Hi, friends! Welcome to this new version of Week in Review. While we’re remotely learning and working in our homes, we can’t share pictures of what’s happing in the library like we usually do…because there’s nothing happening in the library. But that doesn’t mean library services and events are going away. It just means we’re focusing on ebooks and transitioning to virtual events. For example, we had our March Book Club via Zoom. Read all about it here.
So, here are some things that made us laugh this week as we adjust to our new virtual reality.
Meetings with our coworker’s dogs via Zoom.
Ms. Melinson making rookie mistakes with technology she’s used for years while adjusting easily to new technology.
Weird things kids leave in front of their webcams while they’re away from their computers.
We had our monthly Book Club this past Wednesday and it was BYOHAP&B – bring your own hot apple cider and brownies because our meeting was virtual. That’s right, even when remote learning we still have time to talk about books!
Ms. Melinson started us off with a book not to read during this time – The Plague by Albert Camus. It might be a little too on the nose. But she did have some suggestions for for books to read to help soothe the soul and help you get better as a human being. Ms. Melinson suggested How to Be an Antiracist, Zen Flesh Zen Bones, an introduction to Buddhism, and poetry – Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot and Dear Darkness by Kevin Young.
Speaking of books that are on the nose, Avi is reading about hypochondriasis – the fear of having a serious disease. Grace E. is reading the fantasy/sci-fi serious about Michael Vey and the Electric Kids to distract herself. Mrs. Strong was reading The Calculating Stars, but decided to switch to something more upbeat – Strange Planet comics (view some here).
Ms. Bauman read a review of a play called “Conscious” and reached out to the author and was sent a script of the play to read. Reach out to authors – they may write back! Ms. Bauman is also listening to Frankenstein on audiobook. Samhita wants to read Emma by Jane Austen after seeing the movie. She’s also excited to start Lovely War by Julie Berry. Mr. Wells read The Poet X and said it was fantastic, filled with powerful verses. Clara re-read What If? by Randall Munroe, her favorite book.
Then Ms. Melinson asked how everyone was doing. Some students mentioned adjusting to living with college-aged siblings again as they return home. Some students talked about remote learning making them more organized. Ms. Bauman wondered how remote learning would impact college application essays next year. Are there going to be an influx of essays about sheltering in place much like there was an influx of essays written relating to Harry Potter when it was released? Who knows!
For all the books mentioned at this Book Club and all of the previous Book Clubs, check out our Goodreads account. Want more library content? Follow us on Instagram!
It’s that time of year again – Read Across Country Day, the day where the library is transformed into a reading lounge with comfy pillows, bean bags, and the famous reading fort. Classes signed up to spend the class period in the fort all cozy with a book and hot chocolate. Throughout the day, students were able to curl up with a good book and enjoy tea and classical music or take pictures at the selfie station and vote on what book we should get next for our collection. We happened to find Waldo in the stacks reading – he must have been on a break from visiting the lower school.
In other news, Spencer presented for Leadership Lunch and spoke about his experience at Boys State California, a civics program put on by the American Legion. Sounding part Hunger Games and part Lord of the Flies (but much less tragic) Boys State takes one rising male senior (there’s also a separate Girls State) from every participating high high school in California and lets them create their own city and state governments in the dorms at Sac State. Spencer explained how the week-long summer program was great fun (many shenanigans ensued) while also a great opportunity to learn leadership skills and meet students from all over California.
Peep through our gallery of class reading selfies from the All-School Read below. Check out the kindergarten reading forts inspired by our fort!
Mr. Wells got duct taped to the gym wall. Just your typical Friday afternoon shenanigans.
We returned from Mid-Winter break on Monday to the 100th day of school. The kindergartners paraded around campus as part of their celebration, including marching through the library.
On Tuesday the newly formed Black Student Union held its first event, a spoken word session at lunch time. Students, staff, and faculty shared poems by African American authors in honor of Black History Month.
Students from Ms. Mitchell’s Film elective came in on Wednesday to shoot a scene for their movie. One student got to “train” using books and other students got to throw books around. (No books were harmed in the making of this movie.)
It’s almost March which means it’s time for March Madness in Mr. Crabb’s 7th grade History. On Friday students got to judge historical fiction books by their covers and hear the first line before picking out several they’d want to read. Soon these books will go head to head – thirty six books will enter, but only one can leave victorious!
We frequently have adorable dogs in the library, but what about a cute cow? Check out this beautiful painting of an adorable cow by Olivia (’19).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Your assistant librarian’s assistant pupper giving input on today’s blog post.
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.
Two puppy visitors in one day! Look at this adorable and tiny puppy!
And look at this adorable and giant puppy visitor!