Books to Bust Your Reading Slump

Book Reviews Notes from the Classroom


Surprising librarian fact: many people assume that I love every book that I try to read. I wish that were the case. In fact, somewhat regularly, I find myself in the midst of a reading slump, reading several books in a row with which I just don’t connect.

Reading slumps can be deadly. They kill your desire to read, making you feel that any other pursuit might be more fun or productive.

But with time and practice, I have found a few techniques that can help me to break out of a reading slump. I find they also work pretty well on reluctant readers, who themselves may be in the middle of an epic, life-long reading slump that they now consider the status quo. Here are some slump-busters to try with your students (or yourself):

1. Try a book in a new format, preferably one that reads quickly.

Verse novels are becoming more common and have been quite popular with my students. The sheer amount of white space on any given page, combined with text that addresses topics in a more direct way, makes verse novels fast paced. This appeals to all kinds of readers.

One excellent verse novel that has been very popular with students across reading levels is The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. It’s a coming-of-age verse novel that involves sibling rivalry, parental relationships, school drama, and grief. The main character, Josh and his twin, Jacob, are talented basketball players, so there are some excellent basketball scenes that could be read out of context. It’s also quick, engaging, and touching. I don’t think I’ve ever had a student dislike it.

 2. Go back to a topic or genre that you’ve been neglecting.

I found myself caught in a mini-slump last year, during a period of heavy realistic fiction and professional reading. I didn’t necessarily dislike these, but I needed to refresh myself with something I hadn’t tried in a while.

Enter Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire. This fantasy novella is filled with tremendous characters, fascinating backstory, and heaps of whimsy. I had been so caught up in big, heavy doses of reality that this little fantasy novel was a breath of fresh air.

Don’t get me wrong here: trying something totally new that you’ve never tried before is not a good strategy for sloughing off a slump. But returning to something that I had been missing was just what I needed to get back on my reading game.

3. Choose something funny.

It’s only been a few years since I realized that sometimes my slumps are not really about reading at all.

There have been many times in my life when the book that I was reading hit a little too close to home. I enjoy books about social movements, but sometimes the issues in my books pile on to the issues in real life, and that brings me down. I find that I’m not eager to get back to my book because it’s upsetting me or making me anxious.

This is the moment for a funny book. The playful tone in The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli, really gave me a boost. The characters are all people I wish I knew in real life, and I found myself rooting for them. There is a sense of hopefulness imbued in the story, and the main character, Molly, has a charming, slightly self-deprecating voice that made me snort-laugh on at least one occasion. A funny book may not solve the world’s problems, but this one reinvigorated my spirit and fed my inner reader a hearty portion of comfort food.

4. Pick something that everyone else has LOVED

There is a risk of ending up with something that disappoints because it’s been over-hyped. Yet it can be very satisfying to pick up a book that everyone’s been talking about, and then to become part of the conversation.

Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere has been weaving its way through my high school (and the country) since the fall. It’s an adult novel, but the inclusion of five teenage main characters grappling with familial and community expectations has made it of great interest to my students.

In the end, even the most avid reader is bound to hit a slump occasionally. I’d love to know about readers’ favorite books that have helped them break out of a reading rut!

pic of meBethany Bratney (@nhslibrarylady) is a National Board Certified School Librarian at Novi High School and was the recipient of the 2015 Michigan School Librarian of the Year Award.  She reviews YA materials for School Library Connection magazine and for the LIBRES review group.  She is an active member of the Oakland Schools Library Media Leadership Consortium as well as the Michigan Association of Media in Education.  She received her BA in English from Michigan State University and her Masters of Library & Information Science from Wayne State University.  Bethany is strangely fond of zombies in almost all forms of media, a fact which tends to surprise the people that know her.  She has two children below age five, and is grateful at the end of any day that involves the use of fewer than four baby wipes.

3 Books that Boys Love—from the Boys Who Read Them

Notes from the Classroom

“I don’t read books.”

“Why are we reading this [To Kill a Mockingbird] anyway?”

“Reading is so boring to me.”

*Sigh* “I’m not a good reader.”

These are some of the comments I’ve heard over the years from boy readers. But, for every boy who makes remarks like these, there is a book that will save reading.

