Book Review, Lemons by Melissa Savage


Lemons. Melissa Savage. Penguin Random House. Pbk $10.99, 320 pages. 978-1524769291.

Lemons. Melissa Savage. Penguin Random House. Audiobook $40.00. 978-1524776459.

I started reading this book in an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) paperback format, and finished by listening to the published audiobook. I’m so happy I did. It is one of those books that just by viewing the cover, you may not realize the “tough topics” it has inside. Topics like PTSD, and parents that are missing or have passed away. For example, the main character has lost her mother to a long illness, and has been placed in the care of her estranged grandfather. The story is about the main character, nickname Lemonade, who has moved in with her grandfather who she doesn’t know and doesn’t really want to get to know.

So, there is a lot to talk about. I think coupling the topic and the writing, this book is appropriate for 12/13 year olds. Amazon says grades 3-7. Some parents may be put off by the idea of a third grader reading this book, but it could be a helpful resource for a child that has lost a loved one. The story is not central on loss, but there are times when the characters are so overwhelmed by their emotions that they cannot see past themselves. Anyone who has gone through the stages of loss and grief can relate to this.


Feels like a breakthrough…

I am a graduate student, studying library science. I also work in a public library – which is wonderful, because I am getting experience in my field while studying and having constant conversation about the profession.

So – recently, I have made some goals in my head for how I want to improve. The past two days I have had some successes and I just want to share.

First goal – communicate with the person in charge and security. In my library, every day we have an experienced librarian deemed as the person in charge (PIC). This person is set up as the person to communicate any issues. Anything from a major incident to needing toilet paper in one of our bathrooms. So, yesterday the computers in the childrens and teen room were down and all troubleshooting was not working. Usually, I email my supervisor, but today I decided to talk to the person in charge. She came down and we did some trouble shooting together. We weren’t able to figure it out, but we spoke and that is what matters. Later, I had to transfer a patron’s question up to her, and we spoke again then. I haven’t had the need to ask security to help me with anything, but I feel more confident that I will reach out if the situation arises. It may not seem like much, but I am the type of person to always try to figure stuff out on my own. So, asking for help, especially when I am supposed to, makes me feel like I am doing more to always do the right thing.

Second goal – slow down and listen during reference interview or readers advisory. I think my main issue while doing reference interview and readers advisory is that I want to come across as a good librarian – right away! I know I need to improve on my knowledge of titles and appropriate ages for titles. More experience with readers advisory as well as just time to read and read about books is important. Also, learning more about child development will help me as well. BUT, that comes with time. Right now, I think I have a tendency to just take the first description of what a child wants and then run in all directions with it. That is an issue, because it makes me look scattered and like I really don’t know what I’m talking about. So, I have decided to ask more questions, and don’t be afraid to say “give me a little more” or “so tell me about that” or “does that book have an alternate title?” . So, I had two conversations today, where the first thing I wanted to do was just run over to the computer and type in the main interest of the child, but instead I said “tell me more” and that made so much of a difference! In both interviews I found out that the individual kids were asking a vague question like “Can you tell me where there are stories about fairies?” BUT, as I asked them questions they started describing a plotline and I found out that they were really looking for a book in a series! If I had just thrown fairies into the computer, we may have gotten to the same series in the end, but by having them talk more and with me listening,these kids left feeling so much more excited about what they found than I’ve previously experienced.

One year of the book share!!

Oh my goodness. I had to take books out to put candy (for Halloween) in the book share. But then, all those empty spaces were filled up again. So, I have an overflow of books in my house again! Not to mention, many of these books were hot books this year (13 Reasons Why and It to name a few) Wow, I am so appreciative of my community’s involvement.

I’ll post a picture soon, but I just wanted to say thank you and I look forward to another great year!

Update on Ruthie’s sharing library

Hi everyone! This isn’t as much an update to you as it is an introduction. Last October (2016), my boyfriend, Nick, made me a little library for my birthday. Nick is a very talented carpenter, and spent a lot of time on this project. The main picture of my blog is one of the first pictures I took of it. You can see the little bowl of candy I set out for halloween.

