Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Favorite YA Novel

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
by Judy Blume

Summary: Margaret Simon is eleven-going-on-twelve and has just moved to Fairbrook, New Jersey. Margaret must make new friends and deal with going through puberty, but she also is faced with chosing a religion. With a Christian mother and a Jewish father, Margaret feels pressured to make a decision on which religion she wants to join.

Judy Blume's books are classics, even though many of them are pushing thirty years old, and Are You There God? is number one. I would absolutely recommend this book to students because Blume addresses so many teenage concerns in a single novel. The story is timeless.

Though the story would be great for a student to read on his or her own, I don't think there are many curriculum connections for the story. Blume doesn't actually explain much about the specifics of Judiasm or Christianity, and the sensitive puberty topics are best read alone!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MSMS YA Book Club 2011-2012

This year, the MSMS Media Center is very proud to be hosting a YA Book Club for our staff. The book club will meet on the second Thursday of each month for a total of ten months. Each meeting will last one hour after school. Credit will be awarded: each participant will recieve 0.1 credit for each meeting.

The book club is intended to introduce teachers to new and modern middle/school young adult literature. We will discuss the literature in comparison to other literature in the genre, and learn a variety of ways to use literature with students formally and informally. Before each meeting, the participants will read the selected novel (or chose one from the provided list) and complete a blog post reviewing the book.

Our book club is intended to be FUN and CASUAL, while also sparking interest in all of the really great YA literature that has been published in the past five years. We will practice strategies that you can use with students in the classroom to share, discuss, and understand literature on a deeper level.

Does the book club sound like it's right down your alley? Join us for our first meeting on Thursday, September 9 at 3:45. There will be snacks and drinks! Our first topic is "Our Favorite YA Books: Past and Present." Bring a copy (if possible) of your favorite YA book from your time as a YA, as well as your current favorite, to share with the group. You will be added to this blog as a reviewer so you can complete your first post.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Just In...

World Alamanac 2010

Class set of 25 copies

I know you all love going high-tech with interenet research and web databases, but sometimes it's not always possible or practical to have access to computer cart or lab. The World Alamanac is a great resource for social studies teachers in particular, with tons of facts right at your students' fingertips.

21st Century Learning can still happen with books if you plan a collaborative, student-centered lessson. Let them discover information for themselves and draw conclusions based on what they find. Check out a class set today @ your library!

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Just In...

We just got loads of new books in from part two of our first big book order for the year. I was especially excited about our new social studies books -- everything from ancient civilizations to the Bill of Rights, religions, and government. Our 900's (History) were in need of a serious overhaul, so the combination of weeding with all of our new books is making a huge difference!

These books should be cataloged, processed, and on the shelf by the end of next week. Check 'em out @ your library!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March's Feature

March is a short month for us due to Spring Break, so we are featuring short stories! We just got lots of new short story collections in with our part one of our first big order of the year. Short story collections are great because each story in the collection can usually be read in a single sitting. Check one out today @ your library!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Retro Book of the Week: Summer of My German Soldier

Summer of German Solider
by Bette Greene

To go with our romance theme for February, this is a WWII story about an American girl who falls in love with a German soldier. Patty is a 12-year-old girl living in Arkansas, and Anton is a German POW who has escaped from an Arkansas POW camp. Patty hides Anton above her garage, and becomes friends/falls in love with him, despite their age difference. The tow become friends, even though Patty is taking a big risk in helping him.

There is no inappropriate romance in this novel; Patty simply has a school-girl crush on Anton. The bigger themes are those of prejudice and self-esteem. The people in Arkansas have a huge prejudice against Anton and the other German POWs, without even seeing the men as people. Anton says in the story that he does not sympathize with the Nazi cause, and he is actually an intelligent, kind man. Patty develops her self-esteem throughout the story, learning to lover herself despite the abuse and insults of her parents.

Summer of My German Soldier may be a "retro" book, but it stands the test of time because it is historical fiction. Check it out today @ your library!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February's Featured Books: Romance

Romance books are on display for the month of February here in the media center. However, we aren't just featuring traditional romance stories! Sure, we've got lovey-dovey tales of teens falling in love, legends, retold fairy tales, and classic novels with stories of romance. But I also dug up many books with male protagonists, GLBT teens, adventure stories with a romantic twist, non-fiction books about relationships, and a few stories with not-so-happy endings. Check one out today @ your library.