Two of my favorite things: kids and kid lit. What a dream job!
I started in January of 2017, but we happened to have one of the most extreme Idaho winters in history. My kiddos were excited to have so many snow days, but I was anxious to get out on the bus and start making a difference.
I worked on behind the scenes stuff while I waited for safe driving conditions. This consisted of processing new books and donations, repairing books, and withdrawing books beyond repair. One of my favorite things was reading personal notes on the end pages of donated books. These books were special to the initial reader and would be special once again to young patrons who checked them out.
The purpose of the bookmobile was to offer children access to books and get them excited about reading. Many of these kids did not own books or were unable to visit a library. We did not issue library cards or require fines for late or damaged books. We just wanted them to read!
We distributed snacks, hats and mittens, and backpacks with school supplies. We also ran a reading incentive program in the winter, facilitated STEM activities in the summer, and participated in fun events like Touch a Truck and Trunk or Treat.
Patrons referred to the bookmobile as THE BUS, but we had a more personal name for him. The kids were thrilled when Thomas received his monster makeover, which would not have been possible without a generous grant from the Greater Boise Area Rotary Foundation.
Working on the bookmobile was a perfect fit for me because I only read kid lit! The kids loved that I was able to honestly recommend a wide range of picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA novels. We also compiled a wishlist. I searched for requested titles in our office. We would try to purchase them with our budget if we didn’t have them, or if we needed more copies of a popular title. Sometimes I would bring personal books from home that my kids had already read a bazillion times.
My kids were able to visit me every week on the bookmobile because one of the stops was near our house. Their friends thought it was pretty cool that their mom drove the big blue bus.
The most rewarding aspect of this job was getting to know the kids. We were greeted with huge smiles every time we pulled up to a stop. Sometimes the kids would even jump for joy on the sidewalk as soon as they saw Thomas. The kids told me jokes, talked about school, and shared intimate stories about their lives.
One of the most difficult parts of this job was when children moved away. A girl wrote her name on a piece of paper and gave it to me so I would “always remember” her. Kids hugged me, drew me pictures, and even gifted me their favorite stuffed animals.
It was even more difficult when it was my turn to move. My husband accepted an excellent job opportunity in Seattle, so I had to say goodbye to Thomas and the kids. I cried on my last day. Several times.
The library staff threw me a little going away party.
Lucky for me some of my co-workers used to live in the Seattle area. They recommended places to explore with my family. I already couldn’t wait to visit the Seattle Public Library.
At the end of the party, our library director told me that I changed these kids’ lives and they would remember me.
I hope she’s right.
Did you visit a bookmobile when you were a child? Do you have a bookmobile in your community? I’d love to hear about it!
One of my favorite things about writing this post was learning about Idaho authors. I had never heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs or Vardis Fisher. So let’s talk more about authors and books! This is a book blog after all. I am pleased to introduce a variety of books written by Idaho authors.
Two weeks ago the unimaginable happened. Something happened that that we never thought about, and certainly never worried about. Two weeks ago, our sweet Charlie Blue was attacked by an off leash dog.
My husband, Ian, took Charlie for a walk in the evening on the Greenbelt, which is a path that runs along the Boise River. He took her to one of our favorite spots by the river—a spot that we often fish at with our two young children. A jogger came to this spot with her off leash dog. Charlie was on leash. Ian said it happened so fast, and before he knew it the other dog was on Charlie’s back. Charlie didn’t fight back. Ian had to kick the other dog to get it off of her.
It was dark by the time Ian and Charlie returned home. We didn’t realize how serious her injuries were until…
Thinking of a picture book idea every day during November for PiBoIdMo has been a piece of cake so far, but it’s only November 4th and I know the challenge will become more difficult.
My six-year old son is a purple belt in taekwondo and my two-year old daughter loves to hop around pretending she’s a kangaroo. After watching Mason show off his moves and Sophie hop around the house, my friend Robin told me, “Your kids are great. One’s a ninja and the other is a kangaroo. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
I laughed and said, “That’s a great idea for a picture book!”
There’s never a dull moment at our house. We have a ninja, a kangaroo, and a Weimaraner puppy. I think many of my ideas during PiBoIdMo will come from the crazy stuff Charlie Blue does on a daily basis.
