The Dark Fires 4th grade team are our building Battle of the Books Champions for 2013. Griffin, Leon, Quincy and Shane beat their opponents and moved to the district round this week.
They competed against Rush using the Lync system on our presentation computer. With Lync, we had a moderating librarian on a video call asking the questions at one school, and two other teams competing in the comfort of their school libraries!
It was like a fancy conference call with video – very similar to Skype if you have ever used Skype.
Both teams were asked 10 questions about the required books. In 30 seconds they had to answer the question and have it written down on a white board. When time was called, each team revealed their answer to the camera. If they had the answer right, they got a point. The team with the most points after answering 10 questions won and moved on to the next round of competition in the district.
The Dark Fires team was awesome in the competition against Rush! The boys showed great enthusiasm and effort right down to the last question. Although they didn’t get to move on to the next level of competition, they have every right to be proud of what they accomplished this year!
Today, Rush became the LWSD District Battle of the Book Champions! Congrats to an awesome team!
The other teams who competeted this year were…
The Running Eggs: Taylor, Yennhi, Eleni and Grace
Wimpy Kids: Matteo, Alex, Logan and Ben
Skittles: Ola, Melody, Chloe and Parker
Sparkly Lollypops: Sabrina, Emily and Josa
Headshot: Niku, Carson, Stephen and Alex
Watermelons: Peyton, Madi, Daphanie and Anna
Green Hornets: Sha’Mea, Juan and Ruvim
Reading Bulldogs: Victoria, Madison, Bella and Claire
All of the Battle of the Books are available for anyone to check out! This is one of the best reading lists I have seen in a long time! Stop by and get one of these books. You will love the choices!
What would you call your team in a reading competition?
If you have read one of these books, what question would you ask?
On Monday, a package filled with 25 children’s books left for Mumbai, India with Josa’s Dad. He was going to Mumbai on business and offered to take some books with him.
Mumbai, formerly known by the name Bombay is located in the state of Maharashtra. It’s considered the financial capital city of India. It’s the most populated city in India and one of the top most populated cities in the world with over 14 million people. Mumbai is far away from Seattle!
Because Mumbai is so overcrowded, not everyone has the same advantages as we have in Seattle. The Dharavi area of Mumbai is home to thousands of people, many of them children. Unfortunately there aren’t enough school buildings or even books for all the children who want an education. That is why Josa’s family thought that might be a good place to share some of the extra books we have.
The students in Ms. Holder’s class helped prep the books for the first shipment. Each student signed a bookplate inside the book. Our principal, Mrs. Paul signed one too!
After everyone signed a book, I put them in an envelope for the trip. They left with Josa’s Dad a few days ago.
I was worried that 25 books wouldn’t make much of a difference when there are thousands of children who need books. Josa’s mom very kindly reminded me about the story of the starfish. Have you heard of this story? I had forgotten about it and after she told me about it, I realized she’s right.
We are making a difference. The actions of our students do matter. Twenty five books will help…One book at a time!
Have you ever been to India?
How do you matter at school or at home or in your community?
Gabe in Mrs. Adair’s class submitted this book review of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
Alex knows that’s not true, and the gun marks in the driver’s side car door proves it! Alex finds out his uncle was a top field agent for a secret government division, M16.
They ask Alex to work for them, they ask him to investigate Herod Sayle. Herod came up with the most sophisticated personal computer of the decade. But M16 suspects Herod has something up his sleeve, so they send Alex undercover into Sayle Enterprises to investigate.
Alex uses a wide array of useful gadgets to baffle Herod Sayle, but will his cover be blown or worse, will he be killed?
If you like adventure books then you will love this book. Even better, there is a whole Alex Rider series, so this is just a taste of this action packed series. I think this book for readers 9 years and older.
If you like the sound of this book, come to the library! We have the entire Alex Rider series on our Action/Adventure shelves! Mrs. Hembree
Look what came in the mail from Australia!
That’s right, two books and a wonderful note from Miss Y in Melbourne, Australia. She is a librarian at the St. Martin of Tours Primary School. We have been blogging buddies for over a year now, exchanging ideas for books back and forth.
