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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Image from RRHS Catalog

"A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death - live on the Internet - and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?" - From the Publisher

My favorite aspects of this book were the humor used by the main character and the somewhat neutral ending. Unfortunately, I had trouble connecting with the main character's perspective; furthermore, I don't think that I would want be friends with people who are mean and insensitive. Butter was an enjoyable quick read, and you would like this book if you like Wonder by R. J. Palacio.

- Clay Bennett, RRHS Faculty

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DragonReaders: Friday, October 27, 2017

The next meeting of the 2017-18 DragonReaders will be Friday, October 27, 2017 in the library, during all lunches! Cone join us to discuss anything you’ve enjoyed reading lately.  Furthermore, we provide light refreshments and encourage you to bring your lunch to the meeting! Visit the library website to secure your hall pass. See you there!

Hunter (Hunter, Bk. 1) by Mercedes Lackey

Image from RRHS catalog

In a world overrun by monsters and things known as "Othersiders," some kids are given the gift of being "Hunters." The job of Hunters is to protect regular citizens from these monsters. After Joyeaux Charmand is called by her Prefect Uncle to the city of Apex, a place where the best Hunters go to protect the city, she must find her way after an act of sabotage is carried out. I strongly recommend this book; I never thought I could put down. It gets exciting right when you think it is about to start calming down, and it is a great read for anyone who enjoys fantasy. You would like this book if you like books about fantasy or magic such as Harry Potter or books about science fiction like Divergent.

- Sam, RRHS Student

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Couri Vine by Vanessa Shealy and Leah Lovise

Image from Goodreads
Young People for the Leader (Book 1)

This is a fine introductory outing for Couri, combining tropes of children’s literature with good old-fashioned pulpy sci-fi. An outsider ripped from her everyday school & community life by revelations about her family and her world that she alone can resolve, Couri follows in the footsteps of Monica Huges’ Olwen in Keeper of the Isis Light with many of the lunar trappings of Paula Danziger’s This Place Has no Atmosphere. Lovise’s character designs are distinct and her linework approachable without being overly cute; rendering of sci-fi stables like robots and spacecraft bear recognizably classic influences, often with a whimsical twist. Panel structure is regular and easy to follow, generating some of its own vernacular for communicating speed and flow.

Image from Goodreads

Journey to the Planet Earth (Book 2)

Couri’s adventure takes her far from home in pursuit of her history and a way to rescue her grandfather as the tale takes on both the timeline of ecological disaster and the family drama which has created the world she inhabits. This issue incorporates more action and intrigue, expanding the mystery by explaining part of it. The map endpapers, which will hopefully continue throughout the series as a world-building supplement to the text, incorporate more than what the plot touches on and bring contemporary elements of ecological concern into the sci-fi setting.

You would like this series if you like…Space Dumplins, Keeper of the Isis Light, or This Place Has No Atmosphere.

- RET3, Guest Reviewer

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sesame Street: Furry Potter and The Goblet of Cookies (with apologies to J. K. Rowling)

Student Review: Red Queen (Red Queen) by Victoris Aveyard

Mare Barrow is a Red, a normal girl in the servant class of humanity, but she is different. Silvers are all powerful, god-like, humans with abilities and silver blood. They are in power over each other and the Reds. Mare makes a desperate attempt to save her friend from the war, and in the process, discovers that she is different. She can do things she shouldn't be able to do because she's just a Red. Now Mare has to live with the Silvers and pretend to be one, because if she's discovered, she will die. This book is well written and has you nervous and anxious for what is going to happen next. It has great comedic and relate able moments as well as an air of romance without being too fluffy. It's action packed and mysterious; almost all genres in one! The author writes the story in a way that gets you connected to the characters faster than you'd even think was possible. You would like this book if you like ... The Percy Jackson series, or The Hunger Games series, dystopian novels, and high amounts of sarcasm.

-Zoe, RRHS Student

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Star Wars Reads Day 2017

Happy Star Wars Reads Day 2017! Drop by Dragon Library as we promote literacy and celebrate all things Star Wars.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Student Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Libby Strout, once America's Fattest Teen, goes to high school for the first time after being bedridden for six years. There she meets Jack Masselin, a "cool kid" who is hiding a severe case of prosopagnosia; "face blindness." Enemies at first, the two learn to look past the other's inhibitions and see the other for who they truly are. I'd only recommend this book to specific people. Although this type of book doesn't appeal to me personally, I do know some people who would love this type of emotional-romance-teen novel. You would like this book if you like… Twilight, Wonder, or books about teens learning to go through life.

