Write for a Reader

Blogging about books

Archive for the 'General Posts' Category

I’ve Moved!

Posted by shelburns on 10th January 2009

Many of you have been anxiously awaiting this, as have I.  I am officially moving this blog over to Blogger.  Please come join me as I have lots of reviews planned and so much more in store.  Click on the picture to automatically link to Write for a Reader‘s new home.

Posted in General Posts | 6 Comments »

I Apologize…

Posted by shelburns on 8th January 2009

…for the lack of posts lately.  I am in the process of moving this blog over to Blogger, and I’m still working on the template.  Also, I started back to work this week with 3 days of training and then finally back to school today to do a day of planning before seeing kids tomorrow.  If you’re like me, you miss reading your blogs, and I’m not helping by not posting.  Please know that by Monday, I will be up and running again with a new location.  I hope you’ll hang around and join me when I move.

Posted in General Posts | 12 Comments »

Happy New Year!

Posted by shelburns on 1st January 2009

I hope this post finds you well and ready to embrace a new year.  However you chose to celebrate, or not, last night, I hope it was what you wanted to do and fun!  We stayed in as usual, but loved our together time watching the ball drop in NY from our couch in TX.


Posted in General Posts | 4 Comments »

I Am Moving!

Posted by shelburns on 31st December 2008

This blog has taken off more than I could have ever imagined and for that I am truly grateful!  Starting with Edubloggers was a no brainer since I am a teacher and I had planned on using the blog for my students, parents, and other teachers in my building as a way to chronicle what was happening in our classroom.  Well, when I was asked to take another position, my blog took a turn as well.  Now I am blogging about books and loving it!  It is time for my blog to grow with me. 

Thanks to a great blogging buddy, Aerin, who blogs over at In Search of Giants, I will be moving over to Blogger very soon.  I will make sure to keep you all posted as to when that will take place, include the link to get there from here as well as send out emails and tweets about the new address.  Things will go on here as usual until that happens.  I hope you will make the move with me and enjoy the new site for this blog.

Posted in General Posts | 3 Comments »

Goodbye 2008!

Posted by shelburns on 31st December 2008

Everyone around the blogosphere is doing wrap up posts where they are listing the books they’ve read in the past year, what they’ve done, changes they’ll make, etc.  Since I just started blogging seriously in September, I’m not going to list what I’ve read, because, to be honest, I didn’t do a very good job of keeping track.  Note to self, starting tomorrow, I need to do that! 

Personally, this has been a trying year at our house and I’m glad that it is over.  Next year has to be better!  We lost both of my husband’s parents this year, and that was the hardest thing I’ve had to go through with hubby since we were married.  My in-laws were in and out of the hospital since January.  My mother-in-law went to be with the Lord in April, and my father-in-law followed her in June.  Needless to say, the 1st six months of ’08 were pretty much a blur for us.  We are still not back to normal, but every day gets a little better and a little easier.

I moved out of the classroom this year and into a Reading Specialist role, which I am learning to love.  There are days when I miss the classroom, but I sure don’t miss the paperwork, grades, etc.  This is just one more step toward where I desire to be, a leadership position in a school.

As for blogging, I’m so glad that I took on this wonderful new venture in my life.  It has been so refreshing!  I love sharing my thoughts about books and reading with others.  I have met so many wonderful people through this blog and know that I will continue to meet others as this blog grows.  I will be making changes in ’09, like moving my blog to Blogger or WordPress.  Edublogs was a great way to start, but I would like to do so much more with this blog, that I can’t do here.  I will keep you updated as to when that will happen as I have to have help to get it done because I am still new to all of this and not sure how to do it all by myself.  Reviews will continue and hopefully be more frequent as I’m getting faster and know how to post for a later date.

Authors and publishers – thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in a new book blogger and sending me books to read and review.  I never dreamed that starting out I would get such a great response.  I love working with you and hope that we can continue to share the love of reading with others.

Blogger buddies – thank you for all your advice and encouragement as I got started with Write for a Reader.  You will never know how very much you helped me.  You continue to inspire me as I visit your blogs and gain ideas and knowledge from each of you.  I have many new friends, whom I’ve never met face to face, but who are there for me none the less.

Readers of this blog – thank you for stopping by, commenting, and reading my posts.  There are times when I wonder if anyone is reading what I write, but then you comment about what I’ve written, and I know you’re out there!  I hope that you will continue to stick around and enjoy Write for a Reader in ’09.

