The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Another Snow Day!!

I see make up days in my future year....See you on January 3rd!

Merry Christmas everyone! Be with family, and friends, love them all, rejoice in the one who values family above all!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Early Release and Snow Day!

Yesterday we had an early release, so the students got out about 12:30, and we left about an hour later because of the weather conditions. I did get all my Battle of the Books books covered and ready to check out though! Printed up another set of reviews for the binder I have. Started to work on covering the Spanish 2 workbooks. Did a Yammer conversation to see if anyone else wanted to have Ben Mikaelsen come to their school. Looked for two lost books for a student who claimed she had turned them both in last year and couldn't find them, and a student brought them in about half an hour later (where's that rolly eye smiley when you need it!). We had to stay until all the students were gone, then we were allowed to get home safely when we were ready. So we left!

They didn't wait for the morning to announce that schools would be closed, they announced it Wednesday night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


I wanted to book talk 'The Incredible Journey', but our copy is so old, and the cover was in really bad shape, so I taped up the edges of the boards and redid the cover today, and I must say, I did a fine job on penciling in the top where the the edges had gotten torn. I don't think anyone but me would know where I patched in my black colored pencil drawing. Did some laminating after school. Got ALL!! The Spanish I workbooks covered, barcoded and ready to go today. Sent off the last of the Ancient World books we had borrowed from Judson. Sent a book back to a school and sent off a book to another school. Had four classes in to check out books for the break. All in all a very fulfilling day. After work I got to head over to Escape Fiction and pick up the last of our Battle of the Books books, so I'm glad those will be ready to check out! Noticed that the books I purchased from Scholastic are on the computer, so hopefully those new books will come in before Friday!! I can hope can't I??

Monday, December 12, 2016


Had two books today and the first didn't go so well, the kids didn't really care if I talked or not. But the next class applauded my reading of William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily a New Hope. It was fun! I also touted a classic, Lassie Come Home and a girl checked it out! That made me very happy! I was reading pieces in between the two classes and remembered what a great story it was! So glad someone checked it out! I had all my aides in today and it was a pretty easy day. Covered more Spanish workbooks today. Getting the year one workbooks almost done. Had to make some more book cover images for my countdown calendar. Got notice that the rest of my Battle of Books books were in. So I will pick them up tomorrow. Scored the last volleyball game of the year and really enjoyed doing that. It's been a lot of fun! 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ho, ho ho! 5 days to go!

Yes, I know this is really Saturday, but we had our party last night so I was a bit busy after I got home from work! It was very quiet in the library, so I spent time on some more book reviews and going over my personal reading lists. Covered more of the Spanish workbooks. Trying to get them all done here eventually! Answered emails. Did some Yammer for our group. Two of aides were here today, but two were not. All in all a relaxing peace filled day in the library!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snow Day

Should be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Today we had our Winter Assembly with choir and orchestras. It was so amazing! We even had a holiday sing along! The kids were really very good at listening, but most of them were sitting there with just blankish faces, until the sing-a-long! They were grinning and smiling and belting out the lyrics, it was very cool! Only had one class in today to check in and out books. I did the rest of the book reviews I had from our aides. My fifth period aide finally moved today and one of our counselors brought down her books, and when I realized it was her, I was so sad :(  She is a really marvelous person and I will miss her. Plus she worked very hard for me! Listened to my Middle School Matters Webinar on new books coming out and loved it! Definitely some I will be putting on my order! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Here are a couple of pics of my displays. I was sad that my battery candle was left on all weekend and is nearly dead now! So I put new batteries in my purse to put in him tomorrow! Had our copier guy come today and do a great job getting our copier back up and running. It still needs some parts, but at least it's working again! A very quiet day in the library, no classes in. Very few students. I went to the bathroom, and yes, we had a fire drill. I hadn't told my new aide where to go, so I rushed out, and she was gone from the library, I called all over for her and finally left, and there she was outside with some students that had been in there with a staff member. I was so glad she got herself out of there! I let her know where to go for the next one and made sure to tell my other new aide what and where to go! I got some repairs done. Withdrew a few books I just don't have the time to save. I'll get new Perma-Bound copies of them. Laminated today. Got to our last two boxes of Spanish workbooks to cover and barcode. I've put them off for long enough! Time to get them done and on the shelf in the back! Since our copier wasn't working I took three class sets of math books and did a spreadsheet on the names and numbers on them so my aides could do 'Kercheski' check outs on them. They got them almost all done, and I finished them off and took them to the teacher this afternoon after school. So funny, he was so intent on helping a student he didn't even see me put the first set of books in his room! A good day and ended with taking my mom to the winter orchestra concert tonight. They were fabulous!

Monday, December 5, 2016

BeastMode - Again!

I got another BeastMode award today at work during the staff meeting! Oh my! At least he's fixed and looks much better than when I had him the last time! Ms. S gave him to me for running the book fair and that was really sweet of her! I covered the rest of the OBOB books today that I had in and put due date slips in them. Got a quote for the last of the books I need. Had issues with the copier, emailed our rep and sent her pictures of what was going on, ended up calling the service number, and then going ahead to have a service person come out since what needed to be done was not something I could just fix on my own. Had four classes of math books that needed to be done 'Kercheski' style. I did have my aides help with that a bit. Both lunches were able to use the library. Went through spell checkers to see which ones worked for Mrs. B. So I will check those out to her in the morning. Scored a volleyball game. Ran our poster machine for 26 different posters. The day was over before I knew it!

Friday, December 2, 2016


I got in my BOB books today! I was so excited! I love it when a package comes in and it's full of books!! I just need some more copies of two more titles and we'll be all set for working on those. I'll put out a notice to our Battle of the Books students and they can checking them out next week! I got them all stripped and due date labels in the hardbacks. I just have to cover the paperbacks and they'll be ready to go. Fixed two books that needed new pages from another school. One needed two entire pages (the one page was completely ripped out of the book). The other had two holes in the page, so I covered them up with a copy from another book and glued them in. Took down the last of the Scholastic Book Fair posters. Did two book talks today. Had the library open both lunches which the students love because it's computer day and they get to play Cool Math games. Sent off a book to a high school. Packed two boxes of Ancient World to go back to their school. I'll send the rest next week. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? 💖

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Verily a New Day

Did three booktalks today and got three students to check out our William Shakespeare's Star Wars books! It was much fun! Was going to pack up some Ancient World books, but the school that had them was like 'go ahead and keep them' so then I had to figure out how to cancel the transfer and couldn't so asked LMSS if they could and they went ahead and did it then told me how it was done. Had an incident today with four students who were sent down to write apology letters to their substitute yesterday and ended up finally taking them up to the Behavior Specialist. It was very sad. Did some laminating at the end of the day. Got in my three new Diary of a Wimpy Kid books!! So they can get checked out tomorrow!! The kids will be very excited. Not much else went on. Well, ok. It probably did, but it's late, I had a house full of people over for Bible Study and much too interested in getting food out and ready for them that now I can't remember all I did. Onward to a Friday!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Today I loved lighting my battery operated candle as I came in and had it going all day. Very nice. Did three book talks and I love it when I put the books down and the kids just dive for them! Boxed up some Ancient World books that needed to head back to their home school. Emailed with the person who works with Ben Mikealson who will be in the area about doing a talk! I am so excited! I think our students really need to see an author at our school and hear what he has to say. I am hoping admin approves it and we can get it rolling! Put away all the non-fiction books today since my parent volunteer did not come in (rats! I was going to have her do it!!). Helped the Scholastic driver get all our carts out of here! I didn't think they'd be here until next week, but yeah! They came today. Put out repaired books. Stapled up the Book Fair posters to remind kids they have until Saturday to buy online. Helped kids with passwords on the computers. Helped them tear poster paper off our big rolls. Lots more little stuff, but glad for the work and the day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Today I worked on the non-fiction shelves to put them into a winter mode and took in some of my unused decorations to use. It turned out just lovely. Gave five book talks today. Checked out two classes of math books and checked some in. Put away the ones checked in. Checked in two class sets of History books. Laminated this afternoon. Put new books out. Took down the Veteran's Day display I had on the wall by the front door. Let a teacher take a bunch of my boxes for the Lego Robotics class. And finished off the day scoring for a volleyball game. So exciting! Every game was within 2 points, the rally's were unbelievable! Both teams should be very proud of their showing!

