Thursday, February 23, 2017

Week 7 Prompt

Talk about a time when a book or author that made headlines affected you personally or your work.

            Four years ago, I was in my third year of teaching middle school language arts in a rural school in Oklahoma.  Here is a little background information, so you can understand the awkwardness and gravity of the situation I found myself.  Oklahoma is considered to be in the Bible Belt.  The Bible Belt is filled with very conservative evangelical Protestants.  As a language arts teacher I think book talks or book reports are important for students to give each month.  During this time, Fifty Shades of Grey was splattered all over the media.  I had read the book when it first became an Amazon #1 best seller before the media made it a big sensation.

I had an eighth grade girl bring the book to school to read for silent reading and I am assuming to eventually present to the class during her book talk.  Now, I love when kids read and my only limitation had ever been that the book had to fit the student’s reading ability.  The young lady who brought the book was very intelligent and was considered gifted and talented, obviously I couldn’t say the reading level was too difficult.  I was not sure how to deal with the situation because I had never been placed in this type of predicament, so I went to my principal hoping to get his advice.  His response was a laugh and he gave me his well wishes.  After a day of worrying about how to handle the situation, I decided to speak privately with the student.  I decided to tell her she was allowed to read the book, but it was not a school appropriate book for a book talk and that she was not to share or discuss the book with any of her peers and the book was to stay in her locker when she was not reading it.  The next day, the student returned and told me she thought the book was too adult for her.  I felt a huge relief!

Science Fiction Annotation

Image result for the traveler john twelve hawksThe Traveler
By, John Twelve Hawks


This is a unique book written by an anonymous author with the pseudonym, John Twelve Hawks.  According to John Twelve Hawk’s biography, he lives off the grid and communicates via satellite phone because it is untraceable.  Mya is trained to avoid to attention and being caught on London’s surveillance cameras and to avoid the secret shadow organization that has tracked and killed people around the world.  Maya meets Gabriel who is on the run from the shadow agency because he is the only person who is willing to stand against them. Much like the author, the book is about a family trying to live off the grid in London. 

Elements of Science Fiction

Tone/Mood – The tone plays on the genre’s appeal to the intellect

The novel is a dystopian science fiction novel that focuses on big brother trying to control society.  It appeals to the reader’s intellect by bringing our current day government into question.

Characterization – Generally the issues, story, and frame are emphasized more than the characters.

Maya is a twenty six year old who has abandoned her father’s dangerous way of life and instead chooses a normal life until she meets a group called the Travelers.  A Traveler is a small group of prophets who are able to influence the future.  Maya’s father makes her aware of a group of ruthless mercenaries who have hunted Travelers for many generations. The focus of the story is on Maya’s ability to guard Gabriel against a group of people who are determined to control the world.  In order for Gabriel to save the world from this tyrannical group, Maya must leave behind safety to ensure Gabriel stays off the grid. 

Frame/Setting – Consistently evocative and visual.

From the back alleys of Prague to the busy heart of Los Angeles to the dry deserts of Arizona, Maya and the Travelers explore a parallel world that exists alongside our own.

Pacing – Determined by the amount of action.

The Traveler is an unsettling story filled with suspenseful action and adventure as the characters try to evade the group of secret mercenaries. 


·         The Dark River: Book Two of the Fourth Realm, John Twelve Hawks

·         The Golden city: Book Three of the Fourth Realm, John Twelve Hawks

·         Infoquake (Jump 225, #1), David Louis Edelman

·         Tank Girl: The Gifting, Alan C. Martin

·         Idlewild (Idlewild, #1), Nick Sagan

·         Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, Cory Doctorow

·         The Graveyard Game (The Company, #4), Kage Baker

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 6 Prompt

A fun, innovative method to promote the genre of romance would be the blind date night with a book with a spin.  I would use this method during the month of February to promote the romance genre for singles.  Using mysterious romance novels and movies wrapped in colored paper, I would write clues on the outside to entice readers.  I would really play this up for singles who do not have a Valentine for Valentine’s Day.  The display title would read “Single on Valentine’s Day? Have fun With a Fictional Character.”  On the display table I would also have bookmarks of romance authors, movies, titles, lists of award winning romance titles on display.  Since romance readers and authors are often not taken seriously, I would also want to work on “developing and encouraging, positive attitude among staff toward romance fiction and romance readers” (Adkins, Esser, & Valequez, 2013). 
Come in and browse our brand new Blind Date with a Book display! This one is adult titles, but teen books will be on the way soon. • Take a chance! • Check out a book just based on it’s profile, and...:

