Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cover Reveal for Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Dear Mr. Sharp,

Happy Saturday! I hope you had a wonderful week with your students. Instead of posting a video this week, I am sharing an interview with Christina Diaz Gonzalez and revealing the cover for Return Fire

I wrote the words in orange, and Christina wrote the words in black. 

Have an extraordinary weekend! 

Your friend, 


The cover illustration for Return Fire gives the reader a clue as to the location where much of the action will take place -- the Amalfi coast in Italy. Iacopo Bruno did a gorgeous job with it!

Return Fire tells the story of Cassie Arroyo, an American girl in Italy who discovers that she has the power to control the future through the legendary Spear of Destiny. 

I think Cassie and Asher are a great team. 

School libraries are like magic portals because on any given day you can go back in time, leap into the future, explore different worlds, experience new adventures and discover your own potential!

Explore Christina's website.

Reading is a wonderful way to unleash your imagination.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me why I chose the name Cassie. The answer is that when Cassie was born a nurse asked Felipe (Cassie's adoptive father) if he was the father and he answered "casi" which means "almost" in Spanish. The nurse thought he was naming his newborn daughter Cassie and that's how Cassie got her name! 

Thank you, Christina! 

Look for Return Fire on September 27! 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

March #SharpSchu Book Club Meeting

Mr. Colby Sharp and I hope you'll participate in the March #SharpSchu Twitter Book Club meeting on March 16. Happy reading! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#SharpSchu Meets Tonight

Mr. Colby Sharp and I hope you will participate in tonight's #SharpSchu Twitter Book Club meeting

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Guest Post by Laura Gehl

Worms? AAAAAAAHHHHH! Dark? AAAAAAAHHHHH! Robbers?  MRMMMF (muffled sound of shrieking from under the covers)!

Toddlers and preschoolers are basically 35-pound kid-shaped sacks of fears, decorated with pigtails and chocolate stains, fairy wings and Batman suits.

These fears can drive parents crazy.  I say that as a mom who once carried a terrified preschooler—a HEAVY terrified preschooler—across a large parking lot after a rainstorm, due to a number of Evil Earthworms lurking above ground.  And as a mom who is now resigned to leaving her daughter’s bedroom light AND the hall light on every single night, keeping the Robber-Filled Darkness of Doom at bay.

But really, who are we to judge?  We adults have our own illogical fears.  Show me a slug and I’ll show you an adult screaming and hiding under the covers.  Yep, that would be me.  Spiders? No problem.  Bees? No problem.  Slugs? MRMMMMF! 

Yet we parents are constantly encouraging our little sacks of fear to try new and terrifying things.  How would adults feel in the same situation?  Wanna try skydiving tomorrow?  How about an afternoon of swimming in shark-infested waters? Sure, these activities have very low injury—or casualty—rates.  But for most of us, that type of logic doesn’t do much to combat the terror.

Into the fear-filled world of toddlers, enter adorable chick siblings Peep and Egg, brought to life by illustrator extraordinaire Joyce Wan.  Peep can’t wait for Egg to hatch; she wants to share all the fun and beauty of the world with her little sister.  But Egg is scared of….everything!  Climbing on the roof of the henhouse? Might as well order a concussion with a side of broken wings. Counting the stars?  You mean AT NIGHT?  In the DARK?  AAAAAHHHHHH!!!

Over the course of the PEEP AND EGG series, Egg will face all kinds of typical preschool obstacles—from taking a bath (AAAAAAAHHHH!) to trick or treating (AAAAHHHH!) to tasting new foods (AAAAAHHHHHH!).  Fortunately, Egg has a secret weapon in overcoming her fears: the ever-patient, ever-comforting Peep.

Will reading PEEP AND EGG with your preschooler be a magic bullet for eliminating childhood fears? No.  But curling up and sharing PEEP AND EGG with your child will be a magical experience, the way reading any book with any child is a magical experience.  An experience that makes the child feel safe and loved and cozy…and makes the world a little less scary as a result. 

And if Peep and Egg manage to help a few kids take a few steps toward conquering their fears—then that’s the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae.  Wait!  What is that slimy thing on my computer? MRMMMMMMFF!

You know, I think I’ll just stay right here underneath the covers. Can somebody please hand me a book?  And an ice cream sundae?

Bio: Laura Gehl is the author of PEEP AND EGG: I’M NOT HATCHING as well as several other PEEP AND EGG books hatching in 2016 and 2017.  Laura’s first picture book, ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR, was a Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title, a Booklist Best Books for Youth selection, and winner of the CBC/MSRI Mathical Prize for grades K-2. Read more about Laura, and find printable Peep and Egg activities, at  Laura lives, reads, and eats ice cream sundaes in Maryland with her husband and four far-from-fearless kids.
Borrow Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching  from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cover Reveal for A Tail of Camelot (Mice of the Round Table) by Julie Leung

Happy Monday! I love kicking off the week with a cover reveal. Today I am celebrating the cover for Julie Leung's debut novel, A Tail of Camelot (Mouse of the Round Table). Congratulations, Julie! 

A Tail of Camelot (Mouse of the Round Table) by Julie Leung | Publication Date: October 4 

Young mouse Calib Christopher dreams of the day when he will become a Knight of Camelot like his father and grandfather before him. For generations, Calib’s family has lived among the mice that dwell beneath the human Knights of the Round Table, defending the castle they all call home. Calib just hopes he will be able to live up to the Christopher name.

Then, on the night of the annual Harvest Tournament, tragedy strikes. The mice suspect the Darklings are behind the vicious sneak attack, but Calib has his doubts, so he sets off on a quest for the truth. Venturing deep into the woods beyond the castle walls, Calib and his friend Cecily discover that a threat far greater than the Darklings is gathering, and human and animal knights alike are in grave danger.

With help from a host of unlikely new allies, including a young human boy named Galahad, Calib must get the Mice of the Round Table and the Darklings to put aside their differences and fight together. Only then will they be strong enough to save Camelot.

JULIE LEUNG was raised in the sleepy suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, though it may be more accurate to say she grew up in Oz and came of age in Middle-earth. She works in book publishing as a digital marketer. In her free time, she enjoys furtively sniffing books at used bookstores and winning at obscure board games. Her favorite mode of transportation is the library.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

February Activity Calendar

Happy Women Inventors Month! Happy National Pet Dental Health Month! Happy Black History Month! Happy Library Lovers' Month! Happy, happy, happy Friday! I love celebrating book birthdays, authors, and month-long celebrations. LibrarySparks' activity calendar is a wonderful resource to help you and your students keep track of what's going on throughout February.