- Erin, RRHS Student

Thursday, September 21, 2017

DragonReaders: Friday, September 29, 2017

The first meeting of the 2017-18 DragonReaders will be Friday, September 29, 2017 in the library, during all lunches! Cone join us to discuss anything you've enjoyed reading lately.  Furthermore, we provide light refreshments and encourage you to bring your lunch to the meeting! Visit the library website to secure your hall pass. See you there!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Faculty Review: Mustaches for Maddie by Morris/Brown

Maddie, a 12 year old in sixth grade, is struggling to figure out the social structures of her pre-teen years. She has a distinct sense of humor and love for all things mustaches, because what isn't funnier when you slap on a mustache? Maddie seems to be navigating the waters of 6th grade well, despite a small physical abnormality, when she learns she has a brain tumor. Some of her classmates rally around her; some others turn against her. I would recommend this book to a) anyone wanting to read an endearing, funny, uplifting story and b) parents who will read it with their late elementary school aged children. This novel is Wonder meets TFIOS and could be a talking point about bullying in the school system as well as forgiveness and caring. It is endearing, funny, and oh-so-believable (it is based on a real story after all). Although the "mean girls" characters as well as Maddie's other classmates are fictional, they are well and truly depicted. I could visualize the scenes developing as they were so real world. Maddie's real life parents wrote this novel based on their real life experience of their daughter going through similar experiences.

- Dawn Dickerson, RRHS Faculty

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Welcome home, Dragons!

Whether you’re fresh from middle school, easing back into our ever-expanding campus, or blown here by the winds of fate, we’re All One Family, so your DragonLibrary invites you to come see what’s in store among the stacks, screens, and sounds of our lair in the heart of the 1100 building.

There are, as you might expect, books. But such books! Both fiction and fact, on paper and on screens, and even ones that talk! Most have tons of words, many have pictures AND words, and a few have no words at all. Check them out here or from the comfort of wherever you have a data connection via Destiny Discover or flip through magazines on Flipster!

(There are even kind bibliomages, whom mortals call librarians, which dwell there and will work their sorcery to help divine a volume that is just right for you - if you use the magic word!)

(The magic word is PLEASE.)

Once you’ve found a good read to devour, bring your lunch to DragonReaders Book Club on Fourth Fridays. Your fellow scholars will be there with their latest reads which may well become your next favorite once they’re done telling you about it.

You may have heard wild reports that libraries and those that run them are dull, quiet, and never any fun at all. However, the latest Dragon Science shows quite the opposite! Your DragonLibrary is the place for an array of diversions throughout the year, ranging from National Library Week - always full of themed games and wackiness - to special events conjured from the imaginations of your Dragon Librarians.

Among their latest mad schemes is the very first Central Texas Teen Comic-Con! Start plotting your cosplay, because on Saturday, December 2, comic creators and vendors will invade your halls with drawing & writing workshops, panel discussions, and contests for art and costumes!

How shall you ever keep up with this brobdingnagian bibliotek bounty? Start by visitng the mind-bogglingly useful DragonLibrary website, where you will find many resources, including this DeepStacks blog, host to library announcements, book reviews, and intellectually edifying comics that are often setups for elaborate puns. If you’re the tweeting sort, you can also follow @rrhslib to add some library goodness to your feed.

Fly on in to browse the hoard soon, and have a great year!

RET3, Guest Blogger

Library Card Sign-up Month

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Faculty Review: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Vol. 1, Squirrel Power

