Wednesday, April 3, 2019

April is National Poetry Month

DeBakey 2018-2019 Name That Book Team

Anuraag Madabushi; Stacy Ezekwesili; Jeffrey Nguyen; Kallie Thompson; Mawada Al Faisal

Congratulations to our DeBakey Name That Book Team!  Join us at Barnes and Noble Saturday, May 4th, for our annual NTB Book Fair and the unveiling of the 2019-2020 reading list.  Barnes and Noble is our primary sponsor and all proceeds from the sales that day will benefit the Name That Book Competition.

Poetry Cafe

April 26th is the date for the 17th Annual DeBakey Poetry Cafe.  Auditions are currently underway, and all teachers and students are invited to participate.  Help celebrate National Poetry Month by reciting your own poetry or your favorite poem.   Musicians, singers and other celebrations of literature are welcome.  Refreshments will be served.

 Margarett Root Brown Reading Series

Novelists Tayari Jones and Richard Powers will read from their latest works and be interviewed by Houston writer Chitra Divakaruni April 22nd at the Stude Concert Hall, Rice University at 7:30 p.m.  Ticket prices are only $5.00.

Hemispheres: The International Outreach Consortium

Hemispheres at the University of Texas in Austin presents its 4-day Summer Institute June 11 - 14.  This year's title -- Read All About It! Media Literacy and Journalism in the Global Studies Classroom.   For the first time, the consortium partners with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.  Registration, including room, breakfast and lunch, is only $160.  The workshop is always a learning experience with leading professors from the University of Texas and other invited experts.

” A Reader Lives a Thousand Lives. A Man Who Never Reads Lives Only One.” – George R.R Martin

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


It's that time of the year again.  Stop by the library and enjoy homemade cookies and wassail Wednesday, December 18, between 8:00 and 12 noon.  

Holiday Book Recommendation

Two spiritual giants.  Five days.  One timeless question.  Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression.  Despite their hardships -- or, as they would say, because of them -- they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.

In The Book of Joy "two leading spiritual masters share their wisdom about living with joy even in the face of adversity, sharing personal stories and teachings about the science of profound happiness and the daily practices that anchor their emotional and spiritual lives." A very uplifting read for the holidays.

There will be a drawing for a copy in the library Wednesday, December 18th, at 1:00 pm.  Be sure to enter your name by 12:59!

I expect to pass through this world but once.  Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now.  Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.  Stephen Grellet

Happy Holidays

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Happy Autumn

Free Subscription

Houston ISD now offers a free subscription to the New York Times for students and staff through June 2019.  No login/password is required, you just have be logged in at school -- the subscription is activated through IP address. Visit for full access.

Celebrate the right to read freely with your students. Stop by the library and encourage your students check out an excellent book that has frequently been banned or challenged in school and public libraries around the country. 

In recognition of Banned Books Week, ABC-CLIO (in 'Digital  Resources' on the HUB) has created Curriculum Resources for the study of To Kill a Mockingbird.  This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, published in 1960, is one of the most challenged books in this country.  Often banned for its use of violence and racial slurs, the study of this novel emphasizes the theme of Banned Books Week - "Banned Books Silences Stories."

Gregory Peck and Brock Peters
in the movie adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird

Don't forget to visit the book fair that will be held in the library October 8 - 12. An online book fair will take place at the same time.  Bring your students for an opportunity to purchase books for themselves or for gifts.  There will be something of interest for everyone.  Cash, check, or charge.

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.

Elizabeth Lawrence

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A New Page...

DeBakey Library Program

The mission of the DeBakey Library Program is to support instruction,  promote reading and teach the inquiry method of research.   To that end, we invite teachers to bring your students to the library to fully explore all of the print and digital resources available to them.

You may schedule your classes for one half of a period for orientation or instruction.  The library also reinforces information about digital citizenship and how to research in order to avoid plagiarism.  If you would like assistance with library resources for teachers, just send an email.

