2012 Award-winning Children’s Books in the Houston Cole Library

Please leave a comment and let us know which books you have read and what you think of this year’s award- winning children & young adult books!

2012 Newbery Winners

2012 Caldecott Winners

  • 2012 Caldecott Medal Winner: A Ball for Daisy, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
  • 2012 Caldecott Honor Winners: Blackout, written and illustrated by John Rocco; Grandpa Green, written and illustrated by Lane Smith; Me … Jane, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

2012 Batchelder Award

 “The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.”

  •  Soldier Bear  “Soldaat Wojtek” Written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman and translated by Laura Watkinson

2012 Pura Belpré Medal

“The Belpré Medal honors a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose works best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.”

2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal

“The Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year.”

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

“The Sibert Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year.”

2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal

“The Carnegie Medal honors the producer of the most outstanding video production for children released during the preceding year.”

  • Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of Children Make Terrible Pets, are the 2012 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video

2012 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

2012 Schneider Family Book Award

“The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

 2011 Stonewall Book Awards

“The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.”

2010-2011 Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Awards

2012 American Indian Youth Literature Award

2012 Alex Awards

“The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.”

2012 ALA Notabale Books ~annotations from “ALA Notable Books

Younger ages

  • All the Water in the World. By George Ella Lyon, Illus. by Katherine Tillotson. From deserts to the kitchen sink, the water cycle is lyrically yet economically described in Lyon’s poem emphasizing the importance of water conservation. Katherine Tillotson’s digital paintings splash, surge and drip off the page.
  • A Ball for Daisy. By Chris Raschka, Illus. by Chris Raschka. A wordless tale of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. A buoyant tale of loss, recovery, and friendship. (2012 Caldecott Medal Book)
  • Blackout. By John Rocco, Illus. by John Rocco. A summer power outage draws an urban family up to their building’s roof and then down to the street for an impromptu block party. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
  • Bring on the Birds. By Susan Stockdale, Illus. by Susan Stockdale. Rhyming couplets and clear, identifiable illustrations remind readers that birds vary in many ways, but all have feathers and are hatched from eggs. Colorful acrylics help provide just the right of information for preschool ornithologists.
  • The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred. By Samantha R. Vamos, Illus. by Rafael López. Nothing is better than a delicious bowl of arroz con leche unless, of course, a host of farm animals have a hand in the preparation! (A 2012 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
  • Grandpa Green. By Lane Smith, Illus. by Lane Smith. Roaring Brook Press. Elaborate topiary sculptures give visual form to memories in a wildly fanciful garden tended by a child and his beloved great-grandfather. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
  • I Broke My Trunk. By Mo Willems. Illus. by the author. Piggie is very concerned about his best friend, Gerald the Elephant, who has broken his trunk, and Gerald tells him a long, rambling story about how it happened. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
  • I Want My Hat Back. By Jon Klassen, Illus. by the author. After losing his hat, Bear politely and patiently questions his fellow forest dwellers as to the whereabouts of his “red pointy hat.” (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
  • King Jack and the Dragon. By Peter Bently, Illus. by Helen Oxenbury. Enhanced by whimsical illustrations, this story of the wonders and terrors created by a child’s imagination, shows the power of playtime and the magic of make-believe.
  • Little White Rabbit. By Kevin Henkes, Illus. by Kevin Henkes. Little white rabbit explores the springtime world wondering what it would be like to be different – green, tall, solid, or able to fly  – but when he comes home he knows who loves him.
  • Me…Jane. By Patrick McDonnell, Illus. by Patrick McDonnell. Watching birds and squirrels in her yard, a young girl discovers the joy and wonder of nature. A glimpse of the childhood of renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
  • Naamah and the Ark at Night. By Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Illus. by Holly Meade. As the waters rage, this lullaby reveals Noah’s wife as a nurturer of diverse creatures aboard the ark. Watercolor and collage illustrations amplify the text, a form of lyrical Arabic poetry, called ghazal.
  • Prudence Wants a Pet. By Cathleen Daly, Illus. by Stephen Michael King. In this quietly humorous picture book illustrated in soft colors, Prudence tries out a branch, a twig, a shoe, her little brother, a tire, and sea buddies until her parents finally give her a kitten as a pet.
  • See Me Run. By Paul Meisel, Illus. by the author. Dogs and more dogs are everywhere: running, sliding, jumping, splashing, and having fun. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
  • Tales for Very Picky Eaters. By Josh Schneider, Illus. by Josh Schneider.Five chapters recount James’ refusal to eat yet another disgusting, smelly, repulsive, lumpy, or slimy food. (2012 Geisel Medal Book)
  • Tell Me the Day Backwards. By Albert Lamb, Illus. by David McPhail. Mama bear and child reflect on the day, recounting its events in reverse order.  Gentle and reassuring, this book wonderfully illustrates a sometimes difficult concept: the flow of time.
  • Where’s Walrus? By Stephen Savage, Illus. by Stephen Savage. Walrus escapes from the zoo and cleverly disguises himself around the city; the zoopkeeper and the children reading the book search for him on each bold, bright page of this wordless book.

