Library Visits

To check out books or use the computers you MUST have: a signed pass from your teacher and your SCHOOL ID.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Video Game Edition

The HSC Game Club is having a Students VS Teachers game tournament on Monday after school, therefore, our words today come from video games

Cheats: Special codes that allow you bypass the normal limitations of a game. Typical cheats allow you to gain extra lives, become invincible, access different stages, give players big heads, etc. Some cheats are built into games, while others can only be accessed using devices like the Game Shark.

"Glory Seeking": Taking a particularly dangerous course of action for the opportunity to score bonus points. For example, pursuing the vegetables in Dig Dug.

Pwned (slang): Owned, beaten, defeated. Originated from a typo of "owned".

"Tempting Fate": A generally unwise decision involving toying with an enemy in order to gain the opportunity to score bonus items or points. This is often seen in Pac-Man games.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Library Word of the Week - vocabulary from Holly Black's novels

The library is promoting a fun way to recommend books: Take a Shelfie! Students and teachers are encouraged to take a selfie with a favorite book.

Of course, Ms. D could not decide which she liked better: the Modern Faerie series or the Curse Workers series, both by Holly Black.

Ms. D with Ironside and Black Heart, both by Holly Black
In honor of Take a Shelfie, the vocabulary this week comes from another of Holly Black's fabulous series fiction: The Spiderwick Chronicles

bespectacledwearing eyeglasses.

menagerie:a collection of wild or unusual animals, especially for exhibition.

maliciousfull of, characterized by, or showing malice;intentionally harmful; spiteful:
malicious gossip.

desecrationto divest of sacred or hallowed character or office.

Find more vocabulary words in Holly Black's amazing novels! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quote to Ponder

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before."
~Kurt Vonnegut


Friday, December 5, 2014

Library Word of the Week - vocabulary of Night

Many of our sophomores are reading Night by Elie Wiesel and learning about the Holocaust. In fact, Springfield Museums did a visiting trip to speak about hate crimes and Holocaust survivors who made it to Springfield.

Springfield Museum travelling visit to Commerce on 12/3/2014

Here are some words from Night that you should know:

annihilate: to reduce to utter ruin or nonexistence; destroy utterly
hermetic: sealed-off and made airtight ; not connected to outside world; isolated
harangue: to address (a person or crowd) through an angry, loud, or forceful speech
untenable: incapable of being defended, as an argument or behavior; incapable of being maintained (as in behavior or situation)

If you're interested in reading the book, try here: Night PDF

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"New" Resource

The Springfield City Library has some great ebooks for kids. This might be a fun way to read books to a younger sibling!

C/W MARS Digital Books For Kids

Go here:C/W Mars eBooks for Kids to take a look!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Library Fundraiser

HSC Funds4Books Has Begun! 

Help your library raise money for new books by going to
and donating. 

The Funds4Books fundraiser can also be used to pay off "Lost Book" fines! Please see Ms. D in the library for details or questions. 

Library Word of the Week - The Words of Mockingjay

Mockingjay came out last night. I'm a huge fan of the Hunger Games book and movie series. The books do have some words that you might not be familiar with.

Here are some (from this list):

obliterated: reduced to nothingness, destroyed 
wherewithal: the necessary means (especially financial means) 
enigmatic: not clear to the understanding; , resembling an oracle in obscurity of thought 
ominous: threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments 

I highly suggest reading Mockingjay before seeing the Part 1 movie. You don't want to be left hanging!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Transgender Day of Remembrance - Nov 20th

The HSC library would like to honor Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an opportunity for communities to come together and remember transgender people, gender-variant individuals, and those perceived to be transgender who have been murdered because of hate. (from HRC)

Read more here:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ms. D just finished reading ... Strange Angels #4 & #5

I just wrapped up the Strange Angels series with #4 Defiance and #5 Reckoning

Defiance (Strange Angels, #4)       Reckoning (Strange Angels, #5)

I started this series a while ago and just decided to wrap up over MCAS days. I'm very glad I finished it, but I'm not surprised by the ending. 

