Monday, May 20, 2013

An Interview with the One and Only MS. YINGLING!

Greetings, fellow reader guys. This is the Iron Guy and I'm really excited about this interview with the great Ms. Yingling. She's a school librarian in Ohio and one of the best book bloggers I know. I've heard about a lot of great books from her and am always hearing about more at her terrific blog, Ms. Yingling Reads. And, wow, does she ever read! She reviews two or three books almost every day and still runs a school library! How does she do it? Why, one year she read every fiction book in her library!! That's a feat that would make even a MANLY MAN like the Iron Guy quiver in his manly boots. But she has also been a friend to this blog for a very long time, making comments and sharing ideas. I think we may have influenced her because she started a Guy Friday every week in which she recommends books for boys--does that sound familiar? In fact, she has been such a good friend and done so much for guy reading that we once gave her our very highest honor and made her an Honorary Guy. But enough intrduction--let's get into the interview.

There's a nasty rumor out there that says it's uncool for boys to read. How do you think it got started?

    I think that some boys find it hard to read, and it's easier to say it's not cool than to say it's hard. It's hard to sit still, the words are tiny, and their mother keeps handing them The Secret Garden. Their teachers are girls, their librarians are often girls, and there are just not enough MEN out there to make it cool.

That’s why you have the Iron Guy in blogland, making reading cool for boys. What would the boys at your school say to the answer to the first questtion? And why do you think it's cool for boys to read?

    We have an awesome 6th grade teacher, Mr. Buxton ( who is very influential. If he book talks something, 50 students come in to request it. Reading is highly encouraged in our school, so the boys see each other reading. Also, we have a good selection of books with action, dog poop, robot decapitation, etc. that boys actually enjoy reading.
     I think it's cool for boys to read because it makes them smarter, and smart guys are THE coolest.

Yes, indeed. What are the favorite books of the boys at your school?
    Notebook novels like Wimpy Kind, Big Nate, and Dragonbreath, any sports books that are about basketball or football, and the world record books.

If you became Queen of the Universe and could tell every librarian everywhere what the 5 best books for boys of all time are, what would you say?

    Did someone take my crown away? I would have to say Horowitz's Stormbreaker, Riordan's The Lightning Thief, Korman's Ungifted, Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak and Mack's Mathlete vs. Athlete.

You used to be a Latin teacher. What made you choose to be school librarian? What are the best and hardest parts of it?

    I didn't exactly choose to leave the field-- there were just no jobs. I have always loved to read, and I could get an MLS and not have to get another bachelor's degree. The best part of my job is when I am riding my bike home and a student who is hauling  garbage cans back to the garage runs out to say "Ms. Yingling! The book you gave me is AWESOME!!" (happened just last night!), or when I am describing a book to a student, and another student pipes up "That book is great. You have to read it!" I also like my little slice of internet "fame" and all the interesting authors, librarians and teachers I have met.

The hardest part is that it's a ton of work. It's a 24/7 kind of job. I'm at school for ten hours a day, and do another 3-5 hours of work at home, which leaves very little time for other things. I even dream about overdues. I wouldn't spend the time if I didn't enjoy it, though, so I can't complain!

 Ms Yingling believes that a librarian should LOOK like a librarian!

How would you say, "Boys are awesome" in Latin?

"Pueri optissimi sunt" would be "Boys are the very best!"

How about "The Iron Guy is king of MANLY MEN”?

"Vir ferri Carolus rex viri virilissimi est." (Man of iron Carl the king of the manly men is! The Romans used a slightly different order. I'd drop the "est" and use "Ave" at the beginning so you have "Hail, Iron Guy Carl!")

That said, it's been 20 years since I have taught Latin; I just ripped Ned Vizzini about the Latin in House of Secrets, so feel I should be careful!
Because of your excellent blog and your great work for guy reading, we gave you the highest honor we could possibly bestow and made you an Honorary Guy. Have you ever gotten over the shock of receiving such a great award?
    I have never gotten over the shock, but I attribute my current reading tastes (romance and dog poop? Fantastic!) to this award. I feel honored every day when boys trust me to get them a book they will enjoy.
I ask these final questions of everyone I interview--Which do you prefer, cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

    Girly answer to this one: I don't care for either! Also, I'm an old person, so I eat more grilled vegetables and hummus!

The Iron Guy is putting on a few years too (as well as trying to keep from putting on a few pounds), so I'm trying to eat more veggies as well. But I still like GUY food of no nutritional value, like cheeseburgers and pizza. And be proud of your girly answer. We're proud of our MANLINESS--be proud of your GIRLYNESS!!

Well, all kidding aside, we really appreciate your taking time for your hectic schedule and answering all our questions. You are truly one of the coolest librarians I know and I wish you and your boys (and girls) the best. Check out her blog, guys, and be especially sure to read her Guy Fridays! (Same thing for all the grownups who are looking for good books for your boys)


Jeff Chen said...

Two of my favorite blogs, all in one today! Great interview.

(insert sounds of manly reading here)


Ms. Yingling said...

Thanks, Iron Guy! This was just the incentive I needed to get through the last grueling week of school!

Anonymous said...

pizza is better. i've never read a book that ms Yingling has suggested that i didn't like.

Anonymous said...

most of my guy friends get distracted real easily so they don't like to read.

YA Sleuth said...

Very cool interview--and some book recommendations, too. Thanks!

lw said...

Two of the greats on one screen. Thanks!

Resh said...

We love her blog an it was great to read more about Ms Yingling. Thanks for sharing both of you.