Monday, October 29, 2012

Here are some of the books I enjoyed during our October vacation last week! 

Think "Little House on the Prairie" plus magic!  Loved it!

 This is definitely a book that you can explore over and over.  It is full of stories, happy and sad, that really make the presidents come alive.  There is even a page that shows the presidents and their pets!

A thought-provoking book about a girl who is starting to ask 
the hard questions about growing up.

This is one of the most powerful fantasy books I have read in a while.  It tells the amazing story of a girl who dares to stand up for what she thinks is right, even if society will punish her for it.  Also, theater is a big part of the plot, and the descriptions of the performances make you feel like you are watching them along with the characters!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Online storytelling tools!

Read this article to find out about 9 great online storytelling tools for kids (some are available as apps as well!).

image by flickingerbrad via flickr

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I just finished reading "Princess Academy: Palace of Stone."  While it's been a few years since I read the original "Princess Academy" book, I still felt a kinship with the characters, especially the main character, Miri.  In this book, Miri and some of the other "ladies of the princess" leave their homes in the mountains and journey to the capital, Asland, to help their friend Britta prepare for her wedding to Prince Steffan.  As Miri becomes aware of the poverty in Asland and begins to feel some sympathy for the revolutionary ideas of her new friends, she faces some big decisions.  While she cares deeply for Britta, is it possible that the monarchy should be toppled, for the greater good?  Follow Miri as she continues to grow up and find what it means to truly follow your heart.

Global Education Conference 2012!

Are you a teacher interested in Global Education?

Then don't miss this free, online conference happening from November 12-16, 2012!

French education reform

This Associated Press article is certainly biased, but it gives an interesting view of the French education system and President Hollande's current reform movement.

 Image by adrian, acediscovery via flickr

Monday, October 8, 2012

I've been trying to read mainly children's books for the sake of reviewing them on this blog, but I've just finished Libba Bray's teen novel "The Diviners," which had me completely spellbound for all of last week (in my defense, it was 592 pages long!).  I loved the amazing description of New York in the 1920s, the snazzy slang words, and the beautiful relationship that blossomed between Evie and Jericho.  The paranormal elements were disturbing, but fascinating at the same time.  Anyway, next week I will be back in the world of children's books!  Have a good week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

For those who loved "The Invention of Hugo Cabret"...

Ciné-Concert: Georges Méliès, The Cinemagician

Saturday, November 3rd, 7:00-9:15 pm 
Cutler Majestic Theatre
(219 Tremont Street, Boston)
Were you inspired by Scorsese's Hugo?

Georges Méliès, recently portrayed in Martin Scorsese's Hugo, winner of 5 Academy Awards earlier this year, is one of the most renowned figures in cinema. At the beginning of the 20th century, this French director revolutionized cinema with his creativity and ingenuity. 
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth, we are presenting an exceptional ciné-concert! This special performance will feature 16 Georges Méliès silent films, including his iconic A Trip to the Moon, using the original reels which have been restored, preserved and edited. As in the 1900s, this ciné-concert will include riveting narration and piano accompaniment performed by Méliès' great-granddaughter Marie-Hélène Lehérissey and Lawrence Lehérissey, his great-great-grandson.  

Join us at the historic Cutler Majestic Theatre on Saturday, November 3rd as we pay homage to Méliès with this one-of-a-kind show by his descendants. 
$25 General Admission
$18 French Cultural Center & ArtsEmerson Members
$14 Students

$75 VIP* includes premium seating and post-show cocktail reception on stage with the performers

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the AE Stages box office at 617.824.8000. Members and students may obtain the discount codes by calling reception at 617.912.0400.  

*Please note that $30 of each VIP ticket purchase is tax-deductible. The French Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
This event will be conducted in English and French. Knowledge of French is NOT required to enjoy the event.   

You can find more information about this special program and Georges Méliès on
I am in a Children's/Teen book club for librarians and teachers, and for next week's meeting we read "And the Soldiers Sang," written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Gary Kelley.  The topic of this book is the Christmas Truce of 1914, a day when German and British troops decided to have a temporary ceasefire and celebrate Christmas together.   The story is told from the point of view of a fictional Welsh soldier, a young man who hopes that the war will soon be over so that he can come home.  There are few words, but they are carefully chosen and hit just the right chord.  To me, though, the illustrations are what really make this book memorable.  They are full of angles and shadows (a bit Picasso-esque), letting the reader into the emotional turmoil that the characters are experiencing.