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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Creepy Library Statue Status Update

Statue Status Update

If you’re confused, click here for the creepy library statues backstory. Created with

All Middle Grade Novels Should Be 192 Pages. No Exceptions.


Imagine a world… Where all middle grade fiction is 192 pages. No exceptions. There’s been talk for a few years now about the expanding page counts in books for young people. Some point to Harry Potter as the reason. One type of book that hasn’t ballooned is the humble picture book. There are exceptions, but [...]

The Wildest Children’s Books of 2014

Jim Curious

The amount of cleverness in children’s literature never ceases to amaze me. While some decry the sameness of picture books, I believe that there are plenty of bold and unique books coming out, once you start looking around. What follows are a few 2014 books that made me and Salvador Dali double take – in [...]

This One Time, At Nerdcamp


Come for the knowledge, stay to admire the spectacular balloons. Earlier this week 350 teachers, librarians, administrators, authors, and illustrators converged on Parma, Michigan for the second annual nErDcampMI. Like any good sequel, the is year’s camp was bigger and bolder. It also got some nice coverage in the local news. It was an early [...]

The State of Doughnuts in Las Vegas, Nevada (or 2014 ALA Annual Conference Recap)


In case you’ve never been there (as I hadn’t before the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference a couple weekends ago), the first thing you need to know about Las Vegas is: they don’t mess around. When you visit, you can be playing the slots seconds after deplaning. I kinda love the idea that someone [...]

Dry Heat: ALA Annual Conference 2014

See You Las Vegas

The American Library Association Annual Conference is happening this weekend in Las Vegas. I’ll be there taking in the sights and sounds and expelling the perspiration. There will likely be a “Photos from the Conference”-type post at some point, but mostly I’ll be talking and sharing pics on Twitter – click here to find me [...]

Predictions! 2014 NYT Best Illustrated Children’s Books

Rules of Summer

Ah, what the heck? Why not try to predict one of the most difficult to predict awards out there? Is the criteria for eligibility available? Not that I can find. Take this list with grains of salt accordingly. But I’ve never seen anyone try to guess these, so again I ask you: what the heck? [...]

Notes on May 2014


In May… …I previewed the summer season. There’s a batch of good-looking books coming out in the next three months, folks. …we witnessed the birth of a ninja mini trend. Ninjas appear to be giving whales a run for their money in children’s lit trend department. …a pretzel rotisserie appeared in my staff lounge. This [...]

Putting Your Book in Your Book


So last night I was reading Count on the Subway (illustrated by Dan Yaccarino) to my daughter. We turned the page and her eyes lit up. Here’s what she saw: Yep, that’s Doug from Doug Unplugged – a book my daughter and I have read a bunch of times. Doug appears on a poster in [...]

The Unexpecteds: 5 Sneakily Popular Books in My K-4 Library

TOON Treasury

While I was gathering data for my Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014 posts… #10-6 #5-1 …I noticed a few unexpected titles that weren’t quite at the very top of the checkout count, but were close. I’m calling them The Unexpecteds. Hollywood movie execs, call me if you’d like to use that as the title [...]

Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014: #5-1

Bowling Alley Bandit

Let’s keep this unvarnished look at popularity going, shall we? Click the link below to get caught up: Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014: #10-6 These books received more checkouts in my K-4 library than any others during the 2013-14 school year. 5. Bowling Alley Bandit (The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut, Book 1) by [...]

Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014: #10-6

Soft Pretzel

Click here for #5-1 You see that? That’s a soft pretzel rotisserie. That was in my teacher lounge the other day. The appearance of this soft pretzel rotisserie tells me the end of the school year is coming. As we approacheth the end of the year, I like to take a look back at the [...]

2014 Mini Trend: Ninjas


I can’t say with certainty that books featuring ninjas are on the rise, but looking at the lay of the land in 2014, it sure seems that way. Seeing as how anything with a ninja flies off my school library shelves (including the sneakily super-popular Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta and Ed Young), I am [...]

Notes on April 2014

Title Results

In April… …we learned what people call themselves. I did a improptu poll to see which title school librarian-type people prefer. …we looked at upcoming books for Caldecott Medal/Honor winners. It turns out there are a bunch of them. …we had a guest from Australia. It was author Andy Griffiths, and I documented the day [...]

A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen

Conversation with Kate and Chris

For author Kate DiCamillo and illustrator Chris Van Dusen, August 26th marks a triumphant return to the Mercy Watson Universe. That’s when Leroy Ninker Saddles Up, the first book in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series is released. It’s also the first time since the Mercy Watson series wrapped up 2009 in that readers get [...]