Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Newbery Author Linda Sue Park Coming to Stone!


Thanks to a grant from our friends at The Book Stall in Winnetka, grades 5- 6 will be having a visit from Newbery Award-winning author Linda Sue Park!  We are fortunate and thrilled to host this preeminent talent! She will be speaking about her newest work of historical fiction, Prairie Lotus, and some reviews are already in:  

★ "Fans of the Little House books will find many of the small satisfactions of Laura's in abundance. Park brings new depth to these well-trodden tales, though, as she renders visible both the xenophobia of the town's white residents, which ranges in expression from microaggressions to full-out assault, and Hanna's fight to overcome it with empathy and dignity.... Remarkable."—Kirkus, STARRED review

★ "Strongly reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novels in its evocative, detailed depictions of daily frontier life....[Hanna's] painful experiences, including microaggressions, exclusion, and assault, feel true to the time and place, and Park respectfully renders Hanna’s interactions with Ihanktonwan women. An absorbing, accessible introduction to a troubled chapter of American history."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

★ "In her latest middle-grade historical-fiction masterpiece, Park conjures the resourceful and industrious spirit of America’s westward expansion without ignoring the ugly veneer of racism....An incredible and much-needed addition to the historical-fiction canon."—Booklist, STARRED review

★ "Park’s novel is clearly in conversation with [Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books], from Hanna’s friendlier interactions with, and more thoughtful views about, members of the Ihanktonwan tribe to racist attitudes among LaForge’s townspeople, who object to Hanna’s presence in the school and blame her after a local man assaults her. But this novel stands on its own, with a vividly drawn protagonist in self-reliant Hanna." —The Horn Book Magazine, STARRED review

Students in attendance at her morning program on March 3 will be receiving a special autographed treat from the author!  We will be doing an author study and related online scavenger hunts in library in preparation for this exciting morning and inspiring meeting.  We can't wait to meet you in and out of books, Linda Sue Park!


Monday, January 27, 2020

ALA Youth Media Awards Announced!

Congratulations to the winners of the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards, the most famous of which are the Newbery for "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children" (writing) and the Caldecott "most distinguished American picture book for children" (illustration).

This is a seminal year because 2020 is the first time the Newbery Award has gone to a graphic novel, New Kid by Jerry Kraft! This year's winner of the Caldecott Medal is Kadir Nelson for The Undefeated, written by the popular author Kwame Alexander.  We have books by all of these talents in the school library!

The American Library Association gives prizes for many categories, such as the Printz Award for young adult fiction, the Sibert Award for nonfiction, the Coretta Scott King Award for books by African American authors celebrating African American experience and the Pura BelprĂ© Award for the Latino experience, the Stonewall Award for children's books relating to the LGBQT experience, the Geisel Award for best beginning readers and so many more.  Check them all out by clicking here.  

What a great jumping-off point for page-turning excellence in the new year! Readers are the real winners!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Robot Readers! Family Reading Night February 6th!

Attention, all Reading Machines!
Save the date for our robot-themed Family Reading Night!
You can get it in gear at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 6th, from 6 - 7:30!
We will be featuring a Reader's Theater starring our marvelous Primary Team, 
  a robot-themed read-aloud by our own Mr. Brandon and Ms. Nestler, 
shadow puppet shows in the library, crafts and more!  
Pajamas or robot-themed attire welcome!  Hope to see you there!  

Image courtesy of Hafuboti

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Winter Wishes!

We can always use the following donations:  
Glue sticks, glue sticks, GLUE STICKS! (preferably Elmer's purple disappearing!)  
With over 200 primary students every week, we go through so many glue sticks for making book-related crafts!  
Unscented baby wipes!  Useful for craft clean-up!
Quart, gallon and 2-gallon zip-lock bags!  Used to protect expensive books and highly circulated books so more bookworms can check them out! gift certificates!  We can get high-demand series books as soon as they come out and consumables (like glue sticks)!
You already give so much at the start of the year toward school supplies and primary teachers do share, but what trickles down to resource teachers sometimes needs a little boost in January.  Much appreciated!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

6th grade Shadow Puppet Project!

The 6th grade will be working on their shadow puppetry group projects through December and the first week of January! This is a biggie!  Rubrics and task timelines were sent home, additional copies are always available in the library.  Three periods of class time will be given to work on the projects which will be more than sufficient if students are prepared, on-task and work together!  Here is a brief general tutorial of some basic techniques, though much more detailed modeling was done in class. Can't wait to see the wonderful productions in the New Year, some of which may be featured at our Family Reading Night in February!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Library Card Drive!

