My name is Elizabeth Lumpkins and I am a Texas school librarian.  My first degree is in Economics and I worked in the oil industry for many years.  Then I went back to school to earn my teacher certification and Master in Library Science.  After 4 years in elementary, I am now in my 17th year at a middle school in a large suburban school district near Dallas. I was the opening librarian so I have selected every book in the library. Students ask if I’ve read them all. Not quite – working on it. I love young adult books! The great irony in working in a library is being surrounded by books but having no time to read. I’m up around 4am to read for several hours before getting ready for work. Too tired to read at night.

The reviews of new books may not be the best summaries on the web and there are plenty out there.  When I summarize, I tend to give away the plot. Not good.  I read many more books than I will review and recommend.  The books listed in the genre menus are the best of the best while the home page posts are new book reviews or galleys (ARCs – Advanced Reader’s Copy).  If it is a galley review, please note the publication date.  Those posts can be sorted by the category links to the right.  I’ve added a Highly Recommend link to enable quick sorting of my new favorites.

I created the genre tabs at the top to keep track of my absolute favorite books from my youth to the present.   Students are often required to read books within a specific genre, so the lists of my favorites might help.   These lists are not stagnant.  I will be adding to them as time permits, so please check back often.  My intent is also to introduce books that were written several years ago that are excellent but no longer receiving publicity hype.  Thanks to ebook technology, more of these older books that are no longer available in hardback, might be available in ebook format.  This is also a bit of a selfish endeavor. In listing books by genre and subgenre, I can remember books I read long ago and also remember bits of my life. I can vividly recall sitting in my hotel room in the Swiss Alps, window and balcony door open for the fresh air, looking out into the valley, hearing the waterfall in the background and nibbling chocolate while I read the galley of Magyk, by Angie Sage, and my daughter, 16 at the time, blissfully reading next to me. It had been a hectic trip to that point and we felt guilty wasting the afternoon reading, but it continues to be a warm memory.

photo generously provided by B. Friedman

*** Why Gumby, Pokey, Minga, Prickle and Goo?  Those guys went in and out of books having really cool adventures.  Prickle is my favorite.  Love the monotone voice.  Find out more at www.gumbyworld.com