She howls when my son plays the harmonica. She brings back stuff to recycle almost every time we walk. She pulls the kiddos on their sled in the winter. She rolls in smelly stuff. She jumps in the back of the bike trailer when she gets tired. She swims in the river, but she’s afraid of sprinklers. She’s a furniture hog. And the queen of stealing hats . . .
One of my favorite Charlie moments happened when my daughter was crying hysterically on my lap. Charlie (the biggest food thief in the world) gently carried a graham cracker in her mouth over to Sophie and pushed the cracker up to Sophie’s hand with her nose. My husband, Ian, and I sat dumbfounded for several seconds. Did that really just happen? Wow!
Charlie is my quiet companion on our daily walks. I often come up with my best writing ideas when I take her to the river near our house.
We find cool stuff together like Idaho rock art.
And for being a big spazzy puppy, she sure is sweet and gentle with Sophie.
I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief Charlie gets into this month. She might come home smelly with a dirty diaper or a dead squirrel in her mouth (yes, this has happened), but who knows . . . she might do something that leads to another PiBoIdMo idea in my notebook!
I am excited AJ’s Children’s Books will have a table at A Taste of the Holidays this Thursday. There will be food from local vendors, wine tasting, coffee tasting, and Christmas caroling. There’s something for everyone!
Come out and enjoy a night of free food and drink tastings, entertainment, holiday shopping, and find out how you can support your local businesses! There will be live entertainment, and a raffle full of great prizes! Bring or buy your Christmas gifts and get them wrapped for a donation to help the Cotton Tree School in Belize.
Join us in support of a family who will be placed in a new home in December by CATCH Meridian – take a tag and donate an item to a family who will be placed in home in time for Christmas.
When: Thursday, December 12th, 2013
5:00 – 9:00 pm
Where: Courtyard by Marriott
1789 S Eagle Rd.
Meridian, ID 83642
THIS SATURDAY! Idaho authors will be signing books at Hyde Park Books from 10-3. There are many subjects and genres to choose from by all sorts of folks! Come meet local authors who will sign their books for you AND you can support the local economy! There will also be light refreshments, including Mediterranean Hummus from Jill Skeem’s book Comfort Food Gets a Vegan Makeover.
AJ received a B.A. in Journalism and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon. Her first children’s picture book, Mama’s Purse, has won local and national awards. She lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, two children, and a Weimaraner named Charlie Blue.
Why buy books from the Idaho Authors’ Community?
– Get books PERSONALLY autographed by the author
– Choose from nearly 200 books from a wide variety of subjects and genres
– Support the local and domestic economies
Check out the wide variety of work from authors across Idaho. Think of this as your online bookstore and peruse the various sections. Come back frequently as we will be adding more books on a regular basis!
The Idaho Library Association Authors’ Reception was one of my favorite events this year. I met librarians from all over the Gem state. I even met one librarian from Athens, Georgia!
I think libraries are so important, especially for children. It is important to me that my book is available for kiddos to check out at the library. After this event, I am happy to say that Mama’s Purse will be available at many more libraries around Idaho. I am also excited about being invited to participate in preschool storytime.
Over 40 local authors were present at this event, including many members of the Idaho Authors’ Community (IAC). I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the IAC members who attended the 2013 ILA Authors’ Reception.
Sandra Moore Bernsen
Sandra Moore Bernsen grew up in a remote town in western Montana, moving to Idaho in the early 1990s. Her life experiences led her to the study of intuition and meditation, learning the Berkley Psychic Institute method of clairvoyant reading and healing. She finds sharing and counseling a source of strength. She enjoys creative pursuits, whether it be soil and seed, needle and thread or wood and nails. She loves spending time with her husband, Rick, and her dog Anna. They enjoy the new experiences, places, friends, and lifestyle that RV-ing provides. Sandra knows that life can be short and change in an instant. Enjoy each and every day! Sandra is available for speaking engagements. Her book is entitled, Free My Heart of Grief to Love. http://www.sandramoorebernsen.com/
Robert D. Bolen, owner of the business & website, Fort Boise Bead Trader.com has written many books about Native Americans including Blackfeet Raiders Nomads of the North. In this book, he has written about the Blackfeet Indians who came out of Canada into Montana, along the Upper Missouri River and dominated the tribes on the northern plains and the buffalo hunting in that area. They were a fierce tribe and raided the neighboring tribes in what is now present day Idaho. Bolen has also written Smoke Signals & Wagon Tracks, American Indian Tribes of Idaho, The Horse Indians, The Lakota Sioux Indians and The Medicine Crow Indians.
