February 28, 2019

February was a busy and exciting month here in the library. We had many classrooms coming through to work on special projects, support reading units, check out books, and do research using our print materials and databases. During the month of February, Kent students checked out more than 400 books! Here are some of the highlights from this past month and things to look forward to in March.

4Paws Readers of the Pack: This week we had our first visit from the Sonoma based organization 4Paws Readers of the Pack. This organization trains dogs and their owners in listening to students read aloud free from judgment or correction.  We had a small group signed up for the first visit with Rudy the golden retriever and Ernie, the pit bull and it was a great success. The dogs will be back every other week and students who would like to participate can check in with me for more information. Additionally, if your family has a dog you think would be a good fit for the program, you can be trained to come and be part of the Kent Readers team! Here is a link to their website for more information.  

Battle of the Books: This week we launched our Battle of the Books for 2019. Battle of the Books is a team reading competition where students can join up with a group of 4 to read 12 books between them by June 4th, when the competition will be held in the library at lunch. We have some great titles this year, many of which students are familiar with. Our first informational meeting is this Thursday at lunch and the deadline to sign up is Friday, March 1st. This was great fun last year and students enjoyed the community of the group and reading a discussing the books. I hope we will have a great group this year representing grades 5-8! Students should come see me for more information.

Dan Gemeinhart Skype Visit: Next Tuesday, March 5th, we will have a special Skype author visit with Dan Gemeinhart, author of the popular title Scar Island, and many more including Good Dog, Some Kind of Courage, and The Honest Truth. Students who have read any of Dan’s books can sign up to be a part of the conversation in their language arts classes or with me in the library. The visit will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Here is a link to Dan’s website for a full list of his books!

Refugee Follow Up:  In March, students will have a chance to participate in a special donation drive called “Change for Change,” organized by our student council and activities director Ms. Stephens.  During this drive, students will be asked to bring in spare change from home to contribute to the JFCS Refugee Resettlement programs. We will kick off the program with a visit from a representative from the organization and a newcomer refugee who will speak about their experiences. This is a direct way for students to connect their experience of reading Refugee to what’s happening in the world today. Following the drive kick off, students will have a chance to write an essay about their connection to the story to enter into our contest to have lunch with the author during his visit on May 3rd.

Save the Date! The second annual Kent Middle School and Book Passage shopping event will be at the Book Passage on the evening Thursday, May 2nd. The event will feature summer reading lists, performances by the Kent band, student readings, and shopping to benefit our library.

On my reading list...

There are so many incredible books out there right now, I am having a hard time keeping up! Here is what I have loved recently…

  • For adults: Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
  • For 8th graders: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • For 7th graders: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (a graphic novel adaptation of Little Women) by Rey Terciero
  • For 6th graders: The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
  • For 5th graders: Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Jelen
Kent Librarian