Welcome readers & soon to be readers!
So, you like to read or you've decided it's time to make reading fun so it's easier to get your homework done.
It's great to have the input of experienced readers but the fact is that your time with a book is yours, no one else's. What we read and when we choose to read it, are deeply personal moments that contribute to making us who we are.
Here are a few things that can help you select the next book to read:
- Teen Book Finder APP.-- It's FREE! There's an app for everything and that includes one created by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Organization) Remember, it's only a tool. Like any of these things, we don't follow it blindly but it may get you thinking and looking in new directions. Here's a link to the YALSA Teen Book Finding App that explains how it works. Use the QR code to get the app or just follow the directions to download it to your iPod Touch, iPhone or Android phone.
- The What Should I Read Next tool can be fun. There's more to the site than just recommending books but start by entering a book you like and the site will use its database of readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.
- Go where the Fenwick Book Club goes! Teen Reads is a website designed for teens who love to read. The Book Report Network has thoughtful book reviews, compelling features, in-depth author profiles and interviews, excerpts of the hottest new releases, contests and more every week.
- Create a free account on Good Reads Sign up to receive recommendations based on your favorite genre (s) , track your reading and share your lists of favorites with friends. Sometimes what you've read in the past is not a good indicator of what you'll read in the future. Linking with other readers who have similar and sometimes dissimilar tastes can open new worlds.
Just looking for a quick suggestion for something to read now?
Take a look at The Best of the Best published and updated regularly by YALSA. This list includes the best new literature for teens, including award winners, audiobooks, fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels.
- This might be ambitious for some but a good place to keep your eye on is the National Association of Scholars. Here are 130 books the NAS recommends for colleges and universities with common reading programs. The first list contains 95 books appropriate in level of difficulty and length for any college freshman. The second list contains 35 more ambitious choices. Do you ever wonder how books make the lists they're on? Take a look at the criteria used by NAS and make up your own list for how and why you choose a book.
- It's not like we don't know where we're going. Take a look at what college kids are reading at 21 Books on College Reading Lists Across the US. Don''t stop here. Where are you thinking about going to college? Check out their website to see what they're reading.
Miscellaneous links for Book Lovers...
- The College Board Recommended Reading List for College-Bound Students is always a good thing to keep in front of you. Here's a checklist of titles prepared and made available by Lake Holcolme School District in Wisconsin.
- Banned and Challenged Books --Each year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms.
- Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2018 Not everyone is a fan of comics, graphic novels and manga but here's a place to start if you're interested. There's a large audience among teens so you might be surprised at what you find.
- You'll probably like this website for many different reasons. for now, a reason to check it out is to look over its list of FREE audio books Open Culture is a collection of digital, electronic books, music and films with a recommended reading list for high school students.
- Take a look at the 100 Books on the Great American Read List These books were chosen through a survey of Americans conducted by PBS and represent the favorite books of viewers from across the country. This list of fiction titles consists of beloved world literature to contemporary bestsellers, the list contains a broad range of novels, authors, time periods, countries, genres and subject matter.
Reading is best when shared with others. Don't discount the importance of the reading skills you learn in the classroom, with a parent, and with a librarian. Studies show that reading is a learned ability with measurable skill development in the areas of decoding, comprehension and knowledge building.
After all this, you might be looking for recommendations from people instead of from machines? Here are a few ideas:
- Stop by the Fenwick Library. Ms. Smith & Mr. Czarnecki
- What's your favorite subject? Check in with your teacher. They always have ideas because they love the subject too.
- Become a regular at your city or town Public Library.
- Don't miss the obvious! Check in with your friends to hear what they're reading. You'll be surprised to find how many people are reading once you start showing an interest in books.
Make reading part of your summer. Here's why...
- Cultivating good reading habits puts us in charge of our own learning. Besides, with practice, reading becomes relaxing and fun. Imagine looking forward to the reading part of your assignments.
- Research shows that we are not born to read. Decoding test is a learned skill. New technologies are pervasive, and lean heavily on the side of visuals instead of text. Reading habits must be deliberately formed to optimize the higher functioning of the human brain.
- Have you heard about the "Summer Slide?" Learning or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative, creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students. (scholastic.com
- There is a difference between reading fiction for pleasure and reading for information, i.e. textbooks, manuals and scanning text for specific purposes. Reading for information makes efficient readers but unless we're also reading for pleasure we're missing the benefits derived from exercising imagination, fantasy and creativity.. Reading fiction across the genres develops abilities like empathy, compassion, critical thinking and problem solving skills.. As in most things, a healthy balance of fiction and non-fiction reading is usually a good idea.
The Summer Reading Program at Fenwick (details below) includes both a Community One Read and a list of books from the English Department. Questions a comments during summer months may be sent to Diane Smith @ the O'Rourke Library using email email@example.com
Don't miss what's going on in the O'Rourke Library and Information Center as we look forward to Spring.
There's more news in the boxes above. For example, looking for something to read over February vacation? Check out the "Read on Your Own " page of the O'Rourke Library web page. https://www.fenwick.org/academics/library
On the list of tools to help you find a book to read, fiction or non-fiction, digital, print, or audio, you'll find…
- Teen Finding Book app
- if you liked…then you'll like database
- Book Lovers website
- goodreads account set-up page
- Recommendations from the Nat'l Scholars Assoc.
