Digital Love: A Review of No One Here Is Lonely

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No One Here Is Lonely
By Sarah Everett
Knopf Books
February 5, 2019
Grades: 9 and up

No One Here Is Lonely follows high-school senior Eden as she navigates grief, loss, and change. Eden’s best friend Lacey has abandoned her for new friends. Eden’s family dynamics are shifting as well: she discovers that her mom has been cheating on her dad, and this changes her perspective on her parents and on love. In the midst of all this change, Eden takes comfort in speaking to a computer-simulated version of her crush, Will, who died earlier in the school year. She starts a new job at the grocery store, where she makes new friends and becomes closer with Oliver, Lacey’s twin brother. Ultimately, Eden decides that must let go of Will, that she can date Oliver, and, most importantly, that she can make decisions for herself. The story is told from Eden’s perspective, which allows the reader to feel sympathy for her as she processes her feelings of angst and uncertainty. These feelings might resonate with a teenage audience, especially readers who are facing the transition from high school to college and, like Eden, are unsure about what the future holds. When asked about her future plans, Eden is relieved to know that “it’s okay to be lost, that’s okay to not have [her] life plotted out, not to know what [she] love[s] or want[s]. It’s enough to simply be on the way to figuring it out” (209). As the book progresses, Eden develops the confidence to embrace this instability. Despite the book having romantic undertones, it is really about Eden’s self-discovery.

Finding Balance: Self-care for You and Your Team

As librarians and teachers serving youth, it’s in our jobs and in our natures to care for the kids in our communities. But how do we do that without burn-out and compassion fatigue? How do we stay at our best to give our best?

Join Regina Townsend, from the Forest Park Public Library, to discuss self-care strategies for individuals and organizations and ways you can create a culture of mental health in your library.

When: Saturday May 11, 2019 from 1pm-3pm

Where: Butler Children’s Literature Center–Dominican University–Crown 214

RSVP to butler@dom.edu to reserve your seat

 

 

Headed to IYSI?

Will you be at the Illinois Youth Services Institute next week?
We will – lets chat!

IYSS_Logo

You can find the Butler Center at Booth #3 in Redbird CD during the following exhibit hours:

Sponsor Exhibit Hours
Thursday, March 21
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.                Sponsor Exhibit Reception
Friday, March 22
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.              Sponsor Exhibits Coffee
10:00 – 12:30 p.m.            Concurrent Sponsor Exhibits

Stop by for a chat and a chance to win a signed book from an Illinois author!  

Haven’t registered for IYSI yet? Find out more at ILA

CommUnity Building
Illinois Youth Services Institute
March 21-22, 2019
Marriott Bloomington-Normal Hotel & Conference Center

 

Here to Save the Day: A Review of The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer cover imageThe Last Last-Day-of-Summer
Lamar Giles, illustrated by Dapo Adeola
Versify, April 2019
Grade 5-7

The Last Last Day of Summer, by Lamar Giles, introduces us to two lovable cousins, Sheed and Otto, aka the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County, a magical place where banshees, monsters, and robots need managing—managing the boys are happy to provide. Indeed, the boys’ long history of town-saving adventures shines through the pages. It may be our first time joining Otto and Sheed, but they’re old pros at saving the day. Only the twin sisters, the Epic Ellison’s, give these two brave, clever boys a run for the money … or, rather, a run for the keys to the city. When the last day of summer starts with a headline, informing Sheed and Ollie that the Ellison girls have earned a third key to the city—one more than the boys have—the Alston boys are determined to catch up. It doesn’t take long for them to run into a mysterious stranger with a curious camera. A click and a clack later, Logan County is frozen in time, leaving only the boys and a bevy of unexpected visitors to figure out how to reverse the damage and free the town and its zany cast of character. The story is deeply grounded in family and gently explores themes such as loss and fear, confidence and insecurity, and the ups and downs of friendship. In the end, our imaginative heroes must work through their differences; think creatively about which moves from their long list of Maneuvers will help them solve their pile of problems; and tap strange people, unexpected creatures, and even a few frenemies to unfreeze Logan County.

