Thursday, December 20, 2018

Saying Goodbye: The Final Post

As you may have noticed, I haven't been updating Kiddosphere on a regular basis. At the end of June 2018, I left my position as youth services librarian and became the new collection services development librarian. Same library, but totally different job. At the same time, I was planning a wedding and planning a move. Although I had intentions of keeping the blog active, it eventually became clear to me that I didn't have the time--and frankly, the desire--to keep up with the blog. I think eleven years is a good run for a blog. :-)

Fauquier County staff members regularly contribute to posts on the library's main site (including me!), so if you're looking for fun and succinct posts about books (and sometimes audiobooks. movies, library tips, and program information!), make sure you keep up with the news over there.

Since 2014, I have kept a record of my reading on Goodreads. It helps me remember what I've read; I separate the titles into "bookshelves" for adult fiction/nonfiction, children's novels, children's nonfiction, graphic novels, and YA. I also have a "bookshelf" for ""diversity titles," which feature characters/topics/stories that prominently feature a member/members of a minority group (token illustrations do not count).  I've fallen woefully behind on my reading this year for obvious reasons (including adding a 45 minutes+ commute), even though reading 191 adult, children's, and YA books  (71 of which fell into the diversity label) is not a terrible number (last year, I read 597 books). I'm hoping to add one or two more by the end of the year. Here's what I've enjoyed since October (the last time I posted a "recent reads" post)

Apollo is seriously one of the most gorgeous graphic novels I've seen in some time. This account of the Apollo 11 flight to the moon is mesmerizing and gripping. Some cursory knowledge is assumed (such as the fact that Neil Armstrong lost a young daughter), but nothing that gets in the way of the reader's understanding and enjoyment.

Blended packs a lot into its story: divorce, biracial identity, racial tension, and more, but it all comes together quite movingly and believably thanks to Sharon M. Draper's skillful storytelling.

If you love history, but want a break from wars, heads of state, etc, try The Strange Case of Dr. Courney. This story of the doctor who pioneered health practices for premature babies (by displaying them in sideshows) is a bizarre and incredible piece of American history.

I love social history--learning how people ate, dressed, behaved, and basically just lived, so I tore through Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners. This is a hilarious--and thoughtful--look at the ins and outs of Victorian life for women.

What I'm looking forward to in 2019:

Soooo many amazing sounding titles coming our way next year, but here's what's guaranteed to be on my list for next year:

YA: On the Come Up

Angie Thomas's follow-up to The Hate U Give is out in February.

Adult fiction: The Winter of the Witch

Katherine Arden's Winternight trilogy comes to an end this January. I'm not a huge historical fiction fantasy fan, but I've found this addictive reading. Out in January.

Adult nonfiction: Becoming Dr. Seuss (Brian Jay Jones)

Brian Jay Jones is one of my favorite biographers; his Jim Henson and George Lucas biographies are fantastic. I'm eager to read his evaluation of Seuss's life, especially in consideration of recent criticism concerning Seuss's early work.  Out in May.

Picture book: The Alphabet Book With No Pictures

If you loved The Book With No Pictures, you'll have to be patient for its "sequel," which won't be out until September.

Children's novel: Because of the Rabbit

Cynthia Lord is one of my very favorite children's authors; judging from the book description, this sounds like a friendship story between a formerly homeschooled girl and a boy on the spectrum. Out in March.

Children's nonfiction: Bloom Boom

April Pulley Sayre's nonfiction photography-rich books are absolutely amazing. Cannot wait to see her take on spring, out in February (when some of us will be ready for warmer days!)

Graphic novel: Run

The team behind the brilliant, inspirational, and groundbreaking graphic novel trilogy based on Rep. John Lewis's childhood and early adulthood as a civil rights activist is back. Picking up where March: Book Three left off, this will cover a tumultous era in United States history: the passing of the Voting Rights Act and the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam. Run: Book One will be out in June.

Here's to another great year of reading!

Jennifer Schultz, Collection Services Development Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library 

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