Monday, November 28, 2016


The library was closed today for our counselors to come in and be there for our students who were dealing with the death of a classmate. It was hard to watch them come in, but I was so very grateful that the library became this sacred space. I got the Scholastic book fair all packed up and reports run, only to hear later in the day that our truck was broke and it might be a week until it gets picked up. When our afterschool program was coming in, the lady who leads it here in the library helped me move all 5 carts with their boxes on top into the back of our first textbook room. I feel so much better that they are out of the way. I got all the books I bought, all the OBOB books and others just for the library stamped and listed and sent off to LMSS. Sent off the request for more date due slips. Did a few more pages on my book review binder. A very quiet day. I pray for the student, the family and all those who knew. So sad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

A long 12 hour day and so very thankful for my amazing co-workers. I spent the first hour at LMSS picking out new books for my library!! Then back to school to work there! Finished up the repairs I had waiting and set those to dry the glue over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Should be good by the time I get back, or ready to glue the next part! Worked more on the review book and feel pretty good about it, so ready to put it out for students starting Monday. Did some laminating and ran a poster for a teacher. Had more great sales at the Scholastic Book Fair - our final total was $2,857! Our best fair since I've been there! Cleaned that all up, boxed up, carts into the computer lab to get them out of the way. A great way to end the Fair! Had to go out in the rain to pick up the signs and got drenched! Glad to head home with my current book! See you all on Monday!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pathway to Conference

This morning I had to go our Library Media Assistant Pathway at South HS for three hours. I loved the Google doc spreadsheet! So much better than the calendar! I got a copy from another school and just have to x out their appointments. Luckily there wasn't very many! So I will work on that some more and then share it with our staff. That went from 8 - 11 so I had to wait to go back to Leslie until about 2:30. So, I had lunch with my hubby, took a nice walk, a bit of reading, then back to work! Did a lot of Scholastic Book Fair sales. Did some repairs. Loaded surplus boxes into my car to drop off at LMSS in the morning. Helped laminate a ton of posters that our Instructional Coach created. Had a teacher give the library a vase from a student that said it came from Iraq. I asked if I could take it to LMSS and they could put it in our Realia collection and she said yes! So I put it in the car and will drop it off tomorrow! I'm really excited for that! I should our IC the videos from the Realia collection and she got so excited, I sent her the links to the videos we have and she hopes to use those in the spring! I packed up the money and headed home. Long 12 hour day tomorrow then off for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Day 5

We are up to about $1,800 and that is exciting because the fair is not even over yet! Spent a lot of time selling today. Did a book talk with the fair, talking about the books, which we had in our library already and which we didn't. It was good! Checked in a lot of books today, but nowhere near the 450 that are lost or overdue. Got out the back room stuff and put out in the library for Monday and Tuesday conferences. Sent off two boxes of books that will be for our Professional Library. I had waited because our office was swamped, but now things are better, so time to send them in. I had to stamp them all too! Was glad we got through the day without too much craziness! The students have next week off, and we only work Monday and Tuesday. I even bought some book fair things for my granddaughters! Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Day 4

Went a little bit better than yesterday for sales, but two of my students were very happy when my restock order came in just before 3pm! Covered four of the donated books that I'd had on my desk for a week or so. Cleaned up emails. Did some Yammer contacts conversations. One of them was from my old school. Did a report on how many lost and overdue books just since school started, over 450 books!!! Put in an announcement for tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 3

Not much happened with the book fair today. This morning things were brisk, but the rest of the day was slow and not much went on. So I boxed up the books I will take to LMSS for their surplus pile next Tuesday. Then I also went through my repair pile and weeded it down. If it took more than a simple repair, I withdrew it and put it in a box for teachers to use. There were quite a lot of pictures in those big books, so they could use them instead of cutting up magazines we no longer have. I did do some repairs while I had all those books out. I looked at the book, how many other copies of that did we have, how old it was. Did it need to be replaced? I only had two medium boxes, so not as many as I thought I might have, and if the teachers can use them, that would be awesome!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 2

Had a great second day with the book fair, we're up to about $1200 in sales! So that is good indeed! Had a ton of sales this morning and more during lunches and some more after school! Got money up to our bookkeeper this morning. Had a teacher who needed the book numbers for her class, so I looked up the four classes and wrote down their numbers for her. Had another teacher ask for 40 of the Medieval World books, so had my aides get that for her. Ordered more books from Scholastic for the book fair. We are already out of 2 popular titles. Cleaned up emails. Forgot to laminate!! I will have to do that first thing in the morning! Tried to find books for a couple of students. One book I could not find. Another student still has a lost book he says he never checked out. Argh! I am so unhappy when those things happen. On the whole, a very good day. Love my job!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 1

Of the Scholastic Book Fair that is! Had a great first day since one of the teachers has some really generous friends who donated money for her to buy at the book fair! I was astounded and definitely the best opening day ever!! The students purchased a ton of stuff as well so all is well in the book fair world! Checked in and out a bit today. I had come in early to set up the carts and unpack the boxes, so it was quite the rush to get it all up before they released the students down the halls this morning, but business was brisk and we did more during lunches and some after school! I had some amazing helpers from our Leadership class and Mrs. B came during lunches as well to help out. Had a fire drill today and was very glad it wasn't raining too awfully bad. Also for helping out, I let the leadership students pick a book for the library. I will buy them with my Scholastic dollars and put them in the library with a little note that it came from the Leadership class of 2016-2017. Broke up all the cardboard boxes today (I had lots!) so they can get taken down to the cardboard recycler. It was nice I came in so early, because they moved the volleyball game up 15 minutes and I had to leave to score! So that worked out nicely. Oh, and on Sunday I put up all the Book Fair signs since I knew it would be raining today! Glad I did!

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Well, almost! Got the back room all ready for the Scholastic Book Fair, but since I thought the LEAP program would be in this afternoon, I just have all the Scholastic carts still in the computer lab. Then there was a meeting, so I could have put them out!! Argh! Should be relatively easy to do Monday morning. Brought home the Book Fair signs so I can put them up on my way in on Monday before I go inside. Got four sets of stuff sent off today to LMSS and schools. Cleaned off my desk pretty nicely. Had my BOB (Battle of the Books) presentation in the library today during lunches and enjoyed having about 20 kids come to see what it's all about. I handed out just about the last of my Halloween candy (good thing!!) as they left. My order for new books went in!! Huzzah!! Though I have not much hope they will be here before Winter Break. It's a 30 day turn around at the best, so I think we will be out of luck. But at least we'll start the new year with new books! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Celebrating our Veterans

Worked on this display this morning and also books that have to deal with the wars we have been in. Everything. Had my wonderful volunteer Ms. B come in and help out with pulling books and displaying! The Scholastic Book Fair carts came in today! I was thinking they wouldn't be here until tomorrow! They came during lunch, then had to wait until the kids were out of the back where they could park (some kind of violation thing...) so I ended up spending my lunch getting the carts in so the driver could leave before the next lunch started! Had two Book Fair preview video views today. Peer Helpers were in for their last training all morning. Students were in individually the last part of the day. Busy!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Morning Rush

Four classes came in back to back to watch the Scholastic Book videos and then check in and check out books. Then we had classes in the computer lab for four periods, then our usual set of students in and out all day working on projects and swapping out books. It was a busy day! Did some laminating. Did a lot of call slips for books that were on hold to students, saying we now had that book in and could they come and pick it up. Sent off borrowed books back to the schools they came from. Managed to watch just a bit of my Webinar, glad I will get a link to watch it all tomorrow on new non-fiction for youth. Made a vine to go with my Thanksgiving display and hopefully students will make leaves to hang on it for what they are thankful for! I made a cluster of grapes with family on it, from my great grandparents down to my granddaughters! It was fun! After I get it going a bit more, I'll put up a picture. Love my job!

Monday, November 7, 2016


I had to write my first referral today and hopefully my last. I really hate doing them, but this student kept doing things I told them not to. Slugging (really hard) another student in the shoulder. Wouldn't give me their name. Refused to go to class because they didn't want me following them. I just hate it when that happens. Ugh. I guess they have had issues with others, so I'm not alone. But I still hate it. Had two classes in today and showed them the Scholastic Book Fair videos along with the endorsement by Gene Luen Yang. Lots of students in and out today. The leadership class wants to help volunteer for the book fair, so huzzah for that!! Checked in and out books for the classes today. Love to help students find the right books and got two amazing books into the Leadership students hands, one on Paige Rawl - Positive+; and one on Gabrielle Douglas - Raising the Bar. So excited I had these here! Made some more book review pages. Sent off books. Checked in and resensitized books. A teacher brought in two huge boxes of old, really old English books, no barcodes that were in his room, so I unpacked those today. Filled my whole flat cart. Made two posters to promote our Battle of the Books informational meeting on Thursday. Sent out two announcements for the rest of the week. I love standing in the hall during passing and having students hand me books to check in! Got in a volleyball book for a student she had requested from another school. She was so happy to see that! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Peer Helpers

They were in again all day today, and I truly enjoyed the fragments of things I heard. The students were amazing and the teachers were wonderful with them. I got all the non-fiction put away this morning. Put up a new poster by the front doors of all the presidents with book cover images related to presidential things since the election is Tuesday. Listened to a webinar on Genre Bending and love that title! There was a great piece of it where the author talked about how much libraries meant to her and it was fabulous! I sent it out. Did most of the day working on my book review notebook and I worked so hard and it seems that I got so little done! I'm glad I had two days to get a good start on it, but I need to make a real commitment to getting it done! I had to leave at 2 to go with my mom to see her doctor. Since the library was virtually closed anyway, I figured it was a great opportunity to sit with him and her and see how she is doing. Medically it looks good, but her confusion is there, just a sign of age the doc says.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Note Book

We had the Peer Helper training today in the library, so we were pretty shut down. There were a few students in, but they were mostly quiet, in and out quickly. I sent out my bulletin board folder and then started to work on my review notebook. Taking all the books I have read, putting two on a sheet. Book cover image and brief description of them, put into a sleeve. I worked so hard on that today and when I started to put it together, it seemed so little!! But, at least I got it really going. I will work on it again tomorrow since they will be in again all day. Made some bookmarks for the BOB meeting I'll have next Thursday. Did some laminating. Just a lot of computer work today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


I put almost all my bulletin board pictures in a Google Drive folder that I'll get to send onto Mr. G and Ms. P tomorrow. I luckily still have this blog with all my pics on it, so it was just a matter of scrolling through all the years. Took some time, but if it gives someone an idea, that'll be great. Added more books onto my Scholastic Book Fair window. Set my Book Fair video up for two classes today and they seemed to enjoy watching the trailers. A few even asked me for the new books since I had held up a few! That was exciting. I didn't take down my Boo - k Graveyard since it was the Day of the Dead. I will take it down tomorrow. Checked in and out books all day. Got projects slated up for the next two days since the library will be a venue for our Peer Helpers and training. A great day and fun to see all my old bulletin boards again!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


How do you help students learn how to write a how-do article? Why you bring them books to show them how it's done! So Ms. S brought in her students to see How-To books today and look to see how others did their 'how-to' books. I did a better job with her 6th period class than the 1st period class, but that's just practice! I had taken a bunch of our 'how-to' books and put them out on the tables so they could look at them and check them out if they wanted to. Had two classes of math students come in and trade books today. Took down my Margaret Peterson Haddix display and put up a book fair display that I'm still working on. Tried to play the Book Fair CD from Scholastic and finally got it to play on my computer, but couldn't get it to play on the computer cart with our projector. So I ended up going to the website and streaming the video from online. I had that playing during the lunches today. Though they didn't pay much attention! During 6th period I had in my math class swapping out books, my 'How-To' class and our Leadership class looking for books about strong leaders. Busy!!!
Laminated after school as well. Love my job!

