Celebrations #CelebrateLU- January 29, 2016

29 Jan
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating a couple of literary events.

Family Book Club


I really enjoyed Patrick Jenning’s Guinea Dog more than I thought I would. I normally wouldn’t have read this since it looked like a fluff read about a flurry fur ball. But it’s more than that. It’s perfect for kids 7 and up because the character goes through things lots of kids that age (range) go through. Jennings perfectly captured the thoughts running through a kid’s head. It’s funny and somehow deep at the same time as the main character tries to figure out who he is in terms of his family, his friends, his classmates, and his pet who isn’t a dog but acts like one.


I ended up reading the holiday short story (only available online) “A Very Merry Guinea Dog” as well. A cute addition to the series in which there are two other novels.

We were fortunate enough to have Patrick Jennings come to our Family Book Club. There was a young boy who was a super fan of Patrick Jennings and in his own terms was a “pro-reader!” The boy also had great story ideas and it was great to see an author encourage that and even share some advice. I hope they stay in touch! I love being a bookseller!

We Need Diverse Books

I attended a “Diversity and Inclusion in Young Adult and Children’s Literature” panel put on by Portland State University’s Ooligan Press. I loved that this was being discussed since it’s such an important popular topic right now in the publishing industry and just showed how much more needs to be done. By talking about it, asking what we can do so diversity becomes more mainstream and hopefully not seen as just a trend, and actually doing things to promote further initiatives or encourage more publications of such books, it becomes something we’re aware of. I think it has to be continually talked up and talked about because we’re easily lured into a false sense of victory whenever there’s a speech or a march or a movement or a day-of proclamation. Those should be considered success markers and not the big win.

But back on point, there were so many thoughtful and insightful ideas shared. Reading widely (“reading without walls”) and to buy and to borrow diverse books shows the publishing industry that that’s what people want and can still be profitable. As a bookseller, I feel I can step up my game and make more of an effort to recommend books with diverse characters. I hope everyone who attended had some takeaways that they can put into words and actions as well.

And, unrelated to any book events, I wanted to give a shout-out of Jen of Teach Mentor Texts for sending me a card! I love getting cards- and I got two this past week.


What are you celebrating this week?


6 responses to “Celebrations #CelebrateLU- January 29, 2016

  1. Crystal

    January 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    The family book club sounds like a cool activity. I love the sound of that panel – diversity and inclusion. Jen is a sweetie.

  2. Linda Baie

    January 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I don’t think I would choose Guinea Dog either, Earl, but now that you’ve said it is worth a look, I’ll put it on my list. Great that you attended the presentation about diverse books. If we all try to look at all choices, it will help immensely. Lovely that you got a nice surprise from Jen.

  3. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    January 30, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I agree with you about Guinea Dog. I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. Now I find myself really wanting a guinea pig and naming him Fido. 😉

    I love the card that Jen sent you. Too cute!

  4. Michele

    January 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Those are nice celebrations 🙂
    I know many educators who should go to that workshop… Not a celebration! Glad you were able to attend and be able to share your learning!

  5. Ramona

    January 31, 2016 at 7:30 am

    It’s always fun when a book surprises us. Great to hear about the panel you attended and your plans moving forward. Receiving cards in the mail – definitely something to celebrate!

  6. cvarsalona

    February 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Earl, we definitely need diverse books for students to read so they can associate with the characters.


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