Reading Log #3

Title: Guinness World Records 2021

Genre: Informational Text

Citation: Guinness World Records (2020). Guinness World Records 2021. Guinness World Records.

Summary: The Guinness World Records 2021 has a lot of records held for all kinds of different things like fastest runner, largest potato, and the most expensive foods. This book is accessible to children ages 6+ because of the vast pictures within the text. (Many children ages 6-7 may not be able to read the entirety of the content but will be able to use the pictures for understanding.) This would be a great book to use for programming purposes in a town library by publishing a newsletter or posters for children who read the most books of a genre or attended the most story hours.  

Title: Who Would Win? Green Ants vs. Army Ants

Genre: eBook

Citation: Pallotta, J. (2019). Who Would Win? Green Ants vs. Army Ants. Scholastic Incorporated.

Who Would Win? Green Ants vs. Army Ants is a book available as an eBook. In this eBook, the reader is delighted by informational graphics of ants and walked through the critical thinking process of comparing and contrasting various types of ants. The graphics in the book are plentiful and there are also games at the end of the book, though the reader is unable to fill them out on the computer. The book shares a lot of information, though, and can engage the reader with the balance of pictures and words. This book could be used as an independent reader for children ages 8+.

Title: Gimkit

Genre: Educational Game


Gimkit is a considered an online learning game and is often used with middle grades students (grades 4-8). Users of Gimkit can set up questions to answer and then earn “money” for their correct answers. Gimkit can be used by youth to study and to review books or any other content materials. The site has preloaded (by other educators) quizzes and has the option to upload one’s own, so that materials can be catered toward specific content or more general material.

Title: Common Sense Media

Genre: Educational Website

Citation: Reviews for what your kids are into (before they get into it): Common sense media. Common Sense Media: Ratings, reviews, and advice. (n.d).

Common Sense Media is an educational website that can be used for a range of things through librarianship: It can be used to access media reviews (books and movies), used to create lessons on digital media and Internet safety, and used as a resource for apps, games, and other media forms. Common Sense Media is includes a number of educational resources, not only for teachers and students but for parents and families as well. The website is user-friendly and has sub-headers for different media types, for parents, for educators, and for advocates; there is also a link that informs users of their research. Overall, Common Sense Media offers a user-based experience and allows its users the opportunity to understand media in a more in-depth capacity.

Title: Call of the Wild

Genre: Film

Citation: Sanders, C. (Director). (2020). Call of the Wild. United States. Paramount.

Summary: The Call of the Wild was released as an original movie in the 1970s and was remade in 2020. This movie has vivid graphics that match up with the words in the Jack London classic. Watching films with children that mirror books they have read allows for discussion around critical thinking and offers readers a different vantage point to participate in. Using a film like this in a public library setting could work with library programming by hosting a panel discussion on which was better, the book or the movie; it can also serve as a piece of a whole program on comparing/contrasting books and their corresponding movie versions. This particular book and movie combo would work out nicely for children ages 9-14, but this type of program can be extended for older students by watching the movie O and reading Othello or watching Ten Things I Hate About You and reading Taming of the Shrew.

Final Learning Reflection

Children’s literature encompasses so much that it is easy to be overwhelmed by all of its components. Throughout the last seven weeks, I have spent a lot of time reading articles, reading books, researching authors, and learning about educational apps and websites. In order to appropriately use the findings from this course, I think that it makes a lot of sense to think about how I will plan to use these materials going forward.

            First and foremost, a lot of the articles and the Sylvia M. Vardell text Children’s Literature in Action, provide strategies on how best to evaluate both reading and learning materials for children. Last semester, I took a YA Literature course and learned a lot about professional review sources, so having a tool or guideline on how best to evaluate literature through a librarianship scope is another strategy I will implement regularly. In addition to being able to further vet materials, I am looking forward to doing more author spotlights.

            For the purpose of this course, I did an author spotlight on Jason Reynolds: A popular author who I knew very little about. That particular assignment forced me to learn more about an author and I would like to take that approach in the future with other authors and expand what I’ve learned in the form of bulletin boards and book displays for students and teachers to learn more about.

Author Jason Reynolds
Photo Credit: American Libraries/Cognotes.

