Staff advisers

Mrs. Sonya Stevens, literacy teacher, sonya.stevens@d128.org
Ms. Monica Tolva, library media specialist, monica.tolva@d128.org

What we talked about Fri Nov 18

posted Nov 18, 2016, 7:36 AM by Monica Tolva   [ updated Nov 18, 2016, 7:37 AM ]

Thank you Avery and your mom for treats. Chocolate cake for breakfast - oh yeah!

Book Club - you look awesome! This will be our Yearbook photo.

Cara and Jacky met Justine Larbalestier, author of new book My Sister Rosa. This Australian author shared a lot of her research about psychopaths, empathy, meeting Texas grandmas, and working out at "crim gyms." Cool.

The cover image for Liar, also by Justine Larbalestier, was the starting point for a conversation about the "whitening" of book covers.
Micah, the main character, is clearly identified as an African-American girl with naturally curly hair. But the first cover image presented by the publisher featured a white girl with long, straight hair. Justine was able to advocate for a more authentic cover image. Read Justine's response.

Read more examples of this trend that Mrs. Stevens calls "disturbing." 

What we talked about Fri Oct 28

posted Oct 28, 2016, 9:58 AM by Monica Tolva

Hot Chocolate Taste Test
We sampled 2 kinds of hot chocolate packets: Swiss Miss (our usual kind) and Nestle (new kind).
And the winner, in a blind taste test, was .... Nestle!

Club Photo 7:30 a.m. Fri Nov 4
We are going to skip to formal club picture day after school on Tues Nov 1, and instead pose our own fun picture with the LMC as a backdrop. What are your ideas?
  • The Haters by Jesse Andrews
    • For Wes and Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It's pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. Ash makes a decision: they need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it they're in Ash's SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.
  • Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
    • In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.
  • The Infinite Sea by Philip Yancey, book 2 of The 5th Wave series
    • Cassie Sullivan and her companions lived through the Others' four waves of destruction. Now, with the human race nearly exterminated and the 5th Wave rolling across the landscape, they face a choice: brace for winter and hope for Evan Walker's return, or set out in search of other survivors before the enemy closes in.

What we talked about Fri Oct 21

posted Oct 24, 2016, 8:04 AM by Monica Tolva   [ updated Oct 24, 2016, 8:12 AM ]

Thank you Max for bringing treats, even when you couldn't stay for Book Club!