Image from RRHS Catalog

As a trade hardcover, Squirrel Power—volume 1 of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl—collects issues 1-5 in which mutant Doreen Green and her sidekick Tippy-Toe begin college, best Kraven the Hunter, and save Earth from Galactus. Ostensibly, our heroine is attempting to blend in with non-superhero society and become a computer scientist, following in the footsteps of her idol Tony Stark. Unfortunately, she has more than a little trouble acclimating to student life. Set in the Avenger corner of the Marvel universe, Squirrel Power is chock full of not-so-casual, casual references to Iron Man, the Avengers, Stark Tower, Doctor Doom, and Thanos as well as allusions to Green’s possibly more suitable partners the X-men, Wolverine, and Deadpool. Written by Ryan North, creator of the fourteen-year running webcomic Dinosaur Comics (, this series is laden with the punny humor and zany commentary fans have come to expect from him. Squirrel Girl is a fast-paced, silly, self-aware romp that is full of wordplay and light on fan-service. Because its artwork is appealing but not overtly sexy, this title is easily appropriate for middle grade readers and beyond. The light-hearted references to itself and the conventions of its genre will find an audience in readers who likes having the “comic” in their comics. Moreover, allusions to other members of the Marvel universe strike the right balance between arcane and insipid in order to appeal to cannon heads and newcomers alike. In short, you would like this book if you like…Marvel’s Deadpool, Lumberjanes, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, and The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton.

- Christina Taylor, DragonLibrary Librarian

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Faculty Review: Doomed by Tracy Deebs

Image from RRHS Catalog

Feeling unwanted by the mother she’s always known, Pandora Walker can’t resist opening an email from the father she doesn’t remember—unwittingly unleashing cyber Armageddon and sending the entire world into panic. There is suddenly no Internet, no cellular service, no utilities, and no law enforcement. So, Pandora teams up with stepbrothers Eli and Theo to close the box that she has opened by besting her namesake, an allegorical MMO of her father’s making. Simultaneously, they’re forced to track down clues both online and in real life if they want to level up, beat the game, and save the world from a very literal self-destruction. Doomed is a high-energy page turner that will keep readers asking “what next?!” You would like this book if you like… sci-fi, cyberpunk, dystopian, and romance; Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, or Crewel by Gennifer Albin.

- Christina Taylor, DragonLibrary Librarian

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Faculty Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Image from RRHS Catalog

Maddy is a girl who has SCID- a disease in which she is allergic to everything. Olly and his family move in across the street from Maddy and her mom. Maddy and Olly strike up an email relationship. Carla, Maddy's nurse, allows Olly into the house for a visit without her mom's knowledge. Maddy wants to know what it's like to live IN the world and takes steps to make it happen. How things turn out will surprise you. I definitely recommend this book; it is a great story of love, both familial and romantic. You would like this book if you like romance and adventure.

- Becky Seitsinger, DragonLibrary Assistant

Friday, March 31, 2017

Fall of the Dragon Prince (The Forgotten Heirs Trilogy Bk. 1) by Dan Allen

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Years ago, the five realms were united byToran, the King. Rumor has it that Toran left an heir in each of the five realms and tied the success of each realm to the survival of his hidden heirs. Now that Toran has died, the realms are once again in turmoil, and only an heir can reunite them.
In the Erdali Realm, Reann, a highly intelligent serving girl in Toran’s estate, has taken it upon herself to try to find the heirs. Her mother was the translator for King Toran, before her death left Reann orphaned. King Toran took Reann in as a servant and left instruction for her to be cared for until her swiftly approaching eighteenth birthday. Reann is the unofficial librarian of the estate and uses all her spare time to research, knowing that she has only weeks left to solve the secret of the heirs before she will be kicked out of the estate. Then, a mysterious nobleman shows up with clues and employs her help in solving the riddle of the lost heirs. In the Montazi Realm, Terith has been raised as a dragon rider. He is the most gifted rider in his village and in charge of the raising and training of the war dragons. Terith will ride to represent his village in the upcoming race to win the right to marry the woman he loves. But his magic awakening has begun early, so he has to learn to control it to be successful in the race and defeat the dark traitor who will be racing against him Will the heirs be found in time to save the realms?

This book is fantasy at its’ best! Fans of Eragon, Game of Thrones, and classic dragon fantasy will enjoy this. The characters are wonderfully written and likable. Readers will find themselves reading through the night, unable to put this down--unable to wait for the next book in the series... needing to know what happens to Reann and Terith! You would like this book if you like… Dragon Fantasy stories!

- Sara Pavone, DragonLibrary Staff

Friday, March 24, 2017

Music is the literature of the heart...

“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.”

