The daily life of a Middle School Library Media Assistant.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Three Carts

We got all the reference books done today. Barcodes marked out, stamped Discarded and on the carts. My aides did a fabulous job of getting those done. They all have their shelves now of books to put away, so I'm hoping they do a great job. I've taken over the non-fiction until I get all the shelves set the way I want them. There's still some scooching and stuff to do. I found some books today that missed on the inventory, so I need to go over more of them. I noticed that there were two books that I knew were on the shelf - and yep, they were. Just missed them somehow along with a chunk of books right next to them (about 7). Cleaned off the piles of books I had all over my desk. Needed to re-call number a few. Spent some time reading through a couple of books finding speech things to use for my book talks tomorrow. I'm excited about that. Did a repair on a book for a student waiting for it. Also did some laminating, and cleaned the back table after my aides got stamp ink and sharpie all over it as they worked on the books. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Rearranging


I cleared off all the Reference books. Most hadn't been touched in years, some were very dated (1980's!). And I decided that those shelves needed to highlight our Auto/Biographies section. I'm so happy with the way it turned out! Then I was nearly done and a teacher came in saying she wanted to have her students come in and check out auto/biographies on Wednesday! Now all the books are displayed right about eye level, highlighted, and they just made me happy! Then I was able to finish up the 900's too! And have room for the few Reference I'm keeping - some will just go back on the shelf without the R designation. I was able to delete two sets of old encyclopedias. From 2002 and 2005. I'm keeping the 2009 for now. Then started on deleted more of the Reference. I feel very accomplished! And I forgot to mention we had our earthquake drill this afternoon. One of my aides had gone to the bathroom and I tried to find her before we went out to the field, but I searched the bathroom right by the library and she wasn't there! I risked my life to find her! I discovered that she usually goes to the bathroom up in the office because she doesn't like gender specific bathrooms. All righty! I told her it would have been nice to know that before I couldn't find her! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

More Inservice

Today was the Statewide Inservice Day, so we did another session of the Helpling Traumatized Children Learn for the morning, then back to Leslie for the afternoon. I finished up the non-fiction inventory, then started to take out the Reference section. I'm thinking I'll put the auto/biographies over there, more room to display as well! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Helping Traumatized Children Learn

That was the title of the pathway I attended this morning. Wow. I know we all have some kind of trauma in our lives and I think our kids are susceptible to so much more with the instant news we have today. Some of the notes I took today:
Our bodies remember things we've forgotten - our bodies never forget.
Genes and environment = behavior
We can be genetically predisposed to behaviors and some behaviors can be enforced by learned behaviors.
Your stressed self is NOT your best self!
Kids want to be: industrious, successful and have friends
Learning costs something, every time
Underlying trauma is usually pain - "Do you like me even when I'm bad?"
Great TED video: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime with Nadine Burke Harris
This is real - this is all of us
ACE - Adverse Childhood Experiences - there are tests online - most of us have at least one
Your brain will store trauma in a very back, back room file cabinet
Your brain will prune!
A safe caregiver is one of the first things your brain wants you to seek out as a child - an attachment
Your brain will wire itself differently if you don't have your basic needs met
How am I going to survive? Is the brain's focus
Poverty (which can be so much more than just $$$) and a cycle of trauma is horrific to your brain

That was all for today. Back tomorrow morning for another session, then another 3 sessions throughout the rest of the year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PermaBound

I love it when our PermaBound rep comes to call. Such a great guy, and he really works at making sure our students have what they want and need in their amazing binding! And he brings a book, asks me what I need. He is awesome! Finished up cleaning up the 900's. Deleted them and had my aides mark out the barcodes and spine labels. Let the social studies teachers know they were down here if they wanted any. Laminated this morning since I forgot last night in my eagerness to get to the track meet. Covered some books. Found this really cool book from 1926! It had been rebound, but it was incredible! The Columbia and about the 'new' highway going through the gorge! Complete with the new process of color photography, shot on site! It is beautiful! So glad I didn't just delete it, but opened it up! Gorgeous! Then off to volleyball scoring! Last day of the first 6 week grading period!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Track This

Had two book talks today and did the Battle of the Books talk for them both. Hopefully I'll have lots of interest in January when we get rolling for that. Actually got some books covered today! I was so happy about that! Put away some math books I needed to find a spot for in the back. Worked with my aides to sort and count all the yearbooks we have. I love the one from 1949! Mrs. F came and showed me how to put two notices together on one piece of paper. I'm hoping that works out well! I started to work on weeding our country section in the 900's. Some of the countries had 4 books and anywhere from 1982 (!) up to 2017. I got a whole top shelf of a cart filled and I'm not done yet. It needs to be done so badly. I forgot to laminate!! I will have to do it first thing in the morning, don't want to let a teacher down. Then I headed over to Bush Park and helped out for our district track meet. I got to stand at the farthest corner and direct the students. It was raining just a bit, but I loved seeing our students and a few nodded as they went by. I love to see our students exploring other possibilities!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday/Wednesday

We only have students for three days this week, so it felt like a Monday, but a Wednesday as well! Finished up the overdue notices today, and actually had 20 or so less than last week. That's great! Took down my pirate ship and put up some banned books instead! We had three classes in today and one was just to check in and out, but the other two were for book talks! Yeah! I did my talks on Battle of Books and had several students ask for more information and some checked out the books from the battle - I told them they could for now, but after the semester change only battle students will be able to! Had both lunches in and at the end of the day I started to put away books. We had a ton of books come in and a ton did not get put away so I got out and started to put them away until it was time for the staff meeting to start. Then I realized I had to get some math books for first period tomorrow, so I got those ready and took them to Mr. S's room. Then off to volleyball!! A great game with amazing plays!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Full Moon Friday



Yes, the full Harvest Moon was up last night and even this morning as I drove into work. So I wondered how the students would be. Only one was horrifically bad and I reported him to his teacher. But the rest were just business as usual! I put up a display for autumn with Halloween themed books and crafts to compliment the picture I painted last night, but I forgot to take a picture! So maybe I'll do that on Monday. Worked on the 'unaccounted for' books from the non-fiction up into early 700's. Had both lunches in. Did the overdues and it was really nice to find a good two-thirds of them were already classroom marked! I spent the rest of my time taking care of the ones that were not. I also stood out in the hallway today with my picture encouraging the students that art was a great career! If I could do it, so could they! It was fun and I got quite a few nice comments on my painting ;) 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Through the 920's

Today I made it all the way across the wall and around the pony wall - nearly finished the 920's. There are books everywhere! My aides do not understand how to shelve! I'm thinking that they either need me to go with them every time in the non-fiction, or I just take it all back myself!! Did some laminating and worked on clearing up the 'lost' books and 111's on the unaccounted for list. Off to Paint Night!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Inventory - 500's

