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Posts by Miranda J. McDermott

Booktalking "'They're Bankrupting Us!' and 20 Other Myths About Unions" by Bill Fletcher

Twenty-one myths as presented in Bill Fletcher, Jr.'s book.Read More ›

Booktalking "Sunday You Learn to Box" by Bil Wright

In Harlem, Louis’ grandfather takes apart radios and always dresses as though he is ready for a business meeting, even though he rarely leaves the house. Louis looks out the window and does his homework when he visits. Read More ›

Booktalking "The Boy on the Wooden Box" by Leon Leyson

Oskar Schindler was an extraordinary character; he saved Leon Leyson (formerly known as Leib Lejzon), his family, and over a thousand Jews from near certain death in the concentration camps, not once, but several times over. Luckily for Leon, Schindler took a particular interest in the boy, and he was afforded privileges not given to others, such as the opportunity to work a 12-hour day shift, rather than the night shift. Unlike other Nazis, Schindler treated his factory workers with a certain humanity, and he remembered their names, despite the risk of severe punishment from other Nazis 

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Booktalking "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Sepetys

In 1941, 15-year-old Lina’s life abruptly shifts from thinking about art school and friends to sheer survival when she is wrenched from her bucolic teenage life. One day, NKVD, the Soviet Secret Police, abducts Lina, her mother, brother Jonas and acquaintance Andrius and forces them onto train cars with numerous other Lithuanians.Read More ›

Booktalking "The Impossible Knife of Memory" by Laurie Halse Anderson

“I was first in line when the bus pulled in. Took the seat on the left two rows from the back. Stared at the zombies on the sidewalk dramatically reciting their lines, stalking to the edges of their stages, playing at life.”Read More ›

Booktalking "Lark" by Tracey Porter

Sixteen-year-old Lark Austin is left to die in the woods. Eve, a former best friend and Nyetta, a girl who was babysat by Lark, struggle with the death. Lark, Eve and Nyetta alternately voice their perspectives of the event and its aftermath.Read More ›

Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Censorship on February 1, 2014

Recap of discussion forum on challenges to and censorship of children's books.Read More ›

Booktalking "The Invisible Web" by Chris Sherman and Gary Price

We were lucky to have Gary Price present a workshop at the Library on keeping up with the latest technological developments. On some level, I knew that there were portions of the Internet that were only accessible if you know the URL. However, I was not well versed on the exact differences between the web and the Internet and exactly how search engines work before I read this book. In fact, a family member recently launched a web site for his wedding that is only accessible for users who have a user name and password. Even if other people accidentally happened upon the web site, they would 

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Booktalking "William's Doll" by Charlotte Zolotow

William wanted a doll for simple reasons: to hug, take care of, and bring to the park. The males in his life had other ideas.Read More ›

Booktalking "DSM-5" by American Psychiatric Association

Want to find out what criteria mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders? Here are a few conditions and disorders (complete with classification numbers) that are either new in this edition of the DSM, or that I had not heard of prior to perusing this fascinating tome.Read More ›

Booktalking "Battle Bunny" by Jon Sciezka and Mac Barnett

Will Alex defeat Battle Bunny and friends and emerge victorious? Read More ›

Booktalking "The Old Woman Who Loved to Read" by John Winch

There was an old woman who did not like the hustle and bustle of the city. She decided to move to the country for some peace and quiet so that she could find more time to read. This book features intricate illustrations of Australian animals.Read More ›

Booktalking "Billy Creekmore" by Tracey Porter

In 1905, 10-year-old Billy Creekmore is being raised at the Guardian Angels Home for Boys, where he is beaten by Mr. Beadle and made to work long hours with little food. One beacon of light in this drudgery is Peggy, who does her best to help him experience some joy. The other boys add some mirth to his life as well.Read More ›

Booktalking "Spring Pearl: the Last Flower" by Laurence Yep

Twelve-year-old Chou Spring Pearl moves to the ritzy Sung mansion when her scholar parents die in Canton in 1857.Read More ›

Booktalking "Vampirina Ballerina" by Anne Marie Pace

Vampirina Ballerina loves dancing, and she does so adorned with a black leotard and black ballet shoes. She also has a black cat and a bat as pets, which are not welcome at ballet class. Plié, relevé... all of the steps that she must learn are daunting, and Vampirina attempts to not trip over her own feet in the process. However, practicing with mummies, vampires and monsters in the Haunted Mansion will definitely improve her skills.Read More ›

Booktalking "The Thing About Luck" by Cynthia Kadohata

Twelve-year-old Summer learns much about the farming process and the wheat crop from working on combine farms with her family. Thunder is a 95-pound Doberman pincher who is her constant companion. He follows her everywhere, and he is always pleasant and willing to pour love into her heart.Read More ›

Booktalking "Weedflower" by Cynthia Kadohata

Sumiko is a 12-year-old Japanese girl living in California in the 1940s. Unfortunately for her, Pearl Harbor has an especially negative impact on her life, due simply to her racial background. The government sends her and her family to a permanent relocation camp in Poston, Arizona; its official nomenclature is the Colorado River Relocation Center. The filth and overcrowded conditions in the camps are deplorable.

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Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Common Core on January 4, 2014

Marcie Colleen, Picture Book Education Consultant, Amie Wright, Selection Supervisor, MyLibraryNYC, and Daryl Grabarek, editor of School Library Journal's (SLJ) enewsletter, Curriculum Connections joined host Betsy Bird to discuss how teachers, students and parents are grappling with the new standards. I was interested to discover that New York City's new schools chancellor, Carmen Farina, endorses Common Core standards.

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Booktalking "Mahjong All Day Long" by Ginnie Lo

Everyone loves mahjong, a Chinese tile matching game. When you play mahjong, you can hear the clicking of the tiles.

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Booktalking "Crisis in Employment" by Jane Jerrard

Many people without computer access utilize public libraries in order to apply for jobs online. (Many minimum-wage jobs now require online applications.) Customers also use the computers to prepare resumes and file claims for unemployment benefits. Public libraries can let funders know how their services are assisting job seekers in order to secure funding.

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