We just started carrying a new book that will really help step up your athletic game this summer! If you’re a serious athlete who plans to do some serious training this summer you’re going to want to check out this book.

The Brave Athlete by Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson covers the 13 most common mental obstacles athletes face in their everyday training and in races. This book will help you take control of your brain so you can train harder, race faster, and better enjoy your sport. This book will help you solve mental obstacles to make your brain stronger so that it becomes your most powerful tool.

Dr. Marshall is a sport psychology expert who trains the brains of elite professional athletes. Paterson is a three-time world champion triathlete and coach. Together, this husband-and-wife team offers their innovative, brain training guide that is the first to draw from both clinical science and real-world experience with athletes.

They have just put out this great video talking more about the book! Check it out!

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If you’d like more information about the book visit their website here.

 

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Vroman’s Kids’ Week 2017!

by Jessica on June 16, 2017

Kids’ Week is back and this year is going to be a blast! Come on out the week of July 17-21 for a week of free activities for kids of all ages! All these events will take place outside on the Vroman’s Paseo. We are asking you to sign-up. So if you’d like you sign up for any of these events please give Customer Service a call at 626-449-5320 or send us an e-mail at email@vromansbookstore.com!


Monday, July 17
Brain Quest Day!
Come decked out in your favorite explorer gear and get ready to go on a Brain Quest! You’ll spend the morning working in teams to figure out puzzles and problems. We’ll have a craft station to make your own Explorer Binoculars and play Marshmallow Geometry.

Tuesday, July 18
Vroman’s Science Club!
Let’s grab our lab coats and safety glasses and have a science themed morning. We’ll make slime, lava lamps and fizzing bath dough!

Wednesday, July 19
Junk Re-Thunk: Turn Your Trash Into Toys! w/ special guest author Brian Yanish!
Join us this morning as we make recycled crafts and hear how we can turn our trash into toys! We will have special author guest Brian Yanish here to present his book Junk Re-Thunk followed by a recycled craft workshop where we will be making a special craft led by Brian, our own birdfeeders and starter gardens.

About Brian Yanish: At age six Author/Illustrator Brian Yanish (ScrapKins: Junk Re-Thunk, Holt 2016) created a series of monsters that became the ScrapKins, a tribe of creatures who build their world from things we throw away. Today Brian travels to schools, museums, and festivals inspiring kids to make amazing interactive art from junk every family has at home. Brian has created programs for Whole Foods, The American Museum of Natural History, Maker Faire, Scholastic Afterschool and even appeared on Sesame Street. Join us for a special “Recycled Toy” making workshop and book signing. Copies of ScrapKins: Junk Re-Thunk will be available for sale and Brian is happy to sign them.  www.Scrapkins.com

Thursday, July 20
It’s a Vroman’s Dance Party!

Come learn a short choreographed routine from a studio dancer. Summer Burlingham from Athletic Garage Dance Studio will lead pre-dance stretching (safety first!), demonstrate some popular dance choreography and teach you a short routine you can show off to all your friends! Be sure to come in comfortable clothing.

Summer Burlingham is a member of the Athletic Garage Dance Team which competes all over the state and have won numerous awards including the AG USA All Stars Open Jazz National Champions 2014 and the American Championship Open jazz National Champions 2016.

Friday, July 21
Field Day!
Head to Vroman’s for a good ol’ fashioned Field Day! We’ll be playing tons of games and have activities like sidewalk chalk drawing, balloon tosses, bubble games, limbo, parachute games, sack races and relays! Afterwards we’ll make S’mores Pops to have as a snack! (We will be outside of the parking lot entrance in the Vroman’s Paseo area for these activities.)

 

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This is the Summer You Write Your Book!

by Jessica on June 12, 2017

Stop putting off writing that book you’ve already wanted to write. Stop writer’s block in its tracks. This summer register for one (or both) of our writing workshops to help keep you motivated and surrounded by peers who are also writing! Check out these amazing workshops we have going on!


 

Fiction As Experiment: A Writing Course

Thursdays,
June 8, 15, 22, 29, and
July 6, 13,
7:30pm – 9:30pm

Cost: $275 per person

This is a 6 week course and you will be enrolling in all 6 classes.
Enrollment is limited. 

In this course, we’ll examine the basics of fiction technique through readings of short fiction, such as Joy Williams, Lucia Berlin, and Donald Barthelme, and through our own writing exercises. We’ll keep an eye towards experimentation, the spirit of which will allow us to understand craft better and to develop our distinctive voices and styles as writers. Assuming the mere act of writing fiction is an experiment for many of us, we’ll also discuss how we may enter into and sustainably exist in that practice. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop a short manuscript by course’s end.

