Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

She’s not in line

December 2nd, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · General Information · New books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Sooo…yesterday’s Reading Rocks meeting was purple but not clairvoyant.  Things like this happened:

“Time is a social construct.”  

“Yeah, and we just decide to comply with it.”

“Wait, are we letting that go as fact? ‘Time is a social construct,’ because I don’t think that’s accurate.  I mean, doesn’t the earth move around the sun and stuff?”

“Well, yeah, but we decide that time is important in our lives when we don’t really have to,  there are places in the world where they don’t keep track of time like we do, months, weeks, etc.”

“So…I’m never really late to work?”

“Yes!  But you’re never really on time or early, either.”

“Oh.  Time is a social construct created to oppress the masses.”

This was bookended by a pretty great conversation about our current book, Welcome to Night Vale, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.  The book itself doesn’t actually exist on this astral plane, but somehow Emily was able to fight through and get a few copies back to our dimension.  Thankfully she returned intact with just a few more maws and brought these to the meeting:


Many of the answers to questions on this bookmark are of course, “Yes,” as Emily did hand one to each of the Reading Rocks before launching into a terrifying book talk about the manga “My Love Story” and a screech-inducing plug for the library’s Dr. Who Party coming up on December 15th.  You should go!

Also read this:



In other news:

Our next title, Laughing at my nightmare by Shane Burcaw, will arrive at the library sometime on Monday, December 5th!  If you are in the vicinity Monday or Tuesday please stop by and irritate the librarians by asking over and over again if the book is here yet until they finally relent and hand you a book, or maybe two, depending on your twin sibling status as it relates to book club.

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Do not approach the library unless you have armadillo skin.

November 10th, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Uncategorized · No Comments

This morning the Reading Rocks book club and shape shifting team either met or did not meet in the presence of the glow cloud.  This is an example of the absurdism and existential crises introduced by our current book, Welcome to Night Vale.  Some of the reading rocks have read and finished the tome, with a mix of results.  Jada has become clairvoyant and luminous, Riana is now a sentient purple mink, and Will and Matt have traded consciousnesses and become one large pole.

In other news:  The public library was represented today by Nick Cage disguised as our own Emily Tobin.  Nick talked up a book about a REAL mystery, the eerie death of 9 Russian hikers that has remained unsolved for over 60 years.  The book is Dead Mountain: the untold true story of the Dyatlov Pass incident, and although our online catalog says we have it here at RIHS, it has mysteriously disappeared….hmmm.

There will be a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them party at the public library next Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00!  Games!  Snacks!  Scavengering!  Prizes!  Sores!  Pestilence!

Remember, if approached by a librarian, keep still.  Do not run away.  Try to make yourself bigger than the librarian.

Also, Squirrel Girl.

See you in the funny papers.  Or maybe in the pawn shop (library), under the Dog Park sign, on December 1st.  Try not to morph into a Harry Potter charcter before then.  Thanks.

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Welcome to All the Bright Places

November 2nd, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

The Reading Rocks met last Thursday to finish our discussion of the heartrending novel All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.  This was realistic fiction that dealt with some extremely real and difficult issues: mental illness, grief, child abuse, divorce, and suicide among others.  How can you pack all that heartache into one book, you might ask?  Well, you take two characters that are in high school and throw all the horrible situations that middle class American teenagers might experience you can think of on them.  The fact that they meet and fall in love is secondary to the tragedy of their lives, IMHO.

For the most part, the Rocks enjoyed this book immensely, the characters were very relateable and most readers found some parallels in their own lives.  Thank you to Myah for the recommendation and for keeping it real during the discussions.

Emily Tobin recommends the book Ghostland: an American History in Haunted Places, not just the ghost stories of America, but why they become ghost stories and why we believe them.  Perfect for late October/early November reading…

Our next book is here, it’s Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink.  This novel is based on the EXTREMELY STRANGE podcast of the same name, and should be a rich well of discussion topics for book club.  If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, come to the library!  See you on November 10th!

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We supply the “advantage”

November 1st, 2016 by Editor in Uncategorized · No Comments


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The Reading Rocks Hypothesis, with snacks

September 8th, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

This morning in the little theater, a small pile of Rocks discussed the literary devices and biological imperatives of Red Queen, the book by Victoria Aveyard, and “the Red Queen Hypothesis” sometimes used in evolutionary theory to explain extinction, I think…

Anyway, loosely translated, the book could be an example of the theory since the “Reds,” are thought to be less evolved than the “Silvers,” based on the superhuman abilities displayed by them, UNTIL, of course, our heroine Mare arrives and effectively blows that idea sky high with her electrifying powers.  The Reading Rocks seem to be in agreement that the book is pretty brilliant, with MANY twisty parts and betrayals and shifty love interests and unexpected lightning bolts. It can be read just as a pretty good take on the YA dystopian craze sweeping high school libraries across our great nation, or you can look just a little deeper and see the metaphorical comparisons it has to our own situation regarding our segregated past, our world’s obsession with money and power, our assumptions that a person’s economic or social status defines their potential, and stuff like that.  Needless to say, this is a book that we will all be thinking about for a while, and what a treat to read something that has a whole lot to say and says it all so entertainingly.  Oh, and pretty much everybody that’s finished the book hates Maven.

