March Book Club

We had our monthly Book Club on a rainy Wednesday, with brownies and hot apple cider hitting just the right spot.

Ms. Melinson started us off by talking about a new book by Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn. It’s a novel in verse similar to House on Mango Street. Mr. Wells, having also just finished the book, chimed in and said, “It’s excellent!” Ms. Melinson also talked about How to Relax, recommended by her daughter, Sarah, when asked what she would say to her younger self. And as a callback to the cookbooks she shared at the last Book Club, Ms. Melinson talked about How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, the companion to How to Cook Everything.

Grace read The Moonstone, a Victorian mystery (many believe it’s the first mystery book) she described as fun and comforting with quirky characters. She also read The Dead and the Vaulted Arches, another fun mystery. Grace was also excited to start the Ron Chernow biography of Hamilton and Shadow of the Wind – in Spanish.

Anu read The Wrath and the Dawn, which she described as “unexpected” and a mix between The Selection and Arabian Nights. Emma read To Kill a Kingdom, describing it as a more mature retelling of The Little Mermaid. Alyssa listened to Dreamfall on audiobook, a book she’d read and enjoyed, and learned some information: the name of a character was pronounced differently from Alyssa was pronouncing it.

Kaitlyn shared that she’s received many recommendations from Emma that she hasn’t liked, but was sticking with The Thone of Glass series with the promise the third book, Heir of Fire, is supposed to be good. Yumi started Brave New World, describing it as kind of confusing so far. Ian read some weird, but classic books, including Allen Ginsberg’s Collected PoemsThe Most Beautiful Woman in Town & Other StoriesInto the Wild, and Naked Lunch.

Visit our Goodreads page to view all of the books we talked about!

Week in Review

It’s been a wet and wintry week here at the Matthews Library. Monday started out with a Glass Knife meeting as staffers get ready for board meetings next week. On Tuesday Mrs. Lyon’s Book Elective was in to learn about the review contest and find out some of the special perks of being in Book Elective.

On Wednesday, students and faculty participated in the National Walkout by sitting silently for 17 minutes and reading off the names and ages of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. We had our lunchtime Book Club on Wednesday, which you can read about here. Wednesday was also Pi Day and the library served as a holding place for some pretty sweet pies for the Pi day pie making contest.

Thursday was the perfect day for tea after lunch because of the inclement weather. Thursday was also the perfect day to send off the Mock Trial team to state! Students and teachers gathered to cheer on the Mock Trial team as they head to Orange County to compete in the State Mock Trial competition for the first time in Country Day history. Go Cavs!

The library was quiet on Friday, but the Middle School was the happening place with their first World’s Fair Day.

Week in Review: Shelfie edition

We started off this week with one of our popular (and relaxing) activities – Cookies, Coloring, and Conversation. Students spent lunch coloring in a variety of coloring books from Lisa Frank to Amazing Cities to Sherlock Holmes while enjoying cookies and talking with their friends.

On Wednesday we had our monthly Leadership Lunch, with Esme and Yanele presenting. They spoke about Breakthrough, giving background for those unfamiliar with the program, explaining its importance, and how it’s a rewarding experience for those who volunteer.

On Friday the Candy Fairy delivered candy to the classes who sent in selfies during the All School Read last week. Check out our selfie gallery below!

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Week in Review: Read Across America edition

We’re back in the thick of things after a (hopefully) well rested (and well read) February Break. On Monday Sophomores had their second moratorium where they focused on presentations. Former Sophomore Project winners shared their presentations and the gave tips on how to give a top notch presentation.

Tuesday saw the return of TED Talk Tuesday. We showed Sarah Kay’s “If I Should Have a Daughter” and Shane Koyczan’s “To This Day…For the Bullied and the Beautiful.” Tuesday also happened to be the 100th Day of School, and the library was one of the many stops on the Kindergarteners’ celebratory parade throughout campus.

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Friday was Read Across America Day, a day devoted to reading. The library was transformed into a cozy reading lounge filled with pillows, bean bags, and the reading fort. At 2:30, the Cat in the Hat let us know it was time for the All School Read and for 15 minutes, the whole school read. Check out our shelfie post later this week featuring students, faculty, and parents reading.

Week in Review: Olympics edition

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The 6th graders have been working on Olympic-themed projects over the past few weeks and as a result the library was transformed into a mini Olympic stadium on Monday as they competed in Minute-To-Win-It games. The games included “Cups & Cards”, “Play it by Ear with Soda Cans”, “Find the Penny in the Tights”, and “Nuts ‘n’ Bolts”. The 6th graders celebrated their hard work at lunch with cake and live streaming the Olympics.

On Tuesday Mr. Crabb’s advisory came in to look at books about food for the upcoming World Fair Day. Thursday and Friday featured ice cream socials for Lauren and Layla, winners of the Teen Read Week raffle.

Most excitedly, the puzzle was finished on Friday. Here’s Rita putting in the last piece.


Wednesday was Valentine’s Day, and we were delighted with a singing valentine performed by the kindergarteners.