Instructor: Marion Bright has an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in such places as DigBoston, Slushpile Magazine, and Pine Magazine. She’s taught creative writing, literature, and composition at various colleges and universities.

marionbright.com 


Memoir Writing Class with Debra Ginsberg

Thursdays,
July 20, 27, August 3, 10, 17, and 24

7:30pm – 9:30pm

Cost: $275 per person

This is a 6 week course and you will be enrolling in all 6 classes. Enrollment is limited. 

Every life is a story waiting to be told. The only question is how best to tell that story. In this course, students will learn how to start, structure, and complete a memoir. We will discuss turning specific personal narratives into stories that have a beginning, middle, and end and learn how to avoid common writing mistakes. We will explore the elements of successful memoirs, including theme, narrative, and dialogue, and how to develop those elements. Students will also receive writing prompts and exercises, handouts, and critiques. By the end of the course, students will have all the tools they need to channel the creative process into writing their memoirs.

Instructor: Debra Ginsberg is the author of the award-winning and bestselling memoirs, Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress, Raising Blaze: A Mother and Son’s Long, Strange Journey Into Autism, and About My Sisters. She is also the author of the novels Blind Submission, New York Times Notable and SCIBA Mystery Award winner The Grift, The Neighbors Are Watching, and SCIBA Mystery Award winner, What the Heart Remembers. Debra’s work has been translated into fourteen languages. A book reviewer, workshop leader, and contributor to NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Debra has been a professional freelance editor for over twenty years.

Website:
www.debraginsberg.com


For more information or to register for any one of our writing workshops, please call Customer Service at(626) 449-5320. All classes will take place in the Vroman’s Meeting Room, Suite 120 located next door to Vroman’s Main Store in the Atrium at 709 E. Colorado Blvd. Suite 120.

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Indulge in Par Avion Tea!

by Jessica on June 9, 2017

We are pretty ecstatic to be carrying Par Avion Tea – a beautiful new line of teas. Par Avion aims to enhance the beauty of life. The teas are produced in an artisan method by hand picking and hand sorting only the finest ingredients to be prepared in small batches. Each tin purchased provides a day of education for a child in need.

Par Avion has also just launched a new luxury skincare line. These body soaks are rich in green tea anioxidants, botanicals and super foods. The lines goal is to detox and revive your skin using natural ingredients.

We have both lines displayed right in the front of our Home Emporium section,
so the next time you’re in browsing check them out!

    

 

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Cinematic Literature!

by Jessica on June 5, 2017

These days a lot of what you’re seeing the big and little screens has been adapted or based on literature past and present. I’ve put together a list of the most popular cinematic literature that has come about this year. How do they stack up to the original writings? Well, that’s for you to find out!

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13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This book came out in 2007 and was an instant best-seller. It continued to top the charts and spread via word of mouth for years. This year, Netflix picked it up for a 13-episode TV show. The novel follows a boy named Clay who mysteriously receives a box of cassettes in the mail from a girl named Hannah, who committed suicide. The reviews for this one are pretty good although there is some push back because of the imagery that is presented towards the end of the series. It’s worth checking out. All 13 episodes are available to stream on Netflix now!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman has pretty loyal fans and this book was a hit among them and rocked the literary world in the process. It’s been a few years since the release – 2013 but it hasn’t lost any momentum since then. It has won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and Bram Stoker awards. The Starz Network picked up this book and turned it into a new series. The book follows Shadow, a man who returns to his hometown to find that the love of his life and best friend are both dead. He’s left to fit the pieces together. Give the railer a watch here.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This novel was released in 1985 and since then has grown in popularity. It has topped our store best sellers for some time and been recommended by staff over and over as a must-read. It’s a futuristic dysptopian novel set during a time when a radical group has taken over the government and has started to instill extreme tactics on the repression of women. This past April, it burst onto the scene as a Hulu original series starring Elisabeth Moss (of Mad Men fame). Another one that is gaining a ton of press and fame. New episodes are released weekly!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A more recent novel that came out in 2014. This book followed three different women in the same town dealing with their own set of unique problems but are all connected in some way to a murder. Who was murdered and why? The 7 episode TV series premiered on HBO in February and took the media by storm. Each episode was intense and left you wanting more. With a stellar cast that included Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley this one is worth begging to borrow someone’s HBO password for! Watch the trailer here.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The ever popular Middle Grade book series finally made the leap to the little screen. These books are about the orphaned Baudelaire children and the trials and tribulations they face (including the evil Count Olaf) while trying to uncover the scret of their parents’ death. Netflix picked this up and it stars Neil Patrick Harris and John Cusack! Catch the whole series on streaming now.

