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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Student Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Cover from the DragonLibrary Catalog

The Hunger Games is an adventurous, suspicious, and entertaining story.  It’s mainly about a girl named Katniss, and she gets picked to go in an arena and fight to the death of one person. I really like this book because it keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. You would like this book if you like… The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.

- Bethany, RRHS Student

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Faculty Review: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Cover from the DragonLibrary Catalog

Dad is mad. And when your dad happens to be Zeus, well the punishment can be a bit different than just being sent to your room. The Greek god Apollo must now live as a mortal teenager as punishment for the gods' recent battle with Gaea. He must face off against unknown enemies as they try to wrest control from the gods of Olympus and save his children and friends from harm at the same time. And so begins Apollo's many trials and hardships to regain his immortality. I most definitely recommend reading this book. It is full of action and humor. It is fun to read as Apollo struggles with mortality and living with his children as well as the perils they face as demigods. It made me look forward to continuing to read about Apollo's further adventures and is a very good follow up to all the other Percy Jackson novels by Riordan.

- Michael Russell, RRHS Staff

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Princess' Diamond Jubilee

Image by Elena Casagrande

Diana rocks slowly in her favorite chair, admiring the last golden rays of the Themyscirian sunset diffracting around the edges of her invisible jet, looking fondly back on her day. Clark, Bruce, Hal, and Orin all dropped by to bring wishes and reminisce about past adventures; even Barry put in a brief appearance, late as usual. Gathering her breath to blow out the 75 star-shaped candles atop the red, blue, and gold sheet cake her granddaughter gingerly placed before her, Diana closed her eyes and silently petitioned Hera:
Watch over those loved ones who are not present. With a soft sigh and a quiet smile, our heroine returns her focus to the present, rises, and retires to the warmer interior of her ancestral palace to escape the evening chill, assured that today she was once more victorious.

Perhaps, in some alternate continuity, Wonder Woman would celebrate this year’s milestone birthday like that, but the Amazon princess that we love is NOT that sort of septuagenarian! In fact, as our Diana turns 75 this month, she continues to fight for America, "the last citadel of democracy and of equal rights for women"— as she always has, just as her creator William Moulton Marston intended. In fact, this “little old lady” will be bringing the fight back to the big screen in a new movie arriving Summer 2017, to inspire the next generation of fans.

Happy birthday, Wonder Woman! You’ve fought the good fight for seventy-five years.  And we need you now, as much as ever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December is coming...

Student Review: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

Image from RRHS Catalog

Frey recounts his six-weeks in rehab. His story is full of discovering new friendship, love, and hope. Readers will experience an emotional roller coaster as they read and, by the end, will feel grateful for taking the ride. You would like this book if you like…intense drama like Monster, Breaking Night, and A Child Called It.

- Abby, RRHS Student

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hour of Code

With tears streaming down my face, I delivered the bitter-sweet news, choking on the explanation. I’d been accepted into an internship program for the next year--my senior year--and would have to forgo the second year of Computer Science in order to be a student intern for a French and English teacher at a nearby middle school.

“But Christina, this is what you want: To teach. French and English. At high school. You’ll get to test-drive your dream before committing money and years to study, perhaps only to realize that you’d rather do something else” Mr. Schram reasoned.

“But I’ve successfully written more lines of code than any of the boys in class! Plus, I’d planned to be your lab assistant during my off period.” The strained silence persisted until, accepting what I knew to be true, I meekly excused myself and walked away.

Being the daughter of an engineer with 26-years at Texas Instruments, I grew up learning to use a computer at a time when 8 megabytes of RAM was an impressive amount of memory. Smart phones, tablets, and wearables were the stuff of science fiction. People didn’t take their computers to the Genius Bar to be repaired because most people didn’t even have a computer. Daddy and his colleagues WERE the Geek Squad, and repairs were negotiated through bartering, creating an elaborate economy of favors. This was my ordinary world, and it is only recently, as a seasoned educator, that I’ve realized that I was privileged.

Computers are now everywhere, used by everybody, everyday. While using them is all but unavoidable, a deep understanding and knowledge of Computer Science is not, and the stereotypical Geek Squad of old is in need of a makeover to better include women, minorities, and anyone for whom a lucrative high-tech career might seem like a distant dream:
  • Women who try AP Computer Science in high school are ten times more likely to major in it in college, and Black and Hispanic students are seven times more likely.
  • A computer science major can earn 40% more than the average college graduate.
  • Computing jobs are the #1 source of new wages in the United States. These jobs are in every industry in every state, and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

Hour of Code originated as a humble sixty-minute introduction to computer science, demonstrating that anybody can learn the basics. It has since grown into a global Computer Science Education Week event supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators.

