Brownies -n- Books!

A pile of brownies is pictured with text saying Brownies n Books. I blocks.High Schoolers, especially: Lead a brief book discussion on a title or author you love, or join a genre discussion to share recommendations. Maggie brings brownies and you bring your interest in books.



Coming up:

When?  I-block on… Topic: Leaders:
Please notice that at our library entrance, our student leader Nicola is collecting new donations to help refugees who are settling in the US, and the “She’s the First” club is collecting hygiene products. Meanwhile, Middle School HIVE is collecting gently used clothing for a good cause!
Monday, Dec. 5 Mysteries and Thrillers! What’s better than a good MYSTERY as the weather gets bone-chilling chilly, foggy and atmospheric? Valentina will share her love of Nancy Drew and the Enola Holmes series by Springer.  Let’s see what everyone else’s favorites are from the Middle School Mystery collection.  The Thriller Collection for High Schoolers has highly recommended high action and True Crime on it with mysteries to solve, too! Valentina and possibly Adele
Monday, Dec. 12

Spanish Language books and Author Focus: Gary Soto – We will read this award winning story which centers around Hispanic Culture and the celebration of Christmas.Here’s the story review adapted from School Library Journal: Ages 3-6. More than the usual feel-good holiday celebration of ethnic pride, this warm picture book about a Latina child at Christmas is rooted in cultural tradition and in the physicalness of happy family life, with echoes of universal fairy tale. It’s also a very funny story, full of delicious surprise. The handsome, realistic oil paintings, in rich shades of brown, red, and purple, are filled with light, evoking the togetherness of an extended family, and making you notice individual expression and gesture. Maria is happily kneading the masa, helping her mother and father make tamales. When her mother takes off her diamond ring, Maria can’t resist secretly slipping it onto her finger. The ring falls off into the sticky dough, but it’s only after the 24 tamales have been cooked and her cousins, grandparents, and aunt and uncle have arrived for the festivities that Maria suddenly realizes the ring is lost. She begs her cousins for help, and the four kids doggedly, secretly, eat up all the tamales, searching for the ring. In one unforgettable painting, the queasy kids focus on the youngest child’s extended stomach: “I think I swallowed something hard,” he says. Tearful Maria finally owns up to her mother, but the ring is found, everything is cheerfully resolved, and the whole family moves to the kitchen to cook up another batch of tamales–despite the protesting groans of the stuffed children. Gary Soto is an accomplished poet and adult writer, and his children’s stories are widely popular.

More HILARIOUS books by Gary Soto:  Baseball in April, Buried Onions,

Gabby? Other volunteers who which to celebrate Hispanic culture?
TBD Extreme Ownership – linkprovides a discussion of leadership and command and the importance of taking full responsibility for one’s actions. Based on scenes and experiences from commanding battle in Afghanistan. See the library’s collection of nonfiction books on the topic of leadership. Great session for H-B’s club leaders!

More Mysteries and Murder!  Adele will share a little about her writing and help us explore some great mysteries. Here’s the collection of Mysteries for MS students. See also our Thrillers collection for older readers .  Do “Invisible Forces” interest older readers?

Serial Killers: (I know it’s weird but) we have lots of books on serial killers for research projects conducted in the past. If that’s your thing… search the catalog and find nonfiction at Dewey Decimal # 364.142, and fiction by catalog search, too.

Nonfiction books on forensics for crime-solving are on the shelves around Dewey Decimal #363.25

Adele and Maggie and…?
TBD Author Focus:
TBD Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and its iterations, to include PRIDE by Ibi Zoboi, The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins, and Being Mary Bennet by JC Peterson and a (some say TERRIBLE )riff on Pride n Prejudice called Eligible. (We have the Eligible audiobook, too!) Will Meredith do this one with Maggie?

Greatest GRAPHIC NOVELS, Manga and animation- Has anyone read BATTLING BOY series?

See our non-fiction titles that discuss how anime is made, how animation is created.  How do you build a career in animation? We have books!

Srbanti and…
TBD Scottish mythology series by Joseph Elliott called Shadow Sky. We have the trilogy!  Maggie is reading Stephen Fry’s MYTHOS: The Greek Myths Reimagined.  Norse myths can be explored in this graphic novel: Oksi. Ryan
 Do you have a BnB session to offer? Contact Maggie because we want to spread your recommendations. Volunteer Bakers Needed!
Coming soon:  Amelia, possibly Ryan on a Scottish Mythology based fantasy trilogy by Elliott.

