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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Reading Off Library Fines

Do your students have library fines that just sit around, unpaid, for months at at time? These little fines used to drive me and the teachers nuts! How many students were not checking out any books because they had a 55 cent overdue fine? That was totally ridiculous, but district policy to charge fines left me with my hands tied. Here’s what I did to help…


I haven’t made any secret of my dislike for overdue fines. In all honesty, I’m just happy to have the book back so the student can check out some new ones. Fines were the bane of my existence at my last school, where some students–for whatever reason–made no effort to pay off these pesky little fines. Having a fine over 50 cents also meant they didn’t get any new library books until they paid their fine down to below 50 cents. In some cases, students even used their library fines as an excuse to not have a book to read in class.

I decided to give them another way to pay off fines. We tried doing a canned food drive, but we got very few cans and still had plenty of unpaid late fees. The R.O.B.O.T. Challenge (Returning Our Books On Time) also helped a bit, but it still wasn’t nearly enough.

Then I had an epiphany. All students need to read. They read for their classes. All are expected to read for DEAR time, and English teachers expect them to read at home, too. Reading is free, so there could be no excuse for not reading to pay off the fines.


  • One minute of reading = one cent off the fine. A fine of 50 cents could be cleared by reading a total of 50 minutes.
  • Students who told me they were reading off library fines were allowed to check out one library book at a time in order to make that happen. Even if their fine was over 50 cents (our limit for checkout). They can’t read off a fine if they do not have a book.
  • My middle schoolers could only read off their own fine. Reading off library fines for friends was a no-no.
  • The student’s parent/guardian or any of their teachers could sign the read-off bookmark. This made it easier for students with delicate family situations.
  • Reading minutes could be broken up over several days or, if necessary, a few weeks.
  • In most cases, reading off library fines only applied to overdue fines. Students who lost or damaged a book were still expected to pay for a replacement. You could, however, use it at your discretion for a student who, due to financial hardship or family circumstances, is unable to pay off their lost or damaged book.


These FREE bookmarks make reading off library fines super-easy! Just print, cut, and hand them out. For every minute students read, they subtract one cent from their library fine. When they’ve read enough to pay off the fine, they get their parent or teacher to sign the bookmark (verifying students read what they said they read) and voila! The fine disappears, and the student can finally get a new book! It’s truly win-win, especially for those students who are not checking out any new books because they owe a fine.


These bookmarks are available free at my TPT store. Open the PowerPoint file to edit the bookmarks to suit your library. There are six front-to-back bookmarks on each page, which will help save paper.

These "Read Off Your Library Fine" bookmarks are free in my TPT store!


Can Schools Legally Hold Report Cards for Non-Payment of Library Fines?
Chill Out! Relaxing Policies to Increase Checkout
So Not Fine: 9 Reasons Overdue Fines Need to Go Away Forever


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