Skip to main content

Guest Post: Summer Throwdown

Today, Crystal Brunelle is our guest poster! Follow her at @LibraryGrl2 and her blog, Reading Through Life.

Take it away Crystal!

What in the world is a #SummerThrowDown? Initially, I had no idea how to answer that question, but, Mrs. Heise offered this explanation: "a friendly challenge to keep us motivated to read as much as possible this summer." Would you believe it involved wrestling each other for the right to read or lobbing items off of high mountains? Well, actually it didn't, but those might be fun too. Instead, teachers and librarians had the excellent chance to read, read, read, read, read with a bit of friendly competition. I figured it could only help me in the #bookaday challenge that I was participating in already. The best part is that we were part of a community of readers and every teacher and librarian won as we read thousands of books together. 

Here are ten of the most memorable children and young adult titles that I experienced along the way.

I loved this family focused picture book.

Creeptastic picture book! High ick factor.

A definite MG winner for humor & Star Wars fans

Creative graphic novel with multiple authors -
fun to see the variety of ideas around one theme

Action, adventure, swordfights, and mystery  - fabulous MG

Intriguing YA paranormal mystery

Seriously horrifying and creepy YA novel with rather graphic violence -

surprisingly thought-provoking

Young non-fiction picture book about forest life cycle

MG to YA non-fiction about child labor  in the U.S


Moving YA biography about photographer Dorothea Lange


  1. Glad to see some 'originals' on here! I read a lot of popular books and tons of not-so-popular and kinda-unheard-of books as well. I was so happy to find some jewels in the latter category. Also, Fortune Wookie is a must on any list!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I waited to read this book. I had heard others mention they loved ALL of Rainbow Rowell's books, even her "adult" one, Attachments. (Side note: Why does mentioning it's an adult book sound so dirty?! It's not at all. It's just not a YA book. It's actually cleaner than many of the YA books I've read...) Anyway, I requested this title from my library and was pleased to pick it up a few days ago. I immediately began reading it. It was a breath of fresh air for me. Perhaps because the characters WERE adults, and not angst-ridden teens or supernatural beings, or any of the other stereotypes it seems like I've been reading too much of lately...

Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing characters that you wish you knew in real life. They're interesting, sincere, and realistic. I especially enjoyed the format of this book with the many emails between Jennifer and Beth. Lin…

1-2-3 Wonder

Collaborating is one of the aspects of teaching that I most enjoy.  As a school librarian, I have the unique opportunity to collaborate, teach, and work with many different teachers and students in my school building, grades K-12.  This school year, one of my professional goals is to collaborate outside of my school and even outside of Indiana. 

When David Etkin mentioned on Twitter that he had an idea for a Wonder extension lesson, I immediately said "I'm in!"  We talked it out a bit and decided to recruit a few more people to the collaborating party from the #WONDERschools initiative.  Davidforced  persuaded Reilly into participating in this project with her 5th grade students.  

We worked together in Google Docs on the lesson idea, questions, and discussed how to best implement this in our classrooms.   Then we decided how to combine and showcase what was done in each of our classes. The cool part of this collaboration was that we used several methods of communication: …

Totoro #PostItNoteArt

Our post-it note art for the fourth 9 weeks this school year is from the movie My Neighbor Totoro.  It seemed to be a bigger undertaking than usual.  I think the main reason for this was because we had to alter the patterns quite a bit to fit our windows.  This always presents a challenge to keep the scale the same and make sure the finished art is still recognizable.  Connolly does a great job with this and usually eyeballs the changes.  I, on the other hand, prefer to be able to follow the pattern row by row.

Time wise, the three forest spirits were created in about six total hours.

Finished windows:

Daughter finished the #Totoro #PostitNoteArt on our library windows. Like every one we've created, it's now my favorite. 💙 (Top: view from hallway; bottom: view inside library) #myneighbortotoro #myfriendtotoro #TotoroSocietyART #TotoroisHere #RMHSLibrary @postit
A photo posted by Sherry Gick (@sngick) on Apr 21, 2016 at 1:14pm PDT
A few videos of the process:  (It's always…