Since I have no classes in these next two days I decided to do my non-fiction inventory. So I got the computer all set up and started in the 001's and ended up in the 500's. While I did that, I also thought about the shelves - having five shelves of just partials, and I ended up taking the books and rearranging. So now most of the shelves have the top and bottom shelf just to display books, and the shelved books are more at eye level now. I was really happy about it. So I shifted books all day. I did take attendance too! Answered the phone, once! I can't wait to see how the inventory all comes out!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

One Box

Got in my box from Scholastic of my preview books for the book fair! Yeah! So I took all the other books that had been waiting and put together a whole copy paper box of books that need to be processed. Some Scholastic, some Junior Library Guild and some just donations. Sent all my aides over to Mrs. C today because she really needed help and we were really quiet in the library. Tables were all askew again since class was in last night. Today I had one of my aides hold up the tables and put some tape under one set of table legs to make it easier to put them back in their right places after the classes are done with them! Had two classes in today to just check in/out books. Had various students in to check in/out since I had sent out notices yesterday. Had quite a few renew books! Had one lunch in. Got my principal to approve unpaid leave in February for my husband's 65th birthday, so sent that in to Human Resources. A good day. Glad to help out a teacher.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Film Strips and Laser Discs

Got all the 252 overdue notices finished up around 4th period, and took them up to the teacher mailboxes. I also sent an email saying how many there were and I just didn't have the time to put them into their periods, but at least I got them out. Answered emails, got two phone calls. One from an LMA who needed help printing reports, the other from LMSS. I started to go through all the other letters in the alphabet to find books I needed to look out for. Took me awhile to figure out some! Like the FS's were film strips, the LD's were laser discs! I've actually seen one and held it when I was at Sprague, but that was years ago! We don't even have the players for those even if we had some! Same with the film strips. I'm sure those left eons ago, but we still had those records. What was funny was that I pulled up the L's and looked through the LIT sets. I had 63 copies in the books of Adventures of the Greek Heroes. In the LIT records, I now have 63 titles of them that all have the exact same barcodes for 63 copies. At the bottom of the page it told me I had over 4,700 LIT set titles - oh my! Where's that rolling on the floor laughing my head off smiley?? All the LIT sets were like that, whether they had seven copies, one copy or 117! I ended up talking to LMSS and they finally called me to ask what in the world was I talking about??? Then they saw. So, not sure what we'll do. I started to work on the 111's that were labeled SCI/FAN and noticed the same thing. If there were two copies of the 111's, there were two entries on the report. But when I deleted those, then the report went back to how it should be with the copies I have. It was really bizarre! So we'll see what happens tomorrow with all that! Some very exciting news!!! One of our counselors sent me an email to use the library in November for a very special event. So I reserved it for him and in the meeting today they announced that our peer mentor group has been one of the top groups and because of that Andrew Young is coming to visit!! He was a close confidant to Martin Luther King Jr., mayor of Atlanta, a US Congressman for Georgia, then the US Ambassador to the United Nations. Wow, what an honor! I'm already thinking about what books we need to have displayed for when he's here! Exciting and honoring to have this man (also up for a Nobel prize!!) come right here to Leslie!

Friday, September 29, 2017

More Computer Work

Finished the Fiction inventory! Huzzah, Huzzah HUZZAH!!!  Decided to go rogue and go ahead and finalize it. I only had two books on there that I could not find in the system, but on the inventory side it said they were in, but turned them to lost. Over 5,500 books are done, and 473 (+/-) books were declared lost. We have bought 59 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and only have 25! Wow! Then I discovered that we had books labeled for their Call # in the AR and SCI/FAN. So I worked on getting those deleted - they were again from the McKay 111's. Got the 10 pages of AR done, have just the 17 pages of SCI/FAN to go. Hopefully that will clear all those titles and books out from my catalogue. I had put in an announcement today that we would be running overdue book reports, over 340 of them! I also let our Language Arts teachers know to get those books in since they would be getting the overdue notices in their boxes! But luckily when I printed them up, there were only about 260 pages and of course, we did get in some of the overdue books today. When I left I had done about 90 pages. I'm getting a system down for looking up the students on our Synergy base and putting their homeroom # in the notes on their Destiny accounts. Almost considered taking them home, but decided no, that was work and I was done! Sad though, I was reading Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies  and took it home. On the way home my water cup fell over (it did have a lid on it!) and got the pages of the book wet. Arrggghhh!! So I quickly taped the book together and threw it in my freezer. Hopefully the dry air in the there will wick the moisture out and the pages will be fine since I taped the book seriously closed! 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Toughing out Inventory

Spent a huge part of the day going through my 23 pages of deletions and converting to 'lost' books today to get our data base caught up with what is actually there on the shelves. Had all my aides today pick out two banned books for the display I want to put in the hallway for next week. Had to change my focus group for Inservice days. Le sigh. Did a bit of lamination. Had the library open for lunches. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Battle of the Books

I held an introductory meeting for Battle of the Books today during lunches! I had about 17 students show up, so that was encouraging! I was flipping along, trying to finish the fiction inventory and then thought, I have my meeting today! So, I went and looked on my PowerPoint and my one from last year that I was just going to switch out books, was gone! I had to quickly snap together a whole new PowerPoint for lunch - which was only about an hour away - oh my!! I think it turned out well, but the videos were not near as good as last years. Since B lunch was a bit later for the students to come in, I didn't even show it, but rather talked up the books myself. I think I did pretty well! I did finish up doing the shelf inventory, found a few things I missed - like I have all the Goosebumps books over by the reference section (how could I have forgotten about all those??) and the 39 Clues (all written by different authors) and a few other spots. Then I ran reports on what was still unaccounted for and started to trash all the 111's and flip the others on there to lost. So now I'll have to see if I can 'finish' the inventory and go on from there. I'll have to ask Mr. G. Then off to score volleyball tonight and an urban emergency preparedness class at REI.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hangout Bust

Yes, we tried to do a Google Hangout meeting today and it just wasn't happy. So we will have to try something new! Worked on my orders today, then more inventory as I discovered we are just to leave the fields open - crumzoids! And I was about 55% done with fiction. Unhappy face :(  But, I think I'll keep going and just leave the non-fiction fields open, I'll have to see about it. Did two booktalks today and ran the teaser trailer for Wrinkle in Time - and one class had a group that wants to read the book! So exciting! Did a bit of laminating, then off to errands!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Windows Done

I got through inventorying all the books that run under our windows today, so that was all the way into just starting the J's. I ran the report for the unaccounted for books and got through all the D's and F's, trashing the 111 codes and then marking the rest lost. Had one book talk today on memoirs and then had two other classes in for library time. Then we had three classes come in for 8th grade math books as well. I am very lucky to have aides every period except 5th and they are doing an amazing job! I also have a student in on a PE release that has wanted, begged, hoped, I'd give her something to do!! So I gave her my fiction shelf that I was doing and showed her how to shelve and take care of it. She'll be around for another 3 weeks or so. Hung around and read for half an hour then went over to score volleyball.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Finches on Sunflowers