*Cue superhero overture.*

The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander

When I asked one of my students why he likes this book so much, he told me that “I guess I just like how they sound like people I know.” Students need to hear their voices in books. And for your students who don’t read because they don’t see themselves in books–this is a game-changer.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is the perfect book to give a boy who is easily turned off by long books. It’s written in verse, rather than prose, which readers like, since it allows them to move through the text easily. For readers who are easily distracted, the extra white space on the page helps them to focus on the text.

The plot helps, too. Alexander’s sharp verse tells the story of Joshua and his twin brother, Jordan. When Jordan gets a girlfriend, Joshua fights back jealousy as he vies for Jordan’s time. Add an ex-pro baller as their father in the midst, plus a little brotherly rivalry, and readers are easily hooked to the drama.

This book seriously glues readers, and warning–you might actually have to ask your student to stop reading it while you are teaching.

Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Over the years, Halse Anderson’s novel about a quiet kid turned school rebel, Tyler, has won over many readers. Halse Anderson is a master at capturing the voices of vulnerable teenagers who are at the crossroads of childhood and young adulthood. And she keeps her chapters short, which is great for readers who are building stamina.

Many of my students have liked this book for both its humor and relatability. The character Tyler deals with issues such as verbal abuse, alcoholism, and social media, yet Halse Anderson also places her characters in familiar teenage moments: dealing with a crush, confronting popularity, and enduring bodily changes in adolescence.

Being a teenage boy is hard. This book shows them that they aren’t alone in that struggle.

YA author John Green says this is a book that boys will keep “under their beds for years, turning to it again and again for comfort and a sense of solidarity.”

Decoded, by Jay-Z

Most times when I book talk Jay-Z’s Decoded, I preface it by saying, “This is definitely for a mature reader. It’s raw, but amazing.”

One student told me that this book was different from other books he had been assigned to read for school. Unlike those books, it wasn’t boring or too slow. Decoded pulled him in because it was about intriguing contemporary issues.

Decoded is a mixed-media masterpiece filled with lush photographs tinged with nostalgia. And from a literacy angle: The images break up the text, crucial for readers who are overwhelmed by walls of text. Part social history, part memoir, Jay-Z cracks open his lyrics for readers with detailed footnotes and annotations.

Not only will students be gripped by the story behind the lyrics, but this is a solid model of literary analysis that challenges the cannon and shows readers that a writer’s past informs his or her craft.

Lauren Nizol (@CoachNizol) is an MTSS Student Support Coach and Interventionist at Novi High School. She has eleven years of classroom experience, teaching English, IB Theory of Knowledge and English Lab. Lauren completed her undergraduate degree in History, English and Secondary Education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and her Masters in English Education from Eastern Michigan University. She is a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant with the Eastern Michigan Writing Project and an advocate for underperforming students and literacy interventions.  When she’s not teaching, Lauren often runs for the woods with her husband and their three sons/Jedi in training and posts many stylized pictures of trees on Instagram.

To Teach Equity, We Should Choose Modern Texts

Notes from the Classroom


A colleague of mine recently received an interesting reaction to Zora Neale Hurston, when a young black man in his class declared one of Hurston’s essays to be “bullsh**.”

The student wasn’t interested in Hurston’s perspective on race, in a piece written in 1928. While my friend handled the incident as well as possible, it gave our whole PLC pause, since it raised an important question:

When selecting texts for an English classroom, how do we rank student interest and equity?

For many of us, the gut response is to look to The Canon. We find reputable voices from across time and distance, and select texts that diversify our collection of readings.

Which gives most English classes something that looks roughly like this:

  • Shakespeare
  • Hemingway
  • Fitzgerald
  • Lee
  • Miller
  • And a grab-bag of other White or European or early-American authors

And then, for balance and equity we might add:

  • Cisneros
  • Harlem Renaissance voices
  • MLK
  • Amy Tan
  • And Toni Morrison, if the school district will allow it

I’m not looking to unfairly profile anyone here. But the list of names tends to be finite.

Yet for non-white or non-male students in your district, these canonical texts, which felt relevant not so long ago, might not resonate today.

This was the case in my colleague’s class.

Hurston’s piece is mainly about taking life by the horns in spite of adversity. But in the process of being pro-self-confidence, she takes more than a few shots at fellow African-Americans who, she believes, are too busy feeling sorry for themselves.

