Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November Meeting: Canva Marketing Materials

I take full responsibility for the fact that several Bookshop members found our spooky October book, The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud, a little too creepy and decided not to read it. Those members who did read it seemed to enjoy it, and we had some good discussion about what we would do if we were in a ghost-hunting agency. A few kids got super excited to learn that Lockwood & Co. is a series with the fourth book just published this fall!

Luckily, our project for the meeting was very flexible in terms of content, so everyone was able to create cool marketing materials using Canva, whether or not they read the book. Some Bookshoppers chose to create trifold brochures, some created more traditional posters, and one made a business card. Several of their creations are displayed below:







We are reading The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jenn Swann Downey for our November book, and we will be meeting on the SECOND Monday of the month, December 12th, to tap into our own inner ninja librarians and hopefully create a short movie. Copies of the book can be picked up at the Children's Room desk.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September Meeting: Silent Lego Challenge

We had a fun meeting on Monday catching up and eating lots of pizza. Many of the Bookshoppers shared favorite parts from exciting summer travel adventures. We also played a little warm-up game called This or That before moving on to our main activity.

Since there wasn't an official book to read for the meeting, I asked the group to work together to come up with a Bookshop logo out of Legos. The catch was that they could have ten minutes to talk and plan, and then they would have to do the actual building without talking. They came up with a concept pretty quickly, but there was some confusion about how to create a book out of Legos.

Once the box of Legos was opened, they did a great job of not talking to each other, using paper and pencils to write down any questions or brainstorming ideas. There was a fair amount of humming and borderline talking noises though...

Some pictures of the process along with the final product are below.

We will NOT be meeting in October (our September meeting would normally be the first Monday in October, but that falls on Rosh Hashanah so it was moved up a week), so our next meeting will be Monday, November 7. In the spirit of Halloween, we will be reading The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. It's the first in the somewhat spooky series, Lockwood & Co., about three kids who run a ghost fighting agency in London. We will be using a free online brochure-making program, Canva, to create brochures to advertise new business for the agency. Copies of the book can be picked up at the Children's Room desk.

Monday, September 19, 2016

First Meeting of the 2016-17 Year

Hello Bookshoppers!

Our first meeting of the 2016-17 school year will be a week from today: Monday, September 26, 5:30-7:00. If you or your parent has not contacted me yet to formally register for the program this year, please email me at emeyer@cambridgema.gov to save your spot.

I hope you had a wonderful summer, and I can't wait to hear about all of the wonderful books you read!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June Meeting: Free Choice Books and Legos

Our last meeting of the year went by way too quickly! We had so many great books to share, lots of delicious cupcakes to decorate, and fun book-inspired Lego scenes to create.

After stuffing ourselves with pizza and cupcakes, we each shared a little teaser booktalk about the book we had read. We had a wonderful and diverse selection of books represented, from nonfiction to fantasy to realistic fiction to sci-fi! Then, we moved over to the Lego table and attempted to re-create a scene, image, or plot point from the book using Legos. This turned out to be harder than it sounds, especially considering the limited Lego people and blocks available, but the Bookshoppers came up with some awesome literary creations. There are pictures below, but they will also be on display at the Main Library on the third floor until Monday morning, June 27, so stop by to check it out!

Getting the creative juices flowing...

Isaac: N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley

Eli: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Chris: Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman

Avery: The Complete Dog Breed Book by DK Publishing

Gabriel: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Shayla: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Our book-inspired Lego display in the Children's Room

The June meeting was our last Bookshop meeting for this year. Have a wonderful summer, and we'll be back in September. Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May Meeting: Scratch and PicoBoards

We had a blast at Monday's meeting talking about all of the fantastical places Milo visits in The Phantom Tollbooth and then taking a stab at creating our own using Scratch. Two members of the MIT Media Lab's Scratch team attended the meeting and brought PicoBoards for us to try out. These little sensor boards allowed us to create coded interactions based on a button, a slider, a light sensor, and a sound sensor in addition to what is typically available within Scratch.

We got so invested in our work that we ran out of time, so I wasn't able to get videos of everyone's Scratch projects. I did get some pictures of the process (but not of Isaac who created a very cool hybrid cat-dog that spun around, among many other things), but you'll just have to take my word for it that the Bookshoppers came up with some awesome Milo-inspired projects by the end of our meeting.

Hard at work
Avery: fat man/thin man/tall man/short man controlled by the slider and the button
Chris: game where you use the slider to help Milo collect As and avoid Zs and bombs
Eli: game involving the slider and this sinister skeleton guy eventually changing colors and dissolving into a whirlpool effect
Stefan: slider controls Milo in his car zooming back and forth

Get excited for our last meeting of the school year on Monday, June 20th! Bring a book to share!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April Meeting: Glogster Spy Club Posters

Monday's meeting flew by with lots of excitement about upcoming books (The Cursed Child!!!) and movies (Rogue One!!!). Everyone seemed to have enjoyed Liar and Spy, and we had a lively discussion about who was the liar and who was the spy. We also looked at some books about Georges Seurat and his incredible pointillism art technique since that was a theme throughout the book. 

After a delicious birthday blondie treat (happy belated birthday and thank you, Avery!), we started exploring Glogster, our new online tool of choice. Because Georges and Safer's whole friendship began with a mysterious spy club poster, we decided to create our own spy club posters. Some of them are still works in progress, but they would definitely get my attention and pique my curiosity!

Avery's Glog:

Chris's Glog:

Eli's Glog:

Gabe's Glog:

Isaac's Glog:

Shayla's Glog:

Stefan's Glog:

Our next meeting will be on Monday, May 23, from 5:30-7:00. PLEASE NOTE: this is not the last Monday of the month since the last Monday of May is Memorial Day and the library will be closed. We are reading The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, and our top-secret special Scratch activity will be led by staff from the MIT Media Lab!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Meeting: Audacity Audio and War Slogan Posters

We had a small but enthusiastic group at Monday's meeting. We talked about everything from aliens landing next door, to the awesome manga series, Library Wars, to who saved whose life in our March book, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. (Consensus was reached that they sort of all saved each other in one way or another.)

We then launched into our first activity for the evening: writing a letter from one character in the book to another. We were pretty impressed by the animals in the book, since both Butter the horse and Bovril the cat played pretty big roles in Ada and Jamie's lives in the country. Thus, several Bookshop members chose to embrace magical realism and write letters from the point of view of one of the animals. The one member who chose to write from a human perspective tackled a British accent with impressive success. After finishing the hard part of writing, we rehearsed a bit before recording ourselves live using Audacity, a free Open Source software tool. The entertaining results are below. Enjoy!

While taking turns to record, we took inspiration from some vintage WWII British War Slogan posters and created some of our own posters.