Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

West Orient will Rock the Drop April 15th!

For the last two years West Orient Middle School has participated in a fantabulous program that's headed up by the Readergirlz and also supported by Guys Lit Wire and YALSA. It's called Operation Teen Book Drop. Last year these three groups orchestrated publishers' donations of nearly 20,000 new young adult books to hospitalized teens across the country.

For 2010, If I Can Read I can Do Anything, has joined up as well to drop over 10,000 new YA books, donated by publishers, into the hands of teens on Native American tribal lands. Nationwide, librarians, over 100 YA authors, and teens will drop YA books in their own communities on April 15th, 2010, to raise awareness for Operation TBD 2010 and Support Teen Literature Day. Everyone can join an online TBD Post-Op party at 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST that evening at the readergirlz blog.

Inciting all to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz invites teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 15th. Participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they'll leave behind. Come Rock the Drop in 2010! At West Orient, we'll have free books available on the 15th to choose (donated to us by Got Books Go Green) for students who'd like one. We encourage you to share a new or gently used book that day by leaving it in a public place if you take one from us, but it's not a requirement.

If you'd like to donate to the tribal school libraries, the TBD Powell's Wish Lists will go active on April 7th. Check back at the Readergirlz site for information on how to purchase books for two tribal school libraries!

Join the fun, and Rock the Drop!

8th grade ice cream celebration!

The winning 8th grade class for our Ice Cream Challenge had their celebration party today. A good time was had by all - even the people who had to eat ice cream with a fork! Congratulations to Ms. Johnson's first period for coming from behind and pulling out the win! Yummy!

Happy birthdays to Alex and Victoria!

For these lovely young ladies' birthdays, they both chose OBOB titles. Victoria chose So B. It a lovely book by Sarah Weeks, and Alex chose the thriller Maximum Ride the Angel Experiment. Both are excellent reads! Happy birthday, ladies :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nubs - The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle - Kirby Larson, Mary Nethery, and Maj. Brian Dennis

I am a huge Kirby Larson fan, so when I recently saw she had a another book out, even though it was a picture book and wouldn't probably fit at our library, I had to check it out. It's a very sweet and almost unbelievable story.

Nubs, the dog you see pictured here (see how his ears have been cut off - that's why he's called Nubs), is from Iraq! Major Brian Dennis, a Marine serving over there, found Nubs - or maybe Nubs found him - and the two became friends. But soldiers aren't allowed to have pets, so Major Dennis had to leave Nubs behind when his unit went off on missions. Nubs was always waiting for him when he returned. But the really unbelievable part is this: when the major's unit moved to a camp 70 miles away the dog followed him! It took him two days, and he was in bad shape when he arrived, but he found his friend. Everyone says Marines are loyal, and apparently so are their dogs!

This unexpected and amazing behavior led Major Dennis to adopt the dog, even though he wasn't supposed to. But the military has its rules, and someone found out and told him he had to get rid of the dog. Instead, he started a campaign to raise enough money to fly Nubs to the US where they'd be reunited when he returned. It worked!

The story is told in text, photographs, emails, and dotted line maps showing Nubs's journeys, This is an adorable and inspiring story that animal lovers especially will love. Available at the Multnomah County Library.

And I have more news, too! Kirby Larson has a new YA book coming out soon, and she just emailed me (right while I was typing this review - isn't that kinda crazy?) saying she's sending me a preview copy! Yippee!!! Look for another Kirby Larson review coming your way soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Poetry Friday - Malheur Before Dawn

Doesn't reading this poem just make you calm? It does me. Perhaps I should tape it in front of my desk so I can see it at any time. Enjoy!

Malheur Before Dawn
By William Stafford

An owl sound wandered along the road with me.
I didn’t hear it -- I breathed it into my ears.

Little ones at first, the stars retired, leaving
Polished little circles on the sky for awhile.

Then the sun began to shout from below the horizon.
Throngs of birds campaigned, their music a tent of sound.

From across a pond, out of the mist,
One drake made a V and said its name.

Some vast animal of air began to rouse
From the reeds and lean outward.

Frogs discovered their national anthem again.
I didn’t know a ditch could hold so much joy.

So magic a time it was that I was both brave and afraid.
Some day like this might save the world

Friday, March 19, 2010

Poetry Friday - "Sacrifice Bunt"

I'm off to watch the Cubs play some baseball at spring training next week. I am looking forward to some sunshine and some Ronnie Woo-Woo (Go Cubs, Go). This poem is for all the baseball fans out there who can smell spring a mile away! Enjoy.


