Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy 109th, Dr. Seuss!

 Since Dr. Seuss' birthday falls on a Saturday this year, we are celebrating Read Across America the entire following week with a spirit week!  We're kicking it off with fun themed bookmarks, a Suessism scavenger hunt, books of the day, and displays. 

I made the Truffula Trees out of a paper plunger (as you can probably tell) and a styrofoam ball covered with a boa.  Gotta love Pinterest!

Monday, March 4th– Friday, March 8th

Monday- Cat in the Hat (Crazy Hat day)
Tuesday- Fox in Sox (Foxiest Socks day)

Wednesday- Oh, the Places You’ll Go (Wear something from a place you’ve been)

Thursday- Horton Hears a Who (Crazy Who-Hair Day)
Friday- The Lorax (MUSTACHE DAY!) There will be a limited number of mustaches available in the library.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Winter, library world!!  Since we can't even breathe the dreaded "C" word ("Christmas") in public schools, we put up a winter display in the library including winter/snowy books, crafts, and projects from our very own middle school students.  The pictures speak for themselves.  Email me at with any questions.  Thanks!!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Author Election Display 2012

 We're all relieved the presidential election is over, but we did have fun putting up a display to get the kids involved.  We pulled everything we had on the election process, political parties, and the candidates.  Who knows, may be we have a future president in our midst..

To make it interactive and a little more fun for the kids, we held a mock election of our own.  Eight authors ran for Author of the Year for our middle school, and the kids came in to the library to cast their votes.  The primaries included:
  • James Paterson
  • JK Rowling
  • Suzanne Collins
  • Gary Paulsen
  • Erin Hunter
  • Rick Riordan
  • Margaret Petersen-Haddix
  • JRR Tolkien

 We printed sheets with the authors' major works to help answer the "Who's that?" question and put them near the ballot box.

The winners of the primaries were Suzanne Collins and Rich Riordan.  We took a school-wide vote in homeroom the day after the presidential election and the winner with 74% of the popular vote was... 

(I'm really hoping it's because these kids read The Hunger Games and didn't just base their votes on the movie.)  So be it.  : )

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's just about that time, and to get kids excited and ready for Thanksgiving, we decided to highlight the library's cookbook collection.  They have been flying off the shelves!   

 Chefware hanging from the ceiling.

 "Feast Your Eyes" was cut out on a Cricut diecut machine using the Storybook cartridge.

Our Family and Consumer Science teacher was pleased to be able to share a poster with the new "food pyramid" for nutrition- it's actually now a plate.  But the poster was too small.  I created this plate in its image.  More information on My Plate can be found at
 Just to show that this display expanded over too sections.  Oh!  And the turkey hat!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Native American Month Display- 2012

To celebrate Native American Month in the library, we pulled our books on the topic and decorated with a little Native flair.  I created this dream catcher from a hula hoop, brown paper, beads/feathers, and twine.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a get-together in the library to make little ones?  What a fantastic skill to have.  It's really not that hard once you get the hang of it.

Then I created collages of images based on different tribes around the country (the sources are cited on the back), and made little banners with colorful ribbon and paper letter cut out on a Cricut die cut machine.  Word to the wise- laminating was a chore.  Well, not so much the laminating as cutting them out.

One of our library "collections" happens to be fabric!  (I {heart} fabric!)  All different colors and textures.  This soft corduroy made the perfect shelf cover.

What I'm most proud of is how many books we had to include in the display.  Our fiction collection alone would have made for an attractive one, but we can't forget about nonfiction, myths and legends, biographies and reference.  Anything students might want to know about our country's indiginous folks can probably be found here at our middle school.

And since the Lakota have no word for "goodbye," I'll leave you with a Happy Native American Month!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

Well, this is awkward.  My first poor review, and I feel a little guilty about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story.  It’s a zombie book- how could I not like it?  Day by day is just that- a personal account of one military man’s survival after a zombie outbreak.  