Middle readers

  • America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell. By Don Brown, Illus. by Don Brown. A straightforward account of the September 11th tragedy, Brown’s restrained watercolors and sensitive text focuses on small stories of those who were in the Towers and the people who responded to the disaster.
  • Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. By Melissa Sweet, Illus. by the author. This story of Tony Sarg, the artistic inventor who conceived the huge balloons that float through New York City each Thanksgiving, joyously celebrates his life’s creative process. (2012 Sibert Medal Book)
  • Breaking Stalin’s Nose. By Eugene Yelchin, Illus. by Eugene Yelchin. On the eve of his induction into the Young Pioneers, Sasha’s world is overturned when his father is arrested by Stalin’s guard. (A 2012 Newbery Honor Book)
  • The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. By Carmen Agra Deedy;Randall Wright, Illus. by Barry Moser. Alley-cat Skilley finds a perfect home, gets help from a friend to return an injured raven to the Tower of London and saves all the Cheshire Cheese Inn mice from the evil Pinch.
  • Diego Rivera: His World and Ours. By Duncan Tonatiuh , Illus. by by Duncan Tonatiuh. The accomplishments of Mexican painter, activist, and muralist Diego Rivera are highlighted in stylized illustrations. (2012 Belpré Illustrator Medal Book)
  • The Great Migration: Journey to the North. By Eloise Greenfield, Illus. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Muted mixed media illustrations set the tone for somber yet hopeful free verse honoring the author’s family as they journeyed north from the Jim Crow South.  A haunting view of a pivotal moment in U.S. history.
  • Inside Out and Back Again. By Thanhha Lai. Hà and her family flee war-torn Vietnam for the American South. In spare, vivid verse, she chronicles her struggle to find her place in a new world. (A 2012 Newbery Honor Book)
  • Lemonade, and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word. By Bob Raczka, Illus. by Nancy Doniger. Think of a word, then compose a poem using only the letters in that word.  Amusing challenges for poet and reader alike, these poem-puzzles are illustrated with similarly playful brush-paintings.  Great fun for classroom or budding poets.
  • Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina. By Monica Brown , Illus. by Sara Palacios. Bright, vivacious Marisol, a Peruvian-Scottish-American girl, loves peanut butter and jelly burritos and speaks both English and Spanish, but her teacher and classmates do not appreciate Marisol’s mashing of cultures. (A 2012 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
  • Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller. By Xavier Garza. Eleven-year-old Max discovers that his favorite Lucha Libre wrestler is coming to town and might have a strange connection with his own family. (A 2012 Belpré Author Honor Book)
  • Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists. Illus. by Patrick McDonnell … et al. A lively compilation of 50 nursery rhymes interpreted and illustrated in diverse and distinctive styles by a different cartoonist or graphic artists. The introduction by Leonard Marcus puts it all in focus.
  • Soldier Bear. By Bibi Dumon Tak, Illus. by Philip Hopman. Trans. by Laura Watkinson. Based on a true story and set during World War II, the novel follows the journey of refugee Polish soldiers and the mischievous young bear they acquire in the Iranian desert. (2012 Batchelder Award Book)
  • Thunder Birds: Nature’s Flying Predators. By Jim Arnosky, Illus. by Jim Arnosky.  Arnosky describes and illustrates the qualities of magnificent raptors. Distinctive acrylic and chalk paintings depict birds gazing at readers from their natural environments. Four large fold out pages shows some birds in actual size.
  • The Unforgotten Coat. By Frank Cottrell Boyce, Illus. by Carl Hunter, and Clare Heney. Julie recalls her sixth year classmates Chingis and Nergui, two Mongolian brothers, their strange polaroid photographs, sketchy descriptions of Mongolia, and their very real fear of demons in this offbeat, haunting story.
  • The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps. By Jeanette Winter, Illus. by Jeanette Winter. Winter presents inquisitive and independent Goodall from girlhood to the Gombe Stream and beyond in her search to understand chimpanzees. Stylized acrylics show scientist and animals in the abundant foliage of Africa.
  • Wonderstruck. By Brian Selznick, Illus. by Brian Selznick. Two parallel stories set 50 years apart converge in this textual and visual story of adventurous Ben and Rose as it explores topics of deafness, silence, wolves, and museums.
  • Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. By Lee Wardlaw, Illus. by Eugene Yelchin. Henry Holt. From animal shelter cage to a loving home, Won Ton’s experience is told from his point of view in senryu, a form of Japanese poetry similar to Haiku.
  • Young Fredle. By Cynthia Voigt, Illus. by Louise Yates. Exiled from his home in the pantry, Fredle, a  mouse with a sweet tooth and unusual curiosity, discovers the wonders and dangers of the outside world.  He learns to question the rules and returns home a changed mouse.
  • Zita the Spacegirl. By Ben Hatke, Illus. by Ben Hatke.When a little red button crashes to earth any self-respecting graphic novel character would push it.  When Joseph is whisked through an inter-dimensional portal to an alien planet, Zita follows to rescue him.

