Librarians Read: Amal Unbound

I really enjoyed reading Amal Unbound and believe that this book is an excellent choice for classrooms looking for a diverse middle grade read. Amal is completely focused on her education and her goal of becoming a teacher until family debts force her to become the indentured servant of a local landlord. The ending resolves perhaps a bit too easily, but the story is filled by a wonderful central character who is struggling hard to push her way against the stream of cultural expectations and family obligations. A terrific book.

Located on the MG_Realistic shelves.

Our AAS Library Book Chain!

This week, AAS is making a huge book chain of our reads this year!  Each class is assembling the chain for themselves, with each chain representing 10 books read.  Check out some pictures below of our chain in progress, and stop in to see the whole thing put together.

After just two days, it already stretches to the pirate ship.  By the time Friday rolls around, it will be even longer!  Please feel free to add your own links to our chain.  There is a station available for just that.


Librarians Read: Becoming Madeleine

I was a huge fan of Madeleine L’Engle growing up so I was immensely curious about this biography which was written by her granddaughters. I appreciated learning so much about her early life – born during WWI, dropped off at boarding school in Switzerland with no warning, her early aspirations as a playwright. Some of these details were familiar from the characters in her books but many were surprises to me. The authors never touched on Madeleine’s inspiration for her science fiction novels however, and this is something that I would have appreciated. Otherwise, this was a solid biography with excerpts from many letters and diaries.

Librarians Read: The Girl Who Smiled Beads

I truly appreciated the originality and insight that Clemantine Wamariya has brought to a growing canon of refugee stories with this work. She presents her very individual experience and does not look for pity or embrace tragedy but rather gifts the story of her path to the reader to create a broader understanding of this global reality and also to help the reader see that we all have hidden depths that we can reach into when we need strength and courage.

This book is in our African history section.

Librarians Read: Little Fires Everywhere

I loved reading about the collision of suburban and artistic family cultures in Little Fires Everywhere. All the characters are fully developed and multi-faceted and since most make pivotal decisions during the course of the narrative, this book should be ideal for group discussion. The kids in both families are right in the midst of stepping into their adult identities and the mothers that lead the two families are locked in a dance of values. Not to mention the whole cross-cultural adoption story! Terrific writing, complex characters, and a little bit of sociology, what more do you need? This book is in the Literature section with many other well-written contemporary classics.

Librarians Read: Circe

One of the first genres I got hooked on as a kid was Greek Mythology so it’s always exciting to step back into that world. I liked this version of the Circe myth but I didn’t love it. Poor Circe is the largely overlooked daughter of the Titan Helios and a water nymph. She and her brothers and sisters slowly realize that despite not being gods themselves they can work some magic through plants and spells. They become the first witches though Circe is the only one of them not driven by ambition and greed. Because of her lack of agency Circe spends much of the book suffering in exile though she does learn to protect herself and finds happiness here and there. The last sections of the book showed a marked increase in momentum and in possibilities.

This book is located in the Popular fiction section which has a lot of other best sellers as well.

Librarians Read: It’s Always the Husband

I devoured this little thriller in just a few days, and struggled to put it down.  It was a slow burning thriller, full of characters that you loved to hate.  There are three main women in this story: one rich party girl, one girl from a poor family, thrust into a new world of old money, and one organized good girl who becomes a political powerhouse.

They are roommates in their college, and a series of events brings them closer and closer.  20 years later, though, one of them dies under mysterious circumstances, and every character has both a motive and a reason to keep it secret.

Because it isn’t as fast paced as a thriller, this book is kept in Popular.

End of Year Procedures and Big Dates

The End of the Year is a great time to complete all your library business and spring clean your account.

We expect that every library account (for students, teachers, and parents) is clear, with no overdues, when school is out on June 20.  Only official summer checkouts (with the August due date) should be on your account.

Every student from Grade 6-11 will need to complete a checkout form with a library signature.  All overdue books will need to be cleared, either through return or payment. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to see us.  

Grades 5 and below will be receiving emails and reminders to clear accounts from the library in the same way.  If you have been receiving emails from us, please make every effort to complete the business. It will make the end of the year much smoother for you and for us.

Summer Checkout Reminders and Procedures:

Any patron that wants to checkout books for summer must have a clear account as of June 8th: No overdues or incomplete business.  

Returning patrons can checkout 15 items for summer.

Grades 4 and above can utilize summer checkout on their own accounts.  Grades 3 and below can have checkouts on parent accounts only.  

Parents can take 15 books out on their own account or on their spouse’s account, but any other patrons must be present for checkout.

Any renewals should be done with the physical item present (if you want to keep a book for the summer because you are still reading, you are welcome to, but you need to bring the book to show us).

Important Dates:

June 1: Last Day of checkout for all students and parents.

June 4-8: Week of returning books, checking accounts, and working on the book chain!

June 9: (Saturday) Summer checkout begins.

June 11-15: BLU (Book Lovers United) Week

June 11: Book Banquets

June 12: Breakout Boxes

June 13: Guest Readers

June 14: Breakfast and Browse, After School Book Swap Event, Additional Book Banquets and Breakout Boxes

June 15: Breakfast and Browse, DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)

June 20: Summer checkout ends and school is out!

BLU and Book Chain Programs:

Book Lovers United is our new program.  We will have a week of book celebration, with a paper chain full of your reading, guest readers (if you want to sign up to read to kids, come and see us!!), Drop Everything And Read Day, and browsing events for our adults.  You are welcome to participate in any way you can.

We will be working on a paper chain with the reading of all the students, teachers, parents, and community members.  Please stop in to add to our community reading visual!

Librarians Read: Every Single Secret

Another thriller!

This book follows a couple, going up into the mountains on a couples retreat. He has dreadful nightmares, fears that wake him in the night with violent kicking and screaming.  She has her own past, sordid and messy.

They meet with the doctor, who records their every move on video cameras. They walk in the forest, and meet a woman who suddenly vanishes. They are looked after by a cook who speaks no English and brings plates to other doors.

How does this one end?  Read it and find out.

Librarians Read: Then She Was Gone

I’ve been in the mood for thrillers, and this was a delightful new one that popped across the desk.

The story follows a young teen, at the cusp of finishing her GCSEs and completing her last semester of high school.  She is looking forward to a summer of freedom from studies, dreaming about boys and beaches and beautiful things.

But then she was gone, missing. Did she run away? Was she kidnapped?  What happened?

Follow the questions as her mother searches for her, navigating her own relationships with her ex-husband, the other daughter, and a new beau who shows up with cake by chance… with a child that looks amazingly like her lost daughter.