Maggie can bring titles and help with discussion on each of the above sessions to help our our student leaders.

If you enjoy reading, consider taking on an additional personalized reading challenge.

Past Events with links:

Topic: Leaders:
Friday, Oct. 22 I was their American Dream by Malaka Gharib, and additional noteworthy graphic memoirs. Dakota
Monday, Oct. 25 Dungeons and Dragons resources, the Drizzt series by R. A. Salvatore, and Broken Things by Lauren Oliver. Jordan, Summer and Charlie
Monday, Nov. 1 The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. Resources. Also: books exploring segregation and anti-racism. Dylan
Monday, Nov. 8 Fantasy Football:  brag about your team picks and hear about a few of our sports memoirs, including Mind and Matter and Relentless. MC
Monday, Nov. 15 LGBTQ themed / inclusive titles:  George, 57 Bus, Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea, Shadow and Bone…Click on “collections” in our library catalog for many more.  Clare
Friday, Nov. 19 Participants will discuss the author presentation coming Dec. 1 about I was their American Dream by Malaka Gharib. Submit your questions to the author using this form.    Book Review (NPR.)  More resources:Study Guide.Author’s NPR interview. Dakota
Monday, Nov. 22 Native American authors of really freaky fantasy and horror (and more), including Cherie DiMaline, Stephen Graham Jones who is member of Blackfeet Nation, and Darcie Little Badger who is Lipan Apache (Elatsoe.) NPR Author Interview. Also: a look at author Louise Erdich, a Chippewa, who wrote The Porcupine Year for middle grades, and Nat’l Book Award winner The Round House for adults as well as the Pulitzer prize-winner The Night Watchman. Naya
Monday, Nov. 29 African American experiences: Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates and other memoirs such as The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom, The Black and the Blue by Matthew Horrace, Mind and Matter, by John Urschel, Heavy, by Kiese Laymon, and Thick written by Tressie McMillen Cotton.  Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi.Resources: “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-nehisi Coates. Sofia and Lydia
Monday, Dec. 6 Participants will discuss the author presentation of Dec. 1 about I was their American Dream by Malaka Gharib Maggie
Monday, Dec. 13 Really interesting Memoirs, some in unusual formats (graphic, poetry… and noteworthy audio-books format for vacation travel.) Also; does Steve Sheinkin’s nonfiction counter Jay Mathews’ column that dissed nonfiction?  Thanks for sharing, Catherine! Maggie
We paused B-n-B while we helped keep crowds and eating outside, due to Covid protocols.
March 7 and 15 Ready for March Book Madness We’ll discuss the titles in the Middle Grades and YA Categories. Learn how to vote in each round and access book summaries.  Learn about NoVA Teen Book Festival , its keynote speaker Julie Murphy (she wrote Dumplin’ and Puddin’ which are romances with a theme of body image.) Register for its events on evenings, March 14-18 this year.  Learn about NoVA Teen Book Festival, its keynote speaker Julie Murphy (she wrote Dumplin’ and Puddin’ which are romances with a theme of body image.) Register for its events on evenings, March 14-18 this year.
Monday, March 28 March Book Madness Reviews– focus on Science Fiction Authors Cindy Pon and Marie Lu.   Book Cousins: Louise Erdich and our library’s books about Native American Culture. Featuring information on Hopi, Apache, Navajo and Pueblo.THE BEST NONFICTION for a YA audience. Steve Sheinkin’s nonfiction for YA. Also: A Volcano in the Snow: story of John Brown. All Thirteen about the Thai Soccer Team caught for days in a flooded cave. Link to the YA non-fiction award given by ALA each year.MBM: Final Voting. 



Monday, April 4 It’s Poetry Month!  Focus: Poets and Novels in Verse. Dorothy Parker, Amanda Gorman, Karen Hesse, Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Clap When you Land,” Jacqueline Woodson…Virginia Tech’s most prolific writers: Poets Nikki Giovanni and Kwame Alexander.  Poetry can be found in our non-fiction section at:  808, 811, and 821. Maggie
Wednesday, April 6 and April 8. Eastern Europe  and Jewish Heritage – View a video about Romanian Eggs (Pysanky) and learn about diverse people in Eastern Europe and surviving a troubled history. Practice Cyrillic.  Finn and Maggie recommend these books:  Linked by Gordon Korman, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit,  The Attic Room, Diary of Anne FrankNowhere Boy, Boy in the Striped Pajamas,  ADVANCED SEARCH in our catalog; biography AND holocaust. Maggie

