The OTHS library and counseling department are teaming up for a 4-week book study on Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. Challenger Deep is a National Book Award winner about a teenager struggling with mental illness.

Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior. Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images. Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head. Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn.

The book study will take place on the following dates during Enrichment in the library.

February 1, 2018 – Participating students receive books. First 30 students to sign up will get theirs for FREE!

February 15, 2018 – Discuss chapters 1-49 (pages 1-86)

February 22, 2018 – Discuss chapters 50-93 (pages 87-160)

March 1, 2018 – Discuss chapters 94-131 (pages 161-227)

March 8, 2018 – Discuss chapters 132-161 (pages 227-308)

March 24, 2018 – Free opportunity to meet author, Neal Shusterman, at TeenBookCon in League City.

Our goal for this book study is to encourage and foster conversation about what it means to have a mental illness and how to interact with those that are struggling. There is a stigma associated with mental illness and we hope this book study will be a step towards our OTHS teens understanding more about it.

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the google form. You do not have to attend every meeting:

Bring on Banned Books Week 2017!

Banned Books Week 2017: September 24th – September 30th

The library is excited to support the American Library Association as they invite you to speak out against censorship this Banned Books Week. The library will be encouraging students (and staff!) to join the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament and challenge themselves to complete action items on Twitter to be entered into a drawing for fantastic literary prizes. Similar to the Triwizard Tournament in the banned and challenged Harry Potter series, these tasks will test their creativity and knowledge.

How to enter the drawing:

Tweet any of the following action items using the hashtag #RebelReader during Banned Books Week (September 24-30) for a chance to win an array of literary prizes.

  • TAKE A SELFIE with a banned or challenged book (visit our selfie station in the library!)
  • SHARE A VIDEO of yourself talking about censorship of reading from a banned or challenged book
  • POST A QUOTE from a favorite banned or challenged book (visit our display)
  • SHARE A STORY about an educator who helped you learn the power of words
  • TAKE A PHOTO of a completed ALA Banned Books Week coloring sheet (we have them in the library!)
  • SHARE A LINK to the Tompkins library homepage or blog: and read our self-censorship statement:


Follow The Office for Intellectual Freedom on Twitter (@OIF) as they announce the winners of the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament! One winner will be chosen on every day of Banned Books Week 2017 at 4 p.m. Central. Each winner will receive a tote bag with books, mugs, and other literary items.


The purpose of Banned Books Week is to celebrate everyone’s right to read. We do not push students to read banned or challenged books. In fact, we encourage students to self-censor and decide what books are best for them. We want them to understand that just because a book may not be appropriate for them does not mean we should remove it from the shelves and prevent others from reading it.

© 1996–2017 American Library Association

Poetry Contest time!

It’s that time of year again! Time to put those creative thoughts onto paper and submit them to the OTHS poetry contest! Let’s celebrate National Poetry Month with lots of poetry!