Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Where is Ms. Shuborna?

You know it's almost summer holiday when you issue bills for lost textbooks and they magically start reappearing!!

Have a great summer break!

Sunday, June 4, 2017


I recently discovered Symbaloo and have updated our library homepage in Destiny so students have easier access to our library resources.  Students like having all our frequently used links in one place as well as the icons.

I've included sections for:
  • Databases
  • Image searches
  • Reading/Books
  • Social Media
  • Citing Sources
Do you have good resources you think I should add to our library Symbaloo?  If so, let me know!  Create your own Symbaloo here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wonder...THE MOVIE!

I am very excited for the movie version of the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio to come out next November!  Watch the trailer below and if you haven't yet read Wonder or the companion novels, find them in our library.



808.88 PAL

*Images from

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Summer Reading List

 (Newport News Public Schools, 2017)

Need something to read this summer?  Find ideas at these websites:

2017 ALSC Summer Reading Lists - The Association for Library Service to Children publishes recommended summer reading lists for children from Birth-Grade 8.  Find a printed copy of the Grade 6-8 list in our library!

YALSA Book Finder- Need a new YA book?  The Young Adult Library Services Association is designed for teens from 12-18 and can suggest some great summer reading!

Here is what is on my summer reading list so far:




Works Cited:
Summer Reading. Digital image. Newport News Public Schools. Newport News Public Schools, 2017. Web. 24 May 2017. <>.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New Board

Found this idea on Pinterest and modified a bit for our library.  Others always comes up with the best bulletin board ideas!  Thanks Mr. Shoyab for taking on this project.

Works Cited:
B, Mrs. "Back to School: Ideas & Resources." Pinterest. N.p., 20 July 2015. Web. 24 May 2017. <>.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Embassy Row Series by Ally Carter

(Image from:
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Embassy Row is Ally Carter's newest series.  I was drawn to the first book, All Fall Down, while living in Moscow.  Two embassy kids (one Russian, one American) in a fictional European town; the setting sounded a bit like the lives of our students, minus the murder mystery!
Grace lives with her Grandfather, a US Ambassador, on Embassy Row.  She is convinced her mother was murdered.  Her family is trying to convince her she's crazy.  Grace is convinced she will find her mother's killer and make him pay.
The first two books in this series follow Grace as she uncovers secret after secret.  The plot kept me guessing and is full of unexpected twists and turns. The third book?  I can't wait to read the conclusion to the Embassy Row series when it arrives to our library in August. This series will appeal to lovers of mystery and suspense with a little bit of glamour and social politics thrown into the mix.  Embassy Row makes for great summer reading!
Find the first two books, All Fall Down and See How They Run,  in our library: MYSTERY F CAR
Look for Book 3, Take the Key and Lock Her Up in August!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam

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I recently read The Good Muslim for my book club.  Tahmima Anam is a Bangladeshi writer and I was excited to read something about Bangladesh.
The Good Muslim takes place immediately after the Bangladesh War for Independence.  It explores the rise of religious fundamentalism after the war through the eyes of family members.  I found this story very good, but also very upsetting and sad.  
In fact, I can't really put my thoughts on this book into words just yet, so here's what Amazon (2017) says about The Good Muslim:  

In the dying days of a brutal civil war, Sohail Haque stumbles upon an abandoned building. Inside he finds a young woman whose story will haunt him for a lifetime to come. . . . Almost a decade later, Sohail's sister, Maya, returns home after a long absence to find her beloved brother transformed. While Maya has stuck to her revolutionary ideals, Sohail has shunned his old life to become a charismatic religious leader. And when Sohail decides to send his son to a madrasa, the conflict between brother and sister comes to a devastating climax. Set in Bangladesh at a time when religious fundamentalism is on the rise, The Good Muslim is an epic story about faith, family, and the long shadow of war.
 I recommend this book to anyone interested in the culture/history of Bangladesh and anyone who likes sad stories!
Find The Good Muslim in the Bangladesh Collection of our library: BC F ANA 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What to do with old library books?

Book Art!