Adkins, D., Esser, L. R., & Valesquez, D. (2013, May 10). Promoting Romance Novels in American

Public Libraries. Retrieved February 17, 2017, from
[Blind Date with a Book Display]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Monday, February 13, 2017

Romance Annotation

Delivery Girl: A contemporary sports romantic comedy (Minnesota Ice Book 1) by [Kate, Lily]


Delivery Girl: A Contemporary Sports Romantic Comedy

by Lily Kate

            “I need one order of a smiley face pie,” my dad shouts (Kate 109).  Andi Peretti is the delivery girl at her dad’s pizza joint, Peretti’s Pizza.  Andi assumes she is delivering the pizza to some guy for his girlfriend as a romantic gesture.  As she approaches the door to knock, she discovers she is actually delivering the pizza to a nearly nude Ryan Pierce, a hockey star extraordinaire for the Minnesota Stars.  In an attempt to escape embarrassment, Andi accidently hits Ryan’s beautiful, black Ferrari.  As the story progresses, Andi continues to deliver pizza to Ryan until they become friends with benefits.  Ryan needs a date to his brother’s wedding, so he asks Andi to accompany his as his fake girlfriend.  The longer they pretend, the longer they both struggle with the reality of Ryan leaving for his new team.

Elements of Romance


            Delivery Girl a romantic sports comedy that pulls the reader into the story immediately.  The story appeals to the reader’s emotions through Andi’s embarrassment of hearing an intimate couple to Ryan answering the door in a towel.  Andi misunderstands the situation and assume Ryan was with a woman in his living room, when it was actually his brother with his fiancé.  Ryan was taking a shower and heard the doorbell. 


            Ryan is a new talented hockey player who is trying to get picked up by a better team on the East Coast.  Andi lives with her dad and is a struggling comedian in her time off from her dad’s pizza joint. 


            The story is set in Los Angeles, California.  Ryan lives in his brother’s mansion in Los Feliz, an expensive neighborhood on the outskirts of Los Angeles.  Much of the story is spent at the mansion and the seedy neighborhood where the pizza joint is located. 


The story is told fairly quickly with comedy throughout.  The story can easily be read in a single setting or the reader can easily put the book down and start right back off and still be interested. 


·         Big Shot, by Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde

·         Anything You Can Do, by R.S. Grey

·         Get Lucky: A Stand Alone Romantic Comedy, by Lila Monroe

·         Hail Mary, by Nicola Rendell

·         Embody, by S.E. Hall

·         Back Check: An Aces Hockey Novel, by Kelly Jamieson

·         Pumped: A Sports Romance, by Harper James

·         The Code, by R.J. Scott

·         Lucas: A Cold Fury Hockey Novel, by Sawyer Bennett

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Kirkus Style Review

Image result for house of royals book
House of Royals

Keary Taylor

When Alivia Ryan packs up and leaves her small Colorado town to inherit her riches at the Conrath plantation she should have known trouble would arise, putting Alivia in grave danger and revealing hidden family secrets.  Instead of the quiet, sleepy house she expects to find, she inherits a mansion with staff who are afraid to look her in the eyes.

Alivia Ryan is a twenty something Colorado girl who has been down on her luck, until she is contacted by her unknown father’s estate.  She is to inherit a fortune and a mansion in small town, Silent Bend, Mississippi.  Everyone but Alivia knows the danger of going out after dark because of the town is ruled from the dark shadows of the House.  The House is an immortal Born vampire group that never ages.  Naïvely, Alivia decides to stay out after dark and is attacked by a bitten.  Ian Ward is a sworn enemy and trained vampire assassin.  Thinking she’s one of the bitten, he tries to kill Alivia the first time they meet, and then insists that he trains her to defend herself against the House.  The growing affection between the two causes quit the stir in the small town because it is a relationship that is doomed to fail.  Be careful who you trust in Silent Bend.  Fans of fantasy and romance will enjoy Taylor’s young adult novel. 

These strong, smart characters will have you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to read the next book in the series.

Week 5 Prompt

Different publications review different types of books and they allow different types of conversations. For example, Booklist will not publish negative reviews, while, as you have all seen, Kirkus has no problems with it. Ebook only books, which are increasingly popular (especially in the romance genre) see little to no reviews in professional publications unless they have a big name author, and then still it's usually only RT Reviews (formally Romantic Times) or other genre heavy publications. How does this affect collection development?

