Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

It is Teen Thursday! 

Since tweens are at all different kinds of maturity levels, I am always on my toes reading whatever I can to assist me in reader's advisory.

With school, I am a little behind! I finally got to this gem of 2015.

By: Julie Murphy 

The Story 

Willodean (or Will for short) has nothing in common with her mother. Her mother is skinny and is a pageant winner of 1997. Will is curvy and has no desire to enter a pageant. That is until she meets Bo. Will meets Bo at a local fast food restaurant where she works. The two develop a quiet relationship, but as they get closer, Will gets more insecure. If only Will’s Aunt Lucy was around. She would know exactly what to do. One night when Will is in Lucy’s old room, she comes across an application to enter the local beauty pageant. Knowing that Lucy didn’t enter the pageant because of her weight, Will decides she must enter in memory of her Aunt, but by entering it it causes a whole new mess. In a big Texas way,  author Julie Murphy explores what confidence is all about.

The Author

This book was as refreshing as a glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day. I adored it. It reminded me a lot of Sarah Dessen's book Keeping the Moon. I have savored it all week long dreading its end. 
My only complaint is that  I did feel mislead by the publisher's book description of this book. I was expecting the entire book to about a plus size woman entering a beauty pageant, but really only the last 100 pages deals with this issue. 
This book is more about the character accepting her aunt's death and each part of herself. What I loved most was how the character slowly accepted these aspects of herself that she wasn't confident about. Such as her relationship with with best friend EL & boyfriend Bo. 
It is beautifully done, and I wish I could put it all of my teen girl's hands. 
I recently heard that Disney bought the movie rights & they are turning this book into a movie! I am very excited and slightly nervous to see the results. 
Until then, I am left looking at the pile of books I need to read for this week, and I am not sure what to read next. I am reluctant to leave Clover City. What are you reading? 
This book is part of The HUB Reading Challenge
Come read with me! 
the hub 2016 reading challenge

- Pamela

Roller Girl

Roller Girl 
By: Victoria Jamiesan 

Release Date: March 10, 2015
Pages: 240
Ages: 8 and up

The Story
One night twelve-Year old Astrid and her best friend Nicole go to see the roller derby. It is the night that changes everything. That night,  Astrid decides she wants to pursue playing roller derby, and her friend Nicole decides she doesn’t. As Astrid starts to dive into learning how to play roller derby, her friend Nicole perseus dance. Can the two stay friends?

Book Trailer

My Thoughts

At first glance, I knew this book would be a great read alike for fans of Raina Telgemeier. The illustrations and the themes are very similar. The only thing I was wary of is the roller derby itself. I wasn’t sure how appealing that would be to readers and it gave me flashbacks to the movie Whip It.

Even though there is a lot of roller derby play in this book, it is broken down for readers to understand. More importantly, it is used as a tool to explore bigger themes. Some of the themes it explores is self discovery, friendship, and growing up. For tweens this book will be really appealing.

My favorite part of the book was watching how hard Astrid had to work to achieve her dream of playing roller derby. This wasn't something she picked up on instantly, but something she had to practice daily to achieve. What a great message for our tweens!

Overall, this is an one of kind graphic novel. It'll be one that I will add to my go to list for my tween girls. I can't wait to share this with them. 

The last pages of this book allotted to a series. I am keeping my fingers crossed! 

What is your favorite graphic novel? 


Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga for Tweens

The other day, I had a patron come up to me and ask me for manga, comic, and graphic novel suggestions. They liked the series Amulet, and wanted something
exciting and funny more geared to girls.

Have you ever had a reference questions where you just froze up?
 I had no idea how to tackle this one.  

I have read Smile, Sisters, and El Deafo, but that was the extent of my experience. 
Besides the classics such as Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes, I wasn't sure how to start. 

Thankfully, my amazing coworkers were there to save the day!

After this occurrence, I realized how foreign this genre was to me. 
So I challenged myself to read more comics, manga, and graphic novels.

After some research and a lot of reading, I formed a list of some of the best of the best within this genre.I plan to use this list this summer.

So here is a list (in no particular order) of some great graphic novels,
 comics, and manga for tweens:







Yotsuba&!, Volume 1

Chi's Sweet Home, Volume 1


Pokemon Adventures

The Legend of Zelda

Happy Happy Clover

The Big Adventures of Majoko




Let's not forget Raina Telgemeier of course! I can't wait for her new book.


Did I miss any? What are some of your favorites?

