After that, I will devote several weeks to reading aloud the picture books nominees for the California Young Reader Medal. There are three longer picture books nominated for grades 3, 4, and 5, and five picture books that are nominated for students in the younger grades. Every elementary school in the district participates in this competition every year: I read the books aloud, we discuss them and consider their merits, and then each student votes for her or his favorite. At Pennekamp this year, students in grades 4 and 5 who read all three of the chapter-book nominees by the end of March can also vote on that category.
The book club for grade 5 is off to a good start. The book we are reading for January is Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk. It will be discussed at the upcoming club meeting on January 16 in the library at lunch/recess. (Due to rainy day schedule on the 16th, the meeting was postponed to the 23rd.) Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for historical fiction, Beyond the Bright Sea is the story of a 12-year-old girl living on one of the Elizabeth Islands whose quest to find out about her past yields a variety of discoveries. I love this book, and I'm looking forward to hearing the students' reactions to it.
Many students have been steadily reading the books for the Super Literacy Quiz Bowl (good job, students!), but for those who haven't, there's still time to get in the game. The Manhattan Beach public library has been displaying and checking out the selected books, and the PK library has at least one copy of each book for reading here. Signups will take place toward the start of February. Students who wish to compete are asked to read at least ten books from the list for their grade.
My thanks to the district for replacing the library's heater! I invite everyone to visit the cozy PK library and see how pleasant it is in here now. I usually keep the library open until 3:30 during the week, and many students and parents are here in the afternoons. Parents may check out ten books at a time; and although I love our local public library, we do have a pretty impressive and undeniably convenient collection right here (book purchasing is generously funded by the Pennekamp PTA). Our library is a comfortable afterschool place to read, do homework, or play a board game. It's a nice place for parents and younger students to wait for an upper-grade sibling between early and late dismissal. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult in the library after school has been dismissed. Please come visit our warm, well-stocked library!