Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Jersey Hall of Fame Adds Thirteen

The New Jersey Hall of Fame announced its sophomore class list, adding thirteen to the roster of famous Jerseyans (Jerseyites?) Inductees include Carl Sagan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Althea Gibson, Jon Bon Jovi, Paul Robeson and Shaquille O'Neal.

Speaking of famous people, Columbia Middle School students have been asking for biographies of famous scientists or women or both lately for the annual, dreaded, read a biography-which-is-longer-than-200-pages assignment. Dreaded because biographies tend to come in two distinct formats: those shelved in the Children's Department tend to have fewer than 100 pages. Those residing upstairs in the library could double as doorstops and no kid wants to read them. Parents soon realize that there is a third and most desirable kind of biography, those which

1. interest your child

2. have just about 200 pages and no more

3. are approved by the teacher

4. are owned by the library

5. and finally, are checked out - because those are the books all 200 kids want to read and the early birds, or rather, early middle schoolers, have already checked them out while your child's assignment was still crumpled up in the linty recesses of his backpack.

All is not lost though, ask your friendly librarian and we'll see if we can dig up something your middle schooler will like and will actually be able to read before the next assignment comes along. Meanwhile, librarians will be combing the reviews for 200 page biographies of people who would really interest a middle schooler and when we find it, we'll order a few dozen.

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