Book Reviews and More

Hi! This blog is for my classes at Texas Woman's University.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Life is a little busy...

Hello everyone,

I realized that I didn't want my blog to be one of those that is just forgotten and lingering in cyberspace. However, life has gotten a little too busy for me to maintain a regular blog for now.

This blog was started as part of an assignment for my Library and Information Science degree from TWU. The good news is… I graduated! I now have my Masters Degree. Not only that, I got a job as a Children's and Teen Librarian. So I am very grateful.

I may return to this blog for another purpose at some point, but for now, I am busy trying to make my Children's and Teen department awesome at our library.

I truly thank those of you who read my posts, my assignments, and the information on literacy that I shared.

Keep reading and writing!
Take care, McCourt

Friday, April 10, 2015

March & April 2015 Houston SCBWI Book Reports

April 2015 Book Report titles:

Magic Tree House Super Edition #1: Danger in the Darkest Hour by Mary Pope Osborne (Elem)

The Paper Magician by Charlie M. Holmberg (YA)

Timebound by Lysa Walker (YA)

Children's Magazines: Highlights, Dig, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick, Stone Soup, Boy's Life, American Girl

March 2015 Book Report titles:

Bug Butts by Dawn Cusick (NF/Elem)

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds (PB)

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins (MG)

Rhoda's Rock Hunt by Molly Beth Griffin, Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell (PB)

When Otis Courted Mama by Kathi Appelt, Illustrated by Jill McElmurry (PB)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Brief Hiatus

Hello everyone -

Thank you for checking in! I wanted to let you know that I'll be taking a brief hiatus from my blogging. I've been fortunate enough to start my Practicum this semester at a local public library branch. So having that, plus my two other graduate school classes, my volunteer roles, and the unexpected ups and downs of a busy life has put me behind in most areas (especially laundry - thanks Mom for the help!).

I'm planning to still update the SCBWI monthly book report titles and my reading list (which has been sadly neglected so far this year!). Hopefully, I will get back to a weekly blog post soon.

Thanks for supporting my writing and library efforts!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy St. Valentine's Day everyone!

Hi everyone -

Valentine's Day is traditionally a special holiday for my husband and myself. I hope all of y'all take the time to reach out and remind someone this week that they are special in your life. Or at least take the time to read a book you love!

Friday, February 6, 2015

And the Winners Are...

Hi everyone!

Have you seen the list of winners yet? There are some selections I really love, some I'm really looking forward to reading, and others I'm not that crazy about. So that's pretty normal for the ALA Youth Media Awards.

I just want to highlight one particular winner: A Boy and the Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Cátia Chien, which won the children's book category for the Schneider Family Book Award. The Schneider Family Book Award "honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences" (ALA). I loved this book! I couldn't get through it without tearing up. The author tells of his experience with stuttering, how it affected the course of his life, and led to his dream of protecting animals.

I've also had the middle school category winner, Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, on my To Be Read pile for quite a while. So I'm excited to move it up to the top of the pile.

Here's a link to the list of all the awards:

Congratulations to all the winners!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Youth Media Awards - Monday, February 2nd

As a children's writer and a future librarian, I have to admit the ALA Youth Media Awards are more exciting than the Oscars to me. They are just around the corner - Monday, Feb. 2nd at 8 am (Central). Awards to be announced include this year's Newbery medal, Caldecott medal, Andrew Carnegie medal, the Coretta Scott King awards, the Laura Ingalls Wilder award, Pura Belapré award, the Printz award, the Sibert Award and many others.

Do you want to watch it live? You can see it here:

I don't have any predictions this year - although I do have some favorites. Check back next week and we can talk about the winners!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Houston SCBWI Conference - Registration Open!

Hello everyone!

I am really looking forward to the Houston SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) conference coming April 18-19th. It is such a great opportunity to meet editors, art directors and agents, learn more about the craft of writing, and spend a weekend enjoying the company of fellow writers and illustrators.

The Houston bunch is an especially friendly group. All levels of writers are welcomed, from beginners, who may just be dreaming of writing a book someday, to experienced authors and illustrators with many books already out in bookstores around the world.

The details for the conference can be found at the Houston SCBWI website:

Registration is open and critique opportunities are still available so check it out!