Stay tuned for details!

This list will be finalized in September, but why not begin reading now?

  • Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis
  • The Boy who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
  • Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Anderson
  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • We are not from Here by Jenny Sanchez
  • White Rose by Kip Wilson
  • A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans

Book Trailers

K-12 tentative lists


Take a few minutes to honor the life of Tomie DePaola on the one-year anniversary of his unexpected death. All Homer High students grew up in the prime of Tomie DePaola’s work as a children’s author and illustrator.  His trademark colors and illustration style became favorites of children around the world. He even wrote engrossing autobiographies for young readers.  Take a stroll down memory lane with some of Tomie’s stories below:

Storyline Online: Strega Nona

Days of the Blackbird

Bill and Pete

Librarything: Tomie dePaola

Obituary: Tomie dePaola, March 30, 2020

Book talks are useful and entertaining.  Sometimes we wonder if a book is worth reading, if it’s worth the time it takes to read from beginning to end.  One of my favorite books is 48 hours long on audio; another is only two; both require hours of my life.  Book trailers and talks give us enough information to judge a book by more than its cover.  Book talks also help us to understand books that we have read on a deeper level.

During Christmas Break, I discovered The Book Club with Michael Knowles.  These are book talks with a different guest each month.  I have since listened to every episode, and I’d like to share one in particular with my Homer High students:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Listen.  Give the book a try if you are so inclined. Look beyond the cover.

This book has stood the test of time for good reason.  It is ranked #10 in popularity on LibraryThing with over 66,000 members claiming it as part of their collection, virtual or real.

Be Internet Savvy

October 23, 2020 | | Leave a Comment

The Internet is a huge temptation for connecting with others, even people you do not know.  The thing is, what and who you see on the Internet isn’t always reality.  A person can pretend to be anything and anyone, and you wouldn’t know the difference.  Be smart.  Don’t give your personal information.  Don’t agree to “meet up” with a stranger. Don’t tell a stranger that you are by yourself or where you live or who your parents/siblings are.

Learn more with these videos from NetSmartz (the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).


If you haven’t read Dune by Frank Herbert, you are missing an epic story–epic as in brilliant, well-told, and ageless.  Dune is not only a story.  It is the opening to an unforgettable universe.  You may be thinking, “I wonder if the bookstore or local library has that book.”  If you like adventure and intrigue mixed with sci-fi, Dune is the book for you.

And, why is this book on my mind?  A two-part remake of the movie is in the works with part 1 scheduled for release October 1, 2021.  (The release was originally scheduled for December 18, 2020, but the studio changed the date due to low theater attendance during the COVID pandemic.) Check out these links for more information!

Ultimate Guide To Dune (Part 1) The Introduction

LibraryThing:  Dune

Harper’s Bazaar:  What to Know About Dune (and trailer!)

The Dune Encyclopedia: The Complete, Authorized Guide and Companion to Frank Herbert’s Masterpiece of the Imagination Compiled by Willis E. McNelly (708 page PDF!)

IMDB:  Dune

Our American Stories

March 17, 2020 |  Tagged | Leave a Comment

Have you heard of this radio program?  I stumbled across it on the radio one night driving home from Kenai.  Check it out here.

“No politics, no opinions, just stories. We tell a story and the audience tells us their stories—LIVE, with raw emotional power. Daily bringing the campfire scene to your ears.”   Get your s’mores ready!

Maybe your family has a story to tell.  Send your story and a photo to the following email address:


Fake News, Part 2

December 12, 2017 | | Leave a Comment

As a follow-up to “Fake News Epidemic” this post links to an article in The Intercept which details a very recent, very embarrassing false report by at least three major news outlets.  Toward the bottom of the article other examples of false reporting are also given.  Read it for yourself.

The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened”

What is The Intercept?  Check it out here and here.

