Teen Tech Week 2018 – Create@LFHS Library

It’s that time of year again – tech and games await you at your LFHS Library throughout lunch periods during Teen Tech Week, March 19-23. Activities will be set up exploring technology from the past, present, and future. Join us for scavenger hunts, stop-motion animation, robot races, and Oculus Rift virtual reality! There’s something for everyone, and as usual, all Scouts are welcome.

Technology and libraries go hand in hand. Your LFHS Library has Nooks to check out, downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks for your convenience, a load of databases you can access from home as well as school, online citation guides, class links to help you with homework, social media to help you find the best and newest books (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Pinterest, this blog) and more. Teen Tech Week celebrates all the tech we had, currently have, and will experience in the future.


A Perfect Match – Finding the Book for You

Reading is sort of like dating – it’s all about finding the right book at the right time. But how do you find the perfect book with so many to choose from? Here are a few tips:

  • Browsing the shelves and seeing what’s available may sound old school, but it can be a great place to start. What covers or titles jump out at you? Pick them up and read the back or inside flap to find out what’s in store.
  • Already have a book or topic in mind? Use the LFHS Library Catalog to find out which books we have available on our shelves (or in our audio & ebook collections) for you to check out. It narrows the playing field considerably and you can save the ones you want for later.
  • Just like there are dating apps, there are also plenty of places online dedicated to helping people find their next read. Goodreads is a website and app that allows readers to keep track of what they’ve read and what they want to read – the more books you rate, the better the recommendations it gives.
  • If you’re feeling up to it, ask someone to “set you up.” Librarians, teachers, and booksellers love sharing their favorite titles and recommendations with others (that’s the fun part of our job!).
  • Once you’ve found a title or two, go ahead and take the plunge. You’re allowed to check out multiple books from the library (as long as you don’t have overdues or unpaid fines). If this is a book for fun and the one you’ve picked out just isn’t doing it for you, return it and try something else – there are plenty to choose from!



See something interesting in a display? You can check it out – that’s what displays are for!

All About the Books

Now that finals are over, add something fresh, learn something new, and make 2018 the best year yet! Try something fun and consider becoming part of the LFHS Book Club, complete with the Varsity Reading Challenges. Meetings are usually twice a month with times before and after school.

Here are some recently published books that the “Varsity Reading Team” is discussing in 2018:
The Hate U Give
 by Angie Thomas
Jan. 23 @7:30 am in the LFHS library


Waking in Time
 by Angie Stanton
February dates: TBA



Book Club selections are available in the library one month beforehand. Have questions? Ask Librarian and club sponsor Ms. Fumarolo for more information or join our Schoology group!

Library Happenings

The LFHS library is open for extended hours during finals, so feel free to stay until 6 pm on Tues. Jan. 17 and Wed. Jan. 18.

The library’s guestimation jar – Kickstart Your Smarts: Smarties/Dum Dum Candy Challenge – will launch during finals week. Take your best guess without going over, of course. Winners announced in February.

Students & staff – stop by the library during a Wednesday lunch period sometime and give your brain a well-needed break. Since October, the popular Brain Breaks included – if you missed them – DIY Taco Cord Keepers, Sugar Skull Papercrafts, Friendship Bracelets, and Plant a Pizza. Eighteen pots of seeds were planted during Plant a Pizza and students took home a Pizza 4-Pack, pictured below. 

Jake's Pizza 4-pack

Jake’s basil just sprouted

Upcoming lunch hour Brain Breaks:

1/10 New Year’s Tea – celebrating National Tea Month, make and taste different teas
*No Brain Break during finals week
1/24 Learn to Write Your John Hancock – dip pen calligraphy (Hancock’s birthday 1/23)
1/31 TBA
2/7 Well Lit! Tealight Creations
2/14 BookTasting – chocolate books to give to someone sweet on Valentine’s Day
2/21 NYT 7 Minute Workout

Best Books: Mrs. Rogna

Mrs. Cindy Rogna

Mrs. Rogna of the Educational Services department enjoyed the book A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. She said, “the characters became important to me as they grew over time, and the ending was perfection.”

Here’s the review from Goodreads:

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors.