Monday, October 31, 2016


Today I had two classes come in not for book talks, but to learn how to use the search computers to look up books they might want to check out. I showed them our library media page on the school web page, then we went through the ins and outs of how to look up books and then find them! It was really fun (I looked up keyword zombies for them!) and I think they learned a few things. Just goes to show you how important it is to bring back our librarians!! If there were librarians in our elementary schools, I would not have had to do this! Did a non-fiction book stroll for another class today. Pulled books from the different Dewey numbers and walked through them for the classes. It was fun! Tomorrow I have to do a "How-to" book talk and have pulled some books for that! Worked on some of the Scholastic stuff today, funny how that is almost here already! Wow! They gave me a CD of book talks and I had to play it three times to get it to load and play all the way through it. Checked in and out books all day. Cleaned up some email stuff. I might think of some other stuff I did later! I did notice today during our first passing period, not one student ran, and they were so quiet!! I loved it!!

Friday, October 28, 2016


Today I worked on a great powerpoint for the students to get them excited about BOB - Battle of the Books. We just do a mini version here in our district. Last year I didn't get enough support from the students, but the year before I had five teams all working hard! So I'm hoping we'll get enough students this year to make it happen! I have about 10 slides with a book trailer link and it took about 20 minutes to run, so perfect to do during lunches. I sent it out to all the other middle school LMA's for them to see. Checked in/out three classes of math books today, did more books but it was pretty light (that's why I had time to do the powerpoint!) Had both lunches open for the students to play Cool Math on the the computers. I feel very accomplished that I got that all done for November 10th!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Today I had more help than I've ever had before! Then I had to find them something to do! A sub came in and a parent volunteer! That was perfect! I got to help some kids today find something to read and that was fun. I also had a meeting and had to leave at three and drive over to the meeting. A pretty typical day, with nothing extraordinary going on. Books got checked out, books got checked in. Students got help. I'm excited to have a great volunteer that'll be coming in every week! I'll be able to get some projects done! Yeah!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


What did I do today?? Finished the webinar. Gave two book talks. Checked in and out books. Shelved all the non-fiction. I know there must be more! But my brain is dead. I did score an incredibly awesome volleyball match tonight! Best set of games I've done!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Little Bit of Everything

I had four classes in today to check in and out books. I put out a few more books from repairs. Covered two paperbacks so I could put them out. Watched part of a webinar on new books and got some titles to check out. Stamped some teacher materials. Finished my boo - k pumpkins and got them all up and set. We are having an AVID night tonight, so I took some of my color pages in my Beautiful Room and cut them up for bookmarks so they could have a maker table while people were waiting during the evening. Did some laminating for teachers, and redid some book covers while I had the machine going! Checked for some lost books today as well. Talked with a volunteer parent who is now cleared to come and work for me! Huzzah!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Boo - k Graveyard

Today I worked on a Halloween themed set up in the library. I made a tombstone 'The Boo - k Graveyard' and displayed a bunch of Halloween themed books and had my aides put up scary books up on their shelves. Checked out three sets of math books and checked in three sets. Did two of my Library of Congress booktalks - I really love to do those!! Checked in and out all day. Made a cat out of a discarded book and worked on some 'leaf' pages to sprinkle around the books. I have two sets of book picture pumpkins drying out and will finish them tomorrow! Loving how it is turning out. Also put out arrows on the Margaret Peterson Haddix poster and quotes on the hallway saying "This Thursday!!!" I think I'll flip them to say "Tomorrow!!" On Wednesday and on Thursday say "Today!!!" I had one student say he was going to go. Makes me happy! Checked the books I had repaired Friday and got them all out on the shelves. Got in some new books!! Squeeee!! Not very many (10), but some at least!! Put in their tattle strips and got them out there!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pink Out Day

Today we finished up our Hands Are Not For Hurting week with a Pink Out day. It was so amazing to see the students participate! So many kids wore pink the halls were nearly totally pink during passing times. Very cool! I spent most of the day working on repairs. Did that in between taking care of the students. A lovely day! Our lovely staff got together for a pink picture at the end of the day! The black shirts with 'Fox' on them are to encourage our office manager who is currently in the fight.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Shake it Out!

Today we participated in the Great Shake Out along with a ton of people all over the country. Unfortunately, it was during a nasty bit of rain and wind, but staff had been given a heads up so we were prepared, got the kids under desks, then outside and back in quick as could be. It really was the quickest we'd ever been out and back in. Book talks happened today, three of them! I did my Library of Congress speech and I am so loving to do that! Included Kate DiCamillo, past National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and Gene Luen Yang, our current Ambassador. Then I talked about Margaret Peterson Haddix who will be at the Salem Public Library next Thursday. Had four classes in our computer lab. Checked in and out a ton of books. My first period aides put all their books away this morning, and I have a full cart ready for them to put away tomorrow! I got all the non-fiction put away today. Laminated for three teachers, maybe four?? Sent off some books for processing from one of our students who donates books to us. Sent off book requests for Sasquatch by Roland Smith and two books on the Maori from Australia. Added a book onto my book cart. I will just keep adding until they send it in! I am so hoping books come in before winter break. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Had Time

Spent a part of today finishing cleaning up in my office. I had a pile of papers I went through and cleaned up. Taking out the library page of all the newsletters, putting barcodes on calculators I had piled on my desk and putting the ones that don't work in a box ("They're dead Jim."). Put the extra wheels for the white board with it back in the workroom it's in now. Got the books from last inventory that had invalid barcodes all re-entered thanks to the lovely Ms. M down at LMSS. Part of that pile was book lists of things I needed to look at to order, so I did that and added to my Baker and Taylor order since it hasn't been approved yet. I know they've been busy with a huge project for the elementary schools, but at this rate we'll be lucky to see new books before winter break. I had to look up each book, check to see what grade it was geared for, get the ISBN and log it into my cart. Had one class in today to check out books. They were very wild. I was surprised since I usually have our lunches be the noisiest, but lunches were silent compared to this group! Glad to get more great books on my order! Volleyball scoring again tonight! I love watching all the girls play!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Today was pretty easy. We only had one class come in for new math books (which I had forgotten about after talking with the sub just this morning...!) There were a ton of books to check in. Checked out a class set of science books to Mrs. C, then checked in three class sets of books from Mr. G. Got to spend some time looking at the websites we visited last week and put together a quick "Look at this! Look at that!!" Piece to send out to all our Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies teachers. I also sent that out to our special ed teachers since one of the links has a 'reader' function for research reports. Put away all the rest of the non-fiction after a lovely helper in the office came down and did some. Did a bunch of laminating and finally had to change the laminating rolls. I really dread doing that but today went pretty slick and easy. Asked about getting the new phone extensions for everyone and our PA put together a Google doc for us to all add in our new numbers. Sent in a request for adding in some books I found last year when I was doing inventory that didn't have working barcodes. So I sent in the ISBN's, barcodes, title and spine label. Seemed to be easier than sending in the books, but we'll see what the office says.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hands Are Not for Hurting

At least I am more on top of this than Banned Book Week! Today starts Hands and Words are not for Hurting week here at school. The focus this year is on "Who is the most important woman in your life?"  So after a great email from one of our counselors, I brought out our books of strong women and then set up a craft table for students to make their own hands to display here in the library. They do it in the Commons, but here I wanted them to also consider putting in the name of the most important woman of their life on the hand. I had several students from both lunches do it and I believe that some were doing it as I left from our after school program. I also did four book talks today. Two on the Library of Congress talk and one on some of our non-fiction, 600's, 700's and 921's. Checked in three classrooms of math books. Not to mention checking in and out a ton of books today! I was so happy that two of the classes I booktalked had aides here to help me out! Found that one of our books wouldn't come up in our search, so I sent the title to our office and there was a glitch in the MARC record, and they fixed it. Then I tackled our Scholastic books for the book fair, reading a chapter of each until I got the gist of them. I think tomorrow we'll be a bit more quiet! I'll hopefully get the library in better order!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Statewide Inservice

An amazing gift to all of us! We spent half the day at Salem Public Library and the other half of the day working in our libraries. I checked out a book on my way out too! Finished off 'Kercheski-ing' math books for Mr. G. Laminated. Organized my work notebook. Talked with Scholastic about the upcoming Book Fair. Talked with Ms. C about the atmosphere in the library during lunches. Loved going to Salem Public, seeing their resources, getting a tour. I am definitely sending out emails to staff that Mrs. S would love to come and show the students the ins and outs of doing great research using our databases. A very rewarding day! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Today we had a three hour PLC and so I went in to work to put in my one hour I still needed for the day. Made sure all the computer lab computers were turned off for the four days. Did two 'Kercheski' method math classes. Put paper in the copy machine. Our PLC time was good, but the webinar we had with EBSCO was phenomenal! I can't wait to share it with our teachers and go "You should be using this every day!!!" I have dinked around in it, but this was a great reminder and new tricks to use that have me wanting to share with our staff!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On the Third Day

