Monday, December 21, 2015

Books of the Week, Dec 21

Family is important not only during the holiday season, but all year round. Here are some stories to help you get in the family mood.

Elementary - V Is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet by William Anderson
Poems for every letter of the alphabet recount the experiences of the von Trapp family, covering their life in Austria, Maria's marriage to Captain von Trapp, their immigration to America after the Nazi invasion, their singing careers, and other related topics.
782.5 AND @ the Library

Middle School - The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David WyssRelates the fortunes of a shipwrecked family as they adapt to life on an island with abundant animal and plant life.
FIC WYS @ the Library (also available as an ebook!)

High School - Dirty Laundry: Stories about Family Secrets by VariousA collection of eleven short stories by various authors dealing with situations which a family or familymember tries to keep secret because of an underlying problem.
SC DIR @ the Library

Friday, December 18, 2015

SCC Writing Winners!

November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and while writing a full-length novel in high school is a little daunting, a shorty story is completely doable. To that end, the SCC High Library coordinated a short story contest through the month of November. Students could submit a short story about anything they liked, and at the end of the month the language arts teachers scored them. The winning stories were by Savannah Bodish, Trenton Smith, and Evan Tredal (not pictured) who each received a nano drone. Thank you to all students who entered; you did a great job on your stories!

You can read most of the stories by clicking the links below.

Savannah Bodish - Dead man Walking
Trenton Smith - Hope Will Find a Way (not available)
Evan Tredal - Star Wars: The Thrawn Campaign

Other Entries:
Jillian Tubeville - The Rocks
Jena Owens - My Father Will Hear About This
Mikaelyn Fry - District 13
Jessica Kinney - Saving Squirt
Ashlyn Mettler - Jelsa
Marianna Buckel - Adages (not available)
Samantha Flettre - Goodbye, Internet
Annika Zehm - Shattering the Ice (not available)
Collin Nelson - The Plausibility Concerning Delight
Gabrielle West - Young Love
Sandra Queen - I'm Number Four
Zac Bringgold - Lord of the Wands
Frank Cartuche - Vacation Trip
Brian Sheffler - Futurella
Lexi Roth - The Avacados

Monday, December 14, 2015

Books of the Week, Dec 14

Elementary - The Girls' Book of Friendship: How to Be the Best Friend Ever by Gemma Reece
A practical guide on friendship for young girls that discusses how to make and keep friends, help a friend in need, and other related topics, and includes instructions for activities.
155.43 REE @ the Library

Middle School - Frenemies: Dealing with Friend Drama by L. L. Owens
Discusses psychology and interpersonal conflict with regard to teenage girls, covering how to deal with having one's feelings hurt by friends and become a stronger, better person while learning about oneself.
155.5 OWE @ the Library

High School - The How Rude! Handbook of Friendship and Dating Manners for Teens: Surviving the Social Scene by Alex J. Packer
Offers advice to teens on how to observe the rules of etiquette as they relate to friendship, romance, and sex.
395.1 PAC @ the Library

Friday, December 11, 2015

5 Reasons to Read More

We start learning to read as soon as we are born, and everyday we use this skill to navigate the world, keep ourselves safe and healthy, and entertain each other. But reading is one of those skills, like throwing a free throw, that gets better with use. So here are five reasons to read more.

Build Your Vocabulary - We love to show off to the people around us and having a large vocabulary to choose from allows us to one-up our friends. It's also a great way to praise someone in new and interesting ways (do away with "great job"!). Plus the insults you can come up with when you have a large vocabulary are stupendous. Beyond that you'll have a better way to describe problems in the world and try to solve them.

Improve Your Creativity - Creativity is a valuable commodity in our global economy. If you can think outside the box and develop new and interesting ideas, you are much more valuable to a company. Reading allows you to have exposure to varied perspectives, ideas, and stories. You can literally go anywhere and imagine anything in a book. Why not use that to boost your own creativity.

Reduce Stress - Sitting and enjoying a book, magazine article, or blog post allows your body time to rest. You will lower your heart rate and relax your muscles, even if it's only for 5 minutes. And don't we all need a little less stress in our lives?

Get Smarter - Not only are you improving your own creativity when you read, but you are also expanding what you know about the world around you. You can delve into how an electrical system works, how we discovered water on Mars, or how people face lifes challenges. You'll pick up random bits of facts that will make things later in life easier because you'll have prior knowledge to help you solve a problem.

Be Entertained  - The constant barrage of advertisement, negativity, and choice in TV or the internet can be overwhelming. It's hard to focus on one thing and dive deep into the story. Not so with a book. There's no pop-up ads distracting you, no negative comments feeding your anger or self-doubt, and nothing else trying to pull you away from what you're doing. It's just you and a book, where you can be entertained with a story of daring and sword fights, damsels or gentlemen in distress waiting to be rescued, or maybe just a explanation of how this darn thing we call life works and came to be.

Whatever your reason for reading and reading more, be sure to share the experience with friends and family. Reading aloud is not just an under-6 activity. Talking about an awesome book is not something that is strictly contained in a classroom. And being excited about a book, article, or author is not something that needs to be hidden in the dark. So read more. Read often. And DFTBA.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Books of the Week, Dec 7

Find these plus many more at your school library!

Elementary - Pearl Harbor by Stephen Krensky
Chronicles the events leading up to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the details of the attack itself, and the ensuing reaction of the United States.
940.54 KRE @ the Library

Middle School - A Boy at War by Harry MazerWhile fishing with his friends off Honolulu on December 7, 1941, teenaged Adam is caught in the midst of the Japanese attack and through the chaos of the subsequent days tries to find his father, a naval officer who was serving on the U.S.S. Arizona when the bombs fell.
FIC MAZ @ the Library

High School - The Attack on Pearl Harbor: America Enters World War II by Tim McNeeseTraces events leading up to and resulting from the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on American battleships at Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II.
940.54 MCN @ the Library

Friday, December 4, 2015

I, Emma Freke

I, Emma Freke tells the tale of a young girl who feels like an outcast at school and at home. She doesn't fit in with her classmates and her single-mother acts more like a friend than a parent. Plus with a last name like Freke, it only makes her first name more unbearable. (say it with me I - Am - A - Freak) So it's no wonder she jumps at the chance to get away from it all with her father's family who she's never met.

This is the book that the middle school is reading as our second quarter One School One Book title. Students and staff can access the book via the library's FollettShelf or get a paper copy from the library (limited supply). Everyone at the middle school is encouraged to read it and talk about it with classmates and adults in the building.

After reading the book, staff and students can complete a short activity in the library pertaining to the book and be entered into a prize drawing. A student from each grade level will win a nano quadcopter drone, and staff will have the chance to win a a box of magnetic poetry.

The book must be read and activities completed by Jan 15.

Building communities through reading is a powerful thing. The One School One Book program helps build a lexicon of common texts that students and staff can discuss and build upon. This is similar to Star Wars being a touchstone for many pop culture ideas. We would like students to be exposed to and be able to discuss different forms and ideas in literature. Our first quarter book, Juice, was a sports book about the dangers of steroids and following along without questioning authority. Our second quarter book, I, Emma Freke, focuses on being true to yourself and finding the joy in our own life. Hopefully future titles will help support out community of readers at the middle school. 

If you have questions about the One School One Book program please contact me at aolson{at}