Grande Size Your To-Read List: Read a Latte, Part 2

Drum roll, please! The winners of the LFHS Library’s Starbooks Cafe raffle were Margot and Katherine. Congratulations, and thanks to all who entered – we learned about so many great titles you all love!  

Here are a few more of the books students and staff have been reading, shared as part of our Read-a-Latte Display:

Flavored Series

In the mood for stories that don’t stop with just one book?

Iced Graphic Novels

Why settle for just words, when there’s plenty to read with amazing artwork as well?

Hot Non-fiction

Fiction is fabulous, but more often than not, nonfiction is even stranger and more fascinating.

Let us know what books you are reading this season!

Coffee Lovers Recommend…

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 9.46.40 AM

The temperatures in Chicagoland have taken a dip in recent weeks, and when that happens what better way to pass the time than with a hot beverage and a good book? Check out what some Scouts are reading while sipping coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, and add to our list by sharing some noteworthy titles with us on our Starbooks Instagram post! If you do, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a coffee gift card – make sure you get your titles in before we draw the winners on Friday! (Open to LFHS staff and students only.)

For Those in the Mood for Fantastical Reads:

Megan C. suggests the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley.

Andy Z. recommends Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

Daniel M. has two for you to consider: Maze Runner by James Dashner and Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Chris S. recommends The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Or Maybe More Mysterious Tales…

Carla Z. suggests The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

Carmel H. recommends a newer book to the LFHS collection, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Cooper S’s entry is The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks.

Jossellyn J. recommends One was Lost by Natalie D. Richards.




Feast on a Good Book



Feasting on books sounds easy, but finding good books to gobble up often requires knowing where to look and who to ask. Here’s a handful of suggestions to help you find the worthwhile reads:

  • Ask your friends, those around you, or the friendly folks in the library for a satisfying story – you may find your favorite book this way. If you’re a little on the shy side, you can take a look at our blog here, especially at our weekly Best Books feature with suggestions from students and staff.
  • An easy way to look up books in the library is utilizing our catalog – this can be accessed anywhere online, plus our three iPads stationed around the room are set to the catalog all the time for easy searching. Did you know you can also keep a log of books you want to read in Destiny Quest? You can create a free account with your school email address.
  • Websites like Goodreads are great for keeping track of what you’ve read and what you want to read, and bonus! It’s free with an easy-to-use mobile app! Take a look at our LFHS Library Goodreads page and become our friend to be notified whenever we get new titles in. We’ve broken down our entire fiction collection books into different categories and genres, and we have select nonfiction there as well. The more books you read and rate, the more suggestions the website will give you for what to pick up next.
  • There’s a whole book blogging community online, created by readers of all ages. For example, The Book Monsters blog has acted as a judge for several prestigious award committees. Video reviews more your style? Just search for “booktube” on your next YouTube search.

You can discover appetizing books anywhere, but finding the right one for you can sometimes take a little effort. Once you have found a savory story you’d like to share, be sure to enter our Starbooks coffee raffle in the library or on Instagram. Winners will be selected Dec. 1st. (Entries limited to LFHS students and staff, please!)



Starbooks Cafe: Read a Latte


So many books, so little time! How can you make time to read all those good books? Juggling school, activities, and hobbies make life a little complicated, so figuring out how to “read a latte” takes some ingenuity.

Here are some tips from the pros:

Books on Your Phone? Yes!

LFHS Librarian Ms. Fumarolo explains, “I love the Overdrive and Nook apps – both are free! – so I can also get to my purchased or checked out e-books and audiobooks on my phone. I find I actually remember some books better when I listen to them. All I need are my phone and earbuds, and I’m good to go.”

Sound like something you want to try? Download the free OverDrive App from an app store, log in just like you’d sign into any school computer, and you’re set!

Discover Interesting Reading Places

Mrs. Nielsen, Library Assistant, explains, “I use a good book to tempt me to the gym, since the first half hour on the exercise bike helps me read the books I wouldn’t have time for normally. In warmer weather, I have “hammock time” to keep me reading my favorites – real books where I turn the page and enjoy each precious moment.”