Can you blame my colleague’s student for not wanting to hear this 90-year-old voice, two generations removed from a modern perspective? (Here I should point out that my colleague and I teach the same curriculum–my criticism is not of him but of the texts we–all of us ELA teachers–have allowed to define the course for too long.)

It’s not hard to imagine that this one forthright student speaks for many who quietly suffer through a whole semester of reading that never speaks to a modern point of view, much less a modern perspective for minority students.

It’s something that my PLC considered a few years ago. We had realized that out of our first six or seven texts, we had to present caveats for five of them about the use of terms like “negro” or other racial insensitivities, and that included Fitzgerald’s wonderful Gatsby.

That doesn’t make Gatsby a bad choice, but it certainly creates an oppressive classroom atmosphere for students of color who have to hear this language almost daily, in literature that we tell them is important and definitive.

Even our well-meaning texts, like those from the Harlem Renaissance writers, can alienate the very students we hope they speak to the most.  

Why?

Because–ironically–we ask students to embrace the perspectives of (to them) ancient voices while refusing (or neglecting) to listen to or examine the modern voices that have emerged since then.  

Is Langston Hughes an important voice in our history? Of course.

But in this cultural moment, is it more important for our students to hear Langston Hughes’ voice than, say, Angie Thomas or Clint Smith or Jason Reynolds? These are writers who have captured the zeitgeist of our current race issues. And they’ve done so through eyes that dilate more or less in sync with those of our young, impressionable students.  

If you haven’t read these enormously popular and well-known modern voices, perhaps ask yourself, What limitations exist in your own perspective of modern cultural issues? If The Canon offers our kids one set of eyes to see the world through, is it not our responsibility to try other, newer lenses as well?

Michael ZieglerMichael Ziegler (@ZigThinks) is a Content Area Leader and teacher at Novi High School.  This is his 15th year in the classroom. He teaches 11th Grade English and IB Theory of Knowledge. He also coaches JV Girls Soccer and has spent time as a Creative Writing Club sponsor, Poetry Slam team coach, AdvancEd Chair, and Boys JV Soccer Coach. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, majoring in English, and earned his Masters in Administration from Michigan State University.  

It’s Hard to Teach Voice in Writing. These 4 Novels Help.

Book Reviews Notes from the Classroom


Teaching voice to teenagers can be a tricky business. Voice is so personal, so varying, so complex. 

To make the business even trickier, there are many powerful ways to teach the written voice–so many that it’s difficult to teach them all.

All of which explains why this task calls for examples from literature. But where to get started?

These four YA novels offer students beautiful expressions of voice. They also happen to be excellent books, which students may find that they are excited to read once they’ve had a taste of the story and the style.

1. Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green

You probably heard about this one unless you’re strongly opposed to YA literature or you’ve been living under a rock. It’s the latest from the author of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green, who is known for his trademark wit and sincerity. Turtles All the Way Down follows Aza, a teenager with obsessive-compulsive disorder, which manifests in increasingly suffocating thought-spirals from which she cannot break away.  

Green’s wit is back in spades, and the lessons in voice come from his successful descriptions of Aza’s seemingly indescribable feelings: “Felt myself slipping, but even that’s a metaphor. Descending, but that is too. Can’t describe the feeling itself except to say that I’m not me. Forged in the smithy of someone else’s soul. Please just let me out. Whoever is authoring me, let me up out of this.”

This novel offers a case study in how to express the things that seem to only make sense in one’s own mind. It’s a voice lesson for our students that is worth the price of this book.

2. Dear Martin, by Nic Stone

We’re currently riding a wave of excellent books dealing with race and police brutality (All American Boys, by Reynolds & Kiely, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, among others). Dear Martin separates itself from the others by offering heartfelt, introspective thoughts from its main character, Justyce, who is arrested inappropriately while trying to help a friend, and faces worse interactions with police and the media later in the novel. 

Justyce writes letters to Martin Luther King, Jr., in an attempt to process his feelings, in King’s nonviolent manner: “I know I’m a good dude, Martin. I thought if I made sure to be an upstanding member of society, I’d be exempt from the stuff THOSE black guys deal with, you know? Really hard to swallow that I was wrong.”

