Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer reading and ‘Friends’ book sale at Sonoma County Library

Two books arranged front-covers up, next to each other with the right book slightly overlapping the left. The books are '1000 Life Hacks, Clever ways to make your life easier at home, work, and play' by Dan Grabham, and 'the Big GREEN book of recycled crafts, Over 100 Earth-Friendly Projects,' by Leisure Arts, Inc.

I won these books (courtesy of Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries) through posting reviews, logging books-read, and completing activities for summer reading at Sonoma County Library. And with the “Friends” book sale taking place this weekend at SCL’s Central Library, now’s an especially good time to redeem those free-book summer reading prizes. You can register for summer reading online at

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Story-time cushions for SRCSA library

Two rolling storage containers with round base and metal side-braces in the front and back, each holding 12 circular cushions. The solid-colored cushions are in shades of green, blue, red, and yellow. Behind them are library shelves with children's picture books on them.

Looking forward to library story-time next year at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts! These story-time cushions were purchased for the library using Scholastic Book Fairs dollars. Appreciation to School for the Arts Community Organization for making this acquisition possible.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

SRCSA library, top circulations for 2018-2019

More than 7,000 transactions were recorded this past year in the library at Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts. Here are the books that were most often checked out during the 2018-2019 school year, with number of circulations.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Roseland library: SR council advocates funding

Storytime at Roseland library: presenter in a chair surrounded by children and a few parents sitting on a colorful carpet
Storytime at Roseland library. Credit: SCL website

Important news for supporters of Santa Rosa library services: The Santa Rosa City Council has directed city staff to include $150,000 for Roseland Community Library relocation in the budget for next fiscal year.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

‘Reluctant Paladin’ by Jordan Bernal

Book cover, 'Reluctant Paladin' by Jordan Bernal. Image depicts a brown-haired, beige-skinned boy kneeling next to a gray dragon, which is lying couchant, with its body resting on its legs. The boy and the dragon are touching foreheads and the boy has the dragon's muzzle between his hands and forearms.
A strong theme of uniting to combat bullying is at the heart of this fantasy novel for young readers that is set in Ireland. The protagonist, Niall, has arrived at a new school after his parents leave him in the care of his grandfather.

Niall is an onlooker to a classmate being bullied, and at first he wants to intervene but the bully’s target convinces him not to. Later, Niall is himself targeted by the bully.

Meanwhile, Niall’s grandfather provides veterinary care to various clans of dragon-riders. Bonded pairs of dragons and their human “compeers” keep Ireland safe and prosperous — and only a few people are privileged to know the existence of the dragons.

Recently, Grayson, a young dragon, was born without wings at one of the dragon-riders’ compounds. Grayson was given into the care of a young man who, instead, abused him. Niall’s grandfather and local clan leaders intervene and rescue Grayson, and Niall comes to care for him.

While caring for Grayson, Niall also learns how to defeat the bullying done by his classmate.

The author, Jordan Bernal, has done well with developing her characters. The bully, Thorin, is not simply a one-dimensional villain; instead, we learn he is doing his best to care for several younger siblings. Circumstances have forced him to step into the role of father because his own father is lost in drink, and they all live under constant threat of authorities breaking-up the family.

This book arrived in my school library courtesy of a parent-supporter who attended a writers’ conference with author Jordan Bernal. I am interested in reading The Keepers of Eire, which this book is a prequel to.