Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Club Meeting #2

Book Club met today during grade-level lunches to talk about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

This time, students were at tables where different prompts were placed, and each table began our discussion, maybe with some wandering along the way to talk about other parts of the book. We started with our favorite parts of the story.

Favorite parts included Harry & Ron in the Forbidden Forest to find Eragog, classes with Professor Lockhart, and the time in the Chamber of Secrets.

Another prompt that generated a lot of conversation was this one:

Hands down, the favorite new creature was the basilisk, but Dobby and Fawkes were also favorites of many.

After a few more prompts, students then had the opportunity to share their favorite recommendations of late:

Below are the titles students would recommend; almost all of these books are in our library, and some were even checked out as students left Book Club to head to their next classes.

The next Book Club meeting will be in late January when we will talk about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Hope to see you then!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Explore the Lunar Chronicles

Once upon a time there was a book series about fairy tale characters who got a new treatment from talented author Marissa Meyer. . . Have you read any of the books in the Lunar Chronicles?

The release of the fourth book Fairest is set for January 27, 2015; here's a peek at the cover:

Can't wait until then to get more of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Prince Kai, and Captain Thorne? Why not visit The Lunar Chronicles website?

One of the latest features on the website is the link that allows users to "glamour" themselves as Queen Levana does. Upload a picture of yourself, then watch as the magic mirror uses "glamour" to change your image.

Also on the website, you can read more about the books & author Marissa Meyer, as well as follow the blog for the series. Enjoy! And see you at the bookstore on January 27 to purchase Fairest!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Holidays from the Middle School Library!

This month we have several things in and around the library to show our holiday spirit! As we have done in the past, we're celebrating the Library 12 Days of Christmas, this year with new clues and new prizes!

Each day outside the library you'll see that day's clue, and on Fri. Dec. 19, you can turn in your guesses to the library. We'll go through all of the entries and announce the winner on Mon. Dec. 22.

Also adding to the festive spirit, and making its return for the third year, is our "upcycled" holiday tree made and oversize ornament.

We also have a new library display to encourage reading:

Hopefully the holiday spirit is catching and you're enjoying the season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Teens' Top Ten Reads 2014

Every year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) puts together a list of Top 10 books as determined by teens. Last year, the top three books included Insurgent by Veronica Roth and The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen.

 And the winner for 2013: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

So what books made the list for this year's nominees? Check out the video below:

You might recognize a few of them as books we already own in the library--some of your favorites like these:

Want to see book trailers for all of the nominees? You can access them all at YALSA's YouTube Channel. Take a look--you might see something you like!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Library Lab is Here!

In the spirit of creativity and play, a new activity is available in the library--Library Lab! Every even day, students are welcome to join us in the library any time between 7:15 - 8:00 AM to play, construct, and create!

Today was our first gathering, and we had many students visit. LEGOs were available (thanks so much, Mrs. Reels, for the tub of LEGOs!), as were K'Nex and a marble run.
Lego Bricks. Link. 19 Oct. 2014.
K'nex - Big Bal Box. Druyts.t. Link. 21 Dec. 2011.

Not feeling like building something? That's OK--origami books and paper were out on tables, too. 

Still not finding something that interests you? The iPads and computers are available for you to use as well. You're welcome to use iMovie or GarageBand, play on any of the apps, or code using the computers. On the library main page, students can access a Symbaloo with tips and tutorials, as well as links to coding websites like and Codeacademy.
CLICK HERE to access the Symbaloo.
Several students stopped by this morning to see what Library Lab was all about--maybe you'll see someone you know or spy an activity you'd like to try!

If you didn't make it to Library Lab this morning, no worries! We'll be here every morning on even days--stop in as you like! Hope to see you soon!

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Year, New Book Club!

Now that the first quarter is under our belts, it's time to start with Book Club again! Last year's group met to listen to and talk about Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.