With so many teens realizing, like Justyce, that their expectations will not always be met by adults, society, or so-called friends, Justyce’s voice serves as a textbook example of internal dialogue.

american street3. American Street, by Ibi Zoboi

A National Book Award finalist, American Street shares the story of Fabiola Toussaint, an immigrant to Detroit from Haiti. Her voice perfectly expresses the feeling of being pulled between two cultures, two families, while struggling to belong to both worlds. Fabiola says, “My two paths meet at this corner, and it seems like I have to choose one. One street represents a future, the other leads to a different kind of life.” 

Ibi Zoboi, the novel’s author, also beautifully mixes Fabiola’s beliefs with moments of magical realism, allowing for the expression of spiritualism in a very poetic way. As so many of our students may be trying to express aspects of their cultural background in writing, the character of Fabiola provides a lovely yet accessible example.  

4. Rani Patel in Full Effect, by Sonia Patel

A 2016 Morris Award finalist, Rani Patel in Full Effect introduces us to Rani, an Indian-American teen poet and rapper living in Moloka’i, an island in Hawaii. Sonia Patel does a masterful job characterizing Rani, imbuing in her a strong connection to her heritage but also to Hawaiian and ’90s hip-hop culture.

We see this in every phrase that she utters, including one memorable, imagined encounter with the rapper LL Cool J: “If I ever met him, I’d probably give him a chin-up and say, ‘S’up LL.’ Naw. Let’s be real. I’d give him a big bear hug and say, ‘Thank you. Thank you for Mama Said Knock You Out. It’s cheaper than therapy, man.'”  The inclusion of Rani’s poems and lyrics only add to the strength of her voice, which tops my list of the most dynamic voices in YA literature.

These are just a few examples of outstanding YA novels that offer powerful examples of voice. I’d love to know if any readers have additional favorites. Email, tweet or share!

pic of meBethany Bratney (@nhslibrarylady) is a National Board Certified School Librarian at Novi High School and was the recipient of the 2015 Michigan School Librarian of the Year Award.  She reviews YA materials for School Library Connection magazine and for the LIBRES review group.  She is an active member of the Oakland Schools Library Media Leadership Consortium as well as the Michigan Association of Media in Education.  She received her BA in English from Michigan State University and her Masters of Library & Information Science from Wayne State University.  Bethany is strangely fond of zombies in almost all forms of media, a fact which tends to surprise the people that know her.  She has two children below age five, and is grateful at the end of any day that involves the use of fewer than four baby wipes.

Still Looking for Holiday Gifts? These Books are Perfect for ELA Teachers.

Book Reviews Notes from the Classroom

The holidays are upon us, but don’t despair! It’s not too late to find that perfect gift for an ELA colleague–or even yourself.

To help with your quest, our bloggers have put together an easy holiday-shopping list full of award winners. Now go get them!

If You’re Looking for Picture Books

With the holidays coming, teaching curriculum in any cohesive fashion can be challenging–at best. That’s why taking a break with a Mock Caldecott unit is the perfect way to have some really meaningful conversations about books, while exposing kids to some of the best picture books of the year. I did this last year and it was amazing. The kids really got into it and even my reluctant readers engaged because this was about the pictures, not the reading. (Sort of.) There are so many resources out there once you start to Google: book trailers, videos about the making of the books.

Some standouts from last year that I would give as gifts:

Shy, by Deborah Freedman

It Is Not Time for Sleeping, by Lisa Graff; illustrated by Lauren Castillo

The Airport Book, by Lisa Brown

The Night Gardener, by The Fan Brothers

They All Saw A Cat, by Brendan Wenzel

-Beth Rogers

If You’d Like Page-Turning Nonfiction that Deftly Tackles Social Issues

I’m not even finished reading The 57 Bus, by Dashka Slater, and I can’t wait to give it away. As each chapter passes, I see more and more power and potential in this engrossing nonfiction narrative, and I want to get it into the hands of students and teachers everywhere. Whether you give it to teens or teachers, there are a lot of reasons to put this book under the tree this year:

  • Its mentor text opportunities are endless. If nothing else, check out that first chapter. If that doesn’t model an engrossing strategy for hooking readers, I don’t know what will.
  • It tells stories of those whose voices often go unheard–because #representationmatters.
  • It honors the complex nature of social issues, and respects its audience’s ability to wrestle with them. It’s too easy to treat social issues as black and white and ignore the gray areas, in favor of teaching teens a lesson. One of the things I love most about the YA lit that’s been coming out lately is that it honors the gray areas. Slater respects her teen audience enough to let them grapple with multiple perspectives and difficult questions.
  • It uses the power of story to make an argument, allowing readers to explore issues that they now feel connected to.

