Monday, October 23, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Some call it "reading flow".  I prefer to call it "book coma".  It's that feeling you get when you are reading a really good book, one that's easy on your eyes and invites you into the story from the first page to the last, transporting you with its voice and characters and setting.  That's what happened to me this weekend, reading Catching a Story Fish by Janice N. Harrington.
This book is different than other novels-in-verse I've read. Each poem has its own title, and the author includes a "Poetry Glossary" at the end to explain several different types of poetic forms she employed--this one a haiku, the next concrete, another the blues--yet the story flows from one poem to the next.  The consistency of the speakers' voices holds the narrative together, so that the changes in rhythm and patterns aren't jarring; in fact, I think it makes the story that much more interesting.

At the heart of Catching a Story Fish is a realistic fiction tale of a young girl trying to find her way in a new school and a different culture.  It's a story many of us can relate to, especially this military BRAT.  

If you want to learn more about poetry forms, check out this website from The Poetry Foundation:  .

It's Monday!  What new book did you pick up this weekend?

Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Fall blew into Austin this weekend!  Chilly mornings, temperatures below 85 degrees in the afternoon, and the telltale sign of leaves littering our lawns bring welcome respite from the heat of summer.

I have been shying away from cooking these last few months; the thought of turning on a stove after getting into my hot car at the end of a workday just wasn't appealing.  The sound of the leaves skittering across the patio, and a walk on the hike and bike breathing cool air inspired me to break out my cookbooks and plan some meals for the months ahead.
I pored over these cookbooks, and a couple more, for hours this weekend.  My eyes were drawn to the recipes I had starred and  the notes I had written about substituting ingredients, changes in cookware and oven temps.  Soups and stews and baked goods found their way onto my menu templates.
Cookbook reading is a fundamental procedural text skill, and menu planning is the yummiest reader's response I know!

It's Monday; what are your favorite cookbooks?

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I usually save my Book Nook reading news for the Wednesday library update...but we've been sharing a GREAT baseball book with the first and second graders:
Featured on both the Texas 2x2 list and our own district's Armadillo Readers' Choice list, The William Hoy Story is a biography that surprised everyone in our Book Nook these past two weeks.  We are using the "Depth and Complexity" icons on our campus this year, and this book easily demonstrates the "Over Time" icon.  I don't want to give too much away, but William Hoy, who played professional baseball in the 1880s through the early 1900s, is thought to have initiated changes in the game which are still in use today, and will likely remain in the future.

The William Hoy Story is a great book to get students wondering about the origin of current practices and digging into history to answer those questions.  It's easy to just accept the many details of our lives as ordinary--but what's mundane these days started as someone's great idea.  Think of the brainstorming sessions you could have with this topic!  When and why did traffic lights come into use?  Who invented the shopping cart, air conditioner, plumbing?  When did drive-through restaurants come into being?

If you've got baseball or history fans in your circles, The William Hoy Story would be a welcome addition to their book collections.

It's Monday!  What books are you sharing with others this week?

Monday, October 2, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This is my fifth year as a librarian and at Sommer.  I inherited a library of 20,000 materials to manage, so it is no wonder that I keep discovering new books as I read shelves and oversee circulation.  One of the books that I've noticed, but never checked out before, is Richard Peck's Here Lies the Librarian.
After recently reading Peck's The Best Man from our Bluebonnet Award Nominee list, I was in the mood for more of his writing, so I checked it out for the weekend.  

Here Lies the Librarian didn't disappoint--though it was more about cars and small town living in the early 1900s than it was about the deceased librarian in the title.  PeeWee and her brother eke out a living fixing the first cars on the road, competing with the underhanded Kirby brothers for business.  A quartet of library science students show up one day, determined to revive the town library that's been closed since the librarian's demise.  Peck's cast of quirky characters in this period piece manage to educate us on the  living conditions of Midwestern towns before paved roads crossed the country, the empowerment of women that access to education and transportation enables, and a bit about the birth of the automobile age.  

I'm glad I took the time to read for fun this weekend!  What did you read?

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I'm continuing my trek through this year's list of Bluebonnet Award nominees!  This past weekend, I got halfway through Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee.
This story pulls at the heart from the very beginning, exploring the way feelings of love, loss, frustration, and hope can all coexist in profound relationships with family and friends--in human and animal experience.  Appelt and McGhee draw us into the book with vivid descriptions of both story setting and character psyches.  The mysterious spirituality woven throughout makes me feel like I'm in a place set apart, like the story of "Brigadoon".  

I'll be finishing up Maybe a Fox this week.  What are you reading today?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Students have been picking up their prizes for their Summer Reading Beach Blanket Bingo. Here are some of our Level D winners, who earned lunch in the library with a friend!

Ms. Margocs will be hosting a volunteer orientation this coming Monday, September 25th, from 115p to 2p.  Please attend if you have signed up to volunteer to help in the library!  If you cannot attend, the slideshow will be posted on the library website next week.  Click here for the link to the library volunteer signup.  Our busiest days are Tuesday through Friday!

Our first big book order of the year arrived today!  Ms Margocs and Mrs Woodul will be sharing the books with our students tomorrow.

We are preparing for our upcoming Fall Scholastic Book Fair!

Funds from our book fair help pay for author visits, books for the students, and library supplies.
Tune in next week for more book fair information!

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Feeling under the weather with allergies is a good excuse to lie down on the couch and read--and I read The Best Man by Richard Peck in one day.
I hadn't read a book by Peck since grad school, and had forgotten how much I like his writing style.  His words just flow for me!

Archer is our narrator, and lets us in on the facts and foibles of his life leading up to the biggest event yet--a family wedding, in which he gets to be the best man.  There are a few mishaps: an embarrassing stint as a ring bearer, being teased for having a girl as a best friend, dealing with the celebrity of a student teacher. But in true Peck style, there are a lot of tender moments: walks with Grandpa and talks with his parents, friends sticking up for one another, and lessons learned in the bleachers of Wrigley Field.

If you're in the mood for a rollicking read that may bring a happy tear to the eye, pick up a copy of The Best Man by Richard Peck--and sign one more book off of your Bluebonnet nominee list!

It's Monday!  What was on your weekend reading pile?