Anyways, since then I have decided to call the library a book exchange. It is more a book exchange than it is a library. I do not keep track of the books, and the books are dropped and picked up freely by participants in the community.

The book exchange has been active this past year! At one point I had to bring about 15 books inside my house to make sure the exchange was not overflowing. Now it is in good balance. It has children’s books, popular literature, classical literature, and self-help books. I have seen a DVD move through as well as a couple audiobooks. I also have met people participating, and had multiple people thank me for providing this to the community. I appreciate these thanks, and appreciate the participation. And I appreciate the time that Nick put into this wonderful birthday gift. Thank you!


Summer Post 2, Cool Project Alert!

So, in New York State the summer reading program’s theme is Build a Better World. I love it! STEM/STEAM focus is in the name, so lots of making and building is happening all around public libraries in NY. We also are focusing on how to use our talented brains and reading skills to make a better world.

At the Nyack Library, we have a programs in the Build a Better World series in the children’s room. They are as follows:

Build a Better World with Art (July 4)

Build a Better World Hunt (July 15)

Building a Better World Begins with You (August 2)

Better World BINGO (August 7)

Build a Better World with Poetry (August 15)

Build a Better World CLOSING CEREMONY (August 18)

The cool project that I found to make (with a lot of help from your library’s makerspace) is a laser cut Dymaxion Globe. I can’t imagine doing this without the help of someone, so instead I’m going to focus on drawing the pattern of the dymaxion map. This is such a cool invention if you think about the intent of the invention. Create a map that is both accurate and can be made into a globe. Great learning tool!

Everyone enjoy your summer!

**This is a personal blog. I do not represent the Nyack Library.**



Summer Post 1, children’s books cast aside…

While working in the children’s room of the Nyack Library the other day, I picked a lot of books off of tables and bookshelves that had been cast aside by the young patrons. This is of course an everyday occurrence. We also like and prefer when books are cast aside in this manner, rather than the youngin’s attempting to shelve them.

Note to all patrons, young and old, unless you have Page experience – please do not shelve books. Yes! The book will thank you for handing it over, and we will thank you. It always stinks when we go searching for a book, and cannot find it because it has been shelved in the wrong place. And you also have an excuse to be a little sloppy. That opportunity doesn’t come around too often, so take advantage!

I decided to read as many of the books left behind as possible. Out of about 20, these are my favorite 3. They each inspired me in different ways.

a6f567138f32afcb060294460ab46c1a-w204@1xCommunication. Author and Illustrator: Aliki. Greenwillow Books $4.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-17116-2

This picture book is a helpful tool for teaching positive communication. Honestly, the cover deceived me. I thought that the book was going to be about how people communicate in different ways (speaking, signing, writing, etc.). But, it turned out to be an even better tool than I thought.  Sometimes we get so caught up in our heads that we forget that communication is basic. It is about one person speaking and the other person listening. These roles of listener and speaker go back an5118GJG7XDLd forth as we have a conversation. This book is helpful when we need a little reminder on how to communicate in the most effective manner.

Find in Nyack Library: J 302.2 ALI


Elephants Cannot Dance! Author and Illlustrator: Mo Willems. Disney-Hyperion $8.99 (57p) ISBN 978-1-4231-1410-9

I want to read this book at a story hour! It is so much fun. First of all, while reading in my head, I enjoyed deciding how I would like to read the individual voices of Elephant and Piggie. Then, Elephant and Piggie are moving around so much in this book. Not a lot of books give you the opportunity to change your voice, move, have your listeners move, and have everyone in stitches at the end. Elephant and Piggie are a funny pair. I can’t wait to read this one out loud for a crowd someday.

Find in Nyack Library: JE WILLEMS


Little Miss Whoops. Author: Roger Hargreaves. Penguin Random House (32p). 9780843133509.

