Sarah, Plain and Tall

Author: Patricia MacLachlan

Age Range: 8-10

Interest Range: 8-10

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Anna and Caleb’s mother passed away years ago, shortly after Caleb was born. Their house is no longer full of singing, and their father is tired of raising a family on his own. One day he announces that he as been writing to a woman from Maine who is going to come and visit them. She may even stay and be their new mother. Sarah introduces herself to the children through letters, and describes herself as plain and tall. When she shows up, the children are excited at the prospect of such a kind and interesting lady becoming a part of their family. But as much as Sarah enjoys the children and her new life in the frontier, she also misses home: her brother, her aunts, and most of all the ocean. Will Sarah decide to stay in the prairie? Or will she miss the sea so much that she must return home again?

Review: Such a sweet book to touch on the ideas of a deceased mother and what used to happen in families in the time of the American Frontier. Mail-order brides are certainly not something that we think of often today, but at that point in history it was not uncommon for people to place advertisements for wives to join existing families out west. Told from the point of view of the children, this story is sweet and you cannot help but wish for Sarah to decide to stay with them. A great book to show how stepmothers can easily become a loving part of a family that needs to fill a void- not to replace the mother completely, but to help usher in a new time for everyone involved. Also a great story for those who are interested in the American West during the time of expansion.

Themes: Changes at Home, Building New Relationships, Death, Loss, Loneliness

Additional Info:

Awards: Newbery Medal Winner in 1986, Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction 1986, Golden Kite Award 1986 (for excellence in children’s literature)

Main Characters:

Anna: The oldest of two children who have recently lost their mother. She is intelligent, and sometimes cross with her younger brother who she sometimes blames for her mother’s early death (which happened post-childbirth). Anna desperately wants Sarah to decide to stay with them and be their new mother, but remains distant and worried that she will miss her home too much and leave them.

Caleb: The younger of the family’s children, who is now a few years old (maybe 5 or 6?) and loves to hear the story of his birth and stories about their mother. He is inquisitive and sometimes rude and difficult. He also very much wants Sarah to decide to stay- so much that he cries when she leaves for town for the day because he is convinced that he as been bad and she will buy a ticket to go back to Maine.

Jacob Witting: After years of raising two children on his own, Jacob is tired and wants to pursue having another wife. He decides to place an advertisement, describing the family and their situation, and eventually hears from Sarah. The two of them seem to get along very well and are kind to each other.

Sarah: A woman from Maine, who never married. Her brother had recently married and the family house was now being run by his new wife. Sarah desired a change and that is why she answered Jacob’s advertisement. Although she misses the sea most of all, she adjusts to life on the prairie relatively easily.

Bibliographic Info:

MacLachlan. P. (1985). Sarah, Plain and Tall. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Tagline:

Mother has been gone for years and Papa is tired of raising two children on his own. Will Sarah be everything the family is hoping for?

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The Fairy Ring or Elsie and Frances Fool the World

Author: Mary Losure

Age Range: 10-14 (Kirkus)

Interest Range: 10-14

Genre: Non-fiction, History/Biography

Plot: Frances and Elsie lived in England during World War I. The two young girls would often play in the beck behind Elsie’s house, a wooded area with a stream and waterfall, where they would both often see “little green men” wandering about while they were playing. In an outburst, Frances told her mother about the fairies and from then on was teased by her family. One day Elsie had the idea to prove them wrong, and take a picture of the fairies. But her fairies were actually painted drawings, and the girls pulled off a photo convincing enough to eventually make them the center of much attention. Even the famous writer of Sherlock Holmes detective stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wanted to believe that the girls’ photos were real. This is the story of two young girls who managed to fool a lot of people, and held on to their secret until they were grandmothers themselves.

Review: I had heard about the photos before reading this book, and was glad to finally hear the entire story. Elsie and Frances were two pretty remarkable young girls in their ability to keep a secret, but pretty normal in every other way. It was definitely an interesting look at how far people will push an idea when they really want it to be  reality. The girls’ creativity and ability to manipulate a relatively new technology really captured the hearts and minds of many people, some very prominent and known for their powers of deduction. I think that when viewed from this angle, their story is very relevant in today’s world of constantly changing technological advancements. In the age of photoshop and the Internet, people are constantly manipulating images to try and prove a point or idea. This story might be a fun way to show how that can sometimes actually work, emphasizing the importance of further research and checking sources before believing in fantastic stories.

