Word of the Month

ambiguous (adjective): unclear, open to more than one meaning

Reminder: If you come by the library and can use one of these words correctly in a sentence, you can earn a bookmark!

Author Spotlight on . . . Michael Scott, author of The Alchemyst!

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Meet Michael Scott, one of Ireland's most successful authors. Mr. Scott has authored over one hundred books in a variety of genres (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Folklore and more) and for a variety of ages. His books are published in thirty-eight countries and over twenty languages! He has been writing for over twenty five years and has even written and sold books under other pen names, such as the very successful Anna Dillon.

For their Fantasy Unit, the 5th graders at NEW Academy Canoga Park have been reading the first book in his Nicholas Flamel series, The Alchemyst. This book opens in modern day San Francisco when Josh and Sophie (brother and sister) discover that the owner of the bookstore, where Josh works, is the immortal French alchemist, Nicholas Flamel. Flamel and his wife, Perenelle, are the guardians of a very special book that they have been protecting for centuries. When Dr. John Dee discovers the Flamels’ whereabouts, he attacks and grabs the book. Josh and Sophie end up helping Flamel, but now they too are being hunted by Dee and creatures that predate humanity. One of my favorite facts about this series of books is that ALL of the main characters (with the exception of Josh and Sophie) are based on figures from history or mythology. Please visit his website (www.dillonscott.com) and watch the video of our Skype (link provided below) to learn even more about the legendary Nicholas Flamel, his wife Perenelle, the philosopher's stone and more.

We got to meet Michael Scott via Skype!

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All the books you see behind Mr. Scott (above) are books he wrote!

I am always encouraging the students at Camp Read Smore to dream big and go after what they want. So, I took my own advice, reached out and asked Michael Scott if he would Skype with our 5th graders. HE GRACIOUSLY SAID YES! We were able to Skype with him on April 11th, while he was in his home in Ireland!

Click HERE to watch the video of our Skype with Mr. Scott. (I missed recording the beginning of our time together, so pardon the rough start.) You will learn more about the legends and historical figures in his books and you will see the varying book covers of The Alchemyst from all over the world. Even more importantly, you will discover how kind, funny and knowledgeable this man is, that writers are readers and that authors really do want to hear from you.

Who is your favorite author? You should write to them. Today. You just might be as pleasantly surprised as I continue to be, when they write back to you.

Mr. Scott was so nice to pose with us on screen while we took these pictures!

NACP's Poetry Slam Kickoff with Mrs. Spector and Mrs. Letford:

NACP's Poetry Slam

This April, our 2nd-5th graders will have the opportunity to celebrate the written word through performance poetry. Kindergarten and first grade will be able to watch and cheer them on as they look forward to participating in the years ahead. We are going to have a lot of fun. Please check back for videos and pictures of NACP's first ever Poetry Slam!

What's a poetry slam? Typically it's a competition where participants read or recite original work. However, at the elementary level, we decided to keep it simple and less competitive. Participants may recite original work or they may memorize and recite work from a favorite poet. Our students will even have the choice to select music to accompany their performance.

***It was a great success! We had so much funs sharing poetry. Check back for videos of our 1st Poetry Slam, but you can find some pictures below now!!! Way to go Dolphins!

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I loved hearing the 4th and 5th Graders share their poems with me during their lunch!

On Poem in Your Pocket Day, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them and share it with others throughout the day. Poems from pockets are unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces and bookstores.

It is so fun to see kids get excited about sharing the written word!

I Am by Mario

This poem was just shared with me and I was granted permission to share with you. The author, Mario, is in Mrs. Sley's 2nd grade class. I wish you could meet Mario! Perhaps some day you will, as it seems he's quite the poet and I didn't even know it! I love it when students do that! Thank you Mario for allowing me to share your poem.
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Career Day with a Deputy Sheriff

On Career Day, we were visited by a Deputy Sheriff. She talked about her profession and the important role her college education played in helping her become a Deputy and succeed and it. She spent time in the library with the Kindergarteners and 1st graders, then headed over to the gym to talk with the rest of the school. Some of the lucky younger ones were even able to sit in her Sheriff car and turn the lights/siren on!
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The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This spring we will read Peter Brown's Curious Garden. The story of one boy's quest for a greener world... one garden at a time. While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

The Curious Garden is based on a real place! There's a real garden in a real, abandoned elevated railway in Manhattan (New York). It's called the Highline and after Mr. Brown learned about it, it made him curious! He wondered, "What would happen if an entire city decided to truly cooperate with nature? How would that city change? How would it all begin?" His answer is The Curious Garden, and it all started with a character named Liam.

To learn more about the Highline, click here and watch the videos below. Scroll down and you'll find that you can also virtual tour of the Highline and pretend you are really there!

(Special thanks to the amazing Brian Willhorn for introducing me to the Highline, for his assistance with Google Street View and for his willingness to share the many wonderful book resources he creates!)

New York's New High Line Park