I am a third generation Idaho native who lived first in eastern Idaho then moved to Boise in the 1st grade. Attended and graduated from Borah High in 1965 where I met and later married my wife in 1966. I attended Boise Junior College before joining the Navy to serve aboard ship during the Vietnam War. After discharge I worked at several jobs before beginning a career in ’73 in the insurance industry. I just recently retired to write full time after forty years with the same company. My wife and I have two married daughters and two lovely college-age granddaughters also living in the valley. My passion is for Christ and my writing style is dictated by Him. My current novel is Shield of Faith, one of three written about a character named Cady Miller, takes place in 1865 during the Idaho City gold rush and the Civil War. The second book of the series, Shield of Honor, has just completed edit and will be available on Amazon as an ebook prior to printing. Book three is written and will go to my editor after she has a few minutes to recollect herself. http://danneyclark.com/
Marilee Donivan taught elementary school for many years, enjoying creative teaching and the resulting “aha” moments of students in their exciting discoveries. Her teaching won national awards. She now extends her love of teaching through her illustrated books for children and adults. Marilee uses vibrant colors and mixed media as she writes for a variety of genres—children’s picture books, Christian inspirational books, and illustrated art instruction. Her intention is to inspire and instruct, with emphasis on daily enrichment, appreciation, and encouragement. Marilee has lived in beautiful Idaho since 1970 and revels in the state’s varied landscapes, which are a constant source of inspiration for her artwork. Her current home is Boise. Some of her books include Springs of Hope, Faith Refined, Beginning Watercolor Painting, and Kandu and the Magic Meadow. http://www.kandubooks.com/
Author Judy Ferro is an Idaho native, a former secondary teacher, and a retired school librarian. An avid student of the Middle Ages, she has written two coming-of-age books about girls growing up in the court of Charlemagne. The title character of Desiderata is a Bavarian hostage who loathes Charlemagne and the prince she is to marry. In her new surroundings, she explores her feelings about friendship, social classes, and war. In Agnes the daughter of Charlemagne’s head cook learns to read and write Latin but finds her dreams for the future blocked because she is a female. She is forced to choose between following her heart and serving her King. Judy is available for readings and for talks on writing and on the Middle Ages. Desiderata and Agnes are available in print from Ingram, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and as e-books through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Two other e-books, 9 Best Poems by Judy Ferro and Two for the Show: A Play in Three Acts, are available through Amazon. http://judyferro.com/
Merri Halma lives in Nampa, Idaho with her husband, Kevin, fifteen year-old son, James, and two cats, Clarence and Demon Lynx. Merri is originally from Sunnyside, Washington and has been a student of life, studying different forms of spiritual practices which she uses in her fantasy worlds. Merri has been writing since she was elven or twelve. It was a means to help her express herself and an outlet for her active imagination. Her books that are out are Indigo Traveler, it is available on amazon.com, kindle, from Hastings in Nampa, Idaho, The Rubaiyat in Caldwell, from the Etsy store Idaho Authors’ Community, or from her directly. She owns Dreaming Lizard Press and wants to work with people who want to publish or need assistance to finish their manuscripts. She will be working on publishing a children’s picture book entitled Pancake Breakfast Surprise, a memoir, and there will be at least three more books on Indigo Travelers, with different main characters and griffins. https://www.facebook.com/DreamingLizardPress
Janice Hildreth has an elementary education degree from BSU and taught school for eight years. She lives in Boise and is currently a reviewer for the “Book Addicts” column in the Idaho Statesman newspaper. She published her first book, What Would the Bible Say? For Adams Media, Boston, in 2003. She currently writes inspirational romance for women. The author of the series, A new Day, set in Idaho and Washington, about the McKinnon family. The first three of the seven-book series are available today: Sunday’s Promise, Monday’s New Beginning, and Tuesday’s Child. You can pre-order Wednesday’s Rescue (release date Dec.2013). Each book addresses a societal issue women face today. Also under the pen name B.J. Parker, she co-writes chapter books for grades 4-6. The series titled What Would Jesus Do . . . . feature four mini-detectives in Florida. Also a public speaker, she is available for speaking engagements on raising readers, self-publishing, and the art of writing. http://www.janicehildreth.com/