Looked out the windows today and there were a ton of finches (or some smallish goldenish bird!) climbing all over the sunflowers in the garden out there eating the seeds! They were so cute! We had classes in nearly all day. I gave some Battle of Book book talks to three of the classes. Did some more inventory work and finished up the C's Glad those are all done! Next will be the D's! Printed out the overdue slips - heavens! 75 overdue books already!! I took each of the students and looked up their class, then put that class room number into their 'homeroom' on the computer, so I won't have to look them up next time. Put those into the teacher boxes before I left tonight. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Inventory 111

Today was assembly for the school fundraiser today, so periods were shorter and I had to take my aides to the assembly. It was all right. I decided to go ahead and get started on my inventory. Having students look up books that may or may not be there was really bothering me, so I went for it. Put in a tester case of F aaa - Fazz and it went ahead and loaded ALL the fiction. Drats! But, just as well, I can start and stop as I please. So I would check in all the books on the shelf starting with just the A's. Round up all the books on carts and racks, then run a report on the missing - which was 5,000+ books off! But then I could take just the 'A' pages and work on those. I noticed I had books from school 111 supposedly on my racks and after a few of those, I called in to ask and oh my! It was a glitch from years ago and when they rolled over the program, it pulled back in all those books and if they were even part of a name from a book you had on the shelf at some point, it loaded it back onto your shelf. So I took my 'missing' books and had to do a three part search, one for the books that might still be in the library, one to delete all the 111 books (one title had 8 of them on the catalogue as being 'available') - then go in and mark all the rest of the books officially 'lost'. I feel good that our A and B sections are all done and I nearly got done with the C's. Did some laminating. Had both lunches in today. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Volleyball

Yes! The games started today and I did my first score keeping! Our Lady Lions won 4 of the 5 games - both sides did really well and a few of the games were really close. I really do love this! Now, back to work! Got my username and password for our book order site, Titlewave. We are all really wondering about ordering with the new system - not Destiny, but Baker and Taylor were bought out by Follett, so there have been some changes with how schools can order. Then I even figured out how to download my list into there! I was so proud! Then I added in some other books and it created a new list with the same name - Huh?? So I have to figure that out. (Insert rolly eye smiley here) Did some more book looking up. Mr. M brought in three Chrome carts and asked us to label all the laptops to match the slots they go in, so I had my aides work on that today. We only had two periods to do it in, and my aides did a great job. They nearly had all 114 laptops labeled by the time school ended and I finished up the rest. Pulled 35 DayBooks for a teacher and had my aide check them out to her and take them up to her room. Had my Scholastic Rep call me about what is going on with the Scholastic fair that will come up in November. Both lunches were in the library today. I was planning on covering books today, but never got there! Oh well! Tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Walk the Plank!

Had a lot of fun getting students to walk the plank I made outside the library entrance today! Some did it on their own, the ones who we caught running down the hall seemed intrigued with the 'consequences' of their behavior. Maybe we should do this every day! Stripped the rest of the hardback books and started to work on the paperbacks we have. Worked a bit on the new book order - got inspired to do so since we have a meeting (online) next week. Worked on adding in some dystopian books to my catagories. A pretty quiet day all in all. Had both lunches in the library today. Also did some laminating. Lots got done, just picking away at tasks that need to get done!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Avast Maties!


I found out it will be 'Talk Like a Pirate' day tomorrow! So I put together this display for in the library for the next couple of weeks. My aides helped me out and they enjoyed doing the display. I really had fun making my 'plank'! Tomorrow I think when the day starts, I'm going to put a brown poster paper 'plank' in the hallway, and if you run, you are called back to 'walk the plank!'. Mr. C was really into it and made a sign he held up during passing! Today we didn't have in any classes, but still had bands of kids waft through. I got my mom's old computer tower in to give to Mr. C and his 'computer museum' which is what I did with my mom's old Apple II GS. Worked with one of my aides on his shelving. He picked the Graphic Novels and thought that section was ONLY the cartoon books! Ha! So I helped him out with them today. Put all my aides' shelf assignments on a better piece of paper so I could keep track of that better! Tried to figure out what everyone was saying with the new Destiny library program, but my poor little brain was just having a very hard time! 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Talks & a Floatie

A busy weekend for sure! Oktoberfest, kayaking, working at my mom's. So, here is what I remember from Friday! I had a full day with book talks every period except 7th! I had fun with our journalism class showing them the great online resources they have available to them and going through them and all they offer. The other classes got my standard talk about the new program and how that affects the library and their checking out and searching. Then they also got a bit of a book talk on our new Diversity books. So that was fun! Got the rest of my aides to pick out their non-fiction sections and we worked a bit on that. The morning started out a bit rough. Our evening custodian came in with a book inside a garbage bag. She had found it floating in the boys restroom. Yes, in the .....  So, I charged the gentleman for the book since there was no way to save it. Then Mr. M came in asking for a referral, then Ms. P sent a student down calling me and telling me that student was to sit in a chair and read or do homework - no fraternizing with other students!! Discovered I still had some books at LMSS somewhere to come in - yeah! But wondering when we get to order?? Tried to get on Google Hangouts, but I had no camera nor microphone! So I could see and hear the others that made it in, but I was blank and unable to participate! But at least we can have meetings now during the work day and not have to drive all over - not to mention there is no longer any budget for meetings. A much quieter week next week with a blank book until Friday!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Non-Fiction Sign Ups

I managed to get done with the non-fiction shelf sign ups and did a great sheet on publisher with tables for the shelves, groupings and the numbers the students need to look at! I think it turned out rather well! Laminated. Got the Access Math all checked in and I think I know where it will end up in the back back room. Had four classes in today to just check out books and two orientations for 6th graders. Helped a lot of students looking for books today (one of my fave things!!) Have more book talks tomorrow...!! Got in a mini iPad for a student and had to figure out what to do about that. Scrolling through emails from yesterday, then sending an email to Ms. D at LMSS. Turned out to be as easy as printing up a barcode. Got barcodes for the pile of math teacher resources done that had been on my desk since I got back to work in August. Sent off a couple of books to other schools. The days just go by so fast with the new schedule and with my lunch during 5th period, it seems the students hardly get time to check out at all! I'm going to have to shorten up my talks :( 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Unboxed

Huzzah! All my books are out of boxes!! But that only happened at the end of the day. Had two orientation talks with 6th graders. I put away the two sets of fiction shelves that haven't been taken by aides yet (I still have one aide that's been out.) I put away all the non-fiction. Worked on cleaning up a few things that needed to be taken care of on those shelves as well. I'm sure there's more! I also worked with a couple of aides to clean up the Graphic Novel section and got that all nice and neat today. The girls did pretty good, but I don't think they will ever want to volunteer to do that section! I also did get those 3 boxes of books unpacked and on a cart. Checked them in, then started to put strips in them before I left. I should still have some books somewhere down at LMSS waiting for me!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fiction Pick

I decided this year to let my aides pick the fiction sections they wanted, so they could pick an author or series that they might like. Then I spent most of the day working with them showing them how to read the shelves, make sure the books were all straight and pretty. Looking for anomalies, putting books up on the top of their shelves. I got into the 900's a little bit and they were a real mess! I worked the shelves a bit, but I know they still need a lot of work! Had two remember the rules and the changes over the summer talks along with a quick book talks for Ms. R's classes today. Did some laminating and had to change the rolls - ugh!! Then they were horribly misaligned so I had to straighten them out, but it got done. Got all the Diversity books on the excel sheet! Yeah, so now tomorrow I might get a chance to go through the three boxes of books I haven't touched yet from last June. Had both lunches in so the students were happy about that!

