March 20th, 2014, posted by jhubert

27 Things Your Teacher Librarian Does (in case you didn’t know)

Click on the graphic to blow it up and see what your LREI teacher-librarian-superheroes do all day!

This terrific infographic comes courtesy of educator Mia MacMeekin.

October 22nd, 2013, posted by jhubert

Middle School Author Visit: Nathan Hale

We were lucky enough to have Mr. Nathan Hale (as he is known on Twitter) visit the 5th and 6th and grade on Tuesday, October 22. The celebrated author/illustrator of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales and illustrator of Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack held us rapt with funny stories from his youth and gross episodes from American history. By the end, we were all inspired to become cartoonists, muralists and laugh out loud storytellers. Thank you, Nathan Hale! We had a blast!

October 7th, 2013, posted by jhubert

Enjoys Long Walks Along the Hold Shelves and Sunsets Over Spine Labels


Over the summer, our rising eighth graders choose from a list of selected classics to read at the beach or while at camp. In the past we had the students do booktalks, but last year we changed it up and had the students write “single’s ads” for their dusty old classics who wanted to attract new readers. While there was some initial confusion over what a single’s ad was (“Do you mean a profile?”) they soon got the hang of it using these writing prompts and reading the example I had way too much fun writing for them:

• “My ideal reader/date must love…because…”.
• “A knowledge of/passion for…is a plus.”
• “On our first date, we will…”.
• “My favorite food or type of restaurant is…so you must love eating…”.
• “My favorite song is…because…, or I love listening to…”.
• “My favorite season is…because…”.
• “Usually, on my days off, I like to…”.
• “My favorite hobbies are….”.
• “I’d like to travel with you to…because…”.
• “My favorite movies include…because…”.

Example: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

“Depression-era gentleman seeks eager young reader who enjoys creek water out of a tin cup, seeing greater America from the back of a rusty Model-T, and doesn’t mind a little dust in his or her hair. Must love sunsets over prairies, long soliloquies about turtles, and know how to change a tire. Knowledge of migrant worker laws and rights a plus. Our first date will start with breaking a picket line and end with peach cobbler (made from the peaches we hand pick by moonlight). If you think you are the reader for me, you can find me at your local public library, not too far down on the shelf from Shakespeare.”

Here are a handful from this year’s batch that are just as creative, funny and provocative as the last two years’. Can you guess the book titles from their descriptions? (Answers at the end) Maybe after reading them, you’ll be inspired to make a date with a classic!

1. I dont no how to do somthing like this so i wil start here. My idel reder (is that what im supposed to say? I dont no.) must kno how to deel with quik imoshinal changes, and bad speling and pronunseashon. Also nowing how to deal with various drastik changes in smartnes is a HUGE plus. You have to be ok with me writing about you because I have to do my progris reports and I have to write about evrething. On our date we will meet at the collage lab, and i can show you how I race with Algernon; the lab mouse. We will then go to a small diner. (I forget the name) We should meet at five but I’m not sure if I’ll even remember so don’t be upset if I’m not there. Oh yeah, knowing different languages is also helpful because I love to talk in other languages when I can remember them. After dinner i hav to go home to rite my progress riport, and watch a lerning video so you have to be ok with that Anyway if you want to find me, go to a publik librarie or stor with boks, and i will be ther.

P.S. dont chek this websit for me i probably wil never get bak to you.

2. Searching for a companion with whom to invade Europe. Must be good at fighting Germans and storming bunkers. Being able to jump out of planes is a plus. You should be able to throw grenades and identify between a German tank and an American one. But this date is top secret so don’t tell anyone or there might not be an invasion! We will meet at 5:00 in the morning at the English docks in Devon. Then cross the channel in a boat and land at Omaha Beach at 6:30am.The seas look rough so bring some brenazine pills if you’re prone to seasickness. I’ve only been part of one other invasion (the one in Sicily a year ago) but liberating sure is fun! The best is to arrive early, with the first wave, and you get to see all the action. As this is a big risk, I should at least let you know a bit about myself. My favorite music is anything by Glenn Miller, and my favorite movie is a “Bridge Too Far”. The equipment you’ll need is an m1928 pack, a helmet, some good  marching boots, some sort of explosives, and an American flag. Pack your gear, sharpen your bayonet, and Fortress Europa, here we come! 

