Are you looking for children's books to give for the holidays, or suggestions for good books to read during Winter Break? Click here for a list of this year's "Best of" lists.
What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut is horrifying and a parent's (and community's) worst nightmare. Our first thought, of course, is for Newtown's community members and the devastation they must be feeling for the loss of so many innocent lives. But we also reflect on how this can affect our own children.

The important thing in the short term is to limit exposure to the sensationalist and shocking images that will be on TV. Reassure your children and really listen to whatever concerns they have.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.- Fred Rogers
There are many resources online to help guide you through this difficult process of talking to your children about these kinds of tragedies. The following are a few resources you can use:

Another successful Book Fair is coming to a close. It was so wonderful to see how excited the kids were to visit the book fair and choose books for their personal libraries. 

I was genuinely flattered when students asked me for book recommendations, which was every time I was at the book fair! For me, personally, it's one thing to ask for a book recommendation at the library and a whole other thing to ask for a recommendation when you're buying a book. The students are trusting me with their limited monetary resources to choose a book that's right for them (the "risk" isn't as great when you can check out a book for free at the library). And it's certainly a boost to my ego when teachers add books to their wish list solely because they saw I recommended the book. :)

Students (and parents) were instrumental in raising $468 for the Manhattan Beach Roundhouse during Family Game Night on Wednesday. I hosted a library catalog scavenger hunt that night and over 20 students participated.

I'd also like to extend a huge thank you to the PTSA for donating the books that were on the library wish list! New books get me so excited -- to read and to share with the students! First up: Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill.

I'm very sad to report that the library betta fish, Mr. Westing, passed away on Wednesday. Rest in peace in library pet heaven, my friend!

Instead of coming to the library, classes will be previewing the Book Fair this week. Please see the schedule below if you'd like to volunteer during that time or if you'd like to pop in to help your child make a purchase.

If you are comfortable with your child bringing money to school, please send your child to school with some cash to spend during their visit to the Book Fair. If you prefer that your child not bring money to school, s/he will create a wish list so you can shop together later. Please speak to your child's teacher directly to find out what her policy is about bringing money to school (for example, kindergarteners will not be bringing money to school).

Asano: Monday, 9:00~9:30
Masciel: Wednesday, 10:30~11:00
Ortega: Wednesday, 10:00~10:30

Kundrat/Hydock: Monday, 10:45~11:15
Walsh: Wednesday, 11:00~11:30
Yerke: Monday, 8:30~9:00

Carlin/Ibrahim: Tuesday, 10:45~11:15
Herbert: Friday, 9:45~10:15
Kinnier: Tuesday, 11:15~11:45

Goldberg: Monday, 11:30~12:00
Tanita: Monday, 9:45~10:15
Whalley: Wednesday, 12:00~12:30

Gustafson: Tuesday, 9:00~9:30
Holz: Tuesday, 9:30~10:00
Weiss: Thursday, 8:25~8:55

Dreiling: Tuesday, 12:10~12:40
Hamilton: Wednesday, 11:30~12:00
Spragg: Tuesday, 8:30~9:00