Gainesville Middle School Library

Summer Hours for GVMS *Students and Teachers

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July 14, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

  • checkout books
  • booktalks
  • learn about book suggestion websites

August 18, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

  • checkout books
  • Summer Reading Workshop

*rising 6th, 7th, and 8th

The One Book a Week Reading Challenge!

Mrs. Ware and Mrs. Klassen go head-to-head in a young adult book challenge. They shook hands on June 18 and pledged to read one young adult book a week this summer. Check back to see what they're reading.

Have you read anything interesting? Please leave a comment below.

Mrs. Ware

August 13- Just finished The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I now want to be known as "The Amazing Mrs. Ware Weather Machine."

July 11- Before the For Dummies series of self help books, there was Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guide. Just finished Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen. It's a memoir written by a modern teenager who decides to spend a school year following the advice from a 1950s popularity guide. I enjoyed going through Maya's 8th grade year as she discovers which advice still works, and what is better left in the past (hint: girdles). If you are looking for a nonfiction title, this is a fun one to try. (Full disclosure, I started this one before school was out- so it only counts as a partial book for my summer reading.)

July 8- I had the opportunity to hear Laura Lee Gulledge speak this past spring and so my autographed copy of Page By Paige has been waiting for me in my to-read pile. In this graphic novel, Paige is a high school student who has just moved to New York City from Virginia. Her sketchbook reflects her feelings and experiences as she makes new friends and struggles to find her identity as an artist.

June 27- What if you could call your past self and make helpful suggestions? (Don't get a perm! Study for that important test! Avoid the friend who will turn on you in 8th grade!) But what if you overdo it and change the course of your life too much? In Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski, the main character Devi is a senior in high school who wishes she had made some different choices. She hasn't kept up her friendships, neglected her studies, was only accepted into a mediocre college and SPLASH she just dropped her cell phone in a fountain. Now she can only call one number...which goes to herself at age 14. Hmmmmm. This was a fun read that did get me thinking... if I could call my 14 year old self, would I try to change anything?

Mrs. Klassen

July 28 - “Folks don’t understand this unless it happens to them: When your daddy dies, everything changes.” The first line of the book Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine, says it all. The setting is 1972, Stony Gap, Virginia, and 12 year- old Red’s life changes in ways he never expected. Red wants to hold onto the family property that includes his father’s garage, a small store, and home, but his mother puts the property up for sale in order to pay debts. Red’s understanding of his community’s changes including Virginia’s massive resistance, the Civil Rights Movement, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Vietnam are brought into perspective by Red’s history teacher, Mrs. Miller and family friend, Miss Georgia. After making a discovery in the garage desk, Red takes over his father’s feud with his neighbor, Mr. Dunlap and he tries to right a wrong that involves the murder of a local pastor. This fast-paced book’s ending will leave you breathless. Seeing Red is a Virginia Reader's Choice book for Middle School.

July 23 - Everyone wants to know that they belong, especially to a family. In the book, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, four orphans, Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance, finally find a place where they belong. After passing a series of stupefying tests, these four misfits finally find someone who understands them, Mr. Benedict. He not only takes them into his home, but he trusts them to be the saviors of the world. How can four children possibly save the world? Read about the exciting adventures and the logical solutions of the Benedict Society as they save us from the evil Mr. Curtain and his mind-bending plot to impose control over us all as Master of the world!

July 14 - The Newbery Medal winner for 2015, The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander was my next book. I am not particularly excited about reading books with a sports theme, but I was excited to read this book for several reasons. One, it is written entirely in poetry and rap, a genre some call narrative verse. Two, it is about twin brothers, and I have twin boys. Three, the author lives in Herndon, Virginia! After reading the book, I can tell why it was selected for the Newbery Medal award. The genre makes the story a quick and exciting read, and it is full of rhythm, like a game of basketball. The twin brothers’ story created the conflict as well as the Dad’s health problems. Needless to say, the book grabbed me from the very first poem, and I was surprised when 90 minutes later I had finished the book realizing I had just read a very special book.

July 10 - Mrs. Ware recommended the Steampunk book, Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, earlier this year. The Steampunk genre is a sub -genre of science fiction and fantasy that takes place during the victorian era and incorporates mechanical technology. As the title alludes, the book’s heroine is tomboyish fourteen-year-old Sophronia who ends up being sent off to finishing school. Much to Sophronia’s delight the finishing school is atypical in that it not only teaches the fine art of ballroom dancing, flirting, and curtsies it uses these feminine skills to prepare the students for espionage and assassins. Sophronia and her side kicks, Dimity,Vieve, Soap, and Bumpersnoot (her sausage dog mechanimal) quickly find themselves entrenched in a national security plot that leads them through dire adventures that are both exciting and comical.

June 28 - One of my students recommended Rise of the Darklings by Paul Crilley to me. At first I wasn't sure I would like it; I think the cover of the book made it seem like the book would be a little formulaic, familiar, and predictable. Much to my surprise it was not. The story takes place in Victorian-London where a girl, Emily, feels burdened to take care of her brother, William, after her parents mysteriously disappear. Early one morning, on her way to work, she stumbles upon a skirmish between sword bearing faeries and piskies and other supernatural creatures or fey. At first Emily thought she must be seeing things, but she quickly gets drawn into this magical world in a fight between good and evil. Emily and her friend Jack along with William and a mischievous fey named Corrigan must decide whom to trust is this magical plot with surprising twists and turns. Warning,the ending will most definitely leave you clamoring for the next book in the series, so make sure you have it ready to read. I liked this book so much I believe I will read the next book, The Fire King.

June 23 - I just finished reading P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern in One Crazy Summer so I knew I had to read P.S. Be Eleven. Williams-Garcia's charming prose was further enhanced with the girls going back home to Brooklyn and the bosom of the family. Big Ma has a big influence on the girls and peppers them with southern aphorisms and remains a constant presence in their lives until both their father and their uncle go through major changes in their lives. This sequel also contains 1960's cultural references such as the Vietnam War and The Jackson Five. As a sixth-grader, Delphine finds herself on the cusp of becoming a young woman, but her estranged mother reminds her to not be in such a hurry to grow up too fast and be eleven.

For more information contact

Mrs. Ware

Mrs. Klassen

Illustration by John S. Dykes