Your Week in Review: Celebrity Edition


While the High Schoolers were on their class trips this week, we had the 6th Graders in the library every day for our orientation (whew!). Students learned all about the library programs and services, evaluated websites, and the best part: it ended in Family Feud, with Ms. Melinson playing the role of Steve Harvey. And on Friday, students began research on the background of the book Wonder.


On Wednesday we had a very special Skype visit with the author of The True Meaning of Smek Day, Adam Rex. Middle Schoolers were able to chat with the author about his books, illustrations, and what it was like to see his book turned into a movie (Home). He also showed us some of the cool sketches he’s been working on. A few students were able to ask him questions they prepared beforehand. Fun!


And on Friday, we had a little “incident” with Mr. Dymo, and he lost an eye. This is why you don’t play with letter openers, kids. Mr. Dymo is expected to make a full recovery, but is ready for the three-day weekend in celebration of Columbus Day.


Your Week in Review: Banned Books Edition

Well, well, well, SCDS’ers. It’s been another week for the books here at Matthews Library (pun intended). Actually, it’s been a week for banned books! This week we celebrated Banned Books Week and our right to read books of all kinds—even those “challenged” over time (and often for really silly reasons!).

In addition to promoting the freedom to read, we’ve had some entertaining moments in the library this week:

  • Mrs. Nellis brought in her History classes to do some research about Ancient Egypt  to prepare for their Keynote presentations.


  • We had a great TED Talk on Tuesday featuring Phil Hansen, an artist who developed a tremor and “embraced the shake” to overcome his creative limitations.


  • Kevin and Lea got a little creative with the Post-It notes…because sometimes studying just takes you there.


  • We “jailed” a few students for engaging in the outrageous activity of enjoying some frequently-challenged books.They’ll each be entered into our Teen Read Week raffle (with fabulous prizes such as lunch prepared by the librarian, a brownie on a random Tuesday, and a mystery prize!). Look at these cute mugs (thanks for being good sports, Diego, Lia, Sophie, and Vanessa!).

September Book Club

For our first lunch time book club of the year, we had a whopping 18 students and 4 faculty in attendance! Ms. Melinson served up her famous homemade brownies and started off by asking if anyone would be interested in attending a special book club about Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee’s new book. The general consensus was that everyone would attend, especially if we could get Ms. LaMay to join in.

Students talked about the books they enjoyed reading over the summer break. Anny really enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s Between the Lines and its sequel, Off the Page. She also sang the praises of the The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

Amelia shared several books she read, including Steven Millhauser’s Voices in the Night and Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver. She and Luca both shared their common interest and devotion to all things Neil Gaiman.

Vanessa was busy teaching with Breakthrough this summer, but she had time to take a break and read a book of Sherman Alexie’s short stories, Blasphemy, and a graphic novel called The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis (which we all thought sounded absolutely amazing—household appliances have souls!).

Josh enjoyed reading Nick Offerman’s humorous book of political essays, Gumption. `He also read a few Sci-Fi classics.

Luca read Go Set a Watchman, but said he’d wait until our special book club to discuss further. He enjoyed reading A Good Year by Peter Mayle, as well as John Grisham’s The Client.

Emil had nothing but great things to say about The Martian by Andy Weir, as did everyone else–everyone is looking forward to the movie version coming out soon.

Faculty shared some of their favorite summer reads as well. Mrs. Fels loved This is Where I Leave You (Jonathan Tropper) and Dear Committee Members (Julie Schumacher). Mrs. Nellis enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr).

We ran out of time to chat about more books we all enjoyed over summer, but we’re looking forward to next month’s book club to continue the conversation! For a complete list of books recommended during our monthly book clubs, check out our Goodreads list here. 

Summer Reading Raffle Winners

Summer is over, but here’s good news: it’s time to give away some prizes! This year we had some great entries from the Middle Schoolers for our Summer Reading Activities Raffle. In addition to being entered into our raffle, students were also able to earn virtual badges for the Sacramento Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge. Overall, the Middle School earned a whopping 37 virtual badges!

