What librarians do on when on holiday…..

What do librarians do when they are on holiday? I will confirm that it involves coffee with local dairy creamer, comfy flip-flops,  a pile of library books to get caught up on, a few periodicals and a breath-taking  westward view of  Lake Champlain and the  Adirondack Mountain range. Life is good. Truly. librarianholiday2014 And there might have been a visit to a local library……….the second busiest municipal library in the state and staffed by  some of the most friendliest Vermonters  you will ever meet.
kellog Hubbardlibkelloghubbardlibchildren'sroom  Happy summer to all.     Keep reading and may all your hooked  bass fish  be large.

Sunshine State Reader Books 2014-2015

Old habits die hard, I  suppose.  This time every year for the past ten years, I eagerly await the  posting of the new  Florida Sunshine State young reader’s nominated reader’s list.  These are titles which many Floridian children will be reading over the summer of 2014 as well as into their 2014-2105 school year.   Attached is a copy of  the list, basic summary and AR reading level.   I can only hope that the children in my former school are continuing this program as that it was so well received by parents and students alike.  Anything to keep our children reading and  combating the dreaded ‘summer slide’.  While this is a list which has significance for Floridian children,  it is a great list of current children’s literature  for children in various states to enjoy.   See your school librarian for  more information about your state’s  significant reading list.


Sunshine State Reader Books 2014-2015,  Gr 3-5   ( for a printable list, click here )

SS-DORKBeaty, Andrea Dorko the Magnificent (AR 4.7)Robbie Darko is an old-school, pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your-hat-style magician, but despite his best efforts, something always goes wrong with his tricks until crotchety Grandma Melvyn moves in and teaches him something about the true meaning of magic.


SSMARKCarlson, Caroline Magic Marks the Spot (AR 6.1)When Hilary Westfield escapes Miss Pimm’s finishing school to join a misfit pirate crew, she embarks on an unexpectedly magical swashbuckling, plank-walking, sea-faring journey. Book #1



Grabenstein, Chris  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  (AR4.5)   TwelSSESCAPEve-year-old Kyle gets tostay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero, the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello, with other students but finds he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.
SSBEANHarkrader, Lisa The Adventures of Beanboy (AR4.3) Kansas seventh-grader Tucker MacBean loves comic books, so when his favorite comic has a contest to create a sidekick, he is hopeful that he can win, thereby fixing his struggling family.



SSSOUTHPIG Kurtz, Chris The Adventures of a South Pole Pig (AR 4.6) The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating and dangerous adventure of her life. The plot contains violence.
SSELVISLee, Jenny Elvis and the Underdogs (AR4.7)  All his life, ten-year-old Benji has been sickly and has long been targeted by the school bully, but after a seizure, Benji gets a therapy dog that is not only big enough to protect him, it can also talk.

Messner, Kate Capture the Flag (AR 4.5) When the original Star Spangled Banner is stolen, seventh-graders Anne, José, and Henry, all descendants of the Silver Jaguar Society, pursue suspects on airport carts and through baggage handling tunnels while stranded at a Washington, D.C., airport.

Paley, Jane Hooper Finds a Family (AR 3.4) This story is told from the perspective of a yellow Labrador puppy, who is separated from his family during Hurricane Katrina, rescued, and taken to New York City, where he tries to adjust to a new family, new neighborhood dogs, and his new name.

Perl, Erica When Life Gives You O.J. (AR 4.3)  For years, ten-year-old Zelly has tried to convinceher parents to let her have a dog, but when her eccentric grandfather, Ace, hatches a plan involving a “practice dog” named O.J., Zelly is not sure how far she’s willing to go to win a dog of her own.
Pogue, David Abby Carnelia’s One and Only Magical Power (NO AR TEST INFO AVAIL AT THIS TIME)
SSSTARNDEDProbst, Jeff Stranded (AR 4.5)  Jane, Buzz, Carter, and Vanessa, aged nine to thirteen, are on a sailing trip in the South Pacific intended to help them bond in their newly blended family when a massive storm strands them on a deserted island. The coauthor is Chris Tebbetts. Book #1




