Posted in Library News

Pennsylvania Reader’s Choice Award – A Vote Equals a Voice!

Have you ever watched an awards show and thought, “I NEVER would have voted for that movie to win!” Or have you read an award-winning book and thought, “Really?! What were they thinking?!” If so, the Pennsylvania Readers’ Choice Award is for you! This is a book award that gives you, the reader, a voice! Every year, fifteen of the very best books are nominated. These books are all written by North American authors, and have been published within the last five years. They really are the best of the best, but the winning book needs your vote!

Participating in the Pennsylvania Readers’ Choice Award is a snap. Here’s how to do it:

  • Read (or listen to) at least three books from the list of nominated titles
  • You do not have to read every book to participate
  • Vote for your favorite book in March!

That’s all there is to it. Stop by the library to pick up a bookmark with the list of nominated titles. Better yet, check out one of the books while you’re here! And once you’ve read a book or two, leave a comment sharing your thoughts about it. Some things you might include in your comment are:

  • Did the book live up to your expectations based on the plot summary?
  • Would you recommend it to a friend?
  • Did you like this book more or less than other books you’ve read recently?
  • Would you vote for this book to win the Pennsylvania Readers’ Choice Award?

Remember, your favorite book needs YOUR vote to win!

Posted in Blogging for Books, new books

Photographs from the Edge

Photographs from the Edge: A Master Photographer’s Insights on Capturing an Extraordinary World by Art Wolfe (with Rob Sheppard) has just appeared on the horizon at the Ridley High School Library! Photographs.jpgFollowing a preface by co-author Rob Sheppard and an introduction by Art Wolfe, the book is broken out into four main sections: the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s. Each section incorporates Wolfe’s best photographs from that time period, with a detailed explanatory essay as well as “The nature of the photo” and “Photo tip” sidebars accompanying each image. Photographs from the Edge is so much more than a collection of beautiful photographs; it’s a travelogue, how-to guide, history lesson, and career blueprint all in one stunning book. As you turn each page, you will discover a window to some of the true wonders of the world. Wolfe’s photographs will transport you visually, geographically, and culturally to places you have (probably) never been or even heard of!

Having recently seen the movie Everest, I was especially fascinated by Art Wolfe’s breathtaking images of mountain ranges around the globe, from Alaska to Ecuador to Nepal. His wildlife photographs are also mesmerizing. What will be your favorite photograph? Open the book to discover it today!everestThanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of Photographs from the Edge in exchange for an honest review!

Posted in Library News

It’s Read an eBook Day on 9/16!

Friday, September 16 is Read an eBook Day! What is Read an eBook Day? It’s a celebration of modern formats for books and reading on the go! If you’ve never tried reading an eBook before, this is the perfect time to try one out! Join the festivities by downloading the OverDrive app and checking out an eBook from the Ridley High School’s digital lending library. Borrow one of your favorite books or try something completely new and discover the joys of digital reading. Join the conversation by sharing what you’re reading, stories about why you love eBooks (and audiobooks), and by using the hashtag #eBookLove on social media. Ms. Pickett will be listening to The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead via the OverDrive app!


Posted in Library News

Read Something Stranger!

I have a bad case of Stranger Things withdrawal, and I know I’m not the only one! To fill the Stranger Things-shaped void in your life (until Season 2, anyway), check out one of these spooky read-alikes!

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires and her whole family vanishes into thin air. The only way to get her family back is to travel Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Wax by Gina Damico
A teenage girl stumbles into a secret workshop at the infamous Grosholtz Candle Factory. There, beneath the suffocating scent, she discovers a collection of wax sculptures that seem just a little too life-like…

The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
Developing agoraphobia after a near-drowning incident, a 10-year-old boy draws increasingly disturbing pictures of monsters while his parents search for answers about strange noises coming from the nearby ocean at night.

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Told through journal entries, a psychotherapist’s notes, court records, and more, this novel relates the tale of Carly, a teen who was institutionalized after her parents’ death but released to Elmbrige High School, where she is believed to have a second personality or soul named Kaitlyn, and/or be possessed by a demon.

As I Descended by Robin Talley
A feud between three girls over an elite prize turns to fatalities and madness, and blurs the distinction between what’s real and what’s imagined.

