Road Trip Reflection

I love reflecting back on the school year and looking ahead to the next.... but I also love my summers!!! Thank you for making this year a special one. I cannot thank you enough for all the support you've given me this year! I can always count on this community to inspire and nurture me and I hope that I am doing the same for you. If not, please let me know. I am already working on my goals for 2019-2020 and there's always room for more. I hope that you've heard about the fun and fantastic things that have happened in the library this year. There have been author visits, stories, research, makerspace, and more. We've accessed electronic resources, books, and databases. We've gone on virtual reality field trips and explored Google Earth. The excitement  over "flying" to new places and sharing experiences has been an absolute delight.

I hope that you will use our virtual library- MackinVIA for summer reading and access to the many treasures (databases, resources, links, and more!) that can be found at this spot. I am excited about this space as it allows "one stop shopping" since access lies within the district portal. Students can log in to the portal here or at Some students have a QR code embedded with their credentials to use for log in on a device with a camera, but others will need to use their student identification number and birthday password (capital letter of last name, 6-digit birthday= 2 digit month, 2 digit day, 2 digit year, followed by lowercase s for student)- example: L090612s. 

In closing, I know this is such a busy time, but please consider stopping by at one or both of these events- I will be in the auditorium all morning on the 18th and will be working the signing line that afternoon- Please look for me! And of course, I'll be working the MMS book fair on the 22nd. 

Saturday, May 18th 9:30-2:30 @ Austin ISD Performing Arts Center Mueller- AISD SPLASH Summer Reading kickoff event with authors, interactive programs, book signings, and more! Schedule:
Click here for more information:
Wednesday, May 22nd 3:30-5:00 @ Murchison - BOGO (Buy one- Give one) to support Buford the Book Bus
Please support this vertical team event by shopping the fair and donating books for AISD's Buford the Book Bus.  Thanks for supporting this fantastic program! (Gently used book donations will be accepted as well.) 

Chris Van Dusen Author Visit

I am so excited to host Chris Van Dusen on Tuesday, April 16th! BookPeople is sending this talented author/illustrator to visit with PreK, Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade classes. He will be here to talk about his new picture book, A Piglet Named Mercy which is prequel to the Mercy Watson early chapter book series. Check out this interview to learn more about him and please support our event by purchasing books here.

While Chris was the illustrator for this series, he has written and illustrated many books on his own. I am particularly fond of The Circus Ship and King Hugo's Huge Ego.

from When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard. With buoyant rhymes and brilliantly caricatured illustrations evoking the early nineteenth century, Chris Van Dusen presents a hugely entertaining tale about the bonds of community — and a rare hidden-pictures spread for eagle-eyed readers of all ages.

from Hugo is a tiny king with a very large ego. But when he mistreats a villager who also happens to be a sorceress, the spell she casts causes his head to literally swell. The more he boasts, the bigger it gets, until it finally topples the mini monarch right off his castle! Who will cut this royal pain down to size? And, more important, will anyone live happily ever after? Chris Van Dusen’s hilarious story is matched only by his outrageous illustrations. Together, they make for a picture book that is sometimes fairy tale, sometimes cautionary tale, and always laugh-outloud funny.

In preparation for the visit, I'll be sharing these titles with some classes and am also planning for some maker time. Many thanks to the wonderful teachers who are helping get the Mercy piglet ear hand bands ready for the visit!!!

While you're here... Please take some time to log in to the Austin ISD Portal and check out MackinVIA. I've been talking about it with classes and am excited about all that it has to offer.
Students will use their student ID# as their username (don't forget the S) and their "birthday password": capital letter of last name, 6 digit birthday (two digit month, two digit date, two digit year), followed by a lowercase s to log in to the portal. It should look something like this: L090612s. Once you're logged in, click on the tile with the MackinVIA pinwheel and browse the 3,799 electronic books, locate the Bluebonnet 2019-20 group (especially if you currently have a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader), check out the databases including Tumblebooks (where you will find two of Chris Van Dusen's picture books and the whole Mercy Watson early chapter book series!) and PebbleGo and PebbleGoNext, and watch the two Doss created videos. You will also find a link to this blog for when you want to come back! Please plan to check back sometime soon. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope that this district provided space will be one that families use often. The access should be fairly seamless and it's a great place to wonder and explore. Happy Spring! ~Bonnie

Book Fair Fun!!!