 

The Son by Phillip Meyer
Released just a few years ago in 2014, this one became a fast hit. Now, AMC has picked it up and it stars Pierce Brosnan as the charismatic Texas rancher and leading man, Eli McCullough. The Son is a 10-episode series that traces the McCullough family across 150 year and three generations, focusing on Eli’s transformation from hard-working family man to killer. Another fun fact is that Phillip Meyer is writing it so we know it has to have some great ties to the book!

I’m Dying Up Here by William Knoedelseder
In the mid-1970s, several hundred comedians migrated to Los Angeles to try and make it in the business. Back then, William Knoedelseder was a young reporter covering the local comedy scene for the L.A. Times. The book tells the story of that time. Now, Showtime has picked it up as original programming. The series premiered last night (Sunday, June 4). If the first episode is any indication of what the rest of the series is going to look like you’re going to want to watch the whole thing. Check out the trailer here


 

Let me know if you’ve seen any of these, what your thoughts of them are…did they stick to the book? Deviate a lot of a little?

Happy watching! — Jess

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Vroman’s is proud to announce the 2017 Teacher of the Year!
Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary School!

Join us TONIGHT as we celebrate Mrs. Melinda Burkhart, Lincoln Elementary and all educators at our Teacher of the Year Celebration.
In addition to the award presentation, we will be serving light refreshments, and giving out a special discount to those in attendance.

Hazel D. Sonanes nominated Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary

For Teacher of the Year, I would like to nominate Mrs. Melinda Burkhart, from Lincoln Elementary, located in La Crescenta. She currently teaches first grade. There is no one more caring, dedicated and loving than Mrs. Burkhart.

My name is Hazel Sonanes and I am the proud mother of Joshua Chavez, a wonderful 7 year old that has had many learning difficulties in school. He had to repeat kindergarten and his struggles were so great that he felt defeated and dreaded starting first grade until he walked into his classroom and saw that his teacher was the wonderful, amazing and oh so talented Mrs. Burkhart. Joshua knew Mrs. Burkhart from the Kindergarten playground being she was the other teacher he never had. He’d see her singing and playing learning games with her students and always longed to have her as a teacher, but since she only taught Kindergarten, we thought that ship had sailed. Having Mrs. Burkhart assigned as our first grade teacher truly has been the biggest blessing of our lives.

She knew of Joshua’s struggles from having observed him the previous two years with the other Kindergarten teachers and from the beginning set up a learning path for Joshua that has changed our lives. She developed a daily folder system that told us, the parents daily what it is they are learning, what we need to review, and what their behavior was like. She sends homework packets on Friday rather than Monday to allow struggling children, like Joshua, an extra two days. That has made all the difference, especially since he has a hard time memorizing new vocabulary words. And she took the time to meet with me monthly to help me, the parent, and give me the tools and training to help my son catch up and exceed in school.

As a teacher, she is the embodiment of what a teacher should be. She comes up with playful creative ways to get children interested and motivated to learn. For example, with Mathematics, she developed games like Domino Domination, to teach them to add and subtract without realizing they are learning as they play. In learning to read and write, she uses phonetics and comes with fun silly songs and rhymes to help them memorize and remember grammar rules and such. Joshua comes home signing new songs all the time about something new he learned and even suggest we do the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before breakfast.

Joshua changed from dreading school to waking up every weekend upset he doesn’t get to go to school. Mrs. Burkhart has not only helped him academically but in life itself. In his Kindergarten years, Joshua had been singled out as the odd, awkward kid that couldn’t read, couldn’t write and really didn’t play with anyone or have any friends. Her daily appraisal of his achievements and showing him that he too can succeed has changed not only how Joshua views himself but how his classmates view him. He now has friends and is not shy or second guesses himself. He used to say he was dumb and now he knows he is just as smart as any other first grade. Having Mrs. Burkhart as a teacher has opened the door for Joshua to have a successful life. For her love and dedication and great wisdom, Mrs. Burkhart deserves to be awarded Teacher of the Year.

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Vroman’s is proud to announce the 2017 Teacher of the Year!
Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary School!

