Monday, August 7, 2017

Get caught reading!

There are only three and a half weeks left in the summer- have you emailed me your "caught reading" photo yet?

Please email Ms. Cote a photo of yourself reading in a unique or unusual spot!  We will post your photo on our back to school bulletin board.  Email photos to

I can't wait to see all your unusual reading spots!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Upham's Top Five(ish) Books!

So… sadly this blog somehow ended up at the bottom of my priority list this year!  Between lesson planning, developing the collection and getting to know the Upham kids, the blog got pushed out.  My hope is that now that I've figured out how to update it (!!!) I'll do it more regularly.  We shall see.

As my first official blog post (way to wait until the 11th hour, right??), I thought it might be fun to round up Upham's top five(ish) book circulations (by library neighborhood)!  I say "ish" because some of the top spots had 11-way ties!  If that was the case, I cut it off where it made the most sense.

First up, nonfiction!
4 (tie). National Geographic Kids: Weird but True! 7

What can I say?  Weird stuff is popular with elementary kids!

4 (tie). Lego: Awesome Ideas

Kids beeline for the Lego books!

4. (tie) Pokemon Deluxe Essential Handbook

The wait list for this book was miles long-- this was the only book I specifically ordered a second copy!

3. Lego Sar Wars: the dark side

I knew this book was popular.  Number three out of nonfiction?  I should have known- legos + Star wars!

2. Minecraft Construction Handbook

Well, it's Minecraft.  We couldn't keep any of these Minecraft handbooks on the shelf!

1. Minecraft Combat Handbook

See, Minecraft again!  Our #1 nonfiction circulated title!

Next, Graphic Novels!

5. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Anything by Telgemeier flies off the shelves and this is not her only appearance!

4. (tie) The Babysitters Club: Mary anne saves the day by Raina Telgemeier

And here she is again…..

4. (tie) Amulet: Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi

This series has always been popular.  And not to spoil the top list of graphic novels, it was the only title to knock Telgemeier from dominating the top spots!

3. The Baby-sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine (book 4) by Raina Telgemeier
2. (tie) The Baby-sitters Club: Kristy's great idea (book 1) by Raina Telgemeier
2. (tie) The Baby-sitters Club: The truth about Stacey (book 2) by Raina Telgemeier

So to make things easier on myself, I'm just going to show one cover.  But spots 3 and a tie for 2 are all Babysitters club!

1. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Another one that had a mile long wait list-- it's even more impressive that this one came in #1 since it wasn't added to our collection until October 21st.  It was much-loved by Upham students and was basically falling apart by the end of the school year!

Next, Fiction!  To make it easier, I combined general fiction, beginner reader and intermediate fiction together.  Only three authors dominated our top seven spots!
3. (tie) Can I play too? by Mo Willems

Oh Elephant and Piggie, how we love you.  The series ended over a year ago and it's still going strong!

3. (tie) Today I will Fly! by Mo Willems

See?  See how much we love you???

2. (tie) The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Pure and utter domination by E&P!

2. (tie) Eve of the Emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne

Okay, maybe not total domination by E&P.  There's still much love in our hearts for a little Jack and Annie!

1. (tie) I am Going by Mo Willems

Aaaand they're back in a three-way-tie for first place!

1. (tie) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

There can't be a list of top circulated books without an appearance (or two) by Diary of a Wimpy Kid (right????).

1. (tie) Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

And the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid still just as popular as it ever was!

And lastly, picture books!   In the top eight spots, only three authors!

5. Shoo, Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold

Fly Guy, still oh so popular!

4. (tie) The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems

Mo Willems can't stay out of this count down!

4. (tie) The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems

And more Pigeon.  More Mo.

 4. (tie) Fly Guy and the Frankenfly by Tedd Arnold

4. (tie) Even More Parts by Tedd Arnold

3. Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael B. Kaplan

Ever since the reader's theater on Read Across America day, Betty Bunny has been flying off the shelves!  This title checked out 10 times since Read Across America Day.

2. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems

Aaaand it's Pigeon…. again.

1. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

And here it is, #1 spot.  Mo Willems!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what books took the top spots at Upham!  Comment below-- any surprises?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Caught Reading at the Parthenon... in Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee
August 2016

Did you know there was a full sized replica of the Ancient Greek Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee - the Athens of the South? You did if you have read "The Lightning Thief."

Ms. J. is in 3 of these 4 pictures... can you spot her?
Do you see her reading?

Inside the Parthenon is this replica of the statue of Athena with eight pounds worth of gold gilding. All Ms. J. was thinking about was Percy Jackson and his fight with the Hydra in here in "The Lightning Thief."

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Caught Reading... Harry Potter

I know that it isn't "really" Harry Potter... it is a play by a different author based on a new story by J. K. Rowling, but I still felt the need to read it.

Anyone else out there reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child besides me?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ms. J. Caught Reading

Ms. J. was caught reading while waiting for the Red Line on the MBTA in Boston.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Get Caught Reading this Summer!

Summer Reading

Looking for a good book?
Check out the Wellesley Public Schools Summer Reading List at

Don't forget to get Caught Reading.

That's right, get someone to snap a picture of your reading in a fun spot 
email it 
Ms. J. 

We will display the best Caught Reading pictures on the Library Bulletin board in the fall.

Have a great summer and Read On!
Ms. J.

image from:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

3rd Graders and Storytelling

Sometimes we tell stories in the library.

This year marks my third 3rd Grade Storytelling Festival in the Upham Library and I do feel like they get better each time around.

Thanks to the Upham PTO awarding us a mini-grant, we were able to bring in a professional storyteller to both 3rd grade classes to tell stories, but also to talk about the process of selecting and learning a story that you want to tell.  Cindy Rivka Marshall was that storyteller and she was great (here's the link to her website: link).  The students enjoyed her storytelling and we also put her story mapping idea to work.

My emphasis in this unit is that students select a story they like - after all, who wants to tell a tale that they can't stand? They can chose from a wide variety of folktales from all over the world.  We use folktales for our storytelling because these are stories that started off being spoken aloud long before they were written down. After picking a story to tell, students need to learn the story in their own words rather than memorizing the words from the book.  After students learn the story and can tell it all the way through in their own words then they start to add different voices and changes in the volume of their voice as well as movements and gestures to make their telling more interesting and engaging for the listeners.

To take some of the performance pressure off, we had students scattered around the library performing their story to who ever stopped at their station.  Students were able to tell their story on average 3-5 times and many of them told me that each time it got a little better. Our audience was made up of classmates (everyone got to be both storyteller and listener), parents and kindergarteners.

I hope everyone gets a chance to roast some marshmallows over the campfire this summer and tell a story under the stars.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Congratulations to all my 3rd grade storytellers!