Monthly Archives: August 2010

Parker’s Picks – September/October 2010

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

You might wonder was Honest Abe a major vampire hunter???!!!  That is the premise of Seth Grahame-Smith’s newest book.  Grahame-Smith spins a yarn Abe Lincoln would have loved to have told himself since he was an excellent storyteller. Grahame-Smith shares with the reader The Introduction that he “obtained” Lincoln’s “secret journal” to help tell this story.  Abraham Lincoln discovers at a young age his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, didn’t die from “Milk Sickness” but from a vampire. Upon learning this cataclysmic information he vows to avenge his mother’s death and decides to rage a war on vampires. He gathers information and trains himself to fight and destroy them. Over the course of time he eventually meets Henry Sturges who helps Lincoln to fully understand the significance of vampires in America and the role they will play later in Lincoln’s life, his presidency, and America’s Civil War. It’s revealed to Lincoln the importance of these following famous historical figures: Stephen Douglas, Edgar Allan Poe, Jefferson Davis, William Seward, plus others, and their part they play in regards to vampires.  I truly relished reading this book! Grahame-Smith has written an outstanding and superb tale. He winds his story between fact and fiction.  I liked that he followed the life story of Lincoln but throughout his existence, there are vampires found at varying times in his life. Of course much is fabricated (as I look over my shoulder for the nearest vampire) but he hooks the reader into possibly believing it to be the truth and not just a myth!  Read, discover, and take pleasure in this irresistible story. 

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Kate Alender

Bad Girls Don't Die

I found, Bad Girls Don’t Die, to contain exactly the right ingredients for a superb spooky paranormal story!  Alexis Warren’s hobby is photography and at the onset of the story she discovers and photographs a strange glow outside their home. The Warren family resides in a house with not only a great deal of fascinating history but also a possible resident specter who relishes inhabiting bodies and controlling them for its own purpose! Alexis is a teen whose thirteen-year-old sister, Haley, is beginning to act strangely and has a weird attachment to her doll collection. Early on you’ll discover Alexis feels as though she doesn’t fit in anywhere or with anyone at school – all that begins to change when Carter Blume turns his attention towards her. While this relationship blossoms the bond with her sister worsens – almost to the point Alexis fears not only she will be harmed but others as well. Alexis’ new friend Megan Wiley also senses danger when she is in contact with Haley as she also has a story that will unfold. Bad Girls Don’t Die weaves an interesting story intertwining all of these characters together to a climatic heart stopping ending!

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

This was one of my favorite Young Adult books I read this summer from my summer reading list! The place is Gatlin County, South Carolina. Beautiful Creatures features the elements of romance, Southern gothic, and the supernatural to make it a guaranteed page-turner!  Ethan is a normal teenage boy who dreams of a mystifying girl.  He then meets Lena Duchannes who comes to town to live with her eccentric recluse uncle.  Lena is special – she’s a Caster – aka – a witch!  Ethan and Lean are drawn together mysteriously.  As they strive to discover their connection, Lena is dreading her upcoming 16th birthday.  Her life will change dramatically and she thinks for the worse. There were so many references to the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.  I loved how the authors worked in these allusions!  The authors have created such a beautiful and well developed story line.  The characters they have crafted from their imaginations are astounding! One attention-grabbing and appealing character for me was none other than, Marian, the librarian!  She is a very special librarian in Beautiful Creatures! You’ll uncover her special talent once you read the story!  I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, Beautiful Darkness which will be available on October 12th!  There WILL be a book three and four available in the future!