-Megan Kortlandt

And if You’d Like a Page-Turning YA Novel That Deftly Tackles Social Issues

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, is the beautiful story of Starr, an African-American teen who’s caught between two communities: the community where she lives and the community where she goes to school. When I read the novel, I knew that it would be my first book talk of the school year, because I could see many of my students in Angie Thomas’ characters.

When I shared the book with a class, I explained how the title was inspired by Tupac. Later when I saw a student from the class, she asked to borrow the book. I can never turn down a student who’s asking to borrow a book–even if it is a crisp new hardcover edition. Even though I made her promise to return it, I had a quiet feeling that it just wasn’t my book anymore.  

My premonition was right. Recently, she withdrew from our school. But something tells me that the book is right where it belongs–with someone who may read it and see herself, her friends, and her family in the book. The Hate U Give was not my book to keep, but to give.

– Lauren Nizol

A Novel that Can do Double Duty in a History Unit about Katrina

Regulars on this blog are probably betting all the money in their bank accounts that I’m going to suggest a graphic novel (just kidding–what teacher has money saved up in a bank account?!). I’m going to branch out in a new direction, though, and recommend a tough but beautiful read by Jesmyn Ward called Salvage the Bones. It’s gorgeously written and tells a compelling story of a poor African American family struggling to prepare for the devastation that readers know Hurricane Katrina is going to visit upon their home and community in mere days.

The book is a tragic masterpiece, whose dramatic irony relies on our awareness of the storm, stacked against the doubt expressed by many of the story’s characters. But I also love sharing it with my classroom readers because of its beautifully rendered portrayals of the adolescent perspectives. It’s definitely a book for more advanced teen readers, but that’s exactly why I thought to highlight it here: I’m often so devoted to finding the next gripping story for my reluctant readers that I completely neglect to challenge (or even engage!) with my eager ones. This book offers readers not only a diversifying worldview, but a context that is at once modern and foreign to them; we don’t realize sometimes that events like Katrina that feel modern to us are somewhat distant (and meaningless!) to our current HS students.

And if you were REALLY betting on me to give the gift of graphic novel recommendations, check out Ta-Nehisi Coates’ reimagining of Black Panther ASAP. Happy Holidays!

– Mike Ziegler

Book Review: Notice & Note

Book Reviews Notes from the Classroom Oakland Writing Project

51rafqDiIDL._SX396_BO1,204,203,200_Over the summer, I learned I would be teaching a class of struggling 6th grade readers. They would have me for regular ELA, but they would also travel together to a reading support class right after mine. I did not have experience teaching a class solely of struggling learners, so I reached out to a colleague on the west side of the state, Megan Perrault (@megankperreault), and asked her for recommendations about how I might approach this challenge.  

Megan is an amazing reading teacher, and she recommended Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst’s Notice & Note: Strategies of Close Reading. This book had been on my “to read” list and was quickly moved up in the queue based on Megan’s recommendation.

Notice & Note initially impressed me with the thoroughness with which Beers and Probst researched and tracked common elements within young adult novels. I also appreciated how they piloted and revised their work based on the experiences of real teachers in real classrooms.  

The premise of Notice & Note is this: the majority of YA novels have six common elements, which Beers and Probst call “signposts.” If students can notice and think about why these signposts are showing up, they are doing the work of close reading and are understanding the text better. Each signpost has one question that readers can ask themselves, to help them think deeply about why that particular signpost is showing up. This really helps to focus students’ thinking.  

The Signposts

In a nutshell, the signposts are as follows:

  • Contrasts & Contradictions—When the character does something out of character
  • Words of the Wiser—When an older, wiser character gives serious advice
  • Again & Again—Something that keeps showing up
  • Aha Moment—When the character suddenly realizes something
  • Memory Moment—When the story is interrupted to tell the reader a memory
  • Tough Questions—When the character asks himself/herself really difficult questions

I was originally planning to only introduce the signposts to my 6th grade class, but once I saw the power they held, I also began using them with my 8th grade readers. Both grade levels are engaged with the signposts and are thinking deeply about the texts they are reading. Maybe the best testament to the power of noticing the signposts is when students get that look of discovery on their face and call me over because they have noticed a signpost on their own.