After school (time TBD) in Field House
Tues Nov 1

Justine Larbalestier
new book My Sister Rosa
speaking at Cook Memorial Public Library in Libertyville
7 p.m. Thurs Nov 17
fill out Google form if you can come with us!
  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
    • Jacob Portman and his newfound friends travel to war-torn 1940 London where they use their unusual talents to find a cure for Miss Peregrine, the beloved headmistress of their orphanage who has been trapped in the body of a bird.
    • Who has seen movie version of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children?
  • check out LMC's graphic novel collection!
    • Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
      • Usagi Tsukino must fight evil and enforce justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess with the help of the other girls destined to by the Sailor Senshi.
    • One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
      • Vowing to become the king of the pirates, Luffy sets out in a rowboat in search of the legendary "One Piece", which is said to be the greatest treasure in the world.
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
    • The kingdom of the royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes.
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
    • The story of a teenage girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more
  • Books by author Justine Larbalestier (or however you pronounce it!)
    • My Sister Rosa
      • What if the most terrifying person you'd ever met was your ten-year old sister? A spine-chilling psychological thriller from one of Australia's finest YA authors. 'I promise,' said Rosa. 'I won't kill and I won't make anyone else kill.' I can't see the loophole. Since the guinea pig there's been nothing. Months now without Rosa killing as much as a mosquito. As far as I know.
      • Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control.
      • Che's little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che's convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn't hurt anyone yet, but he's certain it's just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world - and the world from Rosa?
      • My Sister Rosa will have you on the edge of your seat from the very first page to the last.
    • Liar
      • Compulsive liar Micah promises to tell the truth after revealing that her boyfriend has been murdered.
    • How to Ditch Your Fairy
      • In a world in which everyone has a personal fairy who tends to one aspect of daily life, fourteen-year-old Charlie decides she does not want hers--a parking fairy--and embarks on a series of misadventures designed to rid herself of the invisible sprite and replace it with a better one, like her friend Rochelle's shopping fairy.
  • Tomboy by Liz Prince
    • A graphic novel memoir of American comics creator Liz Prince, focusing on how she felt she did not fit in with the girls or the boys.
  • Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
    • Lorrie Hollander used to be a rich girl who spent her money on boarding school and equestrian camp. But that was before. It’s been twelve years since Lorrie’s mother skipped town and left Lorrie and her sister in the care of her unstable aunt Gigi. Together they live in a decaying mansion called Edgewater, the eyesore in a town of extraordinary wealth and privilege.
  • Mornings in Mexico by D. H. Lawrence
    • Much of D.H. Lawrence's life was defined by his passion for travel and it was those wanderings that gave life to some of his greatest novels. In the 1920s Lawrence travelled several times to Mexico, where he was fascinated by the clash of beauty and brutality, purity and darkness that he observed. The diverse and evocative essays that make up Mornings in Mexico wander from an admiring portrayal of the Indian way of life to a visit to the studio of Diego Rivera and are brightly adorned with simple and evocative details: piles of fruit in a village market, strolls in a courtyard filled with hibiscus and roses, the play of light on an adobe wall. It was during his time in Mexico that Lawrence re-wrote The Plumed Serpent, which is infused with his own experiences there. To read Mornings in Mexico is thus to discover the inspiration behind of one of Lawrence's most loved works and to be immersed in a portrait of the country like no other.
  • #TrumpBookReport

What we talked about Fri Oct 14

posted Oct 14, 2016, 8:41 AM by Monica Tolva

We colored!!
Come by the LMC for your Chromebook sticker and bookmarks.
  • The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
    • Seeking to win a scholarship offered by global computing corporation Public, programming genius Audrey McCarthy writes a matchmaking app but discovers her results may be skewed by a program Public is secretly using to influence teens.
  • Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
    • Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman...Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when [she] returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal--or worse...
  • Binge
  • The 5th Wave by Phillip Yancey
    • Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.
  • Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
    • Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

What we talked about Fri Oct 6

posted Oct 7, 2016, 7:20 AM by Monica Tolva

We had Disney themed treats in honor of Homecoming Spirit Week! We hope you all had fun this week and enjoy the Homecoming dance on Saturday. 
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
    • (Ms. Tolva's dusty old British Literature obsession)
    • Edie Burchill travels to Middlehurst Castle, the longtime residence of the Blythe spinsters, to seek out information about her mother, who was billeted there as a thirteen-year-old during World War II, and winds up finding out more than she imagined.
  • Google Lit Trips - use Google Earth to view the settings of famous books
    • Books we'd love to see via Google Earth
    • Paper Towns by John Green
      • One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
    • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
      • A blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
  • Uncommon Criminals, sequel to The Heist Society, by Ally Carter
    • Fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop and her fellow talented teenagers work together to find and steal the Cleopatra Emerald from an unscrupulous dealer and return it to its rightful owner, while her uncle Eddie's former love tries to get the gem for herself.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    • Sixteen-year-old Jacob, having traveled to a remote island after a family tragedy, discovers an abandoned orphanage, and, after some investigating, he learns the children who lived there may have been dangerous and quarantined and may also still be alive.
    • Mrs. Stevens said she liked the movie version.
  • And of course we're reading books for English class
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
    • Tells the story of a young African-American man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, and a teacher who tries to impart to him his learning and pride before the execution.
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck
    • Terrible events follow the discovery of a magnificent pearl by a poor Mexican fisherman.
  • Fan-fiction by author Dirge Without Music
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts 1 and 2 by J. K. Rowling and Jack Thorne
    • As an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father, Harry Potter struggles with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs while his youngest son, Albus, finds the weight of the family legacy difficult to bear.