These Andy Griffiths books are going to be BIG hits in our library. You can’t NOT laugh when you read them. They are just that funny! Look at this photo of him from his website. Does he look like a serious kind of guy? I haven’t had a chance to read the books yet, but here’s what it says on Andy’s website:
“Andy and Terry live in an incredible ever-expanding treehouse and create very silly books together. Andy writes the words and Terry draws the pictures… well, when they’re not too distracted by all the amazing things going in their incredible ever-expanding treehouse! Last year they opened a new school with a brand new library.”
I think these books sound like some crazy fun. If you are in 3-5th grade, this might be the just-right book for you. Stop by the library and put in your reservation. They will be available for check out early next week.
It’s been quite a week for connections. First a phone call from New Zealand and then a package from Australia. I love these reading connections! Miss Y’s students have been enjoying some Mo Willems books we sent her last year and now we have some Andy Griffiths books here! It’s a full circle of reading fun!
Here’s a photo of what the school looks like outside, courtesy of the magic of Google maps! I hope you will visit Miss Y’s LRC blog soon and leave her a comment. I just watched a new book trailer she made about a new book in the Clementine Rose series for girls by Jacqueline Harvey. This is the author of the Alice Miranda books we already have in our library! Jacqueline visited Miss Y’s school last year. Here is the post about this visit. I sure hope if Jacqueline ever visits the Pacific Northwest on a book tour, she will stop by our library!
What do you think about our surprise package?
Have you ever read any Andy Griffiths books before?
Look at the title.What word do we spell differently?
“Raise your hand if you like talking on the phone.”
I imagine if I asked you that question in class, the majority of you would say yes. It seems like we are married to our phones these days. They go with us everywhere keeping us connected at all times.
Yet, I have a love/hate relationship with the phone. Sometimes I like talking on it and catching up with my friends and family. Other times, a phone call means a salesperson is on the other end trying to convince me to buy this or that.
So when the phone in the library rang yesterday afternoon and I didn’t recognize the number, I wasn’t too eager to answer. I had things to do, and being interrupted wasn’t on my list. I gingerly answered with a half-hearted, “Hello, This is Julie.”
On the other end was a woman quickly telling me her name was Grace. She had found my blog, and the Nerdybookclub and my love of books. She was going on about how she had noticed that I didn’t have a New Zealand connection and she wanted to fix that.
Stop. Wait. Hold on!
Grace was calling me from New Zealand?! All of a sudden I switched into high gear.
Isn’t that expensive? How do you do that? How did she find my number? How did she find out about our blog? Or the Nerdybookclub?
Why was she calling me?
The phone connection had a little static, and I’m not really used to hearing a New Zealand accent, so my brain was experiencing a little battle from the one side pushing non-stop questions and the other side processing the information I was hearing from Grace.
The answer soon became clear. She loves books, is a retired school teacher and had visited Seattle and Sammamish (where I live) in the recent past. We talked about her visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia and visiting Prince Edward Island where the book Anne of Green Gables was set.
Then she asked if I knew of Peter H. Reynolds. Peter is the author of The Dot and Ish, and most recently, Sky Color. “Yes, I know who he is!” I told her. I wanted to tell her about how we had just tweeted back and forth over the weekend after listening to a discussion about Sky Color, but her next story was too incredible to stop.
Years ago, she had virtually met Peter online. They had many conversations on the computer and Facebook. They became friends and had many commonalities with their families.Eventually she traveled to Massachusetts from New Zealand, staying with his family on vacation and visiting Cape Cod.
I don’t know Peter personally. But she does and she was telling me about it from 7,000 miles away! I wanted to say, “I’m from Massachusetts too. I grew up about a hour away from Peter in Townsend.” I wanted to tell her that I know his work, his drawings, his stories – his fabulous website Fablevision.com
We love The Dot! We celebrated International Dot Day. We all made dots in September and started to make our mark on the world this year. We are all connected. But I didn’t have a chance to tell her and that’s okay, she’ll find out soon enough.
Soon after her Peter H. Reynolds story, our conversation ended. We talked for twenty minutes from Washington, USA to New Zealand. We made plans to stay connected. Then it was over.
Why did we connect in the first place?
Because we love books and reading. All it took was a school blog and a woman with an ability to call from far, far away to bring us all together.
It’s a small, beautiful world and I’m sure glad I answered the phone!
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate won the coveted Newbery Award this morning at the American Library Association Conference here in Seattle! I sat in the audience as the awards were revealed at the press conference.