Selfors, Suzanne The Sasquatch Escape (AR 4.2)  Spending the summer in his grandfather’srundown town, ten-year-old Ben meets an adventurous local girl and together they learn that the town’s veterinarian runs a secret hospital for imaginary creatures. Book #1


SSRUMPShurtliff, Liesl Rump: the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin (AR 4.4)  This story relates the tale of Rumpelstiltskin’s childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important, how he is able to spin straw into gold, and why a firstborn child is his reward for helping the miller’s daughter-turned-queen.
Tooke, Wes King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige (AR 5.6)  Twelve-ySSKINGear-old Nick loves baseball, so after a year in the hospital fighting polio and with a brace on one leg, Nick takes a job with the team for which his father is catcher and gets to see the great pitcher, Satchel Paige, play during the 1935 season.
Vande Velde, Vivian 8 Class Pets+1 Squirrel+1 Dog = Chaos  ( NO AR  INFO AVAIL AT THIS TIME)


Sunshine State Reader Books 2014-2015,  Gr 5-8   ( for a printable list, click here )

semaAtkinson, E.J. I, Emma Freke ( AR 4.9) Growing up near Boston with her free-spirited mother and old-world grandfather, twelve-year-old Emma has always felt out of place, but when she attends the family reunion her father’s family holds annually in Wisconsin, she is in for some surprises.
sdolbonBlack, Holly Doll Bones (AR 5.9)  Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middleschool who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.


sraftBodeen, S.A. The Raft (AR 4.9) Robie takes a cargo plane from Honolulu to Midway Atoll after avisit with her aunt, and struggles to survive with the copilot, Max, after the plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean. The plot contains mild profanity.


selephantJacobson, Jennifer Small as an Elephant (AR 5.3)  Abandoned by his mother in an Acadia National Park campground, eleven-year-old Jack tries to make his way back to Boston before anyone figures out what is going on, with only a small toy elephant for company.


Klise, Kate Homesick (AR 3.9)  As his house grows more cluttered and his father grows more distant, Benny tries to sort out whether he can change anything at all.



sungiftKorman, Gordan Ungifted (AR 5.2) Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at middle school.



Levine, Kristin The Lions of Little Rock (AR 4.1)  In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice andfight against racism.sfar 


McNeal, Tom Far Far Away (AR 5.3)  When Jeremy Johnson Johnson’s strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown.



Meloy, Maile Apothecary  (AR 4.9)  A fourteen-year-old American girl’s life unexpectedly transforms when her family moves to London in 1952 and sheis swept up in a race to save the world from nuclear war.sghost



Poblocki, Dan The Ghosts of Graylock (AR 4.9) Staying with their aunts over the summer, Neil Cady, his sister, Bree, and their new friends Wesley and Eric set out to explore Graylock Hall, an abandoned psychiatric hospital which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Nurse Janet.



Ponti, James Dead City (AR 5.1)  Molly is an outsider at the elite Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology, but that changes when she is recruited to join the Omegas, a secret group that polices and protects zombies. The plot contains graphic violence. Book #1




Riley, James Half Upon a Time (AR 5.5) Jack’s grandfather is pushing him to find a princess and get married, so when a young lady falls out of the sky wearing a shirt that says “Punk Princess” & is looking for her grandmother, who looks like the long-missing Snow White, Jack helps her. Book 1



Schrefer, Eliot Endangered  (AR 6.2)  Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo, she becomes more involved in her mother’s sanctuary. When fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes.


Van Eekhout, Greg The Boy at the End of the World  (AR 5.3)  Born half-grown long after humankind has ceased to exist, Fisher must learn to survive in a world in which both animals and machines have evolved in alarming ways.

Wells, Robison Variant (AR 4.5)  After years in foster homes, seventeen-year-old Benson Fisher applies to New Mexico’s Maxfield Academy in hopes of securing a brighter future, but instead, he finds that the school is a prison and no one is what he or she seems.

Spring Bookfair 2012 : thank you to all

To all of my Saint Stephen’s friends and family, a huge thank you for your support of our Campus Center Library. Our recent Spring Bookfair (March 23rd-30th, 2012) was busy event, drawing students and parents in to browse and purchase.


