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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The original Book of Negroes measures about a foot-and-a-half by a foot-and-a-half and runs just over 150 pages. Though known to just a handful of scholars, this remarkable hand-written ledger is a historical treasure. Detailing names, ages, backgrounds and often degrading physical descriptions (“stout wench”), it’s the first public documentation of black people in North America — specifically, the 3,000 freedom-seekers who left New York for Nova Scotia and other British colonies near the end of the American Revolutionary War. In exchange for their service to the empire, Black Loyalists were promised liberty and land. What they received was little better than the circumstances they left behind: poverty, hunger, disease and servitude. (See the rest of this story and an interview with Lawrence Hill on

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ellen Hopkins' books now in the library.

We can't seem to keep these on the shelf.  Ellen Hopkins writes about very real issues concerning drugs, abuse and the role of religion in a young teen's life.  These three books are all written in verse.  A must read.  You can also check out her blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Teen Reads is the site to check out new releases, book reviews,  author interviews, podcasts, videos,  and much more.  

Magnum in Motion

Magnum In Motion online essays add new dimensions to to the traditional photographic narrative, using a combination of photos, audio, video, graphics, and interactivity.
These essays cover current events around the world using stunning pictures.  It is well worth a peak.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

30 Hour Famine

Congratulations to all the 30 hour famine participants who raised 
$2, 689.00 to help feed hungry children around the world.  Some of the reasons RSS students chose to partake in the fundraising campaign:
"... because I am rarely hungry."
"... because I wanted to make a small difference."
"... to help end global inequality."
"... to raise awareness."

Slumdog Millionaire (click here to watch trailer)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
When Ram Mohammad Thomas, an orphaned, uneducated waiter from Mumbai, wins a billion rupees on a quiz show, he finds himself thrown in jail. (Unable to pay out the prize, the program's producers bribed local authorities to declare Ram a cheater.) Enter attractive lawyer Smita Shah, to get Ram out of prison and listen to him explain, via flashbacks, how he knew the answers to all the show's questions. Indian diplomat Swarup's fanciful debut is based on a sound premise: you learn a lot about the world by living in it (Ram has survived abandonment, child abuse, murder). And just as the quiz show format is meant to distill his life story (each question prompts a separate flashback), Ram's life seems intended to distill the predicament of India's underclass in general. Rushdie's 
Midnight's Children may have been a model: Ram's brash yet innocent voice recalls that of Saleem Sinai, Rushdie's narrator, and the sheer number of Ram's near-death adventures represents the life of the underprivileged in India, just as Saleem wore a map of India, quite literally, on his face. But Swarup's prose is sometimes flat and the story's picaresque form turns predictable. Ram is a likable fellow, but this q&a with him, though clever, grows wearying. 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spinning the truth?

" We are truth mongers. We are the destroyers of spin." - SpinSpotter


" If you don’t trust the news media, what are your options? You can fume about bias, wonder what you’re missing and suppress the urge to throw things.

But what if there were a device that objectively flagged questionable elements in online news articles, poking and parsing words and phrases, and letting you contribute your own critiques? Well, a Seattle company called SpinSpotter has produced a piece of software — a free download that works within a Web browser — that tries to do just that." - Read rest of article from The New York Times

Monday, April 6, 2009

BC Book Prizes

The finalists for the 25th BC Book Prize  have been announced.  Check out the link to see who has been nominated and get ideas for the next book you want to read.