Thursday, April 2, 2015

Must Read in 2015 Update

When I went to my list to check my reading for my Must Read in 2015 List, I was surprised at how much progress I've made! I knew I had read several of the books, but I am excited to announce that I have read or listened to 17 of the 25 books on the list.

As I look back on timing, I started out strong, for the most part reading these books one after another.  Having six snow days might have helped the process too!  At this point, the 2016 Illinois Bluestem List has been announced, so my priority has been reading missed books from that list. At this point, I have read about half of my Must Read in 2015 books and listened to the other half.

These are the books from my list that I have read so far:
All of these have been fabulous books. As a matter of fact, I rated every one of them with five stars! Probably my favorite has been Fish in a Tree, which I have recently read and discussed with a fourth and fifth grade book club.  It has provided us with some heartfelt conversations.  We were also fortunate to be able to meet Author Lynda Mullaly Hunt, who visited our community, as we finished her book.

 I have listened to following audio books from my list:
I will say that I prefer actually reading a book over listening to one, but I do listen to a lot of books.  I spend a great deal of time walking or running, and during those times I am almost always listening to a book!  Of these books, probably my favorite listening experience came from The Paper Cowboy.  It is a powerful story, and the reader really brought it to life.  My other favorites were Legend and 11 Birthdays.  Since I work in an elementary library, we do not have Legend as a part of our collection, but it is sometimes nice to read something for the older crowd of kids! I have had many girls read 11 Birthdays, and I see why!  I will say that it wasn't at all what I was expecting as I was prepared for realistic fiction, and was shocked when I realized it was fantasy!

I am excited to continue from my Must Read in 2015 list, and even though my reading from this list has slowed down a bit over the past few weeks, I think I will have all 25 titles read!  I enjoyed taking some time to check my progress, and I am eager to hear about everyone else's 2015 reading.

Anderson's Kid Lit Breakfast

For the first time, I attended Anderson's Kid Lit Breakfast, and I was not disappointed! It was a fantastic morning with co-workers and friends, along with some awesome authors! In January, I shared my plan to attend with other staff members at my school in Olney, Illinois. I wasn't sure if anyone would join me on the four-hour trip, but I thought it was worth a try! To my surprise, not only did four other staff members decide to join me, but our one of our principals decided to provide funds for the breakfast and the hotel!

During the week before the event, we had an entire week of snow days. The good news for Friday was that we decided to leave at noon on our venture north; the bad news was that more snow, and ice this time, was coming. We were very fortunate that we missed the 2 inches of sleet that came in our home town after we left, and was mostly cleared before we returned.

Since we arrived early, we first traveled to Naperville, to visit Anderson's Bookshop. This was only my third time to visit the store, and it was the first time for my companions, so we spent quite a while looking at books and making our purchases. I had never been there at night. How lovely it looked with the lights glowing! Unfortunately, it was very cold, so we headed to our hotel to check in and get some supper! The five of us had a wonderful evening visiting, laughing, and attempting to solve all of our school's problems!

We arrived early at Anderson's so we could get in line for a good seat. I was so excited to see the chairs that were created by two of the guest illustrators, Dav Pilkey and Bob Shea. I was bound and determined that I was going to win the Bob Shea chair, and one of my friends was planning to take home the Dav Pilkey chair. Below is a picture of the chair, that I unfortunately did not win. I am not sure if it made it better that someone at my table did win it, but she was very excited. While I was disappointed not to win the chair, I did catch an enormous pair of underwear autographed by none other than Dav Pilkey. They are also shown below. I will have to say that the students at my school might be more fired up over those underwear than they would have been over the chair, but I couldn't be sure!

The food at the Kid Lit Breakfast was delicious, and the speakers were outstanding. I loved hearing Dav Pilkey's stories of himself as a young student!  This was a great experience, and I enjoyed sharing it with some of the teachers from our school.  By the next week I was hearing comments starting with "Next year" and "When we go back", which makes me think it will become a tradition!