Happy Book Fair Week & Happy Valentine's Day! I am looking forward to going to Book People tomorrow after school to support the library I love best. I hope that you will find some time to do the same. The online store stays open late and you can shop from home through tomorrow.  There is something for everyone and am thrilled to see student favorites including Princess in Black, We Don't Eat Our Classmates, Elephant and Piggie, Fly Guy, Bad Kitty, Dog Man, The Last Kids on Earth, Terrible Two, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, Warriors, Babysitters Club, Nate the Great, Wings of Fire, and more. We also have all twenty 2019-20 Bluebonnet nominees!!! These would be great purchases that students can read and then pass on to their 3rd-5th grade teachers to support the program in their classroom libraries! 

Don't forget to buy a book for yourself!!! Rise of the Black Panther by Doss dad Evan Narcisse and Doss mom, Kate Winkler Dawson's Death in the Air are must-haves! 

Please don't forget to scroll down and make a donation. We appreciate it!!!

Here are some suggestions for purchases...

 I love The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson... Enjoy this video sneak peak and head on over to the online book fair to purchase this lovely book!

Here's another great pick-- A Moon of My Own is a gorgeous book written by our very own second grade teacher, Jennifer Rustgi! This book has been chosen for launch as part of "Story Time from Space"! How exciting is that??! I will keep you posted, but you won't want to miss adding this book to your collection!!! I may be able to help you get it signed by the author... 

I'm so excited to see polka-dot-kerchief–wearing engineer, Rosie Revere, in this inaugural installment of a chapter-book series based on the popular picture books. 

A few years back, I had the pleasure of hearing Christopher Paul Curtis speak and I've never forgotten it. I haven't read The Journey of Little Charlie yet, but I feel sure that I will love it and that you will too!!!

I rely on book reviews and teacher recommendations (thanks 5th grade!) to make choices for the library and trust these reviews for Amal Unbound... 

* “Saeed’s eloquent, suspenseful, eye-opening tale offers a window into the contemporary practice of indentured servitude and makes a compelling case for the power of girls’ education to transform systemic injustice.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Amal narrates, her passion for learning, love for her family, and despair at her circumstance evoked with sympathy and clarity, as is the setting. Inspired by Malala Yousafzai and countless unknown girls like her, Saeed’s timely and stirring middle-grade debut is a celebration of resistance and justice.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A beautiful and moving story about indentured servitude, economic class, family, resistance, and ultimately—freedom. Amal’s story and the main people we meet in it are so thoughtfully and deeply rendered, I remain haunted by their struggles and changed by their journeys.” – Jacqueline Woodson
“This heroic story about a girl’s struggle to become educated against overwhelming odds will open readers’ eyes and hearts. A gorgeous and compelling read.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

Book Fair and more....

It's book fair time and it's all online. Well... mostly. Please follow this link and support the Doss library through your purchases or take a road trip and bring the flyer that went home in Wednesday folders and was posted to LT to BookPeople. Either way works!

We are having an adult author event in the library tomorrow morning at 7:45. Please join us for a conversation and book signing with Doss' own Kate Winkler Dawson (Death in the Air) and Evan Narcisse (Rise of the Black Panther). We will have coffee from Starbucks, juice for Daily Juice, and some light breakfast snacks. I hope that you will join us in the morning!!!

Road Trippin' 2018-19

I am always excited when it's time for a new school year to begin and this year has been no exception. As we've set up the library space on our temporary Doss 1.5 campus, I've had the opportunity to re-imagine how certain lessons and activities will happen in the smaller, less flexible space. The challenges afford me new opportunities and I am excited about trying things that I haven't done before.

This summer when I was away and was about to venture out on my own for the day, I stopped at the concierge desk to confirm that I was "heading in the right direction" and mentioned that I seem to get myself easily turned around and somewhat lost. The advice I received was golden- I was told that I would find things that I never expected when I was lost and that treasures are found in the most unexpected places. I plan to keep this advice near to my heart as I approach this school and beyond. I am open to trying new things and to the possible failed attempts that may come along the way, but I believe that the benefits of taking risks will far outweigh the negatives. I've spent some time setting goals for this year and while sharing them is a bit scary, I know that my success lies not only in my effort, but in asking for help from teachers, administrators, students, parents, and community members. I am always amazed and extremely grateful for the tremendous support that I have here at Doss! I know that I will be able to exceed my goals and am excited to get started.

This post is the perfect example of how busy we get and how the school year goes by so quickly!!! I wrote the first two paragraphs ten days into the school year and am just now posting it! I guess that this gives me a chance to tell you more--- so here goes...

Since August, I've met with my volunteer coordinators, Read Across Doss (RAD) chairs, new faculty members, and Doss' technology design coach as well as the campus tech team. I created a schedule for classes and invited all of third, fourth, and fifth graders to the library for a scavenger hunt style library orientation.

