Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do You Like to Trade Books?

Swapping Books

I know you are a reader. You wouldn't be here at my blog if you weren't. But do you like to trade books?

I'm a book trader from way back. Bookboxes. Bookrings. Bookrays. Virtual bookboxes. Birthday book clubs. PaperBackSwap. The whole nine yards.

But my favorite book spot is BookCrossing.

What is BookCrossing?

BookCrossing is a way of passing books on to others, like PaperBackSwap, but with an extra bonus that swap sites don't have.

Each book is registered at with a number. Then, if someone finds a book or is given a book, the book can be logged in at BookCrossing and followed. There are bookrings and bookrays for books; one person reads a book and passes it on, and so on. There is a search feature, where you can search for a book you want to read.

BookCrossing is truly international, with members from 130 countries around the world. I have been at BC almost eight years! It has been my favorite book activity. One bookring I started, for librarian Nancy Pearl's book of recommended reads, Book Lust, has been read, journaled, and released by 71 people, all over the world.

Whew! It sounds complicated, but is really, really easy.

I would love to have you join BookCrossing and use me, debnance,  as your reference. I love to trade books, though I limit my trades outside the US, due to cost. I am especially interested in trading for children's books listed in the book, 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.

So, are you a BookCrosser? What is your BC name? What do you think of BC? Why? Would you like to trade books with me? What other trading spots do you like?

I Won an Award!

The rules of the Beautiful Blogger award are to pass it on to other beautiful bloggers and tell seven things about yourself. Thank you, Nan at Nan's Corner of the Web.

Seven things about myself? I love to learn new things.

Right now, I'm learning about:
1. Spanish 
2. Photography 
3. Puppets
4. Happiness
5. Teaching reading
6. Writing
7. And, of course, Blogging!

I'm passing this award on to...

Catching Up

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2009 Cybils Award Winners!

In all the hubbub of the last few weeks (technology character night...Destination: Imagination tournament, to name a few), I have missed writing about one of my favorite events of the year...the announcement of the Cybils Award winners!

I am very proud to have served as a panelist for the Children's Nonfiction Picture Book Cybils Award for the last two years. I've happily read almost 150 nonfiction children's picture books. When I had a first grade teacher ask me a few weeks back for some recommendations for nonfiction books for her strongest readers, I could smile and say, "Oh yeah! I can give you a few!"

Without further ado, here they are, the 2009 Cybils Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards:

Cybils Awards for Children and Middle Grades

Picture Book (Nonfiction):
The Day-Glo Brothers
written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tony Persiani

Picture Book (Fiction):
All the World
written by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee

Easy Reader:
Watch Me Throw the Ball! (An Elephant and Piggy book)
written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Early Chapter Book:
Bad to the Bone (Down Girl and Sit)
written by Lucy Nolan and illustrated by Mike Reed

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors
written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Graphic Novel:
The Secret Silence Alliance and the Copycat Crook
by Eleanor Davis

Fantasy & Science Fiction:
Dreamdark: Silksingers (Faeries of Dreamdark)
by Laini Taylor

Middle Grade Fiction:
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cybils Awards for Young Adults

The Frog Scientist
written by Pamela S. Turner and illustrated by Andy Comins

Graphic Novel:
Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation
by Tom Siddell

Fantasy & Science Fiction:
by Kristin Cashore

Cracked Up to Be
by Courtney Summers

Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Comments?

Monday, February 15, 2010

BLOG TOUR: The Greatest Moments in Sports

If you have ever visited my blog, I can already see the expression on your face. Say what? You are reading what book?

Have I ever told you this story? I grew up my whole life in Alvin, Texas. After I finished college, I went to teach in a nearby town. One day, a fifth grade boy in my class said, "Mrs. Nance, you live in Alvin. My gosh, do you know Nolan Ryan?" And my response (and I swear to you that this is absolutely true) was: "Who is Nolan Ryan?"

But, hey, there's stuff you don't know about me. Like, my husband and two sons are the greatest sports fans ever. They love sports. Basketball, especially, but they love all, any. And I love my husband and my sons. I want to share stuff with them. Result: Lots of time sitting on high school bleachers, watching men move rapidly up and down the court on tv, attempting to fit in this highly testosterone charged world. Goodness, one son wants to be a sports broadcaster and the other wants to be a coach.

