Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

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

Shelby

“the book was better”

end of year

Serious rocks.

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Yep, that’s Chance, hi, Chance!

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Emily and Emma

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

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Rocks get books!

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Fabulous group of readers!

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WAY too much food!

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Books and popcorn. Yep.

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Anthony!!

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…

READING ROCKS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!)

Glamour

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!

If you read, YOU ARE A READING ROCK!

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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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In the form of a letter to a fallen Rock

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

Dear Sydney,

The Reading Rocks meeting on February 20th was raucous and fun, as usual, but you were missed.  We did talk about and distribute copies of the fabulous John Green book The fault in our stars, we had a few snacks, we heard about some public library programs from Emily Tobin, and we got some great book recommendations from Emily and others!  There was a short read aloud of the first few pages of the book, where we are introduced to Hazel, the narrator.  In these first few pages we find out that her mother thinks Hazel is depressed so sends her to a “Kids with cancer” support group that is, of course, VERY DEPRESSING.  Hazel is amazing and surprisingly normal and her sense of humor reminds me of yours!  Dry and smart.

Not all the Rocks who wanted one received a book, but we are going to try circulating the books we have to every reader who wants to read it for the next meeting on March 6th so we can all weep over it together.  The boys must also weep.  Or they get no doughnuts.  Let me know if you need one and I will get it to you through sister channels.

The recommended books!

Thief’s Covenant This is the book that Emily talked about, it’s the beginning of the Widdershins series, I think you might like it, tough female protagonist, fantasy series…right up your alley, right?

Throne of Glass was recommended by one of our readers, another strong female protagonist, you may have read this one already?

Divergent, of course, but I KNOW you read that one…

Phantom by Susan Kay was HIGHLY recommended by our Tiger’s Curse fanatic, it’s a fictional (of course) biography of Erik, “spelled the hot way,” whatever that means…

Fragment by Warren Fahy sounds awesome!  Maybe more to my taste than yours, science fictional violence and mayhem.  Woohoo!

The Madman’s Daughter sounds interesting, a different take on the H.G. Wells classic, The Island of Doctor Moreau, a book that you should also read…

So, let us hear from you as you heal up, and if you can’t come to the next meeting, use your  sister resources to get some good books to read over break!

Sincerely,

READING ROCKS!

 

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Other things that happened at book club

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

February 6th, 2014, BEST BOOK CLUB EVER.   We talked about a few books, including the one we were SUPPOSED to talk about, Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.  One of the Reading Rocks liked it because of the interesting, unusual premise.  I think we all agreed that the plot of animals reacting to human progress by becoming viciously hostile to humans is a great idea for fiction.  Some thought it might have been done better.  Some WAY better.  So no consensus, but reading fiction can be its own reward, as we have discovered to our delight over many Reading Rocks meetings. 

Emily Tobin told us about the public library’s Teen Midwinter Knights Read program and left some more forms for you and a repository for them in our library that she will collect from!  Very nice!  Only five hours of reading fills one form and you will be entered into a drawing to win prizes!

Some other recomendations:

Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn sounds very interesting…and has gruesome murders, so I will read it, for sure, but it’s not at Rocky library just yet.

Elemental by Antony John was highly recommended, dystopian fiction that sounds a little bit like Divergent, but not really derivative, just in the same genre, so Veronica Roth fans, take note!

Finally, we once again discussed a John Green book, The fault in our stars described by our Emily as “a funny book about cancer” and that is close to poetry in its brevity. and accuracy.  Thank you Reading Rocks for voting this truly fabulous book into our  reading lives.  So for our next meeting on February 20th, we will be reading John Green’s modern classic, The Fault in our Stars.  I will get copies to you as soon as possible!  (Full disclosure: the facilitator is less than neutral about this book.)

Enjoy these Valentines from Ransom Riggs’ latest book, sequel to the awesome Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City. 

COME JOIN US AT THE NEXT READING ROCKS ON FEBRUARY 20TH!

HollowCity MissPeregrine1 MissPeregrine2

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ZOO vs. “Snow” days

January 29th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

READING ROCKS ALERT!

Since we had no school and no meeting last Thursday, I am sharing with you the fabulous agenda that I was SO READY to try to implement while you ate doughnuts and talked about everything NOT on my fabulous agenda:

READING ROCKS AGENDA

January 23, 2014

  • WELCOME!  Have snack!
  • Rock Summit activity fair February 4th, 6-7 PM, anybody want to do it?
  • Lockdown: did you read it? 
  • Short read aloud from p. 154-155
  • Does it sound familiar?  Could something similar happen in the US?
  • Other books about prisons and prisoners, fiction and non!
  • Other Furnace discussion…anybody want the “Epilogue”?
  • Stuff from Emily!
  • ZOO distribution to anyone and their brother.
  • Other awesome books about animal attacks!  Fiction and non!
  • Short, no spoiler discussion of beginning of ZOO?
  • Public library books to return? 
  • Comment on the website?  Pleeeaaaassse!  WAAA!

So you can see that it would have been the best book club meeting ever held anywhere and would have probably changed the course of history and cured the common cold and perhaps mild personality disorders like borderline and perhaps solipsism and facebook addiction.  But we must move on.

Allow me to unpack a few of the agenda items: I actually did pull several books about prisoners and animal attacks from our library shelves to share with you during the meeting, these will be available to peruse at the February 6th meeting next week.

I made one hard copy of A.G. Smith’s epilogue to the “Escape from Furnace” series to give to anyone that wanted it at the meeting, but you can read it online by clicking the link.

The activity fair is happening before our next book club meeting, so if you are interested in representing the READING ROCKS there, please let me know ASAP.

I would be open to more Lockdown discussion at our next meeting (February 6th) and would like to start and finish with  ZOO if possible and choose our next title!

 

THERE ARE MANY COPIES OF ZOO AVAILABLE IF YOU WANT TO READ IT FOR OUR NEXT MEETING!  TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

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Lockdown and doughnuts at book club

January 10th, 2014 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

If you didn’t make it to Reading Rocks this week, here’s what you missed:

A short and frenzied discussion of the book Lockdown: escape from Furnace by Andrew Gordon Smith.  To be continued at our next meeting on January 23rd.

A rundown of movies coming out this year plus discussions of what we would and would not go see…I am wondering if The fault in our stars will translate well to the big screen, it seems like so much of the book happens inside Hazel’s head.

Book recommendations including Crank by Ellen Hopkins, Ex Heroes by Peter Clines, and (of course) Deadline by Mira Grant, the second of the Newsflesh series.

A somewhat raucous but democratic vote  to make Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge our next read.

Information from our public library friend, Emily Tobin, about upcoming library programs and TEEN ADVISORY BOARD that I think all of the Reading Rocks should get in on.  You guys are a wonderful resource and it would be cool to see your influence at our fabulous public library!

Lots of other stuff, including doughnuts and clementines.

In conclusion, if you  want to read Lockdown, we have some copies available in the library so pick one up and join us the 23rd!  Hopefully copies of Zoo will be available starting next week, so I will distribute them to Rocks that came to the meeting first, and then anyone else who wants to read it. 

See you in the library!

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