We've have had two author visits (BookPeople rocks!!!) and a puppet show thanks to the amazing and talented Read Across Doss (RAD) chairs, Mariah Crownover, Pansy Price, Katie Talkington, and Sue Rubio, with help from the ever present Julie Middleton! This amazing group makes sure that all Doss owls have at least one special interaction with an author, illustrator, or literary-based program at least once each year.

Volunteer coordinators, Krista Saeger and Jen Despins have trained an amazing team of library volunteers who are essential to my library program and Birthday Book Club (BBC) began it's roll out with Amy Laibowitz and Carrie Brown as co-chairs.

I have created Mobile Maker kits that have already been checked out many times over as well. Teachers have collaborated with me for virtual reality field trips, low-tech & high tech maker space activities, and countless stories and checkouts. Third through fifth graders have been diligently working to read at least 5 of this year's nominated Bluebonnet books and the list goes on. I am looking forward to working with fifth graders on research skills in December and plan to create another fun winter reading challenge.

Throughout all of this, Sherrise Palmer has been by my side. She is my wonderful assistant and the person that I rely on most at work, She is the powerful force who keeps the library running smoothly and I am grateful to her for all of her help and support!!!

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!!! If you have a moment, check out our electronic book collection at - you will be directed to login with your students' ID# and birthday password- Capital letter/initial of last name, two-digit month, two-digit date, two-digit year and lowercase s. (ex. L090612s). Happy Reading!!! ~Bonnie

AISD Summer Reading Lists

AISD 5 Book Dive 2018 Suggested Reads - Grades K-2

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters.  
By Lenore Look, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham.
Camping is fun, right? Not when you’re Alvin Ho, the kid who is afraid of
everything! Can night-vision goggles and a super-duper heavy-duty flashlight
help him survive the terrors of the great outdoors?

Baby Monkey, Private Eye.  By Brian Selznick & David Serlin,
Illustrated by Brian Selznick.
Got a mystery? Baby Monkey will solve your case! Just give him a second
to eat a snack and put on some pants before he starts looking for clues
in this series of adorable bite-sized puzzles.

Bob, Not Bob!  By Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick,
Illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
Louie has a terrible cold, and he really, really wants his mom. But every time
he calls for her, slobbery Bob the dog comes running instead.
(Tip: read this book as if you have the worst cold ever.)

The Book of Mistakes.  By Corinna Luyken.
Everyone knows mistakes are bad… or are they? An artist takes
readers on a journey of blobs, spots and splotches to show how
mistakes can lead to unexpected and beautiful things.

Captain Pug.  By Laura James, Illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans.
Heave ho, mateys! It’s time to hit the waves with the most adorable
captain on the high seas. The only problem? “Captain Pug” is terrified
of water and would rather sit around and eat jam tarts. What’s a pug to do?

Cinnamon.  By Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Divya Srinivasan.
Born with pearl eyes, the princess cannot see and will not speak.
No tutor can unlock her voice until a mysterious tiger shows her
the world in all its ferocious beauty.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.  By Derrick Barnes,
Illustrated by Gordon C. James.
The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps
of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders,
a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a
slow, steady cut, they become royalty. Everyone notices.

Danza!  By Duncan Tonatiuh.
Ami studied ballet and modern dance with great teachers, but she also loved
the folk dances she saw in town squares all over her native Mexico. This is the
story of Amalia Hernández, founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México, who
brought all of her worlds together on the stage of dance.

The Itchy Book!  By LeUyen Pham.
Dinosaurs do not scratch. It’s a rule! Even if they have an itch. Even if the
itch is very, very itchy. So very itchy. Soooooo very, very itchy….

Jabari Jumps.  By Gaia Cornwall.
Jabari feels both fear and excitement as he gets ready to make his
first dive from the diving board. It’s time to make a splash!

Leonardo the Terrible Monster.  By Mo Willems.
Leonardo is not great at being a scary monster; he just can’t frighten anyone...
until, he finds the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole wide world.
But is being scary really what Leonardo wants most of all?

Lola Levine Meets Jelly and Bean.  By Monica Brown,
Illustrated by Angela Dominguez.
Lola Levine is super excited to bring home her new cat, Jelly!
But unfortunately, Lola’s brother, Ben, turns out to be allergic to cats, so
Jelly will be headed back to the shelter unless Lola can find a new home
for her furry friend.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea.  By Ben Clanton.
It's a pointy manatee ... a fishy unicorn ... no, it's Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea!
Best friend to Jelly, lover of waffles, and one half of the Narwhal & Jellyfish Pod of Awesomeness,
this bubbly sea mammal just wants to party. Get ready to fall in love with this positively positive guy.