The teaser from GoodReads for book one (Strange Angels) is: 
In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—orwhoever— is hunting her? 

If you like vampire or werewolf stories, told from a pretty amazing character (very Buffy, the Vampire Slayer), check out Strange Angels! 

Library Word of the Week - Math Edition

I've been surrounded by Math MCAS retakes for two days, so all I can think about is math. Check out this great list of math terms:

Math Words

Inverse Function

The function obtained by switching the x- and y-variables in a function. The inverse of function f is written f -1.

Note: The new relation obtained by reversing the x- and y-values of a function is not necessarily a function itself. The new relation is only a function if the original function is one-to-one.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Library Word of the Week ... The Fault in Our Stars edition

The Fault in Our Stars is a fantastic novel by John Green. He's also known for Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. Both Katherines and TFIOS are currently on the HSC Library 50 MOST POPULAR BOOKS list.

Therefore, this Word of the Week brings us vocabulary from TFIOS

hamartia: a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a hero or heroine
paragon: a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality
omnipotent: having unlimited power
Other words can be found by clicking here. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Don't forget that the library will be closed on Weds, Thurs, and Friday for MCAS Math Retakes.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Halloween Edition

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love dressing up and pretending to be something spooky.

Did you know there is a story behind our jack-o-lanterns? 

"Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world.Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities." 

Read the legend here: Stingy Jack

And don't forget, that Halloween itself is also known as:
  1. Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ SAH-win or /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/ SOW-in Irish pronunciation: [sˠaunʲ]) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.
Have a fantastic and safe Halloween everyone! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

IB Trip to Springfield Armory

The IB History students took a trip to the Springfield Armory.

Check out pictures on the HSC website here: IB Armory Trip

Plus, I was able to take the coolest video of a musket blank fire:

Scary Reads for Halloween

Halloween is the best time to find a scary story that makes you need to sleep with the light on. Come down to the library and check out a few scary reads for this Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Library Word of the Week ... The Words of The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite books and movies. Some of the words can be a little new or difficult, so here's a quick list of some. (Full list here). 

something given or done as an expression of esteemBut in District 12, where the word tribute is pretty much synonymous with the word corpse, volunteers are all but extinct.


drop sharplyI'll never know because just as he's opening his mouth to continue, Haymitch plummets off the stage and knocks himself unconscious.


desire strongly or persistentlyFor a moment, I yearn for something . . . the idea of us leaving the district . . . making our way in the woods . . . but I know I was right about not running off


weave into plaitsSweet, tiny Prim who cried when I cried before she even knew the reason, who brushed and plaited my mother's hair before we left for school, who still polished my father's shaving mirror each night because he'd hated the layer of coal dust that settled on everything in the Seam.


become scorched or singed under intense heat or dry conditions
EXAMPLE SENTENCE:In his arms, he carried two large loaves of bread that must have fallen into the fire because the crusts were scorched black.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ms. D just finished reading .... Lockdown

Lockdown (Escape From Furnace, #1)

Creepy cover for a really creepy book. 

Goodreads says: 
Beneath Heaven is Hell. Beneath Hell is Furnace. 

Furnace Penitentiary: An underground hellhole. A place of pure evil with walls soaked in blood. Murderous gangs and vicious guards rule the darkness. Horrific creatures steal people away in the dead of night. And the impossible - escape - is the only hope.

I really didn't think I would like this book. I thought it would be like a bad prison break movie. However, it turned into a real page-turner and I'm going to start on the second one Solitary very soon. 

Highly recommended for those who like a fast pace, unknown creepy monsters, and a bad guy narrator who isn't as bad as everyone thinks. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ms. D just finished reading ... What Happened to Goodbye?