Older readers

  • Anya’s Ghost. By Vera Brosgol.This graphic novel tells the story of Anya, a Russian immigrant, whose lack of self-esteem changes when her life is almost taken over by a determined ghost.
  • Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor. By Larry Dane Brimner.This powerful examination of a crucial dichotomy in the civil rights movement focuses on two polar opposites—one man committed to ending segregation, and one just as determined to see it maintained. (A 2012 Sibert Honor Book)
  • Blizzard of Glass: the Halifax Explosion of 1917. By Sally M. Walker. Clear and compelling description and analysis of scientific evidence and historic events brings this little-known tragedy to life, a history made personal by its focus on five families, some who survived, some who perished.
  • Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. By Karen Blumenthal. Lively prose and interesting anecdotes make the history of Prohibition accessible while the examination of unintended consequences make this chronicle relevant to today’s political world.
  • Dead End in Norvelt. By Jack Gantos. An achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice. (2012 Newbery Medal Book)
  • Drawing from Memory. By Allen Say, Illus. by the author.Say, an esteemed children’s book creator, engagingly relays his early training, including the influences of his family and his artistic sensei. (A 2012 Sibert Honor Book)
  • The Elephant Scientist. By Caitlin O’Connell;Donna M. Jackson, Illus. by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell. Power-packed photos and prose transport readers to the dusty world of African elephants and a woman who studies them. (A 2012 Sibert Honor Book)
  • Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. By Margarita Engle. This historical novel in verse is the story of Quebrado, son of a Taíno Indian mother and a Spanish father, who is kidnapped in 1510 from his island village (present-day Cuba) and enslaved on a pirate’s ship. (A 2012 Belpré Author Honor Book)
  • A Monster Calls. By Patrick Ness. Thirteen-year-old Conor deals with a monster who tells him three stories in exchange for facing his greatest fear.
  • Okay for Now. By Gary D. Schmidt. Unable to read and abused by his father, 13-year-old Doug befriends spunky Lili and a sensitive librarian who shows him how to draw Audubon’s birds.  Both make a difference in his previously limited world.
  • Queen of Hearts. By Martha Brooks. In 1941 Manitoba, Marie-Claire, tells the moving story of her coming-of-age as a 16 year –old in a tuberculosis sanitorium.
  • Sita’s Ramayana. By Samhita Arni, Illus. by Moyna Chitrakar. Using a graphic novel format, this powerful saga of Rama is told from his abducted and mistrusted wife Sita’s point of view.
  • Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust. By Ruth Thomson. Secret diary entries, excerpts from memoirs, and inmate artwork illuminate the dark story of the Nazi’ transit camp Terezin.  Young readers will appreciate the oversized, magazine type layout.
  • Under the Mesquite. By Guadalupe Garcia McCall. The story of fourteen-year-old Lupita, growing up in a bicultural community in Texas and dealing with her mother’s terminal illness, is told in emotionally riveting free verse. (2012 Belpré Author Medal Book)
  • Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem. By Rosalyn Schanzer, Illus. by Rosalyn Schanzer. National Geographic Society

