Happy Birthday, Lucy!

Happy birthday, Lucy!

Lucy, in kindergarten, donated the birthday book Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Princess Who Floated by Florence Parry Heide and Lane Smith. Lucy enjoys reading books about princesses, so we hope she will like this story of an unusual princess! Lucy was the first student to check out the book from the library this week. 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.

April is Poetry Month

All next month we will be celebrating the power of poetry at the IST library. Please stop by the library for:

  • displays of some of the wonderful books of poetry we have in the library collection
  • have fun creating your own poetry with our huge magnetic poetry board
  • write a poem on a postcard and post it anywhere in China or overseas (1 RMB in China and 5 RMB overseas)
  • Create and illustrate your own poems

We will celebrate World Book Day on April 24th and continue all week long with poetry quizzes (and a chance to win prizes!), special prizes for some of our library patrons, and lunchtime activities.

Come celebrate Poetry Month with us!

Happy Birthday, Allen!

Thank you to Zi Ming (Allen), grade 1, for his Birthday Book donation to the library. Allen’s birthday book is Minecraft: Medieval Fortress by Craig Jelley. Minecraft books are extremely popular at the IST library, and we know that Allen and many more students will enjoy this new addition to the collection. Enjoy your birthday book, Allen!

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.

Upcoming Library Events

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events in February and March:

Panda Book Voting: February 13-17. The Panda Book Awards is a reading initiative that invites students from participating schools to vote for their favorite books published in 2014-16. Students can vote for books in four categories: Younger, Middle, Older, and Mature Readers. All students will have the opportunity to vote in the library during the week of the 13th to 17th.

Grade 10 Personal Project Exhibition: February 22. Come celebrate the hard work of our grade 10 students when they present their final projects on Wednesday, February 22nd. This is the culmination of a year-long research project by the students.

Star Kids Book Fair: March 2 & 3. IST community members will have another opportunity to buy quality children’s books from a variety of publishers at this spring book fair hosted by Beijing’s Star Kids bookstore.

New Arrivals!

It is always an exciting day when a delivery of new books arrives in the IST library. Here are just a few of the new books that arrived on Friday. These books (and many more) will be available for checkout next week.

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett (wordless picture book)

From the publisher:

From the creator of The Boy and the Airplane, a touching wordless picture book about a little girl, a shiny bicycle, and the meaning of persistence—with an unexpected payoff.

A little girl sees a shiny new bicycle in the shop window. She hurries home to see if she has enough money in her piggy bank, but when she comes up short, she knocks on the doors of her neighbors, hoping to do their yardwork. They all turn her away except for a kindly old woman.

The woman and the girl work through the seasons, side by side. They form a tender friendship. When the weather warms, the girl finally has enough money for the bicycle. She runs back to the store, but the bicycle is gone! What happens next shows the reward of hard work and the true meaning of generosity.

Wordless, timeless, and classic, The Girl and the Bicycle carries a message of selflessness and sweet surprises and makes an ideal gift for graduations and other special occasions.

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (graphic novel)

From the publisher:

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

Replica by Lauren Oliver (young adult science fiction)

From the publisher:

Two girls, two stories, one epic novel—now a New York Times bestseller!
From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book” that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.
Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.
While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin (middle grades fantasy)

From the publisher:

A New York Times Bestseller
A National Book Award Finalist
An IndieBound Bestseller

This breathtaking, full-color illustrated fantasy is inspired by Chinese folklore, and is a companion to the Newbery Honor winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.

Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.

A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

The Happiest Book Ever! by Bob Shea (picture book)

From the publisher:

What could be happier than a book with a dancing cake, a candy parade, and a hug monster? A book with all those things (and more) plus YOU! Your happy, happy thoughts will make this book super happy happy! But something seems off. Could it be that frowny frog? Perhaps we could shake some sense into him, or slap a Post-it over his face. No? Well then, maybe its time for that frog to SCRAM! Hooray! He’s gone! Time for a happy dance! Wait, what’s wrong? Now NO ONE seems happy! Let’s see if we can’t do something to truly make this the happiest book ever.
In his most interactive book yet, Bob Shea proves that happiness is more than just a piece of chocolate cake. (Though that comes pretty close!)

Radiant Child: the Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe (biography)

From the publisher:

A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Javaka Steptoe.

Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Ye Seo!

Ye Seo celebrated her birthday over the winter holiday. We are thrilled to help her continue celebrating with a Birthday Book Club donation of the book Mr. Granite is From Another Planet by Dan Gutman, part of the popular “My Weird School Daze” series. Ye Seo is a fan of this series, and we are very happy to have another of these books in the IST library!

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.

Elementary Library Updates

Library and Information Skills Integration: Grade 4

The grade 4 students are wrapping up their 5-week “Sharing the Planet” unit. The library has been collaborating with grade 4 during this unit with a focus on research skills. We worked on finding good sources of information for our research, note-taking with graphic organizers, and creating bibliographies to show where we got our information. Grade 4 students learned how to use the iPad app “Puppet Edu” to create their final projects showing their understanding of unit concepts. Below are some photos of the grade 4 students as they work on their final projects.

Critical thinking and the “filter bubble”

The recent U.S. elections in the United States have brought to light the need for all of us to be better critical thinkers and fact-check those Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WeChat posts that enter our feeds and fuel our anxieties.

Here are some steps to take when you read something shared by a friend but not supported with reliable evidence:

  • Google it. Or Bing it or Yahoo! it or Baidu it or Naver it or do whatever you do to look up information quickly;
  • Look to see if a reliable news source (a news site that pays its reporters to do real, investigative journalism) has reported on the event in question;
  • If you can verify that the information is true, share it;
  • If you realize that the information is not true or you can’t be sure it’s true, challenge it. Comment on it and send a message to your friend to let them know that they need to question their sources.

Here are two sites that make it their business to verify information that we find online:

Snopes.com: Attempts to give accurate information about rumors and urban legends on a variety of topics, including war, business, events, toxins, science, military, popular…

Factcheck.org: Monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases.

In 2011, Eli Pariser gave a TED Talk on the topic of the “filter bubble” and the ways in which Google, Facebook and other sites tailor what we see depending on our past web-browsing behaviors.  Parents and (pre-)teens (preferably together) can watch his TED talk (see below) and discuss what this type of invisible editing does to our world-view. Pariser warns that we need to balance our “information diet” and not just feed on the “junk food” diet fed to us by those who have decided what’s most “relevant” to us–not necessarily what’s important.

Pariser went on to co-found the good-news sight, Upworthy, and to write the book titled, The Filter Bubble: What the internet is hiding from you.

Do you have a resource that you use (perhaps in your mother tongue) for fact-checking or promoting critical thinking? Please let our librarians know so we can share it with our community. Email us at Eleanor_Surridge@istianjin.net or Linnea_Simon@istianjin.net