Happy Birthday, Allen!


Allen, in grade 2, donated the birthday book Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey. This is the fourth book in the extremely popular Dog Man series, and is sure to be enjoyed by many students at IST. Thank you for your birthday book donation, Allen. We hope you enjoy it!

If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday with the IST Library Birthday Book Club, please contact the librarians at Linnea_Simon@istianjin.net or Eleanor_Surridge@istianjin.net for more information on how to join.

Happy Year of the Dog!

It has become an annual tradition in the IST elementary to decorate classroom doors for Chinese New Year. This year library staff were thrilled to see several dog book-inspired doors in the hallways. If you haven’t seen these classroom doors yet, be sure to stop by the elementary school and check them out!

And while you’re here, why not stop by the library and pick up a dog book to help celebrate the Year of the Dog? Here are just a few of the “dog” books available at the IST library.

Kindergarten in the Library

Over the last several weeks, kindergarten students have been using their library sessions to support their understanding of their “How the World Works” Unit of Inquiry. In this unit, students are learning about how animal characteristics help them adapt to their environments. The students have been researching, using both digital and print resources, about animals for their inquiries. They have been using information effectively to develop their understanding of different animals and their characteristics.

Kindergarten students understand how the library is organized. They can differentiate between fiction and nonfiction books and, with support, can locate nonfiction books about different animals in the library. They have shown great interest in selecting books that relate to their personal interests, and enjoy sharing books with teachers and each other. They have chosen books about dogs, cats, snakes, zebras, owls, and many other animals. They are confident users of the library and show great enthusiasm when they visit each week.

Nursery in the Library

Nursery students visit the library each week to listen and respond to a variety of stories and songs, and to interact with books. They are beginning to understand that print can serve a variety of different functions such as giving us information or pleasure in stories. They show a growing interest in asking for books to be read aloud and taken home. They enjoy choosing books in the library that match their interests.

They also learn to take care of books by turning the pages carefully and putting the books back on the shelves when they are finished with them. They understand the procedure for borrowing books, and eagerly line up to check their books out at the end of library time. Here are a few photos of Nursery students visiting the library this week.

Panda Book Voting Next Month

Panda Book voting is coming up in February! Have you read some of this year’s nominees? Copies of the Panda Books are available from the IST library in multiple languages. Stop by the library and pick up a Panda Book nominee!

Here are a few that the IST Librarians recommend.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (recommended by Eleanor Surridge)

What did I like about it? It’s young adult fiction that takes on relevant issues of privilege and race and perspective and violence without being churlish or condescending.

Who should read it? Anyone interested in a thoughtful teen perspective, solid YA writing and a bit of backstory on American cultural references.

When is the movie coming out? Probably in 2018. IMDB lists a full cast and it’s being directed by George Tillman Jr. who directed episodes of the TV series Power, Luke Cage, and This is Us. Not that a movie version should be a motivation to read a novel but this book is on many “Best of 2017” lists and the fact that the film is in production is testimony to its popularity and impact.

This title is available in English and German.


 See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (recommended by Linnea Simon)

What did I like about it? This is a funny and charming story that is told in a very interesting and unique way. Alex, the main character, makes audio recordings on his “golden iPod”, and each chapter is a transcript of these recordings. With his dog, Carl Sagan, Alex travels to a rocket festival where he plans to launch his golden iPod into space on a rocket that he built. Along the way Alex forms unexpected friendships and makes new discoveries about himself and his family.

Who should read it? I recommend this book for anyone in grade 5 or up who is interested in reading about rockets, science, unusual families or unique friendships.

This title is available in English and German.



We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio (recommended by Eleanor Surridge)

“Look with kindness, and you will always find wonder.”

What did we like about it? Palacio has created a picture book featuring Auggie and his dog, Daisy, imagining a world that is kind and accepting. The book promotes the acceptance of difference and the power of the imagination.

Who should read it? This is a lovely book to share with younger readers who struggle to fit in or for those who can benefit from a reminder that appearances are superficial and are not an indication of a person’s character or potential. In other words, this is a book for everyone.

New STEM books

To help support IST’s STEM initiative, the library has recently purchased over 100 new books on STEM-related concepts. These books cover a wide range of science, technology, engineering and math-related concepts. Please stop by the library or browse our OPAC to see some of these new books. We are spotlighting a few of these new books below:


City by Numbers, by Stephen T. Johnson

Paintings of various sites around New York City—from a shadow on a building to a wrought-iron gate to the Brooklyn Bridge—depict the numbers from one to twenty-one.




Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top (part of the “Great Ideas” series) by Monica Kulling

Simple text and illustrations explore the lives of famous inventors Nikola Tesla, Lillian Gilbreth, Elisha Otis, and Elijah McCoy in this set of biographies.



Engineered! Engineering Design at Work, by Shannon Hunt & James Gulliver Hancock

Engineers find creative solutions to problems using their math, science and technology skills. Learn the steps of the engineering design process, and then see it come to life in stories of real-world engineering ingenuity.




Cleonardo, the Little Inventor, by Mary GrandPre

With the town’s annual Grand Festival of Inventions coming up, Cleonardo is determined to invent something impressive to enter, something that will impress her inventor father Geonardo.



Try This: 50 Fun Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You, by Karen Romano Young

Provides instructions for fifty kid-friendly science experiments and an explanation of the science involved, as well as more than twenty bonus experiments, science fair tips, and STEM connections for each project.





The Young Chef: Recipes and Techniques for Kids Who Love to Cook, by Mark Ainsworth, Culinary Institute of America

Introduces cooking skills and recipes for children.





Curious Constructions, by Michael Hurst & Matt Johnstone

This book looks at 50 unique structures, including Biosphere 2, Paul Bunyan statues, and the Great Wall of China.





Green City, by Allan Drummond

The story of Greensburg, Kansas, a town that rebuilt completely “green” after a deadly tornado.




The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science, by Sean Connolly

Provides step-by-step instructions for fifty experiments that explain the principles behind thirty-four breakthroughs in science.







Trash Talk: Moving Toward a Zero-Waste World, by Michelle Mulder (part of the “Orca Footprints” series)

Books in this series cover a range of environmental and social issues, including reducing trash, conserving water, farming, and other global issues.






Book Character Dress Up Day

We wrapped up our celebration of International Schools Library Week on Friday with an elementary library assembly and Book Character Dress Up Day. Students came in a wide variety of fun and creative book character costumes. There were superheroes, dragons, BabyMouse, Captain Underpants, and many more. The students paraded onstage in their costumes during the assembly, and many classes came to the library to take “green screen” photos of their costumes. Please enjoy some photos from the day!