Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

2015-16: a new year at the RIHS Library!

August 10th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

WELCOME BACK READERS AND WELCOME NEW FRESHMAN READERS!  The RIHS Library is open for business and looking forward to a great year!  The library is in the process of recieving a Chrome Base computer lab to replace the old iMacs that are dying slow yet painless deaths. Our fervent hope is that the new lab will be a hive of print-free creativity and that you (and your teachers) will embrace the print-free nature of the print-free sharing options in the print-free Chromeverse.

In other more library-ish news…

The READING ROCKS BOOK CLUB will have the first meeting of the year on Thursday, August 13th.  The goal of this meeting is to stare at each other in awkward silence as we ponder the unfathomable mystery of high school.

But seriously…we will have an agenda including nominations and votings on which books to read as a group this year and hopefully we’ll have enough time to reflect on what fabulous books you read over the summer.   My recommendation is that we concentrate on the Abe Lincoln High School Book Award nominees, but hey, you’re the boss.  Emily Tobin of the Rock Island Public Library will regale us with her stories of YA summer reading and probably recommend some totally marvelous books, as usual!

A special thank you to all the freshmen that stopped at the Reading Rocks table at Rally at the Rock, the library will thrive on your reading energy!  Also big thanks to our veteran rocks, Thi, Asya and Summer that helped with prep and at the table.

Come to the meeting!  Comment on this post!  Or any post!  Please!  We need proof that you’re out there!


In conclusion:  Print-free, unfathomable, book club, Rally at the rock,  engrossed, comment.  Thank you.

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The road to Portland is paved with READING ROCKS!

June 9th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

The Rocks gathered for our final meeting last Friday in the library.  Well, maybe “meeting” is the wrong word…pizza, cake, presents…yeah, it was a party!

library 12-14 018This is the yummy cake we got from Southpark Bakery!  The decorator put all the books we read this year on it, tiny little books!  Plus our lame catchphrase!

Here is the only agenda of the entire year that was actually followed!


June 5th, 2015

  • WELCOME! Have a drink, what do you want on your pizza?
  • Read aloud from the book of Hope
  • Top five Rocks!   Shelby, Asrielle, Kat, Destiny, and Eboni!
  • Shelby! Every meeting for 2 years!
  • Anything Emily wants to say!
  • Goodbye to Chance, with no crying
  • Watch a movie and eat stuff
  • See you next year! (except Chance, no crying)

library 12-14 017Shelby, Kat, and Chance were all there!

Here’s the results of the end of year survey that most of the Rocks filled out:


ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell wins with 5 votes!

Unwind by Neal Shusterman and Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe  by Benjamin Sáenz tied for second with 3 votes each, then Cinder by Marissa Meyer and The Princess Bride by William Goldman each got one vote.  Between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea and The Shining  did not get any votes, but I really liked both of them, so there.


Everything: being with people who have common interests: it’s about books:  books are amazing:  donuts and conversations: getting to know other people and making new friends: I didn’t attend many, but the few that I did were quite fun.  So many nice, like minded readers to exchange ideas with.: Talking about good books with friends: Getting to know people: getting to make new friends: you make new friends: The best thing about Reading Rocks is the way that everyone had a chance to comment on books.: Donut holes and debatable discussions.:  I love getting together with friends and talking either up or crap about books.  Not to mention the awesome doughnuts!!:  The sheer chaos that occurred.:

WORST THING ABOUT READING ROCKS MEETINGS:  Nothing: people get off topic and stop talking about books: when we couldn’t get everyone’s attention: they’re so early: Conflict with Key club meetings: the meetings were only every other week:  IDK: When people talked over each other.: Out of control sometimes.: Probably because it’s not every week…:  Trying to stop said chaos

WHAT WE SHOULD DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT YEAR: More book choices: nothing it’s awesome the way it is now: recruit more members : fundraisers: Let people talk in a more orderly way.:  Nuthin’:  NOTHING…except bring Chance back!

