Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Please return your library books

("Overdues" by Shel Silverstein)

Please check cars, bedrooms, bookshelves, backpacks, and other likely library book hiding spots for beloved SK library books. When you find said books, please return them to school. No fines, no questions - we just need the books back.

I'll be taking inventory of the library during the first few weeks of the summer and will email families with overdue books. Thank you, in advance, for your patience.

To good books (and finding good books hidden between couch cushions),


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Alex Gino came back to visit us

On Monday, we welcomed back our dear friend and celebrated author, Alex Gino. Alex came in time to have lunch with some third and fourth grade fans before they led two separate writing workshops for the middle schoolers. After school, some of us joined Alex and our friends at Common Language Bookstore for a reading and book party.

Snapshots of the day:

Lunch with 3-4s included a conversation about microaggressions; how we identify them and how we can interrupt them. As always, I was delighted by SK students' thoughtfulness and desire to dig deeper. 

In both writing workshops, Alex challenged students and teachers to think about a character's desires. After writing descriptions of ourselves as characters, we then tried to write a scene with our "opposite": a character who is "opposite" from us in some way(s). We then had a chance to share our writing and reflect on the ways in which we connected with our "opposite" character. 

After a wonderful reading and conversation at Common Language in the evening, we got to enjoy treats and chat with one another.

Huge, huge thanks to everyone who came to the program; our wonderful hosts at Common Language; our dear friend, Jim Toy; and to Alex Gino, for continuing to teach and learn with us. 

To books that bring people together,


Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, June 18-19

Loyal readers,

Last week, when Laura Raynor (AADL librarian extraordinaire) was here visiting, she told us all about the Comic Arts Festival coming up in just a few short weeks. Favorite comic creators like Cece Bell (El Deafo), Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda), Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), Rafael Rosado (Giants Beware), Ruth McNally Barshaw (The Ellie McDoodle Diaries), and Nathan Hale (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales), among others, will be at the downtown branch of the library for writing workshops, art demos, and book signings.

The full schedule is available here. I look forward to seeing you there.

To the many ways in which we share stories,


Friday, May 13, 2016

Librarian Laura visits Summers-Knoll

Why, yes, that is local celebrity, acclaimed storyteller, and beloved librarian, Laura Raynor, here in the Summers-Knoll library (surrounded by a sea of kindergarten, third, and fourth grade fans). 

Why, yes, she is holding a velociraptor skull reconstruction (that can be checked out of the library's velociraptor kit, which includes the skull, a real claw, an informational book, and a DVD).

 Why, yes, she is reading from and talking about some of her favorite new books (which are all available on her public lists, of course). 

Why, yes, she is engaging our oldest students in a lively discussion of the "swag" available to them when they participate in the library's summer game (which starts June 17). 

We are beyond lucky to live in a city with such an incredible public library system (staffed by beyond wonderful public librarians, like Laura and her student intern, Lindsey, who visited us this week). 
Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) is a gem. Thank you, Laura and Lindsey, for sharing your treasures, knowledge, and enthusiasm with us. We hope you'll come back again soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Alex Gino is coming back to Summers-Knoll; book party at Common Language

Alex Gino, author of George, is coming back to Summers-Knoll on Monday, May 16. They will lead writing workshops with our middle school students in the afternoon and talk about their writing with the kids.

At 6:30pm, please join readers from SK and the greater community as we welcome Alex to Common Language Bookstore. For details, please see the above poster. Discussing a book with its author is a tremendous experience (and watching young people do so is a privilege). I hope to see you there.

To stories, of course,


P.S. Please help us spread the word about Alex's reading at Common Language. If you use Facebook, please RSVP and share this event with others.