, a handsome young man from the neighboring country Valoria. Although slave-holding has always been part of her life, her new role as personal owner of another doesn't sit well with Kestral who has always despised the slave trade, especially when she gets to know, and soon falls in love with, Arin. As she learns more about the history between their countries and the deceit within her own, Kestral dreams of the changes she and Arin can make together. But her role as general's daughter complicates things, as does her friendship and potential betrothal to a childhood friend. This first in the series ends on a real cliffhanger, but fortunately for readers, book two, The Winner's Crime, and the final book, The Winner's Kiss, are both published and ready for readers. I didn't find a lull in the action in any of the books in this series making them some of my favorites to recommend. 
Posted by kparker  On Jan 11, 2017 at 8:31 AM 38 Comments
It's time for me to start sharing this year's Missouri Show-Me Reader's Award nominees with the students in grades 1-3, and that also means it is time for me to pull out some of my past favorites to read to the 1st graders as I introduce them to this award.  The books pictured above are some of my all-time favorites and also happen to have served as my introduction to the award, too. I began working as a librarian six years ago, and Nubs was the book Missouri readers selected to receive the award my first year in the library. I was also sharing the previous year's winner, Two Bobbies, with kids that winter. I quickly fell in love with both books which tell true stories about amazing animals. As I looked further into the history of this award, I found another personal favorite, Hero Cat, and I also started to see a trend (which I continue to see to this day): the kids almost always choose an animal-themed story as their favorite! This year the Show-Me committee must have noticed this trend, too, because almost all of the 2016-17 nominees have animals as an important part of the story. I'm curious to see what the kids choose this year with so many animal stories in the running. Yesterday I read two nominees to my 2nd graders, both true stories about gorillas, and I already had kids asking, "Can I vote for two books this year?" It's going to be a fun awards season! I'll post some of my favorites of this year's nominees next week.
Posted by kparker  On Jan 11, 2017 at 8:28 AM 22 Comments