Recommended Reading Lists

Paris, a Perfect Adventure: Exploring the ‘City of Light’

hunchbackHahn, D. (Producer), Trousdale, G. (Director), & Wise, K. (Director).  (1996). The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Motion picture]. United States: Walt Disney Animation Studios. 91:00. DVD, $12.99. Rated G. ISBN 9780788806292. All ages. A humble, mysterious bellringer learns to love in this animated adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel set in Paris.

everybodybonjoursKimmelman, L. (2008). Everybody Bonjours! Illustrated by Sarah McMenemy. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. Unpaged. Hardcover, $16.99. Ages 3-7. Paired with whimsical drawings, this terrific rhyming story will have children saying “Bonjour!” as they tour the sights of Paris.

9780811837668Knight, J. (2003). Charlotte in Paris.  Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. Unpaged. Hardcover, $16.99. ISBN 9780811837668. Ages 8+. In an artfully illustrated journal, a young girl tells of her adventures in Paris and Giverny, the home of impressionism and Claude Monet.

Red balloonLamorisse, A. (Director). (1956). The Red Balloon [Motion picture]. Le Ballon Rouge (original title). 34:00. VHS. Rated G. All ages. A boy and his red balloon are inseparable as they explore the streets of Paris, earning Lamorisse an Academy Award for best original screenplay.
not for parisLamprell, K. (2011). Not for parents: Paris, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know. Footscray, Victoria: Lonely Planet Publications. 96p. Paperback, $14.99. ISBN 9781742208176. All ages. Packed with over 400 illustrations, maps, and photographs, this book is guaranteed to introduce every aspect of Paris and its history.

bb-adeleMcClintock, B. (2006). Adele & Simon. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Unpaged. Hardcover, $16.00. ISBN 9780374380441. Ages 4+. Simon is exceptionally forgetful and it is up to his older sister, Adèle, to navigate the busy streets of Paris on their way home from school.

McCullyaMcCully, E. A. (1992). Mirette On the High Wire.  Illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Unpaged. Hardcover, $14.95. ISBN 0399221301. Ages 4+. In this Caldecott Medal winner, Mirette helps a uniquely talented stranger conquer his fears, proving a student can make the best teacher.

Kiki-and-Coco-in-ParisRausser, S. (2011). Kiki & Coco in Paris. Photographs by Stephanie Rausser. Petaluma, CA: Cameron & Company. Unpaged. Hardback, $18.95. ISBN 9780918684509. Ages 4+. Kiki & Coco are best friends. Photographs of their Paris adventures are beautifully captured and stunningly displayed as full-page images.

47967_SASEKpari_C_FRSasek, M. (2004). This is Paris. New York, NY: Universe Publishing. 60p. Hardcover, $17.95. ISBN 9780789310637. Ages 4+. A visionary, illustrated guide to Paris, this book highlights the preeminent sites and interesting people that define the “City of Light.”
hugo_intro_cover2Selznick, B. (2007). The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York, NY: Scholastic Press. 533p. Hardcover, $24.99. ISBN 9780439813785. Ages 8+. Hugo, a thieving orphan, lives in the walls of a busy train station in Paris. Wanting to uncover his past leads him down a mysterious path.
Additional Information

  • Paris provides a rich setting for the imagination of children to explore limitless possibilities. From the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre Museum, history, culture, art, and ingenuity converge in Paris and many children would love to know more about what is one of the world’s most popular destinations. Also, children will enjoy dreaming of visiting and/or living in this beautiful city.
  • This list is intended for a wide range of elementary school children but primarily focused on children aged 4-8. Most of the items are well suited for early readers and young children. Early readers that have difficulty reading on their own may enjoy being read aloud to by a more experienced reader, because the content is certainly appropriate for them. These items are attractive to many age groups because of the whimsical illustrations, photographs, film, and engaging, yet comprehensible text. The purpose of this list is to gather an exceptional list of what Paris is like through the eyes of children.
  • I relied on my cursory knowledge of children’s literature about Paris to begin my list and used Amazon, Booklist, and the Worldcat catalog (Library of Congress Subject Heading search) to add to my initial finds. Due to the wonderful library staff all across the Orbis Cascade Alliance, I was able to borrow each item on this list that was not readily available at my library. I read each book and I consulted reviews from the School Library Journal, Booklist, and Amazon to reinforce my perception of each item’s appropriate age range. Additionally, I watched Hunchback to familiarize myself with its content and I utilized the Internet Movie Database for reviews and a summary of Red Balloon.

