In LMS Book Club, Astrid and I have been reading J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We decided that since we love the book so much, that it might be a good experience to channel our enthusiasm into a book trailer. We used Animoto to create the trailer. Astrid did a fantastic job selecting the theme, pictures and text included in the trailer.
What do you think? Have you ever created a book trailer? If not, do you watch book trailers?
Just a little while ago I spent nearly a year in Belfast, Northern Ireland volunteering with a nonprofit called Quaker Cottage. Quaker Cottage is a family center that serves mothers, children and teens in North and West Belfast who have experienced trauma. Our essential goals were to provide these families a safe place for discussion and rest, and to foster community.
Many of my UMS book club members seem to have a fondness for the United Kingdom, so I thought it might be an interesting experience to connect these American students with the Belfast teens. We prepared for our Skype chat by discussing Northern Ireland, from where it is to its troubled political history. We also read excerpts of Our View, a collection of stories told by real Belfast teens who attended Quaker Cottage.
I was so proud of our St. Francis students for their enthusiasm and thoughtful questions during our Skype chat. We learned that even though and ocean divides us, Northern Irish and American youth play many of the same video games, are all familiar with Miley Cyrus (although the Belfast teens seemed fonder of her than our St. Francis students), watch a few of the same TV shows, and love their pets as much as we do. We also had the chance to ask questions and discuss significant cultural differences. For example, our students confirmed to the Belfast teens that in America differences of religion are generally accepted. The teens mentioned that they had some trouble today driving to Quaker Cottage because of impending riots between Catholics and Protestants in West Belfast. We also learned that in Belfast, students finish school at age 16, whereas here in America most students finish their senior year at age 18.
Stay tuned to read more of what the students have to say about our transatlantic chat.
The UMS Book Club, which has dubbed itself "the Club Who Must Not Be Named", has taken a particular shine to our library pet --a Beanie Baby hedgehog. One of our members, Hanna Popov, sketched the hedgehog, now known as Martin, above. Benedict is of course the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Sherlock Holmes in the BBC mini-series. It's amazing to see our students' creativity!
Sometimes the best place to be isn't the library, but the gym. Especially when the gym is filled with students, parents, teachers and the guests of honor: our pets. Little dogs, big cats, gerbils, crabs, and tarantulas alike gathered in the gym to receive the Blessing of the Pets. This was a wonderful time to think over the pets we have now, and those we have had in the past.
Happily, our furry (and scaly) friends seemed to get along quite well!
Since we are currently reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in 5th grade book club, we worked on drawing characters from the series, namely Harry, Voldemort and Snape. What's lovely about the Harry Potter series, is that there really is no end to available activities and points for discussion. J.K. Rowling, this librarian loves you!
The 2013 Texas Book Festival is taking place on October 26-27. Over 220 authors will be speaking, including 2013 Newbery winner Katherine Applegate, Neal Shusterman of Everlost and Unwind, A Series of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket and more! This is a completely free event that only happens once a year, so mark your calendars! For more information visit: http://texasbookfestival.org/