3. I am single and ready to mingle! My reader must be in for an adventure and have the imagination of a child. On our first date we will either be visiting crazed adults who inhabit small planets, or be stranded in a desert with a cunning snake; it will be best to bring a space helmet and your best snake charming flute. At some point during our whimsical evening, I will probably ask you to draw me a sheep, so please bring a pencil and some paper too. I don’t mind what we eat, the time and love that goes into preparing the meal is what really matters. During my days off (I have a lot of those since I live on a planet alone) I like sitting on my chair and watching the sun set. My favorite song is “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra because it’s so romantic, just like I am. We will then travel to Earth, and once we get there you mustn’t get too attached to me, because I will one day have to go back to my planet and leave you. I know as well as being mysterious and charming, I am quite the heartbreaker. One last thing, my reader must be able to see the beauty and importance in a sheep or a single rose.

4. Seeking determined readers who enjoy keeping plants alive in adverse circumstances and who like stories about people who dream of a better life despite the struggles they face.  On our first date we’ll look through a pre-med catalogue and eat soul food at a jazz club.  After standing up for equal housing, we’ll go for a walk under the South Side stars to think about our dreams of traveling.  We will discuss whether to use some of the life insurance I’ve just collected to invest in a liquor store or to buy a house in a white neighborhood. I would like to travel with you to Africa where we could make a new start.  A passion for human rights is a plus.  One of my favorite songs is “We Shall Overcome,” because it is about not giving up in the face of forces that oppose change.  If interested, you can find me at your local library or see me live on Broadway this spring.

5. We will begin our day sliding down the nearly endless rabbit hole. We will later drink enticing pink potions that will shrink us to the size of ants and eat scrumptious cake that will make us grow into giants. The adventures that we will be embarking on will never cease to amaze you. Today we will be attending a Mad Tea Party, or we will swim in a pool of tears. After afternoon tea we will visit a duchess and we will rescue her baby that subsequently turns into a pig. We will then meet the mysterious Cheshire Cat, and join a croquet game with the critical and demanding Queen of Hearts. Be sure to bring your mallet for croquet! A fascination for thrill and outlandish things is a plus. You must also love the season spring, because it is my favorite season; the weather is constantly changing, flowers are popping up from the ground and people are escaping their gloomy winter days and beginning fresh. Spring relates to the journey we will be taking on in my book because it’s unpredictably wonderful, just the way you will be feeling when you pick me up for a marvelous read.

7. My ideal date must love Bloody Mary’s and a passion for animal hunting is a plus. On our first date we shall eat in dinner at my castle and toast with glasses of claret.  For desert, we will share my favorite thing to eat, neck-tarines. I love winter. The sun isn’t out that much and I don’t like the sun because I get burned. On my off days I like to visit the blood bank and go to the top of the Vampire State Building in New York to see the view of the city. My favorite hobby is to play bat-miton with my family and friends. I’d like to travel with you because I want to go to places in the world beyond Transyvania. Of course, I’ll have to take some soil from there with us so I can sleep. With my good looks and charm I can hypnotize you into falling in love with me. I was never married because I’m a bat-chelor but I would change that for you.

8. Chronic mental patient seeks new reader. You must be clinically insane, because that is the only way you can get into the asylum. A passion for blackjack is a plus. Our evening will begin in electroshock therapy, and end around a table, watching the World Series and playing poker.  If you enjoy fighting authority even if you don’t stand a chance, all the better.  Nurse Ratched doesn’t let me do even the most basic of things that I was allowed elsewhere, so I have to work around therefore being clever is the only way to get what you want.  That is why I am looking for someone intelligent.  You can find me with the other classics, in the K’s.  I am relatively unknown, but if you ask around I am sure you can find someone who has heard of me.

9. The ideal reader I’m looking for will enjoy reading by the fire, and long interesting conversations. I love a personality that is confident, cunning, romantic and  unpredictable. You would enjoy a good mystery, preferably one about a crazy old woman in an attic. I very much enjoy someone who is intelligent, and has a lot to say. Now a bit about me. My favorite kind of meal is a home cooked one. While we bake we can chat about what ever we please. Just be ready, I ask a lot of questions! My hobbies include: reading and having tea, teaching, talking, and seeing old friends. In addition, I’m a very reliable governess. I successfully taught a young girl proper etiquette, so if you need any help with manners, I’m the one for the job. Now that you know a bit about me, I would love to meet you! You can find me at your local book shelf, library, or bookstore.

10. To begin with, you should know that I’m one of the books that is dangerous and you shouldn’t pick me up but you will, because I’m just too temping to resist. If you would like to take an adventure with me then come over on over to the annex; but I must warn you, you will be taking a big risk while dating me. However, I assure you, it’s worth it. For our date you will need to know how to cuddle, as we will only be able to stay in small spaces. We will whisper in each other’s ears and write notes back and forth using my special feather pen. A love for daydreaming is a plus since I always lie down and imagine of what the future might hold. I’m sneaky and I love to spy on people at night in the building across from ours. So if there’s a secretive, courageous side to you, then come on over.

