On October 30th, the Newton South High School Library was thrilled to host an author visit for students as part of their English Language Arts classes. About 150 students gathered in the Newton South auditorium to hear remarks from New York Times best-selling young adult author e. lockhart.
Although Ms. Lockhart only had an hour to spend with students, her excellent presentation was packed with information and insights. Ms Lockhart spoke to students about her writing process for her two most recent novels, Genuine Fraud and We Were Liars. She shared with students that writing about complex emotions makes for better novels. According to the author, Genuine Fraud is an exploration of rage. Ms. Lockhart also showed the students how she takes inspiration from images and develops the narrative around these images. After her formal presentation, Ms. Lockhart answered questions submitted by students.
Students had the opportunity to buy signed copies of Ms. Lockhart’s books in advance of the event. To kick off the session, Ms. Lockhart raffled off several copies of Genuine Fraud to students, an act made possible by a generous grant from the Newton South PTSO. This special program was made available to Newton South High School through the generosity of Penguin Random House with the cooperation of Wellesley Books.
The NSHS Library Book Club is in its fourth year and going strong thanks to some wonderful senior book club leaders (boy will we miss them next year!) We currently have 23 members signed up for our Schoology group and even more receiving email updates. We read one book a month, selected by popular vote, and generously provided by the wonderful librarians at the Newton Free Library through interlibrary loan. Meetings are monthly during J-Block and casual book discussions led by book club leaders and always include heavy brownie consumption.
We’ve read 30 books so far, representing a broad array of genres from contemporary, realistic young adult fiction, to sci-fi and fantasy, to historical fiction. Our book club members are such enthusiastic readers that they volunteered to read two book club books over the summer, for a total of 776 pages, in addition to required school reading for One School One Question and various English and History summer reading assignments! To see what we’ve read so far, as well as other club details, check out the NSHS Library Book Club page on our site.
The new library furniture purchased with funds from last year’s Success at South campaign has arrived. The first additions were the new comfy chairs. We were able to purchase ten of them and they are located in various spots around the library and are rarely empty. The students love them, they look great, and they appear to be very sturdy. This last feature is of upmost importance as we generally get around 2,000 visitors a day in the NSHS Library.
The study carrels for the quiet study area were delivered on Wednesday. There will probably be a slight adjustment period and some students may even bemoan the loss of the small tables in Quiet Study, but in the long run it should be great. Students were asking for more quiet study spaces and we have moved the small tables out in the main library. This has resulted in an overall increase in seating.
Other minor additions funded by Success at South include a display table for new fiction in the library entry, end cap display shelves throughout the library and a portable magazine rack. We plan to move the magazine rack around the library regularly to promote our magazine subscriptions for leisure reading.
Thanks again to the Newton South PTSO for continuing to support the NSHS Library.
The Newton South librarians are excited to announce that New York Times best selling author of We Were Liars (and others) is coming to NSHS to discuss her latest book Genuine Fraud on Monday October 30 during C-Block in the auditorium.
This event is made possible by Wellesley Books. Instead of charging us a speaker’s fee, Wellesley Books asked that we distribute an order form in advance for students to buy signed, personalized book copies. Book purchases are optional. We have sent this form out to all students via Schoology, but you can also find it here.
We are inviting any classes with interested/engaged readers to come hear her speak and participate in a short Q&A about her books and the writing process.
Students who are not coming with their class may also be able to attend with permission from their C-Block teacher. They should ask a librarian about how to sign-up. Book purchases are available to everyone, regardless of whether they are able to attend the author presentation.
We have copies of We Were Liars and Genuine Fraud in the library if students would like to read it in advance, and the e-book of We Were Liars is available in the free Axis360 app.
It’s one of our favorite times of the year in the library: when the pre-school comes for story time! Students in Ms. Stonehill’s class wrote and illustrated their own picture books, which were judged by the library staff. Then everyone got to hear some stories before enjoying a pizza party in the library.
The activity is always a big hit with big and little kids alike, and we can’t wait for next year.
As soon we are done collecting library books from students, we switch gears right into summer reading mode. The librarians participated on the One School, One Question committee to develop the question and select the books. Now we have all five books on sale in the NSHS Library ($10 each), each addressing the question “How can I make a difference?” in its own way:
Please remind your student to stop by the library to select and purchase their 1S1Q book. Of course, students are welcome to read more than one. We have!
In addition to 1S1Q books, students are welcome to check out up to five books for independent reading. There is no sense in NSHS Library books just sitting on the shelves all summer if they could be being read. To that end, we have set up a summer reading display and our student library aides gathered a wide ranging assortment of high interest fiction and nonfiction titles. Of course, students are not limited to the books in the display. Any circulating title is available for summer check out. If your NSHS student is an avid reader, encourage them to stop by the NSHS Library and stock up.
Don’t forget that students will be able to check out e-books all summer. They can see a librarian for a tutorial on e-books prior to the last day of school, or visit our e-book page on the NSHS Library website over the summer.
We had another busy year here at the NSHS Library. Check out the highlights in our annual report:
April is National Poetry Month. Students can take advantage of magnetic poetry, black-out poems and more. The library department also teamed with English teachers to create a poetry lab where students can record spoken word poems, and a library web page chock-full of poetry resources for students and teachers. Encourage your students to come to the library to enjoy, create and share poetry this month!
The Freshman World History project is in full swing! Library teachers have rolled out a new strategy to better coordinate and co-teach, creating mini-courses on Schoology that can be added to classroom teachers’ pages. These mini-courses include database quizzes, and instruction on keywords, search strategies, and creating research questions. We hosted 56 freshman World History research paper classes in the library from January through March and there are still more to come! If your freshman needs help with sources, citations, accessing research databases, etc., encourage them to book some time with a librarian for one on one assistance. Remind them that they can also text or email us via the NSHS Library Help Line.
This week caps off NSHS Library’s first foray into a “March Madness” battle of the books. It all started with the Sweet Sixteen — sixteen popular YA (young adult) books that were pitted against each other in a NCAA-style bracket. Each week the students voted on the pairs using an online Google form that was accessible from the library’s web page, at the circulation desk and via scannable links posted at the dual displays in both the library and outside the English Office. And the winner is… We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart. A student in Ms Arnaboldi’s Advisory submitted a winning bracket (just missing the final pick), winning Dunkin’s Munchkins and hot chocolate for his whole homeroom this week — congratulations!