War Children: Stories of Life and Survival During World War II

The Orphans of NormandyAmis, N. (2003). The Orphans of Normandy: A True Story of World War II Told Through Drawings by Children. New York, NY: Atheneum Books. Unpaged. Hardcover, $17.95. ISBN 9780689841439. Ages 8-12. The striking drawings and notes of orphans forced to travel thousands of miles to safety recount a story of perseverance and hope.

hitler youthBartoletti, S. C. (2005). Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow. New York, NY: Scholastic Nonfiction. 176p. Hardcover, $19.95. ISBN 9780439353793. Ages 10+. Historical accounts and photographs tell the story of twelve members of a generation who devoted their lives to Nazi Germany.

9780805042511Drucker, O. L. (1992). Kindertransport. New York, NY: H. Holt. 146p. Hardcover, $14.95. ISBN 9780805017113. Ages 10+. From Nazi Germany to America, Ollie recounts being separated from her parents and sent to England to live safely for the duration of the war.
diamondFitzmaurice, K. (2012). A Diamond in the Desert. New York, NY: Viking. 258p. Hardcover, $16.99. ISBN 9780670012923. Ages 9+. As Japanese-Americans, Tetsu and his family are sent to a relocation center in Arizona where the game of baseball becomes his refuge.
60008Greenfield, H. (1993). The Hidden Children. New York, NY: Ticknow & Fields. 118p. Hardcover, $15.95. ISBN 9780395660744. Ages 10+. Survival stories of Jewish children are displayed in black and white photographs, creating a mosaic of somber memories and stolen childhoods.
Number-the-StarsLowry, L. (1989). Number the Stars. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. 137p. Hardcover, $12.99. ISBN 9780395510605. Ages 9+. It is 1943, Nazi soldiers have occupied Denmark, and Annemarie must find the courage to help save Ellen, her Jewish friend, from relocation.
513zf7j0b8LOrlev, U. (2003). Run, Boy, Run. Translated from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 186p. Hardcover, $15.00. ISBN 9780618164653. Ages 10+. Concerned only with staying alive, an orphaned, eight-year-old Jewish boy must assume a new religion, name, and history in order to survive.

bffsPatt, B. (2010). Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook. Illustrated by Shula Klinger. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish Children. 92p. Hardcover, $17.99. ISBN 9780761455776. Ages 9+. From a Japanese-American internment camp, Dottie sends letters and drawings to Louise who keeps a scrapbook of their war-torn friendship.

mosqueRuelle, K. G. & DeSaix, D. D. (2008). The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust. Illustrated by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix. New York, NY: Holiday House. 40p. Hardcover, $17.95. ISBN 9780823421596. Ages 8-12. Blending fact and fiction, oil painted illustrations tell of brave Muslims risking their lives to hide Parisian Jews from danger.

CTCreateSpaceCover3_001Tunnell, M. O. (1996). The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese-American Interment Camp. New York, NY: Holiday House. 74p. Hardcover, $16.95. ISBN 9780823412396. Ages 9+. The diary of a third-grade teacher in a Japanese-American internment camp reveals the resilience of children when their lives are uprooted.
Additional Information

  • One of most devastating periods of human history, regardless of how distant it may seem, needs to be researched and understood by older children. The cultures, religions, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, and mental handicaps that were persecuted deserve to have a voice in children’s literature. Although these materials are divided between Jewish and Japanese-American victims during World War II, there were many groups terrorized during the rise of Hitler and the Axis powers. That being said, children should have access to materials that allow them to understand this period in history.
  • Due to the often violent and mature content associated with war, imprisonment, the Holocaust, and discrimination, this list is recommended for children ages 9-12. Most children under eight are not well suited for these items but, knowing there are some mature enough for the content, I do not wish to exclude them entirely from utilizing this resource. Further, this list could certainly be used by tweens as a way to work towards reading larger history books. The nonfiction titles I have included are packed with photographs and are the perfect length for readers hesitant to tackle a large book about World War II history.
  • Having a profound appreciation for World War II history, and having reviewed two titles from this list in previous coursework, I knew where to begin with at the onset of my research. Just as in my first recommended reading list, I used Amazon, Booklist, and the Worldcat catalog (Library of Congress Subject Heading search) to include with my initial decisions. I read each of the following titles: The Orphans of Normandy, Hitler Youth, Number the Stars, Run, Boy, Run, and The Grand Mosque of Paris. For the remaining titles I relied on speed reading a few chapters in each in order to gauge the writing style, content, and age range. For every title I sought out information from the School Library Journal, Booklist, Paper Tigers, and/or Amazon for summaries, reviews, and assistance in determining the appropriate age ranges.

