What to read next?

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller

THIS REVIEW WAS SUBMITTED BY HIKARI*

Are you a brave, witty girl, tired of boring Girl Scout meetings? Come join Kiki Strike and the Irregulars! (Or read the book rather.)

Ananka Fishbein is your average 12-year-old girl. Except for the fact her house in NYC has a built in library, and that she has the ability to see how a city might’ve looked like thousands of years ago. Normal right? Wrong.

When Ananka discovers a sinkhole right in front of her apartment building, things start to get really strange. A muddy, short figure comes out of the hole, and Ananka, as a courageous girl, goes down into the hole to check it out. Down there she discovers an underground world, undiscovered for countless years. Determined to find out more, she visits a nearby map store to see if they have any information. A mysterious lady shows her the Marble Cemetery instead, and Ananka spots the short black figure again. Could it be the same one as in the hole? And why does it seem so familiar?

When Ananka follows the creature, she finds an address to meet Kiki Strike, a mastermind detective girl with a dozen secrets. Ananka learns that Kiki is busy gathering a group of six super talented Girl Guides, called the Irregulars, to help her explore the Shadow City. But Kiki seems to have a different side plan, and it’s up to the Irregulars to sort it all out.

Join Ananka and the Irregulars as they explore the Shadow City, and get caught up in an adventure like never before.

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City is probably one of my favourites in the Quilchena Library. Just when you think you pretty much know who’s good and who’s bad, the plot takes another twist, and keeps coming back to surprise you. There’s a lot of information in the story that often changes, so make sure you understand what’s happening when you read it. This book was cleverly written, and is a definite page-turner. If you like books about brave, unique girls and amazing adventures, this one is definitely for you.

*Hikari is a former Quilchena student and library monitor

What to read next?

True (…sort of) by Katherine Hannigan

I don’t usually read two books by the same author back-to-back. There are SO MANY books out there to read and I often want to move on to something new. However, when I finished Ida B by Katherine Hannigan and looked around for what to read next, I found myself choosing another book by the same author.

This story is unrelated to Ida B but still has Hannigan’s style. I appreciated the way she wrote about Delly, who starts to doubt that she is a good person because of how often she gets into trouble. It made me think of people I know who get into trouble a lot at school.

True (… sort of) is about Delly, who seems to fall into trouble more easily than she falls out of bed. Her heart is often in the right place and her spirit for adventure is strong but she acts before thinking about how her actions might look to others. This tendency tends to land her in hot water.
One day a new kid shows up in her class. Ferris Boyd is a mystery, but is maybe the only person who can save Delly from her terrible tendency for trouble. The problem is that Ferris Boyd may have a way deeper set of troubles than Delly can imagine.

What to read next?

Ida B by Katherine Hannigan

Ida B lives with her parents in her valley with her apple trees and her mountain and everything is perfect. Suddenly, everything changes. Ida’s mama gets sick and promises are broken and Ida’s heart turns small, and hard, and cold.

This story is told from Ida B’s perspective. Her voice and personality fill every part of the book and she made me laugh more than once. I really liked the way author Katherine Hannigan described Ida B’s emotions. The descriptions of how Ida B interprets the events in her life and her reactions to them are unlike other stories and seem very honest.

You will like Ida B. if you like quirky and independent characters who create their own adventures.

Fall into a good book

The weather is getting cooler. I LOVE going for an autumn walk and then curling up inside with some tea and a book.

I follow Brightly.com for their book suggestions and for their ideas to make reading even MORE fun. This month they have published an October Reading Challenge that you can download from their website. Give it a try as a family! I love reading challenges as a way to integrate reading into other activities, and to stretch myself as a reader. (There will be more posts about reading challenges coming up.)

What to Read Today?

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chance is very, very smart. She has just started middle school when her life is turned upside down. Now she has to figure out how she is going to continue to go on living when nothing seems that important anymore. Luckily, hope comes from the oddest places.
7 reasons to read this novel (from the book jacket): Friendship, Oddballs, Hobbies, Laughing and Crying, Miracles, Family, and Willow Chance.

Being more AWESOME

Families! Have you seen the Quilchena Library Community Survey? It’s quick to fill out and will give me some insight into how I can direct my energies to build a better program at Quilchena.

Take me to the Q Library community survey!
This is the QR code that will take you to the survey.

If you don’t have time right now, keep an eye out at school. There is a poster near the library entrance with a QR code. All you have to do is scan the code with your smart phone.

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters

Today (Sept 30) is Orange Shirt Day. Quilchena students have been learning about and reflecting upon our history of residential schools through literature. Quilchena Elementary is located on the traditional and unceeded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.

Orange Shirt Day library display
Orange Shirt Day display in the Quilchena library.

The information in this post is quoted and paraphrased from the Orange Shirt Day website:

In 2013 there was a reunion and healing ceremony held at St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) in the Cariboo. It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc Nations.

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of this project. As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.

The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind. A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation. A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected. Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

On this day of September 30th, we call upon humanity to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember those that didn’t make it.

Families are welcome to come to the library this week and borrow a book from the display to read together at home.

If you only do one thing, do this!

I will regularly post about ways families can enrich students’ learning lives. One thing I will post about A BUNCH is reading aloud.

Reading aloud to children, even after they can read independently, is a hugely research-supported practice. I will try to post regular tips and supports here for families. Sometimes I will link to the supporting research or other opinion pieces, like this one from Happy You Happy Family which includes a good list of research findings as well as a list of “8 reasons why we don’t read aloud, and how to fix it.”

Mirrors and Windows

One of my goals this year (and for the next few years, probably) is to assess our fiction and picture book collections for balanced cultural representation. I want all students at Quilchena to see themselves reflected in the books they borrow from the library.

It’s really important for all our students to see themselves represented in a positive way in the stories they read, as well as in the current affairs and news they hear and see. There are some really amazing groups whose mandate is to promote diverse authors, illustrators and publishers, such as We Need Diverse Books. I will use the resources these groups provide to critically examine the range of stories we have at Quilchena.

This graphic is a representation of the state of the children’s publishing industry in 2018 from a US perspective. Read the article associated with the image

If you have a book that you’d like me to consider for our library collection, or if you come across a title currently in our collection that misrepresents a population, please let me know!