AJ Irving is a mama who loves to write picture books. In 2011, she started her own children’s book publishing company. AJ’s Children’s Books LLC released Mama’s Purse, winner of five awards, in 2012. Irving received a B.A. in Journalism and Women’s Studies from the University of Oregon. She lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, two children, and a Weimaraner named Charlie Blue. http://www.ajsbooksllc.com/
I’m Bonnie Kloster, grandma, retired educator, and a local author. I grew up under the shadow of the Sutter Buttes, about fifty miles North of Sacramento, CA. where summers were blistering hot and where winters were synonymous with tule fog. I’ve always loved words. I used to rip open grocery bags, scribble down my thoughts, climb up a tree and “read” to clucking hens, skittering cats or my faithful dog. Majoring in English, I graduated from Sacramento State with a lifetime teaching credential. I taught kindergarten-second grade for over thirty-four years in two large school districts at opposite ends of the state, Elk Grove U.S.D. and Ontario-Montclair U.S.D. Promoting literacy and the love of reading are passions of mine. RUFUS & FRIENDS, Books 1&2 are E-Z to read concept books, appropriate for ages 2-7. Books are designed to be read to the child (read-aloud), with the child (guided reading), and finally the child reads them by himself (independent reading). Illustrations enhance the text and promote critical thinking. RUFUS & FRIENDS deals with concepts taught in preschool and kindergarten, colors, days of the week, time to the hour and position words (prepositions). Books also promote friendship and good values.
Rebecca Carey Lyles
Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. She currently lives in Idaho, where she serves as an editor and mentor for aspiring authors and as a coach for women transitioning from prison to life on “the outside.” Winds of Freedom is the sequel to the award-winning first book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Wyoming. Her non-fiction books include It’s a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of Life-Changing Friendships and On a Wing and a Prayer: Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry. http://beckylyles.com/
Wynette Mellen has been married to her husband Shawn for 11 ½ years. They have three girls which includes fraternal twins. The Mellen family are active members in their church, Treasure Valley Baptist in Meridian, Idaho and are committed to schooling their girls in Wilder. Wynette has an amazing story of how God used her late grandmother to lead her into writing. Her books include Railroad Redemption, What do You See? and The Shortcut. http://www.wynettemellen.com/
Lucinda Moebius grew up in the mountains of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Her mother taught her to read when she was four years old and since that time books have been her constant companions. She has a Bachelors Degree in English Teaching, a Masters in Educational Leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education. Lucinda supports her writing habit by teaching High School and College. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, stepson and their dog and cat. Her books include Echoes of Savanna, Raven’s Song, and Write Well Publish Right. http://www.lucindamoebius.com/
Rae Ann Norell
Rae Ann Norell is the author of Broke Hungry & Happy, and is a retired clinical social worker, former teacher, and violinist in the Boise Philharmonic. She is a facilitator for the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for bereaved parents. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, motorcycle road trips, and spending time with her daughter and her three grandchildren. She lives in Boise, Idaho. http://www.alohapublishing.com/http://brokehungryandhappy.com/
Award Winning Christian Non-Fiction Author and Speaker, Janet Thompson, is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries, also known as AHW Ministries. Janet’s passion and focus is one about generation teaching and training God’s life lessons to the next generation: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. After living in Southern California her entire life, Janet and her husband, Dave, moved to Garden Valley, Idaho, where the deer and the elk roam and they love their cozy home! Some of her books include: Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Mentoring Ministry DVD Leader Kit, The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team, Face-to-Face Bible Study Series, God’s Best for Your Life First Place 4 Health Bible Study, Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter Hope, Help, & Encouragement for Hurting Parents, Dear God, They say it’s Cancer: A Companion Guide for Women on the Breast Cancer Journey, Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey, Dear God, He’s Home! A woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man. http://www.womantowomanmentoring.com
Linda Going Varnes