Our students had to go only three days this week while I still have one and a half days to finish the week. Today I gave two book talks - again with my incredible Library of Congress shirt and talk! I love doing that! Checking in and out for them. Then three classes of math books 'Kercheski' style. Students in and out of the library all day. Students in the computer lab. I took a box full of The Outsiders (67!) out to my car this afternoon to take to the LMA at Judson tomorrow morning. Printed up a poster, but it didn't all print, so the teacher is making another copy of it all in bold, so it will hopefully pick it all up this time. Cleaned up all the poster making rolls and boxes on the counter. Just a regular day all in all. Though the day went by incredibly fast!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Today I got all charged up that Margaret Peterson Haddix is going to be at our Salem Public Library! Her poster was upstairs, but I took it down and printed up a bunch of her quotes. Then I made two copies, put a poster and copies of quotes in the library, along with all the books we have by her. Then I put the same quotes and stuff outside in the hallway by the library. It looks really good! Lots of checking in and out today. Had classes in all morning checking in and out books. Got all the non-fiction put away and since my 5th period aide wasn't feeling good, I did all her set of graphic novels and cleaned up that section of the shelves. Glad to highlight a great author and I hope the kids pick up her stuff! Still so good! I also scored another volleyball match tonight. So great to watch these students play! I love it!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Guinea Pigs, Ferrets and Parakeets

That's what I felt the library embodied today! We had two classes in to check in and out books. Four classes in to check out Spanish workbooks. Three classes of math books done 'Kercheski' style. Students in and out all day taking tests, checking in and out books, working on the science projects, our South students in, both lunches in, an amazing cacophony of students, reasons and goulash! I love it though! Even as I long for a peaceful moment, I am so happy our library is getting way more use this year than last I do believe!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Library of Congress

I got to do book talks today and wear my new T-shirt from the Library of Congress! I was so excited to share some pictures off the net, and talk about Thomas Jefferson and his library becoming the basis for the library! Then I got a great segway into how Kate DiCamillo was the U.S. National  Ambassador for Young People's Literature, appointed by the Library of Congress! What a great tie in to talk about all her books! That was very fun today. I got to do that 2nd and 6th period today. Checked in and out lots of books today. Sent out my aides with call slips. Didn't get finished with all the Spanish workbooks but did get enough done that they will be able to pick them up on Monday (135!! Covered, stamped and barcoded!). Then I did a class set of math books for Mr. S. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Stump to Bowl

So today I had my aide take the stump I had out for my Giving Tree display up to the wood shop class. The teacher thought he might make a bowl from it, so I'm excited to see if he does that! Took the branches out to my car. Had three classes in today to check out books. Lots of individual students as well coming to work on work sheets, check out books. Science students doing a project on lead in drinking water. Covered more Spanish workbooks. Collected books for book talks tomorrow. Had a sub work on shelving the non-fiction for me. Did some laminating for the firemen that came in to teach students how to do CPR, then take the dummies home to teach their families and community. So they had lesson sheets they had me laminate. Was so glad to do that! Did some more laminating after that as well. Got in a bunch of textbooks from South HS that were Leslie books that were turned in over there from former Leslie students (I actually remembered one of them!).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Whatever Day

Crazy day. Redid my poster just inside the door. Covered more workbooks. Checked in and out all day. Had classes in the computer lab for four periods so did a lot of resetting passwords and helping them get onto the computers. Had the techs come in so I roped them into doing all sorts of things. Taking the old projectors away. Getting 2 of the new wireless down to the PE teachers. Getting the other three out into classrooms. Catalogueing all the old projectors out. Harvesting them for parts (lamps and filters). One of my favorite things was a student that came in, dropped off a book then was getting ready to leave. So I commented that 'oh, you didn't find a book today?' And she said "No." Then we got to talking about our cats and she said she loved a good cat book. I showed her one of the cat books and then mentioned The Cat at the Wall by Deborah Ellis and the girl ended up checking that out! A good day! Then I went to score volleyball after my shift and that was fun. I really am enjoying doing that!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Spent most of today covering those workbooks, I got at least 40 done and started to put on the barcodes. Pretty quiet library day. Lots of students in to renew their overdue books (!). No classes in though. Got a call and talked to a mom about volunteering for me, so we'll meet on the 18th. The year is rolling on by!

Monday, October 3, 2016


As soon as I got in today I printed up all the overdue book notices just since September! Nearly 300! I had to look up where each student had their Language Arts class and got them all separated by class and by period for that class so the teachers could hand them out. That took awhile! The rest of the day was taken up with helping students find books and then covering more Realidades 1 workbooks. Hoping to get those done by the end of the week. I got a 'kudos" for doing that from our Spanish teacher!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Order In

Today I spent a mass amount of time on getting my order in and done and sent for approval. I had a lot of books that had issues, so I ended up ordering more. I couldn't log into the site at first, but had the wrong entrance to it, so I figured that out and got in. Batch loaded my books I've been working on since May. Added in other books. Looked through our approved list and picked some books off that list. Had to wade through all the different formats for a title (audio, CD, ebook, hardback, paperback, reinforced) quite the interesting day, but I think I had it all pretty well taken care of in the end. Got some more books out of repairs, did some more repairs. Got every book put away before the weekend - I love to end a Friday with everything put away! A great effort on ordering just made my day that I could turn that all in! Can't wait to see them come in!

Thursday, September 29, 2016


What a wonderful treat we had today! A Leslie alumna came to school and played a concert for the students! She is a professional and has been all over the world and came to talk to the students about community and each of us and the part we play in that. It was amazing. She had two friends along, and they did a great set where they showed how each instrument (viola, violin and cello) had their own part to play in a song, even though they are all different. I could have stayed and working in the library, but I wasn't about to miss out on this concert! And she's playing at the Elsinore Saturday night and if you are a student and bring ID, you can get in for free! Amazing! So periods were shorter today, but I still got workbooks covered (another 15 or so) and put out the books I had repaired the day before yesterday. I had two Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and were able to send them out to students on the hold list! Yeah! Got to spend time with students helping them pick out a just right book and I love to do that! Repaired a couple of other books to let sit for the night and read another graphic type novel (Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf) and found gum stuck inside. I carefully scraped off the gum and tried to save the other side of the page stuck on the other side and managed to save part of it. I ended up putting our book tape over where the gum had been, three sides! Two for the glue and then on the page behind where the gum had really stuck. Helped some students log in to the school computers today so they could get on our Chrome books. Laminated a bunch of tiny strips of science stuff for Mr. H. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Downstairs at Downton

Thought of that today while I was coming in and going downstairs to the library! Even though I have a great view, I'm still below the stairs! Ha! Got another 14 spanish workbooks covered today. Did one book talk. Had two classes in to turn in and check out books. Worked more on my order, I hope to send it in on Friday. Got to help some students look for books. One of my favorite things to do! Helped our tech with a few things that needed doing around the school. Set up the projector cart for the Pacific University class tonight and after work, I headed over to the gym to score the volleyball game. I am really loving getting to do that! It went really well tonight and I was out of there earlier than the other night! Huzzah!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Finally Banned!

I had forgotten about Banned Book Week! How did that happen?? So I made up for it today by printing up some stuff from the ALA website and made this cool jail for the wall just outside the library! I love it! So cute! Got all the spanish books barcoded and ready to go and had students come in today to check them out. Put away the rest of the non-fiction and then took down and put away all the books on my display shelving so I could put up banned books up there. I finished putting away all the graphic novels for my 5th period aide, she was a bit overwhelmed I think! I got everything back in order and rearranged the shelves so they won't be so tippy. Checked in and out three classes today. Helped a teacher with her computer. Did some laminating. Did some book repair. I had two copies of Miss Peregrine's I really needed to fix and let students check out since we have a waiting list and I repaired some other books as well. Added in a few more books to my order list. A very busy day!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jury Duty - Not!

Today I had to report for jury duty. I was kind of excited! I've had notices for 20 years and had never had to appear until today! I was excited! I created my absence last night, and headed off to the court this morning. Checked in, read, played sudoku, then they had the people called for grand jury leave the room and we were told our case had just been settled and we were free to leave after watching a video. So we watched and I headed off to get gas, then thought, I need to call and our office manager said "Yes! You need to come back to work!!" No hiking then! So I headed into work and had to tell my lovely sub he had to go home. It's amazing how behind you can get with being gone for 3 hours! I was running all day. I put a ton of books away, cleared off the back table. Checked out two sets of science books. Had two classes come in to return and then check out new books. Had both lunches in, but then I was really upset at B lunch. I came out into the main library space and there was a shelf down on the floor with books in a heap all around it. No one had come to me. When I asked, no one admitted to doing it. I was pissed off!! It was picked up and cleaned up by the time lunch was over, though I did have to go back and put the books in order, at least they were on the shelf. Pulled a report on lost books to finish up my ordering, but didn't get much done there. A very busy time at work today and I was glad to head off to home! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Mandatory Training

