The Indian Creek Upper School Library Blog

Category Archives: Events

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National Novel Writing Month ended at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, and this year twelve intrepid student writers celebrated a successful month of novelling! Indian Creek students from 7th through 12th grade attempted to write their novels in 30 days during the month of November. Some of them gathered every Monday and Wednesday afternoon to meet for NaNoWriMo writing club, while others could only write during their free time (what is free time?!). Altogether, this year’s group of Indian Creek novelists wrote an ASTOUNDING 114,970 words!

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On December 6, the student novelists gathered together to celebrate the end of the month of reckless writing and share their novels with each other. Among those celebrating were THREE student novelists who reached their word-count goals and WON NaNoWriMo this year!

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This year’s novels were OUTSTANDING! Students wrote novels that covered a range of genres, including mystery and thriller, romance, paranormal, fantasy, post-apocalyptic sci-fi, and super-hero adventures.

During December and throughout the rest of the year, student novelists will continue to work on their books. Editing, revising, and adding even more fantastic scenes will be their goals. For the three students who reached their word-count goals, they will have the option of using a self-publishing site to receive a copy of their own book once they are ready to print!

Well done, novelists! I’m already excited for next November!


Yay! After a long wait, we finally have a date and time for our All American Boys book club discussion with authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely! We’ll be discussing their fantastic book on March 28 at 10:45 a.m.

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Our book club meeting was supposed to occur during an Advisory period, but the snow knocked us off-schedule. If you are participating in this book club discussion, please be sure to get permission from your third period teacher to attend AND be sure to catch up on the work that you missed!

 

We will be meeting the very first day back from Spring Break, so you’ll have plenty of time to read while we’re on break! Be sure to get your copy of All American Boys from your local public library, bookstore, or Amazon soon!

If you’d like to discuss this very important book with your peers, Mrs. Hanley, Ms. Gaffney, and the authors, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, please sign up in the library!


A quick update on the All American Boys Book Club meeting: it has been postponed until further notice. We are still waiting for a reply from Jason Reynolds’ and Brendan Kiely’s representatives about their availability to Skype with us for the meeting, so until then, keep reading, Creekers!

A new Creek Reads Book Club book will be chosen within the next week or so. Hopefully, we will still be able to Skype with Jason and Brendan about their AMAZING book before the end of the school year.

If you have a book that you think would make a good Book Club selection, please let your friendly neighborhood librarian know!

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Get ready, readers! Our next book club pick is the young adult novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

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If you’d like to read a review of this book before you pick it up, check out the Creek Reads review here, or take a look at Ms. Fetterolf’s more personal thoughts on the book here.

If you have any concerns/questions/thoughts about the book or the heavy themes that come up in it, please see your friendly neighborhood librarian with your questions and comments.

The date of our next Creek Reads Book Club meeting is still TBD, but it will take place at the end of January, so mark your calendars! Attendance will again be limited to 20 students and we will be joined by Mrs. Hanley and Ms. Gaffney for our discussion.


  1. Thou shalt write EVERY DAY. Even if it’s only a few words and you know that you’ll have to scramble to make up the lost words tomorrow, get words written TODAY. Is your computer broken? Use a pencil and paper! Don’t have pencil and paper? Download Dragon on your phone and speak your novel!
  2. Thou shall not erase ANYTHING. No erasing, no rewriting! Endeavor only to add words to your novel, not subtract. You can edit when November is over!
  3. Thou shalt set a reasonable word count goal. If you want that coupon code from FastPencil, make sure that you set your word count goal for something achievable! Sit down for an hour, see how many words you can write, and then multiply that number by 30. That’s your word count goal. Easy! Most young writers set their word count goals between 10,000 and 30,000 words for the month. What’s right for you?
  4. Thou shalt not peek over the shoulders of other writers. Don’t try to read someone else’s novel without their permission! It’s distracting and rude!
  5. Thou shalt take breaks at least once an hour. Sitting for too long, even when you’re on a tear, is not good for you! Get up for five minutes, grab a drink of water, jog in place, or step outside. You might even see something that inspires a chapter in your novel!
  6. Thou shalt update your word count. Watch your word count grow and grow! Constant progress will inspire you to new heights of writing greatness!
  7. Thou shalt not criticize your own writing. That’s your inner editor talking, trying to get you to doubt your obvious writing skills. Don’t listen!
  8. Thou shalt not criticize others’ writing. Be supportive of your fellow writers! Cheer them on, ask them questions, give lots of compliments! Then, when they ask you to edit their novel in December, go crazy with the red ink (respectfully, of course)!
  9. Thou shalt not shirk your responsibilities. Make sure your priorities are straight: homework, friends, novel. Or friends, homework, novel. But novel comes last.