-Kaitlyn Broberg for LIS 656: Children’s Materials Evaluation and Use

A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return – Book Review

Brief Annotation 

During the Lebanese civil war, two children in East Beirut are helped by neighbors through a scary, yet predictable day of violent bombardment.

Critical Review

A Game for SwallowsAbirached, Zeina (2012). A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return. Illustrated by Zeina Abirached. Translated from French by Edward Gauvin. New York, NY: Graphic Universe. 192p. $9.95. ISBN 9781575059419. Ages 10+. “Inside these divided sectors, life is organized around the cease-fires. . . Gathered together in the foyer, we were safe.” More of an illustrated memoir than a graphic novel, Abirached brings a poignant perspective to the immediate and lasting effects of war on children. East Beirut 1984, during the Lebanese civil war, is a noisy and frightening time to grow up. Abirached’s first person narration conveys wonder and naivety, and her illustrations create imaginative and detailed life in black and white. The spirit of community juxtaposes the stark reality of snipers and shelling outside their cramped apartment. It is through the memories of Abirached’s childhood that one can find beauty in the strong bonds that hold friends and family together through dangerous times. Best suited for older elementary children, this book includes scenes of smoking, drinking, and violence. The illustrations are not disturbing and may be appropriate for children under ten. This is a great introduction to graphic novels for readers new to the genre; children interested in history and historical fiction will find this book very enjoyable and will be motivated to seek out more information on the Lebanese civil war. Abirached’s gripping novel received an ALA Notable Children’s Book award, a Mildred L. Batchelder Honor award, and the Notable Books for a Global Society award. [251 words]

-Kaitlyn Broberg for LIS 656: Children’s Materials Evaluation and Use

The Many Faces of George Washington – Book Review

Brief Annotation

Discover how forensic anthropology and historical accounts unveil the true appearance of George Washington, the man on the one-dollar bill.

Critical Review

The many faces of George Washington

McClafferty, Carla K. (2011) The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. 120p. Hardcover. $30.50 ISBN 978-0761356080. Ages 8-12. “The image most Americans have of George Washington comes from the one-dollar bill, and this is somewhat unfortunate.” McClafferty presents an intriguing slant on the first president, whose likeness is never captured equally from one artist to the next, by sharing beautiful full-page portraits and sculptures created during his lifetime. This book is wonderfully organized with past and present weaving a tapestry of the life of Washington before the reader’s very own eyes ultimately bringing to life, in wax splendor, Washington at ages nineteen, forty-five, and fifty-seven. Bringing together forensic anthropologists, dentists, taxidermists, historians, and others to look at primary documents in a noble attempt to discover his true likeness, McClafferty presents a striking and convincing summation of collective work required for such an assignment. The size and weight of this book initially gives the impression that it is a picture book, but at 120 pages this chapter book is a great way for children to dive into nonfiction materials with confidence and ease. This is not a book for those wishing for a comprehensive look into the life of George Washington or of his presidency, as its primary focus is his physical appearance, but it is a great supplement to most libraries earning a Best Book designation from the School Library Journal. [238 words]

-Kaitlyn Straton for LIS 565: Children’s Materials Evaluation and Use

A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Book Review

Brief Annotation

Amos McGee, a charming caretaker of City Zoo, takes an unexpected sick day causing his concerned friends make an unexpected visit.