            Areas that I would like to learn more about vary but include learning-based technologies. I read articles this term about the value of eBooks; this was something interesting to me because students at my school will take an eBook as an absolute last resort but do not seem much interested in them otherwise, despite teachers asking me to demonstrate how they are able to change fonts (which can help with dyslexia at times), use the read aloud feature (which offers an opportunity to change both voice and speed), and highlight and/or note-take. I want to figure out a way to make the eBooks mor appealing to students, which is quite the challenge for someone who does not enjoy reading on a screen at all and prefers a paper-book any day of the week.

            Another area of weakness centers on learning apps. I looked at GimKit for this class because I know it’s a learning tool a lot of teachers use and one that our students seemingly enjoy. I did not know much about it otherwise, though. I would like to figure out ways to integrate learning games into the library programming at my school because I think it can be a way to get students excited about class time in the library. It might also be a way to break up digital literacy components of learning and help lead into online safety discussions.

            Another way to discuss online safety is to address computer/technology use for children ages 10+ (the ages of children in my school). Using sites like Common Sense Media can help improve knowledge of understanding across a wide-range of elements like media literacy, online safety, and the site can even be used for book reviews, and for families to investigate whether or not certain sites or apps are appropriate for use by children of any age.

            There is such robust information out there in the world to accompany librarianship and it is really important to know how best to use it without feeling overwhelmed at every turn. I think that’s the biggest takeaway for me is learning how to integrate new knowledge without being overwhelmed and feeling like I need to share everything I know all at once. Because I have been thinking about how to integrate what I have used in this class into a library program, I can chunk the information I’ve learned to meet the needs of my library community.

            Next year, I will hopefully have full use of my library and will be able to run library programs like the reading challenge I created and use bulletin board space to highlight authors, books, and online learning tools. This is something I wholeheartedly look forward to doing. Overall, I think that there was a lot of information learned about throughout this course and I think much of it will benefit children I currently work with and those I will work with in the future. While I am a school librarian this year, it is hard to know which path I will eventually stay on in librarianship but I know I will be prepared for any area I will want to work in moving forward. 

Book Group: Guts

I had the pleasure of meeting with three classmates and my professor last week. While it was a virtual meet, it was a meet no less and it is always nice to put a face to a name, especially given that I have had more than one class with each of these particular classmates. While we did discuss some of the book, we also got into other topics surrounding librarianship, teaching, and graphic novels. It was a really great conversation and I’m thankful for that opportunity to meet with classmates.

The book we read for class was Guts but Raina Telgemeier. I, personally, did not like the book as much as my classmates for myself; however, I did see a great value in this text for children and more specifically, for students in my school. Guts is a coming-of-age graphic novel that shows the evolution of bathroom humor through puberty and throws in a healthy dose of anxiety and health issues for good measure. There are troubles that characters in the text face like the fear of being accepted, the fear of public speaking, the fear of being ridiculed over a family-favorite-packed-lunch. These fears are very true for anyone who has experienced them and my guess is that through reading the book, most children ages 8-12 will have first-hand experience with at least one of the topics covered in the book.

Overall, Guts is a great graphic novel that presents a lot of troublesome and stressful experiences children and tweens have and frames it in a non-intimidating way through graphics and storytelling. Boys and girls alike can benefit from taking the time to read Guts by Raina Telgemeier.  

Reading Log #2

Home of the Brave

Realistic Fiction

Applegate, K. (2007). Home of the Brave. Square Fish.

Home of the Brave is a book written in verse that guides the reader through Kek’s story of immigrating from Africa to Minnesota. It documents his experiences as a child learning English, learning how to navigate school and social interactions in the state, and mourning the loss of his brother and father (and his missing mother). The story is moving and relatable and also provides the reader with context about what it might be like to move from another country with completely different culture and climate and be forced to acclimate without the help and support of one’s parents. The characters in this story are rich with words and experiences; Kek doesn’t understand American customs and idioms, so reading through his perspective gives a gleam into those experiences. The setting is also descriptive, sharing a lot of information about the Minnesota cold – what it looks like; how it feels – which really allows the reader to feel like they are there beside him. Because this book is in verse, it can end up being more or less intimidating to the reader (depending on the person). For this reason, it can be recommended to children (ages 9+) to read independently or in a school setting as a full class read aloud or independent reading book.

Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again

Historical Fiction

Lai, T. (2011). Inside Out & Back Again. Harper Collins.

