Happy, Happy


I lost my camera charger! So annoying. I’m not happy about it, but I am happy camera phones are somewhat decent these days.


We had the day off which was great, since I spent it sleeping off the hangover that is life as Nico’s mom.


My first day in the library! I was nervous, but I had help and it ended up going as well as could be expected when someone who doesn’t know what to do is running the show. It will be a year with a big learning curve, but by the end of it I think I might be able to call myself a faux-media specialist assistant in training wannabe.


The middle school kids came to my neck of the woods. The night before I turned to the Mister and told him not to tease me but I was really nervous to meet the 6th and 7th grade kids for lots of reasons, but mainly because I wanted them to like me.

“Trust me,” he said. “You have nothing to worry about. If you were my librarian in the 7th grade, I would have liked you. Really, really liked you.” In other words, he teased me and was no help.

It didn’t go as poorly as I feared. The kids were, for the most part, well behaved. The boys did a lot of posturing, a lot of trying to impress everyone in the room by doing things that would impress no one past 3rd grade. The girls spent most of their time rolling their eyes at them. Honestly, I loved watching them interact and hanging out with them. They could do some more leisurely reading, but we’ll work on that. I did convince three girls to read Anne of Green Gables by calling it a love story everyone has to read at least once. Next week one boy who “hates books unless it’s about sports because there’s no action” wants to check out The Outsiders because I called it a book about a gang war that “my husband, who can be a total dude” thinks is the best book ever. He looked at me and said, “I want to be a ‘total dude!'”

“Well, then you’re just going to have to read The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton because it’s a dude classic. Then I’ll see if we can watch the movie–it has Tom Cruise!”

To which the romance table responded:

“Oh my gosh! He’s, like, sooo old and gross!”

[And I was doing so well!]

“It’s an old movie! This is was made back when he was young and cute. (And not so crazy…)”

The older kids were great because I got to slightly geek out on books with them and explain to them that The Hunger Games was inspired in part by Greek Mythology (all our Greek Mythology books = immediately checked out), and series like Hunger Games, Divergent (book 3 out October 22!), Matched, et al have a dystopian society in common (had to explain what that was), and usually one young kid around their age able to make a difference by thinking independently. Hint. Hint.

Aaaaand now I’m geeking out here. Sorry about that.

Hello! Still with me?


I had 4 pre-K and Kindergarten kids breathing all over me while I read Peter Pan. And I had a little line forming behind me of kids that wanted me to read other books. I don’t remember Mikey or Nico ever being that small.


I need to put down the little kid books and start reading Beautiful Ruins. I suck at my own book club! I’m also going to be responding to comments. I don’t have access to the internet while I’m at school, so I’m a little behind!

The Weekend

Books, obviously. I’ve got some reading to do on the Dewey Decimal system (don’t laugh, I’m actually pretty excited about it) and I think I’m going to fashion a book hospital similar to some I’ve seen on Pinterest because wow the little ones really do like to report ever single microscopic tear they find.

Have a happy, happy weekend everyone!

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. stellastarlite says

    I worked in a middle school library waaaaay back in 1979 and LOVED it and the kids. The Dewey Decimal system is rad!

  2. says

    Part of me is so jealous! I want my own library, with real live kids I get to interact with! So fun to turn kids on to great books. Not sure if you know this one yet, but Hatchet (Gary Paulsen) is my go-to book for reluctant boy readers, especially if their skills are low. Can’t tell you how many middle- and high-school boys I’ve had over the years who claimed that as the only book they’d ever read.

    And have to say, I HATED The Outsiders movie, even when Tom Cruise (and all those other hot guys) weren’t old and gross! My friend and I were so excited to see it way back in 1983 or so, and we were both so disappointed by how it failed to capture the book as we’d read it. I would kinda like to watch it again now, just for the nostalgia factor. And to remember a time when Tom Cruise wasn’t so creepy to me.

    Geek on, Jules. Geek on.

    • says

      My husband was/is a reluctant reader, and he loved The Outsiders. My niece is also a reluctant reader and she really loved Hatchet, so THANK YOU for the reminder!

      I rewatched The Outsiders last year with my husband. Of course, it couldn’t compare to the book, but after so many year I never expect it to. Maybe you hated it because you were still young and naive and believed in Hollywood not to ruin everything. Hah!

  3. says

    Oh, and I’d loved to talk about the Dewey Decimal system and library organization in general with you. I’m so with Dewey until the 800s, at which point the whole fiction/non-fiction divide ceases to make any sense. In my cataloging class I found myself advocating for doing away with that divide, and shelving the entire library by Dewey, if we’re going to keep it, with no distinction between fiction and non-fiction. To me there is some beauty in the idea of being able to find, say, Anne of Green Gables next to a non-fiction book about adoption. I’m not sure if I’d really do that with a library, but it is an idea I’ve loved pondering.