A Pig, a Fox, and Stinky Socks.  By Jonathan Fenske.
It all starts when Fox gives his friend Pig a pair of stinky socks as a prank. Then he finds out
that even the best plans can go awry. What happens next? Even more shenanigans!

La Princesa and the Pea.  By Susan Middleton Elya,
Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal.
A Peruvian prince wants to marry a beautiful princess, but his mother is determined
to get in the way. Fortunately, the prince also has a trick or two up his sleeve
in this retelling of the classic tale.

The Rat: The Disgusting Critters Series.  By Elise Gravel.
This is a science book, but not one of those boring ones. Yes, you will learn interesting
facts about rats, but you’ll also laugh. A lot.
(If you like it, check out some others in the series, such as The Slug and The Worm.)

Tap the Magic Tree.  By Christie Matheson.
As seasons change, so does the tree - but only with your help!

There’s A Pest In The Garden!  By Jan Thomas.
Can Duck save the garden from whatever pest has been eating all the vegetables?

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes.  by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton.
There are millions upon millions of tiny creatures living all around us. They are even in your body!
A few of them can make you sick, but most of them are busy working as “the invisible transformers
of our world.”

They Say Blue.  By Jillian Tamaki.
This is a book about colors, but also about perspective. It’s a book about the things we can see,
but also about the truth that is invisible.

AISD 5 Book Dive 2018 Suggested Reads - Grades 3-5

Aru Shah and the End of Time.  By Roshani Chokshi.
Aru Shah is just trying to fit in at school when she accidentally frees an ancient demon
from a lamp, sending her (of course) on an epic quest! This sassy, contemporary take on
Hindu mythology offers rich language, strong characters, and an awesome, wisecracking
pigeon mentor/sidekick for the ages.

Ban This Book.  By Alan Gratz.
Amy Anne has always been shy and well-behaved, but when she discovers that her favorite book
in the world has been removed from the school library because it was deemed “inappropriate,”
it turns out that quiet Amy Anne might know how to cause a commotion, after all.
Celebrate your freedom to read, starting with this book!

Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story.  By Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace.
Fueled by “arctic fever,” the explorers on the USS Jeannette left San Francisco in 1879 bound for
the North Pole, only to get stuck in the ice. Through documents left behind by those who returned
and those who did not, this riveting story chronicles the crew’s desperate quest for survival.

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery.  By Deborah and James Howe.
Harold the dog and Chester the cat are determined to find out the truth about the family’s
mysterious new pet bunny, Bunnicula, who has strange eating habits... and fangs!

The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection.  Edited by Colby Sharp.
This is a weird and wonderful collection of stories, poems, pictures, and other stuff created by
more than 40 authors and illustrators responding to prompts that they gave to each other.
Enjoy these creative “bites,” then get your friends together and try it for yourselves!

A Dash of Trouble.  By Anna Meriano.
Leonoro Logroño is 11 when she discovers a secret: all the women in her family are brujas,
or witches, able to bake spells into the pastries they sell in their bakery. Leo immediately starts
experimenting with the magic recipes on her own (wouldn’t you?) but she soon learns that magic -
and love - are unpredictable.

Dawn and the Impossible Three.  By Gale Galligan.
In this graphic novel adaptation, Dawn is a recent transplant from California and the newest
member of the Baby-Sitters Club. She’s eager to impress the other girls, but her first assignment -
the three out-of-control Barrett kids and their unreliable parents - may prove to be too much for her!

The First Rule of Punk.  By Celia C. Pérez.
Malú loves punk rock music and making zines, but not her new school in Chicago where she’s
already made an enemy of a popular girl. Can Malú make new friends, form a band, and
prove that she’s proud of her Mexican heritage - all while following the first rule of punk?

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.  By Christopher Healy, Illustrated by Todd Harris.
Tired of being overshadowed by their princess counterparts, four bumbling princes known to the
world only as “Charming” hit the road to earn names of their own in this irresistible, slapstick romp.

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth.  By Judd Winick.
D.J. Lim is an average kid until he meets the not-at-all average Hilo, a mysterious boy who can
shoot lasers from his hands but doesn’t know about pants, or where he’s from. Plus, giant robotic
insects are attacking, and it’s up to D.J. and his friend Gina to help Hilo regain his memory and save

I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888.  By Lauren Tarshis.
If you’re suffering from the summer heat, cool down with this chilling tale of John Hale,
who is caught in one of the deadliest blizzards in American history. It’s 1888, and the Dakota Territory
is buried under ten feet of snow. Will city-boy John find his way home, or be frozen forever?