Are you glad that this year will be behind you or are you sorry to see it go?  See you all in the New Year!

Posted in General Posts | No Comments »

First Book Needs Your Vote!

Posted by shelburns on 30th December 2008

Yesterday I received an email from First Book.  If you are a First Book follower, chances are you received the same email.  Did you go immediately and vote?  I did, and First Book is on it’s way to the 2nd round in the Change.org’s Ideas for Change in America.  What is First Book?  They are an organization that gives new books to children in need.  See the website for more details.  Being a teacher, I know how important it is for kids to have books, good books, in their hands and in their homes.  What is their idea?  Read below what I copied directly from Change.org’s site.

Launch Global Resources Network

Let’s permanently crack the ‘access’ issue plaguing programs serving low-income kids with First Book’s SELF-SUSTAINING MODEL and leave educational disparity behind forever.  Hundreds of thousands of community- and school-based programs in the US alone serving kids in need are entirely without basic access to resources like new, age-appropriate books and educational materials.  First Book has created a network of 20,000 groups and is providing free and deeply discounted books, etc., but this is reaching only a fraction of those heroic efforts in the US, let alone the globe.  A Global Resources Network would allow anyone serving kids in need to get the tools they need to create a vibrant educational environment.  First Book’s proven social enterprise model is perfectly positioned to offer a paradigm-shifting opportunity to change the way we serve our hardest-to-reach children.

You can read more on First Book’s Blog.

So, what do you think?  Will you vote and help get First Book to the 2nd round and hopefully get their idea presented to President-Elect Obama?  Hurry, 1st round voting ends tomorrow, Dec. 31.


Posted in General Posts | 1 Comment »

Building the Flying Horse Farms Library

Posted by shelburns on 29th December 2008

As a horse owner and lover, I just had to get involved with this!  I am copying the email that I received.  I am hopeful, that in this season of giving, that you will feel inclined to share your love of books with these children, or at least pass this on.

Dear Friends,

My niece, Emily, has been battling cancer for over two years now. But that’s not all she’s been doing. She’s modeled in a show for Flashes of Hope, raised money for Rainbow Hospital and starred in a video for Flying Horse Farms.  I feel downright lazy next to her.

So here’s what I’m doing: starting a library of camp and horse related books for Flying Horse Farms.  Flying Horse Farms is a magical, transforming and fun camp for children with serious illnesses and their families. It’s an Ohio based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and working to become a member of Hole in the Wall Camps, the world’s largest family of camps for children with serious illnesses. Watch the video.

I talked with the director, and he said that rather than one central library, he would love to have books available at several spots around the camp—the stables, the craft room, the main activity hall, the cabins,
maybe even the dining hall.

The books would be…

For kids to read while they wait for their turn on a horse.
For kids who suddenly discover they love pottery or archery or fishing and want to know everything about it.
For kids to share and discuss a cool quote or an inspirational person during nightly reflection times.
For kids who need a fast idea for a drama skit, or a nature craft, or a easy recipe.
For kids who need to rest.
For kids who love to read.
For kids who are kids and want to be kids and must be kids even if a serious illness complicates their lives.

If you want to help, here are some suggestions:

- I’ve set up a wish list on Amazon.  You can choose a book and donate it directly from there. The list is small now, but it will grow as the campers and counselors and the director add new requests to it.

- You may also buy from that list at your local independent bookstore and have them ship to the address below.

- You can blog about your favorite camp or horse related book. I’ll round up those posts, plus forward them to the director and consult them in expanding the Wish List.  (Little Willow already did this.  Thanks, LW!)   Feel free to copy this entire post or use the button I’m putting in my sidebar of my blog:

- If you’re an author or illustrator or publisher or blogger with a camp or horse related book, you can donate directly to the camp, but please remember that the camp serves kids ages 7-15 and your donation should
reflect the needs of the camp. (See the list of activities below.)  Please, in all cases: NEW, appropriate books. We don’t want to overwhelm the staff with boxes of old books to sort. This is not a book drive, but the beginning of a special library.

Questions? Email me at: [email protected]

*Here’s a list of activities at camp: Horses, Arts & Crafts, Painting, Woodworking, Pottery, Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Cooking, Ropes, Adventure (teambuilding), Nature, Sports & Games, Music, Drama

Fiction is also welcome, but at this time, we’re concentrating on stories with horses in them. Once the camp is fully up and running, I’ll add other fiction requests from the campers and counselors.