Themes: Changes at Home, Lies, Tough Issues (war-time life, dropping out of school)

Additional Info:

Main Characters:

Elsie: A school dropout with artistic abilities. It was Elsie who drew and painted the fairies, devised the plan, and took the photos, all at the age of 15. Those who believed her photos the most were harsh critics of her other artwork and said that there was no way she could have fabricated the fairies because she had no artistic talent. This criticism hurt her deeply, and she could not refute it unless she told the truth and destroyed the story.

Frances: A young girl of 9 when the story begins, Frances has come with her mother and father to England from South Africa to stay with her Aunt and Uncle and cousin while her father goes off to fight in the war. Frances is the first to see the little green men, and poses for Elsie’s photos to go along with the story and provide proof to stop the teasing from family members.

Aunt Polly and Uncle Arthur: Elsie’s parents and the owner of the house and land where the family was living at the time (Cottingly, Yorkshire, England). It was Uncle Arthur’s camera that Elsie used to take the first photos.

Bibliographic Info:

Losure, M. (2012). The Fairy Ring or Elsie and Frances Fool the World. Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.

Tagline:

How do you tell when to stop telling a lie?

The Giant and How He Humbugged America

 

Author: Jim Murphy

Age Range: 10-14 (Kirkus reviews)

Interest Range: 9-14

Genre: Non-Fiction, History

Plot: In the year 1869, a farmer discovered what was thought to be a “petrified man” on his property. For months. the country was fascinated by the find, especially because the man was over 10 feet tall- a real giant! Was he a giant from the local Native American legends? Or even from biblical times? Can a man even be petrified? This book tells the story of the Cardiff Giant and those who were closest to him: the farmer on whose property they found him, the men who did the digging, and the man who set out to fool America into paying him a fortune. Along the way you’ll even hear about about the famous circus man, P. T. Barnum and his own part in the tale. How could a sculpture fool so many people? You’ll have to read to find out!

Review: The subject material was interesting, focusing on how someone was able to pull off such a big stunt and fool so many people. It also talked about the importance of doing your research and being thorough when looking for answers. At the end of the book, the author talks about his own research and writing process for anyone who is intrigued enough to keep reading. I felt that it was factual and progressed fast enough to hold the attention of kids who are used to fast-paced fiction. It even read like fiction sometimes, since it was so hard to believe that a statue could have fooled so many “scientific” and “learned” people. Underneath the story it definitely speaks to the importance of finding the real answer, something librarians and teachers alike can appreciate.

Themes: History, Research, Lies

Additional Info:

Main Characters:

William “Stub” Newell: The owner of the farm on which the Cardiff Giant was found. Also one of the original  owners of the Giant.

George Hull: The original prankster who set  out to create the Giant in order to make money fooling people. He had the sculpture made, aged, and planted it himself on Newell’s farm.

Bibliographic Info:

Murphy, J. (2012). The Giant and How He Humbugged America. New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Tagline:

There’s a sucker born every minute- and in the late 1800s, America was full of them. One man’s statue fooled millions into thinking that a petrified giant had been found in New York State.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

 

Author:Brian Selznick

Age Range: 9-12

Interest Range: 9-12

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Hugo was destined to be a clockmaker. His father was one before him, and his fingers seem to just know exactly what to do with all of those tiny metal cogs and springs. But one day, a terrible accident happens and Hugo must go live with his uncle, the man who maintains all of the clocks at the train station. Over time, Hugo learns how to keep the clocks running himself, which is good because eventually his uncle disappears too. While living on his own and maintaining the clocks so no one will notice that his uncle is gone, Hugo begins to repair a fantastic old automaton that he believes will hold a secret message from his father. But after meeting Isabelle and uncovering the real message of the automaton, Hugo will embark on a journey he never even dreamed of. And just maybe he’ll manage to find his place in the world after all.