Emily was here!  She is amazing and will bring us our next title All the Bright Places (stbammp) next week! She is hosting another Anime night next Thursday, September 15th, you should go!  And check out the other two Thursdays at the RIPL, there’s a scavenger hunt coming up!  You should go to that, too!  And gaming night!  Go!

See you in the library!

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August 19th, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in New books · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments



Mysterious lost post!

August 19th, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in General Information · Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

Well, I must apologize to the few or no people that read our posts. There was a brilliant, informative, and hilarious post about last week’s hugely successful Reading Rocks meeting, and it has disappeared from the interwebs! The library is in mourning for this loss, but will endeavor to re-create at least the informative parts.

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Saying goodbye to our little friends…

May 23rd, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Authors · Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · 1 Comment

The last Reading Rocks meeting of the year was a bittersweet event, although you’d never know it from the raucous guffawing of some of the attendees.  We were trying really hard to talk about Hyperbole and a half by the genius Allie Brosh, with mixed success.  Some of the Rocks were talking about when Allie had her oral surgery and then went to a party after shaming her mother into taking her, some were in a deep discussion about the value of a lonesome piece of corn to a disturbed mind, and others had a doughnut and left.

Then we talked about Life Sucks by Jessica Abel.  You should really check out her website, she is a wonderful advocate for writers and artist.  Some people thought the idea of a vampire convenience store clerk was fascinating, others thought that the whole vampire thing in YA literature is overdone, some thought it was confusing,  others had a doughnut and left.

Emily came and told us about some things!  She said there’s a book called To be or not to be: a choosable path adventure by Ryan North, Shakespeare, and YOU!  There is also a book called Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Anderson.  It’s a true story.  So far.

Seek out Teen Gaming night on May 26th, and join the public library’s Goodreads teen book club, the book for June is Civil War, so, yeah, you should do that.

Also there will probably be some kind of summer reading thing at the public library, so I would encourage all Rocks to seek out that fabulousness and maybe get a prize beyond the reward of just being well read.

To all the wonderful Reading Rocks, the party is Wednesday after school, hope you can make it!

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It’s the end of the book club as we know it

May 4th, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Authors · Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · 2 Comments

Having finished the conversation about the unusual and intriguing The rest of us just live here, the Reading Rocks are poised to end the school year on a decidedly high note with the two graphic books, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh and Life Sucks by Jessica Abel.  When I say high note, I mean things like this:

Menace 12and this:

LifeSucks02so, yeah, more fun and maybe a little less angst, or at least a different kind of angst than we are generally used to…

Please keep the afternoon of May 25th open for our end of year celebration, we’ll be in the library after school until 5:30ish, so if you’re a Reading Rock, or even a FORMER Rock, come and eat some food and look at a movie with us!  We’ll probably try to get “It’s kind of a funny story,” since it’s got Zach Galifianakis and, perhaps more importantly, the Rocks read that awesome book by Ned Vizzini this year and had arguably some of our best discussions about it.

Join us at our last meeting of the year on May 12th at 7:45 in the library, I think you know why.  Especially if you read.



The rest of us just go to book club

April 14th, 2016 by Mrs. Curtiss in Books · Reading Rocks Book Club · 3 Comments

First of all, before I get distracted…libraryweek



Now on to the great book club meeting we had this morning centered loosely on The rest of us just live here by Patrick Ness, with a little bit of “Suicide Squad” trailer discussion, some good news and book talking from Emily, and of course the usual asides from our friends Hope and Gabe who are welcome at all times in the library but especially at book club.  Oh, and the end of year planning stuff.

This is a book that elicits some strong responses!  It was weirdly more controversial in the Rock group that even Two boys kissing, which really kind of surprised me.  I guess we started out with one expectation, then read the book, and came out with something completely different.  Kind of like expecting a caramel apple and some jerk gave you a caramel onion.  Some of us didn’t like the idea, but others embraced the onion for Shrek-like reasons (layers!) and went ahead and ate the whole stinky thing.  In summation, for now, it was a great discussion and another reason the library is arguably the best place to be every other Thursday at 7:45 AM.  Since some of our Reading Rocks have yet to finish the book, we will continue the discussion on April 28th, when hopefully we’ll also have copies available of our last title of the year!

Emily talked to us about “After High School” night at the public library on April 21st at 6:00 PM, sounds like a great opportunity to hear about what to expect when you finally escape Rocky.  Whether you want to get more education or not, you can learn more about the choices you have and get some positive spin on life as a “grown up.”

Of course she also brought some great book recommendations:

Neurocomic, which will be ordered for the Rocky Library very soon…and

Dinosaur comics: Your whole family is made out of meat which I will read obsessively over the summer, probably.

The Rocks decided after some deliberation to have our end of year party on Wednesday, May 25th after school until 5:30 in the Rocky library!  Those of you that have attended at least one book club meeting this school year will be receiving invitations to the (as yet unplanned) festivities.

One more time, HAPPY NATIONAL LIBRARY DAY and don’t let the picture of what high school librarianship looks like keep you out of the library…

100_3338kevin with scanner