I finally took the time today to finish my Mandatory Training. I think this is the longest I've ever taken to get it done. I started, then of course, life and the day moved in. I did get 100% even though it took me until 2nd period because of all the interruptions! Helping students here, working with my aides. We had a ton of books to put away, so I had them take the books in their sections and put them on a cart in order. That way I could see what they were doing out there in the stacks. They did really well, a couple of issues, but we'll work on those. I also had to look for a science book and ended up going through all the red science books (five sets of 300+/- each. I didn't find it, but I did get a couple of shelves back in the right order. I also had to make sure my extra sub instructions were all current since I have to call about jury duty Sunday night. That took awhile as well! Amazing how much I had to change! Had to reset a bunch of passwords for students that were in the lab doing some spanish work. Three of the computers were unplugged from the back of the hard drive, so I plugged those in this morning before they came down. Let the students play Cool Math games at B lunch (A lunch couldn't because the spanish students were in there) and after locking four different computers for not being on the right site I finally just blanked them all and had the students leave the lab. They only had about a minute left to go anyways. Got copier paper in finally and moved that to where I keep it. Moved the new spanish workbooks into my office. Cleaned up my office desk so if there's a sub on Monday it won't look so messy in there!! Spent the last few moments putting new books out on top of the shelves, closing the blinds, making sure everything is ready for Monday. Got three books ready to send to another school. A very busy day, but a lot accomplished! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Order Up

Today I spent a lot of time on getting my order ready. There are quite a few steps to do on the Excel sheet, so I worked on that, cleaning up the ISBN's for loading onto the website. Checking out some new stuff and printing it out for the meeting this afternoon. I was thinking I wouldn't go, but there were a few things for the middle school I needed to hear. I had five classes in today to turn in books and check out new books. Did four book talks. We had an assembly so the day was a bit crazy. Didn't have much time to put away books, so I finally just put the carts out that held the checked in books so the students could pick from them as well. I had to leave at 3 for my meeting up at Claggett. We talked science books and ordering and had a presentation by PermaBound. A good day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Yes, today I scored five volleyball games at our meet this afternoon after work. I really enjoyed it and even though we lost, the girls did some really great plays. I love it when the volleys go back and forth several times! At work, I finished up covering the Realidades 1 workbooks I had on hand so they will just need barcodes when they get here. Had lots of checking in and out. Worked on pulling books for book talks tomorrow. Got the old marketing room ready for the Spanish students tomorrow. They had come in on Tuesday and used the library, but I can't really shut down the library for them every Tuesday and Thursday all year, so I suggested this other room and got that organized a bit better for them. Had a class come in and trade out books today during 5th period. Got the cart set up for our university class that meets in the library. A pretty quiet day for me to cover books! Check those off my list!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cover Up

Today I mostly worked on covering the Realidades 1 workbooks. Since we no longer can sell the work books, we are going to have to check them out. So I really need to cover them to help preserve them while students carry them around! They can get pretty battered. Got to do some individual helps today with books. Found the correct address for the NetSupport program and got the other computers to come up! Huzzah! Was excited to have both lunches, but then the Spanish class came in right before A lunch to use the library, so we had to call that off so they could study. A nice mostly quiet day with a sad meeting near the end, involving our community. I showed Mr. M the room I've been working on with our counselor and he gave me some great tips on how to operate it. I am amazed that I have this room here and ready with the tragedy our community just experienced. Thank you Lord for opening my heart and eyes to have this available for this time. 

Monday, September 19, 2016


So over the weekend I walked by this house and they still had stumps from cutting down a tree and I asked if I could have a stump! They said yes and I picked one out and thought I'd do a window on The Giving Tree! It turned out nice and when I asked a student what it was, she said 'It's the Giving Tree!' So I gave her a high five! The rest of the day was pretty quiet, just checking out books here and there, cleaning up some books that needed to be put in the back. Then off to the Ram for our PLC and picking out our OBOB books that we do here in our district. So excited for them!

Friday, September 16, 2016

First Full Week Done

I was so surprised this morning to realize I had no one scheduled to do anything in the library today! I got to spend some great one on one time with students and helping them to find a 'just right' book. I think I had one boy really excited about the World War II series by Lynch. He said he didn't like to read, and mostly just played games, so I mentioned that maybe he'd like to read some war novels and see how tactics played out and that might help him gaming. The look on his face was a 'oh, I never thought of that, what a great idea!' At least I was hoping that's what it looked like! Another was a girl who only read graphic novels, really very easy stuff. I saw on her account that she'd read a few Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, so she can read. I picked out an Odd Squad, then as I was watching her rove around, decided no, she needed something still fairly light, but that was much edgier. So we settled on Avi's Seer of Shadows. They both seemed to be interested in those choices. I actually got some books covered today as well and thanks to a 'did you check the P drive' I found all my book order lists!! I was so happy!! Now I don't have to try and recreate it, because I never could have! I took down my 9/11 display, got all the books put away (well, at least until lunch). Did a couple of repairs. A much easier day and oh yes, took home a stack of books. One of them is an OBOB book since we'll be meeting Monday at the Ram to talk about which 10 out of the 16 we want to use for our meet.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Order Time

So excited that we got to speak with our Baker and Taylor rep today and get the low down on our ordering! I was really looking forward to meeting with her so I can get that order in that I was working on since last May! But I couldn't find it on my computer. I will never be able to recreate all the great books I found, series to fill. I am one very unhappy book order person from that respect. :( I can't believe that's gone. I sent in a tech ring to help me find it, so I hope it's around, somewhere. Did booktalks all day long today. Two for 8th graders and three for the 7th graders. I was scrambling between classes trying to get another set of books to talk about! They would usually check out the books I talked about so I'd have to find new ones for the next group. Put books up to fill in holes on the rack and on the shelves. I was running all day. Then I had to leave early for our meeting. It's not too far away, but they said parking could be an issue. So as soon as school was nearly done, I turned on the laminator and was laminating like crazy. Trying to get the library very beautiful looking since it was parents night at school. I won't be there, but just in case someone poked their head into the library, I wanted them to be impressed. A very busy, crazy day. But I loved it (except losing my excel sheet with all my books on it!!).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chrome Cows

Today I went to our Chrome book training we had in the library. Very interesting how Chrome books work. Now I need to learn all about them! I'm sure teachers will ask me 'how....' and other interesting questions. I am intrigued, I'll admit! There are so many ways I could share about books with our staff and students! Another busy day of check outs and two more book talks. I had to give out class sets of Shapes and Designs because I was two classes short of books. I talked with our IC about it and she said our population rose about 150 students this year she thought she had heard. No wonder I'm running short. Then I did check out three classes of Prime Time. Worked with my aides today on straightening shelves and correct shelving. Finding it harder and harder to put out new books on the display, they are all getting checked out! Had a teacher send down three girls who spent their time goldfishing (just walking around the library in circles) and giggling and finally left without checking out any books at all, so I let their teacher know. All in all another great day in the library. Put my painting in the Beautiful Room and the coloring pages. Put up a football READ poster and stapled on book cover images I printed on football books. I think I like it! Next idea for display, a stump with the Giving Tree book and more of Shel Silverstein.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Caber Tossing

That's what it felt like today as I moved the six big poster rolls from my workroom to the copy room and had to get them out of boxes and onto the rack! Either that or Sumo wrestling. But our rack is now full and ready for bulletin boards and posters galore! They've been in there for about a week, and I finally had time today to take care of that! Got in the rest of  The BFG for Ms. B and had my aides take that up to her before classes started this morning. Seeing as how it was Mr. Dahl's birthday today, so glad they came in for that! Sent off 35 copies of  The Outsiders to Mr. H at Houck, aka Ponyboy. Gave three quick mystery/suspense/horror talks for classes today. Got in 60 copies of Ancient World so I can give those out to students tomorrow since we were short and lovely schools shared with us. Finished up the two math classes for Mr. G with the Kercheski method. Then I went up the stairs to his room three times to get the math books to him before classes started! Checked out a cart that had come from a teacher's room to see what needed to be checked in and what was not barcoded. Cleaned the projector filter for Mrs. C when I first got in this morning. Had the techs in to get the computers all set up for the NetSupport program and they helped the students who were having trouble signing in. Did some laminating for me and for a couple of other teachers. Sent an email to South to ask whatever happened to the copy of Blue Highways they were sending for a teacher (it was early last week) and to ask for a copy of a book for a boy here. Had to check out two of the classes of the mystery/suspense/horror books all by myself. Busy all lunch checking in and out books. I put over 5 miles on my Fitbit today! I'm tired!

Monday, September 12, 2016

T'was a Busy Day...

All the birdies in the trees, and the radio singing songs, like a favorite melody... Oh, yeah, textbooks checking out today. Two classes every period, until we nearly were out of Ancient Worlds, so I ended up getting the teacher a class set and seeing if anyone had any. Then had my aides shelving today, so we'll see how that goes! Had Ms. K ask me to do a bit of a book talk on mystery/horror/suspense books so I printed up lists and started to compile books on a cart for students to see. Got the rest of Mr. S's math books done....oh, my ride, back later!

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Well, yes I did Friday afternoon and it was so relaxing I didn't get home until late and forgot to post my Friday notes! Another very busy day. I did get five classes with the Kercheski method out today. Six other classes got their math books. Five orientations on the library with running like crazy between classes to refill the racks and tops of the shelves with books! I got another aide for 5th period, so that will help! I got two more 'Kercheski' classes done and have two more to go and hope that I'll finish those Monday morning. Put in a request for 30 more Realidades books. We are so close to having enough, but some of them are in really rough shape, so we'll be able to filter out the bad ones and replace with the quality used ones. Glad for the weekend! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Today I did orientations all day long! Five classes of 6th graders and a brief one to 7th graders along with a quick book talk on about 7 books. Checked out four classes of math books. Had my aides check out to Mrs. C and Mr. R science books. Ran over to West Salem to pick up some more science books. I was running all day long! I talked about our tenets and how they relate to the library. Respect, Responsibility and Safety. Thought I did a pretty good job! A very busy day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

All Together Now!