It’s day 6 of National Novel Writing Month! How are you doing so far? Do you still like your characters? Do you know what’s going to happen next? If you need help (or emotional support), come visit the library! We have writerly books to inspire your writing, a writer’s emergency pack, and other sympathetic writers! Or visit the Young Writers Program for author pep talks, the Dare Machine for helping you get over writer’s block, and other great resources for writers. Happy noveling!


On Wednesday, 12 students met in the library to enjoy a stimulating conversation with author Holly Bodger. They discussed the ideas and themes in Holly’s novel, 5 to 1, as well as the joys and difficulties of the writing process, finding inspiration, and other great YA novels. For more about the book club meeting, click to check out this great article on the Indian Creek School website!


In less than one month, friends, the library will be hosting our first ever Creek Reads Book Club! I’m very excited for this new program and I hope that we get plenty of students participating in what will surely be a really fun hour of discussion about the book 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger. If you haven’t read the Creek Reads blog review of this book yet, check it out here.

In short, this awesome novel takes place in near future India, where boys outnumber girls by a ratio of 5 to 1. In the walled city of Koyanagar, Sudasa is now marrying age and that means that she must judge 5 boys who are selected to compete in the Test to become her husband. Sudasa does not want to be married – for her, marriage is simply another form of enslavement. Kiran, one of the boys competing for Sudasa’s hand in marriage, is also scornful of the Test and the society in Koyanagar. As the Test progresses, Sudasa and Kiran try to break as many rules as possible, usually to the detriment of the other’s plans. Told in alternating chapters of verse and prose, this novel raises questions about gender roles and stereotypes, the consequences of greed and the misuse of power, and the value of choice.

During the book club, we’ll be joined by the author, Holly Bodger, via Skype! Holly hails from Canada and 5 to 1 is her debut novel. She’ll be present on the big screen to answer questions about her book and the writing process. If you’d like to join the Creek Reads Book Club, please grab a copy of 5 to 1 at your local library, bookstore, or download it and come prepared to discuss! Any and all NaNoWriMo participants are also welcome to join to discuss writing and publishing with Holly.

The Creek Reads Book Club will meet on Wednesday, October 28 during Advisory. Please sign up in the library to secure your spot – there are 20 seats available! Be sure to ask your advisor for permission to attend the meeting beforehand.


Seniors End of Year Book Return 2015

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

-John Donne


kamigarciaNew York Times best-selling author Kami Garcia will be coming to Indian Creek on Thursday, February 21. Ms. Garcia may be best known for her Beautiful Creatures series, which will soon be released as a major motion picture, starring Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, and more!

While at Indian Creek, Ms. Garcia will speak to both the Upper and Middle School (including 5th Grade) student bodies. She will also work with smaller groups in creative writing classes.

Her website provides her biography:

Kami Garcia is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 48 countries and translated in 37 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie releases in theaters on February 13, 2013 from Warner Brothers & Alcon Entertainment, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese, and starring: Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum, Alice Englert, and Alden Ehrenrich.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her solo series, THE LEGION (coming Fall 2013), which is currently being developed as a major motion picture.

Kami Garcia Annapolis Crownsville Visiting AuthorKami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).”

Ms. Garcia will speak to our Middle School students and fifth graders in the morning and then spend time with a smaller group of English students for a Q&A session.  In the afternoon, she will speak to the Upper School students followed by a Q&A session with creative writing students.

In addition to speaking to both the Middle and Upper Schools, she will do a book signing for both campuses.  We will have a limited number of the books for sale on each campus beginning Tuesday, February 12.  Paperbacks are $7, and hardcover copies are $11. Because our copies are limited, you may wish to purchase your book elsewhere to guarantee its availability signing.  Students may bring in copies that they already own for the signing.  All books must be available for Ms. Garcia here at school by February 19.

Originally posted on Feb. 14, 2013 on http://www.indiancreekschool.org.


Paranormal romance books are hugely popular in Young Adult literature, and the Indian Creek Upper School librarians are constantly adding more books in this genre to our shelves. One series that has been a hit among readers at ICS and around the world is the Beautiful Creatures novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. These novels follow the love story of Ethan Waites and Lena Duchannes through a dark, magical, and mysterious South Carolina that you have to read to believe.

Thanks to Ms. Stacey Lawrence, an administrative assistant at the Upper School, ICS readers can now enjoy the newly-signed Beautiful Creatures novels from our library! Ms. Lawrence shares a mutual friend with Kami Garcia, who graciously inscribed our copies of her novel, adding value for her fans and a fun story for the library!

Thank you so much, Kami! If you’d like to learn more about Kami Garcia and her other works, check out her website here.

library12 library13 library14Originally posted on April 2, 2012 on http://www.indiancreekschool.org.