At the press conference, the ALA announces the winners of numerous book awards such as the Coretta Scott King Award and Geisel Awards. Then it’s time for Caldecott and Newbery – last in line. These two awards are the most prestigious and coveted in the US for the writers and illustrators of children’s literature.
I was thrilled to see my personal favorite picture book win the Caldecott! There lots of happy clapping and screaming in the audience (yes, librarians scream – loudly!) as we saw the winning book show on the big screen!
Then it was time for the Newbery. One by one the titles of the Honor winners were released. I held my breath as I saw Spendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Bomb:The Race to Build – and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin and Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage win the honor awards.
I think most of the audience inhaled and waited for the final slide to show. What book would it be? The whoops of joy filled the room and tears filled my eyes! I tried to take a photo of the slide showing that Ivan won, but all I got was a photo of the ceiling when I jumped out of my chair! It was a magical moment to be in a room filled with all that love for a book that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world. I tried taking a picture again, but it sure came out blurry! My hands were shaking too much to be very good at holding still.
Lots of hugs were shared with fellow librarians. Especially happy was Mr. Schu, who visited the real Ivan last summer and possibly has the only copy of the signed book by both Ivan and Katherine Applegate. You can read his very moving post about what it meant to meet Ivan at the Atlanta Zoo here. We shared some tears together as we realized that our shared love for a very special book won top honors. Here is a photo courtesy of John Schu showing both the author and Ivan signatures.
After the press conference was over, I went to the exhibit hall to visit the HarperCollins booth. They published The One and Only Ivan. I got there in time to see one of the representatives place the gold Newbery sticker on the book! Notice that Ivan is looking at the sticker!
Ivan also had his picture taken with “Ivan” at the booth!
A few minutes later, Anne Hoppe, the editor stopped by too! If you remember, she visited with Katherine and Julia last April when they came for our school visit. She shared that it is very special experience to be the editor of a book that wins a Newbery.
I can’t even think of the words to describe what it was like to see a book that has so totally touched my heart and changed my life win the Newbery. I just hope now even more thousands of children pick it up and share the story. Like so many of you who purchased a copy last spring, we now own a signed Newbery book! How absolutely fantastic is that???
I wish Katherine and her family could have been in Seattle to experience announcement in person. The good news is that they will have the opportunity to receive the award in person in Chicago in June!
Never heard of Ivan and want to know more? Here is the trailer I made last year. I hope you will watch it and then run to your local library or bookstore and get a copy!
Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t forget?
Did it make you laugh? Cry? Shout?
Today’s post is about my favorite books from 2012. These are the standout books from a year of reading. Even though I may have read them months ago, I still think about them and consider them book friends. When I see the cover, or think of a passage from the book, I get a smile on my face. Not all of these books were written in 2012, although most of them were. I am in the process of reading all the Newbery Medal winners, so one book was published years ago. All, except the young adult books are available in our library. I hope you will stop in and check them out!
Tomorrow the American Library Association will announce all of the Youth Media Awards at their Mid-Winter Conference here in Seattle. I will be at the press conference for the very first time! I can’t wait to see what books won medal and honor awards. Above any other books, I have my fingers crossed for The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Wonder by RJ Palacio.
Here are my standouts from a year of reading!
Categories: Favorite Graphic Novels, Favorite Picture Books, Favorite Non-Fiction Picture Books,Favorite Middle Grade Novels, Favorite Young Adult Novels, Favorite Audio Books
So there you are…my favorites. Not all will win awards tomorrow at the ALA conference. However, they have already won a special award in my heart because each of these books has touched me in a very personal way. I’m looking forward to lots of reading in 2013 and seeing where my reading travels take me!
Were any of these books favorites for you this year?
Is there a book I should have included?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Welcome to January 2013! It’s the beginning of a wonderful new year of reading! January is also the month for reflecting. You hear people talking about new year resolutions – things they are going to change this year. Friends talk about what was good about 2012 and what hopefully will improve in 2013.
I do the same kind of reflecting about my reading patterns. I think we all do this to some extent. What books did you like? Which books do you wish the author would write sequels for? I know Logan is anxiously waiting for the next Amulet. Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Higgins finished reading Wonder to their classes and were sad to see the book end. What book touched you and stayed with you days, weeks or months after you finished the last page?