What we talked about Fri Sep 30

posted Sep 30, 2016, 7:21 AM by Monica Tolva

  • Thank you Alexa for treats! We wish you could have stayed, but thank you for remembering.
  • Tomboy by Liz Prince
    • A graphic novel memoir of American comics creator Liz Prince, focusing on how she felt she did not fit in with the girls or the boys.
  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
    • Thirty-five years after a series of airplane accidents rocked Elizabeth, New Jersey, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown for an event commemorating the disasters, and finds herself surrounded by three generations of families, friends, and strangers whose lives were irrevocably altered by those events in the 1950s.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him--most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? ... Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings--moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.
  • The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
    • A novel set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    • Golden boy Nick Dunne, brings his wife, Amy, back to his hometown on the Mississippi River where she is miserable and on their fifth wedding anniversary she disappears, and soon Nick finds himself lying, being deceitful, and acting inappropriately but continues to claim his innocence with his twin sister at his side.
  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
    • Malala Yousafzai's describes her fight for education for girls under Taliban rule, the support she received from her parents to pursue an education, and how the Taliban retaliated against her by trying to kill her.
  • Fight Like a Girl by Clemetine Ford
    • Personal and fearless - a call to arms for feminists new, old and as yet unrealized by one of our most outspoken feminist writers.

What we talked about Fri Sep 16

posted Sep 19, 2016, 9:09 AM by Monica Tolva   [ updated Sep 19, 2016, 9:24 AM ]

  • 20 books nominated for the 2017 Illinois Teen Choice Award
    • Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
      • Sixteen-year-old Gabi Hernandez chronicles her senior year in high school as she copes with her friend Cindy's pregnancy, her friend Sebastian's coming out, her father's meth habit, her own cravings for food and cute boys, and especially, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
    • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
      • Malala Yousafzai's describes her fight for education for girls under Taliban rule, the support she received from her parents to pursue an education, and how the Taliban retaliated against her by trying to kill her.
    • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
      • Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, both teetering on the edge, it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
    • Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he's also certain that she's a psychopath--clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he's the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the manipulation she's capable of. Their parents, whose business takes the family from place to place, brush off the warning signs as Rosa's "acting out." Now that they have moved again--from Bangkok to New York City--their new hometown provides far too many opportunities for Rosa to play her increasingly complex and disturbing games. Che's always been Rosa's rock, protecting her from the world. Now, the world might need protection from her.
    • Cook Memorial Public Library discussion group 6-7 p.m. Thurs Nov 3
    • author visit Thurs Nov 17 
    • should we do this as a group?
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, sequel to Delirium
    • After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive "the cure"--an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love--but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters, and although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
    • Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning ... past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them ... Their life-as she sees it-is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
  • Azula Trilogy, fan fiction connected to The Last Airbender
  • Crown of Dragons by Chris d'Lacey
    • Would you keep reading a series when the second or third books are not of the same quality as the first?

What we talked about Fri Sep 9

posted Sep 15, 2016, 9:15 AM by Monica Tolva

  • Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
    • Sheltered seventeen-year-old Emmy's childhood best friend Oliver reappears after disappearing with his father ten years ago.
    • Nominated for 2017 Illinois Teen Choice Award
  • Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
    • On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century. But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact - and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev’s world her own.
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    • Vianne and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Vianne and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong.
  • Emma by Jane Austen
    • A novel of Regency England that centers upon a self-assured young lady who is determined to arrange her life and the lives of those around her into a pattern dictated by her romantic fancy.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    • Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
    • And most of us liked the movie version, too!
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    • Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a firey passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose Tamlin forever.
    • Nominated for the 2017 Illinois Teen Choice Award
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and all of her other books! (Carry On, Eleanor & Park)
    • Feeling cast off when her twin sister outgrows their shared love for a favorite fictional character, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.

