In Praise of Untidy Endings

By Amy Fitzgerald, Editorial Director, Carolrhoda

One question I consider when I’m deciding whether I want to publish a book is “Does it have a satisfying resolution?” Satisfying can have many different meanings, but in general I want readers to walk away from a book feeling that they had a complete experience—that they weren’t left hanging or cheated out of the climactic moments they anticipated.

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Ever After: The Perfect October Read

By Greg Hunter, Editorial Director, Graphic Universe

Vivi and Eva are two travelers in a countryside filled with the undead. The survivors of their world live behind barricades—and live in fear of the next attack. After a train breaks down, stranding Vivi and Eva between safe zones, the young women partner up to stay alive. Vivi is struggling with grief—and guilt—over the loss of her sister. Eva is hiding the start of a horrifying transformation. Together they’ll face intense heat, zombie hordes, and their own inner demons, searching for signs of life in a land of the dead.

Full of vivid, colorful artwork, Olivia Vieweg’s YA horror graphic novel Ever After is a poetic take on an enduring genre. Vieweg’s multidimensional characters are vulnerable but resilient, and the story of their uneasy friendship will stay with readers long after they have finished the book. Be sure to grab a copy before it’s time for Halloween reading!

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Librarian Prep Post for November

Whether returning to school, working from home, or anything in between, everyone is faced with the uncertainty of today’s world. We hope that, amid the craziness of this year, you have all kept good health and taken time to take care of the person that matters most: you! Hopefully, we can appease a little of the uncertainty with our booklists and reader advisory for November.

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Just For You! Coding Infographic

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Did you know? Learning to code has other benefits for students beyond the technology aspect. Even if students don’t grow up to be programmers, learning to code also teaches them how to collaborate, communicate, think critically and logically, problem solve, edit, and pay attention to details.

Discover great resources for teaching coding online and off at lernerbooks.com/go/coding – and grab our infographic for use in your library, classroom, virtual classroom, or social media!

Q&A with Author Ginger Garrett

We spoke with Ginger Garrett about the inspiration for her new middle-grade novel, Name Tags and Other Sixth-Grade Disasters, which follows twelve-year-old Lizbeth’s quest to make friends, thwart nemeses, and figure out how to express herself through art in time to participate in a mandatory school talent show.

Were you stuck with labels you hated when you were a kid?

I had such a horrible overbite I couldn’t close my mouth all the way. Add that to my freckles and flat reddish hair, and I was a nerd of epic proportions. But that’s not what the kids called me. I would have liked Nerd, actually. They called me Monster. I felt such shame.

As you mentor kids, what have you noticed about the power of labels?

I’ve noticed that in middle school, every kid wants to identify with a group. They want to belong, so it’s natural to accept a label as part of belonging to that group.

I don’t want to discourage the kids I mentor from exploring their identities, but I’ve encouraged them to “leave room on their name tag.” Their whole identity cannot be wrapped up and expressed in one word. For example, they are more than a Jock. Or a Brain.

And most important, no one should ever get to write on their name tag except them. No one gets to decide who we are, except for us.

Art—and a special art teacher—plays such a redemptive role in this story. Are you an artist?

I can’t even draw a straight line. My mom once sent my brother and me to an art camp. He was very talented. We each made clay mice, and his turned out much better than mine. My mom put his mouse on display over her kitchen sink; somehow mine got thrown out. I seethed with jealousy for days until one night, I sneaked out of bed, grabbed his mouse, and snapped its little limbs right off. I only told my mom the truth about it a couple of years ago.

If you were to fill out a name tag right now, what would you write on it?

Goofball. Mom. Dogmom. Yournewbestfriend!! Writer.

Truthfully, there’s a little bit of Lizbeth in me. I really like people and think if we could just get rid of the rotten ones, the planet would be one big party. And then the Universe gently reminds me that on any given day, I might be one of the rotten ones!