No participant in Hour of Code will go from novice to expert programmer in the span of an hour. But between December 5th and 11th 2016, she can get a taste, a glimpse, an inkling of what she could do and say “Hello World” to something new.

Comics: The Best Written Medium Ever!!!

Comic from

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Comic: Steve Lichman, volume 1

Comic from

Student Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Image from RRHS Catalog

Violet Markey and Theodore Finch meet on the ledge of the bell tower of their school, both contemplating suicide, in the novel All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Finch, who has long been labeled a freak by his classmates, recognizes Violet’s pain as she tries to deal with the loss of her sister in a car accident. Finch, meanwhile, struggles against a mental illness where he is one moment on top of the world and the next in a depression so deep he can’t even leave his house. Themes of dealing with death and loss, the stigma of mental illness, bullying, and the power of love are all addressed through the course of the novel in which these two teens try to help one another through problems bigger than they are. A person with a mental illness or who has overcome a mental illness would find a beautiful connection to this book.

- Emily, RRHS Student

Student Review: Beowulf, Translated by Seamus Heaney

Image from RRHS Catalog

This book tells the story of a prince, traveling through the ocean blue in search of the most terrifying creatures. He comes across a town that is being attacked by an evil monster. He does the town a favor by slaying it. Thinking that the problem was over, but they did not know that the beast had a mother who swore revenge on whomever killed her child. You would like this book if you like… action-packed, medieval books.

- Saul, RRHS Student

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Comic: Your Presidential Fantasy Dream Team by Daniel O'Brien

Looking for a good book? Check out this comic-style book talk of Your Presidential Fantasy Dream Team by Daniel O'Brien.

Comic from

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

As I sat at my desk—a deer in the headlights—I blinked confusedly as the faceless teacher bore down on me, trying to make sense of what she was saying.  In a sandpaper voice that belied her 26 years, she’d caught me mid-flight and demanded an answer.  Electricity ran down my back.  I immediately started to avoid eye contact, looking at the plain walls with no decoration all around the room and hoping that she would not force a response.  The loudly ticking clock seemed to mark not only the passage of time but also the dramatic increases in temperature. Suddenly, I heard my name being called.  Fear rushed through me again, and I began to tremble.  What would everyone think when I say that I don’t know.  You’re stupid!  Why don’t you pay attention?  You’re hopeless!  With that in mind, I whispered, “I do not know this NaNoWriMo.”

50,000 words. 30 Days. 1,667 words per day.

November 1, 2016 marked the 18th year of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual celebration is the largest writing event in the world - with an expected participation of nearly 500,000 people to start a 50,000-word novel, guided by this year’s theme: Your Novel, Your Universe.

Last year, NaNoWriMo boasted...
  • 431,626 Participants
  • 633 Regions
  • 6 Continents
  • 40,000+ participants who met the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month

This year, not only can participants receive weekly inspirational messages and mentorship from well-known published authors, but also NaNoWriMo unveils a brand new website for its Young Writers Program (YWP). Students will be able to draft their novels and track their progress directly on the site as well as use the inspiring resources that are provided. In addition, teachers have access to virtual classroom spaces to facilitate the program, free Common Core-aligned curricula, student workbooks, classroom resources, and virtual classroom tools. Furthermore, NaNoWriMo sends out 2,500 free classroom kits each year to help teachers offline as well. Finally, with the help of local businesses, libraries, and community centers, 930 Municipal Liaisons will coordinate hundreds of local, in-person writing events throughout the world.

Up until a few few years ago, I’d never even heard of NaNoWriMo, but with those six words, I was awakenedunderstanding that help was available if only I was willing to ask for it. So whether you’re an aspiring writer or just looking for a outlet for your creativity...tell your story. Write your novel. Build your universe!

Wondering how to survive this challenge, now that you’re committed? Check out Trent Cannon’s advice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Student Review: It by Stephen King

Image from RRHS Catalog

This novel is written by one of the greatest authors of all time, Stephen King.  This book is packed with a tremendous variety of suspenseful, thriller, and horror scenes. The unknown It is a clown who haunts and kills little kids who wander off by themselves. The clown is a creepy creature killing machine who haunts these kids all their lives. They soon come to defeat him once and for all!
You would like this book if you like… suspense, horror, and thrillers.
- Antonio, RRHS Student

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Student Review: The Shack by William Young

Image from RRHS Catalog

In The Shack, William Young does an amazing job of sending the reader on an emotional spiritual journey that will break your heart and put it back together. Young helps the reader understand the Holy Trinity by putting it in a way that people can connect to. You would like this book if you like… reading books about Christianity.

- Jordan, RRHS Student

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Review: Total Frat Move by W. R. Bolen

Image from

Total Frat Move is a very compelling book about the main character, Townes, joining a fraternity.  It takes you through the steps - rushing, pledging, and then inducting. It explains, in detail, all of the experiences he has in college, such as parties, tailgating at college football games, and struggling in certain classes. You would like this book if you like books about... college and parties.

- Brandon, RRHS Student

Monday, October 3, 2016

Coins For Coats 2016

Coins for Coats is a fundraiser for the Round Rock Coats for Kids program which provides a coat to RRISD children in need. It’s one of the many services that the Round Rock Area Serving Center offers the community.

We need your help!
So, how can you get involved?!

  • Beginning October 1st, the library will have a collection bucket where you can donate your spare change.
  • Furthermore, the 2nd block class that collects the most money for Coins For Coats will win the Grand Prize; a class cookie party!
  • Finally, keep your eyes peeled for people collecting change at Dragon events, such as football games, the Community Homecoming Pep Rally, and more!

This year’s fund drive begins October 1st and continues until Friday, October 28th. The coat distribution will be November 1st from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Round Rock Area Serving Center (1099 E. Main St., Round Rock, TX 78664).

For more information about the Serving Center’s programs and volunteer opportunities, call 512.244.2431 or visit

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 Texas Teen Book Festival

Texas Teen Book Festival (#TTBF)--a celebration of the teen reading experience--is a partnership between the Texas Book FestivalBookPeople, and venue sponsor St. Edward’s University. This FREE one-day event invites teens to meet many of the most popular and critically acclaimed young adult authors. This year's festival will feature 34 authors and have an expected attendance of over 4,000 teens, parents, teachers, and librarians from across the state.

Some features of the 
2016 festival include:
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?), Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows) and Laini Taylor, (Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and Strange the Dreamer) as the keynote speakers. 
  • authors Sabaa TahirRene S. Perez IIDavid ArnoldCaleb RoehrigE.K. Johnston, and Jeffery Self competing in an epic battle of BC vs. AD at the annual Texas Throwdown Game Show. 
  • a new workshop with
  • a special event with Alamo Drafthouse. On the evening of Friday, September 30, the Texas Teen Book Festival, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, and Penguin Teen will host a very special screening of the 1983 film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s YA classic, The Outsiders. Authors Sabaa TahirDavid Arnold, and RenĂ©e Ahdieh will join the exclusive event for a Q&A session with Sarah Pitre from Drafthouse and Forever YA.
  • the festival's first Fierce Reads Costume Contest!

***The festival is free and open to everyone***

Saturday, October 1, 2016
8:00 AM – 6:30 PM
St. Edward’s University, 3001 South Congress, Austin, TX 78704

Book Sales start at 8 AM and will last all day.

Keynote Author(s) and Special Events: 
  • In Conversation with Mindy Kaling
  • TTBF Texas Throwdown Game Show - Sabaa Tahir, Rene S. Perez II, David Arnold, Caleb Roehrig, E.K. Johnston, & Jeffery Self
  • Afternoon Keynote - Laini Taylor
  • Closing Keynote - Leigh Bardugo
  • Badgerdog Poetry Workshop with Carrie Fountain
  • Badgerdog Poetry Workshop with Sasha West
  • Barrio Writers Writing Workshop with Sarah Rafael Garcia
  • Fierce Reads Costume Contest
  • Typewriter Rodeo
  • Fiction Contest Winners announced

Festival Schedule: Download the 2016 Schedule here.

Click HERE for more information.

Book Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Image from RRHS Catalog

This book is an incredible romantic tear-jerker. As the book progresses, you see the love and compassion between Alex and Katie. As Katie’s past becomes revealed, the reader understands why she is a closed book with new people. I like this book because it plays with emotions. You would like this book if you like… romance.

- Kathryn, RRHS Student

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Gene Luen Yang: 2016 MacArthur Fellow

If you've ever closed the cover of American Born ChineseBoxers and Saints, or any of his Avatar: The Last Airbender stories and thought, "That Gene Yang is a genius!", you're in good company. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have named the accomplished comics creator as one of this year's MacArthur Fellows, receiving a "Genius Grant" of $650,000.

The list of fellowship recipients dates back to 1981, but has historically been heavily populated with scientists, activists, and artists in fields that are more traditionally revered than comics. In recent years, however, cartoonists and graphic novelists have been recognized as their art form gained critical attention. Ben Katchor (Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply DistrictThe Cardboard Valise) was named in 2000, followed by Alison Bechdel (Fun Home: A Family TragicomicAre You My Mother?: A Comic Drama) followed in 2014. Gene Yang is by far the most mainstream of this trio of comic geniuses, with graphic novels aimed at budding programmers (Secret Coders), history buffs (Boxers and Saints), and superhero fans (New Super-Man).

