Notes From the Shire


Throughout college I babysat ages baby on up. I changed diapers. After college I worked on a friend’s farm. I scooped pony, goat, sheep and (stepped in) chicken poop.  After starting at the Northshire Bookstore I sold a book called Everyone Poops. (I think I’m noticing a trend…..).  But this is not a bad thing. It is character building.

Therefore, it probably is not surprising my favorite books are ones with character. These books will be in public, school and home libraries for years to come. Resonating long after the book is closed.

No matter how many years pass or how many wonderful books come out of her pen, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, will always speak. What do you do when you are a high school freshman and want to fit in? You go to a party. What do you do when a popular senior seems interested in you? You speak to him. What do you do when he rapes you? You call the police. But what happens when you cannot speak about what happened? The police come and break it up and your peers blame you. Never bothering to learn why you did what you did. What do you do when the only person speaking to you is your rapist? This is the world that Anderson created for Melinda. A world where not only a powerful subject is introduced to our consciousness, but a world that is all too common: the shunning of a fellow student simply because no one takes the time to know the person behind their actions.  Anderson shows that words (or lack of them) can harm. (READ MORE)

Speak Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312674397
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Square Fish - May 10th, 2011

Need a Vacation?

Recently I took a journey to the shelves of the Northshire Bookstore.  It’s probably one of my favorite trips. Even as a kid, I knew that going to go to the Northshire meant something great was going to happen (and it wasn’t just because at the time we were located where you could look out a window in the children’s level and see a waterfall!) No, I knew that I was going to get….. (wait for it)…..a BOOK! Maybe even two, if I was really good (or could talk my sister into getting my “other pick” as her own……).

On this newest journey one of the souvenirs I took home with me was a book called The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin.  Cronin is known for Click Clack Moo illustrated by Betsy Lewin and Diary of a Worm illustrated by Harry Bliss. However, The Trouble With Chickens (while a fantastic read aloud to that age) tends to fly up to the higher reader. (READ MORE)

Staff Pick Badge
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery Cover Image
By Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780061215346
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 3-7 Business Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 24th, 2012

A Novel Idea

Those who know me know that I’m easily distracted by shiny objects, squirrels and impressive spines on books. The other day one of these things caught my eye: three black dust jackets with shocking white print. Exposed by Kimberly Marcus was the book. The cover is two black and white photographs. One is the face of a girl. In the other a girl seems to fly out of the photograph. Beautiful and intriguing….but even more intriguing was the fact that it was written by a first time novelist.

Those that know me know that I love first time novels.  It is a great way to say “I’ve read all of Author X’s books.”  It is also a great way to find a new author to keep an eye out for. Two authors that are in these categories are Exposed by Marcus and Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg. Probably two more different books could not be found, but found together they were on a restocking cart. (READ MORE)

Books to Read when the RV is in your arm

Recently, one of my nephews had to have surgery on a broken pinky finger. As most children of that precocious age of 11 going on 40, he does tend to have a unique take with the English language. Picture it: North Bennington, Vermont.  A young boy is on the phone to his grandmother (my mother) after that fateful surgery. He has called to inform her that he is feeling fine, but his arm tingles. And to tell her, “Grandma, they put an RV in me.” (Later, as the adventure was relayed to me, I laughed and said, “No wonder his arm tingled!”)  So, now, one of his favorite ways of passing the day, baseball, is on hold (mostly due to the fact that it is winter, not to mention that he is currently on the DL right now). Therefore, he has to go to another one of his past times, reading a good book.  On top of it all, he has to find a creative solution to the holding of said book.  But fear not! He figured out how to prop those books on his knees and gets the job done!

One book that I hope will be a comfortable prop is Jon Scieska’s Guys Read: Funny Business. These short stories are for ages 10 to14 and have been written by some of today's best loved authors. They are humorous stories that follow in the idea of How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen. Each short story explores that unique world that is boy in their own voice and language they will relate to. (Note: please read alone; or with a group that will appreciate the fact that this is a laugh-out loud, tickle the funny bone read.) (READ MORE)

Staff Pick Badge
Guys Read: Funny Business Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061963735
Availability: Special Order
Published: Walden Pond Press - September 21st, 2010

Sun, Surf and Read

Looking at my list of books to read this summer made me realize that the summer reading lists never really end. So to continue the fun of a few weeks ago, here are a few others of my must reads for this summer’s enjoyment. However, the fun doesn't have to end when summer does. Each of these are great to curl up with as the leaves fall from the tree or with a cup of hot chocolate and the wind and snow a blowin’!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: An alternative (but also familiar) London is the setting for this prequel to Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. Tessa must navigate the city where the shadows have dangerous beings lurking in them—and not all are human. She is determined to find her beloved brother (who seems to have been kidnapped by the same people who kidnapped her when she first came to London). But, she does not know if she can trust the people who rescued her. No matter how nice (or handsome!) they seem to be. Tessa must learn how to handle a great and horrible new talent that has come to light: she can change herself into anyone who has died. The fantasy situations make this for strong 12 up (most likely 13 up). (READ MORE)


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