Monday, May 23, 2016

Favorite Reads 2015-2016

52 books!
That's how many books I read this school year.  And most of them I enjoyed.
But my top honors go to these four for expanding my world.

 Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt 

This is the kind of story that breaks your heart but not before causing it to grow in emotional capacity while reading.  I loved the winter imagery and how Schmidt mirrors internal conflicts in atmospheric ones.  But primarily, this story is about finding home in unlikely places and among unlikely people. You might need a box of kleenex for this one.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 

This book is a powerful, true story and chronicle of Henrietta Lacks' crazily immortal cells, commonly known in scientific circles as HeLa.   Skloot beautifully crafts Henrietta's personal history in context with social history and medical science.  And though I usually prefer fiction to nonfiction, I couldn't help but read sections out-loud to my husband.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate 

Okay, it's a kid's book and technically I didn't "read" it.  But I did listen to it with my kids on the way to school and despite my initial reservations about animal characters, was moved by the life and struggles of the one and only Ivan, a silverback gorilla, and his animal cohorts.  This book will make you look at zoos and animals differently.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman 

And saving the best for last -- Challenger Deep.  This book is mind-blowing! I don't know what it's like to live with schizophrenia but I feel after reading this book that I've experienced just a little of what it must be like.  This book is tough in parts, but also laugh out-loud funny.  Shusterman uses standout metaphors to describe life with schizophrenia which is based in part on his own son's journey with the disease.    

What were your favorite reads this past school year?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge

Expand your horizons this summer and keep your brain sharp by reading some good books.  If you're looking for a fun way to get motivated, look no further:
Summer Reading Bingo

Keep track of your progress and turn in at the beginning of the school year for prizes - yes, PRIZES, because, you deserve it!

Hey, if you're really smart, you'll do the summer reading program at your local public library AND the summer reading bingo challenge.

Senior Night

 Tuesday night this past week was Senior Night -- a celebration of the class of 2016!  The academic commons was transformed as seniors displayed beautiful culminating reflections.  Each creation told the story of God's faithfulness through a lot of change and growth over the years.

The Poet's Tree

April 19th, 2016, heralded the first Poetry Prowl at DCS.  Several students from kdg through 12th grade shared their work: storybooks, poets' bios, poetry by heart, haikus, readings of their own poem, and even a few songs and jokes.  The Myriad, DC's literary magazine, was also released.

One of my favorite aspects was the Poet's Tree, a construction that grew to include poems crafted by attenders. The poem by Shel Silverstein was our inspiration:

Underneath the poet tree,
Come and rest awhile with me,
And watch the way the word-web weaves
Between the shady story leaves
The branches of the poet tree 
Reach from the mountains to the sea. 
So come and dream, or come and climb-
Just don't get hit by falling rhymes.