BWS Biblioblog – November 2019

BiblioBlog: BWS Library Blog November 2019
This month the BWS Library opened its doors to many folks who brought Good Stories and Good Storytellers to our scholars.

An Open Book Foundation introduced two authors to grades 3-5. Breanna McDaniel had just published her first book, Hands Up, in which a child learns all the reasons why she chooses to reach up. Having the author describe all the steps she took to get a final book after 19 drafts was impressive. Ronald L. Smith will visit in February, a time for 5th grade fantasy studies.

Kwame Alexander at SSSASt. Stephens and St. Agnes invited grades K-2 to meet Kwame Alexander. What an amazing presentation by a poet, author, singer and all-around genius with words. While Mr. Alexander has received numerous awards for his young adult fiction and verse, he mesmerized two lower schools with his musical
rendition of Acoustic Rooster, among others. Each book he recited from memory, which allowed him to read the crowd. An added bonus for the boys was recess playtime with the SSSA students and an informative visit with the Librarians in the Lower School Library there. We shared the latest and greatest hot book titles for young readers and how best to organize a large collection.

Meanwhile, the Upper Primary classes launched the month by diving deeper into analyzing a Good Story. We began by sorting through the Sports fiction, noting all the different sports covered by prolific authors. From Mike Lupica to Matt Christopher to Amar’e Stoudemire to Tiki and Ronde Barber, sports books often present a strong main character that faces both physical and ethical challenges.

But the moral dilemmas in a good tale often make us really feel for the guy who is leading the storyline. We next learned to give good description to the setting in Historic novels. Time and place are not here and now in these books. Why is the setting so important in The Watsons Go to Birmingham or Hiroshima or One Crazy Summer (Oakland 1968) or TheTwo Upper Primary Students reading in the library Call of the Wild or any of the I Survived series?

In our nest with the younger boys of the Lower Primary, we read about the changing seasons and what happens to the trees. New science books about nature added to the discussion. A big hit author was Ted Geisel who changed his name to his mother’s maiden name for an alias byline in college: Dr. Seuss. The man wrote and drew for all ages. Here at BWS each grade had clever insights as to whether The Cat in the Hat is really friendly or scary and how The Lorax ends with the hope that a little boy can plant the last seed of a Truffala Tree and save the world from pollution.

All grades ended the month with folktales and legends from the Native National Portrait Gallery Presentation from Reading is FundamentalAmerican traditions. It was our way to introduce the holiday of Thanksgiving.

Mid-month we had a real treat from Reading Is Fundamental as sponsored by St. Columba’s Episcopal Church. They brought in an educator from The National Portrait Gallery who presented a slide show about the qualities of making a portrait. This tied in perfectly with the upper grade work on Identity. All 6 grades then had the chance to complete the background of the Barak Obama Portrait by artist Kehinde Wiley. And if that wasn’t enough, each boy could choose a book of their own to take home and share. The boys loved the choices!

Finally, we are so grateful to those who donate books to our Library. This month aBWS Students with their books given out during RiF visit single donor gave us 32 new books from our pre-selected BWS Library Wish List on Amazon. These are books chosen by teachers, students and librarians to fill gaps in our collection or tickle the fancy. Here’s the link.

Beauvoir School had their own Book Fair and purchased over 50 new books for The Bishop Walker School. They also sent a truckload of gently used books to supplement our library collection. Many of these books will fill our shelves at the Library, but if a book was a duplicate, dated, or more of a fun stay-at-home book (or very, very girly and better for sisters), they filled the "Free Books for Our Boys" bins in front of the office, just in time for Parent-Teacher Conference Day.

Thanks to everyone who helps us learn and grow here at BWS!