Critical Review


Stead, Philip C. (2010). A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press. 32p. Hardcover. $16.99 ISBN 9781596434028. Ages 3+. “Ugh. I don’t think I’ll be going to work today.” Amos McGee takes an unexpected sick day in this 2011 Caldecott Medal winning story of friendship and dedication. Part of what makes Amos McGee so endearing is that each day, during his busy routine as a caretaker of City Zoo, he makes time to cultivate his curious friendships with certain zoo inhabitants. On this particular day, his concerned friends, accustomed with Amos McGee’s ever-present grin and green three-piece suit, make an unexpected visit. Their initiative and ambition demonstrate the unlimited bonds of friendship and the special relationships that make a no-good, sick day worth sharing with readers. Philip C. Stead is a talented writer who has woven a story to captivate the interest of all ages and his wife, Erin E. Stead, uses sharp-penciled lines, subtle shading, and pops of color to add warmth and depth to an already delightful story. While the plot is lacking in creative writing, Erin more than makes up for any shortcomings with her expressive illustrations. Together they have created a charming cast of characters each with their unique style and personality. Early readers may need assistance with Stead’s word choice and descriptive language, but as a medium-sized picture book with sturdy edges and pages, this hardcover edition ensures it will survive many happy readings. A Sick Day for Amos McGee is also a recipient of the 2011 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year and a 2011 ALCS Notable Children’s Book. [276 words]

-Kaitlyn Broberg for LIS 656: Children’s Materials Evaluation and Use

The United Way, the NFL and You!

As a lover of football, especially my Seattle Seahawks, I have always known of the NFL’s partnership with the United Way but never have I looked into it.

The NFL and every other professional sports league is always looking for ways to humanize their players. By doing this they are opening up their fan base while also ensuring they have positive community connections as a means to keep players out of trouble’s way. This isn’t a hard and fast rule and I don’t mean to paint it in this light as a way to disparage the partnership of these two venerable institutions. I love both the NFL and the United Way and I love that they work together for a common goal–or touchdown.

So, why does this partnership matter? Each week millions upon millions of Americans tune in for the National Football League. The most recent figures I could find are from last year, which show 64% of the adult population claim to watch the NFL each week. This percentage has surely risen in the last year as more and more women are beginning to enjoy the sport.

The United Way has created a positive atmosphere where professional athletes inspire adults and children alike to volunteer in their communities. Whether it be through their campaigns “Play 60” and “Hometown Huddle” or through their PSA’s and commercial spots, the United Way has increased awareness and made it cool to join in.

So, are you in?


If you are interested in signing up for a local service project or any future information on the NFL’s relationship with the United Way please visit their website.

And don’t forget to Live United

The real ghost island

Last weekend I went to see the new James Bond flick Skyfall with my husband and a good friend. We all loved it– by the way. I won’t go to town describing the role of social media in promoting this film a la my “ARGO” post from a few weeks ago. However, I do want to draw attention to a scene in the film and what, in reality, is behind the scene. This is not a spoiler for those who haven’t yet made it to theaters.

Hashima Island played a minor yet striking role in the film and the Internet blew up after the premier with inquiring minds publishing information on this mysterious, ghost island that plays backdrop to one of Bond’s seemingly endless international escapades.

Abandoned Island

I honestly thought that the island was merely Hollywood magic and never once did I think it was a real place. It is so incredibly eerie in the film that you can’t imagine it was home to thousands of Japanese. There are several videos you can check out that talk about this island but this particular YouTube video is the most honest and eye-opening.

Did you see the film? Did you head home and start Googling the island setting? Let me know your thoughts about the YouTube video in the comments.

Wait… am I a blogger or a microblogger?

That is the question.

There are several differences between blogging and microblogging but you probably wouldn’t know about them. I sure didn’t until I was encouraged to look into the question for some grade points. I have discovered I am a seasoned microblogger and a novice blogger. My apologies to anyone who follows my novice blog.

[I only base this on the number of years I have pursed each avenue of expression– less than one year with this blog compared to four years on Twitter]

But back to the question at hand, it can only be answered fully once we have a clear picture of what the differences are between blogging and microblogging


  • think of a personal diary in online format
  • typically marked by longer, more in-depth posts
  • is not a type of microblogging
  • typically thematic or at least usually has a thread throughout each post
  • can be reflective or real-time
  • popular platforms include WordPress and Blogger


  • imagine snapshots of life in an online format
  • marked by short posts to increase visibility online
  • is a type of blogging
  • not as typically thematic, since posts are short and sweet the author has a lot more room to surprise its audience
  • almost exclusively real-time
  • popular platforms include, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram


  • because of the complexity involved with Facebook pages including notes, status updates, photo albums, etc. it does not fall into either category but rather creates a catchall category of its own

As attention seeking reaches an all time high, it is time-saving and more efficient to sort through and read several microblogs than full-length blogs. Microblogging sites are growing at a higher rate than blogging sites because of this and because microblogging is less personalized. For example, there are millions of accounts on Twitter and it is the most used microblogging site because it is the same for everyone. Sure you can change the background of your account but you cannot add personal touches the way you can with your very own blog.