          Since different publications review different types of books, we should not rely on only one review.  Multiple sources such as Horn Book Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates in Libraries, and subject specific journals often contain reviews for books.  There are also online resources that can be utilized when selecting library materials.  Sites like Capitol Choices GLSEN, Shelf Awareness: Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade, and Bank Street College of Education, Children’s Book Committee.  It is also a good idea to look at blogs like Read Ranger, Reading Rants, I’m Here. I’m Queer, What the Hell Do I Read?, Go Graphic, and American Indians in Children’s Literature.  Individual American book award lists should also be consulted.

I have posted two more documents in the week five files. One is two reviews of an eBook only romantic suspense novel, one from a blog and one from amazon. Look over the reviews - do you feel they are both reliable? How likely would you be to buy this book for your library? Is this eBook even romantic suspense?

            The reviews seem to support the book as being a contemporary romance.  I do not think it is a good idea to only rely on one or two reviews.  Both provided reviews seem to be in agreement with the other reviews on Amazon.  I actually went to the Amazon site to look at the book instead of using the two provided reviews to make my decision.  I would not buy this book for my library if I were looking for a romantic suspense novel.  Many of the reviews state that the book has grammatical errors.  I also have never heard of this author and it is self-published, which makes me nervous because this author has not established a reputation.  There also does not seem to have much of an audience anticipating the material.  It also does not have that timelessness factor.  I would find a different book that meets the general criteria for materials selection.

The other document contains some reviews of Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt, an incredibly popular memoir. These reviews are all from professional publications, feel free to find more on your own I just nabbed a few from the Book Review Digest database for you. How do these reviews make you feel about the possibility of adding Angela's Ashes to your collection?
            I would be shocked if this book was not already in a library collection.  It was published in 1999, but it still is very popular because of the subject matter and movie.  All the provided reviews state that the book is a timeless classic with rich descriptions.  I feel comfortable adding this book because of its reputation and the reviews. 

Do you think it's fair that one type of book is reviewed to death and other types of books get little to no coverage? How does this affect a library's collection?  And how do you feel about review sources that won't print negative content? Do you think that's appropriate? If you buy for your library, how often do you use reviews to make your decisions? If not, how do you feel about reviews for personal reading, and what are some of your favorite review sources?

            It probably is not fair that some books receive more reviews than others.  A good review can make a difference in whether someone choses to purchase a book.  The more reviews a book receives, the more publicity it receives making the book popular and in demand.  When I read a book review, I want the truth.  I don’t like reviews that do not print the truth because they are misleading.  If a book does not deserve a positive review, I want to know why so I can use my best judgement.  For my personal reading, I rely on Amazon, Goodreads, School Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly. Typically I will read many of the readers’ reviews on Amazon and then look at one other source to check the reviews before I make my decision. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Romantic Suspense Annotation



By Julie Garwood


After being forced to take vacation time to get away from the stress of his job, FBI Agent Nick Buchanan receives a phone call from his longtime friend, Father Tom Madden.  Father Tom must share a confession he heard.  His sister Laurent is being stocked by a suspected serial killer.  Agent Buchanan and Laurent must fake falling in love to draw the killer out of hiding, but are they really faking or are their feelings real? 
Elements of Romantic Suspense


The reader is quickly pulled into the novel in the first paragraph.  Father Tom volunteered to take Saturday afternoon confession for Monsignor.  The blistering heat and broken air conditioner makes him wish he wouldn’t have been so quick to help.  As he is about to leave a few minutes early, he hears the swoosh of air leave the kneeler followed by a cough.  The pennant with a mocking tone begins his confession with “Bless me, Father, for I will sin.”

In the first four chapters are told from each characters point of view to provide background information and build suspense.  Once Laurent, begins telling her story the rest of the novel switches back and forth from Laurent to Agent Buchanan.  The story is told mainly from the threatened heroine’s point of view but switches to Agent Buchanan occasionally while Laurent is in denial about the danger she faces. 

Holy Oakes is a quiet, university town located in Kansas.  It is the type of small town where everyone knows each other and has one another’s back.  Laurent loves the small town and plans to revive the town’s square. 

·         Mercy (Buchanan/Renard/MacKenna Book 2), by Julie Garwood

·         Dying to Please, by Linda Howard

·         Fire and Ice, by Anne Stuart

·         Out of Control, by Suzanne Brockmann

·         Moving Target, by Elizabeth Lowell

·         Untraceable, by Laura Griffin

·         Someone to Watch Over Me, by Judith McNaught

·         All Night Long, by Jayne Anne Krentz