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May 2015

Summertime and the Readin’ is Easy

Boston’s winter of 2015, one that evidenced that the climate beyond the wall in northern Westeros is creeping ever non-fictionward, is finally melting into spring.  The trees have leaves, the flowers have blooms, and nary a closed-toe shoe is to be seen on the campus of Wheelock College.

As such, it is time for Commencement and the Wondrous Thing that Follows Soon After Commencement:  summer.  With summer comes the ability to shake off the shackles of assigned reading and the time to choose any book one wants to read for fun.  In the past I have dedicated this time to beach reads or camp- themed books.  However, the ideal of freedom to read whatever I wanted spurred me to look for books written by authors who were free to publish whatever they wanted, how they wanted.  Self-published books are not what they once were.  Great writing, gripping stories, and even sleek covers are the new norms of independent authors.  Here are a few that deserve prime space on your shelf.

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A Magic Dark and Bright by Jenny Adams Perinovic:  I have been carrying around this book since the day it arrived.  Heroine Amelia Dupree sets out on a creepy quest to find out the posthumous fate of her brother Mark.  Set in Asylum, Pennsylvania (look it up: there really is an Asylum Township), the setting was so evocative of my childhood, that I was transported to my early winters where I stood on my back porch and gazed at a cemetery’s gravestones on the hillside.  Though a ghost didn’t haunt the woods near my house, there were a fair share of creepy houses and mysteries hanging around in the foliage.  As Amelia teamed up with the mysterious Charlie Blue to uncover Asylum’s terrible past, I grew increasingly creeped out about going home for vacation.  Pennsylvania is more gothic than you might think.  Read this book, no matter what state you find yourself in this summer.

shreddedShredded by Karen Avivi:  Extreme sports are not my go-to form of entertainment.  However, I still found myself routing for Josie Peters in her quest for BMX domination.  Not since Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen series have I found a sports-themed book so riveting.  There is a romance budding through these pages, but it never crowds the pulse-racing, gravity-defying pull of Josie’s central mission towards greater athleticism.  This is also a book about friendship, and how young women can be competitive without becoming catty.

oneOne by Leigh Kopans:  This is the first self-published fiction book I read thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.   Not unlike sports books, I am also unlikely to pick up a book about superheroes.  I admit that I totally picked this book because of its beautiful cover and was richly rewarded.  Merrin Gray is born into a world where two powers make you a “Super,” and no powers make you a “Normal.”  Merrin has one power; she can hover.  Without a second power to propel herself forward, she is forced to neither fly nor be content to walk among other Normals.  Merrin quests to score an internship at the Biotech hub to try to rectify her plight through chemistry.  There she meets a boy like her and discovers there’s a more sinister undercurrent to the world she’s always taken for granted.  Fast-paced and page-turning, this book will leave you scrambling for its sequel, the aptly named Two. 

Though I won’t be gracing the pages of the library blog for the glorious summer months, I will be leafing through the pages of still more books.  Do you know any good self-published or indie books?  Leave them in the comments and I will be sure to check them out!


Congratulations to our graduating seniors in Special Education!

I recently had the pleasure of attending capstone presentations by our graduating seniors in Special Education. During the spring semester, these students conducted group action research projects on self-selected topics, such as teacher beliefs about inclusion; transition planning for adolescents with special needs; and siblings of children with special needs.  The event, held on our Brookline campus, featured video presentations by each group, as well as individual reflections on students’ personal growth and professional development at Wheelock.

Photo of 13 smiling Wheelock students

The graduating class of 2015 in Special Education

As these graduating seniors reflected on their development as special educators, I was as impressed as ever by our students’ compassion, dedication, and sense of professional mission.  As a librarian who consulted with these groups early in their research process, I was especially thrilled to hear how their semester-long research projects had empowered them with knowledge that they would carry forward into their teaching practice or graduate study.

Congratulations to all of our graduating seniors in Special Education, including Braelan Martin, Tatiana Duarte, Meghan Trelegan, & Emma McLaughlin; Emily Jestus, Paige Dillon, Mallory Johnson, & Ashley Domaldo; and Becca House, Talia Mango, Rachel LeBlanc, & Sarah Hassett.  As you begin your professional careers, you’re bringing inquiring minds, professional skills, and a lot of heart to your future students and communities.  They’ll be lucky to have you.