Hooked on Books Club LOVED “El Deafo!”



We had 35 students in grades 3-5 join us for the Hooked on Books Club today to discuss 2015 Newbery Honor book “El Deafo” by Cece Bell.

We discussed what the students loved about the book, what parts felt very real to them, and whether the graphic novel format was the best way to tell Cece’s story (they agreed it was!). Very positive reactions to this book!!


Check It Out! Week of February 23rd


This week, we vote for the Monarch and Bluestem Awards!!

Students have been reading books from these two lists like crazy these last few months! They will be voting for their favorite book during library classes the week of February 23rd. Monarch voting requires grades K-2 to read 5 books from the list, while the Bluestem voting requires 4 books to be read by grades 3-5.


We will announce the SBPS students’ choices for the Illinois Reader’s Choice Awards NEXT WEEK!

Check It Out! Week of February 16th



This week, we celebrate author/illustrator David Small’s birthday!

David is a two-time Caldecott Honor Winner for “The Gardener” and “One Cool Friend” and he has also won the Caldecott Award for “So You Want to Be President.”

We will talk about his artistic style and how he chooses to illustrate his books.

Check It Out! Week of February 9th


This week, we will get back to our focus on art in picture books.

In grades K-5, we will talk about drawing and painting, which is a very popular medium used by illustrators. So many of the books in our library have art created by pencils, ink, or paint, so it won’t be hard for the students to find one!

We will also watch a short video by Loren Long, author/illustrator of the “Otis” books. He talks about the character of Otis and students can see how he takes his illustrations from pencil art to finished painted pieces.

Hooked on Books Club Selection for February


Our students were so excited that “El Deafo” was a Newbery Honor book, the first graphic novel ever to be given this award. After taking a poll of some of our book club members today, we decided to make 2015 Newbery Honor book “El Deafo” our Hooked on Books Club selection for February!

el deafo

Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers!

Author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.  The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

Click here for the RSVP form: feb-hooked-on-books