― Alphonse de Lamartine

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review: Strange Fruit, Volume 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History (Bk. 1 of Strange Fruit) by Joel Christian Gill

Image from RRHS Catalog

Gill presents several brief stories about Black Americans that are not typically included among the cannon of black history. Perilous and strange escapes from bondage, pioneers in various fields, and horrific yet forgotten episodes are all presented succinctly with a simple graphic charm. I'd recommend this book as a way to broaden the narrow view presented in many discussions of black history. There's little interaction with the historic grandees; W.E.B. DuBois makes a cameo, as does Teddy Roosevelt. The rest of the cast of characters will likely be new to you. Some escaped slavery and lived to tell a remarkable tale; others overcame social obstacles to achieve greatness. Gill relays these tales with humor and grace, often winking at folktale embellishments which place some stories closer to Washington's cherry tree than START II in terms of historical veracity. The art is simply done with occasional artistic flourishes and plenty of detail and easter eggs for the observant reader. You would like this book if you like… March, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, or the Crogan Adventures.

- RET3, Guest Reviewer

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Faculty Review: Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

Image from RRHS Catalog

Blue Riley's musician mother died from cancer. Her sister has sold her soul to the devil and run off to fulfill her dreams.  Blue makes a deal with the devil; she trades her musical voice for a chance to find her sister and bring her back.  Armed only with her mother's guitar and a pair of magical boots, Blue sets off across the country to find her sister.  As she travels, Blue finds out about the meaning of family and the unfairness of dealing with the devil. This novel of good vs. evil will keep readers turning the page.  The magical elements are believable and slight, and the characters seem like friends you would want to have.  Two thumbs up for this book! You would like this book if you like… Maggie Steifvater's Raven Boys series.

- Sara Pavone, DragonLibrary Librarian

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Faculty Review: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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Catrina and her family move to a purportedly haunted town on the coast of Northern California for the health of her younger sister, Maya. Although Cat wants nothing to do with ghosts, Maya is determined to meet one. As Dia de los Muertos approaches, Cat must figure out how to overcome her fears for both their sakes. Although Ghosts is a cute, fun read, some may take exception with the depiction of Hispanic culture and the relationship with ghosts. Nevertheless, this title would be a good addition to a middle grade or early high school collection. You would like this book if you like… Mercury by Hope Larson or Flutter by G. J. Linko.

- Christina Taylor, DragonLibrary Librarian

Monday, March 6, 2017

High Ideals #RRockReads

Skipping up the steps of the grand institution that resides at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, the language arts educator and public school librarian in me appreciates the majestic Beaux-Arts building that I’m about to enter. But the suppressed ten-year-old in me secretly hopes that Cee-Lo Green will burst forth from Patience—his marble prison—and offer up a modern rendition of “I’m a Mean Old Lion.” And even the sobering knowledge that no such whimsy will come to fruition on this day is incapable of sapping my joy.  Having waited these many years, the mere thought of spending my morning on a reading date in the hallowed halls of the New York Public Library prompts a hedonistic flush that can only be rivaled by the fond childhood memory of myself paying gold-lamé-clad homage to Ted Ross’ high-stepping, ousted leader of the pride.

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After a short jaunt down the first floor to room 117, I sigh, nestle into a chair, and take out my tablet to read. Basking in sensuous decadence, I glide my palms over the multi-hued inlaid wood that tops the banquet length table where I’m seated.  I stroke the sculpted table leg and note the many globes that have been tucked into this reading room’s various nooks and crannies. If only I’d taken a selfie.

Round Rock I.S.D. libraries are kicking off a literacy awareness social media campaign entitled #RRockReads. ​​It will start as a campus challenge over Spring Break, ​grow ​into a community challenge in April, and continue ​through the summer. The goal is to have students, faculty, staff, and community members read for fun, to learn, to create, to share, and to grow. Participants are encouraged to share pictures on Twitter and/or Instagram that demonstrate What? Where? or How? they are reading, to deploy the hashtag #RRockReads, and to tag their libraries and librarians (@rrhslib, @SaraSPavone, & @cetaylor05)

Spring 2017 Campaign T​imeline
  • March 1-19: Springbreak Campus #RRockReads Challenge
  • March 23: RRISD School Board, Superintendent, and Community Challenge for National School Library Month (April)
  • April: Continue to highlight our community of Readers!
  • April: National School Library Month
  • Summer: Grow our community of readers!
​ ​
As for my book adventure… opulent though it was, my NYPL reading escape was merely a well-appointed side room, while the main reading room was closed for renovation.

