Do you like free things? Do you like reading? You're in luck! Here are three reading programs that can get you free books this summer.
First, Bookopolis has two different ways to get a free book. One is by printing out their READ-O reading bingo card and filling out for a winning five-in-a-row, and then taking emailing a copy or a picture. Another is by logging reading minutes. What's great about Bookopolis is that it's free, and there are lots of great book suggestions and kid reviews, and you can write your own as well. Please be aware that there are external links to Amazon and the like for purchasing books.
Another place to get a free book is from Barnes and Noble. Print out your Summer Reading Journal in English or in Spanish. Read eight books, record the titles and tell your favorite parts, and turn it in for your choice of a selection of books. If I were the right age, I might choose Plants vs. Zombies: How to Save Your Brains or How to Train a Triceratops or John Grisham's Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. And there would still be books I'd wish I could choose!
The final suggestion for a fabulous free book (and more than one, maybe!) is our own Fresno County Public Library. Sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge (Reading By Design). The link has detailed information about the challenge for kids and teens, and the prizes the public library will give away. Just for signing up, you'll get to choose a free book provided by Fresno's own Reading Heart. Finish the challenge and get another book (while supplies last). Turn in your challenge log for a chance to win other prizes too.
The Fresno County Library also has a fun thing called Win it Wednesdays - every Wednesday they give away a book! Just scroll down through the blog to find the newest possibility. While you're there, see what other exciting events are going on through the sidebar links.
Our library was open for class and individual visits for one month at the end of the school year. We thought it was much better to open the library with checkouts on paper and a few boxes still stacked rather than wait till next year. Based on student response, that was the right decision.
Just how much did the library get used in one month? I'm glad you asked!
We have great news about grants for our library as well:
Next year's Library Grand (re) Opening will be amazing, and the ways the library will serve our school will be even better.
Stay tuned for Summer Reading news!
As you visit the library, you may have noticed the display on the wall outside: "Take the Challenge!" "Read Without Walls!" You may have even read the comic "Comfort Zone" created by Gene Luen Yang for The School Library Journal and reprinted by permission. In that case, carry on with planning what you will read to meet the challenge.
If you haven't read it yet, follow this link to find the four page comic online (just click through the pages) and see what all the fuss is about. Which challenge will be easiest for you? Which more...well, challenging?
This summer I plan to read A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman. It's set in India, describes some Indian food, and includes some Hindi words, so it definitely meets the category for "a person who doesn't look or live like me," since I don't speak any Hindi and have only eaten Indian food a few times. That might change this summer. It also meets the category of "a topic I don't know much about," since the main character is a competitive-level dancer in Bharatanatyam. I'm not especially athletic. The back of the book tells me she's injured in a bus accident and has to have a leg amputated. Now we're really into a topic I know almost nothing about. I want to grow my understanding of what it's like to adjust to a major, life-changing accident. Finally, it also meets the third category of "a format I don't usually read," because it's a novel in verse, where each chapter is a new poem. I've read a few (Booked, by Alexander Kwame springs to mind) and enjoyed them, but not many.
I plan to read more than just one book this summer, and I plan to work at reading outside my comfort zone. I'll post my picks here. You can stay tuned for other teachers' plans to Read Without Walls as well. Start thinking about how YOU can meet this challenge!
You may have heard the buzz around campus - the library is open for use! Every student from a class that has taken the tour and done the orientation is now allowed to come in before school, during break, or after school with classroom or after school teacher's permission, as long as there is not a class visiting the library.
One of the first parts of our orientation is that the library is not perfect yet. We don't have everything unpacked. We don't have barcodes on the books to make checking out quick. Sections may be moved between one visit and the next, because more room is needed for one thing or another. But the good news is that students can visit this year instead of having to wait until next year!
We are winding down the borrowing phase of library use. All the books need to be returned before the end of the year so that over the summer they can all be given a barcode (so that next year, checking out is quick!), and so that we'll know what's checked in and what's checked out. Several students have asked about a "holds" section such as in the public library - this could work out if we get everything into the system. Help make this happen by bringing back books!
If you still want to come in and browse books in the library (and your class has taken the tour and you have teacher permission and the library doesn't have a class visit going), yes, please come in and browse, or make suggestions about books you'd love to see added to our collection! Come in and read with a friend! Come in and share your plans for the Reading Without Walls challenge!
Near the end of National Poetry Month, we celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day. This is the perfect way to wrap up the month and to share a favorite poem.
If you don't already have a favorite, please step right this way. If the poems below don't tickle your fancy, there are many, many more online if you search "Poems for kids." We also have two shelves of poetry books in our library, which will be opening soon!
A Balanced Diet
I eat a balanced diet,
I do it day and night--
a pound of brownies on my left,
a pound upon my right.
And filling up my right hand,
with clear and certain heft,
a twelve-ounce bag of jellybeans.
The same is on my left.
A candy cane in one hand,
and likewise in the other.
There are equal sweets on either side,
a big frown from my mother.
I eat a balanced diet,
but my mother disagrees.
I just don't understand it.
She's so darned hard to please!
-- Robert Scotellaro
My Praying Mantis
I once had a mantis as a pet.
A praying mantis, you must not forget,
is the tiger of the insect world,
hungry, fierce and extremely bold;
and if you are an insect, keep away
should a mantis be lurking where you play.
Anyway, my mantis was my very best friend.
He sat on my shoulder, and I did defend
his insect's right to stay with me,
protect him from people's curiouslty;
for they thought it very strange
the way his body was arranged:
For a start his neck was very long,
and his heart-shaped head did not belong
to that thin neck and bulbous abdomen
or toothed arms as strong as ten,
wings which gave hi speed in flight
when he attacked and with delight
grabbed a cockroach for his supper,
tore and ate it with his choppers.
However, one day, Phoebe, the neighbor's cat,
gobbled up my mantis and that was that.
Phoebe licked her lips, seemed satisfied
with a chewed-up mantis in her inside.
I suppose, for a mantis, the moral to the story
is, look out for cats or you'll be sorry.
-- John Lyons
Last year Fresno held our first LitHop, launched by our city's Poet Laureate, Lee Herrick. This Saturday, April 29, he launches the second, with multiple venues and authors. See the times and places here.
Note that the stars by the descriptions show that the event has been designated: SUITABLE FOR ALL-AGES (DETERMINED BY READING ORGANIZERS).
Here's the one I most want to go to.
Ghost Songs & Border Crossings (the star didn't copy, but there is one for this event)
3:00 p.m. | Mia Cuppa Caffè | feat. Tim Z. Hernandez, Mas Masumoto, Nikiko Masumoto, Kerry Klein
“Ghost Songs and Border Crossings” will lift up stories of the Central Valley from recently published works. Each of the themes of the title will be woven throughout three movements as the contributors present their work through interdisciplinary storytelling. Across different identities and places, the stories share in the spirit of longing for healing and the power of memory. The audience will be invited to experience the written word through sounds of memory, touch, and ritual.
Of course, there's also this: HEADLINE FEATURE EVENT: GARY SOTO at 7:00 p.m. at Fresno City College, in the Old Administration Building Auditorium.
Take a look at the events offered this Saturday. This is a small selection of the authors we have here in the Valley - what calls to you?
It's nearly time for the new library to be ready! If you have books ready to donate, are you able to hold on to them for a few more weeks? We don't have space in our old building to store the books before the move. I'll post here when we do have space and a plan for more donations. Thank you for your generosity!
Leprechauns are always interesting, and there are plenty of books about them. If you haven't had enough, you might like How to Catch a Leprechaun, by Adam Wallace, or A Fine St. Patrick's Day, by Susan Wojciechowski, or Too Many Leprechauns, by Steven Krensky. A classic tale is Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato, by Tomie dePaola.
If you want to know more about the history behind the holiday, try Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols, by Edna Barth, or St. Patrick's Day, by Carmen Bredeson, or The Story of St. Patrick's Day, by Patricia Pingry.
May you always find the book you need, and enough light to read it by.
It might be an Irish librarian's blessing. If it isn't, it should be.
I have really enjoyed preparing silly memes to remind people to vote for Kepler in the MyScholarDollars grant competition.
Don't forget to vote, by the way. http://bit.ly/2mgOjbr will take you straight to our spot if you scroll down. Then just click, fill out the pop-up, confirm your email, and you're done. Thanks.
The unintended consequence of working on these memes is that I have strengthened my writing. I tend to use too many words. Memes just won't allow it. I have to think about my audience - will they know what "vote" means by now? What if someone new joins at this point?
I thought I was a pretty strong writer already. A new format gave me a place to play with revising and publishing, and discover some areas for growth. Thanks for being an audience.
Always up for book chats, reading, library memes - proud to be Kepler's first librarian