It is more and more likely that the line between blogging and microblogging is blurring because bloggers will Tweet their blog, thus using both blogging and microblogging to raise visibility. What do you prefer? I am much more fond of microblogging via Twitter and Instagram (which I simultaneously post to Twitter and Facebook) than I am of a longer blog format. I must have a short attention span.


The Popular Culture of Libraries: Revisited

I love YouTube. Who doesn’t? As a social media tool, I really enjoy the way millions upon millions of viewers around the world can connect based on their shared interest in an obscure Korean pop star. I found a pretty fun montage (it wasn’t hard to find, I am an aspiring librarian after all) and I wanted to share it. With. The. World.

It’s almost too long for my tastes (another topic entirely in the world of social media) but for pop culture enthusiasts it is definitely entertaining and fun to see your favorite ode-to-libraries moments in movies and television.

Check it out, check-it-outers!

Other pop stars have gathered even more viewers on YouTube (i.e. Justin Bieber $ LMFAO) but Gangham Style is the only song and dance routine that made it into my wedding reception and had the entire room participating. That, my friends, is incredible because it indicates just how far this video has reached. It epitomizes the idea of “going viral.”

Can you think of any other examples? Let me know in the comments.

TJ Revisited: the digital age and the role of libraries

A few years ago I was fortunate to visit Washington DC with my sister and grandpa. Naturally, we toured several museums and historical places including the Library of Congress. Their special collections that are on display for the public are quite striking. The most amazing one in my opinion is the personal library of America’s third President, Thomas Jefferson. (I had yet to enter my library program so don’t fault me for not knowing it existed.)

Throughout the course of earning my MLIS, I have had many conversations on the role of  archives and special collections, which lead me to think back on that historical personal library and its importance. It is great that thousands upon thousands of documents have been recreated online for the sake of preservation but you cannot simply digitize away Jefferson’s personal library. This leads me to believe that the library as place is more significant today than it ever has been.

What makes Jefferson’s library so valuable is not merely each material item’s condition, nor is it that every item in the collection is one of a kind. It is that there is only one personal library of the Founding Father and if it disappears it cannot be reproduced in its original form. For the same reason, libraries as physical spaces are ever-increasing in significance as more and more in our communities are shut down due to budget overhauls. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the community impact of some libraries are determined by abandoning others.

In the digital age, some pieces of information get buried somewhere on a server or are deleted from a personal computer but nothing online is lost forever (despite what you may think of your Facebook pictures).  And so, Jefferson’s collection stands alone not primarily because of what it is but because of what everything else is not and cannot be. We cherish the rare, the unique and the irreplaceable in an earnest attempt to hold onto something that once gone is gone forever. This is such an important role for libraries to assume and while I will agree that certain things should be done away with to make room for new growth, some things are worth hanging onto.

Jefferson's library recreated for the Thomas Jefferson exhibition. Photo by David Sharpe

For more information on Thomas Jefferson’s personal library see:

Political Efficacy– Part Deux

For the sake of anyone reading, today, I am brief.

In my post yesterday I addressed the question—why vote? Additionally, I asked the question—how does social media impact American electoral tradition? I will attempt to briefly answer the latter question

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that at least one in five registered voters declared their choice for President on a social media platform. Not surprisingly for all who take part in and make a habit of being well-informed about social media, the most confessions recorded were found on Facebook and Twitter. However, the paper also reported, via Pew Research Polls, that voters age 18-29 “were more likely . . . to have been encouraged by their social circles to vote for Obama” [see graph below]. This is a profound statement. Not only does it show the power of social media for a specific age group but it highlights a major campaign discrepancy between those using social media to get out the vote and those who opt not to. However, it should be noted that according to the poll encouragement from family and friends is the highest response for respondents age 18-29. This may indicate that the reasoning has less to do with social media as much as it has to do with this particular age group being more susceptible to outside forces when determining their vote.


Elections, big and small, will never be the same, and with incredible polling machines capable of measuring each determining factor for voter affiliation, we are entering a new season of political campaigns where the potential for social media has yet to be realized. If you have a response to the graph or articles linked to please let me know in the comments.

UPDATE: You might find this article amusing from All Twitter. It adds more information and context to the LA Times article I linked to.