You hold the bat at eye-level,
knees bent, get down to meet the ball,
preparing to give yourself up
for the common good.
Your bat is an extension of the body,
the idea being to catch the ball
with all you have.
Somebody is depending on you
to move him along, a vulnerable friend,
the kind of guy who wonders in sweat
A limbo of wind comes off the mound,
nothing but a tiny marble
small enough for a navel.
Squared, you have given yourself away,
each rotation of the ball saying
You can’t think about it,
about popping it up.
Suddenly, it’s on the ground, he’s safe,
you’re out, he’s scoring position,
you’re on the bench, you’ve never left it up
to the next guy, the reader.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ice Cream Challenge - Final totals

Well, it's clear that Big Bird is right and, "everyone likes ice cream no matter who they are!" because the Great Ice Cream Challenge of 2010 has ended, and there were photo finishes and last minute sweeps and even a landslide at one grade. It was CRAZY exciting!!! Congratulations to everyone who participated. 65% of the students (287 students) and 84% of the staff got in on the excitement. Well done, everyone :-)

Here are the final totals !!!!!!!!

Arn --711
Johnson --748
Massy -- 424
Miller -- 259
Stickney -- 209

Fulsher -- 571
Harris -- 608
Johnston -- 164
Richardson -- 432
Van der Meer -- 276

Darby -- 812
Delmarter -- 386
Gatlin -- 439
Trayhorn -- 543
Volz -- 471

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mother Daughter Book Club fun!

We had our March Mother Daughter book club meeting today and we had a fabulous discussion on Dairy Queen by Katherine Gilbert Murdock. and then afterward we made these adorable rabbit boxes. Thanks to Krista and her mom for great green treats and to Mary Grace and her mom for the fun craft.

Special thanks to our Brazilian friends, too, who sent us special cards that the girls absolutely love! We're hoping to Skype with them on April 16th to talk about The Lightning Thief. It will be a big adventure!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ice Cream Update - Two days to go!

6th grade teachers are now officially part of the human ice cream sundae!!! Yeah, I won't be in there alone! :)

7th grade is only 57% of the way to making their teachers into sundaes, 8th grade is 64% of the way. If a lot of new kids participate in these last few days, there could be a whole bunch of us in the kiddie pool, so slurp up the stories and get in on the YUM! Only two days to go.

Don't forget our bonuses tomorrow. See yesterday's post if you need the 411 on that.

Here are today's totals:

Arn -- 531
Johnson -- 432
Massey -- 226
Miller -- 155
Stickney -- 162

Fulsher -- 388
Harris -- 451
Johnston -- 160
Richardson -- 252
Van der Meer -- 276

Darby -- 588
Delmarter -- 326
Gatlin -- 400
Trayhorn -- 451
Volz -- 322

Last collection day is Thursday!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ice cream update and bonus info!

Bonuses coming up this Wednesday!

Bonus #1 will be for the top three scoop earners in each 1st period on Wed. - only Wednesday's scoops will count for this bonus. Those three readers from each period will be able to come down and choose a free book from the gigantic selection of books we received from Got Books, Go Green.

Bonus #2 will be a drawing for a $ 5 Borders gift card. This winner will be drawn from all NEW participants on Wednesday. So if you haven't turned in a scoop card yet and you turn one in Wed., you'll be entered in that drawing.

Bonus #3 another drawing for a $5 Borders gift card from among everyone who turns in a scoop card Wednesday.

Here are the totals as of Monday's count:

Arn -- 449

Johnson -- 365
Massey -- 210
Miller -- 113
Stickney -- 162

Fulsher -- 336
Harris -- 350
Johnston -- 149
Richardson -- 228
Van der Meer -- 198

Darby -- 553
Delmarter -- 288
Gatlin -- 337
Trayhorn -- 401
Volz -- 312

Mrs. FB WILL be made into a sundae at the talent show. 6th graders are FIVE kids away from making their teachers into a sundae, so let's go 6th graders. I need some company in that kiddie pool. 7th and 8th graders need many more participants to make your teachers into sundaes, but you can do it!

Happy birthday, Shiloh

A New Moon to celebrate a new year! Thanks for the excellent recommendation, Shiloh. Hope you have a great year!

A couple of new noteworthy blogs

I've recently found a couple of new blogs I like, so I thought I'd share.