A total of 6697.78$ in sales were  realized ( up 500$ from Spring 2011) . This translates into 1572.25$ in cash back to our school, as well as 993$ in book vouchers ( allowing us to purchase new books from Scholastic to add to our library shelves). Many, many thank yous to all, in particular our wonderful parent volunteers who are the soul of our library.

On a side note, parents were also able to place an order for summer reading books ( PK-gr 7). The deadline was Wednesday April 18th @ 9am. A total of 131 books were ordered, amounting to 556.21$ . 10% of this will come back to the school. Books ordered will be delivered to classrooms by mid May . This convenience for parents allows them to have the books in place as they plan for their summer travels. Reminder: read your books twice. Once at the beginning, once at the end of the summer. Be prepared to take an AR test or other activity relating to your books the first week of school.

Summer Plans 2011

Summer is almost upon us, thus the close of the 2010/2011 school year draws to an end. What will you be doing  during the summer months?  Each summer, my fellow falcons briefly document their travel experiences on a postcard and send it to me. Please feel free to send me a post card to add to our September 2011 display of postcards.  My address?

Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School

Campus Center Library

315-41st Street West

Bradenton, FLA 34209

Besides, it is an excellent  avenue  for your child to learn  how to write a mailing address as well as practice  his/her writing skills.

Summer time means many things to many people.  To a number of us, we are on campus, working hard to prepare for an enticing 2011/2012 school year for your child.  Personally, I will be on campus much of the summer months,  cleaning and shelf reading our 17 301 library  items, making our shelves ready to go for the new year. In  the middle of July,  I will have a week to place orders for new books, preparing our Sunshine State Young Readers program,  renewing our online databases and such.  I shall also be ordering our birthday books for our 2011/2012 school year.  This is a fun program in which we celebrate a student’s birthday by purchasing a new library book for all children  to enjoy.  These special books are given out in chapel and have a bookplate announcing the child’s name and birth date.  Every attempt is made to meet the child’s interests and reading level. (If you would like to enroll your child in this program, please  contact me for more information, or click on our birthday book web link.)

Fortunately, I will be able to spend 4 weeks with my son. We anticipate hanging out, attending swimming lessons,  tennis lessons,  visiting a few of the local sites including Mixon’s , Ringling Museum, Robinson’s Preserve and IKEA.  Each year, we participate in the Sarasota County Library program.  Many of their children’s programs are free or offered at a minimal cost.  Miss Marilyn and her co-workers at the Selby library plan an extensive program to stimulate our children’s  creativity and love of the written word. Much daily reading happens over the summer months chez Potwin.

I am sure that we will eeek out a Disney visit as  well.  And a Bass Pro shoppe visit,  of course.

As a delayed celebration of my  May birthday —a dreaded number which begins with the digit 4 and ends with  a zero,  my husband has a surprise weekend planned. Though as most surprises go,   the details will reveal themselves in time. While this birthday seems like a big number for me, the sense of sadness I am feeling  lends itself more with the  notion that my father would have turned 70 the day after my birthday.  We always shared our birthday celebrations and this one seems to be glaringly  odd.

Conversely, with great gladness, the Potwins will be spending two weeks in Vermont.  We will be enjoying our cabin on  Lake Champlain,  indescribable sunsets over the Adirondacks,  playing in the soft grass and the simpler joys of Vermont life.  Like many past vacations, I make every effort to visit a literary site. A location which has lent itself to the propagation of the written word.  For instance, the home of a literary figure or the site of an event which  became well know in literary circles. In the past, I have been fortunate to visit Jack London’s Sonoma, California home,  the Chicago site where Frank Baum penned  The Wizard of Oz,  Emily Carr’s home on Victoria Island, Almanzo Wilder’s farm in Malone,  New York, to name a few.  This summer shall be no exception.  Our Vermont plans include visiting Jericho Vermont, home of  Wilson ‘Snowflake’  Bentley.  A 1999 Caldecott award winning book documented the life of Wilson Bentley,   who’s scenitific vision lead him to photograph snowflakes in the late 1880s. Also, we are planning to walk the Robert Frost interpretive trail.  I know that my son will find this side trip as exciting as I will.

