“Finding Paris” in our next book club!

FindingParisThe Tompkins library is excited to announce that we will be hosting author Joy Preble in the library on Thursday, November 12th during Enrichment.

In order to attend the author visit, students must join the book club and read Preble’s latest book “Finding Paris” (either attend the face-to-face meetings every other Wednesday before/after school in the library OR participate in the Canvas discussions…or both!!) If interested in joining, please stop by the library and let me know you want to join and I will add you to our Canvas book club.

Books are available for purchase in the library, but students are not required to purchase a book from the library to participate. We do have a couple of copies in the library available for checkout.

Learn more about Joy Preble and “Finding Paris” HERE!


How to find an epic nonfiction read.

I cannot live without books. ~Thomas Jefferson

Readers often identify themselves as either fiction or nonfiction readers. Those that enjoy losing themselves into another world and those that want to learn more about the world they live in. As a librarian, I’ve noticed that our students tend to pick up fiction books for a variety of reasons. I’ve also noticed an increase in teachers actively encouraging nonfiction reading. If you are a fiction reader, this request can be quite daunting.

To help ease fiction readers into the world of nonfiction, I’ve come up with a few tips.

1. Know where to begin. Entering the nonfiction section of the library can be overwhelming. Figure out what subjects are you interested in learning more about. Browse that area of the dewey or search the catalog for ideas at www.gofollett.com. What books look interesting and relevant to you?

2. Check the awards lists. The Robert F. Sibert Informational book award is awarded annually to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States the preceding year (American Library Association). Since this award was established by the Association for Library Service to Children in 2001, many of the books are geared toward children. However, the winner/honor award list is MUST when looking for quality nonfiction literature. Another great award list to consider is the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. This annual award focuses on honoring the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18). The YALSA Nonfiction award list is one of the first lists I look at when deciding on what nonfiction books to order for the library.



3. Consider literary style/structure. Nonfiction does not have to be boring. Many nonfiction writers today are writing in a variety of styles, such as narrative nonfiction and verse. Narrative nonfiction, also known as literary nonfiction, uses literary styles and techniques to create factual narratives. Verse allows the author to express themselves in a poetic manner.

4. Ask for recommendations. Ask your friends, teachers, and librarian for recommendations. They may have a suggestion that might spark your interest in a new subject area.

Student iPad Checkout

The library has iPads available for student check out with parent permission. Parents must view an informational video on student iPad checkout (see below). This video will explain the parent/student responsibilities of iPad checkout, procedures, and replacement costs if the iPad is damaged or lost. In order for students to check out an iPad, parents will be required to view the video, read the online contract, and sign a google form giving their child permission to check out the iPad. Once we receive the completed google form, the library staff will follow up with a phone call to the parent to verify student permission. Once permission has been verified, students may check out iPads through the library. These iPads must be used for classroom assignments and can only be checked out for 5 school days at a time.

Don’t let your freedom to read become READstricted!

BBWWe are in full swing preparing for a week of celebrating YOUR right to read!

Banned Books Week is an annual event that promotes the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them (American Library Association).

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning is the removal of those materials. Books may be challenged or banned for a variety of reasons, including offensive language, being sexually explicit, or being unsuitable for an age group.


Learn more about the 10 most challenged books in 2014, why they were challenged, and who challenged them HERE.

The Tompkins Library is celebrating your right to read with challenged/banned books displays and an emoji contest. Pick up a contest form in the library. All entries must be received by Friday, October 2nd by 8:00am. Winners will be announced on Friday, October 2nd at 11:00am.

Stop by and show your support for Banned Books Week by checking out a banned book!






Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

Monsters in Literature

Who doesn’t love a good monster book? The more terrifying, the more we want to read it, right? Some of the most horrifying monsters live in classic literature. Among these are: The Giant Squid from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne, Medusa from Greek Mythology, and Grendel from the Old English poem Beowulf.

Beowulf is the story of how Beowulf, the King of Danes, battles and defeats the monster that is attacking the mead hall in Heorot. The alliterative verse in Beowulf is studied by high school students year and year…including myself! As a high school student, I loved the story of Beowulf so much that I went on to read Grendel by John Gardner. Grendel is a retelling of Beowulf, but from Grendel’s perspective, which I loved so much!

Our Tompkins seniors are continuing the tradition of studying Beowulf and will begin researching monsters in other literature. One of my favorite contemporary “monster” works is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which was inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. It is an absolutely brilliantly written story about “monsters” and dealing with loss.

The library has this title in print, audiobook, and ebook format. Read the book and then watch the movie in 2016 starring Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson!

What is your favorite monster book? Post it to the blog!


Powerful Memoirs & Biographies

If you are trying to decide what to read next, consider a memoir or biography. Memoirs and biographies offer insight into other people’s lives/experiences and in turn help us to reflect and evaluate our own lives.

AP Language students are currently studying a variety of memoirs/biographies in class. One of these memoirs will be self-selected and can be checked out through the library.

Check out these memoirs/biographies on some of the most influential and memorable people. Stop by the library and get your copy today!

More great reads!

 brief history Get a sneak peek at My Brief History HERE!
 malala Watch Malala Yousafzai accept the Nobel Peace Prize HERE!
 stevejobs Read an interview with the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Award finalist, Karen Blumenthal, author of Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different HERE!

It’s always a good time to delve into a memoir or biography!

Rick Riordan is coming to Katy!

Move over Percy Jackson, there is a new character in town and his name is Magnus Chase!

Author Rick Riordan will be visiting Morton Ranch HS on Sunday, October 11th at 3:00pm to promote his new Norse mythology series. His last visit to Katy was a highlight of the year for me! His presentation was engaging and so interesting. Not to mention he is just the nicest guy ever!

If you would like to be part of this event, contact the Blue Willow Bookshop and purchase MAGNUS CHASE to receive your admission ticket, which will admit one person. For more information, click HERE.

Read an except from Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.

2015-2016 Magazine Subscriptions


Stop by and browse through our diverse collection of magazines! Our magazines cover a variety of topics from sports to science to college and can be checked out through the library.

The Tompkins Library has your interests covered!

College Bound
Consumer Reports
Current History
ESPN Magazine
Food Network Magazine
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Policy
Game Informer
Guitar World
MAD Magazine
Mental Floss
Otaku USA
People en Espanol
People Weekly
Poets & Writers
Popular Mechanics
Popular Science
School Library Journal
Scientific American
Scholastic Scope
Southern Living
Teen Vogue
Texas Monthly
Time Magazine
Track & Field News
VOYA (Voices of Youth Adv)