Category Archives: middle school group

To ban or not to ban, that is the question!


As Banned Books Week 2014 comes to a close, The Bibliophile Read-a-force (our book club for grades 6-8) met to discuss censorship.  I’ve worked as a librarian for 4 years and each year during Banned Book Week I’m always amazed at the list of banned books and the reasons why they have been banned or challenged.  This year was the first time I took a minute to really think about our right to information and the effect that banning a book could have.  The bibliophiles had a great discussion exploring potential reasons why people would feel the need to challenge a book, as well reasons why banning books could be detrimental to individuals and society as a whole.

It wasn’t all serious, of course:


Many of the bibliophiles also worked on logos for our upcoming Rainbow Readers Race color run (more info about that coming soon!)


How did you celebrate Banned Books Week?



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The bibliophiles learn about bills

Did you know, it’s Money Smart Week?

Susan and Nancy from Maine Savings Federal Credit Union were our guest speakers at today’s Bibliophile Read-a-force meeting.


They came to speak about the important things to know about money.  Here are a few of them:

1.  Keep your money in a safe place.  This means keeping your purse/wallet with you and not leaving it unattended.

2.  Don’t show or tell people how much cash you are carrying.

3.  Never tell your PIN to anyone and especially don’t say it out loud in public.

4.  Keep personal information, like your Social Security card, at home, where there’s less of a chance it will be stolen.

After the presentation, the group did a crossword puzzle, a word search, and matched the presidents with their denominations.  We also learned how to fold a dollar bill into a ring! (instructions)

We rounded out the afternoon with a rousing game of Rock Paper Scissors, which is always a crowd pleaser:


What are your tips for being smart about money?

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Spring is in the air

The Bibliophile Read-a-force met Friday, March 15 to plan for the upcoming read-a-thon.  We made lists of books to read during the event and came up with some great ideas for a brochure to explain the purpose of the group.  The snack ended up being popcorn, pretzels, Golden Grahams, raisins, and marshmallows (aka leftover snacks from other programs).  It turns out, some of these materials are just perfect for creating mini edible sculptures:

This is the Eiffel Tower (upside down)

This is the Eiffel Tower (upside down)

A mini marshmallow dumbell

A mini marshmallow dumbell

After all of that brainstorming, we decided to head outside to let off some of that creative energy (it was Friday afternoon, after all).  Spring is definitely in the air, and it was fun to get outside for a few minutes.


Are you ready for Spring?  What’s you’re favorite outside activity that you’ve missed all winter?


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Read-a-thon Test Run

There are many different ways to do a Read-a-thon:

1.  Read for many hours right in a row.

2.  Read as much as you can in a certain time period (like, over a weekend).  I’ve tried this method–it was an interesting way to experience reading.

3.  Declare “Read-a-thon Month” and keep track of everything you read for that month.  I haven’t actually heard about people doing this, but I think it’s a good option!

The Bibliophile Read-a-Force is currently in the process of planning a Read-a-thon.  We decided to do a test run (50 minutes of reading, with a 10 minute break at the end).  I must say, it was the quietest meeting we’ve ever had!







The test run was a great experience and it pointed out some of the things we will have to correct for a longer Read-a-thon.  Obviously we’ll need more food, activities to do during our 10 minute breaks, and definitely more comfortable seating.

We read a grand total of 543 pages!!!  Any thoughts I had about the bibliophiles not being up to the challenge of a Read-a-thon have certainly been dashed.  They could out-read me anyday!


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The loves and fears of the Bibliophile Read-a-Force


For the third meeting of the middle school group, The Bibliophile Read-a-Force, we explored part of our unique name.  “Bibliophile” means lover of books, so we learned about many different philias (loves) and phobias (fears).  Here were some favorites:

“Thalassophilia” is the love of the ocean.  Being Mainers, many of us have this condition.


“Heliophilia” is the love of sunlight.  Being Mainers also means that we covet the sunlight…especially on these dark cold days.

Some of the common phobias among the bibliophiles were:

“Arachnophobia”-fear of spiders

“Acrophobia”-fear of heights

and “Coulrophobia”-fear of clowns

Even though the list we read was pretty comprehensive, there isn’t a name for each specific phobia and philia, so we made up some of our own.  The prefixes range from straightforward to extremely cryptic.  Here’s a sample of our own personal philias and phobias:

“Stopsignaphilia”-the love of stop signs

“Voldephobia”-the fear of Voldemort

“Curifriphilia”-the love of curly fries

“Glubphobia”-the fear of deep water

We wrapped up our meeting by creating book spine poetry.  This was a great suggestion from one of the bibliophiles…the possibilities are endless, especially when you have an entire library of books to choose from.  Here are a couple of book spine poems from group members:


Ghost Knight
The Murder at
The Horribly Haunted School
Closed for the Season


Master of the Eastern Border
The Hero of Little Street

Feel free to share your unique phobias and philias in the comments!


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All dressed up!

It was difficult to identify some of the middle school students after school on Friday:

We had a cupcake, “Buttons”, Frankenstein (or Shrek, depending on how you look at it), and a character from Minecraft.

The middle school group has a name!  After much debate, the group will be called (drumroll, please…..)

The Bibliophile Read-a-force!

I love the name-I think it embodies who we are as a group:  people who love books and know that reading is a positive force in our lives.

We spent some time talking about the books we’ve been reading.  Artemis Fowl, The Crogan series, The Golden Compass, Alex Rider, The Hunger Games, and Bells were all recommended to the group.

I’m excited to see what this group will do this year.  We’ve talked about doing a read-a-thon…having done one myself last spring, I would say that 6 hours (with a couple of short breaks) is probably the longest stretch of time I would want to read consecutively, but we’ll see what The Bibliophile Read-a-force can do.


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