Your Dragon Library just so happens to have several of Gene Yang's graphic novels ready for you to crack open and see why he's considered among 
   the best at his craft.

  RET3, Guest Bloggers

Monday, September 19, 2016

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, Sept. 25 - Oct. 1

"By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular." American Library Association

Want to participate in Banned Books Week?!

  • Banned Books Virtual Read-Out! - Proclaim the importance of the freedom to read by posting videos to be featured on a dedicated YouTube channel.
  • The Sledding Hill - In support of Banned Books Week, playwright Jarrett Dapier has offered his complete stage adaption of this Chris Crutcher novel to the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom . Click HERE to download and read. There are no limitations to reading, sharing, or printing Dapier's play. Want to perform the play?
  • Webinar - Jessica Herthel, Christine Badacchino, and Wendy Doniger will share their experiences with censorship of their books in webinar titled "Battling Bannings: Authors Discuss Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read."

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Welome back to the lair, Dragons!

As the first shavings spiral off of your first number 2 pencil, releasing that ineffable aroma hailing your return to the halls of academia after a long and sunny idyll, your Dragon Library welcomes you to the 2016-17 academic year!

For those returning, the torrent of bibliocentric adventures continues unabated both under our vaulting roof and online; for those embarking on your quest, Dragon Library is here to equip and assist you on your journey.

Come early: at 8:15 AM, we’re open for your before-school leisure reading and panicked urgent last-minute work and printing needs.

Don’t be late: at 4:30 PM, the library departs for its nightly visit to the homeworld of its people, Biblimac, accessible to mortals only via the internet.

Share your reading: DragonReaders, the student book club, meets during lunch (all 4 of them!) on the last Friday of most months. Come discuss the books that you’re — hopefully only metaphorically — chewing on.

Teachers, too: the faculty book club convenes once per grading cycle, on the Thursday after grades are due. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys is the first selection, so get cracking!

All this plus special programming and the customary antics of your Dragon Librarians await you throughout the year to come. Drop in and check out!

- RET3, Guest Blogger

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Image from RRHS Catalog

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is about the style of living in the 1920's, during great economic prosperity. The book entails twisted love affairs and close relationships while revealing the true identity of The American Dream. The book depicts the lifestyles of the wealthy and how they got away with everything, the middle class' simple lifestyle, and the lackluster life of the lower class people. The main character, Jay Gatsby, has spent most of his life chasing after a girl named Daisy, moving across the country just to live next to her. He is one of the wealthiest men in New York, and despite all his wealth, all he wants is to have Daisy Buchanan--even though she is currently married. Despite all his efforts, he is never able to achieve his true American Dream--perhaps because it never existed. Throughout the book, the reader gets more involved in many characters' lives and secrets, such as Gatsby, Daisy, Tom, and Nick. I recommend this book because it is a true American Classic, and a lot can be learned from it. This book really helps describe the lifestyle people lived during the 1920's with prohibition and shows how much life has changed since that time period. Also, the twisted love affair problems throughout the book really leave the reader wondering what might happen next and why some actions took place. I really recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. You would like this book if you like… twisted love affairs; realism; The American Dream; true American Classics; and allusions, symbolism, & irony.

- Ryan, RRHS Student

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Towel Day: May 25th!

Image from

Towel Day is an annual tribute to Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy .   In 2001, after Adams' passing, his fans wanted to organize some kind of celebration in his honor, and after its initial success, it became an annual event. Hence, on that day, fans everywhere carry a towel in his honor. 

Why a towel?
According to the guide "a towel ... is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly, it has great practical value.... More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value."

Want to get involved?
  • Help get the word out through social media (#towelday).
  • Inform the good people at about events you organize, and they'll announce them on the site.
  • Carry a towel everywhere on Towel Day!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Much like Asimov's "Dial Versus Digital" failed to accurately depict the future of our society, those who would pit digital books against print editions, fail to recognize the larger context. Reading is reading regardless of the format. In Print Books and Digital Books Are Not at War, Amy McGuire succinctly explains that both formats not only can, and do, co-exist harmoniously but that this argument creates a false dichotomy. Keep reading - in whatever form it takes!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Summer is coming...

Comic: A Word from Sophia by

Looking for a good book? Try reading this comic-style book talk of A Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail.

Comic from

Friday, May 6, 2016

Comic: The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson

Looking for a good book? Try reading this comic-style book talk of The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson.

Image  from

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Image from RRHS Catalog

I love how Ray Bradbury tells Fahrenheit 451. In this book, fire fighters go around searching people’s houses to see if they have books. And if they do, the firefighters burn their houses down. But, one man tries to beat the system and has to flee the city to avoid jail. You would like this book if you like… The Giver.

- John, RRHS Student