T-SHIRTS; Black with gold writing, maybe with a ROCK with googlie eyes reading a book on the front, a quote on the back

BOOK SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT YEAR (OR SUMMER READING!):  The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu, These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Epic Fail by Clare LaZebnik, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher,  The 100 by Kass Morgan, Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday, Gone by Michael Grant, Evermore by Allison Noel,  anything by Neil Gaiman or Ray Bradbury, Looking for Alaska by John Green, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell,  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, the Bluford High series, Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor (x2), funny and loving books, John Green: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck, the Ex-Heroes series by Peter Clines, The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, Please don’t tell my parents I’m a supervillain by Richard Roberts, Nice Dragons Finish Last by  Rachel Aaron.

Here’s a bunch more pictures from the party!  (If you see one of yourself that you don’t want on the site, let me know in the comments section and I will take it down.)

library 12-14 020 Sam and Daysha get free books!library 12-14 016Shelby, Kat and Chance again, still awesome

library 12-14 022Ashley, Eboni, Shelby, and Kat hangin’ out in the library.

library 12-14 023 Iesha and you know the rest… library 12-14 024The effervescent Emily Tobin talks books with Daysha.

library 12-14 026Girls in the darkness.

library 12-14 025Daysha loving life in the library!

library 12-14 027Ashley, a founding Rock, with Shelby, our loyal book lover!

Rho Sung off the soccer field!

library 12-14 028Beautiful, peace.

library 12-14 031Emma looking pretty during the movie.

library 12-14 033 Anthony looking awesome during the movie.

library 12-14 035 Julia showing some love.

library 12-14 038Julia and Eboni losing patience with the photographer.

library 12-14 037 Gabe with the poetic genius Hope!

library 12-14 036Thi, happy and wonderful! library 12-14 040The fabulous library, with Rocks in it. library 12-14 042Nicole, looking away, and Julia. library 12-14 047Anthony sandwich!

library 12-14 046 Jessica, she was here all day!

library 12-14 045 Alexis in the dark during “The Maze Runner”

library 12-14 050 READING ROCKS!library 12-14 048

library 12-14 051 Denae and the artist known as Emma

library 12-14 053Fabulous Asrielle, Nicole, Anthony, Emma, Julia and Eboni

library 12-14 052 More art!

library 12-14 058 library 12-14 055

library 12-14 056 library 12-14 057The seniors!


library 12-14 060Kat is so photogenic!

library 12-14 059 Shelby and Chance have the same shirt!

library 12-14 029 The Rocks in the dark!

library 12-14 021Eboni is always smiling!

library 12-14 014Myranda and Summer, with their loot! library 12-14 013Yep, that’s Emma


library 12-14 011The process…

library 12-14 010She got up later, not too damaged to travel… library 12-14 009 Myranda, Summer, and library feet!library 12-14 008 Summer is smiling!

library 12-14 007Dakota, Myranda, and Asrielle library 12-14 004Nicole not smiling!

library 12-14 006 Sam on the phone!

library 12-14 005Asrielle and Dakota’s back!

library 12-14 001Emma and Denae making it a party!

Emily handed out reading logs for “Every Hero Has a Story,” RIPL’s summer reading program, plus brought some comic book loot for the Rocks to take home!  I like to think of Emily as the bridge between Rocky’s library and her public library home, also between the Reading Rocks and the aging library staff here at Rocky.  She is the wacky fabulous glue holding us together.

Speaking of Tacoma, which is north and west of here, our fondest farewell to Chance, who is the whole reason for the title of this post, one of the founding Reading Rocks, and the best friend the library has ever had.  He is a mensch and will be missed here at Rocky and especially in the library.

Reading Rocks will start up again in August!  Be prepared and bring your little freshman siblings and/or friends!









