An Unconventional Librarian’s Holiday Gift Guide: The Wild Ones, Animal Adventures for Tweens

The Wild Ones by C Alexander London

The Wild Ones: Moonlight Brigade by C Alexander London

The Wild Ones: The Great Escape by C Alexander London


I love The Wild Ones series and so will your reader!



#Kidlitcon is the New Beyonce

This past weekend I took a trip to Wichita, Kansas to help facilitate Kidlitcon. And you heard me right, folks, forget that Beyonce; she’s yesterday’s news. Kidlitcon was Lit! Turnt! Off the Chain! Fabulous!

Never since that time at band camp have I had such a good time. I met some super nice locals. Heck, ALL of the locals arcamp have I had such a good time. I met some super nice locals. Heck, ALL of the locals arKidlitcon 2016e nice; which is kind of off-putting when you’re from the East Coast and no one  really cares how your day is going or why you’re in town. Aside from meeting nice locals, I met my tribe. My squad. My pack. I’ve known the organizers of Kidlitcon/Cybils marginally for a couple years now but in Kansas, we became friends. How can you not become friends with people who share your understanding of Heathcliff, Harry Potter, and Lemony Snicket? Ok maybe I was the only one who liked Heathcliff, but whatevs. These people let me fly my bookfreak flag high and didn’t judge.


If you want to know what we talked about and who we talked to, follow these two hashtags: #kidlitcon16 and #kidlitcon.  We spent time with AS “My book won a Cybils Award” King, C. Alexander “I write for all genres” London, Clare “I have a Newbery Award” Vanderpool, and TONS of other authors whose names I will mess up if I try to remember them without checking Twitter. But just know that if you didn’t attend you missed OUT. Just like how Beyonce dropped her last album and people lost their minds? That’s how it went down in Wichita.

We were WILDIN’ !

Shout out to Drury Inn for comfy beds, the Arkansas River for being all quiet and pretty, and for Wichita, for being home of the super nice people and yummy food. OMG who knew that Wichita could do BBQ? Super shout out to the nice dude with the Tom Selleck ‘stache from Drury hotel who helped with conference set up. He was a superstar for making things possible for us.

Even though it wasn’t on the agenda, diversity was prevalent in practically every conversation. It was the elephant in the room that we couldn’t ignore.  We celebrated diversity of many different types: racial, religious, ability, socioeconomic, etc. I was really amazed at how chill and woke everyone was about diversity.

Woke. Yes I said it. The kidlit community is WOKE. We are aware of the need for diversity, we want it, and we want our diversity to be diverse: not everyone’s story is the same nor does everyone react the same way and that’s important. I feel good about the bloggers, librarians, and authors I met last weekend. I feel like I have a squad of folks who will stand with me as I fight for more diversity in kids’ books.

I have a SQUAD. A posse. A tribe. A gang. A group of diverse bookish folks who are just like me.

And it feels AWESOME.

There’s room for you at the kidlit diversity table.

Join us! (bring your own wand)


P.S. Jonah Winter is a yinzer.

P.P.S. We learned about Occam’s razor. Or was it Shroedinger’s window?

P.P.P.S. Phil Binder is RAD.



Blogging from #AtoZ Challenge Begins!





The A to Z blogging challenge is one of the funnest activities I take part in each year. It’s a chance to make new friends and share information. You know I love books, so buckle up and enjoy the ride as I soar through the month of April focusing on books for middle grade readers!

Let’s begin. The two books I’m sharing today are:

We Are Not Eaten by Yaks

We Are Not Eaten by Yaks, an Accidental Adventure

This fun title is part of the Accidental Adventure series by the talented C. Alexander London.  I read this book with my Tweenies last summer and I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s so fun!

The next title is:


All the Wrong Questions: Lemony Snicket When Did You  See Her Last?

Fans of the old Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events will love his new series called All the Wrong Questions. Fun and misery abound!

So that’s it today, friends, short and sweet.  Let’s keep the line moving and go find another A to Z challenge blogger to visit. Have fun!

See you tomorrow for the letter B!

Books Young Adult

Proxy by Alex London = LOVE!

I love it when I discover a book that moves me because it is written so well and the action is fast paced and the characters are believable.

That is why I



If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, put it on your TBR list NOW!


Books Children

Tween Book Club We Are Not Eaten by Yaks by C Alexander London

We Are Not Eaten by YaksThis month at my tween book club we discussed We Are Not Eaten by Yaks which is a fun middle grade tale of twins Oliver and Celia Navel written by C Alexander London.  Their parents are famous explorers but all the twins want to do is sit at home and watch hours and hours of mindless TV.  The best part about the book is the witty dialogue that any kid with a sense of humor will get! Here’s an example of my fave:

Maybe Dr. Navel was tired from all the travel? Another suggested. What’s that called? Jet Lag?

It’s not jet lag, the leader said.

It could be jet lag. You don’t know.

Did you poison his stew?


You weren’t supposed to poison his stew.

I couldn’t remember whose stew to poison so I poisoned all the stews.

That wasn’t the plan at all! The witch walked over to Dr. Navel and lifted his hand up, then dropped it again.  You put enough poison in his stew to bring down a bear, she said.

Why would I want to poison a bear?

You wouldn’t want to poison a bear.

Then why did you say that?

Just to make my point.

I’ve already forgotten your point.

You get everything wrong.  You cant even cook properly!

My cooking is delicious!

Isn’t that back and forth hysterical? I love that the author appreciates that kids want to laugh but yet don’t need to be hit in the head with overly corny jokes.  I laughed out loud at that part.

At our book club, I try to plan some fun things so the club seems more like fun and less like school.  I try to have an activity for them to do while we’re waiting for everyone to show up.  Then the smoothies arrive! Yay! I forgot to mention the best part: the very generous and lovely author sent us book marks AND signed book plates, woot!!

Yesterday we had a Twitter party.  I was surprised at how many of them knew what Twitter was!  I printed a quyaksoldote onto poster board. In fact, it was the quote above.  Then I wrote a comment about what I liked about the book.  Their job was to write down something they liked about the book: a quote, a character, WHATEVER. AND they could comment on someone else’s comment while they were there.  Armed with colored sharpies, they copied text from the book, commented, and were eager to discuss the book, just like at a Twitter party!

To be sure, Yaks is a long book.  It’s quite longer than Lemonade War and I was concerned that the kids might lose interest because it was too long or too difficult.  They handled the book BRILLIANTLY!

To wrap up I gave the kids a scavenger hunt.  They had to find a book title (preferably in the kids’ section) of a biography, a picture book, a book made into a movie, etc.  It was great fun to see them run around the bookstore so excitedly!

I can’t wait for next month’s book, The Lightning Thief!

Have you read We Are Not Eaten by Yaks? What did you think of it? Have you read anything by C Alexander London?  p.s.  I’ll be reading his YA book soon. stay tuned!