Monday, September 11, 2017

You're Tomorrow

Had a teacher come in today and line up her class and then realized she hadn't signed up until tomorrow! So we grabbed books and got her all set up. So, we had her and then another math teacher and classes coming in for book talks on top of that! Luckily all my aides were in today. But, I had the clearance to get them all signed logged into the computers and they can check out from their own district accounts. So I had to get them all logged in and then over to the website and where to go from there. I was in about half an hour late because I had an MRI this morning and lovely Ms. M was there. She is awesome, but didn't know about the change to Follett for the library program yet, so she was happy because she used that so much in other districts! I did some orientation talks today with a bit of books for some classes, then a talk on memoirs for a couple of our older students. I love it when I talk a book and it gets checked out, makes me happy. No one in the district has any extra Spanish 1 books, so Mr. M asked me to get an estimate for that - 20 books, $1,000. It is what it is. Had a teacher ask me to find some Seedfolks books (I love that book!!) and I found some at another school, so maybe they will lend. I'll find out tomorrow. Got a bunch of my Diversity books all on my excel sheet so they will go out tomorrow. Worked on getting the shelving assignments set up for all my students. I think I will let them pick their own areas. I'm going to have to make a publisher set up I think, so I'll  always have the shelves set up the way I want them and can just change names, etc. Depending on how many aides I have! We'll see how it goes! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Kept Them Busy

My aides were very busy today checking out math books and checking out 'Kercheski style' more math books for Mr. G and Mr. S. So I supervised all of them. Two aides did not come in today. Hummm.  I worked on my sub further notes list. Made a list of our in district numbers to put by our names on the new phone list. Updated my phone contact groups. Started a spreadsheet in Excel of the Diversity books so I can load them into Destiny when we can make that happen. And then they can actually go out and play. Had great quiet lunch kids in today and a group that started playing D&D!! Got a box of resources for one of our teachers. Did some laminating. Had to ask for more paper for our copier down here. Helped out students to show them how to copy. It was a very good and busy day. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Aiding and Checking Out

Today all my aides got a chance to check out books. Most got to check out both books and textbooks, but a couple of periods got to check out one or the other. I gave 6 periods a talk about our new search engine - then they got to check out books. I found I can get to the catalogue search on the generic account thanks to our Yammer conversations, but I still want to get to the full check in/out using the generic. Not sure I'll get it, but am hoping. Got out books to Mr. M today. Sent off requested books. Filled the rack with books we already had since I don't have the new ones ready to go yet. I did get my lunch correct today! Got all the new sign up sheets into the notebook with the lunches correctly on 5th period! The 7 period day seems to go by so fast! I had students still checking out books today after the bell rang. Lunches are crazy with students wanting books! Put away a set of CD's for audio in the back room. It was a crazy day, with lots getting done. Books are getting out there and kids are happy! I only have one that buzzes around wanting to know if I got any new graphic novels in. So cute! Throat and eyes were better today, got a bit of rain last night and just got a nice sprinkle here! We so need the rain!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

All Together Now

Everyone was back at school today! So fun to see so many familiar faces. Some haven't changed at all, some really have! I have aides every single period except for lunch, plus one extra, so I have 13 aides. My most ever!! Not sure what I will do with them all, but today I spent most of every period talking to them about - emergency items - what to do and where to go with fire, earthquake and conditions. Gave all of them a tour of the library and environs. A little bit of why we do what we do. Talked to them about the new Follett program and how that will work. Hoping the techs will have my generic password set to get into Follett by tomorrow so we can check out books! Gave them my expectations sheet. My voice started to give out! Luckily I still had my cough drops there, so it didn't go completely, but almost. Then my right eye started to water and get mucky. I'm sure from all the smoke in the air. I think I've been breathing smoky air since mid July when I was up in Banff and Jasper. Discovered today that I did the sign up sheets wrong. Put my lunch break into 4th period with A and B lunch which it was, and no, my lunch is  now actually 5th period and that's when the A and B lunches are. So redid those, now I just have to transfer information to the new ones from the old ones. Got asked if I had lunch passes ready, and I didn't, so I quickly did those for today. Started lunch and realized that I was eating at the wrong time! So stopped and waited until I really was supposed to have lunch! Hoping for rain. No lightning please for our firefighters out there battling all the fires here in the West. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

6th Grader Day

Today was all about the 6th graders and getting them used to lockers, different periods and the layout of the school. I really enjoy this day! So nice to have a small amount of students in today. I've heard we have 810 this year at the moment so tomorrow will be interesting when they all come back. I have aides every period this year. Oh my!! Spent every passing period out with the students helping them find where they needed to be. Helping with lockers. Spent time answering emails about The Secret Garden books one of our teachers want. Pulled and checked out to teachers today. Laminated. Got my schedule from Mr. M and he had given me an hour and a half lunch! Ha! So I changed that. But I am also to help out at the after school club if needed this year. Ugh. I get more work done that needs to be done after school than all day. Had teachers coming in after my new stop time and they weren't happy about that I had to leave and they would have to wait until tomorrow, but that's just what needs to be done. Smoky even inside the building today. The wildfires all around us were crazy. We looked like we were in fog all day, but it was smoke. You could smell it. I was very grateful that the library was one of the coolest rooms in the building today. Every where else I went you could feel the heat and humidity. We are all hoping it rains soon, no lightning please. There were even air quality advisories out today. I've never seen it this bad. Ever.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Four Day Weekend

Yep! No work tomorrow so we go back on Tuesday to meet all our new 6th graders! I got to sit in my office during the meeting today and get all the new Diversity books all Tattle stripped and Due Date slips on them during the meeting! That was a good deal. Our principal wanted to be sure I watched the superintendent's message and join in on the ice breaker, but the rest of the time I could just listen from my office while working. Multitasking at its finest! We had a potluck today and then I started to put out the racks of series novels out on the top of our shelves. Made a few changes. Did the laminating that was waiting for me. Had some large posters I had to fold then split the sides so the front at least got covered. Checked out books this afternoon as well to teachers and got them all set up. Then it was time to go! A very busy productive day!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Taking Care of Business