This was my first foray into a Sarah Dessen novel. I know she's a little romance, a little teen angst, so I wasn't sure if I would like it. What Happened to Goodbye was a good story, even if a little predictable. 

Who is the real McLean? 

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out. 

It is a cute story, maybe preferable as a "Beach Read." Something light, makes you happy at the end. Recommended for those looking for something fun. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Words of Maze Runner

With the Maze Runner movie out (and the book being pretty great too), I thought I'd share some words from the book that might be uncommon. (Full list is here). Be sure to check out Maze Runner, and it's other related titles: Scorch Trials, Death Cure, and the prequel: Kill Order. 

in deplorable conditionAn odd, dilapidated wooden building near one of the corners of the square contrasted greatly with the gray stone.

used of old persons or old trees; covered with knobs or knotsA few trees surrounded it, their roots like gnarled hands digging into the rock floor for food.

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developmentsFor some reason the clothing here surprised Thomas; it seemed like everyone should be wearing something more menacing— like prison garb.

a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying oneHis mind functioned without flaw, trying to calculate his surroundings and predicament.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Library Word of the Week: The Words of Divergent

This week the library is featuring series fiction. One of my current favorite series is Divergent by Veronica
My favorite faction in the world of Divergent are the Dauntless. You'd think I would like the Erudite, but I think they hoard information like a dragon hoards gold. Information should be free to access for everyone.

the act of renouncing or rejecting something

a state of friendship and cordiality
A group of Amity girls in yellow and red sit in a circle on the cafeteria floor, playing some kind of hand-slapping game involving a rhyming song.

the quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech
Candor values honesty, but our faction, Abnegation, values selflessness.

invulnerable to fear or intimidation
In front of it is a large metal sculpture that the Dauntless climb after school, daring each other to go higher and higher.

tending to move apart in different directions
People who get this kind of result are…” She looks over her shoulder like she expects someone to appear behind her. “… are called… Divergent.”

having or showing profound knowledge
At another set of tables, the Erudite chatter over books and newspapers, in constant pursuit of knowledge.

More words here:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ms. D just finished reading ... Divided We Fall

I am usually not a fan of war novels, unless they're science fiction. Modern war novels are generally too close for comfort. This one certainly was. This is a very realistic novel, and honestly something that could happen.

From GoodReads:

"Danny Wright never thought he'd be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enlisted in the National Guard because he wanted to serve his country the way his father did. When the Guard is called up on the Idaho governor's orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowd-control mission ... but then Danny's gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead.

The president wants the soldiers arrested. The governor swears to protect them. And as tensions build on both sides, the conflict slowly escalates toward the unthinkable: a second American civil war." 

This is the first in Trent Reedy's series and I'm really looking forward to the next. I need to know what happens to the characters!

For the simple fact that this book made me uncomfortable, worried, and yet still want to read the sequel, I'll happily recommend this novel, especially to anyone thinking about joining the military!

Series Reads

Have you ever finished a book and thought: "But what happens after?" Series fiction answers that question. Go on, get attached to your favorite character, and read more of their story.

Ms. D can point you in the direction of more series fiction as well, such as Eragon, Bluford High, and Kimani Tru, as well as others. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Paranormal Events @ Your Public Library

Boo! Paranormal Presentations in October
Come join us for ghoulies and ghosties, and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night, this October!

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Ghostology 101
October 15, 6:30 – 7:45 pm 
East Forest Park Branch
Sign up online
This is the first in a series of programs designed to both entertain and educate the general public about the world of the paranormal. We’ll explore the basics of paranormal investigations, starting with terminology, equipment, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), spirit photography and video, as well as “ghost hunting” skills and suggestions. Led by local experts from the Agawam Paranormal team, this fun and fascinating presentation is appropriate for older teens and adults.

