Author Archive: Gundry Rowe

Gundry Rowe is a K-8 librarian at Walt Disney Magnet School in Chicago, IL. She is National Board Certified in Library Media and has been working in children’s bookstores and libraries since she was 16. Although she prefers to balance reading kids' chapter books with books for adults, instead she finds herself reading Little Blue Truck for the 57,000th time to her two little boys.

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When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When Reading Feels Like Work, Reboot

When reading books is a vital part of your job, it’s easy to love what you do. Of course, I don’t get to read books at work (unless it’s out loud at story time), but I still consider it a perk. As someone who works in a school, I might not get to leave the building to […]

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

After the Series: Character-Driven Baseball Books for Youth

Here in Chicago, students and teachers are still recovering from the World Series—among other things. Although I loved watching the playoffs this year, historically, I’ve preferred to experience baseball in book form. Growing up, baseball was the family sport. Hence, I’ve read my way through literally hundreds of baseball games, from t-ball to coach pitch to high school […]

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Every year, I debate whether or not to dress up for Halloween in the library. Every school is different of course, but at the one where I currently work, most students celebrate Halloween, and dressing up is part of school culture. At a pre-K–8 school, there’s a wide difference between what each grade level does for Halloween. […]

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

Is there any time more ripe with possibility and expectation than the beginning of a new school year? I’m brimming with ideas and excited to see students coming back. I must admit, however, that I’m less excited about library orientation: the same lesson over and over again, the listing of rules and expectations. If I […]

Summer Reading At Last!

Summer Reading At Last!

I realize that most people are probably in the thick of beach book extravaganzas, but here in Chicago, I’m only just beginning. Even though school let out a few of weeks ago (we’re a late finish here), I’ve been mired in end-of-year tasks Now that I’ve tidied the collection and closed out for the season, I’m finally […]

“Hey! I Think That Was a Clue!”: Writing Mysteries with Grade-Schoolers

“Hey! I Think That Was a Clue!”: Writing Mysteries with Grade-Schoolers

In my previous post, “The Names of These Books Are Secret,” I wrote about how I got the kids in my grade-school library excited about reading mystery novels using “mystery mysteries.” Although feeling a bit trepidatious I decided to also try out mystery writing with my middle-grade students. Fifth and sixth graders started by defining a […]

The Names of These Books Are Secret: Getting Grade-Schoolers Excited about Mysteries

The Names of These Books Are Secret: Getting Grade-Schoolers Excited about Mysteries

As an adult reader I really like reading mysteries, but this has never been an easy genre for me to sell to my grade-school-library patrons. A quick off-the-cuff book talk at the shelves is really my bread and butter for getting books into kids’ hands, yet I’ve always struggled to do this with mysteries. It […]

The “Everybody” Section and Other Non-Negotiables

The “Everybody” Section and Other Non-Negotiables

I didn’t start my career thinking I knew everything about being an elementary-school librarian, but I’d been to school and I’d learned all the things that are considered “best practice.” I knew I should have a flexible schedule, and that I should collaborate with teachers and even co-teach if possible. I knew how to use reference sources […]

Better Reading through Writing in Books? Let Kids Take Control of the Story

Better Reading through Writing in Books? Let Kids Take Control of the Story

As both a librarian and a reader, I’m of two minds about author studies. On one hand, I love the connection and shared language they can create. I have a fourth grader who, until very recently, routinely greeted me by saying, “I love Mo Willems.” On the other hand, I fear that knowing a lot about […]