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Your five year old self is calling…

May 11th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Last Thursday the Reading Rocks had a somewhat raucous meeting as we discussed the plausibility of having an imaginary friend that is actually an older iteration of yourself…the super lame question asked by the adult facilitator was, “What would you say to your 5 year old self?”  The Rocks are a tactful group, though, and deigned to answer thoughtfully with such gems as, “I would tell her not to listen to bullies!”  and “There is so much!  I wouldn’t know where to start!” and (from someone who did not read the book) “Sounds like the kid has multiple personality disorder!”  and probably more that the facilitator didn’t hear due to the cacaphonous sitting on the table (!) nature of book club meetings.  Not everybody read the book, but that’s cool, those that did had some great insights and it was amazing to hear that I was not the only one who took FOREVER to figure out the whole “REDRUM” thing.  Most Rocks thought that, given a different set of circumstances, Jack could have prevailed against the Overlook, but he did his best with what he had available, and after all he did avoid murdering his wife and son, by a pretty slim margin, but still. (oo, sorry, should have said “spoiler alert“) Hopefully the Rocks that have read The Shining will seek out Mr. King’s update on Danny in the book Doctor Sleep which is awesome and fascinating and scary and full of fabulous unpredictable characters, not unlike almost everything the King writes.

Other things that happened at book club:

Emily came and told us about some graphic books!

Bad Machinery by John Allison

and Daredevil comics, but I can’t remember which author or illustrator she recommended…she did say the new Netflix version is worth watching, though, and I would concur, although I’ve only seen the first three episodes and am admittedly not a Marvel expert or purist.

Books recommended by Chance:

only one this week!  Infected by Scott Sigler.

Our last meeting of this school year will be on May 21st, where we will be discussing the book Cinder by Marissa Meyer and deciding how to celebrate the end of the Reading Rocks year!  Suggestions so far…watch “The Breakfast Club” and eat food in the library!  So really we just have to settle on a date that works for Shelby.  And Chance.  And Daysha.  And Anthony.  And the rest of you.  You know who you are…

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The Reading Rocks Shine on…

April 23rd, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in Uncategorized · No Comments

Today the Reading Rocks didn’t talk much about our current title, The Shining by Stephen King. Our next meeting will be more book-centric, but today we talked a bit about the shine itself.  No one said that it was a concept exclusive to fiction, which is troubling and yet paradoxically and at the same time quite a relief.  We had some discussion of the age of the book’s protagonist, the precocious 5 year old Danny Torrance, and how that might relate to his ability to see truly terrifying things in bathtubs and believe and be guided by an imaginary (?) friend.  It seems to be a widely believed phenomena that younger chilren have a better connection to the supernatural or spiritual world, and some of the Reading Rocks were generous with examples from their own childhoods of things that they experienced as kids that faded as they got older.  Of course there was the “cat freaking you out and making you think there are ghosts and rapists and murderers in you house” phenomena that is one more excellent reason to NOT have cats in your house, right behind the whole litter box thing, which arguably is grosser than a rotting lady in your bathtub.


Here’s the link to the Eleanor and Park playlist from Emily!

Emily Tobin, our rock, our foundation, our super cool YA librarian, recommended two books,

Gabi, a girl in pieces, and The Universe versus Alex Woods, both books we have here in the Rocky library!

Book recommendations from the Rocks!

Ready Player One, by Alex Cline, and did somebody say there’s a movie, too?

Ex-Heroes, a series by Peter Clines

Please don’t tell my parents I’m a super-villian by Richard Roberts

This is what happy looks like by Jennifer Smith

and finally A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Schlitz.

Come to the next meeting on May 7th, it’ll be a hoot!

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Newsletter from Emily!

April 6th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in General Information · No Comments

Click this link to see the public library teen events for April!




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Eleanor and Park!

March 13th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · 1 Comment

Now we know why there’s a blurb from John Green on the cover!  Rainbow Rowell is on that level as an author, that super high, hard to put down, believable and lovable characters level with Mr. Green.  Just one little quote, page 11,

“As if they had been hired to kill her in a past life.”

BAM!  Perfect description of the baffling idiocy of bullying.

So, let’s finish this one over our TWO WEEK SPRING BREAK and then come back and talk about it on the 9th of April at our next meeting!

Do some things at the public library over break!