Inside Out and Back Again is a historical fiction book written in verse. It tells the tale of Ha and her journey of leaving South Vietnam. Through Ha’s experiences, her words are told from the perspective of a child learning and understanding all that goes into immigrating to the United States during a time of war. In one section, appropriately titled “July 4,” Ha recounts how her mother chose the USA over France or other countries where the Vietnamese fled at that time: The hope of college and even scholarships for her sons. Reading on, Ha’s experience was not what her mother was promised; there are many struggles found with classmates being unkind and teachers assuming Ha and her siblings know or understand less than they do. Overall, this book asks for perspective taking on how new immigrant families in American cities and town may feel, know, understand, and need. This book is recommended for children ages 11+ with the hopes that the older the child, the more they will get out of the book beyond just the tales and stories shared.

The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter

The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter


Larkin, S. (2020). The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter. Read by: Shabazz Larkin, Legend Larkin, Royal
Larkin, Ashley Larkin. Live Oak Media. Audiobook. 11 minutes.

The Thing About Bees was both written and read by Shabazz Larkin. There was a second voice in the narration to show the onset of the book. In the background is music/tunes. Larkin uses wait time as he reads; almost like you would in a read aloud situation. Larkin showed intonation as he read and the sound effects amplified the meaning behind the words. This book is a great informational text because it teaches readers about the importance of bees and includes examples of all of the foods we eat and experiences we have with those items as a result of bee pollination. On a personal note, I love that Shabazz Larkin wrote this book because of his fear of bees and his desire to grow so that he does not pass that fear onto his children. This book could be used with toddlers through early grades children, ages 3-7 as a read aloud for a library or even as a read aloud for an elementary-level science class.

Wings of Fire

The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1) (1)

Fantasy: The Dragonet Prophecy

Sutherland, T. T. (2012). Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy. Scholastic Press.

The Wings of Fire series is one that is very popular amongst children ages 10+. The Dragonet Prophecy is the first of the series (which currently has 14 books in publication). In this book, there are highs filled with excitement from battles and lows filled with fear from fallouts. Word choice fuels the imagery at play when reading and allows the reader to reenact vivid scenes in their minds. This book is recommended to anyone interested in fantasy books, specifically that lean toward dragons. The fact that this book kicks off a series allows the reader to really invest in the literature and the fate of Clay and the rest of the MudWing dragons/dragonets.


Drama: A Graphic Novel

Graphic Novel

Telgemeier, R. (2012). Drama. Scholastic Press.

Drama is a coming-of-age graphic novel that follows the trials and tribulations of the protagonist, Callie. In the book, Callie is on the stage-crew for her school’s drama performance; she learns that there is more drama than that performed on-stage. Callie experiences a crush, frustration at school with members of the cast and crew, and everyday dealings. Brightly colored text is used to emphasize sounds in the story. The text compliments the pictures well in this graphic novel and really tells the story of Callie’s experiences. This book can be used as an independent reading book and can be enjoyed by children ages 10 and up. 

Graphic Novel Evaluation

For the purpose of this assignment, I chose to evaluate the graphic novels section of the [Redacted] library. There are a wide range of graphic novels but there are opportunities to make the offerings more robust and diverse. As a result of evaluating the graphic novel collection, I learned that the paper books get worn far faster than some of the more circulated hard back books. Of course, this makes sense, but seeing how worn and tattered some of the paper books were really stood out. It’s hard to take them out of circulation and replace them before they are unreadable due to budget constraints and supply chain issues that are currently affecting vendors. 

In order to make the graphic novel collection more diverse, adding more LGBTQ+ titles, more titles with disabled or differently abled characters, and more books that address issues children face (divorce, adoption, death in families). There are a number of picture books for our youngest readers that cover such topics but it seems like the middle grades ages (8-12) do not have the same access to resources on these topics. These are topics, I personally, would add to this collection to make it more robust.

Some books that might be worth adding are Just Pretend by Tori Sharp and Stepping Stones: (A Graphic Novel) by Lucy Knisley; these books are both graphic novels that cover divorce. Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke, Epileptic by David B. are books about disabilities that would be worth adding (this collection has El Deafo, which is another great book about a disabled child). Overall, adding books like these will add to the collection and offer children a fully well-rounded graphic novel collection to access.

