Book Fair is coming to Tompkins!

Book Fair!

The library is teaming up with Katy Budget Books to give students and faculty an opportunity to purchase the perfect gifts for friends and family this holiday season…books!

Stop by 12/1 from noon – 3:00pm or 12/2 from 7:00am – 3:00pm in the library. See a complete list of titles that will be available at the book fair HERE! There will also be other great gift ideas, so mark your calendars and don’t miss this annual event!


And the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature goes to…

Neal Shusterman for his book, Challenger Deep!

national book award

Image courtesy of Neal Shusterman’s instagram.

I was one of those eager to know people that listened to the live feed of the National Book Awards on Wednesday, November 8th. While the rest of my family was watching TV, my eyes were glued to my computer screen waiting for the announcement on the Young People’s Literature winner.

I read Challenger Deep in April after I waited in line to have it signed by both Neal Shusterman and his son Brendan. I’m a huge fan of Neal anyway, but when I heard him announce at an author visit at Seven Lakes JH in October 2014 that the book was coming, I knew I had to read it. The book takes an honest look at mental illness and the challenges it presents to those with it and their families. Neal was inspired to write the book from his son, Brendan’s, experience with mental illness. You can read my review from April 2015 HERE.


Getting “Challenger Deep” signed by Neal and Brendan Shusterman!

I’m so thrilled that this book is receiving the attention is deserves! Congratulations to Neal Shusterman and his son, Brendan!

Watch Neal’s acceptance speech!

Saving Gale articles to Google Drive!


Organizing research articles can be challenging. Printing articles or saving them in various locations gets confusing for students and are often lost or forgotten. To make research easier, Gale has teamed with Google to allow students to save Gale database articles straight to their Google Drive…including the citation information! *happy dance*

Our dual credit English class learned about this new tool last week and was very excited about how easy it was to use. I’ve never seen so much excitement about research before! 🙂

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign into Google within a Gale database.
  2. Find an interesting article.
  3. Highlight important information or add notes.
  4. Select download from the tools menu and save to Google Drive.
  5. You will find your document in your Google Drive under the folder of the database you were using.
  6. Now you can edit the document, share it with others, and take advantage of all Google Drive features!

Gale to Google Drive Tip Sheet

“Finding Joy” in author visits!

joy-PrebleI absolutely love author visits! They are so engaging and provide students an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with published authors.

Author Joy Preble visited Tompkins HS on Thursday, November 12th and spoke about her writer’s journey and her latest novel, Finding Paris. The students really enjoyed hearing about her experiences as a writer and asked very thoughtful questions. We have some serious writers in our school that are trying to learn as much as they can about the writing world. They inspire me!

One of my favorite quotes that Joy Preble told the students was, “No one can tell your story except you.” As young writers, students hesitate to write because they don’t know what to write about or feel their story is not original. She stressed to the students that their story is unique.


We ended the author visit with a drawing for some free signed books and Starbuck’s gift cards. Finding Paris is about a road trip (among other things) – and no road trip is complete with a stop at Starbucks. 🙂


Be on the lookout for Joy’s next book, It Wasn’t Always Like This, coming out in 2016! It’s about a girl, a boy, a fountain of youth, and what happens when you’re stuck at 17. Definitely adding it to my 2016 MUST READ list!