Let Me Introduce Myself






Me, Tina Zubak at 6 and with family. I must have a thing for blue dresses.

Hi! I am the new librarian in the children’s department at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh -Main. I was Children’s and Teens’ Librarian at the Beechview branch for 10 years and although it was great  there, I’m on to new adventures. 

I fell in love with children’s books and decided I wanted to write them when I read about a witch when I was seven. I fell in love once more when I read to my son Chris.

I’m still struggling with becoming a writer. But being a librarian, sharing books I love and books I think you’ll love,  is a wonderment and joy.  How lucky can one person get!

 I thought  I’d’  tell you some of my favorite books.  Today is about chapter books. Of course, for every one I include here, there are thousands of other worthy choices. In aphabetical order:

bfgThe BFG by Roald Dahl

A big, friendly giant whisks Sophie out of a horrid orphanage to his home after she spies him putting dreams into children’s heads. He is just a twitchy runt compared to other, more fearsome giants that live in his world. Together Sophie and the BFG hatch a plan to prevent the giants from guzzling “human beans.”  I love the way the BFG mixes up words–it delights me every time.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

 To me, Charlotte’s Web is perfect.  Both the humans and barnyard charlott1animals come alive. You can see and smell and hear and taste  this book. The stakes are high and the friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur is one of the most endearing and enduring ever.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

 the-graveyard-bookWhat would it be like growing up in a graveyard and having ghosts and otherworld creatures raise you? Nobody Owens is granted the protection of the graveyard after  his family is murdered and he toddles into safety there.  He learns old-fashioned facts, kindness and some pretty cool magic. We have this book in our Teen Department but I urge fifth and sixth graders to check out Neil Gaiman’s spellbinding  masterpiece.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtiswatsons

This starts out with the hilarious observations of  10-year-old Kenny about his “juvenile delinquent” brother, Byron. When his mom and dad tire of Byron’s  skipping school and  other shenanigans, they decide they’re taking him out of  Flint, Michigan to relatives in Birningham.  What begins as a comedy ends up making  a civil rights tragedy personal and touching.

About Tina Zubak

I've been a librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for about 12 years, first at the Beechview branch and now at Children's. I've written some books myself, but alas, no publications. Among my favorite books are BFG, Houndsley and Catrina and the Quiet Time, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Nation and Rose Daughter.
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3 Responses to Let Me Introduce Myself

  1. Rebecca says:

    Hi Tina!

    What a cute six-year-old!
    And what a cool librarian, too.
    Thanks for the recs. Can’t wait for more.

  2. Kathy Maron-Wood says:

    Welcome, Tina!

    It’s so great to have you as part of our staff. Thanks for your post of favorite books–great choices.

  3. Tina Zubak says:

    THanks, Kathy

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