And, if you know anything about me at all, you know I am a reader.

And a children's librarian. I love children's books.

And, while reading about the author, I discovered he especially loved to explain sports to non-sports fans. That would be moi.

So, this book.

And, so, what did I think?

Perfect. The book is readable. Great photos. Great choices of great moments. When the book arrived in the mail (thank you!), my husband and son and I had a wonderful time predicting which great moments would be included in the book (okay, truth time: mostly my husband and son did the actual predicting). Berman knows how to write.

Marvelous. A happy bonding time was had by all.

My favorite part: "Of all the athletes in this book, which one is the most magnificent? Before you say Muhammad Ali or Jesse Owens, here are some hints. The athlete I've chosen had a career that lasted only two years, and he never granted a single interview. He weighed 1,200 pounds. Wow, pretty heavy. Here's another hint. He had 653 kids...." Still can't guess? Here's a video of this athlete in action:

More? Len Berman's thoughts on The Greatest Moments in Sports.

A close look at the book from Google Books.

An interview with Berman about the book on Boston tv..

Another interview with Berman on MSNBC.

At the end of the book, Berman offers his readers a chance to vote on their favorite sports moments. Here's a great chance for you to join in on the conversation.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bling Your Blog

Photo by prawnpie

I spent the week at a technology conference. What did I do there? I made my own wiki, 1001 Kids Books. I discovered how to increase my personal learning network with Twitter4Teachers. And I learned how to bling my blog. I found out about book screenings. I was told about blog giveaways. It was suggested that we add polls. Bling bling bling bling.

Mind you, the Bling Your Blog session was designed for (mostly) junior high and high school teachers. But here's what I came away with:

(1) Beware too much text
(2) Add polls
(3) Add buttons, menus, text boxes
(4) Images and videos
(5) Giveaways

So, I ask you: How are you blinging your blog? How should I bling my blog? Must I? Or is my blog about as bling-y as a book blog should be?

To start the blinging process and to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day, here's my first book screening:

Lots of little reads this week....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

1001 Children's Books You Must Read

The Sunday

I'm really excited about the new book, 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. Here's a list of all 1001 books.

I joined a Yahoo group for it. We are attempting to read all 1001 books. Before we grow up. Our moderator, the wonderful Louise from Australia, posts lovely info about the authors and the books that she finds here and there. We talk about the books and share ideas as to how we use the books in our lives and our work.

I made a t-shirt for the 100th Day of School, using the books from this list. It was a big hit.

Yesterday, I started a bookshelf for the 1001 Children's Books at BookCrossing called 1001KidsLibrary. Do you know about BookCrossing? BookCrossing is the place where people Read and Release books. I loved the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die bookshelf there and I got permission to borrow their format for my new children's bookshelf.

So what is it? It's an international library of children's books. Like a library, books can be checked out and read. To join, you must be a BookCrossing member. Then you must you must contribute books to the library and be willing to mail the book off to someone who wants to read it. (I am leaving the option of mailing internationally optional here; postal costs can be high outside one's own country.) It would be very nice to have children's books available in many countries.

Are you interested in reading children's books? Join the Yahoo group. Join BookCrossing (I'd love it if you used my name, debnance, as your referral.) Add a book to our shelf that you've registered by sending me an e-mail at debnance at gmail dot com or sending an inner-BC message called a PM. On it, provide the BCID for the books you are willing to contribute to the library. I'll add the book and add you as a friend to the library, making you eligible to request books from others.

What else?

I'm heading to TCEA, a technology conference, this week, but I will have constant Internet access with my iPhone and my new minilaptop.

I had a tiny reading week, with only three books read and reviewed. I'd love to hear what anyone else out there thought of these.

I'm happy! I won an award!  Since my focus this year is on happiness, well, this award makes me very happy. It's called the Bliss (Happy 101) Award and I received it from the kind Cathy at Words Worlds and Wings. My charge is to list ten things that make me happy and to pass it on to five other happy bloggers.

10 Things That Make Me Happy:
(1) Books
(2) Books
(3) Books
(4) Books
(5) Books
(6) Books
(7) Books
(8) Books
(9) Books
(10) Books

That was easy.

Now, passing on the award to 5 more bloggers:
Jessica at Advance Booking
Laura at Musings
Joann at Lakeside Musing

I love to hear all your bookish thoughts.