The Jumbies.  By Tracey Baptiste.
Corinne isn’t afraid of anything, not even the ancient shape-shifting spirits called jumbies -
after all, they’re just stories. Aren’t they? In this fantasy based on Caribbean folklore, Corinne and
her friends must use ancient magic to prevent evil spirits from taking over their island home.

One Dead Spy: The Life, Times, and Last Words of Nathan Hale, America’s Most Famous Spy.
By Nathan Hale.  Nathan Hale (1755-1776) was a daring soldier and spy in the Revolutionary War.
Nathan Hale (1976- ) is an author/artist who tells his namesake’s true story of excitement and terror
in a fast-paced graphic format. If you love graphic novels, war stories, or Hamilton, you’ll love this book!

Raymie Nightingale.  By Kate DiCamillo.
Raymie is determined to reunite her family by winning the Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition.
This necessitates baton-twirling lessons, where she meets Beverly Tapinski and Louisiana Elefante,
who have suffered losses of their own. Together, these “Three Rancheros” will learn the value of
friendship, loyalty, and family in this tender tale.

Revenge of the Happy Campers.  By Jennifer Ziegler.
The Brewster triplets are just trying to survive the usual perils of camping (like fire ants and sinking
canoes) when they encounter an even greater challenge: boys! Now the girls-versus-boys
Great Camping Challenge is on, and it’s up to Dawn, Darby, and Delaney to win the day.

The Stars of Summer.  By Tara Dairman.
Gladys Gatsby is in for a busy summer juggling a new job as a Counselor in Training at a
ritzy day camp with her regular gig as an undercover restaurant critic. Her latest assignment?
Find the best hot dog in all of New York City! Filled with food and fun (and hot dogs), this is a
perfect summer read.

Story Thieves.  By James Riley.
Did you ever wish you could jump into your favorite book? Owen gets his wish when he discovers
that his classmate Bethany is half-fictional, and she agrees to take him into his favorite
Kiel Gnomenfoot adventure series... as long as he promises not to change the story. Oops!
This fast-paced, funny tale turns fiction upside down and inside out.

Stuck in the Stone Age.  By Geoff Rodkey, Illustrated by Hatem Aly.
Inspired by an idea from a real kid, this is the story of a janitor and a shy scientist who -
thanks to a time-machine accident - end up stranded in 12,000 BC. Meanwhile, back in the present,
an evil mastermind is plotting - well, evil. Oh, and there’s also a “Story Creation Zone.”

“Who Could That Be at This Hour?”  By Lemony Snicket, Illustrated by Seth.
12-year-old apprentice detective Lemony Snicket is on a case to retrieve a valuable statue of the
Bombinating Beast. The search takes him to a town called Stain’d-by-the Sea (which is no longer
by the sea), where he immediately starts asking questions, as detectives do. Unfortunately,
he keeps asking all the wrong questions…

A Whole New Ballgame.  By Phil Bildner, Illustrated by Tim Probert.
A new teacher / basketball coach throws best friends Rip and Red for a loop with his loosey-goosey
style and off-the-wall ideas. But they slowly gain new perspective as Mr. Acevedo inspires them to
push outside their comfort zones and try new things as a team.

AISD 5 Book Dive 2018 Suggested Reads - Grades 6-8

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel.  By Diana López.

Awkward.  By Svetlana Chmakova.

Black Panther: The Young Prince.  Roland L. Smith.

Charlie & Frog: A Mystery.  By Karen Kane.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora.  By Pablo Cartaya.

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook: MVP Summer.  By Iva-Marie Palmer.

Garvey’s Choice.  By Nikki Grimes.

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President.  By Josh Lieb.

Inside of a Dog (Young Readers Edition).  By Alexandra Horowitz.

Jinx.  By Sage Blackwood.

The Last Kids on Earth.  By Max Brallier, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate.

Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You!  By Marley Dias.

Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel.  By Xavier Garza.

Monsterland.  By James Crowley.

The Nameless City.  By Faith Erin Hicks.

Patina.  By Jason Reynolds.

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids. By Susan Cain, Illustrated by Grant Snider.

Revolution Is not a Dinner Party.  By Ying Chang Compestine.

Spirit Hunters.  By Ellen Oh.

A Wrinkle in Time.  By Madeleine L’Engle.