Friday, June 14, 2019

June 16, 2019


Entering Grade 5
Students created their own summer reading lists and took them home this week. It is super helpful to make sure your child has a library card so he/she can place holds for titles they want to read. An adult will need to take them to the library to get a free card and to also set up the online account with a pin number and way in which you wish to receive notifications. Here is the tutorial I shared with your children this week. 

Students can find recommendations here

Entering Grade 6
Students entering sixth grade have two summer reading assignments to complete. Your children will hear more details from Barrington Middle School librarian Mrs. Nancy Maddocks on Wednesday when she visits. Remember that aside from doing this assignment, it is really important to let children make choices about what they want to read. Summer is a great time to relax and take the time to enjoy.

Students can find their summer reading assignment here

Summer Reading Kickoff Party

Join us at the Barrington Public Library on Monday, June 24th from 4:00 - 5:30pm for the Summer Reading Kickoff Party. I'll be scooping ice cream. Come find out what your incredible public library has for you and your family! 

Books Back Raffle

We brought this number down from 473 on Tuesday, June 11 to 192 books still out as of this Monday, June 17. We are now four school days away from the books back raffle. Please ask your child if he/she received a raffle ticket for getting books back. If your child has NOT received a ticket, please ask your child to:
 1. Log into
2. Go to Hampden Meadows School
3. Click on Log In in the top right corner
4. Username: hmslunchnumber
5. Password: hms
6. Open the "My Info" tab and check the account to see which books are still missing 
7. Search for the books
8. Return the books or replacement copies of the books to receive a raffle ticket 

Stay Up To Date on Book Recommendations

As you probably know, I am leaving Hampden Meadows School to start a new chapter of my career at the Barrington Middle School. I will continue doing Book Bites posts in the Fall. However, I will no longer send them by email through the school email system. If you wish to still receive these weekly posts, go to the top right column of this post and sign up for emails. I take the summer off to rest and refresh but will be back at it again when school begins!

This is a fantastic novel in verse. 

Other Words For Home, (2019)
by Jasmine Warga

Goodreads summary link

Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team, (2019)
words by Susan Hood and Patthana Sornhiran and pictures by Dow Phumiruk

Goodreads summary link

Winterhouse (Winterhouse #1), (2018)
words by Ben Guterson and pictures by Chloe Bristol

Goodreads summary link

Man, I cannot stop thinking about this one. It really is a masterpiece. I did a blog post about it in May. 

The Line Tender, (2019)
by Kate Allen

Goodreads summary link

Game of Stars (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #2), (2019)
by Sayantani DasGupta

Goodreads summary link

Llama Destroys the World, (2019)
words by Jonathan Stutzman and pictures by Heather Fox

Goodreads summary link

                       I hope you have a safe summer filled with relaxation and plenty of good reads!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

June 9, 2019

Summer Reading

This week your children will come home with summer reading lists they have created for themselves. I will spend time this week showing students how to log into the public library catalog and place holds for books they wish to read. I work closely with Mrs. Lisa Lesinski at the Barrington Public Library to ensure students can access the books they are looking forward to checking out. I hope you can join us on Monday, June 24 from 4-5:30 PM for the Summer Reading Kick Off party at the Barrington Public Library!

A few things to consider for summer:
  • Encourage the habit of reading every day
  • Allow your child choice while encouraging the Reading Without Walls challenge
  • Lead by example - let your child see you reading, read together, and talk about what you and your child are reading
  • Reading is a social activity -  encourage your child to form a book club with friends
  • Your child is well-versed in placing holds in school (HMS students borrowed 1,301 books from other school libraries this year) and should start placing holds through the public library catalog based on their book tasting choices
  • If your child does not have a public library card yet, please take him/her to the circulation desk at the Barrington Public Library to get one
  • A public library card provides your child access to eBooks and audiobooks through eZone which is very helpful if you are going on vacation or cannot regularly make it to the public library
  • Audiobooks count - it is "reading with your ears"
  • Next week I will focus on the 6th grade reading assignment as well as what HMS students can bring to school in the fall to celebrate their summer reading
Screen time is a factor that impedes reading time. Therefore, I'm including a few examples of checklists you can use or tweak to encourage a well-rounded schedule for your family. 
image from

image from

CatStronauts: Mission Moon (CatStronauts #1), (2017)
by Drew Brockington

Goodreads summary link

The Unteachables, (2019)
by Gordon Korman
Goodreads summary link

The Language of Spells, (2018)
words by Garrett Weyr and pictures by Katie Harnett

Goodreads summary link

Grenade, (2018)
by Alan Gratz

Goodreads summary link

Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild, (2018)
by Catherine Thimmesh

Goodreads summary link

Saturday, June 1, 2019

June 2, 2019


This week we will begin creating our own summer reading lists based on two weeks of book tasting sessions. HMS students will get the chance to look through over a hundred new titles and jot down the ones that are intriguing to them. Mrs. Lisa Lesinski of Barrington Public Library has graciously ordered all of these titles for us and I've checked them out and transported them in a huge rolling suitcase so students can start making a plan for summer. 


Students have the opportunity to earn a raffle ticket when they return all of their library books. If a book is damaged or lost, students may replace the title for a raffle ticket. Thanks to the generosity of some of our library volunteers, students can drop their raffle ticket into the sand pail of their choice. 
Prizes include:
  •  a boogie board
  • a gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods
  • a gift card to Barrington Books
  • a gift card to Sweet Lorraine's
  • a gift card to The Daily Scoop

I'm Ok, (2018)
by Patti Kim

Goodreads summary link

Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1), (2018)
by Celine Kiernan

Goodreads summary link

Running on the Roof of the World, (2017)
by Jess Butterworth

Goodreads summary link

Avalanche! (Survivor Diaries), (2018)
words by Terry Lynn Johnson and pictures by Jani Orban

Goodreads summary link

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India,  and a Hidden World of Art, (2018)
words by Barb Rosenstock and pictures by Claire A. Nivola

Goodreads summary link