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Friday, June 28, 2013

Comic: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

Looking for a good book?  Try reading this comic-style book talk of Rats Saw God, by Rob Thomas.
Comic from

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Interview: Colleen Frerichs & The Odd Squad

Mrs. Colleen Frerichs, friend of the RRHS Library and teacher at Westwood High School, not only had the amazing opportunity to help edit Michael Fry’s The Odd Squad: Bully Bait, but she also shared her reflections on this experience with campus librarian Christina Taylor:

  • How did you become involved in this project? 

Michael Fry, the book’s author,  is also the author of the nationally syndicated comic strip Over the Hedge.   I am friends with Kim Fry, Michael's wife, to whom the book is dedicated.  Kim knew that I was teaching revising and editing skills with my English I students and invited me to read the preview copy.

  • Please describe your contribution.
I was able to preview the book and with students that are in the targeted reader population and relay their reviews to Mr. Fry.
  • What was your favorite part of this process?
Our favorite part of the process was reading the book and rewriting sentences whose writing conventions may have benefitted from "tweaking.”

  • What was your least favorite part of this process?
We were very sad when we finished the book and can't wait for the next installment of the Odd Squad series.  In the meantime, we are all ravenous fans of the daily comic Over the Hedge.

  • Is there anything else that you would like to tell the RRHS community about your experience?
This experience inspired me and my students to further follow the latest young adult books being published.  We have attended several book festivals where we were able to discuss the writing process and the latest trends in YA Fiction.

When asked about her favorite pastime, Mrs. Frerichs eagerly responds that it is reading because “the ability to read opens up a world of information on any topic one can imagine.  As a teacher my goal is to empower my students to question topics and successfully acquire answers to their questions independently.  The skill of responding to higher order thinking questions after successful topic research will serve them well throughout their life.  It is a skill that I must use daily, for my students continually present new and interesting challenges that I must read about and research in order to respond appropriately.... So if you happen to catch me in the library or out in one of the local bookstores, you have seen me in one of my favorite places.”  Being such an avid reader and library supporter, Mrs. Frerichs has donated two signed copies of The Odd Squad: Bully Bait to the RRHS and WHS libraries for checkout.

Staff Review - The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry

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Nick doesn’t fit in at Emily Dickinson Middle School thus finding himself the target of Roy’s bullying. Things only get worse when Dr. Daniels, a well-intentioned guidance counselor, decides that he and two other outcasts need the better socialization skills that can ostensibly be garnered by participating in the campus Safety Patrol. Albeit things only get worse before getting better, the gang eventually secures a hard-won transformation and is ready to face whatever comes at them. In the tradition of shaggy dog stories, cartoonist Michael Fry humorously tackles the nature of bullying in a laugh-out-loud romp in which the characters also explore awkward romance and the meaning of friendship, compassion, and confidence. Although the target audience is clearly late elementary to middle grade readers, the protagonist is a comical blend of mature-beyond-his-years observations and school-yard humor that will appeal to a wide age range. Furthermore, illustrating Nick’s internal monologue with depictions of his mother’s ninja-like skills, his quirky grandmother, and the enigmatic Mr. Dupree along with a quick nod at St. Exupery, Fry’s zany illustrations are reminiscent of Charles Schultz as they humorously contrast objective and emotional reality – a feature that an older audience will relish.

- Christina Taylor, RRHS Co-librarian

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Student Review: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

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You can’t go wrong with a book by James Dashner. In this book (continuing after The Maze Runner) the main character, Thomas, has just escaped the horrors of the maze. Now, the rest of Gladers are forced to go through a barren wasteland of what used to be earth to find a cure for a disease that the Gladers have called The Flare, encountering many obstacles along the way. You would like this book if you like... The Maze Runner.

- Adrian, RRHS Student (Spring 2013)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Domino Rally for Summer Reading

After 7 hours, 27 volunteers, 112 slices of pizza, and 5 attempts, the Seattle Public Library sett the record for the longest domino rally of books ever. What a delightful start to the summer reading program!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Student Review: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer


Miranda, a typical high school teen, puts a comical and inside look on a worldwide natural disaster. She explain different aspects of the world through a narrative with just the right combination of facts, fiction, romance, family struggles, and times being hard. Susan Beth Preffer, through Miranda’s eyes, describes the changes and sacrifices that must be made to survive physically and mentally through hard times. You would like this book if you like… sci-fi, young adult, end-of-world matters.

- Rose, RRHS Student (Spring 2013)

Adult Summer Reading Fun

Looking forward to FUN summer reading? If you need some suggestions, click HERE for a list compiled and annotated by Kay Gooch - Austin Independent School District's Gullett Elementary School Librarian. Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Books To Movies: The Last Unicorn

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Fan's of this Peter S. Beagle novel will be gifted with three screenings of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse. Morovere, "the new digital print features crisper, brighter animation and restores original dialogue excised from DVD versions of the film." Furthermore, the book's author, who adapted the screenplay and whom Neil Gaiman dubbed "'the gold standard of fantasy,'" will conduct a pre-show Q&A session.

The Last Unicorn will play at the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz on Sunday, June 2 at 1:00 PM; at the Village on Monday, June 3 at 7:00 PM; and at Lake Creek on Tuesday, June 4 at 7:00 PM. All screenings will be preceded by the Peter Beagle Q&A session.

According to The Austin Chronicle's Amy Gentry, "what sets The Last Unicorn apart from its animated brethren" is... MORE