The start of the school year can be something like slaying a dragon. You enter the doors and the quest begins. It does not seem to matter how prepared you thought you were. The excitement, the nerves, the things you have actually forgotten soon overtake you. Because you are a dragon slayer, you carry on, slashing at the problems and hoarding the successes. Soon the successes, the joy of reuniting with friends, and the clock bring you to the end of the day, reinvigorated and ready to face the next day and the one after that. The year begins and you are ready.
It has been a good start for the new library facility. Teacher, parents, and, most importantly, students have poured into the library and scattered praise into every corner. They walk in the doors--yes, those are new, as in we have never before had doors--and generally stop to take a deep breath. The usual response is along the line of those that came from girls I never saw to identify but I am guessing they are in middle school. "Look! It's, like, OMG!" So far the new library is working well. The students are finding the books they want and, amazingly, so am I (Most of the time). If you are in the area, be sure to come to the grand dedication on October 2. There will be some surprises waiting for you even if you have already dropped by to see it.
There are some new books in the library, as well. To bring this post full circle let me mention just one of them. Babymouse: Dragonslayer is the latest in a series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, a brother and sister team who have created a new graphic novel heroine. Babymouse is something of a Walter Mitty in little, pink, mouse clothing. She has a vivid imagination that helps her solve the problems of life as an elementary school student. In this story, her math teacher offers the option of accepting a poor grade or joining the math competition team. She reluctantly heads off to become a mathlete even though she feels she has no talent--and certainly no love--for math. On the way she has an interaction with characters from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. They help inspire her but don't necessarily help her math skills. Will she help the team regain the golden slide rule? Is she the person of good heart that the prophecy said was coming to save the team? Will she ever understand math? The humor in this book will appeal to older readers (parents and teachers will enjoy it, I promise) while emergent readers will enjoy the energy and the graphics even if they miss a few of the math jokes and references to classic works of fantasy.
Whatever your dragons, go forth and conquer them. Have a great start to the new school year.