Friday, March 31, 2017

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

If you don't know what a blues harp is make sure to read this book to find out!
When you're feeling the blues, tappin' the blues or just playin' the blues,
pick up this book in between the measures.

So...clear your calendar for May 9, 2017 to jump into blues with Clayton Byrd, Cool Papa and the Beat Boys. 

A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to get a galley copy of Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia, just in time for our winter book groups to start.  I asked another book store if they had one and "Voila!" I said to myself, "I'm going to do a book group with it!  I know I can make it work!" And we did!  Six boys and I shared the books between us and managed with very little stress to read it within a few weeks.  We all loved it and you will, too!  I can't wait to get my hands on the hardcover, get it processed and in the hands of all my readers.  Check out what they had to say about the book:

"Every librarian should get more than one copy of this book for their library because if you only have one, it will always be checked out." A, 11

"Boom Box is my favorite character because he is the nicest one among the Beat Boys and he can make beat box sounds with his mouth.  Impressive!"-Luca, 10

"My favorite character is Cool Papa Byrd because he speaks funny and weird. He is enthusiastic, chill, amazing, and not the usual lazy grandpa you see a lot." - Aidan (10) and Zach (11)

"Cool Papa is my favorite character because he rocks his blues story and I can hear in my head Wah-Wah Nita's cry."-Nate, 10

"This book was so good I couldn't hear anything else around me except what the characters said in the book. Every kid should read this book because it's full of action, adventure and cliffhangers."-A, 11

"My favorite part was when Clayton and the Beat Boys were getting chased by the cops on the train. My heart was racing!"-Luca, 10

"My favorite character is Cool Papa because he inspired Clayton to love the blues.  And if there was no Cool Papa, there would not be a story."-Jay, 11

So on May 9, grab this book, put on your porkpie hat and play the midnight jam!  We hope you love it as much as we did!

The Sweetest Sound

Break out your Mariah Carey albums, a comfie spot and get ready for a musical ride to Harmony, Pennsylvania.  You won't regret the time you spend with Cadence, Junior, Dad, Faith, Zara, Mei-Mei, Sophine, Sophie, Jones, the Trinity Sisters, Mr. Bassie, Aunt Fannie, Miss Stravinski, Miss Clayton and MORE while reading Sherri Winston's newest book, The Sweetest Sound!

I read this book with a great group of fifth grade girls and this is what they had to say upon finishing. Note: There might be some possible spoiler alerts.

"What surprised me was when Faith said that she was "Gospel Girl" and Cadence came out with the truth!"-Emma, 10

"My favorite character is Cadence because she knew it was wrong the way Faith was treating her.  She actually went on stage and sang with Aunt Fannie. The ending also surprised me."-Violet, 11

"My favorite part was when Faith and Cadence got into a fight because it got scary at first and then got better.  My heart was beating so fast! I recommend this book because it shows how hard it could be if your mom or dad leaves.  It was sad at some points but was full of hope."-Brynn, 10

"My favorite part was when Cadence sang in front of the church because she wasn't really used to it but she did her best.  She kind of grew out of her shell and I can sort of relate to that."-Deyanna, 11

"I liked Cadence because she was brave enough to sing on stage even though she was scared. That was my favorite part. I was suprised at the ending even though it reminded me of Raymie Nightingale."-Alyssa, 10

Stay tuned for the puppet show these girls are going write and perform about the book.  I wonder if they will sing?  Or at least play a little Mariah...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

World Gala 2017

 So this happened tonight and what an event it was!

Over a month ago third grade teacher, Mrs. Yager, and I began our second annual venture into the international world with her students.  They researched in books and databases (Britannica and Culturegrams), created detailed trifolds to display their research, "became" an 8 year old from their country while being scrutinized by me, that crazy librarian, in front of a blue or green screen (paper hanging in my back office) for a video and then tonight, dressed up again, served food to all our guests and greeted them in their national duds.

And guests we had!  A grandfather even pointed out my capacity sign in the library laughing.  Please don't tell anyone.

These are the countries we had represented tonight.
Quite a variety, huh?

The food was incredible.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to sample too many of them.  We had pizzelles from Italy (my daughter's favorite!), samoas and palak paneer from India, meat pockets from Djibouti, cake and cookies from all over, Irish soda bread, German potato salad, flan from Spain and so much more!

I have to put a huge plug in for Britannica.  We have Britannica and Image Quest and it made life so much easier for these young researchers.  As they say on their site, "millions of rights-cleared" images.  No doubt there were millions.  Every image on every trifold was from Britannica. Note to all librarians and administrators:  For this alone, it is well worth the investment.

Check this out (note: not all of the countries are represented in my photos):

Not even our whole crowd!  The guests just kept coming and coming!

Kiley from Ireland

Rachael from China

Samuel from Ukraine

Ryan from Germany

Joestin from England

Mya from the Philippines (my son loved the pork dish she brought)

Abby from Spain

Bruce from Fiji (love the Fiji water)

Liam from Brazil (even his little brother was dressed up in a Brazil shirt)

Sarah from Sweden (I never made it back over here for any of the treats :-( )

Micah from Italy with his pizzelles-yum!

Jack from Kenya

Aaron from Russia (His dad made the costume which looked so authentic!)

John from Finland (Did you know that almost everyone has a sauna in Finland?)

Quite the spread from Pakistan, that again, sadly I didn't get to taste :-(

Enjoying a meat pocket from Djibouti

Aiden from Argentina

Out of costume, Evan, from Mexico--That's a lot of food!

Isiah from India

Grandparents from "Spain"

Principal Derby taking a break from all the food!

And finally, all of our international guests!

Can you guess where everyone is from?

It's wonderful when all the hard work pays off!  What a wonderful, educational evening it was! Until next time...Adios! Ciao!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day!

Thanks to Blizzard Stella, Pi Day will not be celebrated on its day at Castleton Elementary School this year.  Nevertheless, for the past week or so, the 5th grade Reading Ambassadors have been preparing for 3.14 by reading math picture books to K-2 students. Also, the 4th grade Dewey Duty helpers and Reading Ambassadors will enjoy pie, round treats, spin around in hoola hoops, watch this short PBS video and talk math in the library when we have our belated Pi Party on 3.15 or when the snow melts.

Who knew there were so many math picture books?

And there are way more than this!  These are just the ones I pulled in my own library. There are SO many more in the public library catalog.

Fifth Graders Reading to K-2

Mrs. Golden's first graders 

Mrs. Pryde's first graders

Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Macri's kindergarteners

Mrs. Roe and Mrs. Seres's second graders

Mrs. Kosinski's first graders

We wish we could have read to everyone but scheduling was tough and we're glad we were able to squeeze all these classes in!  One of our favorite books to read aloud was That's a Possibility: A Book About What Might Happen by Bruce Goldstone. I love it so much that I have two copies in the library!

I just received this book in my most recent Junior Library Guild box.  

 I've always loved this one combining math and cooking.  So logical!

Did you the first computer programmer lived many, many years before the Commodore 64? Another gem I received from JLG but would have definitely purchased on my own if I hadn't. It was even part of our Sibert Smackdown this year.

Lastly, a tribute 2 Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  Such a loss 2 the kidlit community.  My thoughts are with her family and close friends. I read her Modern Love essay on the treadmill a few weeks ago and just wept.

The kids wrote this review before we knew that Amy had passed.💔