Week in Review: Speakeasy & Valentine's Day Fun

This was an event-heavy week in the library. On Wednesday we had our monthly Book Club, which featured several announcements – read about it here. Also on Wednesday, the Chinese Club and Food Club shared activities and snack in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

On Thursday the Glass Knife held their second (and last) speakeasy of the year. Students and faculty (and guest, former English teacher Dr. Bell) read poems, song lyrics, and short stories in English, Spanish, and French.

During the speakeasy, the GSA sold handmade Valentine’s Day cards with the proceeds benefitting LGBTQ+ charities. Also on Thursday the library was serenaded with its now annual singing Valentine from Ms. Bennett and the second graders.

Bonus:

Who’s a good boy? It’s Gimli!

February Book Club

We had a lot of new business to go over at the beginning of this month’s Book Club. First up were some reading challenges, Book Riot’s Read Harder and Popsugar’s Reading Challenge. Reading challenges encourage you to read widely, with prompts like “read a book that passes the Bechdel test” and “read a book with a pun in the title”.

Next, we introduced our new Country Day Reads Kits – similar to book subscription boxes, these kits contain 2-3 library books and a few bookish goodies to keep. A select number of kits will be available before breaks, the next one being Spring Break.

Then Ms. Melinson talk about some new books: in honor of Valentine’s Day, she shared How to Fight (a mindfulness meditation book). She also talked about the George Saunders’ book Congratulations, By the Way, a pretty book that helps you to begin thinking about kindness. Other new books include Dark Skies: A Practical Guide to Astrotourism and Reality Ahead of Schedule: How Science Fiction Inspires Science Fact. Ms. Melinson also asked for suggestions centered around identity and diversity for next year’s high school read.

Doctora Portillo shared that she read How To Be An Anti-Racist. She said it’s the best book she’s read on the topic. Anna was loaned lots of LGBTQ+ graphic novels to read over break and was looking forward to reading them. Layla read Turtles All the Way Down and loved it, saying it gave good insight into obsessive compulsive disorder.

Mr. Wells read The Guardians, a fictionalized version of Just Mercy. He liked the book, but said Just Mercy was better. Becca shared that she wanted to write a story about weird pop culture coincidences – memes that go viral and then happen in real life.

Jo then asked how you decide what to spend your time on when it comes to reading. Anna says it has to be gay for her to read it. Layla said she judges books by their covers and reads a random page in the middle to determine if she wants to keep reading. Larkin said she just asks Heloise for suggestions.

For more information about the books we talked about, visit our Goodreads page!

Week in Review: Classwork & Checkers

The 6th graders were back this week to continue their research on learning differences. To encourage their quiet research, students worked with a “crackling fire” in the background.

Also this week, Gavin brought Chinese Checkers and struck up a game with new student Jiayu.

February is Black History Month. The library is participating in a #readingblackout by only featuring African American authors on our end cap displays. Come view (and check out books from) our displays or view them on the library’s Instagram, where a new display will be featured every week.

Week in Review: Puzzles

Welcome to the second semester! I don’t know if you know this, but our kids love puzzles. They’re puzzle fanatics! And this week they finished two 1,000 piece puzzles. What day did they finish their second puzzle? On National Puzzle Day, of course! Good job, you puzzle fiends!

There was also some non-puzzle work happening in the library. Mrs. Sterling’s 6th graders were, throughout the week, working on their research for learning differences to go with their reading circles. They learned to use Encyclopedia Britannica and Gale databases. Then worked by the “fireplace” to complete their research.

Week in Review: Finals Week

Finals week is always a rather odd time in the library and this week was no exception. Sandwiched between two days off, the High Schoolers took their finals Tuesday through Thursday and the library was the place to be between tests. We had a packed house as students crammed in last minute studying, snacked on treats provided by the Parents Association, and debriefed with fellow classmates as to how they think they did.

On Tuesday Ms. Sterling’s Book Club elective came in for a mini book talk to hear about some of our new books. Then they tried out our new method for reader’s advisory: placing a gold star sticker on the spine of a great book.

On Thursday The Glass Knife held their final retreat – Ms. Melinson shared that she’s stepping down as GK advisor for new adventures (but she’s still your librarian!) She shared some of the history of The Glass Knife’s traditions then staffers got down to business to work on the book.

Friday was a teacher work day which meant an extra day off for students and some behind the scenes work for your librarians. Also on Friday, Ms. Melinson, Mr. Crabb, Doctora, Rachelle, and Mr. Wells took our international students out to Ming Dynasty in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

Bonus:

Your assistant librarian’s assistant pupper giving input on today’s blog post.

Week in Review: That's a Wrap!

It’s been quiet in the library this past week. The Sophomores finished their papers and turned them in for grading, 6th graders finished their Scientists in the Field projects, and the high schoolers are preparing for finals next week.

We had a one-day storm on Thursday which made the perfect day for tea.

On Friday to celebrate the end of their Scientists in the Field projects, students were visited by scientist and author Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Dr. Patent has written two Scientists in the Field books and is working on her third. She’s also written several other books on various topics, especially dogs (she’s a dog person). Dr. Patent discussed her extensive experience has a scientist traveling and observing different animals and then writing about them.

Bonus:

Two puppy visitors in one day! Look at this adorable and tiny puppy!

And look at this adorable and giant puppy visitor!

Week in Review: Little Bit of Everything

Welcome back and welcome to 2020! We eased back into school life with a little bit of everything this week.