Review: Paris in the 1930s and a discussion of the early days of film- I had no idea that this book would hold so much! I knew it had won the Caldecott, and I’ve sold it to many readers, but before this I’ve never sat down to actually experience more of the story than flipping through the beautiful drawings. The blending of full blown picture book and text make this a magical experience in itself, often giving you the sensation of sitting back and being at the movies. I completely understand now why this was made into a film. It practically screams for it the entire time you’re reading it. Hugo is an interesting character. He hates stealing and tries not to do it any more than necessary, but often his story is launched forward when he gets caught for doing something he hates. His ability with clockwork gives him hope for a better future than running through the walls of the train station, but without guidance he has no idea how to get there. Isabelle is in a similar yet different situation: no parents and prone to stealing things and picking locks, but being raised by people who truly love her. Hugo and Isabelle are perfect for each other.

Themes: Coming of Age, Overcoming Challenges, Making new Friends

Additional Info:

Adaptations: This book was made into the movie Hugo by Martin Scorsese in 2011, his first in 3D, which won 5 Oscars

Main Characters:

Hugo Cabret: An orphan, who is secretly living in the Paris train station, maintaining the clocks like his uncle taught him in the hopes of not being caught and sent to the orphanage. In his spare time he is repairing the clockwork automaton that his father had found in a museum attic. Even though he knows otherwise, Hugo has convinced himself that if he can get it working he will receive a message from his father telling him what to do now that he is on his own.

Issabelle: A young girl that Hugo meets in the train station. Reluctantly, they become friends. But they are both prone to stealing and lying, so the relationship is rough. But Isabelle is very smart, always borrowing books from the train station bookshop to read and learn about everything she can and sneaking into movies for fun.

Papa George: The keeper of the toy shop in the train station where Hugo frequently steals clockwork toys to get parts for his automaton. One day George catches Hugo in the act and takes the notebook that contains everything he knows about his automaton. In desperation to get the notebook back, Hugo begins working for George. Also, Papa George is one of Isabelle’s godparents and caretakers.

Mama Jeanne: Isabelle’s godmother and George’s wife, Jeanne has been keeping secrets about her husband for years. She has locked away all the things that will remind George of his real past in an effort to protect him.

Bibliographic Info:

Selznick, B. (2007). The Invention of Hugo Cabret. New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Tagline:

Sometimes the machinery of the world just lines up, and everything falls into place. Even for an orphan who lives in a train station.

Homesick

 

Author: Kate Klise

Age Range: 9-12 (Kirkus Reviews)

Interest Range: 9-12

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Plot: The year is 1983. Dennis Acres is a  tiny town in Missouri, and Benny Summer is a 12-year-old boy who spends most of his evenings listening to his parents fight. That is, until his mom walks out and moves back to New Orleans. Benny just can’t shake the deep, sad feeling that he can only name as “homesickness” as his father starts to make their home disappear. Benny’s dad owned an antique shop, until he started refusing to sell his antiques to anyone, claiming they were all “too valuable”. And now, all of the antiques reside in their house, with them, and with any junk that his father can find. A tower of pizza boxes continues to grow in the kitchen and when Benny tries to throw them away, his father freaks out and claims that they will someday be valuable too. Will Benny ever be able to get his dad to clean up? And will his mother ever come back so that Benny can find his home again?

Review: This book has a lot going on. In addition to being  a hoarder, Benny’s father also continually talks about how one day the entire world will be connected by a huge computer network. His predictions of what we know today as the Internet do sound strange in the mouth of someone from the early 1980s, and some of the things he believes will be possible really are quite crazy, but the reader gets to see how sometimes people with truly amazing ideas can be viewed as “crazy” by their closest friends and family. The reader also is seeing how mental illness was viewed in a time when many people still feared it and did not acknowledge it. In the end, Calvin is admitted to a hospital for other reasons and they determine what is really wrong with him. He is helped to realize his problem, given medication, and is put on track to live a normal life. While all of this is happening, Benny is also involved in the starting of the town radio station and experiences lots of regular 12-year-old boy feelings about school, and the girl who sits behind him in class, and the fact that his parents don’t get along.

Themes: Changes at Home, Economic Hardship, Mental Illness, Divorce

Additional Info:

Main Characters:

Benny Summer: 12-year-old Benny is left alone to take care of his father for months while trying to navigate the sixth grade. He has a job at the local radio station, run by his father’s best friend, Myron, and avoids going to all of his piano lessons. He also has a crush on Stormy Walker.

