Monday, May 13, 2013

Middle Grade Monday-- Cheerleaders

What's better than Christmas or any other holiday? The annual MotherReader 48 Hour Book Challenge!! It's coming up June 7-9, so mark your calendars. If you've participated in the past, you know that it's a great excuse to put the TBR pile in order, tell your friends and relatives that you will be working hard, and read for two entire days! If you need to do other stuff, you can, but if you chose to eschew sleep, basic personal hygiene and all interpersonal interactions, that's fine too.

It's also a giant blogger party; for every five hours spent reading, you can count one hour of social networking time. You can visit blogs, tweet, make Pinterest lists-- whatever makes you happy.

Since the essence of the 48 Hour Book Challenge is to make readers happy, I'm very grateful to MotherReader (aka Pam) for letting us know ahead of time that she wasn't feeling the challenge this year, and for agreeing to let me host! It's like I was suddenly allowed to be Santa Claus!  Abby the Librarian has graciously agreed to help out if I need it.

I'm working on getting prizes, putting together the rules, having some fun. After my year supervising an enormous study hall, much more FUN needs to be had. So mark your calendars, tell all of your friends, and get ready to PARTY.

Um, I mean READ!
Even though cheerleaders often seem to me to be the Anti-Librarian (I was traumatized in middle school), the best librarians are cheerREADERS. Here are some enthusiastic titles!

Oh My Godmother: The Glitter TrapBrauner, Barbara and Mattson, James Iver. Illustrations by  Abigail Halpin
Oh My Godmother: The Glitter Trap.
14 May 2013, Hyperion Books
E ARC from

Lacey Ungar-Ware (what were her parents thinking?) has enough embarrassment in her life without running into a glittered poster and becoming covered with the stuff. Her parents run a restaurant called The Hungry Moose; Paige Harrington, new girl turned popular cheerleader calls her "underwear girl", and she doesn't think that cute Scott will ever look her way. When a fairy godmother, Katarina, meant to grant Paige's wish gets stuck in her hair and almost digested by her cat, Lacey has to find a way to help make Paige's wish come true, or none of Lacey's ever will. Since she is hoping to be made a student intern at the zoo, she takes lessons from the fair godmother and shows a little bit of magic. Paige wants to be the start of the school play, Cinderella, but her voice is horrible. A lot of work goes in to making Paige's wish come true, and in the process, Lacey realizes that Paige is a nice person whose life has been difficult.
Strengths: Girls like to read about embarrassing things happening to people, and since most of these things involve magic, they are even funnier and less threatening (Lacey gets followed by flocks of pigeons and pooped on at one point!). Lacey thinks Paige is a stereotypical cheerleader, but once she understands Paige's life, realizes that she's not. This was rather fun, and the cute illustrations are a nice touch.
Weaknesses: I wasn't completely convinced that Lacey would be able to do magic, and naming a main character Lacey Ungar-Ware-- there is a special level of Hell reserved for authors who do this! I did really like the book, though-- just wish that weren't the character's name!

You've Got Spirit!: Cheers, Chants, Tips, and Tricks Every Cheerleader Needs to KnowHunt, Sarah R. You've You've Got Spirit!: Cheers, Chants, Tips, and Tricks Every Cheerleader Needs to Know. Illustrations by Lisa Perrett
1 April 2013, Millbrook Press

If you can only buy one new cheerleading book this year for elementary or middle school, this would be a good choice. It covers all sorts of facets of cheer, from outfits and accessories to fitness to specific moves and cheers. There are even related craft projects described. The interior illustrations showing how the different moves are done are very cute. I liked that it wasn't all done in pink-- lots of blues, greens and oranges make this attractive.

Three million cheerleaders in the U.S.? Well, they certainly outnumber librarians, don't they? (There are about 148,895 librarians in the U.S., according to the ALA.)

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts. Both sites have lots of links to reviews about books that are great for the 4th through 8th grader. It's also Nonfiction Monday at Instantly Interruptible.


  1. Yay for your turn as Santa Claus! I love the tradition Pam started and am excited to readreadread again this year.

  2. I love the 48HBC! It's how I know summer has officially begun! So glad you and Abby are hosting this!

  3. Saw your interview on MS Musings and loved your take on MG books! I've always wanted to be a children's librarian so this it was fun to see a real librarian's perspective!

  4. Wow, a 48-hr book reading challenge sounds daunting, but I admire you for taking on the leadership role.

    Really? Three million cheerleaders? How many librarians are there? You could console yourself that it takes a dozen or more cheerleaders to cheer on a football team, but one librarian can accomplish miracles for an entire school all by herself (or himself).

  5. WOOHOOOOO!!! 48-Hour Book Challenge, here we come!!!

  6. So glad that you've taken up the Santa Clause suit, and will be continuing the 48 Hour Book Challenge.

  7. Anonymous6:49 PM EDT

    The readathon sounds like a lot of fun! That's the weekend right AFTER school is out and right BEFORE I start summer school, so I don't know if I will be in the right state of mind to participate lol!! Hopefully I can :)

  8. YAY! Looking forward to it!

  9. Oooh! Every time I see it come up, I have obstacles that don't make it possible, but maybe this would work!! I'm going to mark my calendar and see if I can make it happen.

  10. Yay! I love the idea of Cheer Readers! Thanks so much for taking this on.

  11. I'm so excited for the event! It really gets my summer reading started. Time to get my patio ready.

  12. Woo-hoo! for the 48-Hour Book Challenge!

    When I heard it wasn't going to be on, I already decided on my own plans -- for next weekend, May 31 to June 2. The weekend of June 7, I'm working both Friday and Saturday.

    So -- I figure this means I have to celebrate the 48 Hour Book Challenge *both* weekends, right? I might not get much done the second time, but at least I can be part of the group!

  13. Anonymous8:44 AM EDT

    YAY~! I am so glad you are doing this for us. I missed it last year and am glad you taking over for Pam this year. You will be a fantastic Head CheerReader!!! Marking it on the calendar...gooooo team!

    p.s. wore self out with all that gushing, need a nap :P

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