Last Book Club Before Summer!

Today we sent out the school year in style with our final book club. There were many lively discussions as the brownies and iced tea were passed around—primarily discussions about strong female characters in literature.

Avi brought up one of the protagonists in the new Mad Max film as a strong female character; Shriya mentioned the Warrior Princess novel having strong lady companions, and Anny said that Alli Carter often writes very strong female characters as well. This led Mrs. Nellis to pose the question: was everyone raised to believe that girls and boys were equal?

The responses varied; some mentioned cousins getting married at 16 or having arranged marriages; some talked about parents struggling with having strong, independent daughters; some had boldly feminist parents; and some parents even used Law and Order: SVU to teach their daughters that they never had to stay in abusive relationships like the ones depicted on the show.

As for the books, Ms. Melinson said she was planning to read some of the Alex Awards books over summer, and others were excited to read books like Game of Thrones and the Mortal Instruments series.

For a complete list of titles recommended during this (and all previous!) book clubs, check out our GoodReads list here.

The Evolution of Matthews Library (with photos!)

 

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Earlier this week we were delighted to attend a BAISL (Bay Area Independent School Librarians) meeting, hosted at the San Francisco Friends School. Ms. Melinson gave a presentation with Jason Stone (Learning Commons Coordinator at SF Friends School). The topic was all about planning/designing a new library space. And there was candy!

We decided to share the presentation photos, as well as other photos from the remodel of the library here.

Some Really Pretty Photos From Ms. Monahan’s Photography Class

Ms. Monahan’s photography class took a trip to McKinley Park last week to practice their skills in nature photography. We’re delighted to share these awesome photos with you, just try not to get too jealous about their adventures in the beautiful sunshine.

P.S. Be sure to click on each photo to see it in full-size (and with captions!).

 

April Book Club

PoetryMonthGraphic1During lunch today we had our final book club for Seniors (we’ll miss you, Class of 2015!), and we also celebrated National Poetry Month. Ms. Melinson started things off by reading a poem she enjoys sharing at the end of the year with Seniors called “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver.

Another tradition of the last Senior book club is to honor the Seniors who came to book club consistently throughout their high school career. This year our top book clubbin’ Senior was Jaspreet, who has regaled us over the years with his many, many recommendations of zombie books. Ms. Melinson presented him with a reading journal filled with the titles of these zombie books (to be fair, not all of them were zombie books. There’s some great nonfiction in there, too!).

Anny S. shared a poem by Billy Collins from the book Sailing Alone Around the Room. She enjoyed this particular book of poetry and talked about giving it to her friend as a gift.

The conversations shifted from poetry to an array of different novels, and Avi was delighted to share that Eleanor and Park was, indeed, worth all the fuss. Mrs. Batarseh shared some amazing translated Arabic novels with us, and Mrs. Fels talked about making the mistake of reading Ruth Rendell’s horror novels in the middle of the night (moral of the story: just don’t do it!).

For a complete list of books recommended at today’s book club, check out our Goodreads page here.

Leadership Lunch about Heart Health

Julia O. gave a talk today about a 5k Run she’s organizing for Heart Health. She told us how she got interested in the subject and why she wants to raise money for it. The race will begin at school and take place on April 23 and 24. See flyers around school for more information. Thanks, Julia, and good luck!

To celebrate the last leadership lunch (and as a nod to irony), Emma brought snacks that were anything but heart healthy. Thank you, Emma, for coordinating the leadership lunches and spoiling us with both healthy and not-so-healthy treats these past two years! Best wishes in college!

Sophomore Project Top 10 Presentations

Be sure to join us in the library next Monday and Tuesday from 12:05-1:55 to see the Top Ten Sophomore Presentations. There will be a new set of judges (and prizes!) for this round, and the overall winner will present to the Board of Trustees. We can’t wait!

Here are the Top 10:

  1. “Albert Einstein and His FBI File” – Shriya N.
  2. “Vincent Van Gogh: Artistic Effects of Lead Poisoning” – Isabelle L.
  3. “The Politics, Campaigning, and Corruption of the Nobel Peace Prize” – Alexa M.
  4. “Serge Diaghilev” – Camille L.
  5. “Early Astronomy” – Marigot F.
  6. “Nelson Mandela’s 27-year Prison Life” – Kevin H.
  7. “The Spy Game” – Nicole W.
  8. “American Code Breakers in WWII” – Christian V.
  9. “World War I: The World has Changed” – Mac S.
  10. “Why Did 27 Years of Democratic Fighting Not Make a Difference in Burma?” – Avi B.

March: Music in Our Schools Month

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During lunch on Tuesday and Thursday we had multiple chamber groups delighting us with their melodies—all in honor of Music in Our Schools Month. We hope to have performances on a regular basis next year. We love having a musical library!

March Book Club

Today’s book club featured a spread of not only our traditional brownies, but also some amazing homemade chocolate and lemon pound cakes crafted by the lovely Ms. Melinson. We had lively discussions about the books we’ve all been reading (or want to read!), and the topics varied; from books about being stranded on Mars, to books about man-eating horses who race under water.

Ms. Melinson spoke about our new Alex Awards display in the library—every year these awards are given to adult fiction titles that appeal to young adults, ages 12-18. We have a lot of these titles in the library available for check out, and if you click this here link, you can see a list of our selections!

We also added to our regular list of recommended book club reads, click here to see those.

Read Across America Day

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Today we were delighted to honor Read Across America Day in the library! Every year, we transform our space into the groovy lava lounge, and throughout the day we have classes come in to read, complete fun Seuss-related coloring activities—and also hang out on bean bags and giant whale-shaped pillows.

AND there was hot chocolate. Can it get any better than that?

Yes. Yes it can. We also served up gourmet coffee (Chemex-style, prepared by yours truly) and treats to the teachers for all their hard work. From 2:30-2:45 we participated in an all-school read to honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday. All in all, it was a pretty super-duper-fantastic day in the library—but we’re still waiting for those green eggs and ham.