The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman
After a series of suicide-murders and a deadly storm, the residents of the town of Oleander, Kansas, start acting even more strangely than would be expected. Only the five witnesses of the murders retain their sound minds, and must band together to save the town from whatever has come over it.

Not familiar with Stranger Things? Check out the Netflix series’ trailer here, then pick up something stranger to read!

Posted in Tech Tips

The next time you print, print friendly!

Have you ever tried to print out an article for class, and then realized that instead of printing the 1 or 2 page article, you have actually sent 10+ pages to the printer (most of them full of comments, ads, and borders that you don’t even need)? Did you notice that this causes Ms. Pickett great angst and gnashing of teeth? Well, there is a solution for what ails us! PrintFriendly is a web site that exists just to format web sites for printing. You simply copy and paste your URL at www.PrintFriendly.com, and watch as it creates a printer-friendly version of the site! You can even remove images and sections of text so you only print what you really need. Check out this quick video tutorial on what PrintFriendly is, and how to use it:

So be kind to the library printer … be kind to the planet … and print friendly!

Posted in Blogging for Books, new books

Think Happy to BE Happy!

Think Happy: Instant Peptalks to Boost Positivity by Karen Salmansohn has just appeared on the horizon at the Ridley High School Library! Paging through this book will give you some of the positive peptalks that will help you stay motivated and upbeat throughout the school year. 


With charming illustrations and watercolor washes, Karen Salmansohn presents the right words to say during a challenging time, either to yourself or to a friend. Her message sometimes pushes into eye-roll territory (like when she encourages readers to foster an inner voice that’s a cheerleader instead of a “fearleader”). However, she backs up her “mindfully crafted peptalks” with research that proves how they work: by wiring our neural pathways for positivity. My favorite anecdote? Before he crossed the bridge to the Land of the Highly Awesome, Michael Phelps was afraid to put his face in the water! Proving that … EveryExpert.pngAnother favorite provides some words to guide your school year. Take them to heart and THINK HAPPYCompetitionKaren Salmansohn speaks frequently on how to increase your happiness, creativity, and productivity. She showcases her philosophy on positivity in this 2013 TEDx talk, “Fun is Your High-Performance Fuel”:

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of Think Happy in exchange for an honest review!

Posted in Blogging for Books, new books

Gluten-Free (and SO good!)

Did you know that the Ridley High School Library has an amazing collection of cookbooks? True story! And one of the best things about this section of the library (also known as 641.5) is the variety. We’ve got a sprinkling of celebrity cookbooks, regional recipes, vegetarian victuals, and special-diet selections. The latest addition to our cookery category is Gluten-Free for Good: Simple, Wholesome Recipes Made from Scratch by Samantha Seneviratne.GlutenFree.jpgSeneviratne is a New York-based food writer, recipe developer, food stylist, and former food editor … so basically, an expert! And her philosophy is simple: “I wrote this book to help you create tasty meals, mostly from scratch, that will please both gluten-free and conventional eaters alike.” She describes prepackaged gluten-free foods as “forgeries and imposters,” and her recipes prove that preparing delicious gluten-free food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is easier than you might think. Her chapters cover the essentials of the gluten-free pantry, breakfast and brunch, soup and salad, “hearty mains,” snacks, and dessert. Here are some recipes from each category that I can’t wait to try:

  • Smoked Gouda Grits with Eggs and Arugula
  • Kale and Red Lentil Soup
  • White Pizza with Blistered Tomatoes
  • Coconut Roasted Chickpeas
  • Upside-Down Plum Cake

The section on flavorful Homemade Essentials (such as chicken broth) is especially helpful, but the lusciously photographed food is the real star of the show:Granola.pngSo whether you are considering a serious shift in your diet or simply looking for a new recipe to test out on your friends and family, look no further. Scoop up Gluten-Free for Good on the first day of school!

Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of Gluten-Free for Good in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in new books, nonfiction

Sometimes Truth is Stranger than Fiction!

As soon as school opens, stop by the library to pick up some of these brand new, all-true titles on display in our nonfiction section. We’ve got an amazing selection of memoirs, travelogues, cookbooks, natural history, real-life mystery, and more! Read one and then decide for yourself: is truth really stranger than fiction? In the meantime, check out this freshly updated list of intriguing nonfiction books that will be available soon in the Ridley High School Library!