Calvin Summer: Benny’s father, who suffers from a serotonin deficiency and hoards just about anything he can get his hands on. His “collecting” turns their home into an unlivable wreck, full of rats and mold, and his illness keeps him from seeing the danger and embarrassment that he is putting his son through.

Nola Rene Summer: Benny’s mother, who leaves when she becomes so frustrated at her husband’s inability to throw anything away that she just cannot take it anymore. She calls home infrequently to check on Benny and promises to come back for him at the end of the school year and bring him back to New Orleans with her. She either does not realize that her husband is sick, or does not care to.

Myron Kazie: Calvin’s best friend from when they were in high school and the owner of the local radio station. Myron acts as a kind of stand-in father for Benny, offering him a paying job at the radio station and constantly checking on him to make sure he’s ok. At a few points, Myron does attempt to intervene with Calvin, but Calvin’s intense level of self-defense keeps him at bay.

Mrs. Rosso: Benny’s sixth-grade teacher, who becomes another caretaker for Benny. She realizes what is going on at home and attempts to encourage Benny’s desire to clean up the house by allowing it to be his service project for school. When Calvin calls her at home in a fit of rage, she takes a more serious, yet hidden, role in helping Benny out- secretly teaching him to do laundry, and bringing him new clothes and personal items when he needs them.

Stormy Walker: The pretty girl who sits behind Benny in Mrs. Rosso’s class. Benny and Stormy eventually become friends when disaster strikes the entire town.

Bibliographic Info:

Klise, K. (2012). Homesick. New York: Macmillan.

Tagline:

His parents are splitting up, and even though he hasn’t left home Benny still can’t shake a feeling of homesickness when his mother leaves for good.

Esperanza Rising

 

Author: Pam Munoz Ryan

Age Range: 9-15

Interest Range: 9-15

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Esperanza comes from a wealthy Mexican family. Her father owned a ranch that spanned thousands of acres, and her family surrounded Esperanza with love and comfort. But the day before her 13th birthday, her father is murdered and everything changes. Soon, Esperanza finds herself on a train, moving to America with a family of ranch hands that her father used to employ. Life in America is hard. It is the beginning of the Great Depression, and people are struggling to find work. Esperanza’s new family is living in California, working on one of the company farms doing backbreaking work for very low wages. Some of the Mexican immigrants want to organize and demand a better life. Will Esperanza ever be able to adjust to this new situation? And just what will happen to those who do decide to fight for their advancement?

Review: This book covers so many difficult topics. Esperanza deals with death, loss of an entire known life, a change of economic class, she is forced to grow up very early in life and take on the role of a provider before she even turns 14. Around her big things are happening: workers are trying to form Unions and stand up for their rights as citizens and human beings, plus the depression is happening and forcing more cheap labor to move out west and make their working situation even more precarious. And Esperanza struggles with it all. She is often upset, refusing to accept her new circumstances and often stubborn. Eventually she learns how to exist in this new life, and even comes around to understanding why people would strike and want to fight for something better.

Themes: Coming of age, Loss, Race, Homelessness, The Great Depression, Immigration

Additional Info:

Awards: Pura Belpre Award (for a Latino writer who best portrays the Latin cultural experience in a book for children/young adults), Jane Addams Peace Award (book advances the causes of peace and social equality), Willa Cather Literary Award (women’s stories set in the American West), Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

Main Characters:

Esperanza: A 13-year old girl who immigrates to America with her mother and a family of field workers who were once employed by her father. She is forced to learn the life of a field hand and deals first-hand with the immigration process and the hardships of life as a laborer in the Great Depression.

Ramona: Esperanza’s mother, who remains strong to get her daughter to America, but then falls ill and enters a deep depression. She is eventually hospitalized, and Esperanza is left to take care of herself.

Miguel: The young man of the family that Esperanza travels to America with. The two of them had been friends as children, but when Esperanza learned about classes in Mexico, she shunned Miguel’s friendship and declared that they were on “opposite sides of the river”. Moving to America has placed him on even ground with Esperanza, and their relationship changes again. He hopes to find work with the railroad, since he is gifted with machinery.

Bibliographic Info:

Ryan, P. M. (2000). Esperanza Rising. New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Tagline:

Everything can change in an instant. When Esperanza’s family moves to the United States, she is forced to learn how true this really is.

