Category Archive: Fiction

“What I Read Over My Summer Vacation…”

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There is a famous Norman Rockwell painting (entitled “Coming & Going”) that I’ve always liked which depicts both the beginning and end of a family vacation… To me, the end of August often… Continue reading

Raising Chickens : Urban Farming for the Intermediate Grades

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The term “urban farming” usually brings up visions of gardens, especially vegetable gardens, in backyards and containers and even on rooftops. Chickens might not seem a good topic for an article on urban… Continue reading

Homelessness: Together, we can make a difference!

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The National Alliance to End Homelessness states: “Homelessness occurs when people or households are unable to acquire and/or maintain housing they can afford. Understanding homelessness requires a grasp of several social issues: poverty,… Continue reading

July 13: National Embrace Your Geekness Day

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Did you know that there is a national holiday devoted to helping us accept our inner nerd?  July 13 is national “Embrace your Geekness Day”.  I’m convinced that everyone has a side of… Continue reading

Review: The Stars Never Rise

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The Stars Never Rise has non-stop action, romance (but not too much), and a dystopian setting that truly seems like an awful place to live. The world’s population has been decimated by demons… Continue reading

Books for Circus Fans

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I love just about all things circus related.  My family can’t drive through Wisconsin without stopping at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo  and The Ringling Circus Museum in Florida is on my… Continue reading

Engaging Your Struggling Readers

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Here in the Collection Development department at Mackin, we get a lot of requests from librarians for high interest/low reading level fiction for their struggling readers. We often find ourselves pointing these librarians… Continue reading

Mental Illness Fiction for High and Middle School

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My last post was a review of Neal Shusterman’s Challenger Deep, a story about a teen struggling through his first schizophrenic experience. With the prevalence of news stories on mental illness, I realize… Continue reading

Book-To-Screen Update

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When I’m not reading or cheering on my favorite Minnesota sports teams, I enjoy watching movies.  Whether sitting at home on my couch watching the flat screen, or at the cinema with a… Continue reading

Author Spotlight: Matt de la Peña

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“Something I can’t ignore: Tomorrow’s #teenlitcon in Minn will be 95% white. The juvenile detention centers I just visited were 95% brown.” Matt de la Peña tweeted the above in advance of the… Continue reading