On Monday we had a Leadership Lunch featuring Amalie talking about her experience over the summer as part of Team USA’s swim team. In her presentation, Amalie highlighted her team and the importance of supporting each other. On Tuesday our favorite Saint Bernard, Quaffle, bestowed us with her happy, fluffy presence. On Wednesday Dr. Fisher was in with his 10th graders to cover proper interviewing techniques so the kiddos are prepared to conduct interviews for their Sophomore Projects. The week ended on a thankful note as the high schoolers and their advisors feasted on turkey sandwiches, sparkling cider, and apple pie in the high school quad.
This month’s Book club featured a full house and Ms. Melinson’s book hoard – and, of course, our usual brownies and hot apple cider.
Ms. Melinson shared a bunch of new books: Dear Fahrenheit 451 (hilarious letters to books/libraries), I’ll Give You the Sun (not new, but needs more love), The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic sequel), Thick as Thieves, Dear Martin, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, Book of Lies, You Bring the Distant Near, Tool of War, and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Heloise read The Serpent of Essex, a book she picked up because of its beautiful cover. Ms. B read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was not about the philosophers, but rather characters with the same names. Ms. B loved it for its beautiful, spare prose. She also read Havana Bay and described it as well written and understanding of Cuban culture.
Jewel said she was looking forward to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox over the Thanksgiving break. Alyssa read Dreamfall (the book Ms. Melinson mentioned at the last Book Club that she said she’d never read because it’s too scary) and really enjoyed it. Ms. B brought up that it can be hard to decide what to read, but the more you read, the wider your interests become. She also gave some sage advice: never read at a stop sign. It’s bad for your insurance rates.
For all the books we talked about, check out our Goodreads page!
This week started off with a Glass Knife meeting at lunch with GK staff members discussing details and submissions for this year’s book. Later in the day we had both English 10 classes in to learn the finer points of evaluating websites. On Tuesday Ms. Nellis’ 9th graders were in the library working on their World Heritage site projects. On Thursday Mr. Hagmann’s Book Elective class was in looking up poetry for a sweet surprise we can’t mention just yet. Thursday also featured our monthly Book Club where students and faculty discuss what they’ve been reading – or in this case, what they’re planning on reading over the long weekend. To cap off the week, there was a meeting of the Faculty Food Club featuring yummy appetizers.
The middle schoolers were away on their field trips this week and the library was noticeably quiet in their absence. On Monday we had Misty Greene, pastry chef extraordinaire at Hawks in Granite Bay and Hawks Provision and Public House, visit us for World Food Day. Chef Misty talked about her passion for more good food literacy and her volunteer work with the Food Literacy Center, whose mission is to get kids to get kids to vegetables. If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities at the Food Literacy Center, let us know and we’ll get you connected. Misty also talked about how to break into the restaurant industry – by starting at the bottom and working your way up. Tuesday was the birthday of yours truly and Ms. Melinson made a yummy chocolate bundt cake (which I’m totally snacking on right now) Wednesday was our monthly Book Club, which you can read about here. On Thursday and Friday, 10th graders were in the library to find books and take notes, learn about Boolean searching, and find good keywords to search the databases for their Sophomore Project topics. The Glass Knife had their second meeting on Friday and had a spirited discussion on what this year’s theme should be.
The weather has turned colder, which means it’s time for Ms. Melinson to bust out the hot apple cider for the October Book Club!
We had a jammed packed house for this month’s Book Club with no leftover brownies in sight. Ms. Melinson talked about a bunch of the new books we just received including The Education of Margo Sanchez, Genuine Fraud, Men Without Women, Dreamfall, The Bear and the Nightingale (which Emma loved. She described it as creepy, but not horror-movie scary), Dividing Eden, and Jane, Unlimited.
Ms. B read Steeplejack, which she called “fun and wonderful.” She also talked about Lapham’s Quarterly, a magazine that devotes each issue to one topic. Ms. B said she likes magazines because articles have an easier stopping point whereas books seduce you into finding out what happens.
Luca started reading Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno and was enjoying it. He also bought the best book ever, The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray, which is like a Bill Murray dictionary. Luca was also “snail-pacing” his way through Einstein’s Dreams and a few memoirs.
Heloise read Bel Canto and recommends it because it has a great writing style. Ms. Melinson said it’s one of her all time favorite books. Josh was excitedly waiting to read the new John Green book Turtles All the Way Down after an almost six year wait since his last book. (yours truly would like to interject that she has read the book and loved it!) Jackson said he went through the stages of grief as the last Harry Potter book was published, but decided to revisit the series via audiobook. Jackson was planning on reading Casino Royale and Ms. B warned him the the James Bond in the books is quite a different character from the one in the movies.
Joe started listening to The Way of Kings audiobook (which is a whopping 45 hours long!) but ended up rereading the book instead. Monique read the “All the World’s a Grave”, a play that uses different pieces of Shakespeare’s writing in one play, and loved it. Emma read Wicked Wonders, a collection of short stories about magical kids. Jewel read The Thousandth Floor, a book where the entirety of New York City exists inside a tower. Layla read Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli and liked it, though she found it quite sad.
To check out all of the books we talked about, visit our Goodreads page!
That blur in the middle of the screen is Luca racing to his seat so he doesn’t miss any of the Book Club fun!
