Greetings from Chicago! This is the second time I’ve visited the Windy City for one of the American Library Association’s conferences and I’m really excited because this is the first time I’ve attended as a bonafide librarian. Huzzah! I’m also on two committees this year: the 2017-2018 Rainbow Book List Committee and the 2017-2019 Notable Children’s Digital Media Committee. And, if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I’ve also volunteered to document my conference experience over at the ALSC Blog. Be sure to pop on over there if you’re feeling #alaleftbehind.
Let’s talk about one of my favorite things. I love it when stories leave the page and enter into our world. I call it “KidLit IRL”: instances of children’s literature in real life. Ever since reading Inkheart—in which Mo reads characters out of books—I’ve always wanted to bring stories alive (and I’ve been fascinated by those who can and do). And I don’t just mean in a Harry Potter World way. In fact, what thrills most are those smaller homages to the stories that captivate us: public art, buildings, visual references. These nods to beloved stories are like treasures to me. I’ve made it my mission in life to collect them. To document these moments of magic.
Inspired by Travis Jonker’s series of posts about the highest circulating books at his school library (chapter books, picture books, nonfiction books, diverse books), here’s a list of the highest circulating juvenile fiction at my small public library branch this fiscal year. It’s a lot of the same, but it’s interesting to see a few differences.
It’s June! June is great. June is also wild: Pride Month, Summer Reading, so many family and friends’s birthdays (not to mention my own)… Anyway, here are some June releases I can’t wait to read—preferably on my favorite park bench near my neighborhood branch library. What are YOU reading this month?
I came up with this branch Family Storytime after I accidentally discovered Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? while weeding our picture book collection. The book instantly charmed me and I couldn’t wait to see how children would respond to the logical assumptions the book makes. Do stools become chairs? Do cars become trucks? Do watches become clocks? Read on and see what we discovered.
Last week, I shared something really personal: I came out to my 8-year-old niece. Since then, I’ve received some wonderful words of support and, perhaps more importantly, some really great book recommendations to further my discussions with young people about what it means to be LGBTQ+. All the books I sent my niece were focused on gay (white) men—yikes!—so I’m thrilled to take this opportunity to share more books (with her and with you) to include a broader representation of the LGBTQ+ community.
My niece is coming to visit me next month. My boyfriend is moving in with me next month. Given the unique serendipity of these two occurrences, my sister-in-law, my niece, and I were forced into having what I’m going to refer to as the “Gay Uncle Talk.” My niece is 8 (almost 9). I wish I could have told her I was gay sooner. I just didn’t know how. Or when. But, mainly, I was scared.