Turning the Page for Library Support

An awesome video about the Toronto Public Library system and why it needs support.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YB-f1VEhTc&w=560&h=315]

I think most public libraries (or school libraries for that matter) could say the same. Every so often I see articles about how libraries are dying and how they’re not necessary anymore, but they continue to be a vital resource for their communities–for readers, for families, for educators, for students of all ages, etc. Now more than ever, we need our libraries.

(via bookshelves of doom)

Don’t Hate Boo Radley, Hate the Game

In college, my friend a professor whom we all described as the filmmaker version of Shaft. He was a dedicated teacher, a bold and thoughtful filmmaker, and his syllabus included the phrase “Get ya asses to class.” Needless to say, his students loved him.

Thug Notes has a similar approach to the canon of English literature. Sparky Sweets, PhD recaps the plot of classic novels and dives into the major themes of the books. For example, his take on To Kill a Mockingbird:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IntI62LWSJA&w=560&h=315]

Even cooler? In the Youtube comments, people are clamoring for Sweets to tackle other works of English literature. Most badass way to get people involved in literature ever.

(via Book Riot)

Every Bean Matters

Not exactly writing related, but a lovely video by Ze Frank featuring a whole lot of jelly beans:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOksW_NabEk]

Of course this reminded me of Our Town and Mrs. Dalloway (because everything reminds me of Our Town and Mrs. Dalloway). Our lives are filled with all of these seemingly insignificant jelly bean moments. Make each jelly bean count–not necessarily by climbing Mount Everest or saving orphans from fire (okay, at least call 911)–but by appreciating and recognizing each bean. We only have so many beans and we need to appreciate them while we can.

This week, let’s try to acknowledge and appreciate our beans as much as possible.

Friday Fifteen

So glad it’s Friday! Let’s start the long weekend with some fifteen-word (or less!) book reviews.

1. Beauty by Robin McKinley
My favorite Beauty and the Beast novel. Love that Beauty is close to her sisters.

2. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Excellent look at society terrorized by hate, hysteria. Would ove to see a good production.

3. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Burton’s illustrations are fantastic, and I love a good inanimate object story.

4. Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister (The Baby-Sitters Club #31) by Ann M. Martin
Not everything’s ideal when your mom marries your BFF’s dad? Who could have foreseen this?

5. Poems on the Underground ed. by Gerard Benson, Judith Chernaik, Cicecy Herbert
Collection of classic and contemporary poetry featured on the Tube. Such a cool project!

The Furious Bird of the Calm Storm

What a beautiful animated interpretation of “The Me Bird” by Pablo Neruda:

I like that it’s a true inspiration piece, not a video with the poem appearing as text or read aloud. A great reminder, just before National Poetry Month, that poems can inspire all sorts of works of art.

(via NPR Fresh Air)

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

In honor of Mr. Rogers’ birthday today, YA author John Green shares a few cool facts about the man who helped make children’s public television a true force for learning and growth. There were lots of piece of trivia I didn’t know, so make sure to check out the video:

We should all endeavor to be as kind and thoughtful and curious as Mr. Rogers. Maybe instead of DFTBA we should say DFTBLF–Don’t Forget to Be Like Fred.

Happy birthday, Mr. Rogers!

PS–It’s also the birthday of one of my favorite children’s authors, Lois Lowry. Happy birthday, Lois! Thank you for bringing so many amazing books into the world.

Hearts on a String

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! I know it’s not a happy holiday for everyone, but I think it should be. Valentine’s Day is a chance to share all kinds of love–love for your friends, love for your family, love for your partner, etc. And you can do things your own way. Bake cookies, play board games, put on music and dance like crazy, go to a basketball game, curl up with a favorite collection of short stories–whatever you and your favorites like to do.

In case you’re still looking for ways to share your love, I suggest checking out these adorable bookish Valentine’s Day crafts. My favorite:

valentines-day-heart-garland

This garland would be fun to keep up year-round.

Hope you’re all having a great Valentine’s Day. Cool plans with loved ones? Share in the comments!

(image: Book Riot)