In collaboration with our middle school art teacher (99.9% of the credit goes to him- I just donated the books) we have new art displays in our library!
When I arrived this year, I found our non-fiction section to be very outdated.  The massive book weed resulted in several big, thick books that were perfect for recycled book art.  The MS students worked very hard to create these masterpieces:

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle has been on my "to read" list since I ordered it for the library I used to work at in Moscow.  But, I sort of forgot about it and happened to pass it while shelving the other day.  I was intrigued by the fact it was compared to We Were Liars, which I liked.
This mystery is set in Ireland and is about a family who experiences an accident season every October.  Each year, people get hurt, people die, and this accident season is predicted to be the worst yet by Cara's friend Bea.  So, why not throw an epic Halloween Party at a haunted house?  The book does a good job at blurring the line between fantasy and reality and exploring the secrets people keep.
The Accident Season was a good, slightly creepy, mystery.  In the end, I enjoyed this book, but I felt there were a few unanswered questions in the end.  There's more I still want to know (or didn't figure out) and as this not a series, I guess I will be left wondering.
See if you can figure out all the answers! 
Find The Accident Season in our library: MYSTERY FOW

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Airhead" Series by Meg Cabot

I just finished reading the last two books in the Airhead series by Meg Cabot.  (See my post about the first book, Airhead, here.)

                 (Image from:                                     (Image from:

I loved this series!  I thought is was a perfect mix of sci-fi, mystery and romance.  Being Nikki continues the series about what life is like for Em Watts now that her brain has been transplanted into the body of a supermodel.  The mystery of her operation gets even more mysterious when she finds out Nikki's mother is missing.  Runaway concludes the series....all the mysteries will be solved and you know how I love happily every after endings!

A highly recommended trilogy.  Find the first two books, Airhead and Being Nikki in our library.  Runaway, the third book, will be coming to our library soon. I purchased it for myself in eBook format because I couldn't wait to see how the series ended!

Call number:  ROMANCE F CAB

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Secrets of My Hollywood Life" by Jen Calonita

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Secrets of My Hollywood Life was my other spring break read about the lives of famous people.  This is a great middle grade read and the author gives away many "secrets" about famous people throughout the book.  Jen Calonita would know as she used to be the editor of Teen People and a journalist for many other entertainment magazines.
Secrets of My Hollywood Life is about the glamorous life of teen star Kaitlin Burke.  However, Kaitlin is exhausted and wants to see what it would be like to be normal.  So she devises a top secret plan to blend in, but will it ruin her career?  Find out in the first of six books in this series!
Find Secrets of My Hollywood Life in our library: 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Poetry Month

 Here is my favorite poem:

I found this funny sign for Poetry Month for our display. We a bit behind this year given it's already April 19!

Thanks to Pinterest for the image, traced to the Literary Hoots Blog and several other libraries around the United States.  Oh, the fun of trying to cite Pinterest!

Ms. Shuborna created our book display with some of our "better-looking" poetry books to try and generate some interest.  Poetry is a hard sell in MS/HS.  I weeded non-fiction this year and would have had to weed 99% of the poetry if I were to go by checkouts alone.

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Airhead" by Meg Cabot

(Image from:
We just returned from April break and my reading list consisted of books about being famous.  I've had a few students ask for these types of books and I wanted to be able to recommend a few.  Plus, who doesn't like to read about the trials and fun of famous people?!
I picked up Airhead by Meg Cabot based on a Goodreads list for this topic and became hooked enough that I plan to read the next two in the series. Em Watts is your average tomboy.  One day, after a strange accident she ends up in the body of famous supermodel Nikki Howard.  How did this happen and what will Em do?  Can a former tomboy be a supermodel?  Read and find out!

Airhead is a bit sci-fi, a bit mystery and a bit romance.  It is classified under our romance fiction section, but I may move it once  I see how this series turns out because I think it appeals to a broader audience than just romance lovers!
Find Airhead in our library: ROMANCE F CAB

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Swim the Fly" by Don Calame

(Image from Amazon)
The adventures of Matt, Coop and Sean had me laughing out loud!  Their summer goal?  To see a real live naked girl.  This is a big challenge since none of them have even been on a date before. Matt's other goal?  Swim the 100-yard butterfly to impress a girl on the swim team.  Mr. D read this book in a weekend and thought it was as funny as I did.  A must read if you like hilarious books!

