Give thanks for libraries and support WHS!

bookfair imageWe need you!    The library will be holding an in-store and online bookfair through Barnes and Noble in Sunset Valley over the Thanksgiving break from November 28-December 2!

Use our code 11755709 when you check out in the store, or online at   If you find yourself out shopping over the Thanksgiving break, even if you get a snack from the café in the bookstore, you can use our code for credit.  It also works for toy purchases, music, and other items in the store.

The store will have a table with required reading from the English department, as well as “recommended reading” selected by other WHS teachers. (list of titles here).   Part of the recommendation for the new SAT is to read more nonfiction, and the social studies department has suggested great titles for you that will be in the store.

On Wednesday, December 2nd, come by the store for special events!!  We will have student art in the café, and the WHS Chamber Women choir will be performing!  We will have free gift wrapping all day on Wednesday, too, and donations for the gift wrapping also go to support the library.

The library will receive a portion of the proceeds for all of these events, and it’ll help us support you with lots of new books!  P.S. We have flyers at the library front desk if you need the code or a reminder!

Check out these upcoming author visits!

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 11.33.18 AMBookPeople has an #awesome lineup of authors coming this month to their store.

My favorite cat guru, Jackson Galaxy (from Animal Planet’s show My Cat From Hell) is speaking on Friday, November 20 about his new book, Catify to Satisfy.

And Boyhood actor Ethan Hawke will be speaking on Tuesday, November 24 about his new book, Rules for a Knight.  Started as advice to his own children, it shares rules for living in the form of a knight’s tale.   Both authors will be both speaking and autographing so it’s a great chance to meet them.

Lastly, amazing Chilean novelist Isabelle Allende, will be speaking on Monday about her newest book, The Japanese Lover, a love story spanning from WWII to the present.

Tickets are required if you want an autograph but the speaking events are free.


Free tickets for author Brian Selznick!

selznick_brian_lgBrian Selznick, the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret as well as Wonderstruck, is appearing at our PAC this Saturday at 6 p.m.   BookPeople, who is sponsoring his visit, very kindly offered WHS 20 free tickets.  He will be speaking about his new book The Marvels, as well as his other works.  Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 9.18.47 PM

Selznick’s books are cool and inventive, which is why Hugo Cabret won the Caldecott award.  His background in art is obvious in books like Wonderstruck which is told partially through his beautiful illustrations.  Check out this website to interact with the book.     And if you liked the Invention of Hugo Cabret(which was made into the movie Hugo), check out some clips from the movie here!

Ask at the library front desk to see if there are any tickets still available!

Banned? Challenged?

banned books week 2015This last week the library celebrated Banned Books week.   Did you know there is a difference between books that have been challenged(a complaint raised about) and books that have been banned(blocked from anyone reading)?   Over history, books have been challenged and/or banned for many reasons from political to personal.   In fact, ALA keeps a list of the top 100 banned/challenged books.  Sometimes the reasons a book is challenged also change over time as our societies change.

Commonly asked questions that we hear:

Does our library “ban” any books?   No, we don’t.

Do we ever have book challenges?  Yes, sometimes we do.  When we do, we have a committee that reads the book(including students), checks it against district criteria and book reviews, and makes a recommendation.

Do you think it’s harder to ban “books” or ideas with so much internet access across the world?  It is definitely much more difficult in our current technological world to ban the ideas found in books or to ban books themselves.  Some countries do still restrict access to the internet or to book titles, but the internet makes it very difficult for this to be successful anymore.

So, celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books week!  And check out our display in the library!

Welcome back!

flickr: xurble

flickr: xurble

Welcome back!  We hope you had a restful summer and did some great reading.   In fact, be sure to share your summer reading HERE and you’ll be eligible for prize drawings from the library!

Our website has been refreshed over the summer, too.  If  you need to look up books, check out how to do a bibliography, or need links for teacher projects, look for our links on the left sidebar.

The Research Center space has had some changes over the summer, too — drop by and check them out!   And the Shrieking Shack is now a great brainstorming place for classes as well as a laptop lab.  If you need help with your iPad, check out the Juice Bar during lunch periods.   If you need more iPad help, you can also check out the WIFI page on WHSChaps.