Went to our Job-A-Like meeting this morning and we learned some cool things about the new Follett library program. Now I just need to learn it before the students come back in three days! They asked if we had any questions at the end and I said "Now we just need 500 students with 1,000 books and then we'll have questions!!" Everyone laughed. So true! That took about all morning - I had gone in to do a few things before I left for the meeting. When I got back, I ate my lunch while doing the Mandatory Training for the year. That took about an hour and a half, then I barcoded some teacher books. Cleaned up the 'available' Outsiders books so now we have a count of what is actually available. Moved them Tape Cassettes and CD audio books and put the new ones together with what we had that I had sent out for catalogueing before we left for the summer. Helped some teachers out with resources. So, some things got done, learning new stuff and one more day this week to go!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Faster Days

Teachers were all in today for meetings, so that meant I was busy checking out materials to them! I had carts going out nearly all day. Had one teacher that needed materials, but half her stash didn't have working barcodes! So I had to add in all those before I could check them out to her. Showed her a poetry form I had never heard of before - Tanka. An ancient Japanese form that a book I read was written in (Garvey's Choice, see my reading sidebar!). Got all my new audio books labeled. Was asked about how the ebooks work now for staff, and if you're logged into a district computer, it will nearly automatically log you in. If you're out of district, you need to log in just like you would to log into the district computer. I need to check that out. I did pick a book (Abhorsen) and need to try that tonight. I'm not a big E-reader - but I do need to get that piece going. Talked to our principal today about our World Book rep and how it might be nice to have him come in and talk about all the research that's available to all the staff. He said to email him to remind him about it! Did a spreadsheet on the OBOB books for 2018, so we can see how many books are in the district. We have several books with more than enough copies for us to use without having to buy them. Got our bookkeeper the instructions for using the Follett site. Sometimes today when I was on there, I would forget to switch between the library parts and the textbook parts. It will take practice! Fun day listening to the teachers all in today during the meeting in the library. Makes me happy. Met up with a couple of the new teachers as well! Good day!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hi Ho! Off to Work I Go!

Back at work! I cleaned up the whole hand truck of boxes I had brought down when I stopped by a couple of weeks ago. Redid all the library and computer sign ups since that had changed. I hadn't really worked with Publisher on tables before, so that was kind of a challenge to get the new 7 period day in there and with the changes I wanted to make. Then we lost one computer lab down in the library, but they kept the one upstairs, so I made a sign up for that one. I also talked to our principal to find out if I lost time for this year, and he said yes, I did. I went from 8 hours a day to 7.5. It does add up. So that makes me sad a bit. On the other hand, I can get off earlier. No more working until 4! I'll be done by 3:30 and on Fridays at 3! Look on the bright side. Tried to find some Math 180 boxes. No one had seen them, turned out they were delivered to a teacher's room and she had them. Needed to see about ordering a new teacher box for those! We got two, but have three teachers doing it, and the curriculum lady says we should need two more! Oh my! All that kerfluffle over those. Some are barcoded, some aren't and they are meant to be written in by students, so I have to delete all those. We also got the new push for the Follett library program, so that was interesting to see how that's going to work. Powers that be decided to negate all the fines, all the missing books. So any book that was lost, missing or overdue is now according to the computer, back on the shelf. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out. Interesting that they've lost a ton of income because of that change and I lose half an hour. Makes you wonder.... Put in a request for new date due slips. Checked out some dictionaries and thesauri to a teacher. Got in another request for books, so I collected those. Didn't get a chance to check them out yet, because of the math 180 teacher boxes coming in and figuring that out. Got one teacher box barcoded and stamped, then realized it was time to go!