Find Swim the Fly in our library: HUMOR F CAL

Sunday, April 9, 2017


National Honor Society brought an independent TEDx event to our school before the break.  Congratulations and thanks to NHS members for your hard work in organizing this exciting event.  Our theme this year was "Activating the Youth."  I hope a TEDx event becomes a yearly tradition here.

We watched two TEDx videos at our event, had several live speakers and great discussion.  

Check out the videos we showed at our event here:

Poverty, Money- and Love- Jessica Jackley

My Philosophy for a Happy Life- Sam Berns 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Thank you to our principals for sharing their favorite books for our new display.

Here are their favorites:

 MS Principal Favorites 
  •  Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • The Giver
  • All the Light we cannot see
  • Blindness
  • Still Alice
  • Three Cups of Tea
  • Agassi
  • The girl with the dragon tattoo
  • The girl who kicked the hornet's nest
  • The girl who played with fire
  • How Children Succeed
  • Outliers
HS Principal Favorites 
  • Glass Palace
  • Perfume
  • House of Spirits
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Fifth Business
  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • Master and Margarita
  • Catch-22
  • The Handmaid’s Tale

Monday, March 27, 2017

Board Game Day

Grade 7 Humanities students are beginning a unit on feudalism and their final project will be to create a board game.  To kick off this new unit, the library hosted students for a class period of board game playing.  Students played Life, Cranium, Monopoly and Ticket to Ride.  My favorite game is Life...though the amount of students declining to purchase auto insurance stressed me out! 😄

Ticket to Ride

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How To Read Manga

Manga...... I love that students love Manga.  It is great for reluctant readers, graphic novel enthusiasts, and our general school population.   I moved the 741.5 collection to the front of our library because Manga and Graphic Novels check out the most.

But...I will admit that Manga is not my first choice for pleasure reading and I don't know how to read it.  So, when a student picked up a Manga book last week and said, "How do I read this?"  I was stumped.  "I have no idea," I said, "but I will find out for you."

I found my answer on

Here's how to read a Double Page Spread:

 (MangaforKids, 2009)

For more information on how to read Manga, have a look at the "How to Read" tab on the Manga for Kids website.

Works Cited:
"HOW TO READ MANGA." Manga for Kids. UDON Entertainment Corp., 2009. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Book Spine Poetry

Check out some of the awesome book spine poetry created by our middle school Writer's Workshop students!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Stop by the library to pick up a book with an Irish Twist from our Saint Patrick's Day display. 

Not feeling the luck o' the Irish?  How about just a GREEN book?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Heart of the Storm" by Michael Buckley

I began reading the Undertow Trilogy by Michael Buckley when it was first released and was hooked.  I put myself on the wait list at my library back home for the final installment, Heart of the Storm, before it was even released.  Undertow is a dystopian trilogy about a teenager named Lyric Walker who observes the arrival of a race of sea creatures, the Alpha, on the beach near her home in Coney Island, NY.  Though the Alpha are initially considered the enemy and ostracized by society, it turns out there is something much worse in the water.  I loved this trilogy!  There is non-stop action, suspense, a bit of romance, and great parallels to be drawn between the storyline and current/past world events; an all around good read!

The entire Undertow Trilogy is coming to your library soon.  You can bet it will be on Mrs. Doyle's "Books I Loved" shelf!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Buddy Reading

Our middle school students had great fun reading to elementary buddies in our library!

The students were able to practice their read aloud skills, connect with younger students, and enjoyed practicing funny reading voices to make the elementary students laugh!  Elementary students enjoyed coming up to "the big kid library."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Backtrack to Valentine's Month

"Blind Date With A Book" happened during the month of February in our library.  Students were excited to unwrap a surprise read, though some were a bit nervous about not being able to see the cover of the book they were taking home.  Thank you Ms. Shuborna for the lovely book wrapping!