Second meeting - even better than the first!

posted Sep 6, 2016, 12:20 PM by Monica Tolva   [ updated Sep 6, 2016, 12:36 PM ]

Welcome all students to a fabulous year of reading and sharing together. 
We'd love to see for as many Fridays as you can make it. No explanation, no worries if you have to miss. Know that you are missed, though!
  • Land of the Stories series by Chris Colfer
    • Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. "The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
  • Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall
    • Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother. "This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me." When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn’t hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn’t straightforward.
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
    • High school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing seven cassette tapes recorded by his crush, Hannah Baker, who committed suicide, and spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
    • When Aria, a sheltered and fragile Dweller, is exiled from her home in Reverie, she must face The Death Shop, a land filled with cannibals and dangerous energy storms, and her only hope for staying alive depends on Outsider Perry, a savage hunter.
  • With Malice by Eileen Cook
    • Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.
  • Lingo: a Language Spotters Guide to Europe by Gaston Dorren
    • Welcome to Europe as you've never known it before, seen through the peculiarities of its languages and dialects. Combining linguistics and cultural history, Gaston Dorren takes us on an intriguing tour of the continent, from Proto-Indo-European (the common ancestor of most European languages) to the rise and rise of English, via the complexities of Welsh plurals and Czech pronunciation. Along the way we learn why Esperanto will never catch on, how the language of William the Conqueror lives on in the Channel Islands and why Finnish is the easiest European language.
  • White Dolphin by Gill Lewis
    • Frustrated at school and haunted by her mother's disappearance, Kara only feels truly alive when she is sailing the ocean's waves. But when she and Felix make a startling discovery on the beach, it sets in motion a dramatic chain of events. And soon they must make an impossible choice. Risk their own lives or face losing everything ...
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
    • Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.
  • Marvel comics
  • The Heist Society by Ally Carter
    • Fifteen-year-old Kat schemes her way into the best boarding school, hoping to leave the thieving antics of her family behind her, but Hal, a former co-conspirator, appears on campus to tell Kat that a powerful mobster believes her father stole art from a priceless collection, and in order to save him, Kat will have to recover the paintings.
  • Batman: Knightfall graphic novel
    • After the Joker, Amygdala, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Zsasz, Killer Croc, the Firefly, the Riddler, the Ventriloquist, and Scarecrow escape from Arkham Asylum, Batman must fight them one-by-one, leading him to a battle with Bane.
  • The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, second book in Wheel of Time series
    • Rand, a farm boy, is thought to be the prophesied leader who will save his people.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter, a fourth-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, longs to escape his hateful relatives, the Dursleys, and live as a normal fourteen-year-old wizard, but what Harry does not yet realize is that he is not a normal wizard, and in his case, different can be deadly.
  • Crown of Dragons by Chris d'Lacey, 3rd in the Unicorne series
  • Ellie says she's been spending a lot of time reading her US History textbook. Hey, sometimes that happens.

Welcome to Book Club!

posted Aug 26, 2016, 9:13 AM by Monica Tolva   [ updated Aug 26, 2016, 10:13 AM ]

Meeting you all and hearing your love for books made your Book Club advisors so happy! See you next Friday, and all of the other Fridays, to share about the books you're reading or want to read.

Welcome to Book Club members:
  • Cindy, senior, wants to read To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Jacky, senior, wants to read Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
  • Caralynn, junior, is reading The Alchemyst: the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
  • Anna, sophomore, is reading Pearl something by somebody with a pink cover (sorry!)
  • Drew, sophomore, read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Elaina, freshman, is reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab 
  • Dani, freshman, is reading We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • Esther, freshman, is reading A False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
  • Our mascot! Sophie, freshman, reading The Lord of something series (sorry again!)
  • Avery, freshman, is reading Binge byTyler Oakley
  • Julieta, freshman, is reading Traitor Heir
  • Jackie, freshman, is reading Harry Potter fan fic online
  • Drshika, freshman, is reading fantasy by classic author Robert Jordan
  • Benny, freshman is reading Alexander's Army by Chris D'Lacey
  • Max, freshman, wants to read Last Words by Michael Koryta
  • Valerie, sophomore, popped in to say Hi!
  • Ellie, junior, zipped in on her scooter

1-10 of 124