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video 2018-09-17 20:17



You may have seen this -- but in case not ... thought you might enjoy it.

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review 2018-08-22 13:58
Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race
Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race - Chris Grabenstein

Mr. Lemoncello is gearing up to release a new game in time for the holidays and his biggest competitor is bombing with their newest re-release of the game that was wildly popular. He calls for a meeting and gives everyone the passwords to get into his safe and home. 


Later, while the kids, on the board, are participating in a competition, Mr. Lemoncello's competitors start a plan to destroy him. They put out false information and put things in the library that seem to show that he didn't create the games he says he created. The kids are now on a mission to prove that Mr. Lemoncello is innocent of the charges and the competitors are actually the ones who did all this. 


This was such a fun story. I read the 1st book in the series when my daughter was in 5th grade and the book club she was in had it as the book for a month. I loved it and got the book and my daughter's read it. I got the 2nd book in the series for them as well. Now I am reading this to see if I want to send the book to a friend's son. I do think he will enjoy the story and will be on the hunt for books 2 and 3 for him. 

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review 2018-07-18 02:58
So much hidden meaning
The Intuitionist - Colson Whitehead

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead is included in the list of 100 titles chosen by American citizens for The Great American Read hosted by PBS. (More info on the books on the list and how you can vote for America's favorite novel can be found here.) In an effort to read more diversely (and to have the ability to recommend books for the adults in my branch) I started with this book as I had never heard of it despite it being listed as a 'classic'. The story follows Lila Mae Watson who is the first female person of color to be an Elevator Inspector. In the world created by Whitehead elevators are the height (ha!) of technology and the majority of the population see them as somewhat mystical and beyond the realm of ordinary comprehension. (There are even guilds which seek to elevate the status of Elevator Inspectors in society to those in political office.) Even more confusing to discern are the two distinct sects of theory as to the maintenance and future of these machines. One school of thought is firmly rooted in the reality of the technology while the other views them as metaphysical creations that can be 'sensed'. Lila Mae belongs to the second school of thought which further compounds the problems that she faces among her coworkers and the public that she encounters on her daily rotations. This sci-fi novel is rooted in the reality of race. What drives the story are the veiled discussions of race but it is told through the lens of technology innovations. It is ultimately a story of hope for a better world where we are 'elevated' from the weaknesses and barbarisms of our current reality. Whitehead challenges our perceptions of our accepted reality as he argues that established views are not solely based on what we see with our eyes. This is a book with a seemingly simple premise about elevator manufacture and maintenance in a world so very similar (and familiar) to our own but instead what we get is a complex discussion of race and how we can (hopefully) rise above. 9/10


What's Up Next: The Read-Aloud Handbook (7th Edition) by Jim Trelease


What I'm Currently Reading: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2018-06-26 02:45
Reading progress update: I've read 105 out of 400 pages.
Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago - Roger Biles

This is proving an excellent political biography, full of analysis and anecdote. Biles's recounting of the 1983 mayoral election was particularly interesting.

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review 2018-06-21 16:13
Wade in the Water, by Tracy K. Smith
Wade in the Water - Tracy K. Smith

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith's Wade in the Water is her most recent collection and the first I've read. I think it makes an excellent introduction to her work and wouldn't be a bad place to start if you're new to contemporary poetry. She does not intimidate, nor does her language obfuscate.


The two middle sections engaged me most. The first mines the Civil War era past and makes use of erasure and historical and primary sources in a way that both gives the suffering of African Americans at the time specificity and voice while absolutely illuminating continued injustices in the present. The second also makes poetry out of found materials to focus on contemporary issues such as the environment and racist violence. However, the poems don't attack; they feel like they come from a place of hope.


A book I'm sure I'll come back to soon, after I read her other collections, of course. :)

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