I’m not sure how it’s possible, but it’s already mid-summer! They say time flies when you’re having fun and I can’t think of anything more fun than spending my days surrounded by books and by people that love them like I do.
Butler Fun Fact
Did you know that there are 460 owls in the Butler Center collection? Part of a generous donation by the estate of librarian and literacy champion, Effie Lee Morris, they represent the importance of the wisdom of the child in the consideration of books for young people. Our collection is currently being cataloged for research and preservation by Steven Szegedi, Dominican University archivist. Feel free to stop by and visit our parliament of Butler owls any time!
ALA Annual Conference
I was fortunate to attend the American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans in June. With millions of books to see and what felt like millions of people to see them (ok – maybe it was closer to 20,000), it was quite an event! I heard some amazing and inspiring speakers, collected more books than I could reasonably carry home, and got the chance to meet and thank many of the generous publishers that contribute to the Butler Center’s review collection. Check out the Butler’s Pantry for a recap of the weekend and some photos of the event.
Is there an event you’ve always wanted to see the Butler Center host? Do you have a professional development interest you’d love to share with local librarians and teachers?
We are in the midst of fall program planning and want to hear from you!
What types of events would you love to attend in the Butler Center?
When would you love to attend them?
We would love to hear your ideas. Your input helps build a stronger BCLC community! Please drop us a note at email@example.com.
The Butler Center welcomes teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, grandparents, caregivers and anyone interested in literature for young people. Beginning August 27th, the Butler Center will be open Monday – Thursday from noon-4 p.m., or by appointment with the curator; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make special arrangements.
The Center is a non-lending library but our staff is here to assist you in locating books that address specific themes, age groups, or reading levels.
The Butler Center is located in the Rebecca Crown Library, room 214, on Dominican’s main campus at 7900 W. Division Street in River Forest, Illinois. Directions and a campus map are available here. The Butler Center is administered by Dominican’s School of Information Studies and is generously supported by the Butler Family Foundation. We hope you’ll want to visit us, or join us for an event, and stay tuned for our news and upcoming events. Please contact me with any questions you have. I look forward to seeing you soon!
In honor of National Summer Learning Day here’s a roundup of some new STEM based fiction and picture books guaranteed to spark interest in a deeper dive into their subjects.
Crash Boom: A Math Tale – Robie H Harris, illustrated by Chris Chatterton (Candlewick, 2018)
Elephant wants to stack his blocks as tall as, well, an elephant. He’ll count, stack, evaluate, and build his way to success. With introductory concepts in math, problem-solving, construction, and good old-fashioned perseverance this a great tale for future engineers.
The Jamie Drake Equation – Christopher Edge
(Delacorte Press, June 2018)
Jamie Drake knows that each of his family members are like stars, keeping each other in orbit. He’s worked out the equation, and especially with his dad 400 kilometers away on the International Space Station, Jamie needs to make sure everyone and everything is in the right place to keep the Drake family intact. Christopher Edge brings math and science to life in this middle grade novel, giving them heart without sacrificing the integrity of the very real formulas and equations that make space travel possible. A bonus “The Science of The Jamie Drake Equation” chapter goes into more detail about the real-life science in the story, making this an easy tie-in to a solar system or space travel unit.
Secret Coders: Potions & Parameters – Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
(First Second, March 2018)
Hopper, Eni, and Josh are back in the 5th installment of the Secret Coders series, which picks up where Robots & Repeats left off: continuing their battle against the evil Dr. One-Zero as he tries to control their town with his “Green Pop” potion. Luckily, they have Professor Bee and their coding skills to help them. Gene Luen Yang (National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature) and Mike Holmes continue to entertain with their fun characters and comic-style illustrations. Readers interested in basic coding and logic puzzles will want to start this series at the beginning, since both the plot and the concepts build off previous books!
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret – Trudi Trueit (National Geographic, 2018)
Cruz Coronado and his classmates will travel the world using science, exploration and conservation practices while training to be the next generation of National Geographic Explorers. All the while trying to evade a secret society that may be the cause of his mother’s mysterious death. The series (launching in September) will be supported by a digital extension (available now on the National Geographic Kids site) with games, videos, and “truth behind” content revealing the science behind the story.
The Mortification of Fovea Munson – Mary Winn Heider (Disney-Hyperion, 2018)
Fovea Munson is NOT interested in dead bodies! But spending the summer working in her parents’ cadaver lab is not helping convince her classmates she is NOT gross. While this sweet and funny story isn’t based in fact (have you ever met a partially-frozen, singing head?), there is just enough medical science to get the curious doing their own research into dissection and maybe even medical school.
I’m back from a lovely extended visit to the Gulf Coast, first to ALA Annual in New Orleans then some vacation time in the Florida Panhandle! Amazing and rejuvenating all the way around.
I promised a quick recap when I returned, so here are some of the highlights:
The Opening Session with Michelle Obama was awesome! She was warm, funny, and inspired a great conversation about work/life balance and the importance of building a supportive community for yourself. Excited for her upcoming memoir Becoming (Penguin, 2018) to hit stores in November.
Had an amazing morning at the Coretta Scott King book awards breakfast. The award and honor book winners were as eloquent as expected, but surprised me with their humility and respect for their readers. I was also fortunate to find myself at a table full of smart and resourceful women who reminded me why I love librarians so much!
I was convinced (without much arm-twisting) to abandon my plans for a couple hours to attend a screening of The Public (which will come out this fall) and a Q & A with the movie’s writer/director/star Emilio Estevez and Ryan Dowd, author of The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness (ALA, 2018). The movie was both heartwarming and heartbreaking– I highly recommend!