Join us on Tuesday, May 30 at 6pm as we celebrate Mrs. Melinda Burkhart, Lincoln Elementary and all educators at our Teacher of the Year Celebration.
In addition to the award presentation, we will be serving light refreshments, and giving out a special discount to those in attendance.

Cindy Lopez nominated Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary

I am writing to nominate my son’s First Grade teacher, Mrs. Melinda Burkhart of Lincoln Elementary School in La Crescenta, CA for Vroman’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.
Here is why we think she is a most deserving candidate.

  1. Her flexibility and Resourcefulness: Last school year she was teaching Kindergarten. We were not in her class at that time, but were well aware of her congenial personality and enthusiasm for school spirit. Just days before the school year began in August 2016, Mrs. Burkhart stepped up to fill a vacancy in First Grade. This would have been reason enough to praise her, but added to the difficulty of the situation is the classroom she was to be assigned, far from the cozy alcove of “Kinder corner”, she was to be across the large blacktop, on the opposite end of the campus, in a newly erected bungalow village, next to a major construction project that the school has been undergoing all year, that continues to be under construction throughout the school year, and that up until the very last minute, had no air conditioning/heating unit and no lights. However, she managed to set up the inside of that trailer in no time, with an impressive display of academic organization: charts, designated project areas, supplies and a host of engaging learning materials and scholastic décor. Her ability to utilize that space so efficiently, and orchestrate the daily routines of a classroom of first-graders within it, show real talent, professionalism, and a natural gift that elevates classroom management to an art form.
  2. Her School Spirit: She always wears the school colors on Spirit Day, and when there are other themed Spirit Days, she always participates enthusiastically. When I see a teacher wearing her pjs on Pajama Day, or cowboy gear on Western Day along with the students, or on any given day, dressed as her favorite character of First Grade chapter books, “Miss Junie B.”, I know I’m seeing a teacher who loves her job, loves all students, and loves her school; and that is a flag that flies for all to see, which benefits school spirit, overall. She is a credit to Lincoln Elementary and to teaching, in general, because she embodies an ideal, perhaps a nostalgic or sentimental one, of what a teacher of young children should be like. She reminds me of every good teacher of young children therefore helps put me at ease as a parent of young learners, embarking on their academic journey through what has become a slightly more frightening world.
  3. Her Teaching & Communication Style: Holiday décor and costumes aside, there is a very skilled educator at work in Mrs. Burkhart. She is competent in modern teaching vernacular, but has a way of balancing the rigors of academic goals with a very approachable and open style of communication. She is a champion of reading and had employed many strategies to encourage it, including daily reading logs, promoting online reading test that can be taken during school time or at home, laying out an assortment of appropriate book choices during their weekly library time, and posting the students “total words read” list on a bulletin board. She sets her students up for success in a number of other ways, as well. She gives out the weekly homework packets on the Friday prior to the week it is due, to give flexibility to families. She places her students into writing workshop groups three times a week, based on their reading levels, but names the groups after popular book series instead of ranking them in a more obvious or potentially shaming way. She attends training regularly and has a continually growing bag of tricks up her sleeve to accommodate different learning styles, which makes her classroom so engaging, even as a visiting parent.

My favorite thing has been communicating with her weekly on my son’s homework. She provides a space after the writing assignment for the parent to leave comments about what they have observed in their child’s writing. I have been pretty frank with her about our struggles, about where I think something he has written has come from, what I love about something he has written, what’s going on in our lives that might affect him; it’s gotten pretty personal. She always takes the time to respond in a thoughtful way. I know that she is truly paying attention to whom her students are, not just how they are performing. She is also always available via e-mail. There have been times I have sent her a message early in the morning with a question, and she usually manages to answer me before school starts. Her response is always prompt and informative.

She is quick to acknowledge exceptional behavior in her students but does not single out or demean students who do experience learning or behavior issues. I know that she looks out for their safety and well-being. I have spoken to another parent with a boy in her class who was being quietly bullied by another classmate. When the behavior was brought to the attention of the parents of the children concerned, Mrs. Burkhart stood her ground in defense of the boy and ultimately the issue was resolved. His mother spoke to me with such a profound gratitude for what this teacher has done for her son’s hope for the future, his self-esteem and engagement at school. She knows that a real bullet has been dodged, a life has been changed, a life that could have been just passed up the river, grade to grade, getting worse and slipping through the cracks in an overworked system. THAT is the power of a good teacher. I have the utmost respect and confidence in Mrs. Melinda Burkhart as a deserving recipient of this award.