    Geeking, geeking, geeking…

    • says

      A reader (head of library, very similar position to yours!) sent me a digital book on it and I’m very excited. I’ve also been given the most basic of tips because, as educated as I am, I know ZERO about libraries, obviously. I pretty much walk around feeling really, really stupid. I didn’t even know you can find the DD# inside the book! {blush}

      • says

        You do not have a monopoly on walking around feeling stupid. That pretty much describes my week last week. About to dive back in to my copy of Catalog It! for some Sunday afternoon fun.

        BUT, that is only because I just spent time reveling in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I can’t remember if you ever reviewed it, but I have memories of a conversation about John Green. I was pretty meh on him because neither Looking for Alaska nor An Abundance of Katherines ever did anything for me. Didn’t finish either of them. But The Fault in Our Stars? I inhaled it (once I got past some initial meh). Which really means something, because I’m not much of one for the the dying of cancer genre. Smart and funny and heartbreaking. Just like life.

  4. says

    I LOVED librarians like you. Even as a child, I got excited to witness a librarian capturing a “non-reader” and turning them onto some terrific book. The way they (and you!) could describe books in relatable summaries always amazed me.

    Book Hospitals are new to me. I had to follow the link to see what you were referring to. What I imagined was much more fun that the images I saw on Pinterest of various bucket types with labels, LOL

    I loved Beautiful Ruins (read it last month – silly library hold orders are messing up my book club participation!). The first third was a bit slow going for me but it paid off in the end.

    Dewey, oh how I miss that geeky side of the library. I was the only one in my grade school class for a long time that understood it, and therefore got lots of practice applying it for other students who didn’t care to try and figure it out. I didn’t realize there were classes on the Dewey Decimal system – or on cataloging in general. That is very interesting to me!

    • says

      That’s good to hear about Beautiful Ruins. So far it’s slow for me, and his name, Pasquale, bugs me.

      I just hope I didn’t super sell them on books they end up hating. I’ll lose their trust for sure!

      • Susan says

        I totally had this problem with Beautiful Ruins – it does pick up and suck you in, but I’m not sure “literary perfection” would be my review. Worth reading, though.

        Love the tales from the librarian – congratulations on surviving (thriving!!) during the first week!

  5. Jenn says

    The kids are so lucky to have you in the library! I felt fortunate to have a elementary school librarian who occasionally recommended books or saved a copy of the new Newbery award winner for me. It’s only been a week, and you’ve gone way beyond that!

  6. LauraC says

    I read Divergent this weekend (in about 24 hours; we were camping and I was trying to be social, but I got sucked in fast)! And you’re making me miss middle schoolers. 6th grade was the first grade I taught and I loved it. First day of middle school = nervous, bottom of the totem pole, easily impressionable kids. They’re fun gangly kids trying to act grown up and soak up every second of attention you give them. Love that stage.

    • says

      Yeah, it was neat. When I had the floor, I HAD THE FLOOR. It made me a little nervous and I had to think about what I was saying because I didn’t want to say anything that would, I don’t know, create a serial killer or something.

    • says

      As long as they don’t bore people, I won’t. I don’t want to be that woman with the wallet of kid photos everyone learns to avoid at parties.

  7. Phaedra says

    I love when you geek out on books. It warms my heart. Stories about junior high kids without my actually having to enter a junior high? AWESOME. And, no, you don’t ‘suck at book club’ ! It’s the only book club I’ve ever stuck with, so you have to be doing it right!

  8. says

    I think I read the Outsiders about six times during middle school.
    And Anne of Green Gables? Don’t get me started! From about 1978 to 1992 I read the whole series once per year! I never even thought of telling people it was a love story. I will have to try that on my 6th graders this year.

  9. Steph says

    When is the Beautiful Ruins discussion taking place? I put it down awhile ago when I got bored with it, but I’d like to finish it before it gets posted so I don’t read any spoilers… although I love spoilers and always read the discussion anyway.

  10. says

    I can see you’re going to be a brilliant librarian – you talk to kids! All my experience was of people hiding behind counters and gruffly pointing somewhere. Probably how I would be. I loved The Outsiders when it first came out because I was in high school and it was set in Oklahoma!! I lived in OKC, not Tulsa, but still…way cool. Don’t think I’ve ever seen the film. Doubt it could live up to the book. I just read Anne of Green Gables for the first time in January (age 56 1/2). It got me through some exercise I wouldn’t have managed without somehow engaging my brain. I loved it, though I didn’t think of it as a romance so much as a book about inspiring girls to have opinions. I could get goofy about the Dewey Decimal system as well; I do so miss card catalogs in libraries. I actually looked it up and read a bit about it when I last re-arranged my book shelves. I didn’t end up using the numerical system but it did help me decide how to group my books together. I have almost more non-fiction than fiction these days, a sure sign of age, I’m sure! Love hearing about your librarian experience (not a whatever kind of wannabe you named…if you do it you are it in my book – no pun, etc.).

  11. says

    I loved the Outsiders. Oh nostalgia, what a power memories have. It was, what felt like, my first introduction to poetry, and I read and re-read Nothing Gold Can Stay (I still remember it now). There were a few books that I loved above all other loved books, and the Outsiders was one of them. I also really loved, Where the Red Fern Grows.
    These kids are so lucky to have you.

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