Monday, December 1, 2014

Bookshop Returns!

Bookshop will return in January!
We will be discussing Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. Copies of this title will be available soon, so check back here for more information as we get ready to re-launch!
For now you can read many great reviews, a summary and view additional resources at Lisa Graff's official website.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mare's War

Bookshop read the book Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis in February. A pair of sisters are sour about spending the summer on a cross country roadtrip with their unconventional grandmother, Mare. Over the course of the trip, Mare tells her granddaughters about how she ran away from home as a teenager in Louisiana and joined the Women's Army Corps. As she describes the challenges she faced as a woman and an African American in the war, her granddaughter's view of their kooky grandma begins to shift.

Over the course of two sessions, Bookshoppers put together a trailer for the book. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fun with Scratch

In January we read and discussed the book Harry Sue by Susan Stauffacher.

  Bookshoppers had played around with Scratch, a programming language for kids developed at the MIT Media Lab, in our previous session, and this time they were tasked with making an animation in response to the book. Scratch really gives kids the freedom to create characters and scenes that look and feel the way they want them, and with that comes the hard work of figuring out how to move a character across the screen, or develop a scene that matches ones vision.

Here's Jonah's clever take on the Wizard of Oz theme that runs through Harry Sue.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Life As We Knew It

This month Bookshoppers read Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, in which the moon gets dunted every-so-slightly closer to earth by a meteor. Choas ensues.

This book is about a disaster, but also about the long, uneventful, difficult, and quieter-than-you'd-think days and weeks that follow a disaster.

After a good discussion (which included a fair share of creepy moon stories and gross medical stories) we began our project.

The bookshoppers used to create storybooks loosely related to Life As We Knew It. Storybird allows users to tell a story using stunning illustrations. The real challenge was concentrating on the text, telling the stories we wanted to tell with our own words and the visuals provided for us. They did a terrific job.

Most of these stories are about the moon in one way or another. All of them are spectacular.

The Moon Journey by Naima

Moon by Jonah

Life As We Knew It by Elliot

Stan's Epic 5-Page Adventure by Kai

Life As We Knew It by Maya

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Bookshop is back!  We took a few months off to soak up some sunshine, but we're back! We met this month to discuss the book Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. This books was exciting and full of dragons, and left us with a lot to discuss. We used to create comic strips based on the book. Pixton was great because it allowed up to manipulate the characters and props in its image library to suit our needs, without us having to start from scracth. If you put wings on a dinosaur and squint your eyes...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sanatorium Blues

We read Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank (Clarion Books, 2012) last month, and it was quite a departure from what we'd been reading. Weather disasters and family drama and international espionage are fun to read about when it's fiction, but the danger (sometimes gruesome danger) proposed in Invincible Microbe is the real deal.

Our project was as ambitious as the book choice, so ambitious that it took two sessions to complete. We worked together to create a short film based on the book. Our ideas were grand, and we learned a lot about paring down our visions to a workable place.

The movie depicts some TB patients getting ready for bed in a sanatorium, and was meant to mirror the cover of the book. We were all a little sad we didn't get to include the part where they collapsed people's lungs and then stuffed them with ping-pong balls, but maybe that will be another project, another day.

So, without further ado, I present to you Bookshop's very first film. It's called Sanatorium Blues. Warning, there's a little (LEGO) blood.

Note: A few people have already asked "Is that how you spell sanatorium?!" The answer is it's ONE way to spell it. There are three accepted spellings of the word, including sanitarium, which means (basically) the same thing, but is actually a different word! Sanatorium is apparently the spelling used most often when talking about American and British TB sanatoriums, and is the spelling the authors of the book used.