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How do you start the beginning of the year?

Aside from welcoming the students back for their new school year, I like to start with a promotion highlighting my most favorite read: in this case Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  

The first thing I do is make a huge cover of the book. Luckily in Hong Kong we’ve got this great web based company called the Bannershop. Making promotional items with them is super cheap. Then, in keeping with the theme of my library’s signage, I made arrows signs saying things like, “My favorite summer read” or “Get your own copy.” For the students to receive their own copy all they had to do was write a review of one of their favorite books. Plus they could enter as many times as they wanted. This was a great way to get students promoting what to read. It was their very own “good reads!”

At the end of August, I pulled down all the reviews and drew ten names. Oh! The kids were so excited to receive Ready Player One—one student even asked if he could have the enormous poster I had made. Have you read this book yet? Make sure to read it before the movie comes out and stay tuned for an upcoming book review of Ready Player One.

This school year I’ve made a librarian goal for myself: I want to give away more books to the students. I plan to use part of my book collection budget on this. I think it’d be safe to say the most everyone loves owning a book!

August 15, 2017   Comments Off on How do you start the beginning of the year?

How did you feel listening to The Circle?


Appalled usually isn’t the best word to describe how one feels while listening to a book, but that’s what ended up happening while I listened to Dave Eggers The Circle. I was appalled but in a way that caused emotion and a fear of our very own realities. At times, 2016 doesn’t seem to far off from the world created in The Circle.

We freely and voluntarily share so much of our lives: it started with Facebook updates, factual information shared through tweets, then beautiful imagery of our lives with Instagram, and now up-to-date commentary of our daily lives with Snapchat. Much of the world pays for their lives through everything with Paypal, uses Google to find and create most their content, and tracks their activity levels with Fitbit type devices. The technological utopia that May experiences in The Circle might just become our own realistic dystopia if we are not cautiously careful.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for technology. But if it happens in this cultish way similar to The Circle, I will be very, very scared! The Circle to me was a great forewarning shouting be aware of how much you share and allow to be governed by your tech. I noticed as I was listening to the book that I didn’t check my social media accounts quite so much; rather, I turned on my headset to continue listening.

Dave Eggers, you’ve created a stupendous book one I highly recommend reading or listening to. We could all use a bit of a warning in the form of a reality check in my honest opinion.

PS Make sure to read the book before the movie comes out in 2017!

PPS What was interesting about Dave Eggers and this book is I was not able to find a website for him nor a Twitter account. Let me know if you know where he’s to be found other than his bio….

November 7, 2016   Comments Off on How did you feel listening to The Circle?

What did you think of Ellen Hopkins’ verse novel Identical?


Whenever I’m in-between books and don’t know what to read, I can always count on a verse novel. A verse novel is a sensational story format told through poetry. Whenever I read a verse novel, I feel so accomplished; they read fast. The reader enters a sort of rhythm make the pages fly by.

I had always wanted to try one of Ellen Hopkins’ verse novels, but to be honest the size always intimidated me. Her books are quite large–usually over 400 pages. But, Identical, the one I tried had me hooked despite being 564 pages long! There were two points of views from two twins, Raeanne and Kaeleigh. One of these girls is a total bad girl, while the other is a goody-goody. There’s all sorts of abuse: sexual, alcohol, and drug abuse. There are two sets of very elite parents–one a judge, the other a congresswoman. To top it all off, there’s a ton of neglect and hidden family secrets.

When you read Ellen Hopkins you need to be ready for a bit of graphic language as well as scenes. She’s a ballsy writer tackling real issues of abuse. Because of her realistic writing, I could really imagine each of the sisters. There’s also something really cool that Hopkins did with her poems.  She’d match her poetry to the content; for example, she configures her poems into shattered hearts, an “L” for loser, or a vodka bottle.

Hopkins has tons of best sellers, (check out her ratings on Goodreads!), and many of her verse novels have become series. Up next for me will be the following with multiple characters telling the story:



Then these two titles look good, but the content of suicide and crystal meth might be too much for me:



Follow Ellen Hopkins on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


November 2, 2016   Comments Off on What did you think of Ellen Hopkins’ verse novel Identical?