Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Author visit for 5 - 8 & new books for everyone!

Author visit November 7:

Thanks to the PTO, students in grades 5 -8 will visit with author Steve Sheinkin on Thursday, November 7. Mr. Sheinkin is known for lots of nonfiction titles for older readers, and his newest book is Born to Fly: the First Women's Air Race Across America. Students will visit with him in the auditorium thoughout the day on November 7. We look forward to a fun and informative event!

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New Books:

We recently added the following titles to our collection! Stop by the library to check them out:

Harold Loves His Woolly Hat by Vern Kousky

Harold is a bear who feels that he's special because of his woolly, striped hat. When a crow takes that hat Harold tries his best to get it back by making a series of trades with the crow. The trades are  unsuccessful and climbs up to the crow's nest to see if he can get it back...but when he sees what the crow is doing with the hat he decides he can leave it with the crow--he's still special without his hat! Really nice illustrations and a message of kindness and the many ways one can be special. Good timing too--it's getting to be the time of year to wear a woolly hat! (Grades K - 2)

You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks by Evan Turk

The unseen narrator in this book tells all kinds of creatures and living things that "they are home" in our national parks. The illustrator labels which park is being highlighted on each page. An inspiring text with beautiful illustrations and a map at the back showing some of the national parks that readers can explore.  (Grades K - 8)

Attucks: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose
This is a page-turner of a nonfiction book. In 1955 Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis had never won a basketball tournament. They were playing with borrowed uniforms, outdated equipment, and an under-sized gym. Under the leadership of coach Ray Crowe and anchored by Oscar Robertson, the team heads toward a championship that looks highly unlikely at the outset. (Grades 5-8)

Proud: Living My American Dream by Ibtihaj Muhammad

This book is a biography of 2016 Olympian Ibihaj Muhammad who became the first American to compete wearing hijab and the first Muslim American woman to win an Olympic medal. Before she went to the Olympics, what was her life like? What things did she have to overcome? (grades 5 -8)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Welcome back!

Library classes began this week at Lawrence School!

Kindergarteners are learning the routines and were excited to choose their first book! First graders have been learning how to use the scanner (a big step up from the library cards of kindergarten) and are very proud of their new skill!

Second graders have started to collect stamps to show that they've made their way through several sections of the library. This first week the picture book section was (re)introduced and any student who borrowed a book from that section received a stamp on their "library passport". By the end of 7 weeks they will have been introduced to 7 sections of the library and will hopefully have new favorite areas to browse. (Passports will be sent home when they're complete.)

Third graders are looking forward to learning how to use the library catalog (probably after Thanksgiving) and are reacquainting themselves with their favorite titles and sections.

Fourth and fifth graders have a fifteen minute browsing time each week. Some students will use the time to read a book they've started in the classroom, others will actively search for titles to borrow for the week.

Middle schoolers have a weekly browsing time (usually aligned with advisory/ workshop time) and are encouraged to come before or after school.

Library hours: 
Monday & Tuesday: 7:50 - 8 am & 2:30 - 2:45 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 7:50 - 8 am & 2:30 - 3 pm
Friday: 7:50 - 8 am only (the library closes at 1:40 each Friday)

Please stop by and see what we have. The books that were purchased in Marie Leman's (retired 3rd grade teacher) name are on display in the library this September, as are books about climate change (in conjunction with the Friday, September 20th Boston Climate Strike).

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Summer Reading Links

Summer is a great time for doing some reading that you didn't have time to do during the school year. All Lawrence students have been provided with hard copies of the summer reading lists. They are also available online here:

Town-wide suggestions by grade: http://brooklinesummerreading.weebly.com/

Lawrence-specific titles: https://sites.google.com/view/lawrenceschoolsummerreading/home

If you have questions about any of the above, please contact the school librarian at kathleen_moriarty@psbma.org

Check out what's going on at your local public library! They have lots of free summer activities and incentives for students who read over the summer. All books on the summer lists are available for free through your public library.