Great day today with all the students back at school. I handed out schedules for a bit, then headed back to the library and I had two library aides waiting for me! Exciting! They are both great girls and I am excited to have them. We did tours, and I gave them some lessons on how to check out. Nearly forgot about taking attendance, then went, oh no!! Ran into the office and since everything's been updated, had a bit of a problem figuring out how to do it! I ended up calling our attendance lady to say 'they are here!! I just figured it out!!' And she laughed! They are really getting on attendance this year and for the next couple of weeks are going to personally call each family if a student is absent, so attendance is very important!! They are my only aides for the whole day! So, they will be busy!! Got to do a 6th grade orientation to the library today and checked out books. Still did major hall monitoring for the bank of lockers near the library. Checked out books today, huzzah!! Figured out a hook up in our LRC classroom. Helped train students coming in to use the copier. Got my this year's information cards filled out and up to the office. Put in a tablecloth and my Mt. Denali quilted wall hanging in the Beautiful Room. Dug up a basket tray to put in there too and ordered some new markers and colored pencils to put in there with the paper I put on the tray. Had our techs in working on making sure our search computers were up and running, generic logins and pulling up the search engines when they loaded in. Got generic logins on the checkout desk computers so I don't have to use mine. Had to put out more books!! So happy to see the racks getting emptied out. Had two study halls and a class all come and check out books. Made me smile! Lots coming in tomorrow! Hope I can keep great books up and ready for check outs!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

6th Graders Only

Loved having just the 6th graders in today! So much fun! I think I spent a lot of today helping out with the bank of lockers by the library door. Getting them in the habit of 'clockwise twice, to your first number, counter clockwise to the first number past it to the second, then back clockwise to the last number'. Some students were even helping that made me very happy! I got my new bulletin board up, sanitized the tables, got out the 'new' rack and put books on it. Helped a bunch of teachers. A very worthwhile rewarding day! Loved helping out and seeing and greeting our new students!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Beautiful Room

Loved getting lots of things done today. A great opening meeting for the morning, then getting the library into shape for our 6th graders that come in on Tuesday! All books up on the shelves looking so ready to check out! Tables all in their ADA configuration! Laminating done! And I cleaned out the back room. There is my office, then our Instructional Coaches office then another small room that has become a cluttered up room. It has been used for small groups, but this year we have a teacher who needs a space during 4th period, and I wanted to make a room that would be for kids who need a space to just hang out and chill for awhile. I imagined a place with a couple of comfy chairs, a few books for inspiration, a table so small groups could still meet in there. So today, our teacher workroom that was used for our marketing class that is no more, was open and there were things in there, so I moved in three metal desks, a TV on a cart and a few other odds and ends and swept the room, rearranged the desk and table in there and put in two chairs and a little cart. I got some bookends and put in some Chicken Soup books and a few other poetry books, Staying Strong by Demi Lovato on the cart and I will do more when I have some more time. It looks so much nicer in there! I am so happy! Could use nicer chairs, I'll bring in a tablecloth for the cart, maybe a vase or something - small lamp?? Maybe some creative pieces, paper, markers for people to use, explore the issues in their life. I thought we could name it, so right now I'm calling it the Beautiful Room since anyone that goes in there is a beautiful person :) So very happy with all I got done!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Two Days Down!

Oh my! Must get back in the habit!! Will do these tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day Back

I had a plan for the day and that kind of went almost out the window! But I got a lot of other things done as well as some of what I planned, so all is well! Had to put in tech rings after I had to figure out all of the computers that needed generic logins had to be reinterred for that. I had to log into each one and find their new computer number, which with our new Windows 10 upgrade took a bit of mucking around. Then I couldn't access my printer by my office and had to run up to the copier upstairs until they did a remote fix on that (it had also been renamed!) Loaded paper in the copier! Ha! Picked up more books from the office that needed to come down. Checked them all in. Some had been done, but never hurts to make sure. Packed up six books to be sent to LMSS for processing. Had a stack of teacher room stuff and checked in all that too. Some were still checked out to people, so good thing! One student claimed he had turned in a math book, so I found it. Checked it in and took paperwork up so they would get a refund, then noticed he had another book that was due for a refund, so I checked on that with the bookkeeper and she said he had never paid for it, so we couldn't refund it. So I called LMSS and talked with KD, and she was going to take care of it with a note so if the matter ever came up. Did our new sign up sheets for the year. Seems like we hardly have any time off! Bummer! Checked on getting some Spanish books for our students, not much luck there. Then went into the back to shift LIT book shelves and condense them. Had to remember the cart in the back and take those books, change their call numbers to LIT and put them in too. So, a very productive day all in all. Picked up the book A Monster Calls since I had seen a movie trailer on it & we had the book! Also picked up The Breadwinner to read at home tonight. Too many good books! Glad to be back!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sixth Grade Camp

This was actually on Tuesday the 23rd! I went in to help out with our new 6th graders! We had a lot of fun! Introductions, fun stuff! I had a group of kids to help out. A get to know you bingo game. Locker relay, Jeopardy, a scavenger hunt, so much fun! I got to be in the library for the scavenger hunt and the kids had to ask me how my summer was and where I went! So much fun to tell them I went to Spain! Glad I was able to help out!

