Today seventeen 5th graders met in the library during their lunch to hear what  Jane Malmberg (who was visiting from the Newton Free Library) had to share about some new books.  Jane brought six new books and talked about each one.  She told everyone enough about the books to spark our curiosity about what happens next and make us wonder, “How will it end?”  Here are the books Jane Book Talked:

1st a Mystery (5th graders remember your mystery book report is coming up!)

Poison Most Vial by Benedict Carey

“Murder in the lab! The famous forensic scientist Dr. Ramachandran is stone-cold dead, and Ruby Rose’s father is the prime suspect. It’s one more reason for Ruby to hate the Gardens, the funky urban neighborhood to which she has been transplanted. Wise but shy, artistic but an outsider, Ruby must marshal everything and everyone she can to help solve the mystery and prove her father didn’t poison his boss.”

Monster on the Hill (a silly, fun graphic novel)
by Rob Harrell

“In a fantastical 1860s England, every quiet little township is terrorized by a ferocious monster - much to the townsfolk's delight! Each town's unique monster is a source of local pride, not to mention tourism. Each town, that is... except for one. Unfortunately, for the people of Stoker-on-Avon, their monster isn't quite as impressive. In fact, he's a little down in the dumps. Can the morose Rayburn get a monstrous makeover and become a proper horror? It's up to the eccentric Dr. Charles Wilkie and plucky street urchin Timothy to get him up to snuff, before a greater threat turns the whole town to kindling!”

Zero Tolerance (Realistic Fiction that provides a lot of opportunities for discussions)
by Claudia Mills

“Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he's not the person she assumed he would be--and that the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought.”


by Vince Vawter

“An 11-year-old boy living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend's paper route for the month of July, he knows he'll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything. The paper route poses challenges, but it's a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble--and puts the boy's life, as well as that of his family's devoted housekeeper, in danger.”

The False Prince (Fantasy)
and the sequel The Runaway King

by Jennifer Nielsen

“A  thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end. In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.”

The Awesome almost 100% true adventures of Matt & Craz

by Alan Silberberg

“Best friends Matt and Larry “Craz” Crazinski couldn’t be more different. Matt loves order, while Craz lives on the edge. The boys share a passion for cartooning, but thanks to the school paper gatekeeper (and kind-of bully), Skip Turkle, it seems their cartoons will never be published. But then the boys discover a pen that promises to help them DRAW BETTER NOW!—and quickly realize it’s no ordinary pen: Whatever they draw comes to life! They start small with their drawings—bags of cash, cool gadgets. Next, they get their pesky English teacher to take a unique and extended vacation. But when the boys get a little bolder in their magical drawings, they realize that things don’t always end up as perfect as the art they create....”

After Jane wrapped up her Book Talks students (and librarians!) shared some books that we are currently reading.  Here is a list of the books that were mentioned:

The Floors Trilogy by Patrick Carman

Cracker! The best dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata

The Kronos Chronicles by Marie Rutkoski

The Real Boy and Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

War Horse and Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

The Middle School Series by James Patterson

See you next week on Thursday at Lunch in the Library.

Read On!

By: Ms. J.

Today in the Zervas library twenty fifth graders gathered to eat their lunch and talk about books.  Since it was the book club’s first meeting everyone had a chance to share their favorite book.  Here is the list of fifth graders’ favorite books (hint: you may want to add to your reading list!)

The Ranger’s Apprentice (The Ruins of Gorlan is the 1st book in the series)
any book written by Rick Riordan
Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn
Ivy + Bean
Strange Case of Origami series
Letters From Wolfie
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Missile Mouse
The Grimm Legacy
Regarding the Fountain
City of Ember
Return of the King
Cat Found
The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns
The Thief (by Megan Whalen Turner)
Doll People
The One and Only Ivan
Pride and Prejudice

The next Zervas 5th Grade book club meeting will be held Thursday 9/26 at 11:45 in the Zervas library.

We will have a guest speaker from the Newton Free Library who will be book talking about new books that you may be interested in checking out.

Don’t forget that on Thursday 10/17 we will be discussing “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate.  

Some of the other exciting activities we will be doing in book club this year are:

Recommending books, book talking, book trailers…
Dramatic Reading workshop
Letters to Author’s Day
Reading the same genre and discussing
Reading different books by the same author and comparing/contrasting.

On Wednesday December 5th, author and illustrator Brian Lies came into our 3rd grade class! There he shared some new books and we explored his illustrations from 2nd grade and up. We gave him advice and he taught us new things. He told us his secret about being an author and illustrator and inspired kids to draw and write. He drew a picture for us and we all got his autograph! It was an amazing experience, and something no one in the class will ever forget. We hope he visits again so we can see his new books.  By Sophie and Yuval (3A)

I had a very good time with Brian Lies. I really enjoyed it. My favorite book was Bats at the Ballgame. I loved his books. I wish he won all of the awards because all his books beat all! I bet he put a lot of effort into it. I really loved Brian Lies visit and I hope he wins that award.  By Sid (3A)

I think Brian Lies is a really good illustrator and author. He really puts a lot of hard effort into his books and the pictures he paints and drawings are amazing in its own special way.  He is a very talented man. Most of all I love Bats at the Ballgame because I love the pictures in the book. He really works so hard on every book.  One picture book is 60 pads of paper and drawing books. That's what I think of Brian Lies. By Caleb (3A)

Brian Lies came in last Wednesday to talk to the 3rd grade.  It was fun because he read Bats at the Library to us! When he showed us the original painting of bats at the library it looked like the same thing as the one in the book. This whole experience WAS FUN! By Isabelle and Adele (3A)

An author and illustrator named Brian Lies came to our school.  He drew a picture for our class of a bat hanging upside down from a tree holding a birthday cake and trying to teach a raccoon how to hang upside down. He gave it a title and the title was The BAT Day Party.  And he also signed his autograph on the drawing and he gave it to our class.  And, at the end of his visit, everyone lined up with sticky notes and pieces of paper for his autograph. Most of his books are about bats. He got the idea from his daughter. He showed us that to be a great writer when you grow up, you don't need to be the best writer in the class when you are young.  His visit was the best! By Kamakshi (3A)

We're two solid weeks back into school and the excitement is mounting!  I've already received one comic submission for a school paper (which may actually turn out to be this blog!)  Here's a little Animoto video about what's been going on during the first few weeks of library classes.  There is so much buzz about learning around the school! 
Come see what Zervas students have been working long and hard at for the past 6 days.  There will be habitats recreated, long-lost cultures brought to life, a tall-tale movie premiered, chocolate to purchase, backyard animals to learn about, natural art and sculptures to explore, Wampanoag culture displayed, a frog's life cycle dramatically re-enacted, Rube Goldberg machines to test out and a bird podcast to enjoy.  You DON'T want to miss the excitement!
Friday's newsletter was a little delayed due to the nature of the projects going on Friday and the long weekend.  Here it is:  PBLI Pioneer Friday May, 25, 2012
Andy Goldsworthy inspired sculpture
Building a hut for the savanna culture
Here's the link to today's PBLI Pioneer:  Thursday May 24, 2012

There was so much happening in the library today!  Third graders wrote about their experiences learning about Wampanoag traditions and made advertisements for their plays, second graders shared facts about Fair Trade chocolate and interviewed 5th graders about Rube Goldberg machines!  Looking forward to what tomorrow brings!