State of the Library

Statistics may be boring, but they are important. They indicate areas that are thriving in the library and others areas that may need to be addressed. Our district held a “Library Snapshot Day” on 11/18/14 to gather information about our libraries. I continue to be amazed at the number of students that utilize this great space. It lets me know that they feel comfortable in the library and that we are building a community of readers here at Tompkins HS. Makes my heart smile.

I’m very pleased with our state of the library. Check out this infographic that I will be sharing with our Campus Advisory Team today.

Veteran’s Day…honoring all who served.

Happy_Veterans_DayOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, a temporary cessation of hostilities was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938 dedicated to honoring American veterans of all wars. (Read more about Veteran’s Day from the History Channel HERE.) © 2014, A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

One of the ways we can honor American veterans is to try and understand their experiences. Books help readers to do just that. They allow us to get a glimpse into a soldier’s life and all that they have sacrificed for this great country.

Looking for a way to connect with veterans? Read one of these great books found in the library.



For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.


American Navy SEAL and team leader Marcus Luttrell tells his story of the loss of his teammates in July 2005 along the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border to al-Qaida insurgents.


Depicting the men of Alpha Company—Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three


A biography of Olympic runner and World War II bombardier, Louis Zamperini, who had been rambunctious in childhood before succeeding in track and eventually serving in the military, which led to a trial in which he was forced to find a way to survive in the open ocean after being shot down.


As the country’s first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen fought in World War II on two fronts: against the Axis powers in the skies over Europe and against Jim Crow racism and segregation at home. Although the pilots flew more than 15,000 sorties and destroyed more than 200 German aircraft, their most far-reaching achievement defies quantification: delivering a powerful blow to racial inequality and discrimination in American life.


In 2003, 85 years after the end of World War I, Richard Rubin set out to see if he could still find and talk to someone who had actually served in the American Expeditionary Forces during that colossal conflict. Ultimately, he found dozens, aged 101 to 113, from Cape Cod to Carson City, who shared with him at the last possible moment their stories of America’s Great War.


 A set of biographies of five generals who single-handedly saved their nations from defeat in war.
Photographs and the memories of World War II veterans, including accounts from men and women who were drafted or volunteered into the Air Force, Army, Marines, and the US Navy.

Copyright © 2014 Follett School Solutions, Inc. 

Robin LaFevers brings down the Falcon house!

IMG_3702Our first book club concluded today with an author visit by the one and only Robin LaFevers. Her newest book, Mortal Heart, is the 3rd book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. If you haven’t read these books, you are missing out on an incredibly intriguing story. The history behind the books is fascinating. I’m not too up-to-date on 15th century history and learned so much about it by reading these stories. Kudos to Robin LaFevers for creating such an interesting story around true historical events.

Robin LaFevers informed the students about the events that inspired her books. She showed pictures of 15th century buildings and shared her thoughts about why she chose that time frame and location to focus the story around. Afterwards, students had the opportunity to ask questions, get books signed, and take pictures.

Author visit days are some of my favorite days of the school year!

Who doesn’t love door prizes!!



 Me & Robin LaFevers! Such an awesome day to be a Falcon!


Picture books…not just for elementary kids.

picture book monthPicture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates print picture books during the month of
November. I know what you are thinking, picture books are for kids, right? Actually, no they’re not! Why should high school students and teachers read picture books in class? The short answer is…for a lot of reasons.

Picture books can be entertaining, but also educational. Since picture books are shorter than novels, they can help teach vocabulary, context clues, inferencing, and comprehension skills in a much shorter time period. Believe it or not, many students (and adults!) find picture books interesting and intriguing.

The Falcon Library has a great selection of picture books…and many are checked out regularly by teachers and students. One of my all-time favorite author/illustrators is Chris Van Allsburg. If you are not familiar with his work, stop what you are doing right now and run, don’t walk, to your nearest library and check out one of his books! His books are simply amazing!

Here is one of my faves…

gardenThe Garden of Abdul Gasazi

Sometimes that very thin line between illusion and reality is not as clearly defined as we would like it to be. It certainly wasn’t the day that Alan Mitz stumbled into the garden of Abdul Gasazi. For in this bizarre and eerie place — where strange topiary trees loomed — the evil visage of Gasazi casts its shadow. And even after Alan escaped, the spell of Gasazi still seemed to penetrate into his everyday world.

Copyright © 2014 Follett School Solutions, Inc.

Want a sneak peek of his work? Check out this photostory!

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Results will be revealed soon!