All Ages

  • Can We Save the Tiger? By Martin Jenkins, Illus. by Vicky White. White’s cover illustration of a regal tiger pulls readers into a balanced discussion of human interaction with nature and how we affect endangered species. Handsome pencil illustrations make readers care about creatures large and small.
  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. By Kadir Nelson, Illus. by Kadir Nelson. In just 100 pages, Nelson’s narrator tells the story of American History through the eyes of African-Americans.  46 luminous oil paintings portray iconic and ordinary images and make the history accessible for younger students; older students will find it equally intriguing.
  • If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet. By Leslie McGuirk, Illus. by Leslie McGuirk. Children and teachers will be inspired by this quirky concept book that uses shaped rocks as letters and objects. An alphabet book like no other.
  • Press Here. By Hervé Tullet, Illus. by Hervé Tullet. A whimsical, interactive picture book that draws readers through its pages by having them tap, clap, and follow other simple but enticing instructions.
  • Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature. By Joyce Sidman, Illus. by Beth Krommes. A poem about spirals in nature invites close contemplation of the versatile, expansive shape beautifully portrayed from simple snail to coiled snake, or snuggling woodchuck to swimming nautilus in Krommes’ scratchboard illustrations.

New Children’s Books!

Listen to Robert Sabuda & Mathew Reinhart talk about the craft of designing pop-art books!


Young Adult Books: Recent Additions

Come check out the new young adult books in our collection. On top of my list to read are Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Gary Schmidt’s Okay for Now.  The latter  is a “companion book” to The Wednesday Wars which, without a doubt, is one of the most charming and delightful young adult books I have read in a long time. In the following video, Gary Schmidt discusses his novel, Okay for Now . In the next video, Shelly Menzer, a youth librarian, provides a nice review and overview of  The Wednesday Wars.

Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children just seems odd and creepy. Check out this book trailer to get a feel for this unusual little book.

More recent additions (please note book trailers/ teasers when available):

Tempest by Julie Cross
Welcome to Bordertown: New Stories and Poems of the Borderlands / edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner (featuring a short story by Neil Gaiman)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (Listen to the author discuss this humorous & quirky book in this trailer)
She Loves You, She Loves You Not– : a Novel  by Julie Anne Peters
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin
Cheshire Cheese Cat: a Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright/ Illustrated by Barry Moser
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor TRAILER PART I/ TRAILER PART II/ WHO IS LAINI TAYLOR? 
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos/ Book Trailer 

Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Breenan
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma/ Haunting Trailer!
Dreams of Significant Girls by Cristina Garcia
Bad Girls Don’t Die: From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender
Game Over by James Patterson & Ned Rust
He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Jasper Jones: a Novel by Craig Silvey
Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson/ Book Trailer!
My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolly/ Illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez
Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks
Recovery Road by Blake Nelson
Sign Language: a Novel by Amy Ackley
Sleeping Angel by Greg Herren
Strings Attached by Judy Blundell (Book Trailer!)
Take Me to the River
by Will Hobbs
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (Book Trailer!)
Time: a Jason Caldwell Mystery
by Roger Reid
Trouble on the Tombigbee by Ted M. Dunagan (Alabama Author!)
Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly (Official Book Trailer!)
Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Withering Tights by Louise Rennison- Watch the Book Trailer!