Being an educator, I’m going to treat this like a parent-teacher conference and start with what J. L. Bourne does well.

1.       1.  I enjoyed the links to his personal life.  He really is an active duty military officer, so I appreciated his professional details and the fact that he planted his parents in Arkansas where he was born.  I struggled keeping the military acronyms straight, though.

2.      2.  He followed the “rules” or what readers already know about zombies (i.e. they’re slow and uncoordinated, can’t swim or climb, the bite is infectious, they deteriorate over time, etc.), but he added his own flavor to the rules.  After nuclear strikes on major cities which only seem to kill the remaining surviving humans, the radiation makes the zombies stronger and faster, some even retaining small snippets of their former lives like combinations to a digital lock.  Ca-reepy!

3.     3.   It’s believable.  This could have really happened, and I was completely convinced of this man’s courage and fear as he took necessary risks to ensure his survival.

4.      4.  Bourne is from the DC area.  We’re neighbors.  : )

Now we get to the part that I hope doesn’t destroy my karma- Day by Day Armageddon is a nice try, it’s just not….very well…written.  There.  I said it.  I’m not saying I could do any better, and for someone who doesn’t seem to have a background in English or literature, J. L. Bourne banged out an excellent first try, I only see him getting better.  However, he should fire his editor.  I can’t help it, I read through the eyes of an English teacher and the typos and misspellings drove me bonkers.

The pace of the novel was another issue for me.  He seemed to go from ordinary military officer to survival commando in less than 25 pages.  There wasn’t enough time spent (for me) on how the outbreak happened, the reaction of the average Joes/Janes, how the outbreak actually spread, etc. although that could have lent itself to the realism of the book.  Maybe if a real zombie outbreak occurred, one wouldn’t have time to sit around and journal about it- you’re getting your ass and survival equipment in gear.  (You like that little “out” I just gave him.  Protectin’ the karma.)  : )

Lastly,  it’s just a personal pet peeve of mine, but I can’t stand it when people use “as” when “because” will do.  “I’m going to the store as we are out of milk.”  (My quote, not his).  Bourne committed this atrocity four times on one page.

And lastly, the book just stopped…there was no conclusion, no thoughts on the future or lack of one.  The last ten pages {SPOILER ALERT!} introduce a new clan of dangerous men who are trying to take over their bunker then BAM!  It ends.  I guess Bourne is setting it up for the sequel, but at only 183 pages, it seemed a bit greedy(?) inappropriate(?) on his part to just stop there.

I can’t really recommend this book, but I do believe in Ranganathan’s laws, one of which being there is a reader for every book.  There are people out there who will think this is the best book in the world.  (I know because I read their reviews and was convinced to read it in the first place.)

I give this one the last half cup of my morning coffee that I end up nuking for 20 seconds.

Friday, October 7, 2011

World War Z by Max Brooks

I chose to read World War Z for two basic reasons.  1.) Zombie/apocalytic/distopic literature is my favorite.  And 2.) Brad Pitt is filming the movie version as I type.  'Nuf said.

Now that I've read it, I'm wondering how one "stars" in a movie such as this.  Will he be the interviewer?  Basically, World War Z is a series of personal interviews 30(?) years after a zombie plague wipes out a good portion of the world's population.  The lack of a "plot" is forgiven by the stark realism of how foreign nations would react given their different types of governments, religions, and customs.  I especially appreciated the irony that Cuba becomes the new super power with Americans seeking refuge there.

Max Brooks has obviously done his homework (after all, he DID write the zombie survival guide).  And he seems to take a completely objective view offering realistic details about the new emergent world.  One line stands out about how the surviving white collars will have to get dirty since skilled workers like brick masons call the shots.  I couldn't help but wonder if there would be a need for librarians and their talents in the new world.  : )

I give it a small cuppa joe with some International Delights French Vanilla cream- good, but nothing fancy.