The ninth-grade Health Science classes will participate in the DEAR Program - Drop Everything And Read.  Each class will spend at least 20 minutes per day reading, with an emphasis on student selection of titles. Some teachers have been concerned that reading lexile scores are not high enough to comprehend all of the reading that is required of successful DeBakey students. Reading is a skill that has to be practiced in order to improve and everyone can participate and contribute to the improvement of the reading abilities of our students whether in the library or the classroom.

 The Hemispheres Consortium at UT Austin

A workshop entitled Graphic Literature and Global Literacy - Strategies and Resources to Inspire Critical Conversations in ELA and Social Studies will be presented at UT Austin Saturday, October 6, 2018, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Perry Castaneda Library (Learning Labs).

The workshop will examine graphic literature from around the world to show how to increase global awareness and encourage explorations of diverse cultures and perspectives.  Participants will receive five(5) professional development hours (CPE), free teacher materials, continental breakfast, lunch and other refreshments.  To register email Rachel Meyer at  Be sure to include where and what subject you teach.

New Teachers

If you need the school codes for access to or Discovery Education, just email me your request.

Mark Your Calendars


September authors will read from their latest books at the Cullen Performance Hall 7:30 p.m. at the University of Houston, 4300 University Drive.  Tickets are $5.00.  Esi Edugyan, a Canadian writer of Ghanaian descent, will read from her third novel, Washington Black, which follows a 11-year-old slave from Barbados to a journey around the world to become a free man.  Meg Worlitzer's book, The Female Persuasion addresses the question of how feminism is passed down (or not) from one
generation to the next.  Doors open at 6:45.

Esi Edugyan
Meg Worlitzer

The DeBakey Book Fair is scheduled for October 8 - 12 in the library.  The book fair will include current YA and adult titles as well as children's picture books and cookbooks.  Checks, cash, and credit cards are accepted.  Sign up your classes to spend a few minutes at the book fair in celebration of Teen Read Week.

The Texas Book Festival returns for its 23rd year in Austin at the Texas State Capitol the weekend of October 27 and 28..  The festival will host over 300 authors.  Events will include author panels and discussions, book signings, live music, cooking demonstrations, food trucks, a Saturday night lit crawl, and much more.  There is something of interest for everyone.

Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.

Will Rogers

Friday, April 6, 2018

April is National Poetry Month

16th Annual Poetry Cafe

A Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

Spike Milligan

It is time once again for the Annual DeBakey Poetry Cafe.   We will celebrate one of the oldest forms of literature with poetry reading, music, song and light refreshments.  We encourage faculty to share their favorite poetry with our students and  guests.  We hope to see you Friday, April 27th after school.

Loom: Screencasting and Sharing Simplified

While you are thinking about lessons for next year, consider a simple screencasting tool for creating and storing lessons.  Loom is a free and extremely easy screencasting website that is an extension of Google Chrome.  The page allows you to record with three options - screen and camera, screen only, and camera only- and, you can move your image around as you record. 

Summer Reading Lists

As your departments contemplate summer reading lists, consider the digital books that the library offers in order to make it easier for students to access your selections.  We have three databases of ebooks that you can check before assigning titles.  All three ebook databases are available on the HUB in 'Digital Resources' - 'Library References'.  The Destiny database is the library catalog and includes ebooks purchased specifically for DeBakey students.  If you would like the library to purchase an ebook with universal simultaneous access  (USA) for your department or class, let me know so that I can check availability.

Article of Interest

Steven Wolk's article,  Educating Students for an Outdated World, reflects on his son's educational experience in high school.  He states that his son's high school had an antiliteracy curriculum, as he left eighth grade a reader and left high school a "not reader".  This article was published in the Phi Beta Kappan and can be accessed through our digital resource 'Gale OneFile' on the HUB.  Access to our digital resources requires a password. I will place a bookmark in your mailbox as passwords cannot be published on the web.  You can click this link to go directly to the article on Google Drive:

 Inprint Houston Hosts Two Poets In April.  

Rigoberto Gonzalez is the author of twelve books including fiction, poetry and nonfiction.  Gonzalez won the American Book Award for his memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa.  He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and serves as critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times.

Kevin Prufer is the author of several award-winning poetry collections and is the editor of Pleides: A Journal of New Writing as well as co-director of Pleides Press. Prufer is a faculty member at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

The presentation will be 7:30 p.m., April 23rd at Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, Entrance #18.

End of Year Reminders

Please make sure your students have a  library pass with both their name and teacher signature so that we can be sure you have given permission for them to visit the library.  Also, please check your mailbox as we will send out weekly late slips so that students will be reminded to return their books before the end of the year.

"The idea is to write so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."

"Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand..."
                                                      Maya Angelou

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Happy Holidays

Wassail and Good Cheer

You are cordially invited to the library for a Holiday Celebration as we offer wassail and cookies Wednesday morning, December 20th, from 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Visiting Authors for Spring

Brazos Bookstore, in collaboration with HISD Library Services, will sponsor author Kami Garcia in February 2018.  Ms. Garcia will visit DeBakey and Bellaire High Schools.  Her fantasy novels have quite a following at our school. Her first book in the Beautiful Creatures series was made into a movie last year. The exact times will be announced in January.

Caroline Leech will visit DeBakey at the end of May.  Ms Leech writes historical fiction and will speak to AP World History classes, but everyone is invited.  She will discuss her first book, Wait for Me, which explores the World War II experience on the home front in Scotland.

If you would like your classes to participate in either or both author visits, please let me know.  We have the authors' books available, and students need to be familiar with them before the visit.

Kami Garcia


Caroline Leech


"Instruction does much, but encouragement everything."  
                                          Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fall Semester

The DeBakey Library Program

I look forward to working with the faculty and staff as we settle into our new location.  With flexible teaching, planning and reading areas, an updated library collection (digital and print) and an emphasis on supporting the DeBakey High School curriculum, the library is the place for collaboration, study, and recreational reading.  Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have or suggestions to make the library more helpful to you and our students.

The DeBakey Book Fair will be November 13 - 17 from 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the library.  Be sure to stop by to purchase a book for your pleasure reading and/or gift-giving.  The online book fair will will continue through November 24th.  

Don't forget about the raffle.  Purchasers will enter their name in a drawing for a prize at the end of the fair.  

Library Resources

Students and staff have several options when searching for digital and print resources.  A link to  'Library References' is located on the left of the HUB page under  the 'Digital Resources'  tab.  There is also a link to the Destiny Library Catalog for print resources so that students have 24/7 access to all of the DeBakey Library collection.  Please let me know if students have any trouble with links or passwords when searching on site or remotely.  I will be happy to demonstrate their uses in your classroom or in the library.

 Library Visits                                                                                            

Be sure that students have a school pass with the library box checked when visiting the library during class time.  Students may visit the library during their lunchtime, but unfortunately the library cannot accept passes during Homeroom because it is full with lunch students.  Also, if students leave your afternoon tutorial early, be sure they have a pass if they plan to visit the library or another teacher.  Hopefully, all of us will be on the same page when issuing passes so that students will not be totally confused.

Texas Book Festival

It's that time again:  time to relax and visit with some of the leading authors in Texas and around the country.  The Texas Book Festival will be in the Austin Capitol Building and surrounding areas November 4th and 5th.  This year's lineup features over 300 authors, including Dan Rather (What Unites Us, Reflections on Patriotism), Nicole Krauss (The History of Love and Man Walks into a Room), Tom Hanks (Uncommon Type: Some Stories), and Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver series).  Additionally Central Market will sponsor a food tent with author demonstrations and food sampling; the  Children's Tent has fun and entertainment for the entire family.  Live music will be presented during the day, and evening bring literary crawls to various venues around the Capitol.   

Margarett Root Brown Inprint Series

Jennifer Eegan                         Claire Messud

Jennifer Egan and Claire Messud will share the stage at the November 13th Inprint Author Series at Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, starting at 6:45.  Jennifer Egan's book,  A Visit From the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Literature and the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Claire Messud will read from her new book, The Burning Girl.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

                                                                                                                                                                          Kurt Vonnegut