Oh, happy day!!!  All Stone students are expected to be proud card-carrying patronsof the Chicago Public Library, where children may check out up to 30 resources at a time and there are no overdue fees.  Forty-nine Stone Bookworms got their first Chicago Public Library card this fall thanks to our partnership with Ms. Amy at the lovely Northtown Branch and the library card drive started on Curriculum Night this fall!  How exciting.  
Happy reading to our newest proud cardholders!  

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween, to those who celebrate!  What a treat, we will be back in library tomorrow!  I have missed you so VERY much and can't wait to see you and hear all about your adventures in and out of books.

And if you happened to have made a "Storybook Pumpkin" over the strike, you can still bring it in tomorrow, we will all enjoy it.  It's never ever too late for spooky stories and autumn fun! 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Strike! Reading Recommendations

Hello, friends!  
Unfortunately, we are on strike!  
Fortunately, you lucky kids have more time to read! 

What should you read next?
If you did not have the opportunity to delight in the summer reading suggestions
click here for plenty of fabulous new page-turners arranged by genre, 
or here for classics by grade level!  
I have my own children's book blog with about a zillion recommendations at PlanetEsme, which usually features picture books and nonfiction!
And all that work we have done on databases, grades 4, 5 and 6,
you know to find reviews at KidsReads
and know how to access plenty of ebooks and audiobooks on SOAR's Virtual Library!  
Turn on the closed captioning feature of your television for even more exposure to print!  

Specially chosen for this occasion, here is a menu of a few new and classic chapter books and graphic novel favorites, delicious and highly recommended for down-time this week:

A super suspenseful and provocative sci-fi classic with a surprise ending.
We have the sequels in the school library when you get back!

A novel in verse, great for fans of Kwame Alexander and Sharon Creech! 

And speaking of the very popular Kwame Alexander, The Crossover is now available in graphic novel form!  (Don't worry, parents, graphic novels are "real reading"!) 

A lot of students were asking for seasonal graphic novel fun last week...
this should grant your wicked wish!

A doughnut machine gone terribly wrong.  That should be enough to entice any reader, but it's just one of many charming tales in this old-fashioned favorite.  Fun for city kids to read about small-town life!

A girl living in a lighthouse against the backdrop of WWII.  Historical fiction at its finest by a gifted author.  And didn't we love The Secret of Nightingale Wood!  This author has the chops.

A meaty and delicious graphic novel, loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I and full of allusions to British history.  

Excellent realistic fiction with a cast of likable and engaging characters.  A great group of friends to read about while waiting to be reunited with your real ones at school.  

More realistic fiction...a great book about taking a stand,
and plenty for us to talk about when you get back to school!

Kid who love R.J. Palacio's Wonder will love this story of a girl with cerebral palsy
who moves to a new town.

Exciting fantasy beautifully written, based on Chinese folklore. 
Any of the Newbery winners or honor books are great choices during the strike! 
How many can you read?
(We also have some pretty great Illinois Children's Choice award-winners out there to check out!)

And finally, this is not a library book but a great activity book with lots of accompanying YouTube videos, hours of invention and entertainment!

Is that ten?  Close.  The more the merrier.
I can't wait until we are back and can discuss all the wonderful books we read over the strike! 
These are just suggestions...this is a perfect time for you to visit the public library
and explore the books you like and exercise your free choice across all levels and genres!  
Use the library locator to find a public library near you!
And please don't forget to give your public children's librarian an extra big thank you, hug or chocolate chip cookie, because they are working extra hard during this strike time to serve you!

You know, I call myself your lucky librarian not only because I get to teach the best bookworms in all of Chicago, but because not every school has a library to worm around in!  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to show support for school libraries all over the city, because all children deserve and benefit from a school library!

Happy reading, families!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Storybook Pumpkin Museum and Autumn Arcade

This year, we are having a Storybook Pumpkin Museum and Autumn Arcade in the library!  Here is the recipe for participation!

Storybook Pumpkin Museum for grades k-5
To participate, you will need:
A pumpkin (any size or shape)
Book for inspiration
Acrylic paint and brushes
Newspaper (for catching the mess while painting)
Glue gun (optional, but it works well)
Craft supplies (paper, pom-poms, yarn?)