The address for donations:

Flying Horse Farms
225 Green Meadows Drive South, Suite A
Lewis Center, Ohio 43035

Website: Flying Horse Farms

To send directly from Amazon: wish list on Amazon

Watch the very short video about Flying Horse Farms.  It’s wonderful!

Emily and I are deeply grateful for your support.

Many thanks,
Sara Holmes

I know that if you read this blog, you read and love books.  I also know, that if you’re like me, you love to give books as well.  Children with serious illnesses spend alot of time in and out of hospitals, through no fault of their own, and these camps give them hope, laughter, and fun, that they don’t always get to have.  Books should be a part of every child’s life, so we should make sure they are available to all children, no matter where life takes them.  Won’t you join me in this endeavor?

Posted in Book Donations, General Posts | 6 Comments »

Why I Love Christmas Break!

Posted by shelburns on 29th December 2008

Being a teacher has it’s perks.  One of which is an extended Christmas holiday, which seems to upset most of my family, but hey, it’s the job I dreamed of, so get over it!  So what if I don’t make the money you make?  I make a difference in kids’ lives and I deserve some time off every once in a while!  Anyway, I digress, and that is not what this post is about.  Can you tell I have this conversation with my family alot?

The things I love about Christmas break, in no particular order:

  1. Time to spend with my family

  2. Sleeping in

  3. Not having to get out of my PJs if I don’t want to

  4. Doing what I want, when I want

  5. Reading time

  6. Blogging time

  7. Renewal for my body and soul

  8. The chance to see and spend time with friends

  9. 7 whole days w/hubby (Christmas and New Year’s holidays)

  10. Lazy days

  11. Shopping

  12. Soap operas – I’m not addicted, but I do catch up!

  13. Seeing excited kids at Christmas

  14. Getting my house in order

  15. Cooking

  16. Baking

  17. Giving to others

  18. Christmas specials

  19. The Best of tv specials

  20. Time for me!

Whether you get 2 weeks off or just a few days, what do you love about it?  Please share in the comments by leaving your list or linking to your post.

Posted in Christmas, General Posts | 1 Comment »

Merry Christmas to All!

Posted by shelburns on 25th December 2008

What an adventure this book blog has been!  Since starting in September, I have met many wonderful bloggers, authors, and publishers.  Thank you to all of you for helping me get started, following me, encouraging me, and reading what I have to say.

However you celebrate, whatever you may do; from my heart of hearts, Merry Christmas to you!!!

Posted in Christmas, General Posts | 1 Comment »

Wednesday Wanderings – Christmas Eve – 12/24

Posted by shelburns on 24th December 2008

My blog posting has slowed down due to the holidays, but I didn’t want to leave out the Wednesday Wanderings post.  This post is filled with all kinds of holiday goodies.  Enjoy!!

Christmas Greetings from the Blogosphere

Holiday wishes are all over the blogosphere as bloggers are slowing down with posts to spend quality time with family and friends.  Here are some wishes I’ve found:  Happy Holidays from Picture Book of the Day, Merry Christmas from Bookroomreview’s Weblog, Merry Christmas from Florinda at the 3 R’s, Christmas Cards from J. Kaye’s Book Blog, and Yes, Virginia!  There is a Santa Claus – Christmas Eve Traditions from Lesa at Lesa’s Book Critiques.

Holiday Goodies

Need a dish to take to a family gathering?  Bermudaonion has posted a Vegetable Casserole today.  What about some holiday treats?  Holly at Brimstone Soup has Orange Vanilla Caramels, Masala Chai, and Olivia’s Sugar Cookies.

Do you have a cookie maker in your life?  Check out the book that Franki over at A Year of Reading just bought.

Get a Santa coloring page for the kiddos to work on while you cook, finish wrapping, or just to pass the time until Santa comes, from Elizabeth at Dulemba.com.


Still need some last minute gifts?  Books are great!  Head over to Books for the Holidays and look at all the suggestions.  You could also “give” a gift in someone’s name, like Melissa at Readergirlz suggests.


I did find some giveaways still going on during the holidays.  Head over to Parent Reviewers.  They are giving away a Brain Quest Workbook and they have opened up applications for to join the Parent Reviewer’s Team

Over at 3 P’s in a Pod, they are having a Lucky Mom giveaway

You could win a copy of the Golden Treasury of Children’s Literature from Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves.

Win a StrollAway from 5 Minutes for Giveaways.

I hope that each and every one of you has a very Merry Christmas!  Until next week…

Posted in Christmas, General Posts, Wednesday Wanderings | 3 Comments »