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.






International Schools Library Week

The IST library celebrated International Schools Library week with fun and exciting activities all week long. We kicked off the week with a launch of the Panda Book Awards, which encourages students to read, share, and vote for their favorite books in four categories. This year’s Panda Book Award nominees are:

We shared the books with students through the week, and helped create buzz about the books with Panda quizzes and prizes all week long.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we hosted the Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore book fair. Many students, teachers and parents browsed and purchased books at the book fair.

On lunchtime on Monday and Wednesday, elementary students were invited to participate in “Monster Crafts” in the library. We had a lot of fun doing activities that were inspired by the book “Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis” by Charise Mericle Harper.

We wrapped up the week with Character Dress-Up Day and the elementary library assembly on Friday morning, and “Celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter” with grades 6-8 students in the afternoon. Watch this space for photos from Character Dress-Up Day and the “Harry Potter” event coming soon! 

Character dress-up day is coming on Friday, October 20th

It’s time to start thinking about costumes again! This year, in celebration of International Schools Library Week, our Elementary students and teachers will come to school dressed as our favourite characters on Friday, October 20th. There will be plenty of activity in and around the library during that week and we’ll tell you a bit more about those things after our National Day holiday week. In the meantime, we wanted to give everyone a reminder to plan their costumes.

Back in April, Ms. Simon wrote this blog post with many excellent ideas for costume ideas. Be sure to revisit that post for a refresher. For more inspiration, look at this list of “100 Book Character Costumes.”

We won’t be surprised if we see a few Baby Mouse costumes after the success of our recent author visit from Matt Holm!


Parent & Toddler Story Time

Please join us for the first Parent & Toddler Story Time of the year!

When: Friday, September 29th following the Moon Festival Assembly (9:15 am to 10:00 am).

Where: The IST library’s story room.

Who: Parents and toddlers (ages 0-3).

Why: To enjoy stories, songs, and fun in the library.

We hope to see many parents there! To help us with planning, please RSVP to:


Matt Holm Author Visit

Last week, we were pleased to host author and illustrator Matt Holm for two days of workshops with elementary and secondary students and teachers. Mr. Holm shared his journey to becoming an author and illustrator, and how he creates the artwork for books like the popular Squish and Babymouse series. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed his workshops, and many students were inspired by his visit and wanted to work on their own illustrations. A big thank you to Matt Holm and the team at Obido books who helped make it happen!

First Birthday Book Club members for 2017-2018!

Happy birthday, Jun Seo!

Thank you to Jun Seo, grade 2, for his Birthday Book Club donation to the library. Jun Seo’s birthday book is The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future by Dav Pilkey. Jun Seo enjoys reading funny books, so we think he will like this book! He was the first student to check out the book from the library this week. Happy birthday, Jun Seo!


Happy birthday, Claire!

We also celebrated Claire’s birthday with a Birthday Book Club book this week. Claire, in kindergarten, enjoys learning animal facts, so we hope she will like reading What if You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle. Happy birthday, Claire!


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