With the help of a sugarfied Agamemnon, the winners were selected at random. Drum roll, please!

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Come by the Matthews Library to pick up your prizes!

6th grade:

  • 1st Place – $25 Barnes & Noble gift card: Arikta T.
  • 2nd Place – $10 Jamba Juice gift card: Ethan M.

7th Grade:

  • 1st Place – $25 Barnes & Noble gift card: Sarina R.
  • 2nd Place – Jamba Juice $10 gift card: Cooper A.

8th Grade:

  • 1st Place – $25 Barnes & Noble gift card: Becca W.
  • 2nd Place – $10 Jamba Juice gift card: Miri L. 

Your Week in Review

While we may have a short week due to Labor Day, the library saw a flurry of activity as we welcomed new patrons to Matthews Library, evicted a small dragon, and offered sanctuary to post-Ancil Hoffman team members.

OK. Maybe we’re exaggerating about the dragon. Or are we?


On Tuesday we had Sixth Graders in the library to learn all about our favorite subject: books! Students got a tour of the library and were able to check out books for their independent reading requirements.


On Thursday we had a tiny visitor. Let’s just call him Tiny Dragon. While we’re sure that he had a delightful personality, his movements were rather unpredictable so we had to politely ask him to leave the Matthews Library.


On Friday Ms. Melinson and Ms. Hawkins had their annual library planning lunch. Oh, the events we will have!

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Friday was also the annual High School Ancil Hoffman picnic. Here’s a rare photo: the red team and the black team getting along before the big game!


Alas, after a red team victory, many of the participants decided to cool off in the library. Oh yeah—did we mention they played capture the flag in 95+ degree weather? No big deal. I think it’s safe to say that everyone deserves a good rest this weekend. And air conditioning!

It’s a Library Roundup! Here’s Your Week In Review

During the first week of school here at SCDS, we realized that there was a lot of stuff going on around campus—and we couldn’t decide which to post. It was like going to the candy store and not being able to choose one candy. The struggle was real. So we decided to buy all of the candy instead! Here’s a roundup of some of the cool events we had in the library this week:

Ms. Melinson had lunch with her brand new advisory.

Ms. Melinson had lunch with her brand new advisory.

The Glass Knife had their first staff meeting.

The Glass Knife had their first staff meeting.

Ms. LaMay's Middle School Book Elective came in and scored some bookmarks from Ms. Melinson's author pal.

Ms. LaMay’s Middle School Book Elective came in and scored some bookmarks from Ms. Melinson’s author pal. Oh yeah, and they checked out some books, too.

Preemptive strikes against germs! Pew pew pew!

Preemptive strikes against germs! Pew pew pew!

Maryjane demonstrating proper library seating techniques.

Maryjane demonstrated proper library seating techniques.

Ms. LaMay's 8th Grade English class came to learn about using the Independent Reading Sites for posting book reviews.

Ms. LaMay’s 8th Grade English class came to learn about using the Independent Reading Sites for posting book reviews.

Country Day Locker Style

Welcome back to school! Some of our 7th graders have created some stylish lockers. We were so impressed, we had to take photos. Nice work!

What Do Librarians Do During the Summer? Find Cool Stuff on the Internet

I subscribe to emails from Smithsonian with interesting information each week. Here’s something I found this summer that I thought might interest some of our students: “Here’s How to Make a Record out of a Tortilla”

Used with permission of Rapture Records.

We Had an Informational Lunch!


Today we had a pizza (and cookie/cupcake/chocolate/soda) lunch for 8th Grade students interested in joining the yearbook (Medallion) and the literary magazine (The Glass Knife) when they return to school next year as Country Day Freshmen.

Students not only got their fill of carbohydrates and sugar, but learned a lot about a couple of our beloved school publications. Jaspreet, Zomonster B., Jacob, and Jenny all shared their experiences with these publications, answered some great questions, and hopefully convinced a few (or all!) of the 8th Grade folks to partake in the litmag and yearbook fun for the 2015-2016 school year.