Happy Birthday, Jun Hee!

Jun Hee, in Pre-K, donated the birthday book Dinosaur!, written by John Woodward. We hope Jun Hee, who is already very knowledgeable about dinosaurs, enjoys this encyclopedia packed with information and color illustrations. We are sure that this book will be very popular with our dinosaur-loving students. Thank you for your birthday book donation, Jun Hee!

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 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.

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.






Poetry Month at the Library

We have been having a wonderful time celebrating Poetry Month over the past week. Students have enjoyed creating poems on our magnetic white board, exploring websites where they can read and write poems, and enjoying reading some of our fantastic collection of poetry books.

Next week will be even more exciting with all of the fun events we have planned, especially Character Dress Up Day on World Book Day Monday, April 24th!

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.