Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

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 · 3 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 · 4 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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Hi, Perboly!

November 7th, 2013 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · 3 Comments

The Reading Rocks were strong and vocal this morning with many opinions and book recommendations thrown around.  Some of the books discussed:

World War Z (again), I am shocked at how many of you have not read this one, I predict it will be a zombie classic read throughout the world for millenia, not because of it’s zombie-ness, but because of the humanity it celebrates.  Just one nerd’s opinion.

The Gone series by Michael Grant where everyone over 13 disappears and the kids that are left face a world without parents and, infinitely more upsetting, the internet.

Ex-Heroes, eloquently described by one of the Rocks as “World war Z meets the X men.”  This is not at the Rocky library yet, but soon will be. 

The boy who couldn’t sleep and never had to, described as “a novel about the typical high school experience: the homework, the awkwardness, and the mutant creatures from another galaxy.”  Yep, I want to read this one now. 

Paper Valentine, a murder mystery where the ghost of an anorexia victim haunts her best friend AND helps her find a serial killer. 

20 boy summer by Sarah Ockler,  “While on vacation in California, sixteen-year-old best friends Anna and Frankie conspire to find a boy for Anna’s first kiss, but Anna harbors a painful secret that threatens their lighthearted plan and their friendship.”  We don’t have this one at the Rocky library, but the public library does have it at the main library and both branches.

The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, about kids that have been genetically modified to have wings…and all the complications they imply, including being hunted by people who want to experiment on them.

The Hunt series by Andrew Fukuda, about the last vestige of humanity hunted by the vampires that have taken over the world. 

Of course there was some talk about John Green, just because we kind of like him.  Some of us will probably NOT see the movie being made based on The fault in our stars until we can be absolutely sure that no one is around to see us sob helplessly.  Like a baby.  A very sad baby.  Just saying. 

Finally,  we decided to read Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children to discuss at the first December meeting on the 5th.  If you were not at the meeting this morning but want to read the book, just tell one of us in the library and we will get you a copy!

Our next Reading Rocks meeting will be on November 21st, everyone is welcome!  Come and talk to us about what you’re reading, it’ll be a blast!

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Zombie politics and fallen leaders @ book club

October 29th, 2013 by Mrs. Curtiss in Uncategorized · 1 Comment

Hannah

Hey! It’s your friendly neighborhood guest blogger. Mrs. Curtis was MIA for the October 24th meeting, sad, so I’m going to keep you updated.

Over fall break, we read “Feed” by Mira Grant. This book had everything you could want from post apocalyptic fiction: zombies, political intrigue, action scenes, motorcycles, and betrayal. Still, the opinions of the book were many and varied. Some people were so enamored that they read both sequels upon completion of the first. Others couldn’t even bring themselves to finish the book, stating the main character was “too perfect to be interesting” or the book got “too political.”Either way the discussion was good, if a bit chaotic due to the absence of our fallen leader.

The Rock Island Public Library liaison, Emily Tobin, was there to provide a bit of structure and pass out pamphlets for upcoming library events. We feasted on Twizzlers provided by Mr. Traylor and argued about just how creepy the main character’s relationship with her brother was.

All in all, we made it out alive, which is more than I can say for certain characters from the book. For the next meeting, we’ve decided to read whatever we want as individuals.

Until next time.

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Vote for the next Reading Rocks Book

October 28th, 2013 by Mrs. Curtiss in Uncategorized · 3 Comments

Please comment on this post to decide what the Reading Rocks will be discussing on November 21st.  The library will try to get multiple copies of whatever book is decided on to distribute as soon as possible.

If you were at the October 24th meeting, please consider writing about it!  You can write it in a comment and I can copy it into a post.  Thanks!

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“You kids, you’re the ones who get to shape the real tomorrow, the one that’s going to matter.”

September 27th, 2013 by Mrs. Curtiss in Reading Rocks Book Club · No Comments

The title of this post is a quote from the book Feed by Mira Grant.  This is a book set in the aftermath of a zombie apocolypse, and yet this line reflects EXACTLY how I feel about the people I see every day in the library, and especially those of you that come to book club.  There has been no zombie viral outbreak (yet!) but the technological advances that we’ve seen in the last 20 years or so have altered the landscape in almost as unexpected ways.  As an old person, I am overwhelmed when I ponder the  future possibilities, and thankful that you guys are already navigating this landscape with style and humor!

READING ROCKS BOOK CLUB was extremely fun yesterday!  We had some new faces and lots of shouting at each other about books!  Some of you have already finished our next selection, the aformentioned Feed by Mira Grant, and you were nice enough not to spoil it for the rest of us.  Fair warning to all: we will discuss the ENTIRE book on October 24.  From what I’ve read so far, about 120 pages, I may be talking about this one for a long time. 

We were once again graced with the presence of Emily Tobin who filled us in on some of the programs at the fabulous Rock Island Public Library and put up with our shouting and rudeness with aplomb, which is a word I had to look up but fits perfectly!

Comment on the post if you want to!  I know there are some regular book clubbers who didn’t make it yesterday, let’s hear your “shout,” too!

Please come and browse all our new books in the library, and come to the next READING ROCKS book club meeting on October 24th!

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