everyone should make their own book award seal

Librarians and teachers are always sharing their favorite books, so much so it is hardly necessary to ask one for a recommendation, you will get a title sometime in a conversation. I thought it might be fun for librarians, teachers or students to create their own book award criteria and seal! Canva or google drawings make it very easy to customize and create one to match your personality.  You can be dignified like the Newbery, or get a little crazy with color and graphics after you research how other books are chosen for awards and make your own criteria.

Perhaps each class can do a collaborative book seal for books they enjoy. The library could feature their picks to help others find a great read. It’s nice for students to place their seal of approval on things, why not a book they love?

the ms. p book award

And…we can even make bookmarks with our seals and name some new books that deserve it! Maybe I should start with the old books that do… the possibilities are endless. I hope you see this seal all over bookstores this year, if not maybe on a bookmark or two? Happy reading, book reviewers.

ugly gives us a lesson on who really is and who isn’t


By now everyone has read or heard about Wonder, a heartfelt novel that reveals the importance of accepting others for who they are, not for what they appear to be. Ugly, a memoir by Robert Hoge, is a wonderful nonfiction pairing with Wonder, or a great book on its own for those who want to know about the experiences of growing up with physical challenges and overcoming them.

Robert’s life in school is predictably rough because of his physical disabilities, but he overcomes those far easier than the challenges he faces fitting in. Thanks to a loving family that never let Robert feel that he couldn’t do what his brothers and sisters were able to, Robert accomplished milestones beyond what his parents and doctors dreamed when he was born.


This memoir explores kids kindness and cruelty but also gives examples of how adults can positively or negatively change a child’s perceptions of his abilities.  Ugly gives us a chance to reflect on what we can do to encourage others and capitalize on their attributes over anything else.



some mysteries of the universe in chapters (review)

9780763694531Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe– a chapter book that offers a lot of story in a smaller package, and new to our library! Cody is a thoughtful girl, but sometimes she feels her family and friends don’t think she’s thoughtful enough (maybe too much action instead). But Cody wonders about a lot of things she sees and hears…and some of them cause a little bit of worry- for her friends, her family, and even the new kids she initially feared.  The Meen family can make quite a few kids scared… Cody and her best friend find that mysteries are the most satisfying to solve when they end in music and new connections.  Another bonus? This is one in a series for those who prefer series chapter books as a transition from picture book fiction. (Great for grades 2-5)

Sketch review…codyandmysteries