Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

FINALLY, the post you’ve been waiting for…

January 20th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Greetings to you, Reading Rocks!  It’s been a long hiatus here on the library blog, and we know you’ve been frantic to read another scintillating report on the madcap hijinks that happen here when we host the occasional READING ROCKS book club meeting.

The atmosphere in the library last Thursday, January 15th, 2015 was nerdy and doughnutty as we gathered to discuss the book Into the wild nerd yonder by Julie Halpern.  Many of us have not finished the book (yet) but that didn’t keep us from expressing an opinion, as usual.  Among the Rocks that have read the book, and this includes the resplendent library chick Emily Tobin (that’s her secret identity), some enjoyed the characterizations of the protagonist and her entourage, while others were drawn to the conflicts and resolutions involved.  At least that’s what I got out of it…comment if you disagree!  We’ll talk about it again on the 29th.  There are a few copies of the book here in the library if you haven’t read it and would like to.


The aforementioned library chick booktalked Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: and other lessons from the crematory byCaitlin Doughty, now on my “to read” list and shared with us that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is a thing that exists.

ALSO!  One Thursday a month is Teen Gaming Night at the Rock Island Main library!  And other wonderful and fun things happen there, check it out!  We have brochures for you at the circulation desk, or go here for more information about yourpublic library!  Plus Winter reading where you can win things for doing what you already do anyway!

Come to our next meeting on January 29th because if you read, YOU ARE A READING ROCK!




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Reading Rocks discover controversy

November 25th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · New books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Last Thursday, the Rocks met to discuss the book Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, a book that has some issues.   When I say issues, I mean that one of the characters is openly gay.  Some of the Rocks were uncomfortable with this issue, while others were fine with it, and enjoyed reading the book for a plethora of reasons, among the reasons:

  • The characters were not your typical YA characters
  • “Nothing happened,” meaning that it was a good slice of life book, not having any agenda beyond just travelling along in the narrator’s life, seeing things from his unique perspective.
  • Lots of things happened, like beat up by gay bashers, hit by a car, moving to another city, discovering you like guys, etc.
  • Parents were honestly portrayed, not stereotypical.

I know that more things will come up when we talk  about the book again at our next meeting on December 4th.

Other things that happened:

  • Emily talked about the book Mary: The summoning, and it totally creeped me out and Summer and I REALLY want to read this book.
  • The student advisors  settled on a date for the Rock’s movie night, December 12th!  It’s a Friday and we will be seeing, I think, “Coraline” in the little theater.  Still deciding whether it will be right after school or later when some of the advisors (you know who you are) are done with swim practice.
  • Daysha was early, Anthony and Mrs. Curtiss were late.
  • We had some doughnuts and bananas, or maybe clementines, which are we think a type of mandarin orange, you could look it up.  We don’t remember.

Join us on December 4th when we will decide what to read for the first READING ROCKS meeting of 2015!

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Unwinding the Reading Rocks

October 24th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

October 23rd

The Reading Rocks met today to discuss Neal Shusterman’s creepy book about the unbelievable aftermath of an improbable civil war.  All negative adjectives aside, Unwind is an excellent read.  But enough of that, because many of the rocks haven’t finished reading the book yet and we will delve into the meat of the novel at our next meeting on November 6th.

A quote from the book that may apply to situations not related to mandated organ donation legislation:

“You see, a conflict always begins with an issue – a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn’t matter anymore, because now it’s about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.”

Or maybe not, we’ll hash it out in November.

In other news:

The student representatives are planning a movie night for the Reading Rocks, many movies were nominated, including:  Sweeny Todd, Corpse Bride, Coraline, Hocus Pocus, Haunted, The Addams Family…you get the idea.  The when, where, and how will be announced at a later date.

Emily Tobin was here to give some public library information and some awesome book recommendations!

Amity by Micol Ostow, a fictional take on the Amityville horror phenomena and A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall, a love story from the point of view of everybody ELSE.

Enjoy Halloween week, and read something SCARY!!

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Reading Rocks Report for September 4th

September 4th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Uncategorized · No Comments

Today at the reading rocks meeting we ran out of liquid refreshment as well as pastries.  It was tragic. :cry:

We did NOT run out of things to discuss!  The Princess Bride was one of many topics, I think there was some discussion about if William Goldman made up the whole “history of Florin” aspect of the book, but I’m not totally sure, it was kind of chaotic and there was some political stuff going on at the other end of the table, suspiciously where the doughnuts were located…

Beyond all THAT, Emily told us about what is going on at the public library for September:

Teen Iron Chef next Monday, the 8th from 6:00 to 7:00

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD on the 15th from 4:00-4:30

Maze Runner party Thursday the 18th from 6:00 to 7:00

Make your own graphic novel Saturday the 27th from 2:00 to 3:30

All of these activities are open to everyone 12 to 18 and are happening at the main library downtown, you should go!