Brookline Public Library: https://brooklinelibrary.beanstack.org/reader365

Boston Public Library: https://www.bpl.org/summer/

Friday, May 24, 2019

Happy Memorial Day!

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I have lots of library-related updates.

Library Renaming: 

First of all, some of you may have noticed the plaque outside the library door. Our library's official name is now "The Iris Feldman Library" named after a librarian who spent her whole career (1969-2002) at Lawrence School! Ms. Feldman passed away last March and several staff members and I petitioned the School Committee to rename the library in her honor.

Author visit: 

On June 3 students in grades 2 - 5 will visit with author Jacqueline Davies! This visit is thanks to the generous support of the PTO. Ms. Davies has written The Lemonade War series along with several picture books (Panda Pants, The House Takes a Vacation, Tricking the Tallyman, and The Boy Who Drew Birds). We have been reading her books and preparing for a fun and informative visit with a professional author!

End of the Year Book Return Schedule:

All students must return their library books by Friday, June 14. Younger students will get a colorful reminder bookmark in the last book they borrow the week of June 3. 

Please gather up those books and return them so that I can prepare the library for the summer and ultimately for the 2019-20 school year. If a book is lost, please contact me at kathleen_moriarty@psbma.org for the cost to replace the book. 

We can only maintain our terrific collection if students return their books and pay to replace those that have been lost. At the moment more than 1000 books are borrowed. We circulate 30,000 books each school year!

Thanks for your help with this! 

Summer reading:

Summer reading recommendations from the PSB school librarians are now posted here:  http://brooklinesummerreading.weebly.com/

All books are readily available at our terrific public libraries, the Boston Public Library branches and at our local bookstores. More to come about summer reading. There are some titles specific to Lawrence School which will also soon be posted (especially for grades 5 - 8). 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Photos from storyteller visit!

Thanks to the generosity of the PTO, students in grades K & 1 were treated to a visit from Len Cabral yesterday, April 29. He engaged students in three stories and a song. A good time was had by all!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lots of updates

MCBA Winners:

Lawrence students chose Jennifer Nielsen's A Night Divided as their favorite of the MCBA choices. Students across the state voted and chose the same book!
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State runners up included: Ghost by Jason Reynolds; A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord; Framed by James Ponti; and Reign Rain by Ann M. Martin

Storyteller visiting Lawrence on Monday April 29!

Students in grades K & 1 will be treated to a visit from Len Cabral, experienced storyteller on Monday April 29. Performances will be in the library at 10 and 11 am. 

Recent library lessons

Kindergarten: We have been listening to alphabet stories like Z is for Moose and The Elephant's Story as well as some humorous books like Muncha Muncha Muncha by Candace Fleming, We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Brian Higgins and Old Hat by Emily Gravett. 

First Grade: Students have heard some nonfiction titles by Bob Barnett and Lois Ehlert. I've also introduced the Mr. Putter and Tabby stories by Cynthia Rylant. 

Second Grade: We've been reading picture book biographies like Girl Running (about Bobbi Gibb the first woman to run the Boston Marathon),  Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors, and The Watcher, a picture book biography about Jane Goodall. I've also done some book talks for several of the 2nd grade classes to introduce some new chapter book series to the students. 

Third Grade: In March all third graders learned how to use the library catalog! This is a moment many of them have been waiting for. We talked about call numbers and how they help you to locate the books you want in the library. We've moved on to reading biographies (like Wangari's Trees of Peace: a True Story from Africa) but students continue to independently practice using the catalog. 

Fourth and Fifth graders: All are encouraged to sign up for the Lawrence Reads event on the evening of May 14. Check the PTO update for registration information. We will be discussing a great book: How Tia Lola Came to Stay by Julia Alvarez. Many copies are available in the library for borrowing. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

MA Children's Book Award Voting

MCBA Awards 2019:

Lawrence 5th and 6th graders (and a few fourth graders!) will be voting next week on their favorite of the MA Children's Book Award Nominees. We will know around the first week in April which book was chosen by students across the state. Here's the link to the list of nominees: http://massachusettschildrensbookaward.blogspot.com/2018/05/massachusetts-childrens-book-award.html

Here's the list of past winners going all the way back to 1976! http://massachusettschildrensbookaward.blogspot.com/p/the-massachusetts-childrens-book-award.html

How many have you read? Students need to read at least five of the titles to vote.