Monday, August 22, 2016

2015 - 2016 Reading

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - we follow a group of people through the end of the Reich to escape the Soviets. Based on the true story of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff where 9,000 lost their lives from a torpedo attack.
  • The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearson - Another fabulous historical fiction! Arthur pays off his probation by working for the Junk Man he hit with a brick and broke his arm. He learns that the 7 most important things are happening in his life as he helps. Loosely based on the true story of James Hampton and his "Third Throne of Heaven" on display at the Smithsonian as American Folk Art! Loved this!
  • The Tin Snail by Cameron McAllister - a lovely historical fiction on France building a car for Everyman rather than the rich before WWII. They ended up burying it to keep it from the Germans! True story! Fun!
  • Gray Mountain by John Grisham - It's been awhile since I've read a Grisham and absolutely loved this one! Stuffy lawyer worker bee in New York gets laid off with a semi-promise of reemployment if she volunteers for a year. Off Samantha goes to the Mountain Legal Aid Clinic to help people with claims from coal companies to homelessness. I won't ruin the ending, but loved it all! And, they drove into Big Stone Gap! From our bookclub reads! An added bonus!
  • Religion: a Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer - loved this tasteful and docucomic about the five major religions - examining Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Nicely done!
  • Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery - what an amazing woman! Temple has autism but has managed to find her passion and communicate that to others. A leader in the industry for a less stress death for animals killed for our food, she is incredible! Loved the 'crush' she built for people to ease anxiety!
  • The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericksburg - I finally had to make the decision to take the cover off this book. It was the only reason anyone picked it up. A teacher, a student both were very bothered by it, the boys ogled it. So, I took it off and decided to read it. Not bad. Two friends head for high school and one gets a crush on the popular boy, who already has his popular girlfriend, but still meets his crush on Thursday nights. It worked, not too bad, and more about friendships, the things that can happen at school. It was all right and so beyond that cover, glad I ditched it.
  • Terrible Typhoid Mary by Susan Campbell Bartoletti - I learned a lot about this infamous woman and how she was treated by the medical society and others. There were other 'carriers' who never were treated the way she was and that was a shame. An interesting look at a disease that is nearly gone from our shores.
  • The Siren by Kiera Cass - Kahlen is given a choice by the Ocean, to drown with her family, or to become a Siren for 100 years. She chooses to be a siren and with her three sisters they call ships to feed the Ocean. When she finds Akinli, a boy who sees her past the haunting beauty and chooses to hear her soul beyond her muteness, changes begin. Loved this!
  • Skinny by Donna Cooner - Who is that voice that whispers in your ear, inside your head telling you everything you suppose everyone is saying. This tale of an obese teenager struck home with me because most of us have that voice and need to deal with that. Great book!
  • The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork - After a failed suicide attempt, Vicky finds the help and friendship she needs outside of family. She finds that the great sadness of her mother's death evolved into a spiral of depression. Her context of how that sounds, and looks is fabulous. Another one I will recommend!
  • Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice - texting by her younger sister causes Roo to just this once, text while driving and she ends up locked inside her body. Everyone thinks she's a vegetable except her sister Tilly who discovers that Roo is in there, and knows what's going on by a flick of her eye. An amazing tale of sisters, the barriers that can come between and how those barriers can make them closer. Recommended for my students!
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker - loved this tale of a boy and his fox. Peter is sent off to live with his grandfather while his dad goes to war and they take Peter's fox and leave it in the woods. What Peter and Pax go through to find each other is a wondrous crafting of growing, finding your place and letting go. I cried. Chapters are boy/fox and so well crafted - definitely a recommended book!
  • Dog is my Copilot by Patrick Regan - loved these stories of dogs that needed a home, but far from where they are and the pilots who take them there. Special people, special dogs and special pilots! Very heartwarming! Glad I heard about this group and all the good they do!
  • The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler (for bookclub) - Esme moves to New York and becomes pregnant. Realizing she needs money, she goes to a little independent bookstore to ask about a job and is hired. Between the father and the family she finds in the bookstore, it is quite the read!
  • East by Edith Pattou - what a lovely book! Rose was born to replace a lost sister who was born to the east of the compass, but instead, she was born to the north. A wanderer, an explorer and when times get tough, a bear comes to the door and tells her all will be well if she comes with him. So she does. Just exquisitely done! Loved it!
  • Girls, Drums and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick - loved this quirky tale of a big brother who struggles with the fact his little brother has cancer, but never loses sight of how much he loves him. Friends, fundraisers and family made this a great book. I will recommend it to my students!
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Young Reader's Edition) - a lot to chew! Loved the YRE and glad I waited to read this. I've made quite a few changes in my life and eating choices and this book was very encouraging. 
  • The Red Pencil by Andrea Pinkney - lovely novel in verse about a family in Africa that had to move to a refugee center and the girl who wanted something better. Really excellent conveying of what life must be like in those circumstances. Sad, but still, there is hope of something better.
  • Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott - brilliant book in verse about a group of girls who not only survive Auschwitz, but together make a birthday card for Fania which she kept and is now in a Holocaust Museum. How they did it, and she kept it is amazing. 
  • You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison - clever book! Maggie and Nash are long time friends. She's overweight, he's gay and when the new guy comes to their school Nash claims dibs. Even though this is high school, still very much a middle school read. Nicely done, and now I want to bake cookies!
  • Stray by Elissa Sussman - Another fabulous fantasy! I've looked at this one for awhile and finally read it! Princess Aislynn can not control her magic and instead of her happily ever after, she is demoted to being a fairy godmother. This is a dark tale and has a sequel! I'll have to get that one on my order list!
  • Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge - What a great fantasy! I loved it all! Rachelle, Erec, Armand - when the Bloodbound and the forest born are on either side of the Devourer, who will win? Which will you take? The path of needles or the path of pins, fabulous!
  • The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch - for my book club! The trials and tribulations as well as the lives and community that get knit together because of the book store. I liked the second half better than the first and have read 7 of her fave picks! We must have something in common! The humming of books most likely!
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - Very nicely done of a girl living under the shadow of her brother's bad choices and how she finds herself in another family that helps her family find her. Loved her pizza whispering!
  • George by Alex Gino - how likely is it to read the same coming out story with a slightly different take? George also knows she's a girl, and wants to be Charlotte in the class play. For my take, Gracefully Grayson was done much better.
  • Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky - nicely done tale of a boy who knows she is a girl and auditions for Persephone in the class play. Very nicely done.
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper - how technology helps a young girl with severe disabilities show others she can think with the best of them. A must recommend for my students!
  • No and Me by Delphine de Vigan - loved this tender story of a girl who tries to help a homeless girl on the streets of Paris. A lovely read.
  • Unslut by Emily Lindin - thought this would be an excellent book for our students. Emily was in middle school when she was labeled a 'slut' and this is her diary with sidebars on her perceptions of what happened, what she allowed, consent issues, self harm, and really a hard look at how that worked on her. I read it to be sure it was ok to go out! I also got approval by my supervising librarian. He's going to order it as well. An interesting read - though the teenage angst was a bit over the top a lot!
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George - I love the Literary Apothecary book barge! Loved it getting cast off, then following Jean and Max down the rivers. I love a book where I get to pull out a map and follow along! I looked up Cuisery, the Camargue (and looked at pictures of the horses! Now I want to go there!) and then Sanary-sur-Mer. I still need to look up Bonnieux! 
  • Spelled by Betsy Schow - Nice! Fairy tales and fantasy strung together and mashed up with magic and a prince chimera, and oh spell, it was good!
  • The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin - a nice spin off from the very adult Game of Thrones, this is a rather sweet tale of a girl born in the midst of winter who becomes friends with an ice dragon. Took me just an evening to read, the illustrations were fabulous! A really nice story told well. 
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark - Nice story, and fun for our OBOB students! River, Freak and Fiona find a sofa on the sidewalk one morning and discover it is much more than a piece of household furniture! With a zucchini crayon, Guernica the computer and Alf, they save the world! Loved all the Tolkien references!
  • The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint - ah, I love his works and worlds. It was a surprise to find this book in our library. I nearly cried at the end, because it ended so perfectly. Imogene was still blue though! Glad I found it and read it.
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin - Really liked this little story of a bookseller and how he touched the lives of the people around him. Took some chances, and loved his books! This was for my book club and I have lots of notes! Didn't like that he died of cancer, but we all have to go sometime.
  • Positive - by Paige Rawl - I think every middle school library must have this book available! Paige went through bullying beyond belief when she told her best friend she was HIV positive. And soon the entire school knew. In spite of, or because of, Paige has turned out to be an amazing advocate willing to speak and tell her story. A must have, I'll send out the recommend tomorrow!!
  • Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell - loved this take on Cinderella and her knack with mechanical and magical items. Jules was magnificent! And a bit of a twist at the end!
  • The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell - loved this tale of a boy with early ALS and the friends he makes online, then in real life as he needs to make decisions about how his life will end. They form a deep bond and each realizes they can be who they want to be. Loved this!
  • True Heroes - various, pictures by Jonathan Diaz - Diaz has his heart in great space - he loves giving kids with cancer their dreams in a photograph, then he got authors to also write stories about these amazing kids. From firefighters and warrior princesses to fashionistas and dragon riders - it may be one of the best books I've read this school year! 
  • The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni - nice dystopian in a way story of a boy who finds himself a part of the Eighth Day - a day when no normals are around, but he, and others like him have another life. He meets a girl who only lives on that one eighth day and finds himself locked in an old legend of Arthurian proportions. Well done, not what I was expecting!
  • The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier - Two orphans have nowhere to go and end up at the Windsor mansion, though it is haunted and there is something about that great tree that is growing inside the house and that the people who live there grow more and more pale and sick. A nice mystery fantasy I enjoyed!
  • Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein - Quite the comic tale of 12 children selected to spend the night in the town's new library built by the crazy game maker Mr. Lemoncello! It was a fun read and to catch all the names of books he throws out along the way!
  • The Caged Graves by Dianne Salerni - Enjoyed this tale of post civil war and the plucky Verity who is off to marry a lad near her father's place. Her mother had died and was buried in a 'caged grave' to keep people from digging her up and Verity digs up secret after secret trying to find out why. Very nice!
  • Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata - enjoyed this tale of Cracker on the one hand, and his people on the other and how Cracker ended up in Vietnam as a patrol dog. Very nicely done!
  • Facing the Lion by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton - Loved this tale of Joseph and how he lived in two worlds. Getting educated and then living as a herder in his tribe. Wonderful life and balance! A very special man!
  • The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks - what a crazy ride! The real life of vampires, Guinea pigs, werewolves and how they live in modern society. I did this as a CD and it took awhile (I only live 10 minutes away from work!) But I really did enjoy it!
  • Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb - the tale of an 11 year old with severe anorexia and how she kept trying to convince herself she was not thin enough. I will definitely recommend this to our students!
  • Mary Lincoln's Dressmaker by Becky Rutberg - loved this tale of Elizabeth Keckley and her amazing dressmaking abilities and how that brought her into contact with Mary Lincoln. Very impressive!
  • Over Winter Break ^
  • Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead - Not sure about some of this book. Two intertwined stories that focus on three girls in middle school and an older sister. Bridge was in horrible accident and goes around wearing cat ears after her year of rehab. She and her friends make a 'set' of three and promise never to fight. They go through a lot together and it all turns out all right in the end. A good book for middle school.
  • The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke - an always read for Christmas time. Love this book!
  • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - whoa! what a ride! Her POV is perfect for each character and what a wild emotional free fall of words! Loved every moment, it was so intense in a word candy way as well as the story. I really see that it is not really a middle school book and sent it to Sprague. If someone requests it, I might order it in, but for only a few of my kids that could possibly handle it. Loved it.