Diamond Ruby by Joe Wallace

Diamond Ruby: A Novel

The story begins at Ebbets Fields with seven-year-old Ruby and her family attending a Yankee’s baseball game. To Ruby it was the most beautiful place she had ever laid eyes on. To Ruby’s surprise she is lucky enough to experience every young child’s dream – and even adults – she catches a ball that is hit off of the bat of Casey Stengel!  Ruby and her family soon face a magnitude of hardships. The Spanish Influenza engulfs New York leaving almost every family scarred by it.  By the time she’s thirteen she becomes responsible for her family. One would think it would be next to impossible – an undertaking too difficult for such a young girl as Ruby.  You’ll soon discover Ruby’s inner strength and what she’ll do to protect her family.  Ruby remembers her mother’s words of advice, “Do what you want to do and don’t care what anyone thinks about you.  Show the world that women matter as much as me…” (Diamond Ruby, Wallace)  I tend to tell too much about a novel due to my excitement for the work of fiction so I will skirt around the story to tell you some of the enticing highlights. Wallace has done a superb job bringing the time period, the places and the people to life in Diamond Ruby.  Brooklyn New York, Coney Island and Yankee Stadium are just a few of the backdrops for Ruby’s tale. The women’s suffragette movement, the Roaring Twenties, gangsters, Prohibition, the Klu Klux Klan, baseball, and the Spanish Influenza are interwoven into the story.  Then there are those well-known sports figures such as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey who become part of Ruby’s life.  Ruby is a champion and a brave young woman.  Ruby’s talent if you haven’t guessed by now is in her long arms and those arms take her on a journey she never would have imagined.  She could throw a baseball as well as any man.  Her other talent is one of endurance.  Just when you think she’s beat she has something up her sleeve to help her rally. Just like in a baseball game when your team is down with two outs in the ninth inning!  You will love Ruby’s story of survival and the role she played in the game of baseball!

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink

Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters Series #2)

My love of gothic genre first drew my attention to, Prophecy of the Sisters, Book 1, by Michelle Zink. Add fantasy to the mix, superb writing, fabulous description, and Michelle Zink created a bestselling Young Adult book creating a fan base savoring for more. I was very well pleased as the sequel unfolded! As with Prophecy of the Sisters, Guardian of the Gate, held my attention! I became quite engrossed with the continuing story! The book sprang to life so much so I could vividly picture many of encounters and conflicts! The year is 1891 and the setting is England complete with castles, manors, and legends.  Guardian of the Gate, Book 2, begins with sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe pursuing the missing pages to bring an end to the prophecy which has engulfed her family and others for many years.  Lia and Alice’s parents and brother are now dead, all due to circumstances surrounding the prophecy. This prophecy has turned Lia and her twin sister, Alice, against each other.  Alice has evil plans for the prophecy which puts the sisters at odds. Alice is also in pursuit of the missing pages. Alice is the Guardian and Lia is the Gate of the prophecy. In the past, the Gate has been the enemy but now it is the Guardian!  Will she find what she’s looking for to uncover all of her answers to finally bring an end to the prophecy? Will Lia be able to find the last two keys needed?  By the end of the book you will be on pins and needles to find out if Lia is powerful enough to win out in the end. Her sister Alice has the evil forces on her side to combat Lia.  There can only be one sister left standing. Which one will it be? I can’t wait to uncover the answers to these questions in the final book of the trilogy!!!

The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games; Catching Fire; & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)

The Hunger Games Trilogy popularity and power has taken over readers of all ages – including me!  At our middle school, it has made a connection with the teen readers and their teachers.  Many discussions and conversations are ensuing between these two groups.  It’s wonderful and invigorating!  Once you begin reading this futuristic North American dystopia, it will seize and capture you!  There are 12 districts in what is known as the nation of Panem that are governed by The Capitol.  How do you keep your subjects from revolting?  Hold a yearly Hunger Games where two people are chosen from each district – a boy and a girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen.  This lottery drawing procedure is called “The Reaping. These “special” 24 chosen fight to the death on television.  There are similarities to our reality TV game shows.  It is mandatory for the people of Panem to watch. The 12 districts get to know the “contestants” prior to the beginning of the Hunger Games.  During this particular Reaping, Katniss Everdeen, who is 16-years-old, volunteers to take her sister’s place when Prim’s name is drawn.  The other lucky name chosen from Katniss’ district is Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son.  I cannot give away any more particulars about the trilogy lest I give something away! Trust me! This trilogy is about survival, an unsympathetic government, an underlying rebellion, revenge, and oh yes – romance.  It is fast-paced.  I’m truly glad I waited to read the first two books this summer because then I didn’t have to wait long to find out about the thrilling and compelling ending!