Oh my goodness – Roger and Adam Hargreaves books are adorable. The pictures of the characters are simple and descriptive of their name. I am very clumsy, so I could relate to Little Miss Whoops. Whenever I break something, I am disappointed and sad. I have to remind myself that I didn’t do the clumsy thing on purpose. If I break something that belonged to someone else, sometimes it is hard but I know that I need to tell them and apologize. Then I need to just keep on trying to be more careful, and that is the best that I can do. I will always be who I am, and Little Miss Whoops will always be who she is. As we grow up we learn about ourselves and how to love what makes us special. In The Nyack Library we have the Little Miss and Mr. Men series in tiny book form – come check out all the characters!

Find in Nyack Library: JP TINY H

Re-post from old blog

This was originally posted about three years ago on my original personal blog that I didn’t really maintain. I liked this post though, so I decide to transfer it over. Now that I am commuting to school, it’s nice to listen to podcasts or books on CD. I listen to books on CD a lot more now though, because I still need my GPS to get to school without getting lost. Running podcasts and GPS at the same time take up a lot of battery life! Anyways, now I sound like Maron going on an on about my boring life. I love Marc Maron’s podcast!! But, when I recommend it, I always tell people that it’s okay to skip through the beginning and just get to the interview. I’m sorry Maron, I hope that doesn’t offend too much. Enjoy this really old post.

I commute about two hours, three days a week. With a part time job just on the other side of the Tappan Zee Bridge, I have a lot of time to kill. I’ve been doing this for a year, and I love driving so it hasn’t gotten to me yet. The only problem I’ve run into is that listening to the radio for that amount of time is incredibly boring. Changing between channels constantly to avoid commercials, repetitive top 20 songs, or depressing world news broadcasting is distracting, but it gets old. So, for a couple of months now I’ve kept my phone full of podcasts. They are perfect, because many of them are about 45 minutes long, and they are stories that you can get lost in. I switch between NPR’s many programs like RadioLab, This American Life, Freakonomics, The Moth and RadioDiaries. Also, for some humor I listen to Comedy Bang! Bang! and my favorite interviewer Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. Terry Gross also holds a special place in my heart (I know I’m not alone on that one).

If you haven’t tried out podcasts yet, here’s a list of my favorite ones to start with:


1. Marc Maron’s tribute to Robin Williams:

I’m not going to weigh in on Robin William’s untimely death, other than to say that it has touched many people. I listened to Terry Gross’ tribute, read The Rolling Stone’s obituary (which is very good), and a couple of other articles, but I don’t think anyone really opens up Robing Williams like Marc Maron. I would go so far as to say that I don’t think anyone makes people feel comfortable enough to talk about their dark shit like Marc Maron does. He is an incredible interviewer, and his intelligence and ability to really pay attention to someone comes through in his interviews. Maron lets people run off on tangents while always gracefully pulling them back to the original point. If I could study under this guy, I would.

2. This American Life’s Episode 199: House on Loon Lake:

This story is so spooky and well told. Ira Glass steps aside and allows Adam Beckman to tell the haunting tale of breaking into an abandoned house with his pals as a kid. Any curious person will be able to identify with this guy, and appreciate the fact that he’s kept his imagination running for long enough that he could revisit this tale after childhood.

3. Radio Diaries’s Josh 16 Years Later:

I just started listening to Radio Diaries, and this was probably the fifth one I’ve listened to. The reason I love Josh so much is because he is someone that I could see myself being friends with. He is funny and hurt, and he is honest. What sucks though is sometimes he can’t control being honest. The moment when his mom asks him if she’s done a good job with him, and his answer is a tick is such a strong moment. The biggest reason I love Josh so much, though, is because he is a fantastic prank caller. I was laughing out loud in my car listening to his prank calls.

4. RadioLab’s Patient Zero:

The story of Typhoid Mary is fascinating and a good beginning to this episode, but my favorite part is the different stories of the beginning of AIDS. Just listen, RadioLab is fantastic journalism and the way they deliver it is musical.

5. Comedy Bang! Bang!’s A Spiritual Journey:

This episode is one of the first episode’s with my favorite character from Comedy Bang! Bang!’s podcast, Traci Reardon, played by Lauren Lapkus. This podcast and the show on IFC are not for everyone, but give it a try. Also, not all of the episodes are funny, because they are trying something new each time, so before you judge make sure you listen to a couple.