Remember, we are here to help YOU!

It’s Summertime and the Reading is Yours….

flickr the musical

We know you are reading this summer!   Add the books you read to our Summer reading form and  you’ll be eligible for prize drawings in the fall!  (And we always have great prizes!)

You can also tweet what you are reading to @whslibraryrocks!   Do any of those things and you qualify to win great gift cards when you come back to school in the fall!

Check out our EBOOKS page on our website for instructions on using our ebooks all summer!

Don’t forget Westbank Library will also have a summer reading contest plus volunteer days for community service this summer, too!

Author visit this Wednesday! Join us for Jessica Brody…

Unremembered-FINAL1-709x1024Jessica Brody, the awesome author of the new Unremembered series along with some of my favorites, the Karma Club and My Life Undecided, will be visiting us this Wednesday to speak to English classes.

In My Life Undecided, a high school blogger turns all decisions over to her readers, and of course there are some ridiculous results that ensue.

If you are interested in pre-ordering a book or getting her autograph, come by the NGC library for more information or download this:  Orderform for Jessica Brody 03-04-15.

Check out some of Jessica’s work and writing on her blog, too!

New graphic novels to grab you

We’ve just gotten some cool new graphic novels in!   Be sure to check them out on the new books display!

marvel1Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal breaks new ground with a fascinating and somewhat confused superheroine, Kamala Khan.   Follow her adventures as she figures out what it’s like suddenly becoming a superhero while trying to remain true to your identity.

Another unlikely superheroine is El Deafo.   Young Cece Bell relays her experience wearing the Phonic Ear, an awkwardly large hearing aid, and how she finds her way trying to fit in with her friends in school.  El Deafo is her imaginary alter ego that she uses to confront stereotypes of deaf individuals.

In The Shadow Hero, author of Avatar, Gene Yang takes on the first Asian American superhero, Green Turtle, and tells his backstory as an unlikely and unwilling superhero whose mother trains him for his first el deafosuperhero gig.

And last but not least, in Tomboy, Liz Prince shares the autobiographical story of her life growing up as a non-girly girl, who just wants to break away from stereotypes and find acceptance for who she is.  (That theme sound familiar on this list of books?)  A great graphic novel and a great read–highly recommended.


What’s on my shelf?

Once in awhile, we’ll be sharing what we are currently reading and make a few recommendations for you!   Be sure to share your recommendations, or contact us to write a guest post!

This week it’s Mrs. Foote’s bookshelf.   I read a mishmash of styles and this month is no different!

The Treasure Map of Boys CoverI recently finished The Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart.  I have to say I liked her previous book, The Boyfriend List, a little better.   But Treasure Map of Boys delivers up bake sales, a high schooler trying to figure out her confusing love life, and a girl trying to figure out how to focus on her own life.   E. Lockhart’s style is very readable and humorous at times.  I’d recommend starting with the Boyfriend List first, though!

paolo cropped

Paolo Bacigalupi

Also on my bookshelf is The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi.  I got to meet him this summer at an author coffee, and he was so passionate about his book that it made me pick it up, even though I might not normally have chosen it.   Mix in the dark mood of last week’s The Good Wife, and add in social consciousness, and you have a suspenseful read.   Bacigalupi got interested in the ethics and mentality of those who work to protect substances that are not safe or healthy by delaying lawsuits or dismissing evidence.  The main character, Alix is kidnapped by a group of teenage activists and begins to realize her world isn’t what she thought it was.   Suspenseful and thought-provoking–it has kept me up late reading!  We have the book on order, but I have an advanced review copy if you want to read it!

The other book I just finished was the Power of Habit–a nonfic book about how to change habits.   The best tip I got from the book was a story about how Starbucks trains their employees by having them go through scenarios (like a rude customer) and planning AHEAD how they will act.  That way, when they face the situation, they are mentally prepared and can remain professional.   Great tip for anyone–when you are faced with a job when you work with a variety of people or any unpredictable scenario, practice writing down a few scenarios and how you might respond.   Plan ahead some possible disasters, practice your potential response, and then you’ll feel more prepared for what comes your way.

That’s what’s on my shelf!  Please share with us what you are reading!