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Student Anabel nominated Mr. Byron Flitsch of Aveson Charter School

I think my teacher, Mr. Byron Flitsch, deserves to be named Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Byron is by far the greatest and funniest teacher I have ever had in my entire life.

Mr. Byron connects with every kid in a way I have never felt or seen before. I definitely think that we have a special connection and I am sure a lot of kids feel that way because that is how he makes you feel. Mr. Byron is always there for me when I’m sad and when I’m mad to help me talk out my feelings and figure out a solution to the problem. He celebrates being happy and enjoying life.

I love my teacher for so many reasons. First, he plays Beyonce in class. Second, he is passionate about what he does every single day. Mr. Byron wakes up every morning, and comes to school to do this difficult job with love. Have you ever dealt with eighty kids a day? I’m pretty sure it is not easy. Whether we are working on projects, discussing life lessons, or figuring out how to be the best person, Mr. Byron is there to help. His favorite answer is, “Sure, anything you need!”

Mr. Byron has inspired me to be a good person. He makes me feel like if I set my mind to something I can reach any goal. He makes people feel they have worth and should be confident. He has changed me for the better. He teaches me to research and learn about the world. He teaches me so much about random and very valuable life lessons that I think I’m going to need later in life.

I am proud to say that Mr. Byron is my teacher. Every room he walks into lights up. He is so loved because he makes everything fun even when I don’t think that’s possible. I want him to win this award because I want everyone to know that he will always be the best teacher in the world.
Mr. Byron makes the world smile!

I’m writing this because I know that he deserves this more than any teacher. I truly believe there is no other teacher that deserves this award more than Mr. Byron. Please give this award to Mr. Byron.

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Allison Hill Talks Teacher of the Year!

by Jessica on May 29, 2017

By Allison Hill

Of all the wonderful experiences and great joys that make up my job, I think my favorite is judging the Vroman’s Teacher of the Year Award. I am one of several judges given the great honor of reading essays submitted by our customers celebrating their teachers. I read though the nominations one day at an outdoor café during a lunch break and quickly realized that this was not a job to be done in public; I found myself moved to tears over and over again. Students wrote of teachers who had ignited in them a love of reading and a desire to learn, teachers who made learning fun, teachers who made students feel important and loved. Parents wrote of teachers who consistently went above and beyond in their jobs, teachers who had changed their children’s lives, and in some cases even saved them.

Over the years I have been lucky to have my own extraordinary teachers whose lessons have lasted me a lifetime: Mrs. Brittain, my badass fourth grade teacher who set expectations high and inspired me to meet them, not for her, but for myself. Mrs. Dewey, my 7th grade teacher whose lessons on diagramming sentences taught me not only sentence structure but how to think of words as building blocks to create new worlds and make my voice heard. Professor Vance, who changed the way I saw the world and my role in it.

Our winning teacher this year is so deserving and we are thrilled to bestow this title on her and take this opportunity to celebrate her.

We know that there are countless other teachers in our community doing this great work every day and that the real winners are our children and we say thank you.

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Anna Kleindorfer nominated Mrs. May of Chandler School

Mrs. May is amazing for many different reasons. She is the librarian at our school and knows every single book in the library. She has great character, and she teaches us many things about searching on the internet as well as all the different genres of books.

Mrs. May knows where every book in the library is and if you are looking for a specific one out of thousands, she’ll point you directly to it. She also knows each and every single one of us students. She takes her time to get to know us and everything that we like to read. Mrs. May is almost like a best friend to every student, helping them with anything they need. She knows what types of books each one of us is interested in reading. To me, that is very impressive and I think she deserves recognition.

Mrs. May also has an amazing character, which makes her such a great person. She is kind and super helpful by assisting us with any of our needs, such as researching on a topic for a project, advising on books to read for an informative essay, helping with citing sources, picking out a book for a book report, and much more. She is also caring to each student at our school. Another great character trait that she has is that she is trustworthy. You can depend on her information, the websites that she points out to you, or any books that she hands to you.

Lastly, Mrs. May teaches us many things about the internet like which sites to look at and how to know they have true information, or how to safe search. Best of all, she teaches us in the most fun ways possible! She has changed my life in many different ways and has gotten me to love reading so many genres of books. Mrs. May could be one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever met.

As you can see, in my opinion, she is one of the best teachers of all time because of all these reasons. I really appreciate all that she has done for my school, my friends, but most of all, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to have her in my life. What a difference May makes!

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