Looking for Alaska

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Last winter I was introduced to the work of author John Green through the popular and best-selling book A Fault In Our Stars.  Although much focus is placed on the beautiful and tragic love story of Hazel and Gus, what I loved most about the novel was the eclectic and honest writing style and the authentic voices of Green’s teen characters.  I consumed the novel in less then 48 hours and immediately ran out to my local bookstore and purchase three more of his novels: An Abundance of Katherines, Will Grayson Will Grayson, and Looking for Alaska.

I started reading Looking for Alaska last night and am already hooked into the story.  The plot unfolds with an interesting hook and a great pace making it very difficult to put the book down.  For an unforgettable 128 days, we follow the main character, Miles, as he learns life lessons in love, loyalty, friendship, and literature. When tragedy strikes, Miles is forced to undertake an even closer examination of his own character and relationship with his friends.  As with most of John Green’s novels, the characters we meet are all well-drawn, witty, and full of individual quirks and spunk.

Although I am currently only a few chapters in, it’s easy to understand why the novel won the Michael L. Printz Award which recognizes excellence in Young Adult literature.  This is an outstanding coming-of-age novel that would best suited for our intermediate readers.

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Library Helpers

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Miss Meldrum and I held an information meeting today for all Grade 6, 7, and 8 students interested in being Library Helpers this year.  The turnout was amazing with over 40 students attending the meeting! Our library is a beautiful and busy place that requires lots of upkeep to ensure books are organized properly and resources are readily available for staff and students.  Library Helpers help make this happen and I am so very pleased to learn so many members of our learning community are eager to offer assistance.

Starting next week, Library Helpers will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays during 2nd Nutrition Break.  Students will be trained on how to correctly shelve both fiction and non-fiction books, check-in library items, and use the Horizon Information Portal to identify and locate specific resources to help supplement learning goals.  Library Helpers will also assist with the creation of various Library bulletin boards and displays to help promote literacy initiatives and a love reading at Bruce Trail.

I can’t wait to get things started next week and work with an amazing group of eager students who cherish the library as much as I do.

– Miss Westbury

Back to School 2014/2015

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Welcome Back!

How was your first day back to school?  Hopefully it was a day full of excitement and new friends as you met your classroom teacher and settled in to the new school year.

Mr. Skinner and I have been busy working in the library to prepare for new books, new classes, new students, and new technology.  We also shared our space with a Kindergarten classroom on Day One as the final efforts were made on the construction of our new Kindergarten Wing.  All Kindie classes are now in their beautiful new classrooms.  Bruce Trail is bigger and better than ever!

As classes begin to visit the library for their orientation visits in the upcoming weeks, students will hear about many activities and programs in the library including Library Helpers, Forest of Reading, Battle of the Books, and two new ways of cultivating a reading culture and promoting literacy in our school and at home:

1) Caught Ya Reading!

Keep an eye out for posters around the school and pictures on our Twitter feed of B.T. staff “caught” reading their favourite books.  We have many avid readers on staff who are excited to share their book recommendations and spread their love of literacy.

2) What is Miss Westbury Reading

In addition to the Librarian’s Blog, I will also be posting a picture and review of the books I read throughout the school year.  Students often ask me what I’m currently reading and/or a list of specific titles for students their age and reading level.  This is a way to answer some of those questions and provide a list of recommended titles I love.

As we proceed into the rest of September there will be lots more information and updates to share.  Please be sure to follow us here on our website as well as on our Twitter feed.

– Miss Westbury

Land of Stories #3: A Grimm Warning

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Goldilocks is a wanted criminal, Rumplestiltskin is a brother to the Seven Dwarfs, and Little Red Riding Hood is a queen in her very own kingdom.  These are a just a few of the amazing twists in the modern day fairy-tale adventure series The Land of Stories.

Written by Chris Colfer, best known as the beloved character Kurt Hummel on the television show GleeThe Land of Stories series introduces us to twin brother and sister Conner and Alex Bailey.  On their twelfth birthday, they are gifted with a book that has been in their family for a long time – a special collection of fairy-tales.  Through the powers of the book, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic, where they come face-to-face with the fairy-tale characters they grew up reading about.

A Grimm Warning is Book #3 in the series and continues the story of Alex and Conner who are now living in the two distinct and different worlds introduced in the first novel.  After successfully defeating the Enchantress in Book #2, Alex remains in the Fairy-Tale world training to become the next Fairy Godmother and lead the Fairy Council.  Conner has returned to his regular life in the Otherworld believing his fairy-tale adventures are behind him.  However when Conner comes across a mysterious clue left by the Brothers Grimm, it becomes clear that he has yet another harrowing quest before him.  With new threats of both dragons and an unknown masked man, A Grimm Warning will not disappoint those who loved the quick-paced action in the first two books.  

I highly recommend these books to students in Grade 4 to 6, especially those who enjoy fairytales, fantasy, and/or adventure stories.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the fourth book which is set to be released in 2015.