Archive for the ‘Swoon Need & Shiver’ category

Fantastic Fall Displays

October 11, 2009

wayne-houser-clarinet-in-the-parkPhoto by Wayne Houser – “Clarinet in the Park”

For a fast, fabulous, fall bulletin board…start with a black background….fabric, construction paper or cardstock.

Do you have a favorite photo with fall colors…a scenery poster? 
I found the poster above at
I love fall, I miss living where  leaves change colors, where the air has the crisp scent of fall. 
Here behind the Orange Curtain, if there is a crisp smell in the air, it is more than likely a fire burning somewhere in So Cal. 

Once I have the board covered with the black background, I will pick the main focal point.  Then, I add those leaves that I miss so badly. 
I purchase or make colorful leaves. 
If your school has the Ellison Die cut machine, you are sure to have two dies of leaves, one oak and one maple.  I have taken a field trip to the junior high where it is stored and have happily cut out leaves in fall colors to my heart’s content. 
Check out the Ellison web site.  I found that they had die cuts on clearance.  Maybe it’s more than the ‘budget theme’ that I shoot for, but $20.00 for a die cut that you and other teachers will get a lot of use out of, is a good thing.   You can visit them at



Lately I have been a bit more creative with the leaves.  At Michael’s crafts you can find a bag of silk fall leaves for around $1.99. 
These seem to add more interest and dimension to the display and can be seen here with Mary Englebreit posters. 


Last December when I was shopping for Christmas treats for my student helpers, I came across three bunches of preserved fall leaves at my local grocery store.  Three bunches for $.99 cents.  Now that’s a bargain to a scrapbooker and a library tech. 
If you are fortunate enough to live where the leaves change, you can check out this web site for instructions on drying leaves yourself.


By separating the leaf bunch into
sections, I was able to cover the metal edge of
the board and draw attention to the colorful book book jackets that I featured for this month.  image 2
By loosely attaching the leaves,
it looks like they are falling in an October breeze. 



Can I talk anymore about how much I LOVE the Cricut Expressions machine?  If you are lucky enough to have this machine, or know someone who you can enlist to be your new best friend…so you can borrow it from time to time…you can quickly cut out the saying for the bulletin board in no time at all. 

image 3


image 1


In about an hour, I had this bright, eye catching display ready for my students. 
Hope that you too are able to fall into one of the many new YA novels that are being released this fall.  Happy Reading!

Security Strips –

August 22, 2009

I noticed that last night someone used the search engine term “security strips” to find one of my posts. 

I had a past post where I talk about how discouraging it is when I find the security strip removed from a book on the floor.  We lost several books at the end of the school year this way.  I know, because I have gone through the Fiction collection and reorganized….Why is so hard to find student help that can alphabetize? 

Believe it or not, I managed to alphabetize and still work “Registration Hell.” 

I hate to say that my student helpers are telling their friends how the books are “armed” and then their friends remove the security strip and steal a book from the library.  But after finishing the Fiction section, there are too many books missing, to think otherwise.  I hope the culprits have not been my student helpers. 
I hate it when they steal the first copy in a series…obviously I hate that they think it’s okay to steal a book period.  At least if I have the first book a series, a student can get started reading while I arrange the purchase of the missing next book.  I’ll be going out this week to replace several copies that are gone.  It is sad when students come to the desk because the book they are looking for has “gotten up and walked away.” 

This year, even if I have to stay late, I will be the one to put the security strips in the books.  I have noticed that some of the student help put the security strips in the back of the books where it is easy to find.  Not this year.  I have to say though, there really isn’t a good place to insert the strip in graphic novels. 

I know what you’re saying…”Hey Mrs. Hot…we thought that this post was going to have book reviews!” 
Well, my friends, it does.  Here they are: 

My Top Picks for:  “Books Needing More Security”. 

Not a great acronym, is it?  I’ll work on that. 



My first recommendation is Swoon written by Nina Malkin.  I predict that I will need a sign up sheet for this ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.  This book gave me the feeling of New England in the fall, kind of an Ichabod Crane meets the 21st century.  The plot revolves around three characters, Dice, Penn and Sin. 
The text is rich, bringing to mind very colorful images.  It was hard to put down.  I think my students who will check out New Moon again, while they wait for the movie will be reading this one too. 
There’s a bit of a love triangle and many discussions of sex.  It is not a book for middle schoolers.  11th grade and up. 




My second place must read is Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. 
I know my students are going to love it too.  I should pick up a few more copies before next week.   
The two main characters are Grace and Sam.  Sam saved Grace when she was a young child. 
Now it is up to Grace to save Sam, but can she? 
I was prepared to not have an “emotionally satisfying ending” but the twist surprised me. 
The following trailer was created by Maggie Stiefvater herself, using hundreds of paper cut-outs and multiple photographic frames per second.  The music was composed and performed by Maggie Stiefvater & Kate Hummel. 
I wonder if Maggie is into scrapbooking too?







(This trailer courtesy of Expanded Books)


This was by far my favorite of the three. 
I picked up for the cover art alone.  Isn’t it gorgeous

The story may sound remotely familiar….some reviewers have noted a “
Twilight DNA quality.”  
The plot focuses on the heroine,  Zara, as well as Nick, Ian, two more of Zara’s quirky new friends…and a stranger who leaves behind a trail of gold dust.  Do your students a favor and pick up a copy of Need