  • Born Free by Joy Adamson - what a delight to find this book in our library! So good to see the pictures and hear the story of Elsa the Lioness again. Made me happy!
  • Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff - this took a bit for me to get into but it really grew on me. Trent is a boy haunted by hitting another boy while playing hockey as the puck hit the other boy in the chest and he ended up dying. Trent has no idea how to cope with this, his emotions. What he thinks of himself. How it might have been different. Fallon has her own past and a huge scar on her face and together they become friends and find out friends are what get you through the tough times when nothing else will. I will recommend this one!
  • Legend by Marie Lu - kind of liked this dystopian drama of two highly capable people and how they got thrown together. Nice.
  • Fumbling by Kerry Egan - :A Pilgrimage of Love, Grief, and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago - loved this! Think Anne Lamott walking through the north of Spain, with all the twistings of life and faith brought together, one of those I was sad to end because I didn't want it to!
  • My Friend The Enemy by J. B. Cheaney - what a great tale of the Pacific Northwest during WWII and how it affected the Japanese here. And I never knew that Japan had worked out air currents and actually put weather balloons up with bombs attached that did come all the way over here. Wow. Never knew that.
  • The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove - Pretty chunky, but really enjoyed this first book. There was a disruption in the world and ages rifted. Some went back, others forward. Sophie's uncle is a cartologer and he entrusts to her a glass map, then he is kidnapped and taken away and she is left to follow him. Very interesting book!
  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis - loved this twist on a fairy tale. Sunday is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter. She is blithe and bonny and good and gay with her 6 sisters. Her written words have power and she escapes to the forest to write and finds one day a frog that she falls in love with. A blend of fairy tales and intrigue as the frog becomes the prince her family hates but all live happily ever after after all.
  • Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata - what a sweet family tale of a Japanese family battling to make a better life for themselves and their children. Very touching, families are all the same, we care so deeply for those we love and try to remember them as best as we can.
  • Code of Honor by Alan Gratz - I was only going to read the first few chapters but totally got sucked into this fast paced thriller and had to read it all. Kamran and his brother Darius have always lived by a code of honor. Their mother is from the Middle East and they look like her side of the family. When Darius joins the Rangers and is seen working with terrorists, his brother can't believe it, or can her? Then he notices that his brother is using their old 'code' to send him messages. Very very good!
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Bod's family is murdered and he toddles up to the graveyard at the top of the hill and the graveyard denizens adopt him and decide to raise this 'Nobody' to keep him safe from whoever it was that failed to murder him. Interesting tale!
  • Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead - An OBOB book - quirky tale of two boys who pretend. One lies, the other spies and none of it is real. Very nice and true to our lives when things won't work the way we want them to but we still want someone along who will believe in us.
  • Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm - Loved this tale of Sunny who wanted to go to the beach again this summer with her best friend, but ends up in Florida with her grandfather and his '55 and over' community. Nice sweet graphic novel of why she ended up there for the summer. 
  • I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest - what a great ride! May and Libby become friends and create Princess X. Then Libby dies in a car accident. May moves away and comes back to Seattle to spend time with her dad and sees a Princess X sticker. She finds more and more, then finds a Princess X story that she knows is Libby. A fabulous read!
  • Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede - what a cute little fantasy! Cimorene is not your average princess and as such, is not interested in dancing, embroidery or princes. She'd rather learn sword fighting, latin and cooking. When she is to be engaged to a prince, she heads off to the mountains and becomes the princess to a dragon. These dragons don't devour their princess, they cook, clean, attend the dragons and Cimorene has found her profession! Loved it!
  • Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins - one of our OBOB books. Chiko is forced into the Burmese army and ends up wounded and near death when a young Karenni comes across him. He must make the decision to save his enemy, or help him. An interesting book about people and perspectives, but based very much on what the Karenni people were still going through in 2010.
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - I can see why students love this book. Who wouldn't like to be like Stargirl? Someone who stands out, doesn't care what others think, celebrates everything she finds in her own way? Downloaded this as an eBook checkout through our Axis360 program. Worked fabulous!
  • The Cat at the Wall by Deborah Ellis - Clare has died in Bethlehem, PA to wind up as a cat in Bethlehem, Israel. She blames her teacher for her death as she helps a young boy and two soldiers in the riot ravaged city. Chapters alternate between her clash with her 8th grade teacher and her involvement with the boy and the soldiers as her cat self. So very good!! Highly recommended!
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi - really enjoyed this dystopian world! Nailer lives in the shadow of giant ships that once traveled oceans. The oceans rose, fuel ran out and now scrappers make a living by stripping them of parts. Nailer escapes an oil choked hold and is called "Lucky" then finds a clipper ship wrecked on the 'Teeth' and finds not only enough wealth to set him for life, but Lucky Girl, who may hold more for him than any pay. Well done!
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon - Loved this take on an old fairy tale! Azalea and her sisters have lost their mother and the King has put everyone into mourning for a year. The sisters want to remember their mom, and her favorite thing was to dance. They are all accomplished dancers and one day Az finds a mark on the fireplace that leads them to a magical realm where they can dance all night. The Keeper has other plans for them and Azalea must find a way to rescue them all.
  • The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson - a great read! Enjoyed this 'prequel' to the Tom Sawyer stories about how Becky meets this river boat pilot named Sam Clemens who is waiting for parts. Very fun!
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - Had to do a quick read on this because it hinted at romance (!), so thought I'd check it before I let the students at it. It was a really good read! Tamsin comes from a family of witches who all get their 'Talent' by the time they are 8. Except her. Her grandmother said she would be the best of them all, but it hasn't happened until a gentleman wanders into the family book store hoping that someone might 'find' something for him. A really nice urban fantasy tale!
  • Swindle by Gordon Korman - a rollicking tale of a baseball card that the kids repossess to make things right! I really did enjoy this! 
  • Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai - Mai wants to spend the summer at the beach in Laguna Beach, but she is appointed guardian of her grandmother to head to Vietnam to find out what happened to her grandfather during the war. I learned a lot in this story about Vietnam and the culture! Loved it!
  • Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly - loved this quirky tale of a pieced together girl, a wizard she fights against and finds her family. This was good!
  • Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans - love the subtitle: loving, leaving and finding the church. Says it all. Loved her way of looking at all the many facets through the sacraments, her own journey from PK to blogger of religious wrestlings. Highly recommended.
  • All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg - nice book in verse about a Vietnamese boy saved during the airlift and his life here. Piano and baseball are his loves, but not one of the members of his baseball team. Nicely done.
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - what a great holocaust story about the round up of the Jews in Paris in 1942. Sarah locks her brother in the secret cabinet thinking she will be back soon and let him out. Very poignant mix between the past in 1942 and how a journalist discovers Sarah and her story. Very nice.
  • Stiching Snow by R.C. Lewis - what a great twist on Snow White and the 7 drones! Loved this high tech princess, her exile, back to the castle and helping out her kingdom! Great read, highly recommended!
  • Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman - good cyber-bully story. Lara is madly in love with Christian until he tells her the world would be better off without her. She attempts suicide, but is rescued in time. How could Christian do this to her? Make her feel so horrible that she wanted to die? Then he disappears. Police, retribution, families that stay together in spite of choices. A good read.
  • Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson - what a delightful little novel! Really enjoyed this tale of a real Hollywood star dropping into a Little town to shoot a movie. A definite recommend to students!
  • The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - this read was for me. A very unusual holocaust story, a hard read because so much of it was probably true to someone, and the brutality was heart wrenching.
  • Return of the Padawan (Star Wars Jedi Academy) by Jeffrey Brown - I didn't read the original, but love this one! Life in middle school at the Jedi Academy is no walk in a star field. This made me chuckle!
  • Cardboard by Doug TenNapel - Though I've often talked graphic novel, I've rarely read them and this was a hoot! It's Cam's birthday and his father has managed to buy him the only thing he can afford. A cardboard box. With rules. They bend the rules and suddenly, there are no more rules and cardboard takes over the neighborhood.
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander - great novel in verse (and a Newbery Winner!) of two brothers who love basketball. Great word play on the pages, a story of family. Loved it.
  • Eona by Alison Goodman - I had to jump right into the sequel! Had a great twist, and a great ending! Loved this one too!
  • Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman - Loved this!!! Eon is picked to be an apprentice to a Dragoneye, the men who use the 12 Chinese zodiacal animals in dragon form to help the kingdom of Chine. As politics twist and secrets can no longer be kept, Eon is forced to make decisions on who he is and if he will take his place on the council. Loved this!!!
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - another part biography fiction tale of a boy growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation and making the decision to go to the white school in the town. Took a chapter, but very nicely done!
  • Deck Z by Chris Pauls & Matt Solomon - a really great read actually! What if a german scientist carrying 'The Toxic' was aboard the Titanic and 'The Toxic' was set loose and started turning passengers and crew into zombies? A great read! I'm not much of a zombie fan, but this was great fun!
  • The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde - what a fun little book! Jennifer Strange is the manager of the Kazam Mystical Arts, booking magical folk so they can earn a buck. It's hard to convince people you're capable at 16 to run a business. Until she finds her true calling and turns the predictions into truth.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Louis Zamperini was a troublemaker. From his earliest days he picked fights and ditched school. Then he discovered running. With his brother coaching him, he went to the 1936 Olympics and then entered WW II. Shot down, finally rescued by the Japanese, he endured terrible tortures and finally made it back home. An amazing story!
  • Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix - move over Haddix books, the Uprising is the tale of three women the months before the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Really well done, and a great perspective on the events that lead to the fire and all those deaths that changed factories forever.
  • The Contract by Derek Jeter - Derek sets out what worked for him, a contract between him and his parents that helped him reach his goals. Fiction yes, but probably a good part of Derek's story.
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - nice teenage angst tale! Eleanor gets on the bus and the only one to be kind is Park. They start their relationship there, sharing comics, music and come to appreciate each other. Eleanor's step dad is a mean drunkard and the family lives in constant fear and Park's home is typical americana and Eleanor spends more and more time there. Until one night. Nice POV work!
  • The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson - a great read of one of Schindler's children - well worth while!
  • Between the Lines by Samantha Van Leer and Jodi Picoult - What if a character in a book moved from their place? What if you noticed? What if you could communicate to each other? That would be reading between the lines. A good tale and some nice artwork!
  • The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone - 7th grader Louise has a secret admirer! She thinks it might be the pizza delivery boy that comes to her grandparents place since her mom died. A really great book!
  • Empty by Suzanne Weyn - What if the world ran out of gas? How would that effect life initially? When you could still get it sometimes? When the power would still work sometimes? Gas at 70 to 90 dollars a gallon if you could get it? Then they find the whippersnapper, and possibilities abound.
  • Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan - really enjoyed this story of Willow (12), a child genius who is adopted and then whose parents die in a car crash. She is thrown into a world created for her since she had learned to speak Vietnamese for her friend Mai, and moves in with Mai's family to an apartment of her school counselor's (who ends up rooming with another fellow in the apartments there). A crazy, possible true story of people coming together that is wonderfully beautiful. Read this times 7!
  • Life in Motion by Misty Copeland - Lovely tale of Misty's life and how she ended up as a principal dancer and soloist at the American Ballet Theatre - will definitely booktalk this in school in the fall!
  • Finding Moosewood, Finding God by Jack Perkins - At 52 Jack is at the height of a great newscasting career, but is ready for change so he and his wife leave L.A. and buy a place on a small island in Maine. Very nice.
  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown - Fabulous! The crew team of the University of Washington makes it to the German Olympics of 1936. Not only a great story of overcoming, but literary candy as well! I've already recommended this book to a ton of people!
  • Summer 2015 Reads ^ :