We are also planning to stop and visit some of our old Vermont library friends at the St. Alban’s Free Library in our old town of St. Alban’s ,  the Winooski Public Library’s new location at the Champlain Mills Building in Winooski and the Fletcher Allen Free Library in Burlington, VT.  Perhaps even squeezing in a bit of time to shop for the famous Bennington Pottery?   Oooo,  dare I dream? The rich  sapphire glaze of their rustic style pottery is stunning  and yet homey.

Shortly, I shall be  blogging my adventures in  Chicago, IL.  I have been awarded a  generous National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks in American History grant .  During a given week in July,  I shall be in enrolled in the Chicago’s Downtown Lakefront as Public Place  studying the history, the culture and the economic impact of the of this public park.   It is the fulfillment of the vision of the city’s founders. In 1836, four founders designated the downtown lakefront as a free and clear space for public use in perpetuity. Over time, that commitment has been kept. This small 1 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile rectangle is a center of ideas, designs, and activities geared for public use.  My side trip plans include   a scheduled tour of  Frank Lloyd Wrights’ Robie House  in Hyde Park.  The  student lead tour will  echos the events  in the children’s book The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. My son has   begged  a Lego store  visit  (on  North Michigan Ave) . Happily,   I have found a distributor of Britain’s  Emma Bridgewater’s  Black Toast Pottery , also on North Michigan. Perhaps a new addition to  my china collection is in order. Sugar Bliss  on North Wabash will  be a definitive stop…cupcake central.  I am confident that I shall make a small dent in my Christmas shopping on North Michigan Ave, as that the choice is overwhelming.

Of the many books I need to tackle, my summer reading plans include:

The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

Facebook Effect by David Kirkaptrick

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Allen

Sweet Valley Confidential By Francine Pascal

Physics Of The Future : How Science Will Change Life by Micho Kaku

Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective And Powerful Ways To Use Social Media To Drive Social Change by Andy Smith

Moonwalking With Einstein : The Art And Science Of  Remembering Everything by Josh Foer

Luncheon Of The Boating Party by Susan Vreeland

America By Heart and Going Rogue by Sarah Palin

Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts ( to aid my quest to for better pastry skills…perhaps  practice pies could be made in  a new Bennington pie plate?)

the 2011/2012 Sunshine State Young Readers selection

My friends, please keep reading this summer!  See you on campus  August 22th. (Be prepared to take your AR test on your summer reading novels, as that the  AR system will be up and running on Opening Day!)

A Falcon’s summertime time plans….

What are you doing this summer? Many of our Falcons are traveling this summer. Many have sent postcards back,listing their tales of adventure. Please  feel free to send a post card to :315-41st Street West, Bradenton, FLA 34209.I shall add it to our library display in September.

Summer time is here and a number of us are on campus, working hard to make the 2008/2009 school year a wonderful  year for our students.  Personally,  I am  on campus  for the first three weeks in June, cleaning and compiling an inventory of our 15 078  library items ( books, videos, DVDs etc).   In  the middle of July,  I will have a week to place orders for new books, AR tests, renewing our online databases and such.  I shall also be ordering our birthday books for our 2008/2009 school year.  This is a fun program in which we celebrate a student’s birthday by purchasing a new library book for all chidlren  to enjoy.  These special books are given out in chapel and have a bookplate announcing the child’s name and birth date.  Every attempt is made to meet the child’s interests and reading level. (If you would like to enrol your child in this program, please  contact me for more information, or click on our birthday book web link.)

Luckily,  I will be able to spend four weeks with Eoin.  I anticipate that we will hang out, go to the beach, swim in our community pool and other summertime fun.  The Potwin clan is eager for  a few days in Orlando: to hang out by the pool and perhaps visit the Magic Kingdom.  Mickey Mouse here we come!

In a future blog, I shall be documenting my adventures in Boone, North Carolina.  A wonderful National Endowment for the Humanities grant has been bestowed upon me. During the week of July 7th, I shall be in the Applachians  studying the history, the culture and the economic impact of the Blue Ridge parkway.  While this might appear to be a leap from children’s literature,  I am interested in the natural world.  While living in Vermont and New York State,  it was common for me to spend my weekends in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York.  I am eager to experience the Appalachians and draw upon its similarities to the ADK(See link to Paul Smith College, Saranac Lake, New York) .

Friends, please keep reading this summer!  See you on campus on August 20th.