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

I Heart You, You Haunt Me

 I Heart You, You Haunt Me, is a beautiful book in verse by Lisa Schroeder.   I was easily and quickly drawn into Ava’s story. Her boyfriend, Jackson, has met an untimely tragic death based on a dare which Ava feels she may have influenced the outcome. As the story develops Ava’s parents and friends attempt to comfort and support her as she grieves Jackson’s death. One day Ava looks in her bathroom mirror and experiences a sensation which she believes is the ghost of Jackson attempting to contact her.  More and more Jackson is there in spirit when Ava is alone. She eventually tries to discover why Jackson’s soul cannot rest and what she needs to accept and resolve within her in order to move on with life. It seems that Jackson’s spirit will not be at peace until Ava finally discovers the key to the solution. I could easily appreciate and the popularity of this story with young adults and I look forward to your response!

Radium Halos: A Novel About the Radium Dial Painters by Shelley Stout

Radium Halos

Many women worked as dial painters at the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois. Radium Halos, by Shelley Stout revolves around Violet and Helen Meisner who were enticed by their friend Clara Jane to join her in Ottawa, Illinois to work at the Radium Dial Company where they would make excellent wages. It was the summer of 1923. Clara Jane already worked there and convinced them both to join her. The lure of good wages, to enable them to buy nice items for themselves hooked them. Knowing their father wouldn’t give his approval, the girls fabricated a story telling him they’d gotten jobs in a music shop in Ottawa. During that particular summer all three girls become entangled in a tragic mishap and a secret they all promise to take to their graves.   From the beginning Helen shares this story with the reader and the fate of her sister Violet. The book moves from past to the present day where it’s discovered Helen suffers from mental instability. Helen also enlightens the reader with some of the history surrounding the company. The women working at the Radium Dial Company would dip their brushes into the small jar containing the bluish-green luminous paint and “kiss the brush between their lips” to make the tip more pointed. It made the brush nice and sharp therefore easier to apply the paint onto the numbers on the clocks and watches which was called “tipping.” The clock dials glowed in the dark because of the radium paint.   The story progresses to modern day and Helen as an older woman is under the care of Violet’s daughter, Pearl. She has a son, Tony, and his girlfriend, Adrienne also play a significant part in the story. Eventually a letter is sent to her deceased sister, Violet, from the Argonne Laboratory. They are requesting her to go to be tested for radium exposure. Pearl is unaware of her mother or Helen ever working at the company.  Since Violet and Helen kept their job in Ottawa a secret, Helen is afraid to say she and her sister had ever been employed there. Helen is terrified their secret disaster will be discovered and she will have to pay the price alone.   I was drawn to this particular story on a personal note. I had two relatives who worked at the Ottawa Radium Dial Company. One was a great-aunt who developed cancer and died at a fairly young age. The family stories surrounding this always included the information on the “tipping” procedure. Another female relative also worked there. She eventually developed a mastoid tumor. She was one of the women contacted by Argonne Laboratory to follow up on with medical exams and her exposure to radiation levels.  Stout has skillfully and completely done her research on this subject.   Radium Halos is one historical fiction book you won’t want to miss!

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Who’s Your Favorite Literary Fictional Character???

Recently as I was cleaning out some files I came across an article I had printed out from several years which listed the 100 best characters in fiction since 1900.  Bingo!  I thought this would make an excellent question to pose to my friends and followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, co-workers, family and friends.  I wasn’t surprised when people eagerly shared their answers with me when I asked the question: “Who’s Your Favorite Literary Fictional Character?”  At first some said they would really have to think about it and get back to me because it was such a difficult decision to make.  For many, they knew instantaneously who they were going to decide upon.  I even had a mother and her son choose the exact same character of Jay Gatsby.  The mother and her son happened to be my sister, Beth, and my nephew, Joey!  Now that was pretty amazing to me!  To everyone who took the time to participate in my endeavor – thank you!

What makes a character stand out to people?  For me, my choice of favorite literary fictional character was Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M. Montgomery.  These are a few impressions she left on me and what I learned from Anne to make her such a significant important character to me.  First and foremost Anne taught me the value of friendship and those special ties we develop with a particular person.  She referred to this elite group as “kindred spirits.”  We all can stop and think immediately who we consider to be on our list of “kindred spirits.”  Anne was an individualist.  She taught me it was all right to be a free thinker at a time when I thought it was best to go along with the crowd.  Anne chose the teaching profession.  At a young age I knew I would venture down that very same path – mainly because both of my parents were educators.  Anne Shirley’s other qualities which left an ever-lasting impact on me were her simplistic ideals, her determination, and the pleasure she took in life itself.  To me Anne is the image of optimism.  She dreamed she could accomplish anything she set her mind to and she would strive to reach those aspirations.  Anne Shirley to this day is still a charming, delightful, and unforgettable character in the world of literary characters.  This is especially true for me and for all of the other “kindred spirits!”  By the way, Anne was mentioned the most!

