Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Sunday Salon - Riffle Books

I tend to avoid any new social media sites since they appear with such regularity. I liked the sound of Riffle
and decided to try it out.  I was looking for ease of use, integration with my current PLN (professional learning network), and where it fits with sites I already use such as Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Riffle - to turn hastily; flutter and shift: to riffle a stack of letters; to riffle through a book.

Do I want to encourage anyone to get through a book quickly? No. My goal is to get people into reading. To savor books. To highlight and comment and come back for more. As a reader, I want to discuss books with people. As a librarian, my job depends on me deepening the love of reading in students and asking them to riffle through a books seems contrary to that mission.

Does Riffle add anything new to my current social media favorites?

I enjoyed adding lists on Riffle, it was easy and fast.  I also love the quality of the book covers. It was almost like Pinterest for books. Almost. You can like but you can't repin or comment. Since you can't comment, it's very limited in terms of the social aspect of reading. Liking is not a conversation. When opening Riffle, you can choose to display "updates" in a row or grid, by books or lists or both.  Unfortunately, unlike Goodreads, I'm not sure if this is a chronological update. I'm only following nine people, but since Riffle is showing you the book cover or the list title and they are a good size, it limits what you can see. If it's a book cover, you look underneath to see if the person recommends it or is reading it. If it's a book list - my favorite aspect of Riffle - you can mouse over for a description of the type of books on the list. The good think about Riffle is you can tweet your lists.

What now?

Riffle is out of Beta and anyone can join. You can sign up via email, Facebook, or Twitter. When I signed up, you could only use your Facebook account, which I don't really use for bookstuff. I would have preferred just to use the email address that's associated with my blog. I only have a few lists on Riffle right now. I'm thinking in future, I'll blog about the list and either link to it or embed it.

Are you on Riffle? What do you think?

My Riffle Lists

I Will Survive - Books to feed your (finishing of the) Hunger (Games)
Middle School Book Club - These are books we read or will read for different book clubs. We have grades 6 - 8
Seeing is Believing - Great graphic novels
Narrative Nonfiction - Books to help meet the Common Core initiative of increased nonfiction reading

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Batty About Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall - Cover Art

Batty About Books presents     

Summer of the Mariposas
Guadalupe Garcia McCall

This week we discuss the cover. I'll talk about why I wanted to read this one and Maria has provided us with links to her Connect the Pop guest post she did at School Library Journal (SLJ) about The Hero's Journey, my current obsession.  We hope to discuss Summer of the Mariposas through the eyes of the Heroine's Journey.  Stop by Maria's Melange to get a more detailed look at the cover.

The Front
 I love the simplicity of the cover. The font of the title seems to want to fly while the author’s name seems to ground the image.  I like the stylized version of the mariposa (butterfly in Spanish) as a constellation. I also like the five girls on the cover but wonder if it will limit who picks the book up.  I had the same thought, about the girls. I’m hoping that the fact that they aren't lounging in dresses or gazing coyly at the reader will help. If boys who love mythology hear there is an Odyssey connection that may also help.
The Back
Cinco Hermanitas. Five Little Sisters, Together Forever, No Matter What.
I love that. It’s simple. Although, beyond telling you that the five girls on the front are sisters, it doesn't tell you much about the book. Sometimes I don't want to know too much. I love this tagline.
On the Jacket Flap 
I love the opening of the synopsis: “When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead man in the swimming hole near their hometown of Eagle Pass, Texas, they embark on a journey to return the man’s body to his family in New Mexico.” The whole idea of finding a dead body reminds me of the movie Stand By me, which I loved. I'm a little concerned with the several references to the Odyssey. Will it turn off students who haven't read it? I'm thinking the mythology references will be a plus to my population (even if ends up being a book I can only recommend to students once they leave me).

Why I Wanted to Read This

It’s a nominee for a committee I'm on, so I have to read it.  It’s a nominee for the 2013 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy and every year I promise myself I will read those books and I'm finally fulfilling that by reading one per month. This book is also diverse, something else I’ve been thinking more and more about and through reading more books with multicultural characters, not only will I be able to help my teachers broaden their selections but my students, too.
Last week, Maria and I had a great conversation about the hero’s journey and she mentioned the “heroine’s journey” which I'd never heard articulated.  She really sparked my interest! I'm excited to learn more about this from her as we work our way through Summer of the Mariposas.


Maria’s post for School Library Journal’s “Connect the Pop” series on using fandom to teach the Hero’s Journey - includes links to simplified HJ page and video. 

Author Website - Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Wish I Was Going to BEA! Books to Pine For

One day. One day, I'm going to go to BEA! Now that I've said it out blog, I need to make this happen. Maybe 2015? Anyway, PW just published their annual Children's Galleys to Grab and I'm super-excited for the following titles.  That means, if you come across any of these galleys, send them to me. PLEASE! I PROMISE TO LOVE YOU FOREVER! And not in a Robert Munsch crazy way. Maybe.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
I love Sanderson's work. He's fantastic at worldbuilding! I've read the 1000+ pg Way of Kings twice will
dive into it once more to get ready for Words of Radiance. I also loved Warbreaker! I pre-ordered Rithmatist and am now adding Steelheart to my want list! It sounds awesome. People get super human powers adn decide they don't like humans anymore. They are called Epics and they will do what it takes to keep man down.  In come the Reckoners who want to set things to right, especially one who needs revenge.

Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Do you like epic fantasy with hints of romance? Then don't miss Chima's Seven Realms Series! You can read those then start on the Heir series to be ready for Enchanter Heir this fall!

The Eye of the Minds by James Dashner
We used Maze Runner for our first One Book, One School venture two years
ago and students are still reading Dashner's books. It's a great word of mouth title. I know the holds will be heavy on this one! This one's all virtual reality hacker style.

Broken by Elizabeth Pulford
I don't know this author nor this publisher but the synopsis reminds me of Inkheart except with comics.  She is trying to find her brother. IN HER HEAD! This is a graphic novel-expository mashup. Looks fantastic.

The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman
GORDON KORMAN! I have read many of Korman's books and this past
December, some of our students had the opportunity to Skype with him about his latest, Ungifted. He was great, even with our spotty technology.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The sequel to Raven Boys! The sequel to Raven Boys! Give it to me.

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer
Oh.My.Word. Have you read House of the Scorpion?? I handsell that as often as
possible. I recently bought the ones with the new cover. And now there is going to be a sequel. That title alone has the power to make me happy. But, I won't settle for anything less than the book itself.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I've already read Eleanor & Park twice. The second time I listened to the audiobook, which I recommend you hear soon! I also read Rowell's post on Why Park is Korean. Touching. This one is about sisters growing up and growing apart and trying to find your own self.  I can hardly wait. Get it for me so I don't have to wait long.

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchinson
A retelling of Hamlet. I'm always on the lookout for retelling to give
my students more incentives to check out classics beyond what's required in the classroom.

Wow, those are just a few of the books I want. Must go begging. Also, did you notice the blue??? Is that the official color of scifi/fantasy for Fall?


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