Fake News Epidemic

November 14, 2017 | | Leave a Comment


Fake news is any news which is broadcast or printed by the media that misleads the audience about a specific group, person, or action. The audience can be misled in either a negative or positive way. Fake news happens in two ways: (1) when reporters do not check their facts before releasing their news scoop, and (2) by choosing to “kill” a story –that is, not report on an event even though it is news-worthy and important.


By not checking facts, reporters and editors spread harmful gossip. They harm the reputations of individuals and groups. Some examples of this are “hate” crimes that supposedly occurred in the past year or two but really didn’t. This fake news spreads like wildfire, but the retractions and apologies by the news organization often are so insignificant that the general public is unaware of them. Why do reporters not check their facts before reporting? They often “trust” the source. They often have biases that predispose them to believing something bad about someone or some group they disagree with. Sometimes, they want to see a person or group discredited. They know that once negative news is published, that a person’s or group’s reputation can be damaged beyond repair.


By killing a story, crime and corruption and systemic problems are allowed to continue. An example of that happening right now in the United States, is the seemingly ubiquitous sexual violations being reported out of the entertainment industry. It turns out that the mainstream media knew about these incidents and patterns of behavior yet refused to report on them. So, the news is not only that powerful men in Hollywood and New York have been allowed to continue this gross behavior, but that some news organizations saw their connections to these powerful, wealthy men as more important than honest reporting.


Here are links to just a few examples of Fake News.


Intellectual Freedom

February 21, 2017 | | Leave a Comment

  • The right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction


  • Free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored


From the American Library Association, 2017


*                      *                      *                      *

Libraries defend and promote intellectual freedom by providing materials from many different points of view so students can better understand the issues of their world and make informed decisions.

Guys Read

January 21, 2016 | | Leave a Comment

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”1″]


Guys, I would like your book recommendations.

What books have you really liked that you would recommend to other guys?

Check out some ideas here and let me know what you think:


Is This for Real?

August 25, 2014 | | Leave a Comment

“Gasoline Tax to Jump $3.00 January 1st!” No! Really? Maybe. Maybe not? The headline said it, so isn’t it true?

Some headlines scream doom and gloom, others announce incredibly good news. But are they true? The most difficult headlines to discern relate to current events and personalities and contain just enough “truth” to look real even if they aren’t. Readers who have believed such headlines in the past were labeled “gullible” and “naïve,” but now it is simply becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference between what is fact and fiction.

One way to protect yourself from jumping on the bandwagon of lampoon and scam sites is to become familiar with their names. When you see headlines from these sources, you will know to dismiss them as someone’s idea of fun and games. Here is a handy list of the most prolific “fake news” sites.

The most important thing for all students is to begin reading and/or watching a variety of news sources, so you are literate in current events from various points of view. Online, I would recommend both Fox news (conservative) and CNN (liberal). You will have a mix of views from these two sites to help you understand your country and world. If you listen to radio, try both NPR (liberal) and 650AM KENI (conservative).

A well-informed person is much less likely to fall for a fake headline, sparing him or her the embarrassment of believing and repeating a hoax or rumor which later is proven to be false.



September 11, 2013 |  Tagged , | Leave a Comment

Twelve years ago our nation was attacked, and our lives as Americans changed dramatically.  Our current teenagers were only small children then and know about this tragedy only through media.  They don’t remember the days before the TSA moved into airports, when family and friends could sit at the boarding area waiting for flights. Thanks to a KPBSD principal for finding a video that can help you understand a little more about what happened that day, September 11, 2001.


  • What We Become…

    “What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.”

    “May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books.”

    ~Thomas Carlyle, Victorian Scottish philosopher, writer, historian and teacher

  • Rules of the Road

    "My grandma always said that God made libraries so that people didn't have any excuse to be stupid."

    Joan Bauer - Rules of the Road

  • Frigate like a Book

    There is no frigate like a book

    by Emily Dickinson

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away, Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry - This Traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of Toll - How frugal is the Chariot That bears a Human soul.

  • Frederick Douglass

    "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." — Frederick Douglass