Planning meetings: join us to discuss organization of I-block sessions that explore Eastern European culture, especially Russia’s and Ukraine’s. Specifically, we want to learn how to apply the Cyrillic “alphabet.” If there’s time and interest, we can learn together how have “Slavic” languages developed from different human migration patterns and empire building. There are opportunities to share videos of Ukrainian Dance: Hutsul Arkan Dance 1 and Arkan Dance 2 (Kyiv),  and Russian Folk Dance and Russian “Soldier’s Dance” with kick out, Ballet, to explore patterns in Ukrainian cross-stitch, the role of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Books: Russia, The Great Najinsky, The Romanovs… and videos from the Discovery Education collection.  Who wants to teach what?

Lists characters in the Cyrillic Alphabet with their sound

Ruth, Janak, Olivia, Nic,
April 20 + 22 Learn and write Cyrillic! Enjoy videos of dance from Eastern Europe.COOL! Russian words you already know and CAN READ by sounding out the Cyrillic. Maggie
April 25 + 27 Muslim Heritage: As Ramadan will conclude soon with Eid, watch a slide show about the Five Pillars in Islam, learn about living in the Middle East, and explore related books. Maggie
April 27 Career Exploration, Books for funding College, and College Test Preparation (like our SAT workbooks.)  Find links and more resources at our Library Research Guide. Maggie
April 29 Muslim Heritage: As Ramadan will conclude soon with Eid, watch a slide show about the Five Pillars in Islam, learn about living in the Middle East, and explore related books. Maggie
May 4 Neuro Diversity:  Explore H-B’s books on autism, including biographies. Explore great books that have characters who are neuro-diverse or characters overcoming challenges such as physical disabilities.  Reading builds empathy and understanding! Maggie
May 9 Historical Fiction – focus: YA fiction by Ann Rinaldi, Alan Gratz, Elisa Carbone and selected books from the historical fiction collection in the library’s catalog. Vring your recommendations! Valentina and Amelia
May 11 True Crime – 57 Bus, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Covered With Night, Devil in the White City, and Volcano Beneath the Snow: the story of John Brown (Abolitionist Insurrectionist in 1859 led to start of US Civil War.) Noa, Carina, Nora, Martha, Maggie
May 13 Mythology! All kinds!  Works by Neil Gaiman, Madeline Miller (Circe), Anthony Doehr (Cloud Cuckoo Land), Epic of Gilgamesh, Sacred texts from Hinduism, Hawaiian Myths of Earth, Sea and Sky, Japanese mythology, and more. NB’s list.
Nicola, Maie, Sophia, Maggie ad others
May 16 Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month. Let’s focus on titles the library has for celebrating Asian heritage. Secret Coders, American Born Chinese, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Starry River of the Sky, When the Sea Turns to Silver, Assassination Classroom and other popular Manga. Authors: Cynthia Kadohata, Thanhh Lai, Grace Lin…
Maia and Luke
May 18 Asian American Art focus: Maya Lin (sculptor of the Vietnam War Memorial and others) and Hokusai and the roots of Manga. We will present portions of a great film. Watch (or check out) our DVDs about these important artists. Bring the names of other artists whose work you love!  Make sure you use MackinVia to provide yourself more learning resources on art when you explore the “Oxford Art” database!  In Virginia Beach, go to the Maya Lin: A Study of Water exhibit, recommends Mike! Ongoing till Sept. at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Inguun and Maggie and Mike
May 20 Computer Science and Gaming.  Our library supports coders and students who study gaming with fantastic books in our collection. See our collections with a focus on computer science as well as media and society.
Bobby L
May 25 Review H-B’s Constitution. Is there an amendment we could provide in order to create a new position of “clerk” for TM? Can we formulate a motion to do so?  One vision is that a clerk.. Review the Roberts Rules of Order as they’ve been customized for TM and include references to “officers at TM.”.

