Monthly Archives: October 2014

Punching Authors

I recently got back from the Illinois Reading Conference, and was able to get a bunch of books signed for Bubba! I always store these signed books in our guest bedroom (so I can give them to Bubba as gifts when special occasions come along), but I’ve been adding so many signed books to this collection that I’m running out of places to store them all… I may need to get a bigger room!


Anyway, I thought I would just share a picture of some of the new books Bubba will have to look forward to in the future:


I also thought I’d share some of the pictures I took with authors while I was there:



I never tell them that I’m going to smile and point, but I may need to provide authors with some sort of a warning in the future… Jay Asher (author of 13 Reasons Why) thought I was going to punch him when went to point at him! I feel really bad that I startled him, but he had a great sense of humor about it. I Tweeted my apologies, and this was his response:



Needless to say, I had a good time… and I can’t wait to give Bubba these books at just the right time in the future!

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Filed under Great Authors, Great Books, Lots of Laughs, Special Stuff

I Helped Get a Book Published!

Earlier this year, I saw a Tweet about a Kickstarter campaign created by Lisa Seacat DeLuca that sounded pretty interesting. At the time, I had no idea what Kickstarter was, but I decided to check it out.


Basically, Kickstarter is a way to help a project come to life by having people support the project financially – but the creator of the project maintains 100% ownership of the idea (and the people who support the project do not profit financially).


The project Lisa Seacat DeLuca was trying to get funded was titled, “A Robot Story.” After going to the website and reading all about it, I learned that she basically wanted publish a book that teaches children to count to ten in binary. How cool is that?! She was looking for just $2,500 to make the book a reality, and she had a number of different rewards for backing the project (like a board book, t-shirt, or e-book) depending on the amount of money you pledged.


Needless to say, I (along with many others) made a pledge to her project, and her great idea eventually became a reality! About 4 or 5 months later I received a signed copy of Lisa’s new book in the mail, and it was so cool knowing that I (in some small way) helped make the book happen!

A Robot Story Book

I recently went on her Kickstarter website again to see what the final numbers were, and I was shocked to see that she ended up with 698 backers and raised more than $13,000 for her project. It’s truly amazing to see what can be accomplished when a bunch of people come together to support a great idea.


If you’re interested in supporting a Kickstarter campaign like this, check out their website… As I’m writing this post, there are exactly 132 children’s book projects that are “live” and waiting to be funded!

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The Problem With Free Books

Sixty-four days. That’s how long it’s been since Bubba and I stepped foot in our library – more than nine long weeks! Obviously I’m still reading to him every night, but we’ve had a different source for books the past couple months… so we haven’t had to visit the library.


I’m sure you’re probably wondering, “Where is he getting so many books if he’s not going to the library?” Well, I was able to start up a ‘Little Free Library’ in my school this year (thanks to a retired teacher who had been collecting gently used books for years as part of her “Book Shack” program), and I get to be the person who keeps the free library stocked with hundreds of gently used books!


As I fill the shelves each week, I always find titles that I know Bubba will love… books about fire trucks, tractors, animals, and more! When I find a book I know Bubba will enjoy, I bring it home to read to him before putting it back on the shelf. And this works out great because I can then talk to my students about all the great (free) books that are available to them and recommend titles to my reluctant readers!


The only problem is that I haven’t been taking Bubba to the library – and that needs to change! I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, but I think I need to either STOP borrowing books from the free library at my school or START reading more books to him each night before bed.


Can you guess which option I’ll choose?

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Filed under Classroom Connections, Reading the Library

A Less-Than-Desirable Punishment

I’ve heard the “Terrible Two’s” are nothing compared to the “Terrible Three’s,” and Bubba just turned three… so he must be in the “Terrible” sweet spot right now. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid most of the time, but when he gets mad, he definitely lets you (and everyone near you) know about it!


Bubba knows there will always be a consequence when he behaves badly, though. Most of the time, he gets a time out… but when he’s really misbehaving before bedtime, he gets one of his favorite things taken away – he loses his read aloud time.


I really hate it when he loses his read aloud time, because I enjoy reading to him just as much as he enjoys being read to… but just the threat of not reading a book before bed will usually cause him to start behaving again!


Part of me thinks I shouldn’t use this as a punishment (because I don’t want him to have any negative feelings associated with reading), but the other part of me can’t help but notice how effective it is.


If it’s so effective, can it really be that bad? I don’t do it often, but I still worry that it’s not be the best “punishment.”


What do you think? Let me know your thoughts!


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Filed under Reading the Library, Tips