Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday Reads

Looking for some good reading over the holiday break? Warm up with these much talked about books of 2015….


v Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coats
v Purity by Jonathan Franzen
v The Story of the Lost Child (final book in the Neapolitan series) by Elena Ferrante
v Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
v City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
v The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
v The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
v Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
v H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Young Adult

v Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
v I was Here by Gayle Forman
v Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
v Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older
v Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs
v Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead


v The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
v Home by Carson Ellis
v George by Alex Gino
v Waiting by Kevin Henkes
v Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
v Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
v The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Professional Development

Looking for a fun and informative PDG to be part of? Every year, my school gives faculty and staff a list of potential professional developments to partake in; New York City, Equity & Justice, Photography, Research, Writers, Digital Storytelling, are just some of the topics Collegiate has chosen. This year, we were given the option of Global Online Academy (G.O.A.). Global Online Academy professional development courses are designed for independent school educators that want to “choose their own adventure” in their professional growth. It also allows professional learning communities to connect with educators across schools as they explore topics relevant to their roles on campus.

My topic for G.O.A is Libraries of Tomorrow. This PDG brings together library specialist to pursue essential questions on the role of libraries in school communities today and in the future. Through case studies and discussion (some Skyping is involved) on relevant topics and challenges for libraries, librarians will discuss ways their school libraries can best evolve. Through sharing resources and best practices, we are able to develop goals and benchmarks for projects to pursue in our own library.

If interested, take a closer look at Global Online Academy:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Four Brooklyn Schools Discuss Newbery Contenders

For the fourth consecutive year, students from four Brooklyn schools gathered on Friday, November 6, to discuss our favorite Newbery contenders of the year. With an overflowing room of almost eighty 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, we watched book trailers, recommended titles to each other, and answered trivia questions about past Newbery winners. Do you know which two Newbery medal or honor winners feature a main character named Turtle? Or which two Lois Lowry books have won Newbery medals? Our Mock Newbery Committee members do!

So, how did this gathering happen? You can read Angie's post from a couple years ago for the history. While each school -- Brooklyn Friends, Brooklyn Heights Montessori, Packer, and Saint Ann's -- has a slightly different structure and book list for our own Mock Newbery Committees, the librarians collaborate on a shared book list and generally plan two events per year, one in the fall and one after the Newbery is announced. We often have guest speakers who have served on the Newbery Committee in the past (sometimes even the current year). This time we had no guest speaker, which turned out to be for the best with such a huge group and limited time. By seating people at small tables with students from other schools and conducting pub style trivia (sans alcohol), we were able to interact across schools in a way that we haven't before, and everyone seemed to leave happy. One parent even emailed the Packer librarians a week later to ask if they'll be coming to Saint Ann's every week, since her daughter had such a great time!

Our shared list this year (in alphabetical order by title) is:

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Chasing Secrets
by Gennifer Choldenko
Circus Mirandus
by Cassie Beasley
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Fuzzy Mud
by Louis Sachar
George by Alex Gino
Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Lost in the Sun
by Lisa Graff
The Marvels
by Brian Selznick
Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson
The War That Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

If anyone's interested in our longer lists or more specifics about our individual Mock Newbery programs, email us or leave comments below -- we're friendly people!
- Hannah Mermelstein

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Around Town

Looking for fun things to do this December? Take a look at these cool book and events happening in the city….

·         Greenlight Book Store
686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Greenlight hosts a family holiday event in the middle of Chanukah and in anticipation of Christmas. Join them for their Holiday Stories and Singalong on Thursday, December 10, 4:00pm-5:30pm (seasonal drinks and treats to follow).

·         NYPL: Mid-Manhattan Library
December 2, 2015 at 6:30pm

Mid-Manhattan is hosting a lecture that covers New York’s culinary history. Join NYPL for Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to NYC with Andrew F. Smith; who is the writer and lecturer on food and culinary history and general editor for the “Edible Series.” Smith engages us with stories on some of the most recognizable restaurants, eateries, and culinary personalities today.  

Open now, ends January 16th, 2016.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center in Lincoln Center will present the free multimedia exhibition Alice Live! The exhibition will trace the history of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice stories in live performance from their first professional staging to the present day.

·         Symphony Space (Thalia Book Club) – December 7, 2015 at 7:30pm
2537 Broadway @ 95th Street
New York, NY 10025

The award-winning actress presents her literary debut. An unconventional memoir in letters, Dear Mr. You, chronicles the actresses’ life through correspondence with men from her past and imagined future, and reveals the complexity and power found in relationships both loving and fraught.
-Excerpt from Symphony Space