Many thanks to local author, SCBWI-IL member, and guest reviewer, Malayna Evans. Malayna has used her Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian history from the University of Chicago to write a three book series featuring two South Side Chicago siblings stuck in ancient Egypt. Her debut novel, JAGGER JONES & THE MUMMY’S ANKH, will be released in spring of 2019. She lives in Oak Park with her two kids, a rescue dog, and a hamster. You can learn more about Malayna and her work here, http://malaynaevans.com , or follow her on Twitter, https://twitter.com/Malayna , or Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/malaynaevans/.

 

What’s Happening…

Spring is about to spring in the Midwest (it’s got to be, right?) and not a moment too soon for an ice-free road trip to one of these upcoming Youth Services events.

Road Travel Road Trip Freedom

90 Second Newbery Film Festival

  •    When: Sunday 3/10 at 1:45 p.m.
  •    Where: Harold Washington Library Center— Chicago, IL
  •    Registration: free, with registration required

Seventh Annual Butler Lecture with Carmen Agra Deedy

  •      When: Wednesday 3/20 at 6:00 p.m. — book signing to follow
  •      Where: Dominican University’s Martin Recital Hall—River Forest, IL
  •      Registration: free, with registration required

Illinois Youth Services Institute

  •       When: 3/21-22
  •       Where: Marriott Bloomington-Normal Hotel and Conf. Center
  •       Registration: Details and registration
  •       Look for BCLC at booth #3

2019 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture with Debbie Reese

  •       When: Saturday 4/13 at 7:30 p.m.
  •       Where: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery—Madison, WI
  •       Registration: ticket and registration info coming soon

 

Chicken Killer: A Review of Bone Hollow

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Kim Ventrella
Scholastic, January 2019
Grades: 5-8

Did you ever think you’d die trying to save a chicken? Yeah, well, neither did sixth-grader Gabe, in Kim Ventrella’s forthcoming Bone Hollow. Except Gabe is only half dead–and he discovers this when he shows up at the town candlelight service for him. Gabe is on the run from the town, when he meets Wynne, the embodiment of Death. Wynne helps people pass into the light, and she wants Gabe to take over this job. Over the course of the novel, she and Gabe become friends, and, under Wynne’s mentorship, Gabe eventually accepts the responsibility of helping people cross over. Gabe is a lonely and humorous kid, and his voice is authentic, for a sixth grader which makes his processing of dying and death compelling to the reader. The narrator describes Gabe’s new perspective on Death: “Sad, sure, but also happy and kind and vast, like the ocean he and Gramps used to imagine. A deep, endless ocean, with rushing waves and a surface that reflected back each and every star” (222). Ultimately, this book might help adolescent readers recognize that death is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be painful. Like Gabe, the readers might understand that Death is more of a transition than an ending.   

 

Benefits of a Bossy Butler: A Review of Pay Attention, Carter Jones

carter jones

Pay Attention, Carter Jones
Gary D. Schmidt
Clarion Books, February 2019

The Butler in Gary Schmidt’s Pay Attention, Carter Jones shows up at the perfect time. Carter’s father is deployed in Germany when Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick arrives on the Jones’s family’s front porch, his service an inheritance of sorts from their recently passed grandfather. Carter’s mother, struggling to care for four and mourning the loss of a fifth, is all too happy to accept free help, but Carter doesn’t appreciate Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick’s insistence on speaking “the Queen’s English” or his tips on gentlemanly behavior. The two bond, however, when the butler teaches Carter to drive a car that will one day be his own and introduces him to the intricacies of Cricket. When Carter finds out his father is not returning from Germany, he starts to suspects the butler knows more about his family than it seems, and that the butler’s unsolicited guidance may help him sort the fragments of his family currently spinning out of control. The Butler is appropriately irritating and loveable all at once, striking a perfect balance of affection and frustration as his central relationship with Carter blooms. Carter is both stubborn and sympathetic as a middle schooler confronting the loss of a sibling and his father’s abandonment in a touching and realistic way. A hilarious and heartfelt book that will have readers laughing between tears and “remembering who they are.”

Many thanks to local author, SCBWI-IL member, and guest reviewer, Mike Grosso. Mike is an author, musician, and middle school math teacher who always keeps a guitar in his classroom. Mike writes books and records music at his home in Oak Park, Illinois, where he lives with his son and a drum set he plays much too loud. I AM DRUMS is his first novel, and his rock album, SILENT EXPLOSION, was funded via Kickstarter in early 2018. You can find him at mikegrossoauthor.com.