The book club for 5th-grade students had a marvelous time with D. J. MacHale, who was kind enough to come to our club meeting on Friday, February 10. Mr. MacHale answered questions about the Pendragon and Morpheus Road series (while avoiding plot spoilers!) and about books, writing, and reading. The students were polite, knowledgeable, and appreciative--I was very proud of them!
Authors Week has once again stirred up tremendous interest in reading and writing. I would like to acknowledge Anne Lin, Pennekamp parent, who put together this fabulous week! In addition to D. J. MacHale, our school also met Debra Garfinkle, author of many books but most recently the Zeke Meeks series. The library has all four of the Zeke Meeks books (four more are to come) and there is a waitlist of eager students for each one. Likewise for D. J. MacHale's books: students have been checking out our library's copies, the public library's copies, and buying out our local booksellers. Authors Week has created such an enthusiasm for reading among our students. Thanks to the Pennekamp PTA for funding the event and helping our students become readers--and possibly authors, too!
I wish to thank the Manhattan Beach Historical Society for the gift to our library of $600 for the purchase on history-themed books. The gift was presented last Wednesday night at the school board meeting. I wish also to recognize Anna Graves, a Pennekamp 5th-grader, who appeared with me before the school board. With poise and eloquence, she read her exemplary paragraph on how the study of history prepares a person to make wise decisions and contribute positively to society. I am immensely grateful for the Historical Society's support of our students and school libraries.
This week is Authors Week. We are fortunate to have not just one but two authors visiting Pennekamp: Debra Garfinkle (who writes as D. L. Green) and D.J. MacHale. They will address our students during assemblies on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In other library news, the book club for 4th grade met last Friday. We had a good time discussing The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and making our own origami Yodas. Our next selection is Marley: A Dog Like No Other, by John Grogan. The next meeting will be March 16, a couple of weeks after the talent show.
The book club for 5th grade meets this Friday. We will discuss The Merchant of Death, by D.J. MacHale. We have already chosen our selection for the meeting after this one: The Aviary, by Kathleen O'Dell. Unlike most of our choices, this one is very new and thus may be available only in hardcover and e-book editions.
Please note: Scholastic book orders are due by February 15. The items that are ordered will be distributed after ski week. Thanks to the many volunteers who assist with the Scholastic flyers--I couldn't do it without you!
On Wednesday night, February 1, it will be my pleasure and honor to go before the school board to receive a generous gift from the Manhattan Beach Historical Society. As in years past, the society is giving the library $600 for the purchase of new books related to history, and the same amount is going to other district libraries. Accompanying me will be 5th-grader Anna Graves, who will read her paragraph on the theme "why learning about history is important to me," to express our students' appreciation as well as the significance of the gift to our students' learning. The Manhattan Beach Historical Society does terrific work in our community to preserve the history of Manhattan Beach. Right now, you can add your name to a commemorative centennial book for our town, a copy of which would make an excellent keepsake for generations to come.
Pennekamp's "Authors' Week" is next week, February 6 to 10. This is a unique literary event that allows our students to meet real authors, learn about the writing process, and discover new books. This year Debra Garfinkle (who writes under the name D. L. Green) will be the author for grades K through 3, while D. J. MacHale will present to grades 4 and 5. The authors' books can be preordered for autographing--contact the school office for details.
Book club for grade 4 meets this Friday, February 3, at lunch recess in the library. We will be discussing The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger. Book club for grade 5 meets next week--Friday, February 10--and we will discuss the first book in the Pendragon series, The Merchant of Death, by D. J. MacHale.
February has so many special days, it's hard to know where to begin! We are still in the midst of celebrating Chinese (or lunar) New Year. Thursday, February 2, is Groundhog Day. Coming up we have Lincoln's birthday, Valentine's Day, and Washington's birthday (celebrated on the Presidents Day holiday). February is also Black History Month. I will do my best to enhance the students' holiday experience by displaying and reading aloud books on these themes in the coming weeks.