Linda Going Varnes is a college art instructor and stained glass window designer. She has collaborated with author Dottie Basye as illustrator for The Angel With Big Feet, published in English by WestBow Press and in Spanish by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Her designs have also appeared on 12 Lutheran Hour Floats in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Her second book, The Donkey With Big Ears, was created for children with special needs. I know a Little Hebrew (and his name is David) was inspired by studying the Psalms in her grandfather’s 1912 Hebrew Bible. She is currently writing an accompanying Bible study. Each of these books are available in Nampa, Idaho at Northwest Nazarene University Bookstore, Artistblue Gallery in the Karcher Mall, the UPS Store on 12th and Greenhurst, and Hastings on the Boulevard. In Caldwell, they are sold in the TVCC Campus Bookstore, For Heaven’s Sake, Boot Hill Country Crafts, and The Rubaiyat Bookstore. On-line all three are listed on the ETSY site for the Idaho Authors’ Community. The Angel With Big Feet is also available through WestBow Press and Amazon. The Spanish version is offered at discount at LHM.org
Virginia Williams (Stanley McShane)
I am the granddaughter of Patrick John Rose, who was born aboard his father’s ship, the Marguerite, off the coast of New York on January 29, 1872. Patrick claimed to have sailed for more than 30 years a professed to be a “sailor, prospector, miner, cowpoke, and oil worker.” He published one book (Bitter River Ranch in 1936 through Phoenix Press) during his lifetime using his pen name, Stanley McShane, and wrote many others as well as painted numerous illustrations for his manuscripts. In addition to local Hastings Bookstores and locations in Washington and Oregon, his books are available in print through Amazon.com and digital download through Kindle as well as Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nook, and most eReader applications. Posthumous publications are presented through Rose Point Publications and can be found on eBay and Etsy. http://www.etsy.com/shop/RosePointPublishing
Victoria M. Young is a veterinarian who practiced in Michigan and South Dakota prior to settling in Caldwell, Idaho in 1990 with her husband and two children. She juggled her career with family obligations and the desire to serve in her children’s classrooms. With that exposure, her quest began to find solutions to the problems she witnessed and experienced. Reading extensively for grant writing purposes about safe and disciplined schools as well as professional development in science education, she further expanded her pursuit of solutions and went beyond those topics to include education policy and history. Her book, Education’s Missing Ingredient: What Parents Can Tell Educators (2009), was accepted by Rowman & Littlefield Education Publishers. While continuing to advocate for the improvement of existing schools, Dr. Young stumbled upon historic evidence that the Community Education Concept was written into law in 1965 and that the original Effective Schools Research was based on Community Schools. This story for the vision of quality and equality in educational opportunity is told in the second addition of her book, now titled, The Crucial Voice of the People, Past and Present (2012). http://thecrucialvoice.com/
Founded in 2012, the Idaho Authors’ Community is an organization of Idaho authors and authors-to-be working together to help connect Idaho readers and authors. The core philosophy of the Idaho Authors’ Community is that a rising tide benefits all ships. Thus, the IAC encourages authors to be committed to their own success and that of their fellow authors.
Last Saturday I celebrated the one year anniversary of my first book, Mama’s Purse, at the one year anniversary of the Idaho Authors’ Community. We had a canned food drive and a drawing for autographed copies of IAC books.
It has been incredible to watch the IAC grow. I am thankful for all that I have learned and I take pride in being able to help new members. I look forward to another year of writing, traveling around Idaho, and meeting new faces.
Read today and every day to come because reading is so much fun!
By the time of this celebration, the Idaho Authors’ Community will have held nearly 30 book signings across the state in this, our first year. Even more will be occurring in 2013 but we want to take some time to invite you to come help us CELEBRATE! Come meet all sorts of Idaho authors and see what books we have available. WHEN YOU COME, WE ASK THAT YOU BRING SOME NON-PERISHABLE FOOD TO GIVE TO THOSE IN NEED!
The Idaho Authors’ Community is a statewide organization of 60+ authors and authors-to-be committed to our own success as well as the success of other authors. With over 100 books written by IAC members, readers who attend this event will have a wide variety of books from which to choose. The books also come from a wide variety of genres including fiction, nonfiction, children’s, historical, outdoor, Idaho, memoir, poetry, romance, and the list goes on and on. . .