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Archive for April, 2014

Guest Post: I Pledge Allegiance
April 05, 2014

Guest Post: I Pledge Allegiance

By Pat Mora & Libby Martinez


PM: I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE is our first co-writing adventure. Did you feel we worked as equals, or did the fact that I asked you to refer to me as Your Ladyship prove an obstacle?

LM: I think the question may give readers the false impression that I am only required to refer to you as Your Ladyship when we are writing together…when, in fact, I am actually required to refer to you in this manner at all times and during all seasons, with each utterance always preceded and followed by a brief curtsy. Is this the correct forum to mention the strict tea and scone rules as well?

PM: Thirty years ago this year, I held my first book in my hands. How did you feel when you held your first copy of I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE?

LM: It was a surreal moment, in the best sense. To feel the glossy cover, to hear the book literally crack open for the first time, to see both of our names together, to see Lobo’s name in the pages and feel her warmth radiating from the exquisite illustrations…it is a moment I will never forget.

PM: You and our aunt (your great-aunt) whom we called Lobo are the central characters in the book. We dedicated the book to this amazingly loving lady. What is a favorite Lobo memory?

LM: Two of my favorite Lobo memories are sitting in our den playing Go Fish and Crazy Eights for hours together, and going to Luby’s cafeteria on Friday for lunch…we both loved coconut cream pie.


 Award-winning PAT MORA’s books include Tomás and the Library Lady and Doña Flor. She is an honorary member of the ALA, the highest honor the association bestows on non-librarian members. Click for more information on Pat

LIBBY MARTINEZ has worked in the Texas political arena, has served as the Director of School and Community Partnerships at the Philadelphia Zoo, and is the founder of a strategy consulting practice. She lives with her husband in Colorado Springs. Click for more information on Libby.

April 02, 2014

Our TLA and IRA author signing schedules

TLA 2014 [San Antonio, TX | April 8-11, 2014 ]

Books will be available immediately before each author’s signing. Books are free, limit one per person.


  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | CHRISTINA GONZALEZ – IN-BOOTH SIGNING
    The Red Umbrella (pb)
    A Thunderous Whisper (pb)
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | VARIAN JOHNSON – AISLE #7
    Saving Maddie (hc)


  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | E. LOCKHART – AISLE #5
    Lemonade in Winter (hc)
    Water in the Park (hc)
    We Were Liars (hc)
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN & MARK HUNTLEY PARSONS – AISLE #5
    Road Rash (hc)
    The Running Dream (pb)
    Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief (pb)
    Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise (hc)
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | DAVID LEVITHAN – AISLE #5
    Boy Meets Boy (pb)
    Every Day (pb)
    Two Boys Kissing (hc)
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | JENNIFER L. HOLM – AISLE #7
    Babymouse #1: Queen of the World (pb)
    Babymouse #2: Our Hero (pb)
    Babymouse #16: Babymouse for President (pb)
    Babymouse #17: Extreme Babymouse (pb)
    Babymouse #18: Happy Birthday Babymouse! (pb)
    Squish #1: Super Amoeba (pb)
    Squish #2: Brave New Pond  (pb)
    Squish #3: The Power of the Parasite (pb)
    Squish #4: Captain Disaster (pb)
    The Fourteenth Goldfish (ARC)
    Penny from Heaven (pb)
    Turtle in Paradise (pb)
    Hattie Ever After (pb)
    Hattie Big Sky (pb)
    The Friendship Doll (pb)
    Better Than You (hc)
    Confessions of a Former Bully (hc)
    The Invisible Boy (hc)
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | DANA REINHARDT – AISLE #5
    Odessa Again (hc)
    The Summer I Learned to Fly (pb)
    The Things a Brother Knows (pb)
    We Are the Goldens (hc)
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | PAT MORA – IN-BOOTH SIGNING
    The Beautiful Lady (hc)
    I Pledge Allegiance (hc)