Talking Animals in Children’s Literature

CLICK HERE FOR EVENT FLYER  & Presentation References Join us for this year’s  celebration of children’s books as we explore talking animals in children’s literature.  During this year’s program, the following topics will be examined:

  • The Prevalence of Talking Animals in Children’s Books
  • Animal Attraction: Why do Children Love Animal Characters?
  • Talking Animals & the role they Serve in Children’s Books
  • George Shannon’s Typology of Talking Animals
  • The Historical Evolution of Talking Animals
    • Folklore & Anthropomorphism
    • Talking Animals & the Enlightenment
    • 19th Century Childhoods & the Debate on “Animaltainment:” Wild vs. Domestic Animals
    • Roaring Animals & Imperialism
    • Kindness towards Animals & Animal Rights
  • Animal Stereotypes in Children’s Literature: Heroes, Villains, & Victims
  • Meet this Year’s New Cast of Talking Animal Stars!
    • Book Readings and Talks on the Latest & the Greatest in Children’s Books  Special Viewing of The Lion & The Mouse,  version of an Aesop’s Fable by Jerry Pinkney.  2010 Caldecott Medal Winner. Produced by Weston Woods Studio. 
  •   For questions or more information, please contact: Laurie Charnigo, (256) 782-5245,  Education Librarian, Houston Cole
  •  Library         


Meanwhile, thanks to Google Books & their partnership with institutions such as Harvard University, we have access to many nineteenth-century children’s books with talking animal characters. Most of the following books below have been completely digitized in fulltext. Enjoy!

Daisy, the Autobiography of a Cat by  Miranda Eliot Swan (1900)

Reynard the Fox, an Early Apologue of Renown, Clad in English Dress/ John Storer Cobb, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Canton’s Illustrations) The “adult” Reynard. (1899)

Goody Two Shoes; or the History of Little Margery Meanwell: in Rhyme by  By Oliver Goldsmith, John Newbery (1825)

Fabulous Histories: The Histories of the Robbins by Sarah Trimmer (1848)

Evenings at Home or The Juvenile Budget by By John Aikin, Mrs. Barbauld (1799)

The Rational Brutes, or, Talking Animals by  Dorothy Kilner (1803)

The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse by Dorothy Kilner (2004- preview of reprinting)

The Confessions of a Lost Dog by Frances Power Cobb (1867)

The Adventures of a Donkey by Arabella Argus (pseud.) (1823)

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne (Preview) (2009, from original 1928)

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1915) 

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (1912)

The Two Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (1895)

Tuppy or Autobiography of a Donkey (1861) by E. Burrows (?)

The Peacock at Home by Catherine Ann Dorset (1851)

The Adventures of Poor Puss by Elizabeth Sandham (1809)

The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant (a preview) by Jean de Brunhoff (originally published 1933)

The Dog Crusoe and His Master: A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies by Robert Michael Ballantyne (1894?)

The Baby’s Own Aesop by Walter Crane (1887)


A Celebration of New Sports Books

It was the biggest crowd that we have ever had and it’s more than just the crowd. I thought there was a lot of passion and chemistry from our student body and that means a lot – that’s what sticks out to me. I’ve never seen the amount of numbers and support from the students. They are a part of the win as far as I’m concerned.”  Jacksonville State Head Coach Jack Crowe- JSU Weekly Press Conference, September 12 2010

     I’ve worked at  JSU for over eight years and this has been one of the most exciting fall football seasons I’ve ever experienced. The season started off with JSU Gamecock’s magical victory over Ole Miss which propelled JSU into the ESPN spotlight for weeks. From the stadium dedication which brought in a record crowd to all the homecoming festivities, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the games and sharing some school spirit with students, faculty, alum, and Gamecock fans everywhere .

     Even more excitement spread throughout campus when Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, the Honorable Roger Bramble, invited our own Marching Southerners to lead the 2012 New Years Parade in London. As the 2010 fall football season comes to a close, I can definitely say that I am so proud of our student athletes, band members, and all the students who have come out to show their school spirit this year. Although, JSU’s football season has come to an end, luckily, there are plenty of other exciting JSU sports to keep us entertained throughout the winter, spring, and summer. Right now we are in Basketball Season. Go Gamecocks!

     In the meantime, for all you sports enthusiasts, new sports books are starting to arrive! I’ve arranged a list of some of our new titles by sport with links to Amazon reviews. 


     As JSU Gamecocks consider their move to the FBS division, there are definitely some interesting debates which have been sparked for years about the fairness of the BCS. Read about the BCS and some of the viewpoints surrounding it’s controversial history in the following books.

Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.”
~-Joe Namath

We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it. ~John F. Kennedy

     After Thad Burton’s controversial article “Locker Room not a Place for Women” appeared in the October 7, 2010 issue of JSU’s Chanticleer (student newspaper) , a concerned patron donated the following books. These books are for those who want to to learn how to watch football like a man (beats chest like a wild beast).  Actually, I’m not a guy but I love the game of football. If fact, if Mr. Burton is going to stereotype women, it would seem that most women should love this game. It’s full of passion, drama, emotion (highs and lows), heartbreaks, ecstatic moments of pure joy, and lots of gossip. Listening to the Paul Finebaum Show is like tuning in to a daily soap opera.

     But back to the books. Holly Robinson Peete and Howie Long, while targeting these books to women and “dummies,” have actually written two thoughtful books for beginner fans and even those who follow football regularly. They go beyond the basics and delve into more challenging aspects of the game. I’ve quizzed several of my guy pals who are football experts on some of the rules, strategies, and history I’ve learned from these books often to find these die-hard fans suprisingly clueless! After reading the books, I was pleased to find myself guessing penalties before the broadcasters and referees called them and getting them correct. What I’ve learned most is that the more you learn about this game, the more fun it is to watch. I’ve read both of these books and highly recommend them.  Holly Robinson Peete is married to Rodney Peete, former Pro football QB for the Philadelphia Eagles and Howie Long played as defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders and is an NFL broadcaster.  

     So next time you’re at Burgess -Snow Field rooting on the Gamecocks, make sure you brush up on your knowledge of the games. There’s nothing more annoying than fans screaming with excitement about a pass that’s obviously not going to be caught. By the way, I challenge Mr. Burton to a mock football game broadcast…

     Auburn Coach, Gene Chizik, sparked off a debate on football and religion early on in the 2010 season, when he described Auburn’s win over Clemson as “a God thing.” After the SEC Championship, Chizik and Auburn QB, Cameron Newton, repeatedly mentioned “God’s blessing.” Cameron Newton also stated “a wise man said if God is on your side, who can be against you?” Who knows? They are going on to play in the BCS National Championship.  Over the last year, several books have addressed the intersection of religion and football, particularly in the South. Interestingly, one of the most fascinating books on this topic was written by Chad Gibbs, a die-hard Auburn fan. Go figure. Check out his blog, Chad Gibbs,  to learn more the author of this recently-published book.

     Before moving to Alabama, I was a huge baseball fan. I like to boast that I was in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in 1995 at the  winning game when the Atlanta Braves clinched  the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. I used to spend summers sitting out on my porch in Buckhead, GA, listening to Skip Caray broadcast the Braves games. Years 1991 and 1992 were the most memorable. I remember having very heated debates with folks at the University of Alabama, where I was attending classes, about which sport, baseball or football, is the “True American Pastime.” I thought there was something so unwholesome about all these Alabamian’s claims that football was the real American pastime. I even wrote my first English 101 paper on the 1991 Atlanta Braves victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

     Strangely, it wasn’t until I left UA to come to Jacksonville State University that I started to get into college football (Gene Stallings had just resigned in 1996 when I started my college career at UA until I left in 2002 so I didn’t miss much). Now I root for our JSU Gamecocks and have added “Roll Tide” to my daily vocabulary. It’s nice to have two football teams to root for in Alabama. However, for me, this past season was all about our Gamecocks. That being said,  I still think there’s nothing better than sitting in the bleachers on a beautiful summer day watching a baseball game. Looking forward to watching some JSU baseball next season!

     In general, there seem to be more books published about baseball than any other sport. The Houston Cole Library’s collection on baseball history is spectacular. In part, this has been due to the efforts of Mr. Harry Nuttall, one of our reference librarians, who is a baseball history buff. Take a look at the latest treasures in our sports collection on baseball:

     I love all sports. Since I love running as a hobby, I tend to love be partial to track and field. Check out more new sports which we are in the process of adding to our library collection.

     Also, don’t forget, it’s basketball season right now at JSU!  Be sure to take a look at our men & women’s Basketball schedule and come out to support the Gamecocks.















Recent Young Adult Acquisitions

Recent Young Adult Books in the Houston Cole Library


New Children’s Books in the Library! (Fall 2010)

Great reads just in time for the holiday break. Check out the new children’s books in the Houston Cole Library. Click on each title to view book reviews, book details, and book covers from Amazon.

My Favorite Picks from Our Latest Acquisitions

Alphabet Adventures

Go West, Young People!

Informational & Biographies


    Graphic Novel…ish


    New Arrivals