  1. serves 1 semester
  2. can be a partnership (2 people, each for one semester, and learning the role together)
  3. self-nominated for election at TM
  4. functions to help get TM agenda and minutes up to date and online accessible; works with ITC to ensure such
  5. provides PR and announcements to facilitate involvement and awareness of TM activities using “Spread the Word” from H-B home page
  6. when possible, assists Chair and Secretary to access and use the TM minutes
  7. seeks a means of archiving past year’s minutes for accessibility by all
  8. helps encourage an understanding of Roberts Rules of Order among students, especially (perhaps helping TM to appoint a parliamentary procedure committee or conducting a FebFest on parliamentary procedure.
Maggie and Bobby L.
Oct. 24 Hispanic Heritage Books and Science Fair Books, featuring the Science of Cooking. Sign up to bake brownies for our sessions!  See our growing collection of Libros en Espanol (books written in Spanish.) Maggie
Oct. 31 Visit during the Hallowe’en Assembly and tour our books on vampires and other scary stories.At I-block, learn about our Horror Books – just in time for Hallowe’en, featuring our VAMPIRE books, Stephen King, Steven Jones and more!  Horror Books for middle schoolers. Maggie and Horror lovers!
Nov. 4 Elections/ Democracy Books! See some of the most important new books we have related to democracy and elections, including Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein, Breaking the two-party doom loop : the case for multiparty democracy in America, The History of Political Parties and Drawing the Vote (in graphic novel format.). Share your appreciation of the famous March series by John Lewis if you’ve read those graphic novels about securing the vote for people of color in the US. Visit the “Research Guide” about vital news sources (showing a range of political perspective) that are researched by professional journalists who follow the Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Maggie
Nov. 14

Indigenous Peoples: enjoy exploring our “collection” of favorite titles about and by indigenous peoples— their cultures, and the stories they have inspired. See our marvelous display! Featured: Hawaiian Mythology.  See a video (see minute 5:45 and Minute 20) offering from authors Kate Messner and Traci Sorrell to broaden one’s understanding of Thanksgiving with a trending perspective that asks us to look back across history and the ways we have learned about it. What facts may have been distorted over time and straightened out by studying primary sources and under-represented voices instead of fiction about historical events?

How historical figures or events might be mythologized over time is also addressed in How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith who examines patriotism, museums, monuments, re-enactments, etc. where some facts or voices may have been marginalized and previously left out of the “record.” The end of the myth : from the frontier to the border wall in the mind of America explores the author’s thesis about how myths about our past have shaped today’s politics; he explores the power of American’s expansionism across the past centuries and unpacks “Manifest Destiny” and “American Exceptionalism.”

Jennifer Goen’s NOT JUST THE CLASSICS book club meeting on November 30, 7 pm on Zoom features the title Firekeeper’s Daughterdescribed at the top link and at this site with a more detailed summary, author info, etc. Tell your parents that they are invited to participate!

Adults and students will find INTERESTING  events scheduled this month at Arlington Public Library related to the Indigenous Peoples focus.

Join us at our library’s “Gratitude Station” to express thanks to the people who keep H-B’s Caring Community well appreciated! Take a card, say thanks, and if you need Maggie or Carol to deliver your note, let us!

Nov. 21


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (view summary) and other recommended sci fi / fantasy for middle schoolers. Place your favorite sci fi for high schoolers onto our recommendation list because we want to consider it for addition to our “collections” in the library catalog.Also fantastical! Maia presents on a great book on Hawaiian Myths of Earth Sea and Sky. With Hawaiian heritage, she suggested we add it to our collection and we’re glad she did!

Join us at our library’s “Gratitude Station” to express thanks to the people who keep H-B’s Caring Community well appreciated! Take a card, say thanks, and if you need Maggie or Carol to deliver your note, let us!

Reminder: Jennifer Goen’s NOT JUST THE CLASSICS book club meeting on November 30, 7 pm on Zoom features the acclaimed new novel the Firekeeper’s Daughter described at the top link and at this site with a more detailed summary, author info, etc. Tell your parents that they are invited to participate!


Maia and Janak
Nov. 27 Meaningful Memoirs; We have many recommended memoirs!  EDUCATION OF AN IDEALIST by Samantha Power. After starting a career dedicated to human rights by reporting on the war in Bosnia, she rose to be President Obama’s National Security Advisor and eventually his Ambassador to the United Nations. Fast paced, outstanding reading!  Other memoirs of note are in this “collection” in the catalog.During this session, notice that our student leader Nicola is collecting new donations to help refugees who are settling in the US.Graphic Novel Focus: When Stars are Scattered (based on a true story of refugees from Sudan.) <– an audio link there gives a taste for the book!  Maggie