From 2010-2012, I wrote a blog called Spine Label. At the time, I was working towards my master's degree in library science, as well as working in a public library (primarily in youth services). Spine Label was where I reviewed books, discussed programs I was implementing at my library, and occasionally wrote about library science more broadly. Spine Label is no longer online; the domain name was my maiden name and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to keep it, particularly once I left my public library job. Happily, I still have access the contents of the blog, which my husband is fond of saying is the best thing I've ever written (I'm not sure what that means for everything I've worked on since then, but I'm going with it). Since I'm writing about children's literature again, I thought it would be nice to revisit the reviews that were once posted on Spine Label, as a way of both looking at backlist titles as well as giving the reviews a proper home on the Internet again. It's worth noting that these reviews were written from the perspective of a public librarian and not necessarily the perspective of a parent.
The following post originally appeared on Spine Label on May 10, 2010.
Putnam Juvenile, 2010
Posey is nervous about starting first grade. First of all, her mother won’t be walking her into school anymore. And then her neighbors Tyler and Nick tell her about The Monster of the Blue Hall, which grabs unsuspecting first-graders and sucks out their blood.
Posey wants to wear her tutu (which she has worn every day, all summer long) to school, because it turns her into Princess Posey, the Pink Princess and makes her feel brave and like she can walk into school by herself. But her mother says she can only wear it when she comes home from school.
Could a chance encounter with her first grade teacher, Miss Lee, solve everything?
Posey is an authentic first grader with apprehensions that will resonate with the intended audience. Unlike some other first graders I know (ahem, Junie B.), Posey isn’t disrespectful and seems to have command of the English language, making her a welcome addition to the slate of beginner chapter books.