Clearly, I’ll simply have to return for the full experience. (And to get that selfie!)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Faculty Review: Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran

Image  from RRHS Catalog

Stan Lee details his history with and contribution to the comic book industry in this full-color graphic memoir. The comic book legend shares not only his legacy but also the story of how modern comics came to be and his involvement in that process—beginning with his impoverished childhood and pushing through to the current resurgence of the Marvel empire in movies.  Amazing Fantastic Incredible would be a good addition to an  established graphic nonfiction collection, as fans of the Marvel Entertainment movies will enjoy reading about the infamous Stan Lee. Furthermore, you would like this book if you like Dare to Disappoint by Özge Samanci, Filmish by  Edward Ross, or other graphic memoirs.

- Christina Taylor, DragonLibrary Librarian

A Grinchmas Carol

Seuss was dead, to begin with – there’s no doubt about that. On September 21, 1991, Theodore Seuss Geisel departed this world, leaving behind many partners in mirth—among them a certain high school librarian upon whose circulation desk we now intrude.

Once upon a time, on Read Across America Eve, this librarian sat busy at her circulation desk—a cold place, colder still for the icy scowl affixed upon her visage at the sight of her director cheerily bursting in upon the scene and declaring “Merry National Read Across America! Literacy save you.”

“Bah!” said Librarian, “Humbug!” Anyone who goes about with ‘Merry National Read Across America’ on her lips should be boiled in her own pudding.

“Read Across America a humbug!” said Librarian’s director. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do. It’s quite clear that Seuss’ works have little to offer the sophisticated needs of a secondary library! You keep Literacy in your way, and I’ll keep it in mine.”

But before the unperturbed director could offer a rejoinder, they were joined by a trio of preternatural presences: a faintly-visible mote suspended in a convenient sunbeam, an anthropomorphic feline in a preposterous chapeau, and a fuzzy orange potato with spindly limbs and a Wilford Brimley mustache.

Astonished at the sight, the bickering librarians stood agape a moment before a voice floated out of the dust-speck.

“I know what you’re thinking: Who are we? Well, since we’re not being paid by the word—like some authors we could name—we thought we‘d shortcut the whole arriving-at-the-stoke-of-the-hour schtick and quickly get this over with. We’re the Ghosts of National Read Across America Past, Present, and Future, and we’re going to show you, our curmudgeonly librarian, that the ideas which make Dr Seuss’ works timeless are present throughout your ‘sophisticated’ Young Adult world.”

Image from RRHS Catalog
Similar to Horton’s tale, stories with unseen worlds being discovered by the main character are common in Young Adult literature.  Frequently, the protagonist is singled out by fate and his or her life becomes complicated by the sudden introduction of the extraordinary into the quotidian.  Instead of hearing voices from Who knows what, our hero finds out that vampires are real or that he is a wizard. Some lesser known titles that feature this Seussian motif are Illusionarium by Heather Dixon, Illuminate by Aimee Agresti, and The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer.

Image from RRHS Catalog
Moreover, at any point in time, a zany character can happen by that turns a YA reader’s world topsy-turvy, driving a rollicking adventure that’s unbelievable. In the place of a Cat in a Hat may be a masked pirate king with familiar eyes, as in The Princess Bride by William Goldman; a troubled shape-shifting girl, as in Nimona by Noelle Stevenson; or a literally unbeatable super-heroine, as in Marvel’s Squirrel Girl, demanding attention and temporarily tearing the reader from her everyday world.

Image from RRHS Catalog
Finally, a world seemingly unlike our own can be uncannily similar in poignant ways—enough to make a teenager put down the glowing iThing and heed he who speaks for the trees. The deforested post-Loraxian waste of the Once-ler is a dystopia as sure as a rigid system of Myers-Briggs castes or a state-sanctioned gladiatorial bloodsport. In The Crewel World series by Gennifer Albin, The Selection series by Kierra Cass, and The Dragon Slayer of Trondheim series by E. K. Johnston, this same trope calls into question some rather disturbing aspects of our own world.

Still haunted by the the sight of the epitaph UNLESS, Librarian watched the wee mustachioed Ghost of Read Across America Future stalk off into the distance of the nonfiction stacks before turning to her colleague, unexpectedly giddy with excitement. “There’s still time! I haven’t missed it! I will honor Read Across America in my library, and keep it all year long!”

And, she was better than her word.