Bud, Not Buddy

Author: Christopher Paul Curtis

Age Range: 10-13

Interest Range: 10-13

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction

Plot: Bud is living in an orphanage during the Great Depression. After fighting his way out of a foster home, he runs away and decides to find the man that he is sure is his real father. He knows, because his mother left him hints, that his real father is a bass player in a jazz band in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bud embarks on a mission that will take him through a cardboard city for homeless families, attempting to ride the rails, and eventually walking from Flint, Michigan, as far as he can stand. When he is picked up on the side of the road by Lefty Lewis, his luck begins to change. Lefty knows Bud’s father, and eventually takes him to him. But Herman E. Calloway is a cold, mean man, and much older than Bud expects. Is he really Bud’s father? Will Bud ever find a real home?

Review: Bud is a wonderful character. Street smart and funny, very relatable to young boys even today. He fights off bullies and vampires and his list of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself are something that any child can relate to and appreciate. His drive and determination make him a force to be reckoned with, and it’s obvious from the beginning that he’ll do anything to find the man he believes to be his father, even walk that 120 miles in 24 hours. The book also paints a good introductory picture of the Great Depression and what it meant for a lot of families, as well as the race relations that existed during that time period. A good way to introduce readers to that time in history.

Themes: Coming of age, Loss, Bullying, Race, Homelessness

Additional Info:

Awards: Newbery award winner, 2000; winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for recognition of outstanding African-American authors

Main Characters:

Bud Caldwell: His name is Bud, not Buddy, because his mother warned him constantly in his youth not to ever let anyone call him anything other than Bud. Bud’s mother died when he was 6, and that was 4 years ago. He’s been living between an orphanage he calls The Home and various foster families that entire time, and after one-too-many beatings he escapes and is on the run to find the man he believes is his father. Along the way, Bud experiences a lot of luck as he encounters Hooverville, tries to jump a train, learns about unions, and tries to walk 120 miles to Grand Rapids. Bud’s determination is something to admire, and he takes everything that he is handed in stride ready for the next encounter.

Lefty Lewis: A kindly stranger who intercepts Bud on his long walk just outside of Owosso and eventually deposits him with Calloway and his band.

Herman E. Calloway: The man that Bud believes is his father, and who we eventually learn is actually his grandfather. Calloway is cold and difficult to deal with, but agrees to keep Bud around when pressured by his bandmates. He eventually learns the truth about his relationship with Bud, at the same time learning that his long-lost daughter is deceased.

Bibliographic Info:

Curtis, C. P. (1999). Bud, Not buddy. New York: Random House, Inc.

Tagline:

When one door closes, another opens. Join Bud as he sets out to find his father.

The Halloween Tree

 

Author: Ray Bradbury

Age Range: 9-12 (publisher info)

Interest Range: 9-12

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: It is Halloween night, and Tom Skelton and hist 8 friends are gathering to go trick-or-treating together through their neighborhood. But when they meet up, one of the boys is missing. Pipkin, the bravest of them all, their ring-leader is lagging behind and when the boys head to his house to find him he sends them to the haunted house in the woods as a meet-up point. But Pipkin never shows. Instead, the 8 remaining boys are whisked away by Moundshroud, the occupant of the haunted house, on a fantastic tour of Halloweens past. From cavemen, to ancient Egyptians, Romans, Dark Age Europeans, the Builders of Notre Dame, and finally to Mexico, the boys are taught the history of their favorite holiday while they race to save their beloved Pipkin from certain death.

Review: I love Bradbury. He seems to perfectly capture the tone of Midwestern 10-year-old boy. The story is suspenseful enough to intrigue but not so much so to give worrisome nightmares, while at the same time teaching the history of Halloween traditions through the ages and in various cultures. Everything is tied together so nicely: the boys costumes each correspond to a different historical stopping point so that they can each learn a lesson, Pipkin travels along with them always seemingly on the edge of being lost, and the boys have to make a very serious sacrifice to ultimately save him (even though at that age, what is a year off the end of your life?). A great precursor to Dandelion Wine- the plots are not connected, but readers who enjoy this book will love the feeling of DW.

Themes: Coming of age, Friendship, History of Halloween, Death

Additional Info:

Other Media: Was also made into an animated film by Hanna-Barbera in 1993 (this won an Emmy in 1994).