- Pamela

The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial

I meant to post this in February, but I have gotten so behind!

Can you believe it is almost spring? 

 Recently, I came across this incredible book. I  just wanted to  take a moment to highlight it.  

It is called: The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial 


The Story 

(Provided from Goodreads)

In 1847, a young African American girl named Sarah Roberts was attending a school in Boston. Then one day she was told she could never come back. She didn't belong. The Otis School was for white children only.
Sarah deserved an equal education, and the Roberts family fought for change. They made history. Roberts v. City of Boston was the first case challenging our legal system to outlaw segregated schools. It was the first time an African American lawyer argued in a supreme court.
These first steps set in motion changes that ultimately led to equality under the law in the United States. Sarah's cause was won when people--black and white--stood together and said, No more. Now, right now, it is time for change!
With gorgeous art from award-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis, The First Step is an inspiring look at the first lawsuit to demand desegregation--long before the American Civil Rights movement, even before the Civil War.
My Reaction 

This book was well done. I was very appreciative of the story itself. I have never heard of this case before. It is perfect for younger tweens or even school age children in general. I think it would be the great starting point to start a discussion & to learn about a history that is often overlooked.
I challenge you to check it out!

For more information, please explore the links below: 

Roberts v. City of Boston

Encyclopedia- Roberts v. City of Boston

Book Pairings 


A potential movie pairing:

Disney's Zootopia 

If you need to address racial issues with your child or tween,  Disney's movie Zootopia might be a kid friendly way to address these issues. 

This weekend, I jumped at the chance to see this movie. When I saw it, I was shocked at how political this movie was. It briefly touches on police brutality issues, racial tensions, and even some racial stereotypes. This doesn't sound at all attractive on a computer screen, but the underlining theme is that we need to appreciate everyone. Diversity and what everyone brings to the table is important. This movie could be an opportunity to discuss these issues. I was really impressed with it. I might have to borrow my godkids and see it again! Have you seen it yet? 

 Why is Diversity Important? 

 Everyone has their own personal experience, and everyone's experience is important to our country and our history.  Books are an avenue to share this experiences. 

One thing I love about the United States is the diversity and how we all have different experiences. 
If we stop and listen, we can appreciate it, and work to create a better place for our kids. 

As we think about this, I do feel like I struggle to address this issue.

Besides creating displays and encouraging my tweens to read diverse literature, I am not sure how to help. What does your library do?

Do you have a go to  favorite diverse book? 


Tween Fantasy Favorites

Can you believe it is already almost summer reading?

Thanks to all the awesome people I work with, I think I have finally gotten all of my programs worked out. Now I just need to prepare my reader's advisory.

Since we get so many new people during the summer, I try really hard to brush up and prepare reader's advisory lists to quickly help these patrons.

I am hoping it will help to provide the best service possible and to help match up reader's to the right book. It is my goal to come up with some good go-to tween lists before summer reading begins. I thought I would share this list with you in hopes it would help you too!

This week I am going to highlight some of my favorite fantasy books.

I have linked each title to Goodreads.

Here are some of my favorite high fantasy books:  

The Emerald Atlas 

I typically recommend this book to readers who enjoy the Chronicles of Narnia. It is a fast paced fantasy that pulls three orphaned siblings into another world.

The Ranger's Apprentice

This is a great action packed high fantasy that is typically good for older tweens.
It would be a good crossover book for readers on a higher reading level.

The Beyonders

Oh, Brandon Mull, you are my fantasy hero!
I recommend all of Brandon Mull's series to my fantasy loving tweens.
 I would also highly recommend his series other series  Fablehaven. Spirit Animals, and The Five Kingdoms.

Readers who like Brandon Mull tend to also be Eragon fans. If you find a reader who enjoys this author Christopher Paolini might be another author that they might enjoy too.

The False Prince

 My Favorite Twisted Fairy Tales: 

The Land of Stories


Readers who enjoy these might also like Half Upon a Time  and books by Liesl Shurtliff

Here are some with a bit of magic: 

This book is marketed like a modern day fairy tale. 
Readers who enjoy the books above might enjoy this one too.  

The Keepers Series


Janitors #1

This one really doesn't fit into a category, but it is so much fun.

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates


My Favorite Tween books with mythical creatures and dragons: 

Wings of Fire

Winter Turning (Wings of Fire Series #7)   

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures


I recommend this series to readers who enjoy the Warriors series. 

Marty & Grace Series


Whew! I am sure I missed some.
What are your favorite tween fantasy book?