Prior to 2012, I had never recorded how many books I read a year. When I saw some online librarian and teacher colleagues talking about making reading goals, I thought it would be the perfect time to give it a try. I set up a Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/ online reading account with shelves to track my reading. Each time I read a book, I recorded it on my Goodreads account and marked what kind of book it was, how I liked it and when I read it. I set a goal to read 366 books in 2012 – a book for each day of the year (remember…it was a leap year).
I also joined the Caldecott and Newbery challenges. The premise is simple. Read all the Caldecott and Newbery Medal winning books. You can also read the honor titles. Do it however you want. Take as long as you want. Read them in order or don’t. It doesn’t matter. I thought that sounded like fun, and so I started that journey too.
Here is what I learned from my reading 2012 experience. I loved tracking the titles of the books and the genres. I loved joining in on the Caldecott and Newbery challenges. I listened to lots of the books on audio CD in my car. I lugged bags of books home from the local library. I read and read and read.
I achieved my goal and even exceeded it. I actually read 372 books. Sure, I know lots of people who read lots more books than me, and I am proud of them! But, there was just one problem. Having a number goal really, really bothered me.
In December, I was a little behind in my numbers and so started feeling the pressure. I need to reach my goal. I need to read more. I need to reach 366 books! AHGH! And you know what happened? Instead of loving the books I was reading, I got concerned about the number of books I was reading. Suddenly, reading – the activity that brings me the most joy became a chore.
STOP! Reading should never, ever be a chore. That is why I won’t be setting a reading number goal for 2013. Setting a number goal works for countless people. It just doesn’t work for me. Along the path, I lose sight of what is important to me.
Reading is about joy, and sorrow and laughing and learning. It’s about traveling to faraway lands and walking on sandy beaches with characters you have grown to love. It’s about experiencing new countries and finding out facts on subjects that are important to you.
Reading is personal. The books I love may not be the books you love. That’s okay. The wonder of reading is finding the book that speaks to you. The one that touches your insides and give you an emotional reaction. These are the books you remember long after you turned the last page.
My next post will be about the books that I carried with me this year. I hope you will come back and visit.
How does reading make you feel?
Have you ever felt like reading became a chore?
How did you fix that?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013 and a new year of reading!
I am thrilled to start off our year with a student book review by Kaito. He recently read Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dia Lorenzi and submitted this book report as soon as he returned from winter break.
Main Characters: Grandfather, Hiroshi and Skye.
Story Setting: The story takes place in Japan and America.
Story summary: Grandfather lives in America. Hiroshi lives in Japan. Grandfather and Hiroshi fly dragon kites. His grandfather is now sick, so the entire family has to move to America. Hiroshi has to hang-out with his cousin Skye.
Main Events: The main event is the kite battle in Washington, DC. Hiroshi and Skye battle the other competitors with their dragon kite.
1 opinion and 1 fact about the story: Dragon kites are real and legendary. I think dragon kites are fun to fly.
Thank you Kaito for sharing your ideas about this book. I read it too and thought it was pretty terrific. I learned a lot about the Japanese language, culture and kite flying from reading it.
This book is a chapter book and would be good for kids in grades 3rd and up. It is in the realistic fiction section of our library. The call number is F LOR REALISTIC
You can also read about how the illustrator Kelly Murphy created the cover for The Flying Dragon. Click on this link to take you to that interview.
Have you ever flown a kite before?
What do you like to do for fun with your grandparents?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Do you love to play dominoes? Do you enjoy the clink, clink, clink as dominoes topple in black and white lines? If so, pick up a copy of Toppling by Sally Murphy. Josa donated a copy for our library and wrote the following book review!
John is the main character of this book. He is a boy with an unusual hobby–he likes to set up dominoes and tip th first one and watch them topple in complicated patterns. John’s goal is to win the world record of toppling. then something happens to make John’s world start to topple. His best friend Dominic gets very, very sick. This is a one-of-a-kind story about change, coping and friendship. This is a book for ages 8+ or anyone who wants a good read. It is illustrated very nicely.
I also just finished a book trailer for Toppling! You might recognize some of the actors for the trailer!
You can find Toppling by Sally Murphy in the realistic section of our library!
Here is the call number: F MUR Realistic
Have you every played the game dominoes?
What have you built using dominoes?