Movement in the Library

Our library was renovated last year, creating a more user friendly environment. As a result, student use increased and the library became a popular hang out, especially at the end of lunch and after school. While this is what we had hoped for, more students using the library, we didn’t anticipate the great deal of energy the students would bring to the library. Many students, who would normally be running around outside burning off their extra energy from sitting in classes all day, are now running around the library. Wanting to keep the students in the library we decided to investigate seating options that would allow the students to move while working.

The Washington Post had an article recently about a school in Charleston, SC where children are encouraged to be active while they are learning.

In these Charleston, S.C., schools, children are seen, and heard, and always active

And in 2013 Clemson University encouraged students to stay active while studying by outfitting a study hall area with FitDesks.

Why not follow the lead of Charleston and Clemson and add some movement to our library?

FitDeskSo excited for our new addition!

What made me a reader?

After reading blog posts from both Jennifer LaGarde and Gwyneth Jones’ AKA The Daring Librarian on what inspired them to become readers, I decided to take my turn.

Jennifer’s post is so well put, I couldn’t agree more with what she had to say. I too, did not become a reader because someone held me accountable, offered me “points”, limited my reading choices in anyway, or forced me to write book reports.

I became a reader because I loved listening to stories. Being read to was magical! I absolutely loved being read to as a child, I liked losing myself in the stories I heard. Even today, there’s something special about hearing a story; weather it’s an audiobook or hearing a storyteller, I will always love listening to stories.

Yet, being able to read myself was even better. Reading gave me independence. The library at my elementary school felt massive at the time, with walls and walls of books to choose from, and once I was a reader the choices seemed endless. I cannot recall all the stories I enjoyed as a child but I do have fond memories of hearing The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Wilson Rawls Where the Red Fern Grows. Both stand out as two stories I escaped into, and replayed over and over again in my head. I was also lucky enough to have parents who frequently took us to the public library. It was a great summer the year I discovered Keane’s The Family Circus and Keene’s Nancy Drew series .Two very different types of fiction, but that’s the beauty of a library – the serendipitous discoveries!

There was quite a long stretch in my school years, when the required reading of academics and sports took over, leaving me precious little time to enjoy reading. But then I was handed O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and I instantly developed a love of historical fiction and my need for and love of reading returned.

As both Jennifer and Gwyneth wrote in their blogs, let’s encourage students (and teachers) to become readers. Let’s fill the shelves with books and allow students to make serendipitous discoveries, give them a choice what to read, encourage them, allow them to see us reading, and share the stories that made us readers.

Again, a big shout out to Jennifer LaGarde for her post Learning To Read Alone Is Not Enough. Your Students Need a Reading Champion, and Gwyneth Jone’s Reading: A Passionate Love Affair.

keepcalmHappy reading! 

2015 Teen Book Awards Announced

I read teen fiction all year long, sometimes 2-3 titles a month. And each December, I try to predict which of the titles that I’ve read may end up on the Printz or Morris Award lists. ALA just announced the Youth Media Awards this week and I’m happy to say that this year I got two out of ten, both Printz Honor books.  And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard is a fabulous read and This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki is a beautiful and thought provoking graphic novel. Now, I have eight new titles to add to my reading list! FullSizeRender (Missing from picture – Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith)

Be sure to check out the 2015 Printz Award Winner I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson and the William C. Morris Award Winner Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

Great Reads

Need a good book to help de-stress during exams or to enjoy over the break?

Don’t forget about our e-books available through Overdrive

Check out some of the latest titles

vigilanteThe Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer- realistic fiction, a plot to destroy a reality TV show, and a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise

crash__spanCrash and Burn by Michael Hassan – fast paced realistic fiction



they allThey all Fall Down by Roxanne St. Clare –  psychological thriller full of drama and mystery

splintered book cover2Splintered by A.G. Howard – a warped up wonderland where it’s hard to determine fiction from reality



evenEven in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot – “The Great Gatsby meets Looking for Alaska”


evilEvil Librarian by Michelle knudsen – Horror, humor, romance, and a demon librarian




gloryGlory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King – Described as magical realism, science fiction, and fantasy, all in one


monumentMonument 14 by Emmy Laybourne – “Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.”


The Restricted Section is BACK!

Our Upper School Book and Film club, AKA The Restricted Section, had their very first meeting of the school year. The new officers were enthusiastic, there was a great turnout and they had more then enough cookies!!

This club is serious about reading but it’s not your typical book club. They don’t all read the same book and then discuss it. They select a new genre each meeting and then discuss any books or movies that they’ve read/seen that fit the genre. The current genre is Fantasy. They also like to review and recommend books; the advanced readers copies went fast! Check out their tumblr page, Restricted Section

Their first Night at the Library is October 3rd. Although the film is still undecided. The club is evenly split – will it be  The House at the End of the Street or Corpse Bride?

house corpse