Anchor chart for the signpost, Words of the Wiser

Anchor chart for the signpost, Words of the Wiser

After I had read Notice & Note, Megan and I were at professional development together, and she mentioned the Notice & Note Facebook group. Now, if you know me, you know I’m all about Twitter when it comes to anything related to teaching.

But this Facebook community is amazing! The group has a very active 8,600+ members, and I navigate the page often. As someone who is teaching the signposts for the first time, the resources on this page have been invaluable. Members have shared tons of files and their experiences with the signposts. And for each signpost, I have found either a picture book or video clip to help introduce the concept. These have been a big hit with students and have helped them understand the concepts prior to working with them in their novels.

Just this past fall, Beers and Probst published Reading Nonfiction: Notice & Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies. Stay tuned for a review!

Screenshot 2014-09-26 at 12.44.07 PMJianna Taylor (@JiannaTaylor) is an ELA and Title 1 teacher at Orchard Lake Middle School in West Bloomfield.  She is a member of the AVID Site Team and Continuous School Improvement Team at her school, among other things.  She is also a MiELA Network Summer Institute facilitator and member of the OWP Core Leadership Team.  Jianna earned her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and her master’s degree from the University of Michigan.  She also writes reviews of children’s books and young adult novels for the magazine Library Media Connection.

The Next Hunger Games?

Book Reviews Notes from the Classroom

testingWhen teens go crazy for a book or a book series, it’s a school librarian’s dream come true. But with the success of one series, next comes the pressure of finding something similar to keep the reading momentum going. For the last few years, I’ve been chasing The Hunger Games and Divergent, digging through dystopian lit in search of the next epic YA page-turner. Well, dystopian fans and those who love them: look no further than The Testing series, by Joelle Charbonneau.

The Plot (Book One, No Spoilers)

Malencia (Cia) Vale is thrilled to learn that she has been chosen for The Testing, the rigorous process that candidates endure to qualify for the one remaining University. She has longed to follow in her father’s footsteps, and to leave her small, quiet Five Lakes Colony to see Tosu City, as well as the wider world that an education from The University can bring. But as she leaves, her father warns her to be extremely cautious. The Testing and the people who run it are not always as they seem. When the extreme and potentially dangerous Testing process begins, Cia sees that the stakes are much higher than she thought–and that her father might have been trying to protect her from hidden evil.

The Answer to Your “Hunger Games problem”

shutterstock_145222582The Testing series has many similarities to both The Hunger Games and Divergent. Yet it is different enough to hold even a reluctant reader’s interest.

Readers will find a similarly powerful female protagonist, one with a specialized set of skills that makes her particularly exceptional in her new environment. Governmental corruption and conspiracy drive the action to continually new heights. Readers experience plot twists that drive the story at moments that otherwise would be routine. Hints of romance bloom between Cia and her old Five Lakes friend, Tomas, but never distract from the primary story. The books have similarly high levels of violence as The Hunger Games. The book covers even bear some resemblance to their dystopian predecessors.

With this series, teachers and parents will once again find their students reading for fun and asking for books as gifts. And with the film rights optioned by Paramount, the odds of seeing this trilogy become a movie series are high. I’ve field-tested the series with the students at my high school, and it has been a huge success. All of my copies are currently flying through the 9th grade at rapid speed.

Book Details

Interest Level: Grades 7-12 (violence is prevalent, making it questionable for younger readers)
Reading Level: Accelerated Reader 5.6; Lexile 830L
ISBN: 9780547959108
Format: hardcover
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Awards: YALSA Quick Pick Top Ten 2014, Anthony Award 2014

pic of meBethany Bratney (@nhslibrarylady) is a National Board Certified School Librarian at Novi High School. She reviews YA materials for School Library Connection magazine and for the LIBRES review group. She is an active member of the Oakland Schools Library Media Leadership Consortium as well as the Michigan Association of Media in Education. She received her BA in English from Michigan State University and her Masters of Library & Information Science from Wayne State University.