Reads 2016 - 2017

What I'm Reading

  • The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson - What a fun book! Nombeko started working emptying the latrines in Soweto, South Africa. She had a way with numbers though that led her to become manager, then to working for an engineer (that she helped as well with the numbers) and ends up in Sweden with an atomic bomb, a boyfriend who doesn't exist (but his twin brother does) and how she saves the King of Sweden! Very, very fun!
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake - She ran the post office on the tip of Massachusetts. There we see the lives of Americans going on before we entered WW2. On the other side is Frankie, the voice coming over the Atlantic, reporting on the blitz, reporting on the everyday things that happen, then don't as Europe tangles in the war, trying hard to let Americans know what is really going on behind the front page news. I loved Frankie the best, but the novel does make you think, and wonder about life here, even as war and horrors are going on in the world right now, while I tap away on my iPad. Very good.
  • We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter - the tale of a Jewish family in Poland during the war and the waves that separated them, the choices they made to survive and how they all came through. Nicely told, a great novel on what it was like, how they coped, and the strings that bind us to family.
  • Driving Miss Norma by Ramie Liddle and Tom Bauerschmidt - when Tom's father passes away and his mother is diagnosed with cancer at 90, they give Norma a choice, to adventure with them, or stay in a nursing home for care. She thinks about it and decides, yes, I want to go and Tim learns more about his mother in their journeys than he ever knew in all the years before. Follow your heart, and life will open up! A good book to read on end of life, medical care options and how to go out with style, love and inspiring those around you. Very nice!
  • Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert - I was so disappointed when I realized that Alma was not a real person! Though I am sure there must be many like her in the annals of biology. We start with her father, who worked in the gardens of Kew and traveled collecting specimens around the world. He immigrated to America and becomes a wealthy man, has Alma and she learns to be a botanist in her own right. Loved the story, the history, the botany lessons. Le sigh, so good...
  • Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron - what happens when a pastor with all the answers leading a mega church in New England, realizes that no, he does not have all the answers. He ends up calling his uncle, a Franciscan Monk who invites him to Italy to introduce him to someone, St. Francis. Well done, glad to see Ian has a website today and is still entranced with what he learned of St. Francis.
  • On the Road with Francis of Assisi by Linda Bird France - Since I've done the Camino de Santiago, I am pulled in the direction of St. Francis, to walk in Italy. This is the accounting of Linda and her husband as they visit all the iconic and obscure places where we know St. Francis was. Very well done!
  • Summer 2017 Reads 
  • In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III - I've been waiting to get my hands on this one! Glad we finally got a copy! Jimmy is Lakota and gets the great opportunity through his grandfather to explore the country and hear the stories about his ancestor Crazy Horse. Well told.
  • Code Name Pauline by Pearl Witherington Cornioley - Pearl became an operative in France during the war, and though she has been lauded for her participation, she is quite certain that what she did was not so remarkable, so she wrote this book. A good look at what life in that area was like and how they worked to harass the enemy.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes - I wish I lived there with them! They spent many summers in Tuscany refurbishing a home, learning to live in Italy, immersing themselves in food, the sights and people. Might have to walk the Way of St. Francis here in a couple of years....
  • The Other Side of the Wall by Simon Schwartz - this amazing graphic novel depiction of the author's life on the East side of Berlin is told simply, but powerfully. A great book!
  • Lost and Found by Jacqueline Sheehan - needed this story of a woman who runs off to an island off of Maine after the death of her husband. She becomes the part time animal control officer and takes in a dog shot with an arrow. The story of the dog's owners death, and how they save each other and others on the island made a great read.
  • The One Where the Kid Nearly Jumps to his Death and Lands in California by Mary Hershey - Alastair, aka 'Stump', jumped off a ski lift and lost his leg. His mom needs a break, a time to get her own life in order so she sends him to his dad in California. They have issues. He embarks on a plan to get back home asap, but there's a charity race that a teenage girl TV star wants him to be in and a cranky old swimming coach just might teach him to be the swimmer he told her he was. A really good story, with lots of heart and a bit of a lesson on how to mend.
  • A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass - loved this quiet tale of a girl with synethesia and a love for her cat who she thinks came from her grandfather after he died. She hid it for many years and finds a doctor who hooks her up to a group and everything falls into place. No, I don't see colors, but I wish I did!
  • The Candy Bomber by Michael Tunnell - This is the tale of a pilot who brought in supplies to the Soviet surrounded West Berlin and went to tour the city one day, and happened to give 2 sticks of gum to the children of Berlin. That started an 'airlift' that followed Gail Halverson all his life as his plane inspired others to bring hope to the children of Berlin that more than staples, that someone would care to send an extravagance of candy to help them was more than they knew! Gail has relived the flight many times in other countries. I true hero! 
  • The 33 by Hector Tobar - Simply amazing. On a par with Erik Larson, this tale of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days rings with emotion, passion to live and the skill of many people brought together for a common goal. Told with compassion, timelines and descriptions to make you feel there, underground with the miners, I loved this story.
  • Irena's Children by Tilar Mazzeo (though this was the Young Readers Edition) - what a story of Irena Sandler and her courageous rescue of Jewish children during the Nazi takeover of Warsaw. Her love of the children, fighting to help them, working with others to save around 2,500 children is nothing short of amazing. Loved this.
  • Frozen in Time by Mark Kurlansky - what a fabulous book on the amazing inventor (well, for the most part!) of the frozen food industry, Clarence Birdseye. What a curious, insatiable man who always questioned, followed his creative mind and was quite the success story! Really a great book!
  • Iqbal by Francesco D'Adams. - loved this book on the true life story of Iqbal who was a child and helped stop the exploitation and slavery of child labor in India. Wow. Told by a girl who was in the carpet weaving factory as Iqbal comes in, you see the real life pressures and acceptance of this may be all there is. But Iqbal stood up. Found adult supporters. A great story.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba - William was curious and especially with anything that had to do with motors and dynamos and wires and power. After a brutal drought he thinks that if they had power and could pump a well, they might never go hungry again. And he does! He finds himself a hero of Africa and today still works to make Africa self sufficient using windmills! Love this incredible boy!
  • Everland by Wendy Spinale - loved this steampunk dystopian Peter Pan riff! Gwen Darling may hold the key to surviving the deadly virus unleashed when Captain Hook bombed London. Great spin!
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk - interesting tale of a bully who got back what she was dishing out. Set in the Appalachian mountains, this is a community tale set after the Civil War. Nicely done.
  • Wolf Wilder by Katherine Randell - In Russia, when the aristocratic wolves were too much for the drawing rooms, they were sent to 'wilders' who taught them how to be brave again. Feo and her mother are attacked by the commandant who has orders to kill all the wolves. Feo runs off with the wolves and her mother is taken prisoner. With a little help from a deserter soldier and friends, they make their way to the prison.
  • Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles - loved this tale of pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago! When her brother in deployed he comes home in a coma and in a note in a book, asks her to walk the Camino with his dad and best friend. I really did enjoy this!
  • Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpugo - a haunting book of a girl who is found on a deserted island off the coast of Ireland. No one is sure where she came from, or why she's there. Some think she may be a German spy. She is taken in by a local family and they care for her, bring her to life again while finding out that she was a survivor from the sinking of the Lusitania. Very nice!
  • Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman - loved this quick tale of Odd who leaves his family and helps a bear, only to find out the bear is Thor, the fox that led him is Loki and the eagle is Odin and goes on a quest to get them back to Asgard and defeat the Frost Giant. Well done!
  • The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck - interesting look at Germany during the war and the aftermath. Marianne was married to a German resistor who failed in the attempt on Hitler. She had promised him to look after the wives and children of his fellow resistors. So we have glimpses of the two women she found after the war and their children. We see a different view of the war, how people coped, or didn't. I left this book feeling very sad. Marianne did some wonderful acts and yet felt that she could have done something worthwhile and I sit thinking about my own paltry offerings to the world. Book Club read.
