Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Juneteenth!


National Archives Locates Handwritten Juneteenth Order


On June 19, 1865, the decree informed the people of Texas that enslaved individuals were now free

Want to learn more about this holiday and its deeper meaning? Check out this article from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.


All of the Class Reads are now Complete!  Watch them now because they come down at the end of the month!

The HBS Press Online has a fantastic article on Fairy Houses thanks to Lucy!

Check out the Summer Scholars!



I am testing out some new ideas & challenges. Want to help? Send me an email with “willing guinea pig” in the subject line :



Monday, June 15, 2020

Well here we are on Summer vacation. Fancy that! 

You will notice some changes to the library website – a few things going quiet, a few others waking up. The class reads will all come down at the end of this month, so be sure to finish the book you’re on!

The HBS Press will publish every Friday – write me a piece – and you can now read ALL of The Twins of Light and A Plunge into the Future! Those fantastic works plus the amazing nonfiction pieces will stay up all summer long. 

Mostly though, check out the Summer Scholars link!!!  I’ll keep interesting things popping up here for you to try.


Send me your thoughts & notes!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Scholars!  Happy Last Day!

It is a little anti-climactic, I know. I, for one, sure wish we were getting ready to blow some bubbles! But never the less, here we are and I could not be more proud of you. Really. 

This final term of school is like none other, ever, and you did beautifully! You wrote, you read, you got curious, you asked questions, you took care of you and you practiced kindness – even when that was hard to do. Well done.

Now, before you go rushing out the door into the wilds of Brunswick, I want to remind you of a few important Library things.

This website is going to keep on going all summer long. A few things will take a break, it is summer after all. But…

  1. The HBS Press Online will publish every Friday. In fact, there is a new edition out right now with crafts and a fantastic book review!  Check it out. And remember, if you have a great idea, a book to share, or some other neat-o thing, join the team of writers! Send it in!
  2. The Online Museums and live animal cams will be here for you to explore and enjoy
  3. The Class Reads (me reading books to you) will come down at the end of June so watch before they are gone, but other reads – like Harry Potter by celebrities, will stay up.
  4. The list of Maine Student Book Award nominees for next year is up! You can get these books at Curtis Memorial Library (now doing curbside pickup) and as a download through CloudLibrary – all the info is right there on the MSBA link to the left of your screen. Click it. 5th graders? I’ve got the books for 6,7&8th grades there too.  PLUS – I’ve put the summary sheets on line too, so you can get a jump on filling those in. 
  5. Summer Scholars. Yeah, click that link, right there in the top menu bar, see it? Click it. You will find Reading Challenges, Nature Challenges, Science questions… new things will keep popping up all summer long. Go there. Try stuff. Write to me to tell me how it went.

Oh!  and 5th graders? Those of you now spreading your wings and taking off to the Junior High? Yeah, you are still my scholars. I want to hear from you too, my dears. 

Send me your notes through the website, or in an email to

Have a fantastic Summer!!

Ms. Martin

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Foggy start!  I happen to be a big fan of fog. Check out this really cool National Geographic online resource all about the many types of fog that exist. There are lots of stories and poems about fog too – I suppose because it is this amazing experience. It comes in and temporarily changes the entire landscape! Nothing looks the way it was. It forces us to slow down and find our way, or risk being lost. It’s magical, isn’t it? Send me your notes and thoughts on fog.

Today is our last day of being at the school to collect books and hand things back. It is not our last day of thinking about you all and hoping our departing 5th graders love junior high as much as we have loved them.

Our nation – our world – continues to have really big, really important conversations about things that are wrong, and how to set them right. I’m so proud of everyone committing to do the work we all need. Librarians, not surprisingly, are looking for the best books, the best articles, the best podcasts, the best sites to help us learn and make change – and I’d like to know what ones you’ve found. Click here to tell me.  

Remember, the list of books nominated for next year’s Maine Student Book Award is out – and up on our library webpage. Find it on the menu in the left column, and click. The books for you rising 6th graders are there too!  AND, new this year, you can now write your summary online too!  

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Oh, Scholars. In just a little while I head out my door and to the school as 5th graders come by to return books, get their belongings, and prepare for junior high! You guys, what a grand adventure!

We all wish this year we could say goodbye the way we usually do – with the parade through the halls at the close of a regular old year. This is not that. In a way though, the lockdown-shakeup has made us even more aware of how special our school community really is. Who knew you’d miss school? Right? 


I wish we were all together in our library having the big conversations in person – but I’ve loved finding new ways to keep the questions and investigations going. All summer long there will be things on the library website to investigate – and the HBS Press will be running too.

Today we pause to be thankful for the work of a favorite in the HBS library,

Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 32 books, including THE UNDEFEATED, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, HOW TO READ A BOOK, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, SWING, REBOUND, which was shortlisted for prestigious Carnegie Medal, and, his NEWBERY medal-winning middle grade novel, THE CROSSOVER. Some of his other works include BOOKED, a NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Nominee, THE PLAYBOOK: 52 RULES TO HELP YOU AIM, SHOOT, AND SCORE IN THIS GAME OF LIFE, and the picture books SURF’S UP, and OUT OF WONDER, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.


Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Our district has made it clear that we stand against hate and will work for equality. Black Lives Matter – and as scholars, we know that people of color more than matter: they are beloved, valued, and necessary. Our world, our nation, our lives, would be less without the contributions – in all areas – of People of Color.

Recently, we have been able to zoom with the astronauts about the International Space Station – and you can use this website to live cam on the ISS too! Let’s pause to pay respect to three women of color, without whom we would not have gotten this far:

Dorothy Vaughn 

Date of Birth: September 20, 1910
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Education: B.A., Mathematics, Wilberforce University, 1929
Hired by NACA: December 1943
Retired from NASA: 1971
Date of Death: November 10, 2008

  • NASA Biography



Mary Jackson

Date of Birth: April 9, 1921
Hometown: Hampton, VA
Education: B.S., Mathematics and Physical Science, Hampton Institute, 1942
Hired by NACA: April 1951
Retired from NASA: 1985
Date of Death: February 11, 2005

  • NASA Biography

Katherine Johnson

Born: Aug. 26, 1918
Died: Feb. 24, 2020
Hometown: White Sulphur Springs, WV
Education: B.S., Mathematics and French, West Virginia State College, 1937
Hired by NACA: June 1953
Retired from NASA: 1986

  • NASA Biography, image thanks to PBS

But scholars – while these woman changed history, as have millions of other People of Color, you don’t have to be a trailblazer to deserve equality, fair treatment and respect. We all of us deserve a life without hate or fear. 

Join me in learning more. Join me in doing more. Tell me what resources you or your family are using. Be well, be amazing.


Monday, June 08, 2020

Hello Scholars.

I have loved seeing those of you in 2nd and 3rd grade who have been in last week – and I am looking forward to seeing you 4th & 5th graders this week!  Be prepared to tell me all about what you’ve been reading!!

I have had another busy time out walking the trails, spying plants – I hope you have too. Be ready for more challenges, and look how our rhodie has changed now that it is in full bloom!




You can scroll down to see the original bud, and then it’s early flower – and now here it is being amazing.

There’s lots of new stuff coming to the HBS Press too!

Those of you already launching in to the 2020 – 2021 Maine Student Book Award reading list (Curtis Memorial Library is doing curbside pickup and these are also available on CloudLibrary) can also get a jump start on their summaries by clicking HERE.



Right now, in our country and across the world, people are having big conversations about equality and justice. These conversations can sometimes feel overwhelming – and – we have to keep having them anyway.

The school librarians have been working on compiling a list of resources: books, magazines, podcasts…  and it occurs to me… one thing scholars are great at is sharing information.

Is there a source you &  your family have been using? Something amazing you have discovered you want  to share with others? I would love to know about it. Click HERE to tell me all about what you have discovered – and keep thinking, feeling, and being the amazing scholars you are.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Wow!  Go outside today for a walk and it feels more like you are swimming than walking! Today is muggy. Great day for reading a book or building a cozy fort. Speaking of which… have you all been reading the HBS Press? There is a great article on transforming your space to stay entertained by Mia, also a great new piece on Plants v. Zombies by Sean! The paper is going to go all summer – what might you want to write?

Props out to Oliver C., Avery P. and Anna K. for 100% correctly identifying our mystery plant as a pink lady slipper!

We are going to go in a slightly different direction today and see… who can tell me what kind of tree this is? Submit your answers here

Thursday, June 04, 2020

What a glorious day today is shaping up to be!

In a few moments, I am off to our beloved HBS. All this week 2nd and 3rd graders have been coming in to collect their things and drop off any library books. It has been SO GOOD to see those of you who have been in. I hope you know that all of us miss all of you like crazy. 

Now, a note about the books. Yes, of course we would love to have them all come back. After all, what is a library without books to send out? And how can we send them out if they don’t come back? BUT, well, scholars, you know that even in the best of times, Mrs. Reich & I are not exactly ogres about book return. Now? In Covid times?? Please. We get that it has been a long break, we understand things go missing. Frankly, we are at a bit of a loss ourselves sometimes. So. If you would like a reminder of what books to look for, we are happy to tell you. If that book just won’t show itself – we understand. Please do not lose sleep. Please do not worry. We all have enough to be mindful of right now. Keep reading, keep being kind. The rest will sort itself out.

4th graders & 5th graders? I get to see you next week! I’m looking forward to it. Until then, go explore, take notes, read a good book.

BONUS POINTS to anyone who can identify this lovely little beauty I saw while hiking the trails at Seguin, and tell me why it is so exciting I saw it (and a bunch more besides). Click the link OR send me an email:

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Today is a whole other sort of day, isn’t it?? Today is a good day for quiet walks, good books and making plans for the summer.


What are your goals for the summer? I am going to teach Ankaa how to listen better on walks!

I am also going to finish putting in the garden near the fence and take daily walks. Plus read the Maine Student Book Award nominees!


Send me your summer goals: – and remember to check out Summer Scholars for library challenges!!