(1. Flowers for Algernon 2. The Longest Day 3. Murder on the Orient Express 4. The Little Prince 5. A Raisin in the Sun 6. Alice in Wonderland 7. Dracula 8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 9. Jane Eyre 10. The Diary of Ann Frank)



October 1st, 2013, posted by jhubert

Fall into Books!

A neat info graphic from my colleague at NYPL…give it a click to blow it up and find loads of great new titles for kids and teens.

May 21st, 2013, posted by jhubert

Hooray for Summer Reading!



I look forward to summer all year because it is the time when I can really attack that towering TBR (To Be Read) pile that accumulates next to my bed and threatens to topple and squash my cat. I know many of you feel the same, so here are some top notch places to find solid book recommendations for reading at the beach, camp or ANYWHERE.

LREI Lower School Summer Reading Lists
LREI Middle School Summer Reading Lists
Brooklyn Public Library Summer Reading Program
NYC Summer Reading Program 2013
Scholastic Summer Challenge 2013
Summer Reading Recommendations 2013 from The Horn Book
The Fourth Annual New York Times Summer Reading Contest
Page to Screen Summer Reading Blockbusters from School Library Journal

Happy summer reading! I’ll see you in the library.

Jen Hubert Swan, Middle School Librarian

March 6th, 2013, posted by jhubert

March is Women’s History Month

To help celebrate Women’s History Month, check out these great titles from the 2012 Amelia Bloomer Project and New York Public Library’s Women’s History month book blog.

January 31st, 2013, posted by jhubert

ALA 2013 Youth Media Award Winners!


This week ALA (American Library Association) announced their award winners for the 2012 publishing year in youth media. Here’s a partial list of the literary line-up from the ALA press release:

SEATTLE — The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

A list of all the 2013 award winners follows:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

“The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate, is the 2013 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz and published by Candlewick Press; “Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin and published by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; and “Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

“This Is Not My Hat,” illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, is the 2013 Caldecott Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Five Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Creepy Carrots!” illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; “Extra Yarn,” illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of

HarperCollins Publishers; “Green,” illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and published by Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press; “One Cool Friend,” illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; “Sleep Like a Tiger,” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

“Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America,” written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Disney/Jump at the Sun Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

Two King Author Honor Books were selected: “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; and “No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller” by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and published by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

“I, Too, Am America,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Langston Hughes and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Three King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “H. O. R. S. E.,” illustrated and written by Christopher Myers, and published by Egmont USA; “Ellen’s Broom,” illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group; and “I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr.” illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Martin Luther King, Jr. and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

“In Darkness,” written by Nick Lake, is the 2013 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein, published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; “The White Bicycle” by Beverley Brenna, published by Red Deer Press.

For the full list of winners, click here.

January 8th, 2013, posted by jhubert

Middle School Visiting Authors

Here are some pictures from our Middle School author visits in December. What an amazing line-up! Our great thanks to Adam Gidwitz, Melissa Kantor, Patricia McCormick and Muriel Weinstein for sharing their writing lives with us!

Adam making his best scary face while telling us the REAL Grimm fairy tales that inspired In a Glass Grimmly.
Melissa Kantor sharing some sections from The Break Up Bible.
Patty McCormick telling us the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond from Never Fall Down.
Muriel Weinstein telling us tales of Louis Armstrong & his trumpet from Play Louis Play

November 26th, 2012, posted by jhubert

2012 Middle School Book Week Author Visits

louis grimm

love fall

Book Week is coming to LREI again, and that means visiting authors in every classroom in the school during the week of December 10-14.  The middle school is no exception, we have some amazing authors visiting us this year, among them National Book Award honorees and New York Times bestsellers!

Here’s the awesome line-up:

November 16th, 2012, posted by jhubert

Middle School Class Reps Attend National Book Award Teen Press Conference

(Amalia & Justine show off their signed copies of NEVER FALL DOWN by Patricia McCormick.)

On November 13th, the LREI Middle School class reps were invited to attend the National Book Award Teen Press Conference at the Central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. At the press conference, students are treated to a reading by each of the five finalists and allowed to ask questions of the authors. After the presentation, every student is given a free book and may have it signed by the author. This year, we were lucky enough to each be given TWO books, and couldn’t wait to get home to start reading them. The five 2012 finalists and their books are:

William Alexander, Goblin Secrets.
Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach.
Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down.
Eliot Schrefer, Endangered.
Steve Sheinkin, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.

(Waiting to hear the authors speak.)

(Getting a book signed by Eliot Schrefer.)

(Getting a book signed by Steve Sheinkin.)

(Happy reading reps!)

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