Mrs. Mobile, Instructional Resource Manager/Testing Coordinator shares, “I spend most of my free time sitting at the ball field watching my daughter play softball…The 10 minutes more at the end of a practice, the 45 minutes between games on Saturdays or even the 2 minutes between the last out and my daughter walking up to the plate. It’s become a challenge to see just how much I can read in a short time, but it has also become a fun experience…”

Mrs. Thomas of the Art Dept. explains that as an avid runner “long training runs can be over an hour on the trail. I have found that audiobooks really help me zone out and settle into my run for the day.

E-books, Podcasts, and Audiobooks, Oh My!

Mrs. Grigg of the EdTech Studio says,Life with two little boys at home can be a bit hectic and squeezing in time to read books I enjoy isn’t easy. I have found audiobooks to be a great way to get some reading in while also taking care of life stuff that needs to get done (dishes, laundry, etc.).”

Not so sure reading is your thing?” Mr. Holmer, fellow EdTech, suggests giving podcasts a try. “I HIGHLY recommend [them], especially if reading ‘isn’t your thing.’ With a 40 minute drive each day, it makes the drive more…exciting. Being able to access the book on the go, anywhere, anytime matches my lifestyle and works for me. When it comes to paperback, it has never been my thing, so audiobooks work best.

Grab a Book-2-Go

Library Assistant Mrs. Middlebrook says, “With two elementary aged daughters I have very little time to indulge in leisurely reading… Reading for 15 minutes before bed allows me to unwind and, very slowly, chip away at a book. If I am traveling or waiting for appointments I make sure to have a book with me to help pass the time, instead of zoning out on my phone.

Ms. Turek of both the Library and Wellness Departments shares her tip: “I also try to keep a book in my bag for anytime I have to wait: while I get an oil change, before an appointment, on the train…”

Make Reading a Priority – Squeeze It In

LFHS Librarian Assistant Mrs. Roman says, “I squeeze in reading while cooking dinner for my family, also during the commute to school, I often listen to an audiobooks to make the drive a little more interesting.”

“I have a nine-month old baby at home, so free time is something of a luxury right now. Happily, now that my daughter is developing more of a routine, I can count on time in the evening to settle in with a good book. Usually this happens at about 8 pm when Isla goes to sleep, and I can sneak in about fifty pages or so before I’m zonked out myself…” says EdTech Mr. Juliano.

Nooks rock!

Ms. Fumarolo says, “As much as I love good old fashioned paper books, I’m a big fan of my e-reader. My Nook is small enough to fit in most of my bags, so no matter where I am, I always have something to read with me.”

Did you know the LFHS Library has Nooks available for check out with over 100 titles already on them to pick from? We can even download an OverDrive e-book onto a Nook for you to check out.


Author Caitlin Alifirenka Visits LFHS!

Those able to attend the author visit this month were treated to something extraordinary. Caitlin Alifirenka visited LFHS on October 18 and shared the true story of how one class assignment changed the course of her life. She also made LFHS students an interesting offer.

IMG_2016Here’s part of her story. In 7th grade, Caitlin’s teacher announced it was the final year of the pen-pal project and that every student in the class must pick a country they’d be interested in sending a letter to. Her interest was peaked, and wanting to break with convention, Caitlin picked the last country on the list, Zimbabwe, and her adventure began. In Africa, Martin Ganda received her letter because he was the smartest student in his class of 50, and when he responded, their friendship over the years across thousands of miles – and who knows how many letters – impacted their lives and steered them both in completely awesome directions.

IMG_1994Caitlin and Martin wrote the book I Will Always Write Back with the help of Liz Welch, sharing the actual letters they sent each other and telling the rest of their story. Caitlin offered to match LFHS students, based on age, with international students in Thailand and Zimbabwe but made it known that our students would have to initiate the letter writing. She shared how the kindness that developed between her and Martin became contagious, the theme of her talk:  Kindness is Contagious.

Her offer still stands so contact Caitlin if you’re interested in making a new international friend. Find her on social media here:
Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. IMG_2005Are you up for the adventure?

Here’s Caitlin signing our author wall in the Silent Study Room as well as Martin and Caitlin’s podcast by PW KidsCast. You can also check out their book from our library.IMG_2018