Here now is the grandiose compilation of literary fictional characters.  If you didn’t get a chance to submit your character, please feel free to leave a comment below.

 Enjoy the list and Happy Reading!

Anne ShirleyAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Arnold (Junior) SpiritThe Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Atticus FinchTo Kill a Mockingbird – by Harper Lee (second most recommended)

Billy Coleman Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

BuddyA Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

Emma Woodhouse Emma by Jane Austen

HaroldHarold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Heathcliff Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Jo March Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Ishmael Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Jay GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (also second most recommended)

Judy BoltonThe Judy Bolton Mystery Series by Margaret Sutton

Lisbeth SalanderThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

Lucy The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Maniac MageeManiac Magee – by Jerry Spinelli

Monkey GodJourney to the West by Anthony C. Yu

PigeonDon’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Scarlett O’HaraGone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Scout FinchTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

StargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli

T.S. GarpThe World According to Garp by John Irving

TiggerWinnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

Tom SawyerThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Review of Joe Wallace’s, Diamond Ruby + a Book Give Away Contest!

Diamond Ruby: A Novel 

“Ruby found herself looking down at her arms and thinking. I bet I could throw harder than that.” (Diamond Ruby, Wallace)

I’ve been a baseball fan my entire life! More specifically I’ve been a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan! Yes, I bleed Cubby Blue.  Sad to say another season will be winding down in the next couple of months – yes, it’s another “wait til next year” for me.  Speaking of baseball – when I discovered what Diamond Ruby by Joe Wallace was about I jumped at the chance to read and review it!  Along with my review I’m offering you a chance to win a copy of Diamond Ruby! In order to enter the contest all you need to do is leave a comment here at my blog letting me know who your all time favorite baseball player is and why. The book give away contest will run until this Saturday.  I’m anxious to share a copy of Diamond Ruby with one lucky reader!

Early on in my reading of Diamond Ruby, I knew I was going to love and eagerly devour this story. I found myself cheering on Ruby Lee Thomas – just as if I were cheering my Cubbies onto a late inning rally at the “Beautiful Confines” of Wrigley Field! I am confidant once you pick up Diamond Ruby to read you won’t be able to put it down. The story begins at Ebbets Fields with seven-year-old Ruby and her family attending a Yankee’s baseball game. To Ruby it was the most beautiful place she had ever laid eyes on. To Ruby’s surprise she is lucky enough to experience every young child’s dream – and even adults – she catches a ball that is hit off of the bat of Casey Stengel!  “It felt comfortable in her hand, solid and substantial.  Again and again she looked down at it and once or twice, when no one was looking, she pulled her left arm back and imagined she was a baseball pitcher.” (Diamond Ruby, Wallace)

In Ruby’s own words she thinks, “I’m happy.” “The date was April 5, 1913. Ruby was seven. It was the first time she could remember having that thought, and the last.” (Diamond Ruby, Wallace) Ruby and her family soon face a magnitude of hardships. The Spanish Influenza engulfs New York leaving almost every family scarred by it.  By the time she’s thirteen she becomes responsible for her family. One would think it would be next to impossible – an undertaking too difficult for such a young girl as Ruby.  You’ll soon discover Ruby’s inner strength and what she’ll do to protect her family.  Ruby remembers her mother’s words of advice, “Do what you want to do and don’t care what anyone thinks about you.  Show the world that women matter as much as men….” (Diamond Ruby, Wallace)

I tend to tell too much about a novel due to my excitement for the work of fiction so I will skirt around the story to tell you some of the enticing highlights. Wallace has done a superb job bringing the time period, the places and the people to life in Diamond Ruby.  Brooklyn New York, Coney Island and Yankee Stadium are just a few of the backdrops for Ruby’s tale. The women’s suffragette movement, the Roaring Twenties, gangsters, Prohibition, the Klu Klux Klan, baseball, and the Spanish Influenza are interwoven into the story.  Then there are those well-known sports figures such as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey who become part of Ruby’s life.  Ruby is a champion and a brave young woman.  Ruby’s talent if you haven’t guessed by now is in her long arms and those arms take her on a journey she never would have imagined.  She could throw a baseball as well as any man.  Her other talent is one of endurance.  Just when you think she’s beat she has something up her sleeve to help her rally. Just like in a baseball game when your team is down with two outs in the ninth inning!  You will love Ruby’s story of survival and the role she played in the game of baseball!

