Friday, December 22, 2017

What does your to-be-read pile look like?

Mine looks like this!

There are so many great books out there for your family to discover over the winter break! Please visit our local bookstores and our wonderful public libraries on the vacation week and see what they have--I assure you, there's something for everyone!

The libraries also have vacation week programming going on including a movie, origami hour, and concerts! Here's a link to the library's calendar:

When we get back to school it'll be time to gear up for the Caldecott and Newbery Award announcements on February 12, 2018.

Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Massachusetts Children's Book Award

Our fifth and sixth graders have been encouraged to participate in the Massachusetts Children's Book Award. They are reading up a storm!

The award is based on a list of 25 middle grade titles nominated by teachers, librarians and students. The master list is here: Most book awards are voted on by adults, so this is a unique opportunity for our students to make their voice heard

Students must read at least 5 of the 25 titles in order to vote on their favorite book in early March. The winner for our state will be announced in early April. Many students have already passed the goal of reading 5 books and are now reading as many as they can between now and March.

PTO funds were used to purchase multiple copies of the books. Thank you, Lawrence School PTO! 

In my opinion, the list is particularly good this year and includes books that have received other awards like Brown Girl Dreaming and The War That Saved My Life. Check out the book cart in the library for the books on the list as well as the posters outside the library that show the covers of all 25 titles. 

Family trees -- a celebration of children's literature

The Concord Museum holds a special event every year called "Family Trees" in which trees are displayed around the museum for the whole month of December. Each tree's decorations are inspired by a children's book! This year's selection sounds great. I'd encourage you to check it out between now and January 2nd!

Here's the link with more information:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Some new books!

Some new titles in our library that you may enjoy!

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers have just a few days to convince their landlord to renew their lease. They've always lived in the brownstone in their Harlem neighborhood and they can't imagine living anywhere else. Using their strengths: connections with their other neighbors, some cute kittens, and the good-natured generosity of the Vanderbeeker kids, the family hopes to convince grumpy Mr. Beiderman to let them stay. A good 3rd, 4th, 5th grade realistic fiction title.

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
Beatrice is entering third grade with a plan: she and her best friend Lenny will both dress as ninjas and begin a top-secret spy mission! Beatrice is surprised when Lenny comes to the first day of third grade without her ninja outfit. She also seems to have befriended the new girl, Chloe. How will the friends work out this situation? A funny early chapter book for 2nd and 3rd grade readers.

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Ros Asquith
A nonfiction book about all types of family structures and all the activities families do. There's lots to look at in these beautiful illustrations!

Dumpling Dreams: How Joyce Chen Brought the Dumpling from Beijing to Cambridge by Carrie Clickard, illustrated by Katy Wu
This picture book tells the story of Chinese immigrant and chef, Joyce Chen, who introduced Chinese cooking to Cambridge, MA and founded successful restaurants, cooking shows, and cookbooks.

The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug Wechsler
This informational book shows the metamorphosis of a toad in vivid, close-up photographs. The author incorporates into the text questions to the reader. For example: "Day 27 Legs grow out. Toes are forming. Why would a tadpole need legs and toes?" Stunning photography.

All of these books are available in our school library, the public library, and at our local bookstores. Come check them out!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cranberry counting contest!

Lawrence School has a 49 year annual tradition of estimating the number of cranberries in a jar. This contest happens in the library and is currently in progress (through November 16). Winners will be announced on Monday, November 20th.

Students typically submit their estimations when they come to the library with their class. In addition, teachers may borrow the jar, hold an estimation activity in the classroom, and then submit student estimates. Students may also submit their guess before or after school during the regular library hours.

Each year our local bookstores generously donate gift cards as prizes for each of the four categories: K - 2 students; grade 3 - 5 students; grade 6-8 students; and staff. We thank the Children's Bookshop and the Brookline Booksmith for so graciously donating these prizes each year!

Good luck to all!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Boston Book Festival

The Boston Book Festival is happening this Saturday, October 28 in Copley Square. A link to scheduled events can be found here:

There are lots of kids' and young adult events planned including story times with a variety of presenters, middle grade and young adult author panels, and an appearance from Elephant and Piggie! Several authors will be doing book signings and the Puppet Showplace from Brookline Village will be there.

This event is free to all and demonstrates the book-loving community of which we are a part! Don't miss it!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hispanic Heritage Month

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month we have many books on display in the front lobby of the school and a larger number on a cart in the library. 
Here are some highlights:

Bravo: Poems about Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle

"Bold, graphic portraits and beautiful poems present famous and lesser-known Latinos from varied backgrounds who have faced life's challenges in creative ways."--Provided by publisher

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown

Marisol McDonald, a biracial, nonconformist, soccer-playing pirate-princess with brown skin and red hair, celebrates her uniqueness.

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

A brief biography of nineteenth-century Mexican printer and artist José Guadalupe "Lupe" Posada, who was best known as the creator of the calaveras, pictures of skeletons doing various activities, that are an integral part of the Day of the Dead celebrations in present day Mexico.

Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American Tales by Rueben Martinez

A collection of seven traditional tales from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain retold in English and Spanish. Includes notes about each story.

Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes

Easy to read, rhyming text about Halloween night incorporates Spanish words, from las brujas riding their broomsticks to los monstruos whose monstrous ball is interrupted by a true horror.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Resources for great read alouds

Sometimes families are looking for a great family read-aloud-- a chapter book, a picture book, some short stories -- there are so many possibilities! My go-to sources are listed below. I hope you will find them helpful to you!

Some print resources: 

The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

This classic treasury of titles includes annotated lists of books that your child(ren) may enjoy.

How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell

Another thick and dynamic volume of books ideas that your family may enjoy.

Some online resources:

Marley Dias was discouraged by the small number of books she could find with black girls as the main characters. She set out to read and make a list of 1000 books with girls like her as the main character. You can find her list here:

The Children's Book a Day Almanac created by Anita Silvey, a well-respected expert in children's books.

Reading Rockets/ Colorin Colorado: A website in English and Spanish to help caregivers find great books for kids.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Welcome to the Lawrence School Library!


Library classes began in Brookline Schools the week of September 18th this year and all students are learning about or refreshing their knowledge of the library routines. All students want to know how many books they can borrow:

Kindergarten: 1 book
1st grade: 1 book
2nd grade: 2 books
3rd grade: 3 books
4th grade: 4 books
5th grade: 5 books
6th - 8th grade: 5 books

When students come to the library before or after school with their family, they may borrow additional books as a family. Please speak with Ms. Moriarty, the librarian, if you'd like to borrow more books before or after school.

Families also should be aware of the library hours:
Monday & Tuesday 7:50 am - 2:45 pm
Wednesday & Thursday 7:50 am - 3 pm
Friday 7:50 am - 1:40 pm

At any time if you have a question about library procedures or want to make a book recommendation to the librarian, please contact Ms. Moriarty:

We are looking forward to a great year in our school library!