Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Posts by Miranda J. McDermott

Booktalking "What We Lost" by Sara Zarr

Being raised by a pastor must be a dream come true, right? Not if your alcoholic mother is in rehab. Samara's father seems more present for the parishioners than for his own daughter.Read More ›

Booktalking "The Lucy Variations" by Sara Zarr

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Beck-Moreau is a former concert pianist who quit. No more piano for Lucy, not even for fun. This contrasts starkly with her 10-year-old brother Gustav, who now studies with Will and spends many practice hours at the keyboard.Read More ›

Booktalking "How to Save a Life" by Sara Zarr

"Do you have a heart that needs a home? I have a home in need of a heart." Robin posted this query on a random adoption web site in hopes of finding a baby to love. Mandy clicked on it.Read More ›

Booktalking "Life, After" by Sarah Littman

Daniella, little sister Sarita, and parents emigrate from Argentina to Twin Lakes, NY in an attempt to start a new life, free from terrorism.Read More ›

Booktalking "Want to Go Private?" by Sarah Littman

Fourteen-year-old Abby is starting ninth grade, and nothing is more comforting to her than venting about her daily trials and tribulations to BlueSkyBoi, aka Luke Redmond, on chezteen.com. Read More ›

Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Podcasting on April 19, 2014

I was happy to have Katie Davis, John Sellers and Matthew Winner as podcasters on the latest Children's Literary Salon panel. This event is hosted by Betsy Bird, Youth Materials Specialist at BookOps. Katie Davis is a children's and teen author as well as the host of the podcast "Brain Burps About Books." John Sellers works for Publisher's Weekly, and he hosts the "PW Kids Cast." Matthew Winner is a school librarian, one of the 2013 Library Journal Movers and Shakers, and he hosts the "Let's Get Busy" podcast. Read More ›

Booktalking "The One Left Behind" by Willo Davis Roberts

Mandy was used to doing everything exclusively with her sister; they even dressed alike. She feels as though half of herself, half of her person hood is gone forever. Amanda cannot express her feelings to her family since she thinks that they will not understand. The kids at school do not know what to say to her. Read More ›

Booktalking "Shooter" by Walter Dean Myers

Why school shootings? Look through the eyes of Leonard Gray, Cameron Porter and Carla Evan, three teens who were at one, two of whom had weapons, one of whom died.Read More ›

Booktalking "Handbook for Boys: a Novel" by Walter Dean Myers

Jimmy Lynch learns about self-efficacy and choosing your own destiny at Duke's place, a barbershop. Duke Wilson even hires Jimmy to help him move a friend as an excuse, Jimmy thinks, just to get an opportunity to talk to the boy some more. Maybe the barber is bored, Jimmy surmises, after his wife died. Needs something to do.Read More ›

Read Everywhere!

Read everywhere today and every day. A lot of us love reading already, but why is it important? Read More ›

Booktalking "Pointe" by Brandy Colbert

Theo is a high school junior torn between becoming a pro ballerina or finding another job. She and all of her friends are entranced with drug use, and she spends her time at parties and navigating her relationship with pianist Hosea and her childhood friend Donovan.Read More ›

Booktalking "Purge" by Sarah Littman

Janie struggles with her problem child status, her "perfect" stepsister Jenny, and her relationship with her best friend Kelsey back home. Read More ›

Booktalking "Duke" by Kirby Larson

Hobie Hanson's father is fighting in World War II, and now the Dogs for Defense is looking for any German Shepherds that people can possibly spare for the war effort.Read More ›

Booktalking "A World Away" by Nancy Grossman

Sixteen-year-old Eliza is going through rumspringa, an adolescent exploration that occurs in Amish communities.Read More ›

Booktalking "The Library Dragon" by Carmen Agra Deedy

Sunrise Elementary School had a dragon lady, literally, as its new librarian. The school had never had a dragon in the library before. She considered it her job to guard the books and protect them from sticky fingers. Every book was in its correct place, and she took the liberty of burning any books that she perceived to have anti-dragon sentiment contained within them.Read More ›

Booktalking "Blink Once" by Cylin Busby

West wakes up to discover that he is paralyzed and cannot move his limbs. He discovers a room full of hospital machines, strange sounds, and strange sights. He blinks once for yes and twice for no in order to communicate with the world. West was a biker who fell into a disastrous, incomprehensible world.Read More ›

Anti-Prom 2014: Punk Rock

Halfway through the event, students from the High School of Fashion Industries had a fashion show. They modeled their outfits by walking up and down the curved staircases in Astor Hall. Chic and funky punk rock outfits abounded. Read More ›

Booktalking "Gifted Grown Ups" by Marylou Kelly Streznewski

Gifted children are considered special education students: smarter than 95% of the population, with an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of 130 or higher. An IQ of 100 denotes average intelligence. There are also qualitative measures of people's abilities. Howard Gardner conceptualizes people's strengths in terms of multiple intelligences. Gifted adults are also characterized by quick mental speed, sophistication of thought, high levels of sensitivity, drive, and a sense of humor.Read More ›

Booktalking "The Unruly Queen" by E. S. Redmond

Minerva is a child who does not know the meaning of discipline. Her parents are too busy making money to pay too much attention to her, and she is spoiled. She thinks that the butler's job is to give her candy. She makes long-distance calls and rides her pink pony down the hall. She draws with markers on the wall and roller skates indoors.

Unfettered, Minerva rules the roost. She exhausts almost every nanny that comes her way until she meets someone who plays a little bit differently. At first, the little girl is thrilled with the new caretaker; she crowns the child 

... Read More ›

Booktalking "Gifted Children" by Ellen Winner

According to Winner, gifted children share three characteristics: precocity, insistence on marching to their own drummers and a rage to master. Savants show extraordinary ability to recall, calculate, and draw, but they do not creatively alter their domains. Gifted kids spend more time alone, which they need in order to develop their gifts. They tend to handle solitude better than their peers.Read More ›
Page 1 of 12 Next

Chat with a librarian now