Saturday, February 7, 2009

Time to Blow out the Candles on our Birthday Cake!

Bill and I would like to blow out one candle for each of the last 12 months that we have been blogging. Each candle will represent a post from that month that we really liked, or with which we were pleased.

Feb. '08 -- The month it all began. First candle to blow out...

Karen - This post has to rate as a favorite since it really introduces me, and explains how much I love literacy!! Plus, it was my first post ever. There's a sort of sentimental attachment to that.

Bill - Ditto!

March '08 - time for the second candle...

Bill - A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, who knew then that it would be a Caldecott Honor book. I just re-read my post, I wish I had just made a mention of the medal so I could claim some credit.

Karen - I fell in love with this book by Kadir Nelson -- I was so happy that it received multiple awards at the ALA convention. The fact that the author/illustrator is easy on the eyes is just icing on the cake!

April '08 - 3rd candle...

Karen - My post on Greetings From Nowhere was the first time I received a comment about one of my reviews from an author. I was already a fan of Barbara O'Connor's, but that small gesture on her part just cemented my membership in her fan club for life! She'll be at the Dublin Literacy Conference this month, and I look forward to finally meeting her in person!

Bill - Cool Daddy Rat was so much fun in THE PIT, that I laughed about it when I found this post.

May '08 -- 4 months old!

Bill - My buddy Vince introduced me to a great book and reminded me why I love my job in this Slice of Life post.

Karen - I first posted about The Gollywhopper Games in March, but revisited it in May after many of my students shared how much they loved it. Jody Feldman wrote an intricate, yet incredibly fun book! Kids loved it!

June - Summer begins and we're still blogging -- 1 more candle to blow out!!

Karen - This candle is definitely for the 48 Hour Challenge weekend extravaganza. Not only did I participate in Mother Reader's challenge, but I met some wonderful Central Ohio bloggers as well. I feel very fortunate!

Bill - This post came about a week before we left for Boston for the first time and it turned into a nice email conversation with the author.

July -- Our half-birthday - 6 months old!! Another candle bites the dust...

Bill - I know it didn't win any shiny medals, but Diamond Willow is still one of my 2008 favorites.

Karen - I found the first book in a new series by Margaret Peterson Haddix that I loved! Can't believe the next book doesn't come out until this spring!

August - a new school year begins, and there's so much more to read! 7th candle is blown out...

Karen - Franki and Mary Lee at A Year of Reading hosted Trading Spaces, and I was delighted to be a part of it!

Bill - Beware of the Frog in THE PIT! Lots o' fun and I heard the kids in Ashland like it too!

September -- The eighth candle on our cake...

Bill - I like the Ellie McDoodle books a lot, and I think the second is better than the first which is a bit unusual.

Karen - I was so delighted when I got an opportunity to read an early copy of Beyond Leveled Books - Second Edition written by two friends of ours. Definitely a highlight of this month!

October -- jack 0' lanterns, Halloween costumes, lots of candy, and yet another candle to blow out!

Karen - One of our first read alouds this fall was The City of Ember, and we followed it up with a trip to the movie theater to see the movie of the same name. Loved sharing what my students had to say about the movie vs. the book.

Bill - As the day grows closer and the stress gets a little higher, my excitement for our James Preller visit increases.

November -- Time to give thanks and blow out our tenth candle...

Bill - Twelve Terrible Things makes me laugh, and a Grand Discussion reminds me once again why I love my job. I know that's two, but I couldn't decide!

Karen - I was not a very active writer this month, but this piece sort of stayed with me because I committed to going to NCTE for the first time in November 2009 in Philly! We will have a great time!

December -- Deck the halls, and then let's blow out another candle...

Karen - We came up with the best idea for trying to read the Newbery in a month -- Looking for Newbery.

Bill - Fun and games while learning to find books in the library!? That's AMAZING!

January - New Year's resolutions, and one last candle -- our 12th one...

Bill - A Newbery review of one of my favorites of the year.

Karen - One of my favorite books for 2008 made me laugh while Looking for Newbery! Great language as well!!

It has been an awesome year of blogging for both of us. It's been fun reading and writing about good books and our experiences with them in the classroom. We have really enjoyed your comments which have always made us feel what we are doing is worthwhile. It's nice to feel like people care about what you say. Keep reading, and we'll keep writing.


  1. Thank you for highlighting your favorite posts of the year. I've loved revisiting them. Best wishes for a fabulous second year of blogging.

  2. What a neat idea you crafty peeps! If I have time later I am going to link a post to this. Happy Birth!

  3. Even though I have the honor of working with you two, I LOVE your blog! It has reminded this old, cranky teacher that some of the best literature on the market today is being written for kids! I also appreciate you taking the TIME to write and share your thoughts. Now I am just waiting for the cake and ice cream!

  4. Sometimes in life you realize how lucky you are and this post is one of them. Thanks Bill for teaching with me all these years and thanks Karen for being my next door neighbor in school. Like Joyce I love reading your blog and can't believe how much I have learned even though I am with both of you everyday. Now if only I could learn how not to have to write anonymously every time. Bring on the cake and ice cream!

  5. Happy birthday Literate Lives! I've truly enjoyed your blog over the past year and can't wait for more!

  6. Happy Birthday and thanks for all the great posts! You helped me jump off the high board and into the world of blogging!

  7. One year of blogging -- you've already beaten the insurance companies, who had your demise at 9 1/2 months. Now you are playing with house money. Great job, you guys, your spirit really shines through.

    And, of course, thanks for everything you've done and the kind, kind words.

    James Preller

  8. What a fun, fun birthday party!

    Makes me get a little teary, remembering the day you were "born," and now here you are, already a year old!

  9. Felicidades Literate Lives! and here's to many more postings. I truly enjoy reading this blog and learning so much from both of you!