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.

Interview with Stephan Pastis, Panda Book Award Winner

4 - Timmy Failure - Top 8 August to November 2013

Stephan Pastis is the author of Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, the first book in the series about boy detective Timmy Failure. This book won the Panda Book Awards for Middle Readers this year. Our library book distributor, Follett, interviewed Mr. Pastis at his home and created a video from that interview.

Students in grades 3 to 5 will be watching the interview in their library sessions and will be invited to checkout other detective stories from the library collection.

If the video below doesn’t load, click here to go to a separate window.

IST Library Parent Book Selection for March

The IST Library Parent Book Club met last Friday to discuss the book Me Before You, by Jojo Moyles. This novel is the story of an unlikely couple: Lou, adrift without ambition, and Will, a young man recently quadriplegic. Our discussion of the book touched upon a range of topics, from the experience of quadriplegics to international perceptions of assisted suicide and the appeal of the emotional tear-jerker as a genre. We all agreed that the book was sad, but no less enjoyable because of it.

Cover for Gone Girl, by Gillian FlynnThe book selection for March is Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl is a psychological thriller about a young wife who disappears. Her husband is framed for her murder when her diary is found. Full of twists and thrills, Gone Girl is one of those books you can’t put down. It will be made into a movie with Ben Affleck and Rosemund Pike as the husband and wife.

The IST Library Parent book club is open to all Tianjin expats who love to read. Please register online for each meeting via the blog’s book club registration widget on the left sidebar.

Panda Book Award Voting Started

Voting for the 2014 Panda Book Awards started yesterday at IST, and will continue until Friday, 21 February. We are voting with 21 other international schools in China. I imagine they’re just as excited as we are to find out the results next week.

The Panda Books Award is a reading initiative that promotes reading among the students of the international schools in China. There are four categories with 8 books in each category. The categories are:

  • Younger Readers – for students to grade 3
  • Middle Readers – for students from grade 3 to 6
  • Older Readers – for students from grade 5 to 9
  • Mature Readers – for students from grade 9

Students are invited to read each of the 8 books in the category of their choice. At IST, all elementary students have read, or have listened to the reading of, the Younger Reader titles. All elementary students will be voting on that category, with the older elementary students also invited to vote in the Middle and Older categories depending on their reading level.

Any member of the IST community who has read in any of the categories is invited to vote. We ask that you only vote once in each category, but if you have read books from all four categories, then be sure to vote for your favorite from each one. Come to the library and we’ll show you how.

Results will be published next week, once all votes from all schools have been tallied. Stay tuned!

Not too shy to share? What was your favorite Panda Book this year? I’ll admit to have a really hard time choosing my favorites, but in the Older Readers category, the book Wonder has my vote. It’s a wonderful book about an unique child and the community that surrounds him.

Daily Quizzes Started Today

The daily quizzes on the Panda Book Awards books start today.

Come to the library to fill out a ballot or two in the categories which you will be reading.

A daily prize in each category will be selected from the ballots entered each daily. Winners will be announced in the daily notices of elementary and secondary.

What are you waiting for? Come to the library to fill your ballot — and enjoy the Beijing Book Fair on tomorrow and Wednesday.

Daily Quizzes 2013

Celebrate our International Library

International Schools Library Week is fast approaching! Get ready to celebrate our library and our international community starting from Friday, 18 October. Here’s a breakdown of our activities

  • 18 October – Character Dress Up Day
    • Come to school dressed as a character from a book. Superheroes and princesses are okay, but it’s really more fun if you pick a character from a book that you have enjoyed. Stay tuned for costume ideas on this blog.
  • 18 October – Grade 1-2 Library Club Assembly
    • 8:25 am in the grade 2-5 playroom
    • Come to kick off International Schools Library Week (ISLW) in style with the Grade 1-2 Library Club, who is working hard rehearsing for the best ISLW assembly yet!
  • 22-23 October – Beijing Book Fair
    • The Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore will set up in the library on Tuesday, 22 and Wednesday, 23 October.
    • Hours are 8:00 to 5:30 both days. 
    • Hundreds of English language books will be for sale. 
    • Take a break from the parent-teacher conferences and visit the book fair. 
    • Cash only, sorry. 
  • 25 October – Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.)
    • Friday, 25 Oct, 10:05-10:20
    • Join us in the library or read in your classroom/homes
    • Be counted – pledge to read on our handy online form (coming soon)
  • Weeklong – Official 2013 Panda Book Awards Launch
    • Join 30 other international schools in China as we read the books shortlisted for the 2013 Panda Book Awards shortlist
    • Get a Panda Book Awards bookmark. Collect all 4!
    • Take a quiz and get a prize
    • Daily prize winners in each category
    • Starts Monday, 21 October

International Schools Library Week flyer

All graphic novels can be found in the 741.5 section.

Skyped with Squish

We had the great pleasure this morning of Skyping with authors Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, who won the Panda Book Awards for Middle Readers this year with their graphic novel Squish.

All graphic novels can be found in the 741.5 section.

Squish is the story of an amoeba who, inspired by his favorite comic strip super hero, always tries to do what’s right. In this first installment of the series, Squish has to face up to the school bully and save his friend Peggy from being eaten. Our students love Squish and are eagerly awaiting books 2 and 3, which will arrive in time for the new school year.

Jennifer and Matthew Holm also write Babymouse, a very successful graphic novel series about a mouse girl with a lot of different interests.

All graphic novels can be found in the 741.5 section.

Our grade 3 students were able to watch the interview live and ask questions. When asked how they felt about winning the Panda Books Award, they replied that they were thrilled to be read by children on the other side of the planet from them.

The interview was recorded by the organizers and will be made available next week for other classes to watch.

We shared this Skype interview with International School of Beijing and Tianjin International School, who also participate in the Panda Book Awards, a reading initiative for international schools in China.


Panda Book Awards Winners 2012

Thanks to grade 4 students for announcing the 2012 Panda Book Award winners today. I hope that you were able to read many of the Panda Books and that you enjoyed the voting process.

Here are the winners in each category.

Younger ReadersBenjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, by Philippe Coudray

Middle Readers Squish! Super Amoeba, by Jennifer Holm

Older ReadersShadow, by Michael Morpurgo

Mature Readers Anya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol

Librarians from international schools in China are putting together the Panda Book Awards list for 2013. Stay tuned for more exciting books!

Panda Book Voting This Week

We are excited to be choosing our favorite Panda Books from the Panda Book Awards shortlists. Students at our school and many other international schools in China will be voting this week and the next for their favorite title in four categories.

Voting at IST is simple. Come to the library and vote online at one of our library laptops. Elementary students will be voting this week during their scheduled library sessions. Secondary students will be coming with classes or individually at break times.

The IST Library Parent Book Club is meeting tomorrow and yes, they’ll be voting too! We read and discussed two of the books on the Mature Readers shortlist, and I’m sure those two will feature among the most favorite once the votes are tallied.

As we will have to wait for the other international schools, some of which are not yet back from their CNY holiday, the winners will not be announced for another two weeks. Ohhh, the anticipation!!! Who will win? Be sure to make your choice count, vote!

Voting for Panda 2013
Nursery students first voted by creating a “people graph.” They then were assisted with the online voting by teacher-librarians.

Grade 7 votes for Panda Books
Grade 7 students came with their English A teacher to vote.

Voting for Panda 2013
Thanks to the Follett Library Solutions company for creating the online voting booth that we are using to vote for the Panda Book Awards.