The response to our first meeting was great! More than 50 6th graders attended during their lunch, and shortly afterwards, nearly 25 7th graders came to Book Club. This year, we're shifting to a more "book club" approach and reading through the seven books in the Harry Potter series. Book Club will meet again in November before Thanksgiving, and we'll be talking about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Harry Potter Stack of Books,, date unknown
During today's meeting, we talked about how students can use Google Forms from the Library Main Page to make a book recommendation for purchase, and we also looked at the ebooks available through MackinVIA on the All Things Reading Symbaloo.
You can CLICK HERE to access this Symbaloo.
Just before they left, students made book recommendations--maybe you've read some of these? 

Didn't join us today? That's alright! Read HP #1 and come to our November meeting. We'd love to see you then!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Online Book Fair is Open!

With conferences approaching, that must mean the Scholastic Book Fair is right around the corner, too! The Fall Book Fair will be in the library from Thurs. Oct. 23 - Fri. Oct. 31.

Eager to shop the fair but don't want to wait until Oct. 23? You can shop our online fair before the books ever arrive at the school! Beginning on Oct. 18, you can browse the Scholastic catalog and make purchases that apply to our Middle School Book Fair. 

Interested? Click on the image above--or you can click on the link--to access our online fair. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Just last week, author Marie Lu's newest book The Young Elites was released.
The Young Elites,

A bookstore in Omaha, NE, The Bookworm, hosted Marie Lu on Mon. Oct. 13, and we were there to listen to her speak about her wildly popular Legend series as well as this new release.

Some interesting things Marie Lu shared with us about her writing, the Legend series, and The Young Elites:
  • Day, from the Legend series, is a character she's "lived with" since high school when she created him for a novel she was writing at the time.
  • She received hundreds of rejection letters before Legend was approved for publishing.
  • The Young Elites is her first published fantasy book. When she was younger, Marie Lu's favorite genre to read was fantasy, and as an adult, she's always wanted to write fantasy.
  • The main character in The Young Elites is named Adelina; she is a villain who becomes stronger and darker as she becomes more and more enraged.
  • The original title for Legend was Republic.
  • A screenplay for Legend has already been written, and it's possible that it will make it to the big screen.
After Marie Lu spoke, we were able to have her sign our copies from the Legend series, as well as our new copy of The Young Elites.

Stop by the library soon to check out The Young Elites!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Great Parody!

So by now we've all heard--and maybe sung along to!--"All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor. But, have you seen this great parody that the librarians from the Nashville Public Library put together? Check it out!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Using Google Forms to Submit Book Requests

Students often want to make book suggestions, and keeping track of all of their ideas had become more management than I wanted to admit. Google Forms to the rescue!
Jennifer Carey,
Now students may submit a book request from the library main page. The link will take students to a Google Form where they may enter the title of a book. 

You can also CLICK HERE to access the Google Form.

 Their responses are recoded, and when ordering time comes around, viola! Book suggestions are easy to access!

Having problems accessing the form? Just stop by the library, and we'll see what we can do to help. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pick Me! Pick Me!

There's a new library display! This time, the books featured all have a similar cover color. (Thanks to a pin on Pinterest from MEI Secondary Library!)

Some of the books include newer releases such as The Elite by Kiera Cass and Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eion Colfer, as well as old favorites like Blood Fever by Charles Higson and Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Do you see any of your favorites with these colors on the cover? What books would you have liked to see included? Stop by and let me know!

Monday, September 8, 2014

QR Codes & the Iowa Teen Award Books

Each year language arts classes get a preview of the Iowa Teen Award nominees, and this year, students used iPads to learn about the 15 titles. Rather than sit and listen to a presentation about the books, students took control and moved about the library to scan QR codes linked to book trailers, presentations, and interviews related to the books.

The free QR code generating website Kaywa was simple to use and generated QR codes that could be screen-shotted and included on a document along with an image of the book cover and a permalink to  the code itself.

With each code/image/permalink was placed on a piece of card stock, and students were then able to move about the library to different tables to scan for information about the books. As they moved about, they were asked to make a few notes for themselves to track which books they found interesting.

At the end of our class rotations, nearly every 6th and 7th grader will have passed through the library to participate in the activity and learn more about our Iowa Teen Award books for the year!