On a businessy side, the rocks decided to have student representatives that can plan outside activities for the book club.  We will now be adressing the following rocks as “Your Supreme Awesomeness” due to the anticipated services they will provide:

Asrielle Allen                                                         Hope Hughes

Anthony Andrews                                               Kira Rangel

Thi Dang                                                                   Destiny Rasmussen

Ashley Hanson                                                      Daysha Taylor

Next book for the Reading Rocks?  Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Tucholke, looks like a good gothic horror/romance, I am looking forward to reading it!  Our next two meetings will cover that book, then we move on to Unwind by Neal Shusterman!

If you read this WHOLE post, see Mrs. Curtiss for a gift almost as good as cash!

See you in the library!


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The Princess Bride vs. book club officerizing

August 22nd, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Our first book of the 2014-15 Reading Rocks is The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  Yes, THAT Princess Bride, the one with the COMPLETELY MINDBLOWINGLY AWESOME CLASSIC MOVIE based on it.  Some of the rocks have finished the book, some have seen the movie, but the truly blessed have experienced both and are richer for the experience.  The book discussion will continue on September 4th!  Today we batted around the theory of NOT reading the introductions and skipping directly to the “real” story.  Some were of the opinion that introductions are part of the story, but we could concede that you wouldn’t miss too much to enjoy the rest of the book if you didn’t read them.  To clarify a point made at the meeting:  ALWAYS read a prologue, because you will need that information, but it is conceivable to skim or skip an introduction and still get the story straight.  I would of course recommend reading every word in a book, including the author’s notes and even if they have a lengthy list of people to thank.  You know, they’re authors, and if I like the book they wrote, I’ll probably like the rest of the stuff they write too.  But that’s just me.  Short side note: Stephen King writes fabulous stuff before and after (and in the case of his short story collections in between) his stories that are so good that they could probably be collected and sold as just “stuff that fell out of Stephen King’s head,”  and be a best seller.  Just saying.

Back to the beginning!

At the afformentioned meeting, Emily Tobin shared the teen events coming up at the Rock Island Public Library, including Tie dye on August 30th and MAKE YOUR OWN GRAPHIC NOVEL on September 27th!  For more information, come to this library and get the flier she left, OR visit the actual RIPL, so worth it.

Now for the officerizing part!

One of the reading rocks brought up the  idea of electing officers for the book club, mainly for the purpose of planning and carrying out activities the club might want to do together outside of the regular meetings.  We ended the discussion with an agreement to let the club members decide if it will have officers or not.  To that end, there are ballots and a box to put them in at the circulation desk, come and vote!!

For the first three students who read this WHOLE post, come and see Mrs. Curtiss in the library, she has a gift for you!



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Eating, watching, reading ROCKS

August 4th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments


“the book was better”

end of year

Serious rocks.


Yep, that’s Chance, hi, Chance!


Emily and Emma


Sam and hiding Chance. We can still see you, man.


Rocks get books!


Fabulous group of readers!


WAY too much food!


Books and popcorn. Yep.



So, Rocks, this was our end of year party for the 2013-14 school year:

Met in the community room at the historic and beautiful Rock Island Public Library

Gave away approximately a bajillion books

Watched the awesome movie version of “Ender’s Game”

Ate many many tacos as well as beans and rice from El Mariachi

Ate Whitey’s Chippers

Saw our favorite YA librarian, Emily Tobin

Talked and laughed and tried to start planning for this year’s READING ROCKS!

Join us because if you read you are a READING ROCK!  You knew that, right?


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Farewell, Senior Rocks

May 22nd, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Our last Reading Rocks meeting of the year was bittersweet and kind of loud.  The bittersweet part was saying goodbye to our seniors, the brightest and most well read people in the class of 2014.  Not to mention the minion!  I am excited for you all  and your next adventures, but the Reading Rocks will be diminished without you…

Of course the loud part can be attributed to our contingent of sophomores…and a few juniors, you know who you are.  Oh, and the “adult” in the room that always wants to have an “agenda” or whatever.

Here’s the wrap up of Reading Rocks for 2013-14:

Books read:

  1. Paper Towns
  2. Feed
  3. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children
  4. Lockdown
  5. Zoo
  6. The fault in our stars
  7. Ender’s game
  8. Anna dressed in blood

Attendance: A total of 44 students attended at least one of our 16 meetings, and 11 of those attended at least ten of the meetings.

Guest stars:  Emily Tobin!  Our public library Young Adult librarian graced us with her presence at most of our meetings this year!  She was a great source of book recommendations and general pop culture updating, emphasis on graphic books!

Doughnuts eaten:  approximately 14 dozen or 168, not including doughnut holes, twizzlers, and aging granola bars.

Lame new catch phrase: “If you read, you are a Reading Rock!”

