WJHS Has Books for Everyone #bks4EV1


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  • Since before Ms. Celmins started at Willis Junior High School, students had been challenging themselves to see how many words they could read using the Accelerated Reader book quiz program.  In the pre-Celmins era, students became members of the "Millionaires Club" once reaching 1,000,000 words.  In 2013, Ms. Celmins took the concept of the Millionaires Club a step further.  First, she actually created a club for readers.  Secondly, she designated a V.I.P. status for students who became million word readers.  Later that year, students in the club renamed the club "Fellowship of the Readers" so that all Firebirds understood it was for anyone who wanted to join, not just mega readers.  The club continued to evolve as the 2013-2014 school year passed. "It would be so fun if we could spend the night in the library!" one eighth grader exclaimed.  Hm...Ms. Celmins and her assistant at that time, Mrs. Rexing, agreed to sponsor a V.I.P. Lock-In in the library.  Then Ms. Farkas agreed to continue to tradition.  Perhaps, this year, Ms. Ceballos Castaneda.  For over 5 years, the librarian and her trusty assistant have spent the night in May with over two dozen teenagers in the G Building.  They are sworn to secrecy about what happens...just in fun.  Talk to a current or former V.I.P. for their memories of their lock-in.  Ms. Celmins will not confirm or deny any of their claims. She will just sigh and smile knowingly. 

    The Fellowship meets monthly while school is in session for a variety of purposes, but attending meetings is not necessary.  General meetings are more fun than business:  team-building, friendship strengthening, and "stuff" that would be fun for almost anyone.  It is a club open to all...the only requirement is attending Willis Junior High School.

WJHS Has Books for Everyone #bks4EV1

  • The Crossover

    by Kwame Alexander Year Published: 2014 Novel in Verse, FIC ALE

    This book is in verse.  I reads just like any book written in typical prose, except it is better.  Lively.  Shorter.


    It is not as much about basketball as it is about life.  I don't even really like basketball that much, and I was captured by this book.  The title is a pun.  Can you figure out why?  

    Read this book if you think most chapter books are "too long."  


    We met Kwame Alexander and his friend at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ on April 16.  It was the best library-sponsored field trip yet.

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  • Fake Blood

    by Whitney Gardner Year Published: 2018 Graphic Novel, GN GAR

    "A middle schooler comes head-to-head with his vampire slayer crush in this laugh-out-loud funny graphic novel that’s a perfect coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt too young, too small, or too average.

    It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?

    When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.

    Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School."

    Description from Amazon

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  • Ghost (bk 1, Track series)

    by Jason Reynolds Year Published: 2016 Fiction (series), FIC REY

    Another book that is more about life than it is about the sport of track.  What is it about these metaphors?  Not too long of a book.  It has 3 others that follow it.  Each is about a different kid, but they are all on the same team.  Each is also in a different aspect of the sport.  The final book, Lu, is supposed to be amazing.  Ms. Celmins hasn't read it yet.  

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  • How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine

    by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville Year Published: 2018 Picture Book, E GRA

    Temple Grandin, a woman who is an accomplished scientist and author has another of her stories told in picture book form.


    "As a young girl, Temple Grandin loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses, and building lean-tos. But she really didn’t like hugs. Temple wanted to be held—but to her, hugs felt like being stuffed inside the scratchiest sock in the world; like a tidal wave of dentist drills, sandpaper, and awful cologne, coming at her all at once. Would she ever get to enjoy the comfort of a hug?

    Then one day, Temple had an idea. If she couldn’t receive a hug, she would make one…she would build a hug machine!" 

    Description from Google

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  •  This Kid Can Fly 921

    This Kid Can Fly

    by Aaron Philip ; with Tonya Bolden Year Published: 2016 Memoir, 921 PHI

    After a seriously premature birth left Philip with cerebral palsy severe enough to affect his motor skills, his family invested not only money but energy and love to provide the best treatment and education available. Born in Antigua and Barbuda, Philip moved to New York City as a toddler, where he now attends high school in between maintaining a popular Tumblr, Aaronverse. Intelligent, creative, and high spirited, Philip has stepped up to both physical and economic challenges, and as his genial, conversational memoir reveals, he's gone well beyond just mainstreaming. He writes not just of therapies and physical challenges but provides insightful observations about how his economic class and immigrant status affect his experience. In outlining his needs as a physically challenged kid, particularly the everyday obstacles most kids take for granted, he offers readers an opportunity to cultivate understanding and empathy. Similar to Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare (2014), for slightly older readers, this inspiring glimpse into the life of a real kid goes beyond disability to celebrate his remarkable ability. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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