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If you don’t read, are you still a Reading Rock?

February 27th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

So, I am looking through a book of logical fallacies called An Illustrated book of Bad Arguments and am wondering if the catchphrase of the book club is an example of the invalid argument known as “affirming the consequent.”  In the book it’s defined like this: “If A then C, C; hence A.”  So if we take our “If you read, you are a READING ROCK!” to a logical conclusion, then all people who read, estimated at 91% of the population in Illinois alone, would arguably be “reading rocks.”  Since the phrase is commonly used only in announcements (rather memorably this week by our fearless leader, “say it with me now!”) and hallway signs at Rocky, maybe we’re within the  logical mode of affirming, also known as modus ponens where we can say “if A, then C, A; hence C.”  Looked at from this vantage, “If you read, you are a READING ROCK!”  is logical because we are assuming that the entire population of Illinios is really not our target audience, the entire population of Rock Island High School IS and let us go ahead and say if you are a Rock Island High School student (and in some cases, minion, a former student) YOU ARE A READING ROCK.  So come to a meeting, already!  Wow, the doughnut bill would be totally insane if you all showed up!

Just imagine there’s a bunch more on this post all about our awesome meeting in the little theater this morning and the fabulous video we saw with Emily Tobin in it making pipe cleaner Pokemen, and the fact that Christine won a flash drive for just knowing what we’re reading next.  Better yet, if you are one of the Reading Rocks that attended this morning, comment on the post and tell us what REALLY happened…

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A departure

February 25th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Check out this promo video from our own Emily!

And come to the READING ROCKS meeting during enrichment this FRIDAY morning in the LITTLE THEATER!  We’ll finish talking about The Iron King and distribute our next book.  I will ask one question about the video above and if anybody can give the correct answer, you get an 8 gig flash drive!

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Nerdily Rocking the Book Club

February 4th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in Authors · Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · 3 Comments

Reading Rocks finished flying Into the wild nerd yonder last Thursday, before the advent of SNOWPOCALYPSE 2015 that I am currently blaming for all the stuff I am still procrastinating over.  I SO LOVE THE MIDWEST WINTER!

Anyway, back to nerdy skirt girl…there were some widely differing views on the book, many were still put off by it, some didn’t finish it (different reasons), and a hearty and vocal few (including the intrepid Emily Tobin) thouroughly enjoyed the main character’s embracing of her true D & D friendly nature and rejection of the ridiculous machinations of her ex best friends.  Some were of course surprised that she didn’t realize earlier that she was firmly in the nerd camp, based on the fact that “normal” 15 year old girls (could say “average”or “typical” or perhaps “boring”) would not spend their summers sewing…KNITTING, maybe, but not sewing.


From our public library YA liason, the resplendent Emily Tobin, we learned of some developments that will positively impact the Reading Rocks!  TEEN GAMING NIGHTS will be a regular feature now, occurring at 5:45 one Thursday a month, February 26th, March 26th, and April 23rd. As a bonus, you can be an influence at your public library by participating in the TEEN ADVISORY BOARD before you put your hands on the controller!  Also, the public library’s Teen Book Club is reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, so join in if you have a GoodReads account, and if you don’t, get one!  Emily also talked up a manga we don’t have (yet) that sounds extremely readable and fun,  Wolf Children by Mamoru Hosoda based on the author’s 2012 film of the same title.


Student representatives are contemplating t-shirt designs and maybe a fund raiser of some kind…

Thi had the Rocks dance for her Dance Marathon video and I was so totally impressed that a group of readers could be so…so awesome.

Book recommendations were thrown around a lot…

Tiger’s Curse (of course)

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair

Z for Zachariah

Please don’t tell my parents I’m a supervillian

The first fifteen lives of Harry August

So, anyway, see you on the 12 of February for our next Reading Rocks meeting, where we will contemplate the complexities of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa!  And other stuff will probably happen!


Also, youth culture killed my dog.



FINALLY, the post you’ve been waiting for…

January 20th, 2015 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · 2 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!