Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen by Kate Fagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate Fagan takes readers into the world of a teen who, on the outside, looked like she had it all. Maddy Holleran grew up in a loving and supportive home, excelled academically, was an all-star athlete, and had many friends. Heading off to college wasn't an easy transition for Maddy, but none of her family or friends knew just how bad things had gotten for her. When Maddy tragically took her own life - those who knew and loved her were in shock.

Fagan reconstructs Maddy's emotional deterioration through access to her social media life, text messages, emails, and detailed interviews with family and friends. But this isn't just a tragic story of suicide, it's an exploration of the lack of access to mental health professionals on college campuses, a lens into the exponential growth of depression in teens, a study of the impact of social media/technology on mental health, and a book that should be read by teens, parents, and educators everywhere. Hopefully, Maddy's story will serve to start conversations that will be difficult and emotional, but simply must happen.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Google Classroom | Random Student Selector

A recent update to the Google Classroom Android App allows teachers to use a built-in random name selector to pick names from your class roster and keep track of who has been called on.

To use the feature, simply open the Google Classroom Android App on your mobile device - select the class from the list - select "people" at the bottom of the screen - click on the random name selector at the top of the page. From here teachers can call on the selected student by clicking next, mark a student as absent, or skip the selected student by choosing later.  Check out the demo below.

*at this time the Student Selector is only available on the Android App

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review: Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are a "dog person" you'll find yourself chuckling and maybe even crying as you jump into life with Ted and Lily. Ted Flask is a middle-aged gay man who may have some issues with relationships, but the one thing that is true and good in his life is his adorable Dachshund Lily. That is until a metaphorical Octopus (aka - tumor) suddenly appears on Lily's head and the reality that life with Lily by his side was not guaranteed. Ted, and sometimes Lily, takes readers on an adventure filled with love, grief, confusion, and ultimately compassion. We all know that dogs are great companions, but we also know that they typically don't outlive their human companions, and this knowledge is what breaks the heart of any reader who has their own Lily (or Fido, or Ruger, or...).

Filled with magical realism, humor, and just enough reality to keep you wondering what's actually happening, Rowley's story of "man's best friend" will resonate with many readers.

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

TECH Note of This 09/29/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Where have I been?

I haven't disappeared, I promise!
If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm a reviewer of books and curator of awesome technology tools and tips. You likely also know that I often take a summer hiatus from my blog as a time for me to rest my mind and reflect on the upcoming school year. With that said, I was a bit shocked to see that the dozens of book reviews and tech tools I've shared this summer are not here - WHAT??? I'm all about automating and simplifying my life, so my reviews and curated tools are supposed to post automatically to Hey, Mrs. Library Lady!, but clearly something has gone amiss.

Well, I'm on it! With a little luck, you'll start seeing some new content soon. Thanks for sticking around.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Review: Tradition

Tradition Tradition by Brendan Kiely
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jules has attended Fullbrook Prep since she was a freshman. She knows first-hand the expectations and chains that hold her in "her place" and she just can't wait to get away from this place and the "good old boy" codes that permeate it.

Jamie is a scholarship kid and this is his last chance, so he better not blow it. His past holds secrets, but his natural hockey talent might be his ticket out if he can figure out how to navigate this new world he's suddenly been thrown in to.

Jules and Jamie something in each other, and their close but small circle of friends see it too. They know they can't keep quiet about the violent and demeaning "traditions" that have permeated this institution for far too long.

Tradition is a timely and powerful story that illustrates how the word "no" holds little power in worlds where privilege and tradition reign. It's a story of consent and empowerment that needs to be told.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Review: The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sasha - an agender teen with Asperberger's Syndrome, from a middle class family, and has a tight knit group of friends from their small private school

Richard - a troubled teen who's goofy and impressionable, has first-hand experience with the juvenile justice system, from an economically disadvantaged community, and is searching for support at his large public school.

The 57 Bus is a powerful story of love, acceptance, identity, violence, juvenile incarceration, and pain. It's an emotional story told through simple words. When Sasha's and Richard's lives intersected one average afternoon as they rode the bus home from their respective high schools in Oakland, California, no one knew just how life-changing the experience would be for them, their friends and families, and for the public that rallied to support both the victim and perpetrator. Slater's account draws from the lives of both of these teens to uncover the harsh realities faced as they grow up in one community but with life experiences that are vastly different.

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