Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Boot Camp - Something to "Yapp" About!

The seven South Carolina librarians who are putting together Middle Grade Book Boot Camp are gathering titles and getting our wiki together.  While doing that, I found an app via Librarians on the Fly that can keep all of our participants informed about the schedule, and provide a news feed via a Twitter hashtag.

Yapp is a free online tool that allows you to create your own mobile app for important events that you want to share.  The design pages are easy to navigate.  Choose from several themes based on the type of activity you are promoting.  The app includes a homepage, invitation page, a page to include a schedule, a newsfeed for following a hashtag, and a gallery for photos that you want to share with the Yapp followers.  You can add extra pages to your app if you need them.  After you finish designing your app, you publish it and share it via a link or QR code.

This is great!  We have a year's worth of Twitter chats coming up, and we want to share the dates, the genres, the host for each chat, and the address for the wiki where the book lists are.  The newsfeed via our hashtag #bookbootcamp means that I don't miss any pertinent tweets.

These are screenshots from my phone.  I downloaded the Yapp viewer, called Yappbox and entered the code of our Book Boot Camp Yapp.  

The schedule page has all of the dates for our chats.  If you click on the arrows pointing right you will see more details, including who is hosting the chat that month, their blog site, and a link to the wiki with a suggested reading list.

 The News Feed follows your choice of Twitter hashtag. Most of our posts to the #bookbootcamp have been suggestions to each other of books we might want to add to our genre list, or to share a great title or list with other middle school librarians. 

If you need to edit your Yapp after you create it, that's easily done on the website.  When you publish it your followers get a prompt to update to the latest version.

If you want to follow our Middle Grade Book Boot camp via a Yapp, you can click on this link:

Not a member of Book Boot Camp?  Enlist today!

Yapp was created for major life events like weddings and family reunions, and it would have been so useful in the hands of the right band mom several years ago, but I plan to use it for promoting events in the library.  What about a Yapp for your library events this year?  What would you include?  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Graphic Novels

My reading has been mainly focused on graphic novels to prepare for our first Twitter chat and Book Boot Camp challenge in July. There are so many graphic novels for boot campers to chose from that I thought it might be  helpful if I shared a list of my favorites (so far).

To see the three lists for July's graphic novel challenge visit our Book Boot Camp wiki

I have to say that you can't go wrong with any of the choices from this Top 10 List from School Library Journal, but my top three choices would have to be:

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (You must buy and read Smile and if you were a fan of The Babysitter's club like me then you have to check out her graphic novel versions)

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel (be sure to read his other books Bad Island and Ghostopolis)

Giants Beware by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre. It was the May selection for the SharpSchu book club.

I recommend that you consider purchasing books from both the 6-8 and 3-5 categories on this core collection list. 
A few favorites of mine from the 3-5 list are: Babymouse, Bake Sale, Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, Lunch Lady Series, Sidekicks and Zita the Space Girl. You should also purchase the Amulet series if you don't have it already. You may feel these are too young for middle school, but my boys and special education students LOVE them.

My top picks on the 6-8 list for purchase and reading are:

(Friends With Boys and Coraline are similar to Anya's Ghost)

A few new graphic novels I'm excited about:

Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe

Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks. Jane Goodall is my hero so I can't wait to read this!

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

If you want to see all the books I read for this challenge be my friend on Goodreads and look at my Book Boot Camp lists. I hope these suggestions help you decide which books you would like to read for our July challenge.

If you have read a graphic novel and would like to write a review for our blog, please leave a comment with your contact info. We would love to hear from you!