On Tuesday the 6th graders were in with Mrs. Sterling for a NoodleTools refresher. They learned how to export their bibliographies and had work time for their Scientists in the Field projects. We also had tea to warm us up during flex time on Tuesday. On Wednesday we had our first Book Club of the new decade, which you can read about here. On Friday the library hosted author/aerospace engineer/game designer Andrew Rader to talk about his new book, Beyond the Known, human explorations, and space.

January Book Club

New year, new decade, same Book Club!

Ms. Melinson started us off by sharing what she did on Christmas Eve – Jólabókaflóð – the Icelandic tradition of reading a book in bed while eating chocolate on Christmas Eve. Ms. Melinson’s Christmas Eve book was Jackpot by Nic Stone. She also read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and said it’s an interesting story that does not have the beautiful writing that Starless Sea, the book she recommended last book club, has.

Heloise read The Starless Sea and had nothing but praise for it. She suggested reading it in one sitting because the novel sucked you in so much, it could be disorienting going back and forth from fiction to reality. Heloise also read My Sister the Serial Killer and enjoyed its unique concept. She read The Incendiaries and found it gorgeously written, but perhaps a little wordy when it came to some descriptions.

Natalie shared that she is rereading some old favorites, including Warcross and the Neil Shusterman series Unwind. She advised not to get too attached to any character in the Unwind series and the need for a strong stomach. Anna read The Infinite Noise and loved that it featured LGBTQ+ characters but the story didn’t solely focus on LGBTQ+ issues.

Luca returned to say hi and share what he’s been reading – a lot of Stephen King, including Carrie. He also started Between the World and Me and is enjoying its poetic prose. Speaking of beautiful writing, Dra. Portillo read How We Fight For Our Lives, and described it as a beautiful coming of age story. Samhita reread Anne of Green Gables and forgot just how good it is.

Arijit reread The Martian and said he likes to do the math from the book. He also read more books by Jurassic Park author, Michael Crichton. Layla read After the Fire, a book about the after effects of being in a cult. Dylan read The Fold and described it as being paradoxical and fitting into many genres. He also read V for Vendetta then watched the movie.

Sarina read Tangled and said she picked it based on the pretty cover. She said it’s from multiple points of view, but overall too bland and doesn’t feature enough representation. Sarina also read Trinkets because she likes the Neflix show based on the book. She found the book to be lacking diversity compared to the show. She also used the public library’s ebooks over Winter Break and found it exciting to instantly get a book. This is a friendly reminder that we also have a healthy collection of ebooks and often buy books students request if we don’t already have them.

To view all the books we’ve talked about, check out our Goodreads page!

Week in Review: Pre-Winter Break Festivities

The week before Winter Break was filled with festive activities and squirrely children of all ages.

Monday was the second day of Scientists in the Field research for the 6th graders. And speaking of SIF, on Tuesday Mrs. Bornmann and Ms. Melinson found out they were accepted to present about Scientists in the Field at ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), a conference focused on STEM in education.

Monday was also the Glass Knife’s annual holiday get-together, the Latke Throwdown. Students brought their favorite holiday dishes to share and Ms. Melinson read The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming.

Tuesday was music in the library. Ms. Keys and Ms. Hoyos brought their Middle and High School choir and orchestra to the library to serenade students and faculty with beautiful music during lunchtime.

On Wednesday we had our last Book Club of the year, which you can read about here. On Thursday the Sophomores turned in their first draft of their Sophomore Project papers (!!!)

Thursday was also Cookies, Coloring, and Conversation, a popular activity among students and staff alike. With roaring fire on the screen and classical music in the background, students relaxed while coloring and eating cookies.

Friday was a bit of a race as we counted down to Winter Break. As part of their community service day, a group of middle school students were in the library making Valentine’s Day cards for veterans, new service members, and first responders, as well as gift bags for Dyer Kelly School.

Alums returned on Friday for the annual alumni panel, but before that, they had lunch in the library and mingled with students and faculty.

Have a great break, everybody! If you need an ebook, or two or three, here’s a link, or connect through Cavnet where you can find the password if you forget it.

December Book Club

We had our final book of 2019 (and of the DECADE!) on Wednesday. Ms. Melinson started us off by sharing some Best Books of 2019 and Best Books of the Decade lists. She then shared what she’d been reading – Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, the author of The Night Circus. Ms. Melinson described it as “disgustingly beautiful” and a cross between Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store and The Night Circus.

Heloise read Frankly in Love and called it wonderful and similar plot-wise to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but much more realistic. She said the realistic plot and characters who sounds like high school students were a breath of fresh air. Mr. Cunningham read The Case of the Missing Men, describing it as a cross between Nancy Drew & David Lynch.

Anna read a graphic novel call Roadqueen and said the art and story were super cute. Layla read an An Abundance of Katherines and enjoyed, though she found the love equation confusing (why is there so much multiplication?!) Samhita read The Toll, the final book in the Scythe series. She’s sad the series is over, but liked the ending better than she expected to. Mr. Wells read The Water Dancer and found it thoughtful and horrifying. He’s hoping to read Beyond the Unknown in preparation for the author’s visit.

Then Ms. Melinson asked what people thought some of the best books of the decade are. Responses include The Testaments, The Hate U Give, the Champion series, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Night Circus.

Check out all the books we’ve discussed in past Book Clubs at our Goodreads page.