THANKSGIVING TRIVIA GAME: Looking for zero-prep Thanksgiving activities for middle school? This trivia game helps keep your students learning and engaged, even in the days before a holiday break. It’s zero-prep for you, and text and images are 99% editable.

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Since Ragnarokthe great war between the gods and the forces of chaos—the human realm of the Midlands has become a desperate and dangerous place, bereft of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones—his family has remained prosperous. But he stands to lose everything when he’s wrongly convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is Eiric’s half-systir, Liv, who’s under suspicion for her interest in seidr, or magic. Then a powerful jarl steps in: He will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reginn Eiklund has spent her life performing at alehouses for the benefit of her master, Asger, a fire demon she is desperate to escape. After one performance that amazes even herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make Reginn an irresistible offer: return with them to the Temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.

Eiric’s, Liv’s, and Reginn’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, a paradise fueled by magic and the site of the Temple. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.


Library Challenge #1 tasks you with an annual review (or maybe your first review) of your library's Selection and Reconsideration Policies.

LIBRARY CHALLENGE #1 Are library book challenges scary? I think so! But they are much less scary when you have a strong plan. When you know exactly what to do

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This article is 10 essential tips for new school librarians. These are the 10 things you should do FIRST in your new school library.

You’ve landed a brand new school librarian job–congratulations! All summer, you’ve looked forward to standing in the middle of your very own library, taking a deep breath, and reveling in

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This is a collection of fun ideas for middle school library orientation. Even if you don't use the ideas, the videos are a lot of fun to watch!

Ahh, the first day of school! Call me crazy, but I’ve always loved it! I will see my first middle school library orientation classes this Wednesday. We have a book

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Review: The Future of Us (Asher, Mackler)

AUTHOR: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
PUBLICATION DATE: November 21, 2011
ISBN: 9781595144911
PAGES: 356
SOURCE: public library
GENRE: Realistic fiction

SUMMARY: It’s 1996, and high school junior Emma Nelson has just opened up her family’s very first personal computer. At his parents’ request, Emma’s former best friend and next-door neighbor Josh brings over a CD with 100 free minutes from America Online. As Emma sets up her new email account, a strange website pops up: something called “Facebook.” Emma and Josh soon discover that the site enables them to glimpse their lives 15 years into the future.

REVIEW: Combine the movies 13 Going On 30 and The Butterfly Effect with Lauren Oliver’s novel Before I Fall, and you’ll likely get something like The Future of Us. This sweet romance about two feuding best friends will cause readers to consider how every little decision–even something as benign as what to eat for dinner–can alter the future. Through Josh and Emma’s alternating perspectives, readers learn about the futures of their families, high school friends, and classmates. Multiple references from 90s pop culture, news events, and technology are fun but a little heavy-handed. Teen readers may not get every 90s reference or sarcastic jab, but adults will chuckle as they reminisce about a time before every home had an internet connection and every teenager a cell phone.

While it does grapple with meaty issues including teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and stepfamilies, the story’s plot stays fairly light-hearted and grounded in Josh and Emma’s fragile friendship. Characters are varied and realistic; skater Josh, track star Emma, brainy Kellan, immature Tyson, and popular Sydney will give many teens someone they can relate to.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Although the plot slows a bit in places, The Future of Us has a fun premise that will be a hit with middle and high school students AND their parents nostalgic for “the good ole days.”

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. This one will be popular in my middle school library, but there is one scene I worry a little about with my sixth graders (Emma’s boyfriend pushes her sexually and puts his hand inside her shirt and underneath her bra). The scene is necessary to the story, and it is not overly graphic or descriptive.

READALIKES: Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver)


  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 3/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: mild
  • Sexuality: medium; a boy puts his hand under Emma’s bra, a couple of roundabout references to male erection, kissing, one boy attempts to seduce Emma but fails, one potential teen pregnancy; one homosexual character
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; teens drink at a party, but neither Emma nor Josh drinks
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