Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

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!





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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