Week in Review: Polyglot edition

This week started off with our annual Polyglot Cat in the Hat reading. Students (including 2nd graders this year) and faculty read the classic Dr. Seuss tale, The Cat in the Hat, in over 40 languages, including Arabic, Kinyarwanda, Sanskrit, and Ascii code.

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On Wednesday we had our annual leadership lunch. This month featured Sandor talking about the three months he spent in Spain playing soccer. In addition to playing soccer, Sandor also spoke about being immersed in Spanish culture and witnessing history first hand in the Catalan riots for independence.

On Friday we hosted a farewell party for Sailendra, maintenance man extraordinaire. Sal is leaving us after 17 and a half years to start his own business and we wish him all the best.


This week was spirit week and our resident life skills counselor, Pat, got in on the fun!

Week in Review: Sophomore Moratorium Edition

This week, Ms. Nellis’ 9th grade History classes visited almost every day to work on their Pre-Columbian Americas research projects. On Monday Ms. Melinson shared with them how to start an outline for the presentation component of their project and the rest of the week was spent looking at sources and researching indigenous cultures.

Monday was also National Puzzle Day which meant is was time for Ms. Melinson to bust out the puzzle! This year’s puzzle features an elaborate library that even includes a puzzle in the corner.

Wednesday featured a guest speaker, New York Times sportswriter Karen Crouse. Ms. Crouse spoke to the members of the Octagon staff about her new book, Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence, as well as how she got started in sports journalism and some notable stories from her career.

Thursday the Glass Knife held a meeting where they planned for the upcoming Valentine’s Day bake sale – look forward to that happening on Monday, February 12th!

Friday was the all-day Sophomore Moratorium. Students spent the day working on their projects and getting help from teachers while also listening to presentations on outlines, rubrics, and how to make a presentation.

Week in Review

This week started out with a Glass Knife lunch-time literary contest. The staff were given a list of prompts related to this year’s theme (of which we were sworn to secrecy and cannot reveal) and directed to write in 10 minute intervals. Congratulations to Gabi, Joe M., Zihao!

On Wednesday we had our monthly Book Club, which you can read all about here. Thursday featured tea in the library to warm us up. Thursday also found Ms. Melinson visiting Ms. Nellis’ 9th graders to discuss their Pre-Columbian Americas research projects. Ms. Melinson shared the research guide she made for them and then talked about how to find sources.

January Book Club

We had our first Book Club of 2018 on Wednesday and as is tradition, Ms. Melinson shared the cookbooks she’s been reading. First up was Pizza Camp, which would be the best camp ever. She discussed The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, a companion book to The Flavor Bible, which lets you know what flavors go well together. Ms. Melinson also talked about Bon Appetit and Saver, food magazines the library subscribes to.

Heloise read Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. She said it’s a cool book with helpful diagrams on how to write. Luca shared that it’s easier to to buy books than it is to read them, which is a problem we know all too well. One of the books he’s reading is John Green’s newest, Turtles All the Way Down. He said it’s not the classic John Green story, but it’s still quirky while dealing with real issues. Luca also mentioned he’s reading Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci, which he described as the Hamilton of Leonardo da Vinci.

Going along with Ms. Melinson’s theme, Lindsay read The Dessert Bible and The Cook’s Bible, which she said is similar to Flavor Bible. Mrs. Eustace has been listening to audiobooks lately, including A Man Named OveMe Before You, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Mrs. Eustace noted that she liked Lin-Manuel Miranda’s narration of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe moreso than the story itself. The library will soon be getting audiobooks through our shared Overdrive collection, so keep an eye out for that!

Emma read An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors over break, but didn’t like it. She picked it because she thought it was about a planet with floating islands, but it focused too much on politics. However she just started reading The Cruel Prince and likes it much better. Mr. Wells read An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and An Epic on recommendation of Ms. Bauman. He described it as part memoir and part literary analysis.

Melissa discussed the books she read over break from least favorite (Future Home of the Living God) to most favorite book ever (The Immortalists). Layla said that she hasn’t been able to find a good book and has been disappointed with her recent selections. She did share an amusing tale of a pie gone wrong. She tried to make a 3-in-1 pie with pecan, pumpkin, and apple layers, but it turned into a bit of a jumbled mess in the oven.

Hana read The Screwtape Letters, which she described as interesting, but kind of a hard read. Joanne read Me Before You, which she loved, but didn’t like the sequel, Me After You, saying it was bad compared to the first book.

To find out about all the books we talked about, check out our Goodreads page!

Week in Review: Finals edition

This week was bookended by three-day weekends and filled with final exams. In between finals, the library looked like this:

A mass of people, noise, and excitement of students blowing off steam and comparing answers, and the aisles redecorated with study materials. We applaud your effort, Timeline-Making Student!

Not pictured is the library during finals: quiet, with not a student in sight, their belongings strewn about as if they were raptured away to their exams.

Later on Thursday, The Glass Knife literary magazine held their annual retreat where they dined on Chinese food before getting down to business. Students brainstormed ideas for the book and each department gave presentations on the function of their department.