Books Children Reviews

Let’s revisit with Maniac Magee, Stargirl, and Me!

Here’s an oldie but a goodie for you to enjoy.  I MET JERRY AND EILEEN SPINELLI!!!!!

My favorite bookstore (and satellite office), Towne Book Center,  is celebrating its grand opening this weekend. The kick-off event was this past Friday and included Jerry and Eileen Spinelli!

You probably don’t know this about the Unconventional Librarian, but I love Jerry Spinelli’s books.  I know he has written many books, but my favorites are Maniac Magee and  Stargirl. I like his books because he writes about the weirdos, the misfits, the underdogs of the childhood world. His characters don’t always fit the “normal” mold of society, but yet they do ok for themselves.  I don’t know if that’s his hallmark but that’s what draws me to his books.

His wife, Eileen Spinelli, is also a children’s author.  My favorite book of hers is Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch, which is a story of a crotchety guy who gets a valentine card from someone. It’s perfect for the younger readers.

I rounded up all of my Jerry Spinelli books (4) and took them to get signed.  You must know that I’m not one to get all flustered over celebrities, but I do love a signed book. LOVE IT. It’s a must have for me. So, getting these books signed was great!  I picked up an additional copy of Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch because I couldn’t find mine, and bought two more Eileen Spinelli books.

All in all my signed book haul added up to 7, I believe, plus, they were gracious enough to take a pic with me.  While I would have loved to talk about Stargirl, that will have to wait for another time.

So, after a very long day teaching a group of two and three-year-olds, standing in line to get 7 books signed was worth it!

See all those books on the table, yep, they’re all mine!


Here’s what some of their books look like: Stargirl and the sequel, Love, Stargirl.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


I can’t seem to find my pictures of the other books I got that day. But I did find this:








Monday March Madness Bracket

Like everyone else, PammyPam likes to have fun and play games. I know very little about sports, but that doesn’t mean I wanna be left out of the festivities!

That said, I have created my own March Madness bracket: Unconventional Librarian style

Unconventional Librarian Bracket

You’ll notice my bracket is incomplete. That’s because I’m having trouble narrowing down the possibly winner. To be sure, I understand statistics and probabilities but that doesn’t make the choice any easier.

Let’s examine the bracket, ok?

You’ll see I have some good authors pitted against each other.  YA and children’s authors mixed in; some dead, some not.  The author death bears little weight  on their standing, as you can see, because Keats (that’s Ezra Jack) died over two decades ago but is IN THE LEAD against Jerry Spinelli and Avi.

How is that possible? Well, it’s kind of like Moneyball.  I call it Moneybooks (chuckle).  When determining what authors should move up, I looked at not only the number of books published but also the reach of the novels under her belt.  Take Louisa May Alcott.  Good author.  Dead lots of years.  But as of now and probably for eternity her books will remain timeless.  Natalie Babbitt, great storyteller, but hasn’t reached that status yet.  And since she’s still alive, there is still time for her to compete in years to come.

Same kind of consideration on the other side.  Spinelli against Avi.  Avi’s good. Spinelli’s good. Spinelli speaks to the John Q Kid in all of us. Everykid, if you will, that perhaps Margaret Wise Brown does not.

Looking over the bracket, I’ve noticed it’s YA against Early Childhood.  Who will win? Who has the most staying power?

Who should be my final TWO?  HELP!

Tell me what your thoughts are.