  • The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser - Alexis is dumped by the man she loves so she takes Amy who was horridly bullied at school and decides to head to her families island home. There, Amy learns that her family are 'Book Jumpers', able to read themselves into a story and meet characters, roam between pages and go into the margins and other stories as well. When Sherlock Holmes is murdered, the Jumpers realize something is very wrong in the story world and have to find the connection between story ideas being stolen and the strange child that has appeared on the island. Not bad!
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown - interesting tale of a container ship of robots that sinks and one washes up on an island and a sea otter hits the activation button. From monster of the island to a loved and respected denizen Roz finds a home in an island wilderness with the creatures that live there. A little slow, but good story!
  • The Kindness Diaries by Leon Logothetis - Leon is a wanderer and on this trip takes his motorcycle Kindness One (with trusty sidecar) and circles the globe depending totally on the kindness of others for food, shelter and gas. He does have money though, which makes me question this a bit, but with that money he also gives kindnesses to those who have helped him after they have connected and he sees a need he can fulfill.
  • A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline - the tale of Christina Olsen who lived in the house that Andrew Wyeth loved to paint. Christina is stubborn and refuses to give into her disease. Rather than use a wheelchair, she would rather crawl. Her will is her crutch and she moves through the story with tenacity. I wonder about people like her who choose the hard way rather than use the props others do. Gave me great thought.
  • Beastly by Alex Flynn - loved this modern twist on Beauty and the Beast! We meet Beast in a chat room where he talks with others (FrgPrnz - 'Isn't it always a witch?') and tells of how he dumped a girl at a dance and she turned him into a beast. He saves a girl from her drug addict dad and they learn too work together. Very nice!
  • The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz - how fun! The tale of the three children and their holy dog was like reading a modern version of Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales! The 'monk' type illuminations were so much fun! So worth while! Loved it! 
  • Beast by Donna Jo Napoli - a different look at the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, but here we see the beasts side. How young Orasmyn, a Persian prince makes an error at a sacrifice and is turned into a lion. His story and how he finally gets to his castle and wins the heart of a young girl is amazing. Loved Donna's retelling of this story!
  • The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrations by Peter Sis - loved this well crafted novel with the always exceptional Peter Sis drawings all throughout. This is the tale of Pablo Neruda and how he grew up. Lovely, simply lovely! I book talked it and someone checked it out! Huzzah!
  • Dream Bender by Ronald Kidd - There has been a warming, and the people who come back are scared of machines of any sort. So the Dreambenders take the dreams of those who think on machines, and cut them short. When Jeremy is told to dreambend a girl who loves music, he questions it, like everything else and the society has to decide to listen to him, or bend him to their plan.
  • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier - what a nice little fantasy! Gwen's sister has trained all her life to be the familiy's time traveler, so when Gwen travels instead, all the plans laid for the chronograph keepers get put awry. Fun little book!
  • Freedom Business - by Venture Smith, poems by Marilyn Nelson and Art by Deborah Dancy - We see here the narrative of Venture Smith, taken as a boy for the slave trade in the early 1700's and yet managed to buy himself free and had quite the busy, wealthy life for his day and times and color. The Art work is superb, the poems highlight the details of his narrative and to read the narrative from 200 years ago was stunning.
  • Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner - A great epic tale of Minamoto Yoshitsune and his times and life back in the 12th century. Amazing life of a man who brought the ways of the samurai into his heart, bold, fearless, he was a hero to the people, but not to the family politics.
  • Enna Burning by Shannon Hale - I really do love her writing, just plain old literary candy to my ears! This is the second book after Goose Girl and Enna is fabulous! Shannon has the most incredible descriptions of her fire. Read it!!
  • Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale - Loved this tale of Dashti the maid sealed with her lady in a tower for 7 years for refusing to wed a khan. A very well told tale from Grimm Brothers' story, the Maid Malden with a bit of a twist! 
  • On Top of the World: Five Women Explorers in Tibet by Luree Miller - Great book about women in the 19th century who went all over the Himalaya range. One of them did it while being carried in a sedan chair! Another disguised herself as a monk. Great stories!
  • Next Always by Nora Roberts - another romance book I had, I've never read Nora, but it wasn't too bad. Still predictable in some counts but loved the working on the Inn.
  • Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow - A very nice fiction of two sisters who join a dojo as kitchen help after their father and brothers are killed by their uncle. They vow revenge and get to train. I loved that I had just watched a Forged in Fire where they made a Naginata sword and the sisters get to practice with one!
  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier - interesting story and beautiful graphics by Raina!
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - Loved our book club book of the month! I had so many sticky notes!! The fact that these women were called 'Human Computers' just still astounds me as well as their intelligence, their commitment to better themselves and those around them by words and actions was mesmerizing. Loved, loved, loved it!
  • Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen - a very special baby is born to a horse and the family has to decide how to go about either hiding him, or letting people in on it. A little cra-cra, but all right.
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper - Lovely book around the diary her grandmother left about changes in the South during the civil rights years. Novel in verse, beautifully told.
  • La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith - I really like his writing and this story of a woman living in Yorkshire during the war was really wonderful. An ordinary life, but touching others here and there. Loved it!
  • Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes - pretty predictable and not my genre, but a nice entertaining romance novel and I really did love Gus (read to find out who he is!) a nice present from book club.
  • 2017 from here!
  • Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King - crazy like a coyote novel about the tribes up in Canada, the Sun Dance, four Indians who try to fix just something small. Kind of a new 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'!
  • Elephant Run by Roland Smith - I really like Roland, and this book was no exception! During the Blitz, Nick is sent to live with his father in Burma on his dad's plantation. But the Japanese are there as well and Nick is in even more danger there. Great story! Another recommended read!
  • Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen - fabulous book on circle justice and how it was applied to a young man headed for prison. Cole nearly killed a fellow student and is sent to live on an island off British Columbia and his journey is extraordinary. Loved this and will recommend!
  • Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate - Such an amazing novel in verse about a refugee from Sudan, Kek. He has lost his family to the war and is sent to America on the 'flying boat'. Brilliantly in a refugee's voice, this book made me cry at the end. Hope is hard work.
  • William and Catherine by Andrew Morton - I got this as a gift back quite a few years ago, scanned the pictures, but never read it. Did so over our snow break! A very nice, intimate look at the pair's early lives, how they met all the way up to the wedding. Very nicely done! 
  • Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli - that was one crazy wierd ride on Scramjet, no less, the hybrid bike/horse ridden by Jack, a legend in the area known as Hokey Pokey. One of the strangest stories ever, the end explains, but still, very, very funky.
  • A Wolf at the Door edited by Terri Windling - a great treasure trove of 13 fairy tales told from a different viewpoint by different authors! Very fun!
  • Do Not Pass Go by Kirkpatrick Hill - with several prisons in our area, I've been wanting to read this and was surprised by the depth and insight of what it may be like when a parent is sent to prison. Deet's dad was taking drugs to work two jobs and gets caught. Deet struggles with his perceptions, but steps up and learns that people are people, whether in prison or not. Great read, definite recommend!
  • Spare Parts by Joshua Davis - the amazing tale of four young boys and how they build an underwater robot and win the prestigious National Underwater Robotics Competition. A 'Salem Reads' book, I loved not only the tale of the build, but the very lives of the boys and how the immigration issues of our time affected each of them. Excellent non-fiction!
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Loved this tale of how the Queen of Hearts went mad. Catherine never wanted the shallow king, she rather loved baking the perfect most desserts in all of Hearts. Until the day the Joker, Jest, entered the court. She still loved baking, but her heart was lost. Excellent!
  • Dead Wake by Erik Larson - fascinating account of the sinking of the Lusitania from all sides. The submarine, the ship, the company and the countries. Love the way he does his research.
  • The Stout-Hearted Seven by Neta Lohnes Frazier - the true tale of the Sanger children and their trek across the Oregon Trail. Based on Catherine's Diary, this tells of their survival through kind pioneers after the loss of their parents on the trail, then to be adopted by them Whitman's at their mission and what happened to them during the Whitman Massacre. 