  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | CHRIS GRABENSTEIN – AISLE #2
    Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (hc)
    The Book of Blood and Shadow (hc)
    The Waking Dark (hc)


IRA [New Orleans, LA | May 10-12]


  • 4:00 – 5:00 P.M. | KIRBY LARSON
    Hattie Ever After (pb)


  • 1:30 – 2:30 P.M. | E. LOCKHART
    We Were Liars (hc)
  • 1:30 – 2:30 P.M. | SARAH MLYNOWSKI
    Don’t Even Think About it (hc)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. | MATT DE LA PEÑA
    The Living (hc)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. | MICHAEL D. BEIL
    Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits (hc)


    High Time for Heroes (hc)
    Heroes for All Times (pb)

April 01, 2014

April: Spring Break

By Pat Scales

It’s about time for spring break and readers of all ages are making plans. Some may head to warm climates and sandy beaches to surf the waves and hunt for sharks’ teeth or perfectly shaped seashells. Others may hike the trails of national parks, or climb to the peaks of some of the nation’s mountain ranges.  Some may choose to cruise the islands of the Caribbean, or travel to Europe, Asia or South America.  Most will simple stay at home and enjoy very late nights and lazy mornings.  And if libraries plan exciting programs, then many will elect to spend spring break reading a good book.  Here are some ideas to engage readers:

  • Ask readers to become a character in a book, and give a 3-minute presentation about why spring break should be spent with them in their city or state.  Consider these characters:

Naomi in Just Plain Fancy by Patricia Polacco (picture book)

Tulip Jones in Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Anne Issacs & illus. by Kevin Hawkes (picture book)

Bone in Precious Bones by Mika Ashley-Hollinger (young readers)

Calvin Coconut by Graham Salisbury (young readers)

Oz & Lily in The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders (young readers)

Miami Jackson series by Patricia & Frederick McKissack

Woohoo Cray in Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (middle grade)

Turtle in Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm (middle grade)

 Zeeta in The Ruby Notebook by Laura Resau (young adult)

Virginia in The Queen of Water by Laura Resau & Maria Virginia Farinango (young adult)

bSami Ames in Hot Scots, Castles & Kilts by Tammy Swoish (young adult)

Torin Sinclair in The White Gates by Bonnie Ranthun (young adult)

  • Be a travel agent and plan a spring break trip for a book character.  Consider what is revealed about the character in the novel.   Readers should justify where they are sending the character, and prepare an itinerary. Suggestions from Random House include:

Young Readers

Lucy Rose, series by Katy Kelly

Gooney Bird, series by Lois Lowry

Junie B. Jones, series by Barbara Park

Babymouse, series by Jennifer Holm

Grk, series by Joshua Doder

Nate, Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Shamat

Middle Grade Readers

Harriet from Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Mr. Juniper from The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming

Georges & Safer from Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Chuck & Ales in Racing the Moon by Alan Armstrong

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

Young Adult Readers

Lonnie Jackson from Hoops by Walter Dean Myers

Teenie by Christopher Grant

Hailey Tarbell in Banished by Sophie Littlefield

Brett in Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress by Maria Padlan

Sammy Keyes by Wendelin Van Draanen

  • Tell readers that a very rich person has given money for someone to take a special spring break trip.  The donor needs a letter that explains why the person deserves a trip.  Ask readers to pick a deserving main character from a book they’ve read and write a letter in their support.  Plan a panel of judges to select the character for the trip.  Book suggestions from Random House include:

Middle Grade Readers

All the Way Home by Patricia Reilly Giff

Flush by Carl Hiassen

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

Heart of a Shepherd by Roseanne Parry

Holes by Louis Sachar

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Young Adult Readers

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

The Lost Songs by Caroline B. Cooney

Ball Don’t Lie by Matt de la Peña

Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard

The Decoding of Lana Morris by Laura & Tom McNeal

Surface Tension by Rent Runyon

Sparrow by Sherri L. Smith

What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson