Blog Posts

Week 17: Reading Festival Day 1!

Reading Festival 2022 has begun!

Here is the video message for Day 1:

Last Friday and today, we’ve had our first illustration workshops with Elise Gravel! She is so funny and inspiring. Very open too, and easy to talk with. She loved all the students’ questions!

This week during library lesson, it’s all about sharing our favorite book and our favorite kinds of stories. Students are invited to bring books from home! We’ve had wonderful sharings today, some of which I was able to record. Our aim is to make a compilation video of everyone sharing their favorite book, and post it next week for you to enjoy.

Tomorrow we’re looking forward to more sharings about why we appreciate certain books and stories. As well as our Read-A-Thon after school! We’re going to read a ton! We will decide with the students who are participating in the Read-A-Thon which charity we will donate the raised money to. When you swish the sponsor money this week, please be sure to note your child’s name, class and “Read-A-Thon 22”. Thank you!

This week, we will post a daily update with our video messages, footage of the day, reminders, etc. – right here on this library blog. So please subscribe to our blog if you don’t want to miss anything! Thanks!

We’re looking forward to a fun-filled and inspiring week!

Happy Reading,

Sophie & Fleur

Week 16: Almost Reading Festival…

Hope you’ve had a hopping Easter Break, and that you enjoyed the sunshine! Before we jump into this week’s blog post, I’d like to take a moment for two reflective questions: What can books mean to you? And… What is the importance of a story? I found a possible answer in a poem I read last week, and also in a book called Mac B. Kid Spy Top Secret Smackdown (I’m eternally thankful to Anush in 4D for recommending this amazing series to me!). Before you read on, think about what your answers would be to those questions…

General Library News

This week, we will prepare ourselves for meeting our Reading Festival author/illustrators, Hanna Olausson, Elise Gravel and Victoria Jamieson. We will discuss our questions we want to ask them. We will also clarify anything left lingering unclear regarding the Reading Festival next week!

Please note that the library will be closed for book returning & borrowing after school next week on Tuesday (26/4) and Friday (29/4) due to the Read-a-Thon and Book Sale at these times. Students are welcome to browse and borrow as usual on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during week 17. Thank you for your understanding!

PYP Library Times

Next week, students are invited to share a book from home that they love. So this week, please talk with your child(ren) about which book from home they’d like to bring to school to show us during library lesson. It doesn’t have to be a book that you own, you can borrow it from the public library (or a friend!) too. Students will share what it is that they appreciate about this book or story!

Week 14: Preparing for Reading Festival!

Last Friday, we welcomed ten International School (Teacher-)Librarians from all over Sweden to ISGR. We visited our two libraries (Guldheden and Götaberg campus), as well as the public library. We shared our best practices, asked each other burning questions and everyone left with new ideas and useful information!

General Library News

The additional Storytime Hub trial accounts we had received, disappeared within 15 minutes! If you have not received a message from me, it means that there were no more accounts to be given out. I have saved all of your account requests, though, in case we receive additional trial accounts. Thank you for your interest!

Before we jump into the Reading Festival information, please mark your calendar for “free books” on Friday, April 8th (14.30 – 15.00). Students are welcome to our school library this Friday afternoon to choose books from our withdrawn books. As you know, we add new books to our library collection constantly. We withdraw (slightly) damaged books, or outdated ones. They are still very readable, and we don’t want to just toss them in the recycling bin. So all students are welcome to browse these withdrawn books and choose whatever they like, to take home and keep forever. Happy Re-reading!

The Saturday (23/4) before the Reading Festival, it is the UNESCO World Book Day on which you are challenged “to explore new topics, formats, or genres that out of your ordinary. Our goal is to engage people in reading, and to have fun doing so!” A perfect kick-start to get in the mood for ISGR’s annual Reading Festival!

Now, here comes the Reading Festival information! Are you excited? We certainly are!

This year’s Reading Festival takes place in week 17 (April 25 – 29) with its theme of “appreciation”. Sophie and I will prepare short daily video messages for the students to watch in class. Each video will focus on a different genre and what can be appreciated about it. Each video will end with a question for the students to discuss in class. These videos will be posted on our library blog as well, so you can watch them at home too if you’d like!

Every class gets to meet, work with and learn from an author-illustrator! We would like to welcome back Swedish author and illustrator Hanna Olausson, who will be working with all the PYP and LGRP F and 1 students. Canadian author and illustrator Elise Gravel will do online workshops with the PYP and LGRP 2 and 3 students. Welcome to graphic novel creator Victoria Jamieson, visiting from Pennsylvania (USA), who will be working with all the PYP and LGRP 4 and 5 students. We are super excited to be learning from such inspiring and skilled author-illustrators! These events are made possible by the Creative School (Skapande Skola) grant we have received from the National Council of the Arts (Kulturrådet).

On Tuesday, April 26th, there will be a Read-A-Thon after school (14.30 – 16.30) in the library. Students find sponsors (family, friends, neighbors, etc.) to raise money for a certain amount of time that they’re reading. For example, 10 kronor for every 30 mins. The total amount they raise, will be donated to a to-be-determined charity. In previous years, we’ve let the Read-A-Thon participants choose which book(s) should be bought for the school library with the money they had raised. But this year we felt it was appropriate to donate the money to children who need it (much) more than we do. We’ve already got an amazing, well-stocked library! And the students I spoke to today, agreed! Forms for the Read-A-Thon will be handed out after the Easter Break. They will be downloadable from this blog then as well.

On Friday, April 29th, it will be Dress Up Day! Students are invited to dress up to look like their favorite book character. No need to buy expensive costumes, be creative with what you’ve got, borrow from friends, or make something fun out of cardboard! (Become a character from the Cardboard Kingdom!). No face masks please, face paint is okay. No weapons, but wands are accepted. It is voluntary to dress up, but we hope many will join in the fun!

On Friday, April 29th, we will have a book sale after school (14.30 – 16.00) in the library. Students, and their parents, can buy books by Hanna Olausson and Victoria Jamieson. The visiting authors will be there to sign these books! You’re also welcome to just come say hello to the authors and to tell them why you love their work!

The students who would like to buy books by Elise Gravel, will need to be patient! Because it will work like this: we will have a display of Elise Gravel’s books. Students will choose which book(s) they’d like to buy. We will write this down, while the parent swishes us the amount. After the book sale is over, we will order all the books. In the meantime, Elise Gravel will prepare a dedication and signature on a sticker for each student who has bought a book (she will receive a list of names and titles from us). Once the books and those stickers have arrived, we will put the right sticker in the right book and hand the books out to the students. Elise is doing virtual visits and is not able to attend the book sale in person, but because we think it is special and valuable to buy a book by an author you’ve met, and have it signed, that we’ve come up with a way of achieving this!

Today, students have asked, “What about DEAR?”. DEAR means “Drop Everything And Read”, which we have done in the previous years. We haven’t organized this as a school this year, but students are very welcome to organize DEAR with their class! Together with their teacher, they can decide which day works best for them to do DEAR. And that goes with any other reading-related initiative students come with to add to the Reading Festival activities, like “share your favorite book day” or “recite a poem day”, etc. We are looking forward to seeing student agency!

PYP Library Times

Last week, we heard some insightful reflections as to which character we felt the most/least connected to, and why. For example, a student shared that she also shows only happiness to others, even though she feels sad inside – just like the character in the book. We heard many more of these thoughtful connections with different fictional characters. I felt honored and moved by the sharing that took place last week.

This week, the lessons will have a very different character: I will share everything the students need or want to know about the Reading Festival happening in week 17!

Week 13: Meetings & International Children’s Book Day

This week is full of meetings: ISGR staff has an evening meeting today, a PD-day (professional development) all day Tuesday, our regular staff meeting on Thursday, and to round off the week – Sophie and I are hosting an International School Librarians Day this Friday at ISGR! As if that is not enough, it is International Children’s Book Day on Saturday, April 2nd. Boom!

Check out this year’s theme Stories are wings that help you soar every day HERE, and their flyer in many different languages HERE.

General Library News

In the spirit of International Children’s Book Day coming up this Saturday, we have set up displays, both in Swedish and English, with books connected to the theme of stories helping you soar as well as stories from around the world:

We have received a grant from the government to purchase graphic novels, “bridge books” (books that bridge the gap between graphic novels and chapters books), as well as non-fiction titles that support our curriculum. We have spent about half of that money now, and here are some of the books we purchased – ready to be checked out by the students!

PYP Library Times

Last week, I showed the students lots and lots of different books in the context of being courageous. Many students were courageous and open-minded and tried the books I shared with them! This week, we dive back into our read-alouds. Before we read though, I will pose the question, “Which character do you feel the most/least connected to, and why?”. After the read aloud, students are invited to share their thoughts. I’m curious to hear their connections! As part of the ATL skills (Approaches To Learning), students are asked to developed their social skills – one of which is developing social-emotinal intelligence. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (even if they are fictional!) is doing exactly that!

In PYP F and 1, we will be reading the following books, connected to the International Children’s Book Day:

Students will also have the opportunity to listen to stories from the Storytime Magazine.

In PYP 2, we will read a legend from Storytime Magazine, connected to their current Unit of Inquiry on artifacts:

On Friday, when we have our International School Librarians Day, our guest teacher Mona will take the last two classes (3F and 1D) of the day.

We are looking forward to a week full of meetings, with real people and fictional characters!

Week 12: To Be Courageous and Open-Minded

Last Friday, I saw THIS video in which Newbery Medal winning author Erin Entrada Kelly talks about being curious and what this brings to your life. Watch it with your child(ren), and I hope you feel as inspired and moved by it as I did!

General Library News

Guess what? We’ve got new books! Sophie is focusing on cataloging the books that have been reserved by students. Which means that the books go straight from her office into the students’ hands. Great! Except that no-one really knows which books have been added to our library collection. That is why Sophie puts all the photos of the books that are newly cataloged, up on the notice board outside the library. And I put them here on the blog.


Today (21/3) is World Poetry Day, as well as World Water Day. This Friday, it is Waffle Day here in Sweden, which is why we have a baking display!

The new Storytime issue is available in our library! Students can check the magazines out to read at home. You can read the story behind this month’s issue on the Storytime blog HERE. The resource pack is free to download HERE. As a school, we get access to their Storytime Hub – for free, but for a limited period of time as part of a trial. On the Storytime Hub you can listen and read to (or just read, or just listen to) all the stories that are published in their magazines. Our trial period has been extended, so if you’ve already got Storytime Hub accounts, keep using them! If you don’t, and you’d like to, email me ( and I’ll set you up an account. Please mention your child’s full name and class. Thank you! We’ve received 30 extra accounts; first come, first serve! We’ll be experimenting with the Storytime Hub as an extra listening station in our library. Our ancient CD player, and most CDs, are still working, but there will be a point that we have to move on…

PYP Library Times

This week, we will focus on what it means to be courageous and open-minded in the library. How will it help us to find a “just right” book if we are courageous and open-minded? I will show students a range of books, to give them examples when I say, “If you always read series, maybe you can try stand alone novels?” or “If you always read picture books, maybe you can try a chapter book?” I’ll show them historical fiction to try, classics to love, and true stories to inspire them. I’ve got a special little pile of books with quite unappealing covers, but incredible, timeless stories like, The Bridge to Terabithia and A Wrinkle in Time.

In PYP F and 1, I will read one of our many beautiful picture books. We’ve got so many stunning picture books, but they often get forgotten, simply because we’ve got so many! So this week I’m highlighting our slightly forgotten fantastic picture books. See the photo below for examples.

In PYP 2, we will read different myths and legends from the Storytime magazines. We will also explore chapter books and non-fiction titles, and I encourage the students to try to be courageous by trying something new!

We are looking forward to a week full of courage and newly discovered books!

Week 11: Pause and Think

Good Morning! A short message from me today. Mostly displays and new books. Happy Reading!

General Library News

Today is Mathematics Day here in Sweden! It’s not often that we highlight non-fiction titles focused on math, so I will gladly take this opportunity to make a math display!

New books! Every week, Sophie catalogs new books. Thank you to our volunteer Patty for covering tons and tons of books for us!

PYP Library Times

This week in our library times, I will encourage students to pause and think before they choose their books. Roaming around the library, checking out the displays, considering what other people are reading are all good ways to find a “just right” book. But it’s also an idea to pause and think for a minute. What do I want to read? What am I interested in? What is my purpose for reading this book? What matches my reading level? This is part of the I-PICK method of choosing a book. This week is full of questions, and maybe some answers!

Week 10: Reveling in Reading Aloud

Another week. A sunny one, by the looks of it! I have found this article if you wish to talk about the Russian invasion in a matter-of-fact way with your children. It is important they know what is going on (because they already know something is going on), without unnecessary details. It’s a fine line to walk.

General Library News

Our Matilda Movie Nights were a success! One of our students wrote us a review of that afternoon. Thanks, Tanvi! It was interesting to notice how, even though we know from the book that Miss Trunchbull is horrible, seeing her horrendous face and hearing her shout in the movie, feels just a little bit more horrible than in the book! But it all turned out to be okay in the end. Phew!

We’ve got some great new displays up. The focus of the Swedish display is telling a story through illustrations. There is so much gorgeous art to be found in these novels!

The other display is set up for tomorrow’s International Women’s Day:

PYP Library Times

This week, we take extra time for our read alouds while reviewing the Five Finger Rule which is connected to our central idea: “Finding a just right book requires skills, knowledge and courage.”

In PYP F, we focus on our new Julia Donaldson picture books. I read The Smeds and The Smoos to the classes during our library time. It is a story of prejudices, friendship, understanding and cooperation.

In PYP 1, we read There is a Superhero in Your Book by Tom Fletcher. We will practice the Five Finger Rule, and students will receive a bookmark to remind them to use this rule at home too!

In PYP 2, we will read a Norse myth about Balder, out of one of the Storytime issues. This connects to PYP2’s new unit of inquiry in which they will explore different myths as well as artifacts. We’ve received the delayed Storytime issues, which are now ready to be checked out!

In PYP 3, 4 and 5 we will continue our read aloud novels, while checking in with the I-PICK method of choosing a “just right” book.

We are looking forward to enjoying long read alouds this week!

Week 9: Sun and Sorrow

Welcome back for another week of library news! The sun is shining, the days are brighter. Perhaps that will help alleviate some of the worry around the recent events taking place in Ukraine? If only…

General Library News

Believe it or not, but we’ve got another round of beautiful new books! Picture books in English, and novels in Swedish.

INFORMATION FOR IF YOUR CHILD HAS COMPLETED THE WINTER READING CHALLENGE: We’re all set for the movie nights this Tuesday (ALL LGRP students, PYP F – 2) and Friday (PYP 3 – 5). Today I’ve received the question, “Until what time is the movie night?” Good question, and sorry I didn’t write this earlier on the blog. We start the movie right after school (14.30ish), as soon as everyone has settled in. I think we will wrap up around 16.15 – 16.30. Students who are in PAL will then head back to their PAL group, students who aren’t will exit the buildinng and find their parents at a pre-arranged meeting spot! Students don’t need to bring anything: juice and popcorn is provided!

PYP Library Times

This week in our library lessons, we will warm up with a quick quiz. I will say the first names of famous authors (for example, “Roald”), and students can shout out their last names and which books they have written. It’s been fun today, and I’m impressed with their author knowledge!

We will continue on then to “the decision tree” of choosing books. Students often tell me that they don’t know what book to choose. I walk them through the following questions:

  1. Would you like to read fiction or non-fiction?
  2. If you chose fiction: What genre, what kind of story would you like to read?
    • The next question becomes: Would you like to read a stand-alone novel or a series?
  3. If you chose non-fiction: What topic would you like to learn about?
  4. Whether you’ve chosen fiction or non-fiction, at the end you apply the five finger rule (more about that next week!).

The decision tree looks like this:

In PYP F and 1, we will focus on the characteristics of a fiction book and a non-fiction book. We will share some examples with the students. When students are checking out their books, they will tell us what kind of book they’ve checked out!

We will have time for our read-alouds too! In PYP 3, we will continue reading The Last Elephant by Justin D’Ath, in PYP 4, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, and in PYP 5 Holes by Louis Sachar. In PYP F and 1, we will read one of the Little People, Big Dreams books. In PYP 2, we will finish our Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman and for the PYP 2 classes that already have finished it, we will read the first story of the latest Storytime magazine. Reading aloud to the students might just be my favorite part of the lesson!

Happy Reading & Take care!


Week 8: More than just rain and snow

Welcome back! We hope you’ve had a great sports break! It was quite rainy and snowy here in Sweden, which means lots of cozy times to curl up with a book. Or maybe you travelled to catch some sun rays?

In the Jönköping Museum, you can learn more about artist John Bauer.

General Library News

We’ve got more new books! It just never ends. 😉

We’ve just put several big book orders in as well. A great mix of novels, picture books, non-fiction, students favorites, teacher requests, English, Swedish, graphic novels, replacement copies and new installments of series, etc. It will take several weeks, maybe months, to cover all the books and to catalog them. But from now until Summer, you will notice a steady stream of more new fantastic books flowing into our library. Such privilege!

It appears that our Storytime Magazine issues have been delayed (or even lost?). I am working on solving this! In the meantime, we can read more about Storytime’s mental health theme and an illustrator interview HERE on their blog. The activity pack is free to download HERE. Happy Reading!

INFORMATION FOR ALL STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE ISGR WINTER READING CHALLENGE 21-22: Our Matilda Movie Nights are set: Tuesday, March 1st we will welcome ALL LGRP students, PYP F, 1 and 2 students. On Friday, March 4th we will welcome PYP 3, 4 and 5 students. This week, students (who have successfully completed the challenge, of course) will receive their movie ticket. Please note that the library on 1/3 and 4/3 is not open after school to switch out books.

PYP Library Times

This week, we will start with a little game to remind ourselves of the three library rules: we take care of each other, we take care of the books and we are quiet, calm and focused in the library.

The main focus of our circle time is two-fold: students are invited to write down their book suggestions, books they think we should have in our school library. We will try our best to find and purchase these requests! We’ve received a grant from the Swedish Government to do just that! 🙂

The second thing is our read-aloud. This week, we will enjoy our stories and end with sharing any questions we might have about the book, or even the author. The goal is not to try and answer the questions, but just to share our wonderings with each other. We nurture curiosity!

Week 6: A “just right” Week

Dear Readers,

What a beautifully sunny day to start our week with! Just right!

General Library News

Hurrah! We’ve got dates for our Matilda Movie Night! Calendars ready? Here we go:

Tuesday, March 1st: PYP F – 2 students + All LGRP students

Friday, March 4th: PYP 3 – 5 students

The film will be shown in the library, from 14.35 till the end of the movie (16.15ish)! There will be saft (juice) and popcorn. Students don’t have to bring anything, except their movie ticket. They will receive their movie ticket in week 8 (the week after sport lov). If your child is in PAL, please inform the PAL-teachers that they will be in the library for the movie until about 4.15. They will continue in PAL after that.

Finally! Yay!

PYP Library Times

Before I dive into what we’re doing for our library lessons this week, I’d like to tell you about a second grade student. This student, Shreyansh, has been making, writing and illustrating book since he was in first grade. All of his titles are non-fiction books and teach us about animals. He’s created ten so far, and he is currently working on his eleventh book. He truly is a prolific writer! All of his books are available in our school library. Check it out!

Shreyansh, a second grade student, is a prolific writer. Here he is with his tenth published book.

This week during our circle time in the library lesson, we will put our heads together to answer the question: What is a “just right” book? Today’s classes had some insightful thoughts, as you can see on the photos below (sorry for my handwriting!). We will continue with this question throughout the week.

As always, we will continue our read alouds. In the Foundation and First grade classes, we will read Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians. A fun re-telling of the Goldilocks story, teaching children how to pick a “just right” book. You can listen to it HERE as well.

We are looking forward to a “just right” week!

We will see you for our next blog post on the Monday after the break (21/2). Have a great week, and a beautiful break!