TitleAuthorDate of PublicationContent EvaluationCondition EvaluationDecision
Minecraft Sfe’ R. MonsterOctober 2020Vivid Images; Small Paragraphs (mostly dialogue); Not intimidating; ages 8-12.Great condition; looks brand new. (Hardback)Keep
The Lost HeroAdapted by Robert VendittiOctober 2014Large print and colorful onomatopoeia words; picture sizes vary. Ages 10-12.Slightly worn; corners are worn and there’s some slight tearing at the bottom of the spine. (Paperback)Keep
Be PreparedVera Brosgol2018Some pages have blurry pictures; a lot of text throughout in each pane but mostly only 1-2 sentences in each. Ages 8-12.Very worn. Spine is taped with heavy tape but is still coming apart; corners are frayed. (Hardback)Replace with a new copy (U)
Dog Man: A Tale of Two KittiesDav Pilkey2017Simple text; bright pictures; no more than 2-4 sentences on each page. Ages 7-10.Worn spine and torn cover. (Hardback)Replace with new copy (U)
Time ShiftersChris Grine2017More pictures than text on each page. Most panes only have 1-2 words in them. Ages 10-12.Slightly worn. A little fraying on cover edges. (Paperback) Keep
SaintsGene Luen Yang2013Most of the pages in the book are full of dialogue but some have the same word over and over to emphasize a point; some words are in an Asian language as well (likely Chinese). Ages 12+. Good overall condition; looks like the book has only been checked out four times (per the stamp in the back). (Paperback)Keep
Space Boy Volume 5Stephanie McCranie’s2019Bright, vivid pictures; handwritten font. A few sentences on each page in total between 4-8 panes. Ages 10-12.Very good condition; no wear and tear on the book at all. (Paperback)Keep
Amulet: Book Eight, SupernovaKazu Kibuishi2018Pictures are dark; font is dramatic; bold is used to emphasize. A lot of noise; not a lot of discussion or words; this story is mostly told through pictures. Ages 10+Slightly worn; fraying at the corners. (Paperback)Keep
Secret CodersGene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes2015Pages are very busy (this book is very different from Saints); they are green with white pictures drawn. 
This book gave me a headache.
Slighthly worn; fraying at the corners and along the spine. (Paperback)Keep
Sunny Rolls The DiceJennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm2019Pictures are muted; there is a lot of dialogue. Ages 9+.Worn; increased fraying at the ends and along the spine. (Paperback)Keep but budget to replace in another year.
This Was Our PactRyan Andrews2019It is like a subtle rainbow; pages/sections are all pink in pictures and then purple and then blue, etc. Not a ton of text; the book mostly relies on pictures to tell the story. Ages 11+Slightly worn; fraying along the top of the book and at the bottom corners. (Paperback)Keep
The Crossover: Graphic NovelKwame Alexander2014 (text); 2019 (illustrations)

This book is an adaptation of a chapter book and is far heavier on text than on graphics. Pictures. The font is playful though and large, which makes it less intimidating. Ages 11+.Good condition; very little fraying along the corners. (Paperback with increased binding)Keep
The Dragon PathEthan Young2021Very  bright images; heavy on text but a light font. Ages 10+.Brand new condition; no wear and tear. (Paperback)Keep
A Silent Voice 2Yoshitoki Oima2015 (English translation)All black-white-gray scale images; mostly short bursts of text. Good condition; slight wear/fraying at one corner.Keep
Big Nate: A good Old-Fashioned WedgieLincoln Peirce2017A good bit of text; pictures support text but this reads more like a regular book than some of the graphic novels, which are very picture heavy. Ages 8+.Worn; torn spine; frayed edges.Replace; local elementary school library (in-district) also has a copy of this book and can send through inter-office mail (U)
Chi’s Sweet Home Volume 5Konami Kanata2011 (translated)Very muted; natural colors and images of nature. Not many words; relies on pictures to tell the story. Ages 10+.Good condition; some yellowing on cover but the book is largely in-tact.Keep
The Breakaways: Bad at Soccer. Okay at Friends.Cathy G. Johnson2019A balance of text and pictures. Some series colors/ text.Good condition; no fraying on spine; only slight fraying on the corners.Keep
SmileRaina Telgemeier2010Pictures aren’t overly bright but images are colorful and plentiful; a good balance of words and pictures to tell the story. Ages 8+.Book has cover on it; cover it tattered but book appears in fine condition. (Hardback)Keep
DramaRaina Telgemeier2012Pictures are mostly bright and light; text is a nice compliment. Fairly heavy text. Ages 10+.Book has ripped spine and frayed edges; not in good shape but still bound. (Paperback)Weed (several copies exist in library) (U)
GutsRaina Telgemeier2019A nice balance of pictures and text to tell the story. Pictures change based on the setting. Ages 10+.Okay condition; slight fraying Keep