Though the week was shortened due to an in-service day on Monday, it was jam packed with spirit for Spirit Week! On Tuesday, Mr. Wells and Ms. Lacombe’s 10th graders were in the library researching local sources for their Sophomore Projects. That same day at lunch, students and faculty were invited to discuss the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Wednesday was the Senior Moratorium where seniors got to spend most of the day working on their college applications with teachers nearby to help out. Also on Wednesday, Ms. Melinson met with Mr. Hagmann’s Film Elective class to assist with their research projects.
On Thursday Ms. Melinson attended a BAISL (Bay Area Independent School Libraries) conference where she met with other independent school librarians to discuss e-books. Thursday also happened to be the Spirit Week Advisory Costume Contest where Ms. Melinson’s advisory (with Learning Specialist Mrs. Brown filling in for Ms. Melinson) dressed up in their best 1920s garb. On Friday Dr. Fisher’s class was in the library to re-familiarize themselves with NoodleTools and to learn the important distinction between paraphrasing and plagiarizing. Rounding out Spirit Week was the annual chalk mural on Friday, where students made pieces based on films from Japan’s Studio Ghilbli.
Agamemnon had a whale of a time picking out the winners for the Teen Read Week raffle!
Middle School winners:
Elizabeth C., Miles M., Caleb, Sage, Eva, Lauren, Brooklyn, Chloe, Arikta, Keerti, Chase, and Ashi.
High School winners:
Sonja, Layla, Heloise, Lindsay, Chardonnay, and Emily H.
Congrats, readers! Remember to stop by the library to claim your prize!
This week is Banned Books Week and the library displayed some frequently banned and challenged books and the reasons for the challenges. Here’s Charlie and Elijah browsing the display.
Their favorite reason for a book being banned is “It is a real downer” for The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
On Monday, Ms. Thomas’ AP Computer Science Principles class visited to learn about where to search for tech innovations, what white papers are, and how to write concisely, which is not an easy task! Tuesday was a busy day with Mr. Crabb’s 7th graders visiting to learn about databases as well as Cookies, Coloring, and Conversation at lunch time. Wednesday and Thursday saw Ms. Nellis’ 9th graders in to begin researching for their Ancient Civilizations projects. They even got to go on a field trip – to the 930s (the corner where the ancient history books are–we didn’t actually time travel to the year 930 although that would have been pretty cool!) On Friday we had a visit from our local public librarian, Kim, to deliver library cards to the 10th graders and talk about resources at the public library to help the Sophomores with their projects.
It’s beginning to look like fall in the library office!
We had our first High School Book Club of the new school year on Wednesday, though we were a bit uncertain of when to start now that Dr. Bell isn’t here! It was nice to see old and new faces alike as students and faculty discussed what they read over the summer.
Ms. Melinson talked about The Hate U Give and mentioned hosting a special book club devoted to the book in October. Keep an eye out for that next month! She also read the book All American Boys, which has similar themes to The Hate U Give. Ms. Melinson also talked about A Gentleman in Moscow, a book loved by everyone who’s read it so far. Both Ms. Melinson and Mr. Wells declared it the “best book of the year”.
Luca said he jumped around a started several different books, including A Confederacy of Dunces (which caused groans from the faculty) as well as some biographies by Nick Offerman and John Cleese. He also mentioned reading Einstein’s Dreams, which Ms. Melinson said was one of her favorite books.
Josh also started a lot of books this summer including a collection of Winston Churchill’s speeches titled Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Greatest Speeches, Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags, and Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World, a large book he described as “interesting, but a slog” to get through.
Heloise read some amazing books this summer like The Alchemist, which she said was “life changing” (Doctora suggested that if you liked The Alchemist you should read The Little Prince and compare the two books). Heloise also raved about Mr. Palomar and The Night Circus.
Becca read Saving Hamlet and thought it was amazing with its fantastic, flowery writing and diverse cast of characters.
Ms. Batarseh read a book with a title almost as long as the book itself, Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. She said despite its dry title, she loved the book because of the passionate writing style of the author and because it was a book where she had to look up the meaning of words, which is not a usual occurrence for her.
Layla mentioned she likes dystopian books because anything can happen in them and said she read Red Blood over the summer, which she really enjoyed.
Ms. Nellis said she was re-reading Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. She describe it as “eye opening” and for people who want to know what people outside of California think.
To view all of the books we talked about, check out our Goodreads page!
While we technically had a shortened week thanks to Labor Day, the library felt as busy as ever this week.
We had our first Leadership Lunch on Wednesday featuring Gabi and Esme speaking about their enriching summer experience at the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Project. Their experience inspired them to promote the idea of bringing a Chican@/Ethnic Studies class to Country Day. They also talked about what DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is and the impact it will have when it’s repealed.
Also on Wednesday we witnessed a silent protest take place outside the library on the gym wall. This was in response to the mural on the gym walls being painted over, which you can read about here.
On Friday Dr. Fisher’s 10th graders were in to learn how to narrow down their topics for the Sophomore Project and turn their subject into a research question. Friday was also the first meeting of the year for The Glass Knife, the High School’s literary magazine. New and returning students were encouraged to “sign over [their] souls to the Glass Knife” by Heloise while discussing jobs and potential theme ideas for this year’s book.
Here are five out of eight of our Summer Reading raffle winners! Good job and congratulations to Mia, Hailey, Kaitlyn, Nick, and Chance! Check out their Summer Reading activities here. Simone, Annabel, and Aidan – don’t forget to come to the library and claim your prize!