Check It Out! Week of October 27th



This week, we are getting spooked by some great Halloween books in grades K-2! In 3rd-5th grade, we are reading one of the 2015 Bluestem nominees, “The Dunderheads.”



Thanks Random House Kids!



Thanks to @randomhousekids for this beautiful book that is a touching tribute to Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner.  Can’t wait to share this with our students.

Check It Out! Week of October 20th


This week, we will take some time to read a couple of books from the Monarch and Bluestem lists!

In grades K-2, we will read “The Princess and the Pig” by Jonathan Emmett.  This brightly-colored and hilarious book has been a hit this week!

princess and pig

Grades 3-5 will hear the first couple of chapters from the survival adventure book, “Wild River” by P.J. Petersen.  We will try to read this every month so that by March, we will have the whole story read.  The students are so curious to find out what happens next!

wild river

“BAM! The Power of Comics and Graphics!”



Yesterday, I went to the Harold Washington branch of the Chicago Public Library for “BAM! The Power of Comics and Graphics!” The history of comic books is fascinating and there were some wonderful conversations about using graphic novels in the classroom. It was geared for working with high school students, but many of the things discussed could apply to elementary and middle school environments, as well.  I can’t wait to add their suggested graphic novels to our collection!


Hooked on Books Club (Gr 3-5) for November



The “Hooked on Books” Club will meet on Tuesday, November 11th during recess.  We will be reading Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman.  This is a 2015 Bluestem nominee.  Students should have the book read before our meeting date so that we can discuss the entire book.

When a tornado watch is issued one Tuesday evening in June, twelve-year-old Dan Hatch and his best friend, Arthur, don’t think much of it. After all, tornado warnings are a way of life during the summer in Grand Island, Nebraska. But soon enough, the wind begins to howl, and the lights and telephone stop working. Then the emergency siren starts to wail. Dan, his baby brother, and Arthur have only seconds to get to the basement before the monstrous twister is on top of them. Little do they know that even if they do survive the storm, their ordeal will have only just begun…

Students can check this book out of our school library or the public library.  If you would like Mrs. Susina to order a copy of the book for you, please send $6 (cash if possible) to school by Friday, October 24th.  This will allow enough time for the books to arrive and for your child to have the book read by our club date.

Click here for the RSVP/book order form: nov-hooked-on-books

The Fonz Has Spoken!



Last night, I posted pics of students from the Hooked on Books Club and tweeted that the students really enjoyed the Hank Zipzer book. Henry Winkler responded! Ah, the power of Twitter to connect with people you wouldn’t normally connect with. Can’t wait to tell the kids!


More Monarch/Bluestem Nominees


This week, we are spotlighting Monarch Award nominee “Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin” read by the author himself!

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent’s book is Bluestem nominee, “Dogs on Duty: Soldier’s Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond.” Just by looking at her website, you can tell she likes writing about animals!