Rocky Library

Rock Island High School, Rock Island, IL

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!





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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