DICE- Lawrence Reads Event coming soon:

Lawrence third, fourth and fifth graders will have the opportunity to read and discuss How Tia Lola Came to Stay in the next few months. The culminating event will be an evening discussion on Tuesday, May 14 at Lawrence School. Stay tuned for more details and registration in April.

Ms. Moriarty has been reading (a lot!): 

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (horror; grades 4 - 8)

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly (realistic; grades 4-6)

Strongheart by Candace Fleming (historical; grades 3 -5)

Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh (realistic; grades 5 -8)

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu (fantasy; grades 4 - 6)

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan (realistic; grades 4 - 6)

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (historical/ fantasy; grades 4 -6)

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julie Falatko (Humor; grades 2 - 5)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

2019 Caldecott/ Newbery / Coretta Scott King Award winners!

On January 28 the American Library Association handed out the awards for the best books in several categories. Third graders were anxiously awaiting this announcement!

The Caldecott Award for best illustrated book was given to Hello Lighthouse illustrated by Sophie Blackall. 

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

I am proud to say that through the generosity of our PTO we have hosted both Grace Lin and Brian Lies in recent years! Both are so deserving of this award!

The Newbery Award was given to the best chapter book of the year:

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

The Newbery Honor books include:

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

The Coretta Scott King book awards were given to the following books by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience:

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

The CSK Honor books include:
Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

I have read Finding Langston and The Season of Styx Malone and would highly recommend both books. Excellent writing, engaging characters. I have A Few Red Drops and The Parker Inheritance also on my To Be Read list!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Picture book biographies that are worth a look

The current Ansel Adams exhibit at the MFA reminded me of a favorite picture book biography: Antsy Ansel: Ansel Adams,  A Life in Nature by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and Christy Hale. The biography tells the reader of Adams' struggles as a traditional student which caused his parents to choose to homeschool him. He discovered photography, particularly outdoor photography, as a way to channel his energy. The book provides wonderful opportunities for discussion and for children of all ages to find something in common with this famous photographer. It gives hope to those who may find school challenging, too!

Girl Running by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Micha Archer is another picture book biography with a lesson in persistence embedded in it. It tells the story of Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Despite a rule prohibiting women from running the race, Gibb chose to train herself for the challenge and slipped into the 1966 running of the Marathon. Readers will find illustrations of familiar places along the route and will note the names of many female runners who followed in Bobbi Gibb's footsteps at the end of the book.

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert is actually an autobiography of the children's book author/ illustrator. She gives us a glimpse into the ways she creates her beautiful collage illustrations and encourages students to start creating right now! This will be a first grade read aloud in the upcoming weeks after we've read several of Ehlert's picture books. Students like to get an inside look into the life of an author/ illustrator and this picture book is particularly engaging.

We also just added this beautiful narrative about Maria Merian to our collection-- The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman. Merian grew up in Germany in the 1600s and was fascinated by the insects she saw. She started drawing what she noticed about them and thanks to her careful and detailed illustrations, scientists were able to expand their knowledge of the life cycle of butterflies and other insects. It's incredible that at a time when women couldn't attend universities, Merian figured out a way to pursue her passion and even publish her illustrations! The illustrations in the book (which include some of Merian's scientific drawings) are numerous and beautiful to browse!

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School by Janet Halfman and London Ladd profiles Granderson, an enslaved person, who learned to read and write alongside the children in her master's house. She then passed on these literacy lessons to other enslaved people at a time when it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write. She persisted in instructing others in secret until she was lawfully able to run a small school of her own. Her students went on to teach others and form their own schools--her lessons reached far beyond her secret school.

These are just a sampling of the excellent biographies that are being published for children of all ages.