Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Did you have an AWESOME summer? Did you read anything cool?

If you finished the Gwinnett County Public Library Summer Reading Challenge I might be bringing you a little something. If you haven't finished it yet, don't worry! You have until the end of August.

Did you also get your free book at Barnes & Noble for your summer reading? Get that in too!

And if you want to tell everyone about a book you read the use this link or the tab up at the top of this site called "Share Good Books!"  We're going to be using this all year to help each other find good stuff to read.

Thanks and here's hoping for another GREAT year!

-Mr. Randolph

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thanks Dan Santat, For Being Awesome!

That's me and CALDECOTT MEDAL-winning illustrator and author Dan Santat who has just signed our copy of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend to YOU GUYS, "the students of Starling Elementary." How cool is that? He came to the coolest bookstore in the area, The Little Shop of Stories to give a hilarious presentation and sign a bunch of stuff. Becasue he's awesome!

His new book is perfect for getting ready for summer travels. It's called Are We There Yet? and is all about how time goes so slow when we're bored but fast when we're having fun. It's great. Make your way down to the Little Shop in Decatur this summer when you're looking for something to do and grab a copy. Maybe they'll even still have some signed ones.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Thanks for a Groovy Book Fair!

We had a great time at the book fair (and didn't even have to close for a day due to an "ice storm" like last year)!

Hope you enjoyed yourselves and I'll be putting in an order for new library books soon, so thanks so much for the fundraising help.

We close today, Friday, at noon but you can still shop online through tomorrow if there's anything else you need. Those purchases still count towards our fundraiser and the books will be delivered to the school soon.

Thanks again!

Spring 2016 Book Fair is Coming!

February 19-26th!
Checks and Credit Cards preferred!
(Payable to SCHOLASTIC)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Underground Abductor

"Araminta Ross was born a slave in Delaware in the early 19th century. Slavery meant that her family could be ripped apart at any time, and that she could be put to work in dangerous places and for abusive people. But north of the Mason-Dixon line, slavery was illegal. If she could run away and make it north without being caught or killed, she'd be free. Facing enormous danger, Araminta made it, and once free, she changed her name to Harriet Tubman. Tubman spent the rest of her life helping slaves run away like she did, every time taking her life in her hands. Nathan Hale tells her incredible true-life story with the humor and sensitivity he's shown in every one of the Hazardous Tales--perfect for reluctant readers and classroom discussions."

"Before she was a fierce denizen of the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman, born Araminta Ross, was a survivor of slavery and a narcoleptic with religious visions. Hale uses his cheeky framing device to propel the narrative and make it entertaining but doesn't shy away from fantastic depictions of Tubman's dreams and the dangers she faced."  -School Library Journal, starred review


"When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all"

"George, a fourth-grader who knows she is a girl, despite appearances, begins to tell her secret. The word "transgender" is used midway through, but far more work is done by the simple choice to tell George's story using third-person narration and the pronouns "she" and "her." Readers then cringe as much as George herself when bullies mock her or--perhaps worse--when well-meaning friends and family reassure her with sentiments like "I know you'll turn into a fine young man." Each year the fourth-graders at George's school perform a dramatized version of Charlotte's Web, the essentials of which are lovingly recapped (and tear-inducing ending revealed) for readers unfamiliar with the tale. George becomes convinced that if she plays Charlotte, her mom will finally see her as a girl. George's struggles are presented with a light, age-appropriate, and hopeful touch. The responses she gets when she begins to confide in those closest to her are at times unexpected but perfectly true-to-character--most notably her crude older brother's supportive observation that, "No offense, but you don't make a very good boy." A coda to the Charlotte's Web story, in which George presents herself as a girl for the first time, is deeply moving in its simplicity and joy. Warm, funny, and inspiring."  -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Though others see her as male, 10-year-old George has long known that she is a girl, and she longs for people to see that truth, even while the idea terrifies her. When George's fourth-grade class has tryouts for a school production of Charlotte's Web, George desperately wants to play Charlotte, a character she adores. George's teacher doesn't allow to George to audition for the part, but her supportive best friend Kelly, who is cast as Charlotte, comes up with a plan that may give George the chance she needs. The taunts of a school bully, George's self-doubts, and her mother's inability to truly hear what George is telling her carry real weight as debut author Gino's simple, direct writing illuminates George's struggles and quiet strength. George's joy during stolen moments when she can be herself will resonate with anyone who has felt different, while providing a necessary window into the specific challenges of a child recognizing that they are transgender. Profound, moving, and-as Charlotte would say-radiant, this book will stay with anyone lucky enough to find it."  -Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"Before her mother and older brother Scott come home, George has a few, treasured moments to experience life as she's always wanted to live it. She looks in the mirror and calls herself Melissa, combs her hair over her forehead to mimic the appearance of bangs, and reads glossy magazines full of ads for lipstick, perfume, and tampons. Once her mom and brother come home, however, the magazines must go back to their secret hiding place. While George has no doubt she's a girl, her family relates to her as they always have: as a boy. George hopes that if she can secure the role of Charlotte in her class's upcoming production of Charlotte's Web, her mom will finally see her as a girl and be able to come to terms with the fact that George is transgender. With the help of her closest ally, Kelly, George attempts to get the rest of the world to accept her as she is. While children can have a sense of their gender identity as early as the age of three, children's literature is shockingly bereft of trans* protagonists, especially where middle grade literature is concerned. George offers more than the novelty of an LGBTQ coming-out story, however. Here, what is most remarkable is the use of pronouns: While the world interacts with George as if she is a boy, the narrator only refers to her with female pronouns, which gives her girl-ness a stronger sense of validation. In addition, George comments on the fact that, in past years, gays and lesbians have achieved a certain amount of visibility and acceptance, while the trans* community is still largely ignored and misunderstood. George's mother remarks that while she can handle having a gay child, she simply can't accept her as "that kind of gay." For George, as is the case for many LGBTQ youth, coming out is a process that she must repeat until she is properly recognized. There is pain in George, but not without the promise of a better tomorrow, even if tomorrow doesn't arrive as soon as it should. VERDICT A required purchase for any collection that serves a middle grade population." -School Library Journal, starred review