  • The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr - Loved this! Horse fanatic, lover of Russian things this tale of the Przewalski horses at a reserve in the Ukraine (actually still there today!!) was fascinating. Young Kalinka running from the Germans, the horses possibly the last of their kind running from the Germans who were out to destroy them. The brave borzoi Tara. Wonderful! Loved it!
  • The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict - I've never given much thought to if Einstein was married, but yes, he was to a brilliant woman physicist who may have helped him with the theory of relativity! Could be! Sad to say their marriage was not good for her, or their children and it was a sad slide into a heartbreaking tale of who she could have been. I wish the story would have gone on farther than ending at their separation.
  • Need by Carrie Jones - Zara's father dies and in her grief, she is sent to live with her weretyger grandmother. What did I just write?? Werewolves, wereeagles, even a pixie king. Who knew Maine could be so fascinating? A nice fae read!
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman - Between the ages of 13 and 18, you can be rewound. Your parents decide this. Because you're the family tithe. Because you're an added expense to the state. Because you just don't get how to fit in with your family. But there can be an escape. You can make it to the camp, and there wait until you're 18, and be free. Excellent sci-fi.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan - The Unconsecrated are all about the village. Fences keep them out, but when the village is overrun Mary and a few friends run down a fenced road that has always been forbidden hoping to find other villages like theirs. Loved Mary's love of the ocean she has never seen, told to her by her mother, the thread of hope that weaves throughout.
  • Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario - great piece of writing on the illegal immigrant issue following a young boy who heads to the US to find his mother. Great reporting, journey with facts, this was the YA version.
  • Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine - great sequel! Though I'm not sure I'll do the third. I was so sad when they rigged an automaton lion to support them, but then he got shredded. :( Now they go to America, not sure I want to follow that journey.
  • Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine - wow! What a great ride! The Great Librrary of Alexandria still exists, but it also controls every book. It gives out something akin to a Kindle, and it is against the law to own a real book. Enter Jess, his family is in the business of book smuggling and they send Jess off to work at the Library in hopes he'll bring some rare books into his families possession. This was fabulous! Off onto book 2!
  • You Can't See the Elephants by Susan Kreller - Mascha meets a girl and boy and starts to notice their bruises, and comes to the conclusion that they are being abused by their father. She asks, she calls, no one believes her so she takes matters into her own hands. A great one person can make a difference story.
  • Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'Brien - wonderful tale of a girl and her love for the borzoi dogs of old Russia. Lara wants to be the kennel head like her father, but girls are not the first choice. But she is taught and mentored and has a great gift of visions about her beloved dogs. Then her brother is born and she may lose it all and be married off. Touchingly written! Felt very historical, and was!
  • An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroeder - Laura was walking in New York one afternoon and a young boy asked for money because he was hungry. She kept walking to the middle of the street, turned around and came back to take him to lunch and they started a 25+ year relationship. A great story!
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson - Hayley's dad has PTS from deployment and after trucking for years with his daughter, has decided she needs to go to high school. They settle down in their old town. Hayley refriends, gets a boyfriend and suffers from her own PTS from being around her dad who refuses to get help. Touching, soul bearing writing makes this book a most worthy read. 8th grade level though!
  • The Great War by various, illus. By Jim Kay - this remarkable book takes items from WWI and wraps them in story. From a helmet to a butter dish, each item is brought to life. The actual items (pictures) and stories are in the back. A wonderful resource.
  • The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart - Mark has cancer, but he had a promise he had made to his grandfather that they would climb Mt. Rainier together, so he leaves with only his dog to climb the mountain after his grandfather passes away and Mark's cancer reappears. His friend Jessie figures out what he is doing and has to make the decision to tell everyone where Mark is, or keep his secret so he can try. Beau, his dog, is faithful, smart and follows Mark all the way. A great OBOB book!
  • Old Wolf by Avi - This realistic fiction is the tale of the old wolf losing his pack and a young boy who finds the injured wolf in the woods. One chapter boy, one chapter wolf, a life just beginning and a life nearing its end. Lovely drawings by Brian Floca.
  • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger - With the help of Origami Yoda on his finger, Dwight can make amazing predictions for his fellow students and Tom begins to wonder, is Origami Yoda for real???
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness - saw an ad for the movie and thought I'd read this. So deep, so real. Based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd (I love her Bog Child and Swift Pure Cry) about a boy who's mother is dying of cancer and the yew tree on the hill behind his house comes to life, a great green monster that tells him three stories, and in return, the boy needs to tell him a story. So amazing!
  • The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn - the Fates spin, weave and cut our stories. Serena, Chloe and Xinot are the fates and wonder what they've done when they have a mortal girl live with them. In her story, and what she does, may just destroy the world we know.
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien - returned to a favorite read. It was so good to read again!
  • Born to Rock by Gordon Korman - More high school, but all right for our middle school kids, Leo loses his scholarship to Harvard and his mother finally lets him know his biological father is King Maggot. Yes, from the punk band Purge an iconic legend. And now Dad's asked Leo to go on a comeback tour with the band.
  • The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau - Teo and the Esma, the Queen of Lightning were prophesied to be life long friends. Teo is a Mexteco, and Esma is a Romani. Both on the fringes of Mexican culture. Teo is old and tells his grandson their story, and Mateo learns the story is not yet over.
  • The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis - Living in Kabul isn't easy, especially since the Taliban took over. When Parvana's father is arrested, the family's only hope is for Parvana's to become a boy and be able to go outside to find work and bring home food. Very good!
  • Where the River Ends by Charles Martin - Touched so much by this exquisite book. One of those literary candy finds, words that taste, nuances that strip the heart. Abbie gets cancer and has a 10 item bucket list that includes having her husband guide her down the St. Mary River to the end. Her senator father is furious when they disappear. Loved how Doss and Abbie shaped the curves and flow of their lives. From a neighborhood Free Little Library!
  • I'm Off Then by Hape Kerkeling - We had just finished the Camino and found this in the basket of books in the hotel in Santiago. Hooted and groaned with Hape as we read his stories of the Camino Frances! Really enjoyed this!
  • Beautiful Mercy - Read these stories of the 7 corporal and 7 spiritual acts of mercy while walking the Camino Primitivo this summer. Loved the short devotional/stories in there.
  • Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz - Based on the story of Jack Gruener (and Ruth, his wife) the tale of how he survived 10 concentration camps at the end of WW II. Well done.
  • Keep Me in Mind by Jaime Reed - Nice story of a high school couple that come apart after Ellia loses the last two years of her life. Specifically the two years she's been hanging out with Liam full time. She doesn't remember anything about him and all he wants is for them to be together again. Well done mixed race tale.
  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson - Loved this and devoured it! Lee can sense gold and heads off to the California Gold Rush after her mother and father are killed by her uncle. Historical fiction with a fantasy twist, I loved this!
  • The Green Bicycle by Haifaa Al Mansour - Wadjda is not your ordinary Arabic girl. Sure she goes to a special school (girls only) wears a shayla, but also falls in love with a green bicycle that she's certain will be hers! A good look at another culture, I really enjoyed it.
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman - Found this hard to get into, then the chapters started to make sense. One is Caden's life in real time, the next is Caden's time on the pirate ship. Neal wrote this as a tribute to what his son went through, illustrations by his son. A chilling, yet hopeful look at coming out the other side of mental illness.
  • The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern - Maggie is certain to be President one day and is already prepping for it at 11 years old. Her dad develops MS and she uses that as her science project because she's sure she can find a cure. Love her footnotes!
  • A Plague of Unicorns by Jane Yolen - Hummm. Not a favorite. Not sure why. How does one get unicorns to stop eating the best apples in the monks' orchard?
  • The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher - This was a fun book! Zak is going to fail health, but his teacher says if he attends the Quiz Bowl that happens to be in Seattle at the same weekend as his never before missed Washingcon he may even get to graduate. Ana is on track to a perfect life afraid her parents will turn on her like they did her sister. Ana's brother goes AWOL and together they head straight for Washingcon to get Clayton back. 
  • Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer - cute story of Benny who has to move to Africa and finds a different world and a good friend and a decision to make.
  • Summer 2016 Reads