Sunday, January 20, 2008

Librarians Choices 2007


Librarians Choices 2007

About Librarians' Choices

The Librarians' Choices project began as a class assignment in Fall, 2003 at Texas Woman's University, with graduate students in Library Science enrolled in a Book Reviewing class. It has since evolved into a significant professional development activity involving volunteer teachers, librarians, and librarians-in-training associated with the School of Library and Information Studies at TWU. They spent the spring, summer, and fall of 2007, semester reading and discussing hundreds of new books for children and young adults provided by major publishers. In addition, other titles by other publishers were also sought out, read, and discussed. Participants determined which titles were most outstanding based on literary quality, appeal to children and young adults, the typical needs of a school or community library, and a comparative study of other professional review sources. Although we did not have access to ALL the children's and YA books published in 2007, nor did every student read every book as one would expect in a formal review or award committee, we did our best to be comprehensive and thorough.

In the end, a limit of 100 titles was set, with approximately half of the list being designated for picture books and half of the list designated for novels. Poetry and nonfiction titles were also incorporated as appropriate. As a culminating activity, each participant chose approximately nine titles to study closely and review. These reviews include a complete bibliography of each title with a description and analysis of the book, as well as connections for sharing the book with child/teen audiences and recommendations for related books to combine or compare with the featured title. The goals of the project are twofold, to develop participant knowledge base about current books for children and young adults and the ability to read and write critically about these books and to use this experience to create a professional resource for others interested in choosing outstanding and intriguing books for the young people they serve.

Three (soon-to-be four) of the Librarians' Choices lists are available online. Librarians' Choices 2004, Librarians' Choices 2005, Librarians Choices 2006.

I have created Amazon Listmania Lists for the Librarians' Choice 2007. Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

For those that are wondering, the list was finalized on December 3, 2007.

Texas Woman’s University
School of Library and Information Studies
Librarians’ Choices 2007
Master List

Randa Abdel-Fattah's Does My Head Look Big In This?
Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian.
Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted.
Kate Banks' Lenny's Space.
Lynne Barasch's Hiromi's Hands.
Donna M. Bateman's Deep in the Swamp.
Kelly Bingham's Shark Girl.
Nic Bishop's Spiders.
Robin Brande's Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature.
Cecil Castellucci's The Plain Janes.
Gennifer Choldenko's Louder, Lili.
Andrew Clements' No Talking.
Nancy Coffelt's Fred Stays With Me.
Ilene Cooper's The Golden Rule.
Ellie Crowe's Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku.
Chris Crutcher's Deadline.
Christopher Paul Curtis' Elijah of Buxton.
Karen Day's Tall Tales.
Jenny Downham's Before I Die.
Sharon Draper's Fire From the Rock.
Ann Dee Ellis' This Is What I Did.
Susan Fletcher's Dadblamed Union Army Cow.
Douglas Florian's Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings.
John Frank's How To Catch A Fish.
Russell Freedman's Who Was First? Discovering the Americas.
Knock, Knock by Jon Muth, Peter Reynolds, Brett Helquist, Saxton Freymann, Chris Raschka, Tomie de Paola, Yumi Heo, Laurie Keller, Sophie Blackall, Dan Yaccarino, Henry Cole, David Small, Boris Kulikov, Judy Schachner.
Peggy Gifford's Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little.
Gail Giles' Right Behind You.
Emily Gravett's Orange Pear Apple Bear.
Dan Gutman's Casey Back At Bat.
Shannon Hale's Book of A Thousand Days.
Janice N. Harrington's The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County.
Mette Ivie Harrison's The Princess and the Hound.
Linda Oatman High's The Cemetery Keepers of Gettysburg.
Jennifer L. Holm's Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf.
Kimberly Willis Holt's Piper Reed: Navy Brat.
Steve Jenkins' Dogs and Cats.
Tony Johnston's Bone by Bone by Bone.
Paula Jolin's In the Name of God.
Sheila Keenan's Animals in the House: History of Pets and People.
Barbara Kerley's Greetings From Planet Earth.
Elizabeth Cody Kimmel's The Top Job.
Jeff Kinney's Diary of A Wimpy Kid.
Katherine Kirkpatrick's The Snow Baby: The Arctic Childhood of Robert E. Peary's Daring Daughter.
Yoon D. Kwon's My Cat Copies Me.
R.L. LaFevers' Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos.
Julius Lester's Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire.
Ellen Levine's Henry's Freedom Box.
April Lurie's Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds.
Barry Lyga's Boy Toy.
Leonard S. Marcus' Pass It Down: Five Picture Book Families Make Their Mark.
Geraldine McCaughrean's The White Darkness.
Shane Mc G's Tennis Anyone?
Sarah Miller's Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller.
Shelia P. Moses' Sallie Gal and the Wall-a-kee Man.
Catherine Gilbert Murdock's The Off Season.
Deborah Noyes' Red Butterfly: How A Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China.
Linda Sue Parks' Tap Dancing On the Roof.
Gary Paulsen's Lawn Boy.
Mal Peet's Tamar.
Jean E. Pendziwol's Marja's Skis.
Sara Pennypacker's The Talented Clementine.
Mitali Perkins' Rickshaw Girl.
Cris Peterson's Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More.
Laura Resau's Red Glass.
Cal Ripken's The Longest Season.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal's The OK Book.
Robert Sabuda's Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Mega-Beasts.
Lisa Ann Sandell's Song of the Sparrow.
Laura Amy Schlitz's Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From A Medieval Village.
Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars.
Editor, Ariel Schrag's Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age.
Elaine Scott's When Is A Planet Not A Planet? The Story of Pluto.
Laura Vaccaro Seeger's First the Egg.
Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Robert Sharenow's My Mother the Cheerleader.
Kathy Shaskan's How Underwear Got Under There: A Brief History.
Bob Shea's New Socks.
Joyce Sidman's This Is Just To Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness.
Peter Sis' The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain.
Anita Sitarski's Cold Light: Creatures, Discoveries, and Inventions That Glow.
Alexandra Siy's Sneeze.
Jordan Sonnenblick's Zen and the Art of Faking It.
Rebecca Stead's First Light.
George Sullivan's Helen Keller: Her Life In Pictures.
Shaun Tan's The Arrival.
Lauren Tarshis' Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out Of A Tree.
Peter Lane Taylor's The Secret of Priest's Grotto: A Holocaust Survival Story.
Linda Urban's A Crooked Kind of Perfect.
C.G. Watson's Quad.
Carole Boston Weatherford's Birmingham, 1963.
Lee Weatherly's Kat Got Your Tongue.
Rosemary Wells' Max Counts His Chickens.
Ruth White's Way Down Deep.
Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity.
Mo Willems' There Is A Bird On Your Head.
Valerie Worth's Animal Poems.
Dan Yaccarino's Every Friday.
Sara Zarr's Story of A Girl.
Gabrielle Zevin's Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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