Was so lucky to be invited to lunch with M.T Anderson and Eugene Yelchin to discuss their new book The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge (Candlewick, 2018). Eugene and Tobin were smart and charming, and lunch was delicious— I couldn’t ask for more! The book is next up on my to-be-read list and with its elfin historian and goblin archivist promises to be as delightful as lunch!
And no New Orleans recap would be complete without a restaurant recommendation, so if you find yourself near the NOLA convention center, might I suggest:
- Cochon Butcher—The roast beef sandwich was perfect and marinated brussels sprouts—WOW!
- Auction House Market—This entire place is cool, but I highly recommend the vegan mint and brownie milkshake at Mac & Moon, it’s extra cool (and sweet)!
I’m so happy to be heading to New Orleans this weekend to attend the 2018 American Library Association Annual conference.
You’ll be able to find Dominican University and Butler Center info at the ALISE booth (#3641) at the convention center.
You’ll be able to find me (or not find me) running around to all the amazing speakers and sessions that I have on my to-do list. Some of the places I’ll likely be found:
- The Opening Session with Michelle Obama
- Doris Kerns Goodwin’s Auditorium Speaker Series session
- Bullying, Trolling, and Doxxing Oh My! Protecting our Advocacy and Public Discourse around Diversity and Social Justice
- The Coretta Scott King Books Awards breakfast
- 2018 ALSC Awards Presentation
- ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program: Considering All Children: A New Ideal in Evaluating and Engaging around Books for Youth
- Anywhere and everywhere our generous publishing partners can be found in the exhibit hall. We have lots of people to thank for our amazing collection!
And, of course, enjoying some (ok—lots) of the amazing food and music to be found in NOLA!
Hope to see some of you there, but if not, I’ll post a quick recap next week—stay tuned.
Pride Month is here, and with it new LGBTQ+ books for all audiences. This is only a sampling – visit us to see the entire selection and more!
Julian is a Mermaid – Jessica Love, Candlewick Press
When Juliàn sees three beautiful mermaids on the subway, he is both in love and encouraged to embrace his true mermaid self. Will Abuela appreciate his transformation? Filled with evocative and whimsical illustrations, Julian is a Mermaid is a delightful and thoughtful exploration of non-conforming self-expression.
Doing It – Hannah Witton, Sourcebooks/Fire
There is a chapter specifically devoted to LGBTQ+ sex education in this nonfiction resource. Since the author is a straight cis woman, she rightfully invites several own voice contributors to write each section. Sex and gender are defined, followed by profiles on being transgender, transsexual, genderfluid, queer, bisexual, pansexual, and asexual. Witton then discusses coming out and ways to be a good ally (starting with acknowledging privilege).
Girl Made of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Owen and Mara are twins, with an unbreakable bond. It was Owen who unquestioningly accepted Mara’s coming out as bisexual to their family, and Owen who consoled Mara after she broke up with her best friend and first girlfriend, Charlie. Then Owen’s girlfriend, Hannah, accuses him of raping her and lines are drawn. Mara is torn between believing her friend or her brother, while also missing Charlie. With focus on consent, victim shaming, and the insidiousness of rape culture, Girl Made of Stars has emotional and timely relevance.
Picture Us in the Light – Kelly Loy Gilbert, Disney/Hyperion
With a scholarship to RISD and the loving support of his family, Danny has almost everything he needs in life. Except a future with his best friend, Harry, and an explanation for his parents’ secrets of the past. Unraveling the mystery of his family along with exploring his own feelings for Harry isn’t easy for Danny, and could disrupt everything he’s worked to achieve, but he is determined to know how his past will affect his future.
Though I pay for it in the morning, lately I have happily been staying up way too late reading. And while I’m making an admirable dent in my to-read list, my to-be-reviewed list is getting longer and longer and longer! So instead, here is a list of some of the powerful, sweet, funny, and very-highly recommended #ownvoices MG and YA titles I have read (and LOVED!) this spring. Check them out and judge for yourself!
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (Nancy Paulson Books, 2018) –Pakistani
Amal’s dreams of becoming a teacher are interrupted by an accident that lands her as the indentured servant of a cruel and corrupt landlord. She must learn to work with the other unhappy inhabitants of his household to expose the truth of his misdeeds and return to her family.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt and Co., 2018) –West African
As a descendant of the maji, Zélie will use the power of family, will, and the magic of her clan to fight a brutal and oppressive monarchy bent on destroying her people, and magic, forever.
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callendar (Scholastic, 2018) –US Virgin Islands/LGBTQ
Abandoned by her mother and bullied by nearly everyone else, Caroline finds comfort in a new classmate—Kalinda. She will fight her community, her emotions, and Mother Nature herself to find her mother and save her friendship.
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (Viking, 2018) –Latin cultures
When a school suspension sends Marcus, his mother and brother to Puerto Rico to “hit the reset button,” his mishap-filled search for his father helps him discover that fatherhood and family can look different than he ever imagined.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Arthur A. Levine, 2018) –African American/US South
Two inquisitive kids spend the summer solving a mystery from the past, facing racism then and now, in a small South Carolina town that hides both terrible secrets of racial violence and a multi-million dollar treasure.
So until the next list (picture books, maybe?)… Here’s to late nights with a good book and early mornings with a big cup of coffee!
Call ahead to make an appointment!
Our Butler Center schedule is full of fun and travel in June. We’ll be out and about at ALA Annual in New Orleans, vacationing (ok– one of us is lucky enough to be on vacation next month, but it’s not me!) and visiting a group of budding book reviewers. Our open hours will be limited from June 18-29. We’ll still be here to chat on Thursdays from noon-4 p.m. with other hours by appointment.
We don’t want to miss you in all the excitement, so drop us a note at email@example.com if you’d like to visit and we’ll make special plans just for you!