- a College Bound reading list
…and so much more! Pick one and have some fun. A new book, if you pick the right one for you, is a new friend.
And speaking of making new friends, think about making time for the Fenwick Book Club. It meets one Wednesday a month. and this month the session happened just before
The Fenwick Book Club met right before vacation to talk about its most recent group read, "perks of a wall flower" by stephen chbosky The discussion was focused on this book, new to some members but a re-read for others.
Titles from things the members are reading in the classroom slipped into the conversation along with what they'll be reading over the vacation. The library displays and bulletin boards were used to stimulate possibilities. Read more about it by expanding the Fenwick Book Club box above this section.
In other news from the library...
Each year, the Fenwick library makes new resources available to teachers and students. Taking a few minutes to search through the databases to remain current with the content, tools and other features that continue to evolve from year to year is not as easy as it sounds.
One of the acknowledged features of information in this second decade of the 21st century is its exponential growth. A shortage of time and an excess of demands, anticipated and otherwise, makes it difficult to keep track of it all. The trick that helps us avoid becoming overwhelmed? Try chunking things into smaller bites, reviewing and taking in a little at a time.
The Fenwick library works year round to keep existing resources vital to the work faculty does with our students. Periodically the library announces new and changing items worthy of your time and attention. To make sure these great resources don't go unnoticed and to optimize their use among teachers and students, the library will post a small bite a couple of times a month to encourage your interest and stimulate your curiosity.
Below are a series of info bites designed to keep you informed about library activities and resources. For example, Infobite #1 focuses on videos and how the library works to keep them current, relevant to the curriculum and available from on campus and outside of school.
Bite # 1
517 new titles were added to our On Demand subscription over the past month.
View your newly added titles: Click here to view a full list of the new titles just added to your collection. WARNING...Only Fenwick students, faculty, staff and parents have access to our subscription databases. If you are among our active community members, send an email to Ms. Smith, Fenwick Library Director firstname.lastname@example.org for the login and pwd.
The backstory on our Classroom Video On Demand subscription database…
Using online content for academic purposes is different than when we're at home just playing around on the web for fun. Of course, as users of online content we need to be questioning and evaluating what we're looking at all the time. In the classroom, however, it becomes even more important because we will be using content in an arena where scholarship, judgment and integrity represent us in serious ways.
YouTube is a popular and visual representations of content can really enhance our academic work. That being said, students need to learn how to evaluate a content rich video from a reliable and credible source, cite correctly using a standardized format, take excerpts and select appropriate quotes. One way Fenwick provides exposure to quality videos and guides students in the use of transcripts and the evaluation process is to include vetted content in classroom and research options. Video On Demand is a subscription service available to Fenwick students after they login to the library portion of the school's website. Classroom Video On Demand is a streaming video website, dedicated to delivering high school video subject matter related to the curriculum, with material appropriate for basic through AP courses.
The Fenwick Book Club meets for their regular monthly meeting s when the academic year is in session. Refreshments usually include brownies and water and, of course an array of seasonal treats.
The new Young Adult Reader's App and the other links on the Fenwick Library web page are often part of the discussion. The Library section of the Fenwick website called "Reading on your Own" (above on this page) and favorite links reassure the group that there's nothing to worry about in terms of finding something to read.
An example, of a Fenwick Book Club read is " the perks of being a wall flower" by stephen chbosky Here's a short look at the themes of the book. It's one of those titles the book club returns to because members want to talk about the ideas the book investigates.
About the book....
Members share their ideas about this book, new to some members but a re-read for others. It's one of our "Read the Book, Watch the Movie" series.
Take a look at the trailer for the movie.
The discussion sometimes moves to books students are reading in the classroom and books they know will be part of the current quarter or the next..
Members also considered the library displays and bulletin boards that are used to stimulate possibilities. For example, if it's Valentine's Day, a display might include a focus on chocolate or a display titled, Reading is Good for the Heart with its own collection of titles ranging from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber..
The library bulletin boards introduced a range of titles that otherwise might not have come up in conversation. Talk about the reasons for reading took over the discussion. Some are born readers, others try to cultivate the habit so homework reading will be easier and the list of reasons grew from there. Some members read for fun, understanding of the world, we're reading because it helps in the classroom and we're reading because it helps stretch our imaginations and creativity.The boards in the hallway outside the library often feature timely topics or important people. The boards may generate a converstation about a notable figure like Martin Luther King or turn to interests related to current events.
Other display boards are designed to be in place longer. These are meant to promote reading as part of preparing to go to college. There's a list of titles from the Great American Read Program on PBS that overlaps but isn't limited to young adult titles. Particularly popular is the list put out by the College Board for college bound students. Students are eager to see the titles they'll have in common with their future friends.
The group stays connected between meetings by running into each other in the halls and outside of school using the Fenwick Book Club Group app on their phones to connect with each other. The group feature of the app makes communication easier, facilitates regular reminders about upcoming meetings, allows for circulating titles of books being read and other points of connection between members outside of the regular meeting times.
The next meetings of the Fenwick Book Club is May 13, 2020 immediately after school. Consider stopping by. New members are always welcome.