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CCB Newsletter
November 2015


In this Newsletter…

News and Updates

Guide Book to Gift Books 2015 Release

We’re thrilled to tell you that the annual Guide Book to Gift Books is available for download now from the Bulletin website! Look no further than this yearly publication for help finding books for holidays, birthdays, and any other gift-giving occasion throughout the year. Categorized into four age groups and featuring all kinds of genres and themes, this handy guide is designed to ensure the best fit for any kind of recipient. Everything in the Guide Book has been reviewed and recommended by the professionals at the Bulletin, each complete with a succinct annotation to help you decide. Curious about the process? Get the behind-the-scenes scoop in this month’s feature below.

November is Picture Book Month

Picture Book Month is an international literacy effort that celebrates the print picture book throughout the month of November. Visit for a month’s worth of activities and themed posts from “Picture Book Month Champions,” well-known authors and illustrators joining the Picture Book Month cause. We love picture books here at the CCB—stop by any time to read your favorite or get a new recommendation!

November Calendar

  • Thursday, November 12: Youth Lit Book Club, 5-6 pm
    Reading A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

  • Monday, November 23-Monday, November 30: CCB Closed: Fall Break
    The CCB will be closed the week of fall break and the following Monday. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of events, visit the calendar on our website.

New Bibliography on the CCB Website

Write On: Stories About Female Authors
Created by Melissa Albarran, BCCB GA and Michelle Biwer, CCB GA

Our Affiliates Out and About

On Monday, October 26, CCB Director Deborah Stevenson spoke at Eastern Illinois University about reviewing and gave an in-class reviewing workshop for students of CCB affiliate Professor Fern Kory.

CCB affiliate and GSLIS doctoral candidate Alaine Martaus recently attended NerdCon: Stories in Minneapolis, MN. Held on October 9 and 10, this first-time conference celebrated stories and storytelling from podcasts to poetry.

Feature: Behind the Bulletin’s Guide Book to Gift Books

For over a decade, the Bulletin staff has been putting together the Guide Book to Gift Books to help people find and discover books they'd like to give as gifts or add to their collection. We sat down with Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor of the Bulletin, to discuss what the GB2 (so-called because it’s two GB phrases in a row) is all about.

Who is the GB2 for?
The GB2 is for anyone who thinks books are the thing to give around the holidays, birthdays, or any other gift giving events. The annotations are also useful for educators and librarians, or really anyone who works with young children and teens, to get a sense of what books have been published for that audience in the last three years and what they would like to add to their library or share with young people.

How is it organized?
We organize the GB2 into 4 sections: Picture Books, Books for Young Readers, Books for Middle Readers, and Books for Older Readers. We try to keep in mind that this list will reach a broad audience, so our selections are diverse in content, genre, and format. 

Who puts the GB2 together?
I do, with assistance from April Spisak, a Bulletin reviewer, and Deborah Stevenson, the Bulletin editor.

How do you decide what should be included?
Throughout the year, I note various books from each issue that I think would make a good addition to the Guide Book. During the summer, I remove any annotations that are for books with publication dates more than three years ago. We do this to keep the list as current as possible, and to help people sort through the many YA and children's books they will find at their local book store or online. I then decide how many books we need to add to the Guide Book, and I start annotating! This is probably the most time intensive part but fortunately, I often have help from other Bulletin reviewers or volunteers. Then it is just a matter for adding them to the guide and formatting it. As I said earlier, we believe that the Guide should cover a wide range of content and genres because different people like different books. We like to give the gift giver as many options as we can.

The GB2 comes out every November, and this year’s Guide is now available on the Bulletin website! If you missed it last year, the Chicago Tribune ran their own feature about the Guide… check it out here.

New Books We Just Had to Read

Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read.  These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website ( to learn how to subscribe.

Anna’s Choice: It’s Raining Bats & Frogs by Rebecca Colby; illus. by Steven Henry
Reading Level: 3-5 yrs.
Pages: 32
Publisher and Year: Feiwel, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-04992-6
Price: $16.99

It’s time for the annual Witch Parade, and Delia can’t wait to fly along… that is, until a rainstorm threatens to ruin the whole thing. Delia springs into action with a clever rhyme that turns the rain into an adorable torrent of cats and dogs, but furry mayhem quickly ensues. Another rhyme brings a delightful assortment of hats and clogs—perfect for a parade, until the witches begin fighting over the festive headgear. When even bats and frogs are too much to bear, Delia and the others realize that perhaps the rain wasn’t so bad after all. The event continues in fine fashion, and the witches, ghosts, skeletons, and scarecrows easily adapt to the rainy conditions. With floating floats, synchronized swimming ghosts, and water balloons for all, how could a parade get any better? These endearingly illustrated, fancy-hatted witches are perfect for kids who just aren’t done with the Halloween spirit, or perhaps for those who got a little too spooked during the festivities. 

Lauren’s Choice: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
Pages: 480
Publisher and Year: Holt, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7
Price: $18.99

Against the backdrop of the opulently detailed city of Ketterdam, “a gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who had become a killer, [and a] boy from the Barrel” each offer distinctively powerful voices in the new fantasy novel from Leigh Bardugo. After infamous gang leader Kaz Brekker receives a proposal he can’t refuse, the team of misfits sets off on a seemingly impossible task: pocketing a dangerous, ability-enhancing drug from the most guarded fortress in all of Fjerda. Followers of Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy will be thrilled to dive back into a familiar world, but newcomers need no prerequisite knowledge to become fully immersed in this story. Switching points of view, rapidly ticking time, and high-stakes gambles make for a quick and nerve-racking read. Bardugo writes from six separate, colorful perspectives and provides captivating flashbacks that will attract even the most skeptical fantasy readers; fans of willful, resilient heroines will especially love getting lost in the complex and frustrating heads of Inej and Nina. With their vibrant, complex backstories, these six rebels will stick with readers long after they turn the last page.    

Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

San Vicente, Luis. The Festival of Bones/El Festival de las Calaveras: The Little-Bitty Book for the Day of the Dead. El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0938317678.

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.

CCB Fall Hours and General Information

Monday: 10am-7pm
Tuesday: 10am-5pm
Wednesday: 4pm-7pm
Thursday: 10am-1pm, 4pm-7pm
Friday: 10am-5pm

For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.

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