The first is What We Read and What We Think. I came across this one via Fuse#8, one of my favorite blogs of all time, who mentioned that Eric Carpenter, author of WWR&WWT was doing a bracket for the School Library Journal's Battle for the Kids' Books. Tis the season for brackets, you know (Mr. Massey's getting an NCAA one ready for us here at WOMS), so I moseyed on over and I really liked reading through his other entries, too. The author is from Atlanta, Georgia and says he's a second grade teacher who "reads way too much". I'm not sure you can read too much, can you? Nonetheless, I've added his blog to my links list on the right side of my blog.

The second is a blog called Children's Books and Reviews done by a couple in California. Their website slogan is, “Helping adults become experts on children’s literature.” I was really impressed by the reviews on the site - they're super detailed, and by an excellent comment Aaron left on one of my reviews. I've also added a link to their blog on my links list.

I love being part of the community of bloggers. It's kind of an interesting community to belong to, because most of us will never meet, but we all share a passion for books and it just feels like we really do know each other.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Poetry Friday - "Pythagoras"

I forgot to write down the author of this poem, but I wish I had because surely the person who wrote these beautiful lines should get credit. Words AND form are awesome.


Watching four birds fly by,
eight wings in harmony
Pythagoras said:
All these numbers.
The universe
counted and measured
even or odd,
forms rhythmic patterns
of motion and harmony
like the beating
of birds.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Lacemaker and the Princess - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I was just saying to class yesterday what I don't know what it is with me and Marie Antoinette, I mean the woman was completely out of line and out of touch, but I am fascinated with her. In part I am clearly enamored by all things princess, we know that, and no one was more princess-y than MA for sure. But I think perhaps it's also that I just keep hoping I'll find some redemption for her. This book didn't really do that, but I did like it.

This book was really focused more on her daughter, the young princess Therese, than on Marie Antoinette. And like mother, like daughter, she, too, was pretty out of touch. I don't blame the daughter, really, though. Most kids believe what their parents tell them - why wouldn't they? And clearly this young princess' parents were telling her there was nothing to worry about.

Isabelle and Ernestine are local girls who've been taken under the wing of the princess as "Friends." But really, they're more like pets. They do get good food and nice clothes to wear while they're at the castle, and all the privileges of royalty, but they're definitely not. All in all, it's a strange situation, and Isabelle has a difficult time discerning between what is true about the royal family and what she perceives to be true. In the end, she's pretty clear, but she sort of finds out the hard way.

I enjoyed this book, but it was a bit of a depressing piece of historical fiction in that way that reality sometimes is depressing.

Available at the WOMS library.

Oh, boy. It's official now...

As of today's tallies, Mrs. F-B WILL become a human ice cream sundae! 235 students have participated so far! The classrooms that are winning have a lot of kids in them participating, not just a few. This long weekend would be a great chance for you to get some reading done and turn a scoop card in on Monday. We'll be collecting Mon-Thur. next week. Contest ends next Thursday.

There's still time for anyone to turn in a bunch of cards and win this thing, but as of today here are the classroom totals:
Arn 371
Johnson 283
Massey 210
Miller 101
Stickney 160

Fulsher 268
Harris 319
Johnston 141
Richardson 212
Van der Meer 198

Darby 474
Delmarter 235
Gatlin 266
Trayhorn 237
Volz 236

Total scoops handed out so far 974

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ice Cream Update

Well, it's looking pretty grim for pooor old Mrs. FB. I agreed to become a human ice cream sundae if 50% of the students in the school participated, and as you can see from the thermometers, mine's nearly to the top! Only NINE more students need to participate, and I will be covered with chocolate sauce and cherries! Actually, I'm thrilled to become a human sundae because that means a lot of kids are reading!

Current class leaders are Arn, Harris, and Darby, but there was some movement in the race today with things heating up. PAWS store is open tomorrow. Buy yourself a scoop with 10 PAWS.

There are also some pictures here of some of the ice cream cones. Way to go, everyone. Collection days left are Thursday (3/11), and Monday-Thursday next week. Get in on the YUM and win your class an ice cream party!

When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead (Newbery winner!)

I enjoyed this 2010 Newbery winner, but it's kind of taken me a little time to warm up to it. I liked it less when I first finished it a few weeks ago than I like it now. That's kind of unusual for me. Most books don't grow on me so much as I think about them. I either really like them when I read them or they stay in the "eh" category. They don't often move up. The Mysterious Benedict Society did that for me, too, and interestingly, these two books are a little similar.