  • All pumpkins are to be inspired by a children's book or children's book character.  Please bring in the book that inspired the pumpkin decoration if possible, to be displayed beside it and returned after the showcase.  Pumpkins without a reading theme will be sent home for decoration there. 
  • Please bring in your completed pumpkin on Monday, October 28.  Please do not bring your pumpkin earlier than that date.
  • Please DO NOT CARVE THE PUMPKIN.  Sticking things in the pumpkin is okay, but full-on-scoop-it-out designs cannot be accepted.  Carved pumpkins rot quickly, attract pests and have a strong smell.  We would have nasty pumpkin soup all over the library in three days.
  • Yes, you can work with friends and family are are encouraged to do so.  Children of different ages and grade levels can work together.  Parents, please try not to do the project without your kids.  ;-)
  • Like the Haunted House Museum in the past, please, no blood or gore.  We are celebrating imagination, not horror.  
  • Make sure to put your name(s) and room number(s) on the bottom of pumpkin; we have masking tape in the library if you need it.  
  • Books and pumpkins will be returned to you in time for Halloween.  Pick up end of the day October 31st.  
  • The activity is optional.  Fun is always an option.  
  • All kids who participate will get a treat when they pick them up on the 31st.  
  • Scroll down to photos below for inspiration!  Credits are hyperlinked (click on them!) for further examples.  These are just ideas, feel free to decorate using your own favorite!  
Middle School Autumn Arcade
  • Ms. Esme and Ms. Johnson's 8th grade advisory group will be hosting an "autumn arcade" In collaboration with the library and inspired by "Caine's Arcade," the building of Autumn-theme Arcade Games. All middle school students are invited to join the fun.  Grab some cardboard boxes, some paint and some imagination and build a game other children can play.  
  • You may work with up to 2 friends.    
  • Games accepted in the library starting Wednesday, October 29th.
  • Children in grades k-2 will be playing the games in the afternoon of October 31st.  
  • Please keep your arcade game in keeping with the autumn theme. It does not have to be specifically Halloween-themed.  Please, no blood or body parts.  Keep in mind, very young children will be enjoying these games.  
  • Some older kids have been asking me about extra credit.  Sure.  If you make a wonderful project and are in grades 6 and up, I'll give you five points of extra credit. A special treat will be given to kids who decorate accordingly and attract the most players.    
  • Prizes are optional, but should be handmade.  Stickers are acceptable.  Bookmarks make wonderful prizes.  Hint-hint.  
What about the Parade of Books?
We are still going to have a primary Parade of Books, after all, we love it!  But we are going to have it as a springtime celebratory culmination of primary reading goals. Something to look forward to, and more time to plan the best costume ever!

Please feel free to see me or contact me with any questions or thoughts.  October is such a creative month.  Have fun, can't wait to see these amazing autumnal creations!

Photograph courtesy of P is for Preschool

Photograph courtesy of Wynne Primary School

Photograph Courtesy of Sunny Days in Second Grade

Photograph courtesy of Ms. Jordan and Ms. Ostroski

Photograph courtesy of Run! Mrs. Nelson's Got the Camera!

Photograph courtesy of CafĂ© Mom

Photograph courtesy of Paper Perfection

Photograph courtesy of Hoover City Schools

Photograph courtesy of Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Photograph courtesy of The Twenty Sixth Year

Photograph courtesy of Little Kinder Warriors

Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Houlin's Class

Photograph courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It
List of necessary supplies also courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It

Photograph courtesy of Olathe Public Library

Photograph courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Curriculum Night Library Card Drive!

Come say hi at the first floor library table on Curriculum Night, September 26th from 6 - 7:30 p.m., where you will have a chance to sign your own Stone bookworm up for their first Chicago Public Library Card! 

If you would like to sign your child up for a library card, please bring a government issued ID or a utility bill.  Ms. Amy from our lovely Northtown branch library on Western will be joining me, and we will have sign-up forms available in English, Spanish and Arabic.  Replacement card fines will be forgiven on that day as well! Learn all about the exceptional YouMedia resources available for our middle school, and the homework help available at the public library for all of our students.  Fill out the application by October 7 and cards will be delivered to your child at school this fall! 

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Image courtesy of Mead Public Library

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Welcome to Your Wonderful School Year!

Happy September!  The school library is open and welcomes YOU!  I am Ms. Esme, your LUCKY school librarian, fortunate to teach (and learn from) the best children in the city of Chicago!

Parents, please visit the School Stuff page for library expectations, standards, grades and goals.

Please visit our Online Library Resources for at-home access to our school library catalog, e-books and tons of homework-helping databases.

Please visit our Wish List page for ways to help the library; donations of baby wipes,  glue sticks, crayons and markers are greatly appreciated at the start of school!

Please also be sure to visit our stunningly gorgeous Northtown branch public library!  All Stone students are expected to have and maintain library cards in their own name.  Stay tuned for our fall library card campaign!

Let the adventure begin!