Scholastic flyers are being distributed tomorrow, January 31, in the Tuesday envelope. Orders are due by February 15. Orders will be distributed after ski week, not before. A big "hooray!" goes out to the many fantastic volunteers who organized and stapled the Scholastic flyers for distribution. Purchasing from Scholastic generates points with which our library and teachers can acquire books free of charge. Many people ask why we cannot order online. The reason is, to promote children's safety in the face of so much online data collection, the Scholastic online order form does not include a customer's (i.e., a child's) last name. Because the library collects orders and money from the entire school, it seems to me essential to have a clear record of who is ordering--including the customer's last name, which is not part of the online order form. The paper forms record first and last names, without exposing that information on the internet, where prying eyes might invade a child's or family's privacy.
On a brighter note, our library's catalog now is accessible on the internet (at http://destiny.mbusd.org) and as a new app for your iPad or smartphone! This free app, called Destiny Quest, can be obtained through the Apple App Store or Android Market. It's quick and easy to download and use!
This is Author's Week. Students will attend presentations and workshops by Pennekamp's visiting author: April Halprin Wayland, whose works were previewed in the library last week. Many parents have chosen books from the library for their appearances as Mystery Readers. In honor of Author's Week, the students' "valentines" to books they love are on display in the library. Also on display are CDs decorated by members of the book club for students in grades 4 and 5. These are in reference to our last book, Greetings from Planet Earth, by Barbara Kerley, which involved the golden record carried aboard the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
Coming up this week, grades K, 1, and 2 will finish their participation in the California Young Reader Medal contest. We will hear any remaining nominees, and each student will vote for his or her favorite. DK, which has already voted on their favorites, will hear books on the many February holidays and events--Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, Black History Month, and Valentine's Day. Grade 3 will hear Shrek, by William Steig, which inspired the well-known Shrek films. In addition to being a very funny romantic story, Shrek includes some high-level vocabulary words which the students will look up in print dictionaries. Grade 4 will hear Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, by Deborah Hopkinson, in which the author uses an event from Abraham Lincoln's life to remind readers that all stories are shaped by the decisions of storytellers. Grade 5 will hear Shrek and When Everybody Wore a Hat, a memoir, both by William Steig, whose Abel's Island is read in one of the grade 5 ROAR groups.
The library will be open for studying on Monday and Thursday from 2:15 to 3:00. Classes now use the library between 2:15 and 2:45 on Tuesday and Friday. The library will close at 1:45 on Wednesday because Ms. Barbara must attend an off-campus meeting.
Next week is Author's Week, so this week we will become acquainted with the books and poetry of our visiting author, April Halprin Wayland.
The students will also be decorating "valentines" to books they love. These will be displayed in the library next week, Author's Week.
The book club for students in grades 4 and 5 meets Wednesday, February 2, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the library. Participants must be pre-enrolled. Our selection is Greetings from Planet Earth, by Barbara Kerley.
Thursday, February 3, marks the Chinese New Year. We are entering the year of the rabbit. Books relating to Chinese culture are on display in the library this week.
The Scholastic book order forms are due Friday, February 4. Please put your child's name and teacher's name on every form you submit.
New books in the library this week include Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preuss (FIC PRE); Lulu and the Brontosaurus, by Judith Viorst (FIC VIO); and The Many Adventures of Nanny Piggins, by R. A. Spratt (FIC SPR).
Barbara Siegemund-Broka, library media specialist, maintains this blog to inform Pennekamp students and families about library news and related content. Any opinions expressed here are solely her own.
What's Ms. Barbara reading?
All the Greys on Greene Street, by Laura Tucker
"Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly."
--E. B. White, interviewed by George Plimpton and Frank H. Crowther, "The Art of the Essay No. 1," The Paris Review, https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4155/e-b-white-the-art-of-the-essay-no-1-e-b-white