Agendas:  Were largely ignored, making for a large amount of

Funness: Had by most, if not all…

In conclusion, if you want to experience fun next school year, join us as we continue to find out how much…









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Last week with Anna and Cas

May 6th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

The Reading Rocks met last Thursday to shout at each other across the table, eat doughnuts, plan the end of year party and (oh, yeah!) talk about our ghostly friend Anna and her ghost hunter boyfriend, Cassius.  Most of the rocks had read at least some of Anna dressed in blood, so the discussion was wide ranging and fun!  Let’s keep it up for the next meeting on May 15th.  Hopefully we’ll have more people who finished the book (including me) and we can finish the year with some creative shouting and perhaps a debate involving the phenomena of YA authors that MUST write more than one book with the same characters.  Is it a greed thing?  Or does their  muse strike the same place twice?  I admit curiosity.  I may be more likely to read Girl of nightmares since the author really did wrap up the story well in the first book, so I assume that this is MORE than a drawn out continuation of the same story…but we’ll see.  I do have minions reading the sequel now.  Okay, one minion, but a good one that will tell me if I need to read it or not.  Thank you, minion!

More stuff that happened:

Our fabulous YA librarian Emily Tobin was NOT HERE!  Wow.  Hole in my life.  But we’ll see her soon, and she’s busy planning a “The fault in our stars party” for June 4th at the main library which sounds very very cool.

One Rock shared about open mic night on Thursdays at Theo’s Java Club, where you can go and recite your poetry and presumably get snaps.

Another suggested that Acapulco Cafe tacos are the best in Rock Island.

Book suggestions included:

Between the Devil and the deep blue sea

Justice League Volume one: Origin

Killjoys ( I think this might be the Gerard Way comics The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, but if you’re the rock who suggested it, correct me in comments!)


The knife of never letting go

The new world (?)  I have this in my notes, but I’m not sure which new world it was…)

If you read and enjoyed our book club book, there are a bunch of other ghostie books on display in the library, look for the signs that say, “Did you enjoy…”

The one Rock who has come to EVERY meeting this year almost missed this one!  I hope the Norm from Cheers greeting she got when she FINALLY showed up was incentive enough to bring her back for….

The last READING ROCKS meeting of the year on May 15th!

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Reading Rocks , agendas and procrastination…

April 7th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Yes!  The Reading Rocks met last Thursday and it is now Monday.  What about it?  The meeting was cacophonous  and jubilant,  as usual.  The RIHS book club group are arguably the most interesting and interested humans on this planet, therefore much discussion was had about books, movies, video games, writing and reading fan fiction, and probably other stuff that I didn’t hear because I kept saying, “back to the agenda!”

Emily was here and told us about the latest public library activities, including a game night on April 24th that will probably be a popular destination for the Rocks, as some challenges were made and accepted.  The public library book club is currently reading The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson.  Looks really weird and I want to read it.  Floating horse heads?  Disappearing family members?  Yes, please!

Some book recommendations:

All Ages by Gerard Way

Ubik by Phillip K. Dick

Me and Earl and the dying girl by Jesse Andrews

Probably others that I didn’t hear because, you know, the agenda thing again…

At our next meeting on April 17th  we will be talking about the science fiction classic, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  Hopefully I will be getting copies out to those who want it very soon!  Our last two meetings are May 1st and May 15th, and we will be reading  our last title for the year, Anna dressed in blood by Kendare Blake.  It’s about a paranormal investigator that kills ghosts, and the ghost that kills everyone that comes to her house.  Heard the one about the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object?  Yeah, like that.

It’s time to start thinking about an end of year Reading Rocks celebration, so come to the next meeting with some ideas and dates you will be free!


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The fault is in our stars, not in the Reading Rocks!

March 7th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Uncategorized · No Comments

What a fantastic meeting today, thanks to Hazel Grace and Augustus and Peter Van Houten and Isaac and even Julie and Martha, Augustus’ hovering sisters.  Oh!  Plus all the Rocks who contributed to the lively discussion.  I think even readers who were less than enthusiastic about the book or hadn’t read it yet had great stuff to contribute to the general cacophony.  I think we can agree that John Green has made a MAJOR contribution to literature with The Fault in Our Stars.  In my opinion, this one transcends the YA genre and just sings.

Things I forgot to do during book club today:

Talk about the public library programs for March!  There are brightly colored fliers available in the library for your planning needs.  Things happening while you’re on break are:   Divergent Teen Faction Party, March 20th 6:00pm-7:30 pm

Teen Advisory Board, March 17th 4:00pm-5:00pm

Teen Gaming Night , March 27th 6:00pm-7:30pm

Go to these at the main library downtown!  It will be fun and your parents won’t be there and as a bonus also won’t be worried about where you are!


Find out where all the books I gave out at the last meeting are!  Keep bringing them back to the library when you’re done, MANY other people want to read this one!

Decide what to read next!  I have ordered several copies of Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi book Ender’s Game and hope to get them to any Rock that wants to read it at our next meeting, April 3rd.  I realize this was not decided on by our usual process, but hope you will forgive me and try out this amazingly prescient book written in the last century (1985!) with universal themes and lasting importance.  Plus there’s a lot of shooting and mayhem and human and alien death.

Meanwhile, have a relaxing Spring Break, unless you’re a senior…COLLEGE, FAFSA, GRADUATION PARTY PLANNING, ARG!  Sorry, you won’t be relaxing for a while yet…

Come back to Reading Rocks on April 3rd, it’s going to be amazing.


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