Main Characters:

Tom Skelton: Dressed as a Skeleton, in Pipkin’s absence Tom becomes the ringleader of the remaining 8 boys. He is 13 and Halloween is his favorite holiday, although he really knows nothing about where it came from. Tom wants to save his friend, but also becomes frightened on the journey from time to time- even though when the time comes, he always stands up to the challenge.

Pipkin: Normally the leader of the boys’ group, Pipkin has fallen ill. At the end of the book we learn that he has been sent to the hospital with appendicitis, and has had an operation. He survives.

Moundshroud: The inhabitant of the haunted house who takes the boys on a journey to discover the history of Halloween. In reality, this character is Death himself, come to take a year off the end of each of the boys lives in order to spare their friend.

Bibliographic Info:

Bradbury, R. (1972). The halloween tree. New York: Random House, Inc.

Tagline:

Would you give a year from your life to save your best friend from dying?

Here’s to Overcoming Fears: My Personal Research History

I have always been inquisitive. My parents encouraged me to find the answers to my questions when I was young. They might guide me to a dictionary or encyclopedia, but the rest was up to me. My teachers were often the same way. Sometimes, I have to admit, this was very frustrating. A particular struggle comes to mind when I was charged with finding the correct spelling of toward in the dictionary. Since I was convinced that it began with t-w- my labor was fruitless for quite some time. It was eventually another student who took pity on me and told me about the missing “o” when my teacher’s refusals of giving me the answer lead to a good 10 minute search through a book that was larger than I was. But for the most part, searching for myself served me well. Elementary school, middle, and high school were all filled with examples of secondary research. Projects on state histories, dioramas of nature scenes, poster diagrams of cells, and literature essays were all completed, but after high school I froze. I never wanted to do another research project again, and chose majors that were math-centered so I could try my best to avoid them. It wasn’t the research that scared me. It was the formal presentation, and my certainty that I had no idea how to write well enough to gain good grades after working so hard to find all of the facts. I made it through my undergrad degree (finally finishing with a BA in Accounting) without having to do any more advanced research projects than what I had already accomplished in high school, and for that I was relieved.

Of course I had really been doing research all that time. Small, everyday research on what computer to buy, what kind of car insurance to sign up for, what music the students in my dance classes liked best. But because there was no formal write-up required, I thought nothing of it. Those are the kinds of things that anyone and everyone has to deal with in day-to-day life. Of course, some of us are more into making informed decisions than others may be, and I was always at that end of the spectrum. I remember, as a sophomore in college, scouring the pages of Consumer Reports before buying a vacuum cleaner for my new condo. My father’s style of requiring logical and thorough research for any life decision certainly rubbed off on me. To this day, I become incredibly anxious if I’m forced to make a major decision without having time to do a little research on my own. But sometimes you have to, and I’ve learned to deal with that too.

These days, most of my research happens at work. I am currently employed at a local independent bookstore, but before last year I had been employed as a merchandising manager for a nation-wide bookstore chain. There my job was to figure out placement of product for optimum sales. I would gather sales reports for each section, and also for different locations of displays, and use the data to figure out what areas needed improvement. We would try different methods to gain those larger numbers: moving product around, trying new display techniques, new signs to direct customers to different areas, or whatever else we could come up with. Some ideas worked, and some did not, but we always relied on the numbers to tell us what was happening. I enjoyed the challenge immensely, and have carried that over to my new job even though the environment is much different. Although I no longer have the same level of detailed sales reports to work from, I still conduct my own experiments on our sales floor. Displays are moved, sections are cleaned up or re-arranged. In some ways I have more freedom to try things out because 1. we’re independent (we don’t have to worry about uniformity with any other locations) and 2. we’re only 3 months old. Things haven’t really settled yet, and I can try more outrageous and creative solutions to problems because no one can say “well, we’ve always done it this way.”

As of yet, I haven’t had to create any formal presentations out of the information I’ve gathered working at this bookstore. I doubt that I will anytime in the near future, but hopefully this class will make me feel more prepared in the event that I do have to produce something to support my findings. Already the textbook is starting to relieve some of my anxiety by laying out the format of a research proposal in a very logical and detailed manner. Creswell makes it feel almost like a formula instead of a writing assignment, which in my head makes it a lot less terrifying. Here’s to overcoming fears.

________________________________________________________

Current Texbook: Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.