Joe Wallace was inspired to write Diamond Ruby based on the real life story of the female pitcher, Jackie Mitchell.  The year was 1931, sixteen-year-old Jackie Mitchell, was baseball’s very first woman pitcher.  She pitched against and struck out these two legendary baseball players, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Unfortunately for Jackie, the very first baseball commissioner at the time, Judge Kenesaw Landis, banned her as well as all women from playing organized baseball because he considered the sport to be too arduous.  I first learned about Jackie Mitchell from a children’s book, Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen by Marissa Moss.  Since it was published in 2004, I have read it aloud to 3rd grade students each and every year in the library. I highly recommend you find this book for your child.

“Ruby,” he said, “the world’s got to find out about you.” (Diamond Ruby, Wallace) I look forward to you discovering this gem of a story! I think the word is out and many have already read Diamond Ruby’s “scouting report” – don’t you miss out on this book.

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

What Book Would You Recommend For Your Book Club?

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted.” (William Styron)

Last week I posed the question: What book would you recommend for your book club?”  I received such a wide variety of suggestions. Thank you to everyone who submitted a title! Many of us might find it a daunting task to choose a title for book club.  Finding the perfect book the group will enjoy and hoping it will generate a worthwhile discussion are two items which come to mind.  Choosing a book which meets these qualifications can be worrisome.  Anyone get nervous when it’s your turn to select the ideal choice?!  Many people rely on book reviews, websites for book clubs, or asking members from other clubs for help in their selection. Below are the titles I collected from various people.  Many are books which clubs are reading now or will be in the near future. One of the following may be just the superb title you were searching for. I love this diverse group of books!

After the Falls 
After the Falls
by Catherine Gildner

Anthropology of an American Girl 
Anthropology of an American Girl
by Hilary Thayer Hamann

The Art of Racing in the Rain 
The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein

The Ash Garden 
The Ash Garden
by Dennis Bock

Beatrice and Virgil 
Beatrice and Virgil
by Yann Martel

The Birth of Venus 
Birth of Venus
by Sarah Dunant

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang 
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang
by Chelsea Handler

The Children's Blizzard

The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris

Deception Point 
Deception Point
by Dan Brown

Diamond Ruby: A Novel

Diamond Ruby by Joe Wallace

Every Last One

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2) 
The Girl Who Played With Fire
by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest (Millennium, #3) 
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
by Stieg Larsson

The Glass Castle 
The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls

The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors: A Novel

The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors by Michele Young-Stone

The History of Love

History of Love by Nichole Krauss

The Jade Peony

The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy

Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America

Just Like Us by Helen Thorpe

Late Nights on Air

 Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

Little Bee

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

The Mistress Of Nothing 
The Mistress of Nothing
by Kate Pullinger

The Murderer's Daughters 
The Murderer’s Daughters
by Randy Susan Meyers

Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Radium Halos: A Novel about the Radium Dial Painters

Radium Halos by Shelley Stout

Sacred Hearts

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Sweetness in the Belly

Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb

These Is My Words 
These Is My Words
by Nancy Turner

Three Day Road 
Three Day Road
by Joseph Boyden

Too Close to the Falls

Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildner

A Town Like Alice

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

WHITE SEED: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke 
White Seed:The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke
 by Paul Clayton

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

M-EDGE Accessories Contributes to Kindle Program for Illinois Middle School!

Isn’t it astounding how people’s paths cross in so many diverse ways? Just by sharing a story about someone with another person can sometimes lead to a unique partnership. This is what exactly happened to me about six months ago. Last fall I assisted in developing a pilot Kindle program at our middle school, Seneca Grade School, in Seneca, Illinois. I had full support from my administrators and the Board of Education to pursue this new venture in education. Prior to setting up the pilot program I searched for those educators who had already successfully put such a program into place. I found the numbers were small but a few stepped up to lend a hand with my task. One of these educators was, Will Delamater, the creator of Edukindle.com. (Read about Will’s visit this past summer to our school here) Along with the small teacher/administrator Kindle committee, Will was a constant help always ready to answer any questions I sent his way.  In the fall of 2009 I joined his Edukindle.ning.com website for educators using Kindles. I posted questions and eventually I was helping other educators who were testing the e-book waters.

