Posted in Author Visit

Author Visit with Jeff Giles!

On Friday, February 3, Ridley High School was privileged to welcome Jeff Giles for a presentation in the Board Room! A longtime writer for Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, he has just released a debut young adult novel: The Edge of Everything. The novel has received rave reviews from Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, bestselling authors James Dashner and Melissa de la Cruz, and Ms. Pickett! Jeff Giles shared stories from his days in entertainment journalism, discussed how he found time to write a novel while working full-time, and talked about incorporating facts to make his fiction more realistic. For example, he studied “snow ghosts” in Montana and tried his hand at caving so these elements would be more believable within the pages of his novel. He also spoke about the importance of working closely with an editor in order to turn a good draft into a great book.

Over 150 students attended this special event and, as always, they were a wonderful audience. They impressed our guest of honor with thoughtful, insightful questions about his writing process. Thank you so much to Jeff Giles for making Ridley High School a stop on his book tour! And as always, THANK YOU to Children’s Book World in Haverford for making this event possible!

The Edge of Everything is now available in the library; you can also sample the first few chapters here.

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Posted in Library News

Author Jeff Giles to visit Ridley High School!

Ridley High School is privileged and  excited to welcome author Jeff Giles on Friday, February 3rd! Giles, a long-time writer for Entertainment Weekly, has just released his debut young adult novel, The Edge of Everything. To say that it’s receiving strong reviews is an understatement! James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner, says “Every human alive should read this book.” And Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson raves, “The story of Zoe and her fight to save her family and the strange young man known only as ‘X’ will stay with you long after you finish this extraordinary book.” We are thrilled to host Jeff on his first official book tour! And as always, THANK YOU to Children’s Book World in Haverford for making this event possible!

Sample the first few chapters of The Edge of Everything here. And stay tuned to this blog for a recap of this upcoming event!


Posted in Library News

Don’t Dread the Blank Page!

A teacher once told me that nothing is more intimidating than a blank page that’s just waiting to be filled with words. Whether you dread the blank page or genuinely look forward to filling it with your original ideas, writing sometimes feels like really hard work. Is there a way to make writing easier? Yes! With more writing, and by writing more. That’s where this new addition to the library, Q&A a Day for Writers: 365 Questions for Creative Writers, comes in. The daily prompts in this journal are designed to challenge you through quotes, questions, and thought experiments that will help you hone your writing skills and unlock the benefits of writing every day. Here are some of my favorite examples:

  • Use a handwriting sample to inspire a character sketch.
  • Spend a few moments writing about a book that inspires you.
  • Pick a place and describe the first snowfall of the year there.
  • Describe a memorable person you met just once and will likely never see again.
  • If you could leave a note for yourself to read this time next year, what would it say?
  • Allow yourself a fan fiction moment, and begin a sequel to a beloved book.
  • What’s your sign? Find today’s horoscope and write about how true or false it is.
  • Write about a possession that was prized by you and is now lost.
  • Describe in detail the most recent person you’ve met.
  • What are your top five goals for your writing in the coming months?

q_aforwritersThis lovely, inspiring, and definitely non-intimidating journal is available to peruse in the library today! But please leave the pages blank for the next student who decides to page through it. Q&A a Day for Writers would also make a perfect gift for any aspiring writer in your life. Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of Q&A a Day for Writers in exchange for honest feedback!

Posted in Library News

Let’s Get Real!

Let’s welcome a brand new collection to Ridley High School’s digital lending library: Let’s Get Real! Realistic Fiction is one of the most popular genres among both students and teachers, and now there’s an easy way to access these eBooks and audiobooks via the OverDrive app. Just visit our OverDrive page (students can sign in with their Canvas log-in), click on Collections / More Collections, and then scroll to Let’s Get Real. All of the books included in this collection feature stories with realistic settings, characters, plot lines, and events. Remember, even when school is closed, our OverDrive lending library is always open for browsing, sampling, and borrowing!


Posted in Book Reviews

Student Book Review! Miss Peregrine’s Home … by Ransom Riggs

Reviewed by Oluwafunto O., Grade 10

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a fiction book by Ransom Riggs. It’s about is about a boy named Jacob who always listened to his grandfather’s stories about living with peculiar children in a home run by Miss Peregrine. As he grows up, Jacob doubts the stories until he visits his dying grandfather and sees a creature that only he can see. His grandfather, Abraham, tells him to find a bird on the side of a old man’s grave on September 1940 and to tell everyone. No one believes Jacob, so his parents take him to a psychiatrist who suggests that he should go to Wales, the location of his grandfather’s children’s home. Jacob finds the home deserted, yet during his search he finds a mysterious girl and questions her. They go to a bog, and he realizes that the people are quite different. The patrons chase him. An invisible girl named  Emma Bloom, and an invisible boy named Millard Nullings, rescue Jacob and escape with him to Miss Peregrine’s children’s home. He also is introduced to other people, like Bronwyn Bruntley, who has amazing strength and Claire Densmore, who has a mouth that is at the back of her head, and Miss Peregrine, a Ymbryne. Ymbrynes live a time loop. I think that people who like mysteries or who are into supernatural books would like this novel because, one, the book has pictures that go with the story, and, two, the adventure is intriguing.