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 Golden Braid (Dickerson)

Review of Melanie Dickerson's The Golden Braid. Includes content ratings and readalikes.Melanie Dickerson’s version of “Rapunzel” had me asking myself a serious question: Is “Rapunzel” my favorite fairy tale because I’ve always had long hair? Or have I always had long hair because my favorite fairy tale is “Rapunzel”? Hmmm…

AUTHOR: Melanie Dickerson
SERIES: Fairy Tales, book 6
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
PUBLICATION DATE: November 17, 2015
ISBN: 9780718026264
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: fairy tales, Christian, historical fiction, romance
SETTING: Hagenheim, Lower Saxony (Germany), 1413

SUMMARY: 19-year old Rapunzel and her mother, Gothel, move around a lot. Gothel has always warned Rapunzel never to trust a man, that men will say they love her, then leave her heartbroken. On their way to Hagenheim, their next new home, Rapunzel and Gothel are attacked on the road and saved by Sir Gerek, a knight on his way home to Hagenheim. Later on their journey, Rapunzel saves Sir Gerek’s life, but he is badly injured in the process. As Sir Gerek heals at a monastery outside town, he reluctantly agrees to secretly teach Rapunzel to read.

REVIEW: Rapunzel has always been my favorite fairy tale, so I was super-excited for the chance to review The Golden Braid. Having read three of Dickerson’s other fairy tale spin-offs, The Captive Maiden, The Princess Spy, and The Fairest Beauty, I knew what to expect when I started:

  1. It would be addictive.
  2. It would have lots of scripture and praying.
  3. It would be squeaky-clean.
  4. Characters from previous books would make appearances.
  5. I would love it.

I am happy to say that I liked this one better than The Princess Spy, and almost as much as The Fairest Beauty. I always love slow-burning romances, and all four of these books have it. That first kiss takes it’s time, but it is so sweet when it finally happens.

The 1400s Germany setting works really well for Dickerson’s stories. Knights and lords and castles and fair maidens? Yes!

In the beginning, I thought Gothel might end up being a sympathetic character. She had clearly been very hurt by a man long ago, and at first, she seemed simply to want to be an independent woman and spare Rapunzel that kind of pain. I was disappointed as the story went on that she turned out to be the hag she always is in Rapunzel stories. Though I still enjoyed the Gothel backstory, a sympathetic Gothel would have been a refreshing twist.

Middle school librarians and teachers looking for clean romances with strong heroines will find Ms. Dickerson’s books fit the bill nicely. It is Christian fiction, and yes, it does include plenty of quotations from scripture. The characters draw strength from God and pray to God to help them make difficult decisions. While some readers may find this off-putting, I will say that I enjoy these books even though I am not a religious person at all. And unlike some YA couples I’ve read about, I am certain that if Dickerson’s characters were real people, their marriages really would be “till death do they part.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: Cute, squeaky-clean fun. Give it to middle school girls looking for fairy tale romance.  

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I have all of Ms. Dickerson’s books in my library, and I plan to get this one as well. I recommend these books to 6th and 7th graders all the time.  



  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5–I love the Gothel backstory
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 4/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: very mild; one chaste kiss, snuggling
  • Violence: mild; Gerek’s father killed his mother, then himself; knight battles; Rapunzel is skilled with a knife; allusions to rape (very, very mild though–many young readers will miss it)
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild; poisoning
  • Other: Rapunzel kills a chicken for dinner. Some sensitive animal lovers will not like that part.
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