Description: oldhouse
Ghostology 201 
October 22, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
Indian Orchard Branch
Sign up online
This is the second in the series and gets into more advanced subject matters including demons, angels, necromancy, exorcism and possession. While it is believed that only a very small percentage of paranormal activity is caused by demons or their like, it is undeniably a very popular topic with today’s public. Here we will try to remove fact from fiction and see just how it all ties together. The program will include some hands-on experiments with the tools used by paranormal investigators including EMF meters, temperature work, and spirit photography. Updated for 2014, this segment is designed for an adult audience and really is not suited for children. Presented by the Agawam Paranormal team.

Description: mass_sailor
Mysterious Massachusetts
October 29, 6:30 – 7:45 pm
East Springfield Branch 
Sign up online
Reports of UFO’s, alien abductions, sea serpent sightings, haunted houses and the like abound in Massachusetts. Join library staff member Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe in this hour long review of weirdly fascinating paranormal activity in the Commonwealth. This program is good for teens and adults.

Ghostology 301
November 5, 6:30 – 7:45 pm 
East Forest Park Branch 
Sign up online
Get the lowdown on local haunted places and other paranormal activity in Springfield and its surrounding towns! This fun and exciting presentation is good for all ages, but is intended primarily for adults and older teens.

T-shirt raffle! We will raffle off a free Agawam Paranormal t-shirt at each Boo! program. All attendees who remain present through the end of the program earn a raffle ticket to win the free t-shirt.

Teen Events @ your Public Library

Celebrate Teen Read Week at the Library with programs that help teens Turn Dreams Into Reality!

Description: Description: itsnotjustadaydream

Do you know what you want to do in life, but are not sure how to make it happen? Or are you trying to figure out what you want to do? At the East Forest Park Branch Library on Saturday October 18 at 12 noon, experts from Holyoke Community College and the UAspire Springfield Promise Program as well as local organizations that mentor teens will show you how to focus on your dreams and turn them into a reality.

Confused by the college admissions process? Learn all about how you can be ready to apply and open the door to college at the Mason Square Branch Library Saturday October 11 at 12 noon, at the Central Library Wednesday Oct. 15 at 6:00 pm, and at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library Tuesday Oct. 21 at 6:00 pm. Cynthia Swan and her staff from Springfield College will answer all your questions and share some of their personal experiences as students. There will be snacks at all the workshops – and pizza at the Mason Square session!

Description: Description: khan_sm
Teens who want a way to build their skills for schoolwork, or who enjoy learning something new online, can come to the Brightwood Branch Library on Thursday, October 16 at 4:30 pm to join educator Scott Wohlers in a demonstration of Khan Academy. This not-for-profit organization aims to the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge. A session for students of all ages, and their coaches, including parents and teachers will take place at the Central Library on Monday October 20 at 6:30 pm.

Teens’ dreams of shining onstage can happen when they come to the Teen Talent Show at the Forest Park Branch Library on Saturday October 18 at 1:00 pm. Can you sing, dance, play an instrument, recite a poem, or tell jokes? Show us your unique talent, no matter what it is!
Description: Description: TRW2014
All week, Dreams Into Reality Art Days are happening – check the calendarfor times and days at your branch library. Stop by the teen area at the Central Library, Brightwood, Forest Park, or Indian Orchard and use our art materials to make a poster or a three dimensional creation expressing the Teen Read Week theme “Turn Your Dreams Into Reality.” Put your artwork on display at the Library and earn an energy bar to get you going in making your dreams come true!
For all activities for teens and tweens, make sure you check our online calendar!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Bibliography

Bibliography (may be called "works cited")

nounplural bibliographies.

a complete or selective list of works compiled upon some common principle, as authorship,subject, place of publication, or printer.
a list of source materials that are used or consulted in the preparation of a work or that are referred to in the text.
a branch of library science dealing with the history, physical description, comparison, and classification of books and other works.

Every paper you write, every PowerPoint you make, should have a bibliography at the end if you utlized other peoples' thoughts or words. You wouldn't want someone to use your paper that you worked so hard for without citing you, so don't do it to other people either.