Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blogger Interviews (Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011)

It's interview time for BBAW 2011! This year I had the honor of swapping interviews with Amanda from Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, who is an elementary school ELL teacher. Our reading tastes don't overlap much, so it was fun to get to interview her. Welcome, Amanda, to Steph Su Reads!

1. Tell us about your blog. When did you start blogging, and why? Where did the name come from? What special features can readers find on your blog?

I started my book blog in January (I had a flowboarding blog that I really never updated---Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf, or That Book Lady, as it was called then, was the first blog I had that I really really tried keeping up with). Like I said, it was initially called "That Book Lady" because thats what a friend's 5-year-old called me, whenever my husband and I went to visit, we'd bring books. But, then about Valentine's Day, I realized that "Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf" was more "me". Maestra Amanda was what my first group of students called me when I taught pre-k, and I've just always liked it.

I started the blog with the thought that I would review books my students would and could read (they are grades 3-5 English Language Learners), but then it kind of became a YA blog (which is fine, I love YA, but my kiddos don't read that), and when I recently realized this, I decided to shift my focus back. Yes, I can read YA and feature some on my blog, but I should really be using my resources to find and read books that I can either use in the classroom or give to my students to enjoy. I don't know about any special features besides that I really am trying to review more books that I can see being used in an elementary school classroom. I do participate in several meme's---Shelf Candy from Five Alarm Book Reviews, Book Blogger Bingo from The Slowest Bookworm and In My Mailbox from The Story Siren (I'm working on one right now that I'd love to host...I just need to get up the courage to launch....plus add a few more posts on it to my archive so its not like "what is she doing?" )

2. What is your favorite thing about your job?

My kids, especially the first time I see them after a break. I got the biggest hug today! It must have lasted 5 minutes! The next best part is connecting a student with a book. We took a mini-tour of my classroom today, and the first thing the group noticed was my shelf of new books. They were fighting over who got to read which and "calling" books before I was even finished with my book talk!

3. What are 2 books that you'd recommend to your students and their parents for a joint read?

I just found a great series called "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You"---they have all sorts, scary stories, fairy tales, fables, Mother Goose Rhymes, etc. Its really cute in that you learn the story (for example, The Princess and the Pea) by taking turns reading a 2-page story. Each partner's part is color coded, is usually a doublet (2 lines) at a time and you just take turns reading the page. But really, any book that a parent could read with their child is great. This year, all of my students are Hispanic, and many of my parents can't read English. I don't care! Read with your child in Spanish! Reading is reading! Instill that love regardless of the language. It transcends.

4. You've been selected to participate in an outer-space colonization project and can only bring 3 "nostalgia" objects with you (people and animals don't count). Which 3 objects would you bring, and why?

1) Charlie MaSheen (my iPad)----cause I would load it full of books before I went...plus Angry Birds.
2) Photo albums, so I could remember all the people and places
3) Pepsi....all the pepsi I could stuff in my bag. Heck, I might even bring an EXTRA bag just for my pepsi! I love Pepsi.

5. What upcoming book releases are you looking forward to?

Any of Rick Riordan's books (Kane Chronicles, The Lost Hero series)---my kiddos (ok, me too) love him! Also, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.


Thanks, Amanda! Be sure to check out her blog at Maestra Amanda's Bookshelf to learn more about Amanda, and to see the answers to the interview questions she asked me.


  1. I love that Amanda points out that reading is still reading, regardless of what language you're reading in. I've worked with some ELL teachers who are so insistent that the kids read in English that they end up sucking all the fun out of reading for those students. So, yay for Amanda for the whole "reading in any language" thing.

  2. I love Rick Riordan, too! And I totally agree with Meredith. Reading in any language is reading.

  3. Wonderful questions and responses! The bit about the Pepsi definitely made me smile right then and there. Amanda sounds lovely - I'm off to follow her blog. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you, Steph, I loved interviewing you :)

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  6. One of my secret favorite pastimes is doing read-alouds to the young'ns. I was asked a few years ago by my friend who teaches elementary school in a rural community, and I absolutely LOVED it. (Skippyjon is THE BEST) I'll definitely have to check out the You Read to Me book. Especially when I have kiddos some day. =)


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