Now fast forward to early 2010.  One morning I opened an email from Will stating he had had coffee with Patrick Mish, the CEO of M-EDGE Accessories. Will mentioned our pilot program to him and the possibility that our entire 8thgrade students would each be receiving Kindles to use in their Literature/Language Arts class in the fall of 2010. Will made the necessary introductions to Patrick and me and a plan was proposed.  M-EDGE Accessories would donate Kindle jackets for all of our Kindles! Not only were we to receive jackets but the jackets would be in our school colors with our Seneca Grade School name hand-stitched on each one!  This was truly amazing and unbelievable!  Prior to the final decision as to which jacket would be used, Patrick Mish sent our students a variety of jackets to try out last spring. There were two which were very popular with the students. They were the Latitude Jacket and the Leisure Jacket. These are the two jackets the students will be using this fall. Not only will the 8th graders have new Kindle jackets but also our 7th grade students will as well. The Board of Education approved the purchase of the Kindles for each 8th grade student in the spring and as a result we were able to proceed with the preparations.

I want to thank Patrick Mish, his team, especially Genevieve Post, at M-EDGE Accessories who worked so closely with me on this project over the last couple of months and to Will Delamater for establishing the connection! I want to express thanks to Caitlin Mills, of Planit Agency!  We are very grateful to all of you for your contribution and involvement in our Kindle program at Seneca Grade School! Never in a million years would I have dreamed of this transpiring but it has become a reality! I’m anxious to share these with our students in the upcoming weeks!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Worldreader.org – “Books For All”

I’m back from a relaxing vacation in Door County, Wisconsin with a new post on something of great importance. You, as my readers, can be of great assistance! If you’ve visited my blog, you know what an avid reader and Kindle lover I am! Being a school librarian for more than 30 years I’m quite passionate about getting students to read. We are so fortunate to have public, school, and home libraries at our finger tips. With the emergence of e-readers we can now access books almost immediately. What about those countries where all of these luxuries are not available? This is the main priority and focal point of Worldreader.org. Their motto, “Books for All,” denotes their intention to lessen the cost and difficulty of obtaining e-reader devices while getting them into the hands of children from developing countries so that they may have a right of entry to a library of educational matter.

Worldreader.org was founded by David Risher in 2008.  He was working with an orphanage in Ecuador and discovered how restricted the pertinent reading resources were for the children.  David’s colleague had an ingenious vision of using e-books to bring appropriate materials to developing countries. Their dream soon evolved into Worldreader.org with their first pilot program now in progress in the country of Ghana.

Worldreader.org has now set many goals, long term being opening their program to other developing countries and to work with manufacturers to construct a ruggedized device.

Their short term goals are to do the following:

-          Ruggedize the e-readers with protective covers.

-          Acquire lights for the Kindles enabling the children to read in their homes.

-          Attain funding for the next phase of their pilot program.

-          Make available to 336 students, new Kindles and library of content.

-          Get the e-readers to the students by the end of August.

What’s the estimated total needed for WorldReader.org to achieve these goals? The total estimated budget is $600,000. $200,000 goes towards research and evaluation. The Kindle devices cost is projected at $200,000. Approximately $200.000 is needed to purchase at least 200 books per device. $50,000 is projected for locally published content. Financial assistance is of the utmost importance to ensure the continuing accomplishment of this program.

WorldReader.org makes available worthwhile and precious reading materials to these students which originally would not have access to.  The program allows substantial research and evaluation to examine how students adjust to the technology and the reading material provided. The research will also present data for improvement and for any modifications which might be needed to make the program a success.

Interested in contributing to this worthwhile cause Worldreader.org has set out to accomplish? Email Elizabeth Wood, Director of Development at Elizabeth@worldreader.org

To read more about Worldreader.org visit their website, http://worldreader.org

Thank you for your contribution!

Happy Reading!

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized