Thursday, October 11, 2018

Local author events

Students love to meet the authors and illustrators of their favorite books. The opportunity to ask your favorite author about their writing process, their characters, and what books they love to read is an experience not to be missed!

I recently found out about these events that your family might be interested in:

At Brookline Library 
Friday, October 19 at 3 pm

Author Vera Brosgol will be speaking in Hunneman Hall in the Brookline Village branch. Ms. Brosgol wrote and illustrated a graphic novel called Be Prepared about her experiences attending a Russian sleep-away camp when she was a child.

At Wellesley Books
Saturday, October 20 at 11 am
Author Rob Buyea who wrote the Mr. Terupt series will be speaking about his new book, The Perfect Secret. Students in fourth to sixth grade have found his books very engaging in recent years.

At Wellesley Books
Saturday, October 27 at 11 am
Story time with five excellent authors and illustrators! They will be reading and signing their books. Authors include: Josh Funk; Emilie Boon; Ioana Hobal; Nancy Tupper Ling; and Annie Cronin Romano. This is sure to be a lot of fun!

At Wellesley Books
Sunday, October 28 at 4pm 
A panel of middle-grade authors will be speaking and signing their books. Panelists include: Elly Swartz (who came to Lawrence School last year!); Sarah Jean Horwitz; Lauren Magaziner; Susan Tan; and Jarrett Lerner. Their topic is "The Middle Grade Years: How Books Help Readers Discover Who They are and Where They Fit". This is a great way to hear about lots of new titles all in one sitting!

Monday, October 1, 2018

A family field trip suggestion & the Boston Book Festival

I was reminded today of the wonderful Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. It's a bit of a hike from Brookline (over an hour's drive) but it's worth the trip if you're out in that area for other activities like apple picking. Here's the link to the museum's website:

Right now the Carle Museum has an exhibit honoring the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an exhibit about picture book creators Leo and Diane Dillon and and exhibit on Paddington the bear, created by Michael Bond. Lots for kids of all ages to enjoy. They have a beautiful library dedicated to picture books of all types and a drop-in art studio where kids can create their own art.


Boston Book Festival

And don't forget the Boston Book Festival is coming up on Saturday, October 13! In addition to all the excellent authors of adult books, there are lots of esteemed children's and young adult authors who will be there. Here are just a few:
Brian Lies
Raul Colon
Melissa Stewart
Jonathan Auxier
Andrea Beaty
Jef Czekaj
Kate DiCamillo
Becky Albertalli

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Welcome back!

Welcome back to Lawrence! I hope you had a great summer!

I started the summer by attending the American Library Association conference in New Orleans thanks to a generous grant from the Brookline Education Foundation. Four Brookline librarians attended the conference and we had a great experience!

Image result for brookline education foundation

We met many authors and illustrators including Jason Reynolds, Sophie Blackall, Angie Thomas, and many more! The conference sessions gave us the opportunity to learn about books that will be published in the future, to learn about what inspired the authors to write, and to think deeply about the diversity of our collections. We met with leaders in our profession and had opportunities to think and talk together about our practice. What a great way to start the summer! 

I also did a lot of reading this summer, too! Some of my favorite titles for middle grade students include Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet, and Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cotrell Boyce. 

Picture books that I enjoyed include: Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson.

For our middle school students I would recommend The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, and Fadeaway by Maura Ellen Stokes. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Summer Reading is here!

Each year the Brookline school librarians put together some suggestions of books for students to read in the summer. This year's list can be found here:

By Monday, June 11 I will have book-talked the new titles with each of the K-5 classes. Talk to your child about what they might enjoy reading this summer. I usually talk summer titles with the middle schoolers (grades 6 - 8) after my K-5 classes end-- so soon the upper grade students will also have been introduced to the titles on their lists.

I recommend thinking broadly about summer reading-- in addition to traditional books, students might listen to an audio book, read an e-book (the public library has lots of both formats that you can borrow for free), or read children's magazines like Cricket (a literary magazine) or Chop Chop (a cooking magazine). We also subscribe to Beanz which is all about coding for kids. This kind of reading may spur more enriching, engaging activities in your family's summer time together!

Please reach out to me at if you have questions about summer reading.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Anna Alter visits Lawrence K - 1 students!

We had a special author/ illustrator visit today with Anna Alter! The kindergarten and first grade students got to meet an author to learn how books are made and how much work goes in to creating the words and the art for a picture book.

Ms. Alter has written many picture books and now a series of short chapter books (Sprout Street Neighbors) and this is the second time she's visited Lawrence School. We read one of her picture books, Disappearing Desmond, in the library and students have also been borrowing her other books to bring home.

She told us all the parts of making a book and even showed us her brainstorming notebook and her early sketches. She was kind enough to demonstrate how she draws some of her characters--you can see two of the drawings on display outside the library!

Ms. Alter encouraged all students to start drawing and writing their story ideas--she's been a writer since she was their age!

Thanks to the PTO for funding this fun event!

Friday, April 6, 2018

MCBA school winner!

All the votes have been counted and the 5th and 6th graders chose The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley as our MA Children's Book Award Winner for Lawrence School. The winner for the state will be announced on Monday, April 9.

The book is a work of historical fiction about a young girl, Ada, who is living in London during World War II. She is living with a club foot that has never been corrected and is tormented by her mother who doesn't think Ada will amount to anything. Ada gets her chance to go with her brother, Jamie, to the safety of the English countryside, escaping her tyrannical mother and experiencing living outside the city for the first time. She and Jamie are placed with a reluctant guardian, Susan, who warms up to the children as they learn to trust her.

Our students have good taste in books: this book also was selected as a Newbery Honor book in 2016! The sequel, The War I Finally Won, was recently released for those who want to know what happened next! Both books are available in our school library.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Online resources

Students in grades K - 2 may find information they're looking for on It is an online nonfiction resource for primary grade students. Our students have used it for animal projects,  insects, biographies, and US symbols among other things. You can reach it through our library homepage.

Older students have been using PebbleGo Next (also available through our library homepage). Fourth graders use it for research on regions of the US and Native American tribes.

I've demonstrated the following databases for some fifth graders recently-- Biography in Context, World Book Student, and Encyclopedia Britannica. These subscriptions are all provided by the district because we can be confident that the information is reliable and is updated frequently. Check out our library homepage to see what's available. 

All of the above online resources can be used at home or at school. They are convenient and reliable resources to answer your students' questions!