This book also has a mystery and it's one that's solved by kids. unlike the MBS, this book also has a sci-fi component, but I don't want to say much about that as it might be a spoiler.

Miranda, a 6th grader, begins receiving random warning notes. The reader and Miranda together are made to try and put things together to figure out what they mean, and it requires some effort on the part of both. I think perhaps that's why I didn't bond strongly with this book immediately. I was too busy trying to figure things out to love it. I was working! Now that the mystery is solved - although even at the end you have to do some serious inferring - this book is NOT for the faint of heat or mind - I can reflect on the story itself and take more time to enjoy it.

I'd recommend this book for readers who like to engage their brain as they read. Fans of A Wrinkle in Time, a book which Miranda adores and reads constantly, are also sure to enjoy this one. Currently available at Multnomah County Library, but I am ordering it for our library, of course.

Cracked Up to Be - Courtney Summers

This book is much more appropriate for high school than for middle school, but I really enjoyed the intensity of this book. Actually, I'm not sure enjoyed is the right word. I was drawn in by this book, but it didn't give me any kind of warm happy feeling. In fact, it was kind of distressing. It is a bit of a psychological thriller/mystery kind of story.

High school senior Parker Fadley (a girl) used to be a pretty all American girl - cheerleader, popular, good grades, etc. Now, she's none of those. She's failing classes, coming to school drunk, she even tried to commit suicide. But no one except Parker really knows why. Readers discover things bit by bit via flashbacks, which will work fine for some readers but will be disconcerting to others.

This book reminded me of Speak, Just Listen and Wintergirls.

Available at the Multnomah County Library. Recommended for high school readers.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ice Cream Challenge Update

Important ice cream challenge update! Mrs. FB will be made into a human ice cream sundae if 225 students participate in our reading challenge. So far 200 students have participated. Are you one of them? If not, do your part to spill the syrup over Mrs. FB's lovely locks and get your scoop cards turned in ASAP. Cards will be collected Wed. and Thur. this week, and Mon., Tues. ,Wed. & Thur. next week.

Current class leaders are

8th grade: Arn
7th grade: Harris
6th grade: Darby

Got behind on birthdays this week - sorry!

Sorry, kids - I got behind on the birthdays this week. This ice cream challenge has taken over my life! But now it's time to celebrate three of WOMS' finest kiddos, and their fabulous birthday recommendations of Schooled, So B. It and, a not as popular but ever so useful choice, the dictionary! Hope everyone had a great day!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dr. Seuss Trivia #2

What kind of trees are in trouble in The Lorax?

Be sure to write your first name and last initial and your grade in addition to your answer. Several winners will be chosen from among the correct answers.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Poetry Friday - "Mother to Son"

This is one of the first poems I really remember studying, and I remember finding the imagery to be incredibly powerful. I think it is this poem that made me love poetry. It's definitely what made me love Langston Hughes. The man is pure genius! Enjoy.

by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor-
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
‘Cause you finds it’s kinda hard.
Don’t you fall now-
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t be no crystal stair.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Here's the update for the ice cream challenge!
Next scoop card collection day is
Monday, so




this weekend.

Your scoop card does not need to be completely full to turn it in. Every half hour earns you a scoop.

8th grade

Arn 100
Johnson 56
Massey 80
Miller 44
Stickney 39

7th grade

Fulsher 49
Harris 76
Johnston 62
Richardson 42
Van der Meer 54

6th grade

Darby 94
Delmarter 61
Gatlin 48
Trayhorn 77
Volz 62

There's plenty of time for anyone to still win, so get out your book and get busy. Contest runs through March 18th.

Are you a Facebooker?

Join the WOMS library fan page today! All WOMS students who become fans this weekend will be entered in a drawing for a fun prize!


WOMS Library

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dr. Seuss Trivia Question #1

What was Dr. Seuss's first published book? Leave an answer in the comment section


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Read Across America fun!

Enjoy these photos from our fabulous festivities this morning. Thanks so much to special guests Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, Dustin Lanker, Jim Sestric, Sue Worthington, Kellee Rosales, Kevin O'Neill, Victoria Alley, and Annette Weitzel for joining us this morning! Thanks also to the Got Books Go Green organization for donating hundreds of books to us to use as prizes during our Ice Cream Challenge. If you have books around the house you're looking to to donate, they're a great organization.

WOMS students, be sure you read, read, read from now until March 18th to try and win the ice cream party for your first period! Leading the way after day 1 are

6th grade: Trayhorn
7th grade: Richardson
8th grade: Stickney